Avoiding Antibiotics And What To Do When You Have To Take Them


Number 4: Avoiding Antibiotics And What To Do When You Have To Take Them

Antibiotics are one of the great medical miracles of the 20th century. They save lives daily and keep us from suffering needlessly from a wide range of infections. But like with so many other things, there is a price we pay when we take them. No, this isn’t about breeding super bugs though that’s certainly one of the issues. The problem I want to address today is the unintended damage antibiotics do to the microbiome.   

Your microbiome is made up of various bacteria with a few fungi and other microorganisms thrown in for good measure. The bacteria are the problem when it comes to taking antibiotics. While the medication does a great job fighting your infection and getting you back to feeling like yourself, it also destroys some of the good bacteria in your gut. That in turn gives other, less beneficial bacteria a chance to take over. It’s why we often feel bad and have stomach issues while taking antibiotics.   

So, what do you do? The first step is to avoid taking antibiotics unless they are necessary. Too often we treat them as the easy button. We ask for them and doctors prescribe them first, only later investigating what else it could be if the antibiotics don’t work. Don’t insist on a course for a case of the sniffles. Chances are those cold symptoms are caused by a virus. Strengthening your immune system by eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and spending time outside in the sun is another good preventative strategy.   

That said there are times when you have to bite the bullet and take them. If that’s what you need to do to get better, by all means, go for it. There are lots of things you can do to help restore your gut biome when you’re done taking them. Start taking a probiotic as soon as possible. Speak to your doctor or health care professional about this. They will be able to guide you on when to start. This is a great time to invest in a quality probiotic supplement.   

Include natural probiotics like yogurt with live cultures into your diet. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains to provide your microbiome and the good bacteria with all the prebiotic fiber they need to grow and flourish. Cut back on sugar and processed foods for a while until things are back on track. In short, eat well, give your body what it needs and don’t be afraid to take a round or two of antibiotics when they are warranted. 

Check back in a few days to learn about the next way to improve your gut microbiome. I'd love to hear your thoughts on antibiotics and your microbiome so feel free to leave me a comment below!

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