Are they good or bad for us?
This is my story of how I have found Probiotics and whether they have worked for me or not.
I have suffered from IBS and Gastrointestinal issues for as long as I can remember, Most recently my issues have included the Helicobacter (H.Pylori) bug and Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD).
About a week ago my mum ordered some Probiotic tablets off Amazon. They sound great on paper.
The idea of probiotics is that they add “good” bacteria in set quantities back into your system. The good bacteria then fight off the bad bacteria and therefore put your stomach issues back into a functioning and healthy place.
The”good” bacteria included in the tablets I ordered had:
L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, B. breve and B. longum, L. lactis, L. bulgaricus, Fructooligosaccharides, B. bifidum, L. plantarum, L. salivarius, L. casei.
I have no idea what any of these bacteria are or what they do individually, but as a team, I think they sound pretty good.
So that all sounds great, I was sold.
It is just over a week now since I’ve been taking them once a day. Instantly, pretty much, I developed a really bad stomach. I didn’t feel ill but I was going to the toilet all the time (5 to 6 times a day!) .. my tummy felt raw inside. Like I had been kicked by a horse.
Surely this isn’t normal.
Was it a coincidence? Or was it just a bug?
So I googled it! (As we do when we don’t know things!)
Apparently, probiotics can, in fact, cause tiny issues for the first few weeks. This is especially relevant for people who already have Gastrointestinal issues like us spoonies!
Probiotics are also supposed to play a huge response in our immune system response! This can only be good news for people like me with one or more auto immune diseases, and they help fight cancers, colds, and Constipation.
Antibiotics absolutely destroy our immune systems, so for people with auto immune conditions, that have had to take antibiotics for whatever reason, we are just further damaging our already failing immune response. Probiotics help to rebuild this and repair damage caused by antibiotics.
The reason is our systems have been so sluggish and useless for a long time, that when good bacteria are introduced, rather than them just settling into their new home and slowly batting away any baddies (as would happen in your average healthy person!). There is instead an all out war in our stomachs. Good Vs bad bacteria.
To start with. The baddies win. They know the territory and have lived there a long time. They fight well to keep their land! (Sorry that sounds very William Wallace, Braveheart doesn’t it. Freeeeedom!!!!
Is why our stomachs have such a hard time adjusting.
However, as with many good V bad stories, eventually, the underdog (the goody) starts to make a comeback. The more probiotics that we put in our system, we replenish the good army and they start to win and resettle our systems.
However, because of the problems we face along the way, a lot of us wave the white flag too soon, and think, “it can’t be good to have an upset tummy while taking probiotics, I better stop taking them!”
Therefore, we let the bad bacteria re-establish themselves.
You can read more about the scientific bits and bobs here.
So I’m nearly into week two of my probiotic journey. My stomach is still not settled fully, but my system has been messed up for a long time. I will continue to take the probiotics because frankly, I’ve come to the decision, it can’t do much more damage than has already been done.
If you are considering taking probiotics I have included the link to the product I purchased below. However, I would strongly recommend that none of this is medical advice and just my experiences. If you are considering taking any natural medications, please consult a health professional before taking. (Boring legal bit over! 😁