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Can Too Much Probiotic Cause Diarrhea

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Can You Take Too Many Probiotics

Can Too Much Probiotics Be Why I Feel Sick?

“Yes, it is possible to take too much probiotics,” Niket Sonpal, MD, a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist in New York City, told POPSUGAR. “Probiotics help the stomach maintain a balance between good and bad bacteria. Taking too many probiotics can throw off that balance and lead to uncomfortable side effects like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.” This is exactly how I felt at that concert and during my trip to LA. The symptoms ranged from annoying to downright miserable.

“When there is too much good bacteria in the gut, the body’s digestive system becomes overwhelmed,” Dr. Sonpal explained. “Every time a person eats food, the microorganisms race to digest it and produce gas as a byproduct. This excess gas is what leads to feeling nauseous, bloated, and sick. Lowering the number of probiotics you consume can help the microbiome in the body become balanced again and lessen the adverse effects of too much good bacteria.”

Can I Take Or Eat Something To Increase The Good Probiotics In My Body

You can increase the amount of good microbes in your body through foods, drinks and supplements. You may already have certain foods in your daily diet that contain probiotics. Fermented foods in particular are home to a host of good bacteria that benefit your body. There are also fermented drinks like kombucha or kefir that introduce extra probiotics into your diet.

Apart from food, you can add probiotics to your diet through dietary supplements. These arent drugs, so they do not need to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration . Its important that you always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any kind of supplement or major change to your diet.

Probiotics For Diarrhea In Infants

Infants are mostly prone to infectious diarrhea due to rotavirus. Introducing your baby to fermented foods and drinks requires that you do it carefully. Feed your baby small amounts of fermented drinks such as yoghurt.

Yoghurt has Lactobacillus species in plenty and in the right colony forming units. This will not only help them prevent infectious diarrhea, but also help them in the digestion of mothers milk which requires lactase enzyme for its digestion. Lactase is produced by the Lactobacillus.

You can also start the baby on fermented food right away such as cultured vegetable juice. Do this by dipping your finger or sucker in it then let your baby suck on it. Do this three times in a day. Cultured vegetables have Lactobacillus plantarum which is effective in the treatment of colic. With a few days of doing this, start giving your baby a spoonful of juice 3 times a day.

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How Much Probiotics Should I Take Per Day

However, common dosages for adults range from five billion to 10 billion colony-forming units per day. Take just one dose of probiotics per day. Some people may experience loose stools in the first few days of taking probiotics, but this goes away. Taking probiotics at the end of a meal may help to reduce the symptoms.

How Do Probiotics Work

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The main job of probiotics, or good bacteria, is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Think of it as keeping your body in neutral. When you are sick, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number. This knocks your body out of balance. Good bacteria works to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better.

Good bacteria keeps you healthy by supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation. Certain types of good bacteria can also:

  • Help your body digest food.
  • Keep bad bacteria from getting out of control and making you sick.
  • Create vitamins.
  • Help support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria that you may have consumed from entering your blood.
  • Breakdown and absorb medications.

This balancing act is naturally happening in your body all of the time. You dont actually need to take probiotic supplements to make it happen. Good bacteria is just a natural part of your body. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber every day helps to keep the number of good bacteria at proper levels.

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The Best Probiotic For Diarrhea

Can probiotics cause diarrhea? Yes. However, we cant overemphasize that probiotics cause diarrhea only in a very small minority of users. Even in those rare instances, the symptoms are almost always temporary. Probiotics, for the most part, are a diarrhea reducer.

With this in mind, you should definitely take probiotics for diarrhea if you regularly experience loose stool. We suggest looking at the type of strains in a probiotic supplement. Some strains are more beneficial for treating digestive disorders than others.

One useful strain is lactobacillus and its sub-strains. One study showed that L. acidophilus and L. rhamnosus were effective in treating travelers diarrhea. It was also useful in treating acute diarrhea in children. Both strains are available in cultured dairy products. You can also find them in Floracil50.

Another study published in the BMJ Journal found that the strains L. casei and L. bulgaricus were effective in treating diarrhea associated with antibiotic use.

As you can see, there is no single best probiotic for diarrhea. This is why we recommend a multi-strain product over those with a single strain. Research also suggests that multiple strains may have a synergistic effect and be more potent than a single strain working solo.

What Is The Right Dosage

The dosage of probiotics is measured in colony-forming units , which represent the number of bacteria or fungal cells in the sample that can form their own colony. An average probiotic supplement will include anywhere from 1 to 10 billion CFUs, however, the right dosage of probiotics looks different from person to person and depends on diet, age, weight, and the bodys tolerance for probiotics.

A healthy adult will generally consume about 20 billion CFUs daily through food and supplements, so its unlikely you will overdo it on probiotics by simply taking one daily supplement along with a balanced diet. Nevertheless, its best to determine the dosage that you need by consulting with your personal healthcare provider or nutritionist. They can best evaluate your current diet and medical needs and make personalized dosage and strain recommendations that will prevent bloating or other discomfort.

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Some Strains Can Increase Histamine Levels

Some bacterial strains used in probiotic supplements can produce histamine inside the digestive tract of humans .

