Probiotics for acid reflux has proven very effective as beneficial bacteria can naturally treat heartburn symptoms. However, in some cases, probiotics seem to cause acid reflux. So is heartburn a probiotics side effect?
Many people who suffer from acid reflux might try different approaches to find relief; at times they might feel better, but only temporary. It’s always disappointing when heartburn symptoms return.
However, the recommendations in this post has proven effective for many. I hope they can bring give long-term relief for you too.
How to use probiotics for acid refluxI took me years to discover the many clinical studies showing that probiotics can be one of the most effective ways to combat acid reflux and a wide variety of other gastrointestinal disorders. When I started consuming probiotics for my acid reflux it took just a few weeks for my problems to disappear. It was unbelievable!
Probiotics is not the only treatment available, but it can be a cornerstone to control acid reflux and other gut problems; probiotics is also very safe. If you suffer from heartburn, your main goal should be to restore balance in your gut and this is exactly what probiotics do best.
Adding probiotic bacteria daily support digestion and assimilation of food. But also important is that adding probiotic bacteria can help control the helicobacter bacteria that for many people are a cause of acid reflux symptoms.
What kind of probiotics for acid reflux?
- Best sources of natural probiotics are fermented foods like natto, homemade sauerkraut, and fermented vegetables. Try eating a few tablespoons of sauerkraut or fermented vegetables daily. The juice is superb for your stomach.
- Homemade yogurt and kefir from raw milk is extremely beneficial. Yogurt is fast and very simple to make at home. The probiotics in yogurt is great for acid reflux.
- Fresh cabbage juice for heartburn works marvelously because it stimulates the production of stomach acid. Many acid reflux sufferers have too little stomach acid. Take a few tablespoons before meals.
- Two of the best probiotic supplements for acid reflux I have found so far found are Dr Mercola’s Complete Probiotics and Bio-Kult. Both contain many different bacteria species and strains.
Can probiotics cause acid reflux as a side effect?
A few people report a worsening of acid reflux, pain and other symptoms when consuming probiotics. However, we just claimed that probiotics is an effective treatment, not the cause of acid reflux.
Why then do some people feel a worsening of their heartburn symptoms when taking probiotics? There are a few possible explanations for this.
Probiotics promote cleansing of your digestive tract and this process often produces symptoms like gas, constipation, bloating and others. This is completely harmless, in fact beneficial. However, if the reaction becomes stronger it can cause more sever symptoms called a Herxheimer Reaction. What is the Herxheimer Reaction?
- A Herxheimer reaction means feeling worse before feeling better (healing crisis)
This seem to be a major reason why most people experience a worsening of symptoms when starting to eat probiotics.
This is also known as a healing crisis. The body’s reaction when large amounts of bad bacteria, virus or fungus are being killed off. If the body cannot eliminate the waste and toxins quick enough, the symptoms becomes stronger. Again, the worsening of symptoms do not indicate failure of the treatment. Quite the opposite.
2. Yeast overgrowth
Probiotics strongly promote the destruction of Candida or yeast overgrowth and this can in some people create a strong reaction. Probiotics and yeast live in the same environment. But when you add probiotics to your diet the yeast will start to die off and can temporarily cause symptoms. It usually takes a few days or even weeks before symptoms start to subside. Much depends on how extensive is the candida overgrowth.
3. Build up of proteins in your stomach
If you have problems with digestion, the stomach may not break down all the protein, but some may remain in your stomach and begin to build up. When you start taking probiotics (and/or enzymes), it will help digestion to return to normal and promote the removal of undigested protein from your body. This can cause a “side effect” of temporary worsening of symptoms.
“I feel worse when taking probiotics, what can I do?”
Try lowering the probiotic dose to avoid a worsening of acid reflux symptoms. If you have a lot to clean out you might need to go very slow with probiotics. Dissolve one capsule in a glass of water of juice. Drink a little now and then. The glass should be empty at the end of the day. Increase the dose gradually in a pace that feel comfortable. If a supplement is too strong, eating probiotic yogurt or kefir seems to work better for some people. In any case, if probiotics for acid reflux feel wrong, then listen to your body and stop.
NOTE: If hiatal hernia is the cause of acid reflux, then there are simple ways to correct it by pushing the stomach back. (Hiatal hernia is a condition in which the stomach is stuck up in the hole of the diaphragm.)
Root cause of acid reflux
Acid reflux (or heartburn) can occur if food and acid from your stomach moves upward, the wrong way. Acid reflux is a condition in which some acid for some reason is “leaking” out of your stomach and does not remain. The main reason for this is that the muscular valve that should keep the stomach contents from getting out from your stomach is faulty.
The helicobacter pylori bacteria cause low-level inflammation of your stomach lining and this can also create many of the symptoms of acid reflux. Showing the importance of probiotics to control bad bacteria.
For many it gets worse during the night and often occurs in connection with certain activities. Diet and nutrition play an important role in acid reflux. Many people suffer from food allergies and many sufferers don’t even know they have this problem. Here are a few reasons that can trigger heartburn:
- Eating a large, heavy meal
- Bending over
- Too much running or jumping
- Lying down; for many it gets worse when lying on their back
- All nicotine products
Heartburn is a very common symptom; this is a burning feeling from your stomach often reaching your chest and throat. Some other symptoms include:
- The feeling of food stuck in your throat
- Tightness in your throat
- Dental problems
- Bad breath
Avoid regular table salt
Instead use high quality sea salt like Himalayan salt. Sea salt will provide your body with chloride needed to create hydrochloric acid in your stomach. In addition, sea salt contains many trace minerals.
Acid reflux is not at disease
Many people still believe that heartburn is a disease that causes excess stomach acid to be produced. However, more than 16,000 medical articles point to the fact that decreasing stomach acid does not solve the problem, only the symptoms.
In fact, suppressing acid in your stomach can weaken your body’s ability to kill helicobacter bacteria making your condition worse. It seems that for many this condition is caused by to little stomach acid being produced.
Adding ginger works very well according to some studies.
Probiotics for acid reflux works, but more is needed
U.S. News & World Report lists as ways to relieve heartburn:
- Avoid heartburn-triggering foods
- Stay upright for a few hours after you eat
- Eat smaller meals
- Go easy on caffeine and alcohol, and avoid cigarettes
- Don’t eat too quickly
- Wear looser-fitting clothes
- Find ways to relax
- Lose any extra pounds
- Bend with your knees rather than bending at the waist
- Elevate the head of your bed
For immediate relief—sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
- Mix a teaspoon pure baking soda (without aluminum as Arm & Hammer or Bob’s Red Mill) a glass of water and drink it on an empty stomach. It’s amazing how fast you feel better.
Probiotics for acid reflux is one of the best natural treatments available. It is healthy, natural, relatively low-cost and has in many studies proven effective for many gastrointestinal problems without any side effects.
But to reach optimal and lasting results sufferers should work out a complete strategy involving diet and lifestyle. (Hiatal hernia can be a cause for acid reflux but is not dealt with in this post.) By doing this many have learned to control most symptoms of heartburn; you can too!