Whether you have already been taking probiotics, or your doctor and local pharmacist have advised that you start taking them, you may be wondering what the signs are of probiotics working.
In this article, we’ll tackle and explain the telltale signs that probiotics are working for you, or beginning to work.
Before we begin, let’s go over some basics about probiotics.
What Are Probiotics?
The gut contains trillions of microorganisms, which are collectively referred to as the microbiome.
Within this collective, some microorganisms support gut health, and they do this by helping to break down indigestible fiber, hormone regulation, and they also communicate across a network called the gut-brain axis.
Not all the microorganisms that live inside the gut are helpful. Some are referred to as ‘bad bacteria’. This is because they are detrimental to health, and often are linked to being sick, bloating, or being excessively sluggish.
Within these trillions of microorganisms, exists a bacterium called probiotics. They are the type of ‘good’ bacteria that you want to have. They help to keep the collective microbiome healthy and balanced.
Why Do People Take Probiotics?
When someone exhibits signs of an unhealthy and unbalanced microbiome, then their doctor or pharmacist may advise that they take a probiotic supplement.
Supplements are typically in the form of a capsule, but it is not the only way to consume probiotics. Probiotics exist within certain foods, such as Greek yogurt and sauerkraut.
Probiotics can help cure many types of unbalances. If someone is suffering from constipation, probiotics may be advised as they can help break down indigestible fiber.
They can also produce vitamins, contribute to clearer skin, support vaginal health, and aid IBS relief.
If you do not exhibit signs of an unbalanced and unhealthy gut, then a doctor or pharmacist will likely not advise that you take probiotics. You should always consult a health professional before adding any supplements, or health products to your diet.
With that said, let’s dive into some of the signs that probiotics are working, and helping to heal the gut.
Signs That Probiotics Are Working
Below, we will discuss a range of signs and symptoms which suggest that probiotics are working, or beginning to work. Remember that this can depend on the individual, and you do not need to have all the signs for the probiotics to be working to heal your gut.
1. Less bloating
A very common problem that people have, before taking probiotics, is chronic bloating. A certain amount of bloating is normal. For example, if you have just eaten a big meal, or eaten an excessive amount of food, your stomach may bloat.
However, if you find that you are bloated after almost every meal, then that can be indicative of a bigger concern.
The probiotics work to restore the balance and health of the gut microbiome. In this case, they will be working to aid the digestive system, which will help reduce, and in some cases eliminate, excess gas, or irregular bowel movements.
Excess gas and irregular bowel movements can contribute to bloating, and as a result, bloating will be either reduced or eliminated.
2. Regular Bowel Movements
If someone is experiencing an unhealthy and unbalanced gut microbiome, then they may be experiencing irregular bowel movements. The type of irregular bowel movement could refer to constipation, but it could also refer to diarrhea.
The signs that probiotics are working will depend on the type of irregular bowel movements you were experiencing, and the type of bowel movements you experienced before the irregularity occurred.
However, typically, it will mean you go more frequently and the bowel movements are solid.
3. Fewer Yeast Infections
Vaginal health is serious. Many women will experience a yeast infection, otherwise known as thrush, at least once in their lifetime.
Some women, however, experience yeast infections more frequently, or experience chronic yeast infections. Yeast infections are painful and can make the vagina very sore, and itchy.
A yeast infection will occur when there are too many yeast bacteria in the vagina. This can occur even if vaginal hygiene is ensured because it is to do with the microbiome.
The probiotics can help balance out the bacteria and bring it back to a normal and healthy equilibrium. As a result, fewer yeast infections should occur.
It should be noted, however, that probiotics cannot cure yeast infections. A yeast infection needs medication in order to be cured. What probiotics can do, is support vagina health, and help to prevent future yeast infections.
4. Improved Mood
When you balance the health of your gut microbiome, you contribute to the overall health of your body.
The gut does not only impact the stomach, earlier we referenced the gut-brain axis, which refers to the network of communication between the gut and the brain.
The gut can affect a lot of things, and it contributes to the production of hormones that regulate sleep and mood.
As a result, if you have an unbalance of gut bacteria, then it can impact your ability to sleep, and impact your mood. This can cause stress and fatigue, which can worsen sleep, and worsen the mood.
It is an awful cycle, but probiotics can help solve the issue.
That’s because probiotics will balance the gut microbiome, which will help regulate hormones, ensuring an improved mood and fewer sleep irregularities — causing less stress, and less fatigue.
5. Clearer Skin
Another sign that probiotics are working is that they can help to create clear, or clearer skin. Referring again to the gut-brain axis, the bacteria found in the gut can impact and alter the bacteria on the skin.
If there is an unbalance in the gut microbiome, then this can cause an unbalance of the bacteria on the skin. Plus, as we already know, the gut plays a part in regulating hormones, which also impacts skin health.
Typically, the use of probiotics has helped skin problems such as acne, inflammation, eczema, and rosacea, but the list is endless.
It should be noted that probiotics are likely not to be the only cure for such issues, but they can help to solve the problem. Certain conditions will require further treatment, whether that be holistic, or medical.
6. Improved Immunity
Have you ever noticed that people tend to use more supplements in the wintertime, as opposed to the summer months?
That is because we tend to have less immunity during these months, and we are more vulnerable to illness. While probiotics are used all throughout the year, they can be especially useful at the times of the year when we spend less time outside, and out of the sun.
Furthermore, we want to ensure that our body is always protected, and keeping a balanced and healthy gut microbiome is vital to overall health and immunity. When the microbiome is unbalanced, our immune system is not as strong.
If you struggle with frequent colds or often end up getting stomach bugs, these should become fewer once your gut microbiome is balanced.
There are some of the most common signs which are present when probiotics are starting to work, or are working. Overall, you will be experiencing a more balanced gut microbiome, which should impact your greater health.
Keep in mind that it depends on the individual and the problems they faced before the probiotics.
For example, If they experienced stomach issues, one key symptom would be they experience less bloated, or more regular bowel movements. If in doubt, talk to your doctor, or local health professional for advice.