Histamine is a molecule that is normally produced by your immune system when it detects a threat.

When histamine levels rise, blood vessels dilate to bring more blood to the affected area. The vessels also become more permeable so that immune cells can easily get into the relevant tissue to combat any pathogens .

This process creates redness and swelling in the affected area, and can also trigger allergy symptoms such as itching, watery eyes, runny nose or trouble breathing.

Normally, histamine that is produced in your digestive tract is naturally degraded by an enzyme called diamine oxidase . This enzyme inhibits histamine levels from rising enough to cause symptoms .

However, some people with histamine intolerance have trouble properly breaking down the histamine in their bodies, seeing as they do not produce enough DAO .

The excess histamine is then absorbed through the lining of the intestinal tract and into the bloodstream, causing symptoms similar to an allergic reaction (

28 ).

Theoretically, they may want to select probiotic supplements that do not contain histamine-producing bacteria, but to date, there has been no research on this specific area.

Some histamine-producing probiotic strains include Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus hilgardii and Streptococcus thermophilus .

How To Take It

How Much Probiotic Should I Take?

The best way to take vitamin C supplements is 2 3 times per day, with meals, depending on the dosage. Some studies suggest that adults should take 250 500 mg twice a day for any benefit. Talk to your doctor before taking more than 1,000 mg of vitamin C on a daily basis and before giving vitamin C to a child.

Daily intake of dietary vitamin C is listed below.


  • Men over 18 years: 90 mg
  • Women over 18 years: 75 mg
  • Pregnant women 14 18 years: 80 mg
  • Pregnant women over 18 years: 85 mg
  • Breastfeeding women 14 18 years: 115 mg
  • Breastfeeding women over 18 years: 120 mg

Because smoking depletes vitamin C, people who smoke may need an additional 35 mg per day.

The dose recommended to prevent or treat many of the conditions mentioned in the Uses section is often 500 1,000 mg per day.

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Love Your Best Friend With Probiotics

Side effects of probiotics in dogs is minimal to none and should never deter a dog owner from giving their dog the great health benefits of safe, high-quality probiotics.

Probiotics helps ensure your dog stays healthy, happy and most of all, energetic!

Disclaimer: The advice and information on this website is not intended to be used as a replacement for professional medical advice from a veterinarian.

Some Ingredients May Cause Adverse Reactions

People with allergies or intolerances should read the labels of probiotic supplements carefully, since they might contain ingredients they could react to.

For example, some of the supplements contain allergens such as dairy, egg or soy.

These ingredients should be avoided by anyone who is allergic, as they may trigger an allergic reaction. If necessary, read labels carefully to avoid these ingredients .

Similarly, yeast-based probiotics should not be taken by those with yeast allergies. Instead, a bacteria-based probiotic should be used .

Milk sugar, or lactose, is also used in many probiotic supplements .

While studies suggest that most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate up to 400 mg of lactose in medications or supplements, there have been case reports of adverse effects from probiotics (

39 ).

Some people experience gas and bloating when consuming synbiotics. Those who experience these side effects may want to select a supplement that does not contain prebiotics .


Probiotic supplements can contain allergens, lactose or prebiotic fibers that may cause adverse reactions in some people. These ingredients can be avoided by reading labels.

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What Are Probiotics And Probiotic

According to the World Health Organisations technical definition, Probiotics are live microorganisms, typically bacteria or yeast, that give us health benefits when ingested in sufficient amounts. The most common species that we see in our supplement probiotics are strains of bifidobacterium and lactobacillus. They typically help maintain or restore a healthy balance of bacteria to our digestive tract and have many proven health benefits, including: > boosting our immune system > preventing and treating UTIs > reducing symptoms of IBS and IBD

And while most people look to a supplement to boost their probiotic intake, there are also food-based sources available. Some of the more common probiotic-rich foods include: > Kefir

Can You Overdose On Vitamins Watch For These Symptoms

The Basics of Probiotics

Weve all heard the saying, Too much of a good thing is bad for you. But what about when it comes to vitamins? Can you ever really overdo them?

Yes, absolutely, said Dawn Gerber, PharmD, a clinical ambulatory pharmacy specialist with Banner Health. Basically, there are two types of vitamins: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Although your body can excrete large amounts of water-soluble vitamins, it holds onto fat-soluble vitamins, which can be toxic at high levels.

Water-soluble vitamins, like vitamin C and B-complex, are carried to the bodys tissues and arent stored in your body. Fat-soluble vitamins, like A, D, E and K, are absorbed along with fats in your diet and are stored in your bodys fatty tissue and in the liver.

These get caught in our fat, the non-muscular parts of our bodies, Dr. Gerber said. The more supplements we take at high doses, the more that accumulates and isnt flushed out.

While its hard to overdose just eating these vitamins naturally with a well-balanced diet, vitamin supplements can have negative ramifications.

Heres what you need to know to avoid overdoing it in the supplement department.

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Probiotics & Cats With Ibs

Probiotics have the power to both help and cause diarrhea in your cat. Full of live microorganisms, probiotics swarm your cat’s gastrointestinal tract to help soothe and calm a cranky bowel. Some short-term side effects occur early on, but soon his bathroom habits regulate and make for a happier kitty.

