Can Taking Probiotics Help With Bloating?

Bloating is a common gastrointestinal condition that occurs when your digestive tract is filled with excess gas. Bloating is often characterized by abdominal swelling and discomfort. It can be accompanied by a range of other gastrointestinal symptoms, like passing gas and stomach upset.

According to Healthline, there are common causes of bloating you may be surprised by. For instance, chewing gum or eating and drinking too fast can lead to excess gas accumulation. Additionally, food intolerance, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, irritable bowel disease (IBD), and hormonal flux, are medical conditions that can cause bloating. 

According to Medical News Today, there are ways to reduce the risk of becoming bloated. Exercise, over-the-counter medications, and even essential oils can provide bloating relief for many. If bloating becomes a persistent problem, lifestyle changes may be needed, particularly when it comes to diet. 

You may have even heard that supplements like probiotics can help. But do they actually work?

Experts say it's unclear if probiotics can relieve bloating

It's pretty well known these days that probiotics are correlated with various aspects of gut health. Probiotics are living microorganisms that are thought to introduce healthy bacteria into the gut microbiome. However, scientists have yet to conclude whether or not probiotics can actually help alleviate bloating. 

"Probiotics might help but the evidence is far from clear," Shyamala Vishnumohan, a certified prenatal dietitian and founder of One to One Thousand Nutrition Clinic, told LiveScience. She suggests that the effectiveness of probiotics on bloating symptoms really depends on the individual. "Even if it is a clinically tested probiotic, there is no guarantee that it will work for you. No two people have the same gut microbiome," she states.

Still, current research on the topic looks promising and could offer relief to some. A 2020 meta-analysis assessing 35 randomized control trials involving 3,452 participants found that probiotics helped relieve symptoms of bloating for those with IBS. They note that further research is needed, but it may be worth a conversation with your doctor to asses if probiotics could help ease bloating discomfort.