Do you ever get a yeast infection or an upset stomach after taking a round of antibiotics? While antibiotics are great for treating bacterial infections, they can create secondary health issues like the ones I just mentioned. In this blog, I am going to explain why we get these negative effects and what precautions you can take to protect yourself when you have to take an antibiotic.

Let me first begin by talking about probiotics. Our intestinal lining is comprised of a multitude of good bacteria called probiotics. These probiotics protect us from infection and allow us to digest our food properly. Antibiotics don’t know the difference between the infection and probiotic bacteria. So as you are killing the bad bacterial infection in your body, you are also killing off those good bacteria that naturally live within you. This leaves our immune systems at risk for digestive problems and future infections.

1. Take a high dose probiotic when you have to take an antibiotic.

It is important that we replenish our good bacteria each time an antibiotic is taken.  This can help replenish your gut microbiome.  The best time to take it is 2-4 hours after you take an antibiotic dose so they don’t counteract each other.

For example, if you have to take an antibiotic in the morning and evening, then take a high dose probiotic (50-100 billion CFUs for adolescents and adults / 10-20 billion CFU for children) in the afternoon and again at bedtime. Some providers will tell you to eat yogurt daily to get natural probiotics.  I usually recommend taking a probiotic instead due to yogurt’s high sugar content and the fact that yogurt does not have enough strains to replenish the gut when on an antibiotic.  You can also eat natural probiotics during this time, such as fermented vegetables (kimchi and sauerkraut) and coconut kefir.

2. Keep sugar intake to less than 25 grams a daily.

This includes any type of sugar: fruits, honey, and processed sugars (e.g. corn sugar, dextrose, or high fructose glucose syrup).  When you don’t have enough probiotics to line your gut mucosa, this leaves you susceptible for the overgrowth of yeast from the sugars we eat. Yeast overgrowth can lead to a leaky gut, nausea, headaches, brain fog, fatigue, bloating, vaginal infections, worsening allergies, and skin issues. If you’re prone to getting yeast infections after taking an antibiotic, look for a probiotic with a specific strain called saccharomyces boulardii.  This particular strain specifically prevents yeast overgrowth in the body.

3. Drink 1 cup of bone broth or take 5 grams of L-glutamine daily.

Here, I discussed the importance of L-glutamine on keeping the intestinal lining strong. Healing with L-glutamine or bone broth ensures our gut will stay strong during this time.  Taking these simple steps can help prevent leaky gut, secondary infections, food sensitivities, diarrhea, constipation, autoimmune issues, and malabsorption issues.

Be PROactive while taking your ANTIbiotic!

Rosi PatelRosi Patel is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner who joined CentreSpring MD in early 2017 and is excited to be part of a group of like-minded professionals. Prior to joining the CentreSpring family, she spent 8 years as an emergency room nurse and other various acute and ambulatory settings.

Email appointments@centrespringmd.com to schedule a visit with Rosi Patel.

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Categories: Gut Health