When should you take a probiotic?

Probiotic Food

Can probiotics solve all your health concerns? The truth is, probiotics are one of the most complex natural supplements because each probiotic varies greatly from one another. It’s not as simple as picking a probiotic that your best friend recommended because it worked perfectly for them. When it comes to probiotics, choosing the best one depends on your unique symptoms. Probiotics, or “good bacteria”, are living species that live naturally in our digestive tract. Each bacteria has a different effect on your body, so we need a good balance of various species to have a healthy gut.

When your gut bacteria become unbalanced, you may experience symptoms such as

an upset stomach, weight changes, difficulty sleeping, food intolerances, diarrhea, or constipation. When this occurs, you may need to supply your body with a healthy dose of good bacteria.

You may need to take a probiotic if you find yourself in the following conditions

After you take a round of antibiotics

Antibiotics are prescription drugs that wipe out the bacteria in your gut, good or bad. Because they kill the good bacteria, you may notice an increase in digestive symptoms after taking a round of antibiotics. The most common symptom is antibiotic-associated diarrhea. The good news is that you can preserve your gut bacteria for whole body health by taking a probiotic along with your antibiotics, and for a short period afterward.

By taking probiotics along with antibiotics, you prevent healthy gut microbes from being lost, while mitigating antibiotics' side effects. There are many high-dose probiotic formulas created specifically to replenish gut bacteria. Make sure to take them at least 3 hours before or after antibiotics, so that they have the best chance of surviving.

Best choice: Genestra HMF Antibiotic Care 14 caps

To combat Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Many people can agree that UTIs are one of the most uncomfortable infections to have. When unfavorable bacteria grow in the urinary tract, the infection may result in symptoms like a persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation when urinating, passing frequent but small amounts of urine, or cloudy urine. When left untreated, UTIs can progress to a more severe kidney infection.

UTIs are conventionally treated with antibiotics, though some may want to avoid frequent use by choosing an alternative instead. Probiotics can also be used in conjunction with an antibiotic, to ensure optimal results. A probiotic called Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been shown to be effective in preventing and fighting UTIs. This bacteria can fight pathogens in the vaginal and urinary tract by preventing them from sticking to the track and multiplying.

Best choice: Genuine Health Probiotic Gut Health Women’s UTI 30 capsules

When you have reoccurring yeast infections

Yeast infections are another extremely unpleasant infection. They occur when there is an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida living in the vaginal tract. Common symptoms include itchiness and discharge that resembles a cottage cheese-like texture. If yeast infections are reoccurring frequently, it may be a sign that your vaginal flora is imbalanced.

A healthy vaginal microbiota should have varying quantities of different Lactobacillus bacteria. They work together to fight pathogens that may grow in the vaginal tract. A probiotic formula containing high doses of many Lactobacillus species can help prevent and fight yeast infections. If you are currently fighting the infection, using a probiotic suppository can distribute good bacteria to the vaginal tract faster.

Best choice: NFH Flora SAP 10 capsules, Renew Life Ultimate Flora VS for Women Probiotic 50 Billion 60 Veggie Caps

Are probiotics safe?

Although probiotics can improve many unpleasant symptoms, they can sometimes cause more harm than good. Before taking any probiotics, make sure to consult with your healthcare practitioner so they can help you choose the best option.

Author

Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.

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