Why Do Antibiotics Cause Diarrhea
Antibiotics are a class of medications used to treat bacterial infections, such as strep throat and urinary tract infections. They work by killing off the bacteria that is causing the illness. While antibiotics help you recover from illnesses, they can also come with some side effects. Not all bacteria in your body are harmful. In addition to killing off harmful bacteria, many types of antibiotics also kill beneficial bacteria. This disrupts your bodys microbiome, which is a collection of microorganisms in your gut that play many important roles including promoting proper digestion. The imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your gut changes the way your intestines process food and fluids and can speed up how quickly nutrients pass through. For some people, diarrhea may occur as a result. Diarrhea is estimated to occur in about 5-30% of patients taking antibiotics. It often involves having loose, watery stools three or more times per day, but the frequency may vary. Other symptoms may include abdominal cramps, loss of bowel function, and an urgency to use the restroom. These symptoms may occur early on during antibiotic treatment, or up to a couple of months after completion of the medication. Some groups may be more likely to experience diarrhea from antibiotics including:
- People who are over 65
- Those who have a weakened immune system
- Patients who are severely ill in an intensive care unit at a hospital
- Patients undergoing a prolonged hospital stay
The Lack Of Consistency In The Findings On Probiotics Comes In Part Because They Are Being Treated Like Conventional Drugs
This opens the door to developing personalised probiotic treatments based on someones genetic profile. Such a system is realistic and could be developed relatively soon, says Elinav, but at this stage it remains a proof of concept. To become a reality, it will need more research on probiotic tailoring and testing more bacterial strains in larger groups of people.
This kind of personalisation may release the full potential of probiotic treatments for gut health. At the moment, the lack of consistency in the findings on probiotics comes in part because they are being treated like conventional drugs. When you take a paracetamol tablet, you can be more or less sure that the active component will do its job and work on receptors in your brain, dulling your sensation of pain. This is because most peoples pain receptors are similar enough to react in the same way to the drug.
But the microbiome is not just a receptor it is closer to an ecosystem, and sometimes likened to a rainforest in its complexity.
As a result, finding and tailoring a probiotic treatment that will work on something as intricate and individual as your own internal ecosystem is no easy task. And with that in mind, its not so surprising that a dried-out pack of bacteria from a supermarket shelf may well not do the trick.
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How To Take Biomemd
As a dietary supplement, take one capsule, once a day, with a food containing fiber and a full glass of water, or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner.
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Strengths And Limitations Of This Study
An updated literature search encapsulating 4 years of new data since a comparable meta-analysis was last published by Cochrane in 2017.
We calculated and reported the number needed to be treated with probiotics to protect one person from antibiotic-associated diarrhoea , so that our data can be easily interpreted by patients and clinicians.
This meta-analysis looked only at incidence of AAD, but clinical applicability may have been improved by collecting data on duration and severity of AAD as well as length of stay in hospital and quality of life measures.
There was complexity in combining results due to substantial heterogeneity between study methodologies and outcome measures.
The Medical Bottom Line
Antibiotics are wonderful medicines. But this study of probiotics and many other studies show they also have a dark side. The best way to avoid antibiotic-associated diarrhea is to limit your use of antibiotics. For example, you likely dont need an antibiotic for an uncomplicated ear or sinus infection or bronchitis. Most often the culprits are viruses, which dont respond to antibiotics anyway.
The best way to keep your normal flora in balance is to only take antibiotics when necessary.
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Use Of Probiotics For Anxiety
Research has shown that there exists an important relationship between our gut and our brain aka the gut-brain axis. New and exciting research has begun to take a deep look at this relationship, with some studies showing that probiotics may play an important role in not only supporting a healthy gut but a healthy brain, as well. For example, a 2017 meta-analysis looking at the efficacy of probiotics on anxiety found that probiotics significantly decreased anxiety compared to controls. More specifically, a 2011 study included in the analysis found that L. helveticus and B. longum taken in combination displayed anxiety reducing activity in rats and beneficial psychological effects in healthy human volunteers. However, the meta-analysis concluded that more studies are needed to assess the specific probiotic strains, doses, and treatment periods most beneficial for anxiety. Therefore, the analysis did not recommend specific bacterial strains.
That being said, another meta-analysis published one year later, in 2018, found that the evidence of probiotics in treating anxiety is insufficient. This analysis showed no significant difference between probiotics and the placebo in alleviating anxiety symptoms. The paper concluded that more reliable evidence from clinical trials is needed before a case can be made for promoting the use of probiotics for anxiety treatment.
Example:Probiotics SticksCFU/Dose: 3B/stick, Dose/day: 1 stick approved by Health Canada
Can Probiotics Cause Diarrhea Possible Side Effects
Every body is different. So even though all signs point to probiotics benefits in normalizing bowel function, there are some people who might experience diarrhea because of them. Most dont experience a worsening of their diarrhea, however.
