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Why You React To Probiotics

Dr Stephen Wangen
May 14, 2024

Some people find that they feel worse when they take probiotics. If this has happened to you, you are not crazy and you not alone. I’ve heard this many times, and I’ll explain why this happens and what you should do next.

People often assume that probiotics will always be good for you, probably because most places will tell you that probiotics are awesome and will solve all of your problems. However, that is not always the case.

Probiotics do have the potential to solve some significant digestive problems. However, probiotics are not all created equal. There are hundreds of different kinds of probiotics, in different strains and different potencies, that have different properties and different capabilities.

In fact, we even have our own probiotics made for us for use at the IBS Treatment Center. And you can access those all on your own on our website and are welcome to take them. They are fantastic, and I recommend starting with our Full Spectrum Probiotic.

But that doesn’t mean that you won’t react to them. If you’ve had problems with probiotics in the past, the higher the quality of the probiotic, the more likely you are to react to them. Why is that? And what do I mean by “reacting”?

When I talk about reacting to probiotics, I mean that your digestive symptoms become worse when you take them. If this has happened to you, then you know what I’m talking about. This might mean getting diarrhea, constipation, gas, or bloating, or a variety of other symptoms that you could experience. In fact, please share any you’ve experienced in the comments section below.

When these reactions happen people often blame other ingredients in the probiotic, or they think it’s an allergic reaction. However, in my experience most of the time it’s neither of those. It’s generally that the probiotics are working well. Some might say too well.

Probiotics are good bacteria. The kind of bacteria that you need in your digestive tract. But sometimes getting them back in there is easier said than done, even when you are using really good probiotics like the IBS Treatment Center’s Full Spectrum Probiotic.

The problem is that sometimes other microbes have established themselves in your digestive tract. And when that happens, they don’t always want to go away easily. They may in essence fight back. And when that happens, replacing them isn’t always simple or easy.

You see, probiotics aren’t just benign things that you take. They also have the potential to fight other organisms. And when that happens, they can stir the pot, so to speak. And sometimes when the pot is stirred, it means that you will experience what’s called a die-off reaction.

You may not be familiar with this concept, because in western medicine we are given the idea that getting better is always a straight line up, one day better than the next. But we all know from personal experience that healing often doesn’t work that way. We often feel worse before we feel better, and getting to a better place isn’t usually a straight line, nor is it always easy.

This can be the case when we are attempting to rebuild the microbiome in the digestive tract. Sometimes when you put good bacteria in with the bad, you have to work through that “die-off” reaction and the symptoms that go with it.

If taking probiotics is making you feel worse, then that is probably what is happening. And if you can stick with it, ultimately, they symptoms will most likely improve and go away. But that can be easier said than done. And you may need professional guidance to make it to that point. And you may need to have some of the “bad guys” treated before you can successfully add probiotics into your treatment regimen.

If you are having trouble taking probiotics and would like expert guidance and treatment to help you do this, give us a call at the IBS Treatment Center. We work with people all over the U.S. and the world via telemedicine, and we’d be happy to work with you too.


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