Probiotics With Antibiotics

Are you about to start a course of antibiotics? Well, don’t forget your probiotics. While the appropriate use of antibiotics does serve a role in fighting off unruly bacterial infections, it can also do a number on your gastrointestinal tract (and vaginal tract for females). As the public’s familiarity of probiotics increases thanks to the marketing of such products as Activia yogurt, the advice to supplement with probiotics while on antibiotics isn’t so “alternative” anymore. There is substantial research to support the use of probiotics for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, as well as managing inflammatory bowel diseases and allergies (just to name a few of their other uses). Continue reading “Probiotics With Antibiotics”

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4 Natural Remedies for Summer Travels

summer travelSUMMERTIME!!! Many of us are planning trips, and whether it be a staycation or traveling abroad, here are a few natural remedies for summer travel to help your vacation go smoothly.

Probiotics: Studies have shown that probiotics (beneficial bacteria) may help prevent travelers’ diarrhea in adults. Saccharomyces boulardii is a very good option for travelers as it does not require refrigeration. Aside from taking a probiotic, only drink water from sealed bottles, and watch out for swallowing pool water! Even the cleanest pool may have pathogens lurking. If you do succumb to diarrhea, stay hydrated and consume the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) while you recover.

Fiber: One in four travelers experience constipation. Changes in eating and drinking habits, stress, and even reluctance to use public restrooms can cause some to bind up. A fiber supplement like guar guam or psyllium can help speed things along. Make sure to drink plenty of water with your fiber intake. A product like Clear Fiber can easily be mixed with water. If this doesn’t help, try magnesium citrate. Continue reading “4 Natural Remedies for Summer Travels”

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Protect Against Clostridium Difficile with Probiotics

Giving probiotics to patients on antibiotics could significantly reduce the incidence of clostridium difficile (C. diff) in hospitals, according to research from McMaster University and the Hospital for Sick Children published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study found that using probiotics could reduce C. diff-associated diarrhea among patients taking antibiotics by 66%.

According to co-author Dr. Mark Loeb, these results are significant because, “People at high risk are admitted, given antibiotics and unfortunately, sometimes they acquire this bacteria and it could lead to serious complications. Sometimes, it becomes very hard to treat and get rid of, so prevention is very important.” Continue reading “Protect Against Clostridium Difficile with Probiotics”

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Why You Should Take Probiotics

The importance of probiotics has been blogged about many times, but more and more research is showing that these good bacteria may have a hand in preventing and controlling a surprising number of conditions in people of all ages.

Your digestive tract is filled with hundreds of bacteria – some good and some bad. In a normal digestive system, the good and bad bacteria strike a careful balance to keep you healthy. However, a healthy balance can easily become unbalanced with poor food choices, antibiotic use and illness.

Probiotics have shown to be effective in many areas of health, including  prevention of diarrhea caused by radiation treatment, and controlling diarrhea associated with liver cirrhosis and the toxins produced by the bacteria Clostridium difficile, often a side effect of antibiotic therapy. The symptoms of intestinal conditions such as ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome can also be reduced by probiotics. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may be able to boost their babies’ gut immunity by taking probiotics.

Recent research suggests probiotics may also improve the respiratory health of people with cystic fibrosis and of children with allergies and infections. Certain probiotic strains relieve vaginal and urinary tract infections, and some seem to reduce the recurrence of bladder cancer. Pregnant women taking probiotics may also prevent their children from developing eczema. Continue reading “Why You Should Take Probiotics”

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First Aid Kit for Traveling With Kids

We travel a lot. In the summer we head to the cottage every weekend (4 hours away to a remote Northern Ontario location), and we also make annual trips to somewhere warm. With two kids, it is important to have on hand a first aid kit that includes items that you are going to need in case of emergencies. We came to this realization when our oldest cut his hand and we didn’t even have polysporin (and neither did the little market that supplies everything for cottage country). Joe’s hand ended up fine after being washed with clean water and applying polysporin, which we found at a neighbor’s house. Lesson learned: be prepared.

Here is a list of items that I believe every parent/caretaker should have on hand for those moments when a local health food store/pharmacy isn’t available.

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  • Paula Gallagher
    Paula Gallagher
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    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
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March 2023