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What digestive focused supplements would you recommend

overtheedge

Senior Member
Messages
258
I'm interested in supplements to aid my gut as I have had strangely light stools since the latest chronic fatigue started 4 years ago and figure the cause of my CFS might well be in my gut. Anyone here have gut focused supplements worth sharing info about

Ones I’m considering using before long: Cat’s Claw, boswellia serrata, glutamine at doses of 20-30(doses of 5-10g’s per day didn’t do anything for me)


Ones that have shown good effects:

Betaine HCL(cured chronic constipation)

Digestive Enzymes(cured chronic constipation)

DGL(cured chronic constipation, not the same chronic constipation that the above two cured)

Xifaxan, I think this one worked and showed effects starting around the last few days of treatment, it was used for 16-17 days total, the effects may have been from a supplement called EB-N5 however which I started 20 days before the effects appeared, unlikely but I would find myself tasting the EB-N5 in my mouth at a point hours after consumption right as the effects would come on, EB-N5 contains: L-methylfolate calcium 3mg, P5P 35mg, methylcobalamin 2mg, Alpha Lipoic Acid 300mg, Cholecalciferol 2500 IU. Most of these I have taken before but some in different forms than are present here

Mastic Gum(made me feel real good the first month of use then stopped working)

Berberine (caused normalization of stool color and good feeling but also caused gut burning a few hours later and stopped working altogether after a few days)

Triphala(makes me feel real good at times, sporadic effects though)

SCD diet had me feeling good for the whole time I was on it but effects plateaued out, the good effects never left and were pretty strong but not strong enough to cure me or anything, also, although I was often feeling better on the diet I was low energy a lot and was in ketosis the two or three times I checked my blood for BHBA during the diet(first tested at around one month in then again at 5 and 6 months in, even with fruits I was in ketosis and getting way too few carbs and wasn’t doing a ketogenic focused style of diet or anything to compensate for the ketosis. From what I remember of the numbers I ran and the stuff I read during the time I was on the SCD it would have been difficult to eat SCD and not be eating low carb but I don’t know for sure, didn’t do enough blood ketone testing to tell. Stopped scd before reaching 7 months in as I was getting mental symptoms although they may have been from the way the diet was taking up my energy with its increased cooking load as well as ruining the enjoyment of food and not providing any lasting benefits besides feeling slightly better than usual, mental symptoms being depression, apathy, frustration.

Nutrient containing powders of all kinds(especially whey protein powder but also pea protein, rice protein, grass powder, powdered rations)(that part about whey protein powder working was written a while ago, whey protein powders of all kinds stopped working, im writing this at 10/10/17, other kinds of protein powders have been found to work though. Raw Organic Protein and Vega One Protein Powders have each made me feel real good, haven’t used either one continuously but I tested each one twice on separate occasions and got the same good results. I should mention I haven’t yet tried Whey Protein concentrate, the version of whey that contains all the good Glutathione precursors. Have only used whey protein isolates. When I have taken these powders they have made me feel good for 2-3 hours then the effects have waned, this was true too for the whey protein back when it did work, also, the effects are sporadic and sometimes don’t appear at all, even with the ones that still do work, although, the last time I tested any of these was around july 2017. I don’t know why these work, even powdered food rations, the kind that are in tablets that turn into powder upon chewing, have made me feel good in that same particular way. I think it may have to do with my gut issues and malabsorption and how easy these powders are to digest, the whey protein worked really powerfully the first few times I used it and got less and less powerful over time. Perhaps it was filling nutrient gaps that were caused by malabsorption and once the gaps were filled the stuff stopped working but I couldn’t say.

