When it comes to your health, one aspect that many women overlook is probiotics. This is likely due to a misunderstanding or a lack of knowledge of what probiotics do for the body. In an effort to promote healthy living, here’s everything you need to know about probiotics including what they are, the benefits that you can receive from them, and any side effects that they may have.
Probiotics: What Are They?
One major misconception that people have about probiotics is that they’re actually germs. This is likely because probiotics are bacteria. While a good deal of bacteria can be bad for you, gut bacteria, which probiotics fall under, actually work to make you healthy.
What do probiotics do? The category of bacteria that are recognized as probiotics helps keep your gut healthy. Because of its relationship with your gut, many doctors typically suggest adding in probiotics to help your digestion if you’re suffering from digestive problems.
While scientists are still researching probiotics to determine exactly how they keep your gut healthy, they have discovered a few things about them. One of the ways that they help your body is that they can replace good bacteria in your body when you take something like antibiotics that can get rid of the good bacteria. They’ve also been shown to help keep a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria that exists within your body.
Types of Probiotics
When you want the best probiotics for women, then it’s a good idea to know which types of probiotics there are. While there are actually many different types of probiotics, most can be classified into two categories: lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.
Lactobacillus actually comes from yogurt, fermented foods, and is the most common category of probiotics. It’s used to help combat diarrhea as well as those who suffer from lactose intolerance.
The other category, bifidobacterium, is primarily found in dairy products. It’s primarily used to help Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other digestive problems.
What are Raw Probiotics?
One category of probiotics that might interest you are called raw probiotics. These are the probiotics that stem from whole foods. They’re harvested in such a way that offers a high-potent strain of probiotics. These probiotics are also gender and age-specific. Because of its potency, the raw probiotic supplements offer the same kind of effects that you would receive if you were getting it from the food that you ate.
Since not everyone can eat the foods that specific probiotics come from, the raw supplements could be the best option for them to introduce those probiotics into their bodies.
Benefits of Probiotics for Women
There are a few benefits that you can receive when you choose to include probiotic supplements into your daily routine. Probiotics for women’s benefits typically revolve around regulating and making your digestive process more efficient. One way that probiotics help the gut is by helping food move through your bowel system. It does this by stimulating and affecting nerves that are responsible for gut movement.
Yet probiotics have been shown to help the following conditions.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, are eager to find some relief for their discomfort. Probiotics can offer that relief. IBS is a chronic disease. It often causes pain in the abdominal region and can even change how regular you are in regards to your bowel habits. IBS can also cause gas, bloating, constipation, and even diarrhea.
While the cause of IBS isn’t known, many believe that gut bacteria could play a factor. Eating certain foods can sometimes trigger an episode, too.
Probiotics can potentially help alleviate IBS. When IBS occurs, the amount of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are lowered. With probiotics present, it can keep those levels balanced and maintain gut and bowel efficiency and function. Another reason that probiotics can help IBS is that the medications that are typically given to treat the symptoms of IBS can decrease the number of gut bacteria in the body. With probiotic supplements, the number can be maintained and keep your gut healthy.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Another disease that probiotics can benefit and help alleviate is inflammatory bowel disease. This is a disease that causes your intestines to become inflamed. Researchers are starting to believe that the problem may rest with the immunity system targeting something in the body that is actually harmless. It could be food, gut bacteria, or a virus that doesn’t cause any actual harm.
The symptoms of IBD can be quite unpleasant. It can cause abdominal pain, fever, weight loss, diarrhea, and a loss of appetite. For those who suffer from IBD, you may be able to find relief with probiotics. Because the immune system supposedly keys in on bacteria or something else in the gut or bowl, probiotics can help bolster the immune system and improve gut bacteria. By increasing the number of healthy gut bacteria, your immune system is less likely to target the body and cause the symptoms of IBD.
For those who suffer from infectious diarrhea, probiotics may also be helpful. Diarrhea that is infectious typically stems from viruses, parasites, or harmful bacteria. Probiotics can help improve infectious diarrhea by increasing the number of healthy bacteria in the gut. This bacteria can help fight off the bad bacteria that is causing diarrhea.
