Many people are wasting hundreds of dollars on probiotics that are not worth a dime. Knowing exactly what is happening in your body is key to healing your gut. Watching and listening to what your body is telling you is vital. Finding the strains your body is weak in is imperative to the process. A compromised gut is evident through illness, allergies, even auto-immune diseases. Both over-the-counter probiotics and home brewed probiotics are important in this process.

Your intestinal tract is a long tube filled with a lining made up of good and bad bacteria. This bacteria alone weighs three pounds, the same weight as a brick. If you spread it out flat, it would cover a tennis court. When the good bacteria is killed off from antibiotics (against life), birth control pills, GMOs, pesticides, and other damaging elements, it must be rebuilt through probiotics (for life).

Probiotic foods, such as fermented coconut water, sauerkraut, kraut juice, kefir, kombucha, yogurt, kim chi, etc. are easy to make. The biggest challenge is your own fear. In his book Wild Fermentation, Sandor Katz says there is no danger in fermenting fruits and vegetables. Most importantly there has never been a reported death to the FDA from fermented fruit and vegetable products. Fermented fish and meats are different and are susceptible to botulism.

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Ferments rank high in probiotic strains and give the person preparing the food the ability to introduce more strains that are specifically deficient for that person’s intestinal tract. For example, fermented coconut water, a probiotic drink, is beneficial at building up the good bacteria in the gut enabling it to fight off pathogens. Many people with yeast overgrowth say they see powerful die off symptoms specific to killing off yeast strains like candida through fermented coconut water, sauerkraut and kraut juice due to the high lactobacillus content. 

At the same time some say eating fermented foods feed yeasts and should be avoided resulting in a dire point of confusion for many people. This point of controversy can easily be addressed through those with the most severely damaged guts, these people are called canaries-in-the-coal-mine. When they eat a food they should not have their body’s respond immediately. My son is one of these people. Since we have been healing his gut I now realize, I am one of these people, too, it was never visible before due to phantom masking – where your body goes into overdrive to overcome the pathogens masking the symptoms. When  a canary-in-the-coal-mine person eats a food they should not eat they respond with symptoms specific to their body, exposing the weak link in their genetic make-up: stimming, attention issues, anxiety, yeast effects, rashes, dyslexia, brain fog, exhaustion, etc.

While you are building the gut it is necessary to introduce new probiotic strains looking for die off: headache, runny nose, cold-like symptoms, flu-like symptoms, joint pain, body aches, anxiety, depression, confusing thoughts, etc. Usually die off symptoms are specific to each person and generally follow the same pattern of symptoms caused by the illness. For example if your child is autistic and stims with drooling, once you give him the right probiotic with strains he is weak in, his die off may be stimming and drooling. If there is die off that is too great, the dose is too high. 



This is the puzzle, where mom needs to become a detective as healing the gut is sometimes confusing. Those with the most damaged guts can only tolerate one drop of a probiotic liquid on their tongue or one drop in a glass of water sipped throughout the day. That is their starting point. After a month they build to two drops a day and so forth. Others can drink a whole quart or two of the same probiotic liquid and not experience die 0ff until they drink over 2 quarts. If you can tolerate that much of those specific strains you do not need to build those strains. Look further for other weak strains through other probiotic foods or over-the-counter strains.

The goal is to look for die off and progress by building those weak strains. Pushing probiotics so that you are constantly in a die off state, is not the goal as it causes too much inflammation. 

The Herxheimer reaction, also known as Herxing, is key to healing and recovery. This die off reaction is your marker and tells you if you are just wasting time or actually building. You want this. You are looking for this.

When making your own home ferments be sure to add a few drops of the probiotic strains in which you are weak. For example if you find you have pronounced die off with Living Streams Probiotic liquid, which rebuilds against yeast overgrowth, add a few drops to your fermented vegetables. It will make those fermented veggies more potent to your pathogens.

Some people take a fermented food, experience die 0ff, and say “I have histamine issues, I can’t have that.” This is often not the case and the person is experiencing die off, or Herxing. This is what you want, you have found the strains deficient in your body  and you need to focus on them, building them. When you find this weakness, go back and start slow building from there.

It is very important that you do not remain in the stage of die 0ff, a status involving a lot of internal inflammation. The body can not heal properly in an inflamed state.

dr natashaDr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a medical doctor and neurosurgeon who specializes in autism and auto-immunity lays out in her book GAPS, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, the proper method of rebuilding the system through probiotic foods, probiotics and foods that are most digestible. As the intestinal tract builds, it progresses and more can be introduced, in a certain order according to digestibility and killing off pathogens.

Every person with a damaged gut will experience these histamine issues, this is merely a reflection that the body’s detox pathways are clogged, the pathogens are overgrown and healing through rebuilding needs to take place. Often times opening up the detox pathways is assisted through the MTHF gene specifically with methyl B12. Dr. Ben Lynch has produced some of the most comprehensive studies and findings on the topic as well as putting the proper methyl B12 product to aid the situation. Click here and here for assistance in opening up these channels. Beware of any B12 product with added sugars, products ending in -ose, these feed pathogens making your problem worse in the long-run. I have seen very few B12 products that do not contain pathogen feeding ingredients in the product. To date, all B12 lozenges contain these detrimental sugars which feed pathogens.

Dr. Natasha addresses histamine issues directly several times in the book and on GAPS faqs. Click here to read more about healing the gut while experiencing histamine issues.

Taking the same probiotic daily is often a waste of money, especially if you have not tested your strengths in those strains. Most people in the process of healing build up to 11 capsules a day of each product, then hold that dosage for a month and move to other potentially weak strains. Occasionally going back to the built strains to be sure they remain strong.

If you are taking a probiotic you should be increasing your dosage of that probiotic to build up those strains. Starting small in dosage, while looking for die off, then building up and continually looking for further die off is important.

Taking one capsule daily for years will not rebuild the gut if you are not experiencing die off symptoms.

 Click here to learn more about test studies on home brewed probiotics like sauerkraut.



Click here to read more about the highest ranked beneficial probiotics specifically designed for those with Intestinal Permeability.

*If you learned something from this post share it so others can do the same. To support the efforts of this blog shop the affiliate links above like this one. You pay the same shopping through Amazon while the author receives a small referral fee from Amazon. This offsets the costs of this site.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, GAPS who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia through food she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. This is not a news article published by a paper trying to make money. This blog is put out by a mom who sees first hand the effects of nourishing food vs food-ish items. No company pays her for writing these blogs, she considers this a form of missionary work. It is her desire to scream it from the rooftops so that others don’t suffer from the damaging effect of today’s “food”.




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