Do Probiotics Help With Constipation
Probiotics help alleviate constipation in children, pregnant women, and adults of all ages. Specific strains increase the speed at which food moves through the digestive tract, helping you to go more frequently. They also improve the consistency of stool, making it less painful to pass.
Feeling a little backed up? Youre not alone. An estimated 14-16% of adults worldwide are believed to experience constipation at any given time. But depending on how you define the condition, that number can reach 80%.
Regardless of how its defined, we all know how awful constipation can feel. Over-the-counter remedies like stool softeners, laxatives, and bulking agents can be a quick fix, but research shows that almost half of constipation sufferers dont get the relief theyre looking for.
Getting probiotics through fermented food or dietary supplements, offers an alternative to traditional constipation interventions. These good gut bacteria perform specific actions that get your digestion back on track.
Yes Probiotics Make You Poop But Its Complicated
When you think of stuff that makes you poop, bacteria probably isnt the first thing that comes to mind. But a special type of bacteriaprobioticsare way more important than your morning coffee when it comes to keeping you regular.
Probiotics are live bacteria that keep your digestive system working properly . Theres a ton of hype about taking probiotics to boost gut healthrightly so. But there are some misconceptions when it comes to the question of whether probiotics make you poop.
Probiotics promote regular, healthy bowel movements over the long haul. However, they dont give you that gotta go now feeling.
This article will explain how probiotics work, why you need them, and what to expect when you take them.
Does Probiotic Yogurt Really Keep You Regular
- Original: Feb 21, 2011
Several yogurt brands enrich their products with probiotics, bacterial cultures that are touted as helping to keep the digestive system regular and prevent constipation a familiar ailment, now that many Americans dont get enough fiber in their diets. But do these yogurts work?
In 2010, Dannon settled a lawsuit claiming that they used false advertising to promote their Activia and DanActive probiotic yogurts. A judge in Cleveland ruled that Dannon must pay consumers up to $45 million in damages for claiming that their yogurts were clinically and scientifically proven to regulate the digestive system and boost immunity.
Until November of last year, customers could claim up to $100 in rebate checks from Dannon. Dannon was also required to remove the words “clinically” and “scientifically proven” from their advertising, and substitute words such as clinical studies show. They must also include a disclaimer saying that the yogurts arent treatments or cures for any medical condition.
ABC News interviewed gastroenterologist Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa for a 2010 article on probiotic yogurt: Rajapaksa said that probiotics effects simply havent been studied enough for Dannon to claim they regulate digestion.
On a site called Probiotics: Love That Bug, Activia drinkers either loved or hated their results. Some reported they were more regular than theyd been in years: others experienced cramping, nausea and diarrhea.
Originally published at GrannyMed
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Bifidobacterium Animalis Subsp Lactis Dn
B. lactis DN-173 010 is another Bifidobacterium lactis strain shown to be effective at helping to relieve constipation in several clinical studies. In a double-blind parallel study in 70 healthy adults, drinking a daily combination of 375g of milk fermented with the specific Bifidobacterium lactis strain DN-173 010 for 11 days reduced colon transit time by 20%. Interestingly, the effect was more pronounced in women 15. In another similar study, this time a gold standard trial, 12.5 billion CFU of B. lactis DN-173 010 was administered in yoghurt form to 34 individuals with IBS-constipation daily for 4 weeks. B. lactis DN-173 010 was demonstrated to significantly reduce colonic transit time from baseline which was statistically significant comparted with placebo 16.
What Are Probiotics For Constipation
These supplements are a great way to get your daily dose of probiotics. They can help improve gut health, which can lead to relief from constipation. There are a variety of probiotic supplements available, so be sure to choose one thats right for you.
Some probiotic supplements may contain strains of bacteria that are not effective against constipation. So, its important to do your research and find a supplement that contains the right strains of bacteria.
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Do I Need To Take Probiotics After I Take Antibiotics
Antibiotic medications are often needed to fight an infection. However, while antibiotics are killing the bad bacteria, they are also knocking out the good bacteria in your body. Some people develop conditions like diarrhea after taking an antibiotic. In other people, this may allow for really bad bacteria to take over and populate the gut, such as with C. diff. Some research has shown a positive connection between taking probiotics after an antibiotic and relief from diarrhea. This hasnt been proven yet and doesnt work for everyone.
The thought behind adding probiotics back into your body after taking an antibiotic is that it can repopulate the good bacteria that was destroyed by the antibiotics and re-boot your system. The extra good bacteria helps repopulate your gut and fight off any remaining bad bacteria. Many people feel that adding in probiotics wont hurt, might help you feel better a little faster and prevent diarrhea.
