GI Tract, Pro Biotics, TMI no doubt!

So I made reference to this in one of my other posts but ever since the transplant the GI has been, well, “funky”.  I won’t go into details but for those that remember what it “used” to feel like, that feeling of satisfaction, a “job well done” – well, to not have that, it’s rather frustrating.  My last post had details with a piece of bone marrow and the aspirate fluid from inside my marrow.  But I bet the first two sentences of this post has grossed out more of you than anything I put in my last posting!

It’s a fact – everything has changed – now I have to fix it.  Prior to the transplant I was asked to take Glutosolve (help immunes system within the GI tract) and a pro biotic.  The intention (as I understood it) was to make sure any bad bacteria within the system was replaced with good bacteria PRIOR to my immune system being compromised.  What I didn’t realize is that I could have these issues after – I just thought things would get back on track.  After my 2nd visit (approx 60 days) my doc mentioned, “oh, take a pro biotic”, and I was thinking, ‘could I have done that 30 days ago?’

I’ll preface the rest of this post with my legal disclaimer – this is what I’ve done, at the instruction of my doctor and the results I’ve experienced.  It’s your job to review, see what applies to you and talk with your doctor to see if it may help.  I’m not a doctor (and never played one on TV!)  I hope this helps but never do/take anything without confirming with your doctor.  And even then, make sure common sense is used in some respects!

So this post is for those of you that are having the same issues as I – it’s just not working right.  Without too much detail (as I believe it is relevant), I will explain some of the symptoms and I’ll warn you again, it’s TMI and gross (not necessarily in that order).  Mornings seem fine but everything is “soft” and very light brown in color.  Food in almost always equals “refuse out”.  Not being near a suitable facility could lead to embarrassment.  When you get home it’s more likely gas as well as soft solids but a very small portion.  At times this can be ‘explosive’ in nature.  I’ve even found times where it’s more mucus-like, clear and nothing else.  But gas is definitely an issue.  But it’s worse than Dex as it’s not just gas but always something ‘else’ as well.  That’s enough of the detail.

I started with Culturelle which offers about 10 billion “things” – that sounded like a lot and it had “lactobacillus”.  Specifically I was told to get acidophilus and the pharmacist said this had that.  After three weeks I wasn’t seeing a big improvement.  The color had darkened but the gas an mucus discharge hadn’t changed.  When I mentioned this to the doc he said I needed Psyllium Husk – I’m thinking shark cartilage or some other strange Asian, natural wonder drug.  My Dad informed me it’s MetaMucil! :)

So I’ve done two things:
1) “Ultimate Flora” ‘extra care daily probiotic’ with 30 billion “thingies” and 10 probiotic strains.  This specifically lists “lactobacillus acidophilus” along with 9 other strains.  Three are for upper GI and the rest for lower GI (if I’m reading that correctly).
2) Meta Mucil pills – taking 5 at a time with plenty of water.  Currently taking them twice a day, morning and evening.  These pills have a very severe warning about taking with plenty of liquid.  The intention (as I understand it in a purely non-medical fashion) is to create a ton of fiber in your system that will then help “zamboni” the tract (for those non-North Americans or those of you that don’t know hockey, the “zamboni” is the big tank that melts/scrapes/smooths the ice at a hockey game.)  Similar to those cheap prizes you get at kids birthday parties, the “dinosaur pills” that you put in warm water and they grow 100 times!  If you take one of these pills and don’t swallow it completely the outer shell will dissolve and the interior will increase in size, potentially blocking the esophagus and causing you to choke.  It’s quite a scary reference but I get it.

At the end of the day, the two do seem to be cutting back on the gas and ‘normalizing’ the bowel movements.  It’s been less than a week but I think we’re moving in the right direction for this.  Since I had a bit of downtime today I wanted to post this as well as put it into my “drugs and their effects” page as I think it’s relevant.

As always, thanks for reading and putting up with such a disgusting topic.  But for those that got to the bottom I’m guessing it’s because you’re dealing with that disgusting topic as a fact of life!  I just hope this helps!

Cheers…Bill