bacteria by the numbers

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 714
   Posted 10/5/2007 6:55 AM (GMT -6)   
You read a lot on the web about the correct balance of bacteria in colon for ideal health. The websites seem to indicate 70% good bacteria : 30% bad bacteria is the right balance.
The websites also indicate that gastro problems occur if the balance switches to 30:70 or 20:80 in favour of the bad guys and that probiotics and acidophilus etc are the best way to repopulate the good guys.
I have 2 questions:
1) How long does it take to get the 70:30 restored? Not looking for an exact time figure just a very rough figure. Presumbly this isn't go to happen in a few weeks or months since it took you a lifetime to get into this bad state of affairs in the first place?
2) Is it just a matter of putting in good guys i.e. will the extra good guys get rid of the bad guys or do you also have to take steps to get rid of the bad guys yourself
2400 mg Asacol + 500mg suppositories as needed
No Stress and a positive attitude (mostly!)
My colon appears to be acting somewhat normal (ssssshhhhh...don't jinx it)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 1251
   Posted 10/5/2007 7:30 AM (GMT -6)   
If those theories are correct and one can introduce the good bacteria into the colon then, it seems to me, it would be a function of the amount of bacteria one puts in their system versus the rates they are being "kill" off by one's own overactive immune system.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 10/5/2007 7:37 AM (GMT -6)   
That's a good question, damo123, I have seen many reports of low good bacteria levels in IBD patients, but have not heard of any solutions to that problem.  I vaguely remember a news report about this when I lived in Edmonton a few years back about U of Alberta (I think it was them) doing some stem cell transplants in Crohne's patients to see if their intestines would start producing good bacteria on their own.  Of course this is before I got UC so I didn't pay too much attention to it.
I am wondering if it is the good bacteria that keeps the bad bacteria levels in check and when the good bacteria is weak or levels are low, the bad bacteria starts running rampant?
Dx:  2006
Meds:  None so far. Garlic works to ease flares. My GI laughed when I told him and said it was just coincidence.
Diet:  Regular fresh garlic, Biobest yogurt daily, Omega 3 supplements, very limited junk food, carbs and processed food, low fat diet.  Lots of fresh fruit and veggies (limited potatoes). 
Added: tumeric and probiotics.

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