Friday, March 25, 2011


I really have to tell you about the past month. Thanks to my brother we discovered kefir. You may have heard about it. Brother John came to visit a while back and was touting it's benefits. It is a cousin to yogurt but different. It has probiotics and natural "good" bacteria that are supposed to help the intestines. Johnny was impressed that it helped with his stomach issues and an added bonus that he had lost some weight.

I won't get graphic. (I'm reminded of the old Pepto Bismal commercial where no one would say the word "diarrhea.") Suffice it to say, Matthew has struggled with this problem for years and years and years.  When we realized he was lactose intolerant and stopped dairy  he improved. Years later when we discovered that he had Celiac Disease and went on a gluten free diet he improved a lot more. But still, there were days...

So when Johnny talked about the kefir my ears perked up. We've stayed away from yogurt and similar products because of the dairy and lactose. I read up on the kefir and like yogurt it is a fermented milk drink. (I know, sounds nasty... but those old goat herders obviously were on to something.)  I went to the store and found the kefir. There is a giant label right on the front Lactose and Gluten Free. We got a bottle and tried it. Amazing things happened. The first week I called it a fluke and didn't say anything.  The second week I told Bob about it and we got another bottle. By the third week I was starting to think this might be real. And yes, it's been 5 weeks and Matthew has not had one bout of diarrhea since we started! Amazing. A small glass at night with a couple cookies and it seems a treat.

Like yogurt kefir has a tanginess. It is commercially produced though I have found recipes to make your own. We are getting the flavored kefir for Matthew which has a pretty high amount of sugar. (My mom tried the plain as it is lower sugar but strongly says it tastes nasty...) We found some splenda sweetened kefir online but not had success finding it in the stores. We have found several brands of kefir in the health food stores but also at some of the regular grocery stores.

For Matthew this has been an surprisingly good experience. And for once, it didn't cost us an arm and a leg.  As always, I'm happy to share more details with you. If you know someone suffers maybe it can help them too.

1 comment:

  1. A footnote to the Kefir information. First, yesterday we forgot to give Matthew his nightly kefir drink. And yes, today he had diarrhea. Amazing.
    Second, a Russian friend wrote and said kefir is a popular drink in Eastern Europe. You can find it in all the stores. She also gave me the recipe for home made. Take one gallon whole milk. Take out one glass full. Add to it one glass full of real buttermilk. Shake up and leave on the counter overnight. Shake the next morning and drink. Sounds pretty easy. I'm thinking about giving it a try.