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The 6 Signs You Need Probiotics – Surprising Facts

The 6 Signs You Need Probiotics – Surprising Facts

Scientific studies prove that the state of your gut goes a long way in dictating how you feel or look. But what are the 6 signs you need probiotics to feel your best?

Knowing the signs your gut may need additional TLC can go a long way to improving overall, which goes far beyond digestion.

Did you know your immune system, skin health, mental focus, and more all center around your gut health, and probiotics can help?

We work with clients from all walks of life, from the US to Europe. We’ve seen probiotics work wonders with professional athletes down to high school runners. Additionally, we’ve read through countless amounts of research over the years to combine our knowledge and professional experience so you know exactly what the 6 signs are that you need probiotics.

In addition to explaining the 6 signs your body needs probiotics, we’re also going to explain what probiotic benefits are, the best way to take probiotics for remarkable results, and some side effects or considerations you should watch out for. 

The 6 Signs You Need Probiotics

Let’s discuss the 6 signs that you need probiotics knowing there can often be more signs that probiotics are necessary, but these are some of the most common.

1. You Have Frequent Digestive Problems

There are countless reasons why you could be experiencing digestive system symptoms like nausea, constipation, bloating, or other gastrointestinal symptoms signifying an imbalance in your microbiome or even food sensitivities, food intolerances, ulcerative colitis, premenstrual syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome.

If you suffer from these issues despite maintaining a seemingly healthy diet and lifestyle, this is a sign that your gut health is compromised, impeding your digestion, and you will likely benefit from adding a probiotic supplement or increasing your consumption of probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods

A 2010 study confirms that probiotic supplements, with their beneficial bacteria, are excellent for restoring healthy gut microbiomes, alleviating GI discomfort, and promoting digestive health.[2]

2. You are Experiencing Mood Swings or Poor Mental Health

Does this sound familiar: One moment you are in the clouds, blooming with joy and grateful for life, the next moment, you feel like your life is falling apart. And before you know it, you feel so down and depressed.

If you’re experiencing feelings like these that keep fluctuating from happiness to sadness to anger, all these without any trigger, gut issues may be contributing. An unhealthy gut is one of the most common yet underrated reasons for mood swings. 

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, an imbalanced gut microbe signals the brain through the vagus nerve to change moods and not for the better.[3]

Also, most of the hormones that control your mood are produced in the gut. For example, serotonin ( the happy hormone), dopamine, GABA, and noradrenaline.

When your gut is in bad health, it negatively impacts the amounts and quality of these mood-stabilizing hormones. Taking probiotics can give you more control of your emotions by fixing your gut.

It’s important to note that mood swings are tricky because they can be attributed to many problems and not just your gut. You need to consult an expert to know if further investigations or treatment is necessary. 

3. You Keep Gaining or Losing Weight. 

Another tell-tale sign that you need probiotics is if you keep gaining or losing body weight without trying to.

You will notice that the smallest amount of food bloats you up almost instantly. Or you don’t have the adequate appetite to eat well throughout the day, making you lose more body weight than you intend to.

When you have too many ‘bad’ bacteria and less good-gut-friendly bacteria, digestion of ingested food is severely compromised.

This can be proved by this systematic review, which states that poor gut health increases the risk of obesity due to poor digestion.[4]

Probiotics play an important role in effectively and naturally managing your weight gain by prolonging satiety. Also, the beneficial bacteria provided by probiotics help ferment hard-to-digest carbohydrates into short-chain fatty acids, which are easily absorbed by the small intestines or smoothly passed out as feces. 

Lastly, the gut microbiota regulates amino acids like Peptide YY, pancreatic polypeptide, and GLP-1. These hormones are responsible for managing your body weight by normalizing appetite, slowing gastric emptying, boosting insulin, and lowering glucagon synthesis.  

Therefore, if you want to shed some extra pounds, especially around your belly, or achieve weight loss in a healthy manner, consider balancing your gut microbiota by taking probiotics every day. 

4. You Experience Frequent Health Issues

Normal flora are mild bacteria that stimulate your immune system, keeping it active enough to fight against pathogenic bacteria without causing any harm to its host. Experts have proven through several clinical trials that a well-balanced microbiota strengthens the immune system against bacterial infections and diseases not only in the GI tract but also in organs like the lungs and vagina.

A healthy gut means a strong immune system and vice versa. In fact, approximately 70-80% of your immune cells are housed in your gastrointestinal tract.[5] 

Aside from decreasing immunity, having poor gut health affects the state of other body systems, like the circulatory and endocrine. For instance, You can take probiotics to reduce your chances of heart disease and diabetes mellitus (II) because they help manage blood pressure and glucose levels respectively. 

5. You Are Experiencing Skin Issues 

The state of your skin is a reflection of your overall health and well-being, and the condition it is in often suggests the state of your gut health.

