While we want to always encourage a preventative approach when it comes to health and wellness, sometimes things catch us by surprise, and we come down with something much more insistent than the occasional virus or flu. And although it’s been well established that over-dependence on antibiotics can weaken gut health, sometimes you just can’t avoid it. For those times you have to take antibiotics, we want you to know there are ways of working through it with the best body support possible.
As antibiotics kill infection-causing microorganisms in the body, they also take a wide indiscriminate swipe at the beneficial bacterial in your microbiome. Therefore, overuse of antibiotics (and for an already taxed digestive system, even a single round) has been seen to cause leaky-gut to manifest. Depending on the course of the prescription, it can actually devastate the biome and drive you away from optimal gut health. In fact, studies indicate up to a 10-fold reduction in “good bugs” immediately after treatment!
That’s why we’re offering a series of 1-2 punches to really jumpstart your recovery. And there’s no need to wait till the course is done, there are many benefits to supporting your body from day one. So, if you can: start including these tips into your recovery plans right away, and continue them even after the treatment has finished to ensure the best possible healing.
5 Ways to Heal Your Gut Flora and Restore Gut Health After Antibiotics:
1. Clean Up Your Diet
One of the quickest paths to digestive wellness is to simply watch what you eat. We’ve heard it all of our lives and as it turns out, there’s scientific proof to back it up!
When you cut back on sugar and processed carbohydrates, a number of good things happen. There is a particularly problematic strain of bacteria called candida albicans. This Bacteria thrives on sugars and simple carbohydrates, like bread and pasta. Candida will flourish and diminish gut health if you don’t build the right digestive environment Cutting back on sugars and processed carbohydrates will give your gut a fighting chance against Candida and others like it. Watching your intake of sugars and processed carbohydrates is always a good idea, but it’s especially true when you’re taking antibiotics!
Go easy on your gut. Certain foods are harder on your digestive system than others – especially when you’re taking antibiotics. Try to steer clear of more “taxing” foods, such as wheat, dairy, unhealthy fats, and fried items.
Watch what you eat; when you take care of your gut, it will return the favor.
2. Strengthen the Intestinal Barrier with Collagen
If you’ve been seeing the rise in discussion of bone broths and their benefits, it’s because they are very particularly rich sources of collagen, amino acids, and gelatin, which have been proven to heal and soothe the gut lining. Including Gut Garden's Collagen Peptides in your diet can work to heal leaky gut by sealing the lining, and stopping food particles from leaching through the gut wall’s small junction openings, thereby lessening inflammation and allergic responses to foods.
3. Resistant Starch
Now you’re ready to begin – and we recommend doing so slowly – adding resistant starch in to help the proliferation of probiotics to provide the most efficient and gentle re-colonization of good bacteria.
When bacteria is wiped out (by antibiotics, for example), they make their comeback slowly and steadily. They begin to compete with other bacteria and organisms in your gut. By feeding the good guys and starving the bad guys, you will get your gut on the road to wellness faster and easier. Resistant starch to the rescue! The main reason why resistant starch is so beneficial to gut health is that it feeds the friendly bacteria in our colons. The Good Bacteria populate the gut lining and prevent infiltration from unfriendly bacteria strains. When that happens, you restore and maintain the integrity of your gut lining.
Learn more about adding resistant starch to help with gut health: Gut Garden’s Resistant Starch Prebiotic Fiber Blend or our 5-step GoodGut Program
To keep the bad gut flora from winning, take probiotics while you’re taking antibiotics. Given the microbial diversity of a healthy gut, it’s important to take a probiotic that contains many different species of beneficial microbes. Look for products that contain Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, which has been shown to reduce the risk of antibiotic associated diarrhea. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26365389, and saccharomyces boulardii, an antibiotic resistant probiotic yeast that is able to work against highly pathogenic bacteria like clostridum difficile. https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/60/suppl_2/S148/379746
5. Take it Easy
Finally, in order to heal your gut, make sure to create opportunities for the “more-than-food methods” of nourishing the gut by incorporating anti-stress moments throughout your day and week. Take a bath, go for hike, enjoy a favorite movie with friends, or try a restorative yoga class. In other words, be gentle with yourself, and make time to de-stress and relax.
Thankfully, our guts respond quickly to our meal choices, so please know you can effect positive change in just 3 days.
Learn more about our 5-step GoodGut Program