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Probiotics and gut health

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Altostrata

Gut health seems to be very much involved in mental health, and many people here have reported an improvement in withdrawal symptoms after taking greater care with their diets. One approach is SCD/GAPS/Paleo Diets, which eliminates foods thought to trigger allergic reactions or digestion difficulties and allows beneficial bacteria to repopulate in the gut.

 

These diets also minimize sugar and starch intake, which is thought to cause a great deal of metabolic stress -- in some people, leading to diabetes.

 

I have had some success with taking probiotics. I've gotten a high recommendation for Enzymedica Digest Gold, a vegan probiotic capsule. A probiotic drink called GoodBelly seemed to help (Goodbelly actually contains a lot of sugar because the bacteria it contains need the sugar to keep alive).

 

I drink kefir often and eat yogurt every day, though I have not graduated to making my own. (Maybe some day soon.)

 

My gut is now in better shape since it ever was, even before antidepressants. For many years, I had an IBS-like condition. Eating anything in the garlic or onion family seemed to set it off. I liked Indian food but it often upset my stomach. Now I'm eating it all the time, and I can eat salsa with bits of raw onion in it (before I had to pick them out).

 

So something has gone right with my gut as my autonomic nervous system has recovered.

 

What's been your experience with probiotics?

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alexjuice

What's been your experience with probiotics?

 

The potent ones have worked for me -- aid digestion, relieve constipation, assist appetite -- but at a cost. I lost sensation in body parts when I tried digestive enzymes like the Digest line, capsuled probiotics like acidophilus also have had negative effects...

 

I'm very sensitive... Interestingly my responses are sometimes inconsistent over time. For instance, I tried a PPI and became very depressed, then lethargic, then unable to maintain consciousness. Tried the same med two months later (in a bit of a panic about symptoms) and experienced considerable pain/instability in my joints... So who knows how I'd react today. I'm trying to get fully onboard with the SCD.GAPS diet and stick to the dang thing. That's my bit for now...

 

It is interesting how the gut and brain intertwine. I'm glad I have so many folks around here to help me. I've been more pooped out and dumbed down than usual, though my symptoms generally getting better in spite of or as a result of or who knows... Happy to be feeling better than 100 days aago.

 

Alex

 

ps -

I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink

I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink

I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink

No,no,no.

//to sleep, i'll try

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BentBuddha

I'm 15days into a Paleo/GAPS diet and take an expensive probiotic even tho I can't afford it. I have just learned on YouTube how to make sauerkraut so will be making it instead of buying probiotics.

 

These diets just seem to make so much sense. I wish i had learned of them before i went on AD's. I'm sure a healed gut would translate to a healthy brain. I have signs of severe gut problems from leaky gut and i could just never work out what the hell has been the matter with me.

 

- very underweight

- fatigue from liver congestion

- dark under my eyes

- rashes

- acne on chest and back

- unexplained hair loss that doesn't run in my family as male pattern hair loss

- anxiety

 

yeah it's been awesome

 

My hunch is damage from grains. I lived off them. Was vegetarian for many years and had grains at every meal. Lots of soy too. To make things worse i was a junk food vegetarian. Eating lots of meals like greasy fries full of transfats etc. If you could reverse the GAPS/Paleo diet, that's pretty much what my diet was all the way til 35yrs old. *sigh*

 

oh well, at least i know now. Better late than never. I'm trying out Glutamine during the week. I read from Pubmed.org that this is good for healing the intestinal wall, the brain, and healing the body in general after stress. Bodybuilders use it for this reason. I'm hoping that it's not stimulating as I know during WD periods this can be bad. I have experience with 5-htp and it was nasty

 

would love to know if anyone has tried Glutamine for healing the brain during WD

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Nadia

I make my own yoghurt and kefir every day, and also tibicos, which are also called water kefir grains. I do wonder if I'm getting too much yeast from the kefir. I eat the grains occasionally and it seems to help my digestion. I've done the sauerkraut juice before, and want to do it again.

 

The thing about store-bought yoghurt is that it is usually only fermented about 6 hours, so it contains a lot of lactose, and the strains may not be as potent as it sits on the shelf a while. Also, they use a lot of bifidus strains, and those can take over and prevent you from having a healthy mixed colony of probiotics. I use a yoghurt starter that has only thermophilus, bulgaricus and casei. I have no idea what is in my kefir grains, as I got them from a friend.

