I’m going to touch on a topic most people know of, but few really understand… antibiotics and prescription drugs and its relationship to our gut health and the probiotics that live in our gut. In my earlier life, I experienced several bouts of sickness and depression that, at the time, debilitated me beyond belief.
Not feeling like you were “right in the head” or that you couldn’t accomplish everyday tasks was something that I’ll never really be able to explain to those that have never experienced it before. Based on every bit of information and advice I received, it seemed like the end result was for me to take medications or antibiotics to get me healthy. “It will help me smooth out the edges,” they said. “It will cure what ails me,” they said.
The point of persuading people to accept your conclusions of how to get to better mental and physical health is to help them draw their own conclusions as to why that is important, help them draw a line between two points. For me, this meant I must first understand and deal with the fact that having good brain health means you must first have good gut health.
This inevitably means that if those doctors, physicians, or friends wanted me to actually become a “better person” they might have helped me realize that I had a severe case of gut dysbiosis, and that my significant fluctuations in weight was due in large part to my inability to eat, digest foods, or keep food down, not the other way around, that my mental state was an effect of my weight fluctuations and inability to deal with them.
I decided that drugs and medications would not be the preferred method of dealing with my issues, so I began to learn about the importance of gut health and digestion. Inevitably, most research always ended up with me finding new information on the values of using, eating, and supplementing with probiotics.
Based on my experience in dealing with mental health and digestion issues, I believe everyone, whether or not they have issues, should be aware of the value of probiotics and how these living bacteria can play such a crucial role in helping each of us function and be coherent in thoughts and actions.
Many people have heard of probiotics, some of them know the value, and even less know what specifically they do. What’s a little alarming is that when you ask people about their knowledge of antibiotics, most everyone knows what an antibiotic is, believes what we’ve been told what it can do to “improve” our health, and that if you have any type of physical sickness, antibiotics will generally be the cure.
Now, why do you take an antibiotic? Mostly it’s because your immune system has broken down, you’re sick, or you don’t have the ability to fight disease or an infection. Your immune system becomes compromised because of some imbalance and it begins to break down.
So what people do is take a prescribed antibiotic or medication to get rid of the bad bacteria or harmful toxins in their bodies. (Just to clarify, the antibiotics are supposed to wipe out all the bad things, but even antibiotics don’t work 100% of the time). What most consumers of antibiotics are not aware of is that it also wipes out all the good and healthy bacteria as well. It eliminates the things that are there to protect us and keep us healthy.
Now, why is that important? It’s important because the way your body works is that in order to have a strong immune system is to have a strong gut. And having a strong gut requires having a significant amount of probiotics; you want those probiotics there. When you become sick, it means the bad bacteria are overpowering the good bacteria creating a toxic and unhealthy environment in your body and probiotics can help reverse that.
When people take antibiotics, it basically wipes the proverbial “gut” slate clean. In theory that sounds great, get rid of the bacterial troublemakers, but as mentioned, you wipe out the good bacteria as well, essentially requiring your immune system to start over from square one. Unfortunately, most people’s lifestyle does not allow them to do that, start from a place of better health. The typical American lifestyle usually means they get right back into the routine of having things, taking things, and consuming things that generally can help to break down their immune system. Unfortunately, it’s a vicious cycle. Bad bacteria means bad health. Bad health means limited good bacteria and antibiotics. Limited good bacteria means bad health again.
To help bring this point home let’s pretend that you are a mayor of a small town. And let’s say everything’s going great, everybody’s happy, but all of a sudden there’s a rash of burglaries, some vandalism, maybe a robbery, frankly, it doesn’t matter, but something nefarious has happened. Something has happened that is not good for the overall health of the town. As mayor, what can you do?
The first thing that you should do, if you’re the mayor of that small town, is asking the police to start questioning people. You find out specifically what happened, who was around when it happened, and you talk to witnesses and people you believe might have been the culprits. The point is that you question people and try to find the root of the problem, which is that person, or persons, or group of people that are causing the problems. As a mayor, it’s generally not advantageous to make rash decisions without gathering all of the facts.
But what would happen, let’s say, that while mayor, all of a sudden you have a rash of burglaries, and you decide the way to solve the problem is to just throw everybody in jail. It doesn’t matter who, you’re just gonna round up everybody and throw them all in jail, the good, the bad, the culprits and the innocent. And based on your decision to round up everyone, you might not even be sure the culprits lived in your town or just passers by.
By throwing everyone in jail, you may solve the problem and not have any future burglaries or vandalism. Why? Because everybody’s in jail and there wouldn’t be anyone who could make those bad decisions. Now, of course, we know that’s not the way that you do things, but that illustration gives an idea of what happens when you take an antibiotic. You are throwing your gut into chaos. Antibiotics are not indiscriminate. They don’t care what they do. Their pharmaceutical job is simply to kill living bacteria.
What’s the end result? What happens when you have some sort of sickness and your doctor says you should take an antibiotic? I’m not saying to disregard your doctor of course, but if you do decide to take an antibiotic, you should most definitely consider replenishing that good bacteria so that it will be ready to combat the bad bacteria when it inevitably makes another appearance. Can you imagine if you are a thief and stumble upon a town where there would be no one to stop you if you decided to go on a burglary spree?
So whenever you take antibiotics, take double the amount of probiotics or eat more fermented foods that would be to actually replenish and make sure that you have the good guys in there as well. Going back to the mayoral example, if you have an increase in crime, you can try to throw everybody who lives in your town in jail, but if you choose that route, just make sure you work as hard to get good, hardworking people to move into your town that is inevitably going to do great things for that community and actively live there for future generations to come.
If you enjoyed this post, hit the Like button below and let me know. Or better yet, it anyone in your circle of friends takes quite a bit of antibiotics or is constantly sick, share this as well.
Bonus: As someone who believes foods is the greatest piece of "medicine", it should work hand in hand with your life and lifestyle, even those times when our bodies feel like they are breaking down. I've found that foods can actually go a long way to restore our body to optimal health, especially after taking antibiotics. I've put together a list of foods that can certainly help to replenish your gut with good bacteria. Click here to get my time saving list.
Who Is Jared?
I am just someone who likes to talk about probiotics, kombucha, and is obsessively passionate about gut health and digestion, My personal mission is to try to ferment just about anything food related. This blog is a continuous flow of those thoughts on that journey.