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So, how can you tell if you need a probiotic? Having any of the below symptoms could be – and likely is – a direct result of an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.:

  • General stomach issues, including gas, constipation, bloating, diarrhoea, and abdominal cramps
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Skin problems
  • Weight management issues
  • Cravings for sugary, fatty, and generally unhealthy foods
  • Unexplained mood fluctuations/problems
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Brain fog

1. Antibiotic Usage

This one is pretty straightforward: antibiotics are meant to destroy harmful bacteria in your body. Anywhere in your body. Oral antibiotics, in particular, do not discriminate between good and bad bacteria.

So, let’s say you have a bacterial infection in your foot. It’s bad enough that the doctor doesn’t think the topical antibiotic cream will do the trick, so you get a prescription for antibiotics in pill form. The infection goes away! But you lose a big chunk of good bacteria in the process.

2. Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is a sign of an abundance of bad bacteria introduced to your system by an outside source. Once you’ve let the illness run its course, work to rehydrate yourself and introduce probiotic supplements and probiotic-rich foods into your diet immediately. Not only will you recover faster, but the probiotics will help fend off bacterial illnesses in the future.

3. Mood disorders

Did you know that scientists estimate between 85-95% of your body’s total serotonin levels are produced in the stomach, not the brain? Serotonin is the brain’s happy hormone, and a lack of serotonin is directly tied to a variety of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

It’s been proven by several scientific studies that gut health has a direct impact on the function of your brain’s neurotransmitters.

B vitamin deficiency, which can also result from a poor intestinal function, is also linked to mood disorders. Consider adding a B-complex supplement to your routine as well.

4. Yeast Overgrowth

We’re not just talking about yeast infections here – any kind of yeast overgrowth can present with a number of symptoms in both men and women. Skin problems, poor sleeping patterns, sugar cravings, bloat, and feeling mentally ‘foggy’ are all signs of too much yeast in your system.

Probiotics help keep yeast in check – and will help prevent future yeast infections – but you’ll also need to make other changes to your diet to rid yourself of the yeast overgrowth.(