Antibiotics are commonly used to fight against bacterial infections, certain fungal infections and some kinds of parasites; Think bladder infections, sinus and ear infections, and strep throat.
This just in: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that antibiotics are being widely overprescribed in U.S. hospitals.
According to the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, antibiotics “are being given to patients too often, and many doctors are using more than one antibiotic to fight serious infections when it’s not necessary.”
What does this mean? Aside from risking patient safety because of the growing threat of antibiotic resistance and that the practice costs are an extra $163 million, according to the CDC’s study.
With this news, we wanted to bring to light that while antibiotics treat certain conditions and infections, one of the side effects is that they can deplete certain nutrient levels in the body, putting your body’s health and function at risk. No bueno.
The Nutrient Antibiotics Deplete
What: Intestinal Flora aka Gut Bacteria
Antibiotics work to destroy bad bacteria, but they also destroy good gut bacteria.
Why It’s Important
The area of your body that breaks down food and absorbs much of its nutrients is your small intestines. Inside your small intestines is where that combination of both that good and bad bacteria are.
The goal, when it comes to creating a healthy gut, is for these two bacterias to stay balanced – too much bad bacteria can compromise the thin (very thin) wall lining of your small intestines. This thin layer acts as a protective barrier as bacteria passes through the intestines, so anything that compromises that lining will allow bad bacteria to be absorbed, thus allowing non nutritive materials to slip into your bloodstream, infecting your sensitive intestine and resulting in digestion problems, including diarrhea, bloating and gas, as well as yeast infections and colitis.
What’s more, did you know that almost 70 percent of the immune system is regulated in your gut?
When the small intestine lining is compromised like we just mentioned, the non nutritive materials that can slip into your bloodstream can also result in your immune system launching a response, resulting in inflammation. Inflammation is the underlying theme in preventable chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, and autoimmune diseases.
How to Supplement
Eat foods with probiotics, the live bacteria and yeasts aka “the good” microorganisms.
Probiotics already exist naturally in your gut, but if you’re taking antibiotics, the medication is at work destroying all bacteria (good and bad), hence the need to eat to rebuild. According to the Cleveland Clinic, probiotics assist in decreasing the number of “bad” bacteria in your gut, replace the body’s “good” bacteria, and restoring the body’s “good” versus “bad” bacterial balance, that’s needed to keep your body functioning properly.
Some foods with probiotics include:
- Lacto fermented dairy, like yogurt and kefir
- Cultured vegetables, like sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi
- Others: Miso, tempeh, kombucha,
It’s valuable to know that some probiotics actually replace bacteria (kefir), while others encourage their growth (yogurt), because there are thousands of different strains of this bacteria. You can read more in-depth about the different types here.
How WellnessFX can help
This is just one of the common medications that deplete nutrients in the body. You can also use this handy medicine cabinet graphic to identify the other medications, and then empower yourself by learning more about what you can do to supplement.
To test some of the biomarkers we’ve covered in the “6 Medications” graphic, such as iron, magnesium, and B vitamins, you can check out the different packages available. They range from a basic e-Checkup to a more comprehensive, Premium diagnostic package, and even specialty packages that cover Advanced Thyroid and Women’s Reproductive Health.
A biomarker testing can give you an accurate picture of where you (and your total health) are. Your blood cells regenerate every 120 days, so we recommend re-assessment every 4-6 months, after instituting new habits.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.