Like the microwave and the slinky, antibiotics were sort of an accident. They are a marvelous invention but also like microwaves, they are overused (I’m looking at you Applebees).
Let’s cut to the chase – when you take antibiotics, it’s like dumping bleach into your dirty clothes pile – it attacks everything. If you are like me and often forget to separate my wife’s laundry by color, that means we are wearing white well past Labor day.
That indiscriminate destruction of the 400 types of good and bad bacteria in your gut (where 80% of your immune system lives and 90% of your neurotransmitters – which help regulate mood- are made) leaves an opening for very opportunistic and virile ‘bad’ bacteria to thrive (like Candida). And guess what candida loves to eat? Sugar. Guess what most of us eat too much of? Sugar.
So in essence, your gut gets into a state of ‘dysbiosis’, meaning an imbalance of good and bacteria in your gut. That then leads to all sorts of nastiness, from the debated leaky gut syndrome to the very direct link to UTIs and yeast infections.
Look, I’m the last person to say you shouldn’t take an antibiotic for a persistent bacterial infection (I know you all know this, but antibiotics literally have no effect on the flu, the common cold, most sore throats – you name it.) Taking an antibiotic for a viral infection is like yelling at a car to make it stop – there is literally no effect.
But when you do need an antibiotic, how do you prevent your gut (and therefore most of your other systems) from going haywire?
First, taking a high-quality probiotic is essential. Wait an hour or two after taking your antibiotic, and then dive in. Jetson’s Gut Prep has two essential components to help: a prebiotic and has been clinically shown to keep bad bacteria at bay (like e.coli) while encouraging growth of good bacteria and a spore-based hearty probiotic that has rapid growth characteristics. The name of the game is to out-compete the bad stuff – and this is exactly what Gut Prep is designed to do.
Second, cut out the sugar and alcohol for a week. I know, for me that means no martinis or dark chocolate – but it’s a small price to pay for a thriving gut.
Third, eat a TON of veggies. The friendly microbes that help digest your food (and generally retain balance) love vegetables, so hit the leafy stuff a couple times a day. Just please, no ranch, people.
Last, and here is where the science is a little wonky, but if you’re not a vegetarian, go for bone broth. Trader Joe’s sells some nice organic bone broth that gives your body the amino acids it needs to rebuild collagen to keep your gut lining intact.
Bottom line – don’t take them unless you really need to (i.e. if I see one more person getting a ZPack for a cold, I’m going to convince them they need to drink Purell as well), and when you do, follow the simple regimen above to make sure you recover – quickly!