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Hi everyone.

I am being inundated with information telling me that I should take probiotics for colon health. Well . . . I don't have a colon! Does anyone know if probiotics are still healthy and/or necessary for us? I can't find any good information. Thanks in advance.


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hi i am also in florida  i do not take any probiotics anymore


Hello Snookis Mum. 

I have always been a bit sceptical about claims being made by people who sell stuff, and probiotics is no exception. However, I am a firm believer in the placebo effect and if someone believes that these things will benefit them, then the chances are they will (if only on a psychological level).

 Prompted by your post I took a quick look to see if there were any up to date research projects on this issue and  the first one I found questions the efficacy of this approach. I won't quote the whole study but below are the basics. 

Best wishes


Human gut study questions probiotic health benefits
September 6, 2018
Cell Press
New research suggests that probiotics might not be as effective as we think. Through a series of experiments looking inside the human gut, researchers show that many people's digestive tracts prevent standard probiotics from successfully colonizing them.


That info is good enough for me!  When I had my colon, I was on them.  now.. no colon.. whats the point.??  good research there Bill thanks!  this is what its all about... and the hookey pookey too.


Look into pre-biotics for the small intestine 


Thanks Bill. Good info. I'm also very sceptical.


i'm not skeptical about probiotics, but i am skeptical of over-the-counter probiotic formulations. 

so much of digestion is orchestrated by our microbiome, so getting more beneficial critters in our gut is a good thing, hands down.  since a lot of them reside in the colon, it seems smart to me to introduce them to the small intestine to make up for the lacking colon if you're an ileo.  but: what kind to take, what organisms could make the transition from large to small intestine, that i need to google some more.  i do know that the body has marvelous ways of adapting, adopting a missing organ's function. 

what i would do is approach this carefully: don't just buy a probiotic and say it's all bogus if it fails.  eat your yogurt, kefir, kraut, fermented stuff, and take note of how you feel and how your body responds.  and pre-biotics, that's mostly fresh vegetable matter, which ileos have to approach carefully, they feed the pro-biotics, you need both.

the research on the microbiome is absolutely fascinating, critters play a huge role in digestion and so many other body processes, science is just getting its bearings on that.  all i know is that good bacteria is good for you, so don't hate on the probiotics because the critters work everywhere in the body, not just the colon, and the body will adapt (allowing the small intestine to harbor the critters that help digest).


There is an excellent article in this month's National Geographic about probiotics. That's what prompted me to ask this question.

Thank you for your response. It was really helpful.



Hi Guys,

  Sorry for coming to this party late, but want to chime in, as a few things were mentioned here that might benefit from some clarification for those who read it in the future. First, prebiotics and probiotics are vastly different. Probiotics are actual living bacteria strains that you eat, and prebiotics are hard to digest carbohydrates that promote bacteria growth of the bacteria already in your bowels, and is not bacteria itself. So they sound very similar, but are actually totally different. These bacteria we're talking about are not limited to the colon, and do populate both the small bowel and there could be benefits to taking pro/prebiotics for those without a colon as well.

That said, bacterial overgrowth, the problem probiotics are supposed to cure,  can occur anywhere in the small bowel as well as the colon. Research into pre/probiotics is a hotbed of activity now, and it really comes down to using the correct bacterial strains, of which there are thousands of in our guts (and the flora changes as we age, complicating things further). It's a very complex subject, and one I don't have time to master, but I'd say the evidence for gut flora affecting bowel autoimmune activity is pretty sound. Finding each person's exact bacterial strains required to balance overgrowth is less sound. But luckily we have access to a lot of probiotic products out there to experiment with (prebiotics are found in the food we eat, so trying those is even easier), so I wouldn't write off probiotics that least not without doing a little experimenting first, which I am doing now (and getting good results). As usual ,that's just my 2 cents......and worth that or less.






I was told by a nurse that when I take anti-biodites (sp) they kill some good cells as well as the bad ones. So the probiotics replace the good ones.


I have an ileo and asked my dr about probiotics.  He said since I don't have a colon, there is no need to take them.


Happy New Year,  Snookis. 

I never took probiotics until after my colostomy.  A few months post surgery I was always nauseous and had severe heartburn.  I learned that all the antibiotics I was given after surgery killed the good bacteria in my stomach and I needed probiotics to balance my digestion.  Problem solved.  That was 12 years ago - I still take them daily.  I hope this helps to answer your question.  MarVee


I left these two comments on a different post:

These are two wonderful recommendations, they sure know their stuff. Culturelle and Align are, as Bob pointed out, the best out there. Culture claims their probiotics are more likely to survive. I am abou to swith to Culturelle.

You can get both at Costco at much reduced price, probably similar to Walmart.

I also take the chewing probio from Costco. Their own Truenature brand, it is wonderful and pay only 18 dollars for one hundred and eighty chewables.

I have a burning sensation on my left lower abdomen that is very painful and makes digestion also very painful. I have suffered with this for thirty years. Had I found probiotics, this surgery would never have happened. Probiotics would have made all the difference.

