Momma, Justine found that when her girls were prescribed antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection, that they were a mess afterwards. If you have a child who also has had a round of antibiotics, it is important to getting their gut health back in order. Justine gives us 6 steps to getting their immune system back up to speed.
1. Eliminiate Sugar/Simple Carbs From Diet
There are more complex ways I could describe the science behind altering diet to repopulate good bacteria, but the simplified general premise is that bad bacteria thrive on sugar and simple carbohydrates. Eliminate sugar and simple carbs, and the result is an environment in which bad bacteria can’t thrive. Once your gut seems to be back to normal, only then should you consider slowly incorporating sugar and simple carbs again. My caution at the start of this post bears repeating: post-antibiotic constipation should not be treated with Miralax and can be healed instead using simple dietary changes. Update (1-22-13): Confessions of a Dr. Mom, a pediatrician-written blog, delved further into causes of and potential side effects from constipation.
Studies are being done to establish links in long-term diet and the type of bacteria present in the gut. While our traditional Western diet is not yet directly linked to disease, I have no doubt it will be. Based on my own anecdotal evidence of when I’m healthiest, I hypothesize that eventually there will be an evidence basis for eating a diet high in leafy greens, low in simple carbohydrates. I also believe the ideal diet includes the “dreaded” saturated fats (e.g. lard, bacon, avocado, coconut oil), which we are beginning to recognize contain important monounsaturated omega 6 essential fatty acids that are necessary for normal brain function.
2. Add Probiotic Supplements
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that aid digestion and immune system function; as stated above, they are wiped out during antibiotics and can be added back afterward. We have been told in the past to use probiotics while using antibiotics; however, only yeast-based probiotics should be taken while on antibiotics because antibiotics likely also kill the probiotic bacteria. Therefore, I start bacteria-based probiotics after antibiotics are finished.
Justine Uhlenbrock is a writer, strategist and Doula, read the rest of this great article at Rebuilding Your Gut & Immune System After Antibiotics.
Follow her on her new blog, Justine Uhlenbrock