Hydrolyzed Collagen(which is high in Glycine and Proline which are good for joints and adrenals and glycine specifically for detox and sleep), gelatin didn’t have the same effects even though it is the same stuff just not as readily digestable, perhaps collagen worked because it provided easily digestable nutrients in the same way as all the stuff in the above paragraph does(protein powders, powdered rations, etc.), especially since glycine at 3g’s per day in capsules hasn’t worked in the past


Ones that have shown no effects:

Chlorella 500mg

Diflucan

Marshmallow root

Antibiotics of multiple kinds including antifungals (Bactrim OS, Diflucan, Nystatin,(maybe xifaxan, diflucan, still testing)

IgG

IgG 2000 CWP (2.5g’s)

Beets and beet juice

Probiotic enema two days in a row

Kefir(at least the version on whole food shelves which may not contain active cultures)

Pumpkin seeds

artichoke hearts

Artichoke capsules (1g/day)

apple cider vinegar

digestive bitters

aloe vera

Probiotics(even at large doses)

Slippery Elm
 

ljimbo423

Senior Member
Messages
4,705
Location
United States, New Hampshire
@overtheedge - I think getting rid of the bacterial overgrowth should be the #1 priority. Once the bacterial overgrowth is gone, Allison Seibecker from SIBO.com, says it only takes the gut about a month to heal.

I don't know how well you tolerate antibacterial herbs but if you tolerate them well. I would take fairly high doses until I started to feel better or even for a while after that to make sure the overgrowth is gone.

Well established dysbiosis is highly resistant to change and it can take a while even at very high doses of herbs. There are some very potent essential oils that work really good for dysbiosis. Like oil of oregano and thyme oil.

The other thing I would say is if you get a lot of fatigue and side effects from bacterial die-off. Supplements to protect the mitochondria and help them to function better have helped me tremendously.

Things like BCAA's at high doses, coq10 at high doses, ALA at high doses and NADH. These are all great support and protection for mitochondria, especially while killing off bacteria in the gut. Which creates a lot of oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.

I also think that a low carb diet, of some kind is absolutely crucial. I am doing a modified version of the SCD. Where I eat enough potatoes and rice that I don't go into ketosis.

Ketosis makes me feel really sick, which is not helpful when your trying to get well.:confused::)

EDIT- The thing that is slowing me down the most in treating my dysbiosis. Is that I haven't been able to take high enough doses of herbs, because I would get flu-like flares.

Taking supplements to protect the mitochondria and help them to function better has stopped the flares I was getting. So now I'm increasing the dose of herbs I'm taking again.
 

sb4

Senior Member
Messages
1,654
Location
United Kingdom
@ljimbo423 You say you eat potatoes and rice and you are trying to avoid endotoxin.

I came across a very interesting argument that suggested to avoid endotoxin it is best to eat sticky (short grain) rice, and waxy potatoes as opposed to other varieties. The reasoning is normal rice/potatoes contains more amylose which is more resistant to digestion meaning it gets further down the gut and feeds microbes. Sticky rice and waxy potatoes contain a lot more amylopectin which is digested super quick in comparison.

It seems that people with gut issues benefited from this advice greatly so perhaps it is something for you to consider?
 

S-VV

Senior Member
Messages
310
A peptide called body protection complex 157: bpc-157. It can be taken orally, it's cheap, and it stimulates gut lining healing.

Activated charcoal (away from food and supps) to absorb endotoxins.

Before you start dealing with the owergrowth you could do a hair tissue mineral analysis, and an aminoacid blood test. Fixing low hanging deficiencies could help your body to better deal with the die off.
 

HowToEscape?

Senior Member
Messages
626
Before throwing ANY supplement at my system I'd want to be sure that

1. I actually have the condition I'm trying to fix. e.g., if it's an 'antibiotic' supplement, confirm that I actually have x or y bacteria and that those bugs are undesirable (there's a ton of normal bacteria which are beneficial). If it's a vitamin or mineral, I'd want to be sure I actually have a deficiency of it.

Charcoal is used for acute poisoning, it is NOT a food, a vitamin or a normally consumed mineral. I'd check with an actual MD before throwing that into my system.

"Hydrolyzed Collagen(which is high in Glycine and Proline which are good for joints and adrenals and glycine specifically for detox and sleep)"
Yeah it says so on the Internet, it must be true! Not.
No, your adrenals do not benefit from any super secret supplement. Protein does not 'detox' you, detox is done by your liver and kidneys all the time, and most extra supplements you throw at them become more stuff for them to filter out.
 

overtheedge

Senior Member
Messages
258
@ljimbo423 Sibo is definitely something to consider, according to my latest breath test I've still got sibo, in case treating the sibo makes me feel much improved when I do try to tackle it I'm experimenting with a number of supplements now as it's been much harder to tell if supplements are doing anything during times when I'm already feeling good and I want some good supplements there for support, more than the ten or so promising supplements I have right now that is.

