Can Probiotics Cause Constipation?

Probiotics are touted for their ability to affect bowel movements and gut health, but do they come with any downsides? Can probiotics create symptoms like constipation or diarrhea? And is there such a thing as taking too many probiotics?

As is true for other dietary supplements, using probiotics without causing unwanted symptoms usually comes down to choosing the right product and dose. When appropriately used, probiotic supplements can actually fight constipation and other digestive symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, and nausea.

Below, we’ll explore the benefits of probiotic foods and supplements to help you make an informed decision about how to approach your health. We’ll also cover alternative options to promote good gut health and give your body what it needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

About Probiotic Supplements

Probiotics are living microorganisms that help restore the balance of “good” bacteria in your body. Commonly found in fermented foods, drinks, and supplements, probiotics survive their journey through the digestive tract and enter the body, thus helping a person maintain a healthy microbiome in their gut or other major organs.

While probiotics are often consumed via foods like yogurt or sauerkraut, they can also be found in the form of probiotic supplements. These are a popular option for those showing signs of poor gut health or overall hoping for a natural wellness boost.

The overall goal is to support the digestive system by naturally supplying it with more of what it needs to fight off pathogens and maintain normal function.

Benefits of Probiotics

Research suggests that probiotics and digestive enzyme supplements can benefit your gut and overall health. By limiting the number of histamine-producing bacteria in your gut, reducing inflammation, and balancing your gut microbiota, probiotics can help relieve symptoms of digestive health conditions.

Below are some of the most promising evidence-based benefits of using a probiotic supplement to be aware of.

Supports Digestive Health

Bacteria and microorganisms are the defenders that keep our gut safe and healthy. But after a period of illness, a course of antibiotics, or a prolonged lack of nutrient-dense foods, our natural soldiers can begin to break down. This can lead to an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria that may negatively impact our health.

Probiotics can restore your gut microbiome to a healthy balance by making up for lost good bacteria. This helps ensure you can properly digest the nutrients from your food and effectively pass it from your body.

Unlike bacteria-based probiotic supplements, RESTORE by Root Brands offers the perks of microbiome regeneration with additional health benefits. This revolutionary formula combats harmful bacteria and fungi while reducing inflammation and overall detoxifying your body for long-lasting results.

RESTORE is formulated with nature’s best powerful ingredients, including things like raspberry extractapple cider vinegar, and D-ribose.

Raspberry extract can have natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help detoxify the body while protecting against immune responses that can be draining. Meanwhile, apple cider vinegar, which contains natural probiotics, boosts the immune system and strengthens gut health.

D-ribose, which has been shown to offer energy-enhancing effects, helps you stay alert and motivated while protecting cardiovascular, skeletal, and central nervous system health. You won’t find a product that supports your body as much as your gut anywhere else.

While taking probiotic supplements can be a good place to start, taking steps to heal your gut from the inside out can offer a sustainable way to kick symptoms to the curb once and for all.

Help with Constipation

Consuming probiotics can help supply your gut with the tools it needs to break down and absorb nutrients from food. The result may be a reduction in the time it takes for food to pass through your intestines, meaning you can produce bowel movements more regularly. You may also experience fewer dry or painful stools when using probiotics.

Help with Diarrhea

Experts believe that taking probiotics while experiencing diarrhea can help reduce symptoms and even reduce how long they last. The beneficial bacteria probiotics contain can likely enter the gut and suppress germs that cause diarrhea. Your body can then fight them off more effectively.

Research also suggests probiotics can help treat irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and other digestive health concerns.

Side Effects of Probiotic Supplement

While taking probiotics comes with a fairly low risk of complications, there may be some side effects to consider. Most resolve on their own. However, if you experience prolonged or severe side effects, stop taking probiotics immediately and consult your doctor.

Below are common side effects of probiotics to remember as you find the right product for your needs.

Gas and Bloating

Some mild gas and bloating are perhaps the most common side effects of probiotics. Because you’re increasing the number of healthy bacteria in your gut, you’re also increasing how much microbial activity occurs.

As your gut microbes feed on undigested food, they may produce gas, leading to an uptick in flatulence and feeling bloated. Luckily, these symptoms usually resolve within a few days as your body adjusts to your probiotic supplement.


