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Probiotics

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  • rhtexasgalrhtexasgal Posts: 539Member Member Posts: 539Member Member
    As someone in remission from UC and proctitis, I can attest to the effectiveness of probiotics and fermented foods that contain probiotics naturally. After a major flare that had me hospitalized, I was on several medications and basically, I was just "existing." I started off slow with probiotics - perhaps 7 strains of bacteria at a few million count. Now I am taking a probiotic that has 34 strains with a 50 billion count. If you have never taken them before, you want to start off slow because otherwise, you are going to suffer. It takes some getting used to ... right now, I do not take any prescription medications. I am keeping my UC in check with a good diet and the probiotics.

    If you decide to try probiotics, do not get the kind that is on the pharmacy shelf ... get the kind that must be refrigerated. You don't know how long that stuff on the pharmacy shelf has been sitting around and what the climate was in the warehouses and trucks. Too much heat will kill the good bacteria. I pay a pretty penny for my probiotics but to me it is worth it. I have not had any major illness in several years now - no flu, no cold, the mildest of allergies (I used to be clogged from March-October each year), no gut upset ...

    As to fermented foods, I used to hate them. It took time for me to develop a taste for them but fermented pickles and kimchi are the best. I hate milk kefir straight but my mother in law makes a tangy dip out of it for veggies that is good. My hubby also makes two batches of kombucha a week and that also has been great. Even my kids will drink it and I have noticed that their acne is fading ... my hubby who is on a regular schedule of pain medication due to chronic, and sometimes debilitating pain has noticed a huge improvement in the bathroom (pain meds are quite constipating) and is now longer suffering that issue ...
  • e_v_ve_v_v Posts: 131Member Member Posts: 131Member Member
    I started having major digestive issues during my freshman year of college--probably adjusting to new food. I started taking probiotics and noticed a night-and-day difference. I will NEVER go without probiotics ever again. If there is such a thing as a weight loss-assistance pill, probiotics are it. The more live/active cultures, the better, but I've found success with every brand that I've tried. They're worth every penny.
  • singingfluteladysingingflutelady Posts: 8,629Member Member Posts: 8,629Member Member
    @rhtexasgal what probiotic are you taking. I am in partial remission from severe Crohn's but because of medications (Remicade and imuran). I am careful with my food intake but can't get into remission without meds.
  • JustMissTracyJustMissTracy Posts: 6,389Member Member Posts: 6,389Member Member
    I've been taking antibiotics on and off since December....which has resulted in extra infections(women know what I mean)...I have a feeling I will be put back on them again this week' Does anyone know, if I took a probiotic, would this avoid those infections? I'm dreading going back to the doctor just thinking about it....

    @JustMissTracy I definitely know what you mean.. Speaking from experience, take your antibiotic in the morning and a strong probiotic in the evening or vice versa. Just make sure to space the two as far apart as you can
    I've been taking antibiotics on and off since December....which has resulted in extra infections(women know what I mean)...I have a feeling I will be put back on them again this week' Does anyone know, if I took a probiotic, would this avoid those infections? I'm dreading going back to the doctor just thinking about it....

    If you already have a yeast infection then you'll probably be prescribed more meds (much to the delight of your doctor). Probiotics might've prevented it though, sure.

    Ask your doc to prescribe you some. It's probably uncommon for GP's to prescribe it along with antibiotics but it's worth a shot to possibly save you some money.
    I've been taking antibiotics on and off since December....which has resulted in extra infections(women know what I mean)...I have a feeling I will be put back on them again this week' Does anyone know, if I took a probiotic, would this avoid those infections? I'm dreading going back to the doctor just thinking about it....

