How To Deal With Probiotic Side Effects
Generally, your system needs to adjust in the initial days, because the symptoms should disappear within a few weeks . During this period, you can reduce your intake to half the recommended dose, then gradually increase as your body adapts. If symptoms persist, discontinue that particular brand.
In case you experience diarrhea as a side effect, make sure to rehydrate enough to prevent dehydration.
Additionally, since most probiotics can interact with certain foods to produce gas, its better to take them on an empty stomach 30 minutes before a meal.
Just remember to drink a glass of water first, as this will help dilute the gastric juices and promote probiotic survival.
Body-probiotic adjustments may last up to 2 weeks before the benefits can kick in, so practice patience.
What Does The Science Say About Probiotics
Probiotics are widely promoted as being good for your overall health. The science on that has been mixed, but it does suggest people who are likely to get diarrhoea after antibiotics may benefit from consuming them.
One review of the evidence found probiotics may be useful for those at high risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, such as the elderly and people in hospital.
The review found side effects were common when taking antibiotics and include taste disturbances, nausea, abdominal cramping, soft stools, fever and flatulence.
But people taking probiotics reported fewer side effects, suggesting they may be helpful in countering some of the side effects.
How And When To Take Probiotics For Maximum Benefits
So you’re taking a probiotic supplementcongratulations! By adding just one tiny pearl to your daily routine, you’re giving your gut microbiome a huge support system that can translate into benefits that literally run from head to toe. But have you given any thought to how and when you’re taking it?
Even veteran probiotic enthusiasts sometimes don’t consider the other factors that go into helping probiotics do their work. Timing, diet, and even what your probiotic formula is made of all play a role, and there’s a lot of conflicting information out there, leaving a lot of people unsure about the best time to take probiotics and just how to take a probiotic supplement for maximum benefits.
Right off the bat, you may be wondering, When should I take probiotics? Do you take them morning, noon, or night? Do you eat before or after? What about when you’re taking other medications? Does it even matter?
The short answer is that while the most important thing is to take probiotics, period, how you take them can go a long way in determining how effective they are.
How to Take Your Probiotics
Cover all your microbe-supporting bases by following these three tips:
1. Take your probiotics in the morning, before breakfast.
2. Drink lots of water.
3. Follow up with a healthy breakfast and prebiotics.
The Secret to Supercharging Your Probiotic Use
Taking Probiotics With Antibiotics
How To Replenish Good Bacteria After Antibiotics
Restoring gut flora after antibiotics is achievable if you eat the correct foods: plants. That’s because your gut microbes turn fibers and plant nutrients into important metabolites like short-chain fatty acids – acetate, butyrate, and propionate – which have important functions:
- fuelling the cells of your gut lining
- preventing damage to your cells
- anti-cancer properties
- nourishing other beneficial bacteria
- deterring opportunistic microbes
Foods To Eat While Taking Antibiotics
Antibiotics are a common way to fight infections, but many dont realize there are certain foods to eat while taking antibiotics.
Antibiotic therapy is the first line of treatment for the majority of bacterial infections. Unfortunately, these drugs arent without side effects.
Rarely, they can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms like
- Abdominal pain
Although these side effects are usually mild, transient, and harmless, they can become severe and signal the need for a change in medication.
Sometimes, patients find they can control these side effects, or even eliminate them completely, with just a few basic diet changes.
In other cases, its the food causing the problem and removing it from their diet is enough.
In this post, well tell you about six of the best foods to eat while taking antibiotics and the four you should always avoid, too.
Keep Your Gut Healthy
In the meantime, the best thing you can do to ensure long-term optimal health is focus on tending to your microbial garden by protecting and nourishing your good flora.
And, dont forget to look out for antibiotics in your food! Farmers often use antimicrobial medications to fatten up their livestock, so if you eat meat, fish, or dairy, make sure its antibiotic-free.
Its hard to fathom where wed be without the life-saving power of antibiotics.
But, as we move forward responsibly using antibiotics only when absolutely necessary and making sure to support our wondrous gut microbiome along the way we can do so with confidence that were giving our entire body the fortification it needs to live a healthy and vibrant life.
