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Taking Medicines Changes Your Gut Health

Any medicines you take every day should improve your overall health for the better.

However, does your doctor consider how your gut health may be affected by what he/she prescribes for a specific health issue?

We remind you often about the many problems that occur when doctors treat a problem, like heartburn, by prescribing an over-the-counter proton pump inhibitor (PPI) like omeprazole magnesium (Prilosec) that also may be harmful to your gut health when you overdo using it.

If you follow our blog regularly, you know similar gut health complications arise when you’re prescribed an antibiotic too.

Unfortunately, antibiotics and heartburn medicines aren’t the only ones that alter your gut health…

19 kinds of medicines

Dutch researchers at the University Medical Center Groningen found 19 kinds of drugs that may be harmful to your gut health, according to a study that appeared recently in Nature Communications.

Scientists analyzed nearly 1,900 fecal samples from three sets of patients: A general group with no specific health issues and those treated for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and irritable bowel disorder (IBD).

(The majority of patients participating in this study took at least one medication and some took as many as 12 of them.)

Among the categories of medicines researchers detected in analyses of fecal samples, PPIs and antibiotics were linked to gut health changes, but not all of them.

These medications attracted attention from researchers too, depending on the kind of analysis conducted and the patient group.

  • Metformin, the go-to drug for type 2 diabetes patients.
  • Laxatives used to treat constipation.
  • Vitamin D supplements.
  • Steroid inhalers for asthma.
  • SSRIs and other antidepressant drugs.

Protecting your gut health balance

Whether it’s the foods you eat, the medicines you take, the sleep you get (or don’t) and the exercise routine you follow, all of these variables affect your gut health based on your calendar.

Depending on the day, you may need to take some medication for a brief health problem, adjust your diet, work longer hours to meet a deadline or skip the exercise you need.

Your best insurance policy to maintain the health of your gut — the center of your immune system — no matter what life throws at you: Take a probiotic, ideally with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

Resources

Nature Communications

United European Gastroenterology

Medical News Bulletin

UPI

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