Counting My SpoonsIn my Chronic Illness Life with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, the gastrointestinal implications of this rarely diagnosed condition are difficult to disregard.
Over the course of time, my non-specfic GI disorder diagnoses piled up:
IBS, leaky gut, GERD, intestinal obstructions, ileus, malabsorption with malnutrition, metabolic syndrome, Sphincter of Oddi Disorder, Cholecystitis with Cholecystectomy, Chronic Pancreatitis, major gastric surgery to correct post-surgical complications, anastomosis of the small bowel, eosinophilic gastritis, dysphagia, severe nausea, vomiting and more.
There is no cure for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, only management strategies.
In my experience with EDS, taking extra special care of myself from a multifaceted approach is integral to survival.
Where the average Jo only needs a healthy diet, exercise, and controlled lifestyle factors to thrive, those tactics are simply not enough to balance the disharmony created in my life with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. My GI history and current symptoms related to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome stands as the greatest example of the possible complications this genetic disorder is capable of manifesting.
Almost a decade ago, back before I knew about the connection between my symptoms and underlying EDS diagnosis, I underwent extensive testing to find the cause of all my gastrointestinal issues. The results showed an absence good gut bacteria.
The human gut contains countless microbes responsible for aiding digestion and defending the body against attack from pathogenic microbes that would overthrow the delicate balance of good gut bacteria. Interestingly enough, my testing also revealed the pH in my gut was not supporting the life of my good bacteria. Further invasive testing revealed Eosinophilic Gastritis. Eventually, my liver and pancreatic enzymes skyrocketed initiating one of the many times in life where my intake by mouth was limited to clear liquids and my nourishment was administered via parenteral nutrition.
Knowing what I know now about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and what is likely undiagnosed Mast Cell Activation Syndrome in my case, the connection to these findings no doctor could explain or attribute to a more global diagnosis until my recent EDS diagnosis is incredibly easy to comprehend. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome makes all of the riddles of my chronic illness life make a lot more sense!
Still, there is no cure and the chance of ending up on tube feedings is a real-life possibility. Taking extra care to supplement what my body cannot sustain on its own keeps me above the water of my disease processes. Probiotics were the very first supplements I was prescribed following the aforementioned testing results.
Obviously, if good gut bacteria are MIA, supplementing with probiotics helps restore balance within the system. The problem is I struggle with reactions to dairy yogurt and other naturally occurring probiotics in fermented foods such as Sourkrout thus creating a situation in which my diet cannot serve as medicine. To make matters worse, the struggle to swallow foods and severe nausea often limit my ability to intake adequate nutrients, let alone worry about getting probiotics naturally from my diet.
I’ve tried countless probiotic supplements over the years with less than satisfactory results. That led me to further research indicating an effective probiotic supplement contains multiple live cultures and requires refrigeration to maintain integrity. I can’t say how many brands I tried but I can say ZERO followed the aforementioned guidelines on effective probiotic supplementation.
In recent years, I took to getting my probiotics in Kombucha, an expensive fermented drink with a vinegar base costing almost $5USD a two-serving-bottle at the grocery. This is not a fiscally feasible solution for the daily dietary management of IBS! What’s more, Kombucha only supplies a few strains of live bacteria. Of course, with my nausea, drinking the strong, vinegary brew that is Kombucha is not always possible. Still, every time, within ten minutes of sipping on a Kombucha, I feel and hear my gut wake up from it’s EDS nap!
Getting in good probiotics, whether due to dietary issues or trying to find an efficacious supplement, is travail. When the chance to review Visbiome Medical Food Probiotic Supplement came up from the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network, I responded with interest as soon as possible! I was looking to exchange my expensive Kombucha habit for simple, cost-effective, quality probiotic supplement.
After reading about Visbiome’s formula containing eight different strains of live bacteria, I felt confident Visbiome might help me better manage my constant battle with IBS. After trialing this product for the last month, I’m happy to report Visbiome Probiotic is a high end, quality supplement with a powerful potency that helped my GI system in a number of ways!
