Recently, I decided to experiment with a super-potent brand of probiotics called VSL3. In spite of of the cost (almost $60 in capsule form), I thought I might need these super-biotics because I'd recently taken two full courses of antibiotics. Since I'm already fighting off candida, I figured that those two courses of antibiotics must certainly have decimated by gut flora and given the candida enough room to mount a full scale attack. So I went for what I called in a previous post, "the nuclear option" of probiotics: VSL3, to replace all the "good bacteria" that the antibiotics must have killed.
I had ordered the VSL3 over the internet, and it arrived on my doorstep two days later in a Styrofoam cooler the size of a small TV set. Deep within the cooler, under several layers of ice and exotic packaging, was a tiny bottle of well-chilled probiotics. I felt a little like I was involved in international espionage - like I was receiving a dangerous agent of biological warfare.
I took one capsule of the VSL3, for the first time, on Saturday night before going to bed. The next morning I felt nauseous and crashed all day. (Although, the strange thing about this crash was that it was limited to just one day. I've never before had such a strong but brief crash).
Since nausea is not one of my regular ME symptoms, I figured that both the nausea and the crash that came with it, were probably caused by the VSL3. But I decided to give it another try on Monday night. After all, the VSL3 was probably the most expensive item in my refrigerator by a factor of 10. I didn't want to let it go to waste.
Tuesday morning brought the same nausea and an even worse crash. This crash came with a rapid heart beat, like the bad crashes I used to experience very early on after initial onset of ME/CFS. So I've decided to cut my losses and write off the VSL3 as a failed experiment.
[5/12/12 update: I've since been advised by a PWME friend that he's heard that VSL3 causes that exact same reaction -- rapid heart beat and all -- for a certain subset of PWMEs. Obviously, I cannot verify my friend's statement, so I'm merely relating what he told me.]
To be fair, several people on PR have reported good experiences with VSL3, so it may be simply that the product wan't right for me. But this brief setback certainly won't prevent me from continuing to search for the right combination of supplements and prescription(s) to get me into remission.