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Questions and answers

Where can I find treatment?

You can report to a doctor for microbiome treatment. In our opinion, this is preferably your own doctor. You know this doctor, and that will help you put together the personal mixture. If your own doctor is in doubt, you can ask us to call him / her. If he / she does not want to or is unable to do so, you can search the website for a doctor yourself from the list of doctors who have experience with personal microbiome therapy and who can be contacted.

My doctor does not recommend microbiome therapy ....

There is still little evidence for the effect of probiotics in the form we know of medicines such as antibiotics. A bacterium is not a dead matter like a medicine, but a living organism that reacts depending on its environment – and it differs from person to person. Therefore, the usual drug research in many cases does not work well with microbiome therapy.

Research into individual effects and individual therapies is complicated and not very common yet. Probiotics are also relatively new in the medical field in the Netherlands. In other countries it is much further. Because the Microbiome Center is internationally oriented, we benefit from this worldwide development. For countless bacterial species, it is becoming increasingly known which functions they have and in which – personal – circumstances they can lead to a therapeutic effect.

That is why the Microbiome Center works with tailor-made treatment, so different for each individual. The measurement and proof of whether the personal therapy works also takes place on an individual basis. That is the kind of evidence that is ultimately most relevant to you as an individual. The doctors who apply that principle have joined the Microbiome Center and are able to provide you with a tailor-made examination and treatment.

Is this better than the probiotics I already use?

Each bacterial strain has certain properties with which it can be used in the treatment of health problems. What works differs from person to person because everyone has a unique intestinal flora. Probiotics must therefore match your individual complaint pattern and the individual flora in your intestines. The chance that the bacteria you need now will occur exactly in a standard commercial product is therefore not great.

It is also worth remembering that the term “probiotics” is as broad as “drugs”. If you’ve tried one headache medicine and it doesn’t work, you won’t be likely to say that drugs never work. Another drug may work very well. In the same way, another probiotic can have a different effect.

It is therefore best to estimate with your doctor whether an effect can be achieved in your case. In that case, having a microbiome analysis done is a sensible step, because then you know what your body needs.

What is MyOwnBlend and what does it contain?
MyOwnBlend is the microbiome medication that the pharmacist prepares for you with a prescription from your doctor.

Many bacterial species are processed in MyOwnBlend, and this is always a selection of the types that are most effective, especially in combination with each other . The best varieties are used worldwide. Several of these are not available in shops or online stores in the Netherlands. In addition, MyOwnBlend can also contain other active substances that are usually not or only present in low doses in standard probiotic products. All this is possible through the supervision of a doctor and pharmacist. And we continuously work on improving and expanding the range.

MyOwnBlend thus differs from common products because it is tailor-made for you, because it always contains the world’s best strains, because the dosage is higher than most standard products, and because it is prepared by hand by the pharmacist.

Why is MyOwnBlend made of powder and not capsules?

The bacteria in MyOwnBlend are freeze-dried at minus 180 degrees Celsius. This means they can be stored well. In order to have an effect in the body, they must first regain their moisture. This works best with pure water. A bacterium comes back to life after it has saturated itself with water, especially if you let it stand for fifteen minutes after dissolving it. Then a bacterium is also best able to withstand the challenges it encounters in your gastrointestinal tract (stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes, bile acid, other microorganisms, etc.).

When using capsules, bacteria enter your gastrointestinal tract in a freeze-dried and inactive state. There they do not have clean water to suck their fill and come back to life, but they have to make do with stomach acid or intestinal juices and many bacteria do not survive that. This also applies to gastro-resistant capsules (enteric coated capsules) that open in the small intestine. There too, the freeze-dried bacteria do not have pure water at their disposal, but intestinal juices containing all kinds of aggressive substances (such as pancreatic enzymes or bile acids). They are also vulnerable to other microorganisms that live in the small intestine during the fifteen minutes that they ‘wake up’.

For these reasons, MyOwnBlend is supplied in powder form, so that you can first give the powder containing the bacteria in a glass of water time to ‘drink’ and become active again. Most of the strains used in MyOwnBlend have research showing excellent gastrointestinal survival when used this way.

The drugstore and supplement website sell the same probiotics!

A jar of standard probiotics almost never does any harm. But the question is whether it will help you get rid of your complaints. Because bacteria with the same species name can have completely different effects in the intestine. As an example, L. plantarum WCFS1 and L. plantarum KLH1 are both the same bacterial species, but different strains and they produce very different substances. If your doctor chooses a particular L. plantarum strain for your treatment, then the effect of that specific strain has been studied on your conditions and you cannot assume that every other L. plantarum strain will have the same effect. Also, MyOwnBlend often contains special varieties that are not available in stores or online stores.

