Childrens Health

The Impact Antibiotics Have on Gut Health and 5 Simple Ways to Recover

Antibiotics are amazing medicines and have been attributed to saving millions of lives over time. But do you know the impact these medicines have on your body’s gut health? The answer might surprise you.

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. If you’re experiencing persistent gut issues, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional. They can help determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and recommend the appropriate treatment.

First up though, we know that improving gut health has become a hot topic in recent years, especially after finding out just how linked it is to our overall health. Sometimes referred to as the ‘second brain,’ our gut is home to trillions of good and bad bacteria that help us digest food, regulate our immune system, and even influence our moods!

14 Signs you have an unhealthy gut

A healthy, balanced gut can efficiently process food and eliminate waste. An unhealthy gut, however, causes issues in the digestive process. Here are the four most common symptoms:

  1. Stomach pain
  2. Heartburn
  3. Indigestion
  4. Bloating

That said, here are ten other surprising signs your gut health may need improving:

  1. Bad breath
  2. Diarrhoea
  3. Constipation
  4. Skin issues such as eczema or acne
  5. Brain fog
  6. Joint pain
  7. Constant fatigue
  8. Food intolerance
  9. Mood swings
  10. Anxiety

A poor diet containing fatty food, a lack of fibre, constant stress, and not prioritising a healthy lifestyle can wreak havoc with our gut health.

How antibiotics can affect your gut health

Antibiotics effectively treat bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections, streptococcal pharyngitis, bacterial pneumonia, and bloodstream infections, so it’s important to take them when prescribed by your Doctor. However, antibiotics can also impact our gut health, so it’s important that we are able replenish the numbers of good bacteria in our gut after a bout of antibiotics.

Here are some of the potential side effects:

  • They disrupt our gut microbiome

Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, but they can’t tell if they kill good or bad ones! This can lead to an imbalance in the gut microbiome, which can take time to restore.

  • They can cause digestive distress

Antibiotics cause issues in our digestive system, especially for those with sensitive stomachs. Symptoms can include bloating, gas and diarrhoea.

  • Our bodies can develop antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics can be beneficial when administered correctly, but overusing antibiotics can create antibiotic-resistant bacteria in our gut, making it challenging to fight future infections.

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Gut Health

Improving your gut health will restore your gut microbiome and get things moving through your digestive system.

Here’s how you can easily help balance your gut and keep healthy:

1. Eat a balanced diet

Fuel your body! Eating plenty of fibre from various food sources, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains, will ensure you feed a wide variety of good bacteria naturally present in your gut, supporting their survival. This will encourage a healthy and balanced amount of beneficial bacteria in the long term.

2. Stay hydrated, manage stress and exercise

  • Drinking plenty of water is essential for maintaining good gut health. It also encourages regular bowel movements, keeping your system ticking along nicely! A great way to check if you’re hydrated enough is by checking the colour of your urine – it should be a light, straw-like colour. Anything darker than this will mean you need to drink more water!
  • Chronic stress can harm gut health. Try meditation, yoga or deep breathing to reduce stress over time.
  • Adequate sleep and regular physical activity can also improve your gut composition. It can also help with moving things through your digestive system!

3. Limit antibiotics for ONLY when it is needed

While antibiotics can be lifesaving, they also disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria in our gut. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and ONLY use antibiotics if they have prescribed them to you.

4. Consider using prebiotics & the best probiotics for gut health

Sometimes confused with probiotics, prebiotics are non-digestible fibres that feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. These foods include garlic, onions, bananas and whole grains rich in prebiotics.

Probiotics are beneficial live microorganisms. Consumed in the right amount, these probiotics (and the substances they produce) can benefit you by interacting with your immune cells, gut cells, and food as they travel through your gut. Research shows that regular probiotic use can help improve both immune function and digestive health.

Adding a probiotic such as Yakult to your daily routine may help restore digestive balance by increasing the numbers of beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Source: Supplied

How Yakult can improve your gut health

Yakult is the only product to contain the unique probiotic bacteria Lacticaseibacillus paracasei Shirota strain or LcS. The LcS in Yakult is scientifically proven to survive the journey through the gastric juices to reach the small intestine alive, altering and improving digestive balance and intestinal health.

HOT TIP: We were amazed when we learnt just how important this all is on a recent Yakult Factory Tour while in Melbourne. Check it out if you’re local; it’ll definitely be a game-changer (and your kids might love it as much as my teens did!) Bookings are essential.

We learnt so much about gut health on our Yakult factory Tour. Source: Supplied

Each 65mL bottle of Yakult and Yakult LIGHT contains a huge number of these highly acid-resistant bacteria (about 6.5 billion!), making it an easy and refreshing way to drink your daily probiotics. Think of it like your shot of daily goodness!

Drinking Yakult daily will actually improve the bacterial balance by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria in the intestines, which is great for your gut! Yakult also encourages regular bowel movements by improving your stools. So, if you’ve been having a tough time in the loo, make today your first day of drinking Yakult! Check out how to understand what your stools say about you and why this plays such an integral part of your overall digestive health!

Cheesecake Cups and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – the Yakult way! Source: Supplied

Get creative on how you weave Yakult into your family’s diet, too! We have made some incredible recipes using Yakult, including Frozen Fruity Bark, Cake Pops with a Twist, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with a Twist and No-Bake Cheesecake Cups!

Yakult Cake Pops and Frozen Fruity Bark for the win! Source: Supplied

Maintaining a healthy gut is crucial for overall health and well-being. By being mindful of the signs of an unhealthy gut, understanding the risks of antibiotic use and taking steps to improve your gut health, you can support a thriving microbiome and enjoy better health in the long run.

If you want to support your gut microbiome and strengthen your gut health, why not start your Yakult journey today?

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This is a sponsored post for Yakult

Avatar of Kylie Baracz

As a busy writer and mama of two little wildlings, Kylie knows what it's like to juggle All The Things. When she's not politely ushering out small children from her Zoom calls, her favourite place is snuggled on the couch with her family and a (probably lukewarm!) cuppa.

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