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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

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HI!

Okay! I'm a dummy.

Now that all the test possible for gi issues have come back neg, the gi is passing the diaherra off as normal for my 19 month old and the ped is referring all issues back to him. so now we are checking into every possible avenue and probiotics and prebiotic keep coming up. So in addition to putting my 3 kids and myself on the "self diagnosis We feel better when we are gluten free" route, what do i need to know about probiotics?

What are they?

What do they do?

what forms do they come in ?

How will they help us?

Where can I get them?

How safe are they?

How can you tell if you do too much or too little?

How often, how much do you take?

Can I give them to 19 month old, 7 year old, and 10 year old??

Thanks

Stacie

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Here is a good link to read up on probiotics. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/probiotics/

Here is an article on pro- and prebiotocs: http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/71/6/1682S

I am on them - but I am 41 years old and under a doctor's supervision (an allergist). So, I would have no idea about putting children on them. I would talk to a doctor about that!

My doctor put me on a whole regiment of supplements to help me heal my digestive tract and it has helped me tremendously. Not only with my digestion but also with my energy level. But, I would not start any regiment without first consulting with a doctor or a nutritionist. Especially on children. You might want to do a lot of research on your own as to the different supplements and any side effects there may be in children before you start taking them. This would also help you to have a list of questions to ask your doctor about the supplements. I would also discuss any potential side effects with any current medication anyone may be on.

I have talked to several different doctors and nutritionists over the past year and all of them have spoken highly of probiotics and also of digestive enzymes. The prebiotics I have not heard too much about and I have no personal experience with them. Maybe someone else in the forum can share their experience with prebiotics.

The probiotics my doctor put me on are Florastor and Ortho Biotic. I am also on Ortho Molecular's Digestive Enzyme.

Elizabeth Secora

gluten-free since March 2007

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In a nutshell, probiotics are friendly bacteria naturally found in our guts that aid in digestion, and some research is showing aids in our immunity and immune response. They are killed by antibiotics just like the bad bacteria are, so if you've taken antibiotics you need to replensih them. Other gut problems can also cause the environment to be less than ideal for probiotics.

There are various different strains, the most popular being acidophilous, and some researchers believe each person's probiotic make-up is individual to each person-sort of like a gut fingerprint, so it is best to take a supplement that has many different strains--or eat yogurt. Probiotics are naturally found in yogurt, and some yogurt manufacturers are even adding certain researched strains. Dannon Activa yogurt is supposed to be good for digetsive regulation. I have found DanActiv yogurt drinks especially helpful for my allergies, and their selling point is it has probiotics that help support the immune system. If you don't want to give your kids supplements, making them eat yogurt is the way to go.

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What are they?

Probiotics are the friendly bacteria found in your gut. They help with digestion and absorption of food and it is believed that they also play a major part in immunity. Everyone has them in their intestines. Without them, we die.

What do they do?

Illness occurs when their is an imbalance in the ratio of probiotics to bad bacteria in our intestines. To be healthy, the ratio of good to bad bacteria needs to be at 4:1. Any time that ratio is thrown off, we get sick. So taking probiotics when ill is a great step towards recovery. Using them daily is a wise step in prevention. These little bacteria are proving to be quite a powerful force even when treating cancer!

what forms do they come in ?

You can buy these in capsules, pearls or powder form. They can come in refrigerated or non-refrigerated form as well. If buying a non-refrigerated brand, stick with the pearls. Otherwise, it really doesn't matter what form they come in. Refrigerated brands tend to have a higher potency and so you can take less for optimum benefit.

How will they help us?

Along with boosting your immune system, probiotics do wonders for any kind of GI issues. Have you ever had an intestinal virus where you have horrible diarrhea and feel like you can't leave the bathroom for a day? Well, next time this occurs, take probiotics every 1/2 hour until the diarrhea stops. You'll be surprised to find out that 3 doses is about all it takes to stop diarrhea in its tracks. It will also shorten the length of any kind of illness.