What Has Science Shown About The Effectiveness Of Probiotics For Health Conditions
A great deal of research has been done on probiotics, but much remains to be learned about whether theyâre helpful and safe for various health conditions.
Probiotics have shown promise for a variety of health purposes, including prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea , prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis and in premature infants, treatment of infant colic, treatment of periodontal disease, and induction or maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis.
However, in most instances, we still donât know which probiotics are helpful and which are not. We also donât know how much of the probiotic people would have to take or who would be most likely to benefit. Even for the conditions that have been studied the most, researchers are still working toward finding the answers to these questions.
The following sections summarize the research on probiotics for some of the conditions for which theyâve been studied.
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How Do Prebiotics Work
Prebiotics feed your beneficial bacteria, allowing them to reproduce and multiply. Increased good bacteria in the gut can push harmful bacteria out and improve your digestion overall.
Other than increased counts of good bacteria and decreased counts of bad bacteria, benefits of prebiotics may include:
- Strengthened intestinal lining
- Elimination of toxins from your digestive tract
Prebiotics can come in supplement form or in certain types of food — both of which can grant you these benefits.
So, prebiotics help to balance gut bacteria, just like probiotics. And because constipation may be related to an imbalanced microbiome, it makes sense to guess that they might soothe constipation.
Lets check out the research before we jump to conclusions.
Additional Benefits Of Probiotics
In summary, probiotics are powerful dietary supplements to help improve your digestion. Whether you have constipation or diarrhea, adding a high-quality probiotic to your dietary supplements could lead to big improvements and health benefits.
At the same time, it is important to remember that probiotics are not the magic pill. In addition, we recommend you eat plenty of dietary fiber , drink plenty of water each day and follow a balanced diet. If your digestive issues persist or worsen, consult a healthcare practitioner to dig deeper into potential causes!
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Optimize Gut Function By Balancing The Bacteria In Your Digestive System
Keeping the gut microbiome balanced allows for normal gut function, while some changes to the gut bacteria can lead to problems. Probiotics can help maintain the healthy balance of bacteria in the gut and help repopulate with healthy bacteria after conditions that disturbed the microbiome.
For example, taking antibiotics kills off many of your good gut bacteria. This leaves room for bad bacteria, viruses, and fungi to overgrow. Taking a probiotic during and after antibiotics is a must for sustained health.
Probiotics Can Cause Gas
The most common negative side effect of probiotics is mild gas and bloating. This usually happens when you first begin taking probiotics but usually gets better with use.
What causes gas and bloating? Gas and bloating means that your digestive system is not breaking down and absorbing your food completely. The undigested food gets passed into the gut where probiotics and other gut microbes ferment the undigested food and produce gas.
The feeling of bloating is usually because your body is not used to the increased probiotic activity. Taking a probiotic can increase the number of probiotics inside your gut. This increased microbial activity produces additional gas which your body is not used to.
After the initial period , your body should gradually adapt to the new friendly bacteria, allowing for improved digestion.
If your gas and bloating do not get better while taking probiotics there are two things you can do:
1. Try taking a digestive enzymes supplement along with your probiotics to help your body break down, digest, and absorb food. More complete digestion helps reduce gas and bloating.
2. Try taking the probiotics on an empty stomach before bed. Probiotics can produce gas when provided with certain kinds of foods and taking probiotics before bed minimizes the chance of that happening.
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How Safe Are Probiotics
Because microbes used as probiotics already exist naturally in your body, probiotic foods and supplements are generally considered safe. They may trigger allergic reactions, and may also cause mild stomach upset, diarrhea, or flatulence and bloating for the first few days after starting to take them.
There are certain people who need to use caution when using probiotic supplements. There is a risk of infection in some people. These people include those who have:
- A weakened immune system .
- A critical illness.
Caution should also be used when giving probiotics to very sick infants.
Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement.
How Do They Work
Researchers are trying to figure out exactly how probiotics work. Some of the ways they may keep you healthy:
- When you lose good bacteria in your body, for example after you take antibiotics, probiotics can help replace them.
- They can help balance your good and bad bacteria to keep your body working the way it should.
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Probiotics Can Aid Digestion And Help Maintain Gut Health
What are the benefits of taking probiotics? Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem literally and figuratively hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Northern Europeans consume a lot of these beneficial microorganisms, called probiotics , because of their tradition of eating foods fermented with bacteria, such as yogurt. Probiotic-laced beverages are also big business in Japan.
Some digestive disease specialists are recommending probiotic supplements for disorders that frustrate conventional medicine, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies suggest that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal ills, delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women.
Self-dosing with bacteria isnt as outlandish as it might seem. An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. These microorganisms generally dont make us sick most are helpful. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.
