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Thread: Kefir

  1. #1
    ICN Member
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    Kefir

    Has anyone heard of this? I am not usually into all of this but, my IC doctor mentioned that another IC patient has had such great luck with kefir. I just ordered some on line. Hey it is worth a shot. I am not incouraging anyone else to try it. I have just ordered it for the first time and wanted to know if anyone else has previously used it?
    Daily Meds:

    IC-Meds
    Ditropan XL 5 BID, Elavil 50 QD, Elmiron 200 BID, Hydroxine 50 BID. As Needed: Bacofen 20, Prosed DS, Hydrocodone/Apap.

    Other Meds
    Adderal 10 QD, Remmeron 37 QD (I take 1 1/2 of 25 mg)

    With the help of my doctor moving my meds around a bit by increasing this and decreasing that I have found a good combination of meds (for now and I pray a long time from now).

  2. #2
    Forum Manager ICNDonna's Avatar
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    I've never heard of that one. What is it?

    Donna
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  3. #3
    ICN Member Angeles's Avatar
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    Kefir is a type of yogurth I think it is more comon in the sacandinavian part of the world (I may be wrong about the origin though) in conlcusion, it has a lot more lacotbacilli strains that the regular comercialized yougurth. Its a bit more acidic than the regular yogurth. Kefir can be bought at several supermarkets and Health Food stores. It comes in different flavors, including vanilla and plain to be on the safe side.

    I have taken it before IC but when I noticed yogurth was in the "may cause a flare list", I chickened out and never tried it again.

    I take 1/2 a Danactive instead, mix it with my probiotics, sometimes Activia or Stoney Field Yogurth and with moderation they are ok.
    I may try kefir again and see how that goes. Its a very healthy treat.
    Laser cervical surgery after abnormal pap (moderate dysplasia) in 3/2004
    UTIs since mid 2004
    Recurrent yeast infections since mid 2005
    IC dx 3/2006
    V V dx 12/2006
    Other conditions: IBS, allergies, dry eyes.


    Current IC medications:
    Elavil (since 12/06) 10 mg;
    Cysta Q (since 5/07)
    Rephresh acid jel every 3 days
    D-mannose, fish oil, Calcium Citrate, Multivitamins & garlic pills (sometimes)
    Probiotics Femdophilus or other brands
    Gy-Na-Tren for yeast infections (started using it as needed since 2010)
    Other Rx:Omeprazole 20mg; benadryl as needed, Restasis


    Past Meds and why I stopped them:
    Elmiron: March to September 2006: headaches
    Lyrica:2 weeks in 2006: headaches
    Cystoprotek: from Jan to April 2007: nausea

    Femcon Fe (2/07 to 10/07):caused spotting/bleeding
    BCP:Loestrin (since Ocotber 2007) to stop spotting for 2 months. V V worse. Stopped the pill in Nov 07.


    "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it"

  4. #4
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    When I typed it in most types come in a milk form but I found one type that was a pill. From my understanding it is similar to a probotic. I kinda wonder about it especially because dairy bothers my IC (dairy is not a typical IC problem food I have a very small allergy to dairy according to the test). I will try a very small dose at first. My IC NP said she had not looked it up yet and that she had heard about it from another patient. That person said it helped reduse the acid in her body. Again, I am a little fishy about it but will give it a small try.
    Last edited by Sally939; 01-10-2008 at 05:16 PM.
    Daily Meds:

    IC-Meds
    Ditropan XL 5 BID, Elavil 50 QD, Elmiron 200 BID, Hydroxine 50 BID. As Needed: Bacofen 20, Prosed DS, Hydrocodone/Apap.

    Other Meds
    Adderal 10 QD, Remmeron 37 QD (I take 1 1/2 of 25 mg)

    With the help of my doctor moving my meds around a bit by increasing this and decreasing that I have found a good combination of meds (for now and I pray a long time from now).

