There is SO much information on probiotics, from research studies to yogurt advertisements to health claims of yeast overgrowth control. I wanted to find a quick/easy read that would sum up the good information well, I did find this article on the: Pros of Probiotics, but to sum it up....
Probitoics can help restore your good gut flora.
Good gut bacteria aids in: digesting food, producing vitamins, preventing infections, and regulating the immune system.
This alone tells us why probiotics are so important to the health of an FPIES child. Finding one free of triggers (even trace amounts) and strains that are tolerated (due to extreme dysbiosis) can be a challenge.
We begin our journey with gut flora in the birth canal, and it is further established in breastmilk. These are critical times for establishment of gut flora since babies immune systems are still developing.
Studies have proven the beneficial effects of specific strains of probiotics on viral and antibiotic induced diarrhea. More studies continue to show the health benefits. Probiotics balance the immune system, they grow and flourish in the GI tract but their benefits travel through the body.
Without good gut flora, digestion and absorption of nutrients can't proceed naturally. The increased acidity of the GI tract (from good gut flora) protects against yeast. Candida albicans yeast grows and spreads when good gut bacteria fall.
Factors that can make gut flora decline: refined foods, antacids and other acid-lowering drugs, intestinal flu, colonoscopy (cleansing for), antibiotic and steroid drugs, and stress.
Intestinal inflammation is reduced by good gut flora. Inflammation that can cause tiny holes in intestinal walls and allow larger proteins to pass through into the bloodstream, resulting in a toxic effect.
Good gut flora protects against bacteria, infections, enhances WBC activity and supports cytokine production (so cells can communicate effectively), as well as cancer prevention.
The beneficial bacteria manufacture nutrients in the body such as amino acids, antioxidants, B complex and Vit.K, short chain fatty acids. Fermented foods make nutrients more available for absorption in the body (functional foods).
And finally, this particular article outlines this final recommendation that is echoed in the literature:
"Nutritionist Betty Kamen, PhD, calls live culture probiotics (available in a yogurt-like mix or nondairy medium) the "gold standard." But she also recommends dry capsule products for a mix of different species. "Ideally, the probiotic supplement you choose should contain L. acidophilus and/or other Lactobacillus strains and strains of Bifidobacteria," says Dr. Earl Mindell. "Probiotics are safe even in doses far greater than anyone would intentionally take," he adds. However, anyone with severe immune dysfunction or any life-threatening disease should use probiotics only under professional supervision."
What is FPIES?
FPIES is a severe delayed food allergy of the gut, it is understood to be a T-cell mediated response, a Non-IgE Food Allergy in which food is considered a foreign invader and the body fights, or attacks it, until it can violently expel it; although the exact mechanisms are still not well understood.
Symptoms include: profound vomiting (often to bile), diarrhea and/or constipation. These symptoms can quickly lead to: lethargy, low body temperature, low blood pressure and in severe cases, sepsis-like shock. And still yet, many parents report children also experiencing many discomforting symptoms while the body fights this reaction and these can include: extreme stomach pains, excessive gas, runny stools with or without mucus/blood, acid reflux, rashes/eczema, sleep disturbance, and agitation/inconsolable crying.
FPIES is a clinical diagnosis (based on symptoms and history) there is currently no test for it.
This is my definition of FPIES, defined by my own research in: medical journal articles, other families living through FPIES I 'meet' on the support groups and, of course, my own son. You can learn more about my research in FPIES here on this blog, and at The FPIES Foundation website.