confused about probiotics - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 07-21-2010, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

My 14 month old son is on antibiotics for an ear infection (again... this keeps happening... we have just started seeing an ENT specialist to hopefully get this cleared up for good). He is suffering diarrhea from the antibiotics. I am wondering if I should give him a probiotic. I have heard that they will promote the growth of natural, helpful stomach bacteria and help with digestive issues stemming from antibiotics, but I don't really know much about probiotics. My main concern is, will probiotics also make the harmful bacteria in his ears grow? Will they undo all the work that the antibiotics are doing? Thanks for any info!
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#2 of 6 Old 07-21-2010, 05:04 PM
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No, they won't undo the work the antibiotics are doing. The antibiotic is intended to kill one particular strain of bacteria and as an unintended consequence, is killing everything including the ones that are helpful. The probiotic (I'm assuming you're thinking about a supplement) is an attempt to re-populate the digestive tract with bacteria that are typically part of a healthy gut.

You'd want to give the probiotic about 3 hours away from the antibiotic, the antibiotic will kill it off but the probiotic can help stabilize digestion a bit (so keep giving it throughout the course of antibiotics, multiple times a day would be best), and then keep the probiotic going for a good long time after the course of antibiotics is done.
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#3 of 6 Old 07-21-2010, 05:16 PM
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Start kids florastor- it is available at most pharmacies behind the counter. It is not killed by the antibiotics as it is a yeast probiotic.
Another momma on MDC told me about it and it really helped my DS when he had to be on antibiotics.
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#4 of 6 Old 07-22-2010, 07:45 PM
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I agree with using Florastor or S. Boullardi (Florastor contains S. Boullardi) since it is not killed by the antibiotic and will "take up space" in the gut and keep pathenogenic strains of bacteria from getting the upper hand (this is likely causing the diarrhea). S. Boullardi is transatory. It does not populate in the gut, it just is there while you're taking it. You need to add in a probiotic with good bacteria strains in order to repopulate, while you will need after the antibiotic. A good probiotic acts just like an antibiotic and can shove out the bad bacteria.

Your GI tract is all one big piece, from your mouth/nose/throat down to your anus. Bad bacteria that are in the intestines can make their way all the way up to the mouth (causing increased suseptibility to cavities) and then it's an easy jump up the tubes at the back of the mouth to get into the ear canal to cause ear infections. It's a viscious cycle of ear infections and antibiotics. I had this growing up.

I think its wonderful that you are thinking of probiotics for your son, this can be SO HEALING. The most powerful probiotics are food-based ones, such as yogurt, kefir, and cultured veggies (saurkraut). They make it further down the GI tract and can do the most good at repopulating. It helps to take them with meals, for aid in digestion (giving some good bacteria with the food helps to keep the bad bacteria from feeding on it) and also in between meals, to repopulate the gut. The normal advice for probiotics is to start very slowly with small doses but if he's taking an antibiotic, his need and tolerance may be quite high for probiotics. His stools should improve when he's getting enough probiotic.

So just to be clear I would do BOTH Florastor and also a bacteria probiotic I really like VSL (prescription).
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#5 of 6 Old 07-22-2010, 08:27 PM
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VSL is available w/o perscription but would be cheaper with a perscription if you can get it covered. It is one of the few (the only?) probiotics that is available like that.

Custom Probiotics is the cheapest source for the ammount of good bacteria you get but it is a big up front cost. The ammount you would need to get into your toddler is tiny though.

Patty wife to Jason Mama to Wisteria (6) and Junia (2)
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#6 of 6 Old 07-22-2010, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by April Dawn View Post
My main concern is, will probiotics also make the harmful bacteria in his ears grow? Will they undo all the work that the antibiotics are doing?
Beneficial (and not so beneficial) bacteria line the entire mucus membranes of the gi tract as the previous poster said. Also other mucus membranes like ears and vagina.

Antibiotics are like a fire and probiotics are like replanting healthy grass to grow there to choke out the weeds. A strong body flora, which can be helped by probiotics ... as well as being mindful of any food allergies or intolerances which are causing inflammation that impedes their growth... is a great defense against bad bacteria and supports the immune system in many ways.

I would highly recommend to consider milk as an allergy for repeated ear infections, that this the most common cause unfortunately. I have also met many mamas in my raw milk group which stopped repeated ear infections by switching to raw grass fed dairy.

The next time I would use HerbPharm's garlic mullein oil, it stops ear infections really fast w/o having to resort to antibx.

RE: Custom Probiotics
Have they ever answered whether they use soy in their culture or not? I know we talked about this before and I can't remember if it was resolved?

It's very important to avoid GMO soy in your probiotics... Robyn O'Brien's book The Unhealthy Truth was a real wake up call as to the damage GMO is doing to our gut flora and immune systems.
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