Help with probiotics, please!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pam_d, Jan 18, 2003.

  1. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    Okay, I'm going to try to make my sad little story short for those of you who haven't heard me complaining before! I recently found out I have severe food allergies/leaky gut, my doctor prescribed probiotics, but I'm-still-having a very hard time taking them!!

    My problem is they make my stomach kind of churn & feel very unsettled. I cut out all other supplements for a few days, using only the probiotics (I use something called Power-dophillus, bought at my local health food store as per my doctor)---I have tried them on both empty stomach (my doc's recommendation) and full stomach (the bottle's label) with no difference. And I'm supposed to build up to 3-4 capsules a day---I can't even stomach one!

    Even though I had food allergies/leaky gut, I had NO visable signs of IBS....I have FM & all that that encompasses, which I'm sure is affected by my leaky gut issues, but no stomach symptoms to speak of---so now, I'm taking the very thing that's hopefully supposed to help me, and it's making my stomach feel sick, where it never did before! I know the probiotics are good for me, I'm not arguing their benefit, I'm just trying to figure out how in the world I'm going to be able to take them & feel halfway decent.

    This Power-dophillus has several strains; I know others folks here are high on the Jarro available on this site.....has anyone else had this trouble taking them, and has anyone found that one brand or type is easier on the stomach than another? Does anyone have any "tricks" about how to use them? Is it just a matter of feeling way worse before I feel better (has that been anyone's experience with probiotics?) I would appreciate anyone's experiences with this & recommendations, I know probiotics are widely used by many here....BTW, my doctor's great at the dx part, but zero bedside manner, hard to talk to...

    Thanks so much,
    [This Message was Edited on 01/18/2003]
  2. tandy

    tandy New Member

    I can't be of much help here....but can say this.I started today the Jarro brand probiotic sold here.Prior to this I was using a real cheap brand with only 2 diff. strains in it.(I did'nt even notice a difference and I used it for a few months-Thats why I went with the better one,Jarro)Well I just took one with my lunch today......and I swore I felt a very slight nausea.I layed down and took an hr nap,and woke up fine! So I'm wondering if these probiotics are gonna cause me upset stomach???its too soon to say~ I really did'nt even link it to the probiotic untill I read this post~(I hope not!!) I'm gonna stick with it and see,now i'll be more in tune to it~
    Lets see what others say~ Maybe our systems just need to adjust?? Best of luck! to us both!!
    Take care......
  3. jaster45

    jaster45 New Member

    I can relate to your probiotic dilema.When I became ill with my CFS my gut was the worst of my problem.I essentially could not eat anything resulting in great weight loss.The Jarro is very good as I'm sure the one your Dr.recommended.The one that really worked great for me is from Natures Biotics found on the web.There product is a soiled based orgainism which is unique and different than other probiotics.It has about 6-8 strains of beneficial bacteria.These are in capsule form which you can open up and break down.When I first started taking them I could only take about an 1/8 to a 1/10th of a capsule.My stomach felt very weird,I had at times severe gas in the stomach and colon and other symptoms which soon enough abated.I eventually built up to between 6-8 a day.It will turn your stool dark for some time.Do not be alarmed as this is normal.This was one of the msot beneficial things I could have done for myself.

    Good luck and I hope you feel better.
  4. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    Tandy, please let me know how the Jarro goes as you continue to take it---I'm very interested in how it goes for you. I'm very sensitive to everything, so maybe it's just me....

    And Jaster, thanks, maybe I am going to be one of those for whom even one whole pill is just too much initially, and I'll have to break it down to smaller quantities, too.

    Does anyone know if this comes in a powdered form? I have wondered if there are other ways to take this.....


  5. tandy

    tandy New Member

    No news yet,as I have'nt taken one yet today but will at lunch time.(keeping my fingers crossed!) But you asked about a powder form of a probiotic?and yes...I have seen it in GNC and in walmart. I've heard they are good ones too.But way higher in price!!unless it goes along way??Thats why I ordered the Jarro from here.I had heard that its a really good one and the price was not bad at all.
    I think $13 for 60 tabs-and you only take one a day.(very reasonable!) I'll post back this afternoon......hopefully I'll feel well~I should.
    Till later...take care,
  6. tandy

    tandy New Member

    Good news!! I took another with lunch today and felt 100% fine! Its looking good~
  7. SandySandy

    SandySandy New Member

    I've improved my IBS/migraine and some feminine flora problems tremendously using probiotics. The best for gut problems seems to be "Culturelle" which is Lactobacillus GG. It is a patented strain that Tufts University in Boston ran research and is clinically proven to repopulate the gut with the healthy bacterial strain. There is a website for it: I learned of it researching on my own for feminine flora problems that medicine wasn't helping and called one of the reseachers at University of Western Ontario about their probiotic reseach on this problem. The clinical trial Professor was kind enough to talk to me and told me they examined all kinds and brands of probiotics and found there was no standard among them. Some of the lactobacillus was dead, some contaminated, the numbers of viable lactobacillus varied greatly. He said it didn't matter if it was expensive and refrigerated or the cheap stuff. He said it was mostly junk. He did tell me about the Tufts University strain and that they marketed it and it proved to be consistent and viable. The first time I ordered it, it came in a styrofoam box with a cold pack. The next 2 times it just came in a regular box with styrofoam peanuts. Hmm...

