Everyone gets sick. It’s an unfortunate fact of life. And, when you get sick, you take medicine. Of course, medication does wonders for your body and can be vital in the healing process. But, medication can also leave behind some nasty side effects of its own. Side effects ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to anxiety. For whatever reason though, you had to take a course of antibiotics. There was just no way around it. Now it’s time to take back control and take care of the aftermath the attack on your gut microbiome left behind.
How Medications Impact Your Gut Microbiome
People tend to believe that a sterile body is a healthy body—that all bacteria are harmful. That is just not the truth. There is a whole world of bacteria living in your gut. Don’t worry, a lot of these little bacteria guys are friendly. They keep things in balance, and they keep you healthy. The friendly bacteria in your gut help promote digestion and the absorption of food. They also fight off harmful germs that can make you sick. They even make serotonin which can help to keep your moods level. The friendly bacteria in your body essentially helps in keeping you healthy and happy. But, your medication just wiped most of them out.
Antibiotics can be essential and crucial to your health. They kill off the bacteria that are responsible for the infection that is making you sick. However, they do not discriminate, and they not only kill off the bad bacteria but the good as well. This can leave you with symptoms like gas and diarrhea or, it could get much worse. If enough of the good guys get killed, your microbiome will shift. Your good bacteria could now outnumbered by the bad. Now you can end up with symptoms like:
° Acid Reflux
° Irritable Bowel Syndrome
° Brain Fog
° Autoimmune Disease
° Candida Overgrowth
This is where probiotics step in. Taking probiotics after frequent medication can help restore your gut microbiome and help you bounce back as quickly as possible.
Rebuilding Your Gut Microbiome
After frequent medication, your good and bad bacteria will slowly rebuild on its own. If all goes well, they will balance themselves out. But, this takes time. Time that you don’t want to spend feeling bad when a probiotic could already have you back on your feet. Also, the groups of bacteria do not always cooperate and colonize in perfect harmony and balance. Occasionally, one or two bad strains will take over.
To help the good bacteria get a headstart and keep the bad bacteria from winning, take probiotics while you are taking medication. The good bacteria that you are taking in the from your probiotic may not have time to colonize. But, they will still help knock out some of the bad bacteria. The next dose of medication will probably wipe most of the good guys out, but some will survive and help the others build back up.
Restoring Your Gut Microbiome
When you take a probiotic, you are taking in more of the good bacteria that you need to restore your gut microbiome to its natural balance. You have multitudes of bacteria in your gut, and they are all very different. Given the diversity of a healthy gut ecosystem, you also want a probiotic that is diverse. It is better to look for a product with different species of beneficial microbes rather than just one or two single strains.
Some of the most effective strains of bacteria are Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium. When looking for a probiotic, you should look for one that contains these strains. Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium have been known to help treat and prevent various infectious allergic and inflammatory conditions. These healthy strains can help minimize the number of harmful bacteria in our bodies, like Salmonella and E. coli.
You can also help aid the process of restoring your gut microbiome after frequent antibiotics by eating probiotic-rich foods. An array of prebiotic fruits and vegetables help to rebuild and restore the gut microbiome by providing insoluble fiber that feeds the good bacteria but not the harmful bacteria. Some of these fruits and vegetables include:
° Sweet Potatoes
Fermented, unpasteurized vegetables are another excellent source of probiotics to eat while taking your probiotic supplement. These vegetables produce different families of beneficial bacteria during fermentation. The key to a healthy gut is the diversity of gut microbiome. A few of these fermented vegetables include:
° Fermented Beets
There are also certain foods you should stay away from while trying to restore your gut microbiome. Eating these foods would be like throwing gasoline on the fire of your recovering gut. Some of these foods to stay away from are:
° Fried Foods
° Unhealthy Fats
How to correctly take a probiotic
Those who have been on continuous medication regimens will likewise need long-term restoration. Restoring your gut microbiome done well can make a world of difference. In some cases, it can even help you overcome the sickness for which the antibiotic was initially prescribed.
However, there are some things you can do to help your probiotic work better and faster. When taking a probiotic for the purpose of restoring your gut microbiome after frequent medication use—it is recommended that you take your probiotic supplement at least two hours after taking your medication.
Probiotics seem to work best when taken on an empty stomach when stomach acid levels are lower. Also, try to take your probiotic supplement with filtered non-chlorinated water to increase effectiveness. Chlorine, sometimes found in drinking water, is meant to kill bacteria.
When looking for a probiotic supplement, choose one that has over 10 billion live organisms per dosage for optimal results. A few key strains to look for are Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus brevis, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Bifidobacterium longum.
Intrinsic Nutrition offers a wonderful clinical grade high potency probiotic supplement that contains these vital characteristics and more. Our probiotic supplement is specially formulated to rapidly replenish beneficial bacteria that will help you heal and feel better faster.