Have you ever heard the term “gut bomb?” And I’m not talking about those cinnamon rolls you get at airports. I’m talking about medicine: I got really, sick on my study abroad. I had to take drugs that wiped my guts clean, hand sanitizer for your intestine. It gave me a big health scare and I haven’t felt right since. Not ill, just exhausted with lots of stomach problems, as well as trouble eating. I keep getting little colds. I know how important gut bacteria are for your life, and my doctor gave me some medicine to help restore mine, but that prescription is finished, and I still don’t feel well. A friend of mine, who’s an adamant natural health nut, said that I should be taking store-bought probiotics (which I can understand) and Curamin (which I’m not so sure of). I can see where she’s coming from though, because she was in a comparable situation our freshman year and swears up and down that they helped her. More than anything I just want to know if this stuff is safe, if it will help, and what else I should be doing so that I can recover from my illness. Any help is appreciated.
It sounds like you have been through a great deal! Any illness of that size is exhausting physically and emotionally. You clearly want to explore every possibility available to you, especially those suggested by trusted people in your life like friends and relatives.
Since you have been through an illness, and you’re still feeling not right, the first step I would recommend is talking to your doctor again. It may be that the disease hasn’t entirely left your body, or your compromised immune system isn’t able to fight off another illness. A follow-up appointment is necessary, and if you haven’t scheduled one already you should give them a ring. That said, we shouldn’t discount your other options. In fact, we should investigate them.
Your friend is recommending two substances that are both common for natural health fanatics. A probiotic is a pill full of gut microbes – the medicine that your doctor prescribed to you was a probiotic, meant to build up your gut flora after your treatment. But it’s not a surprise that you still don’t feel well. In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the bacteriologist W.B. Whitman found that the bacterial environment of the human gut has highest cell densities recorded for any ecosystem. These bacteria help us break down and digest the food we eat. We also rely on them to kill bad bacteria. Overall, having healthy gut flora is key to the functioning of a healthy body.
This means it will take a long time before your gut flora have recovered – not only in terms of number, but in terms of diversity. Over-the-counter probiotics can help restore gut diversity, which will lead to better digestions and a stronger immune system, but a probiotic regimen isn’t something that you should jump into right away, since different guts need different things. Sites like Netnutri offer advice on how to figure out the best probiotic for your needs. Hospitals regularly conductprobiotic studies. And of course, talk to your doctor. They may have dietary or lifestyle advice that can help get your piping back on track.
Curamin is a natural pain reliever. The name” Curamin” comes from the chemical curcumin, which gives turmeric spice its yellow color. If you have been to an Indian restaurant and ordered yellow dal, that hue comes from turmeric. Other ingredients include an extract of Boswellia serrata, a gum resin that you are already familiar with – we call it frankincense.
You can find turmeric in almost any spice cabinet, so it is very safe for consumption. Turmeric has a long tradition in Ayurveda, or traditional Indian medicine, to treat pain, skin disorders, sleeplessness, scorpion stings – you name it. The medical establishment has studied it extensively, and though it is promising in animal trials, in human trials it is recognized as an anti-inflammatory, with more promising prospects in the preliminary stages of research.
Scientists have conducted several medical studies of Boswellia as well, and the scientific literature is mostly in agreement that it is an effective treatment for inflammatory diseases. In 2017 the journal Nutrients published a pretty extensive overview ofmedical plants to treat pain, including both Boswellia and turmeric. So, the Curamin your friend suggested has some medical evidence that it can help with pain and inflammation, and if you are interested in a natural health supplement for what ails you that might be an excellent choice.
To answer your question: yes, these compounds are safe. There is evidence that they help, but we write that with the warning that everybody is different, and there is no one wonder cure that will help everyone. To recover from a serious illness, you need to consider every aspect of your lifestyle, including diet, exercise, sleep, and stress.
Finally, here’s a suggestion that might seem strange, but I promise will help: talk to somebody about what you went through. Your body has been through a lot, and physical distress is as hard on the mind as it is on the body.GoodTherapy.org, an online association of mental health professionals, advocates for people recovering from medical conditions to seek therapy, andmedical evidence supports the idea that psychological well-being is inextricable from physical well-being. Some of your symptoms may be psycho-somatic, and that isn’t a way of saying that “it’s all in your head.”
Stress manifests itself both physically and mentally. Just like the way cramming for a final exam will wear you down and get you sick, the stress of traveling to another country, battling an illness, and coming out the other end weak from the fight will have repercussive effects. The problem is that it isn’t like an exam – you can’t ace a sickness – so you never get the cathartic experience of letting go of that stressor. A therapist or counselor can help you reach a place where you can get better. By taking both the body and the mind into account, you can speed up the process of your recovery.
“Weight loss is like driving: if you ever veer off the road, just make a U-turn and head back in the right direction.” – quotesgram.com