VSL3 best treatment by far

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Tilly1957
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Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/4/2011 4:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I have suffered with IBS for about forty years and during that time been prescribed numerous treatments. Some have helped but all have only given temporary limited help. Most days I have had pain, diarrhoea or constipation, bloating, wind and for about the last ten years rectal bleeding. Eighteen months ago the pain side became worse and I was diagnosed with diverticulosis- and given antibiotics- again with limited success.
Then by accident I found a leaflet on VSL3 and decided to give it a try. I bought it over the internet( my local chemist will now supply me), then took one sachet of the powder with a half pint of water on an empty stomach for seven days. To my amazement and delight my symptoms became less severe and continued to do so over the following months. If I have a slight relapse ( almost always having eaten food containing onion or something particularly spicey) I simply take one sachet as per usual and I almost instantly recover.
For over a year now I have had vastly less stomach pain, wind, bloating and my stools have been much more consistant and 'normal' ( I had not experienced 'normal' for over forty years). My rectal bleeding has now stopped for at least six months.
The leaflet I found in the doctors surgery which led to my trying VSL3 has changed my life.
I cannot recommend it enough.

shawn12
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Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 1293
   Posted 5/5/2011 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Tilly1957

Glad to hear you found something that helped.
IBS Forum Moderator


I am not a doctor. All information I present is for educational purposes only and should not be subsituted for the advise of a qualified health care provider.

Please make sure you have your symptoms diagnosed by a medical practitioner or a doctor.

Tilly1957
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Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/6/2011 3:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your support.
I forgot to mention that after so many years of IBS and consequent piles for the last ten years I had suffered from frequent leakage- which was obviously very difficult to cope with and very embarrassing.
It was not instant but since taking the VSL3 this has now completely stopped. I can only assume that the lining of my gut has slowly healed after having given it back a good combination of bacteria.

This has been the strange thing with VSL3- it takes a while to work but is worth the wait. I now think of it as like sowing grass seed and then waiting for the new lawn to grow. I now only -perhaps once every two months- have to take a dose to repair a patch that has been inadvertently damaged.

Marsky
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1954
   Posted 5/6/2011 6:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Tilly - you know I keep reading about this product (it's in the probiotic family, correct?) on the colitis forum. I have wondered if it would help me as well.

I am taking Renew Life Critical Colon Probiotic 80 Billion count at bedtime, on a completely empty stomach, so the pill doesn't dissolve in the stomach. A tip I read on the colitis board.

So if you would, compared VSL3 to the probiotic I'm taking. What you take must be 10 times stronger?

I am so happy you have found something that has worked for you! Very happy.

I need to add that while I've never been given the IBS dx, I have trouble (20+ bms per day, sometimes D, never constipation) because of the lower part of my colon being removed. Probably doesn't help that I also had my gall bladder removed during my cancer surgery (but I do not experience the yellow bile D).

Tilly1957
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Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/6/2011 7:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Marsky, the VSL3 I have taken, from the internet and now my Chemist is labelled VSL#3 Probiotic food supplement Live freeze-dried bacteria. 450 billion bacteria per sachet.
I buy a ten sachet box from the chemist for about £13. The box has to be kept in the fridge and I would expect it to last me over a year- ie about one sachet every two months. The only problem is that lots of people I talk to have IBS, colitis etc and I end up giving them a couple of sachets to try.
The VSL3 contains 8 different bacteria- i don't know how many different types there are in your current pill.
The idea of taking the powder with lots of water on an empty stomach is to try to get the VSL3 bacteria past the acidic stomach to the neutral small and large intestines- then sit back and wait for them to grow a nice mixed bacterial flora throughout the intestines.
I am sure it could help you. best wishes Tilly1957

Marsky
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1954
   Posted 5/6/2011 7:24 AM (GMT -6)   
See, I knew it was much higher in bacteria count.

