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Do Probiotics And Digestive Enzymes Really Help?
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I've been on a gluten free diet for 1 month now. So far, I'm not seeing any improvement. I still have "IBS" symptoms. I was thinking about trying some probiotics and/or digestive enzymes. Can anyone tell me:

1) How well did they work for you (specifically what symptoms did they eliminate)?

2) What brands do you recommend?

3) Can I use them both together, or should I start with one or the other?

Also, I've been taking Prilosec for a few years for acid reflux, and I want to get off of it. Can either of these products help with acid reflux, too?

I don't have a Celiac diagnosis yet, but for now, I'll continue on the gluten-free diet. Maybe in the future, if these products help alot, I might experiment with gluten foods again.

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I don't know about the enzymes. But, for myself, taking probiotics helped tremendously. My docs around here were fairly clueless as to what was going on with me but she did suggest the probiotics. Caveat though....I am severely lactose intolerant also. Even supplements had some sort of milk or casein in them. I found Kirkman Labs, an online vitamin/supplement website that has ALOT of allergen-free (soy-free, egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free.....etc.) supplements and they also had probiotics (acidophilus). I got some and took two pills daily for 2 weeks and the severe symptoms I was dealing with did greatly improve. I self-diagnosed myself with leaky gut, so I guess that's what was being healed. But since my system isn't getting that good bacteria in any way otherwise I still take one pill daily. I feel like it helps to keep my system functioning as well as it can to help fight all my other food intolerances, glutens being only one.

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Anyone else? There must be some other people who have tried these things.

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I found digestive enzymes extremely helpful. I did a stool test with Diagnos-Techs a year ago which showed a deficiency in pancreatic enzymes, so I took them as a supplement for about six months and intermittently thereafter. I did not need the probiotics so much although do take them when taking antibiotics or in times of stress, because I have yogurt for breakfast every morning. I am 21 months post gluten and really do not need the digestive enzymes any more, although I still do have trouble digesting green salads :blink:

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I've been on a gluten free diet for 1 month now. So far, I'm not seeing any improvement. I still have "IBS" symptoms. I was thinking about trying some probiotics and/or digestive enzymes. Can anyone tell me:

1) How well did they work for you (specifically what symptoms did they eliminate)?

2) What brands do you recommend?

3) Can I use them both together, or should I start with one or the other?

Also, I've been taking Prilosec for a few years for acid reflux, and I want to get off of it. Can either of these products help with acid reflux, too?

I don't have a Celiac diagnosis yet, but for now, I'll continue on the gluten-free diet. Maybe in the future, if these products help alot, I might experiment with gluten foods again.

1) Yes. They were also recommended by my GI dr. There are several things here that you have to realize which is that many of the 'symptoms' may be related to malabsorption issues for various nutrients. One thing the probiotics do is begin to help restore the proper bacterial balance in your digestive systems. The bacteria in your gut are what actually turn the foods into nutrients that pass through your small intestinal wall into your blood stream. But one thing they directly helped with for me was the diarrhea.

2) VitaminShoppe.com has a variety of brands and types to meet various food intolerances and allergies. I use PB8, which you can usually pick up for about $12 per bottle. I take 3 times the normal recommanded amount because I'm on a special diet right now working to rebuild my intestinal system.

3) Yes you can use them both together.

As far as the Prilosec, I was on a number of various meds for acid reflux over the years. Turned out that was a dairy sensitivity. A number of my other symptoms were soy related. As far as my GI symptoms, eliminating all dairy and gluten has cleared my GI issues up completely.

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I can't afford to buy both probiotics and digestive enzymes right now, so I want to start with just one or the other. Which one should I try first?

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I can't afford to buy both probiotics and digestive enzymes right now, so I want to start with just one or the other. Which one should I try first?

Hmm....have you checked with your Dr? That is a hard question to answer because I'm not a doctor, and I know nothing about your medical history. From my personal response and experience, if I had to pick between one or the other, I would go with the probiotics. But others (like mushroom) might choose differently. Perhaps you could start with one, then switch to the other. If you have been diagnosed with IBS, you probably are dealing with diarrhea, so maybe start with the probiotics for a month then switch to the enzymes?