  5. #5
    ICN Member mlzippy7's Avatar
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    Kefir

    I make my own Kefir. My sister actually got me going on it. It is wonderful. I add blueberries to mine and it tastes like a shake to me. I have a great website that explains it if you are interested I can send it your way!!
    Just let me know.
    Current diagnosis
    Severe IC, Severe Endometriosis(keeps growing back all over despite surgeries and treatment), Chronic ovarian cysts, Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome,Fibromyalgia,Inguinal hernia, bursititis of the hip, Migraines, IBS, Celiac disease, CROHN'S Disease, Chronic Constipation, Chronic anal fissures, Vulvodynia, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Pirisformis muscle spasms,vulvar vestibulitis, chronic insomnia, Burning Mouth Syndrome, Brain TUMOR, Chronic Lyme Disease,Temporomandibular Joint Disorder,Degenerative disc disease,Arthritis.
    Allergies: Elmiron, Levaquin, Sulfa-Anaphylactic shock,Morphine, Doxyclycline,Cipro

    Treatments I have tried:Bladder instillations, Oral meds-Elmiron, Elavil (amitryptyline), Hydroxyzine (Vistaril & Atarax), Ditropan, Levsin, Urispas, Urised, Pyridium, Cystoprotek, Desert HarvestAloe,antibiotics,Ultram,Neurontin,Valium,Tramadol,Lunesta,Ketor olac,Cipro,Meloxicam,Dilaudid,Morphine,Vicoden,Darvocet,oxycontin,Lyri ca,Cymbalta,Nortriptyline,Enblex,Baclofen,Clonidine,oxybutynin,Detrol, Nitroglycerine ,Vesicare,Sanctura(there are more but this is enough)
    Physcial Therapy, Cystoscopy with Hydrodistentions, Numerous Nerve Blocks, Neuromodulation-including Sacral neuromodulation(Interstim) and post-tibial nerve stimulation (Urgent PC-12week), Botox, bladder instills, physical therapy, natural(herbs)Current meds: Long list..just email if you are interested
    Interstim implants--8 plus surgeries for them.
    I am selling IC awareness bracelets, keychains, pens and pins..if interested please email me! ThanksFeel free to email me at mlzippy7@yahoo.com.
    One day at a time

  6. #6
    ICN Member mlzippy7's Avatar
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    Wisconsin
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    Kefir

    Here is some of the information I found on Kefir
    Just what is Kefir?

    Kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich food (usually dairy milk) filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your "inner ecosystem." More nutritious and therapeutic than yogurt, it supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins. While yogurt provides your digestive system with friendly bacterium as long as you eat it, Kefir helps to repopulate it for good!

    Kefir is simple and inexpensive to make at home.
    Kefir is used to restore the inner eco-system after antibiotic therapy.
    Kefir can be made into a delicious smoothie that kids love.
    Kefir is excellent nourishment for pregnant and nursing women, the elderly, and those with compromised immunity.

    What if I'm lactose intolerant, don't do dairy or don't digest milk products well - is kefir right for me?

    The beneficial yeast and friendly bacteria in the kefir culture consume most of the lactose (or milk sugar). Eat kefir on an empty stomach first thing in the morning before (or for) breakfast and you'll be delighted to find it can be easily digested -- as numerous people who have been lactose intolerant for years have discovered.

    Kefir's tart and refreshing flavor is similar to a drinking-style yogurt, but it contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly 'probiotic' bacteria found in yogurt. The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in kefir combine symbiotically to give superior health benefits when consumed regularly.

    How is Kefir Made?

    Kefir can be made from any type of milk, cow, goat or sheep, coconut, rice or soy. Although it is slightly mucous forming, the mucous has a "clean" quality to it that creates ideal conditions in the digestive tract for the colonization of friendly bacteria.

    Kefir is made from gelatinous white or yellow particles called "grains, that look like little pieces of cauliflower."
    These grains contain the bacteria/yeast mixture clumped together with casein (milk proteins) and complex sugars.

