You are here:

Naturopathy/Could probiotics cause joint pain?


Raj V wrote at 2009-08-26 04:14:57
Cant help but share that I too started taking hi potency probiotic ( 50 billion )  since march this year, and past two months i started getting pain in my knee joints and ankles and feet ( and they are increasing ).I am now getting convinced that there is more to probiotics than meet the eye. Although the effect of the probiotic is magical on my digestive symptom, this new problem has cropped up-- symptoms of ( on set of) arthritis! I wanna so learn more about probiotics -- they may not be as innocuous as they are made out to be….

earthlingdave wrote at 2010-04-01 15:45:46
I've actually had the same exact problem and have tried different brands of probiotics.  Extreme muscle pain and joint pain.

Susan wrote at 2010-12-04 22:37:57
oh my gosh....!!  I started taking probiotics and I've started having severe muscle pain ever since.....Just sore everywhere, like I've been doing some hard exercise and I haven't been.....

german wrote at 2011-09-13 03:40:31
I too have my doubts about probiotics.

I started taking a pill once a day 3 months ago . Now my joints hurt and crack. Not sure is related but I am suspicious...

Roland wrote at 2012-08-03 15:36:51
I have had the same reaction to the mega probiotics. For the first month everything was good. The probiotics were doing there job and my gut felt better than it had in years. I then began getting pain in the back of my legs. I while later my knees started to ache and swell. It got so bad that I could hardly walk. I got a bit of luck when I ran out of the probiotics and was without them for several days. During that time I noticed my knees were feeling better but I still had not put two and two together and started taking the probiotics again. The pain and swelling came back immediately. That is when I started to suspect the probiotics. I then experimented by stopping for a week or two then restarting. I got the same results each time. The probiotics were the problem.

Now I have to search for something that will give my gut relief without crippling me.  

missdutchX wrote at 2013-04-11 05:03:46
I'm so glad I found this page! I got exact the same problem. After a month of taking probiotica, I was getting joint pain. I have joint pain for two months now. The docter couldn't find anything. Now I know what it is, I will never take probiotica again!

anon123 wrote at 2013-07-22 04:33:21
I was taking nature made probiotics for about a week.  I started noticing that certain joints would swell, and become very sore and warm to the touch.  I stopped taking the probiotics immediately and saw my doctor.  My doctor prescribed me an anti-inflammatory (naproxen).  After taking the medication for about a week all of my joints started feeling better.  Never again will I take probiotics, they're awful!

anon123 wrote at 2013-07-22 04:33:26
I was taking nature made probiotics for about a week.  I started noticing that certain joints would swell, and become very sore and warm to the touch.  I stopped taking the probiotics immediately and saw my doctor.  My doctor prescribed me an anti-inflammatory (naproxen).  After taking the medication for about a week all of my joints started feeling better.  Never again will I take probiotics, they're awful!

Tilly wrote at 2013-08-11 14:57:35
I have been taking Probiotics for about 18 months and have developed symptoms of Arthritis swollen knuckle joints foot pain, ankle pain and numb fingers and toes.  I think this aspect of this product though very useful for digestion, does have these side effects.

missdutchxx wrote at 2013-09-10 15:42:04
Are here people who had joint pain for more then seven months after taking probiotics? Cause i lomg did it take for the joint pain to get away?

Sore Feet wrote at 2014-03-12 23:17:43
Around a month after taking at least 1 probiotic every day, pain in the bottom of the feet when getting out of bed in the morning was severe and although subsided after a few minutes hobbling around but always came back the next time I stood up.  Felt like I was walking on walnuts and mis-diagnosed as plantar fasciitis.  Also had pain in legs, dragging pain in hip joints and sore ankles.  I stopped probiotics for a week and guess what?  All the above symptoms disappeared.  Tried probiotics again and guess what?  All the symptoms came back.  I was hooked on the impressive 'toilet visits' that probiotics allow but I am now convinced that the debilitating joint, tissue and ligament problems I had are due to probiotics/acidosis.  No more tablets for me!

cj Smith wrote at 2014-10-24 22:56:01
I've. Taken. Probiotics. For a.week toes and.feet. are really. Sore love the good stols but not worth the throbbing. Pain  

vicky wrote at 2014-11-15 21:09:28
are any of you also taking Omeprazole or reflux medications or any other medication?

