Facialist to the stars Nichola Joss credits a probiotic supplement for saving her life after a leaking ovarian cyst ‘poisoned’ her body, giving her just ’90 hours to live’.
Mother-of-two Nichola, who counts Meghan Markle and Kate Moss as clients, went into septic shock in January last year after enduring months of exhaustion due to a mysterious abscess.
She said: ‘We thought I had 90 hours to live. My infection rate was 500 and it should be 5-to-12 per cent; no one was be able to help me.’
After being resuscitated and told she might not make it, Nichola decided to start taking a liquid-probiotic supplement, which she believes transformed her health and reversed the cyst’s fluid from ‘sticking’ her organs together.
Speaking of her symptoms, Nichola, who was told to prepare her children for the worse, said: ‘I immediately saw a difference in my whole system.’
After being in hospital for five weeks, Nichola, who also suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), is home, with doctors continuing to be amazed by her recovery.
She said: ‘I kept going back for checks over nine months and every MRI showed significant healing. The abscess disappeared.’
Consultant gastroenterologist Dr Adam Farmer, from the University Hospitals of North Midlands, told MailOnline previous research on probiotics in sepsis supports Nichola’s claims.
Below, Nichola, who also adopted a vegan diet to help combat her illness, speaks of her experience and why she is encouraging others to optimise their gut health.
Facialist Nichola Joss credits a probiotic for saving her life after a leaking cyst ‘poisoned’ her
Mother-of-two Nichola, who counts Meghan Markle as a client, went into septic shock in January last year and at one point was thought to be just 90 hours from death
‘I want to constantly optimise the good bacteria in my body’
While in recovery I went against doctors’ recommendations and decided to incorporate some non-medical therapies into my treatment.
Although medics advised me to just let the antibiotics heal my infection, I was concerned the drugs were affecting my gut health and draining my energy.
I therefore asked my assistant to secure a sample of Symprove, which I was familiar with due to my beauty-industry job.
After taking the supplement I instantly felt better, with scans even showing my organs were no longer sticking together, which baffled doctors.
Although I have recovered, I still have regular check ups at the hospital and will never stop taking Symprove.
It is like drinking water every day. I want to constantly optimise the good bacteria in my body.
As well as saving my life, the supplement has also made my skin look dewier and my hair healthier.
Dismissed tiredness as the stress of being a working mother
I first started battling extreme fatigue in September 2016, which I initially dismissed as being the stress of a working mother.
Women put it down to depression, period pain, the menopause or tiredness. They put it into boxes to help them deal with it.
As I was suffering no other symptoms, I carried on as normal until I passed out on a train and was rushed to A&E with severe pains.
Unsure what was wrong, doctors initially treated me for a kidney infection, until scans showed I had a life-threatening abscess.
Doctors were unable to remove the abscess due to its leaking fluid sticking my organs together, which would have caused serious internal scarring if taken out.
After being told she might not make it, Nichola, who is also behind Kate Moss’ glowing skin, decided to start taking a supplement, which she believes transformed her health
Told to prepare for the worst
While on antibiotics, I was told to get my house in order.
I’m a fighter but when I came round for my operation and was told ‘we don’t know if you’re going to get through this’ I did think ‘gosh this is the end’.
My parents, who live in Spain, even flew over to discuss who would look after my children, aged 12 and 13, should the worst happen.
Evidence supports probiotic use in sepsis
Dr Adam Farmer told MailOnline: ‘The mechanism by which this lady recovered from her blood poisoning is unclear.
‘However a recent study in mice has shown that Lactobacillus rhamnosus (which is one of the probiotics in Symprove) reduces the severity of symptoms of sepsis.
‘In preterm infants who develop necrotizing enterocolitis (a life-threatening illness in which tissues in the intestine start to die, which can result in the contents of the intestine leaking into the abdomen) probiotic consumption can reduce A) sepsis, B) mortality and C) length of hospital stay.
‘In adults undergoing surgery, the evidence suggests that synbiotic therapy (synbiotics are food ingredients/dietary supplements combining probiotics and prebiotics) has a small but significant effect in reducing sepsis, hospital stay and antibiotic use.
‘Further work is needed to clarify the potential beneficial effect of probiotics in cases such as one the described.’