Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How ProBio5 has helped my IBS

NOTE 1:  This post contains the word poop quite a few times.  It is necessary for the explanation of the product I am talking about & is handled in a mature, medical sort of fashion.  If that makes you squeamish or grosses you out, you may want to skip this post.

NOTE 2:  I am NOT selling this product.  I am not affiliated with Plexus in any way other than being a buyer of their products.  This review is simply because I have been very impressed with the way Probio5 has worked for me and I wanted to share my experience. I know a lot of people who deal with tummy issues that it might help as well!

Those of us who battle tummy troubles often don't want to discuss it because quite honestly, it makes people uncomfortable and therefore makes us feel more so like we have a dread disease.  It's embarrassing enough to have to deal with issues that give us gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc. without having to talk about it & watch people squirm.  So most of us DON'T talk about it.  It's weird so we avoid it at all costs.  Sometimes, even with our doctors.  Tests & procedures relating to intestinal problems are not pleasant so we suffer in silence to avoid it all.

Or at least that's the case for me!  So, here we go:  the first time I've talked publicly about a very private, not-so-nice topic.  But I'm putting myself on the line in hopes that other people who suffer will eventually find this blog post and get help from their doctors or the right supplements & products.  For me, that magic product is ProBio5 from Plexus.  It has changed so much for me!

For most of my adult life, I have battled IBS.  I know I had symptoms and issues off an on as a child & into my teen years but it became a bigger problem in my 20s and 30s.  From what I've read, that's pretty common among IBS patients.  I remember my dad talking about his "nervous stomach" when I was a kid and I guess I just assumed I inherited that from him.  IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is the umbrella term that GI doctors give to a wide variety of symptoms that affect sufferers in different ways.  Generally, once they rule out big, major, life-threatening stuff, they call the rest of us with GI issues IBS patients.  IBS means that your GI tract is very sensitive and will respond to diet and stress in a yucky way.  It could mean constipation, gas, bloating, explosive diarrhea, frequent potty trips or a host of other symptoms.

For me, IBS means that I poop at least 10-12 times a day.  (Yes, I'm totally serious about that number.) Some of those times are the very urgent, goosebumps raising on my arms, sweating & running to the potty NOW type of poops.  That usually happens if I'm under a lot of stress or have eaten a food that has flared up my gut.  But even without these "no-no" foods or major stress, going to the bathroom a million times a day is just part of my life.

I have a list of foods that I know I CANNOT eat at all because I will be in the bathroom before I finish what's on my plate.  Other foods also cause trouble, but not quite as violently.  Stress can cause symptoms.  Medicines can cause trouble for some people.  For me, ANY food/drink with fake sweeteners cause symptoms. In general, IBS makes me go to the potty a LOT & can be triggered by a number of things.

For most people, pooping happens once in the morning upon waking and maybe once more later in the day.  Their poops are typically consistent both in frequency and umm...firmness.  For me, pooping is a part of my day all day long, every day.  I usually tend toward looser stools, nearly to the point of diarrhea.  That isn't such a major issue as long as I'm in a place where there are bathrooms available or I am not involved in an activity (work, church, school, etc) that makes going to the bathroom a million times impossible.

Here's where the ProBio5 comes in.

Over the years, I've been told that I should take a probiotic.  I have bought over the counter drug store probiotics for a long time.  I've tried Phillips Colon Health, Align, Culturelle and many others from health food stores and other places.  A month's worth of any of them is around $30.  But here's the thing.  While taking all of those products, I could never tell if it was actually doing anything or not.  There was no change at all in my IBS symptoms.  I just felt like I was taking them "because I should."  I never knew if they were really doing me any good.  I guess you could say I took them out of some sort of obligation rather than because they gave me some great benefit or relief from IBS.

Last fall, I began using a Plexus product that ended up being a dud for me.  I drank their Slim drink for 7 months with almost zero results.  After many hundreds of dollars were spent on it, I finally gave it up.  (I wrote a whole review about that product as well.  You can read it **HERE**.)  Even though the drink didn't work out for me, I began trying their probiotic in January of this year.  At the time, I really just did it to help the girl who was selling.  I figured I would spend the same as what I was spending at the drugstore to buy the Plexus probiotic & it would help her sales.  I figured it would be the same as every other probiotic I've taken.  Boy was I surprised.

The first day I took the ProBio5, I pooped a million times early in the day.  I worried that I'd really messed up by starting the product that day because I was due to see my gynecologist that morning.  But fortunately Poopageddeon 2015 ended early enough that I could shower & make it to the doctor on time.  After that morning, I was a little scared to continue taking it at all.  But I decided to give it a few more days and see if I had the same issue every day.  Thank goodness I did not.  It took about a week of taking ProBio5 for me to start seeing results.  But once I did...WOW!  On the days when I forgot to take it, I could TOTALLY see a difference.

I began noticing that I'd wake up in the morning, poop once like a regular person and then I wouldn't have to "go" again until late in the day.  And neither one was "explosive" or urgent in nature.  Both times I would have a firm, normal sort of poop.  It was shocking to see how quickly my GI tract "leveled out" and began functioning like a normal person's!  I don't feel like I'm controlled by how many times a day I have to find a bathroom.  I don't feel like I must constantly eyeball my food & determine if I will have time to deal with trips to the bathroom or if I should skip eating it altogether.  Of course, there are still foods that I try to avoid because I don't want to risk it.  I still know that some foods just really don't jive with my tummy.  But in general, my symptoms of IBS are sooooooooooooo much better!!

When I miss a dose, or worse, if I miss taking it for a few days in a row, I see all those old IBS issues flaring up & coming right back! No product will ever CURE my IBS, but this one *definitely* has made my life so much easier.  ProBio5 has decreased by symptoms dramatically and keeps my GI system working like it should.  I am so thankful that I found it!!

And FYI:  if you decide to get it on the company's auto-ship program it's $31/mo.  If you're going to spend that much monthly on probiotics, buy one that actually works & does something!!  Otherwise you're just throwing money down the toilet.  Literally.