    They look like pieces of coral or small clumps of cauliflower and range from the size of a grain of wheat to that of a hazelnut. The grains ferment the milk, incorporating their friendly organisms to create the cultured product. The grains are then removed with a strainer before consumption of the kefir and added to a new batch of milk.

    To culture milk with 'LIVE Kefir Grains',

    Add your 'grains' to a clean glass container (mason jars work well) of milk, and cover or lid the jar. You let this sit at room temperatur for 12-24, up to 48 hours. Then you gently strain the resulting Kefir'd milk from the grains, and add the grains to a fresh amount of milk, and repeat brewing cycle. It is suggested to use a non metal strainer, to capture the grains. You may use raw milk, or store bought milk. Organic milk is suggested!

    Ratios of grains to milk vary, but for a good TBS size piece or portion of grains, you can usually add 2-4 cups milk. If in 12 hours the milk starts seperating into a clearish layer and a thick, cheesy curdy looking layer, that is fine and perfectly natural. You are either brewing too long or not using enough milk. It is still fine to drink. Use a plastic or silicon spoon/spatula to stir the 'whey' back into the 'curds' and then strain out your grains. The 'kefir' might be a bit on the tart side, but it's fine. Use one of the smoothie recipes to make it sweeter or use the kefir as buttermilk in baking.

    Ready-Made Kefir

    If you prefer to purchase ready-made kefir at your health food store (in this form it is perishable and would be found in the refrigerated section).
    How to Introduce Kefir into Your Diet

    Some people thrive on kefir right from the start and others may need to proceed more slowly. Remember that people with candidiasis usually lack enough 'good' milk-digesting bacteria, so you may have to build up your "tolerance" of kefir. Start with about four ounces in the morning on an empty stomach. Every second day increase the amount until you are able to drink a full eight ounce glass.



    The Benefits of Consuming Kefir Regularly in the Diet

    Easily digested, it cleanses the intestines, provides beneficial bacteria and yeast, vitamins and minerals, and complete proteins. Because kefir is such a balanced and nourishing food, it contributes to a healthy immune system and has been used to help patients suffering from AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and cancer.

    Its tranquilizing effect on the nervous system has benefited many who suffer from sleep disorders, depression, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

    The regular use of kefir can help relieve all intestinal disorders, promote bowel movement, reduce flatulence and create a healthier digestive system. In addition, its cleansing effect on the whole body helps to establish a balanced inner ecosystem for optimum health and longevity.

    Kefir can also help eliminate unhealthy food cravings by making the body more nourished and balanced by allowing the body to remove and process MORE of the needed nutrients in your foods . Its excellent nutritional content offers healing and health-maintenance benefits to people in every type of condition.

    Why Kefir and not just Yogurt?

    Both kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products...but they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that reside there. But kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match.

    Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt, Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species. It also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, forming a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and strengthens the intestines. Hence, the body becomes more efficient in resisting such pathogens as E. coli and intestinal parasites.

    Kefir's active yeast and bacteria provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy.

    Because the curd size of kefir is smaller than yogurt, it is also easier to digest, which makes it a particularly excellent, nutritious food for babies, invalids and the elderly, as well as a remedy for digestive disorders.

    More than just Beneficial Bacteria!

    In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help the body with healing and maintenance functions. The complete proteins in kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also offers an abundance of calcium and magnesium, which are also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly profound calming effect on the nerves.

    Kefir's ample supply of phosphorus, the second most abundant mineral in our bodies, helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.

