How Antibiotics Cause Weight Gain

antibiotics weight gainAntibiotics can cause weight gain.

It’s not unusual for me to hear a story from a patient like this: “I don’t know what happened. I was doing really well with weight loss, but then suddenly I just ballooned.”

When I hear that I ask: “Did you take antibiotics sometime in the last 3-4 months?” Very often, the answer is: “Um… Oh right! Yes, I did.”

Weight gain from antibiotics is a clinical reality. The research is finally starting to catch up.

Evidence that antibiotics cause weight gain

In 2012, British researchers reported that children exposed to antibiotics early in life are more likely to become overweight later in life. Professor Martin Blaser from New York University Langone Medical Center has also done some fascinating studies. First, he demonstrated that mice exposed to antibiotics gained twice as much weight as untreated mice on the same diet. Professor Blaser then looked at humans. He monitored 92 subjects after one course for H pylori bacteria and found that their weight increased significantly. He also detected a dramatic increase in blood levels of the ‘hunger hormone‘ ghrelin. Made by stomach cells (and normally suppressed by H Pylori), ghrelin is a strong appetite stimulant and promoter of belly fat. In Professor Blaser’s study, antibiotics increased ghrelin by 6 times, and the hormone stayed high for 18 months. The satiety hormone leptin was also affected.

The ghrelin effect is just one mechanism for weight gain. Antibiotics also damage intestinal bacteria, and that translates into metabolic changes that we are only just starting to understand. Intestinal bacteria determine how many calories you absorb. They manufacture nutrients and reduce inflammation. Intestinal bacteria also have a direct influence on lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

Antibiotics also damage mitochondria. That affects weight because mitochondria’s main job is to convert food into energy.  If you have not yet heard of mitochondria, then get ready. You are going to hear a lot more about them very soon. Mitochondria are major players in health. They are tiny organelles that exist in each and every cell. Mitochondria burn calories. They also boost communication between synapses in the brain, manufacture heme (the main protein in hemoglobin), and slow aging (just to name a few of the many, many things that they do for us).

How many courses of antibiotics is too many?

I used to ask patients: “Do you take many antibiotics?”

I no longer ask that question, because the answer was usually: “not many”.  By “not many”, most people meant one course of antibiotics per year. One course per year is apparently now perceived as normal and standard. Eek!

One course of antibiotics per year is too many. A better figure would be one or two courses in a lifetime. Antibiotics are amazing, life-saving drugs. I don’t like to imagine the world without them. But they are for life-threatening infections such as a kidney infection. They’re not for regular consumption.

Probiotics cannot fix the problem

Probiotics are not a solution.

I feel bad if natural medicine has somehow promoted the myth that “‘just take this probiotic after antibiotics” and all will be well. All will not be well. Probiotics relieve symptoms, promote the health of good bacteria, and prevent infection with bad bacteria like Clostridium.

But probiotics do not re-colonize your intestine.  They cannot fix the permanent extinction of some species of intestinal bacteria that are caused by antibiotics. They cannot reverse the weight gain.

I’m not asking you to say no to antibiotics if you really need them. The time to make the decision is not when you’re dealing with a full-blown chest or sinus infection. The time to make the decision is now, as prevention, before you get to that point again.  If you are prone to frequent infections, then you need an immune-boosting strategy such as zinc, vitamin D & dairy-free diet.

This is what I say to my patients:  “I am prescribing an immune-boosting, antibiotic-avoiding strategy as part of your long-term weight loss plan.”

150 thoughts on “How Antibiotics Cause Weight Gain”

  1. Hi Lara, thank you for your blog. I`ve heard on several health summits that the very first course of antibiotics wipes out the bacteria needed to break down spinach, and it never comes back. Does it mean that we need to avoid spinach for the rest of our life? Is there a list of gut bacteria forever gone after courses of antibiotics corresponding with the food they are breaking down? Thank you very much!

  2. So what are you supposed to do then? I’m just going to gain weight now bc I had to go on antibiotics for a week? I’m ruined? That’s it for me?

  3. I went vegan after going through pneumonia hospitalization with antibiotics and 6 months of fatigue afterwards. I gained a lot of weight, was hungry all the time, and just did not feel good. After going vegan I felt my body revitalizing like no other!!

  4. What probiotic is best to take I have gained so much weight as I have copd and get so many chest infections and am always on antibiotics and steroids help

  5. Okay, so I’m sitting here with an unopened prescription of nitrofurantoin in my hand that I reluctantly had a doctor prescribe for me, because I know I have a UTI. I am against taking antibiotics, and have gotten rid of UTIs before without them. But we are traveling, and it’s difficult for me to order from Amazon what I used last time, and I fear letting it go too long, and I am very uncomfortable. I am also VERY PARANOID about anything that could cause weight gain, which is how I ended up finding this article. I don’t know what to do. I have been taking natural products and drinking what I can. I’m so bummed right now.

  6. Hi There, reading this blog is worrying me. I have been on antibiotics for past 18 months every day. I am on Macrodanten 100mg. I had a colon and bladder operation and since then I have picked up a lot of weight. I do not eat sugar and i don’t eat a lot generally. I am thinking that the antibiotics are surely contributing to my weight gain!! this is really worrying.

    • Antibiotics were discovered to fatten up livestock, in the 40’s so the farmers just put it in the feed, then we take it unaware, I got poisoned long ago, and nobody I know of, knows anything that works to reverse it. But common sense dictates being your sure gut health never gets destroyed, once the pounds are there……I just don’t know.

  7. If probiotics cannot fix the permanent extinction of some gut bacteria – what can? I avoided antibiotics like the plague until I turned 59, 2 years ago. . First I contracted pneumonia, then a kidney infection – I have had five bladder infections in 2 years, and have just finished my 5th course of antibiotics this year. Two doses of bronchitis, sinusitis, and tracheitis in 6 weeks will do that to you. We cannot buy antibiotics in NZ, thankfully, so in each case they have been prescribed to me by a GP. I NEVER ask for them as I do NOT want them! But I don’t want to die of a treatable infection either. So what’s your suggestion? Recolonization using someone else’s faeces?!

  8. Do you mean antibiotics such as penicillin?

    What do you suggest to do to repair the gut and everything after a course of antibiotics… as I’m currently on my last day and have been on them for 7 days.

    Please help!

  9. Hi Lara. Thank you for this informative article, however you have really scared me and just wondered if there is any hope? I have been prescribed antibiotics for an anal fissure that has become infected and I am slowly gaining weight. Is there anything else you suggest taking instead of antibiotics to heal this? Also, will my weight return to normal after a few months once the antibiotics are out of my system?

    Thank you 🙂

    Tara

  10. 30 yrs ago Iwas prescribed broad spectrum antibiotics, then the following week by my dentist for a tooth infection, which was the real cause for the first visit to the quacks for the first round of antibiotics and within 90 days I blew up like a farm animal, from 200 to 260 and I was not eating more either, how can I reverse this curse?k

  11. Sinus infection started taking z-pack last Friday, one week later up almost 5 lbs. I’m so pissed! as I’ve been walking more, etc. muscles in my legs hurt. Is there anything I can do to prevent additional gain or shed what i have recently put on due to antibiotic use.

  12. Yes I have significant weight gain after antibiotics. I do not know what to do. Have tried everything. Especially since Cipro. Have never been able to get back to a size 10 and a flat belly.

  13. I have Sibo and have done xifaxian off/on for a few rounds. Helps, but Sibo still is there. Now, been diagnosed with gastro paresis and dr wants me on erithromycin for life. Is there anything else I can do? I also have fibromyalgia, Lupus, chronic Epstein Barr. Needless to say, I have heavy anxiety and stress.
    Thank you

  14. I’m pretty positive that taking Cephalexin caused me to put on 12 pounds.. But I also have Mirena, a hormonal IUD. Research shows the Mirena doesn’t cause weight gain but I have read and heard that many women either gained weight or couldn’t lose it with Mirena and once they got it out, they were able to lose weight again.. Is it possible that the antibiotics made me gain weight and Mirena has made it harder for me to lose weight? Or is it more likely the lasting effects of the antibiotics that seems to make it impossible for me to get back to my original size?

  15. Hi together,
    I was shocked to read about your publishing. I all the time tell the docs, that I am gaining weight from the antibiotics, but nobody seems to care and they say it is me, which is overeating. Which is by far not true. They send me to nutritionists instead. And normal eating makes me even fatter than the less I am eating now by myself. In 2016 I had 6 times antibiotics and this year already 3 times.
    My weight last year ballooned from 1. of April from 149 pounds to 185. And this year from 185 to 197 pounds.
    I am wondering if this is healthy to be so fatty? And more I am wondering how to get rid of it. Nothing seems to work by now. I am really very unhappy about this.

  16. I had a mastoid bone infection sow I was hospitalized for 40 days and treated with 7 types of antibiotics and I gained a total of 30 pound in 2 months, but no Doctor has spoken to me about this . I am very worried if not losing any weight 😢

  17. Wow. Just read this article and could not feel worse. You are instilling fear in every woman who is currently or has taken antibiotics and has struggled or is in fear of weight gain, especially with your emphasized phrases like ‘permanent extinction’. I understand you are trying to be informative but you then provide unhelpful and vague responses on what we do now. Basically we are all screwed?! Thanks for the help. Terrible.