Omeprazole is a known cause for these symptoms.

I came off all meds, because we believed Crestor and Omeprazole were causing these issues, but even off meds I have issues.

The only thing consistent is Probiotics?

Interesting to find this

Irene wrote at 2015-03-28 18:43:49
I took two pills noticed swellen in back of my legs and joints hurting could barely get up my steps and thought maybe it might be porbtics  try'd one more this morning  and decided to looki up leg pains with probics to see iif it caused it to my surprise a whole lot of people are havibg problems call the company they wanted to send me some more free they are are crazy im going to throw this mess in the trashand the new bottle thatscoming looking for my pain to go away as i only taken three pills so glad it was only three! but so sorry i took those back of my legs hurt finger hurting numbness nd tingling in legs and fingers  

spettro wrote at 2015-06-11 11:05:54
Been taking greek yogurt for about month. Slowly noticed hyper pain sensitivity, sore joints & muscles which increased in intensity day by day.  Can only trace this to the yogurt. The yogurt was doing wonders for my constipation but it's certainly not worth the pain.  I think I'll stop for now and see what happens.

Serene wrote at 2015-09-04 23:31:10
I have a lot of autoimmune diseases, and a history of Rheumatoid, Psoriatic, and Osteoarthritis in my family. The day after beginning Aligns probiotic, I was in bed transitioning my heating pad from sore muscle to sore joint all day long. This is the worst my symptoms have ever been and nothing else changed. It says its good for your immune system: Maybe for people with normal immune systems.

Jenny wrote at 2015-10-24 07:01:42
My 12 year old daughter started having pains in her calves and feet a week ago. The doctor sent her for tests on the veins and diabetes. Both legs keep swelling up too. It occured to me that she has recently been taking probiotic supplements. I will stop her taking probiotics after hearing all your experiences of probiotics.

Garlyn wrote at 2016-02-08 20:34:00
I have been having painful joint pain in my shoulders, elbows, ankles and legs.  Now starting in my knucklesAlso started using Perfect Biotics pro-biotics approx 4 months ago. I don't recall if it started at the same time but I do know it has been getting progressively worse. I too will stop taking pro-biotics and see what happens. It has been wonderful for my digestive system but will keep looking for something  that doesn't cause these terrible muscle and joint aches and pains.

Rebprivate wrote at 2016-02-17 23:23:44
I too have had the same experience. My doctor said, no way, the probiotics are only good. My personal experience is after about a month of yogurt to 'replenish' after a round of antibiotics, my body feels sore all over. My back and hips are especially sore. Doctor blames hormones but I'm sure it is something else. Also, I tried the digestive yogurt advertised on TV and within two days had such a painful low back I could hardly walk.

Maybe something about my immune system, maybe too much is simply too much, even of a 'good' thing. Thank you to everyone for sharing.

Erick wrote at 2016-03-24 03:56:07
I am a very healthy person and glad i found this site with people with the same observation.  I started taking perfect biotics and noticed at the gym my knees got sore more than normal; I thought this was weird.  The only change i made was taking this probiotic pill 1x day.  I took a break from the pills and it went away.  I thought I would try one more time after about 2 weeks and after just 1 day, the joint pain came back.  I told myself I will try for 3 days total and see what happened.  Today is day 3 and I decided to not take the probiotics any more.  

What is in probiotics that would cause this to occur in our body?  Trying to have a healthy gut, but not at the expense of my joints.   I am very active and can't risk my joint health.  

