How to recover the microbiota if you consume antibiotics

The microbiota is very important for the balance and good functioning of the body. After a treatment with antibiotics it can be altered and it is fundamental to recover its stability to avoid major problems.

During the use of antibiotics, the bacterial population found in the intestines is significantly altered . Once the treatment is finished, the flora recovers, although the original composition and diversity is not completely restored. Therefore, it is important to know how the microbiota can be recovered.

It is common during or after treatment with antibiotics to notice various intestinal processes such as constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia or meteorism. In addition, the alteration of the intestinal microbiota has been related, in the long term, to some health problems. Among them, inflammatory bowel diseases, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer and allergies.

What is the microbiota?

Microbiota is understood as the group of microorganisms that are normally found in various parts of the body of living organisms. In that sense, it is known as gut microbiota to the bacteria found in the intestine . They are not harmful to health, and are necessary for the body to stay healthy.

In fact, some intestinal bacteria help digest food and control other bacteria that cause disease. For its part, the person or host provides them with nutrients. This balance between the host and the microorganisms is what is called symbiosis.

As mentioned before, when this balance is broken, the body is exposed to different risks, including infections. It is also possible that side effects appear, such as diarrhea, because the intestine recolonizes with harmful bacteria. That is why it is important to recover the microbiota in a timely manner .

Attention with antibiotics

During treatment with antibiotics, children, the elderly and patients with chronic diseases are the most vulnerable. Therefore, they should be used appropriately and always under medical supervision.

It is worth remembering that when they are used excessively, they promote bacterial resistance. A body excessively exposed to these elements will become a reservoir of resistant genes , so controlling bacterial infections will be more difficult.

In that regard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States (CDC) reported in 2016 that of the 154 million antibiotic prescriptions that private doctors and emergency departments prescribe each year, 30% is unnecessary.

The agency determined that most of the prescriptions were for respiratory conditions caused by viruses, which do not respond to treatment with antibiotics. Among them are:

Common cold
Viral sore throats
Ear infections

Fortunately, there are several ways to recover the microbiota naturally, which we will present below. However, be sure to consult a specialist which is the most convenient option depending on your case.

Read this article: Why antibiotics need a prescription to be dispensed?

5 ways to recover the microbiota

According to the Federation of Celiac Associations of Spain, there are around 500 types of different bacteria in the human body. All contribute to maintaining balance within the system.

They explain that the changes produced by antibiotics are reversible. For this, a varied and balanced diet is required . The intake should be adequate and with good quality nutrients. Therefore, an excellent way to stabilize the bacterial flora is by consuming the following foods.


Yogurt is a food rich in microorganisms . In addition, it provides several nutrients, such as good quality proteins, vitamins and minerals. You can also consume one or more servings of other fermented foods daily such as soy yogurt, homemade sauerkraut, kimchi or water kefir . All help prevent diarrhea that occurs during treatment with antibiotics.

  1. Probiotics
    Probiotics are living microorganisms that produce a beneficial effect on health, provided that they are supplied in the proper amounts. These remain active in the intestine the time necessary to change the intestinal microbiota.

Similarly, these bacteria stimulate the digestive juices and natural enzymes , allowing proper digestion . Although yogurt and kefir are probiotic foods par excellence, we can also consume the following foods:

Miso soup
Kombucha tea
Dark chocolate

  1. Prebiotics
    Prebiotics are carbohydrates that function as a substrate for probiotic foods. Although the body does not digest them, they serve as a basis to strengthen living microorganisms , which improves health.

Among them, we can name the following:

Chicory root
Wheat bran
Wheat flour

  1. Foods rich in fiber

Fiber has very important functions within the body . Among them, stimulate the intestine. In fact, it creates an ideal environment for the bacteria that live in this area. Similarly, it helps in weight loss, facilitates intestinal cleansing and reduces levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).

To take advantage of its properties, you can consume:

Whole grains
Discover: Why antioxidants are important

  1. Antioxidant foods
    Antioxidants are those elements that can prevent the oxidation of other cells . That is, they prevent deterioration. For this, you can consume turmeric, coffee, chocolate, coffee, parsley and garlic, to name a few. However, to ensure that the goal is met appropriately, you should consult a specialist.

Remember that lifestyle has a huge influence on the health of the body . If you feed yourself properly, your nutrition will be complete and you can recover the microbiota. Do not self-medicate and, if you have any kind of doubt, always seek professional advice.

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