Need More Probiotics in Your Diet? (5 Symptoms You Might)

Fitness & Nutrition

Dr. Edison de Mello

Some of the bacteria found in your gut are beneficial to your overall health, while others are detrimental. When you don’t have enough probiotics – or bacteria that are good for you – in your body, you run a higher risk of developing digestive issues, skin problems, immune system weakness, and more.

How do you know if you aren’t getting enough probiotics? Here are five signs that you might be suffering from a probiotic deficiency. You may also visit activatedyou to learn more.

1. Digestive System Problems

If you feel gassy, bloated, or constipated on a regular basis, that’s an indication the bad bacteria in your digestive tract outnumber the good.1 You could take an antacid to address issues like acid reflux or gas, but you’re basically just dealing with the symptom and not the root cause.

2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a particularly brutal condition affecting the digestive system, and studies indicate that disturbances in gut bacteria are a contributing factor.2 One example of a bacterial disturbance is the overuse of antibiotics, which can eradicate the beneficial bacteria that are needed in order to maintain proper digestive functioning. Bad bacteria can cause intestinal infections that can lead to the development of IBS.

3. Depression

When most people think about probiotics, the first things that typically come to mind are products that are designed to increase beneficial bacteria in order to help the gut. But these bacteria can also have an affect on your mental state. If you find yourself depressed or in a sort of “fog” on a regular basis, part of the problem could be an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in your digestive system. The gut plays a key role in producing serotonin, which is a chemical messenger known as a neurotransmitter. If you don’t have enough serotonin in your body, you might be at a higher risk of developing certain mental issues.3

4. Skin Problems

Acne, eczema, and psoriasis are just a few of the skin conditions that have been linked to an unhealthy gut. An imbalance between beneficial and harmful bacteria can have wide-ranging implications for the rest of the body – and even affect your appearance.

5. Migraines

Migraine headaches are not the run-of-the-mill annoyances that go away after you take a couple of aspirin. These are major headaches that, in some instances, can be debilitating. Nearly 40 million people suffer a migraine at one time or another, and about 4 million people have to deal with this condition every day.4

Gut health is being closely examined as a potential contributing factor to migraines. Specifically, researchers are looking at “leaky gut,” a condition also known as intestinal permeability. When the walls of the intestines are weak, toxic materials can enter the bloodstream. The immune system then reacts, causing a response that can trigger a migraine. Long-term use of over-the-counter pain medications can increase the chances you will develop leaky gut.

If you notice any of these signs of a probiotic deficiency, talk to your doctor about ways to rectify the situation. He or she may recommend medications to deal with the problem, and may also recommend probiotic capsules to help replenish the amount of beneficial bacteria in your system.

Sources:

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3983973/

2 http://www.aboutibs.org/gut-bacteria-and-ibs.html

3 http://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1003726

4 http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/06/20/migraines-and-fatigue-may-start-in-gut-experts-say.html