When was the last time you took an antibiotic? Do you know if you’ve taken antibiotics in the past year, 18 months, 2 years? Have you thought about every time you’ve been prescribed an antibiotic and subsequently have taken the recommended dosage? Most people have no idea how many times they’ve taken an antibiotic in the past 5 years. So, do you know what your antibiotic timeline looks like? Are you on the antibiotic train?
Who is on the Antibiotic Train?
I meet a lot of people, and many of them are on what I call ‘the antibiotic train’. Basically, it’s someone that has been on continuous antibiotics (one or several) every year to 18 months for multiple consecutive years.
Antibiotics are prescribed when someone is fighting a bacterial infection. However, many practitioners prescribe antibiotics to patients suffering from viral infections. More times than not, the patient is desperate to feel better, fills the prescription, takes the recommended dosage, feels better for a short time, and then inevitably their initial symptoms start to re-emerge. They go back to a doctor and then find out that either they shouldn’t have taken the antibiotic or they’re prescribed a different/stronger antibiotic.
What Antibiotics Can do to You
Sadly, frequent use of antibiotics can contribute to candida (yeast) overgrowth due to killing beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus. When the beneficial bacteria are killed, our gut microbiome can become imbalanced and therefore our immune system becomes compromised. It takes time, and strategic planning to get the gut microbiome back to functioning at an optimal level. It can take up to 6 months or longer to roll back the gut damage from taking an antibiotic.
Managing Your Antibiotic Use
So, to understand your ‘timeline’ when it comes to antibiotics; work backwards, write down how many times you took antibiotics in 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 etc. Then write down how many times you worked on your gut health after you’ve taken an antibiotic. If you’ve taken antibiotics more than 3x in that timeframe then you might be on the antibiotic train. If you’ve never worked on gut health for at least 6 months after the antibiotic usage, then you might have gut dysfunction and a compromised immune system.
Here are some tips to consider before taking an antibiotic:
- Only take an antibiotic if you’re fighting a bacterial infection.
- While you’re on antibiotics take prebiotics. These are good fibers. I like Baobab.
- When you’re done taking the antibiotic, start to take a variety of different probiotics for a minimum of 6 months. I like medicinal yogurts, probiotic powders, and pills. When it comes to probiotics, it’s not this or that, it’s this and that! So, choosing one probiotic pill brand isn’t going to be good enough.
- Start to incorporate more postbiotic foods. I like kimchi and walnuts.
If you’re considering the steps above before you take an antibiotic, then you can mitigate the possible repercussions of ‘the antibiotic train’.
To see all our videos on the clean eating lifestyle, CLICK HERE to visit our YouTube channel and make sure to subscribe.