Thanks all for sharing!

ts wrote at 2016-04-02 00:09:32
I consider myself in good shape was diagnosed with a second round of Epstein-Barr in October 2015 around November 2015 I started taking perfect biotics in the next 3 months I felt severe hip pain in my right hip bone area, it became very difficult to walk and I was about to set up an MRI to find out if it was some kind of cancer or cyst or something else but then I remembered the time frame I began to get the pain,  I started getting the pain about 3 weeks after starting the probiotics.  I stopped taking perfect biotics three weeks ago, and I'm feeling 100% better,  no hip pain.  I also noticed a slight rash on my face. I work out regularly and I'm in good shape,  I am not overweight.  At times the pain was so bad in my hip,  I began thinking maybe it was bone cancer or serious arthritis.   It's gone now. These items are not cleared by the FDA,  but since everyone is taking them I guess I assumed they were good for you. No more probiotics for me.

MWMS wrote at 2016-04-07 00:02:14
I have had such severe knee and leg pain for 5 months that I went to an Orthopedist. An MRI and Xrays showed everything was normal. This made me queation, what in my life has changed in the last 5 months? I started taking Perfect Biotics exactly 5 months ago! It made no sense but then I found others who also have complained of pain. I stopped taking them almost 2 weeks ago and things have improved but I don't feel totally normal yet. How long did it take for others after stopping the probiotics? This has been devastating to my normal activity. Even though the probiotics seemed to help my digestive issues, I want to spread the news to not take Perfect Biotics if this is causing the pain. Maybe it is the higher "dosage"? I don't know. I welcome your comments. Thanks.

Cathy wrote at 2016-05-13 23:19:30
Omg horrible calf and knee pain for a week ...I went today for an ultrasound thinking possible dvt...nope..then I started thinking what have I done differently? Yep started taking pro biotics...thank god for sites like this...needless to say I'm stopping them asap

Niqnac wrote at 2016-05-17 12:16:41
I tried taking probiotics a year ago. I thought this would be good for maintaining a healthy diet. I immediately had pain in my finger and it got swollen and I couldnt bend it.I realized the difference had to be the probiotics. I stopped and it went away. I decided to try a multi that had probiotics and again immediately the extreme joint pain in my hand neck ankles. I hope this helps!  

Babs wrote at 2016-05-22 18:36:06
I started taking probiotics and noticed the same thing- leg pain and tenderness.  Figured it had to be probiotic, because everything else is exactly the same.  Very surprised.  I was not over dosing, just following label.  Glad I found this site.

Jill Kent wrote at 2016-05-30 19:35:58
I started probiotiocs 3 weeks ago.All my joints are so painful and I've started to get quite concerned!Thank goodness I read this forum before going to the Doctor.No more probiotics for me.

Cyndi wrote at 2016-06-01 15:31:01
I personally appreciate anyone who takes the time to write a personal experience. I look for experiences more often than data. Unfortunately I spent countless hours researching the benefits of probiotics. Researching the best, and how to take properly. I knew that you can get the "die off" effects were possible, and was OK with that since it means that they are working. I have been taking renew life ultimate flora extra care for a month now.  Since starting, I have had horrible bloating and pain, and still have severe constipation. That part I am aware can take time, and I was willing, as long as it works.

Now to the reason I am on this page and responding, of which is something I have never personally done. I do have some underlying autoimmune condition which is believed to be MS. I had high hopes, or at least, reasonable hopes, that starting probiotics may actually help my condition. I've read so much information about the gut affecting your overall health and I feel it makes perfect sense. I have horrible gut issues. I have suffered severe constipation for years now, and often go over a week between going. I know it's toxic! I have chronic pain, mostly upper body. Mine started from a horrible rear end car accident, and I now have severe cervical spinal stenosis with neuropathy. I had so much hope that better gut health could help with some of my issues, but instead it's caused a dramatic increase in my normal pains. My neck and shoulder joints hurt to the point of being unbearable. I haven't hurt this bad in years. That is all the while dealing with a grumbling, and painful gut. My stomach is so distended that it makes it hard to take a deep breath because my stomach is already max distension. I am typically active and barely sit through a day, and this is really debilitating. I just decided to research if probiotics can cause joint pain and this is the first site I seen. I pray that it doesn't take long for the probiotics to get out of my system and provide relief from this hell. I hate being in pain daily as it is, but tolerate it because it is what it is. I always describe myself as mentally happy, but physically miserable. I am happily married with amazing children. The last few weeks have been horrible, but I was hoping it was just the "die off", now I can see that it's anything but that. It's such a shame too because it really seems to be beneficial to many people, but obviously there are those of us who just can't.

