Welcome scoopers!

Welcome scoopers!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Probiotics and a Gluten-Free Diet

Ever wonder why all of these digestive problems, food allergies and intolerances were rarely heard of up until the past 10 years or so? It seems that many problems like Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue, Gluten-Intolerance, Candida, Celiac Disease, and food allergies, are a relatively "new thing", and that more and more people are being diagnosed each day. Many of the symptoms of these problems are similar... digestive upsets, fatigue, chronic pain, vitamin deficiencies, bloating, etc etc etc. So...what is causing all this stuff??

In my opinion ANTIBIOTICS are to blame. Most people are unaware that antibiotics have only been prescribed by doctors since the 1940s or so. Antibiotics do not make the immune system stronger, they just temporarily replace one of its functions: killing harmful bacteria. The immune system functions like an organ or muscle. When it is not put to use, it atrophies. So when an antibiotic does one its jobs, the immune system performs that job poorly once the antibiotic leaves the body. Because of this, someone who takes antibiotics to cure a bacterial based illness may end up catching the same illness, only with more severe symptoms, later on in life. With more and more antibiotic use, our bodies become more resistant to certain strains of bacteria as well.

 Many people with the chronic problems I named above are victims of doctors' over prescription of antibiotics. We all know that antibiotics aren't ALL bad... in many cases they are necessary, and I'm sure have even saved lives. But because some of us have been given SO MANY of them, our immune systems have become weak, which has surely contributed to the problems we now face.

In my case, I was given dose after dose of antibiotics as child because of frequent ear infections. Then, during my 10 years of going from doctor to doctor to find out what was wrong... I was given even more. I had heavy doses of antibiotics after each sinus surgery, and was given "super antiobiotics" twice just as a "test" to see if an infection was what was causing my facial swelling. I'm sure each time, it only made things worse! And now, it surprises me that so many doctors would so carelessly prescribe antibiotics.

One of the main reasons antibiotics weaken the immune system is because, on top of killing the harmful bacteria... they also kill a lot of the "good bacteria" that our bodies need to function correctly and absorb nutrients. This is why PROBIOTICS are SO IMPORTANT! Especially for those of us still dealing with fatigue or "brain fog." These "good bugs" are our friends, and will help renew the strength of our digestive and immune system! I now take the Garden of Life brand Probiotics 2x a day...and they work marvelously! I would suggest that anyone who's gone gluten-free, but is still dealing with a lot of the same symptoms BEFORE you went gluten-free... to look into taking probiotics. They could be the missing link to your health! I know they were for me :)
I like the Garden of Life Women's Probiotics 
Here are some Tips on taking Probiotics:
1) Make sure to use a quality brand (like ReNew Life or Garden of Life). They can be expensive, but trust me, it's worth it!
2) Make sure the brand you use contains AT LEAST FOUR different strands of the "good bugs",  or it's not worth it the money.
3) Only use REFRIGERATED probiotics, and make sure to keep them in there! Heat can damage or destory them. Remember, we're dealing with living organisms here.
4) It's best to take them in between meals. I take mine 2x a day between breakfast and lunch, and again after dinner or before bed.
5) You can also get Probiotics through yogurt. Greek yogurt, such as the kind at Trader Joe's, will give you a good amount of certain strains. For severe cases, though, I recommend sticking with a probiotic pill, since it will give you "billions" of these organisms.

What's YOUR opinion on antibiotics / probiotics? Remember, I'm no doctor, so you may want to check with your physician before taking probiotics. For more information on how PROBIOTICS and PREBIOTICS can improve the health of those with Celiac  / Gluten Intolerance ... click here!

Cheers to a happy, healthy, Gluten-Free holiday season!
♥ Christie