What Other Pet Parents Say
He came home on NINE medications and was on a super expensive hydrolyzed dog food that the vets thought would be gentler on his system just in case we still were dealing with an allergy. Even with the specialized food, anti-diarrhea meds, anti-acid meds, and limited treats, our poor boy still continued to have diarrhea. We felt completely helpless and our vet didnt even really know what to test for next. Then a friend at work told me about Bernies Perfect Poop… after THREE days of slowly adding this to Milos food, the diarrhea stopped. It was a MIRACLE. – Stephanie S.
Side Effects From Probiotics
In general, probiotics are considered safe for most individuals. Minor side effects may occur from taking probiotics and usually affect a small percentage of the population.
Temporary side effects include bloating and flatulence. If yeast-based probiotics are consumed, people may experience increased constipation and thirst.
It is recommended to start with a lower dose of probiotics and slowly increase to the recommended dosage within a month to help the body adjust. Slowly introducing probiotics may help reduce adverse side effects.
Acid Reflux And The Gut Microbiome
Another likely reason that probiotics are so effective in reducing acid reflux is their innate ability to restore the natural balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Research shows that nearly two-thirds of patients who suffer from GERD have an imbalance in their microbiomes, particularly in the esophagus .
Little is known about the role that stomach microbiota play in the prevalence of acid reflux and GERD-related symptoms . However, clinical trials show that patients who have functional dyspepsia a condition which has significant symptom overlap with reflux disorders have lower stomach flora biodiversity than healthy populations.
Thankfully, the same research shows that supplementation with a probiotic can effectively restore the stomach microbiota after three months . After just two months of probiotic use, symptoms of reflux and heartburn in functional dyspepsia patients significantly improved .
These findings indicate that probiotics can likely reduce GERD-related symptoms and improve overall digestive health by balancing the microorganisms in the GI tract.
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Should You Try A Cleanse
Gallbladder cleanses are a thing. They claim to prevent or treat gallstones if you skip foods for a few days and drink only a mix of olive oil, herbs, and juice. The idea is that this breaks up gallstones so you can pee them out. But research suggests that those stones are actually lumps of oil and juice. The cleanses also can cause side effects, such as stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea. So stay away.
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Melatonin For Acid Reflux
Melatonin may not be the first thing you think of when it comes home remedies for acid reflux. But your gut is responsible for producing more melatonin than your brain, which might explain why researchers have found melatonin for acid reflux to be helpful.
In addition to helping you get a good nights sleep, melatonin is thought to protect the gastric mucosa from free radical damage, influence secretion of stomach acid and certain digestion enzymes, and even have positive effects on anxiety and depression.
A dose of 3-6 mg melatonin for at least 8 weeks has been proven effective for relieving acid reflux symptoms. Just make sure to take melatonin at bedtime to prevent daytime sleepiness, which was the only side effect seen in clinical trials. You can take a supplement like NOW Foods 3mg Melatonin.
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Other Natural Treatments For Heartburn
Many peoples acid reflux simply goes away when they eliminate or minimize the big food sensitivities and limit sugar and overly processed foods.
This can be a challenging journey, but well worth it.
For many, adding calming drinks and these herbs can be beneficial to help reduce stress-induced acid reflux.
The following herbal teas or supplements can be used to help with heartburn and reflux symptoms:
- Apple cider vinegar with the mother
Some of these foods, while acidic, can be very soothing for GERD. This is because at the root of some peoples reflux is low stomach acid. These foods can also have very healing effects on the digestive tract.
Just make sure to start with a small amount and use common sense. For example, dilute the vinegar before you use it, or serve it as a condiment rather than drinking it in its concentrated form.
Probiotic supplements are often a great add-in for digestion if you arent eating these probiotic foods daily.
The Best Probiotic And Prebiotic Supplements For 2021 Are:
- Best overall Garden of Life raw microbiome ultimate care: ÃÂ£31.59, Gardenoflife.co.uk
- Best for women Wellgard Vitaflora 20 billion CFU probiotics for women: ÃÂ£14.99, Wellgard.co.uk
- Best for kids So Perf Kids Peruvian cacao and coconut bars: ÃÂ£26.20, Soperf.com
- Best for taking probiotics with other vitamins Indi body: ÃÂ£45, Indisupplements.com
- Best for when on a course of antibiotics Bio-Kult boosted: ÃÂ£24.98, Boots.com
- Best for combining prebiotics and probiotics The Nue Co prebiotic + probiotic: ÃÂ£45, Thenueco.com
- Best for people with digestive system problems Inessa advanced biotic complex: ÃÂ£38.99, Inessawellness.com
- Best for people with allergies Performance Lab prebiotic, one month supply: ÃÂ£34, Performancelab.com
- Best for supporting mental wellbeing Kalla for relief, 30-day supply: ÃÂ£99, Kalla.com
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So What Is The Best Supplement For Digestive Health
If your goal is to optimize overall digestive health and enjoy all of the benefits that come with it, then the best supplement for you is always going to be a combined prebiotic/probiotic stack which uses a range of probiotic bacteria and a high quality prebiotic fiber such as FOS or Inulin.
