UC, Probiotics and Fish Oil

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ldarcy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 10/31/2008 12:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I've noticed from people's signatures that many here are on probiotics and fish oil.   This may be a stupid question, but what exactly do people take as probiotic?  Is there a pill one can take or is it found in certain foods?   Also, what should one look for in fish oil?  Are there certain kinds that are better than others?  I'm really interested in hearing people's experience with these as well, what kind of differences have people noticed with these supplements?
 
Thanks!
 
Ldarcy
45, female
Diagnosed September 2008
Asocol (6 / day)
 
 

Ldarcy
45, female
Diagnosed September 2008
Asocol (2 - 3 times / day)
 
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 17900
   Posted 10/31/2008 12:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, you can buy probiotic supplements in powder or cap form, the one I've been having success with (less daily BM's) is called Primadophilus Reuteri made by natures way, it's affordable and only one/day is needed (many require you to take up to 4/day and they're usually pricey) this one has guaranteed intestinal release, not all do, it also aids with high cholesterol, lactose intolerance and for women, vagina health and I can confirm it has aided me on all those counts as well...The only down fall is it must be kept cold, even purchased at a health food store that keeps it in their fridge.

I buy omegas 3-6-9 from Puritans Pride online, it's the only one I've ever used and it has helped loads with my moods/emotions for sure (as this DD can do a number on your mind as well) and being a natural anti-inflammatory that your body does not produce I feel confident that it also aids my gut as well.

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


Scarlet504
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 10/31/2008 12:37 AM (GMT -6)   

I started the probiotic Align a little less than two weeks ago and it is certainly too soon to tell whether it is aiding/helping or not. I am confused about all the probiotics available and since my GI gave me a sample package of Align, I will stick to it for the time being.

I don't use fish oil since I love to eat fish and eat it three times a week. I love smoked salmon or cooked salmon a lot, also broiled catfish (with no breading or topping - just the catfish filet) and the best of it is that I can eat it also in flares.

I personally have never really looked into supplements and probiotics before and I'm just getting started to explore all the options.


Pancolitis since 3/1997
Worst flare of my life since 8/2008, finally showing improvement!!
 
Meds (as in 10/2008)
12 x Asacol a day
40 30 25 mg Prednisone
Align (just started)
Flintstones Complete Vitamins (just started - tummy doesn't like the "adult" vitamins)
Cortenema


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 10/31/2008 2:26 AM (GMT -6)   

Probiotics are different strains of helpful bacteria and yeasts that we take as supplements to help populate our digestive tracts with good bugs.  A lot of IBDers have an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in their tracts, so taking supplements helps to regain the balance. 

There are so many different probiotic brands, and everyone has different experiences with them.  It is useful to get recommendations from people on what they take, but if one brand doesn't work for you, don't give up, just try a different type.  What I've noticed is that brands that contain a good variety of bacteria strains are more helpful, as well as ones that contain a large quantity of bacteria. 

Some brands that have helped me are Florastor, FloraQ2, and VSL#3.  Unfortunately all 3 brands are on the expensive side, but they all helped reduce my UC symptoms.  Fewer bms, better digestion of foods, less gas, less pain in my gut. 

If you go to just about any health food store (Whole Foods, Nature's, Wild Oats, Sunflower Markets, GNC, or a local food co-op), they'll have a decent selection.  Just ask the supplements person to point you in the right direction.  Something else you can do is to do a search of the HealingWell forums to get ideas.  The search function is located just below the site banner...just type in probiotics...you'll find tons of info.  you could also ask your doc, although many don't know about pro-bs or believe in their usefulness.

Good luck on the search. 


Brandon
 
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06
Meds & supplements: Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort, Prednisone, flaxseed oil, L-glutamine.


