I told you in the last post some important info about antibiotics. Here's what you can do to combat side effects of antibiotics:
- Boost your immune system. You can check out my previous post about the flu here which explains the importance of rest, hand washing, eating well and supplementing your diet with herbs if needed. If you get sick less often, your chance of taking antibiotics drops as do your side effects from taking them!
- Take Probiotics - We need to get our gut health back in order to help our immune system work better, especially after we've taken antibiotics. Probiotic supplements are essential to rebuilding our digestive systems, which play a major roll in our immune system. I particularly like liquid forms that are non-dairy in nature such as SCD's Essential Probiotics, which are easily assimilated. These require refrigeration though so when I'm on the road, I choose a pill form like NutriClean which has 10 strains of probiotics and 10 billion active strains of probiotics and holds up well at room temperature. Adding fermented foods to our diet is another great way to re-colonize our digestive tract with healthy bacteria that antibiotics have removed. I'll be writing more about fermented foods and how to make your own in the coming months so stay tuned.
- Avoid Sugar - The famous pediatric doctors Bill and Martha Sears state, "Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of two- and-a-half 12-ounce cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. In contrast, the ingestion of complex carbohydrates, or starches, has no effect on the immune system." In addition, sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your gut and without enough good bacteria, you are setting yourself up for fungal/yeast infections. You're more prone to have this happen when your good bacteria is missing due to antibiotics AND you are concurrently feeding the yeast with sugar.
- Ask your doctor: Is this a bacterial infection? Communication with your care giver is essential. Find out from your MD why you are being given this antibiotic, what the side effects are, and how long the course of treatment is. Get all of the facts and make an informed decision. If you truly have a bacterial infection then it's grounds to consider an antibiotic. If not, then consider some alternatives such as...
- Alternatives to antibiotics - Colloidal silver has natural antiviral, anti fungal, antibacterial properties but it's not as concentrated as an antibiotic and it's less harsh on your gut. Some chinese herbs have berberin in them which has properties that fight viruses, fungal and bacterial infections but without the harsh side effects of antibiotics. D-Mannose is a derivative of sugar (don't worry, not the type of sugar we just talked about in #3) and the main ingredient in cranberries that helps sweep bacteria out of the bladder in urinary tract infections. Acupuncture can also help and the World Health Organization has a list of all the conditions that acupuncture can treat which include respiratory/bronchial infections, eye infections, colds, flu and more. These are just a few alternatives but it's most important to contact a trained health care practitioner, acupuncturist and herbalist to find out what is best for you.
You have options. It's important to get informed and figure out what the best choice is for your health and for our environment.
Medical disclaimer: As always, if you are sick, see a health care practitioner and get care. The information presented here is for informational purposes but it is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. If you are currently on any medication or treatment regime do not discontinue without discussing it with your doctor.
"Beyond Antibiotics" by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
"Harmful Effects of Excess Sugar" by Dr. Barry Sears