Why You Need Probiotics When You Take Antibiotics
Just about every person takes antibiotics at some point in their lives. In fact, in the United States, over 266 million antibiotic prescriptions are written every year by outpatient health care providers, and over half of all hospital patients receive antibiotics during their stay.
These powerful drugs have transformed health care to make many diseases treatable and save millions of lives. The benefits of antibiotics to protect people against bacterial infections cannot be overstated.
But as useful as antibiotics are, there are some serious drawbacks for children and adults taking these medications.
The Side Effects of Antibiotics
Antibiotics kill the bad germs that can cause infections throughout the body, but they also can kill the beneficial bacteria as well. That’s because antibiotics do not distinguish between the "bad" bacteria and "good" bacteria. Instead, they kill all of it as they work to stop infection.
As a result, most experts agree that taking probiotics with antibiotics is a smart decision.
Probiotics replace the healthful bacteria that may have been killed by the antibiotics and restore the balance between healthful and harmful bacteria. They are like superheroes who help rescue the body.
How to Use Probiotics with Antibiotics
It is usually advised that antibiotics and probiotics should not be taken within two hours of each other. This is because as antibiotics work their way through your system, they destroy everything in their path, including the good bacteria. If the probiotics are taken to close to the time the antibiotics are consumed, they won’t be able to do their job as efficiently.
Waiting a minimum of two hours gives the antibiotics time to pass through your body so the probiotics can safely work and rejuvenate healthy bacteria.
The Benefits of Probiotics with Antibiotics
Supplementing antibiotics with probiotics reduces, or even prevents, the nasty side effects of gut flora health issues such as bloating, gas, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, as seen in published research. By reducing or eliminating side effects, probiotics also make it easier to tolerate the mediations and finish the entire dose of antibiotics.
Continuing to take probiotics even after finishing the prescription of antibiotics helps replenish the digestive tract with healthy bacteria.
So, if your healthcare professional decides that you need antibiotics for a bacterial infection, take steps to support your body during the process and minimize negative health consequences by supplementing with probiotics.