Gigi1227
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 10/31/2008 6:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosised years ago w/ IBS but was never told about probiotics. I wonder if I had been told about them and started taking them years ago if that would have saved me from UC. Who knows. When I was diagnosised w/ the UC last August my doctor still didn't tell me about probiotics, or multi enzymes, or psyllium husks. I learned that info here at HW. I went to vitamin world and bought all three and it has made a positive difference w/ my UC along w/ my other meds.

The fish oil I have always taken even before UC. I think a fish oil supplement is good for our overall general health - for our hearts, cholestrol, and over all emotional well being.

Gigi1227
Diagnosised 8/25/08 GRRR
Started flare mid-May/feeling better but still flaring
 
Canasa 2x a day
Asacol
Multi Enzyme
Mega Probiotic
Psyllium
Fiber Wafer
Nictotine Patch
Fish Oil Pill
Multi Vitamin
B12
 
 


natty34
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 10/31/2008 9:04 AM (GMT -6)   
One thing that is very important to remember is that Probiotics is not FDA approved, so without regulations, there are alot of products out there that do not contain the bacteria that is stated on the label. I have always been taught that in order for live bacteria to remain alive and be beneficial is that it has remained cold from the time of manufacturing to the time it is sold and ingested. So first, you should look at a reputable health food store and then only shop in the the refrigidated section. Unfortanately, that is where you are going to find the most expensive probiotics. I have used VSL #3 b/c my GI told me that is the only probiotic that has been tested in trials. I currently take Natren brand probiotics. They have different strands, but I take the Healthy Trinity which contain a mixture of strands with 30 billion CFU, which is the most I have seen per pill, excluding VSL. For a maintenance, it is recommended that a person ingest 10-12 billion CFU daily. I am relatively well, just rebounding from a flare and I am currently taking just one Healthy Trinity at 30 billion at bedtime. I was taking two pills at 60 billion when I was sick to speed up my recovery and build up the good bacteria after taking an antibiotic.
 
As for fish oil, I only take Omega 3. Research shows that Omega -3 assists with inflammation. When I buy my omega 3s, I look at the amount of EPA and DHA. I take a higher amount when I am sick and a lower amount when I am good just for maintenance. I am currently taking Metagenics brand that has a combo 720 EPA & DHA per pill....the most I have seen in pill form.  I take between 4-6 pills daily currently. You can also buy liquid and mix in protein shakes etc b/c that is more concentrated and contains more for less. I couldnt do it b/c I couldnt bear the consistency. Taste wasnt too bad b/c I bought the lemon flavor, but I also didnt mix with anything.
Hope this information helps...I will be honest...my supplements and diet has helped me in many cases more than my "medical" treatments have.
29 y/o female diagnosed with UC 2/06
Active Flare (with short periods of relief d/t prednisone) for approx 2 years
Experimented with every class of drugs with no complete remission
Currently in remission with the help of a naturopathic doc
Meds currently taking:
       *Remicade 500mg every 8 weeks (10 tx under my belt)
       *Fish oil, Natren Probiotics, Vitamin D3, L-Glutamine Powder, DHEA
   


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2198
   Posted 10/31/2008 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Probiotics are also found in certain types of food like yogurt and kefir, but I prefer to use a high quality supplement (I use Natren) so I know the amount of viable strains I'm ingesting. A lot of products make big claims but, when tested, don't live up to them. Probiotics help rebuild healthy gut flora that's been wiped out by broad spectrum antibiotics and poor diet.

Look for a fish oil supplement from a reputable brand that's as high as possible in EPA and DHA - check the nutrition panel - and has been proven mercury free. Fish oil - or flax and Udo's - are high in omega3s which reduce inflammation.


Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Long-term remission with only minor blips.
 
 


ldarcy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 10/31/2008 9:15 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks so much to everyone who replied - It's very confusing when there is so much available out there, it's so helpful to hear from people what actually worked for them.

I'm printing all of your answers and taking them with me to the health food store later today!  smilewinkgrin

Thanks again!

