So, you just found out you have to take antibiotics. You’re thinking WTH, I just spent years gaining back my good gut bacteria and now I have to destroy it all. I feel your pain. I always take the natural approach to health and avoid antibiotics like the plague. In my experience I have never had any trouble finding alternative methods that work just as well as conventional care (sometimes even better!). However, in a few weeks I am due for a dental implant and have been advised by both my oral surgeon and functional medicine doctor to take antibiotics for the procedure. I wanted to share with you how I am preparing my gut for antibiotics.
Important note: These are the steps I chose to take after consulting with my oral surgeon and functional medicine doctor. I am sharing this for informational purposes only and not in any way as a suggestion of medical advice. This post is strictly informational and should only serve as a starting point for a conversation between you and your medical provider about your treatment for antibiotics.
Preparing My Gut for Antibiotics
Coming to terms with the fact that a good chunk of my gut bacteria will be demolished in just a single week is quite a load to bear. Taking a proactive approach, however, makes me feel more in control of an out of my control situation.
As people with an autoimmune disease, we have a weak gut to begin with; which is why it’s so important to be proactive, instead of reactive, when it comes to antibiotics.
Clean Eating & Drinking
The first step to preparing my gut for antibiotics is to make sure I’m eating clean. This also means avoiding foods that cause inflammation. For me this consists of avoiding gluten, grains, dairy, nightshades, and alcohol; and limiting sugar, carbohydrates, and nuts.
MMmm Yummy Homemade Bone Broth!
Normally I would also be taking FCLO, however this can have a blood thinning effect so in my specific case I have stopped supplementing with FCLO until after my surgery.
Getting Optimal Sleep
There are so many reasons why getting optimal sleep is healing for the body. I won’t go into all those reasons now, but I will say that in the winter months we do require more sleep. So I try my best to get around 9 hours of shut-eye in the winter. When battling illness or stress (or impending stress like my upcoming oral surgery) I try to get a extra hour or so.
It always amazes me how much our mental health affects our physical health. Ever notice your blood sugar creeping up after an argument or stressful day at work? Or how about your quality of sleep on those days when you can’t shut your mind off? Finding ways to destress and relax are imperative to not just your mental health, but physical health as well. Need help de-stressing? Try using a Himalayan salt lamp!
Ah, exercise; sweet, sweet, exercise. I’m not talking about over-the-top exercise that stresses your body (yes I’m talking to you chronic cardio lovers). I’m talking about optimal exercise because sometimes exercise can cause more harm good. When I’m focusing on getting optimal exercise (which ideally should be all of the time) I limit my weekly workouts to include 3 strength training sessions, 1 sprint, and at least 4 hours of low aerobic activity (like walking).
Jett is very curious about workouts and tries to interrupt them as much as possible…
Keeping BG Stable
The more stable I can keep my blood sugar the happier every part of my body is. When BG is stable, mentally I feel like I’m conquering the world… and physically my body is thinking “finally, I’m catching a break!” There are so many reasons why BG should be kept stable, but especially if you’re trying to regain good gut health or heal the body.
You Haven’t Failed By Taking an Antibiotic
I know personally I felt like I failed when I decided to go through with the antibiotics. I thought there must be another option that I’m just not seeing. But at some point I had to weigh my options and decide what I was willing to risk and what the serious implications would be if the implant failed. After talking with my doctor we made a plan of action that I felt comfortable and confident with. That plan includes preparing my gut for antibiotics and an aggressive plan post-op to regain diverse gut bacteria and healthy gut flora. That post is coming soon!