Antibiotics are sometimes the necessary approach to fight an infection. But were you told what you need to do after taking any antibiotic? Probably not. And this is a serious mistake that in my opinion should be considered malpractice!
Antibiotics kill bacteria both the good and the bad germs. In all of us are bacteria that promote health. Antibiotics can not discern the good from the bad types and you need the good for several reasons. Good and bad bacteria exist in the mouth and the gut. Normally the good types are in abundant numbers to render the bad insignificant.
Scientists have long recognized that the number of human cells in the body is dwarfed by the 100 trillion or so bacteria living in and on it. It’s a daunting reality obscured by the fact that human cells are much bigger than bacterial cells. For all their numbers, bacteria account for only about three pounds of the average person’s weight.
Some of the bacteria have the genetic machinery to make essential vitamins that are not found in the diet and that human cells can barely manufacture, including several B vitamins. Others make enzymes that can break the chemical bonds in plant fibers, or polysaccharides, where a plant’s nutritional energy is stored. Others have the genetic capacity to scavenge hydrogen gas from the gut – a byproduct of digestion that can kill helpful bacteria – and convert it into methane. That makes the intestines a more biologically friendly place, while contributing in sometimes embarrassing moments to Earth’s accumulation of greenhouse gases.
If one develops diarrhea, it is most frequently due to an infection acquired in their diet. Large doses of acidophilus, approximately two to fifteen billion organisms EVERY hour, until one is better is frequently miraculous at producing recovery.
Keep your bowels moving. If antibiotics kill off your friendly, intestinal bacteria, once you cease taking antibiotics you’ll run a higher risk of infection by other, more hostile bacteria and yeast. These bacteria will be quick to find and exploit pockets of debris that could be collecting and putrefying in your intestines if you happen to become constipated. So, be sure to keep your digestive tract as clear as possible until you can repopulate it with friendly bacteria. Psyllium hulls fiber from your local health food store is the best, bulk fiber to use, as long as you don’t have a history of intestinal obstruction. Psyllium not only relieves constipation. It also slows diarrhea by absorbing excess water.
Replace the good bacteria in your intestines. Supplement with an acidophilus supplement for a few weeks following any course of antibiotics. Do not take these simultaneously with your antibiotic, or you will simply end up with a lot of very dead, albeit still friendly bacteria in your intestines. At the very most, take acidophilus supplements either in between antibiotic doses or after you have completely finished your prescription.
Two new studies show that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than slim people. What’s more, the microbes in an overweight body are much more efficient at extracting calories from food.
Good bacteria prevent or proper intestinal health has been associated in preventing: colitis, allergies, fatigue, dysbiosis, yeast infections, autism, ear infections, bad breath, crohns disease, and who knows what else.
So, please take a good quality probiotic after antibiotic use. Some will need to take this for a long time others just a few weeks. Probiotics are non-toxic and you can not over-dose or become toxic from them. Keep some in your refrigerator at all times. Living cultured foods commercially available include some brands of kefir, yogurt, miso, sauerkraut and a pickled Chinese cabbage called kimchee which promote lactic acid in the gut are excellent foods for gut health.
It has been said that “death begins in the gut”, so take good care of yours!
Randy Schaetzke, D.C., D.I.B.A.K.