How antibiotics affect our bodies and what to do after taking them

04 Feb 2020 by Krystal Barter
How antibiotics affect our bodies and what to do after taking them

Antibiotics are powerful drugs, used to not only fight, but prevent infections. After major surgery, surgeons will often use a course of strong antibiotics to prevent infection in the surgical site and to ensure the smoothest healing process for patients.

While antibiotics are incredibly important to prevent infection following major surgery, it’s important to balance taking antibiotics with managing the healthy balance of our gut microbiome.

We have trillions of bacteria in our gut that affect our health in a multitude of ways; from metabolising food, keeping our immune systems healthy and even protecting our brains from anxiety and depression.

If you’ve had to take antibiotics recently, here are some things that you can do to get that bacteria back in balance.

Take probiotics during/after antibiotic treatment

Taking a good probiotic can help restore some of the healthy gut bacteria that might have been killed during the antibiotic treatment. Lactobacilli and Saccharomyces are two of the most effective probiotics, even being proven to restore the gut bacteria back to normal after taking antibiotics.

Speak to your doctor and local pharmacist to determine the best course of probiotics following your course of antibiotics to get your gut flora flourishing once more.

Eat high fibre and fermented foods

Fermented foods have a high probiotic bacteria content, as they’re literally produced by microbes. This includes foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and yoghurt.

Eating high fibre foods helps stimulate the build-up of good bacteria, as it uses gut bacteria to be digested. Plus, these foods can also help prevent the build-up of bad bacteria. Think nuts, seeds, whole grains and beans.

Click here to read more about nutrition after surgery.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Regular exercise and stress management are important factors to maintaining good gut health. Exercise can lead to the improvement of diverse gut bacteria and keeping stress levels down also helps nurture the healthy microbiome.

While gentle exercise isn’t recommended for several weeks following preventative surgeries, getting back into slow walking and movement with the guidance of your physio and medical team will see you back on your feet in no time!

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