You know, your friendly flora, the good bacteria that live in your large intestine and keep you healthy. Have you heard people mention this, and really have no clue what they're talking about? Are you creeped out when you hear that you should have a colon full of bacteria? Well, don't be. These guys keep your immune system strong. They keep your digestion in top condition, give your skin a healthy glow, keep illness and allergies at bay, actually create nutrients and vitamins, not to mention what they do for increasing your level of energy. You should have about 100 trillion of these guys working for you, from up to 500 different species!
Truth is, we need bacteria in our colons, and we have to replenish them from the damage that happens just by living our lives. More importantly, taking a course of antibiotics completely wipes them out. The antibiotics commonly prescribed are broad-spectrum, which means they don't differentiate between good and bad bacteria. They simply kill bacteria. Period. So, after taking antibiotics for an illness, you can get sick from having taken the antibiotics. Who knew? Without your friendly bacteria, your immune system gets depleted, leaving you without those vigilant soldiers that combat the yeast that loves to live in our bodies. Ladies, many of you know the horrors of an out-of-control yeast population, right? Yeast overpopulation can manifest as congestion in the sinuses, vaginal infections, thrush infection of the mouth, frequent colds or flus, skin rashes, low energy, foggy thinking, cravings for sweets, bad breath that just won't go away, etc.
Anyone who has taken antibiotics and wasn't advised to take a probiotic afterward has some catching up to do. It makes a huge difference in your state of health. One round of antibiotics can throw off your intestinal health for years to come. Your intestinal flora needs to be replaced, and not by yogurt from the grocery store. You would have to eat more yogurt than you could tolerate, and even then it might only contain one strain of live bacteria. Maybe one, and not very much of it.
Treatment for this type of issue should be with a probiotic supplement. In our office, we prescribe Flora 20-14 or 200-14 from Innate Response. What that means is each capsule contains 20 billion live cells of 14 different strains of bacteria or, for someone who just finished a round of antibiotics – 200 billion cells of the same 14 strains. This one can bring you back to normal in a week.
Even if you haven't recently had a round of antibiotics, you should still consider adding a probiotic to your daily regimen. Your intestines may still not have replenished from antibiotics taken years ago. Also, just living our stressful lives depletes the population of good flora. You would be amazed at how a daily probiotic can make you seem untouchable in the midst of cold and flu season, staying healthy when people are getting sick all around you.
Look for a probiotic made from whole foods. If just starting on a probiotic regimen, it's best to work with a holistic health practitioner familiar with their use to guide you. Unfortunately, if you start to replenish your beneficial flora too fast you can have uncomfortable effects from the die-off of the bad guys, so it's best to work with a professional who is familiar with this issue.