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July 2021 Diet & Digestive Health (DDHChat) Twitter Chat with IFFGD and Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD, IFNCP

TwitterChat Twitter SQureshi

2021 July DDHChat: Understanding Probiotics – 101

IFFGD – introductory tweets and remarks: 

The views and experiences shared by our participant are their own and do not reflect the official positions of IFFGD. Each patient is different. Always consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian (RD) on a diet treatment plan that is right for you. Information and resources shared during today’s chat should not replace the medical care that you are receiving. And as a reminder, be sure to include #DDHChat in each of your tweets.

IFFGD – welcomes everyone to the chat and introduces co-host Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD

Welcome to our July Diet and Digestive Health Chat on Understanding Probiotics: 101 with lead host Samina Qureshi RDN LD (twitter handle: @WholesmomeStart). There is a growing interest in finding out if #Probiotics can be used to help relieve GI symptoms. Probiotics, for example bacteria, are the same as or similar to microorganisms found naturally in the human body. Also referred to as “good bacteria” or “helpful bacteria,” probiotics are available in many different forms. Knowing what oral products, supplements or foods are best for you and your GI condition can be very challenging to figure out on your own. Whenever you notice changes in your symptoms, it is important to communicate these changes with your healthcare provider. Various dietary modifications and other lifestyle changes may help to reduce symptoms that occur. It is natural to have some concerns about finding the right treatment plan for you. For some, seeking support from a registered dietitian could help. During the next hour, we’ll discuss probiotics to help reduce GI symptoms and promote
gut health.

We’re joined today by registered dietitian Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD (twitter handle: @WholesomeStart) to share her unique insights on probiotics.

IFFGD and Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD Q&A:

Q1: As we begin this month’s Diet and Digestive Health Chat (DDHChat) Twitter Chat series, @WholesomeStart, what are probiotics? #DDHChat

Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD: Probiotics are live microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, that are beneficial for gut and overall health. They help add in good bacteria to your microbiota and prevent bad bacteria from taking over. #DDHChat

Q2: Based on research, what are the digestive health benefits of probiotics? #DDHChat

Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD: Probiotics aid in digestion by breaking down some of the food we can’t digest and keep harmful microorganisms at bay. Some probiotics reduce
antibiotic-associated diarrhea, manage digestive distress, support the immune system, and help with digestion of lactose. #DDHChat

Q3: How do probiotics work within our GI system? #DDHChat

Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD: As live microbes, probiotics can influence the microbes that colonize our body. Probiotics can grow, metabolize, and interact with our gut microbes to positively influence our immune system.  As probiotics pass through the gut, they interact with our immune and gut cells, foods we digest, and the microbes in our gut to exert their benefits. #DDHChat

Q4: Are there any known risk factors of taking probiotics? #DDHChat

Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD: Probiotics are generally safe but should be used with caution with the elderly, premature newborns, people with immune disorders, and those with
short bowel syndrome (SBS). Always consult with your health care provider prior to taking any new supplement. Probiotics are considered supplements and are unregulated by the FDA. It is important to discuss specific recommendations with your healthcare provider. #DDHChat

Q5: How can someone living with a GI disorder benefit from working with a registered dietitian when introducing probiotics into their daily routine? #DDHChat

Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD: A Registered Dietitian can help you understand whether or not probiotics are an option for treating your specific GI disorder. They can also point
you in the direction of specific types that are recommended for your digestive health concerns. #DDHChat

Q6: Can probiotics be taken while someone is on antibiotics? #DDHChat

Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD: Probiotics can be taken while on antibiotics. It is recommended to take probiotics at least 2 hours apart from antibiotics. There is evidence that specific strains of probiotics can reduce antibiotics-induced diarrhea. #DDHChat

Q7: How long can someone use probiotics before they begin to feel a difference, and what GI symptoms might someone feel a relief from? #DDHChat

Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD: Currently there are no set dietetic guidelines regarding length of use of probiotics. A dietitian can help you implement a probiotic protocol into your lifestyle for your unique needs. Probiotics have been found to help reduce antibiotics-induced diarrhea, digestion of lactose, relieve constipation, gas, and bloating. #DDHChat

Q8: You briefly touched on a few symptoms that probiotics might help alleviate, but can probiotics help with the management of IBS symptoms? #DDHChat

Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD: Yes, probiotics can help manage IBS symptoms including gas, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, & abdominal pain. More studies needed to clarify which probiotic species, specific strains, and dose of probiotics are most effective for patients with IBS. #DDHChat

Q9: How can someone look for quality probiotic supplements? #DDHChat

Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD: Make sure the probiotic provides an effective dose which can vary but will range from 100 million to 50 billion or more Colony Forming Units (CFUs). Use specific strains of probiotics that have been researched to give you the health benefit you want! Look for the names of the microbes– genus, species, and strain! #DDHChat

Q10: Can probiotics come from food sources, if so, what are some examples? #DDHChat

Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD: Yes, you can get probiotics from food including yogurt, kefir, cheese, kimchi, and some fermented foods. To be considered a probiotic the microbes must be alive. If the food has been baked, pasteurized, or filtered, the cultures may no longer be active. #DDHChat

Q11: Can you provide us with 3 of your favorite probiotic tips? #DDHChat

Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD:

1) Not all #probiotics will be beneficial for everyone. Be sure to
look into whether the specific probiotics strain(s) have been studied to help your
main concern.

2) The more expensive a supplement or probiotic is does not
equate to better quality. You don’t have to spend lots of money to take probiotics!

3) Have fun with including a variety of #probiotic-rich foods into your diet! #DDHChat

IFFGD – final tweets and remarks:

We hope that you all have enjoyed our chat today on #Probiotics. Remember that probiotics comes in many different forms, it is important to work with your healthcare provider to find what helps you with your specific GI needs. Special thank you to Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD (twitter handle: @WholesomeStart) for joining us today and sharing your unique insights on #probiotics. To learn more about Probiotics and other topics from this month’s lead host Samina Qureshi RDN, LD (twitter handle: @WholesomeStart) follow this link. #DDHChat

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IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization. Our mission is to inform, assist, and support people affected by gastrointestinal disorders.

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