Antibiotics are used by millions of Americans every year to combat bacterial issues. From bacteria pneumonia, to sin infections, and even STD’s, antibiotics are used by all of us at some time or another. But many of us fear antibiotics, and it isn’t the doctor’s visit that we fear. The fear comes from the after effects of taking an antibiotics. Many experience gas, bloating, and diarrhea after – and during – a course of antibiotics. While there may not be a way to totally solve this issue, the use of probiotics can help curb the severity of these issues.

Probiotics keep good gut flora fed and healthy. We need this on a daily basis, and while some of us take a supplement, probiotics can be found in our everyday foods. Dairy products and fermented veggies offer a good amount of probiotics to help aid out gut. But, when we take an antibiotic, these good bacteria are killed off. Antibiotics not only kill off the bad bacteria in our bodies, but also the good. This can lead to issues such as thrush and diarrhea due to the nonexistent good gut flora. While there is not way to 100% this from happening, taking a probiotic supplement can help ease the severity.

Even if you eat dairy and fermented foods on a regular basis, an additional probiotic supplement during a course of antibiotics can help ease side effects. However, not all probiotic strains are the same. The L. Bacillus that comes from dairy is good, but it isn’t the strongest strain out there available in over-the-counter probiotics. You need a strong and effective strain, such as Saccharomyces boulardii lyo (aka Florastor) is one the best available. Florastor isn’t a bacteria like L. Bacills, but a yeast, and it is not killed off by antibiotics. While you may still have some issues, they will not be nearly as bad as without a supplement. A high count of bacteria (or yeast) is also important, so whichever probiotic you take should have at least 5 billion CFU’s per dose. The supplement should also be refrigerated, as it needs to be as fresh as possible.

While you think that you can stop taking a probiotic supplement as soon as your antibiotic course ends, you are wrong. You need to keep taking these supplements for at least a month, as it can take up to four weeks for your gut flora to recover. You entire body – from skin, to colon, and even mood – depends on healthy gut flora, so keeping it stocked in your system is essential to your health.