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Healing Gut After Antibiotics

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Can anyone help me with how to heal the gut after a round of antibiotics - specifically for a 16 month old toddler? (Augmentin has turned his perfectly formed bowel movements into total liquid -almost like water with a little color- severe diarrhea maybe around 6 per day but its getting worse and we're only on day 5 with 2 more days to go yet. This is first time he has ever been on antibiotics.)

He is still breastfed, which I understand has beneficial bacteria in it? (I am so glad to recently learn this!!)

What else can I do to help him regain the superior health he had before? what specific foods or supplements can I use on him (or take myself) so that he will get better faster? - and, how long will it be before he is back to himself again???

Are there any probiotics that he should NOT take?

If anyone has been through this with your toddler, let me know what worked for you! (and how long it took - how many weeks - or months - before they were back to normal again?) Thank you!!
post #2 of 16
any probiotic you can get from the refrigerated section in a hfs. if its an adult one, just open the capsule and sprinkle it in things like yogurt or applesauce. if my son ever needs antibiotics, i make absolutely sure he is on probiotics as well, so that he never gets a messed up gut or diarrhea in the first place.

in the meantime, if you have any yogurt on hand, that should help somewhat. it has small amounts of probiotics.

make sure he is hydrated, either with water or lots of breastmilk.
post #3 of 16
Call the doctor in the morning and tell them that you stopped the antibiotic due to "severe diarrhea" after 5 full days of antibiotics. It is real easy for C. Diff to grow in a compromised gut. Baby is "better now" and won't need further antibiotics. Tell them. Don't ask.

Risk of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance increases with continued diarrhea. I would not continue the antibiotic tonight. Call the oncall doctor to notify tonight, if you prefer. You do not need a replacement antibiotic if baby is better!

I would get some S.boulardii and lactobacillis and bifidum bacteria probiotics for his diarrhea, if it continues. Give on your finger or mixed in a bit of applesauce about hourly, until the diarrhea ceases. If you can, get this tonight. Yogurt has lactobacillis. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse.

I'd only give small, frequent sips of breastmilk, bone broth, or ginger ale, or Emergen-C, until his stomach is settled for four hours. Vit C will help the immune system and decrease any fever.

We do homeopathic remedies for any acute issues. Consider his whole picture: fever?, lethargy? thirst? color? diarrhea? discomfort? blood? projectile? voiding? etc.

Here are some homeopathic alternatives:

And some Epsom salt baths for the detox effect.

Also, ginger and fennel and chamomile are helpful for settling stomachs/ GI distress, herbally. This could be sips of a tea. Gripe Water or Tum-ease are just ginger and fennel extracts.

If he is lethargic, not voiding, or mucus membranes are dull, pale or dry, he needs to be seen by a physician and given IV fluids for hydration. He is unlikely to be dehydrated with only two days of diarrhea or with a mild fever, below 103. Fevers usually go up in the late afternoon, early evening. That is common. And are lowest in the morning.

post #4 of 16
actually, stopping antibiotic treatment is a BAD IDEA and can be dangerous. once you start, you need to finish the treatment. if you stop, your body can create super germs resistant to antibiotics in the future.

if you start him on probiotics, it is very likely his stomach will settle down. plus, you are giving him the best stuff, breastmilk.
post #5 of 16
Thats sounds pretty bad. I would stop the antibiotics and I wouldnt get him another one. 5 Days is enough and you dont want him getting sick with something else like C Diff. You can give him acidophilus. I would give it to him for at least 2 weeks everyday. Like the others said nurse often.
post #6 of 16
Originally Posted by nataliachick7 View Post
actually, stopping antibiotic treatment is a BAD IDEA and can be dangerous. once you start, you need to finish the treatment. if you stop, your body can create super germs resistant to antibiotics in the future.

if you start him on probiotics, it is very likely his stomach will settle down. plus, you are giving him the best stuff, breastmilk.
This doesnt sound like plain old scoots this sounds like severe diarrhea. In this case I would stop it. The drug insert for that antibiotic will tell you to stop taking it in the event of sever diarrhea. At the very least I would call your doctor.


Pseudomembranous colitis has been reported with nearly all antibacterial agents, including amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium, and has ranged in severity from mild to life-threatening. Therefore, it is important to consider this diagnosis in patients who present with diarrhea subsequent to the administration of antibacterial agents.

Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon and may permit overgrowth of clostridia. Studies indicate that a toxin produced by Clostridium difficile is one primary cause of "antibiotic-associated colitis."

After the diagnosis of pseudomembranous colitis has been established, appropriate therapeutic measures should be initiated. Mild cases of pseudomembranous colitis usually respond to drug discontinuation alone. In moderate to severe cases, consideration should be given to management with fluids and electrolytes, protein supplementation, and treatment with an antibacterial drug clinically effective against C. difficile colitis.
post #7 of 16
actually, stopping antibiotic treatment is a BAD IDEA and can be dangerous. once you start, you need to finish the treatment. if you stop, your body can create super germs resistant to antibiotics in the future.
The "cure" shouldn't be worse than the disease.

