Q. Dear Terry, “I was on an antibiotic late December 2020. I was experiencing side effects, like diarrhea and low energy, for several weeks. I started taking probiotics two weeks ago and noticed some relief. I was just diagnosed with C diff, which I was told was a side effect of the antibiotic. Now my doctor put me on another antibiotic and told me C diff is serious and most people don’t fully recover. Do you have any advice as to help with a full recovery?”– Shirley M., Los Angeles, CA
A. Dear Shirley, An infection with the bacteria Clostridioides difficile (also known as C. diff) is a very serious condition that can occur after hospitalization or antibiotic usage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified C. diff as one of the top superbugs in the United States. Superbugs are definitely a growing concern due to the overuse of many antibiotics. Because bacteria can develop resistance – even to the strongest antibiotics we currently have – we need to boost our own natural defenses.
Probiotics can be very useful for any type of infection, especially when antibiotics have been prescribed. Probiotics, which are the healthy bacteria, can be very useful for reestablishing bacteria balance. There are many probiotics on the market, but the kind I prefer are human strains, meaning they are found in our digestive system already. Three probiotic strains I recommend are Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. I would take these once or twice daily.
In the traditional medicinal system of India – known as Ayurveda – there is a combination of herbs that has been used for thousands of years to support digestion and disease prevention. Some of the ingredients you may have heard of, like ginger and turmeric, while others may be new, like boerhavia and Indian tinospora. Each of these herbs has been individually studied and recommended for centuries. They are powerful on their own, but when combined, have even greater health benefits. These herbs help to fight inflammation, stop stomach and digestive disorders, possess antibacterial properties, bolster the ability of the liver to detoxify, and much more.
I would take a combination of turmeric, greater galangal, andrographis, boerhavia, Indian laburnum, gotu kola, cyperus, licorice, East Indian sarsaparilla, long pepper, chebulic myrobalan, Indian tinospora, ginger, and curry tree each night before bed.
Lastly, I think andrographis would be very beneficial due to its ability to support the digestive tract. Andrographis has also been used safely and effectively to fight bacterial infections, even some strains that are drug-resistant. I believe that taking andrographis once or twice daily would be an excellent choice. Look for an andrographis standardized to andrographolide content and does not have a bitter taste.
Terry . . . Naturally