As far as mitochondria go I've had great success with D-Ribose, especially when taking small doses throughout the day, taking three large doses each day never did much for me but small doses every thirty minutes or so has really made me feel spectacular, I don't know how it would work out since you're trying to treat a gut problem and ribose is a sugar, someone told me ribose isn't something bacteria can metabolize, don't know if that's true but I most likely had sibo when I was using ribose and always had good effects from it, never any bad reactions, gut focused or otherwise. Also, Acetyl-L-Carnitine which is also mitochondria focused has made me feel good, both it and coenzyme q10 worked spectacularly for a while then stopped working altogether, dunno why, but if coq10 is working consistently for you then maybe if acetyl-l-carnitine works for you it will keep on working for you too.
 

LINE

Senior Member
Messages
810
Location
USA
I'm interested in supplements to aid my gut as I have had strangely light stools since the latest chronic fatigue started 4 years ago and figure the cause of my CFS might well be in my gut. Anyone here have gut focused supplements worth sharing info about

Light colored stools are typically a sign of low bile. Bile plays a role in control of the unwanted organisms in the gut. Nutrients thought to help produce bile include choline, taurine, methionine etc.
 

CFS_for_19_years

Hoarder of biscuits
Messages
2,396
Location
USA
https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-can-cause-pale-or-clay-colored-stool-1942944
When Is Clay Colored Stool a Problem?
Having a stool that is white or pale just once, or rarely, is not usually a concern, but when the color is consistently too light, it is something that should be discussed with a doctor.
[...]
Causes of Pale Stools
[...]

Medical causes of stool that is pale or clay colored are usually liver and biliary issues such as:
  • Alcoholic hepatitis: A disease of the liver that occurs after overexposure to alcohol
  • Biliary cirrhosis: A type of liver disease where the bile ducts are damaged
  • Birth defect: Being born with a problem in the biliary system
  • Cysts: A cyst may block a bile duct
  • Gallstones: These calcium deposits in the gallbladder could block bile ducts
  • Hepatitis A,B, or C: Infectious liver diseases that may cause a lack of bile
  • Infection: Certain types of infections could affect the biliary system
  • Sclerosing cholangitis: A disease that can cause a lack of bile production or a blockage in the bile ducts
  • Side effects from medication: Overuse of certain medications could cause drug-induced hepatitis, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, hormonal birth control, and certain antibiotics
  • Strictures: A narrowing of the intestine could block the flow of bile
  • Tumor: A tumor could block the flow of bile
Again, if you notice clay colored stool in your toilet bowl once, it's probably not a cause for concern. If you're consistently seeing it though, you should contact your doctor and work together to narrow down the cause.
[...]
Diagnosing the Underlying Condition
In order to treat pale stools, the underlying cause of the problem must first be diagnosed. In addition to a complete medical history, some of the tests that might be used to make a diagnosis are:
  • Liver function tests: Liver function tests can help determine if there is a condition that involves the liver that's causing the pale stools.
  • Abdominal ultrasound: A non-invasive test that uses sound waves to see what's inside the body and might help a physician see inside structures like the gallbladder.
  • Blood work to test for an infection: A variety of blood tests might be done and while they aren't going to diagnose a problem, they can be used to help narrow down the potential conditions.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): Rarely, this type of endoscopy that can be used to see inside the pancreas and bile ducts might be used.
 

overtheedge

Senior Member
Messages
258
@LINE I've wondered about that too, I tried oxbile for a week or so but nothing changed. Also, individually and for various reasons I tried choline, taurine, an SAMe(if that counts as methionine) over the years but that didn't do anything either, at least on the level of stool color. In the first year of this most recent CFS I've had I experienced stools of normal color coming around sporadically, very infrequently though. The only time I've had a normally colored stool in the last few years has been when I tried berberine after a CDSA stool test showed I had a potentially pathogenic strain of bacteria in my gut and suggested the bacteria was not resistant to berberine.

Took the berberine and felt immediately improved but later in the day my gut started burning, same thing happened the next day after I a dose, the bowel movements for the next few days after starting berberine were normal but I stopped taking the stuff after that second day for fear it was messing up my gut.

