How to Repair Gut After Antibiotics: 6 Easy Steps

There has always been a very common doubt among people about how to repair gut after antibiotics1.

Given that you know what exactly happens to the gut after you take a course of antibiotic treatment, you will have a clear view of the question of how to repair the gut after antibiotics, on your own.

This article explores the possible side effects and causes of what happens to the gut and a few measures on how to repair the gut after antibiotics.

1. Why the Question: How to Repair Gut After Antibiotics?

What happens to the gut after taking antibiotics that raises the thought of how to repair the gut after antibiotics?

Antibiotics are medically necessary for our bodies. Every time you catch a cold or feel feverish – you don’t hesitate to pop an antibiotic.

Though antibiotics have been a savior and medical marvel for people suffering from infections and diseases or who are admitted to the ICU, there are a few side effects of antibiotics on our gut that we don’t realize. There are approximately 500 species of beneficial bacteria present in our digestive tract and our gut.

This microbial diversity of the gut 2helps promote gut health as well as is responsible for the overall well-being of our body.

Repair Gut After Antibiotics
photo by CDC on Unsplash

Medical science, for the past years, has been developing antibiotics to kill bacteria.

But the designers for antibiotics realized that not all the bacteria were bad. Some were good too and was essential for our body to function. And thus, the antibiotics that we take, kill all of the bacteria– the harmful bacteria as well as the gut microbiome3.

The gut biome works with the immune system of our body. It helps in absorbing nutrients from the food, metabolism of drugs, keeping the structural integrity of the gut intact, and also to protect it against pathogens.

After reading all these points, you must be worried about what to do about it.

Well, there are ways how to repair the gut after antibiotics and if followed, you can have a healthy gut even after having antibiotics.

2. Here is How to Repair the Gut After Antibiotics

The most important factor that determines how to repair the gut after antibiotics is the food you ingest. Diet plays a very important role to restore gut flora to normal. How to repair the gut after antibiotics is not as hard to figure out as it seems.

Here are a few steps to follow on how to repair the gut after antibiotics:

2.1 Eat Sprouts Daily

Sprouts are one of the best foods to recover gut bacteria because of the high number of biotics that are around them, are present on the surface of any plant-based food 4that is subjected to the sun, wind, and rain.

Every fruit or vegetable that is found on trees, has a special microbiome layer around them. These microbiomes are much stronger than the artificial ones as they are very much alive and can survive stomach acid.

The ileum, the smallest part of our intestine – is like the main camp of the microbiomes. Eating sprouts also increases vitamin b125 which is produced by these bacteria. As the antibiotics kill these microbiomes, they can also lead to a deficiency of vitamin B12 in the body.

Hence, eating sprouts is step one of how to repair the gut after antibiotics.

2.2 Consumption of More Alkalizing Foods

The good bacteria in our gut feed on alkaline foods. Pathogenic bacteria are the ones that thrive on acidic foods and environments. An acidic environment makes good bacteria almost impossible to thrive.

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photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Try to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables. Vegetable juices and other alkalizing foods. Make sure to drink lemon water. Lemon water – even though acidic when we drink, is highly alkaline for the body and helps in increasing the good stomach acid.

2.3 Avoid Drinking Coffee

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photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Coffee is the most acidic drink, believe it or not. Even though it gives us energy and some of us cannot function without that shot of expresso in the morning, you might want to rethink it if you are worried about how to repair your gut after antibiotics.

Along with coffee, there are other beverages like energy drinks and carbonated water that you should limit or eliminate. These beverages stress the adrenaline glands as well. And as you know, good bacteria cannot survive in these acidic conditions.

It would be a good idea to switch these beverages to better alternatives instead.

2.4 Minimize or Eliminate the Consumption of Animal Products

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photo by Eiliv Aceron on Unsplash

Our digestive system finds it very difficult to digest the animal proteins found in animal products.

They require enzymes, the right bacteria, and proper amounts of stomach acids and bile. As we already have an upset digestive system, all these factors are left unfulfilled. This causes the food to cause toxicity in the gut.6

2.5 Avoid Alcohol

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photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash

Alcohol is a neurotoxin that impairs the nervous system and also kills off the good bacteria in the body. Avoiding alcohol for at least up to a few months would help bring your gut flora back on track.

Try drinking fresh juices and smoothies instead. They would do a lot more good to your stomach and health, than alcohol while also solving your dilemma about how to repair your gut after antibiotics.

Also, make sure that the supplements that you use do not contain alcohol or caffeine. Try opting for alcohol and caffeine-free products.

2.6 Probiotics

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photo by Daily Nouri on Unsplash

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are good for your gut. They can be found in food products as well as can be taken as supplements.

Probiotic Bacteria like – lacto bacillus can be found in yogurts and kombucha while yeast like saccharomyces boullardi is found in kefir and sauerkraut.

Make sure to buy these products from the frozen food aisle only as they contain live microbes and would spoil at normal room temperature. Goats’ milk kefir and L-glutamine supplements can be taken.

You need to take probiotics during and one week after your antibiotics course for at least 3 to 4 times a day as a little amount of probiotic bacteria would be getting killed by the antibiotics and hence it is essential to take a bit more than normal.

2.7 Collagen

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photo by CDC on Unsplash

Collagen powder can be brought to the store and can be added to your smoothies. Our gut lining is made up of collagen and it is essential to build up the lining.

Taking collagen daily would help increase permeability as well as overall gut health.

It takes time for your gut flora to get back to normal and taking these measures might solve the mystery of how to repair gut after antibiotics.

Also, the next time you think of blindly taking up an antibiotic, do think twice about what it would do to your gut.

3. The Bottom Line

In a nutshell, repairing the gut after an antibiotic course is essential to reestablish an equitable amount of helpful bacteria and preserve general digestive health. Antibiotics have the potential to alter the normal microbial ecology in the gut, which may result in various stomach problems and a compromised immune system. The methods listed above can be used to restore the gut following antibiotic treatment.

For individualized guidance on gut repair following antibiotics, speak with a medical practitioner or a certified nutritionist, especially if you have any underlying medical illnesses or worries. You can assist in the recovery of a healthy gut microbiome, improve digestion, and improve general well-being by using these measures.

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  1. Andremont, Antoine, et al. “Spare and repair the gut microbiota from antibiotic-induced dysbiosis: state-of-the-art.” Drug Discovery Today 26.9 (2021): 2159-2163. ↩︎
  2. Durbán, Ana, et al. “Assessing gut microbial diversity from feces and rectal mucosa.” Microbial ecology 61 (2011): 123-133. ↩︎
  3. Durbán, Ana, et al. “Assessing gut microbial diversity from feces and rectal mucosa.” Microbial ecology 61 (2011): 123-133. ↩︎
  4. Aschemann-Witzel, Jessica, et al. “Plant-based food and protein trend from a business perspective: Markets, consumers, and the challenges and opportunities in the future.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 61.18 (2021): 3119-3128. ↩︎
  5. Stabler, Sally P. “Vitamin B12 deficiency.” New England Journal of Medicine 368.2 (2013): 149-160. ↩︎
  6. Alexander, James L., et al. “Gut microbiota modulation of chemotherapy efficacy and toxicity.” Nature reviews Gastroenterology & hepatology 14.6 (2017): 356-365. ↩︎

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Ayushi Mahajan

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