6 Foods Avoid and Eat while taking antibiotics

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Foods antibiotics


 Antibiotics are a common way to fight infections, but many don’t realize there are certain foods to eat while taking antibiotics.

Antibiotic therapy is the first line of treatment for the majority of bacterial infections. Unfortunately, these drugs aren’t without side effects.


Rarely, they can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms like

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain

Although these side effects are usually mild, transient, and harmless, they can become severe and signal the need for a change in medication.

Sometimes, patients find they can control these side effects, or even eliminate them completely, with just a few basic diet changes.

In other cases, it’s the food causing the problem and removing it from their diet is enough.

In this post, we’ll tell you about six of the best foods to eat while taking antibiotics – and the four you should always avoid, too.


Read also: 5  Effects Of Eating Too Much Ginger

 

Why Do Antibiotics Cause GI Side Effects?


During times of good health, your body maintains a balance of good and bad bacteria in your intestines.

The natural ratio of good bacteria to bad is set at just the right rate for both to coexist without causing you any harm.

When you take antibiotics, the very drugs you take to fight off an infection also target the good bacteria in your G.I. tract, too.


The result?

Your intestines lose the delicate balance maintained between both sides, leading to gastrointestinal upset and other unpleasant symptoms.

 

The Best Foods to Eat While Taking Antibiotics


Good news:   certain foods  support good bacteria levels in your body.

These are the best foods to eat while taking antibiotics. By eating them, you reduce or eliminate the side effects common to antibiotic treatment.

Most of these contain either probiotics or prebiotics.


A few of the most common foods to eat while taking antibiotics include:

  • Prebiotics — Prebiotics are the building blocks for healthy gut bacteria. When you ingest them, they help to make your gut a friendly place for more healthy bacteria to grow. Find them in kefir, yogurt, and even fortified cereals.
  • Probiotics: — Like prebiotics, probiotics feed good bacteria, helping them to grow and flourish. Good sources include supplements, kefir, yogurt, and milk.
  • Yogurt and Fermented Milk — Both yogurt and fermented milk (kefir) increase the presence of Lactobacilli (a critical element of digestion) in the intestines. They also significantly curb overflow of bad bacteria at the same time.
  • Kimchi and Fermented Soy Products — Kimchi and fermented soy products are loaded with probiotics and prebiotics. They’re also rich in another digestion-critical bacteria called Bifidobacteria.
  • Foods High in Vitamin K — Antibiotic treatment can rarely lead to Vitamin K deficiency which may contribute to bacteria imbalances. Get more K by ingesting leafy green vegetables, cauliflower, liver, and eggs.
  • Coconut Oil — This medium-chain triglyceride contains fatty acids, which may help to reduce your risk of developing an antibiotic-related yeast infection. If you’re female, this will be especially helpful to you!

 


What Foods to NOT Eat While Taking Antibiotics


There are some foods you should avoid while on antibiotics, either because they interfere with absorption or because the combination can make you feel sick.

In most cases, these foods simply interact poorly and make the antibiotics less effective.


Foods to avoid include:

  • Grapefruit — You should avoid both the fruit and the juice of this sour citrus product. It contains compounds that can keep the body from properly absorbing your antibiotics – as well as other medications, too!
  • Excess Calcium — Some studies show that excess calcium interferes with absorption. For best results, stick to fermented dairy products until you are finished with your antibiotics.
  • Alcohol — Mixing alcohol and antibiotics can lead to a host of unpleasant side effects.
The most common of these are:
    • Increased nausea
    • Abdominal pain
    • Dizziness
    • Heart rate issues. You should avoid alcohol throughout the duration of treatment and for 48 to 72 hours after treatment ends.
  • Sugars and Yeast — For some patients (especially women) antibiotic usage may lead to candida (yeast) infections. Avoid foods high in sugar and yeast to avoid feeding the candida organism. This is especially important if you find you nearly always end up with a yeast infection after a course of antibiotics.

 

Taking Antibiotics Properly


Along with knowing the best foods to eat while taking antibiotics, they must also be taken as directed.

Improper use can render them ineffective or even cause antibiotic resistance over time. Heed these tips to stay on the right track.


1. Antibiotics begin their work as soon as they enter your bloodstream. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll feel well right away. It may take a day or two before you really begin to feel better. In the meantime, discuss what you can do to control your symptoms with your doctor. Don’t end treatment early unless directed by your physician, even if you think it isn’t working.


2. Always finish your antibiotic treatment as prescribed. A lot of people stop taking their antibiotics when they feel better in order to avoid further side effects. This may lead to the infection not properly clearing, resulting in recurrence and the need for another round of medication.


3. Never double up on antibiotic doses, especially if you miss a dose, unless specifically directed. Taking more won’t make you feel better faster. In the case of a missed dose, simply resume at your next scheduled time and continue taking your medication until you run out.


4. Women should be especially cautious when taking antibiotics. Yeast infection development is the biggest concern, but can be prevented if you stay on top of taking probiotics or eating yogurt.


5. Antibiotics also reduce the effectiveness of birth control. Women taking these drugs should abstain or use a backup method until they finish treatment.

 

Summary 


Doctors and researchers are now working hard to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance each year.

We now know that antibiotics should really only be used when absolutely necessary.

Rest assured: your doctor won’t prescribe them unless they really feel you need them.

Taking them properly and supporting your body through the process will speed up your recovery and reduce the need for a change in medication or a second course.

Have additional questions? Talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Otherwise, do your best to keep your diet in check and you should be able to keep the side effects under control!


Next: 10 Natural Cough Remedies



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