 

CulturesForHealth.com lists all the specific strains in their various starters, and GiProHealth.com sells an "SCD yogurt starter" that is bifidus free.

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alexjuice

oh well, at least i know now. Better late than never. I'm trying out Glutamine during the week. I read from Pubmed.org that this is good for healing the intestinal wall, the brain, and healing the body in general after stress. Bodybuilders use it for this reason. I'm hoping that it's not stimulating as I know during WD periods this can be bad. I have experience with 5-htp and it was nasty

 

would love to know if anyone has tried Glutamine for healing the brain during WD

 

Hey BB,

 

Are you still experimenting with glutamine?

 

I have a powder for intestinal healing that is largely glutamine. I've not experimented with it too much because of other supplement obligations. I am typically monogamous in my dealings with a given supplement. I am curious how you have done?

 

Also do you think you have loss of intestinal wall integrity -- "leaky gut"? I think I must have this, like I must, but I've not had it checked. It seems like a silly assumption to just make though and many people on the GAPS board and support sites all proclaim they suffer from this condition. As I understand it, it's pretty easy to measure permeability through a sugar intake/urine output measure. Have you done this? I'd like to to see if I'm leaky and then to track my interventions to see if I am reducing my leakiness.

 

Like I said, curious about your experience as you're about my age and underweight with gut issues.

 

thanks,

Alex

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BentBuddha

I haven't tried the glutamine. I've had so much on my plate lately that I've just settled with doing GAPS as best I can and supplementing with probiotic, fish oil, vitamin D and milk thistle for my liver.

 

I've been low on funds as well, else I'd buy some digestive bitters as well. They can be a little pricey but if you just use a eye dropper and place some bitters on your tongue, the bitter taste causes a reaction down the vagus nerve from tongue to liver, where the liver creates new bile and dumps the old stuff. It's a good way to clean the liver. Those olive oil liver flushes I found to be hype.

 

My situation has made it pretty much impossible to work so Glutamine will have to remain on my 'wish-list' for now.

 

I haven't been tested for leaky gut but I know I have it. I was born via c-section while my mother was very sick from cancer. Even if i could have got some of her flora, I doubt it would have been very good while in the condition she was in. My older 2 brothers, and my sister have thrived in life. Physically, financially, emotionally, socially etc and i struggled. It's not proof but for me it's close enough.

 

I'm the poster child for GAPS. Skin conditions, anxiety, food sensitivities, difficulty gaining weight etc. I'd love to get this test you talk about, but I don't have the funds. Just to have some thing on paper.

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alexjuice

Ox bile is recommended in GAPS for gallbladder issues and helping with bile flow. Betaine HCl also could help with bile. I use both and neither were too expensive, I think ~$10 a bottle at the local store.

 

I understand your work situation. I've not been fully employed in a while. I only make a small amount of money and am mostly dependent on my family. I am lucky that my dad has kept me on his insurance so I have insurance and my mom helps with necessary food and stuff like that.

 

You seemed to be doing well at first with GAPS, then I saw a post saying you'd had some cravings... How are things going now?

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alexjuice

I dished out $142 to test my intestinal permeability aka my degree of "leaky gut".... According to Genova Diagnostic my gut is impermeable.

 

While I have numerous gut problems, it seems porousness isn't one of them, according to this test. I don't know how rock solid the test is but the method seems fine to me.

 

If anyone is interested, here is a sample report:

https://www.directlabs.com/imagepage.aspx?id=83&type=testsample

 

That this test said my gut wasn't leaky doesn't affect my strategy. I still have fungal levels graded toxic, still have gluten reactions, blood sugar, etc.... Mostly the same interventions though I can narrow my focus.

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Jemima

I'm fond of kimchi as a probiotic. I not only like the taste, it's easy to make in small quantities and a good way to use up odds and ends of fresh vegetables.

 

I've found that eliminating most starches and sugar from my diet has helped my gut a great deal. I still eat bread made from brown rice flour, brown and wild rice, and potatoes with no problems, which really makes me wonder if the fact that non-organic soy, corn, and wheat are nearly always genetically modified is what causes the digestive upsets rather than the pure grains themselves. Just reading about what genetically modified feed does to animals is enough to get one's gut in an uproar.