Where can I get them?

Any health food store, vitamin shop or even on-line. If dairy isn't a problem, Metagenics has a great line of probiotics. Most alternative practioners swear by this brand.

How safe are they?

Unless you have horrific leaky gut, they are totally safe. Because they naturally occur in the body, there really is no danger of overdose or side effects (unless you have dairy allergies....then you do have to watch your source of probiotics as some do contain dairy).

How can you tell if you do too much or too little?

I don't believe that there is a scenario where you could do "too much". As for too little....with Celiac as an underlying condition, that may be hard to tell as well. If diarrhea or other illness is present, you need to keep taking it or up your dose as both are indicative of an imbalance in the gut flora.

How often, how much do you take?

This is one of the few supplements that everyone should take daily. Depending on the variety you buy, dosage may vary. Most are taken once per day. Some, twice.

Can I give them to 19 month old, 7 year old, and 10 year old??

You can give them to a newborn if you'd like. In fact, studies are showing that prenatal probiotic use as well as use in infants can significantly reduce the risk of developing asthma and allergies. It can also help with colic, ear infections, etc. In adults, it is proving effective against cancer....even tough cancers like bladder and kidney. Probiotics are proving to be so important that researchers are now debating on whether to categorize them as a new "organ" in the body or as a "superorganism".

As a side note, there was a recent article on-line that said researchers have now found the function of the appendix. Apparently, the appendix is our body's warehouse for probiotics. If for some reason the gut flora gets wiped out (cholera, dysentery, long-term anti-biotic use), the appendix then releases the stored probiotics to "reboot" our digestive/immune system. I imagine that for those who have had their appendix removed, taking a probiotic supplement is even more critical.

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"As a side note, there was a recent article on-line that said researchers have now found the function of the appendix. Apparently, the appendix is our body's warehouse for probiotics. If for some reason the gut flora gets wiped out (cholera, dysentery, long-term anti-biotic use), the appendix then releases the stored probiotics to "reboot" our digestive/immune system. I imagine that for those who have had their appendix removed, taking a probiotic supplement is even more critical.
"

I am so interested to read this article. Can you refer me to it? I ask b/c I had an emergency appendectomy this past August and was wondering if there have been any studies linking celiac to the appendix. I also was just today reading about the benefits of probiotics (which led me to this topic!). Thanks for the information!

Kate

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Just wanted to say, I had a pediatrician recomend I put my son on some lactibacillus (gave me a specific brand to ask for at the pharmacy counter), when he was under 2 and having the runs from constant antibiotics for ear infections. I didnt like the brand he gave me, you can find better ones for kids which will dissolve in juice or milk or yoghurt or applesauce!

Cara

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"

I am so interested to read this article. Can you refer me to it? I ask b/c I had an emergency appendectomy this past August and was wondering if there have been any studies linking celiac to the appendix. I also was just today reading about the benefits of probiotics (which led me to this topic!). Thanks for the information!

Kate

Here is the article on the appendix: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/10/2055374.htm

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Just want to add a couple of things. Be very careful of Dannon yogurts--Dannon is well known for having gluten in their yogurts, so watch for that. I never purchase their yogurts.

I posted this in another thread and am going to copy and paste it here. I was shopping for probiotics this weekend and found this one. This brand was recommended to me:

I was in a Vitamin Shoppe looking for probiotic's yesterday and found Kyo-Dophilus brand. There are several varieties to choose from, one which I had to read 4 times, and still walked away shaking my head. I decided to buy a totally different brand altogether. This is what I found on one of the bottles of Kyo-Dophilus, in the ingredients:

Now, explain to me, how can this product be free of gluten, yet still contain trace amounts of wheat??? I decided I can not trust this company with this kind of statement.

Here is the product on their website: http://www.kyolic.com/html/products/probio...odopenzymes.htm

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