Alright, so here's the deal. Last September I was diagnosed with "Leaky Gut Syndrome" (sounds gross, right?) and a blood test confirmed food allergies to gluten and egg. My doctor and I discussed my options, and his number one suggestion was to begin rebuilding the good bacteria in my gut. Since then, I have learned SO much about the immune system and the gut. Did you know that up to 75% of your immune system is in your gut?!* We need good gut bacteria to keep us healthy. The more antibiotics are prescribed (a controversial topic in of itself), the more the healthy balance of gut flora is thrown off - antibiotics definitely kill the bad bacteria, but they're taking the good away as well.
This new information explained a LOT for me. Growing up, I had chronic ear infections, sinus infections, the flu, mononucleosis TWICE (yea, you can get it more than once) and was constantly fighting off colds. I remember taking antibiotics all the time growing up. I also struggled with digestion, attention problems, and major skin issues. I felt like my food allergy diagnosis was exactly what I needed to hear. Healing my gut made sense. I felt like I had the answer I needed.
Right away, I started taking a high quality probiotic from Klaire Labs. In addition to ditching the foods that were making me sick, I started noticing the benefits literally right away. I went from getting sick at least 5-6 times a year, battling seasonal allergies, and dealing with major stomach discomfort to feeling amazing in a few short weeks. I have not stopped taking a daily probiotic (sometimes more than once a day!) since. I also have not been sick since I gave up my allergen foods and began taking antibiotics. The rash all over my skin has cleared and my seasonal allergies this spring and fall were nothing compared to years past. This is huge for someone who was sick or under the weather almost all the time. I truly believe the reason for this is the introduction of probiotics into my daily routine in addition to eating plenty of clean foods.
A good probiotic needs to stay refrigerated, so try to avoid the ones on store shelves next to all of the other over-the-counter meds at the pharmacy. I currently take MegaFlora. A downside is that for some, it can get pricey, but when you think of all the money saved on cough + cold medicine and sick days off of work, it's worth it.