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Preserving gut flora while on antibiotics.

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  • Preserving gut flora while on antibiotics.

    Hey folks! To make a long story short, I have been on intravenous antibiotics for a month now and will be on oral antibiotics starting today for three more months.

    I was wondering if anybody has any information (anecdotal or cited research) on how to preserve, or at least minimize damage to, my gut flora while taking the antibiotics?

    Currently I'm popping probiotics like no one's business, eating lots of fibrous veggies, and having a serving or two (or twenty) of my homemade sauerkraut every day.

    I appreciate the help!

  • #2
    That's pretty much what I did last week for a short five day course. I took a pill twice a day, and at least two servings of fermented food: kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut. I also avoided alcohol. I seem to be doing just fine, but I'll keep this up for at least another week before tapering down.

    Hope it all works out.
    Food should be fun--Thomas Keller


    • #3
      If the antibiotics are doing their job, adding extra work for them is pointless. They are going to kill bacteria, all bacteria. You must have one hell of a bug. Giardia perhaps? Lyme Disease get out of hand? Antibiotics kill bacteria, plain and simple. Try some "now super enzymes" and perhaps some ox bile to aid in digestion but the gut flora is going to be tricky. I suppose you could add more beneficial flora if you want want to try it, but its going to get killed just like the rest.
      Last edited by Karma; 02-01-2011, 10:47 AM.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Karma View Post
        You must have one hell of a bug.
        I had surgery a few months ago to install some rods and screws to brace multiple fractures in my back after a nasty fall. I was doing fine until at two months post-op a portion of my surgical scar got inflamed and popped open (only clear fluid and blood draining from the site). I went back to the hospital and they put me back in surgery, cleaned me out, took some cultures, and re-stitched the incision. After about three or four days they found a small amount of propionibacterium acnes in one of the cultures. So, I was on IV Ceftriaxone for 30 days (just finished that yesterday), and now my doc wants me on oral Cefadroxil for the three months until I get the hardware removed. The surgeon never said for sure, but I have a feeling this is all prophylactic.

        After doing a lot of research on my own, I'm starting to really doubt that it was even a bacteria infection that caused the opening in the first place.

        The evidence against bacterial infection:
        • Propionibacterium acnes is a very common bacteria on the surface of the skin and could have contaminated the culture.
        • It was a full two months post-op that the wound finally opened. Most bacterial infections show signs 2-30 days after infection.
        • The drainage from the open wound was all clear.
        • I never had even a slight fever or feeling of malaise.

        I think it's very possible that it was caused by an abscessed suture or damaged tissue failing to fuse around the rods.

        Anywho, I'm considering not taking the orals, but of course, I'll talk to my doctor about it first.


        • #5
          basically, there's nothing-doing, it's going to kill everything.

          i think sticking with your ferments is fine, and will facilitate, but until you are off of them, there will be nothing maintaining in the system. so, when you are finished with this course, then go with the probiotics plus your fermented foods, and you'll be great.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Karma View Post
            If the antibiotics are doing their job, adding extra work for them is pointless.
            ^^^ This. When folks try to replenish their gut flora at the same time they're taking the antibiotic, all they are doing is reducing the effectiveness of the antibiotic by giving it more work, prolonging the time they may need to take the antibiotic and/or adding to the problem of resistant strains by leaving some of the intended target intact. My doc says to wait until after I've finished the entire course of antibiotics and we're sure the bad guy is gone... then replenish.