Home Digestive Health Do Probiotics Make You Poop?

Do Probiotics Make You Poop?

Written by Jenoye Campbell, LPN

It is said that consuming probiotics make you poop, particularly if you have constipation symptoms.

Further, some people are afraid of taking probiotic supplements or eating fermented foods that contain probiotics, as they believe it may cause them to poop more often than they should.

  • But how exactly do probiotics make you poop?
  • How do probiotics work to affect your bowel movement…
  • and how often should healthy people have bowel movements?

In this article, we will answer those questions and more to help you understand exactly how consuming probiotics affect gut health and bowel movement.

How Probiotics May Affect Your Bowels?

How Often Should I Poop?

If you poop three times a day or have five weekly bowel movements, both are generally considered healthy as long as the stool consistency is normal.

For your bowel movement to be considered normal, you should not be experiencing diarrhea linked to bad bacteria, medication, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms.

Additionally, you can experience constipation, which is defined as passing stool three or fewer times per week.

The Effects Of Probiotics on your Bowel Movement

Probiotics can help you fix digestive issues and increase bowel movements so that you can poop more frequently if you are constipated. However, this is not their primary function.

Probiotics or probiotic bacteria are good bacteria that combine with trillions of other bacteria, fungi, and other microbes within the gastrointestinal tract. 

The Microbiome

Collectively these microorganisms form the gut microbiome that supports good gut health by helping you maintain a robust digestive tract.

The microorganisms in your gut play a huge role in digesting food.

Without them, you can’t digest fiber. Likewise, we also need our microbiome to absorb nutrients from food and then pass the waste as poop.

Short-Term Solutions to Increase Bowel Movements

Laxatives

Taking a laxative is the go-to solution, but wellness activities like increasing exercise and fluid and fiber intake usually improve constipation symptoms. 

Lifestyle Changes and Wellness

Besides taking laxatives, you can integrate the other short-term solutions as part of a holistic, long-term lifestyle change.

Sustaining these changes over time will help you to experience regular bowel movements naturally.

Exercise helps relax the muscles within the digestive system reducing gut transit time.

Drinking adequate water consistently will also ensure constant hydration and that there is always enough fiber in your diet.

Limitations Of Short Term Strategies

The short-term options discussed have limitations. If you are pregnant, nursing, or taking medication, then you must avoid laxatives.

Similarly, you may face challenges doing some exercises if you have mobility challenges, and people with gluten sensitivity, for example, may also have difficulty consuming adequate fibers such as whole grains.

Probiotics and Gut Disease and Acute Conditions

Diarrhea

Diarrhea symptoms include cramps and stomach pain. The condition may be caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection or by taking antibiotic medication. 

Travelers Diarrhea

Infectious or travelers diarrhea occurs when your body reacts to harmful bacteria derived from pathogens.

It is called travelers’ diarrhea since people visiting some foreign countries are easily infected by bad bacteria in particular.

But sometimes, fruits and vegetables become contaminated with salmonella, which you may ingest if the product you eat is not thoroughly cleaned or adequately cooked.

Any undercooked, improperly handled, and improperly stored foods or liquids can cause an infection due to pathogens.

Antibiotic-associated diarrhea

Antibiotic-associated diarrhea occurs due to the killing of the destructive bacteria that are making you ill.

Unfortunately, your good gut bacteria are also killed by the medication, severely compromising the gut microbiome.

Probiotic supplements can help both travelers and antibiotic-associated diarrhea, a high-quality probiotic supplement restores the diversity of good bacteria preventing dangerous bacteria from spreading.

Additionally, studies show some bacteria strains fight certain bacteria and viruses.

Irritable bowel syndrome IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic digestive disorder that may either prevent regular bowel movements (constipation) or cause diarrhea.

IBS patients also experience stomach pain and bloating. Studies have demonstrated that consuming probiotics helps IBS patients by reducing pain and other symptom severity scores.

IBS Study Findings

Findings from the IBS study concluded that taking probiotics helped to:

  • Improve bowel habits
  • Regularize bowel movements
  • Increase stool frequency
  • Improve stool consistency

The results produced after taking probiotics show that they make you poop more if you have IBS

Pregnancy-induced Constipation

Clinical nutrition is essential to supporting women to have a successful pregnancy.

If your digestive system is malfunctioning, this could lead to complications like pregnancy-induced constipation.

Approximately 40% of pregnant women experience constipation during their third trimester.

PIC Study Findings

Hormonal changes, movement reduction, and the physical adjustments imposed on your body by the growing fetus contribute to constipation.

Studies in which women who received probiotics at various pregnancy stages reported:

  • Increased bowel movements
  • More feelings of complete pooping
  • Improve constipation symptoms

Constipation In Children

If you are a parent, you know about kids’ picky eating habits. Children tend to avoid foods rich in nutrients and fiber, they also consume foods high in sodium without hydrating accordingly.

They face high constipation risks due to sensitivities, food allergies, medical conditions, and stress.

Support Your Child’s Gut Health 

Ensure your child eats enough fiber and drinks enough water daily for improved bowel movements.

A high-quality probiotic supplement will support how children digest food.

Probiotic bacteria produce lactic acid, which lowers the pH value in the gastrointestinal tract and speeds up digestion and the gut transit time of consumed foods.

The Bottom Line

Pooping frequently is important for your wellness as you remove waste that may cause pain, discomfort, and appetite loss.

The fact that lifestyle best practices like eating balanced meals, including consuming adequate fluids, getting exercise, and rest all increase your bowel movements is not coincidental.

Medications, diet, illness, pregnancy, or physical limitations can restrict our wellness activities, cause constipation and compromise your microbiome

Research has confirmed that probiotics increased the good gut bacteria essential for your microbiome that improves digestion and fights pathogens that may cause diarrhea.

Your microbiome also helps to strengthen your immune system.

Certain probiotic bacteria promote greater mucus production speeding up the movement of digested food through your colon.

There is no substitute for practicing wellness, but probiotics will help you poop more, especially if your gut health is affected by any of the factors we discussed, among many others, that may cause you to poop less.

Also Read: What is CFU In Probiotics? CFU Meaning, Health Implications

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