Take Probiotics To Reduce Antibiotic
Diarrhea is a common side effect of antibiotics. However, preliminary research suggests that taking probiotics may help prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea .
For example, one review of 17 studies found that taking a probiotic may reduce the risk of developing AAD by 51%.
Moreover, some antibiotics can leave you more vulnerable to certain infections, like Clostridium difficile . This is a bacterial infection that can cause diarrhea, an inflamed colon, and, in severe cases death.
However, preliminary research found that taking probiotics may help prevent diarrhea from C. diff infections, though the correlation was weak. For example, based on a review of 31 studies, researchers report that one case of diarrhea for every 42 C. diff-infected patients may be prevented from taking probiotics.
As for what type of probiotic to take, one option is a yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745, sold under the brand name Florastar. This probiotic supplement is used to help prevent and treat diarrhea.
Those who are immunocompromised may not benefit from probiotics and should discuss other options with a doctor.
When To Take Probiotics
Now that you have chosen a good probiotic brand, here comes the dilemma. You are not really sure if its best to take them in the morning or night, on an empty stomach or with food. If you are on antibiotics, you will also want to know if it is right to take them before, with or after taking your antibiotics. These are the myriads of questions that are posed in many online and other platforms.
Probioticsantibiotics: The Bottom Line
Antibiotics are important against bacterial infections, but they can cause side effects, including long-term negative changes in the composition of your gut microbiome because they do not distinguish between health-promoting microbes and the ones causing illness.
Taking a probiotic supplement or eating probiotic foods may help mitigate immediate side effects, like diarrhoea, and they can help to get your gut microbiome back on track afterwards too.
Incorporating foods that are rich in fibre, as well as fermented foods containing live bacterial cultures, can enrich your microbiome with health-promoting bacteria that help restore this ecosystem to its former glory.
Its also good to know which foods and beverages to avoid when taking a course of antibiotics. Stay away from alcohol, grapefruit, and calcium-fortified foods to avoid any unnecessary harm from this medication.
You can check in on your gut microbes three months after taking antibiotics with the Atlas Microbiome Test. You’ll also receive personalised food recommendations to restore microbiome balance with your diet.
How To Properly Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
Note: This is a guest post from Jamie Morea
Even the healthiest among us will likely have to take an antibiotic at some point in our lives whether its for strep throat, a tooth infection, or as a pre-surgery prophylactic.
The truth is that antibiotics are life-saving medicines, but they can do a number on our overall health.
From diarrhea and yeast infections to more serious inflammatory and immune conditions, antibiotics arent without their side effects.
The good news is that if you do need antibiotics for a bacterial infection, you can take steps to support your body during the process to minimize negative health consequences, including taking probiotics with antibiotics.
What Is The Best Prebiotic To Take With Antibiotics
Most probiotic strains are considered safe for most people, but if youre allergic, avoid strains with high histamine-producing tendencies, such as Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus Casei, and Lactobacillus Reuters.
Choose a probiotic that improves digestion and reduces histamine levels while preventing inflammation, such as Bifidobacterium Lactis, Bifidobacterium Longum, Lactobacillus Plantarum, and Bifidobacterium Infantis.
Another great alternative is to use a yeast strain probiotic such as S. Boulardii. Since its not a bacteria, antibiotics wont even come near.
Studies are now showing that S.boulardii can prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea if taken with antibiotics.
How To Use Adult Probiotic
Follow all directions on the product package. Refer to the label directions for your specific product to see if the dose should be swallowed whole, chewed, sprinkled onto food or mixed with liquid. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Some probiotic products may contain live bacteria . Antibiotics may prevent these products from working well. Take any product containing live bacteria at least 2 to 3 hours before or after taking antibiotics. Follow the directions for your specific product.
If you are taking this product for diarrhea due to antibiotics, do not use it if you have a high fever or for more than 2 days, unless directed by your doctor. You may have a serious problem that requires medical treatment.
If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
What Foods To Not Eat While Taking Antibiotics
There are some foods you should avoid while on antibiotics, either because they interfere with absorption or because the combination can make you feel sick.
In most cases, these foods simply interact poorly and make the antibiotics less effective.
