Do Probiotics Help with Bloating? Food and Side Effects

Do Probiotics Help with Bloating Food and Side Effects

Do you ever wonder what causes bloating?

Bloating occurs in the stomach when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with gas or air. When you feel bloated, it feels like you have eaten a large meal. Sometimes, it can be excruciating and uncomfortable, and feel tightness, pressure, and abdominal swelling. It is when probiotics come in handy.

Wondered, do probiotics help with bloating, here’s all you need to know.

Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria and yeast) that benefit your body when ingested (1). Not all the microbes our body carries are helpful to us; some can be harmful. But, beneficial microbes, like probiotics, help to control the potentially harmful ones.

Most probiotic products are oral supplements made to be consumed in your GI tract.

What Are the Causes of Bloating?

probiotics help with bloating

The feeling of fullness, tightness, or discomfort in the abdominal area is known as bloating. The pressure can range from discomfort to pain, depending on the cause. It is most commonly associated with gas, but other factors can also cause it. These are-

  • Poor food choices: The type of food you eat can be one of the main factors leading to bloating. Sometimes, your body develops intolerance to the food you may not have had an issue with in the past. Your body can view that food as a “foreign” substance and cannot process it. As a result, it triggers a reaction in your immune system that yields symptoms such as bloating, pain, or diarrhea.
  • Digestive issues: When something is not quite right in the digestive system, it can affect the whole digestive system, causing bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.

The two most common issues with digestion problems are:

  1. Constipation: It occurs when the body cannot pass the waste through the large intestine, and you struggle to have a bowel movement.
  1. Acid reflux: It occurs when the stomach acid partially travels backward into the esophagus. It is also known as heartburn.
  • Food allergies: Food allergies can also involve bloating as a side effect. So, even if you are unaware of any allergies, you might have developed a new food allergy, prompting your stomach discomfort.

In particular, gluten and lactose can sometimes trigger the symptoms of food intolerance.

  • Imbalanced gut bacteria (Dysbiosis): Your gut microbes consist of a mix of good microorganisms that help with digestion. But with the imbalance of microbes, either a low level of good bacteria or a high level of harmful bacteria, you might experience side effects such as bloating.
  • Eating fast: Eating very fast can cause bloating for two reasons.

First, when the food is ingested too quickly, you swallow each bite before your saliva can adequately mix with the chewed food. Saliva contains a crucial digestive enzyme, amylase, that helps to break down carbohydrates. Eating quickly does not give amylase enough time to start the process to begin that process, causing bloating as a side effect.

Second, you are more likely to swallow more air with your food when you eat too fast, which can build up gas and cause bloating.

Can Probiotics Reduce Bloating?

Probiotics may help reduce or eliminate bloating if it stems from a gut microbe imbalance. It can also help with bloating if you have specific digestive problems by working to recover your body to get a healthy and balanced gut microbiome.

The purpose of probiotics is to carry more beneficial bacteria to the gut, helping maintain a healthy, diverse microbial population. Once ingested, the probiotics can join the rest of the microbiome, fermenting fiber and supporting digestion.

For people with digestive issues and functional constipation, the probiotic has helped to increase bowel movement frequency (2). It relieves the bloating and pain that are often associated with the symptom.

In a study, taking probiotics regularly has shown relief in IBS symptoms. It has helped in reducing the number of bowel movements per day in the people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (3).

Probiotic Food

Natural probiotics are present in fermented food like yogurt, sauerkraut, and aged cheese. Regularly eating this type of food can improve the diversity of the good microbes and the composition of the microbiome, and have a positive impact on gut health (4).

To get the extensive range of probiotic bacteria and potential benefits for the guts, try to include different probiotic foods in your diet.

Fermented Food with Probiotic

  • Live yogurt
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Aged cheddar cheese
  • Kefir (fermented milk drink)
  • Miso (fermented soybean paste)

Which Probiotics are Useful for Bloating?

There are different probiotic supplements, and it can be difficult to figure out which are the best probiotics for bloating. If you are aiming for decrease in bloating, there are few different probiotic strains you should look out for (5).

  • Lactobacillus strain- These are present in yogurt and fermented vegetables.
  • Bifidobacterium strain- These are also present in similar food, as well as Kefir and buttermilk.

Aside from bloating, a probiotic supplement can also ease digestive conditions like constipation, diarrhea, leaky gut and symptoms of IBS.

Can Probiotics Cause Bloating?

Yes, a probiotic can sometimes cause bloating. This usually happens when you first start taking the probiotics and your body adjusts to the new microorganisms. However, as your body adjusts, these side effects generally take a few days or weeks to clear up.

Bloating may also happen if the probiotic you are taking is not a right fit for you.


Bloating is an uncomfortable feeling. No one likes to feel the pain, tightness, and the discomfort in the abdomen from bloating. Dietary habits, hormonal changes, stress, food intolerance or other digestive issues such as constipation can affect digestion and your gut microbiome- resulting in bloating.

Now that we know the answer to do probiotics help with bloating, it’s a good idea to find the right probiotic product to maintain gut health.

For better digestive health, probiotics help reinstate the gut microbiome to a healthy balance. If you suffer from gut irritation due to bloating, it is time to take a prebiotic dietary supplement for bloat relief.

Image Source – freepik

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