After taking antibiotics, the diarrhea stops

In 4 steps to a healthy intestinal flora

The intestinal flora (also called microbiota) play a crucial role in our digestion and the healthy function of our immune system. Why it's so important and how to rebuild it when it's unbalanced by antibiotics or illness, that's what this time is all about.

The W.most important in brief:

  • The intestinal flora significantly influences our digestion and the function of our immune system.
  • A disturbed intestinal flora can lead to digestive problems, abdominal pain, an increased susceptibility to infections, but also skin problems, allergies or psychological problems.
  • Drugs such as antibiotics, illnesses, stress or a wrong diet can be the cause of a disturbed intestinal flora.

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In order to bring a disturbed intestinal flora back into balance, an intestinal rehabilitation can be useful. Here, the intestinal flora is specifically built up with selected microbiological preparations (also: microbiotics).

Intestinal flora: what is it actually? 

Strictly speaking, the “intestinal flora” is not a flora (plant world) because it describes the entirety of all bacteria in the human intestines. That is why it is now also called the intestinal microbiome or microbiota in specialist circles. The largest part, namely 99% of the intestinal flora, is in the human colon. Billions of bacteria are said to be romping about here, which corresponds to approx. 5000 times more bacteria than people on earth.1,2 There are still a lot of bacteria in the small intestine, but fewer than in the large intestine. It is only in the stomach that conditions are so inhospitable that only a few bacteria feel comfortable here. However, the stomach is not sterile either.

Why is the intestinal flora important? 

1. Digestion: With the help of enzymes, the bacteria of the intestinal flora break down and process the mostly indigestible food components so that we can properly absorb and utilize the vital nutrients from the food. Digestion can only be guaranteed without problems if there is a healthy composition of the intestinal flora.3,4

The so-called intestinal barrier ultimately decides like a bouncer about which substances are allowed to get into the blood and which are not. Foreign substances (e.g. poisons, foreign substances) and pathogens are of course rejected. If the intestinal flora is disturbed, this intestinal barrier sometimes no longer functions properly - this is referred to as a “leaky gut”, a permeable intestine - which means that substances can enter the body that would normally have been rejected. Inflammatory reactions and secondary diseases can result.5 

2. Immune system: Our intestinal flora is part of a large protective shield against invading bacteria, viruses, fungi and environmental toxins - 80% of our immune system should be located in the intestine.6 If our intestinal flora is disturbed (also called dysbiosis), we become more susceptible to allergies such as hay fever, inflammation-related diseases such as rheumatism and gastrointestinal problems such as flatulence, diarrhea or constipation. Skin problems such as acne and neurodermatitis can also be the result of damaged intestinal mucosa. Our body's defenses and the healthy function of the immune system are also dependent on the condition of our intestinal flora.

3. Mental health: Scientific studies suggest a connection between neurological and mental illnesses such as depression and a disturbed intestinal flora. We now know that the intestine and the central nervous system (brain) are in constant communicative exchange via the so-called intestinal-brain axis. The mood should also be influenced by the condition of the intestinal flora.7,8 Research on the gut-brain axis is still young - it will be exciting to pursue it further.

Intestinal flora disturbed: causes and risks 

Medicines such as antibiotics, stress and an improper diet with too many processed foods permanently damage the intestinal flora. The problem: If the intestinal flora is out of balance, one embarks on a dangerous downward spiral, because pathogens have an easy time of it due to the weakened immune system.

Intestinallora disturbed: symptoms

If a disturbed intestinal flora remains untreated, this can lead to long-term complaints that can develop into chronic diseases. Indications of a disturbed intestinal flora are i.a.9:

  • Bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and gas and bloating
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Food intolerances and allergies
  • Susceptibility to infection
  • Rheumatic diseases
  • Mental illness
  • Skin diseases
  • Fungal diseases
  • Constant fatigue

Do you have to build up the intestinal flora after antibiotics? 

One often hears that antibiotics affect the intestinal flora, but why is that?

Antibiotics are active ingredients that specifically inhibit or destroy the growth of bacteria. But in their work, these very important drugs cannot distinguish between pathogens and the "normal" types of bacteria that naturally live in the intestine - all bacteria that respond to the respective type of antibiotic are killed. Because of their broad spectrum of activity, broad spectrum antibiotics are particularly dangerous for intestinal bacteria. The result: Without the "good" bacteria, among other things, the digestive processes are changed and bacteria that are important for maintaining the intestinal barrier are missing. Ultimately, this can lead to the intestinal mucosa becoming more permeable and pathogenic pathogens now having free travel to get through the intestinal wall into the body and thus trigger infections or complaints.10 

So our defenses suffer from taking antibiotics - and possibly in the long term. In one study, scientists showed that after taking antibiotics, the microbiome had almost completely recovered within 1.5 months. But only almost: some known types of bacteria that were detectable in the body before the drug was administered, remained permanently gone.11 Another study showed that a single intake of the antibiotic clindamycin changed the intestinal flora to such an extent that it had not recovered even after 12 months.12

Even if there are no symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps or other intestinal complaints after taking medication, it is in the interests of our intestinal barrier and our immune system to become active ourselves and to strengthen the intestinal flora early on. Of course, the same also applies if there is disease-related dysbiosis, such as irritable bowel syndrome and neurodermatitis. The aim of this is to rebuild the intestinal flora to such an extent that it regulates itself again in the long term. The reconstruction of the intestinal flora is recommended with selected microbiological preparations (e.g. with the food supplement Innovall® AID).

4 steps to a healthy intestinal flora after antibiotics and illness 

The following 4 steps bring the disturbed intestinal flora back into balance.

1. Intestinal rehabilitation 

An intestinal rehabilitation can, for example after taking antibiotics, help to rebuild the intestinal flora and reactivate the self-healing powers. However, intestinal rehabilitation is not always necessary: ​​If you support your bowel with the appropriate bacterial cultures when taking antibiotics (e.g. the food supplement Innovall® AID), a complete intestinal rehabilitation is often not necessary at all after taking antibiotics.

1.1 Intestinal rehabilitation: Procedure 
An intestinal rehabilitation takes place in three steps and can also be done at home:

  • Clean the colon
  • Detoxify with mineral earth (see also article intestinal cleansing)
  • Build up intestinal flora

1.2 Intestinal Rehabilitation: Precautions 
If you want to do an intestinal rehabilitation yourself at home, you should seek individual advice from a doctor, pharmacist or alternative practitioner before using home remedies or homeopathic medicines. This is especially true for existing intolerances, previous illnesses and the use of medication (this also includes the birth control pill). The respective phase of life (children / senior citizens) must also be taken into account.

2. Build up the intestinal flora through nutrition 

How can you build up the intestinal flora naturally with the right diet? That's how it's done:

  • Love the intestine and its inhabitantsFiber. S.They serve as food for the bacteria (Prebiotics) and naturally stimulate bowel movement. High-fiber foods include flaxseed and psyllium, legumes such as lentils, and whole grains. Also vegetables contains a lot of healthy fiber. The same applies to fruit, but fruit also contains a lot of sugar (fructose) and should therefore only be consumed in moderation.
  • Resistant starch is another treat for the intestinal bacteria. This is contained in boiled and cooled potatoes, for example.13 Experience has shown that it is best to cook the potatoes the day before, let them cool down and store them in the refrigerator overnight so that they are ready to eat the next day. A potato salad with linseed oil and natural yoghurt, for example, is delicious and very digestible. Why is resistant starch so good? This modified form of the starch cannot be digested and so enters the large intestine as “bacterial feed”. In addition, cold potatoes contain fewer carbohydrates than hot ones.
  • In terms of gut health is less often more. After a meal, you should feel full, but not overfilled. If you long for a digestive schnapps after dinner, you know: that was too much. Food and drinks that unnecessarily irritate the gastrointestinal tract should be avoided - this includes too hot, too cold, too spicy and meals with a lot of fat that are literally heavy on the stomach. Too much coffee, alcohol and anything sugary, including soft drinks, should also be avoided for the sake of the intestines. Food is best to be as fresh and natural as possible; In principle, industrially processed foods such as ready-made meals should be avoided.
  • It is not only important what we eat, but also HOW we eat. Instead of gulping down the food in front of the TV, it makes a big difference if you sit at a table, without a screen and enjoy every bite, and eat mindfully. Sufficient chewing also supports the digestive process - because the digestive process begins with the chopping and "salivating".
  • Get a "pro" high quality probiotic foods.14 Because probiotic bacteria can also be found in many fermented foods. Because the bacteria are necessary for fermentation - a fermentation process in food processing. Fermented foods include fresh sauerkraut, natural yoghurt, kefir, miso, kombucha or the Korean dish kimchi. So there are so many probiotic foods out there, but not all of them are of the same high quality. In order to have a health effect, these foods should be consumed over the long term and not bought in canned form.

