Dh has been on the GAPS diet since a year and a half ago, yet after the first month, he didn’t use the recommended probiotic supplements since they were so pricey. We figured we’d do probiotics the frugal way – with cultured foods like kefir and fermented vegetables. But even though he’s found his digestive health improved, it hasn’t been to the degree we would have hoped and expected.
Back in January, I started researching probiotics in order to find an affordable option that would allow us to buy the full amount to give dd16, to see if this would help resolve the stomach pains she’d been having – but high quality and affordability don’t seem to go together when it comes to probiotics. Until I found Custom Probiotics, a company that sells customized probiotic blends.
I called to order an eleven strain oxylate blend that isn’t offered on the website, and the person who answered the phone (Harry – turned out he was the owner of the business), asked why I wanted this particular blend. I told him it for dd. He asked about her stomach pains, when it started, and some other specific questions, and then told me it sounded very much like something he had experienced. Actually, it was what led him to starting this business ten years ago, after healing himself naturally by using probiotics.
I had never heard of the term he used -H pylori – so I asked him twice to repeat himself and the third time just asked him to spell it for me. When he asked me if her stomach pain felt like someone stabbed her in the stomach with a knife, I told him I know it’s pretty bad because she doesn’t complain much so if she says her stomach hurts, she would only say something if it really hurt, but I wasn’t sure if that was how it felt (I was hoping it wasn’t, because it sounded so excrutiating). H pylori is a bacteria that about 50% of people in the world have, but that causes infections in a only some of those people.
A little later in the day I spoke to her and asked if this was an accurate description, and she said that’s exactly how she feels. I told her all about what he had shared with me, and then while I went off to do some shopping for her, she went on to do some research about it. When I got back, an email was in my inbox from her, saying she looked at the detailed symptoms and she thinks it looks like a good match for her.
Since then, we’ve done lots more testing and eliminated the possibility of H pylori, and since she had taken massive amounts of this probiotic without change, I was pretty sure even prior to the testing that it wasn’t H pylori. Before this testing, a naturopath and osteopath both also were strongly inclined to think it was H pylori as well based on her symptoms, so it was a very good guess. Though it wasn’t what dd16 needed to remedy her stomach issue (and I unfortunately still don’t know what to do to help her – nothing we’ve tried has helped), I strongly believe probiotics are very valuable for the digestive system.
And back to dh – he and I both feel it would be helpful for him to really get the full benefits of gut healing that are supposed to result from the GAPS diet. But even inexpensive probiotics aren’t cheap, and so we pushed off purchasing any for dh. That is, until today, when in preparation for our move to Israel in two weeks, I ordered 200 grams for dh of the customized GAPS blend so he’d have enough to last a good while.
By the way, I’m very impressed with the owner of Custom Probiotics. Back in January, in addition to spending 20 minutes talking to me and sharing some ideas about treating H pylori that he’d have no benefit from me buying since he doesn’t sell them, he insisted on sending me the probiotics Fedex at his expense – I told him I’d rather the cheaper shipping option, but he said he wanted to be absolutely sure it arrived to me before I left to visit dd, and he’d cover the difference in shipping. Today, I asked if there was a larger container available than 100 grams (you know how I buy everything in bulk!), and he said there isn’t but is doing me a favor and filling the bottle fuller (beyond the weight I’m paying for), and charging me the same amount.
In case you’re wondering about the cost of this particular blend, it’s $175 for 100 grams. (There are a number of different probiotics blends available and most of them are less expensive than this one.) I know it sounds insanely expensive to pay that much for a little bottle, but when it comes to probiotics, you have to see how many billion cfus there are in a given serving, then compare that. Once I did that, I realized that this probiotic was much more powerful than others I looked at, and as a result, a smaller amount was necessary. We originally bought the BioKult probiotics that are recommended in the GAPS program, and using it was shortlived since we couldn’t keep up with the expense – this is comparable quality and lots more affordable.
I really appreciate dealing with people who care about what they do, and offer great service in addition to great products!