*I* would stop the antibiotics and inform the doctor. The theoretical goal was to prevent a secondary infection. Antibiotics rarely address ear infections, which are generally viral in origin. Nor are they more effective than watchful waiting, unless it is a double ear infection in a child younger than age 2. The links are in one of her other threads. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...34&postcount=9

post #8 of 16
i know antibiotics are not useful for ear infections. ear infections usually go away buy themselves and only require pain management. HOWEVER, she already started a round of antibiotics. and guess what? diarrhea is an expected side effect w/antibiotics. they kill everything in the gut! stopping them now can create problems later, like i said earlier. "super germs".
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am either calling the on-call dr. tonight, or calling in the morning, not sure which yet. I might call soon to at least find out who is on call tonight. Two of their 5 drs have seen him recently. After reading more about augmentin side effects online, it says stop using this medication if you have any of these serious side effects "diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it" - he had 5 major diarrhea in the last 12 hours, and it is like WATER ! Very lightly colored pale water!! I am now worried he could additionally have C. Diff (I had it in the past and diarrhea was like water!) He has 2 more days to go - I honestly don't want to risk further damage to his GI tract with another antibiotic if thats what they want to do (make a switch to anther) He show no indication of ear infection (other than it was red when they looked inside - and he was crying during exam) - I'm not sure if that superbug theory is just a theory or has been proven? I'm a little concerned about that now as well. I definitely don't want to create a superbug inside of him. I am so mad this is the stuff that was prescribed for him (and that I was stupid enough to start it in the first place).
post #10 of 16
it has been proven. thats why we have things like staph-MRSA. those are antibiotic resistant illnesses.
but the fact that your son is that sick from the antibiotics worries me too. after re reading your posts im starting to think it would be better just to stop them, since he is pooping so much i worry about dehydration. well good luck to you mama. s:
post #11 of 16
I can't advise about stopping or not, but I'd recommend cutting out all dairy while he heals and giving him probiotics, particularly bifidus, because that's what mostly colonizes the gut of a bfed baby/toddler.
post #12 of 16
Drug resistance results when a bacterial infection is not being treated adequately (broad spectrum antibiotics vs. bacterial specific antibiotics), or when antibiotics are given for viral illnesses inappropriately. The bacteria develop resistance due to *exposure* to the "wrong" (ie. ineffective) antibiotics. If the antibiotic is the appropriate one, the infectious bacteria are killed. Antibiotics are NOT indicated for a viral illness.

Continuing exposure to the antibiotics unnecessarily, just strengthens the potential for resistance TO develop. http://www.cdc.gov/NARMS/faq_pages/3.htm

Here is info from the FDA regarding "The Rice of Antibiotic Resistant Infections": http://www.fda.gov/Fdac/features/795_antibio.html

"Superbugs" develop due to inappropriate use of *multiple different* antibiotics. "Several studies have demonstrated that patterns of antibiotic usage greatly affect the number of resistant organisms which develop. Overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics, such as second- and third-generation cephalosporins, greatly hastens the development of methicillin resistance. Other factors contributing towards resistance include incorrect diagnosis, unnecessary prescriptions, improper use of antibiotics by patients, the impregnation of household items and children's toys with low levels of antibiotics, and the administration of antibiotics by mouth in livestock for growth promotion."

"Improper use of antibiotics by patients" is when the antibiotic given is indicated, but the patient doesn't continue it for the duration to effectively kill the bacteria. There is no indication for antibiotics in simple ear infections, based upon the research, noted above.

Multiple resistance, multiple causes
Any time bacteria are exposed to an antibiotic, they are under "selective pressure" that allows only resistant forms to survive and reproduce. So the basic rule in slowing the evolution of resistance is reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics."

Every time antibiotics are used unnecessarily, they add to the selective pressure we are putting on microbes to evolve resistance. Then, when we really need antibiotics, they are less effective." http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/li.../l_104_03.html


superbugs, infections that are drug-resistant because of the over-prescription of antibiotics.

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Here is an update:

I called and talked to the ped. on call tonight, which luckily, was the one that seen him the last 2 times for the ear infection. She said YES, to STOP the antibiotics. She did not say ANYTHING about switching to another antibiotic for the remaining 2 days (thank goodness!) - I think she felt that we were on day 5 of 7, and he had no symptoms of ear infection, it was ok to just STOP. (thank god!!)

She wants to see him on friday (or sooner, if I feel it is necessary) - I explained he had 5 real bad watery diarrhea in the past 12 hrs and could I give probiotics? She said yes, I could, but didn't give any recommendation about what kinds. She said I could give yogurt, and buy the probiotics over the counter (she doesn't prescribe any).

