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How to Strengthen & Rebuild Your Immune System After Antibiotics

author image Kay Uzoma
Kay Uzoma has been writing professionally since 1999. Her work has appeared in "Reader’s Digest," "Balance," pharmaceutical and natural health newsletters and on websites such as She is a former editor for a national Canadian magazine and holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from York University.
How to Strengthen & Rebuild Your Immune System After Antibiotics
Exercising daily boosts production of disease-fighting cells.

Concerns about over prescription of antibiotics are not new. In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning about overusing antibiotics. In November 2010, the organization urged consumers to learn about the proper use of antibiotics. While these potent drugs can help treat many illnesses, their overuse has spawned the rise of deadly superbugs, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. Furthermore, antibiotics can also negatively affect normal cells, weaken your immune system and destroy healthy flora in your colon, according to nutrition consultant Lawrence Wilson. However, you can protect your immune system while using antibiotics.

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Step 1

Start taking probiotics at the same time you begin a course of antibiotic treatment, which will help reduce symptoms such as antibiotic-related diarrhea and protect immune-boosting bacteria in your colon. According to Science Daily, a suggested dose of probiotics for adults is at least 10 billion colony forming units per day.

Step 2

Get as much sleep as possible — about seven to nine hours — after your worst symptoms have subsided; sleep is essential for a healthy immune system. Don’t try to fight sleeplessness in the early stages of battling infection, however, as this may help produce a fever and speed recovery, according to a study published in a 2009 issue of “Nature Review Neuroscience.”

Step 3

Eat 2 cups of fruits and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables daily. These are foods rich in vitamins C, E, carotenoids and bioflavonoids — all of which have antioxidant properties.

Step 4

Exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week as exercise stimulates the immune system to build cells, such as T cells and macrophages, that fight diseases and infections, according to naturopath Peter Bennett, author of “The Purification Plan.”

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