I apologize for the long post, but that is in my genes, the gift of gab.  

Swollen wrote at 2016-06-03 19:01:13
I began taking a probiotic with an antibiotic that can cause c- diff... Clindamycin.  This med has placed a friend in hospital for over 2 months with c- diff.   Anyway, my pharmacist advised to take a probiotic, so I did.  Three weeks later my joints have swollen so that I look like an old lady trying to move.  Someone above mentioned a face rash, I'm experiencing that as well.  

PianoFran wrote at 2016-07-08 01:12:52
I have taken probiotics for many years, for IBS.  For the last year, I've been taking one of Renew Life's high dose formulas.  It seemed to work well for a while, but after a few months, I was experiencing joint pain in one of my knees, as well as my feet.  Originally, I chalked it up to more time in the gym and just plain aging.  Only recently did I consider probiotics as a possible cause.  I decided to go off the Renew Life formula and sure enough, my joint pain went away.  It is interesting to read about other people who have made this same discovery.

Decr8r wrote at 2016-07-09 03:31:42
I have been taking perfect probiotic for about 5 weeks. I used to take Aline with no side effects what so ever so I decided to up the game with the higher dose perfect probiotic thinking it would help my blotting and sluggishness even more. Wrong!!! I have suddenly begun to experience extreme traveling joint and muscle pain through out my entire body . Especially in the hip joints. The pain awakens me in the middle of the night and nothing I do relieves it! Eventually after loosing several hours of sleep , it subsides to barable . I'm very concerned since every day I hope it's the last day that I'll be in chronic pain , but it's not going away. I fear that this might be my life ! I hope this extreme pain stops soon . It's affecting my mood and my ability to do my job. I've fallen so far behind in work because I'm so tired and I can't concentrate through the annoying joint pain ! I pray relief is around the corner soon!! I will never take anything that is not recommended by my Dr again!!! I feel for all of you that is experiencing this . No one can imagine how bad the soreness and pain is!  

Marie wrote at 2016-08-07 11:20:25
OK also having these symptoms.  Could it be that the "better" high potency ones are culprit?  Thank you for these posts - moderation and perhaps only taking them as needed with antibiotic use and at a moderate level vs. high level.  I was taking different brands than mentioned - but all highly recommended and respected.  Bummer.

ACMoore wrote at 2016-08-30 19:36:10
I started taking a Probiotic about three months ago and after a while I started feeling pain in my shoulder muscles, knees, ankles, hands/wrists, etc.  I would only experience the pain in one area at a time, but the pain was enough to keep me awake at night.  The best way to describe the pain would be to say it felt like arthritis.  I realized that the pain started after I added Probiotics to my daily routine.  I did some research and discovered other individuals with the same traveling pain and who attributed it to Probiotics.  Needless to say I stopped taking the Probiotic and after three weeks now I experience very little pain.  I feel certain in a few short weeks I will be back to normal.  To replace the Probiotic I have tried adding buttermilk or eating sauerkraut daily.  (Unfortunately, I do not like yogurt).

