Given An Antibiotic? Protect Your Gut First
Soon the weather temperatures will drop and the sounds of the common cold and the blow of the nose will fill every home and work space near you.
Most of the time, the common cold can be kicked to the curb using a few, sound and true methods. However, when you are up against something forceful (think: pneumonia, strep throat, etc.), your physician may prescribe the dreaded antibiotics. It seems to be the common treatment go-to for every stubborn bacterial infection.
For so long, antibiotics have been held in high regard for its ability to ward off infections that could have been deadly if left untreated. But, it does so at a cost because it kills both the good and bad bacteria.
Have you been prescribed an antibiotic recently? If so, consider the following preventative measures to safeguard your microbiome:
Take your prescription as ordered
If you have been examined and your doctor feels that an antibiotic is needed because the infection does not clear on its own, take the course of prescription in its entirety. Even if you may want to stop taking the antibiotic, halting your course of treatment can be dangerous. You can risk an infection returning or it can transform into something that resists antibiotics.
Support your digestive system with probiotics
Maintaining a highly functional digestive microbiome is important so a high-dose probiotic is key. Most options are available in powder or capsules that contain up to 900 billion colony form units of bacteria strains. Taking these probiotics helps to prevent candida overgrowth. These yeast infections can pop up while you are on the antibiotic so be sure to support your gut.
Protect your cellular health
Research has uncovered that long-term use of antibiotics can weaken the cell’s unit of the mitochondria. This cell organ is responsible for transforming food into energy. To protect these highly specialized geniuses requires B vitamins and minerals like zinc, sulfur and magnesium. Mitochondria also require many antioxidants to protect them from free radicals that form during its ATP production. A functional medicine physician recommends that patients take the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) as it has been proven to cancel out the cell damage from antibiotics.
Get replenished and nourish well
Drinking up restorative fluids will help your body as it recovers. This can be applied to what you eat as well. This includes low-sodium vegetable soups and/or broths. Focus on a diet enriched with fermented foods too like kimchi, sauerkraut and coconut kefir. These foods can help to restore and reculture your digestive microbiome.
Also considering add more healing foods to fight infection like oregano and garlic to blast out the bugs hurting your gut. In addition to adding fermented and healing herbs, do consider eliminating both processed and natural sugar or at best, keep the intake under control. Yeast infections feed off of sugar so kick the habit of consuming it.
Keep the peace
It should be common knowledge by now that stress is the major offender towards healing. So get plenty of rest and withdraw from situations that can contribute stress. Do a bit of self-care by sleeping restfully with a dream pillow laced with a lavender scent. Alternatively, you can meditate in a quiet room as an nag champa incense slowly burns in the background. These types of activities can significantly lower the cortisol levels so it gives your body the vibe it needs to repair.