If you suffer from conditions like acne, hyperpigmentation, dry skin, and eczema, it’s most likely your body’s own way of telling you that something is wrong and needs attending.

Pro tip: if you’re suffering from eczema, try increasing your vitamin D. Research shows supplementing with vitamin D improves skin in those with eczema, and we’ve seen it massively improve eczema in our son and clients when we suggest this.

One of the common causes of poor skin conditions is an unhealthy gut. 

When your gut flora is out of proportion for a long time, it causes a condition called leaky gut syndrome, where your intestines become permeable and allow partially digested food to sieve into the bloodstream. This condition leads to inflammation of many organs, including your skin.  

Also, probiotics promote glowing and healthy skin by increasing the absorption of essential nutrients. 

6. You are Often Tired or Fatigued

Being fatigued is no fun, and we know what it’s like to wake up after a long night of sleep and not feel rested. If so, this may be a sign of mold illness and may need probiotics as well.

With poor gut health, you often notice that you have little to no energy throughout the day, and nothing, including rest, seems to keep you on your toes. This is because whenever your gut is unhealthy, it inhibits the metabolism of ingested food into glucose for energy, and your immune system is more stressed.

Think of this as having high-quality fuel but a malfunctioning engine that fails to put the fuel to use. 

When you recognize these signs of sluggishness and energy depletion, it’s a clear indication that your gut health needs attention.

By consuming probiotic-rich foods or supplements to restore balance to your gut, over the course of several weeks to a few months you can improve digestion, food absorption, and strengthen your immune system.

By doing this, you are not only going to see improved energy levels but also improve your general health and well-being.

What are Probiotcs and Their Health Benefits Exactly?

Probiotics provide your body with healthy forms of bacteria and yeast that help your gut function better. You require these bacteria or yeasts to maintain a balanced microbiota or prevent gut dysbiosis, which is the disruption or imbalance of good bacteria in the gut.

Here is the deal: contrary to popular beliefs, not all bacteria are harmful. Some are really good for you.

These ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria are termed normal flora. Having adequate amounts of normal flora in your gut ensures that harmful bacteria do not thrive and cause infections or diseases. Good or healthy bacteria compete with the bad ones for nutrients and attachment. 

There are so many ways probiotics can take your health and well-being to the next level. These include but are not limited to: 

  • Strengthening immunity
  • Improving digestion and metabolism 
  • Aiding nutrient absorption
  • Reducing inflammation and stress levels
  • Promoting hormone balance
  • Producing vitamin K & B12
Picture of probiotic-rich foods that are good for gut health on a countertop including fermented foods such as olives, pickles, and kefir.

How to Consume Probiotics Safely and Effectively?

As I mentioned earlier, you can consume probiotics in the form of food or supplements. Examples of probiotic-rich foods you can try  include: 

  • Kefir
  • Yogurt
  • Kimchi
  • Cultured cottage cheese
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Kombucha
  • Natto

>>Read more: 7 Benefits of Fermented Foods

There are seven different microbial organisms used in probiotics, namely lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia, and Bacillus.

Some strains are better for different needs, whether you’re an athlete, a female with bloating during your period, someone battling a leaky gut, and more. Be sure to read more about the best probiotic strains for your specific needs.

Probiotic supplementation is designed to focus on specific bacteria strains and provide them in higher quantities, which are indicated on the product label (sometimes on food labels too). Therefore, If you are targeting a particular bacteria, say bacillus, we recommend dietary supplements that contain bacillus.

>>Read more: The Best Probiotic Supplements to Optimize Your Health

But if you don’t mind the probiotic strains, you can opt for probiotic foods to support your gut health. Mostly, probiotic foods contain multiple, sometimes unidentified good bacteria. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that probiotic supplements provide higher doses or amounts of bacteria than probiotic foods. With the supplements, you know the exact amount of probiotics you are consuming, but this cannot be said about the foods.

When is the Best Time to Take Probiotics?

This is such a popular question that we wrote an entire post on The Best Time to Take Probiotics for Success.

Most people will see the most benefit from the probiotic supplement if they consume it with food and take it consistently almost every day. It is also good to consume it with a prebiotic supplement or prebiotic-rich foods.

Picture of 2 prebiotic supplements to help increase the benefit of taking probiotics. This picture shows Ther-Biotic Biotagen by SFI and Organic Inulin by NOW Nutrition.

Prebiotics are the primary food probiotics thrive on so when you consistely give them extra food to thrive on, they will multiple and thrive in your gut better. We take prebiotics almost every day too and they’re often included in the best superfood greens powders.

You can either take probiotics on an empty stomach, even when you’re fasting, but, they’re more likely to survive the harsh environment. of the gut when taken with food.

Are there any side effects or Considerations with Probiotics?

Probiotics are generally safe since these bacteria and yeast already exist in the human gut. However, for certain groups of people, there are some side effects to watch out for.