Sat wrote at 2016-09-10 09:07:51
I'm having the exact same thing after taking probiotics. I've since stopped them but it's been two weeks and it's not going away. Muscle pain is awful

Valerie wrote at 2016-09-12 07:08:08
On the recommendation of a friend I started taking probiotics for general health and to aid the processes of digestion and elimination. I took probiotics for around 5 months and after experiencing die-off effects for about 4 weeks, I started to experience increasing joint and muscle pain and stiffness to the point when I could hardly walk. Previously I was a physically fit and flexible person so this was alarming.  Thinking back back to the onset of these symptoms I suspected that they started after I introduced probiotics into my diet. I did some research and found your website which reassured me that I am not alone in experiencing this reaction.  There is no doubt that probiotics help millions but obviously are not suited to everybody.  I have since stopped taking them and the pain and stiffness is decreasing.  I will never again take unprescribed medication.

bluejayye wrote at 2016-10-05 19:08:44
I have had similar problems. While probiotics certainly helped with my digestion, I now have stomach pain (sore to touch), bloating and gas. I understand that these are usually temporary (just on probiotics for 3 weeks now). Recently I have also been having terrible stiffness and pain when I walk or stand all down the back of both my legs. I am now wondering if this is also due to the probiotics.

Juju wrote at 2016-11-07 12:51:59
I have recently endured this extreme knee pain since taking probiotics! It was really mind boggling, because I just didn't know where the pain was coming from until recapping all things taken, after remembering that I just started taking the probiotics that's when the pain started...Stop taking them and the pain went away.  SMH

Hanz from LA wrote at 2016-11-22 08:13:36
Hello.  I have similar side effects from p.biotics also.  was taking them on empty stomac, but no more.  i take mine every few days with veggies.  i suffer from eating sweets, breads, meats, dairy.  

NoPain4Now wrote at 2016-12-10 21:12:22
Hi there, I have all of your aches too, from head to toe even in my buttocks too. For some reason I can handle the pain but the other night it suddenly all went away. This is how I stopped the pain. I took the very tip of a teaspoon of Baking soda( sodium bicarbonate) in a glass of water ,stirr and drink, pain gone. Worked for me and best of luck to you. Not to much baking soda okay- kidney stones may form. :-)*

EAT wrote at 2017-03-03 22:28:36
EAT I took probiotics on saturday night by sunday afternoon I could barely walk. I took them until Wed night hoping it was coincidence. I have had severe hip pain and a hard time walking. I had to go do accupuncture today to get any relief from hip pain. I am glad I found this site because the person who sold them to me of course doubts this is possible. It is and it has been very hard to cope with all week. I thought I was doing a good thing trying to be healthy and clean up my gut. I took Plexus 5 probiotics. I can not continue to take them.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Michael can answer questions relating to naturopathic nutritional and supplement programs that support homeostasis and help to control and avoid diseases and conditions.


With over 25 years of experience as a naturopathic counselor and producer of nutritional supplements and other products, Michael Schwartz pioneered the synergistically complete concept, which has become an industry standard, as well as gender-specific supplements. His first naturopathic formulas, designed to nourish and support the body in its natural return to harmony and good health, were created originally for family, friends and clients. When Michael founded his supplement company in 1984, these formulas were offered to the public. Michael's belief in the principles of naturopathy has led him to rule out offering anything not in the true spirit of health, such as hormone or glandular-based products or fads. Michael now lends his expertise through his book "Health and Disease Symbology Handbook: A Mind-Body Perspective", helping those afflicted with diseases and conditions discover the root cause of ailments and, through recognizing patterns of behavior and utilizing proper nutrition, help control and avoid illness.

Michael's Naturopathic Programs, President; Natural Products Association, National Board Member; Natural Products Association, Supply Council; American Botanical Council; American Herbal Products Association

Schwartz, Michael. "Health and Disease Symbology Handbook: A Mind-Body Perspective". Albuquerque: Inner Health Books, 2008. Schwartz, Michael. "The Way of Universal Teachings". San Antonio: MAPS Publishing, 1994.

Educated in naturopathic therapies.

©2017 All rights reserved.