I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. This review contains affiliate links which earn the author a small commission if utilized. Please see Only in this Head’s Disclosures Page for more details.
Visbiome High Potency Probiotic is marketed as beneficial in the management of Ulercertavie Colitis, Pouchitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 8 different strains of live bacteria distributed among the 112.5 BILLION bacteria contained within just one capsule!
Visbiome is termed as a Medical Food which means the FDA regulates this product under the same conditions imposed upon foods.
Visbiome recommends working with a trusted physician or specialist when using this supplement and provides resources to better assist health care providers in prescribing Probiotics. This formulation of Visbiome doesn’t require a prescription and is unlikely covered by most insurances; however, Visbiome Extra Strength is exclusively available by prescription. Please see Visibiome’s FAQs page for more thorough information. Noted, the
My Experience Using Visbiome
My trial of Visbiome High Potency Probiotic Medical Food was delivered in a small cooler with ice packs to keep the product at the right temperature to maintain the integrity of the formula. Visbiome should be stored in the refrigerator to maintain maximum potency. Fortunately, the cultures contained in Visbiome remain active for one week without refrigeration making it easy to add this supplement to my medication planner.
The instructions for dosages and frequency is to work with a trusted physician to find a protocol that works best with my specific condition with the least amount of side effects. Visbiome also recommends physician monitoring with therapy. My doctor was unhelpful in this situation but not opposed to my using the supplement. I followed the package insert recommendation for Irritable Bowel Syndrome for 2-4 capsules daily and took a divided dose with 2 capsules in the morning and two capsules at night.
Immediately, I noticed a difference!
Much like my expensive Kombucha jumpstarts my gut into action, so does Visbiome High Potency Probiotic Medical Food without the hefty cost! Comparing the price of five Kombuchas a week ($25 USD) to one bottle of Visbiome ($50 USD a month), saving that $50 USD a month makes the harsh expenses associated with managing chronic illness life a little less salty! —
After only -a week of therapy, my bowels began to look healthy!?! I experienced much less strain from my predominant IBS issue with constipation. On days when I forgot to take the supplement, my system reacted with watery diarrhea, slowed motility and severe dyspepsia. Reintroducing the supplement corrected these discomforts within 24 hours.
There was some bloating with this product but this is an expected side effect noted in the informational leaflet accompanying the Visbiome product. The only problem I have with Visbiome is it contains milk. I react to dairy in cheese, yogurt, and cow’s milk so I avoid these foods. However, many of my medications contain small amounts of dairy which I take without notable reactions. In my experience over the month trial of Visbiome, the dairy contained in the product was not enough lactose at 0.1 gram per 100 grams to cause my system to react like it does with actual dairy foods. Visbiome is also gluten free for which I am grateful as gluten causes my system reactions.
In the course of the 30-day therapy with Visbiome Probiotic Medical Food, my appetite improved and I felt more nourished from food! My quick to fail GI system is running a more routine toileting schedule with better results and less upset. To successful manage this incurable, chronically debilitating process, it takes a multifaceted approach, incomplete without Probiotic Therapy! Visbiome delivers a potent formulation of beneficial bacteria to make up for what my body can’t maintain at a price that won’t break the bank. For treating IBS secondary to my diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Visbiome Probiotic Medical Food worked wonders for me!
Check Out These Other Chronic Illness Bloggers’ Review of Visbiome
Thanks for reading my review of
This review is a part of the ongoing series here at Only in this Head: Chronic Illness with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in which I highlight exceptional products for managing chronic illness life.
My goal is to provide valuable information thru chronic illness product reviews whilst intertwining the account of my EDS history and diagnosis. My hope is my work will serve as a beacon to the undiagnosed Zebras looking for examples of Zebra life as well as providing diagnosed Zebras with real erudition on the innumerable goods marketed to those enduring chronic disease and debility.
While an EDS diagnosis doesn’t include a cure, employing multiple strategies improves quality of life, invariably improving the overall prognosis of this insidious process. My mission at Only in this Head is providing sincere product reviews the chronic illness community can trust ❤