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Recovering, what to eat, what to do

So, I was on some heavy duty antibiotics for about 2.5 weeks.  Tolerated it well when taking them.  BUT, after I finished, I'm a mess.  I started to think things were a little off but nothing major until I had a day that I fell completely apart.  The big D that also felt like constipation (hard to describe and not trying to gross anyone out), but cramps, nausea, unrelenting nausea, headache, body hurt, chills, fever.  It was BAD.  I thought of a few things that day such as covid, the odd symptoms that women have when about to have a heart attack, and C diff. I also had lethargy that is really unlike any I've had where I just could not move.  To get up took so much effort.  Couldn't sleep though, too uncomfortable. Paint a good enough picture of how uncomfortable that day was?  I wanted a sleeping pill just to KNOCK ME OUT.  But by the next morning, I improved greatly.  Then, I was a little tired and had urgent need to get to the bathroom NOW attacks of D with cramps.  The D was odd.  I'm old enough to have had the Big D a lot, and this was unusual.  I'll leave it at that.  That day, if I ate a bite, hello bathroom, here I come.  I had a tangerine, a half banana and three crackers with some no sugar peanut butter.  All resulting in bathroom time pretty quickly.  The crackers I ate at 10 pm because even though I'm having stomach cramping and D and the day before was so miserable, I guess we do need to eat.  I kind of would feel hungry.  Anyway, up several times going at night too after the crackers.  I will say that it was also like cyclic that day and into yesterday.  Like backwards dry heaves.  Not alot there, still it would start cramping and I'd try to go.  (I'm really sorry if I'm grossing anyone out).  

Anyway, here is what I think is going on.  My gut flora got wiped out with the antibiotics I was on.  Don't think it is C diff because I think I'd be way worse  (although that first day, ya, that would qualify as awful enough).  But I think the bacteria is off.  I'm taking True life probiotic.  But am wondering if there isn't a better gut flora probiotics.  I'm also wondering what I should eat.  I need to calm this down!  I guess I could stand to lose weight but rapid over three days time (like several pounds, not even joking) wasn't what I had in mind.  I chose peanut butter because I read that something about it aids in good bacteria growth.  Anyway, I'd like to get back to normal!
1 Responses
Avatar universal
I'd pass on the True Life.  It's dairy based, and most people without even knowing it have trouble with dairy even without the problems you're having.  And it's shelf stable, which means the probiotics in it may well be dead before you get them into your body.  These are live organisms, and they can die off if not kept refrigerated for at least most of the time from manufacture to getting to your refrigerator at home.  At that temperature, they don't wake up, they hibernate, and so they don't need to eat and don't die.  That's not to say all shelf-stable bacteria die, but enough might to make it ineffective.  All the best ones are kept refrigerated.  Not that you can actually get the best ones anymore, even most large health food stores don't carry them anymore.  The main one you want for digestion is bifidus, but during and after a bout of antibiotics a high quality refrigerated multi-spectrum probiotic should be taken for awhile, as antibiotics do in fact indiscriminately kill bacteria, including the good ones.  This is on top of the fact modern humans largely lack a lot of the beneficial microbes we are supposed to have to begin with.  So go to the best health food store in your area and buy the best one they have and make sure bifidus is emphasized given your problems, but not confined to that as you are subject to a lot of harmful bacteria that flourish when the good guys are gone.  But that doesn't mean I'm saying that's the reason for your problems, just that it might be.  Other things can be going on.  Antibiotics often cause a lot of bad stuff to happen after, partly because of this die-off but also because they create an imbalance in your immune system.  Sometimes this can lead to resistant bacteria as well, which means whatever you had could come right back again.  A lot of chronic problems can follow the use of antibiotics, which is why the official criteria has finally changed to only use them when necessary.  You don't say why you were taking them in the first place, so it could just be that still being around.  And it could be a host of things.  I'd probably want to see my doctor and get your blood tested and all that to make sure you're not missing something you need.  You could also be dehydrated because of the diarrhea.  I don't know that peanut butter helps with probiotics, and it can be hard to digest.  Usually when we feel like you do we go to the doc, and we eat soup or something easy on us, which can differ by the person.  You do need nutrients.  If you can't hold food down, you might have to find another way to do that.  There are also prebiotics, which is the food probiotics thrive on.  Fermented and cultured foods tend to be good for this, such as yogurt, although it is dairy, and things you aren't going to want to eat when you're sick, such as kim chi, sauerkraut, and pickles.  But a fermented food you might find useful is miso, as miso soup is very soothing.  Daikon radish might help, and you can sometimes find pickles made out of that.  Umeboshi plums you probably won't want to eat either right now but they can help with both prebiotics and your stomach.  But first, go see your doc.  Peace.  
3 Comments
I was on the antibiotics for a tooth issue.  A bad tooth infection in side by side teeth that went up to my sinus cavity.  Root canals followed.  Although I had bouts of pain, I really had no idea.  It came and went.  But when they got up in there, they said it had been going on a long time and they were surprised I wasn't completely miserable.  Anyway, the antibiotics were for that whole episode of joy.  