Ideally, the probiotic supplement you use will exclusively contain bacteria species that have been proven to improve digestive health, promote immunity, control appetite and improve skin quality in several clinical trials. Bacteria strains you want to look out for include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus paracasei, and Lactobacillus plantarum. These bacteria species are highly beneficial to health and performance.
The type of prebiotic fiber is also important. Not all fibers are the same some are better than others at feeding healthy bacteria. So it is vital that the best gut health uses prebiotic fiber that is most effective at selectively feeding the healthy bacteria it is introducing to your gut in the first place. This brings us to the most important aspect of a good probiotic – without some prebiotic fiber, taking a probiotic is practically pointless!
The benefits of taking a combined probiotic and prebiotic stack include:
- Lasting changes to gut microbiome
- Better digestion, less bloating, no cramps
- Improved ability to digest dairy
- Enhance immune system function
Best Probiotic Brands For Acid Reflux
NOW Supplements, Saccharomyces Boulardii, contains S. boulardii at 5 billion CFUs. This product is highly rated for improving many aspects of digestive health and very inexpensive for people on a budget.
Swansons Lactobacillus Gasseri, with 3 billion CFUs per serving-I listed this brand because it is the only single-strain probiotic of the well-researched Lactobacillus Gasseri.
This probiotic would be a good add-on for people who tend to eat probiotic foods or take another probiotic and are looking for a bit of extra benefit for acid reflux. Some people make their own yogurt out of it as well.
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So What Is The Cause Of Acid Reflux
Acid reflux may have several different possible causes.
The first most obvious one is over indulgence! Too much food will clearly overfill the stomach, pushing food nearer to the oesophagus and as it ferments, the acid may start to bubble up causing that heartburn. The type of food you eat may cause problems as well. Spicy, fried, citrus and tomato based foods as well as coffee and alcohol very commonly cause heartburn. Eating just before bed can also cause a problem with food coming back up when you lie down too soon after a meal. You may also be more likely to suffer from acid reflux if you are overweight as the extra weight may push the food up higher towards your oesophagus. This is why pregnant women tend to suffer pretty awful heartburn towards the end of their pregnancy as the baby pushes everything up, and inevitably heartburn occurs.
However, there are other possible causes that are less easily identified and managed which also may cause heartburn.
Chronic stress as we now know our digestive system is intricately linked to our nervous system. When we are stressed our digestive system receives less blood flow and this causes problems. Our gut bacteria are increasingly being implicated in our management of stress so probiotics may help towards the management of this. However, being aware of your breathing before and during a meal is paramount.
How Do Probiotics Improve Acid Reflux
There are a few ways that probiotics can help improve acid reflux symptoms.
First, probiotics can help to restore the balance of gut bacteria. When there is an imbalance in the gut bacteria, this can lead to increased inflammation and irritation in the stomach lining, which can trigger acid reflux symptoms.
Secondly, probiotics can help to increase digestion and absorption of food. This means that less food will be sitting in the stomach for longer periods of time, which will reduce the risk of triggering acid reflux symptoms.
Thirdly, probiotics also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation and irritation in the stomach lining.
If you have severe symptoms associated with gastric acid secretion, your healthcare provider might recommend a course of proton pump inhibitors as they work to lessen the amount of acid made in the lining of the stomach. The course of treatment might last only a few weeks or longer if required.
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Probiotics Can Be A Beneficial Add
High-quality probiotics offer a great deal of benefit when used along with acid-blocking pills.The most popular meds used to block acid production are the proton pump inhibitors . Long-term use of PPIs can disrupt the bacterial balance of the gut. How? Research shows that PPIs suppress the stomach acid barrier that may cause small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO. This is because the acid acts as a barrier preventing the entry of harmful bacteria into the small bowel.
Remember, the small bowel is not the actual residence of bacteria but if overpopulated, this part of the gut will always grow unhealthy microbes. This is possibly what happens when you have been on a PPI for a long period. The lack of the stomach acid due to chronic PPI use may favor the overgrowth of bad bugs in the small intestine, resulting in SIBO and a messed up bacterial gut population.According to a recent study done on the pediatric population, supplementing probiotics can relieve acid reflux and restore the gut balance and combat SIBO , thereby enabling the PPIs to work effectively . Similar mechanisms underlie PPI-induced small bowel bacterial overgrowth in adults too, emphasizing the importance of probiotic supplements in helping both GERD and acid reflux in this age group as well.
