What to Do After Taking Antibiotics

We get so many questions here about what to do after taking antibiotics that I thought I would dedicate an entire post to the subject. While this site is mostly about the fluoroquinolone class of drugs, all antibiotics have some of the same problems that need to be addressed after finishing a course. So while we’ll address some issues to antibiotics in general, we’ll also address some specifics about the fluoroquinolone class of drugs.

If you are not familiar with the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics, please read our page on the Introduction to Fluoroquinolones and check the List of Fluoroquinolones to see if the antibiotic you’ve been taking is one of these dangerous drugs.  

Yeast Infections

What all antibiotics have in common is damage to gut flora. By gut flora, also called the microbiome, I mean the billions and even trillions of tiny microorganisms that live in your digestive tract. By definition and design, antibiotics kill bacteria, but they don’t discriminate between which bacteria that they kill. While they are often rather effective at killing the bacteria that make you sick, they also kill many of the bacteria in your digestive tract, and many of these bacteria are ‘good’ bacteria that keep the ‘bad’ organisms away.

When these good bacteria are killed, other organisms not so good can rush in to fill the places in the gut where those good bacteria were. This is especially true of yeast that are not killed by antibiotics, which is why women often get a vaginal yeast infection after taking antibiotics, usually in the form of a specific yeast called candida,  after taking antibiotics.

Yeast Grows Incredibly Fast Under the Right Conditions

What many don’t realize, however, is that these yeast that cause vaginal infections can do the same thing throughout the digestive tract, where the effects are more subtle and hard to recognize. But over time, if nothing is done to kill or overwhelm the yeast in the digestive tract, they can cause symptoms of chronic illness such as joint or muscle pain, fatigue, poor digestion and much more.

In order to mitigate these effects, one of the best things to do during AND after taking antibiotics is to take prebiotics and probiotics to replenish the damaged gut bacteria or to help prevent them from being damaged in the first place. Our favorite probiotic is Primal Defense Ultra with shelf stable organisms that don’t need to be refrigirated. 

You can also get lots of probiotics and prebiotics from fermented foods like Sauerkraut, Kefir milk, Kombucha Tea, as well as various foods that provide Resistant Starch

C Difficile Infection

While basically everyone knows about yeast infections after taking antibiotics, almost no one knows about another common, but even more serious, infection that can occur after taking antibiotics. This infection is a bacteria known as Clostridium Difficile, or just C-Diff, and usually begins with a case of Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea.

But how can you get a bacterial infection after taking antibiotics? Don’t antibiotics kill the bacteria? Antibiotics do kill bacteria, but some bacteria are more sensitive to specific types of antibiotics than others. C-difficile tends to be resistant to most of the common antibiotics and, just like yeast, will proliferate when it’s competitors in the digestive tract have been reduced or eliminated.

While c-difficile is not as well-known and doesn’t occur as often, the results can be devastating and, unfortunately, the early signs of infection are often such that no one suspects this damaging and highly contagious pathogen. And damaging it is. It causes chronic bowel inflammation that can lead to such extensive damage that the bowel needs to be surgically removed. Even worse, if standard treatment doesn’t work the first few times, it’s notoriously difficult to get rid of, but fecal transplants may be promising.

Avoiding getting c-difficile in the first place is the best course of action, and you can do that by limiting or avoiding antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. But if you can’t do that, then taking probiotics and prebiotics that include saccharomyces boulardii, an organism proven to help inhibit c-difficile, is your best bet. Again, Primal Defense Ultra is our favorite.

While basically everyone knows about yeast infections after taking antibiotics, almost no one knows about another common, but even more serious, infection that can occur after taking antibiotics. This infection is a bacteria known as Clostridium Difficile, or just C-Diff.

But how can you get a bacterial infection after taking antibiotics? Don’t antibiotics kill the bacteria? Antibiotics do kill bacteria, but some bacteria are more sensitive to specific types of antibiotics than others. C-difficile tends to be resistant to most of the common antibiotics and, just like yeast, will proliferate when it’s competitors in the digestive tract have been reduced or eliminated.

While c-difficile is not as well-known and doesn’t occur as often, the results can be devastating and, unfortunately, the early signs of infection are often such that no one suspects this damaging and highly contagious pathogen. If you ended up with a case of Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea, after taking antibiotics, that is a clue you might have an overgrowth of this damaging bacteria.

And damaging it is. C-difficile causes chronic bowel inflammation, sometime so extensive that the colon needs to be surgically removed. Even worse, if standard treatment doesn’t work the first few times, it’s notoriously difficult to get rid of, but fecal transplants may be promising.

Avoiding getting c-difficile in the first place is the best course of action, and you can do that by limiting or avoiding antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. If you can’t avoid taking antibiotics, the next best thing is to take probiotics and prebiotics that include saccharomyces boulardii, an organism proven to help inhibit c-difficile. Again, Primal Defense Ultra is our favorite.

Oxalate Toxicity

Oxalate toxicity is another problem that occurs after taking antibiotics that has had very little attention in the media, but that could be the cause of a lot of chronic illness. But what are oxalates? Oxalates are damaging crystalline substances present in many, if not most, plant foods and are designed to cause harm to animals eating the plants so those animals leave the plant alone in the future.

Oxalate Crystals on the Surface of a Kidney Stone

But animals have cleverly adapted by developing a symbiotic relationship with gut bacteria that are adept at breaking down these oxalate crystals so we experience minimal harm when we eat them.

Unfortunately, many antibiotics, including the Fluoroquinolone drugs, kill the good guy known as Oxalobacter Formigenes, potentially leaving the oxalate in the plants you are eating to settle into joints and tissues, causing widespread pain, or to collect in the kidneys where they lead to kidney stones.

These are just a few examples of problems that can occur after taking antibiotics. Preventing these problems with a good probiotic like Primal Defense Ultra and eating pre and probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kim che, kombucha, and resistant starch foods is extremely important to prevent and repair the damage that occurs after taking antibiotics.

Get Retested or Rechecked

Finally, after taking antibiotics, it’s important to get retested or rechecked. Antibiotics are not magical substances that always cure your infection, they are simply medications that kill or weaken the infection to the extent that your own immune system can take care of whatever is left.

In many cases the antibiotics prescribed were the wrong kind, or the antibiotics were not strong enough to completely eliminate the infection. In the case of the H pylori bacteria, for instance, the infection isn’t eradicated in up to 2/3 of cases and, even though people feel better after treatment, they still need to be rechecked in a few months to ensure the infection is completely gone.

outsmart the Fluoroquinolones with the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution

As we always recommend, please understand all of Drug Side Effects of any pharmaceutical drug you have to take. And if you do have to take antibiotics, be sure that you absolutely  need them, preferably by getting a test called a Culture and Sensitivity.

If you absolutely do need antibiotics, get an alternative to the fluoroquinolone drugs whenever possible. But if you must take a fluoroquinolone and you end up suffering from any of the symptoms of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, we highly recommend following the protocol in the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution book. With a money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by the information you’ll learn.

Research Used in This Article

 

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