    @JustMissTracy I definitely know what you mean.. Speaking from experience, take your antibiotic in the morning and a strong probiotic in the evening or vice versa. Just make sure to space the two as far apart as you can

    +1 for taking the probiotic as far away as possible from the antobiotic.
    Once I have a 21 day antibiotic treatment. The prescribing MD suggested to take a 50 Billion probiotic dose a day, as far away from the antibiotic. I also complemented with kefir, unsweetened. No side effects.
    I've been taking antibiotics on and off since December....which has resulted in extra infections(women know what I mean)...I have a feeling I will be put back on them again this week' Does anyone know, if I took a probiotic, would this avoid those infections? I'm dreading going back to the doctor just thinking about it....

    I always take a probiotic when I'm on antibiotics and have found it 100% prevents the extra infections, which I suffer from terribly when I don't take the probiotic.

    Thankyou all for your advice, I'm still waiting for someone to cancel so I can get in, but I'm going to ask about this for sure!
  • rhtexasgalrhtexasgal Posts: 539Member Member Posts: 539Member Member
    @rhtexasgal what probiotic are you taking. I am in partial remission from severe Crohn's but because of medications (Remicade and imuran). I am careful with my food intake but can't get into remission without meds.

    I take the Garden of Life Raw Probiotics that I found at Whole Foods. I have found that it seems to help the best for my issues but Renew Life Ultimate Flora is another good one. Basically, whichever of the two is on sale, I buy. Sometimes, the Garden of Life one has coupons printed on the inside of the box :)

    The daughter of a friend of mine did a science project on probiotics a few years back while still in high school and tested a number of them including Culturelle and Align that are on the pharmacy/grocery shelves as well as the prescription VSL and refrigerated ones like I suggested. The "shelf stable" ones had less than half of the probiotics touted on the package while the refrigerated ones fared much better. The Garden of Life and Renew Life both maintained around 90% of the bacteria they touted on the packaged and VSL was best but it was prescription strength. This girl conducted the experiment 4 times over the course of 3 months using the same products but from different stores and had similar results. While this was only one high school science project and not a government controlled study, it was quite eye opening and part of the reason I switched to Garden of Life.

    I have been fortunate to attain remission and I do not take medications at this time. However, if I slack off from the probiotics and fermented foods I have in my diet, I will start getting mild gut symptoms. Because I do not want to get where I was before (I almost lost part of my colon due to doctors not believing in me because my blood inflammation markers were not elevated so they would not do a colonoscopy - another long story), I make sure I stick to my maintenance plan. Even when traveling, I will carry probiotics so I am not without them.
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    I tried them for a few months but I didn't notice any difference other than less $ in my wallet. I don't take them anymore. I've never had any gut problems though and eat a diet high in fiber and prebiotics so maybe that's why I didn't notice any difference.
  • pondee629pondee629 Posts: 2,355Member Member Posts: 2,355Member Member
    So, a live culture Greek yogurt is not sufficient?
  • Christine_72Christine_72 Posts: 16,074Member Member Posts: 16,074Member Member
    pondee629 wrote: »
    So, a live culture Greek yogurt is not sufficient?

    I don't think so, you'd have to eat a ton and then hope there are actual live cultures left in there. The probiotic i take claims that one capsule = 22 tubs of yogurt.
  • singingfluteladysingingflutelady Posts: 8,629Member Member Posts: 8,629Member Member
    rhtexasgal wrote: »
    @rhtexasgal what probiotic are you taking. I am in partial remission from severe Crohn's but because of medications (Remicade and imuran). I am careful with my food intake but can't get into remission without meds.

    I take the Garden of Life Raw Probiotics that I found at Whole Foods. I have found that it seems to help the best for my issues but Renew Life Ultimate Flora is another good one. Basically, whichever of the two is on sale, I buy. Sometimes, the Garden of Life one has coupons printed on the inside of the box :)

    The daughter of a friend of mine did a science project on probiotics a few years back while still in high school and tested a number of them including Culturelle and Align that are on the pharmacy/grocery shelves as well as the prescription VSL and refrigerated ones like I suggested. The "shelf stable" ones had less than half of the probiotics touted on the package while the refrigerated ones fared much better. The Garden of Life and Renew Life both maintained around 90% of the bacteria they touted on the packaged and VSL was best but it was prescription strength. This girl conducted the experiment 4 times over the course of 3 months using the same products but from different stores and had similar results. While this was only one high school science project and not a government controlled study, it was quite eye opening and part of the reason I switched to Garden of Life.

