Antibiotics and Probiotics

The general public knows about and uses different antibiotics. Antibiotics are substances used to kill targeted bacteria and protozoa. Antibiotics can be found naturally or formulated in a lab. The problem with antibiotics arises when they effectively kill off all/most of the bacteria they encounter – which they often do. Our body harbors certain populations of bacteria and fungi (normal body flora) that at normal, healthy levels assist with digestion and ward off the proliferation of certain yeast, bacteria or parasites.  When the antibiotics kill off these natural, healthy populations of flora, other illnesses arise. Many patients can attest to suffering from a yeast infection or diarrhea after a round of antibiotics.

Antibiotics are necessary at times just as probiotics are essential at times, though probiotics are not as familiar to most households. Probiotics are the normal flora – bacterial and fungal species that our body needs to maintain a healthy system. Probiotics can be taken orally or vaginally to encourage a re-population of normal flora, especially around the time that antibiotics are taken. They can also be used on a daily basis to help treat a variety of conditions.  Naturopathic doctors are trained to know which probiotics are needed for each patient.

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