Damn antibiotics

  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 03, 2011 5:14 PM GMT
    I spent about three weeks on broad spectrum antibiotics related to oral surgery -- one of my molars had to be extracted because its root had broken into my sinus cavity, so first there was the antibiotic to clear up that infection (clindamycin), and then one as a preventative while I healed from the surgery (amoxicillin with clavunate). Now I find myself dealing with the annoying after effects of antibiotic treatment.

    My native microbial community has clearly been thrown out of whack. I'd been dealing with loose stools for the last few days of the antibiotic regimen, and was looking forward to them clearing up, but a few days after the end of the antibiotics it was substantially worse than at any time before, and came combined with some lovely projectile vomit. I managed to force myself to leave the house long enough to get some gatorade and yogurt; the first to deal with the immediate issues of dehydration, and the second to hopefully help my gut get back to a healthier state. A day later the GI issues had halted, but I had since developed a fuzzy white growth on the top of my tongue. And now the day after that, I'm back to the functional but still loose stools (though at least I'm urinating normally, so not as bad as it easily could be).

    My dentist is out of town this week so I don't have another appointment with him until the following one, but if this doesn't clear up in a day or two, I figure I should probably either talk to my pharmacist or make an appointment at the health center. But, damn, this is getting annoying. Any advice on how long it should normally take my microbial community to reboot after a prolonged antibiotic treatment? I'm fairly sure I've never had more than 10 days of antibiotics at once before, and this was around 21 days.

    (To be clear, I'm fairly confident this can all be traced to the antibiotics and/or dehydration. I have none of the other risk factors for an oral fungal bloom, which the white fuzziness is likely to be, since I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't drink coffee, and I'm not immuno-compromised. But, who knows, oral thrush is supposed to be painful and my mouth and tongue don't hurt at all, there's just some oddly colored fuzziness on my tongue, so I suppose it could be something else. Trying to gauge other potential symptoms is tricky at best, as things like "foul smelling stool or diarrhea" covers pretty much every bowel movement every adult ever has.)
  • sea_buddy

    Posts: 143

    Apr 03, 2011 7:15 PM GMT
    This past summer, I had a strep infection and I was prescribed an antibiotic. I had loose stools for....like a month after. It was a personal embarrassment to say the least, haha. I used all the tricks in the book. It finally resolved after I bought some probiotics in pill form and took those for like a week and a half.
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    Apr 03, 2011 7:24 PM GMT
    If you have access to a microscope, just scrape your tongue with a sterile swab and prepare a smear with a gram stain. Any fungal hyphae should be pretty obvious.

    The last I heard, there wasn't any really effective treatment for thrush. When I had it, I just kept shoveling the yogurt and salads, but it took a whole summer to really subside.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 03, 2011 7:31 PM GMT
    A gram stain would be easy enough, I suppose -- I am a doctoral student in a bacterial lab, after all. Though I oddly enough don't use a microscope for any of my own research, nor have I personally ever done a gram stain in the past.

    There apparently are effective topical antifungals, available in either mouthwashes or lozenges. I prefer to avoid medicines when not actually necessary -- some of what we view as symptoms are likely to be evolved responses by our own immune systems, rather than evolved attacks by the pathogen -- but if I'm looking at a month or two for things to clear up otherwise, medication might well be in order. I'd like at least the opportunity to date if the situation should warrant it, and these symptoms are hardly appealing.
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    Apr 03, 2011 7:38 PM GMT
    Hey, thanks for that GREAT story.
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    Apr 03, 2011 9:30 PM GMT
    NEVER done a gram stain? *facepalm*

    (Must admit that I do sort of enjoy shaming the gel jockeys by shoving them in front of a microscope and asking them to dial in the kohler illumination while I get some coffee.)
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    Apr 03, 2011 10:04 PM GMT
    Please go to a doc and tell him or her you've been on clindamycin, one of the more notorious drugs known for eradicating your flora and fauna and allowing clostridium difficile to take hold. Take no binders like immodium!

    You may have thrush or another mouth fungus as well. Four days of gargling with a prescription medication and swallowing it.


    I had to take clindamycin for an infected extraction. I ate activia yogurt in large amounts starting on day one of the antibiotics. No troubles; after two days of diarrhea I was right as rain. I continued with the yogurt for another three days after the course of antibiotics.

    -Doug
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Apr 03, 2011 10:13 PM GMT
    Ah, oropharyngeal candidiasis. The little bastards seem to be evolving and becoming more agressive. The doc can handle it.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Apr 03, 2011 10:34 PM GMT
    .....antibiotics were suppose to save us....

    *shakes tiny fist*
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 03, 2011 10:52 PM GMT
    Honestly, at the moment the tongue is much less troubling to me than the possible issues related to dehydration. The tongue is annoying -- dehydration can be life threatening. So barring the doctor telling me to avoid it, Gatorade seems pretty much set for my short term future.
  • Patroclus77

    Posts: 28

    Apr 03, 2011 11:02 PM GMT
    At this point, you should skip the dentist and go to your internist or gp.
    It sounds like you do have a fungal overgrowth problem and possibly some nasty reactions to the antibiotics that should have been discontinued and switched out a long time ago. Although dentists are great at what they do, for problems that are starting to get a little more 'systemic' and outside of the mouth, I would definitely go see your GP right away and not wait around for another dental appointment.
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    Apr 03, 2011 11:30 PM GMT
    Im still getting over the after effects of my Amoxicilin and clavunate. from the first pill i had diarea (sp?) and that only turned into loose stools about a week after the drugs wore out. I am now eating Activia yogurt and it seems to be helping a bit so i would recommend it. perhaps if id started it sooner id be over the after effects.
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    Apr 03, 2011 11:42 PM GMT
    I had the identical experience with clindamycin after oral surgery. As Meninlove said, you probably have Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea. I had it to the degree that it's now listed among my allergies.