Those who need to be careful often include individuals on immunosuppressant drugs, infants born prematurely, the aged, and those with autoimmune disease. The immune system of these people is too weak to handle even the good bacteria, which may lead to problems or more harm than good.

Moreover, some probiotic foods and supplements may contain trace amounts of bad or harmful bacteria, which poses a greater risk to people with compromised immunity. 

You should to consult a healthcare provider if you fall within these vulnerable groups. Your healthcare provider will assess your condition and recommend the best probiotics to address your problem. 

Some Side Effects of Probiotics You may experience are;

  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Infections 
  • Bloating 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Flatulence

In a healthy adult, these signs are mild and do not pose any adverse effects.

Most frequently, our clients may experience a change in bowel habits in the first few days of taking a probiotic that improves with a week or two of consistent use. Occasional constipation may occur initially, and after the initial phase of starting the new probiotic; this becomes a problem that occurs less often than prior to starting the supplement.

Summary

the next time you find yourself grappling with digestive issues, experiencing mood disorders, gaining or losing too much body weight, battling with skin disorders, feeling fatigued, or under the weather frequently, know that your body may be telling you that your gut bacteria is out of whack and needs some care.

One way to naturally restore your gut balance is by consuming probiotic-rich foods or supplements. There are a lot of great products out there, and the Biohm Total Gut Probiotic is one of the ones we often recommend to our clients, depending on their unique needs or issues. Feel free to use our affiliate code FWDFUEL for 20% off at checkout.

Improving your gut health not only alleviates these symptoms but helps improve your overall health and well-being. Consider incorporating foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, or high-quality probiotic supplements into your daily routine to look and feel the best version of yourself every day. 

Remember that these tell-tale signs of poor gut health could be an indication of other underlying conditions. If probiotics fail to help alleviate bloating or stabilize your moods, it is a good idea to consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible to know if further investigations and treatments are required.

Lastly, if you’ve looking to overcome your gut issues once and for all, we’ve helped countless clients overcome this issue once and for all. If you’re committed to fixing your issues and optimizing your health, virtual nutrition coaching with us can help you achieve your goals. 👉Schedule a free 15-minute strategy call👈 to get started today.💃

REFERENCES

  1. Liu, B. N., Liu, X. T., Liang, Z. H., & Wang, J. H. (2021). Gut microbiota in obesity. World journal of gastroenterology27(25), 3837–3850. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v27.i25.3837
  2. Verna, E. C., & Lucak, S. (2010). Use of probiotics in gastrointestinal disorders: what to recommend?. Therapeutic advances in gastroenterology3(5), 307–319. https://doi.org/10.1177/1756283X10373814
  3. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-brain-gut-connection
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8291023/%23:~:text=Therefore,%2520a%2520healthy%2520gut%2520microbiota,central%2520appetite,%2520leading%2520to%2520obesity.
  5. Wiertsema, S. P., van Bergenhenegouwen, J., Garssen, J., & Knippels, L. M. J. (2021). The Interplay between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System in the Context of Infectious Diseases throughout Life and the Role of Nutrition in Optimizing Treatment Strategies. Nutrients13(3), 886. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030886

About The Author

Michael Bogden

Dr. Bogden completed his residency training at the Cleveland Clinic and has completed two fellowships. He earned his undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from John Carroll University, graduating Cum Laude, and holds a Master of Science degree from Daemen College. He has collaborated with health professionals across the spectrum to form an integrative approach to health, enhancing his knowledge and expertise. Recipient of the Cleveland Clinic Health Educator of the Year Award, Dr. Bogden is passionate about mentoring others. Despite his lifelong advocacy for exercise and nutrition, he encountered unexpected challenges with fatigue and recovery that significantly impacted his training. Through a collaborative effort with his wife, Kylene, a dietitian trained in functional nutrition, he embraced a holistic lifestyle, witnessing a remarkable transformation in his energy levels and overall performance. In his practice, Dr. Bogden integrates a hands-on, spine-based approach to treating his clients along with functional sports nutrition. His experience as a Boston-Marathon qualifier and overcoming mold illness and recovery issues has allowed him to help recreational and elite athletes dealing with a wide variety of challenges. His unique integrative approach empowers his clients to achieve life-changing results and optimal long-term health.

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Family picture of Dr. Michael Bogden and licensed dietitian nutritionist Kylene Bogden

Meet Kylene & Dr. Michael Bogden

Kylene is a licensed dietitian nutritionist board-certified in sports nutrition as well as Integrative and Functional Nutrition. She is a certified food sensitivity LEAP therapist and the Performance Dietitian for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Michael, a physiotherapist with dual fellowships, merges sports nutrition with rehab to enhance client recovery.

Together, they've conquered personal health challenges that hindered their athletic pursuits including mold toxicity, Celiac disease, SIBO, and food sensitivities. Inspired by their journey, they founded a thriving private practice in 2017, now boasting three expert-trained dietitian nutritionists specializing in functional nutrition.

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