One evening a couple of months ago I heard an ad on TV that grabbed my attention.
It was for Culturelle, a probiotic supplement designed to eliminate forever those digestive upsets we all get — constipation, diarrhea, “tummy troubles.”
Sounded too good to be true, actually, but I wrote down the Web address and checked it out the next day.
There it all was, in living color:
- Testimonials from people “just like me” who had stomach issues once but, thanks to Culturelle, were “cured.”
- Informative copy telling the whys of stomach troubles and how Culturelle can “cure” them.
- Discussion of “good” vs. “bad” bacteria and comparison with other probiotics available.
- Side effects, dosing, where to buy information.
- Even coupons to help cut the cost of a package at the store.
Still a skeptic, I called the toll-free customer service number and drilled them on the particulars. Finally, I decided I’d give it a try.
The first couple of days, I felt great. Maybe this will work, I thought. But I “thought” too soon. By Day 3, I had a resurgence of “tummy troubles,” so I called customer service again.
Not to worry, I heard. It takes time for your digestive system to adjust to the “good” bacteria and eliminate the “bad” stuff. Keep taking Culturelle with confidence and you’ll see how strong your immune system will become.
So I kept at it. But two weeks later, I found myself in the bathroom four times in one morning! Shoot, I was afraid to even leave the house.
Once again, I phoned customer service and described my experience for them — the bloating, gas pain, digestive noises, and diarrhea.
You shouldn’t be having these issues at this point, I was told. Maybe at the beginning, but not now. You might be one of those who can’t take Culturelle. Package it up and return it to us for a partial refund.
Best news I’d heard in a LONG TIME!
To be fair, I never felt bad taking Culturelle (if you discount that last day), and part of me wonders whether I should give a different probiotic a try. After all, we live in hectic times, we fail to eat properly, we subject our bodies to a variety of toxins like antibiotics, and there must be something to the studies of how probiotics “strengthen the immune system,” right?
Or do they? The FDA hasn’t rubber-stamped them, and manufacturers are quick to note that results differ among individuals. But still. . . .
Maybe it’s just human nature to worry about invisible things like our digestive systems. Any thoughts?
I think that most people’s digestive systems are pretty good at manufacturing their own healthy flora and fauna. But it might be a good idea to take probiotics when you have to take antibiotics, to try to keep a balance.
Thanks, Lynne, I needed your reality check! I down yogurt pretty faithfully when I have to take a round of antibiotics (and even when I don’t!), but I guess anything more might be “overkill”!
Probiotics work great for a lot of people and we always encourage their use when on antibiotics but as always, our own bodies have the final say and will always let us know what is working or not. Good Luck!
Thanks for the advice, Kathy! I’m feeling much better now, and my system seems to have straightened itself out. Why is it that we stress over our mysterious inner workings and refuse to accept that we are truly “wonderfully made”?