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You started taking a new probiotic to help relieve your GI symptoms. But now you’re struggling with even more bloating… gas… constipation… discomfort.
What’s going on? Why did things suddenly get worse?
Don’t worry! There’s a crucially important reason why this is happening…
And, as surprising as it sounds, it’s a reason worth celebrating!
Let’s explore some of the most common side effects of probiotics, why your body is experiencing them, and how long you can expect them to last. We’ll also share our top three ways to curb the side effects of taking probiotic supplements, so you can start enjoying their benefits.
Why You Need Probiotics
With all this talk of probiotic side effects, you might be wondering why you should take a probiotic supplement.
The answer is simple!
- First, when the symptoms disappear (and, rest assured, they will!), you’ll be left with only the benefits of probiotics.
- Secondly, your body needs probiotics!
Your body is teeming with trillions of bacteria: on your skin, in your mouth and nose, and in your gut.
Both beneficial (probiotic) bacteria and harmful (pathogenic) bacteria exist in your gut microbiome. Because the space inside your gut is limited, the colonies of “good” and “bad” bacteria are in constant competition.
Ideally, the beneficial bacteria will thrive and crowd out the pathogenic bacteria. But when the bad bacteria is present in higher quantities, it takes over your gut and leaves little room for the beneficial bacteria to flourish.
The result? A surprisingly common condition known as dysbiosis.
Most people live with dysbiosis but might not realize it until they start showing gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as:
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Digestive difficulties
- GI issues including cramps, diarrhea, and constipation
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Trouble urinating
Other non-GI symptoms include:
How can you diminish and, eventually, eliminate these symptoms?
When you start taking a probiotic supplement, it gets to work rebalancing your gut microbiome—the trillions of bacteria in your gut. Once it has achieved its purpose, you can expect to see these symptoms disappear.
What Causes Probiotic Side Effects
Probiotics start their health-driving benefits by killing bad bacteria. This allows the good bacteria to claim more space and nutrients for themselves.
But, when those pathogens die off, they burst open and release their toxins.
Of course, you want these dead pathogens! It means the probiotics are doing their job.
But as the pathogens are neutralized, your body will have to eliminate the dead bacteria…and the toxic residue they leave behind.
This increase in toxins (created by the clearing out process) can cause a sudden, temporary increase in unpleasant symptoms, such as:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Flu-like symptoms
3 Ways to Reduce Probiotic Side Effects
These die-off byproducts are a GREAT sign that your probiotics are working hard to reclaim your gut health. Unfortunately, knowing that doesn’t make the symptoms any more fun to deal with.
After all, you started taking probiotics to get rid of frustrating symptoms in the first place—and now they’re getting worse!
Luckily, there are three specific things you can do to reduce, or even eliminate, die-off symptoms…without pausing your probiotics.
1. Adjust Your Probiotic Intake
Don’t stop taking your probiotic cold turkey! As uncomfortable and unwelcome as the symptoms might be, die-off is a sign that your probiotic is working exactly the way it’s supposed to.
But if your probiotic’s effectiveness is causing some (temporary) die-off symptoms, you may want to adjust your dosing. This will allow the important gut rebalancing work to continue, without causing you so much discomfort.
The key is to go low and slow, without making any rash dosing changes.
Follow these steps for a smoother transition to a healthy gut microbiome:
- Cut your dosage down to a half-capsule of your probiotic. Make sure to take it with food, not on an empty stomach.
- Slowly increase your dose. Work your way back up to taking a full capsule daily—still taking it with food.
- If you start experiencing die-off symptoms again, go back to a lower dose for two days. After two days, slowly increase the dose.
- Repeat steps 1-3 if necessary.
Once your body can comfortably handle a full dose every day, keep taking your full probiotic dose. You want to maintain that newly healthy gut microbiome!
During this part of your probiotics journey, it’s vital that you listen to your body. It’s better to slow things down temporarily than to try to power through the die-off symptoms (and a much smarter option than completely stopping your probiotics.)
After all, it’s been proven time and time again that taking probiotics is the best way to rebalance your gut microbiome and keep it healthy.
