February 23, 2018

Probiotics Side Effects

One of the latest health food crazes among athletes and organic food aficionados is probiotic bacteria. Probiotics are often found in foods like yogurt and are claimed to help everything from colds to constipation. Unlike foods and drugs, the FDA does not closely regulate supplements. These living microorganisms are a kind of bacteria found in food that are believed to promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

Proponents of probiotics believe that the gut has a natural balance of good and bad bacteria. When bad bacteria outweigh beneficial bacteria, individuals might suffer from health problems and diseases. Believers in probiotics think that this supplement can help support the growth of good bacteria in the intestines.

Probiotics Side Effects

probiotics side effects yogurtSince the probiotics are not listed as a medication or food, the side effects associated with it are not closely monitored. The only time the FDA will step in is if the supplement is unsafe for consumers. Probiotics should not be used by anyone with a weakened immune system, children, older adults or pregnant women because there is not enough data about any potential side effects. Individuals with compromised immune systems may actually have a higher chance of getting sick if they use probiotics.

Detractors of probiotics believe that the supplement could cause microorganisms to grow too fast. Over time, this excessive growth could worsen an infection instead of treating it. Anyone who has leukemia, chronic diseases or HIV should avoid using probiotics. Until more is known about the risks, these patients must use probiotics with extreme caution.

Although some people choose to take probiotics to treat gastrointestinal problem, it does not always make a difference. In some individuals, it can actually create digestive disorders. Anyone who has a gastrointestinal disorder should talk with their doctor before taking bacteria. The extra microorganisms introduced in the body could permeate the intestinal wall and cause damage as it moves into the bloodstream.

Using the Wrong Probiotics

Not every strain of probiotics is the same. If a patient uses the wrong strain, it may not help the condition or it could even make the problem worse. For example, some strains are used to treat constipation while others are used to treat diarrhea. If someone uses the wrong one, they could end up worsening their condition or suffer from dehydration.

Usage for Treating Illnesses

There is no scientific basis for using probiotics to treat illness. According to proponents of probiotics, this supplement is supposedly effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome, urinary tract infections, ulcers, yeast infections and inflammation in the colon. Some people have even used probiotics to treat colds, canker sores, acne, high cholesterol and hives.

Precautions Before You Take Probiotics

Probiotics are most likely safe for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Just in case, women should always check with their doctors before taking probiotics. Individuals who have short bowel syndrome should not use probiotic bacteria. These individuals have a heightened chance of developing a lactobacillus infection. If they take probiotics, they could end up suffering from an infection.

Individuals who are currently taking antibiotics should not take probiotics. Probiotics work to increase good bacteria. In contrast, antibiotics are made to stop any bacteria from existing in the body. If individuals take antibiotics and probiotics, the two chemicals would just end up contradicting each other. Patients would end up with two ineffective means of treatment.

The biggest issue behind probiotics is the lack of research. Probiotics are not a medication so the FDA does not closely regulate it. With so little research done on potential side effects, patients should always talk to their doctor before they start taking probiotics. If a patient is suffering side effects, they should immediately contact their doctor. Anecdotal reports of side effects indicate that negative symptoms are uncommon, but they can still happen. Always visit a doctor before starting any medical treatment and if you have any side effects.