Monday, March 16, 2015

I am PRO biotic

It has been way WAY too long since I've made time to blog and it's not for lack of things I want to write about. My head is full of thoughts and ideas and things I want to explore and share but I've let life get in the way of this one creative outlet I really enjoy. So this week I'm going to just take 20 minutes every day to start getting these thoughts out of my head and into words...and clear out the mind for new things! (Today the blogging is taking place in my kitchen as I multi-task with dinner prep.)

Training is going well and I'm enjoying it more than I have in a long, long time. It just feels good to feel good. Well, MOST everything has felt good, but truth be told I had some running-related GI issues through the summer and fall that were disruptive and a little worrisome. My issues crossed over into the broad category of "runners trots."

This GI upset apparently affects the majority of runners at some point in time, but as one who is serious about carrying out training plans without interruption, any threat to that is not taken lightly!! The episodes were sporadic, unpredictable, and couldn't be readily tied back to specific foods. There were times I felt awful for the whole day following a long or hard run.

I'll spare the details, and you can Google "Runners Trots" yourself, but what I wanted to share was one change that I really think has helped me, and might help others too.


I got an appointment with a gastroenterology PA who is a mom and a runner who has also experienced running-related GI issues. Among her suggestions was to take a probiotic and she recommended Align, or one of the generic forms of it (I use the Kroger brand - still like $30/month...ugh!).

Although it can take months of regular use for it to really kick in, or take root, or whatever, after taking one daily for about three months I can already tell a big difference. I've not had a major GI bout since and I've noticed several other positive changes in my health.

In learning more about probiotics, there is evidence that gut health is important for a multitude of things - skin, brain function, mood, immunity, etc. I can only say that in my sample size of ONE, I've noticed dramatic improvements not only in my GI happiness but also in my skin (which after a lifetime of being breakout-free sought revenge in my 40's....yay 40's!!!).  I recommended my dad try probiotics too given that he's always had sensitive skin and my mom says after just a month she has noticed a big difference (my dad is a little less certain, but we shall see.)

I won't even try to make this a research paper on probiotics. There are thoughts that certain strains are best for certain conditions and so on but truthfully, I basically just followed the PA's suggestion and have been very happy that I did.

Plus look at how cute these little guys are! So colorful, and happy!

Golfing though? I really hope I am NOT taking the golfing strains, but rather the swim/bike/run strains!

So you know me -- just sharing in case this might be of benefit to others. Just keep in mind it can take a few months of regular use to see changes.

Have you tried probiotics? What were your results?