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Side Effects of Taking Antibiotics and Natural Ways to Counteract Them

This article was written as a response to the question:
Taking antibiotics for any reason can cause some very difficult side effects. Well there are some natural ways to very effectively counteract these uncomfortable complaints.

If you have a bacterial infection, antibiotics are recommended by physicians for treatment and cure. But these drugs are extremely potent and should not be used other than for appropriate cases.

One of the problems that has occurred with the use of antibiotics would be best described as overuse. For many years antibiotics have been abused in the sense that they are taken for “every little thing”. The worst ill use of antibiotics is to treat viruses like the common cold or influenza. Viruses are not affected by antibiotics, only bacteria are. Yet they are prescribed everyday for the wrong reasons. Some say they are prescribed because of the “squeaky wheel” syndrome. Simply put the patient insists on the antibiotic treatment, and the doctor gives in.

The antibiotic is not going to harm the person at that moment. Taking it for a virus is simply not going to affect the virus. But in the meantime, over time, the body’s immune system is weakened and will become less and less able to fight normal invasions of your health. Every cold or virus that comes along will be happy to settle into your weakened immune system.

Worse yet, when you do get that bacterial infection, your body is immune to antibiotic effects. And therefore, treatment is very difficult, demanding the use of very powerful and potentially dangerous antibiotics to afford effective treatment.

These powerful drugs can also cause some unpleasant side effects, such as yeast overgrowth and gastrointestinal trouble. In addition to the risk of unnecessary side effects, inappropriate use of antibiotics can promote the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and leave you vulnerable to incurable infections later on.

However, if you find yourself with a bacterial infection, antibiotics are still the treatment of choice and definitely the most effective treatment available. But you can still take very effective steps to avoid or at least reduce those side effects and do it naturally.

Three effective natural choices to support your system while you are taking antibiotics include probiotic supplements, herbal tea and milk thistle. Let’s explore these.

Unfortunately antibiotics do not only kill the bacteria infecting your body, but it also kills the beneficial bacteria or probiotics that assist your digestive system. These are the natural healthy bacteria that reside in your digestive tract. Taking probiotic supplements and fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir can reduce yeast infections and prevent side affects affecting your GI Tract.

Something as simple as a cup of herbal tea can sooth the nausea sometimes experienced while taking antibiotics, a good choice is ginger tea. Also frequent complaints of diarrhea can occur while taking antibiotics. Raspberry leaf tea can bring effective relief of this difficult complaint.

One of the invisible affects of antibiotics is the taxing affect it has on our livers. The liver is responsible for breaking down the medications we ingest, including antibiotics. They must be broken down and sent into our bodies to be able to do their jobs, this is hard on the liver, the largest filter our bodies have. The herb milk thistle has been associated with protective antioxidant effect for the liver.

So obviously the best way to stay healthy is to avoid infections, get plenty of rest and eat healthy. But if you do find yourself having to take an antibiotic you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that you can ease the course of treatment with natural soothing relief.

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Comments (13)

Excellent tips on how to manage the side effects of antibiotics! Many will find this helpful.

It seems that doctors are over-prescribing antibiotics when they are not necessary. When I had bronchitis, the doctor gave me antibiotics, but told me the antibiotics wouldn't heal me any faster, but would make me feel better. I was confused by this.

I meant, confused by the doctor, not by your article. :)

And it probably didn't even make you feel better. Doctors sometimes treat just to give that placebo affect. If you feel better it was successful. But what is happening to your immune system?

I knew what you meant Taylor. :)

Thanks Heather, I do hope it is found helpful.

My mother usually gets a yeast infection from her antibiotics. They haven't ever bothered me though but I also don't have to use them. Very interesting article and so true.

Unfortunately, I got sick a lot- right during the time I was studying for college, and I had to take a lot of antibiotics. The permanent side effects are that my immune system isn't that strong and my stomach is very sensitive. A very poignant topic and article, Susan. Well done.

Excellent.. this is very helpful.

A great eye opener as the name imply "Antibiotic (against life)" an overdose could literally exterminate bacteria and we are lucky to be spared unable to reproduce.

Very well explained. Thanks!

The yeast overgrowth is probably one of the most immediate effects. Thank you for a well written article. I added this article to my newspaper, The Factoidz Herald: http://paper.li/sheilaholloway/1326053027 If you want to add any of your articles, Tweet them and add #factoidz to your Tweet.

My mother was on antibiotics for years because the doctor thought she had chronic bladder infections. The anti biotics actually made it was and four years later they discovered that her gladder bladder was what was giving her pain all these years. She recovered well after surgery. You article is well written and informative. I am out of votes tonight so I will google vote it.

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