Thursday, 31 July 2014

A probiotic suitable from birth? A review & in-house experiment (2)

You might remember a previous Life As It Is post about Bio-Kult Infantis, a probiotic for infants and children? I was really interested in this product as having had babies with gut problems, I wanted to know if it could help.  

I gave a friend, Andrea, the Bio-Kult Infantis to try with her three-month-old baby Zak, who was unsettled at times with a windy tummy. Here are the results - recorded in the diary she kept throughout the trial. Thank you Andrea - and Zak!

Sat 14th June
I gave Zak his first dose of the Bio-Kult Infantis Probiotic this morning…. He was okay first thing, but then screamed for the ten minutes that I got the pets sorted. After that he had to be passed around and held all day. He cried if he was put down.
Zak went down at his normal bedtime, but then wanted his dummy to resettle himself every hour till 9. Then he cried and cried and wouldn’t settle… out of frustration I offered him his first ever fomula feed to rule out hunger. He had a tiny bit, then refused it. He watched the World Cup for a bit before going back to bed. (Prior to this he’d been sleeping from 6pm- 1am needing a dummy perhaps once only).

Sunday 15th June
Zak had his second dose. It was a crap night, he cried before and after every feed. Sobbing and whimpering in his sleep. He has sat in his little donut seat for ten minutes, and has gone back to screaming.  

I'm now writing this with an angry screaming lump on lap. Zak also seems to have his first cold so that perhaps could be making him more angry than normal?

He napped a little through the day and was happy when cuddled. 

Went to bed at normal time, but woke every 30mins till 7.30 and then screamed and screamed. Indeed, I had to walk away from him for a break…. Eventually he burped and then farted loads after that, settling back to sleep at 9 for an okay nights sleep. He has a cold. His gas is smelly again, a return to what it was like prior to my cutting out wheat & gluten.

Monday 16th June
Zak had his third dose of Bio-Kult.  

He was only fine when held/cuddled but I found I couldn’t put him down unless we were still there looking or talking to him.

He’s been worse this weekend than he has in a long time. I'm wondering if the dairy in the formula and/or the probiotics are to blame? Then there's the cold?

He has been happy this morning, and settled self for a nap, but woke after 30 minutes of squirming. 

He has not been too bad this afternoon, going to bed as usual at 6, settling within minutes with no crying. 

Woke after 45mins popped dummy in and drifted back but woke straight back up farting and really unhappy. Cuddled and settled back down.

Have decided to stop the Bio-Kult probiotics as his early night waking is totally new for him, and has only happened since starting them. Will stop and watch to see if it improves again.

Tues 17th  June
Lots of sobbing and crying in his sleep. Very unsettled before and after feeds, could be linked to being a bit snotty though and not wanting his dummy. No probiotics this morning, his poo today was the bright neon yellow type. He appeared to be better through the day.

Wed 18th June 
Bad night again, still wakening and farting a lot, much happier in the daytime though.

Thurs 19th  June
Same again, good day… less good at night but seems to be improving.

Friday 20th June
Better again and improving at night too.
One mum's VERDICT:
Zak obviously has a sensitive tummy anyway, hence why we tried it. I had previously ruled out colic as he didn’t fit the typical description of colic - there was no set time of day or pattern to his screaming. His screaming was nearly always followed by lots of farting.

My feeling is that he perhaps did not need probiotics. I hadn’t taken any antibiotics during pregnancy or breastfeeding, and I took a good quality high strength pregnancy probiotic during my last trimester (as it’s possibly protective against baby developing eczema/colic).

Happy to say, Zak's doing much better now that he is on solids, and we notice that the days he has less solid food and more milk, then he’s generally grumpy and windy again. My Health Visitor thinks he may be mildly lactose intolerant. 

Six weeks have passed since the trial. Andrea says Zak is a lot happier. She feels this could be because he is now mobile and able to roll onto his tummy or side and wiggle, helping to move and expel his gas. 

One mum's comment:
"The probiotic didn't go quite as planned," says Andrea. "But it was worth trying. We have a dietician appointment in the next few weeks to look at Zak's diet. We will look into why wheat and gluten in my breastmilk was initially causing him bad constipation and gas. I’m also going to ask about lactose intolerance."

Natalie Lamb, a Nutritional Therapist for Protexin Healthcare, the Bio-Kult people, had this to say regarding the result of Andrea and Zak's in-house experiment...

‘This could be the result of the sudden increase of bacteria in the digestive system but should subside within a few days, once your body becomes accustomed to increased dosage.  His bloating and gas could be the cause of the prebiotics in the product.  They are a food source for the beneficial bacteria which do not produce much gas.  Until microflora levels are rebalanced unfortunately the prebiotics can also feed the pathogenic bacteria which produce a lot more gas. I would recommend you reduce the dose until symptoms subside.’


Mummy Tries said...

It's a shame the trial wasn't a success, but good to hear little Zak is doing better now. Best of luck to Andrea for her dietitian appointment :-)

Emma Oliver said...

Thanks for the comment, I've passed it on to Andrea. I remain an advocate for probiotics in children however - see the next post for my comments on this and a positive case study.