While they may result from probiotic supplements, headaches are most often associated with eating probiotic-rich foods. Popular options like sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi can sometimes be high in sodium or biogenic amines, both of which might cause problems for some people.


In some cases, probiotics can reveal underlying problems in your gut and may lead to constipation.

Although taking probiotics for constipation is common, those whose diets lack fiber or who are frequently dehydrated may experience fewer bowel movements despite the presence of probiotic bacteria in their gut.

Acid Reflux

Some probiotics may be harsh on your stomach, create acid reflux symptoms like heartburn and chest pain, or leave a sour taste in your mouth.


Taking probiotics on an empty stomach can sometimes lead to nausea. Likewise, certain probiotic supplements may be formulated with ingredients that are irritating to your stomach.

For instance, those who experience lactose intolerance may feel nauseous after consuming probiotic foods like yogurt, which are rich in bacteria, but also in dairy.


Introducing lots of new healthy bacteria to your body can be great for your overall health, but it might also temporarily increase bowel movements and diarrhea.

Allergic Reactions

Some people can be allergic to ingredients in probiotic supplements or certain probiotic strains and might experience symptoms as a result. Things like extreme bloating and painful or heavy diarrhea might indicate an allergic reaction.

Is Constipation Typical With Probiotics?

Constipation isn’t necessarily typical for those who use probiotics, but it can happen. It usually occurs because of an underlying cause unrelated to probiotic use, though, and requires a direct solution as a result.

For example, a diet that’s low in insoluble fiber might lead your body to take a long time to produce a bowel movement. Increasing the number of bacteria in your gut can’t do much to bypass this problem and may worsen symptoms.

Alternatively, you might miss out on the water your gut needs to break down food and create solid, passable bowel movements. If this is true, you might strain while in the bathroom or feel like you need to exert a lot of effort to pass stool.

These hallmark signs of constipation might already be noticeable even without probiotics, but they can sometimes be exacerbated by adding something new to the mix.

Symptoms of Constipation

Constipation can happen to anyone occasionally and often gets better on its own. But for those with chronic constipation, symptoms may be regular and cause pain, frustration, and other health concerns.

Below are some common symptoms of constipation that might indicate it’s time to take a second look at your gut health practices.


Excess gas or hardened stool in your gut can lead to abdominal pain. You might feel this in lower regions like your intestines, or it might present as pain in the stomach area.


Being constipated can slow down your entire digestive system, which might prevent food in the stomach from reaching your intestines quickly enough. As a result, nausea can pop up, sometimes even escalating to vomiting.

Difficulty or Bleeding During Bowel Movements

Many people who experience constipation struggle to pass their stool when they feel the urge to go. They might push and strain for minutes, only to produce little to nothing. Regularly dry and hard stool can create microtears in the skin around the rectum and anus, causing bleeding that’s often visible when wiping.

Decreased Appetite

Whether from other digestive symptoms or a slowed digestive system, a decreased appetite can be common for those who experience constipation.

How To Relieve Constipation

It’s never fun to feel bloated, backed up, and nauseous. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat constipation, most of which can be done right from the comfort of home.

For those experiencing constipation regularly or whose symptoms don’t respond to methods like these, it’s likely best to visit your doctor. Finding the best ways to avoid making constipation worse and combatting your symptoms head-on sometimes requires medical intervention.

Overall, though, it’s likely that easy solutions like these can help you pass more regular bowel movements and get your gut health back on track.

Increase Fiber

There are two types of fiber to be aware of when increasing your fiber intake: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. While soluble fiber attracts water and helps slow digestion, insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and can help food pass quickly through your digestive tract.

So, eating foods rich in insoluble fiber (such as whole grains, vegetables, and whole wheat) can help you pass stool faster and with less effort. Boosting how much soluble fiber you eat may help you achieve softer bowel movements that don’t cause pain as you pass them.

Exercise More

Doing some type of movement you enjoy regularly can also help keep your digestive system moving. Try to engage in some form of activity around three to four times per week for about 15-20 minutes at a time to naturally treat digestive problems.

Drink More Water

Your body needs a lot of water daily to stay healthy and functional. Too little water means your gut has nothing to draw from as it digests your food. Experts recommend drinking around half of your weight (in pounds) in ounces daily. So, a 150-pound adult might need around 75 ounces of water each day.