Looking for signs your probiotics are working?
You might have landed yourself with a big task, trying to determine if your probiotics are working.
Don’t get us wrong! We don’t mean to say probiotics are without health benefits. But to find out if they are working can be quite challenging.
So, can you really find out if your probiotics are having any effect or not?
You may, but you have to consider many factors and know a thing or two about probiotics. However, the buzz around the “cure-for-all-diseases” makes it more difficult to find out the truth. Today, we will explore how you can know if your probiotic works and disclose 7 signs.
Before that, let’s see what you need to know.
How to Know if Probiotics are Working
Google “signs probiotics are working,” and you get articles that list 10 -12 signs. You will see things such as improved cognition, better energy, improved digestion, strong immunity, and more!
However, what you read may not be true or applicable to you. The truth is, not all probiotics supplements are the same. Additionally, a lot of factors decide what effects the supplement will have on us. Two of the most important factors are-
- Your own microbiome makeup
- Medical conditions and health
You see, probiotics can change our microbiome in ways even doctors cannot predict. A probiotic that cured your sister of diarrhea may not have any effect on you.
Also, healthy people take probiotics for unproven benefits like preventing infections and infections or sharpening their brains.
Naturally, if you look for these signs, you will never be able to say if your probiotic is working. In short, you can’t read an article and expect to experience the same signs. You need to know what to look for!
How to Spot Signs that Show Probiotics are Working
1. Track Changes in Health
Some benefits of probiotics are well-established. According to Harvard Health, you can take probiotics to treat or prevent-
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Surgical complications involving intestines
- Urinary tract infections
- Vaginal infections
Now, if you are taking probiotics for a health concern, it’s very easy to determine the efficacy of your probiotics.
You only have to look for improvements in your symptoms!
For instance, if you are suffering from diarrhea, probiotics supplements should reduce your bouts or frequency.
Or, if you are taking them for infections, look for signs of improvement and decrease in symptoms.
In simple words, your health improvements are signs your probiotics are working.
Next, we will discuss another easy way to check if your probiotics have any effect. Most of you will experience these as a part of taking probiotics.
2. Look for Initial Side Effects
Side effects are signs that your probiotics are working. Think we have gone crazy?
Most people will feel some initial side effects after taking probiotics for the first time. They may include-
- Skin rashes
The side effects show that the microorganisms you took as your supplement are taking effect. They are creating changes in your microbiome that leads to symptoms like gas or diarrhea.
So, instead of being afraid, you should be grateful that your probiotics are showing results.
Note: The initial side effects go away in a few days as your body adapts to the changes. However, if your side effects persist for more than two weeks, reduce your dosage. You may also try other strains or have a talk with your physician.
Next, we will present 7 proven signs that show your supplement is worth the money!
3. Relief from Gastrointestinal Discomfort
As we said earlier, one of the biggest use of probiotics is preventing or treating digestive issues.
Many chronic and unexplained gastrointestinal problems may find a cure in probiotics. Symptoms of chronic diseases like chron’s or ulcerative colitis also reduce the consumption of probiotics.
Some signs that prove the efficiency of your probiotics include-
- Frequency of going to the bathroom
- Reduction in gas or bloating
- Increased appetite
- Regular bowel movements
Many studies show probiotics to improve various types of diarrhea, including traveler’s diarrhea and antibiotic-induced diarrhea. You can also get relief from constipation.
Look for an improvement in your digestive health to check whether your probiotics have any effect on you.
4. Change in Weight
Is weight loss included among signs that show probiotics are working?
Some people use probiotics to lose the extra pounds. Research does show probiotics to facilitate weight loss in a number of ways-
- Lowers absorption of fat by the intestine
- Eliminating dietary fat through feces
- Helps in direct weight loss
- Improves satiety and curbs cravings
Now, we could have said to look out for a reduction in weight. However, we told you to note if there is any difference. That means even an increase in weight can mean your probiotics are effective. Why?
According to one study, the strain Lactobacillus acidophilus resulted in weight gain.
So, taking probiotics may lead to a weight change, which can be either an increase or a decrease in body weight.
Note: We need more research to find out the relation of probiotics with weight change. Also, the strain of microorganism has an effect on the results.
