How to survive your antibiotic treatment

Your stomach is a delicate balance of bacteria, both good and bad, and the fastest way to upset that balance is with an antibiotic.

It's a little like dropping a bomb in your stomach. The drug doesn't just kill the bacteria causing your illness -- it kills everything.

That's why it drives me crazy whenever a doctor gives an antibiotic without a probiotic -- because the stomach-friendly bacteria in a probiotic supplement are the best way to keep balance, even as the antibiotics try to wipe everything out.

It's not just theory. It's something I see all the time in practice, and the research backs this approach.

One "new" study of data on nearly 12,000 combined participants in 63 clinical trials finds that patients who take probiotics with their antibiotics have a 42 percent lower risk of diarrhea.

No kidding!

I have to put "new" in quotes because natural doctors such as myself have been doing this for decades -- and not just to prevent diarrhea. Other studies have shown how probiotics can eliminate some of the other side effects of antibiotic use, including nausea and changes in your sense of taste.

Even more importantly, a good probiotic can minimize the risk of a secondary infection.

Like I said, your antibiotic does a pretty good job of wiping out most of the bugs in your stomach. But many of us are quietly carrying disease-causing germs that are resistant to those drugs.

We don't get sick because they're kept in check by all the other bacteria in your gut -- but once an antibiotic comes in and kills them, all bets are off.

Now, the drug-resistant bugs are the only ones left -- and with nothing to keep them in check, you can get violently ill in the days or even weeks after you take an antibiotic.

That's why I tell my patients to take a probiotic for at least a month after the antibiotic treatment ends.

By the way, not all probiotics are created equal -- and many of the ones you'll find in stores are actually worthless.

I had the full scoop on probiotics, including everything you need to know about choosing the right one, in my Health Revelations newsletter. If you're a subscriber, you can sign in here and read it in my online archives.

And even if you're not, subscribe today -- because whether you're on an antibiotic or not, odds are you do need a probiotic.