Many benefits come with taking a probiotic supplement, some of which are more beneficial for certain individuals than others.
People who struggle with digestive problems are frequent consumers of probiotics as they can help ease uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and gas.
In some circumstances, taking probiotics can also cause gas, but this is often just an early side effect when you begin taking them and shouldn’t last longer than a couple of weeks until your body has adjusted to the changes.
This article will help you understand if you could benefit from taking a probiotic supplement if you struggle with gas and also other things you need to know about gas and probiotics.
Will Probiotics Help With Gas?
Yes, if you’re someone who struggles frequently with gas due to medical conditions like IBS or other digestive problems, then a probiotic may help ease some of the symptoms including gas, and help you live a more comfortable lifestyle.
- Related Article: Will Probiotics Help With IBS Symptoms
Probiotics help deliver good bacteria to your gut and help maintain a healthy microbial population and reduce levels of the bad bacteria which could be intensifying the symptoms of any digestive condition.
However, those with compromised immune systems or who are extremely ill should not try to take probiotics to try to relieve gas as side effects may be more prominent in those who have weaker immune systems.
Do Probiotics Cause Gas?
Yes, probiotics can cause gas but this is one of the normal side effects that people may experience within the first few weeks of taking a probiotic.
These side effects should wear off once the person has taken them consistently for a while and their body has adjusted.
However, if gas and other side effects persist, you should consider changing up your probiotic to a different one, as some may be tolerated better than others.
If you’re taking commercialized probiotics such as probiotic yogurt, then other ingredients such as lactose could cause a reaction in your body if you are intolerant.
In this case, anyone with allergies or intolerances should opt for a probiotic supplement instead of a food or drink, but make sure to check the ingredient list as some added ingredients can be causing gas.
- Related article: Best Probiotic Yogurt for IBS
What Is Causing The Gas?
Everyone has gas, it’s completely natural, but for other people, it can be a problem when they’ve got excessive amounts of gas that also causes uncomfortable bloating from nearly everything they eat.
Sometimes, people can identify gas producing foods and then try to restrict them from their diet.
Certain vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and asparagus are commonly known for causing excess gas.
If you’re someone who likes eating their greens, then there shouldn’t be much of a reason to be concerned about your gas. Your best solution is to reduce your intake or save these for times you’re eating at home and have some privacy.
However, for other people, it can be more difficult than just eliminating a couple of food items from your diet and it can be tricky to overcome the problem.
Bloating and gas are caused by gut dysbiosis which occurs when the microbial ecosystem in your gut is imbalanced or not working properly. By-products such as methane and hydrogen (gases) are increased which causes bloating and then flatulence.
Methane is one of the major problems as it can slow your metabolism down and meaning your food is not broken down as quickly and symptoms such as bloating, constipation, and stomach pain are intensified.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Sometimes bacteria from your large intestine may find its way into your small intestine, which can be a big problem. It will increase the amount of bacteria present and is called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO, which can also cause bloating and gas.
One of the main treatments for SIBO is antibiotics. However, antibiotics can aggravate the gut’s ecosystem even more.
After a treatment of antibiotics, the person will need to work to restore their gut’s ecosystem more naturally, and one way of doing this is through taking a probiotic supplement. Probiotics can be suggested for SIBO relief.
- Related article: Should You Take Probiotics If You Have SIBO?
What Else Can Help With Gas?
Probiotics aren’t always the answer to digestive problems or excessive gas, but they are a more natural and less harsh alternative to trying to alleviate symptoms or reduce the condition. Sometimes though, probiotics won’t make symptoms any better for a person and they may have to try other paths to fix their gas.
Some medications are designed to help reduce or eliminate gas. Simethicone (Gas-Ex or Phazyme) is one of these. Another thing that may help is Beano, which can help break down and digest vegetables more easily, so they cause less gas.
Regular exercise is beneficial for cardiovascular health and mental wellbeing, but it can also be helpful for your digestive system. Regular exercise helps with bowel motility. Having regular bowel movements and avoiding constipation may help to reduce the gas and bloating sensation.
Try to get 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 times a week to see if your symptoms improve. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, try doing some lower-intensity workouts like a long walk or some light yoga before you build up to more intense exercise.
Consuming Less Sugar
Many commercial probiotics like drinks or food contain high sugar levels as they keep healthy bacteria alive. However, this means sugar can also help feed the harmful bacteria in your body and if your diet consists of sugary foods then it will cause the bad bacteria to be more active in your gut and therefore cause discomfort and gas.
Try to limit the amount of processed and sugary foods that you eat and base your diet on whole grain foods with lots of vegetables, fruit and lean meat.
Reducing Your Stress Levels
Many people underestimate the effect stress can have on your body, but in fact, high stress levels cause cardiovascular diseases, weaken your immune system, and even cause you to experience hair loss.
So it’s no surprise that stress can have a seriously negative effect on your digestive system and your gut health.
Stress can alter the microbiome in your gut which can therefore increase symptoms such as bloating, discomfort, and gas.
Try practicing some relaxing techniques like daily yoga or meditation to reduce your stress levels and hopefully help rebalance your microbiome system.
If your stress is work-related, then it may be worth having a private conversation with your boss to discuss how your work negatively is impacting your health, and see if there are ways to alleviate the stress by offloading some tasks that are causing you to be stressed.
And a fun fact to conclude: the average person passes gas about 10-20 times a day!
For more articles on probiotics, learn more with one of these posts: