It’s not uncommon to get diarrhea after taking antibiotics. Most of the time it resolves by itself.
Antibiotics tend to decrease or “wipe out” the good bacteria in your gut allowing the bad bacteria which normally are present in small quantities to proliferate. One such bad bacteria is Clostridium difficile, commonly called C.Diff. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, fever, and bloating. Occasionally the illness is severe enough that it may cause hospitalization and even death.
According to Dr. Shekhar Challa, author of Probiotics for Dummies, the incidence of C.Diff is increasing in epidemic proportion over the last decade and so have deaths associated with this deadly disease. In fact it is estimated that 15,000 to 30,000 people die of C.Diff each year in the U.S.
Recently researchers reviewed 20 published randomized trials to see if giving probiotics while on antibiotics decreases the number of patients getting C.Diff and there is clear cut evidence that giving probiotics with antibiotics (for any reason) decreases the incidence of C.Diff in adults and children with no risk of side effects.
In spite of adequate evidence only a few doctors are prescribing probiotics with antibiotics-So the next time you are put on antibiotics for any reason make sure you ask your doctor about probiotics.
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