Kefir And Too Much Probiotics Diarrhea Effects

Kefir, is one type of probiotic that contains bacteria/yeast mixture that are coupled with casein and complex sugars. White or yellow particles which are referred to as grains contain the complex aforementioned and the ones strained in a batch of milk to form thick, viscous milk kefir.

Kefir is not an exception as a typical probiotic. The above factors may still lead to cases of diarrhea. Especially if taken too much, intake by babies and the elderly and other immune compromised individuals. There also seems to exist an aspect of the yeast coming in to outbalance the bacteria. Well, this helps potentiate the effects of the probiotic against pathogenic bacteria but your biggest worry should be competition for nutrients with the beneficial bacteria in the kefir. If the yeast outcompetes the bacteria, fungal effects on the gut may lead to diarrhea. Until the good bacteria get a strong hold on the yeast environment caused by the bad bacteria, you may experience a bout with diarrhea.

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A Recent Study Shows A Surprising Link Between Probiotics And Brain Fog

Probiotics have become a common way to treat conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, and various formulations even have decent medical data in their favor. However, some patients take probiotics and feel even worse. Symptoms can include cramping, gassiness, diarrhea, fatigue, and even brain fog or memory problems. Often these symptoms intensify just after a meal. Recently, a group of researchers in Augusta, Georgia made an attempt to try to figure out what was going on. The study is open access, so take a look.

They followed a group of patients who presented to their GI clinic of a period of three years. Anyone who came in with gas, bloating, and a complaint of brain fog were included in the study. All people on antibiotics, those with a history of short gut after colon surgery, or those with other reasons for gassiness or abdominal pain were excluded. A few patients who didn’t have brain fog but had abdominal symptoms were included for comparison. The researchers were left with a cohort of about 42 patients with abdominal bloating, 34 with bloating and brain fog, and no known reason why. The cognitive symptoms usually lasted between 30 minutes to several hours after a meal, and in 13% were so severe that the patients had quit their jobs.

In a few weeks, I’ll be attending the Harvard Probiotics Symposium, and I’ll be sure to get back to you with the latest developments, strides forward, disappointments, and surprises.

Copyright Emily Deans MD

Can You Overdose On Probiotics

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Probiotic-rich foods and supplements are generally considered safe. Your body is already filled with trillions of diverse bacteria, so overdosing is rare assuming that your immune system is healthy and functioning as normal.8

That said, you can always have too much of a good thing. Taking too many probiotics can create an unstable intestinal environment, which may result in many of the gastrointestinal side effects mentioned above, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and nausea.12

If you accidentally overdose on probiotics you should not be concerned as your gut microbiome will quickly reach a new equilibrium after you stop taking probiotics. An effective probiotic dose is 10 billion CFUs. Stick to a daily dose around 10 billion CFUs and only increase if needed such as when youre taking a course of antibiotics or have an underlying digestive issue.

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What Are The Most Common Types Of Probiotic Bacteria

Though there are many types of bacteria that can be considered probiotics, there are two specific types of bacteria that are common probiotics found in stores. These include:

  • Lactobacillus.
  • Bifidobacterium.

Probiotics are also made up of good yeast. The most common type of yeast found in probiotics is:

  • Saccharomyces boulardii.

Summary: Can And Will Probiotics Give You Diarrhea

There is a chance that probiotics may give you diarrhea. Some people are completely unaffected by this who take probiotics, but some people suffer greatly from it.

If youve just started taking probiotics and are starting to feel the effects of diarrhea, it may be worth lowering your daily dose. If that is not possible, you could look into waiting it out for a few days and see if the overall effects pass as your stomach adjusts to the new bacteria.

We used to be heavily into probiotics back in the early days before forming but now we find that prebiotics are better suited to our needs. Probiotics can have a lot things go wrong with them such as the bacteria dying en-route to your colon.

Prebiotics dont have that problem as youre not transferring any new organisms, youre simply feeding the bacteria that you already have.

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How To Choose The Right Probiotic

When looking for probiotic products, look for a supplement with the following features

Multispecies and multistrain probiotic: The product should contain different bacterial species and multiple strains of bacteria.

Differentiated products tailored to your needs: Different digestive issues warrant different probiotic strains. Therefore, for optimal benefits, try to seek out a probiotic that is tailored to the specific health outcomes you are trying to achieve.

Clinical studies: The probiotic and its claims should be backed by clinical studies using the final product. This will ensure that you are buying a product whose effects have been studied and proven.

Human strains: Only human bacterial strains can colonize your gut . Other bacteria, such as bacteria found in fermented foods such as yogurt and in soil-based probiotics, cannot colonize the gut and usually pass through your body within a few days. For lasting positive effects, you want to make sure that you have human strains that can colonize.

Free of animal proteins, allergens and fillers: It is recommended to choose a probiotic that is free of dairy and other animal proteins, gluten, soy and yeast to ensure you are taking a clean product.

Delivery mechanism: When you ingest your probiotic, the probiotic travels through the harsh, very acidic environment of the stomach before it reaches the small and large intestine.

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