I will warn all of you right now that if you are uncomfortable with talking about digestive issues, this probably won’t be a good post for you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Raise your hand if you have tummy troubles!!
If you do, you are far from alone.
I’ve had stomach issues for….well….as long as I can remember. Everything from tummy rumbles to heartburn, occasional constipation, cramping…..basically everything except vomiting (which thank you jeebus for that – vomit freaks me out).
I’m jealous of people who are clockwork “regular”; I’ve never known what that life is like. Even as a child, I’ve had issues with my stomach. Part of it when I was younger was a bit “self-inflicted” I’m sure; I wasn’t encouraged to eat a lot of fruits and good veggies that would have given me the fiber I needed to keep my digestive system moving efficiently.
Then as a teenager/college-aged person, my diet more or less continued to be lackluster. In high school I was more concerned with school and working than what I was eating. Then you have the “college diet” which is basically food that won’t spoil in your dorm room, college cafeteria food, and fast food on the regular. I actually lost weight in college, mainly because I lived on a mountain and had to walk ridiculous amounts to get to class everyday. However, I still ate crappy; I just had the exercise to work the weight off.
All of these years led to a lot of habits that have been hard to break and work through. It’s also all wreaked havoc on my digestive system.
Last year, I started getting really tired of feeling like crap on a regular basis because my stomach was unhappy. By this point, I’d been under doctor care for acid reflux issues for about a year prior and even though that was “controlled”, I still had rumbling and discomfort and everything else. And it was just getting old.
I started researching ways to reset my gut. Obviously dietary changes needed to be made, but something also had to help my stomach feel “normal”. I read about how your digestive system works and how it can be a home for bad bacteria if not nourished properly. Most places listed medication, probiotics and lifestyle changes as a “fix” for these bacterium. I’m not a huge advocate for medication that you would need long term (I already wasn’t excited about the pill I took daily for my heartburn issues), so I decided to try diet changes and probiotics first.
There are so many different probiotics and companies and good strains of bacteria out there that it’s overwhelming. There are drug store brands, there are the all natural, organic, “better than drug store brands”, liquid gold versions at expensive nutrition and organic stores; there’s pills, powders, liquids, chews.
One thing I will admit for me, I’m not the best at swallowing pills, especially larger capsules. I used to choke when I was younger if I had to take a pill. While it’s gotten exponentially better as I’ve gotten older, I’m still not always the best at swallowing large pills. When I started looking at probiotics all the pills looked huge and it made me nervous. I didn’t want to buy something and not be able to take it because I couldn’t swallow it.
Then I saw this company that made chewable tablets.
I found the Culturelle Chewable Probiotics at Target and started taking them immediately. I took 2 a day for the first couple of weeks (as suggested by many to initially reset your system) then one per day in the morning with breakfast.
The difference it made my comfort level was amazing. I was eating a bit better, as well, but so much of my stomach rumbles dissipated, the discomfort – while not completely gone – was much more manageable, going to the bathroom was easier….I basically just needed angels singing above my head.
I used Culturelle exclusively for about 6 months before thinking “hey let’s try out some of the other brands around…just to experiment”. Because I like experimenting….even when things are working.
I experimented with other drug store brands and different strains and amount of live cultures. Most of them worked to some degree.
But none of them worked as well, for me, as the chewable Culturelle has.
Most of this summer I was using a different probiotic brand that worked pretty well…when stress wasn’t a huge factor. Once stress played a bigger role in my life, those probiotics lost a lot of their effectiveness. I was back to having constant pain, cramps, rumbles, discomfort, etc. Granted, my eating habits were also going to the wayside (because stress eating is a thing) but it was like I wasn’t taking probiotics anymore.
I decided to go back to what I felt the best on, which were the Culturelle Chewable Tablets. Within about 2 days, once again, my symptoms were at least 85% better than they were at their worst this summer. I was taking 2 per day again (and did for about 2 weeks); once in the morning and again before dinner, then I scaled back to one in the morning with breakfast, once my stomach felt “normal” again.
I cannot describe how much relief these tablets bring me. Now, they aren’t necessarily my favorite flavor in the world, but I can live with it because I’d rather deal with the flavor than pain and cramps.
Is it curing my stomach issues; doubtful, some of it is hereditary and some may need more medical intervention, but it’s keeping it a lot healthier than it was and it’s keeping me able to go about my life the way that I need to without having to worry about stomach issues stopping me in my tracks at a split second.
While I have zero intention of betraying Culturelle ever again, I am intrigued by their new Pro-Well line that has extra immune system supports and boosters. Since I work with kids (and am in a school twice the size of my old one this year) I’m in contact with all sorts of germs and viruses on a regular basis. I wouldn’t mind trying this to see if it helps me not get sick every month like I felt like I did a year or so ago. If I do give them a try, I’ll definitely let you guys know what I think.
If you’re interested in trying Culturelle, you can find them in pretty much any pharmacy, grocery store, Target, Wal-Mart, club warehouse, as well as on Amazon. A 24-count box is usually around $15, so definitely affordable and worth it for the results, in my opinion.
This post is not sponsored in any way, so all opinions here are mine and not influenced by any partnership. Culturelle has been an amazing supplement for me and I wanted to share my experiences with this product with all of you. I understand how hard it is to deal with stomach issues and I wanted to give my perspective and my progress as I deal with them.