Its All About The Benefits Baby
So now that we know where kefir came from and what probiotics do, heres a bit more about WHY you should drink kefir by the glass:
- GI disturbances: the probiotics in kefir have been found to prevent diarrhea, and reduce to the duration of that very uncomfortable and unfortunate condition
- Kefir has been found to alleviate symptoms of many stomach conditions, including infants diarrhea, IBS, Colitis, Crohns disease, Gastroenteritis and travelers diarrhea
- Kefir can reduce the symptoms of chronic constipation
- Essentially kefir is good for your gut and can be especially helpful if you have a GI condition
Without a doubt, there are countless benefits to including probiotics, such as kefir, in your diet mental, emotional and physical. To us, one of the very best things about kefir is that it does something for everyone! You dont have to suffer from GI distress to benefit from probiotics, nor do you need to have a compromised immune system. Lifeway Kefir is above all a tart and tangy cultured milk smoothie that is creamy, nutritious and a great addition to a healthy diet.
Check back soon for our next Interview with and RDN. In the mean time, check out our What is Kefir section for more information, and never hesitate to send us an email with your questions at .
For more information about how Jewel Osco Dietitians can help you Build a Better Basket, email
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Help You Lose Some Extra Pounds
Obesity/excess weight is a known trigger of acid reflux. The excess pound of flesh on your belly puts extra pressure, causing the food to reflux back up higher towards your esophagus instead of moving forward. Because probiotics can help reduce body weight through several mechanisms, they may also help fight the acid reflux symptoms as well as keep them at bay. This means probiotics may help GERD from the start!
It is, however, important that you take any new supplement after consulting with your physician.
Which Acid Reflux Symptoms Could They Ease
A 2020 systematic review investigated the effects of probiotics on GERD. The authors looked at 13 studies of varying quality, 11 of which found that probiotics had some benefit for acid reflux. The specific benefits are below:
- One study noted improvements in reflux or heartburn.
- Five studies noted improvements in shortness of breath.
- Three studies noted a reduction in regurgitation.
- Nine studies noted improvements in other gastrointestinal symptoms, such as:
2019 study investigated the effect of probiotic supplements in adults taking the PPI esomeprazole for reflux esophagitis. Over 8 weeks, one group of participants took esomeprazole with a probiotic, while a second group took esomeprazole with a placebo.
At 12 weeks, the researchers assessed the participants with cured esophagitis. The group that had received the probiotic had lower rates of SIBO and decreased diarrhea.
A 2018 study looked at the effects of probiotics on SIBO in children with GERD. The 12-week study included 128 participants with GERD and 120 without it. The researchers divided the children with GERD into two groups. One received a PPI with probiotics, and the other received the same PPI with a placebo.
At the end of the trial, the children who took probiotics had lower rates of SIBO, compared with those who took a placebo. These lower rates were similar to those of children without GERD.
and Enterococcus faecium. Any of these may help with acid reflux.
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Why Infants Babies And Toddlers Need Probiotics
Infants, babies, and toddlers need probiotics to help sustain a strong immune system, a healthy digestive system, and an overall seamless development. Probiotics also improve the cognitive functions of the brain and stimulate the development of synapses. Even better, probiotics help fight off bad bacteria, which cause serious diseases.
Why Treat Acid Reflux With Probiotics
Treating acid reflux should begin by treating the cause, not the symptoms.
This means restoring your bodys natural stomach acid production and eliminating bacterial overgrowth. One of the best ways to do this is through probiotics.
Probiotics work to restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut, which in turn allows them to crowd out the bad bacteria and maintain normal digestive function.
When your gut is lacking in healthy bacteria, it takes longer to break down food. This results in undigested food sitting in your gut where it begins to ferment and cause gas. This gas can push stomach acid up into the esophagus, resulting in reflux.
A meta-analysis in the World Journal of Gastroenterology noted that the use of probiotics in addition to standard reflux treatment helped to eradicate H. pylori .
H. pylori is a bacterial infection that can change the environment in your gut, allowing harmful bacteria to survive and reducing stomach acidity even further.
Probiotics are thought to help protect the gut against H. pylori by producing antimicrobial substances that prevent it from growing. Probiotics also compete with H. pylori for space to develop further, as well as helping to stabilize the gut mucosal barrier and reducing inflammation.
Probiotics are also valuable in preventing the dysbiosis that tends to accompany PPI medication.
Acid suppression with PPIs has been suggested to be a potential factor in the development of SIBO.
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What Causes Acid Reflux
Most people believe that their reflux problem is due to too much stomach acid. After all, surely its all that acid thats causing the burning sensation?
But in many cases, the opposite is true.
Consider the fact that the number of people with heartburn increases with age, and studies have shown that stomach acid secretion actually declines with age.
Whats more, when stomach acid is measured in people suffering from acid reflux, its more often low than high. Very few people tend to have excess stomach acid. But because Western medicine is designed to treat the symptom, not the cause, sufferers simply reach for their antacids.
Taking antacids for a problem that isnt caused by excess acid can potentially make low stomach acid worse.
You dont have to have excess acid in your stomach to have heartburn. Any amount of acid can cause heartburn because the delicate lining of the stomach isnt protected against it.
Heartburn and GERD are often caused by too little stomach acid, which may be caused by an imbalance in your gut microbiome.