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Taking probiotics give me symptoms - Herxheimer?


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#1 Little Hedgehog

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 07:11 AM

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Hi everyone,I'm an IBS sufferer. I also have acid reflux but that's under control thanks to Pantomed medication. Anyways, I recently started a new probiotic called Probactiol which contains Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobactyerium lactis BI-07 mainly because I had to take antibiotics for 3 weeks due to a sinus infection and they devastated my gut flora. I've been taking that one for about 5 days now but I noticed I actually started suffering from reflux again even though I take my medication (and that one has never failed me in the past). I also feel a bit more bloated and (sorry for the details) but my gas smells really like H2S also known as the egg-smell.My stools are also a bit looser and I feel some discomfort in my intestines.now I heard about the Herxheimer effect where the probiotics are effectively killing the "bad" bacteria. Could my symptoms of bloating, discomfort and reflux be this Herxheimer effect? if so, this proves the probiotics are somehow working right? Do these effects go away eventually? I'm not sure if I should continue or stop the probiotics. If it's just a temporary effect and will actually relieve my IBS later on, I better continue. But if the effect is gonna stay, I better stop right away.Thanks for any tips.Oh yeah last but not least, I ate an egg every day for 3 days last week... I didn't realize egg yolks were such a terrible idea to eat if you have IBS. Perhaps that's doing it's part too? But I ate the last egg 4 days ago. It can't last that long can it?


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#2 Kathleen M.

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 07:41 AM

Probiotics cannot make H2S gas. However the upset in the bacteria from the antibiotics could give the sulfur reducing bacteria a chance to get going and can also upset the GI flora enough to loosen up the stools.So I can't really feel good assigning 100% of the blame to something with the probiotic when this could have happened from the antibiotic all by itself.Now adding in any bacteria can upset the locals so that can cause things.Does the probiotic have any prebiotic in it? (FOS, inulin, fiber of any kind, etc?) as that can cause some gas or bloating when you start even if it isn't actively killing off other bacteria. They claim it can only feed the probiotic bacteria, but it feeds all of them, and you don't need it to get the probiotics going. Usually you need a 2 week or so trial to see where you settle out and see if this probiotic is the right one for you. Even with good brands lots of people do well with one and not as well with another.
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#3 Little Hedgehog

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 10:24 AM

Thanks for your answer Kathleen. So if I understand correctly, the probiotic bacteria themselves won't create the foul smelling H2S but they could upset the gut flora enough to trigger it as well as triggering gas? Are these kind of symptoms temporary untill the gut flora "normalizes" again or does it mean I should try other probiotics?Also, in reply to your question about the prebiotics, I think the ones I use don't have them. I'm not 100% sure but I remember the lady at the pharmacy saying "hold on, I have to make sure I don't give you the one containing prebiotics too"By the way, I read that high sulfur food can cause smelly gas. Which is logical since it smells like H2S. However, I try to really watch my diet for my overall IBS symptoms. I love eating fish. I often eat codfish, pollock, coalfish, tuna (straight out of the can, not on a sandwich) and salmon. I also eat rice, carrots and bananas as a snack a lot. Are these foods high in sulfur or are they known for triggering IBS flare ups in general?Thanks again for your info :(

#4 Kathleen M.

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 10:31 AM

http://livingnetwork...lfur-food-list/ has the low sulfur food list, but I would limit all high protein food to a few ounces (like 4 or less) per meal if you can.I do think more of the issues is basically like the everglades when a bunch of people release pet snakes. It upsets the whole ecosystem for awhile and eventually things settle back to a new equilibrium. I'm not sure if they are directly lethal so much as they displace other germs. Either one can cause some upset.
My story of beating IBS: My Story with IBS
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