Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Probiotics: Putting the "error" in "trial and error."

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.


  1. Hi, Patrick -

    You left a very kind comment on my blog back in FEBRUARY, and it has taken me this long to check out your blog! So sorry about that - I have been overwhelmed with my son's medical problems this past year and trying to help him get to his high school graduation next month.

    Sorry to hear the super-probiotics didn't work for you. You are right - it IS important to keep up lots of probiotics when on abx. I took high-dose abx for 3 1/2 years to treat Lyme disease (I finally got rid of it!), and during that time, I took 4 high strength probiotic capsules a day, plus 2 Saccharomyces Boulardii capsules a day (that's a probiotic that is especially good against yeast). During the last part of my treatment, when I added in a SECOND abx, I also took Diflucan to combat yeast.

    I'm interested in why you were on abx for so long. Did you have Lyme also?

    Sorry for the long delay in getting back to you. I will try to check in here once in a while!


    Live with CFS

  2. Nice sharing! I have seen another product which is also a very healthy probiotics. Keybiotics is one of the best formula that is having billion colonies of good bacteria. There are fourteen strains of good bacteria used in its manufacturing which makes it one of the most powerful Probiotics in the market.

  3. A probiotic supplement contains live bacterial strains. When the capsules are ingested, the bacteria travel down the digestive tract. 

  4. Lifestyle choices, diet and the accumulation of excess weight are considered the primary risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes.

    How do probiotics affect the condition? Let’s take a look at some research on the topic.

    A huge meta-analysis was carried out and numerous clinical experiments were examined. All of them focused on the relationship between probiotics and glucose levels. In some instances, volunteers were given foods rich in probiotics like yogurt.

  5. Make sure that you associate you healthy diet with regular exercise as well.
    deep vigrxplus website

  6. You have to include probiotics in your diet also get enough sleep. This could make a big difference on your health. best volume website

  7. Make sure to get enough rest and sleep. They can make a great difference in your health.  helpful volume pills