Foods to avoid include:
- Grapefruit You should avoid both the fruit and the juice of this sour citrus product. It contains compounds that can keep the body from properly absorbing your antibiotics as well as other medications, too!
- Excess Calcium Some studies show that excess calcium interferes with absorption. For best results, stick to fermented dairy products until you are finished with your antibiotics.
- Alcohol Mixing alcohol and antibiotics can lead to a host of unpleasant side effects. The most common of these are
- Increased nausea
- Abdominal pain
- Heart rate issues. You should avoid alcohol throughout the duration of treatment and for 48 to 72 hours after treatment ends.
Which Is The Best Probiotic To Take With Amoxicillin
For the best results, the ideal probiotics for amoxicillin users will include the Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG strain and yeasts such as Saccharomyces boulardii. If you are suffering digestive discomfort as a result of using amoxicillin, lactobacillus should be part of any probiotic treatment you use to mitigate the effects.Also to get the benefit of probiotics, you should consider what result you are looking for. In most of our cases, the most notable side effect of amoxicillin is digestive disturbance; within days of taking the antibiotic, or even sooner, you may begin to feel uncomfortable in the stomach, and even experience diarrhea. If youre being treated with amoxicillin, probiotics can restore your gut flora and help maintain digestive balance.
Can You Take Probiotics And Antibiotics At The Same Time
Technically, you can. But youll just be wasting your probiotics. Remember that probiotics are a type of bacteria. And antibiotics tend to wipe off all bacteria, regardless if theyre harmful or beneficial.
So if youll take them at the same time, the antibiotics will most likely end up killing the probiotics.
Overall, probiotics and antibiotics can aid our bodies in their own ways. However, it would be best to consult a physician before taking any of them.
So Who Should Have Them
Prebiotic foods are good for everyone, contain a range of nutrients and help promote a healthy bacterial gut environment.
The benefits of probiotics for a range of health conditions are unclear theyre likely to be small, and depend on what is being taken and the underlying health issues.
But people at high risk of diarrhoea after antibiotics may benefit from consuming probiotic as well as prebiotic foods daily.
There is also emerging evidence that combining specific probiotics and prebiotics can increase the beneficial effects of both. Both the pro- and prebiotics could be added to the one food, termed a synbiotic, or they could be from separate sources but eaten together.
When it comes to antibiotics, the bottom line is only take them when prescribed for bacterial infections. Take them according to instructions from the manufacturer, your pharmacist and your doctor.
Key Facts About Probiotics And Antibiotics Covered In This Article
- Antibiotics deplete the populations of natural friendly bacteria that live in our gut, known as the gut microbiome. This may result in digestive discomfort including such as diarrhoea, nausea, indigestion and low energy.
- Probiotics can support digestive health in those taking antibiotics.
- Rather than waiting until after the antibiotic course, it’s best to take a probiotic supplement which has been designed to take alongside antibiotics, to help maintain balance in the gut microbiome.
- Antibiotic resistance is becoming increasingly common, exacerbated by patients not competing antibiotic courses. Taking probiotics with antibiotics may help to reduce digestive discomfort associated with antibiotic use and enable individuals to complete the full course of antibiotics.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 are two probiotic strains shown to reach the gut alive even when taken at exactly the same time as antibiotics.
- The best time to take the probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 is at breakfast time, regardless of when the antibiotic is recommended to be taken.
- If taking other probiotic strains with antibiotics, advice is dependent on the supplier but standard recommendation is to wait at least 2 hours after your antibiotics before taking probiotics.
- It is best to select strains which have been extensively researched alongside antibiotics.
So What Are Prebiotics
Prebiotics are compounds that help beneficial gut microorganisms grow and survive.
Prebiotic foods contain complex carbohydrates that cant be digested and dietary fibres that resist digestive processes in the stomach and small intestine.
They pass undigested into the large bowel where they are fermented by the healthy good bacteria.
To be called a prebiotic, they need to undergo the processes above, and be shown in clinical trials to selectively improve the microorganism composition in the gut.
Not all dietary fibres are prebiotic. Common ones include complex carbohydrates called fructo-oligosaccharides, inulin and resistant starch.
