Are Probiotics really that important?

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Date Joined Oct 2005
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   Posted 7/27/2008 4:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I apologize in advance if this question has been asked before.  I took Probiotics for two years, and they caused nothing but gas and bloating.  I haven't taken any in one year.  I had a follow-up last week with my GI.  He wasn't happy that I wasn't taking any Acidophilus!  Are probiotics really that important?  Do they cause anyone else to have bloating/gas?  Just curious....
Blessings, Julie
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (Pancolitis) 10/25/05
New Diagnosis of Crohn's March 2006
Asacol 3 pills three times a day
Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks
Prednisone 12mg a day
Imuran 75mg
Miralax as needed, Cortisone enemas as needed
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Date Joined Mar 2006
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   Posted 7/27/2008 9:01 AM (GMT -6)   
some docs like them, some dont know much or anything about them. a naturopath will recommend them. in general, they seem to cause gas and bloating as your gut is being reseeded, then it subsides. how long that takes depends on the individual and the probiotic they take.

i've been taking a probiotic for about 2 years now. i cant say i've noticed a clinical response, but since i've gone the naturopath route with diet, the ones i've talked to are hard core about taking a probiotic daily since i have a digestive disease. i take 1-2 pills per day (maintenance dose) in the morning on an empty stomach with a big glass of water and wait about a half an hour before eating breakfast.
Crazy Harry

Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10384
   Posted 7/27/2008 9:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Julie, you may need to try different probiotic formulations to find one that works well for you. I tried VSL#3 first, because it's proven to be effective for ulcerative colitis. It gave me bloating and gas. Now I use Primadophilus Reuteri and it's really helped me a lot. If the one you were taking bothered you, try a different one to see if you have better luck.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 7/27/2008 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I ditto what CrazyHarry says about it taking time for the gut to reseed and gas and bloating can occur during that time. I've read that information quite often. That said, there are a few strains of beneficial bacteria that are supposedly questionable for folks with digestive diseases. The most common two I've run across are FOS and Saccharomyces boulardii (excess gas and bloating reported). I believe Elaine Gottschall warned about both of these strains and I've read other material to the same effect, therefore I stick to brands without them. S. boulardii is actually a strain of "beneficial yeast". I don't care what their literature says, if a person is sensitive to yeast it would seem logical not to take this one. jmo...
Mom to 16 year old boy diagnosed in June, 2007.
Omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, iron, vit. C, calcium w/D3, a good multivitamin, SCD legal yogurt, weaning off Asacol.
Started The Maker's Diet in Sept. '07. Gradually learning/using more SCD recipes, too! (cooking challenged)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 455
   Posted 7/27/2008 11:20 AM (GMT -6)   
learned something way back when and its so simple...if it helps, keep doing it...if it hurts, dont do it..everyone reacts different to many things.
SCD since 01, remission since 01, occasional Arby's breaks :)

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 7/27/2008 11:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I never got bloated or gassy from my probiotics and I have found they help...I use Primadophilus Reuteri made by natures way, I find them to be affordable and effective.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 7/27/2008 5:19 PM (GMT -6)   
There is a common Pre-biotic that gets added to probiotic formulas called FOS (fructo-oligosaccherides). That ingredient can be a problem for some people since it is bacteria food and is not digested until it reaches your gut where the bacteria eat it. That could cause bloating and gas. Check for a formula that does not have that in it.
Also, you should look for an enteric coated capsule. Most of the probiotic in the pills is destroyed by the stomach unless the pills are enteric coated. I have seen a couple of different opinions on when to take the pills, but if you get an enteric coated capsule, it does not matter.

Post Edited (Keeper) : 7/27/2008 4:23:02 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1354
   Posted 7/27/2008 7:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I take the same probiotics as mentioned by Judilyn and pb4, I believe it has helped with the gas and bloating and I know my bm's are less frequent and firmer from taking them. Jo

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6044
   Posted 7/28/2008 12:33 AM (GMT -6)   
well i never saw the need for PRO's, amatuerbiotics should work fine..... hehehe....;0)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 7/28/2008 12:37 AM (GMT -6)   
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