I went to a hundred doctors explaining the pain over the years, not one of them recommended it. Even as I suffered severe colon infections, they still did not recommend it. That is to show you how doctors are corporate dispensers of pharmaceutical corporations. Eventually the infections of my lower abdomen started to affect my colon.

I thought probiotics was a sham, just one more health claim to sell products. Doctors refused to dispense antibiotics for my severe pain when it flared up. Until I landed in the hospital, my digestive system shut down. The doctors argued with me for over two years that antibiotics would not work because it was impossible I had bacteria building in my gut. Until I almost died in the emergency room.

Two hours after taking antibiotics my digestive system started to work again. The doctors were surprised or shocked to say the least. They are idiots. Their idiocy almost killed me. In a visit after this episode, the nurse recommeded I get a treatment done by injecting good bacteria. I have awesome insurance but I will not fly to LA for a year for this. So, she said I should take probiotics. This was a year ago.

I was desperate so I went to Costco and bought Align along with their own brand Truenature chewables. After thirty years of suffering with this horrible condition, the pain stopped a few days after I started taking these supplements. Had I known this thirty years ago, I would still be whole.

I am not sure Align is that effective. I ran out of the Costo chewables for while on a business trip, and the pain came back even though I was still taking the Align. That made me wonder if Align was really helping me. I went to Costco as soon as I got back, bought the chewables and the pain subsided. I think the chewables are more effective. I will switch to Culturelle because it is cheaper than Align and now that Bob vouched for it, I will try it. It looks quite convincing, their package and description. Was ambivalent but now I will for sure give it a try. I may even try the cheaper brand at Walmart, thanks to Bob for that advice, these things are expensive.

It is hard to believe these things could be so effective for a condition so severe, really hard to believe. I thought for years probiotics were pure bullshit, until they changed my life. I do everything now without pain and eat without pain. So, for anyone out there doubting the power of these silly pills/chewables, I got a story to tell you.


I wanted to leave a comment regarding Bluejay's comment.

He is right, the worst thing you can do is take antibiotics. Due to a good contract I moved to South Texas years ago. I lived in one these dystopian cities in that area. The health system is and was terrible, terrible doctors, even though I had great insurance.

In one of my lower abdomen flare-ups, a nurse in one of these terrible hospitals, recommended I take Cipro. Cipro is as close as you are going to get to chemotherapy. Doctors do not like prescribing it because this antibiotic basically kills everything in its path, kills the good along the bad, scorch-earth treatment.

Since that day, every time i had a flare-up which got to be almost constant, the doctors there had no problems prescribing it. I was not aware of how potentially lethal taking antibiotics was, and specially Cipro being a very potent but destructive antibiotic.

After the ostomy surgery the flare-ups got masked by all kinds of adverse conditions that came with the surgery.

When I got back to Seattle, the Doctors at the prestigious UWA medical center were horrified I had been prescribed these antibiotics for so many years, they were dumbfounded and almost incredulous. They were so shocked they got my records from Texas to find out, and sure enough, doctors there had prescribed Cipro undisciminately for years.

The doctors could not say due to legal reasons, but their faces said it all, shock. They could not say Cipro cost me this condition. A brave nurse could not hold her shock and sense of discomfort knowing this, that in one visit, with an upset face told me that Cipro is why I have an ostomy.

In Seattle, however, they refused to give me Cipro arguing there was no way I was producing bad bactria. The flare-ups continued, the surgery did not do anything to alleviate it. In other words, the surgery did not fix anything.

After a very serious visit to the ER the doctor here relented and gave me Cipro, I was in pretty bad shape. It worked. Bu, then they advised me on probiotics saying, rightly so, that taking Cipro was not healthy and could lead to even more problems.

Probiotics worked and now I lead a wonderful life. The point is that if the doctors had tried to find out why i was having this pain to begin with, and had they cared to advise me on natural alternatives instead of giving me such dangerous medicine, I would be without a stoma now.

Medicine works until you have a conditon that they can not find in their books. As long as you have something they have studied, you are fine. The moment you have something they do not know, watch out. To this day they do not know why I have this pain in my abdomen, why I am producing negative bacteria. What I know is that probiotics cure me on a daily basis and allows me to lead a positive life.

I have lost much faith in the medical industry, to say the least. Their ignorance, which is very large, and their refusal to discuss alternative treatments, organic, wholesome such as probiotic and their insane tendency to think very narrowly and interpret everything so narrowly makes the profession suffer from neglicence and shows how indentured they are to corporate pharmaceuticals.


I have ileostomy and no upper bowels so none for me either no sense....also remember colostomy and or ileostomy usually do not benefit from time release meds or tablets as the usually do not last long enough in our bodies

Reply to Cplumber

Not been here in quite a while now, so feeling anxious as a lot has changed (including and caused by stoma)!

I see a lot, and hear a lot, about "good gut health", and have really tried to find solid advice from people in the know... people living with it is probably most valuable! And I never know where the advice takes place in the body - so for me (ileostomy), if the work has occurred before it would reach the large intestine? Plus I have trust issues so I also doubt a lot, then don't know where to turn to!

Sorry for rambling, hope everyone takes care and can find enjoyment in their days!!!

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