Sunday, November 8, 2015

Probiotics & Pelvic Pain

An anonymous commenter left the following comment on a post I wrote about the probiotic VSL #3:


By the way I am male and have had similar issues from taking CytoFlora, which is a tincture of lysed probiotic bacteria. 

I have always had pelvic muscle tension, and it requires internal physical therapy (trigger point / myofascial release) to keep it under control. I overdosed on CytoFlora one day and could barely walk within two days. The effect persisted a long time until I saw the physical therapist. It has happened to me now three times over the years. I can't say I have ever come across anyone who knows why this can happen.

I think that the junction between the colon and the rectum, right at the second fold of the rectum, is connected to the pelvic floor in ways that the PT literature doesn't describe. I think that the colon is tense (due to some unknown reason related to how much probiotic you took - VSL3 is very strong stuff), but as it is involuntary, I think the symptoms of trigger points appear at the boundary of the involuntary and voluntary muscles, which is right there at the second fold (I think). That is my theory.

The funny thing is that for me, at a smaller dose CytoFlora is the only thing which actually reduced my pelvic muscle tension issues - yet at a larger dose it magnified them considerably.

I would say if anyone offers you a specific cause as to what's happening in your colon why you are experiencing pelvic muscle tension from VSL3, take it with a grain of salt. They probably have no idea what is going on in there.


This is the first good explanation I've heard for the increased pain I had when taking VSL #3.  And if it or something like it is at work in pelvic pain, the implications are huge.  If pelvic floor muscles are sensitive to the state of the rectum, it could explain why so many who have pelvic pain find that food is a major pain trigger.  It could explain why pelvic pain and IBS have such a high rate of comorbidity.  It could even explain why pelvic pain often goes up before or with menstruation.

The rolling theory (in my head, anyway) has been that IBS and other digestive issues can influence pelvic pain either by causing the individual to clench pelvic muscles in response to digestion or by referring pain to the pelvis (maybe via some kind of regional inflammation).  But if there's a specific point in the digestive tract that tenses under certain circumstances and pulls at the pelvic floor involuntarily, that would explain why it's been virtually impossible for many of us to identify the exact cause of our pelvic pain.

This makes me want to go back and do some crotch dieting again.  Nothing I've tried so far took away my pain in any certain way.  The best I did was on a simple diet which I apparently managed last in 2009.....!  Oh my god!  It is time to BELIEVE again!  I need to read my own blog more often. :/

I also want a colonoscopy.  I want a colonoscopy, people!