Antibiotics kill the good bacteria in your gut, leaving your body defenseless against harmful pathogens like the fast-growing Candida yeast. After a course of antibiotics, this yeast can quickly come to dominate your small intestine, resulting in the illness that we know as Candidiasis, or Candida overgrowth.
Taking probiotics before, during and after your course of antibiotics can actually help to maintain the balance in your digestive system. Many Candida sufferers question this, thinking that the antibiotics will quickly kill the good bacteria in the probiotics. However, studies have shown probiotics to be effective during antibiotics.
How can probiotics help?
Antibiotics kill all the bacteria in your digestive system, eliminating the competition and clearing the path for fast-growing Candida to fill the gap. Taking probiotics during your antibiotic treatment can help slow the growth of Candida by filling your gut with beneficial bacteria. Because probiotics maintain the balance in your gut, they also reduce the side effects of the antibiotics. A 2008 study published in the “Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology” found that probiotics actually reduce diarrhea in patients taking antibiotics.
Of course the simplest answer to this problem is to avoid taking antibiotics altogether. Sometimes they are a necessary evil – the harm they do to your digestive system is more than balanced out by their other, lifesaving properties. However make sure that if you are taking antibiotics it is because you really need them. Many doctors prescribe them far too quickly, and getting a second opinion never hurts.
If you really have to take the antibiotics, a course of good probiotics will help in two ways. It both gives you relief from the side effects of the antibiotics, and protects the balance of your gut flora in the long term.
How should you take the probiotics?
To maximize the beneficial effect of the probiotics, take them at least 2 hours apart from your dosage of antibiotics. This way as few as possible of the ‘good bacteria’ will get killed by the antibiotics in your gut.
Take the probiotics after a meal as this is when your stomach acid is at its lowest. You can take probiotics before, during and after your course of antibiotics.
Choosing a good probiotic is not always easy. In my Ultimate Candida Diet treatment program I have written a detailed guide to finding a probiotic that will work with your Candida treatment.