Are you wondering what happens when you stop taking probiotics? If so – keep reading!
Have you ever wondered what happens when you stop taking probiotics? If you’ve ever had an issue with your gut, then you’ve probably had a run-in or two with probiotics. Though it’s difficult to see the visual impact of these wonderful little pills, your gut will certainly be able to tell the difference if you choose to integrate probiotics into your daily routine.
Said to contribute to gut health by promoting healthy digestion, enhancing immunity, helping to manage bloat, and keeping the gut moving, it’s unsurprising that probiotics are becoming increasingly popular with individuals suffering from IBS or other gut disorders. But at some point you may need to stop taking them, so it’s good to know what happens when you stop taking probiotics.
However, while you may have read plenty about taking probiotics, it can be trickier to find information about what happens when you STOP them. Now, just because you come off probiotics doesn’t mean that all hell will break loose – so don’t panic! But what does happen? Will your gut gradually worsen? Will the positive effects from the probiotic use remain?
Well, let’s find out, shall we? What happens when you stop taking probiotics…
What exactly do probiotics do?
Before we delve into what happens when you stop taking probiotics, we thought we’d briefly talk about how probiotics affect your body. As it’s essentially a supplement, your body takes on the good bacteria from probiotics and the gut begins to adapt.
Though it might seem complex, all probiotics do is introduce more good bacteria into the gut that can help enzymes to break down nutrients. A protected gut lining = a happy gut lining, and probiotics can help to maintain and improve the gut lining with some time and effort. Which is why you might be worried about what happens when you stop taking probiotics.
In case you were wondering why this might be necessary, if the gut becomes unbalanced in favour of nasty bad bacteria, then digestive issues and general health problems can set in. Obviously, we want to avoid this, so we try and rebalance the gut to reach its optimal state again!
So, what happens when you stop taking probiotics?
Now that you know why we take probiotics, we’ll explain what happens when you stop taking probiotics. Essentially, when you stop taking probiotics, your microbiome changes. As you might expect, if you stop putting something into your body that changes your gut’s environment, it’s gradually going to revert to its natural state!
As probiotics create a different balance in your gut to what you would naturally produce, when you remove probiotics, the base issues will still exist. So, whilst probiotics will help to alleviate some of the effects caused by gut imbalances, they’re unable to cure them.
As helpful as probiotics are, they’re simply not a long-term solution, and should be used alongside other gut management options such as an increase in dietary fibre and a decrease in the consumption of alcohol and red meat.
At the end of the day, gut health is a difficult thing to get right. As it’s such a complex issue that can have multiple fixes, it’s always best to try and address the root cause of the problem than to pop a band aid over the issue. So, as much as probiotics may seem like a miracle pill, they’re not considered to be a long-term solution. In short, what happens when you stop taking probiotics… is that your symptoms may return.
Though this might seem a bit doom and gloom, you won’t notice any adverse side effects from stopping probiotics. Though you’re no longer adding good bacteria into your system, you won’t see any horrendous withdrawal symptoms, so don’t worry about that! Just keep your fibre intake high, keep eating healthily and you shouldn’t have any nasty side effects.
How long will it take for my gut bacteria to return to their previous levels if I stop taking probiotics?
Another important question when considering what happens when you stop taking probiotics.
If you stop taking probiotics, your gut bacteria levels are likely to return to their previous levels within one to three weeks. Though for some it may take slightly longer, the benefits of probiotics will usually disappear within this timescale.
Are there any alternatives to probiotics?
Though probiotics do have their place, they’re not a fix-all supplement!
If you’re looking to try and balance your gut, it may be worth trying prebiotics instead. Though these aren’t quite as powerful as probiotics because they don’t ADD to your gut bacteria, they do help to feed that existing good bacteria so that you have a better chance of balancing that pesky microbiome.
We hope that this has answered all of those burning questions about what happens when you stop taking probiotics!
Though you should be safe to stop using probiotics at any time, we don’t recommend coming off a prescribed dose for any medical condition without first consulting your doctor. You never know when you might be doing more harm than good. So, stay safe and stay healthy!