The probiotic I've taken is TruBiotics and it is a pill form.  This is what it says: Each capsule contains a proprietary blend of 2 billion CFUs of Bifidobacterium animalis BB-12® and Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-5®, the #1 clinically studied probiotic combination, supporting overall health. Adds to your body's good bacteria with two types of probiotics—BB-12® and LA-5

Is bifidobacterium the ingredient that is important to have?  

I'd have to talk myself into eating some of the prebiotics but understand that might help.  I like some of them, so will try them.  I've had the plums, that's an acquired taste.  lol  I think though, I'd try anything to get back to normal.  

Trying to stay hydrated.  It's not motivating when you end up in pain, but important.  I  know.  

This caught me by surprise.  On the plus side, previously, I had a swollen lymph node in my neck on the side where the tooth issue was for like two years.  Just kind of wrote it off and my doctor was never concerned . . . it's gone.  Must have been the teeth.
I would probably go with a multi-spectrum probiotic rather than just those two.  Bifidus is great for digestion.  Acidophilus is the one most people know about.  Reuteri is very good at preventing yeast and other fungal infections.  And so on.  There are a ton of beneficial organisms, and yes this is gross but it is done by gastroenterologists, you can actually get a transplant of fecal tissue if your own body just can't provide a good home for the good guys anymore.  That's for those who are really sick because of probiotic depletion, and it gets what we have left in there.  I say what we have left because of something I kind of knew already but not anywhere near this dire and such detail.  Basically, a study was done on two ancient world latrines, one in the old city of Jerusalem and one in another ancient civilization.  They actually were able to find intact samples of ancient fecal matter there, and it contained a whole lot more beneficial organisms that we who live in modern times have in us.  So we do have to try really hard to preserve what we have left, and steroids and antibiotics are very hard on them.  So again, bifido-bacteria is one that is especially good if you have digestive issues, but if you're trying to replenish what antibiotics killed off, you want one with as many organisms as you can find.  I don't know the brand you're using, so won't comment, but it isn't a top brand, I know that.  So many companies make this stuff now, including standard OTC drug store type manufacturers, that it's very hard to know who is making great product and who isn't.  There used to be companies that only did probiotics but you can't find them anymore.  The other key thing is to buy one that is delivered to your refrigerated or is in the refrigerator at the store.  If it's on the shelf, it's not that it's always bad but you gotta expect some die-off at room temperature.  Under refrigeration, these living organisms hibernate and don't wake up until they're in your body, which is where they have evolved to live.  If they're home, there's not much room for the bad guys to get a good foothold.  They also make B vitamins, regulate digestion, balance mental health, and all sorts of things we didn't know they did not that many years ago.  We can only do the best we can.  But those fermented and cultured foods are actually quite good if you get high quality stuff, though you do have to get used to them, but if you can't get behind miso or tempeh or kim chi or the like, there is yogurt though it's dairy and dairy tends to attract the bad guys, and there's even just good old dill pickles if they're in the refrigerator and pure.  Anything that's cultured or fermented provides the food probiotics like.  Peace.
I should add, one of the most respected people in the field, whose products you just can't find anymore, only believed 3 of these organisms were proven safe and effective, but she was definitely a one woman show in that argument and I think she lost that one over time.  But do be careful about buying from companies that you don't trust.  There was a company that has now moved on to new products which are much more admired, but their first product was soil organisms, which you find in soil and plants presumably benefit from them but no human ever ate them and so that's an example of something I wouldn't want to be a guinea pig for.  
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