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lexibrowning

What's The Deal With Probiotics?

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Since being on this site I've read a lot things about probiotics.  I feel silly and like I should already know this, but what are probiotics and why is it so important I take them?  I looked at walmart today at some they had there but there are so many choices.  How do you choose what probiotic to take?

 

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Read this: 

 

http://thefooddoc.com/probiotic_facts

 

I take:

 

http://www.customprobiotics.com/custom-probiotics-six-cultures.htm

 

and my gut health has been the best since I was ...well, born. :)  I am 56 and at DX, nearly 3 years ago, I had no detectable good gut bacteria

That is "impossible" said the GI doctor. All human guts have a balance of "good and bad guy" bacteria. 

 

I had "IBS" and "GERD" and a burning GI tract...from mouth to rectum.I was a mess.

 

Not anymore. I highly recommend probtioics to celiacs. (and everyone) They are beneficial bacteria and they help.

 

IMHO

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My doctor always recommends taking probiotics after completing a course of broad-specturm antibiotics.  I took them for the first couple of months after my celiac disease diagnosis.  I bought some at Costco that don't have any milk.  I use Bio-K after each visit to the hospital for surgery, etc.  (this brand recommended by my doctor).  Bio-K is expensive but well worth it after something so invasive! 

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I think the probiotics concerns are fairly complex but a great thing to keep in mind as you start into a new food regime. Here are some things that I think I understand.

• The standard western diet is not strong on probiotics. Generally, processed foods don't contain probiotics so we're not introduced them into our systems in the quantities that we would have in the past.

• There are plenty of foods that actually kill off the good bacteria in our system. Beef, dairy, and poultry can be bad simply because of the amounts of antibiotics the animals have been given, sugar can feed the bad bacteria, and many foods that have been stored for long periods may grow molds that can kill good bacteria. And of course, drinking alcohol can kill of good bacteria.

• Having a recent diagnosis of celiac would mean that your system is completely out of whack. Not only is there damage to the digestive system which means it isn't producing the chemicals it needs to digest certain foods, but that you've probably been on high speed for quite a while. So while you heal, your body may respond well to an extra boost from good bacteria to make it easier for your digestive system to heal.

• And there is the aspect of prebiotics - foods that the good bacteria in our digestive systems like to eat. Most of us aren't eating enough of them to keep the bacteria we do have thriving.

Granted, that is somewhat oversimplified, but even if you weren't diagnosed with celiac, you'd most likely benefit from having more probiotics added to your diet. Having a recent diagnosis is just one more reason to do all you can to be kind to your digestive system as it heals.

If you want to skip buying probiotics on their own, you could look to the foods that contain them naturally (raw fruits and veggies though some are much better than others so some research is suggested), or foods that have good bacteria added during their creation such as yogurts or fermented foods (the exception to the processed food rule though some are better than others and added sugars can negate some of the benefits). 

I personally didn't see any difference when I tried adding probiotics in pill form when I went gluten free, rather they seemed to upset my stomach a bit. I don't know if it was because I was already eating lots of foods that contain probiotics but not those that kill them, or if I just had bad timing and something else was going on. Maybe a little of both.

That said, if I were prescribed antibiotics, I'd probably go buy a probiotic to take as well. I've had c diff. (overgrowth of bad bacteria that gets way out of control) and I don't want that again.

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