    Eating yogurt did not do a thing for me. I had to take yet another antibiotic, Flagyl, to get the clostridium under control.

    The problem can lead to colitis, as I recall.
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    Apr 04, 2011 12:00 AM GMT
    So-called "probiotics" are really just a few dairy cultures. Some of them are related to organisms found in the normal intestine, but they certainly aren't representative of the whole intestinal biota. They're better than nothing, (though not worth paying more than you'd pay for yogurt) but they may not be effective at displacing unwanted microbes.

    Weirdly enough, rimming a healthy partner might actually be more effective. I'd like to listen in on the grant review committee that reads that research proposal.
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    Apr 04, 2011 12:33 AM GMT
    You should make an appoinment with a health professional immediately about this.
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    Apr 04, 2011 1:27 AM GMT
    i learned in my medical nutrition class that when you are experiencing diarrhea its best to be on the BRAT diet. which stands for bananas rice applesauce and toast. the rice and toast will provide soluble fiber which will slow the transit time of food in your intestine and absorb excess moisture in your stool. while the bananas and the applesauce with help with the electrolyte imbalance cause by dehydration. also be careful sometimes diarrhea can be exacerbated by gatorade or other hyperosmolar drinks. if you do drink it when you have diarrhea its best to water it down by half. hope this helps
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    Apr 04, 2011 1:37 AM GMT
    heybreaux said
    mindgarden said
    Weirdly enough, rimming a healthy partner might actually be more effective. I'd like to listen in on the grant review committee that reads that research proposal.


    Wow, who knew...

    Home remedies...

    What do you call that? Homeyopathy?



    Hmm...you know a doctor up here wants to get permission to do fecal transplanting. This is where you put fecal matter from a healthy individual into the bowel of one with clostridium. The success rate of a full recovery is apparently around 90%.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/01/17/bc-fecaltransplants.html
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    Apr 04, 2011 2:36 AM GMT
    yourname2000 said
    meninlove said Hmm...you know a doctor up here wants to get permission to do fecal transplanting. This is where you put fecal matter from a healthy individual into the bowel of one with clostridium. The success rate of a full recovery is apparently around 90%.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/01/17/bc-fecaltransplants.html

    Holy shit! icon_eek.gif


    Rofl, apparently. icon_wink.gif
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 04, 2011 9:39 PM GMT
    So, in part from all the advice, I went and saw someone at the health center today. The general conclusion thus far is "Something is clearly wrong with your gut, but we need to find out what it is before doing anything about it," so I'm being tested for everything under the sun. Thankfully, the mouth is currently being labeled as "probably not fungal" so I don't have to avoid sugars, though I am supposed to drop dairy for a while and switch to a different form of probiotic. Whee!
  • Patroclus77

    Posts: 28

    Apr 04, 2011 10:09 PM GMT
    The stool transplant thing does not work...a fad/clever idea that has been mostly abandoned. Could be c diff or fungal overgrowth...in either case, you need a decent gp not your dentist.
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    Apr 04, 2011 10:16 PM GMT
    Am I missing the point or have we confirmed that antibiotics don't "cure" homosexuality?

    Sorry, I have nothing productive to add - save channeling my mother's recommendation of Chicken Soup - and wishing you an accurate diagnosis and speedy recovery.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Apr 05, 2011 7:33 AM GMT
    yourname2000 said
    MSUBioNerd saidBut, damn, this is getting annoying. Any advice on how long it should normally take my microbial community to reboot after a prolonged antibiotic treatment? I'm fairly sure I've never had more than 10 days of antibiotics at once before, and this was around 21 days.

    Ughh. I f*ckin' hate antibiotics....I will now do pretty much anything to avoid the damn things. I've had to take them only a couple of times in my life, and I always follow the instructions and take the full prescription (even if I'm feeling better), just like you're supposed to. But they've always knocked my flora out of whack...and I think for about 6 months. The symptoms you discribed were exactly what I had and I definitely attributed it to the antibiotics.

    Active culture yogurt, kefir, and probiotic supplements may help.

    jamieson-acidophilus-probiotic-c_1299515

    ----------------

    mindgarden saidThe last I heard, there wasn't any really effective treatment for thrush.

    Apple cider vinegar...available in pill form may help.
    http://ezinearticles.com/?Thrush-Remedy---How-to-Use-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-to-Clear-Your-Thrush&id=2791141

    AppleCiderVinegarTablets.jpg



    I like probiotics. Try to find a product with more than 1 type of the good bacteria we all should have in our gut. If you like yogurt eat it, and not the sugared ones. Stay away from processed sugar. Look into natural anti- fungals in your diet. You can also try a diluted tea tree oil with water as an oral mouth rinse.
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    Apr 05, 2011 10:52 PM GMT
    MikemikeMike> Look into natural anti- fungals in your diet

    Such as...?
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    Apr 05, 2011 11:10 PM GMT
    Currently on antibiotics for strep and so far no issues. Penicillin pills are great for me and don't seem to stimulate any adverse reactions. But I remember taking amoxicillin about 2 years ago and the side effects from that were nasty! Not fun at all, so I can sympathize with you on that.
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    Apr 05, 2011 11:38 PM GMT
    http://www.lifeway.net/Products/Kefir.aspx
    16236_214850480277_206571875277_4087019_

    This stuff works fast and tastes great. Rich in protein and several vitamins. My GI dr suggested it because I suffer a regular bacterial imbalance in my guts due to years of intestinal problems...but if I drink some kefir once a day I stay almost problem free unless I ingest something that triggers my food intolerances.