Probiotics help to repair the damage caused by antibiotics

Probiotics help to repair the damage caused by antibiotics

Thursday, July 09, 2015 by: Dr.Sofiya

When antibiotics first became widely used in the early half of the 20th century, they were hailed as a miracle cure. Many common infections which used to have a high mortality rate, such as pneumonia or infections from wounds or surgery, suddenly become very treatable, to the point where many people no longer even saw them as extremely serious. However, as time progressed and the market became flooded with antibiotic drugs, overuse of them in both medicine and in the meat production industry led to overexposure. This overexposure, in turn, led to serious problems like the rise of resistant bugs and damage to the gastro-intestinal system. Fortunately, the use of probiotics on a regular basis, and especially during and after a course of antibiotic therapy, can greatly reduce the unwanted side effects that these medications can bring with them and help the patient recover from their infection more quickly. Let’s look at the ways in which probiotics can help.

Restores gut flora

The human gut is highly and naturally populated with healthy, probiotic bacteria. These bacteria help with digestion, strengthen the immune system and keep unhealthy bacteria and yeast in check. Antibiotics, however, do not discriminate between these healthy bacteria and the unhealthy bacteria it is trying to destroy. The result is that a course of antibiotics can destroy healthy probiotic bacteria and upset this balance. Use of probiotics, however, has been proven to be able to restore this balance and avoid many of the problems associated with antibiotic use.

Prevents diarrhea and other digestive problems

One common complaint among patients on antibiotics – especially if the course of antibiotics is a long one or if the dosage is high – is nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and similar digestive problems. Using probiotics, however, can restore healthy flora in the gut (see above) and this in turn supports good digestive health and makes it less likely that diarrhea or other gastric problems will occur. This can seriously improve the comfort levels for patients trying to recover from an infection and prevent other problems like dehydration or electrolyte imbalances that diarrhea can cause.

Proves effective against resistant bacteria

Most people are aware that one of the biggest problems with overuse of antibiotics is the rise of drug-resistant strains of bacteria that are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to treat. Curiously, the use of probiotics can even help with this problem. In one study, hospital patients taking probiotics reduced their chances of acquiring resistant bacteria by an astounding 70 percent.

In short, for patients who are having to undergo antibiotic therapy, a corresponding round of probiotics is pretty high on the “must do” list. These probiotics will restore the balance of gut in the flora, prevent digestive problems and resistant infections and generally make the recovery process easier for the patient.


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