What dosages are used?
Because hundreds of billions of bacteria live in the human body, a probiotic containing millions of bacteria usually does not have much effect. In MyOwnBlend, dosages are therefore used that vary from 25-50 billion per day. It is important that there is a balance between the different types. Your doctor takes this into account. That is one of the reasons why we expect a personalized preparation to become normal in the future.
Can I use an analysis from elsewhere?

If the analysis has been carried out at a qualitatively good laboratory, it is quite possible that it provides sufficient insight for starting a personal treatment. It may also be that insufficient analyzes have been carried out, or that the result is insufficiently useful. It is best to have this assessed by the doctor with whom you start treatment.

How long does a treatment take?
Usually MyOwnBlend is prescribed for 2 months. Most people then experience a long-lasting effect. It helps if this is accompanied by the correct diet and lifestyle, because your food is also the food for your bacteria. Often people notice improvement after 1 or 2 weeks, sometimes that effect starts slower or later. If it is possible to maintain a suitable lifestyle, a repeat prescription is usually not necessary. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
What to do if my complaints increase?

If you start using probiotics and / or prebiotics, there may be an increase in your abdominal complaints. That means there are important changes going on in your microbiome. It can be bloating, flatulence and sometimes mild stomach cramps. These complaints usually disappear within a few days.

There is hardly ever cause for concern, because there are hardly any side effects from probiotics. If your additional symptoms do not disappear quickly enough to your liking, please talk to your doctor. It may be advisable to build up the dosage a little more slowly, but there may also be reasons to increase the dosage properly.

Is MyOwnBlend cheaper for a longer period?
MyOwnBlend is magisterially prepared. This means that each recipe is prepared individually and no stock is made. It pays to take a prescription for a longer period of time, because a two-month prescription costs less per day than a one-month prescription.

With a new or subsequent recipe, the production costs are the same as with the first recipe, so is the price of the product.

What are the treatment costs?

The costs depend on your treatment, because it is tailor-made for you as an individual. To give an impression: on average, the costs of a treatment amount to approximately € 250 for the faecal analysis and € 275 for MyOwnBlend, the individual prescription. If you receive the treatment from your general practitioner or from a specialist to whom your general practitioner has referred you, there are no further consultation costs – but they may be there if you go to a fairly established doctor. You can check this with the doctor in advance.

Are standard products a cheaper solution for me?

The costs of MyOwnBlend are €250 for 2 months. That might seem a large amount, but when you purchase individual products you quickly end up with the same amount, or even more. After all, an average pre- or probiotic supplement easily costs €40 for one month and to get close to the powerful dosage of a MyOwnBlend, 3 to 4 different products are quickly needed. Two months of using such individual products quickly costs € 240 to € 320.

Are the costs of the Microbiome Center reimbursed?
Usually not at the moment. Sometimes costs are (partially) reimbursed from the supplementary insurance, but this varies per health insurer and per policy:

– all larger health insurers carry out one or more supplementary policies with scope for reimbursement of “alternative medicine”
– the total reimbursement available per year increases with more expensive policies
– often a registered doctor is mentioned as a requirement
– medicines are in principle excluded.

This means that clients who have the correct supplementary policy and who have not made up their reimbursement allowance can probably count on reimbursement of the costs for consultation and pre-faecal analysis, and not for medication costs.

If you want more certainty, we recommend that you check with your health insurer. Have your policy number ready, as the answers to your questions will be determined by your policy and how much such expenses you have previously claimed this year.

Healthcare costs that are not reimbursed and that are incurred on the advice of a registered doctor can also be set off against your income tax as “special medical expenses”. Ask your treating doctor for a letter confirming this to you. You can base your settlement on this letter.

Can I have a faecal transplant at the Microbiome Center?
Feces transplantation is a radical treatment, which is currently only done in the Netherlands in the form of research for very serious diseases. It is far from standard therapy. The Microbiome Center does not do faecal transplants, nor are we equipped to do so.
What is the shelf life of MyOwnBlend?

The shelf life stated by the pharmacist on the MyOwnBlend is 4 months as a minimum. In practice, the shelf life will be longer and will differ per preparation. It is important to know that the preparation does not spoil after the shelf life, but that only the probiotic effect decreases. Then you will notice less effect. Whether that happens and how quickly depends on your ingredients and your circumstances. Some bacterial species last much longer, sometimes even years. Prebiotics also last much longer. Furthermore, it makes a big difference whether the jar has been closed for the entire period or has been opened twice every day. A closed jar has a much longer shelf life, because probiotic bacteria are freeze-dried and react to the moisture in the air.
In short, the stated shelf life does not include spoilage and the probiotic bacteria will clearly be effective for longer in a closed jar than the stated 4 months.

Other questions?

If you have any other questions about your treatment that you cannot ask your doctor about, please ask the Microbiome Center using this response form.

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