You can find foods at the supermarket with added prebiotics, but non-digestible carbohydrates occur naturally in many everyday foods, including:
grains: barley, rye bread, rye crackers, pasta, gnocchi, couscous, wheat bran, wheat bread, oats
legumes: chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, soybeans
vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, chicory, fennel bulb, garlic, green peas, leek, onion, shallots, spring onion, snow peas, sweetcorn, savoy cabbage
fruit: nectarines, white peaches, persimmon, tamarillo, watermelon, rambutan, grapefruit, pomegranate, dates, figs
nuts: cashews, pistachios.
Additional sources of resistant starch include under-ripe bananas, cooked and cooled rice, cornflour, cooked and cooled potatoes.
For babies, breast milk is naturally rich in oligosaccharides.
Morbidity And Mortality Are High
AAD is associated with several pathogens, including Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens, Klebsiella oxytoca, and Staphylococcus aureus, and varies widely in severity. Pseudomembranous colitis secondary to C difficile is the main cause of AAD-related mortality, which more than doubled from 2002 to 2009.,C difficile infections cost the US health care system up to $1.3 billion annually. With such high rates of morbidity and mortality and high health care costs associated with AAD, even a small reduction in the number of cases would have a big impact.
Probiotics replenish the natural GI flora with nonpathogenic organisms. A 2006 meta-analysis of 31 randomized controlled trials assessing the efficacy of probiotics for both the prevention of AAD and treatment of C difficile found a pooled relative risk of 0.43 for AAD in the patients taking probiotics. However, many of the studies included in that meta-analysis were small. As a result, in 2010, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and the Infectious Diseases Society of America recommended against the use of probiotics for the prevention of primary C difficile infection, citing a lack of high-quality evidence.
How Effective Are Probiotics
Researchers are currently unsure how effective probiotic supplements are for treating conditions. Theres constant research on the topic. While many research studies have had positive results on the impact of probiotic supplements, more research is still needed.
Its also important to keep in mind that unlike medications, dietary supplements do not need to be approved by the FDA. This means that manufacturers can sell supplements simply with claims of safety and effectiveness.
Always talk with your healthcare provider before taking a supplement or giving one to your child. Supplements might interfere with medicines you may be taking. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, check with your provider before taking any supplement.
Probiotics For Mental Health Conditions
- This is cutting edge research, but indications are that certain probiotics may be useful in managing depression and anxiety.8,9
- Bacteria found in our digestive system can help our gut talk to our brain. Many of the chemicals needed to regulate mood are produced in our gut.
- Read more about depression and anxiety.
How Do Probiotics Work
The main job of probiotics, or good bacteria, is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Think of it as keeping your body in neutral. When you are sick, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number. This knocks your body out of balance. Good bacteria works to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better.
Good bacteria keeps you healthy by supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation. Certain types of good bacteria can also:
- Help your body digest food.
- Keep bad bacteria from getting out of control and making you sick.
- Create vitamins.
- Help support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria that you may have consumed from entering your blood.
- Breakdown and absorb medications.
This balancing act is naturally happening in your body all of the time. You dont actually need to take probiotic supplements to make it happen. Good bacteria is just a natural part of your body. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber every day helps to keep the number of good bacteria at proper levels.
A More Effective Alternative
The Israeli study also explored an alternative approach to microbiome restoration.
One group of participants had their own stool collected and frozen prior to antibiotic treatment. It was then re-instilled into their gut at the end of the antibiotic therapy.
This treatment, known as autologous faecal transplantation, was able to restore the microbiome to original levels after just eight days. The other group took 21 days to recover.
This approach has also been shown to effectively restore the gut microbiome following combined antibiotic and chemotherapy treatment. These patients are predictably at risk of serious complications, such as bloodstream infection, as a result of microbiome disruption.
Research currently underway will help us understand whether microbiome restoration with autologous faecal transplantation will translate into tangible benefits for these patients.
But such an approach would not be a realistic option for most people.
Are There Any Risks Related To Probiotics
Probiotics are generally considered safe. However, there are some risks linked to the supplements. These risks are increased if you have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, have recently had surgery or have other serious medical conditions.
Unlikely, but possible, risks can include:
- Developing an infection.
