Whether or not you suffer any side effects from drinking kefir depends on your health condition.
A relatively healthy person usually does not experience any ‘negative’ side effects. However, some may experience detoxification symptoms popularly known as healing crisis.
Homemade kefir is a very powerful probiotic, more powerful than store bought kefir. Toxins will begin leaving the body when our digestive tracts improve. It is the toxins travelling through our circulatory system on their way to be eliminated that causes our feelings of discomfort.
Detox Symptoms Are Temporary
With the introduction of good bacteria, the body’s natural healing and cleansing ability is enhanced.
Thus, some temporary symptoms may include:
Other flu-like symptoms
Skin eruptions such as acne or boils
If these symptoms become uncomfortable, reduce consumption or skip a day. A very toxic body may benefit from a slower cleansing to avoid this discomfort. If the body is less toxic to begin with, these symptoms may never be experienced.
Those who have a very unhealthy gut may experience greater side effects than others. When you have a gut overpopulated by bad bacteria, the introduction of good friendly bacteria will cause a bit of a stir as they combat!
Reducing Kefir Side Effects
What are some ways to reduce side effects?
There are also some who experience outbreaks such as acne. This can come about due to the milk sugar content still in the milk. To lower this sugar content, just let the kefir sit for another 24 hours (secondary ferment) after removing the grains. The longer you ferment, the lower will be the sugar content. Changing simple carbohydrates, such as processed white sugar, white bread , pasta, cookies ,cake, carbonated drinks etc to complex carbohydrates help too. Complex carbs are food that are unprocessed whole foods.
If you are constipated, it is a good idea to improve your bowel movements. Increase intake of fiber, drink enough water. Together with the probiotics in kefir, as your bowel movement improves, your symptoms will also improve as toxins leave your body via elimination of the bowels.
If you have serious gut problems and is starting out to repair your gut, it may be more tolerable to start by consuming yoghurt. This is because yogurt contains just a few strains of bacteria, thus may not cause such great discomfort. If possible, make your own yoghurt at home.
However, if you are unable to make your own, be sure to get yoghurt that are full fat ones with live bacteria. Look for those that says ‘with live cultures’ on its label. Low fat yogurt usually has added sugar in it to make up for its lack of flavor.
After incorporating yogurt, slowly progress to include kefir. Take it slow. Start with just one tablespoon and work that up until you can tolerate 1 cup or more a day without any problems.
Are There People Who Should Not Drink Kefir ?
People who may not be able to tolerate kefir are usually those who have issues with casein and yeast. However, not all who have these problems have problems with drinking kefir. Theoretically, the good yeast in kefir will combat with pathogenic yeast in our body. So, it is best to experiment what is best for yourself.
In some rare cases, those who have yeast sensitivity will not be able to tolerate either milk or water kefir. One way to determine if you have this problem is this. If you do not feel well even after taking kefir for many days, try stopping for a few days and see how you feel and then re-introduce kefir again. If you think you may be having a problem with the yeast in kefir, try obtaining a culture pack instead as these do not contain any yeast.
Have you suffered any side effects drinking kefir? What was your experience?