You get ill and are prescribed anti-biotics, these will make you feel better right? Not necessarily.
Antibiotics work by killing bacteria – but they don’t discriminate between the good and the bad. As antibiotics do their work, they eliminate beneficial bacteria along with the pathogenic (infectious) ones, which can leave you at risk.
There are trillions of bacteria in your gut. Beneficial bacteria help to fight off pathogenic bugs in the gut in a few ways. They produce short-chain fatty acids that lower the pH of the gut, making it less hospitable to bad bugs. Beneficial bacteria also produce natural antimicrobials like bacteriocins and hydrogen peroxide that help kill off any potentially harmful germs, making it difficult for them to multiply.
Your gut bacteria are also critical for maintaining a balanced immune response.
If their numbers are diminished, you could experience shifts in bacteria – known as dysbiosis – that leaves you susceptible to future infection, altered immunity, digestive concerns or even insulin resistance and weight gain.
When you take antibiotics to restore health, you’re only doing half the job. A single course of antibiotics can lower both the diversity and overall numbers of your community of beneficial bacteria, rendering them less effective at doing their job, and opening the door for opportunistic pathogens like E.coli and C.diff to begin an infectious path. This is why antibiotic users have a one in three chance of experiencing antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD)*, which can start as late as two months after you finish your prescription!
The best time to start taking a probiotic is the same day you start your prescription.
Why? Because the risks associated with antibiotic use are due to diminished numbers of beneficial bacteria – so prevention is the name of the game.
How does this approach work? If an antibiotic kills bacteria, it seems logical that it will kill the probiotic bacteria too. The trick is in the timing: when taking antibiotics, you should take 1-2 capsules of pro-bio 2 hours after any one of your daily antibiotic doses. This allows time for the antibiotic to move through the gut.
Take Pro-Bio every day that you take your antibiotic, plus five days after to help provide a buffer against future infection. Studies show taking Pro-biotics reduces the risk of antibiotic-associated and infectious diarrhea due to Clostridium difficile (CDAD) by 42%.
So how can such tiny critters accomplish such a huge task? By acting in three very specific ways:
• Acting as a barrier against pathogenic bacteria in the gut
• Preventing or improving symptoms such as gas and bloating caused by pathogenic bacteria
• Supporting the growth of your natural flora to help it rebound from antibiotic use.
Make no mistake: antibiotics save lives. But it’s up to us to use them responsibly. Only take antibiotics when your physician is certain that your illness is bacterial and use up the entire prescription, even if you feel better.
If you have additional questions on how antibiotics can impact your gut health please get in touch. To stock up on pro-bio find a it in our store here. Contact us or find us on Facebook or Instagram