When Antibiotics Upset the Gut, Prebiotics Report for Duty

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define antibiotics as “medicines that fight infections caused by bacteria in humans and animals by either killing the bacteria or making it difficult for the bacteria to grow and multiply.”

The Rarely Discussed Side Effects of Antibiotics

You may be well aware of the wonders of antibiotics and likely have experienced their ability to deliver sickness a knockout, but do you know the less than glamorous side of antibiotics?

  • Fact: “Your gut houses about 80% of the body’s immune cells,” which is a monstrous issue when “antibiotics damage your child’s gut bacteria [and] causes an imbalance called dysbiosis.”
  • Fact: Common side effects of antibiotics include rash, nausea, diarrhea, and yeast infections.

Healthline released an article entitled 5 Frightening Consequences of Overusing Antibiotics where they spotlight the following:

  • “Antibiotics Increase Fatal Diarrhea Cases in Children”
  • “Antibiotics Can Upset Sensitive Gut Flora”
  • “Antibiotics Help Teach Good Bacteria to Go Bad”
  • “Antibiotics Are Increasing Cases of Untreatable Gonorrhea”

Prebiotics Move Into the Spotlight

This is not a conversation on whether or not the world needs antibiotics because the answer is a loud and resounding yes! This is a conversation on understanding the toll antibiotics can take on the gut for both children and adults. Although several things help heal the gut after antibiotic usage, such as eating whole foods and anti-inflammatory foods, this piece focuses on the power of an unsung hero: Prebiotics.

EcoParent defines prebiotics as “non-digestible ingredients which make it a lot easier for the good bacteria to thrive within our digestive system.” EcoParent adds that “most prebiotics are special as they make it easier on your gut by creating a good environment by selectively stimulating the growth of these good bacteria. Leeks, garlic, honey, bananas, onions, chicory root, and Jerusalem artichokes are great prebiotics to mix in your kids’ food.” Additionally, GreenBAC is a supplement that includes prebiotics, among other things, and it works to maintain and promote digestive health and help both children and adults recover from antibiotics.

Many incredible things come with a negative caveat. For example, Healthline points out that “chemotherapy treatments can’t differentiate between cancer cells and healthy cells,” so both are annihilated. From including supplements like GreenBAC in your diet to the inclusion of whole foods, treat your gut with intentional care and respect.

It’s not in rejecting all things with a hint of a downfall that the wise are identified. Instead, the wise are those who acknowledge the downfall and do their best to decrease the gravity of that fall. And when it comes to antibiotics, a massive downfall is the upset of your gut, so do everything you can before, during, and after antibiotic usage to support and promote your gut health.

Author: Evelyn Lindell
Certified Health & Wellness Coach