It might be a pleasant surprise to discover that your body has two types of bacteria – good and bad. You fall sick when the harmful bacteria outnumber the good. You feel healthy when the body maintains a balance between them. Good bacteria are primarily present in your digestive system and help keep a robust immune system.
Probiotics are good bacteria that you can consume to maintain that balance. Probiotics consumption has become more prevalent as part of daily food or supplements intake. But, how long do the Probiotics take to act on your system and show the expected improvements?
In her research, a doctor reported that her patients had declared improvements within three days of Probiotics intake. There might be improvements within the first two weeks for minor ailments such as constipation, regular bowel movements, digestive issues, reduction in gut or intestine inflammation.
They take a little longer – around 2-4 weeks – to show steady health benefits like weight loss, skincare improvements, improving mood, relieving stress, etc.
The precise answer to the effectiveness and promptness with which any probiotic will impact you lies in your answers to the three questions:
- Why – What health benefit are you trying to achieve by taking Probiotics?
- Which – Which type of Probiotic are you using?
- How – How much Probiotic are you consuming?
Good bacteria help in several critical functions within your body. They aid in digestion, nutrients’ absorption, and preserving an excellent immune system. They are present in your regular food intake, especially fermented food – Yogurt, Cheese, stored pickles, etc.
Overconsumption of processed food, frequent medications, or stress can create an imbalance between good and bad bacteria. This usually results in improper digestion, irregular bowel movements, normal gut or intestine-related infections, or allergies.
And that is precisely where Probiotics can help you get back to normalcy. Some of the conditions which they can ease are:
- Diarrhea – due to antibiotics or due to C. diff infection
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Yeast infections
- Urinary Tract infections
- Gum disease
- Lactose intolerance
- Upper respiratory infections
- Sepsis (in infants)
Which Type Of Probiotics?
If you are experiencing any sickness in the modern world, what is the first thing you will do?
You get on any digital device to open google and search for the reason for it. You can deduce more insights with readily available information. Many websites and informational articles are helping you with possible symptoms and remedies.
This has led to the growth of self-consciousness from a customer’s point of view. The same perspective applies to the kind of Probiotics and their consumption.
Your body has many types of good bacteria catering to different functions. Similarly, many different kinds of Probiotics are used for various reasons. Different strains of Probiotics help in different situations. Choosing the right strain can expedite the effectiveness of it on your health.
The most popular Probiotics in the market are Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium (bacteria), and Saccharomyces boulardii (yeast). Each of these meets the need of different situations. And it would be best if you took care while choosing which one you are planning to take. This depends, again, on the health issue you are trying to address.
A general recommendation is to consume Probiotics that contain multi-species, multi-strain bacteria.
How Much of Probiotics?
As a general practice, all probiotic products have instructions on how much to consume per dosage. If you are not following these instructions regularly, you might not achieve the desired results. You must keep in mind the instructions on how to consume the Probiotics – with an empty stomach or after food.
On any Probiotic product, Probiotic doses are listed as colony-forming units (CFU’s). They represent the number of live strains in each dose. Each brand has different suggested amounts and uses, so you will have to verify the quantity before consumption.
There are many ways in which Probiotics are consumed. They are available in fermented foods (like yogurt and pickles), fermented drinks (kombucha or kefir), or taken as regular dietary supplements – pills, powder, and liquids.
Before starting any probiotic intake, it is better to talk with your healthcare provider. They are the best people to answer the three questions – Why Which, and How.
Signs That Probiotics Are Working
Improvements – small or big. That is the only sign.
If you see improvements in your health, you can confirm that you are using the correct quality and quantity of Probiotics to deal with the issue.
Some of the improvements that you observe when the Probiotics are working right are:
- Regular bowel movements
- Reduction in inflammation
- Increase in energy and activeness
- Lowering of anxiety
- Stress relief
- Weight loss
- Less craving for sugar
- Improvements in skin quality, mood, digestion
- Reduction in bloating or gas
In the long term, Probiotics that help improve the gut area will also help reduce toxins and pathogens. They reduce the burden on your immune system. They reduce the frequency with which you might fall sick.
Signs That Probiotics Are Not Working
In the initial days of Probiotic intake, there is a chance that you will experience some side effects. These include indigestion, diarrhea, bloating, gas, or an uncomfortable stomach. This happens because your body is getting used to Probiotics. Usually, they subside within a week or two.
But, if these issues persist for more than a week, it is better to think about what is going wrong.
Below are some of the reasons why Probiotics might not be working for you:
- Taking the incorrect Probiotic or incorrect strain
- Taking the Probiotic incorrectly
- Improper storage leading to the death of probiotic
- Poor product quality
- Incorrect dosage
How To Identify The Right Probiotic?
On every Probiotic product, there is a label that gives basic information on the type and usage of that product. There is information on the:
- Recommended Usage
- Storage information
- Expiration Date
- Dosage/ Suggested usage/ Serving size
- Number of CFU’sCFU’s – colony forming units
- Genus, Species, and strain of the bacteria
You can see an example of a dietary supplemental label in this link.
Millions of people believe in the implied benefits of Probiotics. This perception is leading to the steady growth of the Probiotics market in the world. Probiotics might not be the ultimate panacea for all kinds of conditions. But, balancing the good and bad bacteria in the human system is not such a bad idea to start staying healthy.
There are many products in the market catering to the varied needs of consumers. High-quality products that have proven research and certified benefits outperform others in the market. While choosing any probiotic product, it is better to remember the three questions and get the product that satisfies your needs.
If you are taking the right product at the right time and in the proper dosage, you will see the intended improvements.
If there are no changes to your symptoms even after 3-4 weeks of prescribed usage, the Probiotic might not be working. But, do not change the quality or quantity of Probiotics immediately. Please consult your healthcare provider and follow their guidance on the next steps.