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TOPIC: Please Help Me!

Please Help Me! 8 years 6 months ago #1

Hello -

I have had GI problems for 10 years...all started after i contracted Giardia from a river in Oregon and was also on a 5 month course of antibiotics prior. After that developed gluten and dairy intolerance, IBS, constipation and numerous food sensitivities. Right now i take high quality probiotics and digestive enzymes but still have problems. I also started testing positive for parasites on Metametrix tests a year ago but my main concern is low bifido and lactobacilli. i feel these low levels are preventing me from recovering and getting normal bowel function. a few months ago i took rifaximin to treat bacterial overgrowth and followed it up with 1 month of probiotic megadosing (400 billion a day and kept alternating brands...used VSL3, HLC and custom probiotics) but my recent stool test again showed low levels of beneficial bacteria as well as 3 parasites (hookworm, unknown and endolimax nana). Can anyone help? ive been battling this for years and just cant get better.

Regards,

Jake
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Re: Please Help Me! 8 years 6 months ago #2

  • Maff
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Hi Jake,

As you probably know, GI infections such as Giardia are common triggers for IBS. This particularly form of IBS being termed 'post-infectious IBS' or PI-IBS. Have you had this diagnosis from a gastroenterologist?

The long course of antibiotics may have predisposed you to the Giardia...but that is just speculation.

I too have been battling gut dysbiosis and IBS for years. I recently obtained my complete medical records and discovered that throughout my childhood and early teens I was given broad spectrum antibiotics literally every few months for various infections (mainly ear and throat). Not surprisingly stool analyses show that I too have low beneficial microflora, particularly Lactobacilli and commensal E.coli.

I have the problem that I am unable to tolerate anything with antifungal activity (yeast/fungi being my major problem) including probiotics due to severe neurological symptoms, so I literally have been unable to do anything about it. By all accounts however it is a very stubborn problem for anyone.

The key seems to be using antimicrobials and probiotics while simultaneously supporting immune function as much as possible - this may involve using immune modulators or stimulators and detoxing from substances that impair immune function e.g. toxic metals, persistent organic contaminants.

I would say that one month is not actually a long time to be on a probiotic, even high potency types such as VSL#3. It can take much longer for probiotics to have an impact. You have to consider that the number of microorganisms in the gut is many orders of magnitude greater than the 400 billion in a dose of VSL#3. I actually carried out a systematic review of studies looking at the effectiveness of probiotics for IBS last year as part of my bacherlors degree in nutritional medicine. A number of these studies looked at VSL#3 and found positive results but many had a duration of 8 weeks - so my feeling is that you need to supplement for at least this long to see improvement and I would personally give it 6 months before considering alternatives.

Many people seem to report good success with making kefir starting with a good quality probiotic supplement as a culture. The benefits of this being you know the probiotic bacteria are alive/viable...and it's much cheaper than probiotic supplements in the long run.

As a last resort you may be interested in learning about a therapy I am seriously considering myself - human probiotic infusion (HPI), also known as faecal bacteriotherapy. This involves taking antimicrobials to sterilise the gut followed by the introduction of healthy microflora from infusions made from the faecal material of healthy donors. This can be introduced via enemas and nasal feeding tubes to ensure the whole GI tract is repopulated with healthy microflora. Take a look at this clinic in Sydney, Australia where Professor Borody has pioneered the procedure - The Probiotic Therapy Research Centre

Something important people need to understand is that the bacteria in probiotic supplements do not appear to colonise the GI tract, so they just be taken continually to maintain any benefits. Bacteria from human donors are a different story as for reasons not yet entirely clear (but likely involving immune tagging) they are able to easily take up residence in a new gut.

Hope some of this helps and take care.
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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Re: Please Help Me! 8 years 6 months ago #3

Thanks fore all the info Maff! I still take probiotics daily and have been for the past few yrs, I just megadosed during the period following antibiotic treatment. My recent stool test showed no c.diff, h pylori or candida so at least they helped on some level, but I just cant seem to get the good bugs to propagate at higher levels.

Ive heard of fecal bacteriotherapy but I imagine its quite expensive & im not even sure if its available in the US. Is that really the last option? theres no other way to boost the levels of good bacteria in a less invasive manner?

Thanks!
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Re: Please Help Me! 8 years 6 months ago #4

  • Maff
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No problem Jake :)

Have you tried staying on the high potency probiotics like VSL#3 indefinitely? Like I said in my last post the numbers of bacteria in the gut are immense so trying to change the makeup of such an ecosystem with a few billion probiotic bacteria is perhaps just not going to cut it.

Good that your last stool test came back clear for those pathogens but be careful not to take such results as the absolute truth of the situation - the tests aren't 100% reliable by any means.

Yes faecal bacteriotherapy is pretty expensive and the clinic in Australia is the only one I know of that treats patients diagnosed with IBS, ME/CFS etc. The therapy is mostly used for C.diff infections that don't respond to normal antibiotic treatment.

I was thinking that you might consider gioving yourself probiotic enemas - if the idea doesn't scare you to death! This could help microbial balance in your colon at least. My problems seem to be predominantly with yeast and bacterial overgrowth in my small intestine which makes things tricky!

Of course diet also influences the composition of gut microflora. Have you looked into diets along the lines of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)?
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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Re: 77 Views and no responses? 8 years 6 months ago #5

Come on people someone must have something useful to say other than Maff
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Re: 111 Views and still no responses? 8 years 6 months ago #6

whats the point of a forum if people cant contribute to a discussion? i dont get it
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