Probiotics? Should I take them?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 8/22/2007 2:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all.
Posted this question in the MS forum as well, but really wanted it in the crohns forum. How many of you believe in Probiotics and why? what exactly do they do? Should I consider taking them to manage my crohns disease?
thanks to all of you who respond to these questions. I know they have been asked before.
50 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1811
   Posted 8/22/2007 8:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't know whether or not you *should* take them because the response to probiotics is very individual. I would most certainly try them. In lay terms they are good bacteria that your gut needs. The bad bacteria can often "take over" causing the D, gas and other yucky stuff. The good bacteria needs to be replenished and that's when the other symptoms subside - theoretically.

Certain probiotic strains affect certain areas of health, but all based in the gut. There are a lot of good combo probiotics out there that have several different strains of bacteria. They can get pricey, but I think they may be worth a try. I have found that plain old acidophilus is helpful, so I don't buy the combo pills. Google probiotics and read up on it and you will find a lot of good info.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/22/2007 8:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I second what Stef17 said. I take a probiotic twice a day. I have noticed a decrease in my D. I think we really all should take them. We are prone to bacterial imbalances and I think they help to balance things out some.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 8/22/2007 8:37 AM (GMT -6)   
The overall consensus I have seen here is that they can do no harm if taken in suggested doses and may in fact do some marginal good for some people. My experience has been neutral -- noticed no benefits and no drawbacks, so quit taking them. But every gut is different. There's really nothing to lose in trying them.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2198
   Posted 8/22/2007 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
As a retired nurse, you probably realize anyone who has ever taken a course (or several courses) of broad spectrum antibiotics has had both the bad and the good gut flora killed off indiscriminately. Birth control pills, courses of steroids and a high carb/sugar diet can make gut ecology imbalances worse. When the good bugs are killed off, the bad bugs can take over. Probiotics help replace the good gut flora needed for proper digestion and health.

There are alot of brands out there that make big claims, but when tested, don't have the live cultures to do any good. Alot of yogurt companies are jumping on the "improved digestion" bandwagon too, but they often don't have viable cultures and often include alot of sugar and stuff you don't need. Look for a probiotic that has done the testing to back up its claims. The really good ones are pricey, but totally worth it.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999
Possibly misdiagnosed
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 8/22/2007 10:58 AM (GMT -6)   
My daughter makes homemade yogurt which is aged 24 hours and therefore far more powerful than store-bought. She eats it every day and considers it to be like medicine. The most tangible result was that her loud abdominal rumbles (you could hear them across the room, because of the stricture) vanished. We believe it helps her immune system.
She was on antibiotics for many years before getting Crohn's because of sinus infections, but nobody told us until two years ago that yogurt can help offset the damage done by antibiotics, which kill the good bacteria as well as the bad bacteria. My sister used to get D while on antibiotics, but it went away if she ate yogurt, even the commercial kind.  
Daughter (19) Dx'd Crohn's 3/06. Misdiagnosed for two years, including by top pediatric Crohn's specialist as stress and needing more fiber but landed in hospital in 3/06 with cramps, vomiting, stricture. In remission with Entocort 3 mg (one pill), SCD multivitamin, homemade yogurt, vit D3 800IU, 900+ mg calcium, B complex vit, 25 mg iron. Now on modified SCD (added rice and potatoes).  

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 8/22/2007 11:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Probiotics are a must for IBDers (IBSers as well), we tend to have bacterial overgrowth, not to mention the many times we're having to take antibiotics which kill everything, B/C pills cause bacterial overgrowth as well, usually in the form of recurrent yeast infections...

So yes, take a good probiotic, the one I use is affordable, has guaranteed intestinal release (makes it past the gut), aids with vaginal health, high cholesterol and lactose intolerance...

cut my BM's daily down to 5 or less, has made it much better when I have my periods as well (controls my BM's better during that horrid time, as menstration can have a huge negative effect with IBD).

So definintely get on a good one, the one I use is called Primadophilus Reuteri made by natures way, I've tried others but found this to be the best, it does not contain a bunch of un-necessary additives like aspertame, sugar, dyes and only contains a little potatoe starch for preservation...the only downfall is it must be kept in the fridge so that's where the store you purchase it from should be keeping it stored.
Here's a link regarding studies done on IBD and probiotics...
When it loads in scroll to the top of the page and read the full article.


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

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 161
   Posted 8/22/2007 7:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Elaine Gottshcall, co-creator of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet stated once that while probiotics are necessary to establish balance, their use while still feeding the bad gut flora with the wrong foods is somehow bad. The diet starves the bad guys and feeds the good guys simultaneously. I'll try to find her exact words...
36 year old mother of a fabulous toddler.
Diagnosed with Crohn's July 2007. I believe it's in the right side of my colon.
Currently taking Entocort 6 mg/day (tapering down), Asacol, Protonix 40mg/day.

On Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) since late July and seeing improvement in "output" quality and hopefully therefore absorption. Taking SCD legal supplements: B vitamins, Folonic Acid 800mg, EnZym Complete DPP IV Aid by Kirkman, and Saccaromyces Boulardii (a probiotic yeast).

Gastritis is back - constant, gnawing hunger. Yech.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 8/23/2007 2:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks to all of you for taking the time to answer my post. Thank you pb4 for your link..I will definately check it out and research this in google. ....just thought Id check with the pros first.
50 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.

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