In recent years Probiotics have become the “must take” supplement. Most people now know they should take them, they are not sure why and ultimately they don’t.
Yes, The Shrink Shop sell Probiotics on Amazon, but for a moment forget that because I really want to share with you my recent experience following emergency abdominal surgery. Taking supplements is pretty much a matter of faith. You know you should take a supplement, you buy it, hope you bought the right one and hope that it’s working. In this day and age where we expect instant gratification and assurance supplements can be a hard sell because (with the rare exception) you really don’t know if they are working or not, or if you just threw your money away.
Here is a post about the over-prescription of antibiotics, the need for probiotics and why I am so excited about the “large black mass found in my belly!
- 1 in 5 pediatric acute care visits results in an antibiotic prescription
- 40% of women receive antibiotics during labor
- The average American child gets 10-20 courses of antibiotics by the age of 18.
Antibiotic usage is linked to
- Chronic Fatigue
- Autoimmune diseases
- Metabolic dysfunction
Antibiotics save lives (probably mine) they fight bacterial infections and were discovered by accident in 1928 when Alexander Fleming noticed that mold killed Staphylococcus bacteria. This started a flurry of research and 20 classes of antibiotics were identified, Within the last few decades antibiotics have become less effective and now we’re dealing with infections that are resistant to antibiotics. Antibiotics are widely prescribed for “Self-limiting’ conditions. Conditions that if left alone would have fixed themselves and did not warrant the use of an antibiotic. Patients enter a doctors office and expect to walk out with a “Fix” and there is pressure on physicians to prescribe that “fix” Most patients would not be happy if they left an appointment being told to “rest up, you’ll be ok” There is also the attitude of “better safe than sorry” so people take an antibiotic because better to take something than nothing – not true.
Overuse of antibiotics is destroying our gut and this is where it all gets a little cloudy. We think of our gut as our digestion, if we get gas, sour stomach, food poisoning or bathroom issues, we think “gut.” This relationship makes sense. Then we are told that the bacteria in our gut is super important. So gut bacteria is good but we don’t we use antibiotics to kill bacteria? yes, it all starts to get a little messy so lets clean things up.
Firstly, our gut is not just our stomach. It’s everything from where food goes in, to where food goes out and it is full of both good and bad bacteria. Bacteria might only live 20 minutes so you can really bugger up a pretty healthy gut in a short space of time. The majority of gut bacteria live in the colon and they feed off the undigested carbohydrates and fiber in our diets (ever wondered why we rave about fiber, it is because our food bacteria feed on it in our colon)
This colony of bacteria (aka buzz word ‘Microbiome’) is now known to have a huge impact on our immune system (keyword here is HUGE) our appetite and feelings of hunger, our mood, energy and gene expression. Its a challenge to see how bacteria in your colon can affect your day, your workout, your energy, your health – but it absolutely does!
HYGIENE IS OVERRATED
Do you Purell your shopping cart? Do you sanitize everything (including your kid)? By limiting the bacteria we are exposed to we are limiting the richness and variety of our gut bacteria. I was an independent trainer in Golds Gym Venice for 24 years. The most famous gym in the world and probably the dirtiest. I say this with fondness as it almost added to the charm of the place, the fact that it could actually get away with dirty machines and bathrooms you wouldn’t believe. I didn’t get sick. No joke, I rarely got sick and if I did it would be a 24-hour thing and I would be fighting fit in no time. In all seriousness, I credit my superior health to my exposure to probably every bit of filth known to mankind. I could probably have licked Venice Beach Boardwalk (directly opposite the gym) with no ill affects.
In young children, the gut microbiome is still developing and a study in 2016 showed us that just one course of antibiotics caused significant changes that were not resolved even 2 years later. Consider then the average American child taking 10-20 courses of antibiotics before their 18th birthday.
WHAT TO DO
Probiotics are the good bacteria we rave about but don’t wait until you are prescribed a course of antibiotics to take them. 70 percent of our immune system is in our gut so by taking probiotics daily we can keep the balance of bacteria in favor of the good stuff. If we can promote gut health we can strengthen our immune system, which may be all we need to fight off infections in the first place.
Now we have the good bacteria it is also a good idea to feed them and that’s where your fiber intake can help. Prebiotics are water-soluble fiber and resistant starch that can be found in carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, taro, winter squash, and plantains. Now its fabulous if you eat all of those things but you can also buy INULIN. I use Insulin powder, add it to my water, it has no taste, couldn’t be easier.
January 2017 and me and Kevin are on vacation in Costa Rica. Not feeling too well and with a lot of back pain, I thought I had sunstroke and had overdone the paddle board experience. Second, to last night it turns into a fever, ridiculous pain, full body convulsions and then chills. All the symptoms of a kidney infection. That made for a fun (not) flight home and some major antibiotics which thankfully worked with great speed. From the very first tablet, my digestion system shut down. The weirdest feeling as I could actually feel my stomach had shut down. If I ate I could feel the food just land in an empty drum and then within an hour the bloating would start. The ill effects of the antibiotics were actually worse than the kidney infection and took a good month to correct. I was taking everything I could think of HCL, licorice root, apple cider vinegar – to try to kick-start some stomach acid. Probiotics, anything fermented, and gobs of prebiotics. That was my whole January.
Then I got a UTI, more antibiotics and then the sinus infection that lasted about 6 months – 2 more courses of antibiotics. Then the cough that wouldn’t go away – more antibiotics. This whole year I have had some underlying infection I have been dealing with – ME, the person that could lick the pavement on Venice Beach.
October 17, a Saturday. I have been having a little pressure in my abdomen and thought “oh yay” more antibiotics but before I had a chance to address it I was rushed to emergency. Long story short, they found a “large black mass” in my abdomen (never google “large black mass”) and it turned out to be a cyst, the size of an egg, attached to my bladder which had ruptured. They removed a bunch of things and cleaned everything else up. In the hospital, I thought back to the kidney infection and it turns out that this cyst was the cause of that infection and everything else I had been dealing with this year. That ccyst had been sitting on my bladder happily infecting my kidneys, my bladder and causing all the other annoying issues I had been having.
Now I’m on some serious amount of antibiotics and pain meds so I ask my husband to bring my stash of probiotics to the hospital. I take our probiotics daily but now I am pounding them 4x a day. In the hospital I was on IV antibiotics but upon returning home I was taking orally. Sure enough from the first tablet my digestion shuts down, the exact same way it did in January of this year. Dismayed I am preparing for a month or so of miserable gut health but within a week It was a non-issue ! My digestion was normal with none of the distension and pain I had been waiting for.
Not often do get an opportunity to really know that a supplement i working and the one good thing that came out of this whole thing is my absolute confidence that our very own Shrink Shop Probiotics brought my gut back to optimal health. I knew the product was great as I had researched it for months before we actually launched it but to actually experience it doing its thing was the one highlight of emergency abdominal surgery
In january I also took a lot of probiotics but it still took a good month to geyt back on my feet. I think it is a real testimant to our product that after so many courses of meds over the last 10 months our very own product saved the day,
So please excuse this plug for our product, but given what I’ve just been through I did want to share this whole experience with you
I hope I have explained why probiotics should be part of your everyday routine and maybe alerted you to the cautionary tale of antibiotics and their negative impact on our health.
Find our Probiotic HERE ON AMAZON
Until next time Joanne xx