3. Intestinal flora again build up with sports and meditation 

Stress is poison for our digestive system. It is not without reason that they say: “That hits me on the stomach”. Exercise in the fresh air such as walks or jogging, yoga, relaxation exercises and meditation can help.15 Because our gastrointestinal tract is only when we feel in balance.

4. Build up intestinal flora:preparations 

As Probiotics certain living microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria (e.g. Lactobacillus) denotes that bring health benefits to humans if they are administered in sufficient quantities.16 

The intestinal flora of adults is populated by a large number of different bacteria. Probiotics with living microorganisms are only effective if the right strains of bacteria in the right quantity and quality are selected individually for the human situation.

Which quality criteria should one pay attention to when choosing a probiotic?

  • Best studied bacterial strains for existing dysbiosis disease
  • Effect proven by published clinical studies
  • The ability of the microorganisms to survive against gastric acid and bile juice
  • High colonization and reproductive capacity in the intestine
  • Assured durability and stability

To rebuild the intestinal flora after medication or illness, there are in addition to home remedies mentioned here and nutrition, also selected microbiological preparations from the pharmacy - as powder or capsules.

The intestines and immune system should be supported when taking antibiotics. In this way, the intestinal flora can be strengthened at an early stage, undesirable effects occur less often and the intestine and the immune system recover much faster. But even after antibiotic treatment or with a dysbiosis caused by other influences, you can still do good by means of an intestinal rehabilitation. Those affected benefit during and after taking antibiotics, for example, from the 10 selected bacterial strains in Innovall® AID. Because without support, it can take 12 months or more for the intestinal flora to recover from the effects of taking antibiotics. If you want to rebuild your intestinal flora as part of an intestinal rehabilitation, it depends on the selection of the right preparations.

The Innovall® preparations from Microbiotica specialize in building up the intestinal flora in various diseases. The Innovall® preparations contain selected, reproducible bacterial cultures whose effectiveness has been confirmed in scientific studies. The highly active intestinal bacteria, which also occur naturally in the healthy human intestine, act on all three levels of the intestinal barrier: the intestinal flora, the intestinal mucosa and the intestinal-associated immune system.

Depending on the symptoms, Innovall® has specially compiled bacterial cultures for diet management in the case of irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and pouchitis, neurodermatitis, symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease or inClostridium difficile-associated diarrhea and antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

Frequent questions and answers

Which foods are good for the intestinal flora?

The following foods are good for the intestinal flora:

  • Dietary fiber like flaxseed and psyllium, legumes like lentils and whole grains
  • fruit and vegetables
  • Cooked, cold potatoes (contain resistant starch)
  • Fermented, non-preserved foods such as sauerkraut, natural yoghurt, kefir, miso, kombucha or kimchi

What helps the intestinal flora?

If the intestinal flora is out of balance (dysbiosis), remedial action can be taken with an intestinal rehabilitation. The intestine is first cleaned, then detoxified and finally rebuilt with special preparations (e.g. from Innovall® AID for a healthy intestinal flora). In addition to intestinal rehabilitation, a type-appropriate diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, exercise in the fresh air and a balanced lifestyle help.

Which is the best probiotic?

Certain bacterial strains such as lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus) that are produced by fermentation. Fermented foods include fresh, unpreserved sauerkraut, natural yogurt, kefir, miso, kombucha or Korean kimchi. There is no such thing as “the best probiotic” - they all have different qualities and tastes.

What is intestinal flora?

The "intestinal flora", also known as the microbiome or microbiota, describes the entirety of all bacteria in the human intestine. It plays a decisive role in our digestion and the function of our immune system. 99% of the intestinal flora is located in the human large intestine - billions of bacteria are said to be here. To be more precise, about 5000 times as many bacteria as humans on earth.