They are NOT effective against viruses. This is where the bad comes in. Antibiotics can sometimes be mis-prescribed for a viral infection, in which case it is ineffective and can also lead to something called antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance means that when your body actually needs the antibiotic it will no longer be effective because your body and the bacteria have become resistant to it.
Next comes the ugly. The ugly is that antibiotics along with all the good they can do have the ability to wreck havoc on our systems. They can kill off not only bad bacteria but also good bacteria that is supposed to be part of our gut in order to help us digest food, boost our immune system and even make certain important vitamins such as B vitamins and vitamin K. Antibiotics can change our whole microbiome which puts us at risk for other bacterial, viral, fungal infections, overgrowth of certain normal gut bacteria and fungi such as yeast and can also lead to a condition called Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO occurs when bacteria that is a normal part of our colon accidentally gets into our small intestine and causes all kinds of digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, stomach pains, constipation or diarrhea, food sensitivities and even psychological symptoms such as depression or anxiety, mental fog and fatigue. Many patients also report yeast infections following antibiotic use for this exact reason. The yeast, which is a normal part of the vaginal flora has now been able to over grow and the over growth is detrimental and can cause unpleasant symptoms.
So what is the solution if you really do need to take an antibiotic? The answer is probiotics! Taking something called probiotics while taking an antibiotic and even some time after can help alleviate some of this damage. Probiotics are good bacteria that I mentioned before that help with digestion, support the immune system and make some very important vitamins. They can help decrease symptoms of bloating and gas and help with regular bowel movements. Many patients believe that eating yogurt advertised to have probiotics is sufficient in repopulating the gut. But yogurt often does not contain the proper bacteria or the proper amount of bacteria that is needed in order to be effective. A probiotic supplement is the most effective way to make sure the good bacteria is put back into the system and can do its job to protect us from further infection and gastrointestinal symptoms. There are lots of different probiotic supplements out there and they contain different strains of bacteria and are from different sources. I help patients find out which probiotic would be most effective for their needs and their body. Once taking the proper form and dose of probiotics I often see a dramatic decrease in patient's symptoms and improvement in their immune response. To book your appointment today you can call (905)906-9097 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and start on your journey to optimum health!
Dr. Claudia Truglia BSc. ND
Stoney Creek Natural Wellness Center
50 King St. W
Stoney Creek, ON