Probiotics and Appendicitis – This is what you should do
The pain was surreal. To this day, it's still in top 2 most painful events in my life. Number 1? Probably breaking my ankle.
The appendicitis pain however lingered far longer, kept me a wake at night and brought a range of other side effects like Fever, Gas, Diarrhea and Vomiting. It wasn't easy to diagnose either.
Thankfully my appendix did not rupture and nice surgeon took out the annoying little thing and incinerated it to smoke. Yes, my appendix is now probably a micro micro micro-scopic part of the universe.
In this guide I will be looking at probiotics and it's connection to the appendix. Can probiotic bacteria help?
Appendicitis is quite simply the inflammation of the appendix. The appendix typically sits in the lower right region of the abdomen. My appendix however was turned upright though making it harder to diagnose.
The reasons you can get appendicitis are from virus, bacteria or parasites in the digestive tract. Eventually with time blood stops flowing the the appendix and it begins to die. This is the point at which it can rupture. (1)
Can Probiotic's Prevent Appendicitis?
Watch what the T-Cell can do in this video.
There are no direct studies out there that definitely state taking probiotic bacteria can prevent appendicitis.
This study however states the following:
"Probiotics may inhibit pathogenic bacterial adhesion, enhance barrier function, and interact with TLRs expressed on the intestinal epithelial cells and dendritic cells to produce cytokines/chemokines to further modulate T cells" (2)
At the time in which I developed Appendicitis my gut health was terrible and no doubt NOT flowing with good probiotic bacteria.
If I had nourished my gut with good probiotic bacteria then perhaps my appendix would have had a better chance at not getting infected.
Should you take probiotics after having a ruptured appendix removed?
If you have gone through an appendectomy for a ruptured appendix then you will have been given an extremely high dose of antibiotics to fight the spread of infection in your body.
Rightly so as well. You would definitely probably most likely have died without them!
Studies have confirmed that while antibiotics can wipe out the bad bacteria in the body they can also flush out of all the essential good bacteria in the gut.
If you have gone through that then chances are your microbiome will now be depleted of all the good bacteria you built up in the time prior to antibiotic usage.
Because of this, it would be a good idea to start taking probiotic's after having your appendix removed.
A common side effect of antibiotics is diarrhea and studies have suggested that lactobacillus probiotic bacteria may help with anti biotic associated diarrhea. (3)
Healthline suggests taking probiotic's a couple of hours after taking antibiotic's. (4) If your appendix was removed a while ago and you have since stopped taking antibiotic's you can also start taking Probiotic's at any time.
If you are gut doesn't have good bacteria there is a good chance you will have more side effects than just diarrhea with time. This Harvard study confirmed that the microbiome can send signals direct to the brain and can effect mental health.
Do probiotics help with appendicitis?
There are no direct studies confirming that populating your gut with probiotic bacteria can help to heal appendicitis. There are only studies showing the benefits of taking anti biotic's flush out the bad bacteria.
There are studies that confirm Probiotics may help to accelerate recovery after abdominal surgeries. The studies confirm this because they show certain probiotic bacteria may have benefits for immunity and warding of potential infections during recovery. (5)
If your appendix is already infected it's imperative you consult a medical professional and follow their prescribed advice.
Do not under any circumstances try to use Probiotics to heal appendicitis against the prescribed advice of your doctor.
Taking Probiotic's along side Antibiotics has however been shown to be safe and effective. Children and adults with severe illnesses or compromised immune systems should avoid using probiotics.
Take the probiotic's after your Doctor has declared you fit, healthy and all clear with appendicitis.
Can probiotics cause Appendicitis?
If you have taken a Probiotic supplement that is made in the USA with FDA approved ingredients in a safe clean licensed facility it is highly unlikely probiotic will cause appendicitis.
Probiotic bacteria is good bacteria and the appendix becomes infected with bad bacteria.
What does the appendix actually do?
Nobody truly knows but some studies suggest it is a store house for good bacteria and can reboot your digestive after diarrheal illnesses. (6)
If that is true, then taking probiotic supplements may be even more important for someone without an appendix.
Final TLDR Thoughts
If you are experiencing any symptoms of appendicitis you must get to the closest hospital asap. If left untreated, you can die.
Nobody knows if taking Probiotic's can prevent somebody getting appendicitis. Some studies suggest it could though.
If your appendix ruptured you will have been given an extremely high amount of anti biotic's and your microbiome will now be depleted of essential good bacteria.
But, even if it didn't rupture and you had an appendectomy you will have still been given antibiotic's.
Taking probiotics before or after appendicitis is not dangerous. Probiotic's have been studied and many strains are FDA approved.
I don't have an appendix anymore and take probiotic's every day. I wish I could have taken probiotic's before my appendicitis as well. Maybe it would have prevented any illness.