5. Less Stress, Anxiety, and Mental Ailments
Some of us know about the gut and brain connection. Scientists say a healthy gut is the way to get a healthy brain.
We know how gastrointestinal problems can cause stress and anxiety. On the other hand, stress and anxiety can also cause stomach problems.
We need both systems to work optimally for a healthy and happy life.
Better mood is a sure sign your probiotics are working. In studies, probiotics have contributed to-
- Improved memory
If you notice a change in your mood for the better, be sure your probiotics are worth the money. You may also feel less stressed and more relaxed.
In best-case scenarios, you may also get relief from your depressive symptoms and develop a happy mood.
Is Improved Cognition a Sign?
Some articles ask you to look for improved cognition as a sign your probiotics are working. However, as we said earlier, this claim may not be true.
Probiotics may improve attention and memory, but it surely won’t turn you into a smarter person overnight. Also, it might be misleading to look for improved cognition as it’s difficult to measure.
If you want to improve cognition, you can try omega 3 fatty acids.
6. More Energy and Overall Wellbeing
The first signs of effective probiotics are improvements in digestive issues. Even people with healthy digestion may be able to notice improvements. However, there are some more ways to back up your conclusion!
A healthy digestive system means your body is more efficient in absorbing nutrients from food. As a result, you can fully utilize all the vitamins and minerals from your diet.
This will lead you to experience more energy and motivation. You may find yourself a bit more active or eager to take on your daily chores.
Probiotics also improve the production of antibodies naturally. The supplement may also improve the health of certain immune cells and help you fall less sick.
You may notice overall wellbeing and improvement in your health after taking probiotics. Count it as a sign your probiotics are working!
7. A Reduction in Allergies
People should experience a reduction in allergies after they take probiotics. However, you will not feel this effect if you don’t have any allergies.
Many studies show probiotics to alleviate respiratory infections. It can even improve conditions of urinary tract infections and vaginal infections.
If your allergies have gone away after taking probiotics, it’s due to your supplement!
We are done with our discussion of 7 signs that show probiotics are working. Next, we will check out a big question many probiotics users have.
How Long do Probiotics take to Show Results?
You need to be patient and give time to any medicine or supplement to show its results. You can’t expect to benefit by taking your probiotics just for a few days. So, get your expectations right and give time for your probiotics to take effect.
According to Healthline, many factors affect how long probiotics take to show results, like-
- Strain of microorganisms
- Your health condition
- The formula of the supplement
You should take probiotics at least for 4-weeks to spot considerable results.
Many studies that show beneficial results of probiotics used 8 to 12-weeks clinical trials. So, you should give your supplement some time for it to show its efficacy.
Note: Probiotics may provide benefits in diarrhea in just 2 – 3-days.
Till now, we have discussed signs to prove your probiotics work. But what if it doesn’t? Are there any steps you can take to make sure probiotics work?
How to Make Sure Probiotics Work
1. Research Strains
Different strains of probiotics have different results. So, if you are taking the wrong strain, your supplement won’t surely work. Research the strains and pick the ones that have proven results for your ailments.
2. Take a Proper Dose
You need a high dose of probiotics to get results. A dose of 10 billion CFUs has shown to provide various benefits. However, you may also be able to benefit from lower doses.
3. Select a Supplement with Varied Strains
Go for probiotics that include a wide range of microorganisms. They may provide all-round benefits and the best results.
4. Consume Prebiotics
Prebiotics are food that your probiotics eat. Surely, you can’t starve your microbiome and expect t get results. Food items like garlic, onions, bananas, and asparagus are rich in prebiotics.
Add more prebiotics to your diet to keep your gut flora healthy. You can also choose a supplement that contains both prebiotics and probiotics.
5. Give Time
As we have seen earlier, you need to give some time to your supplement and be patient. You may say your supplement is not working if you don’t spot any of the above signs even after 3 – 4-weeks.
We have given you all information you need to determine if your probiotics work. Our post also tells you of 7 signs that show probiotics are working. If you don’t spot these signs, change your supplement or the dose.
The best way to make probiotics work is to choose them wisely. A doctor or dietician may be a good option who can prescribe the right probiotics after assessing your condition and requirements.
We have some of the best probiotics chosen for you in case you already know what to buy. Take a look at our hand-picked probiotics and see if you can find one that fits your bill!