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A blessing for IBS in my experience - Sauerkraut!


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My aching and cramping abdominal symptoms appear to be greatly reduced and even completely eliminated, when I eat sauerkraut.   I believe this is because at least in my case, the IBS symptoms may be caused by an overgrowth of "bad" bacteria in the gut, and the sauerkraut is a probiotic food, loaded with "good bacteria" for the gut.

My local grocery store has sauerkraut in the refrigerated section, that has not been pasteurized (which kills the good bacteria) and no additives like sodium bisulfide, which also tend to do the same thing.

However, I did notice improvement even when I first tried sauerkraut (not knowing about pasteurization or additives), with a Libby's brand that does have sodium bisulfide as an additive.

So I'm not sure if maybe some of the good bacteria survive having sodium bisulfide as an additive, or there is something else about the sauerkraut that is helpful.

But it's been so helpful to me, that I thought I'd mention it for others to try if they want to.    You can check on the internet to find articles describing the probiotic benefit of sauerkraut, and which brands have not been pasteurized or treated with additives.

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Jeffrey Roberts

Thanks for sharing. I have heard of some people finding some relief from sauerkraut.

I don't know why it helps some people. For me, it produces a lot of gas and bloating.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have posted about this elsewhere some years ago, but without provoking any interest at all. The medical world is by nature conservative and still considers IBS to be incurable, and the world of sufferers seems obsessed with the candida diet, i.e. taking nutrients away. I have resolved my IBS after decades of suffering, and my gut is now normal. What has prompted me to post now is that I have also successfully resolved the same condition in a friend-of-a-friend in another country. Sauerkraut is the answer - or at least a part of it. My regimen is simple:

1. Start making your own sauerkraut - feel free to adapt the recipe by adding other veggies/seasoning

2. Start taking pau d'arco. This is a powerful and natural antifungal - usually available as teabags. Have two a day for a week or two, while you kraut is brewing. This alone will probably cause a change in your stools.

3. As soon as you stop drinking the tea, start eating the kraut and drinking kefir.

So what you're doing is eliminating the bad organism, the one that is irritating your gut and causing the spasticity and ulceration, and then immediately re-innoculating with the lacto-fermenting anaerobic bacteria that are meant to be there in the first place. The sequence of 2 and 3 is the essential bit - in other words, just eating sauerkraut without first knocking back the yeast is not enough. If the condition starts to revert over time, just repeat the treatment. Eventually you might not need it (I don't) - but keep eating the kraut, as it's good for you. Good luck.

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  • 5 weeks later...

In a follow-up to my last post, I was recently prescribed a broad spectrum antibiotic for bronchitis. As I had expected, this wiped out my gut flora, my stools became pale and aqueous, and accompanied by the unforgettable foul odour. Left untreated, there was a risk of a yeast overgrowth developing, which would result in excessive peristalsis, pain and ultimately spasticity of the gut - full-on IBS. So, I sat down to eat some home-made sauerkraut to repopulate my gut flora, and within a day or two everything was back to normal. So here's my thought: I actually had five different sauerkraut variants in my fridge, so I had a bit of each of them. It occurred to me that the bacteria present in any one batch of kraut would be different to those present in another, and biodioversity is probably a good thing. In other words, if you make your own sauerkraut, the cabbage you buy from one store will have different bacteria from the one you buy from another store, so make two batches. Mix up the vegetables, use your own flavouring, make up your own kimchi recipe - there are no rules. Use up the veggies in the bottom of your fridge instead of throwing them out - the result could be both nutritious and tasty.

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