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Do probiotics work for IBS M?

Does anybody have any experience with probiotics? My GP has recommended the probiotic VSL#3 112.5 billion probiotic bacteria.
I have severe pain from cramping and alternating between diarrhea, but mostly constipation or something in between which is a tiny speckle with stomach cramps that’s in and out of the bathroom in about eight minutes. So, I’ve been taking these for the recommended dose of one a day for about a month, and it didn’t help. What I call “a good day” is a total of eight or fewer episodes of gut pain and whatever happens in the bathroom. My experience both before starting the probiotics about six weeks ago and now is the same: some days it’s eight times and on really bad days it’s 12 or 13 times!

It’s hard for me to travel places and stay away from my bathroom usually for 7, 8 or nine hours every day.
After about a month on one dosage, I have now gone 10 days almost 2 weeks taking two of the probiotic capsules. It’s not any better or worse than before. I have another week and a half to go until I see my PCP. After discussing this with him, I feel like it may not be worth the money to continue on this probiotic.

My PCP was the one who recommended it for me, and a nurse called me today to check on why am taking two capsules. She seemed knowledgeable about different probiotics and she said some of them are good and some of them are not so you have to research.

Can anyone please help me with my dilemma? The probiotic is not covered by my health insurance, unlike any other medicine I’m taking, and it costs $50 for a two month supply of a one Per day dosage. Looking at the package it says “usual adult dosage: 1 to 2 capsules as needed up to four times a day.” Yikes, since I’m already paying $50 for two month supply at one a day, if I did 1 to 2 capsules up to four times a day I’d be spending $100 to $200 a month! 
Please help me if you have any experience with probiotics.
Thank you in advance!

  1. Hi

    I'm sorry you are having to go through such a frustrating experience. I have been there myself many, many times. I have been living with IBS for 20+ years and have tried many pre-, pro-, and post-biotics over the years. I have tried ones that do absolutely nothing for $2-3 per pill, much like you are experiencing, and others that actually made my IBS worse and more unpredictable. One of the best ones I have found that I currently use twice per day (once with breakfast and once with dinner) is a product called Organic India. You can find their website and the specific product I use here:

    They have a lot of options to choose from, but I find it last me at least a month when taking 1tsp twice per day. At only $15 per bag it will save you a little money compared to what you are currently paying too. I use this in combination with another 1tsp of straight psyllium husk fiber as well. I get mine from Trader Joes, but I have found most psyllium husk brands I have tried give me generally the same level of relief. I have found this combination to be greatly beneficial in reducing bloating, cramps, and excessive gas. I personally have IBS-D with very few issues with constipation, so the psyllium husk helps bulk up my stool so there are fewer bouts of diarrhea throughout the day. Hope this helps!

    1. JustinOrr,

      I was delighted and I’m so thankful for your advice. I am going to pursue the product that you recommended. Your experience is most helpful, and I hope I have as much success with it as you did. Thanks for recommending something that won’t break my bank account that will stop the stress of the extreme frequency of IBS interruptions.
      I went to the website, and it’s now an open page in my Safari, for me to take action ASAP! God Bless is all!

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