How To: Keep Your Immune System Healthy While Taking Antibiotics
This day and age, it seems doctors prescribe antibiotics like candy. The truth is, with so many infections running rampant in the world today, antibiotics are often times our only defense again worse disease or sometimes death. But, what happens when you have been on regimen after regimen of these germ killing prescriptions?
Most of us have heard our health teacher in high school tell us about "good bacteria" vs. "bad bacteria". Well, here's your opportunity to take more notes on this topic. It's true! Surprisingly, Mrs. So-and-So did tell you something important! Your gastrointestinal tract is the home to more things than what we give credit. So how do we properly care for our intestines when we are faced with the daunting necessity of taking an oral or IV antibiotic?
As soon as you begin even one regimen of antibiotics, your immune system is immediately compromised. If you have been on dose after dose in a short period of time or once right after another, you are at greater risk for extensive damage and other infections such as Clostridium Difficile (AKA "C. Diff"). Especially dangerous to the elderly, please watch carefully for symptoms, such as diarrhea several times a day for several days in a row. This will continue to deplete your system of needed health agents. Proof has shown that prolonged antibiotic use is a huge risk factor for C. Diff and other complications that can quickly arise such as severe dehydration, kidney failure and possibly death.
When no other option for your infection is available, here is how to keep your intestines healthy during antibiotic treatment:
Firstly, during an antibiotic schedule you must avoid processed sugars, sugar cane and artificial sugars such as high fructose corn syrup. Also stay away from high fat foods. It is difficult for your system to digest these even when it isn't busy fighting off infection, so it is always best to steer clear of these things during treatment. It is best to stick with a bland diet so your body can focus on the problem at hand. Try bananas, white rice, oatmeal, and egg whites. These foods are just easier to digest. If you must add sugars, try natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
Next, make sure you follow a probiotic treatment throughout the course of the antibiotics, as well as after. I have heard the best reviews and results and have had the best myself success with the Align products. Align contains the patented Bifantis which is used to repair GI disruption. You want to select a probiotic with at least one billion live microorganisms per dose. Follow the bottle carefully and take note of your antibiotic prescription. They will both list instructions on how to take each product consecutively. Generally the rule of the thumb is to administer the probiotic two hours before or after the antibiotic. Whatever the routine, you must stick with it so you do not compromise the antibiotic’s power to fight off the diagnosed infection.
Lastly, as women, we ought to be daily eating yogurt with live and active cultures. If you are, that is excellent. If you are not, start today! When you begin this healthy habit to replenish your intestines natural organisms, you must be extra faithful when you are on your antibiotic course. Do not neglect this as it helps balance your body’s natural defense system. I recommend (and find most delicious) Greek yogurt. You will not only find more specific types and number of cultures in Greek yogurt but also it contains more protein and fiber than regular yogurt. My favorite brand is Fage, that you can find in most grocery stores. They make a very satisfying natural honey flavored. Whichever one you choose, keep up the good work here.
Eat Healthy for a Healthy Gut
Both men and women should eat a healthy diet everyday to ensure their digestive system remains healthy and the good bacteria can flourish.
The good bacteria in your digestive system requires good food in order to grow and multiply and outnumber the bad bacteria. These foods are known as prebiotics. You can buy prebiotic supplements, but it is far better and cheaper to get prebiotics by eating healthy foods. Prebiotic foods include vegetables, fruits, whole wheat products and legumes.
When you eat a diet that is heavy with animal foods, oil and grease, your good bacteria will struggle to be healthy.
If you feel your gut and digestive system still needs more to heal than just eating a healthy diet, you can take a probiotic supplement like Ultima Flora that you can get at most heath food stores and grocery stores. Ultima Flora has several types of probiotics, some are designed for both men and women and some are designed strictly for women.
More and more studies are finding that our gut health affects our entire body and is possibly the key to relieving or curing many diseases. Most of our immune system is actually in the gut, and to have a strong immune system, we must have a healthy gut full of the good bacteria.
When your intestines are healthy then you will notice clearer thinking, more focus, better memory and a more joyful attitude. Your stomach is the main hub of your entire body. Keeping it happy will keep you happy!