- Developing a resistance to antibiotics.
- Developing harmful byproducts from the probiotic supplement.
What Happens To Our Gut Microbiome When We Take An Antibiotic
The gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem of trillions of microbes that live together in harmony in our gastrointestinal tract. These microbes have far reaching effects on human health, enhancing digestion, immunity, skin health and energy3,4,5. A balance is required between beneficial microbes and more harmful microbes that naturally colonise the gut. This balance can be disturbed by various lifestyle factors including low-fibre diet, travel and infection, among others.
Taking antibiotics can be detrimental to our gut microbiome. Whilst effective in killing pathogenic bacteria antibiotics are essentially non-selective and can also deplete the beneficial bacteria residing in the gut. This is thought to contribute to the development of diarrhoea, constipation and/or vaginal thrush when taking an antibiotic. In certain cases, this disruption to our gut microbiome can result in an overgrowth of unwanted, pathogenic bacteria such as Clostridium difficile.
Of course, in active infection the benefits of taking antibiotics far outweigh the associated negatives. Taking a probiotic alongside an antibiotic can help to minimise digestive upset that occurs as a result of the disruption to our gut microbiome, otherwise known as dysbiosis .
People taking antibiotics make experience6:
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue, feeling low on energy or wiped out
- Antibiotic-associated diarrhoea
Side Effects Of Antibiotics
This sudden proliferation of bad bacteria and accompanying loss of the health-promoting good guys lead to a variety of antibiotic side effects, such as diarrhea, fungal and yeast infections, and inflammation all of which can open the door to a wide variety of serious health issues.
Thats because by weakening your bodys probiotic makeup, antibiotic use also weakens your immune defenses.
A staggering 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut where your probiotic bacteria work to regulate nearly every aspect of your immune function.
This also explains why its common for antibiotic use to lead to recurrent infections , and why many people find themselves in a downward spiral of sickness, a vicious cycle thats hard to break.
One side effect of repeated antibiotic administration is a Clostridium difficileinfection. C. difficile is an opportunistic pathogen that thrives in the carbohydrate-rich environment of a gut cleared of its good microbes .
C. difficile is a potentially fatal microbe that secretes toxins that lead to diarrhea, fever, and colon inflammation.
Even though Fleming himself warned us of the dangers of antibiotic overuse, were only recently connecting these dots and beginning to make changes to both our paradigm and our habits and the reason is twofold.
Effect Of Antibiotics On Your Microbiome
Even if antibiotics are prescribed responsibly and by responsibly, I mean for serious bacterial infections, not viruses they are associated with some significant negative health effects.
You see, in a balanced microbiome, probiotics comprise 85 percent of all the bacteria; that leaves only 15 percent of the bad guys. With beneficial bacteria solidly in the majority, your probiotics can work hard to keep you healthy and harmful bacteria are unable to gain a foothold.
But, what if antibiotics knock that probiotic percentage down to 50 percent, 40 percent, or even 20 percent?
Think of your gut as a parking lot full of spaces for bacteria to park and make a home. If the spots are full with mostly good microbes and a bad guy gets in, he has nowhere to park and must leave.
Antibiotics clear out the parking spaces, getting rid of most of the pathogens but wiping out the good guys, too. Now, what if a bad guy gets in? You guessed it with plenty of open parking places, he can settle in and take over.
What You Can Do
Don’t start taking probiotics without talking to your doctor or pharmacist about whether probiotics might help you. People who have immune deficiency or are being treated for cancer should not use probiotics without a doctor’s okay.
The most common species of bacteria used in probiotics are species of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. The bacteria are usually freeze-dried ; when you take the supplement, they warm up in your digestive system and become fully active. You can find probiotic supplements in most drugstores and supermarkets. They come as capsules or tablets to swallow and as loose powder to sprinkle on food. You’ll want a product that explicitly states a “sell-by” date. Dosages vary by product, so no general dosing recommendation can be made. However, common dosages for adults range from five billion to 10 billion colony-forming units per day. Take just one dose of probiotics per day.
Some people may experience loose stools in the first few days of taking probiotics, but this goes away. Taking probiotics at the end of a meal may help to reduce the symptoms.