I thought maybe the berberine was acidic as I get the same response of delayed gut burning anymore if I take Betaine HCL even at low levels and the berberine was in the form of berberine HCL. I did a test with some glasses of water and ph strips, crushed and dissolved various doses of betaine hcl and berberine hcl and dissolved them in water and tested said water with the strips, the betaine hcl water came up as acidic but the berberine hcl water was of neutral pH. I tried berberine again after that many times in the form of that first supplement and in the form of many other supplements but I could never get the same effects, nor did a have any more gut burning.

When I reran the CDSA months later I had a new potential pathogen in my gut so the berberine may well have worked but for some reason another germ took its place, at least, that's my guess, maybe things would have worked out better if I'd taken the full course of berberine despite the pain. I know I've got SIBO now so maybe that predisposes the lower gut to infection, I also just learned from my GI doctor a few days ago, after doing a colonoscopy to follow up on multiple fecal occult blood tests that have come up positive over the past two years, that I have a mild form of colitis that is spread through parts of my colon and he wants me to go on lialda, an antiinflammatory, for it. I wonder if the colitis is the reason bad germs keep growing in my gut. I'm thinking I'll see my functional medicine doctor before taking the lialda and see what she thinks and I'd be interested to hear what peeps on here think about colitis, IBD, lialda, and this stuff in general, info is always welcome.
 

CFS_for_19_years

Hoarder of biscuits
Messages
2,396
Location
USA
@overtheedge, have you ever mentioned to any of your doctors that you have light-colored stools? I think it may be an issue that is best suited to being explored with your doctor. I doubt if any supplement will have any effect on returning your stool to a normal color. See my post above (#9).
 

overtheedge

Senior Member
Messages
258
@overtheedge, have you ever mentioned to any of your doctors that you have light-colored stools? I think it may be an issue that is best suited to being explored with your doctor. I doubt if any supplement will have any effect on returning your stool to a normal color. See my post above (#9).
Yeah, if it's bile related it probably requires a doctor to fix, I ask these questions on here cause I have at times seen miraculous reactions from OTC supplements such as fixing chronic constipation when nothing else would, and so I wanted to see if others had had powerful success from something digestion related that they've tried.
Thanks @CFS_for_19_years and @kangaSue for the good info on potential causes of clay colored stools, I'm adding it to my notes, if fixing the colitis doesn't fix the color I'll see about a doctor who knows about bile
 

kangaSue

Senior Member
Messages
1,849
Location
Brisbane, Australia
if fixing the colitis doesn't fix the color I'll see about a doctor who knows about bile
Do you get epigastric pain with this, worsened by eating?

Didn't pick up on your mention of colitis. I have this with light coloured stools and epigastric pain (and gastroparesis, low bp and other autonomic dysfunction) which was eventually diagnosed as Autonomic Neuropathy and then Chronic Mesenteric Ischemia too.

My left renal vein is totally occluded (Nutcracker Syndrome) when can give rise to autonomic dysfunction and according to the medical literature, anything that impairs your cardiac output and regulation (such as autonomic dysfunction) can result in microvascular intestinal blood flow deficiency (my main bowel (mesentery) arteries are not occluded).
 

overtheedge

Senior Member
Messages
258
@kangaSue
I occasionally have gut pain but not from eating as best I can tell. It really is very infrequent but usually the pain comes around when I'm overdoing things, when I use too much energy in one day usually I'll feel my heartbeat fast and hard and my gut may hurt right below my ribcage. I was watching a program on emergency room medicine the other day that mentioned that gut pain after eating can be a sign of gallstones, often such gut pain will come more severely after heavy/oily meals if memory serves.

What all have you used to treat the colitis? Anything work particularly well for treating the colitis and have any of the treatments done anything to ease the fatigue?

Also, how did you find out about your vein being blocked?

All the best
 

Sarahloudobby

Senior Member
Messages
173
Hi. I’ve not had much luck with anything for my gut except taking charcoal tablets after eating which dramatically reduced my wind and bloating x
 

kangaSue

Senior Member
Messages
1,849
Location
Brisbane, Australia
@kangaSue
I occasionally have gut pain but not from eating as best I can tell. It really is very infrequent but usually the pain comes around when I'm overdoing things, when I use too much energy in one day usually I'll feel my heartbeat fast and hard and my gut may hurt right below my ribcage. I was watching a program on emergency room medicine the other day that mentioned that gut pain after eating can be a sign of gallstones, often such gut pain will come more severely after heavy/oily meals if memory serves.