    Kefir is rich in Vitamin B12, B1, and Vitamin K. It is an excellent source of biotin, a B Vitamin, which aids the body's assimilation of other B Vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The numerous benefits of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping relieve skin disorders, boost energy and promote longevity.
    Current diagnosis
    Severe IC, Severe Endometriosis(keeps growing back all over despite surgeries and treatment), Chronic ovarian cysts, Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome,Fibromyalgia,Inguinal hernia, bursititis of the hip, Migraines, IBS, Celiac disease, CROHN'S Disease, Chronic Constipation, Chronic anal fissures, Vulvodynia, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Pirisformis muscle spasms,vulvar vestibulitis, chronic insomnia, Burning Mouth Syndrome, Brain TUMOR, Chronic Lyme Disease,Temporomandibular Joint Disorder,Degenerative disc disease,Arthritis.
    Allergies: Elmiron, Levaquin, Sulfa-Anaphylactic shock,Morphine, Doxyclycline,Cipro

    Treatments I have tried:Bladder instillations, Oral meds-Elmiron, Elavil (amitryptyline), Hydroxyzine (Vistaril & Atarax), Ditropan, Levsin, Urispas, Urised, Pyridium, Cystoprotek, Desert HarvestAloe,antibiotics,Ultram,Neurontin,Valium,Tramadol,Lunesta,Ketor olac,Cipro,Meloxicam,Dilaudid,Morphine,Vicoden,Darvocet,oxycontin,Lyri ca,Cymbalta,Nortriptyline,Enblex,Baclofen,Clonidine,oxybutynin,Detrol, Nitroglycerine ,Vesicare,Sanctura(there are more but this is enough)
    Physcial Therapy, Cystoscopy with Hydrodistentions, Numerous Nerve Blocks, Neuromodulation-including Sacral neuromodulation(Interstim) and post-tibial nerve stimulation (Urgent PC-12week), Botox, bladder instills, physical therapy, natural(herbs)Current meds: Long list..just email if you are interested
    Interstim implants--8 plus surgeries for them.
    I am selling IC awareness bracelets, keychains, pens and pins..if interested please email me! ThanksFeel free to email me at mlzippy7@yahoo.com.
    One day at a time

  7. #7
    ICN Member Angeles's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info on kefir! I may start buying it again...it may be acidic but keep in mind, not all that is acidic before ingestion has an acidic PH once it gets to the bladder, it depends on how the body metabolizes it.
    Laser cervical surgery after abnormal pap (moderate dysplasia) in 3/2004
    UTIs since mid 2004
    Recurrent yeast infections since mid 2005
    IC dx 3/2006
    V V dx 12/2006
    Other conditions: IBS, allergies, dry eyes.


    Current IC medications:
    Elavil (since 12/06) 10 mg;
    Cysta Q (since 5/07)
    Rephresh acid jel every 3 days
    D-mannose, fish oil, Calcium Citrate, Multivitamins & garlic pills (sometimes)
    Probiotics Femdophilus or other brands
    Gy-Na-Tren for yeast infections (started using it as needed since 2010)
    Other Rx:Omeprazole 20mg; benadryl as needed, Restasis


    Past Meds and why I stopped them:
    Elmiron: March to September 2006: headaches
    Lyrica:2 weeks in 2006: headaches
    Cystoprotek: from Jan to April 2007: nausea

    Femcon Fe (2/07 to 10/07):caused spotting/bleeding
    BCP:Loestrin (since Ocotber 2007) to stop spotting for 2 months. V V worse. Stopped the pill in Nov 07.


    "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it"

  8. #8
    ICN Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlzippy7 View Post
    I make my own Kefir. My sister actually got me going on it. It is wonderful. I add blueberries to mine and it tastes like a shake to me. I have a great website that explains it if you are interested I can send it your way!!
    Just let me know.
    I would like that recipe...

  9. #9
    ICN Member
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    athens, ohio
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    Kefir is absolutely WONDERFUL stuff! Great tasting and very healthy! I like it plain but you can add fruit or maple syrup or honey or whatever and make smoothies or milkshakes with it. Also can make into breads and pancakes!!!

    You can order the "grains" online at Amazon for less than $15. Super easy to make everyday.

