In my mind there is only one difference between enzymes and probiotics: Enzymes are good for added digestive support for those who have problems in the gut and, basically, we all need them. Probiotics are particularly useful for those who are stressing their gut or digestive system with long term use of certain medications, such as antibiotics, like patients battling Lyme disease as well as various other diseases that are treated with a variety of medications on a long term basis.
Many doctors are unaware of this, and only know it is not a good idea to place a patient on a long duration of antibiotics. They fail to recommend that their patients should support their digestive systems with probiotics while taking medications which kill infections in the body.
Many years ago, when antibiotics were relatively new, we failed to realize that when we kill the bad bacteria in our systems, we also kill the good. So, why would it not make sense to back up an auto-immune system with a powerful probiotic? Now, some people take low bacteria count probiotics to support their digestive systems. I am on more than one medication for Lyme disease, and have experimented with different products. I have found anything with less than a 2 billion count of bacteria does not sufficiently supplement the immune system. Personally, probiotics containing a 15 billion count of bacteria are ideal. You can figure out the strength of probiotics ideal for you by listening to your body’s signals, such as bowel activity. Taking higher dosages of probiotics than necessary may cause constipation, while taking too little may cause diarrhea. If you are taking many medications and do not take any probiotics, you are at risk of killing all the flora in your intestines.
There are many probiotic products to choose from. There are powder forms with up to a 50 billion count of bacteria, as well as capsule forms that carry up to 15 billion count bacteria straight to your intestinal tract. When taking powder forms, the probiotics may fail to make it all the way to your intestines, as most will die in the stomach from digestive acids before it can make its way to your intestines. I am becoming more of a believer in supporting our digestive systems, as our food supply gets tighter and the world requires larger fruits and vegetables to support the supply. A lot more than probiotics is required in order to successfully recover from late stage Lyme disease –especially for those suffering from obesity and gut issues such as diarrhea, constipation, and/or intestinal viruses. If you are concerned about your digestive health, you may want to speak with a healthcare professional about supplementing with a good probiotic carrying at least 2 billion count bacteria. I have found that just because a product is higher priced than others, it is not necessarily more effective. For long term probiotic treatment, I am sold on high bacteria quality from reputable companies. If your doctor laughs at you, as some will because they do not take Candida and other digestive issues resulting from long term antibiotic use seriously, you can consult with a nutritionist at your local vitamin/herb store –as I have done at the vitamin shop “Nature’s Sunshine.” Remember, I am not a doctor. Rather, I am someone with first-hand experience recovering from Lyme disease.
**Talk to a healthcare professional before adding any supplements to your treatment protocol.
About the Author
David R. Thomas has first hand experience recovering from Lyme disease. He is the author of Journey through challenge. For further details on David and his book, please visit http://www.throughchallenge.com/.
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The Cowden Support Program
A do-it-yourself Lyme treatment developed by Dr. Lee Cowden, MD