I checked to see whether we had a Probiotics topic started. To my surprise there isn't one here.
I take a potent probiotic daily (Flora Super 8 Plus). I know that it helps keep any risk of yeast overgrowth in check. And surprise, surprise there is now a hint that gut flora may influence our immune system as well.
You have to connect the dots here. I have previously suggested and referenced a few articles that focus on allergies (ie. multiple allergens) as ITP triggers. If probiotics help to stabilize your gut flora and encourage certain bacteria to be present, it could be meaningful for your allergies and how your immune system responds. This possible finding is not surprising as many have reported that antibiotics wipe out much of your good gut flora (and likely contribute to autoimmune issues).
I've known for quite a while that probiotics were good for the gut and immune system. Been taking a good one but it hasn't done anything for my immune system that I can tell.
The vet told us back in 1998 to give our kitten plain yogurt while we were giving her antibiotics for a bacterial infection, told us it would help replace the good bacteria the antibiotic was killing off.
Same experience, unfortunately. Regular probiotics use with no change in my platelet count. Or, since my count has trended lower in the past year or so, I could claim that the probiotics have had a negative effect. But in reality, there are too many confounders to make any clear determination.
There is no one thing that will completely solve our ITP condition. This I think is the biggest misconception or hope that ITP patients have. We are all looking for that "silver bullet" that will get us out of our autoimmmune situation for good.
While I know that homeopathy can do this for me if the right remedies are applied (ie. it is the only thing I have experienced with convincing results), I think that there are so many other steps we can take to change our ITP condition. The point of the article above (and future of probiotics wrt immune conditions) is the idea of taking probiotics to try to change the way our immune systems respond. And in our case to mitigate the destruction of platelets wrt to our ITP.
So I am gluten free to minimize the inflammation of this allergen in my gut ...
I take the minimum amount of sugar (within reason as I am only human) to minimize the growth of yeast in my gut ...
I take probiotics to help control the yeast and other bacteria/pathogens in my gut ...
I still do the above in addition to having the homeopathic remedies that work very well for me ...
I try to minimize the stress levels in my life (and avoid chronic stress situations at all costs) ...
And I avoid other allergens as best as I can such as dust, other inflammatory agents such chlorine (from public swim pools etc.).
The point is, at least in my case, it is not just ONE THING that solves my ITP problem IMHO. Our immune systems are such a complex thing. It likely takes many different elements to modify how your immune system responds and correct your ITP condition.
Maybe there will be something that is found that will be a magic bullet for all ITPers. I am not counting on it. But I have learned strategies and tried things that have helped me manage my condition.
And note that I still write as if I have ITP. I doubt this ever goes away in the long term. Even though I do not show any symptoms of the condition today, I fully know that I could fall back into a relapse if I am not vigilant.
N.B. I'll add to the above that it takes time, lots of time to sort out your immune system ...
Here's more evidence to build the case for a happy gut. I've mentioned many times how chronic stress can be a major problem for my ITP. The interesting thing is that so many factors point to good gut flora as being key for ITPers.
Stress can change the balance of bacteria that naturally live in the gut, according to research published this month in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.
"These bacteria affect immune function, and may help explain why stress dysregulates the immune response," said lead researcher Michael Bailey.
Exposure to stress led to changes in composition, diversity and number of gut microorganisms, according to scientists from The Ohio State University. The bacterial communities in the intestine became less diverse, and had greater numbers of potentially harmful bacteria, such as Clostridium.
"These changes can have profound implications for physiological function," explained Dr Bailey. "When we reduced the number of bacteria in the intestines using antibiotics, we found that some of the effects of stress on the immune system were prevented," he added. "This suggests that not only does stress change the bacteria levels in the gut, but that these alterations can, in turn, impact our immunity."
"This is the first evidence that the gut microorganisms may play a role in innate immunological stress responses," said Monika Fleshner, Professor of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. "The study reveals the dynamic interactions between multiple physiological systems including the intestinal microbiota and the immune system."
Because gut bacteria have been linked to diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, and even to asthma, a future goal of the study is to determine whether alterations of gut bacteria is the reason why these diseases tend to be worse during periods of pressure.
The research was conducted with colleagues from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the Research and Testing Laboratories, and was funded by the National Institute of Health.
The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Bailey. Exposure to a social stressor alters the structure of the intestinal microbiota: Implications for stressor-induced immunomodulation? Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2011; 25 (3): 397 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2010.10.023
Have been following your posts with interest.
Recently we were fortunate to spend 5 weeks away, camping & exploring our beautiful Kimberly region in north Western Australia. I left with a count of 32 - my usual (& my haematologist's blessing).
While away I succumbed to thrush &, apart from antifungal treatment, I took probiotics & ate natural yoghurt every day. We had a wonderful time away from our usual life, including farming, family & community commitments, & I felt great. My first blood test on our return showed a platelet count of 48. That has not happened in 10 years. Some might say it is in my head but I feel there's a real connection & am trying to adjust my regular lifestyle accordingly.
My favorite saying is 'Not my circus, not my monkeys'. . .
Just had 3 little grandsons visiting for a week & harvest is being threatened with very dry conditions so not much peace & quiet contemplation happening!!
Thank you for your contributions.
Thank you for your post. I can't tell you how great it feels to connect with different people like yourself on this forum and share experiences with our ITP. I would not have made the progress with my ITP in the last 3 years if it had not been for this PDSA site, Joan Young's vision and dedication, and the knowledge shared here.
I have, for a long time, suspected stress as a major problem for my ITP. You can search for my first post here at the PDSA discussing that history. It is a relief to find and see research that points to this factor likely impacting our immunology.
The Platelet Disorder Support Association does not provide medical advice or endorse any medication, vitamins or herbs. The information contained herein is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice and is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment, discontinuing an existing treatment and to discuss any questions you may have regarding your unique medical condition.
Platelet Disorder Support Association 8751 Brecksville Road, Suite 150, Cleveland, Ohio 44141 Phone: 1-87-PLATELET | 877-528-3538 (toll free) | or 440-746-9003 E-mail: email@example.com