Posted 10/23/2007 7:08 PM (GMT -6)
Well, it doesn't seem so effective for me the way it was earlier on, a few years ago. In those days it seemed to quiten my bowels a bit, and help the stool form a little. Basically it was a little bit of a UC symptom dampener for me. Nowadays, not as much and perhaps not at all. I know there is something to be said for the idea that, in flares, probiotics can sometimes do more harm then good if used in high doses, because in high doses than can be irritating to a raw, bleeding gut. They may be most effective in low to moderate doses to help keep one in remission. In remission, or when I am "simmering" - which is the term I use for a remission that still has lots of little, multi-day "mini-flares" (loose stools or D that last afor a few days and then improve, without blood) here and there and/or gut pain wuthout other symptoms - I find that PD and other decent probiotics make me less vulnerable to this instability of mini-flares- and mini-flares are less likely to turn into "maxi" flares.
Honestly, that is the biggest benefit I find from probiotics - not so much combatting flares as keeping things more stable, less unlikely to spiral out of control. My intuition is that this is due to the "competition" that probiotic bacteria have for food sources - decomposing food in other words- that is generated by digestion. They compete against pathogenic bacteria that play a role in our flaring. In "normies"- those without IBD, these pathogenic are inconsequential.
But I have to bear in mind that in flares, more doesn't always mean better- it can just produce a more acidy gut that "burns" the raw, inflamed tissue even more. So sometimes, in a flare, if I overdo the probiotics as I am apt to do in an effort to avoid boosting prednisone, I may actually have to back off probiotics to reduce the flare intensity a bit.
In summary, some good probiotics seem better than nothing, but because even probiotics can upset our super-sensitive guts, it is something that can easily be overdone.