    I have IC and while yogurt bothers me (and I used to eat it EVERY day) Kefir does not at all. In fact, I find my bladder very soothed by it. Best part about it... NO added junk, sugars, fillers, etc.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by artsygirl View Post
    I would like that recipe...
    me too!
    ----------------------------------------------------
    My blog on IC, adoption, and academia: the garlic whisperer

    Diagnosed Jan 2013. Currently taking:

    200mg Elmiron morning and night
    25mg Elavil at night (no drowsiness or weight gain)
    culturelle in the morning
    SLIT drops for allergies (environmental) 3 drops/night under the tongue
    zyrtec 24 hour nightly (recommended by uro)
    Instillations 3x/week: Parson's Solution
    uribel and prelief as needed

    Also took Desert Harvest Aloe (3 in the morning and 3 at night) for a year and had great luck.
    No longer need them, so I only take them during flares.

  11. #11
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    I made water kefir for awhile. They are slightly different "grains" then dairy kefir, but they do the same thing - make lots of probiotics and good yeast. Perhaps the water kefir might bother some IC'ers because of the fruit you ferment in it, like a few raisins, or figs, or prunes, or apples or actually almost any fruit. It flavors the water and there is a very slight bit of alcohol and sometimes it overferments and gets too vinegary. My grains kept multiplying so I had jars and jars of them in the refrig so now I think they are just hibernating. These grains need sugar and some minerals to grow on. I think very sensitive IC bladders would have difficulty with this, but it just did cost a few bucks to order the grains and then I used alkaline mineral water and some natural brown sugar or white sugar and molasses. It was fun but then I got overwhelmed by the grains growing more and more!
    42 years IC. 2013 tried liposome instillations at California Stem Cell TC and the pain I guess from the catheter was too much. I tried 3 times. I am going to stick with trying a few old medications for now - hyomax and try vaginal valium. I still think herbs are so much safer than drugs.(I took an overview course a few years ago.) But there is so much little research on herbal remedies for this complex disease and people in pain need help as soon as possible, therefore RX drugs are necessary. I myself was trying elmiron (after cystoprotek and aloe vera did not seem to coat the bladder for me) Back to herbs, if you think that your IC is caused by histamines and allergies, etc, there are many researched herbs and herb formulas for that type of thing so perhaps that may be a path for you. But since IC is so complex, those herbs may not help. Perhaps if you think you are getting infections, there may be herbs that could deal with chronic, drug resistance problems but you would need some professional guidence. I believe I keep inflammation down by taking cucurmin extract, and other anti-inflammatory herbs - there are many good ones. You SHOULD find some that agree with you and your medication protocol if possible.

  12. #12
    ICN Member Mothergoose's Avatar
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    I grow and drink the water Kefir.

    I have had no problems with it, and my bladder, my bladder is quite food sensative.

    I don't add any fruit to mine as I am very sensitive to fruits, I add 2 tablespoon of raw coconut sugar, I quart of well water, and a pinch of sea salt. The sugar is used up by the growing kefir within 24 hours. I don't eat sugar due to being hypoglycemic. I can drink this and it does not raise my blood sugar and then make it drop, so the sugar must be used up.

    I have been fighting a hospital acquired bacteria. I am sure I have had it at least since last spring, but didn't get diagnosed with it till this past May, so I was on and off lots of antibiotics all year. Then officially diagnosed with it in May and been on antibiotics pretty much steady since. Not to mention also I got sepsis arthritis in July, which I ended up on a ton of strong antibiotics for. ( for those's who know me this is for the most part why I haven't been on the site all summer).

    Anyways I asked my Dr. about the water Kefir and he encouraged me to drink all I could of this, at times I was drinking a quart sealer a day. It never bother my bladder, and at times was probably the only thing keeping me hydrated.

    I have not tried the milk based Kefir so I can not speak for that at all, yogart and milk both bother me, so when this water based probiotic came along it was a good fit for me.
    My are with you all. May you all find a way to peace and joy in your lives.

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