3 for BALANCE Probiotic protocol with Rachel.
- The best probiotic for constipation is not one single probiotic, but three probiotics together.
- When Rachel started using all three probiotics together, her lifelong constipation normalized within 48 hours.
What is the best probiotic for constipation? It may not be one single probiotic, but three probiotics together.
Many people recommend specific probiotic strains of good bacteria for particular conditions, like treating constipation. But time and again in the clinic, I find that a general approach that includes one probiotic from each type best helps my patients restore their digestive tracts with minimal side effects. The three categories of probiotics are:
- A Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria blend;
- Saccharomyces boulardii; and
- A soil-based probiotic, usually with Bacillus strains.
This was certainly true for Rachel, who was struggling with long-term constipation.
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In This Episode
Episode Intro … 00:00:40
Rachel’s Symptoms … 00:02:24
Rachel’s Pre-Dr. R Probiotic Trials … 00:05:53
3 Types of Probiotics … 00:06:35
Rachel’s Results with All Three Probiotics … 00:08:52
Not Getting Lost in Specific Science … 00:13:16
Fear Affects our Willingness to Change … 00:14:40
Food Reintroductions … 00:16:37
Slow and Steady Wins the Race … 00:18:16
Rachel’s Mood Improved with her Gut … 00:19:19
Skin & Eczema … 00:21:39
Episode Wrap-Up … 00:24:51
Constipation Case Responds to Three-for-Balance Protocol
Rachel came to see me after disagreeing with medical advice to use antimicrobials, and reading Healthy Gut, Healthy You. She presented with the following symptoms:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS-C- Constipation type): Without intervention, Rachel would go to the bathroom only once every 5-6 days.
- Daily headaches
- Respiratory infections
Rachel was under a lot of stress, and had had lifelong issues with slow bowel transit. She also had a long history of antibiotic use, and had to use OTC medications that soften stool to go to the bathroom.
Despite all her symptoms, Rachel was working hard to feel better. She said she had tried “Everything: fiber, magnesium, various laxatives, chia, aloe, apple cider vinegar, large-dose vitamin C, and exercises.” She was on the Autoimmune Paleo diet, a very restrictive, and difficult-to-maintain, diet. She had already tried category 1 and category 3 probiotics separately but didn’t see any results.
With my support, Rachel started using all three categories of probiotics together. This was a leap of faith for her because she was worried about flaring her symptoms. She had read that research suggests Saccharomyces boulardii was most helpful for IBS-D, and was worried this probiotic would slow her stool frequency down even further.
She also reported her mood was better. After adjusting, Rachel was able to titrate down to a minimal effective dose within a few weeks.
Hi, everyone. Let’s talk about probiotics, which helped to make this podcast possible. Functional Medicine Formulations contains a line of probiotics that I personally developed, and I’m super excited to be able to offer you the same probiotics that I’ve been using in the clinic for years and are a byproduct of an extensive review of the literature plus my own clinical experience.
In this line, you will find my favorite three probiotics in all three of the main categories that work synergistically to help you fight dysbiosis, like SIBO, candida yeast, and H. pylori, help to eradicate parasites, help to reduce leaky gut and repair the gut barrier, and can improve gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and may even improve mood, skin, sleep, and thyroid function because of the far-reaching impact of the gut. You can learn more about these at drruscio.com/probiotics.
Once her bowels regulated, Rachel was able to start reintroducing foods carefully. Regular bowels enable you to more clearly assess how reintroduced foods are really affecting your symptoms. Rachel has been able to add a few FODMAP foods back into her diet, which she feels is a huge win.
She does report that she still has a few foods that aggravate her symptoms. It’s good to keep in mind that reintroduction of foods can take a few months, as the gut continues to heal and the immune system calms down.
Health Benefits of Probiotic Supplements
It’s important to not get too lost in the specifics of scientific studies about probiotics, and to focus instead on what science says about the general health benefits they provide. Though some studies show that Saccharomyces boulardii is helpful for IBS-D, other studies show that probiotics are helpful for treating constipation.
This is one of the things that holds back functional and natural medicine. We have some science on an issue that causes us to think narrowly, rather than looking at all the other studies and trying to interpret what the trends are.
What the multitude of studies about probiotics tell us is that they work generally to restore the gut environment. When we include beneficial bacteria from each category, they work synergistically together to improve the digestive system. We don’t need to worry too much about the specifics.
The Bottom Line
Using one quality probiotic from each category can help relieve constipation, and begin resolving food sensitivities. There is no single best probiotic for constipation, just a general approach to restoring gut health using triple probiotic therapy.
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