What all have you used to treat the colitis? Anything work particularly well for treating the colitis and have any of the treatments done anything to ease the fatigue?

Also, how did you find out about your vein being blocked?

All the best
That's the problem with chronic intestinal ischemia, it can be very mild to start with and can be triggered by activity alone (runner's colitis is a more extreme example) although it's more typical to also cause some symptoms from eating. That might be just a bit of a dull ache or a slight feeling of discomfort.

Your pain is in the right spot for this. Gallbladder issues usually cause right upper quadrant pain. Having autonomic dysfunction can also cause gallbladder dysfunction so it's often not actually the gallbladder itself that is malfunctioning, more a signalling issue.

Bowel ischemia is the cause of colitis for me and I use a nitrate medication (nicorandil) for the bowel ischemia. Check out the PR threads on boosting nitric oxide (NO) production, this is the effect from nitrates and there are a few people here who find NO supplements help them with their fatigue symptoms somewhat too.

A Doppler Ultrasound of the mesentery arteries picks up the blocked renal vein and a CT Angiogram gives a better visualisation of it. It's not fully understood how this can cause significant autonomic dysfunction but about 20% of people have POTS with it and I know of a quite a few people who were previously diagnosed with ME/CFS before their blockage was found and then found all these other things resolved with surgery to fix the occlusion.
 
Messages
5
@overtheedge Supplements that contain Digestive enzymes are good. Some of them combine to create digestive juices. It really depends on your condition. If you pancreas does not secrete insulin, amylase, lipase or protease, then you should take a pancreatic enzyme stimulant. Not sure which one is better on the market, but i think your doctor would know.

Also, if you liver is not secreting enough bile, there`s another problem. Hepatic bile secretion can cause severe constipation and other constipation related symptoms. Bile stimulants should improve digestion and the assimilation of nutrients and vitamins. There are so many details about this.

My one piece of advice. Before taking any stimulants and laxatives, make sure you do some tests (blood, stool, urine) and find out if your pancreas and liver are secreting enough enzymes. I think this is really hard to diagnose....
 

helios

Senior Member
Messages
136
Location
Brisbane
Yeah, if it's bile related it probably requires a doctor to fix, I ask these questions on here cause I have at times seen miraculous reactions from OTC supplements such as fixing chronic constipation when nothing else would, and so I wanted to see if others had had powerful success from something digestion related that they've tried.
Thanks @CFS_for_19_years and @kangaSue for the good info on potential causes of clay colored stools, I'm adding it to my notes, if fixing the colitis doesn't fix the color I'll see about a doctor who knows about bile
Hey how did you go with your doctor? I'd be surprised if your doctor does anything to fix your bile issues. I've been amazed at the number of stories of people who have their gall bladder cut out and are given zero post op support from their doctors despite complaining about new digestive symptoms & other health issues post op.

You said you tried ox bile. Give Jarrow's coagulated bile a shot. It is more expensive unfortunately but out of the two, the coagulated version worked for me. I suffered from pale stools & steatorrhea after eating fatty meals (I would feel queezy and I'd have to flush the toilet 3-4 times) for many years, and difficulty putting on weight. The doctors I complained about this to, didn't seem too fussed...its not what they consider a serious health condition and if they don't do anything you are not going to deteriorate, so didn't care.

I'd also recommend you trial drinking beetroot juice (juice other veges as well). you might want to consider that you might be on the low side with fat soluble vitamins (D, K, A, E). I got benefit with Vit K, but weird outcomes with vit D. I was tested very low on the latter but it would make me really tired when I took it and my health went down hill while I was taking it, yet I do feel better when I spend time in the sun. My stools in this respect have improved and I strongly suspect it wass from treating for fluke parasites, and you just may have these. I dont think there is a decent test for flukes but you could do a home test and take a number of cups of kefir (more potent double fermented type) and dont eat much food for the day and see what comes out (well this worked for me anyway). I was always disappointed with digestive enzymes which I had tried a few times over the years given difficulty I had putting on weight.
 
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