What Happens When You Stop Taking Probiotics?
Gut health has been a trending topic. From digestion to immune function, gut health plays an important role in our overall well-being. The gut is the digestive tract that runs from the mouth to the rectum. Gut health, on the other hand, refers to the overall well-being of your GI tract.
What exactly probiotics do?
First, let us talk about what probiotics can do before we go to what happens if you stop taking them.
Probiotics are live bacterial cultures that naturally live in the gut.
They are also found in some foods that you eat and in supplemental forms. Since they’re essentially supplements and naturally found in foods, your body absorbs them and your gut adapts them. Probiotics are said to contribute to gut health by enhancing the immune system, promoting healthy digestions, keeping your gut moving, and preventing gut disorders such as IBS and IBD.
Regular intake of probiotics helps adds good bacteria to the gut. They aid with gas, bloating, and constipation. Your gut begins to adapt to the probiotics after 24 to 72 hours after taking them. For some, results are instant, whereas for others, depending on their microbiome, they may notice improvement after a few days.
The problem is that eventually, you may have to stop taking them. Will your gut gradually deteriorate or will the beneficial effects of probiotics persist? Do not panic! Just because you stop taking probiotics does not mean everything will fall apart. You must be aware of what happens when you stop taking them.
What happens when you stop taking them?
When you stop taking probiotics, your microbiome changes. In other words, once you stop putting something that alters your gut’s natural environment, it will gradually return to its natural state.
Taking probiotic supplements is not a long-term solution to your digestive issues. They may help ease the symptoms of gut imbalances, but they can’t cure them. As always, it’s best to address the root cause of the problem.
After stopping probiotics, how long will my gut bacteria take to return to normal levels?
Taking probiotic supplements can be very helpful, but they are not a long-term solution to your problems. Probiotics should be used alongside other gut-health management practices such as a well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
After you stop taking probiotics, within three days, your microbiome will reset to whatever diet you are currently eating. For some, it may take slightly longer for the benefits of probiotics to disappear. Now, if you happen to leave your probiotics behind when you go on a vacation, and you have been eating and drinking less healthy, your microbiome will adjust to a poor diet faster. Unless you are eating the best foods, you may lose the protection probiotic supplements has to offer. This could contribute to inflammation in the gut leading to GI issues and other chronic health conditions.
If you are looking into keeping your gut healthy, try adding prebiotics into your diet. They may not add healthy bacteria to your gut, but they help feed the existing bacteria. You can also make probiotic-rich foods a part of your regular healthy diet to help replenish the gut with healthy bacteria.