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10 things you should keep in mind when you are on antibiotics

If antibiotics is what you swear by, this article is a must-read.

Most of us take antibiotics when we have any infection. Not that they do not offer protection against bacterial infection, but they also cause a wide range of side-effects -- right from bloating, diarrhoea and constipation to antibiotic resistance (in the long run). But our expert Dr Aarti Ullal, General Physician, Mumbai, tells 10 things you need to keep in mind if you are taking antibiotics.

  1. Antibiotics ' Anti' means against and 'biotic' means living micro-organisms namely bacteria. So antibiotics should be taken only to deal with bacterial infection and not to treat viral or fungal diseases.
  2. The general recommended dosage of antibiotics is 2 3 times a day. But never self-medicate because anything excess can lead to digestive complications.
  3. Most importantly, take the antibiotics as recommended by your doctor and do not discontinue it when you feel better after few day.
  4. Usually, antibiotics have to be taken after meals. But in some case your doctor might recommend taking before or with meals. Whatever might be the case, avoid spicy food and alcohol when taking these medications.
  5. Antibiotics also attack the gut bacteria, which is actually beneficial for the body, along with the harmful bacteria. You should include probiotics or curd in your meals to boost the gut flora and counter attack the harmful effects of the antibiotics. Also read natural ways to add probiotics to your diet.
  6. Make sure you drink 2 3 litres of water every day. You can also drink fresh fruit juices to keep your body hydrated when taking antibiotics as it helps in flushing out the harmful chemicals from the body.
  7. During the course of medication, it is important to eat easy-to-digest and non-salty food as your digestion will be slightly affected. Also, stay away from oily food and make sure you practice portion control (eat small meals frequently).
  8. You can take antacids and vitamin supplements when on antibiotics. But preferably avoid taking iron supplements during the course of medication. You can continue your intake of calcium supplements. Here are natural supplements you might not know about!
  9. You can perform light exercises or yoga to boost your metabolism when you are on antibiotics. This will not only make you feel active, but also help in fighting the disease. But ensure you perform them regularly without fail.
  10. Last but not the least, it is quite common to experience digestive problems like constipation or diarrhoea. But that doesn't mean you stop taking medications. Consult your doctor and inform him/her about the same. He may change the medications.

So the next time you are on antibiotics, make sure you follow these 10 tips without fail!

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