Repopulating the Flora

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I kind of hate being on antibiotics. While I know they’re an efficient way to treat an infection, I tend to feel spacey and vaguely nauseous when I’m on them. My attitude may also be colored, of course, by an unpleasant association with last summer’s arm injury, which occurred while I was taking Cipro.

The antibiotic probably had nothing directly to do with it, but the clouded judgment that made me think I could go right into a new, ridiculously hard yoga move may have. Whoops. I learned a lot but never want to go through that again!

Yeah. This sucked.

I’m also a total hypochondriac. When it comes to medication, I become, as Chris says, “enchanted by the potential side effects.” In most cases, I’d be better off not reading the label.

Thinking of the patients I’ve worked with over the past few years reminds me to chill out, though. They’re on long lists of medications that come with all kinds of no-fun, very common side effects, and they’ll be on those drugs for the foreseeable future. I’m only on this bladder infection-fighting Macrobid stuff for a week!

One important thing to consider, hypochondriac or not, is the potential for negative digestive effects with antibiotic use. The good bacteria get killed off with the bad, so it’s important to repopulate the flora (aka the gut bacteria) through taking probiotics (multi-strain is best) and consuming probiotic-rich fermented foods. A few of my favorites:

  • yogurt
  • kefir
  • miso
  • tempeh
  • sauerkraut

You can read more about probiotics, prebiotics, and their role in immune function here.

For more on what to eat when you’re on antibiotics, click here.

And speaking of sauerkraut, Chris made a cashew cheese the other day that consisted of sauerkraut, raw cashews, coconut oil, and water. It tastes like cream cheese and is particularly divine on cinnamon raisin Ezekiel English muffins. Totally worth waiting for it to rise as it languished in a dark cupboard and then as it un-rose (whatever the proper term is) in the fridge. I’m hoping to get the recipe from his soon so I can share!

2 thoughts on “Repopulating the Flora

    mealsformiles said:
    June 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Oh no! Sorry about your yoga mishap. I totally relate – I get freaked out by medication side effects and basically any information I find on WebMD about minor symptoms I’ve having. It’s best for me to not look or research anything!

    That cheese looks so delicious and interesting!

      Jess responded:
      June 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm

      It was definitely not how I wanted to spend last summer! I had an awesome physical therapist and learned a lot about building strength, but oh dear. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone!

      I know the antibiotic wasn’t the cause, but I always think of it now whenever I have to take something!

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