Olden's Pharmacy Blog

Just what the heck are probiotics!?

Posted by Joan MacArthur on Jul 9, 2014 5:24:57 PM
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peter-rabbitFor a stomach ache, Peter Rabbit's mother put him to bed with some chamomile tea. Your own mother likely gave you warm ginger ale and soda crackers to settle an upset stomach. Both remedies still work great for occasional stomach distress, but if you spend more days than not with a "lousy" stomach, it might be time to call the doctor or your friendly Olden's Pharmacy pharmacist and ask for something new.

What's new? Probiotics.

Probiotics are live, "friendly" organisms that live in the intestine. When probiotics are in plentiful supply, they can actually decrease the number of bacteria and viruses that cause diseases like diarrhea.

Probiotic Supplements have been shown to be beneficial for preventing and treating some types of diarrhea, including diarrhea caused by antibiotics. Probiotics also seem to help some bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome, and infectious diarrhea such as c.difficile.

Not all probiotic products are the same, however. Some do not contain what they say on the label, others do not contain enough live organisms to be effective, and some probiotics work better for certain conditions than others. Proper product selection is important to see best results!

That’s where Olden’s Pharmacy can help you out! We've quickly learned which probiotics will aid your ailing stomach and digestive issues best. Olden's can help you make the best selection for your specific medical condition. Here's a few scenarios we often run through in the pharmacy.

 

*Remember, if you're experiencing serious digestive or stomach issues, please contact a doctor immediately. 

- Four Common Reasons to Consider Probiotics - 

1.) To prevent diarrhea caused by antibiotics: Most recommended - Culturelle, Florastor, Floragen3

Advice: Start taking the probiotic with the antibiotic (separate the dosing by at least 2 hours) and continue for a few days after stopping the antibiotic.

 

2.) To prevent traveler's diarrhea: Culturelle, Florastor, Floragen3

Advice: Start taking the probiotic a few days before your trip and continue for a few days after you return home.

 

3.) As an adjunct to therapy for ulcerative colitis: Floragen3 or VSL3

- Use of a maintenance dosing of a probiotic may help reduce the bloating of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea.

 4.) As an adjunct to therapy for C.difficile infectious diarrhea: Floragen3 or VSL3

- Commonly c.diff is treated with strong antibiotics that kill the "good" bacteria as well as the "bad". Space the probiotic dose in between antibiotic doses for greatest benefit.

 

It is important to note that for healthy people, routine use of probiotics to maintain bowel health is unnecessary. While well tolerated by most patients, there is a small risk of infection with probiotics. For some people, probiotics can cause stomach and intestinal upset, gas and bloating. These symptoms usually improve with time. If you have a weakened immune system you should not take probiotics unless you've checked with your healthcare professional. Additionally, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should seek approval from your healthcare professional before taking any probiotic other than yogurt. 

Think a Probiotic Supplement might help you? Give us a call (781-337-0187) or visit Olden's Pharmacy on 101 Pleasant St in South Weymouth. We will happily listen to your needs and help you decide if probiotic supplements are right for you.

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Topics: Olden's Pharmacy health tips probiotics

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