So it is Winter, everybody is stuck inside together and the germs are getting spread like confetti at a wedding. Off we shuffle off to the doctor and far too often we are getting prescribed antibiotics.
Do we need them?
Well in many cases they are going to do what they are intended and kill off the bacteria that are causing the sickness, but on the flip side there are many times that our infection is viral and antibiotics are going to do nothing to help us get better. Unfortunately antibiotics are pretty non discriminant about which bacteria they take out so we end up losing mostly good ones while hoping they also take out the bad ones that are making us unwell.
The only way that we, or the doctor for that matter, can definitely know if we are fighting a virus or bacteria is do do lab tests. These typically take a few days to provide results which means we are left fighting our sickness until it comes back, which isn't terrible as our immune system has evolved to do just that. Unfortunately you will find that a lot of doctors are much more comfortable prescribing antibiotics “just in case” rather than getting tests done to confirm it is a bacterial infection. It is obviously completely up to you if push for tests prior to taking them.
What to do if we have to take them.
If you have had to take a course then it is well worth thinking about what it has/is doing to your gut and what you can do to help. As mentioned, antibiotics will wipe out all the bacteria in their way, good or bad. This can leave you with an imbalance in your gut and can lead to yeast overgrowths among other issues. Having a potent multi strain probiotic both during and after a course is going to be highly beneficial in keeping the balance in check. It is also highly beneficial to be increasing your intake of prebiotics to make sure the good bacteria are well fed. Drinking Gutsy Probiotic Drinks is great at keeping up the levels of good bacteria on an ongoing basis as well as introducing supportive prebiotics. Enjoying these regularly before, during and after a course of antibiotics will also be beneficial.
Having multiple courses of antibiotics may also have a greater impact on your gut and result in leaky gut or intestinal permeability. This means that toxic waste, undigested food and bacteria can leak through the intestinal wall rather than just the nutrients that are meant to. This is something you definitely want to fix as overtime it will have a huge toxifying affect on your body and put undue stress on your liver. One of the best things for fixing this is bone broth which contains collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline. You can just drink it in warm water or even better add it to yummy homemade soup, full of lots of vegetables to boost that immune system of yours.
So if the doctor says it is an absolute must for you to be taking antibiotics then please consider the impact it is having on your delicate gut lining and try and implement some of the ideas above to try and reduce the damage.
Beat them to the punch.
As we have all experienced it is quote often that we get sick when we are already run down. Not getting enough sleep, eating poorly and not getting enough exercise typically leads to us getting “run down” which probably means your immune system is compromised. Since the majority of our immune is driven from our gut then keeping your gut healthy, will also help you fight the infection before it takes hold. So Live Life Gutsy and beat the little nasties to the punch this winter by considering what you are putting in your body!