2. Supplement with Immunoglobulins
When you begin taking probiotics, your body might easily be overwhelmed by the number of toxins being released. It can be tough for your body to handle this sudden increase in “bacteria trash.”
And with a gut microbiome full of dead pathogens and their toxic byproducts, it’s no wonder you’re experiencing die-off symptoms.
This is where immunoglobulins can help you.
Immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, play many critical roles in your body, especially as it relates to your immune system. And, when it comes to mopping up the toxic trash left behind by dead pathogens, their effectiveness is second to none.
Immunoglobulins bind to the dead bacteria and the toxins inside your GI system. They then neutralize the toxic effects and make it quick and easy for your body to “take out the trash.” The most powerful immunoglobulin, known as Immunoglobulin G (IgG for short), is essential to this process.
However, your body’s IgG team may not be able to keep up with the extra demands that occur during a die-off surge.
When this happens, supplementing with a daily dose of dairy-free antibodies can give your immunoglobulins the boost they need.
Taking an IgG supplement increases the size of your internal clean-up crew. As a result, your body can get rid of more dead pathogens and toxins, speeding up the process. This helps to dramatically reduce any die-off symptoms you might experience.
Plus, when that “bacteria trash” gets cleared away, your probiotics have quicker paths to other pathogens that may be hiding out in your gut. The faster you’re pathogen-free, the sooner your gut microbiome will be in healthy balance…and the better you’ll feel every day.
3. Boost Gut Health with Prebiotics
Naturally, you want your probiotic bacteria to grow and flourish… and keep pathogens from getting the upper hand. Once you can comfortably take a full dose of probiotics every day, you can begin adding another level of support to the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
To truly support a healthy gut microbiome, you need to nourish probiotic bacteria with specially targeted prebiotics. Probiotics prefer specific forms of prebiotic fiber including:
- Galactooligosaccharides (GOS)
- Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)
- Xylooligosaccharides (XOS)
Interestingly (and wonderfully) pathogens ignore these “health foods,” instead preferring to munch on things like sugar and unhealthy fats. So supplementing with precision prebiotics gives probiotic bacteria their best chance to flourish.
This gives beneficial bacteria a stronger chance of controlling the gut microbiome, leaving you feeling healthier, happier, and more comfortable every day.
Choosing the Right Probiotic Supplement
Now that you know more about the importance of probiotics, you can understand why it’s so important to take the right probiotic supplement. With so much of your health being affected, you want to make sure that your probiotics are working hard for you.
To get the most from your healthy gut regimen, it has to be effective (so it works) and comfortable (so you’ll stick with it!)
One of the principal things to keep in mind is survivability. Your probiotic supplement needs to make it to your gut microbiome alive and ready to work!
But for that to happen, it needs to be strong enough to withstand exposure to the enzymes, bile, and acids it encounters on its journey through your digestive tract—which is not an easy task!
This probiotic supplement from Just Thrive is surrounded by a natural endospore shell that protects it as it travels through your body. Clinical trials prove that it arrives 100% alive and at full potency when it reaches your gut microbiome.
The Right Strain
There are many different types of probiotics. But, not all of them have the same level of effectiveness. So, you’ll also want to be sure that your supplement contains the most potent probiotic strain on the market.
Your best choice? A spore probiotic. These probiotics are soil-based organisms, with all the richness and variety that only Mother Nature can give. These hearty strains are the sturdy supplements that can help beneficial bacteria flourish and get your gut back to feeling healthy and comfortable.
As an added bonus, spore-based probiotics are also less sensitive to heat and light, making them “shelf-stable.” They’re easy to store in your home until you’re ready to take them.
Side effects are no fun…but they’re worth it! Especially when it comes to probiotics, since the side effects you experience are proof that they are doing their job.
But you don’t have to sit back and accept the discomfort you feel when your pathogens begin to die off. Follow our tips above to reduce the severity and duration of your symptoms.
Once your gut is rebalanced and your body has adjusted to probiotics, you’ll be able to enjoy a healthy, comfortable gut every day.
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