Thursday, May 23, 2024

How To Heal Your Gut After Antibiotics

So What Are Prebiotics

How to Heal Your Gut After Antibiotics

Prebiotics are compounds that help beneficial gut microorganisms grow and survive.

Prebiotic foods contain complex carbohydrates that cant be digested and dietary fibres that resist digestive processes in the stomach and small intestine.

They pass undigested into the large bowel where they are fermented by the healthy good bacteria.

To be called a prebiotic, they need to undergo the processes above, and be shown in clinical trials to selectively improve the microorganism composition in the gut.

Not all dietary fibres are prebiotic. Common ones include complex carbohydrates called fructo-oligosaccharides, inulin and resistant starch.

You can find foods at the supermarket with added prebiotics, but non-digestible carbohydrates occur naturally in many everyday foods, including:

  • grains: barley, rye bread, rye crackers, pasta, gnocchi, couscous, wheat bran, wheat bread, oats

  • legumes: chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, soybeans

  • vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, chicory, fennel bulb, garlic, green peas, leek, onion, shallots, spring onion, snow peas, sweetcorn, savoy cabbage

  • fruit: nectarines, white peaches, persimmon, tamarillo, watermelon, rambutan, grapefruit, pomegranate, dates, figs

  • nuts: cashews, pistachios.

Additional sources of resistant starch include under-ripe bananas, cooked and cooled rice, cornflour, cooked and cooled potatoes.

For babies, breast milk is naturally rich in oligosaccharides.

How Else Can I Replenish My Gut Bacteria

What you eat has a big impact on your gut microbiota. But to give healthy gut bacteria their best chance, there are some other things you can do as well.

To restore gut flora after antibiotics, make efforts to keep mental stress under control. Research has shown that emotions like sadness and elation can trigger changes in the gut . Scientists call it the gut-brain axis, a connection that can potentially affect gut flora.

Last but not least, sleep quality has an impact on gut health. Poor sleep quality or sleep deprivation can negatively impact the gut microbiota. This effect is also believed to be mediated via the gut-brain axis. Lack of sleep can trigger sugar cravings, and sugar feeds bad bacteria in the gut.

The bottom line is that taking antibiotics is not entirely avoidable and the negative impact of antibiotics on the gut microbiota is well known. But by eating a healthy diet including whole foods, fruits and vegetables, and fermented foods taking probiotics and prebiotics keeping stress under control and getting enough good-quality sleep, you can restore a healthy gut flora after antibiotics, boost your immune system, and enhance your overall health.

References:

The Composition Of Gut Bacteria Almost Recovers After Antibiotics

Date:
University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Summary:
The use of antibiotics has long been linked to deprivation of gut bacteria. Now, a new study shows that the composition and function of gut bacteria can recover after antibiotic treatment in healthy people. But after six months, the gut still lack nine common beneficial bacterial species.

The trillions of bacteria in the human gut affect our health in multiple ways including effects on immune functions and metabolism. A rich and diverse gut microbiota is considered to promote health providing the human host with many competences to prevent chronic diseases. In contrast, poor diversity of the gut ecosystem is a characteristic feature of chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, asthma and gut inflammatory disorders.

Due the general bacterial-killing nature of antibiotics, it has been speculated that repetitive use of antibiotics deprives people of a rich gut bacterial environment and through this lead to adverse health effects.

Now, an international team of researchers led from the University of Copenhagen and Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen report when 3 antibiotics were given to young healthy men for 4 days it caused an almost complete eradication of gut bacteria, followed by a gradual recovery of most bacterial species over a period of six months.

Is the missing beneficial gut microbes in the Western world due to over usage of antibiotics?

Story Source:

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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.

Your Guts Thriving Ecosystem

How to Heal Your Gut After Antibiotics

Your gut microbiome is its own ecosystem, a biological community of interacting organisms that live in harmony with one another. I like to think of the gut microbiome as a rainforest with many different species living together. When one species gets out of balance in the rainforest, everything gets out of control. When the balance gets disrupted, the good or beneficial plants begin to die and the bad ones start to take over.

Your gut microbiome works the same way. Its home to 100 trillion microorganisms, including at least 400 different species of bacteria. These microbes in your gut play crucial roles in digestion, immunity, metabolism, and mood. Ideally, all these microbes live in a balanced state. However, when the balance is thrown off, and the bad bacteria begins to over take the good bacteria it can keep all of your systems from working optimally.

Too few or too many microorganisms can cause an array of issues in your gut such as leaky gut, SIBO, or Candida overgrowth, which are precursors to autoimmune disease among other troubling issues and uncomfortable symptoms. Ill talk more about these later.

Whats more, 60% to 80% of your immune system is located in your gut, along with 90% of the neurotransmitters that help regulate your mood. Even just one cycle of antibiotics can throw off the microbiome balance in your gut. Dont worry. The empowering part is that all of this is in YOUR control. Lets talk about how antibiotics can disrupt your guts ecosystem.

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The Surprising Finding Was That The Group Who Received The Probiotic Had The Poorest Response In Terms Of Their Microbiome

As expected, a lot of major changes occurred in the function of the microbes many of which died because of the antibiotics, says Elinav.

The volunteers were divided into three groups. The first was a wait-and-see group, with no intervention after the antibiotics. The second group was given a common probiotic for a month. The third was given perhaps the least savoury option: a faecal transplant. This group had a small sample of their own stool taken before the antibiotic treatment returned to their colon once the treatment was over.

The surprising finding was that the group who received the probiotic had the poorest response in terms of their microbiome. They were the slowest group to return to a healthy gut. Even at the end of the study after five months of monitoring this group had not yet reached their pre-antibiotic gut health.

Probiotics won’t work exactly the same for everyone because gut biomes are different

We have found a potentially alarming adverse effect of probiotics, says Elinav.

The good news, incidentally, is that the group who received a faecal transplant did very well indeed. Within days, this group completely reconstituted their original microbiome.

So many people are taking antibiotics all over the world, says Elinav. We can aim to better understand this potentially very important adverse effect that we didnt realise existed.

Consume More Fermented Foods In Your Diet To Enhance Postbiotics

Postbiotics are the metabolites, or the waste products, of microorganisms. Unlike human poo, they can help restore the healthy gut microbiome since they still produce biologic activity. They are potent enough to be potential complementary therapies for pre-term babies with a disease, according to a 2013 study.

To stimulate the production of postbiotics, you can consume fermented foods such as kimchi, kombucha tea, and sauerkraut. As the microorganisms further ferment these, they can create the metabolites. Many of these fermented foods are rich in lactobacilli. Lactobacilli is a type of bacteria the has benefits to your overall health. For instance, people who eat a lot of yogurt in their diet seem to have much more lactobacilli in their intestines. These people also tend to have less Enterobacteriaceae too. Enterobacteriaceae is a type of bacteria that is linked to some chronic diseases and inflammation. Taking probiotics supplements can help as well, especially if they contain multiple strains. Some of these can encourage bacteria to produce butyrate, which may be ideal for people with Crohns disease.

What is Crohn’s disease? It is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the digestive tract, particularly the small intestine.

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How Can I Help My Gut Bacteria To Recover After Antibiotics

Theres no definitive way to help your gut bacteria recover after antibiotics. The reality is that even though the science on the microbiome is advancing fast, theres still so much we dont know.

Theres something we know for sure: a healthy microbiome is all about diversity, and antibiotics definitely dont encourage that. You can take charge of your gut health and learn ways to improve the diversity of your microbiome on our Gut Health Program.

For now, lets take a look at what research can tell us about how to increase that diversity, whether thats after antibiotics or not.

How To Balance Your Gut Health After Taking Antibiotics

How to heal your Gut after Antibiotics

It may not be realistic to swear off all antibiotics because they can be necessary for certain circumstances. If your situation requires antibiotics in order for you to heal, then listen to your doctor, but know that there are ways to keep your gut healthy while doing so.

Adding these supplements and foods that promote healthy gut flora into your diet and daily routine can help to enhance your gut after taking antibiotics.

Also Check: Over The Counter Antibiotics For Piercing Infections

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.

What Is Gut Health

Everyones gut is home to approximately 100,000,000,000,000 microorganisms. Among other things, these microorganisms promote normal digestive function, and are responsible for approximately 80 percent of our bodys immune response, and helps to regulate our metabolism.

Recent research has shown that a healthy gut is crucial to overall health, and that an unhealthy gut can contribute to a wide range of medical conditions including diabetes, obesity, and arthritis.

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The Life Inside All Of Us

Microbes & me is a new collaborative series between BBC Future and BBC Good Food.

In the series, well be looking at recent research into the microbiome of bacteria that lives in all of us.

Well be exploring how it affects our health, what could be having detrimental effects on it, and recommending recipes that might help it thrive.

Probiotics have been touted as a treatment for a huge range of conditions, from obesity to mental health problems. One of their popular uses is to replenish the gut microbiome after a course of antibiotics. The logic is antibiotics wipe out your gut bacteria along with the harmful bacteria that might be causing your infection, so a probiotic can help to restore order to your intestines.