 


Ldarcy
45, female
Diagnosed September 2008
Asocol (2 - 3 times / day)
 
 


natty34
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 10/31/2008 9:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Princesa....looks like we are on the same page =)
29 y/o female diagnosed with UC 2/06
Active Flare (with short periods of relief d/t prednisone) for approx 2 years
Experimented with every class of drugs with no complete remission
Currently in remission with the help of a naturopathic doc
Meds currently taking:
       *Remicade 500mg every 8 weeks (10 tx under my belt)
       *Fish oil, Natren Probiotics, Vitamin D3, L-Glutamine Powder, DHEA
   


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 17900
   Posted 10/31/2008 1:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Well I use one called Primadophilus Reuteri made by natures way, it's found in the fridge at my health food store but it's affordable and only one/day is needed, many require you take up to 4/day and that alone can get expensive... I pay 29.00 (in Canada) for 90 pills which lasts me 90 days, it has 5 billion live cultures, guaranteed intestinal release, aids with high cholesterol, lactose intolerance and for women, vaginal health (all of which I had issues with but no longer do since using the primadophilus reuteri).

You must take probiotics daily and indefinitely (flaring or not) and when you're on antibiotics it's important to take your probiotics at least 2 hours after you're done taking your antis for the day or they'll just get destroyed by the antis.

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


ldarcy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 10/31/2008 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
That's interesting about the antibiotics - thanks for mentioning it!  Do you know if there are any other interactions that are worth knowing about?  Are there any problems with taking Asocol along with the probiotics or fish oil? 
 
Thanks!
Ldarcy
45, female
Diagnosed September 2008
Asocol (2 - 3 times / day)
 
 


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 10/31/2008 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   
No problems taking probiotics and Asacol or fish oil. Also, not all probiotics are destroyed by antibiotics. If you find a brand you like look it up online. Some strains/brands of pro-bs, like Florastor, can be taken with antibiotics effectively. But pb4 is right, once you start taking them, you are basically hooked indefinitely. Without being replenished, they are lost by our bms.
Brandon
 
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06
Meds & supplements: Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort, Prednisone, flaxseed oil, L-glutamine.


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2198
   Posted 10/31/2008 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   

Broad spectrum antibiotics that are often over-prescribed are the biggest culprit that affects healthy gut ecology. Even non-IBDers often experience digestive upset when taking them.

Other things that either kill off good gut flora or encourage overgrowth of bad gut flora are birth control pills, steroids that suppress the immune system, antacids and anti-ulcer meds, poor diet and diets high in sugars and simple starches. Bottle-fed infants who don't benefit from an infusion of good gut flora from the mother's breastmilk and people with diabetes are also at higher risk.

Omega-3 supplementation, probiotics and other natural supplements I've seen recommended on this forum don't conflict with pharmaceuticals.



Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Long-term remission with only minor blips.
 
 


kazygirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 10/31/2008 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   
hey, about the fish oil... i dont know about the states, but over here in australia, i found ENTERIC coated fish oil caps and they are made especially to get all the way to the colon.
my GI recommended them and i found them recently.

our medicines for UC are usually enteric coated so it gets past the stomach acids and through the small intestines.

hopefully they are available wherever you are. ENTERIC COATED FISH OIL (omega 3)
steph - 32 - female - gold coast australia - UC since 2000
severe UC in descending colon and sigmoid colon ONLY
mesalazine granules 3g x1 a day (much nicer than a million tablets a day)
prednisolone 25mg x1 a day (ick ick and did i say ick?)
enteric coated fish oil -omega 3 (so they get all the way to my colon)
vitamin D3 x1 a day
tumeric capsules - if i remember to take the bloody things.
i still eat what i want, when i want, if i feel like eating at all :(
 
 
 


tap
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 472
   Posted 11/1/2008 5:11 AM (GMT -6)   
beartooth said...
Without being replenished, they are lost by our bms.