    I also learned to make my own yogurt. It tastes soooo much better than store bought. It's richer and sweeter and not so tart. There is no comparison. I use goat milk because people have a tendency to tolerate/digest it better than milk and they haven't given the goats hormones like they do cows. I love the taste but I suppose it may be an acquired taste for some. The process of making yogurt is easy but the drawback is that you have to be precise. I experience great improvement when I use both homemade (acidolphilus, bifidus, and 2 more) and Culterelle.

    If your store doesn't supply fresh goat milk, you can use canned evaporated goat milk, or powdered goat milk that you can buy via the internet.

    Phew. End of story.

    Hope it helps.


    [This Message was Edited on 01/19/2003]
  8. layinglow

    layinglow New Member

    Pam, could you clarify a few things? Did you have stool specimens tested? And if so, did it show candida overgrowth, and/or lack of beneficial bacteria?

    The food allergies were not manifesting themselves in digestive symptoms? What symptoms were you experiencing, and what testing was done?

    How was it determined that you have leaky gut syndrome?
    Are you on antibiotic therapy or have been in the past?

    I am just curious as to the answers to these, since you said you had no IBS type symptoms.

    If your stool test came back positive for insufficient beneficial flora, or you are on antibiotic therapy, I could see the need for probiotics---just wondering if your flora is fine, perhaps you needn't subject yourself to these stomach upsets. I know many take probiotics, I do as well--but had all the symptoms and tests that showed a need for their use.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/19/2003]
  9. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    I hope I'm going to remember to answer everthing you asked!!

    I originally found a local allergist widely recommended by members of my FM support group--he specializes in FM/CFS treatment, as well as autism, etc. Others in my group had used him successfully to work on candida overgrowth issues, and I had wondered about this; I had used antibiotics long-term in the past for stubborn sinus infections, plus had some other factors (prednisone use, estrogen) making me wonder if I was suffering from a candida overgrowth that was making FM symptoms worse.

    He did stool & urine tests (sent to labs designed to test for such stuff) skin & rast allergy testing. Results showed some stray yeast, but definitely not an overgrowth issue (and this doctor has put many on nystatin & diet protocol in my group, so I'm sure he would have if I'd needed it) but showed I have very significant food allergies-milk, wheat, soy, nuts-- (which, because of not having real IBS issues, I never would have realized) and these are tied in with the whole leaky gut story------hence, his recommendation of probiotics. While I don't feel I have IBS symptoms, I should mention that my liver enzymes run a little high (abdominal ultrasound showed nothing abnormal) so I'm wondering if that's a reaction to everything in my gut being unbalanced. He also put me on other supplements, not just probiotics, I was deficient in C, E, glutothione, taurine, selenium------I have added these one by one, I still have digestive enzymes to conquer, but because I'm still working on how to successfully take the probiotics, I'm not there yet.

    I have a long history of being sensitive to drugs (that's why I don't take any regular prescription meds for FM) and apparently I'm sensitive to some supplements, too.

    I'm wondering about trying to start with just a little (as Jaster, above said), maybe a 1/4 of a capsule to start, then work my way up? Will take forever, but then this whole journey with FM has been L-O-N-G......

    Thanks for everyone's help & any additional feedback!

  10. AnnetteP

    AnnetteP New Member

    While I haven't used the brand you are taking, I have tried several brands; only one brand made me sick (constipated, in fact----Primal Defense). I think you will just have to try other brands until you find the one that works for you.

    Another thing, if you are allergic to dairy, be careful to take one that is dairy-free. I am currently using Metagenics in capsules, but previously I used it in powder-form, and yes, they do make the dairy-free version.

    Good luck,
  11. layinglow

    layinglow New Member

    Pam, I use the same brand Annette does---
    I have a very touchy stomach---and these don't bother it....
    I have IBS, food allergies, nausea, and acid reflux probs....and they are never set off by this brand.
    Remember to keep refrigerated--to keep little beasties alive.
    Yes, since you are so sensitive--I would start at very low dosage and gradually build up.
    Although, if my test results came back with good gut flora, and no candida overgrowth, I would probably, invest that money else where, especially if the supplement were making me ill.