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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
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Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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I started taking probiotics about two weeks ago, starting with

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I started taking probiotics about two weeks ago, starting with one capsule and increased by half a pill every 3 or 4 days. The probiotic I currently take is GNC Probiotic Complex 1, which is primarily L. Acidophilus.

Today was the first day I took two, and I noticed several hours later my stomach felt distended to the point it was notably protruded and my pants felt tighter. I didn't eat anything out of the norm today, although I have had stomach ache the last few days. I tried other probiotics in the past (primarily L. Bifidum, the brand was Align) and suffered from flu symptoms (Herx reaction?). I had to stop taking them. While I don't have those symptoms on my new probiotics, I was curious if this feeling of distention is from increasing the dosage by half a pill. I have IBS and am taking them to have better gut health. If it is from the probiotics, is it temporary, or do I have some type of issue? I have been tested for Celiac, and took a stool sample and blood test for white blood cell count, which came back normal.

Any insight you can provide would be appreciated.
Hi--can you tell me about the stomach ache?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I woke up feeling gassy, but didnt' have to actually use the bathroom. Then an hour or two later, I'd have a few bouts of diarrhea and then feel fine. This isn't too rare for me, it happens every 4-6 weeks. The "episode" of constipation/diarrhea lasts maybe a week. This happened way before I started any probiotic.

OK. Obviously not another Herxheimer reaction and perhaps this could be from probiotics but I really don't think the increase by half a pill would suddenly cause this. It sounds more like just part of your IBS and nothing related to the probiotics themselves. I think this will resolve in a day or so but if it doesn't have your doctor check you out. I see no reason for now for you to stop the probiotics Rich
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is it not another Herxheimer reaction because the symptoms occured prior to the probiotics, or because of the actual symptoms themselves?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am sorry, one more question: Does IBS typically cause stomach distention?

The Herxheimer reaction is more of a flu-like syndrome but it doesn't include bloating and distention. Yes, IBS can cause stomach distention.
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