Ever had a persistent stomachache? Nothing you try seems to take the nagging ache or more painful symptoms like nausea and vomiting away? Is your relationship with gut health and digestion toxic? You may want to give probiotics a try.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are good live bacteria or yeast you introduce into your system to help fight bad bacteria (1). That’s it. Mystery solved. Different brands have different culture strains of bacteria and they all work to support your own immune system from inside your gut, where your immune system lives. Probiotics are especially helpful if you are on medication such as immune suppressants. Your digestive health is linked to your immune response (2). When you take care of your tummy, it takes care of you (usually).
What does your digestive health have to do with Multiple Sclerosis?
Food either fights disease or feeds it, it is important to isolate your own trigger foods and avoid them. It can be your last line of defense. Some trigger foods are universal, such as fried foods, sugar and alcohol. Prior to my diagnosis, I used to eat anything I wanted and I took no notice of the relationship pattern of aggravating stomach symptoms and then the inevitable body pain, blurred vision and fatigue.
Finally receiving a confirmation of an MS diagnosis started me on a journey to discover what my body is doing to itself, what am I doing to contribute to my wellness and conversely, what am I doing that might be unintentionally hurting me? I knew I had issues digesting almost anything: bread, fruit, rice, steak and chicken. I started looking to find a reason for my near constant stomach ache and indigestion. I was sick every day and could barely move from the inflammation in my colon even after numerous hospitalizations. Each cycle was more pronounced with worsening pain and longer duration of symptoms. I was becoming more and more sick and a cycle became obvious. It was an emergency room doctor who suggested rather than pain medications and a soft foods diet for a week, I should try probiotics and see if maybe I would benefit from an internal boost of my immune system to avoid debilitating recurring colitis infections I was suffering with.
I tried a few different brands and dosages before I found the right combination for my body. I take one Florastor brand probiotic in the morning and one again at night. My friendly tip: Avoid probiotic gummies because of the high sugar content. Also, start on a lower dose and move up if you need to. If I am having a particularly rough digestive cycle, I might increase my evening dose to two to help my stomach settle calmly overnight. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks before you start (3)
I am very pleased to report my tummy has never been happier and I have not been hospitalized for stomach related issues in months. I can eat more freely and digestion is kinder on my body. Of course, I still struggle with certain issues, but such is the nature of MS- I’m so thankful I gave probiotics a try and they really changed my relationship with digestion.
Have you ever tried probiotics?
Erica Hernandez was born in Miami, Florida and is making M.S mean Maximum Sassiness since August 2015. She is a Mother, Wife and Cat Lover. God and Harry Potter got her through the darkest times Follow her on Instagram @msbalance_