I just began taking VSL#3 a few days ago and have had severe bloating, stomach grumbling, and more diahrrea and indigestion then usual. Is this normal? Is this usually just a result of your intestinal flora changing and accomodating the new bacteria? At this point, I don't know if I should continue taking the probiotic, I've only been on it for a few days now. Is there anyone who has taken VSL#3 who has had a similar experience initially while taking it?
A little background on me. I'm 23 years old. I can trace my symptoms back to an exact day in September when I attended a state fair and had some questionable fried food from an outdoor vendor. I immediately had diahrrea, had to then use the bathroom on the greyhound tour bus back home, and had 2 more urgent trips to the bathroom that night. I thought I might have food poisoning, but the diahrea, frequent bathroom trips, urgency, and blood (sometimes) continued. It hit me with fury that first day and continued, gradually becoming worse until I finally went in for a colonoscopy in November and was diagnosed with UC (2/3 of my colon).
I was put on Lialda and prednisone, which helped cut my my bathroom trips to 2-3 a day, but never put me in complete remission. The bleeding actually got worse, and like clockwork, at least 2-3 times a week I'd have diahrrea and a flare. I also had incredible abdominal pains, constipation, and bloating, which I did not have before (I don't know if these were due to the mesalamine or prednisone, since I stopped both at the same time).
I tapered off the pred and lialda completely at the end of January and have actually done better on no drugs. I have no abdominal pain now, and I go to the bathroom about 3-5 times a day and have diahrrea sometimes, but mostly formed stool most of the time. Also, no blood at all now. But I still have the urgency, although not as bad, and would rather just go once a day rather than 3-5 times a day.
My GI finds it strange that I didn't flare and get worse after stopping the medications. All I take now is a multivitamin, some herbs, and probiotic. I'm still looking to find something to get me into a complete remission. I'm not in a flare, but I'm not in remission.
However, I think my UC could be caused by a parasite or particular pathogen/bacterial infection from that day in September. I was never offered the option of getting a stool test. How do I go about this? Do I ask my GI? Which labs are reliable?
I just don't know where to start.