Probiotics May Improve Digestive Health
Using probiotics may help reduce diarrhea caused by things like antibiotic use, cancer therapy, and hospital infections. Bacteria strains of Streptococcus and Lactobacillus can help, but doctors also use yeast strains, such as various Saccharomyces boulardii, to help prevent diarrhea, according to a paper published in March 2016 in the International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences.
If dairy gives you bad gas, you may have lactose intolerance, which is caused by a deficiency in the enzyme lactase. The good news is that probiotics seem to help with lactose digestion. Studies show that the probiotic used to make yogurt release lactase, which takes over the bodys usual responsibility of digesting lactose.
If your gassiness isnt due to lactose intolerance or associated with recurrent diarrhea from any of the aforementioned reasons, you may have a condition called irritable bowel syndrome . IBS is a default diagnosis that is used for unexplained digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Some studies suggest probiotics can help relieve symptoms of IBS.
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Probiotics Help To Relieve Constipation And Its Symptoms
Apart from helping to soften stool and increase the number of times a week that you poop, probiotics can help with the complications of constipation.
Suffering from infrequent bowel movements can make going to the bathroom very difficult and it can cause varying accompanying symptoms. However, regularly taking high-quality probiotics can help to ease the pain while passing stool and resolve stomach bloating, gas, and stomach spasms .
The journal Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica reported that probiotics helped patients to pass stool more frequently in the week. In addition, taking probiotics also helped to reduce bloating, abdominal cramping, and the sensation of incomplete emptying. The study found that probiotics with L. casei Shirota bacteria were the most beneficial for helping constipation.8
Research into easing constipation symptoms in the elderly has also shown that probiotics can treat constipation. The Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics published a systematic review of 9 studies into probiotics for treating constipation symptoms in older people.
The study concluded that probiotics improved constipation in elderly people by 1040% compared to placebo controls in which no probiotic was used.9
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Probiotics Help Balance The Friendly Bacteria In Your Digestive System
Probiotics include good bacteria. These are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits when consumed .
These benefits are thought to result from the ability of probiotics to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria .
An imbalance means there are too many bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria. It can happen due to illness, medication such as antibiotics, poor diet and more.
Consequences can include digestive issues, allergies, mental health problems, obesity and more .
Probiotics are usually found in fermented foods or taken as supplements. Whats more, they appear to be safe for most people.
Probiotics are live microorganisms. When taken in sufficient amounts, they can help restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. As a result, health benefits may follow.
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How Do Probiotics Work
Probiotics work mainly by stimulating the bodys intestinal and immune system and by displacing harmful bacteria that might otherwise cause disease. We now know that probiotics can indeed provide health benefits. Specific digestive benefits of probiotics may include:
- Reducing the severity and duration of some types of diarrhea
- Treating constipation and abdominal bloating
- Improving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
- Preventing and treating pouchitis
- Improving symptoms of colic in breastfed infants
The above digestive disorders have been proven to respond to some, but not all, probiotics. Remember, many of the Internet claims about probiotics are not proven or are simply false. Ask your healthcare professional which probiotics might be good for you.
Not all probiotics have the same effect. Depending on the condition, you may want to tailor the choice of probiotics. Below are examples of three different ways in which probiotics are thought to work:
- Preventing bad bacteria from growing and replicating in the intestinal tract, attaching to the lining of the intestine and causing disease
- Blocking the uptake of bad bacteria by improving the ability of the intestinal mucosal barrier to resist infection
- Enhancing the ability of the immune system in the intestinal tract and in the body as a whole to fight off any invasion of bad bacteria that might occur
Signs Your Probiotics Arent Working And What To Do About It
The problem is that many existing probiotic products are ineffective. They maycontain strains that are dead or dont survive in your digestive tract, since anoverwhelmingly large percentage of probiotics die upon contact with stomach acid.Here are some signs that your probiotics arent working:
- The symptoms are not improving: If after 4 weeks of taking your probiotic
- regularly, you dont feel the therapeutic effects described above, or your symptoms have shown no improvement, it may mean that your probiotic is not working.
- You experience side effects: The most common side effects include bloating, gas, and headaches.
- You are getting sick more often: If after several weeks youre experiencing any of the above, it may be time to change your probiotic. Ideally, you want to purchase the highest quality, most potent probiotic you can afford, one which uses human-sourced strains of both lactobacilli and bifidobacteria and has been proven to survive the harsh conditions of the stomach.
If you want a probiotic supplement that is guaranteed to work, go ahead and try my Rebalance Formula. Years of research and testing went into creating a unique blend of 12 clinically-proven strains, to support the entire digestive process. Additionally, it is stored in our climate-controlled facility to make sure that it stays alive and effective so that you can see the best possible results.
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