Yeast overgrowth common after taking antibiotics

Reader’s Question: I was given antibiotics for an E. coli infection and developed a very bad yeast infection. I’m taking a very good probiotic, a colloidal silver, and garlic capsules and am on a low-carb, no yeast diet. What else can I do?

Dr. Glenn Rothfeld: All too many women battle yeast infections on a regular basis. But yeast infections aren’t just a “woman’s problem” because they can also hit other parts of the body – in both men and women.

For example, if you’ve got low stomach acid levels, the alkalinity can allow unfriendly microorganisms like Candida albicans (a.k.a. yeast) to enter the scene. The treatment for that usually involves improving digestion and balancing the pH of the gastrointestinal system.

Likewise, taking antibiotics can kill off the good, healthy bacteria in your gut right along with the bad. And when that happens, it’s very easy for yeast to grow in the place of the good bacteria… especially in a damp and moist environment such as the intestines.

There’s always supposed to be SOME yeast in the mix in your intestines, and most of it is considered “good” yeast. But when antibiotics kill off a fair amount of the good bacteria (and you fail to take probiotics while on the antibiotic), these yeast species will start to grow like wildfire in place of the bacteria.

But you can “put out the fire” – or prevent it altogether – by taking some simple steps:

• Wait two hours after taking the antibiotic to take the probiotic. Swallowing a probiotic at the same exact time as an antibiotic will allow the antibiotic to kill off the probiotic.

• Cutting carbohydrates is a good way to control a yeast infection – but make sure that means you’re eliminating sugars (including fruits) and alcoholic beverages, as well as starches. Sugar can be your worst enemy when it comes to a yeast infection, because yeast just LOVE to eat sugar. Go Paleo for a natural anti-fungal dietary plan.

• Kill some of the excessive yeast with natural germicidal remedies like fresh garlic (instead of supplements), oil of oregano, or grapefruit seed extract.

I should note, however, that if you start killing the yeast too quickly, you could feel worse before you feel better – so it’s best to work with a doctor who’s well-versed in integrative therapies on the right plan for you.

Any one of those non-toxic remedies won’t be able to clear up the yeast altogether on its own, but they work very well in combination.

Has there been something bugging you? Don’t be afraid to ask! Every week I choose a question from my inbox to answer here in eTips. Email me at

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
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