Antibiotics: Managing the Negative Effects

Many people resort to using antibiotics whether they really need them or not.  Antibiotics also kill the friendly bacteria, which have an essential role to play in gut and general health.  Bacteria are now mutating and many are becoming resistant to increasing numbers of antibiotics.  Although great for short-term use and in the correct circumstances, long-term use of antibiotics will suppress the immune system and destroy the friendly flora and fauna of the gut leaving one prone to fungal infections such as candida and thrush. Whenever you take an antibiotic you will need to also take a pro-biotic. Antibiotic means “anti-life” and pro-biotic means the opposite “pro-life”. Pro-biotics are supplements containing friendly bacteria called acidophilus or bifidus.

Many doctors report that patients continue to demand antibiotics for colds and flu, which are caused by viruses. It is only if you contract a secondary infection such as bronchitis which is bacterial, that antibiotics will be valid. Long-term use of antibiotics will reduce the absorption of nutrients from the gut, increase the fungal infestation and radically suppress your immune system.

FOODS TO AVOID

  • If you are on antibiotics or have been recently, avoid alcohol, sugars and sugar-laden fruits such as bananas and melon. The reason is, that they ferment easily in the gut and will increase the growth of bad fungal bacteria.
  • Avoid mouldy cheeses, again the mould is fungal, and we want to avoid adding this to our diets.
  • No yeast based breads, as the yeast will grow fuelling the fungal infection.
  • Also avoid yeast-based products like Marmite.

FRIENDLY FOODS

  • Fruits that do not ferment are ok, so try eating blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and papaya.
  • Pineapple contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that will increase the effectiveness of the antibiotics.
  • Natural goat or sheep yoghurt is full of acidophilus and will sooth the gut.
  • Beetroot and garlic contain insulin which help the gut produce more good bacteria. Garlic also has potent anti fungal properties.

USEFUL REMEDIES

  • Bee propolis is a natural antibiotic and can be found in many health shops.
  • Echinacea Liquid from Nutri will help boost the immune system (1-3 tea spoons daily through the winter.)
  • Colloidal Silver, found in many good health shops is a very potent natural anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti viral. Take this instead of antibiotics or in conjunction with them. (Strength needs to be 10 parts per million at least. Dose is one tablespoon 2 times a day when ill and for a week after if you have been on antibiotics).
  • Probiotic Plus from Nutri will replenish the depleted good bacteria. So take this whilst on antibiotics and for 2 weeks after. (2 Capsules twice daily).

(NUTRI: 0800 212 742)

HELPFUL HINTS

Some plastic, mass produced chopping boards advertise being anti – bacterial. We also now use anti – bacterial wipes, and sprays as well as gels on our hands. All these kinds of products are actually increasing the bacterial resistance and decreasing our  natural resistance to bacteria. So use wooden chopping boards, and wash your hand with hot water and soap. A little dirt as they say, never killed anyone.

After you have been ill or on antibiotics for a period of time, see a clinical ecologist or naturopath to have your immune system evaluated and boosted.

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  • Dr Marc Farah