So, just want to share my personal experience with kefir just as a word of warning to anyone deciding to try it.
I know many people report good results with it, and I am not trying to discourage anyone from giving it a shot, but my experiences with it and it's effect on my UC has been horrible, so just wanted to offer a data point for anyone to consider.
I was diagnosed with UC several years ago, and went really well with no medication or treatment, it just occasionally would manifest in small ways, but rarely was a problem. In November of 2015, after returning from Italy, I started to experience a HORRIBLE flare, never had one before that came close to leading me to having to have a colonectomy. I went on Asacol, Remicade infusions, and was on high doses of prednisone for about 8 months. Dropped 50 pounds of weight, and had 3 blood transfusions in this time frame. According to my GI, one of the worst flares she had ever treated. My hair began to fall out from the combination of drugs and malnutrition. Was simply one of the most awful periods of my life, and it seemed to manifest out of the blue.
At the time, I had started kefir 3-4 weeks before when the flare started, but had also been having a fair amount of life stress, and had recently returned from Italy, so was unsure of what might have been a precipitating factor in my flare. I suspected the kefir as it was a variable, but there was really no way of being able to tell with a single data point. At the time I used raw milk for making the kefir.
2 years later, after a year of 'mostly' being in remission, I decided to give the kefir experiment a try again. This time I opted to use whole, organic pasteurized milk to rule out bacterial infiltration through the raw milk. At the time I began I was doing pretty well, 3-4 small BMs per day (pretty good for me) , no blood in months, and seemed like a good time to try it again.
3 weeks after beginning kefir again, this time with pasteurized milk, I begin bleeding ALOT. Shooting up to 10 or more bloody, mostly liquid BMs per day, up in the middle of the night for BMs which hadnt happened in almost a year, and pretty much felt like I was going back into a flare. This time I have the benefit of Remicade infusions and daily Lialda to help curb the reaction, and I've put myself back on a 20mg daily dose of prednisone for a couple of weeks until I can get into the GI.
The only factor this time has been the introduction of the kefir into my diet, so after having a second data point, I think it's safe to say its what sent me into a flare the first time that nearly killed me.
I know many people recommend it and have had good results with it, I just wanted to point out that in my case it caused a lot of problems, and I'm fairly sure its the culprit. Not here to discount anyone elses success with it or discourage anyone from trying it, I would just make sure to watch it very carefully and go slowly, and discontinue quickly if you see signs of going downhill after starting it.
I was drinking a glass per 1 to 2 days. The first time I assumed it could have been harmful bacteria infiltration, but I dont think that its likely that it would have occurred 2 times in a row.
Thanks! Just wanted to share. Best of luck to all of you on your journeys!