Antibiotic Recovery Protocol
Obviously, I'm not a huge fan of the overuse of antibiotics that is prevalent in today's society. While yes, there is a time and place for antibiotics, but they may not always be necessary. That opinion aside, what do you do if you are put on antibiotics? How can you ensure that they won't cause more harm after the dosage is over?
Simple. Take care of your body while on the antibiotics to ensure that your gut doesn't take too hard of a hit.
Let's take a look at a simple antibiotic recovery protocol to help support your body during and after antibiotic usage. Plus, it's important to note that this protocol is great for anyone who is on and/or HAS been on antibiotics for any extended period of time over his or her lifetime and didn't do anything to recover the damage that could've been done. An extended period of time, in my opinion, would be two weeks at a time or more.
(Disclaimer: remember I am not a doctor and do not prescribe, diagnose, or treat any conditions).
1. Take a Probiotic
An antibiotic kills bacteria, both bad and good; therefore, it is critical that we replenish our good gut bacteria during and after a round of antibiotics. Our gut bacteria play a key role in the health of our immune system, and they also help facilitate the end of the digestive process as well. There is also new research showing that our gut bacteria can act as our second brain, playing a huge role in mental health as well.
I typically recommend Garden of Life Colon Care Probiotics. Make sure to take them at the opposite time of your antibiotic!
2. Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods do all the things that probiotics do except (even better) they're in food form! These foods often contain even more beneficial strains of good bacteria because they are made in nature not in a lab. Fermented foods included kombucha (fermented tea), raw sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and super high quality yogurt (sorry Yoplait doesn't count). Adding in a serving of fermented foods daily while on antibiotics and beyond will go a long way in keep your gut and immune system healthy.
3. Drink Bone Broth
Bone broth is such a healing food, as it contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals that work to heal and sooth the gut lining which can be irritated by certain foods, stress, and antibiotics. Bone broth is simple to make (an easy recipe can be found here). Grab some bones, throw them in a pot with water and salt, and cook until the bones are soft. You can cook with bone broth or drink it in a mug topped with a bit of sea salt (which is how I prefer to drink it!). Honestly, drinking bone broth on a daily basis is the best way to ensure that your gut stays healthy.
4. Add in Collagen
While bone broth does contain some collagen, the most abundant healing protein in the body, it also doesn't hurt to add some additional collagen into your diet just to be safe. Collagen is my go-to recommendation for anyone struggling with gut health or joint pain and inflammation. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (buy here) are my personal favorite.
Obviously, cutting back on the inflammatory foods that will put your gut and immune system in overdrive while on an antibiotic will help you recover that much faster. These foods include vegetable oils, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, gluten, soy, and alcohol. Of these, sugar is probably the most important, as too much sugar and refined carbs can feed the wrong kinds of bacteria.
6. Eat that Fiber!
Our good gut bacteria thrive off of a diet rich in fiber which comes in its most bioavailable form from vegetables (especially starchy vegetables) and fruit NOT from whole grains. Whole grains, or grains in general, might claim to have a ton of fiber, but honestly, it is not the best form of fiber for our bodies. Why? Because these "healthy whole grains" damage our gut and gut lining first and foremost before providing any fiber, which, in a sense, basically defeats the purpose. Plus, they aren't digested well because of those inflammatory compounds that harm our gut lining leading to poor nutrient absorption. The moral of the story? Get your fiber from real, whole foods like vegetables and fruit.
Antibiotics can't always be avoided, but doing your best to support your body while on antibiotics and beyond will go a long way in maintaining the health of your gut.