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Old 05-13-2012, 07:52 AM   #1
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What is it that antibiotics do to cause acid reflux ?.

I've asked this question before but always receive the answer " they upset your gut flora ". Well for me that isn't specific enough. I know antibiotics caused my problems with reflux and I've been taking high strength probiotics for over a year now and have had no full time relief. Sure , they help a little but they're not fixing whatever problem the antibiotics caused. I can't find any help from google or even my doctor as to what antibiotics actually do to your digestive system that can cause such terrible long term problems.

 
Old 05-13-2012, 08:44 AM   #2
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Re: What is it that antibiotics do to cause acid reflux ?.

Usually after a course of antibiotics it isn't harmful to do Probiotics for awhile but is it necessary to do them for a year , not likely. Due to a previous issue with sinus infections I have been on antibiotics many times over the years. The antibiotic will destroy good and bad bacteria at the same time, so afterwards you may have upset the balance of bacteria which can lead to digestive issues and diarrhea. Probiotics may help to restore some of that good bacteria but like antibiotics shouldn't be necessary to take them forever, bacteria should be self sustaining after a time.

The gut will tend to move towards a balance of flora/bacteria over time and you could be adding too much of certain types of bacteria which your system doesn't need or want. You might wonder if Probiotics are actually contributing to your reflux amongst other issues?

Probiotics are supplements and not drugs so there has not been the extensive clinical trials done that prove they are effective. Even with drugs the effectiveness of a drug depends on the individual so I would be cautious believing that they can cure reflux in everyone. There are things that Probiotics can be beneficial towards such as diarrhea , some yeast infections but reflux may be a stretch. As well with some Probiotics there isn't extensive testing being done to prove they are pure and what they say on the label is in fact what your swallowing. GMP or Good Manufacturing Practice that is regulated in the drug industry is not a standard in supplement manufacturing.

In fact Probiotics by their nature may create acid and stomach issues themselves if too much acid is the problem for you. It is a individual issue so you have to figure out can they hurt or harm you, does it help to go off them? Acidophilus bacteria which is a common ingredient in Probiotics actually turn sugars into acid, so why would you want to constantly add more and more of those in a system that is already being harmed by acid? You can have too much of a good thing.

If you are having regular , bowel movements without Probiotics odds are you don't need them. A healthy diet and lifestyle with enough fiber may (about 25 grams per day) be better for you in the long run. Might be helpful to go off them for a month or two and watch your diet etc. normally associated with treating reflux and see what happens.

Last edited by Johnah; 05-13-2012 at 08:50 AM.

 
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:56 AM   #3
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Re: What is it that antibiotics do to cause acid reflux ?.

There's more to it than the loss of gut flora alone.

Antibiotics are, technically, poisons. They just happen to be a lot MORE poisonous to the bacteria than they are to you. Some of them can directly affect the movements of your digestive tract, speeding them up or slowing them down.

You may want to try medicines that affect the digestive muscles, like Reglan. Maybe even some neuromuscular medicines, something to get your body straightened out again.

 
Old 05-13-2012, 11:07 AM   #4
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Re: What is it that antibiotics do to cause acid reflux ?.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnah View Post
Usually after a course of antibiotics it isn't harmful to do Probiotics for awhile but is it necessary to do them for a year , not likely. Due to a previous issue with sinus infections I have been on antibiotics many times over the years. The antibiotic will destroy good and bad bacteria at the same time, so afterwards you may have upset the balance of bacteria which can lead to digestive issues and diarrhea. Probiotics may help to restore some of that good bacteria but like antibiotics shouldn't be necessary to take them forever, bacteria should be self sustaining after a time.

The gut will tend to move towards a balance of flora/bacteria over time and you could be adding too much of certain types of bacteria which your system doesn't need or want. You might wonder if Probiotics are actually contributing to your reflux amongst other issues?

Probiotics are supplements and not drugs so there has not been the extensive clinical trials done that prove they are effective. Even with drugs the effectiveness of a drug depends on the individual so I would be cautious believing that they can cure reflux in everyone. There are things that Probiotics can be beneficial towards such as diarrhea , some yeast infections but reflux may be a stretch. As well with some Probiotics there isn't extensive testing being done to prove they are pure and what they say on the label is in fact what your swallowing. GMP or Good Manufacturing Practice that is regulated in the drug industry is not a standard in supplement manufacturing.

In fact Probiotics by their nature may create acid and stomach issues themselves if too much acid is the problem for you. It is a individual issue so you have to figure out can they hurt or harm you, does it help to go off them? Acidophilus bacteria which is a common ingredient in Probiotics actually turn sugars into acid, so why would you want to constantly add more and more of those in a system that is already being harmed by acid? You can have too much of a good thing.

If you are having regular , bowel movements without Probiotics odds are you don't need them. A healthy diet and lifestyle with enough fiber may (about 25 grams per day) be better for you in the long run. Might be helpful to go off them for a month or two and watch your diet etc. normally associated with treating reflux and see what happens.
Thanks for the info. I've had trouble opening my bowels since birth , i'ts part of the reason I was put on to antibiotics. Years of constipation problems caused me to end up with a prostate condition. I probably go the toilet once or twice a week if I'm lucky. I have a very high fiber diet though and get a lot of exercise , it seems as if nothing helps me in that regard. I've had a colonoscopy which I'm still waiting for the results on but it's been a while so I'm under the impressions they've found nothing.

Funnily enough I've not been taking anything other than omeprazole for the past week and I feel a bit better. I've been considering trying to some digestive enzymes since it feels to me as if my food isn't digesting properly but I've been a bit worried about this since I know many can make reflux worse.

 
Old 05-13-2012, 11:20 AM   #5
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Re: What is it that antibiotics do to cause acid reflux ?.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janewhite1 View Post
There's more to it than the loss of gut flora alone.

Antibiotics are, technically, poisons. They just happen to be a lot MORE poisonous to the bacteria than they are to you. Some of them can directly affect the movements of your digestive tract, speeding them up or slowing them down.

You may want to try medicines that affect the digestive muscles, like Reglan. Maybe even some neuromuscular medicines, something to get your body straightened out again.
That's interesting. Something to mention to the doctor I suppose.
Reglan's possible side effects sound very scary !.

 
Old 05-13-2012, 12:07 PM   #6
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Re: What is it that antibiotics do to cause acid reflux ?.

You do NOT want to be on Reglan long term if there's any option, but sometimes taking it for a few weeks helps get the digestive system back on track.

 
Old 05-14-2012, 06:11 AM   #7
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Re: What is it that antibiotics do to cause acid reflux ?.

Interesting topic. My reflux symptoms first appeared seemingly overnight back in December when I was prescribed clarithromycin to treat a sinus infection. Its been close to 6 months now - medicine and diet have been very helpful but I'd like to go back to normal. Any advice?

 
Old 05-17-2012, 02:42 PM   #8
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Re: What is it that antibiotics do to cause acid reflux ?.

Antibiotics or any other medication can irritate the lining of your stomach. When the lining of the stomach is irritated, the stomach tends to react by pumping more acid. More acid in the stomach, more of a chance for the acid to back up into the esophagus.

Antibiotics also upset the flora of your intestines.

I always take antibiotics and any other pills with food (even vitamins can irritate an empty stomach) and take probiotics or eat yogurt when I have to take antibiotics.

Rose

 
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