Couldn't hurt to try it I guess. I am in the US. I wonder where we buy it here in the US? I work part time for a school (run a register in the cafeteria), and will be out for the summer soon. That might be a good time to try it.

So you take VSL3 on a completely empty stomach as well. It's great to read suggestions like this isn't it? Makes sense to me when you think about it.

After my resection, I ate 12 hours on and 12 hours off, I had several small meals thru out my day and only water after dinner. I initially did this to sleep all night and not have to run to the bathroom. Sometimes I think I need to return to this eating schedule, but it's hard when you start snacking in the evenings and break this once good habit.

Can I ask how many hours after you've eaten, you take your VSL3? Just curious.

Renew Life makes a higher count of bacteria, than mine and it comes in packets. I wonder if it's similar to VSL3?
- Rectal CA 4/29/99, Stage I, 90% sigmoid/15" of colon/GB removed, temporary colostomy, reversed 6-26-99
- Chronic IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's, on low residue diet
- Colace 50 mg, twice daily + Probiotic: Renew Life/Ultimate Flora/Critical Care/80 Billion daily

Tilly1957
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/6/2011 7:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi I just googled VSL3 and picked at random a supplier from the UK- it arrived next day in a box with an ice pack- I think from dennisthechemist -strange name but brilliant service. There must be a supplier in the US- or just ask your chemist if it could be ordered in for you?
I try to only have three meals a day (I used to leak after every meal and the habit of not snacking has rather stuck with me). If I need a sachet I usually take it one hour before a meal- usually before lunch.
When I first read the leaflet- over eighteen months ago I was very sceptical, then out of desperation I tried it and have never regretted it. When I look back at how debilitating my problem was I am still amazed how much beter my gut is.

Tilly1957
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 7/5/2011 4:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Now 18 months since first tried VSL3 and still amazingly well after all these years. Due to tooth propblem have had 8 treatments of antibiotics over last six months and amazingly this has not triggered my IBS.
After initial ten sachets of VSL3 18 months ago have only taken the odd sachet- about 6 in total.
Has anyone else tried it?
Has it helped?
Best wishes to all

KiWi44
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/5/2011 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Marsky said...
See, I knew it was much higher in bacteria count.

Couldn't hurt to try it I guess. I am in the US. I wonder where we buy it here in the US? I work part time for a school (run a register in the cafeteria), and will be out for the summer soon. That might be a good time to try it.

So you take VSL3 on a completely empty stomach as well. It's great to read suggestions like this isn't it? Makes sense to me when you think about it.

After my resection, I ate 12 hours on and 12 hours off, I had several small meals thru out my day and only water after dinner. I initially did this to sleep all night and not have to run to the bathroom. Sometimes I think I need to return to this eating schedule, but it's hard when you start snacking in the evenings and break this once good habit.

Can I ask how many hours after you've eaten, you take your VSL3? Just curious.

Renew Life makes a higher count of bacteria, than mine and it comes in packets. I wonder if it's similar to VSL3?


Hi Marsky,

Sorry to horn in on your thread, but my experience with the probiotics have been much alike that of the OP's.

I started out with Culturelle, and in a week I was in remission that lasted 3 years. The Culturelle contains a minuscule amount of bacteria compared to VSL.

Now, there are two VSL's out there: the VLS#3 and VSL#3DS, the latter being prescription and contains double of the VSL#3's bacteria - 900 billion of 8 different bacteria.

Most insurances cover it once your doctor writes a convincing document to the insurance company. The VSL is pretty expensive, but if your insurance covers it, you'll get a 120 sachets of VSL#3DS (4 sachets/day) worth $530 for $25 - 30, or whatever your copay is.

Also, the VSL#3 is found as pills in most pharmacies and you can order it online.

The probiotics is definitely worth trying. Some people do not receive any benefits from them, but I think most do to some degree.

