- Missed the start of the experiment? Catch up on week one of our Symprove trial.
I started this journey not knowing what to expect. I didn’t think it would give me a big improvement in my bowel health, as I have tried probiotics before and haven’t noticed a lot of difference in my symptoms. However, my bowels are now very regular and I can’t remember the last time I was constipated or had diarrhoea, so that has had a massive impact on my life. I often suffered from cramps, but this has improved, although I still have some bloating after meals. I feel that this journey has been worthwhile and that my gut bacteria has been restored from years of stress, antibiotics and illness and I hope that the positive signs I have seen, continue now that the 12-week programme has come to an end.
Almost immediately my IBS symptoms improved – I got less abdominal bloating and pain, more regular bowels and fewer spasms. Then I went to Spain for a short break and was unable to take my Symprove. My IBS symptoms flared up and I really suffered for several days. But within days of being home and back on Symprove, my symptoms settled down and I haven’t suffered with any IBS symptoms since. The only negatives were that I found the taste was not very pleasant (and didn’t really get any better!) and it wasn’t very portable (as opposed to a tablet). But on the whole, I have loved having the opportunity to be part of this trial.
Unfortunately I have to say that I have not seen an improvement. To begin with the constipation improved somewhat but then levelled off quite quickly and hasn’t changed since. I have less night-time pain and have been sleeping better but the flatulence hasn’t improved. I am on the diabetes drug Metformin, which I think causes a lot of my issues. Doctors generally just shrug their shoulders as digestive problems are a very common side-effect of this drug, and unfortunately this has not fixed them.
I’ve found it really interesting to take part in the programme and it has been a very positive experience.
The biggest challenge was camping at a festival, eating barbecue food all weekend and drinking cider. I was fine – even after not taking Symprove for two days while there (no fridge). The probiotics must have built up as my stomach appeared to have an iron lining, which is not normally the case.
I have also been running and have to say my usual tummy issues have not cropped up at all. Most noticeable for me is the fact that I do not wake up with a huge balloon of a tummy every morning and no more windy afternoons after I have eaten my lunch. I feel so much more comfortable now and it’s great to get out of elasticated-waist trousers like the ones my mum wears!
- Read our interview with the Gut Girls
I am still having some bloating and pain but not as much as before the trial. It hasn’t eradicated my problems but it has definitely improved things.
I feel like I’ve been freed from my symptoms. The biggest thing has been that previous issues I’ve had with regularity have disappeared, and my bloating and indigestion have improved massively. There were some foods that I’d previously had to avoid, such as fish and chips, but I was recently able to enjoy a bag on the beach with my family for the first time in ages – and didn’t suffer for the rest of the day as a result!
I’ve honestly loved Symprove, I never experienced any bloating, just a better balanced gut. I’ve felt generally really well: I think it’s helped me fight off a few commuter bugs, too. It tastes very sharp, but it’s such an easy thing to do and stick to, plus once you’ve built up that good bacteria, your gut is better able to cope with over-indulgence and is less affected by stress.
At first I wasn’t that impressed by Symprove, then I realised that I was taking it wrong, having it with my morning coffee. Someone explained that you need to take it first thing, on a completely empty stomach and give it 10 minutes before you eat or drink, so it can reach your gut. Since then, I’ve noticed I have far less bloating, so I’ll be keeping it up!