On the subject of diarrhea, probiotics can also help diarrhea that is caused by antibiotics. It does this by reinforcing the number of good bacteria inside the gut.
Some of the other benefits that you can expect with probiotics help with skin conditions like eczema. Those who suffer from eczema have different gut bacteria to those who don’t have eczema. While there are many different types of eczema, the common type is associated with the immune system. Sometimes it can also be made worse due to environmental factors.
However, since the main cause of eczema rests with the immune system, probiotics could be an effective method for reducing or removing eczema. Bolstering the immune system is what probiotics do best. With a healthier immune system, eczema breakouts are less common.
Probiotics for women’s health that revolve around urinary health can also be effective in treating urinary health problems. Those who suffer from UTIs and other urinary problems have been found to find some relief after using probiotics. Certain strands of probiotics have been shown to help prevent UTIs from occurring in the first place. It does this by producing a certain strand of bacteria that protects against the bacteria that causes a UTI.
For those who suffer from colds and allergies, probiotics may also help. Caused by viruses and bad bacteria, colds and allergies can be alleviated by the introduction of good gut bacteria. With an improvement of the immune system, you’re better suited to fighting off colds and allergies.
One last benefit that you can experience with probiotics is improved oral health. Probiotics can decrease the amount of plaque in the mouth. By introducing the right kind of bacteria into the mouth, it can actually prevent the bacteria that causes plaque from forming.
Do you suffer from bad breath? Then probiotics may be able to help that, too. According to a study, those who took probiotics after using an antimicrobial mouthwash had reduced bad breath. For the comfort of all, including yourself, it may be worth it to add in probiotic supplements to your diet to prevent bad breath from occurring.
Although further research needs to be conducted, another study found that taking probiotics can reduce the chance of developing oral cancer. Whether you’re a smoker or have taken other forms of oral drugs, you’re at risk of developing cancer. Yet by taking probiotics, you can help stave off cancer and stay healthy.
Gingivitis is another oral disease that plagues many men and women. It can cause swollen gums, sensitive teeth, and cause your gums to swell. Gum disease can start a chain of events that can lead to other oral problems. By taking probiotics, you can reduce the unpleasant symptoms of gingivitis.
Side Effects of Probiotics
In general, probiotics are thought to be safe for men and women. However, probiotics for women over 50 may be different from those who are 20. Both can benefit from taking probiotics, but the type and the dosage may differ. When you want to help regulate your digestion or alleviate any of the problems listed above, then you should first speak with your doctor. They can offer you a better understanding of the dosage of probiotics that you should have daily.
Despite being safe, probiotics can sometimes have minor side effects. Some of those side effects may be diarrhea, gas, an upset stomach, and bloating. It’s also possible to be allergic to probiotics.
Different Methods for Taking Probiotics
Probiotics come in various forms. You can receive them naturally through certain foods. You can also reinforce your diet with supplements. Those supplements can come in capsules, powders, and liquids. Depending on the condition that you’re taking probiotics for, you may find that one form of probiotic is better than another.
The most common way to receive your probiotics is through capsules. It’s convenient and easy to take. You can always speak with your doctor about the best method for you.
For those who want to include probiotics into their healthy lifestyle, you may wonder how often you should take them. That’s dependent upon the reason for taking them. If you suffer from digestive problems or you just want to improve your overall health, then you can benefit from taking probiotics daily or every other day. For the length, you’ll want to take them indefinitely.
Yet if you want to take probiotics as a way to help restore your good gut bacteria after a round of antibiotics, then you may only need to take probiotics for a few weeks.
Probiotics can often be taken for disease or condition-specific problems. To ensure you receive the best possible results from your probiotics, then speak with your doctor. From them, you’ll be able to purchase and start taking the type of probiotic that can benefit you the most.
To bolster overall and gut health, try probiotics today.