All the best.

http://journals.lww.com/jcge/Fulltext/2010/04000/Probiotic_Therapy_for_Ulcerative_Colitis.7.aspx
UC since 1975
Asacol 3 x 3
50 mg 6MP
VSL#3DS
Ca with D, B, C, iron, etc
Vegetarian diet
Tried just about every diet and "cure" under the Sun

KiWi44
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/5/2011 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Tilly1957 said...
I have suffered with IBS for about forty years and during that time been prescribed numerous treatments. [clip]


The leaflet I found in the doctors surgery which led to my trying VSL3 has changed my life.

I cannot recommend it enough.


I've suffered from UC for 36 years - been there, done that - and my life changed the second I started to take probitics.

I'm happy for you.

All the best.
UC since 1975
Asacol 3 x 3
50 mg 6MP
VSL#3DS
Ca with D, B, C, iron, etc
Vegetarian diet
Tried just about every diet and "cure" under the Sun

Tilly1957
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 8/19/2011 5:14 AM (GMT -6)   
turn  Hi just to update- Ive just taken one sachet of VSL3- the first for at least six months and had an immediate improvement. Has anyone else tried VSL3 and found it helped?
I read the latest posts and feel for all of you. If you havent tried it please do- at about £14 for a ten sachet box- it is very cheap compared to the suffering caused by IBS etc.
Dont forget its like sowing seed for a new lawn- you have to wait for a while for the 'lawn' to grow in your intestines.
best wishes to all

casscass
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/7/2011 6:32 AM (GMT -6)   
hi Tilly1957,
did you feel worse before you felt better taking VSL3?,I have all the same symptoms as you including the diverticular(have had almost 20yrs)and tried everything I have ever heard about to help,I have just started VSL3,starting with half a packet a day but have had more bloating and cramps I will carry on taking it for a while because im desperate for a better quality of life,just wondered how you were when you first took it,
Best wishes x

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1954
   Posted 11/7/2011 8:29 AM (GMT -6)   
1 question, is the powder 200 billion count Renew Life makes, similar to VSL3? If it's similar, my local health food store carries it. Not sure how I'd go about buying VSL3.....

Panda_82
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 12/13/2011 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been recommended this by my GI doctor.
I suffer with loose stools (sometimes up to 8 times a day) and often very strange thin stools. I am thinking of giving this a try. Does it help with diahorrea?

Thanks

casscass
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/13/2011 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   
hi,yes it does help diareah,im ibs c though so have to also take magnesium citrate to help with the constipation ,i have been taking VSL 3 for a month now and have had 70% improvement.Reviews I have read seem to say it helps diareah more than constipation so give it a try,it is expensive but if it helps it is worth it are you in UK.

Panda_82
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 12/13/2011 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes I am in the UK so my GP can prescribe it

casscass
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/13/2011 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   
you are lucky then when I asked my GP he said it was not available on nhs prescription what area do you live in?

Tilly1957
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 4/9/2012 5:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi just to update my symptoms are still vastly reduced and i am totally convinced due to the help from VSL3, which I now take one sachet of once every two months. I cannot get it on NHS but as it costs about £10 a year I think it is a price well worth paying.
I started VSL3 out of total desperation and only wish it had been available 40+ years ago.
I have told many people about it- it is amazing how common a problem this is- and yet still most people are not keen to try it- why??. It is basically a powder containing the bacteria from eight different live yoghurts. It is no more expensive than a probiotic drink and yet it is about a million times better.
Every one i know who has tried it have improved dramatically- no need for expensive drugs, ointments, pessaries, endoscopies, pile ops etc etc -the list is endless- as all of you will know. Perhaps most important of all, no more of the terribly demorilising dismissive ' oh its IBS you will have to get on with it' comment from the n'th consultant.
Perhaps the answer is for the makers of VSL3 to change its name? perhaps to Pro-Probiotic. Any suggestions anyone? Or perhaps it should be prescribed on the NHS and save the country a fortune as well as making millions of peoples lives much better. Best wishes to all.

