Do probiotics make you poop more?
Believe it or not, your probiotics may be the reason behind the frequent trips to the bathroom. Why?
Any sort of foreign bacteria can bring a change in our internal microbiome ecosystem. You may have several digestive issues as you start taking probiotics, including pooping often.
Also, there is ample evidence of probiotics actually increasing bowel movements.
Well, that’s the gist of it in short. However, we are going to take a deeper dive and dig out more information. So, stay with us!
Probiotics and Digestion
The microorganisms in your gut play a big role in digesting food. Without them, you will not be able to digest fiber. Likewise, we need our microbiome to absorb nutrients from food and pass the rest as poop.
Now, any changes in your internal bacteria colony can bring changes in how you digest food. As a result, everything that is related to digestion may change.
Many people who take probiotics often experience initial side effects like-
- Stomach cramp or pain
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in bowel movement
Usually, the changes last only a few days and then go away. This means you may poop more due to probiotics. Now, let’s explore why and how probiotics make you visit the loo more.
Why and How Probiotics Make You Poop More
We have many studies that show probiotics relieve constipation.
According to Healthline, probiotics may help in different types of constipation. If you are taking probiotics for your inability to poop, probiotics can surely bring changes!
Patients of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS suffer from either constipation or diarrhea. Taking probiotics can help them cut back the severity of symptoms, and-
- Improve bowel habits
- Regularize bowel movements
- Improve stool consistency
- Increase stool frequency
As you can see, we have enough proof to show probiotics makes you poop more if you have IBS.
Constipation During Pregnancy
Constipation is quite common in pregnancy. Studies that gave probiotics to pregnant women found-
- Improvements in constipation symptoms
- Increase in frequency of bowel movements
- Less feelings of incomplete pooping
Constipation from Medications
Various medications, including antibiotics, can kill or change your gut bacteria. Taking probiotics may improve constipation symptoms. You may also experience regular bowel movements and intestinal activities.
Probiotics can even relieve constipation that comes from chemotherapy.
Note: It may not be a good idea to take probiotics to normalize your gut bacteria after antibiotics. Recent studies suggest our gut bacteria returns to normal after a few days by itself after discontinuing antibiotics. Seeking medical advice is better than trusting your own judgment.
So, Do Probiotics Make You Poop More?
Till now, you must have followed all the pieces of evidence we noted. You can see probiotics make you poop often and more in all the shreds of evidence we presented. Now, let’s take up a review study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
According to the researchers, probiotics increased weekly bowel movements by 1.3-times. Along with that, participants felt it easier to poop as stool became softer.
The review of 14 studies also noted another thing. Probiotics reduced the gut transit time by 12.4 hours.
Gut transit time is the time food takes to come out as stool after you swallow it. That means probiotics may quicken your bowel movement and go to the bathroom earlier.
However, if you are suffering from diarrhea, the outcome may be different. In such cases, you may poop less as probiotics help you regain your digestive health.
Summary: Probiotics can cause a change in your gut bacteria and your pooping habits. Naturally, these also include how many times you poop. So, probiotics can indeed make you poop more.
Is Pooping More a Sign Probiotics are Working?
Many people want to know if their probiotics are really working. Tracking your poop habits can be a good way to find out if your supplement is providing any results.
If you start pooping more after taking probiotics, it’s a sure sign the probiotics have made changes in your gut bacteria. This, however, doesn’t confirm if your probiotics are working.
You should track your symptoms for any assessment you can trust. We have a detailed post on how to know if probiotics are working, so give it a read.
You will get a lot of valuable information to determine the efficacy of your supplement.
Should Healthy People Take Probiotics
Probiotics are turning out to be a much-debated topic. After years of promoting them for almost all reasons, now we are finding a few contradictory things.
- Probiotics seem to work best for people with some preexisting issues. You might get benefits from probiotics and reduce your symptoms if you got IBS, IBD, or other diseases. However, the results may not be the same for healthy people.
- In one study, probiotics didn’t have any effect on the internal gut bacteria of the participants. Instead, the microorganisms in the supplement were excreted via stool. This has been shown by other studies too.
- In another study, the probiotics from the supplement did colonize the gut when taken in high doses. Still, the microbes did not rejuvenate the intestinal bacteria that died due to taking antibiotics. Rather, the patients continued to have compromised gut bacteria for 5 months.
In comparison, people who didn’t take probiotics gained back their bacteria composition by themselves within 21-days.
Scientists believe probiotics work best for people who lack healthy strains of gut bacteria, to begin with. Otherwise, the bacteria present in your gut can resist the new bacteria that come from your probiotics supplement.
Additionally, probiotics can also trigger adverse immune responses in your intestine. Such activities generally harm your own internal microbiome.
Probiotics can also cause other adverse consequences. It can creep out of your intestine and cause infections and bacterial reactions in other parts of your body. You may also develop brain fog and other symptoms.
Probiotics make you poop more, and we have enough proof to confirm this. Your supplement may also cause other changes like changes in weight, mood, or appetite. Other signs may include an increase in energy, wellbeing, and a reduction in general infections.
We would recommend you not to take prebiotics if you are healthy. It’s also best to consult with your physician as not all probiotics are the same. You have to consider many factors like your medical history and your own microbiome to choose the right strains of probiotics.
So, always take your doctor’s advice before starting probiotics.
What are the side effects of too much probiotics?
People generally experience digestive issues and stomach discomfort as side effects of probiotics. You can get diarrhea, gas, or bloating. Some people may also need to poop more.
Should you take probiotics on a full or empty stomach?
You can take probiotics before your meal. Otherwise, stomach acid may kill the bacteria when you are on an empty stomach. However, there is no general rule for taking probiotics. If you’re prescribed probiotics by a doctor, then follow their advice.
Can long term use of probiotics be harmful?
Probiotics should show their benefits in 4 – 8 weeks. You should never take anything, including probiotics, for long terms without consulting a doctor. If your symptoms don’t improve within a month or two, don’t take probiotics anymore.
Is it okay to take a probiotic every day?
You can take probiotics every day for 4 – 8 weeks. Don’t extend your dose beyond that without talking to a doctor. Healthy people seldom get any benefit from probiotics.