Symprove your life? Sadly not for me.

Having recently undergone the Symprove 12 week challenge, I wanted to share my findings. Before I delve into this, I will start by trying to explain the science behind the product and how it has been created to improve digestive health. I must stress that these views are my own and from my research, know that other users have had a different experience.

As an IBS sufferer, when I heard about Symprove, I thought that my prayers had been answered. In short, IBS is often caused by a lack of ‘good’ bacteria that sits within the gut. Symprove has been designed to tackle this, with customers taking one shot of the liquid bacteria each morning before eating. This is carried out across a 12 week period. As explained on their website, “Symprove is a water-based multi-strain supplement that contains 4 unique strands of live activated bacteria. These include:  L. rhamnosus, E. faecium, L. acidophilus, and L. plantarumNormally a healthy gut would already contain all four of these, however when it doesn’t, it can soon become unbalanced”.

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By pushing ‘good’ bacteria through the body, Symprove has been created to combat digestive issues and the balance of bacteria in your gut. To do this, Symprove must do three things – Arrive, Survive & Thrive.

1: ARRIVE alive right from the start so it’s ready to get to work

2: SURVIVE the strongly acidic and hostile environment of your stomach.

3: THRIVE in the intestines and targeted areas of your gut quickly and effectively.

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Naturally, before jumping on board, I wanted to know more about this marvel product. I had read a lot of very positive reviews but I wanted to carry out my own research, ensure that these tales were legitimate and not generated/sourced by Symprove themselves. But, the more that I read, the more I wanted to try it. Across blogs, forums and national publications, Symprove was receiving rave reviews. Some customers had even gone as far to say that, thanks to Symprove, they were now able to eat foods such as onions, garlic and whole-wheat pasta without any ill effects… now that is the dream.

Over the past year since starting the FODMAP diet and taking Fybogel twice a day, there have been many ups and downs. However, I feel like I’ve finally got to a good place with my IBS; I understand my body more; know what stomach cramp is good and what’s bad; when my stomach needs a bit of TLC; and when to not push myself. I kept asking myself; am I going to rock the boat by taking this supplement?

Erring on the side of caution, I contacted Symprove to ask whether I would be able to continue taking my daily fibre supplements and expressed my worries. They were quick to reply, gave helpful feedback and reassured me that I could go about my day as normal. I was even given the first 12 week course free of charge to see how I got on. I was very grateful for this as the four bottles (12 week course) is not cheap, setting you back £158.

I must admit, when the package arrived, it sat on my bedroom floor for about 2 weeks. I was nervous and constantly finding excuses not to start the course. Important meetings at work and weekends away were interrupting my daily routine and I did not want to risk having side effects. Knowing my body, if I was going to react to Symprove, it would be within the first 3-4 days of taking the supplement. So I found a time that worked, starting on Wednesday when my work diary was clear and I had a quiet weekend ahead.

I should start by commenting on the taste. You would imagine it to be disgusting, but it actually was not too bad. I had opted for the mango & passion fruit flavour over original as I had read this was more pleasant. For the first two days, I felt normal. I had partly forgotten that I had even taken it. Then came the third day. The Friday. I started the day as always – gluten-free toast with peanut butter. My stomach felt a bit gripey but I just put this down to to the fact that I might have eaten something iffy the day before. It was not until after lunch that I felt the pain: waves of nausea, stomach cramps and awful dropping sensations. It came in sharp bursts that lasted about 2 minutes and within that time, all you could think about was the punching sensation happening within your stomach. After about an hour of this, the pain was getting more intense and I knew that I was going to be ill. I explained the situation to a colleague and took myself home. Let’s just say, it was a wise decision.

Waking up on the Saturday, I felt fine. I decided not to take my daily shot of Symprove as I had figured out quite quickly the day before, that it was causing the problem. I went about my day with no bother and S and I even went out for dinner. After finishing my main meal and 2 glasses of wine, my stomach started to churn*.  I must stress that this is pretty common for me but there was something about the punching motion that was all too familiar. We left pretty sharpish and were back at my flat within no time at all. Sitting on the sofa having opened another bottle of wine, I tried to forget about the rumbling motion in my tummy. But the churning got more and more intense. I was flat out on the sofa, having stomach pains that I have never felt before; similar to those of the day before but this time they were heightened. I felt hot, sweaty and curled up into a ball. This lasted for about 30 minutes before I had to rush to the loo and well, you know the rest. The following day I was so scared of what might happen that I didn’t eat for the whole day (for those who know me well – this is very odd behaviour).

I thought it was really important to share my findings of Symprove. I’m sure that it is helping a lot of people with their digestive troubles but, for me, it was just too much. I have come to realise that, maybe, there is no immediate cure for me and I should perhaps stop eagerly awaiting this. Like I said, I feel I’ve got to a good place; and yes, although I have bad days and hate the fact that I cannot drop into any restaurant of my choosing, I’m managing, so why rock the boat?

*Note – I had not drunk for the whole week up to taking Symprove. Saturday was the first day of drinking alcohol and only 2 glasses of wine were consumed. On the Symprove website, it states that although alcohol can have a negative effect on gut bacteria, it does not say that you cannot drink alcohol. It merely states that you shouldn’t take it for a few hours after taking Symprove.

To learn more about Symprove, visit www.symprove.com

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