Brandon, do you have a reference that supports this statement? I went searching but could not find one although I did find statements that the probiotic bacteria replaced bad bacteria.
43 - male
Asacol - 3 400mg pills 3 times per day
Diagnosed with pancolitis about a decade ago


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 11/2/2008 5:24 PM (GMT -6)   

Tap -

Personal experience has told me this.  There are numerous people here at HW that will concur. 

I looked for some literature to provide a more substantial and scientific answer for you.  I couldn't find any general info sites, but a couple of specific brand sites verify that probiotics need replenishing or they go away. 

http://www.florastor.com/article.asp?id=2164

http://www.vsl3.com/VSL3/about-faq.asp#faq-13  question: How long does VSL#3 take to work?

http://www.activia.us.com/pdf/Act_scientific_summary.pdf?v1  topic: Clinically proven to survive in the GI tract

 


Brandon
 
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06
Meds & supplements: Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort, Prednisone, flaxseed oil, L-glutamine.


emory
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 11/2/2008 10:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Just a quick comment on Princesa's statement above:
"Omega-3 supplementation, probiotics and other natural supplements I've seen recommended on this forum don't conflict with pharmaceuticals."

Metamucil is one thing that CAN conflict with oral medicines by potentially affecting absorption; it shouldn't be taken within two hours of oral meds.
(This is listed on the package, but I didn't notice it for a week or so, and I think it affected my meds during that time.)
40, female
Dx ulcerative proctitis, 3-5 cm, June 2008 (after 5 weeks of blood and mucous) and still flaring
Canasa 1000 mg suppositories and 2 tsp smooth texture Metamucil nightly
25 mg hydrocortisone suppositories and 1 Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra in a.m.
Effexor 37.5, Remeron 30 mg, Clonazepam .5 mg (or more) and Trazodone 75 mg for sleep/anxiety
2.5 mg methimazole for thyroid
Trying acupuncture
Osteopenia and other assorted ailments


ldarcy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 11/2/2008 11:08 PM (GMT -6)   
 
emory said...
Metamucil is one thing that CAN conflict with oral medicines by potentially affecting absorption; it shouldn't be taken within two hours of oral meds.

I assume that any kind of psyllium tablets would require the same consideration? 

I was told at the health food store that probiotics should be taken 2 hours away from medication as well - does this mean I'll be trying to remember different pills every couple of hours?? 

 


Ldarcy
45, female
Diagnosed September 2008
Asocol (2 - 3 times / day)
 
 


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 11/2/2008 11:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Something else to consider is that some citrus juices can also alter the effects of certain meds. If you drink orange or grapefruit juice, it is a good idea to wait a couple hours before or after to take your meds.

The only med that I take that I know for sure interacts is Fexafenadine (Allegra). Citrus juice taken with Allegra greatly reduces the strength of the dose I normally take.

ldarcy - Some people recommend taking probiotics half an hour before eating, the theory being that if taken with food, our digestive juices will destroy some of the probiotics. This might be the case, but I have never noticed any difference in my probiotic effectiveness, regardless of what meds I take it with, or if I take it with food. To be super cautious, sure, take you pills every two hours. Or take 'em all at once and see if you notice any difference.
Brandon
 
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06
Meds & supplements: Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort, Prednisone, flaxseed oil, L-glutamine.


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 17900
   Posted 11/3/2008 1:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Ya, my probioitc doesn't even specify if it has to be taken with food or not so that generally means it makes no difference, some do specify so which ever you choose you'll have to go by what the bottle recommends....and don't always hold the recommendations as gospel either, some people might do better not taking with food even if it suggests you do, remember they are likely basing recommendations on healthy people not those with bowel issues. So you do have the option to play around and see what works best for your system.

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


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2198
   Posted 11/3/2008 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I've always heard the general rule of thumb is to take probiotics on an empty stomach for the best effect on gut ecology. Taken WITH food, they can help improve digestion.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Long-term remission with only minor blips.
 
 

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