When first starting a probiotic, the gut flora rebalances and purges the undesirable organisms in a common process called die off. This can temporarily exacerbate GI symptoms including diarrhea before beginning to improve them.
If your digestive symptoms persist after more than a few days, check with a healthcare provider who has experience recommending probioticsAdjusting your dose, product, or routine could help reduce gastrointestinal distress.
As a reminder, if youre very ill or want to give a probiotic to a sick child, always check with a doctor first.
Recommended Reading: How To Build Good Gut Bacteria After Antibiotics
What Is The Rationale Behind Taking Probiotics With Antibiotics
Taking an antibiotic for an infection can kill beneficial bacteria that live in your gut.
Probiotics may be taken orally to restore any imbalance in the normal intestinal or urogenital flora. This is the rationale behind taking probiotics with antibiotics. Severe antibiotic-induced diarrhea can also lead to an infection with Clostridium difficile, also known as C. difficile, a bacteria which can cause dangerous inflammation in your colon .
Experts have hypothesized that If you suffer from stomach cramping, gas or diarrhea when you take antibiotics, adding a probiotic may help to lessen, or even prevent, these symptoms. The addition of a probiotic will also reintroduce helpful bacteria into your digestive tract that have been killed or had their numbers reduced by the antibiotic.
Kefir And Too Much Probiotics Diarrhea Effects
Kefir, is one type of probiotic that contains bacteria/yeast mixture that are coupled with casein and complex sugars. White or yellow particles which are referred to as grains contain the complex aforementioned and the ones strained in a batch of milk to form thick, viscous milk kefir.
Kefir is not an exception as a typical probiotic. The above factors may still lead to cases of diarrhea. Especially if taken too much, intake by babies and the elderly and other immune compromised individuals. There also seems to exist an aspect of the yeast coming in to outbalance the bacteria. Well, this helps potentiate the effects of the probiotic against pathogenic bacteria but your biggest worry should be competition for nutrients with the beneficial bacteria in the kefir. If the yeast outcompetes the bacteria, fungal effects on the gut may lead to diarrhea. Until the good bacteria get a strong hold on the yeast environment caused by the bad bacteria, you may experience a bout with diarrhea.
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Potential Benefits Of Probiotics
Arjun Avila, a product development consultant specialized in vitamins and probiotic supplements, says probiotics are essentially very tiny living microorganisms and there are thousands of probiotic strains that offer different health benefits.
Probiotic strains are diverse, Avila says. If you think of dog breeds, it can range from chihuahua to pit bulls, and probiotic strains are very much like that as well.
Researchers are still studying these various probiotic strains to understand exactly how they work. But some studies have shown that probiotics may help improve heart health and support digestive systems, especially when the levels of healthy gut bacteria are off balance.
Probiotics are able to help you balance your gut so that you dont have as many unwanted side effects from the use of antibiotics, Avila says.
Probiotics can be found in yogurt, as well as a wide range of fermented foods like kimchi, miso, kombucha, and kefir. Its generally best to obtain probiotics from food sources since they also offer other nutrients. But probiotic supplements are convenient and easy to travel with, Merenstein adds, and they can last longer than many probiotic foods that need to be refrigerated.
Merenstein also stresses the importance of taking the probiotics as early as possible, before any antibiotic symptoms emerge. In the study, participants started the probiotics regimen the same day they started taking the antibiotics.
Our Final Thoughts On Probiotics For Dogs With Diarrhea
Canine diarrhea, although widespread, is relatively easy to prevent. This is because most diarrhea cases stem from dietary indiscretions and sudden food changes.
In other words, preventable scenarios that can be addressed with proper nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices, and a high-quality probiotic supplement.
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How To Get Started With Probiotics
Think you want to give probiotics a shot? Here are Dr. Crescis take-aways to help you navigate them:
Probiotics are generally recognized as safe, but theyre typically not recommended if you have a compromised immune system. Ask your physician if probiotics are right for you.
It may take some trial and error to find the probiotic that works for you. If you notice no benefits from one product after a few weeks, try a different one with a different strain of bacteria.
Probiotics may cause bloating and gas, as well as changes in your stool patterns all indications that the product is working, Dr. Cresci says.
Prebiotic foods help your good bacteria flourish. Include beans, asparagus, onions, green bananas and other fermentable fiber sources in your diet.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Mens Health Advisor.
Do Probiotics Disturb Antibiotic Functioning
There is no suggestion in current research that probiotics interfere with the action of antibiotics in any way. In fact, doctors and GPs are often now recommending probiotic supplements and probiotic foods, such as yoghurts or kefir, to be taken alongside a course of antibiotics.
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Probiotics May Relieve Diarrhea
Probiotics are friendly bacteria or yeast that help your digestive system function properly. A growing body of research shows that probiotics may help protect against antibiotic-associated diarrhea. In particular, some people have found that the probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in certain brands of yogurt, helps reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea in adults. Probiotics are also found in miso and other fermented foods.