But while it might sound like sense, there is scant solid evidence suggesting probiotics actually work if taken this way. Researchers have found that taking probiotics after antibiotics in fact delays gut health recovery.

Part of the problem when trying to figure out whether or not probiotics work is because different people can mean a variety of things with the term probiotic. To a scientist, it might be seen as a living culture of microorganisms that typically live in the healthy human gut. But the powdery substance blister packs on supermarket shelves can bear little resemblance to that definition.

Even when researchers use viable, living bacterial strains in their research, the cocktail varies from one lab to another making it tricky to compare.

The Composition Of Gut Bacteria Almost Recovers After Antibiotics For Most People

How to Heal Your Gut After Antibiotics

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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Should You Supplement With Probiotics And Prebiotics Pre And Post Antibiotic Treatment

As a registered dietitian I recommend food first, but again, as you work on improving your diet for better digestive health, its worth considering a probiotic and prebiotic supplement. That way, you are getting the digestive and gut support you need while you work on improving your diet for a better gut.

Now, lets take a closer look at MRSA the reason behind diving into all of this talk on probiotics, prebiotics, and antibiotics.

What Probiotics For Antibiotic Side Effects

Typically, it will take the body time to balance the microbiome to healthy, diverse bacteria levels. In fact, research shows that it takes about 6 months to recover from the damage done by antibiotics. And even then, the body might not even be back to its pre-antibiotic state.

Saccharomyces boulardii, a probiotic yeast is particularly good at preventing and alleviating antibiotic-associated diarrhea and travellers diarrhea. Its also a friend to your gut bacteria that supports good bacteria and prevents inflammation.

Lactobacillus acidophilus, a probiotic bacterium best known for being in yoghurt is also great for your gut. Studies show that its good at treating and preventing infections, and reducing the digestive side effects of antibiotics.

Other bacteria that help recover from antibiotic use include:

  • L. casei

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How Long Does It Take For Gut Flora To Restore After Antibiotics

Antibiotics kill bacteria. Thats their job, after all. Its how theyve saved millions of lives over the last hundred years.

But killing the bad guys responsible for your infection means you also kill good flora crucial for your health. If youve recently taken a course of antibiotics, and youre wondering how long it will take to get your microbiome back to normalor even if its possible at allread on.

How Long Does It Take To Restore Gut Health

How to Recover Your Gut After a Course of Antibiotics

The length of time it might take to restore gut health post-antibiotic depends on how long a person has been taking the antibiotics. A high-quality probiotic supplement is your first line of defense, as probiotics are the very beneficial bacteria that antibiotics destroy.

A common recommendation is one round of probiotics for each week that you have taken antibiotics. One round of probiotics could last from one to two weeks. This is up for debate, but there is likely no harm in taking probiotics at the same time you are taking antibiotics, preferably with a two-hour window before or after you take your antibiotic.

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Can Some Peoples Gut Bacteria Recover From Antibiotics In Around Six Months

Some research released in 2018 found that it took around six months for our gut flora to get back to normal after antibiotics . The media picked up on it, and so a lot of people today think that you get your old gut back precisely six months after antibiotics. This study is just one of many though, all with different results.

If youre feeling overwhelmed by all this information, you can get some strategic help with our no obligation symptom checker.

Its possible that your gut bacteria might never return to normal. But that doesnt mean that you cant take steps to increase your diversity. Everyone can benefit from taking care of their gut, but if youve taken antibiotics recently theres an even bigger reason to do it.

What Its Really Like To Have C Diff + How Im Healing My Gut

After being diagnosed with C. diff., Andrea Duclos, the creator of popular lifestyle and wellness blog, OhDearDrea, started on a long journey to healing her gut. Here, she shares her story with mindbodygreen. To learn more, check out her guide to what to eatand what to avoidafter C. diff.

I went into this year, my 30th year, with the most hopeful, positive outlook possible. I spent over half a month in India. I was active, healthy, and happy.

But one round of antibiotics later, and my life would be changed forever.

Growing up, I truly abused antibiotics. As a kid, I took at least one round a year. And I spent most of college in the health center requesting monthly antibiotics for my recurring sinus infections. I never really knew the damage that was taking place each time I took them.

A few years ago, after a struggle with candida due to antibiotics, I became somewhat more knowledgeable and tried to avoid them as much as possible.

But this year, with a small infection on my finger after a cut, I thought “better safe than sorry,” and filled the doctors prescription for clindamycin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Two weeks later, I found myself more sorry than I could have imagined.

After two weeks of unwavering diarrhea , high fevers, massive body pains to the point where I could hardly stand, losing 10 pounds, and two visits to the ER, I was diagnosed with C. diff.

Where I Am Today

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