Our gut is a complex ecosystem, home to trillions of microorganisms that play a crucial role in our overall health. There’s a delicate balance within the gut ecosystem and I bet it would surprise you how easily it can be disrupted by normal, everyday things. Diet, stress, and sleep habits are common contributors to this disruption, but medications are also a significant factor. Unfortunately, some of the most commonly used and prescribed medications, including antibiotics, PPIs, birth control pills, NSAIDs, and antidepressants can have a significant impact on gut health and digestion.
Antibiotics: The Double-Edged Sword
Antibiotics have certainly revolutionized medicine, saving countless lives by fighting bacterial infections. However, when it comes to gut health, they have a few downsides:
- Altered Microbiome: Antibiotics aren’t picky – they wipe out a broad spectrum of microorganisms, disrupting the balance of good and bad bacteria of your gut microbiome. This disruption can lead to digestive issues like diarrhea, constipation, and gas.
- Candida Overgrowth: Antibiotics can create an environment in which yeast (specifically, candida) can overgrow, potentially leading to leaky gut, gas, bloating, dysbiosis and poor nutrient absorbtion.