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Probiotics And Rheumatoid Arthritis

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roopower | 18:54 Mon 27th Aug 2018 | Body & Soul
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My son, who was diagnosed with RA a year ago, has now developed a very upset stomach. He's had blood and stool tests which came back clear so it looks as though he has IBS. We've kept a food diary which showed there isn't anything that appears to upset him on a regular basis. He asked his rheumatoid nurse if he can take probiotics but she didn't know. He's on various immune suppressing drugs and I don't want to risk making him ill. He's not due to see his consultant for a month. Does anyone have any advice, please?

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I have RA and am on a Biological drug which suppresses the immune system. I have had problems with upset stomach. I cut out gluten which helped enormously and am careful not to eat too many carbs. I also have live yoghurt everyday. It has helped me. I often feel nauseous but that's the drugs.
19:48 Mon 27th Aug 2018
I would have thought that a combination of Probiotics and immune suppressing drugs would be beneficial rather than dangerous.

However.....you don't say much about his stomach symptoms and to diagnose IBS on negative stool tests and blood tests, is dangerous in the extreme.
But no, probiotics will not harm him.
Question Author
Thanks ,Squad. He suffers from diarrhoea going from watery to having some consistency, most days though he has normal stools too. He gets griping pain and feels bloated sometimes too. He has recently started back at work after a phased return following ten weeks off with severe depression.
Google has about a bajillion pages on the subject, the first few that I skimmed seem to regard it as a good thing.
Not advice as such, but I've had IBS for several years and nothing I've tried seems to alleviate it. Having recently read a book called 'Gut' by Dr Giulia Enders, I have found out that probiotics, whilst all well and good to take, don't always get the nutrition they need. This can apparently be remedied by the taking of prebiotics, found in Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, onions and garlic, amongst others. However, since you'd have to ingest a vast quantity of such unsocial foods, there are prebiotic supplements you can get. I've just ordered something called 'Bimuno'. I can't speak for its efficacy as I haven't received it yet, but it may be worth looking into to go with the probiotics.
Apple cider vinegar is a good way to nourish gut bacteria and it can help control blood sugar levels too. I drink a tbsp in a glass of water twice daily.
I have RA and am on a Biological drug which suppresses the immune system. I have had problems with upset stomach. I cut out gluten which helped enormously and am careful not to eat too many carbs. I also have live yoghurt everyday. It has helped me. I often feel nauseous but that's the drugs.
I have no view on pro or pre biotics or cider vinegar but can I suggest that your son's IBS might be stress based?
Question Author
Thank you all very much. We'll explore some of the suggestions. When son was first diagnosed we were told he mustn't eat live yoghurt. I'll look into gluten though son doesn't eat much bread, cake etc, and Apple cider vinegar.
Hi Roo
When I had food poisoning a couple of years ago, which seemed to go on forever, I was advised to try KEFIR, a fermented yoghourt drink. It tastes and smells absolutely awful , but it certainly did the trick. I stayed on it for a few months and have never looked back. Try googling it but don't buy it on line. Tesco sell it for an awful lot cheaper. Good luck.
FBG40.
I can't understand why you were told not to eat live yoghurt. If its made with pasturised milk there should be no health risk as the bacteria in it are 'friendly'. My RA is fairly severe Rheumatoid factor above 650 ( normal person around 15) but I've been eating live yoghurt for years with no problems.
All the supermarkets do kefir now as it's become trendy...in a good way. ( Can be found in Polish delis also ) There has been a lot of news lately on research on gut health and how it impacts both general health and specific conditions. Kefir and other fermented foods...sauerkraut, yogurt, vinegars...are all recommended as beneficial.
Pasta: I agree lots of fermented foods are anti-inflammatory gut friendly. I particularly enjoy Kimchi .
Oily fish is good for the gut too. Most IBS sufferers have a degree of hypovitaminosis D and so it would be quite prudent if your son optimised his Vit D levels, Roo.
It might be worth checking he isn't intolerant to anything, I recently found out after years of similar symptoms, tests and being told its IBS that I have fructose malabsorption. Hard to pin down when fructose exists in so many foods.
Question Author
Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. Wolfgang, there is a strong possibility anxiety and stress may be involved, He's never been the laid back type and since being diagnosed with RA is looking on the backside even more. Before the Beneparli it did impact on his work as sore wrists meant he couldn't help patslide patients or do CPR if required. He also had a severe vitamin D deficiency last year, the worst the Dr had seen, so it sounds as if that might be tied up in the mix too. I think it will be trial and error finding out how best to help.
Once again thank you for your help and advice, impossible to pick beat answer, I shut my eyes and pointed at one!
I combine a good probiotic supplement course twice a year and after antibiotics, with an increase in prebiotic foods and I have finally been free of gut symptoms for nearly a year. I generally feel better, less sluggish. I have to supplement my vit D, and calcium but I do that only when I am not getting enough sunlight and oily fish.
I would just like to add that I too take vit D every day, a double dose in winter as I don't get out as much. Also, for the RA, try your son on Tumeric capsules -make sure they contain the black pepper extract. Fushi do really good one. I've been taking them for two years now and have cut down my painkillers by more than half. I also give Turmeric powder to one of my horses and its really helped with his mild arthritis. Oh and thanks for BA, others have given great advice also.
"Once again thank you for your help and advice, impossible to pick beat answer, I shut my eyes and pointed at one!"
I had ulcerative colitis very badly for many years. No drugs suited me. Eventually I did Carol Vorderman's detox (I know!) and started fasting (ADF) and had a blood test (www.yorktest.com). These took place over several years, but I now have NO sign of ever even having had UC. My specialist didn't believe that I had had it and I had to order my old medical records to prove it to him. Please try and think of other ways of helping instead of just relying on drugs. I am living proof that these 'non curable' auto immune diseases can be cured or at least put into remission by diet alone. I now know that I was putting the wrong type of petrol in my tank and my body was yelling at me to sort it out. Which I did.
Question Author
Thank you. I'm going to look in to several of the things suggested. Son takes a handful of different pills every day now so I certainly don't want to introduce any more.

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