I told her I am worried about C. Diff infection since I had one before, and it was just like his - diarrhea that looks like water - she said it should clear up in a few days - so I guess she thought that when she sees him on friday, if it hasn't by then, ?? that it won't be too late to treat it?

I am getting worried now, that IF he DOES have C. Diff that it might be dangerous to wait til friday for a stool culture? Is it even possible to recover from C. Diff naturally without being on the flagyl or vancomycin. I bought Florastor which is Saccharomyces Boulardii. I also have one other thing here - Sustenex (Bacillus Coagulans) - I haven't give him either one yet but I have started taking them yesterday.

The C. Diff as a side effect of the augmentin (Pseudomembranous colitis) was even mentioned on this page:


(page 4)

That, and the fact what his stools look like, and the fact I had it before (once you have been on flagyl you carry the spores inside you forever and can get C. diff again )

I'm worried now that after the augmentin messed him up inside, he picked up C. Diff from me (or from our home environment- bathroom maybe) and now he has THAT.
post #14 of 16
Mama, the body is an amazing system. There are about 400-600 different microbials in the gut. The body is able to keep them in balance, if we are not killing off the "good bacteria" indiscriminately.

The nursing will help. The yogurt will help. You can put a bit of the S. boulardii on your finger and let him suck on your finger. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. He will be ok. He is ok, he has diarrhea. It will get better.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
Mama, the body is an amazing system. There are about 400-600 different microbials in the gut. The body is able to keep them in balance, if we are not killing off the "good bacteria" indiscriminately.

The nursing will help. The yogurt will help. You can put a bit of the S. boulardii on your finger and let him suck on your finger. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. He will be ok. He is ok, he has diarrhea. It will get better.

Thank you for your continued help and links! I am feeling somewhat better since his latest bowel movement was not like water, it had some consistency. See my update on my other post (clostridium difficile) - whether or not that's what it is... whatever it is... it is getting better! C. Diff can be fatal when it grows out of control, so naturally I worry silly about him!! Trying to weigh the pros and cons of rushing him for a stool culture (and the inevitable antibiotic for flagyl or vancomycin IF pos. for C diff) versus giving him a few more days for a chance to start healing first (pediatricians advice) and thus avoiding another antibiotic of course! Its been about 30 hrs since his final dose of antibiotic, so maybe it takes 48 hrs or so before significant improvement is seen. (I just so worried about c diff growly wildly out of control) will see what happens tonight. Now I have hope that he is improving, already!
post #16 of 16
ETA: C - difficile is a bacteria in your intestines. It is found normally in healthy and ill people alike. http://www.cdiffsupport.com/aboutcdiff.html

The issue is when we kill off the good guys which keep the bad guys in check. The C. Diff can 'take over'. You stopped the antibiotics which were indiscriminately killing off the good guys. It will be ok.

S. boulardii is effective in C. Diff. When swallowed, S. boulardii survives gastric acid, establishes itself in the intestinal tract and multiplies to high numbers. It is not inhibited by antibiotics and does not affect the normal flora significantly.

"Antibiotic-associated diarrhea
Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) is defined as otherwise unexplained diarrhoea that occurs in association with antibiotic administration.13 It is a common problem, occurring in up to 25% of patients receiving antibiotics, with rates varying depending on the population studied and the antibiotic used.13 While Clostridium difficile is the most common infectious agent isolated, in most cases of AAD a causative organism is not found. AAD can begin after a single antibiotic dose or occur up to 6 weeks after the commencement of treatment.14 Oral antibiotic agents, such as cephalosporins, clindamycin and broad-spectrum penicillins, are more likely to cause AAD than parenteral antibiotics.14 The rationale for using probiotics in AAD rests on the assumption that antibiotics alter the normal intestinal flora. Several probiotics have been evaluated in treating or preventing AAD, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, LGG, and S. boulardii.

In a meta-analysis on the role of S. boulardii (strains not reported) in preventing AAD, five randomised controlled trials (1076 participants) were included.15 The largest of these studies was conducted in 269 children16 and concluded that for every 10 patients receiving S. boulardii with antibiotics, one fewer will develop diarrhoea (E1). This meta-analysis supported the results from two prior meta-analyses,17,18 involving S. boulardii and Lactobacillus species (E1).

A systematic review evaluating the efficacy of LGG in preventing AAD19 suggested that additional research was needed to clarify its effectiveness (E2). A randomised controlled trial undertaken in children20 showed that LGG, in doses of at least 10–20 billion CFU daily, has a beneficial role in preventing AAD (E2).

A recent study of 135 patients over the age of 50 years compared the effects of a drink containing L. casei, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus with placebo in preventing AAD. Twelve per cent of treated patients developed diarrhoea compared with 34% in the control group (P = 0.007).21 Notwithstanding these results, judicious use of antibiotics should remain the first step in preventing AAD."


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