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    • Hi everyone, I've been reading this forum sporadically and have some questions of my own. I'm in my 40s and was diagnosed with celiac last December by biopsy and blood work after months of tests by my primary and then a gastro. My husband, around the same age as me, was dx'd with stage 4 cancer a month later, so admittedly it's took me longer than I'd have liked to learn about celiac. Now I feel pretty on top of my diet. I mostly make my own food - proteins and veggies, with some certified gluten-free snacks in the mix - and am pretty strict about what I will/won't eat at friend's houses or in restaurants (I prefer to go to dedicated gluten-free kitchens whenever possible). I'm doing okay on the diet, but still getting glutened every so often, usually when I let me guard down outside the home. I also periodically see my primary and a naturopath (who happens to have celiac!), but still, I have many questions if anyone would care to answer:

      -FATIGUE. I'm still so tired, fatigued so much of the time. My doctors blame this on the stress of my husband's diagnosis and my periodic trouble sleeping. But even during weeks where I'm sleeping enough (8-10 hrs a day), eating right, exercising as I can, trying to keep stress at bay, I'm still so bleeping tired. Maybe not when I wake up, but by late afternoon. Often my legs even feel weak/wooden. Has anyone else experienced greater fatigue early on after being diagnosed? This will pass, yes? I know I could cut out the sweets and that could help, but also, being a caregiver is hard and sometimes it's nice to eat your feelings between therapy sessions.  

      -SYMPTOMS CAUSED BY FATIGUE? Sometimes I'll have other "feels like I've been glutened" symptoms if I haven't gotten enough sleep, though I'm trying so hard to sleep at least 8 hours a night these days. Hasn't happened in a while thankfully, but there was a point this summer where my insomnia was bad and my arms were achy and I had some crazy flank/back pain I'd never experienced before. For weeks. Doctor ordered me to sleep sleep sleep, taking Benedryl if needed. I did, and the symptoms went away, but weird, yes? Has this happened to you? I ask because I want to make sure I'm getting all strange pains tested to the full extent if there's a chance it's something other than celiac. I do sometimes still feel that strange side stitch after a CC incident.

      -SKIN PROBLEMS. I have had a smidge of eczema since I was a teen and it - and the dermatitis herpetiformis I've acquired with my dx - are out of control right now. I recognize the connection with stress, but also, has anyone found any great natural remedies for DH to stop the itching? I've tried so many useless ointments and medicated creams, a number of them given to my by a dermo months ago. I see my naturopath this week, but thought I'd ask here too.

      -MOSTLY gluten-free KITCHEN GOOD ENOUGH? My husband is supportive of my diet and mostly eats gluten free meals with me, but we still keep a gluten-y toaster for him and the gluten-y dog food in a corner of the kitchen and he still makes the occasional meal with gluten for himself on his own cookware (ravioli, pizza, mac n cheese, etc). Or sometimes I make eggs/toast and the like for him when he's too sick to move. Otherwise, we're militant about how we cook, which cookware we use, etc. He even has a kitchen nook off our den where he makes sandwiches. But sometimes I wonder if having two separate sponges in our shared-ish main kitchen is enough and I should just banish all gluten whatsoever from the kitchen. I can't be the only one with a mixed kitchen, right? How do you do it if you have a mixed-eating family?

      Thank you so much!  
    • Hang in there!  Count your blessings.  Do something you like to do and relax. I know that is hard to do as a young mother (as I sit here in the kitchen sipping coffee quietly as my teenager is sleeping in after a late football game last night where she marched in 90 degree plus weather in full uniform).   But seriously, take a few minutes to relax!  
    • Meredith, this is very true. A colonoscopy is for diagnosis of the lower intestine, endoscopy for the upper intestine.  How did your doctor interpret the tests? I suggest you read the link Cycling Lady gave you because it contains a lot of good information. 
    • Sorry, but this product (supplement) is not even certified gluten free.   Seems odd that a product geared to Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance would not take the extra step of getting certified.   I guess I am a Nervous Nellie, especially after the reports that several probiotics were contaminated with gluten.   https://celiac.org/blog/2015/06/probiotics-your-friend-or-foe/
    • Thank you for posting that. I've had a lot of that bloodwork done and everything is normal. At the peak of this belly bug I had blood work done and my white count was fine. I think it's just my health anxiety scaring me into thinking this is something scarier (to me) than celiac. Maybe the anxiety will subside once I go gluten-free. The anxiety is brutal.
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