Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:01 AM
After taking VSL #3 (a very strong probiotic) for a few days my symptoms have gotten MUCH WORSE. Could this be an indication that I have SIBO? I also react badly to anything fermented or containing probiotics (yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut). I'm just putting the pieces together and wondering if the bacteria is overgrown in my intestines.
Posted 22 September 2013 - 11:37 AM
Hard to say without a breath test (and even then it's not guaranteed), but it sounds likely to me.
VSL #3 is not an SCD-legal probiotic, because it contains bifidus strains, which are believed by some to overgrow in people with compromised gut function. It also contains corn starch, and all starches are not allowed on SCD because they are not broken down completely by those same people.
If the yogurt you are eating is commercial yogurt (as opposed to SCD yogurt, which is fermented for 24 hours so the bacteria have time to eat all the lactose), it will contain lactose; even if you are not specifically lactose-intolerant, lactose is a disaccharide, again not allowed on SCD for the same reason. On the other hand, some folks are just not able to tolerate fermented foods; I'm not sure what the science is behind that, but I've seen posts from several people about this.
Have you had a chance to read "Breaking The Vicious Cycle" yet? I know you're super busy.
Lifetime wonky gut
5 months SCD
Posted 22 September 2013 - 11:50 AM
Thank you for letting me know about the bifidus strains. I have not commited to the SCD diet yet, so I know I'm still doing many things that aren't correct for it. I saw a gastroenterologist and he put me on VSL #3. Of course, he did not consider SIBO or fructose malabsorbtion as most doctors do not. He just gave me the diagnosis of IBS and gave me a prescription for Bentyl to stop the spasms. I am going to see an Integrative Medicine doctor this friday and I am hoping she can do a breath test. I am willing to commit to SCD if I have concrete evidence that SIBO is what I have, but until then I don't think I can make such a huge change. So I'm kind of stuck And it's frustrating when things that we're told by doctors will help, like probiotics, can make things worse!
I have not gotten a copy of BTVS yet but I have read about Elaine's research online.
Posted 22 September 2013 - 01:53 PM
Sorry if that sounded like I was saying, "You shouldn't take those because they're not SCD-legal." I was just putting it in the framework I'm familiar with at this point. I figured if you'd started the diet I would have read about it in a post here.
Just so you're aware, the SCD isn't designed just for SIBO, it's designed to help anyone with a number of gut problems: Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis, IBS with no known cause, etc. My personal experience is with SIBO -- at least that's what I believe based on the breath test result and my symptoms -- but there are many who have benefitted from the diet who do not suffer from IBS.
Being told things by doctors that end up making things worse is VERY frustrating! I think that's mostly due to them buying into a general principle ("probiotics can help restore normal gut flora balance") without understanding or accepting personal differences ("if you have SIBO, probiotic A will help you because it only contains lactobacillus acidophilus, but probiotic B might cause more damage because it contains bifidus strains").
Which reminds me, I forgot to mention that you might try a different probiotic, one that only contains lactobacillus acidophilus, to see if it helps. GI Pro Health sells one, and I know there are a few others. Most of the ones available at chain stores contain bifidus strains and other non-active ingredients that might be a problem.
Anyway, best of luck! If you get a chance to read Elaine's book it'll explain the science much better than I can.
Lifetime wonky gut
5 months SCD
Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:20 PM
I battled SIBO for almost 3 years - finally have it under control for the most part. I saw a nutritionist in my GI's office who had me try VSL #3 and it made me MUCH WORSE. I don't take any probiotics right now. Try to get a breath test to diagnose for sure though. MaryAnn
Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:46 PM
Thank you for the suggestion! I think I will try getting one of the lactobacillus acidophilus only probiotics and see if that works for my body. And thank you for reading all of my frustrated/confused posts and responding so helpfully
Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:47 PM
Thank you for your response! It's nice to know I'm not the only person who got worse instead of better. I really hope I can get a breath test when I see the doctor this friday. I'm sorry you struggled so long with SIBO, but I'm glad you feel you have it under control now