Do probiotics make you fart

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do probiotics make you fart

Are you wondering if probiotics can make you fart? Well, you’re not alone. It’s a common concern among those who are considering adding probiotics to their daily routine. Probiotics are generally considered safe and beneficial in maintaining a well-balanced microbiome and a healthy gut. However, there are some instances where some people report increased gas and bloating as side effects. 

So, do probiotics truly make you fart? If they do, why? Let’s find out.

Do probiotics make you pass gas (fart)?

Unfortunately, probiotics can make you fart. 

But, the good news is there are reasons why this might be happening and ways to minimize it. Moreover, it is important to note that while farting may be an unpleasant side effect, it does not necessarily mean that probiotics are ineffective or harmful.

Why Do Probiotics Make You Fart? 

It’s your body’s natural response to an abrupt increase in bacteria. When you introduce probiotics into your system, you’re essentially adding more bacteria to your gut. So your microbiome will need to adjust to its presence, even if it’s good bacteria. As these good bacteria multiply and establish themselves in your gut, they begin to produce more gasses as a byproduct of their metabolic processes. And that’s when you might experience increased flatulence or passing gas.

Don’t be so quick to blame the probiotics entirely. While some individuals may experience a significant increase in gas production, others may not notice any changes at all. The truth is, different people react differently to probiotics and there are reasons why.

  1. Type of probiotic use may play a role.

While most probiotics can cause gas as part of their normal digestive process, some strains are more likely to cause flatulence than others. Certain Lactobacillus species are among the most commonly used strains in probiotic supplements and may be more likely to cause gas than other strains. Nonetheless, this side effect is usually mild and temporary.

  1. You took too many CFUs.

It is more likely for side effects like flatulence to occur if your gut becomes suddenly accustomed to higher numbers of probiotics rather than smaller numbers.

  1. It is your first time using probiotics.

It is more common if your gut hasn’t experienced a diverse range of good bacteria before all at once.

  1. You dramatically increased the amount of fiber you are eating.

Rapidly increasing the quantity of high-fiber foods in your diet may result in flatulence, as these fibers act as food for your gut bacteria. While your bacteria may be enjoying their meal, they generate gas as a byproduct of digestion. Hence, it is recommended to add a small amount of fiber initially and gradually increase it.

  1. You have food intolerance.

Certain individuals may experience adverse reactions to probiotics if they have food intolerances. For instance, those with lactose intolerance are unable to digest lactose, which is a sugar found in milk. As a result, they can develop symptoms such as flatulence, bloating, and diarrhea after consuming any food or supplement that contains lactose. So, if you have lactose intolerance, it is a good idea to avoid probiotics that contain dairy products. 

Similarly, those with gluten sensitivity should opt for the gluten-free version of probiotics if they notice an increase in gas production after taking them.

  1. You have an unbalanced microbiome to start with.

A healthy gut microbiome keeps your GI tract function properly. To have a healthy microbiome, you should have a good balance of good and bad bacteria. Diet, stress, medications (e.g antibiotics), and infections can make your gut balance fall out of sync (a condition known as dysbiosis).

When you have a significant degree of dysbiosis, you are more likely to experience digestive upset when you start using probiotics.

Is Farting from Probiotics a Concern?

While flatulence may be an unpleasant side effect of probiotic consumption, it is generally considered to be harmless and temporary. In fact, it is a good sign because it means that the probiotics are working. It will subside over time as your body gets adjusted to the presence of probiotics.

However, if you are still experiencing excessive flatulence for more than two weeks, you need to see your doctor because it could be a sign of another underlying gastrointestinal issue.

Can Probiotics make Farts Stink?

Probiotics do not cause a stingy gas but the odor of your fart can vary, depending on the condition of your tummy and the diet you eat.

What Can You Do To Reduce Your Flatulence After Taking Probiotics?

✔️ Adjust your probiotic dosage

In order to help your body adjust to the change more gradually, it may be beneficial to temporarily decrease your dosage. If you are currently taking a daily pill, try reducing its intake to once every three days and gradually increase it again over a few days until you reach the recommended dosage. The length of this adjustment period should depend on the severity and frequency of side effects you may be experiencing.

✔️ Choose the right probiotic supplement for your need

Not all probiotics are created equal. Different strains of bacteria have different effects on the body. So, it is important to find the probiotics tailored to your individual needs. 

Additionally, make sure to look at the contents of your probiotic supplement, in case its contents might be causing side effects. For example, if you have issues with dairy, try a non-dairy probiotic. 

You can consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to determine which probiotic supplement is best for you.

✔️ Diet and lifestyle changes

Drink plenty of water to help detoxify your gut. Additionally, follow a nutritious diet and restrict or refrain from consuming foods that can cause bloating and passing gas, such as beans, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower), and carbonated beverages. Furthermore, make an effort to include physical activity in your daily schedule.

Which Probiotics Will Make You Less Gassy?

The following probiotic strains have less likelihood to cause flatulence and are often recommended for people with IBS and other gas-prone digestive issues. 

Final Thought

The reason why probiotics can make you fart is simply due to the increased bacterial activity in your gut. While it may be a bit uncomfortable at times, it’s usually temporary and nothing to be concerned about. Moreover, from my professional point of view, the benefits of probiotics do outweigh flatulence concerns.Therefore, by choosing the right probiotic supplement, starting with a low dose, and following a healthy diet, it’s possible to reduce flatulence while enjoying the overall benefits of probiotic supplementation.

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Dr Tun Min is s GP working in NHS UK and writing articles about supplements and vitamins based on personal clinical experience and clinical research.

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