Probiotic Die Off: How Long Does Die-Off from Probiotics Last?

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There's no doubt that probiotics are essential when it comes to maintaining good gut health. They can help to restore the natural balance of your gut microbiome, support digestion, and boost immune function. Additionally, when they are mood-focused probiotic strains like ours at Lifted Naturals (PS 128, B Longum 1714, L Rhamnosus GG, and more!), you can expect an added boost in mood and wellbeing!

But what happens when you start taking probiotics, and you experience unpleasant symptoms known as probiotic die-off? If you don’t have a healthy gut to begin with, you may feel bloated, gassy, or even experience headaches, fatigue, or even mild body aches. These can all be symptoms of probiotic die-off, and they can be a real nuisance. In this post, we'll explore what probiotic die-off is, what causes it, how long die-off from probiotics lasts, and how to avoid it.

What is Probiotic Die-Off?

Probiotic die-off, also sometimes called Herxheimer reaction, is a temporary worsening of symptoms that can occur when you introduce probiotics to your body. These symptoms occur due to ‘shift in balance’ from the new, good bacteria entering your system. The gut health ‘shift’ can cause a range of symptoms from mild to severe, causing your body to feel overtaxed –temporarily.

What Causes Probiotic Die-Off?

The cause of probiotic die-off is the sudden introduction of new good bacteria, which repopulate the gut and alter its balance. This alteration can cause disruption of the gut microbiome and affect the digestive functions. When the harmful bacteria are taken over, they release excess toxins, and sometimes our body can struggle to cope with the shift, which explains the cause of die-off from probiotics. A healthy gut is sometimes a process to achieve!

How Long Does Die-off From Probiotics Last?

The length of probiotic die-off symptoms can vary from a few days to several weeks, depending on your gut health, and how severe the imbalance in your gut was before starting the probiotics. The good news is that these reactions are generally short-lived, and most people begin to feel better after 3-7 days. If the symptoms are very uncomfortable, we recommend stopping your dose, giving your body a few days to recalibrate, and then starting again much slower (see the next paragraph to learn more about that!)

As your body adjusts, and the microbiome becomes more balanced, you should suffer fewer, or less severe, symptoms of die-off.

How to Avoid Probiotic Die-Off?

The best way to avoid experiencing these unpleasant symptoms is to start with a low dose of probiotics and proceed gradually. For example, instead of starting with one full capsule, open the capsule and start with ¼ of the amount or even ⅛ if you consider yourself sensitive or nervous to try new things. After a few days, you can move up your dose. Slowly, taking your time to adjust, and always staying in tune with the signals from your body.

At Lifted Naturals, all of our mood probiotics come in capsules which can be opened, so you can custom-create your own dose!

Healthy Gut: Gut Health

Probiotics can be a beneficial addition to your health routine, but it's important to start slow and pay attention to your body's response. If you do experience probiotic die off symptoms, don't be discouraged – this is often a sign that the supplement is needed. With some patience and self-care, you can navigate that new gut bacteria and enjoy the many benefits of a healthy gut microbiome. Remember: go slow and always listen and pay attention to your body.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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