Antibiotics… both friend and foe.
We know that antibiotics can be an all star at knocking out infections. Sometimes it’s truly necessary to take them.
We also know that they can cause side effects- like wiping out good gut bacteria, harming the liver, and causing yeast infections for some.
Antibiotics are prescribed often- in fact in the year 2014 alone there were over 266 million prescriptions given out in the U.S. This is the latest data from the CDC.
The CDC also said that in 2017, 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions were written.
Whether we need them or were prescribed them as a quick (unnecessary) bandaid, let’s talk about the ways we can heal our bodies after taking antibiotics.
What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics is a medication that stops bacterial infections. There are many different kinds on the market. Some are powerful in the way that it can kill a wide range of bacteria strains, and some are targeted to only go after a specific strain. They are incredibly important and a wonderful thing to have in the medical world as they have saved many lives.
But they don’t come without negative side effects. Even one year on antibiotics can change the genetic makeup of our gut for up to an entire year. How alarming is that! (Source)
We should also know that overuse of antibiotics can also lead to antibiotic resistance- which is a whole other problem. (Source)
Ways To Help Heal Your Body After Antibiotics
It’s important to take probiotics during and after your round of antibiotics. Probiotics help repopulate the friendly “good” gut bacteria. It’s important that you space out when you take your antibiotics and probiotics by at least two hours- as antibiotics can wipe out a probiotic. (Probiotics are bacteria, after all.)
One promising study stated that use of probiotics after an event like a round of antibiotics or certain diseases could be strong enough to restore gut flora back to it’s normal state. We should just make sure to choose one that is top shelf and has multiple strains. (Source)
Eat high fiber foods
Fiber helps stimulate good gut bacteria. (Source)
I could pretty much leave it at that and you would know that fiber is a great choice after antibiotics! 🙂
What’s really cool, is not just that fiber can help stimulate good bacteria… it can also help HALT bad bacteria! This goes to show that a high fiber diet is good for even those who have not recently gone on antibiotics! (Source)
Some high fiber foods include berries, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, bananas, and artichokes.
Try β -glucans
Otherwise known as “Beta Glucans”-- have you heard of them? Webmd describes them as “Beta-glucans are sugars that are found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, lichens, and plants, such as oats and barley.”
They are great for the immune system (which is tied to the gut!) and some studies show that it can aid in helping to populate good gut bacteria! (Source)
What’s amazing about incorporating beta glucans at this time is that it does more than just help your gut bacteria- it is also anticancer, antidiabetic, and antiinflammatory. So it’s something that you can always take and benefit from. Beyond just your gut health! (Source)
Always, always look for high quality. This is not a supplement you want to skimp on. Highly recommend Karen Berrio’s Beta Glucan!
Eat plenty of prebiotic foods
So, probiotics are live microbes. PREbiotics however, actually feed the good bacteria in your gut.
If you’re not feeding the good bacteria, good bacteria won’t grow! Simply put.
What’s cool is that you already know high fiber foods are important-- and many high fiber foods are also prebiotic! (Source)
One thing you can drink throughout the day is raw cacao- like as a hot chocolate. Did you know that cacao is a prebiotic? There have even been studies that show how beneficial it can be bringing back specific strains! What a win! (Source + Source) At the bottom of this article is a recipe for a fiber rich, prebiotic ICED “hot cacao” drink! Perfect for after antibiotics.
Remove sugar from your diet for a period of time
Did you know that many people face the problem of yeast overgrowth after taking antibiotics?
Fungi can go rampant when it doesn’t have bacteria to keep it at bay. Fungal overgrowth can be a real problem for people. One strain in practicular that causes a lot of issues (and it quite common) is candida albicans. These are known to overgrow a lot after antibiotics. (Source)
One thing that really feeds candida is SUGAR. (Source)
Not only is sugar harmful for your gut period, but it is especially harmful after antibiotics.
Stay calm and get rest
Infections can flourish when you are under stress. You don’t want to give all our body’s energy towards stress. In periods of sickness and recovery- we need that energy to go towards healing.
Did you know that some scientists believe that poor sleep can affect your gut microbiome? That is a serious thing to consider! (Source)
We get that healing and being sick can be tough. It can be emotional. Karen herself always talks about patience and gratitude towards what the body can do. Trust your body during this time.
You can heal! Stay positive. That’s the number one thing.
Gut Healing “Iced” Hot Cacao Recipe
This recipe is so nice to sip on! It’s easy to make and it has many healing properties. The lucuma and the cacao provide flavonols, beneficial antioxidants, fiber, and are also prebiotic-- which is great for stimulating healthy gut bacteria! There is also collagen in it, which is optional, but can be really good for the gut lining.
You can enjoy this beverage hot or iced- but I prefer iced!
Click Here for the recipe!
Courtesy of Katey Yurko @thevioletfog
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