Probiotics occur naturally in some foods, are added to others, or can be taken as concentrated supplements. There are hundreds of probiotics, Parkman says. Each one is a little different. You may need to experiment to determine which one, if any, works for you.
Probiotics supplements are sold in drugstores, groceries, and health food stores in liquid, powder, and capsule forms. They are sometimes kept in a refrigerated section because they need to be protected from heat. You should talk to your doctor before taking probiotics, to make sure theyre safe to use with your other treatment plans.
Using Probiotics For Your Dogs Diarrhea Treatment
Probiotics are a great addition to any diarrhea management plan they are natural, safe, and efficient. And more importantly, they can be used in conjunction with other anti-diarrhea approaches and medications.
Bland Diet for Dog Diarrhea. A good place to start with your dogs diarrhea is a bland diet. The bland diet consists of plain boiled chicken meat and white rice. Instead of chicken, you can use lean hamburger or turkey meat. A dog with diarrhea should be offered frequent but small-sized bland diet portions.
Canned Pumpkin for Dog Diarrhea. Canned pumpkin does wonders when it comes to loose stool management in dogs. Just add between ½ and four tablespoons of canned pumpkin into your dogs food. Also, make sure you use plain canned pumpkin versions .
Pepto Bismol for Dog Diarrhea. Pepto Bismol is an OTC human-grade stomach soother. In vet medicine, it is used off-label and considered a first-aid for managing loose stools and diarrhea. Available in two forms , Pepto Bismol is a fast-acting med and can yield improvement in as little as 24 hours.
Vets Preferred Advanced Anti-Diarrhea for Dogs. The fast acting absorbent action helps alleviate the irritation, discomfort, and cramping associated with dog diarrhea within 2-3 days and doesnt require a prescription.
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Available Probiotic Products In The Netherlands
A complete list of probiotic products available in The Netherlands was obtained in December 2016 by screening online websites of pharmacies, vitamin stores, health stores, and shops selling probiotics online. The Dutch association Natuur- en Gezondheidsproducten Nederland evaluated and completed our list. We also included dairy products routinely sold in food stores.
Who Is This For
Colon Support Probiotic may be ideal for those looking for extra colon support. Lifestyle challenges such as diet, normal aging and overuse of medications, stress and the environment may all contribute to a digestive imbalance of beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacteria. This concentration of the beneficial bifidobacteria may offer the support you need to help with occasional gas and bloating as well as supporting the good bacteria needed in the gut. This is a great probiotic capsule for anyone looking for extra colon support while maintaining normal flora in the body.
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Do Prebiotics Help Return The Gut Microbiome To Normal
Prebiotics are foods for probiotics and include fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, cereals.
Mixing prebiotics with probiotics, such as yogurt with fruit and cereal or sauerkraut with a vegetable stir fry could be helpful for your gut, although there is no scientific evidence to support this.
Good prebiotic foods include vegetables such as artichokes, asparagus, garlic, onions, and any green vegetable fruits such as bananas, berries, and tomatoes herbs such as chicory or garlic grains like barley, oat, and wheat and other fibers such as inulin that may be available on its own or added to foods such as granola bars, cereal, and yogurt.
Best Probiotics To Take With Antibiotics
There are many probiotic supplements on the market, so how do you know which one to choose?
Well, the right probiotic to choose depends on what youd like it to do. Probiotic effects are strain-specific, meaning that different strains have different effects on the body. If you want to reduce anxiety you could take a strain called Bifidobacterium longum R0175, while this strain may not be as effective if you wanted to prevent c.diff infection.
So as you can see, its important to choose the right probiotic strain for the job!
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Antibiotics And Gut Health
There is no doubt that antibiotics have an essential role to play in modern medicine in preventing and curing bacterial infections. Thanks to antibiotics, bacterial infections are no longer the most common cause of death in the modern world1. However, in recent times it has become increasingly recognised that antibiotics negatively affect our gut microbiome2.
The gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem of trillions of microbes that live together in harmony in our gastrointestinal tract. These microbes have far reaching effects on human health, enhancing digestion, immunity, skin health and energy3,4,5. A balance is required between beneficial microbes and more harmful microbes that naturally colonise the gut. This balance can be disturbed by various lifestyle factors including low-fibre diet, travel and infection, among others.
So, what happens to our gut microbiome when we take an antibiotic? Unfortunately, taking antibiotics can be detrimental to our gut health. Whilst effective in killing bad bacteria antibiotics are essentially non-selective and can also deplete the beneficial bacteria residing in the gut. This is thought to contribute to the development of diarrhoea, constipation and/or vaginal thrush when taking an antibiotic. In certain cases, this disruption to our gut microbiome can result in an overgrowth of unwanted, pathogenic bacteria such as Clostridium difficile.
People taking antibiotics may experience6: