Tuesday, July 14, 2015


With all my abdominal issues lately I can totally relate to those suffering from chronic gastro issues such as IBS or Ulcerative Colitis. Lack of sleep, not knowing what or when it's safe to eat, missing work or other activities... I could go on with all the anti-social "side effects" associated with these conditions. So what are the differences between IBS and UC?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is a serious condition with no known cure. It affects the colon and common symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. (The last two I didn't have so this condition was automatically ruled out for me.). As many as 20% of adults in the US (mainly women) have these symptoms but most never seek medical help. Half of IBS sufferers start seeing symptoms before they are 35 and are diagnosed by the time they are 50.

Ulcerative Colitis

UC not only affects the colon but also the rectum. The associated inflammation and ulcers cause bleeding, pus, diarrhea, and severe abdominal discomfort. (Seeing the symptoms makes me glad to have only had the discomfort!)  UC is less common with only 1% of Americans showing symptoms as young as 15.

Probiotics as a Solution

Probiotics seem to be the solution for just about anything related to gut health. They work the microbial, chemical, and physical barriers of the gut. There are so many probiotics out there it's difficult to know which strain should be used for which specific condition. It's recommended that adults should take at least a billion cells (aka colony forming units or CFUs) daily.  How much does your regular probiotic have?

VSL#3 is one such probiotic that exceeds the recommended CFUs. Because it's a medical food not a supplement it must be used under medical supervision. (As a medical food VSL#3 may also be covered under your insurance; check with your provider for details.)

VSL#3 is a mix of 8 strains of live lactic acid bacteria; not many probiotics contain this many strains. All formulations require refrigeration to preserve the high potency. The Double Strength packets contain 900 billion live bacteria; with this high strength it's only available by prescription. The packets contain 450 billion and the capsules contain 112.5 billion bacteria. All products are gluten free as well as Kosher and Halal certified. Hopefully I will never develop IBS or UC but if it came up I'd definitely talk to my doctor about VSL#3.

For more information about this high potency probiotic medical food clinically proven in the dietary management of IBS and UC visit www.vsl3.com. You can also check here to see if your local pharmacy carries VSL#3 or purchase directly, using the coupon code "Doctor" to receive $5 off your purchase.

Enter the Discover the Difference with VSL#3 giveaway now for a chance to win a $500 American Express gift card or you could be one of two runner up winners to receive a two month supply of VSL#3! Enter before 7/21.

VSL#3® is a high potency probiotic medical food that's clinically proven in the dietary management of IBS, ulcerative colitis, and ileal pouch. To learn more visit www.vsl3.com and LIKE the brand on Facebook.
This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. All opinions, text and experiences are my own. VSL#3 is a medical food and must be used under medical supervision.