Lyme Disease Research Database Independent reporting on all aspects of Lyme Disease

Life after antibiotics: How to heal your gut

How do you heal your war-torn gut from the damage done by antibiotics? In my experience, and what I've learned from others, is first of all eat a healthy, whole foods diet. This means eliminating sugar (yes, including honey and other sweeteners) and alcohol. Cutting out sugar is necessary. It feeds the Lyme bug and cancer, you don’t need it. Or just little-bitty bits as a once in a blue moon treat. Not every day. Quit sugar, and believe me, you'll feel the difference.

The key is to eat a vibrant diet of foods that have a lot of prana - life force - and focus on consuming anti-inflammatory foods. The Mediterranean diet is a good place to start, according to WebMD. It's a bit loosey-goosey, which suits me fine. I don't tend to follow strict guidelines anyway and listening to your gut is, after all, the whole idea here! So eat fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, fish, healthy whole grains and olive oil, with bits of meat and dairy and a splash of red wine.

Live foods, fresh greens with a lot of enzymes flush your digestive tract with nutrients. But be cautious with raw foods which can be too harsh when you're healing. I usually stir-fry or steam a variety of leafy greens, broccoli, sweet potato, garlic and onions. Serve with brown rice or quinoa, which cooks up in only 15 minutes -- way quicker than brown rice, if you’re like me and want to eat when you’re hungry! Watch out for gluten, which can hide in lots of things that might surprise you, such as salad dressings, marinades, and soy sauce. So many people nowadays seem to be keen on Gluten-free foods, it’s easy to find GF products in your grocery store and on the menu at your favorite restaurants.

Some spices, like turmeric and ginger, help reduce inflammation, so add these into your meals whenever you like. Your doctor can prescribe turmeric in capsules too, which would give you a stronger dose. I have a friend who has greatly reduced her RA pain with medical-grade turmeric capsules she gets from her doctor.

When your antibiotic Lyme treatment is over, start taking a good probiotic (up to 100 billion units daily). I started as soon as I finished the pharmaceutical antibiotics. I'm well again, so in my case I have not been taking probiotics on a regular basis for a few years now. But that’s just because I wax and wane with supplements. Always do what works for you, physically as well as financially. Supps can take a big bite out of the monthly grocery budget, I know. So I'm off and on now, but for the first two years following the antibiotics routine I took them religiously, and I'm positive they helped to restore balance to my gut flora.

Herbalists recommend some supplements, such as Slippery Elm and Marshmallow, which are believed to have a healing effect on the intestines. I have found that to be true for me. I drink them as teas, usually mixed with other bulk herbs that taste good and address my issue, which is my skin. The other thing I did was to drink aloe vera juice and I think it helped. Some people chew DGL tablets which help with digestion issues. You can get them at Whole foods or any other grocery with a good supplements department. HCL is also said to help.

Sharing a meal with family and friends, relaxing while you dine, exercising regularly, and enjoying life as much as possible. Even when you’re sick, don’t make it worse by thinking the worst. Invite happy people into your life, online as well as face-to-face. These are anti-inflammatory measures too, just as vital to your overall health and wellness as any sort of diet.


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