    I have been fortunate to attain remission and I do not take medications at this time. However, if I slack off from the probiotics and fermented foods I have in my diet, I will start getting mild gut symptoms. Because I do not want to get where I was before (I almost lost part of my colon due to doctors not believing in me because my blood inflammation markers were not elevated so they would not do a colonoscopy - another long story), I make sure I stick to my maintenance plan. Even when traveling, I will carry probiotics so I am not without them.

    Thanks. I was taking align and it did absolutely nothing. I'll try the ones you suggested
  • pondee629pondee629 Posts: 2,355Member Member Posts: 2,355Member Member
    pondee629 wrote: »
    So, a live culture Greek yogurt is not sufficient?

    I don't think so, you'd have to eat a ton and then hope there are actual live cultures left in there. The probiotic i take claims that one capsule = 22 tubs of yogurt.

    And this is not too much?
  • Christine_72Christine_72 Posts: 16,074Member Member Posts: 16,074Member Member
    pondee629 wrote: »
    pondee629 wrote: »
    So, a live culture Greek yogurt is not sufficient?

    I don't think so, you'd have to eat a ton and then hope there are actual live cultures left in there. The probiotic i take claims that one capsule = 22 tubs of yogurt.

    And this is not too much?

    Nah I doubt it. I've been taking probiotics for years with no negative side effects. Each capsule has 25 billion "good bacteria". I've seen some with 50-60 Billion levels.
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    pondee629 wrote: »
    pondee629 wrote: »
    So, a live culture Greek yogurt is not sufficient?

    I don't think so, you'd have to eat a ton and then hope there are actual live cultures left in there. The probiotic i take claims that one capsule = 22 tubs of yogurt.

    And this is not too much?

    Nah I doubt it. I've been taking probiotics for years with no negative side effects. Each capsule has 25 billion "good bacteria". I've seen some with 50-60 Billion levels.

    While it may not be too much, it may be overkill for a lot of people. Not everyone needs to take a probiotic. If you aren't experiencing any problems then you probably don't need it.
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    pondee629 wrote: »
    pondee629 wrote: »
    So, a live culture Greek yogurt is not sufficient?

    I don't think so, you'd have to eat a ton and then hope there are actual live cultures left in there. The probiotic i take claims that one capsule = 22 tubs of yogurt.

    And this is not too much?

    Your gut contains more bacterial cells than your whole body contains human cells. Kind of hard for a pill to hold too many of them, so long as they're of the well behaved variety.
  • Christine_72Christine_72 Posts: 16,074Member Member Posts: 16,074Member Member
    pondee629 wrote: »
    pondee629 wrote: »
    So, a live culture Greek yogurt is not sufficient?

    I don't think so, you'd have to eat a ton and then hope there are actual live cultures left in there. The probiotic i take claims that one capsule = 22 tubs of yogurt.

    And this is not too much?

    Nah I doubt it. I've been taking probiotics for years with no negative side effects. Each capsule has 25 billion "good bacteria". I've seen some with 50-60 Billion levels.

    While it may not be too much, it may be overkill for a lot of people. Not everyone needs to take a probiotic. If you aren't experiencing any problems then you probably don't need it.

    The main reason I started taking them was because they kept me regular, plus Thrush is non existent when I'm taking them, howeeeever I only get that when I take antibiotics which happens maybe once every few years.
    But you're right, I probably don't need them,It's just become an ingrained before bed habit now.,
  • MommyMeggoMommyMeggo Posts: 1,222Member Member Posts: 1,222Member Member
    zcb94 wrote: »
    I do, for, uh, maintained flora and fauna.

