Antibiotics are wonderful things. They help us fight off infection when it goes too far for our bodies to fight by itself. They kill the invading bacteria and stop it from multiplying and spreading. In my case last week, they saved my life. I hadn’t had to take a course of antibiotics for about three or four years. I discovered I had a serious infection in my leg by using my infra red thermal imaging camera. The infection was deep and looked like it was spreading rapidly (picture below). Never one for drama, I had images of losing my leg. The infection could go into my bone and I’d be in trouble then. I’m sure it was common long ago before and even since the introduction of antibiotics that people lost limbs due to infection. The thought of it is horrific. But it can happen. In the past two weeks, I’ve been on three different high dose antibiotics, oral and intra-venous. They did the trick, they stopped infection along with a minor surgical procedure to remove the infection from the area. It’s healing up nicely with the help of daily dressing by my local community nurse. It has to be packed, cleaned and changed every day. I’m a week in and it’s showing signs of improvement but I’m guessing I have another week to go before it’s fully healed.
So we all agree that antibiotics are great right? But only when taken sparingly. Overuse of antibiotics causes the body to become resistant making them less effective and they can also be very damaging to the gut and immune system. We have trillions of friendly bacteria living in our bodies and they each do an important job from digestion to immunity. We should take good care to repair the damage during and after use. Most people have taken antibiotics in their lifetime. But have you done anything to repair your body after use? How do you go about it? Seeing as antibiotics destroy bacteria, both good and bad in the body, it is advisable to restore as much of the good bacteria as possible. Here are some ways to do that…
- Take a therapeutic grade probiotic capsule. Probiotics are ‘good bacteria’. Our bodies need bacteria to function and we have many strains working away in synchronicity with each other to keep our bodies ticking over. Probiotic capsules are available in pharmacies and health food shops and one with a wide range of strains is advisable after taking an antibiotic. Some common brands are Udo’s Super 8, Optibac and BioKult. They can be taken along with antibiotics but not at the same time, it’s recommended to wait two hours. They need to be taken daily for a month or more after finishing antibiotics to replenish which ever strains they contain. After a month, it is good to change to a different strain to help populate that one too. Kid’s probiotics are readily available and can help to keep the immune system healthy and stay on top of colds and flu. Ali has one ‘sugar pill’ every day and she has never been sick.
- Eat probiotics. Yoghurt with live cultures, milk kefir, water kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, miso soup and fermented vegetables.
- Load up on prebiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria in the gut but they need fuel. Prebiotics provide just that. They are foods which aren’t fully digested in the digestive tract and hold on to some nutrition perfect for the gut healing bacteria. Prebiotic foods include green bananas, asparagus, leek, onion and garlic.
- Support gut with L-glutamine. L-glutamine is an amino acid which helps repair the gut after it has been damaged. It is available in supplement form and is plentiful in red cabbage and bone broth.
- Drink lots of water. The body is recovering meaning there are lots of processes happening. Chemical processes use water compounds so staying hydrated means healing can happen quickly.
Along with using health-giving foods to spur on my healing, I’ve been doing some inner work too. I am sending healing thoughts to the area, holding my hand over it to focus energy and visualising the cells repairing at a rapid pace. I’ve been to a bio-energy and acupuncture session to help the body do its magic repair work. I’m well on the way now! Thanks everybody for the well wishes, it was a small knock back but sure I’ll keep on trucking. And being more mindful of infection control. Never. Want. That. To. Happen. Again!
Bye for now!