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My Journey Back and Experience With VSL#3

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. All opinions, text and experiences are my own. VSL#3 is a high-potency probiotic medical food for the dietary management of IBS, UC and ileal pouch and must be used under medical supervision. Please speak with your healthcare provider for any specific questions. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

A few weeks back I wrote about starting the journey back from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) with VSL#3. I go through periods of IBS that especially tends to be aggravated by hard or long running. That is pretty darn frustrating since I run marathons and ultra marathons. As a result, I was excited to get to participate in the “VSL#3 The Journey Back” campaign and try VSL#3, a high-potency probiotic medical food specifically formulated for the dietary management of IBS, UC and ileal pouch. I tried it for three weeks, including during my longest ultra-run ever – and all was great!  Here is how my trial went.

VSL#3 Journey Back

About VSL#3

First, a bit about probiotics and the VSL#3 difference:  According to a Harris Poll* conducted on behalf of VSL#3, among 607 U.S. adults ages 18+ who have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis (UC) or ileal pouch, nearly half (46%) believe all probiotics are pretty much the same. Further, roughly 2 in 5 IBS, UC, ileal pouch sufferers (41%) don’t understand which strain of probiotics is best to help treat their symptoms. Also, nearly half (49%) are not at all knowledgeable about the differences between a “medical food” and a “dietary supplement.*”

*Harris Poll conducted the GI Issues Survey on behalf of VSL#3. The survey was administered online within the United States between April 1 – 7, 2015 among 607 adult’s ages 18+ who have been diagnosed with a digestive or gastrointestinal condition, irritable bowel syndrome, or ulcerative colitis, ileal pouch (“sufferers”).VSL# journal experience

VSL#3 is a high-potency probiotic medical food.  It comes in capsules or packets. The VSL#3 packets contain 450 billion bacteria and the capsules contain 112.5 billion bacteria. It is suggested that adults should take at least one billion cells daily, so VSL#3 meets this suggestion.  The products must be refrigerated to maintain potency.  VSL#3 is clinically proven in the dietary management of the serious digestive issues irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis (UC) and ileal pouch. It has been clinically demonstrated to reduce bloating, gassiness and discomfort in patients such as myself  with IBS. It also has been the subject of more than 170 studies and published in peer-reviewed journals over the past 15 years. VSL#3 is specially formulated with eight strains of live lactic acid bacteria and is 10 times more potent more than the average probiotic.  Thus, it is the first choice for many doctors because it is one of the strongest available with a proven track record in helping patients with serious digestive conditions. The products are Kosher and Halal certified.

My VSL#3 Experience

I have been using VSL#3 for over three weeks now and kept a journal of the first three weeks. I chose to use the packets, which I mixed with my morning smoothie or juice. The packets were easy to store in the refrigerator and easy to use. The product does not add any flavor to your drink. I might switch to capsules down the road though simply because I am trying to get away from having liquid breakfasts, although the packets can also be mixed with just plain water. They just can’t be mixed with any hot liquid or food or carbonated beverage to keep the live bacteria intact.

VSL#3 Packets

I had a very good experience using VSL#3.  Right off the bat, I had a 24 hour ultra race at the Christmas in July races in Lisle, IL. This was the longest race I had ever run, both in time and distance. Typically, I have a fair number of GI issues during an ultra, but this one went well for me, with hardly any problems. I ended up running 74 miles in just under 24 hours, and I won second place masters woman and was fifth woman overall. I was very excited!

VSL#3 journal week one

As my race recovery went on, I had three really good weeks. I was not running as much during those weeks, but I was starving! I guess running 74 miles in 24 hours really does make the body hungry. I was eating extra amounts of food for days. I also ate some things that I might normally avoid. Again, I had no issues. I even had fried food at one point during the three weeks, which would normally cause some problems for me, but I was fine.  When I started my speed work back up and added a long run and a long walk a few weeks later, I had none of my normal GI issues. Needless to say, I became a believer in VSL#3. So far everything has been great while using it, and I was breaking some of my normal dietary rules. With that said, diet is important with IBS, so I don’t plan to go and start eating trigger foods a ton. Ideally, I like to combine VSL#3 with a healthy diet, like the low-FODMAP diet, aimed at addressing IBS. You can get some good IBS-friendly low-FODMAP recipes from VSL#3 here.

last week journal

I suggest that anyone with IBS talk to their doctor about trying VSL#3 to see if it works for them. Keep a journal or calendar to track your progress and see how you feel like I did!

VSL#3 calendar

VSL#3 Patient Savings Program

Now you can take part in VSL#3’s new Patient Savings Program. Simply print out this VSL#3 Patient Savings Card (https://www.vsl3ds.com/?fb) and bring it to your physician to receive a prescription for VSL#3. Then take both the script and the Patient Savings Card to your pharmacy and save up to $80 each month on your purchase of VSL#3 unflavored packets or VSL#3 DS. This is the largest savings ever offered for both VSL#3 and VSL#3 DS. Visit here (https://www.vsl3ds.com/?fb) for more information and talk with your healthcare provider today to take part in the savings program!

You can find VSL#3 at your local pharmacy, just ask your pharmacist for VSL#3 because it is kept refrigerated behind the pharmacy counter. You can also purchase it online here: https://shop.vsl3.com/vsl3-c2.aspx.

For more information on VSL#3 please visit www.vsl3.com

Join VSL#3 on Facebook for giveaways and exclusive offers www.facebook.com/vsl3probiotic

Check out a series of videos including helpful information about managing IBS at www.youtube.com/user/VSL3Probiotic
Find delicious IBS-friendly recipes at http://www.vsl3.com/discover/ibs-friendly-recipes/

#VSL3TheJourneyBack

VSL#3® is a high-potency probiotic medical food that’s clinically proven in the dietary management of IBS, ulcerative colitis, and ileal pouch. To learn more visit www.vsl3.com and LIKE the brand on Facebook

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. All opinions, text and experiences are my own. VSL#3 is a high-potency probiotic medical food for the dietary management of IBS, UC and ileal pouch and must be used under medical supervision. Please speak with your healthcare provider for any specific questions. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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