    Poor little Merryweather. Always a bridesmaid never a bride. :)

    I take them each AM. Currently looking for a stronger one now that I am not supplementing daily with Greek yogurt due to digestion issues. Sniff sniff.
  • hopeandtheabsurdhopeandtheabsurd Posts: 265Member Member Posts: 265Member Member
    I discovered their benefits after I was hospitalized and given strong antibiotics, which led to a lovely bout with c. diff and more meds, and it was pretty bad after that for months until I started taking a probiotic suggested by a friend (Garden of Life). I'm not sure there is any reason to take them if you are not having gut problems, but if you are, it's definitely something to look into.
  • rhtexasgalrhtexasgal Posts: 539Member Member Posts: 539Member Member
    Personally, I believe a lot more people should take them. Many people do not eat right, consuming too many sodas, sugary products and things high in artificial flavors and colors. The bad bacteria in your gut love it. This is likely why more people are susceptible to every little illness that they run across. If the gut is in tip top shape, your immune system gets a boost too. I work with 150+ boys every week and have been exposed to strep, colds, flu ... you name it and I don't get any of it and have not for several years.
  • Christine_72Christine_72 Posts: 16,074Member Member Posts: 16,074Member Member
    rhtexasgal wrote: »
    Personally, I believe a lot more people should take them. Many people do not eat right, consuming too many sodas, sugary products and things high in artificial flavors and colors. The bad bacteria in your gut love it. This is likely why more people are susceptible to every little illness that they run across. If the gut is in tip top shape, your immune system gets a boost too. I work with 150+ boys every week and have been exposed to strep, colds, flu ... you name it and I don't get any of it and have not for several years.

    I agree
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    rhtexasgal wrote: »
    Personally, I believe a lot more people should take them. Many people do not eat right, consuming too many sodas, sugary products and things high in artificial flavors and colors. The bad bacteria in your gut love it. This is likely why more people are susceptible to every little illness that they run across. If the gut is in tip top shape, your immune system gets a boost too. I work with 150+ boys every week and have been exposed to strep, colds, flu ... you name it and I don't get any of it and have not for several years.

    Why do we also assume modern convenience and improvements are only loved by bad bacteria? Why do our good bacteria only like yogurt and vegetables? Why do we even assume the bacteria are good or bad in and of themselves, rather than they're just bacteria, and they grow on certain types of food, with some foods possibly being ones we think of as better for people than others, such that the bacteria present reflect that, rather than produce that?
  • BinaryPulsarBinaryPulsar Posts: 9,068Member Member Posts: 9,068Member Member
    I was incredibly healthy. I was overprescribed antibiotics and then another med that severely injured me. Antibiotics can severely change your life (sorry I don't want to go into the details, but it's bad in many ways). I also agree about sauerkraut or other cultured veggies. Wildbrine is a good company with live and active cultures. Kefir as well. Some people drink kombucha as well. Lots of veggies in general. A book that has been somewhat helpful to me is The Microbiome Solution by Robynne Chutkan. You will often be fine with just one course of antibiotics. I was misdiagnosed as having an antibiotic resistant infection when in reality it was antibiotic side effects they were misdiagnosing and prescribing more very powerful and double strength antibiotics and destroying me with (along with severe allergic reaction and life altering adverse events). I take New Roots Probiotic Intensity because it's enteric coated and has human strains. I now also take HCP150 because it's human strains, cryoprotected, with 150 billion. But, I am undergoing testing and it's possible probiotics aren't going to be enough to recover my gut health, but I can recover (hopefully).

    Edit to add: We have a balance in our microbiome. The "bad" stuff is a healthy part of our microbiome in small amounts. They only become pathological if they over grow and then they behave differently. Bacteria is actually a very fascinating topic.
    edited March 2016
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