DigestiveDiva
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/11/2012 9:34 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband has been taking VSL for years for his Ulcerative Colitis and it has made a big difference. Our local CVS pharmacy was ordering it for us. He has since gone to a pharmacuetical grade VSL that is prescribed by his gastoenterologist. That has helped a lot with the expense since it is now being covered by our health insurance

Tilly1957
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 4/12/2012 5:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I am really pleased someone else is being helped- thanks for the feedback

zephyr mix
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Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/20/2012 7:15 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't have IBS but I am a skinny 24 year old with a bloated gut, and have a lot of heartburn issues (as well as poor skin) so I definitely have a problem with a gut bacterial imbalance.

What's frustrating is I had a stool test that seemed to say there was 'nothing abnormal' - but to these doctors, 'normal' is probably a low standard due to the older, sicker patients they probably deal with.

I very rarely eat processed foods and my diet is way better than other people I know (who all seem to look healthier). A while back I took 25 billion count capsules which had no effect, which made me think probiotics weren't the answer.

But after reading on here and elsewhere, it seems like VSL is the way to go - because it's actually potent and not for 'maintenance' it might actually have an effect on someone like me who never responds to any treatment. I can order it in Australia for $120 for 30 sachets - are these meant to be taken daily, so a 1 month supply is $120?

Tilly1957
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 10/20/2012 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi i would take one sachet every other day for 1 week, then 1 a week for four weeks, then 1 every two months. Take them on an empty stomach- ie an hour before you eat, with a pint of water. I have settled on the once every two months and it is working very well. If i am stupid and eat too much spicy food then I sometimes have an extra sachet.
Hope this helps and wish you all the best. please tell me how you get on with VSL3.

zephyr mix
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/1/2012 1:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I've almost got through the 30 sachets, taking one every second day, sometimes more frequently. The way I've been taking it is as soon as I wake up I mix a sachet in cold filtered water and drink. Then about 45 mins to an hour later I have breakfast, something light like eggs and a lettuce/tomato based salad usually.

My stomach hasn't felt any different with the bloating and heartburn issues remaining - is there something I could do differently to make it work? Is it better to take with Greek yoghurt?

Frustrating, no matter what healing foods I introduce I still feel tired, bloated and fatigued.

ItsAlwaysSomething
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1407
   Posted 12/1/2012 8:35 AM (GMT -6)   
zephyr mix-
I've tried a few probiotic products including VSL#3 and ended up using Benebiotics probiotics. My insurance doesn't cover any probiotics so I searched around online and found Benebiotics to be highly rated, relatively low-cost with a money-back guarantee.
Capsules are enteric coated (to get through stomach acid), 18 strains, 24 billion CFUs.
I get it at www.benebiotics.com.

Also, have you tried a gluten-free diet? What you describe (bloated and fatigued) may be related to gluten intolerance.
Diet modification makes a big difference to many of us on the UC forum.
Female, USA
Diagnosed pancolitis 12/2003, Colazal generic (balsalazide).
Benebiotic probiotic, multi-vitamin with iron, Starwest organic slippery elm powder, L-Glutamine, fish oil, whey shakes and transdermal LDN. Avoid lactose and most gluten products.

Tilly1957
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 12/1/2012 12:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi
sorry it hasn't worked yet. It took a while to work with me- at least six months, then it continued to improve over the years- with a top up every two months. Having suffered the extremes of IBS for well over forty years, piles for many- due to the constipation etc, bleeding and then for the last five years I seemed to leak all the time. On starting the VSL3 I expected no improvement- so have been amazed how well I have responded. I now just have to be careful with what I eat- no onions, very little spice and my gut still does not like salads too much.
Perhaps it would be worth keeping a food diary to see if there are some foods your body does not like.
Its just a thought but perhaps your body also does not like salad?
I have only tried the one probiotic-( apart from all the live yoghurt versions which seemed to make me worse) but will look up the one mentioned to see how expensive it is in the UK compared to VSL3.
best wishes to all
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