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Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms, a kind of 'good bacteria' that may aid digestion as well as protect against dangerous and harmful bacteria. A well-regulated digestive system is important for good health and probiotics may offer the additional push in the right direction that our bodies need to keep balanced and properly functioning. There are several types of bacteria that are beneficial to the body such as lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus bulgarius, lactobacillus reuteri, streptococcus thermophilus, saccharomyces boulardii, bifidobacterium bifidum, and bacillus subtilis. Probiotics are easy to ingest and are found in healthy foods such as yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut, as well as kefir (a fermented blend of milk and kefir grains). Some studies have shown that probiotic supplementation may help in the treatment of diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as intestinal infections, periodontal disease, liver disease, and more. Additionally, probiotics may, in some people, help ward off colds and flu, hay fever, and may relieve allergic issues in general (such as atopic dermatitis). Research is also being done in regard to how probiotics may help with the treatment of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

HOW TO USE:

Probiotics can be found in natural foods as mentioned above, but kimchi and yogurt, etc. might not be foods that some people may want to eat regularly, or even be able to eat for other possible medical reasons. Fortunately, probiotics can be delivered into the body through compounded supplements such as tablets, etc., thus making it very easy for anyone to get the probiotics their bodies need to keep their digestive tract functioning properly. Talk to your doctor about probiotics and he or she will help you decide what your daily or weekly dosage will be. Your compounding pharmacist will be glad to assist you with all your probiotic questions or general questions on digestive health. Always follow your doctor's directions on dosage and usage of any drug or supplement you are prescribed.

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS:

Generally speaking, probiotics are tolerated well by most people, though your individual experience may be unique. Talk to your doctor about probiotics and discuss any possible side effects. While side effects are rare with the use of probiotics and probiotic supplements overall, any supplement or drug introduced into the body has the possible propensity to cause side effects, so talk to your doctor.

Most Common Side Effects of Probiotics:

  • Gas
  • Other Mild Digestive Issues

NOTE: If you experience any side effect that feels severe or is concerning to you, see your doctor right away.

CAUTION: Some patients may be at an increased risk for severe side effects. If any of the following applies to you, talk to your doctor before taking probiotics:

  • Anyone Who Has Had Surgery
  • Extremely Sick Infants
  • Anyone with a Weakened Immune System
  • Critically Ill Patients

CONTRAINDICATIONS:

If you are considering probiotics, talk to your doctor before beginning usage. Your doctor will decide if probiotics are safe for your use and whether they will be effective for your treatment or desired outcome.

Some people, for various medical reasons, should not take probiotics. If any of the following applies to you, do not take probiotics:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Infants with Short Bowel Syndrome
  • Central Venous Catheter
  • Major Surgery Patients
  • Current or Past ICU Patient
  • Melena
  • Patients with Open Wounds
  • Severely Immunosuppressed

Ask your doctor for more information about all possible contraindications as well as all the conditions, etc. listed above.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA