Antibiotics And Gut Health: What Goes Wrong
Antibiotics have one job: kill bacteria and stop them from multiplying. However, this simple task is what leads to a disruption in your gut microbiome.
Antibiotics cannot tell the difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria. Their job is to simply go to your gut and kill bacteria. They dont discriminate between the good and bad.
When antibiotics enter your system and kill off bacteria seemingly at random, your balance of good and bad bacteria can be thrown out of wack. This is a major issue as the good bacteria in your system play a vital role in protecting you from issues such as SIBO or Candida overgrowth. As the number of good bacteria in your gut decreases, you become susceptible to overgrowths of other organisms, including a yeast called Candida.
While a small amount of yeast is normal and necessary, Candida is opportunistic. If given the chance, such as antibiotic usage killing off protective good bacteria, it will grow and multiply quickly especially when its fed sugar, carbohydrates, or alcohol. When yeast starts to multiply, it can damage the lining of your intestinal walls. This leads to increased intestinal permeability and whats known as leaky gut.
How To Repair Your Gut After Antibiotics
Your gut needs a lot of help after an antibiotic course even if you took preventions before and during the course.
1. Cut out Sugar
Yeast overgrowth loves sugar and starch. You can get the yeast population back in control by removing sugar from your diet and reducing carbohydrates and starchy foods. Fungal overgrowths can attribute to a lot of problems if not brought under control.
Candida will not be able to get very far when they do not have a substantial food source. Staying away from sugar is particularly important when you are on antibiotics.
2. Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Bacteria rebuild slowly when a large portion gets wiped out. It becomes a race to repopulate, as with any other organism. You want to make sure that you feed the probiotics and starve off the harmful microbes when this happens.
The beneficial gut microbes thrive on plant fiber from fruits and vegetables especially fermented vegetables. These are called prebiotics. Probiotics eat a portion of these plant fibers that humans cannot digest. These portions get converted into essential nutrients, like butyrate that helps in regaining the gut balance.
3. Add Resistant Starch to Your Diet
Unroasted cashews, raw plantain flour, raw green bananas, and raw potato starch are some sources of resistant starch. These are resistant to digestion in the human gut and are fermented by the healthy bacteria. They work a lot like prebiotics to help nourish the good bacteria in your gut.
How To Balance Your Gut Microbiome
Now Ill tell you about another secret weapon I recommend everyone consider when dealing with an unbalanced microbiome. Microb-Clear® is a cutting-edge blend of botanical extracts, minerals, and fatty acids that create a favorable environment for beneficial bacteria that could have been killed with antibiotics. It also creates an inhospitable environment for microorganisms that have become dysbiotic or imbalanced.
Most bacteria do not live alone, they live in communities. These communities, called biofilms, adhere to surfaces and tend to be multiple species of organisms, commonly bacteria and fungi. Inside the biofilm community, bacteria share nutrients, and even DNA, while undergoing changes to evade your immune system. As a whole, the biofilm can sustain itself with less oxygen and fewer nutrients than individual bacteria great for the bad guys, not great for us! The biofilm is more resistant to antibiotics, forming a physical barrier that even cloaks the bad bacteria from being detected by immune cells.
With biofilms cleared out and an optimal balance of microorganisms in the gut, you are supporting your immune system. I mentioned earlier that 80% of your immune system is headquartered in your gut, and 90% of your neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, are also produced there! By supporting optimal microbiome and gut health with Microb-Clear®, you are setting the stage for optimal health!
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Improving Gut Health After Antibiotics
There is increasing clinical evidence that taking probiotics during and after antibiotic use can decrease the risk of invasion by opportunistic pathogens and development of antibiotic-associated diarrhea1820. However, further research is still needed in this area and it is likely that different strains of probiotics have different levels of efficacy.
Although it is likely probiotics can protect against the invasion of opportunistic pathogens, a recent small study observed that probiotics may also inhibit the return of the native gut microbiota21. The study found it took longer for the native gut microbiota to return in individuals who consumed probiotics for 28 days following antibiotic use compared to individuals who did not take probiotics. Therefore, it appears there are both positive and negative factors to consider when deciding to take probiotics to help the gut microbiome recover from antibiotics.
A good general strategy to improve gut health is to make sure you feed your gut microbiome foods that will allow your beneficial resident microbiota to grow back. This means eating a wide variety of foods that are high in fibre and plant polyphenols such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains22.
This microbiome test is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat medical conditions. A full disclaimer is available here.
Diet Stress And Poor Sleep Impact Your Digestive Health
You are what you eatat least when it comes to your gut flora. Alcohol and highly processed foods can all negatively impact gut health, but were going to focus on one of the biggest players: sugar.
A diet high in sugar can feed the bad bacteria in your gut, creating an optimal environment for the not-so-good microbes to thrive. Thats because high sugar intake seems to change the balance of bacteria in your gut, increasing populations of microbes that contribute to inflammation and gut permeability .
Switching to artificial sweeteners isnt any betterrodent studies indicate that saccharin, sucralose and aspartame cause shifts in gut microbiota and contribute to intestinal dysbiosis, or an imbalance of microorganisms.
What about stress and sleep? Heres the long and short of it:
- Stress and gut health: Mental stressthats anything from work to the news to family lifecan interfere with the communication between your gut and your brain, aka the gut-brain axis. This missed connection contributes to symptoms like nausea, bloating and even the health of your gut bacteria.
- Sleep and gut health: Losing sleep can negatively change the ratio of bacteria in your gut, increasing the risk of insulin resistance, increased gut permeability and even sugar cravings.
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Take Probiotics And Prebiotics To Decrease The Impact Of Your Treatment
Probiotics may help the good and beneficial bacteria to grow back quicker than it would without probiotic supplements. By taking probiotic supplements, you can help to keep one strain of gut flora from taking over. Restoring gut flora after antibiotics are essential as you need a diverse gut microbiome to remain healthy. When youre taking a treatment, you can kill bad bacteriaand sometimes the good ones. You may also disturb the functions of the remaining microorganisms, and the disruption can lead to digestive symptoms. You need probiotics to help increase the population of colony-forming units in the gut. Consider it as replenishing what youre losing. Meanwhile, prebiotics can help feed the remaining microorganisms in your digestive tract. Its like helping them survive and thrive despite the treatment. There are many sources for probiotics, but the best probiotic is one that also contains fungi such as BIOHM Probiotics. Many people are not aware they have fungi in their gut too, along with viruses and bacteria.
What Is Mrsa And Why Is It So Serious
Usually, staph bacteria dont cause any harm. However, sometimes they get inside the body through a break in the skin and cause an infection. These infections are usually treated with antibiotics. When common antibiotics dont kill the staph bacteria, it means the bacteria have become resistant to those antibiotics. This type of staph is called MRSA .
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Recovery Of The Gut Microbiome
After an antibiotic course, recovery of the gut microbiome can take some time. In general, after short-term antibiotic use , studies have observed it can take at least one to two months for most bacterial groups to recover to pre-antibiotic levels2,3,1316. However, these studies have also shown that even after two to four years, some bacterial groups do not recover completely and antibacterial resistance genes can also persist at increased levels for at least one to two years following antibiotic use13,14,16,17. Therefore, even a short course of antibiotics can have long-term effects on the gut microbiome.
The Composition Of Gut Bacteria Almost Recovers After Antibiotics For Most People
Research has revealed an interesting strategy that some bacteria deploy to re-establish themselves after antibiotics. They use resistance genescalled the resistome by scientiststo make sure theyre never wiped out.
After attempting to eradicate certain bacterial species with antibiotics, researchers looked at the microbiomes of 12 healthy men over a six-month period and documented the collateral damage.
Initial changes included blooms of certain types of potentially harmful bacteria, along with the depletion of friendly Bifidobacterium and butyrate-producing species. However, the researchers state that the gut microbiota of the subjects recoveredalmost to original levelswithin 1.5 months.
Its important to note, though, that nine common species, which were present in all subjects before the treatment, remained undetectable in most of the subjects after 180 days .
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Get Some Vitamin D To Boost The Immune System
Yellow vitamin D3 gelatine capsules and green bottle on clay plate on burlap background. Vitamin D3 nutrient beneficial for supporting bone health Restoring gut flora is also possible when you increase your vitamin D. Studies show those who have a deficiency of this vitamin are also prone to infection. A study by the University of Edinburgh may explain why.
According to it, the vitamin can modulate or regulate the way the immune system works, going as far as helping control the factors that result in autoimmune diseases. The body can produce this vitamin, but it needs the help of sunlight. Try spending at least 20 minutes outdoors during early midday without wearing sunscreen. On days when theres not enough sunlight, you can supplement your diet with a vitamin D supplement. Even better, when outside, exercise to further improve your gut.
Take Therapeutic Grade Probiotics
Lastly, you may want to guide the process of recovering your gut health by implementing high-quality probiotics.
I rarely recommend supplements to a real food lifestyle, but this is an exception. Good probiotics can aid in the introduction of good bacteria into your digestive system, and many report that they improve their overall health in a much shorter period of time.
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Diet: Are You Feeding All Of Your Dogs Microbes
Diversity is a good thing! When it comes to your dogs microbiome, bacterial diversity comes from the food your dog eats. From live bacteria to nutrients that allow good bacteria to flourish, there are many great ways to supplement your dogs diet to improve their digestive health:
- Prebiotics. Prebiotics are substances, such as inulin, mannan oligosaccharide, and other sources of fiber that are consumed with the intent to promote the growth of healthy gut microbes. Although many pet foods naturally contain these ingredients, some people supplement their dogs diets with extra prebiotics. In mice, it has been observed that the microbiome shift induced by prebiotics can counteract the inflammatory nature of a high-fat diet. Although prebiotics provide a helpful tool to shift the microbiome, they could also unintentionally promote the growth of unwanted bacteria. If you want to try prebiotics, start with small doses to see how your dog responds.
- Probiotics. Many dog owners enjoy feeding their dogs probiotic supplements that contain high quantities of specific strains of live bacteria. However, these non-native, probiotic bacteria generally do not become permanent residents in your dogs microbiome. And while they may provide temporary relief, probiotics for dogs wont solve the underlying problem.
What Can You Do To Speed
Along with probiotics, there are several other steps you can take to speed up gut healing after antibiotics. According to the CDC, at least 30 percent of antibiotics used are prescribed unnecessarily. So first and foremost, be sure that the recommendation to use antibiotics is, in fact, called for. Most of this misuse takes place when antibiotics are prescribed for viruses , which will not respond to antibiotics.
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How To Restore Healthy Gut Flora During And After Antibiotic Treatment
Probiotics that can help restore your gut flora during and after antibiotic treatment are Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus lactis.
To help restore my healthy gut after the hospital, I ate foods with probiotics and prebiotics every day. Typically, it will take the body time to balance the microbiome back to healthy, diverse bacteria levels. In fact, research shows that it takes about 6 months to recover from the damage done by antibiotics.
How Long Does It Take To Restore Gut Flora After Antibiotics
It can take several weeks to months to restore gut health after antibiotics. Research shows that most healthy gut bacteria return to normal levels roughly 2 months after antibiotic treatment. However, studies have also found that some healthy bacteria are missing even 6 months after taking antibiotics.
The gut microbiota is a delicate ecosystem and even a few missing beneficial gut bacteria can throw it out of balance. There is no fixed timeline for a return to gut health after a course of antibiotics. Its possible that the gut flora may never return to normal. But this doesnt mean you cannot take steps to maximize gut health by increasing the microbial diversity in your digestive tract.
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What Does The Science Say About Probiotics
Probiotics are widely promoted as being good for your overall health. The science on that has been mixed, but it does suggest people who are likely to get diarrhoea after antibiotics may benefit from consuming them.
One review of the evidence found probiotics may be useful for those at high risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, such as the elderly and people in hospital.
The review found side effects were common when taking antibiotics and include taste disturbances, nausea, abdominal cramping, soft stools, fever and flatulence.
But people taking probiotics reported fewer side effects, suggesting they may be helpful in countering some of the side effects.
So Who Should Have Them
Prebiotic foods are good for everyone, contain a range of nutrients and help promote a healthy bacterial gut environment.
The benefits of probiotics for a range of health conditions are unclear theyre likely to be small, and depend on what is being taken and the underlying health issues.
But people at high risk of diarrhoea after antibiotics may benefit from consuming probiotic as well as prebiotic foods daily.
There is also emerging evidence that combining specific probiotics and prebiotics can increase the beneficial effects of both. Both the pro- and prebiotics could be added to the one food, termed a synbiotic, or they could be from separate sources but eaten together.
When it comes to antibiotics, the bottom line is only take them when prescribed for bacterial infections. Take them according to instructions from the manufacturer, your pharmacist and your doctor.
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Make Sure To Eat Your Vegetables
Especially the leafy green ones! Vegetables are loaded with fibres, which cannot be digested by people but are consumed by the good bacteria in your gut. It has been observed that people who follow a diet rich with fruits and vegetables are less likely to grow disease-causing bacteria. Some great examples of vegetables that feed your microbes are:
Antibiotics And Gut Flora
Research has now shown that antibiotic use can permanently transform the natural balance of bacterial strains and have long-lasting detrimental health effects. The use of antibiotics early in life has been shown to eradicate essential bacteria that help immune cells mature. Since antibiotics have become the most common prescription drugs given to children, we’ve seen an increase in diseases of the immune system and those like obesity that are related to metabolism. A weeklong course of antibiotics can dramatically change the gut’s microbiome for a year or longer, and antibiotic-resistant genes can remain practically forever. Antibiotic-resistant strains can persist due to a lack of “selective pressure” that would normally come from higher numbers of beneficial strains.
Most people aren’t aware that this imbalance or dysbiosis in the gut can be directly responsible for many serious and chronic health problems. These include conditions like:
- Clostridium difficile infections
- Crohn’s disease
- metabolic disorders which result in weight gain and obesity
- type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- colon and rectal cancer
- cardiovascular disease and death
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Ways To Heal Gut Flora After Antibiotics
While we want to always encourage a preventative approach when it comes to health and wellness, sometimes things catch us by surprise, and we come down with something much more insistent than the occasional virus or flu. And although its been well established that over-dependence on antibiotics can weaken gut health, sometimes you just cant avoid it. For those times you have to take antibiotics, we want you to know there are ways of working through it with the best body support possible.As antibiotics kill infection-causing microorganisms in the body, they also take a wide indiscriminate swipe at the beneficial bacterial in your microbiome. Depending on the course of the prescription, it can actually devastate the biome and drive you away from optimal gut health. In fact, studies indicate up to a 10-fold reduction in good bugs immediately after treatment!Thats why were offering a series of 1-2 punches to really jumpstart your recovery. And theres no need to wait till the course is done, there are many benefits to supporting your body from day one. So, if you can: start including these tips into your recovery plans right away, and continue them even after the treatment has finished to ensure the best possible healing.