Recovering from Post-Antibiotic Digestive Issues Using Probiotics

Currently taking antibiotics? Here’s why you should take probiotics during your antibiotics.

It’s well-known that antibiotics have a great ability to cure infections and kill bad bacteria in your system. Unfortunately, during the process the natural balance of your system can be disrupted, and good bacteria is often killed during antibiotic treatments as well. This can leave your system operating at less than peak efficiency.

How Probiotics Help

If you’re experiencing digestive issues after completing a course of antibiotics, probiotics can help you improve your digestive system by working to restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut.

Scientists know that probiotics are essential to maintaining a healthy digestive system, but it’s also important to note that not all probiotics are created equal. When taking probiotics to recover from an antibiotic, it’s helpful to know what strain of probiotics will help restore the systems natural balance. What might work for one antibiotic might not work for another.

Determining the Right Probiotic

While antibiotics effectively do their job at eliminating nasty microbes that cause disease, they also open up the door for other pathogens to enter your system. You can make a good guess at the right type of probiotic to take based on your symptoms. For a more accurate diagnosis, your doctor can help you identify what is ailing you.

Probiotics for Antibiotic Treatment

In general, most antibiotic side effects can be treated with products that have three strains of probiotics. Take a probiotic with at least one of the following strains in it to help reduce the risk of infections:

  • S. cerevisiae boulardii
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
  • Bacillus coagulans GBI-30

These strains can help prevent stomach upset and avoid painful stomach upset.

Probiotics for Urinary Tract Issues

Some people experience urinary tract issues after a course of antibiotics. This is especially true for women, as a healthy bacteria population is important for proper functioning. The probiotics L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14 are able to reach the vagina through the intestinal tract. This can help relieve symptoms of urinary incontinence.

Immunity Issues and Colds

If you notice your immune system feels compromised after a dose of antibiotics, you may be right. Cold and fever-like symptoms can often be helped by restoring healthy levels of the following strains:

  • L. casei
  • L. rhamnosus
  • L. acidophilus

Finding a probiotic with these common strains can help you recover or prevent additional illness.

Identifying Other Issues

When dealing with the aftermath of antibiotics, there are generally two types of infections that you want to avoid:

  • Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea (AAD)
  • Clostridium Difficile Colitis (C. difficile)

AAD is pretty easy to identify as you’ll likely be experiencing bouts of diarrhea. C. difficile also may result in diarrhea, but it’s usually accompanied by a fever, and abdominal pain as well. If you use the wrong probiotic, you won’t be treating the infection correctly and you’re symptoms are likely to continue until the infection has run its course.

Eating Yogurt

While it’s true that yogurt has several probiotics that can help your digestive system, it’s not the cure-all for more serious illnesses. There have been studies on the efficacy of yogurt for the treatment of AAD. The results have been underwhelming.

General Use Probiotics

If you’re having trouble identifying the bacteria or pathogen that is causing your infection, there are a few probiotics that seem to work well in a variety of situations:

  • Saccharomyces boulardii lyo
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG

Both of these probiotics have been shown to perform well against pathogens that cause AAD. Saccharomyces boulardii lyo stands up well to antibiotics, and it can be taken during a course of antibiotics to maintain optimal health and prevent an infection in the first place. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is also a good probiotic to help protect your system.

Important Things to Know

  • Probiotics only work if they are still alive. They must be freeze-dried or refrigerated for optimal effectiveness.
  • Avoid mixing probiotics in boiling water as it will kill them.
  • Probiotics should be taken for several weeks after a course of antibiotics. Your intestinal flora is going to undergo changes for weeks or months.
  • Select a supplement with the right probiotics to solve your problem, but it’s also good to include other strains as well.

Keeping a Healthy System

Antibiotics are an important tool for doctors. They can help prevent the really bad bacteria from taking over your body and they have saved countless lives. In the process, your digestive system will get hammered. A diverse and well-formulated probiotic with the right strains can go a long way to helping you recover.


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