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bruno2016

Gut health seems to be very much involved in mental health, and many people here have reported an improvement in withdrawal symptoms after taking greater care with their diets. One approach is SCD/GAPS/Paleo Diets, which eliminates foods thought to trigger allergic reactions or digestion difficulties and allows beneficial bacteria to repopulate in the gut.

 

These diets also minimize sugar and starch intake, which is thought to cause a great deal of metabolic stress -- in some people, leading to diabetes.

 

I have had some success with taking probiotics. I've gotten a high recommendation for Enzymedica Digest Gold, a vegan probiotic capsule. A probiotic drink called GoodBelly seemed to help (Goodbelly actually contains a lot of sugar because the bacteria it contains need the sugar to keep alive).

 

I drink kefir often and eat yogurt every day, though I have not graduated to making my own. (Maybe some day soon.)

 

My gut is now in better shape since it ever was, even before antidepressants. For many years, I had an IBS-like condition. Eating anything in the garlic or onion family seemed to set it off. I liked Indian food but it often upset my stomach. Now I'm eating it all the time, and I can eat salsa with bits of raw onion in it (before I had to pick them out).

 

So something has gone right with my gut as my autonomic nervous system has recovered.

 

What's been your experience with probiotics?

 

I found a raw milk farm near my home and began making my own kefir which has way more probiotics than any supplement. I use raw goat milk and the farmer gave me some kefir grains. I also make my own sauerkraut and kombucha, which also have probiotics. I highly recommend reading the GAPS book.

 

I have had some improvements using these probiotics but am still in withdrawal hell.

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Jose

I have been doing some research about the connection between the digestive system and the brain through the vagus nerve, which seems explain some aspects of depression.

There are two articles in particular I found interesting in this regard:

http://www.livescience.com/15822-embargoed-probiotic-bacteria-treat-depression.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/12/beware--bacteria-growing-in-your-gut-can-influence-your-behavior.aspx

 

Does anyone have a personal experience with intake of probiotics and mood?

What probiotics have you tried successfully and how did you provide them to your body?

 

Thanks

 

Jose

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GiaK

I've written tons of stuff on mental well-being and the gut...

 

Nutrition and gut health

Mental health and diet

 

http://beyondmeds.com/gut-health/

 

though I've not connected it explicitly with the vagus nerve...it's all connected...

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mammaP

Thanks for bumping this Alto, I was searching for it last night and couldn't find it! 

Knew it was in here somewhere. 

I have a grocery delvery due soon and have ordered cabbage to make saukraut.

All recipes I found say to use pickling salt but I couldn't get hold of it here. 

Would any other salt do the job?  I was tempted to douse it in epsom salts but

might get overdosed on magnesium, lol. I have some acidophilous (sp?) caps and

will have a go at making lactose free yogurt. I read up on it last night and will give it a try

in the crockpot. 

 

I found more recipes, it seems that pickling salt is just a preference so will be using sea salt. 

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Altostrata

Giving your beneficial probiotic friends some fuel in the form of insoluble fiber, such as a little ground psyllium husk, is good for your gut health, too, particularly if you tend towards constipation.

 

I found a half-teaspoon of psyllium per day is plenty to keep regular. I can't imagine taking 3 teaspoons per day as the package advised!

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Altostrata

I know this sounds odd, but I'm finding I sleep a lot better when I take a 1/2 portion of a liquid probiotic, Goodbelly, in the morning.

 

I had some gut distress a couple of months ago and my digestion and sleep went south. My regular probiotic capsules didn't seem to do anything in particular (the higher dosage ones definitely were activating and kept me awake). When I tried a bit of Goodbelly again, the results were dramatic. I still wake once or twice in the middle of the night, but I'm able to go back to sleep.

 

Goodbelly contains one particular probiotic strain, Lactobacillus plantarum 299v. It's a liquid you can find in the refrigerated section of many US markets.

 

I have no idea how this works for sleep, but it does for me right now.

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whitelily

I went to a health food shop today and looked at acidophilus and aloe vera, and then I got distracted by spirulina and got totally confused!  Plus I'm finding it hard to think and focus lately and have just got exhausted with researching, hence my post here.  I'd really like to take something to heal my gut and restore balance and maintain it. 

 

So, what key steps do you find are really helpful for restoring and maintaining a healthy gut? 

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Meimeiquest

Here is one overview. If you google Chris Kessler, he has some excellent articles on it as well. http://draxe.com/4-steps-to-heal-leaky-gut-and-autoimmune-disease/

 

My doctor said the L-glutamine would be too stimulating for me, and when I took licorice root I could tell it was too much as well. For me, the number one thing has been avoiding gluten, dairy, and sugar. I went to a course on gut and mood (I have to do some kind of classes for my job) and the speaker said the discovery of this whole world of microrganisms within the body is the biggest scientific discovery of the past one hundred years.

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whitelily

Thanks Meimeiquest - I've been reading that the condition of the gut is implicated in some mental health issues. 

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Meimeiquest

It's a huge topic. Kellybroganmd.com has a lot about it. An important point is that excessive cortisol from stress can loosen the "paste" between cells of the intestine, also contributing to leaky gut symptom. There's a saying, "fire in the gut, fire in the brain."

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whitelily

That's interesting about cortisol.  I'm pretty sure my body has got overloaded with it ever since I've been on this particular antipsychotic because I've put so much weight on my upper arms especially.

 

Edit:  just been reading some of Kelly Brogan's site - thank you for mentioning her.  Do you happen to know what her Beyond Medication: Mental Health, Holistic Healing and Nutrition online course is like by any chance?  I was wondering whether it was worth investing in taking it.   

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Meimeiquest

I bought it but I have only listened to the first lecture, which was excellent.

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Petunia

whitelily, here are a couple of topics we already have related to gut health:

 

probiotics and gut health

 

digestive problems post-withdrawal

 

 

* note

 

When you have a question or comment about a specific symptom, please search to see if we already have a related topic, we usually do.  Then you can benefit from previously collected information and add to the discussion.  This keeps the site organized with all available knowledge in one thread, easily accessible through searches.

 

The search function on this site doesn't work very well.   The best way to search this site for specific information  is to use Google.  Type in survivingantidepressants.org then the symptom or information you wish to search for.

 

If after searching, you can't find what you're looking for, please start a new topic.

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Songbird

I used to get a lot of IBS symptoms, and I found aloe vera juice really helped, I would say about 90% better.  I only used brands that use inner gel only, no latex or bark which irritate the gut.  Then just over a year ago I was getting more and more symptoms after eating including brain fog and extreme fatigue, so I decided to try a gluten free diet.  This helped pretty much immediately.  Since going gluten free I have not needed to use the aloe vera juice.  I have not had any official testing or diagnosis, but for me the results speak for themselves.  Of course, this is just my own experience and may not apply to everyone.

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whitelily

Petu, thanks for your reply and the links you posted.  I'm sorry I didn't search first, but was just been finding it hard to focus on reading lots of information online and had got overwhelmed, which led to me posting. 

 

Today I ordered some probiotics from www.naturesbest.co.uk as they had very positive reviews. 

 

I also read that Fenugreek tea is very good for digestion (and also helpful for diabetes), and was going to order some tea bags but found that they were very expensive here in the UK.  So I've ordered some unbleached tea bags and am going to buy organic seeds and use a pestle & mortar to crush a teaspoonful to make home-made tea to try and have regularly. 

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whitelily

Thanks Songbird for your reply and mentioning about aloe vera and gluten.   I have wondered very much about gluten sensitivity as I know it's linked with mental health issues - perhaps it's worth getting tested. 

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Frustrated

I eat gluten free as well. It helps alot with ibs. I usually eat dairy free as well which helps even more but sometimes you just have to have cheese. It affects my throat and gut but oh well it isn't daily.

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Rhiannon

I use a modified GAPS protocol and it has worked well for me as long as I stay on the program. (Ate a bunch of crackers yesterday, not feeling so great today...)

 

I do well with eating probiotic foods like kefir and fermented sauerkraut and yogurt, too.

 

Chris Kresser's site has a lot of stuff about gut health and from what I can see Kelly Brogan looks pretty good. But I do best with the GAPS approach, limiting starches in general but eating more fruit than the usual low carb diet.

 

I think you might have to read and experiment a bit to find what works best for you. 

 

Be cautious with probiotics, we've had several members have bad reactions to them. I think a strong one can just stir up a lot of activity in the gut, which then aggravates other symptoms. I would just start with less than the whole capsule and work my way up.

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whitelily

Frustrated - I agree about cheese! lol.  I tried to give it up, but I found I was giving up so many foods (by cutting out sugar and carbs) that I've just had some again today. 

 

Rhi - I've heard of the GAPS protocol through a sister who has chronic fatigue.  Thank you for the advice about the probiotic.  Frustratingly, I made a mistake with my order and got the high strength capsule - not realising that there was a lower strength available - so it might well be essential to start with less. 

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MostlyWater

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbiome.. It's not so much the gut but rather the bacteria living inside the gut.

 

Depression has been linked to our microbiome.. that is the trillions of bacteria inside our body, particularly the gut. I believe having healthy bacteria is very important to our mental health.

 

"One model of depression is periodic separation of infant mice from their mothers. These mice show reductions in Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species, functional gut abnormalities, increased corticosterone (stress hormone) levels, weight loss, and causes them to not swim as much in a forced swim test as control mice, indicating behavioural despair. Treating the mice with Lactobacillus lowered corticosterone levels and gut abnormalities.[33] Another experiment has replicated the effect that germ free mice have an exaggerated stress response and also found reduced expression of brain-derivedneurotrophic factor in the cortex and hippocampus.[34] Another experiment showed that treating the maternally separated mice with a probiotic culture of Bifodobacterium infantis minimizes weight loss, causes mice to swim longer and causes an increase in the amount of the serotonin precursor tryptophan produced.[35]"

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ikam

I have some info for people who need to use probiotics for ibs. There is a guidline called NICE that informs GPs about the treatment. Probiotics are mentioned as a treatment for ibs. Therefore you can ask your gp for prescription.

I have a repeat prescription now for VSL#3, which is really expensive and I would be not able to afford it. This is very good probiotic.

http://www.vsl3.com/index.asp

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mammaP

Science daily states that people taking probiotics fucused less on negative ruminations.  Very interesting article! 

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150414083718.htm

 

People focus less on bad feelings and experiences from the past (i.e. rumination) after four weeks of probiotics administration. Psychologists Laura Steenbergen and Lorenza Colzato from the Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition published their findings in Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

Related Articles
  •  
 

Linking probiotics and mood

Probiotics are live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, are fundamental in improving digestion and immune function. Steenbergen and her fellow researchers were the first to investigate whether the administration of multispecies (containing different strains) probiotics for at least 4 weeks has a beneficial effect on rumination (i.e., recurrent thoughts about possible causes and consequences of one’s distress). “Rumination is one of the most predictive vulnerability markers of depression” says Steenbergen. “Persistent ruminative thoughts often precede and predict episodes of depression.”

Steenbergen asked 40 healthy subjects participating in the research to take a sachet containing powder which was mixed with lukewarm water or milk each day of the intervention. Half of the people received a placebo powder, while the other half received the probiotics mixture. People were invited to the lab twice: one time at the begin of the intervention and the second time after 4 weeks when the intervention was completed. In both occasions they were required to fill in a questionnaire indexing sensitivity (cognitive reactivity) to depression.

Less rumination through probiotics

Compared to subjects who received the placebo intervention, participants who received the  multispecies probiotics intervention showed significantly reduced ruminative thoughts. Colzato: “Even if preliminary, these results provide the first evidence that the intake of probiotics may help reduce negative thoughts associated with sad mood. As such, our findings shed an interesting new light on the potential of probiotics to serve as adjuvant or preventive therapy for depression.”

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Horns85

I am 8 months of Lexapro and my GI issues seem to have appeared overnight. I purchased a probiotic and digestive enzymes. I am starting with the enzymes to see how I handle those and after taking my first pill with dinner last night I experienced what fealt like terrible heartburn, but wasn't. It was more of a sharp gassy pain. Has anyone experienced this? Possibly my stomach just needs time to get used to it? I did feel like my food was digested better but was left with terrible pain in my chest.

 

I will try again today at lunch and see what happens. Thanks!

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Horns85

Has anyone found probiotics to be activating? I may have started out with a too high of dose after reading this thread. About an hour after taking the capsule I felt very anxious and dizzy. Just curious if anyone has experienced this. Thanks.

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