    • Yes, I can see now that I need to write an updated more “hopeful” version of this post.

      I was trying to be helpful by making the point that one of the most important things for metabolism is to put in place strategies to avoid future antibiotics. That’s what I do with my own patients.

      • I found this article to be very helpful. Don’t get me wrong I cried thinking I was never going to lose the weight as I took the ‘permanent distinction’ to mean weight loss was impossible, but at least I got an explanation as to what was wrong with me. My doctor flatly told me “antibiotics do not make you put on weight”, but couldn’t explain why I had put on a stone in a year while exercising daily. It’s been a long journey loosing the weight but it does come off. S l o w l y. One year later I can only just fit into my old clothes but still have days when I feel really bloated. However, I recognise those days maily only happen now after I feast on white carbohydrates.
        I did everything: Kefir, vitamins, apple cider vinegar, turmeric… so can’t tell you what worked and what didn’t!
        A knee injury I picked up while fighting the weight gain meant I had to swap gym for hot yoga. Long term I feel this wasn’t a bad thing as I relaxed abit and stopped working my body so hard.

        • You give me hope if you say the weight will come off slowly. I would love to know what you have been doing. I haven’t changed anything in my life and poof 10 pounds like that and I have no energy and want to sleep all the time. This came after months of about 6 different antibiotics and the previous year of them off and on. I seemed to be doing ok then the last round of cephalhexin just changed me. Unexplained weight gain and tiredness and change in appetite. I am not who I was a year ago or who I have been my whole life. Thyroids fine, it was the antibiotics, literally just finished that last round and bam, changed. Any tips you have are appreciated and encouraging words. Sad, but it nice to know I am not the only one that has happened to. I am not surprised mainstream medicine won’t acknowledge this.

          Dr. Briden, anything we can do to fix ourselves? I am vegan, consume kombucha, water kefir and vegan kimchi for probiotics. Eat high fiber and exercise. Just doing everything I have always done for the last 10 years but now I have this weight that won’t budge.

          Thanks.

          • Wow this has been the story of my life for the past year. Few years ago I was getting UTI’s every few months and had to take antibiotics of course.. Never had a problem with weight gain until I took Cephalexin for 2.5 weeks for an infected piercing. I gained close to 10 pounds in the first 2 months afterwards. Weight gain has gone up to 13 now. I use to be able to lose weight easily, a pound a week if I tried. But now it just seems so impossible. I also drink kombucha and yogurt but not sure if it makes that much of a difference. I’m only 22, so this is pretty depressing if I’m gonna have this problem the rest of my life.

          • you guys are the same with me, sigh….
            the difference is i took ceftazidime for 5 days ( it’s an iv, but the same cephalosphorin as cephalexin)
            before i took it i was 81, now i am 90-92
            i have a hard time, i want to deal with my disease first then fight with my weight gain, taking ceftazidime is the worst decision, not only my disease doesn’t cured, but my weight gain is teribble….
            please share if you have any hope, i am currently taking Lactobacillus gasseri for 2 days, don’t know if it’s gonna work or not,
            after this i will try another method

      • Yes I gained weight but after I finished true antibiotics I lost the weight. The infection also adds water weight not just the antibiotics. Also drink lots of water while on the antibiotics. After you finish taking them drink a cup of warm water with half teaspoon of turmeric. Turmeric helps get rid of inflammation in the stomach. The inflammation is what causes the weight gain. Lastly don’t stress out. The weight is not permanent.

  18. Yours truly my ass. You can’t just say that and leave it at that. What do those of us who have been prescribed multiple antibiotics prescriptions a year for the last ten do?! How was I supposed to know, I was trusting my doctor! And your saying that’s permenant damage and I’m going to be fat forever!?!?!

    • I agree! It’s all very well saying “probiotics don’t fix the problem” and then just stop there. What *does* fix the problem? Yes, we all want to avoid antibiotics in the future where possible, but what about the past? Thanks to repeated sinus infections, gum infections and a sebaceous cyst that got infected and could have killed me, I’ve had lots of antibiotics over the past 5 years. I take probiotics every time, but have still gained about 15lbs in total. So, what are we supposed yo do to sort it out???

  19. This is very informative and helpful. I need your advice! I have bacterial vaginosis and i really don’t want to take antibiotics. Is there any other way to treat this condition naturally?

    • Hi Diamond, I saw your comment and thought I would share my experience. I had BV for about 3 months and it was extremely uncomfortable. I was given a course of clindamycin. Clindamycin is a broad spectrum antibiotic. I didnt know the permanent effects antibiotics have on gut flora before I took it. While the BV went away, my gut has not been the same (it has been about one month since the completion of my medication). I would rather deal with the BV than what I am experiencing now. Like the article suggests, really consider the ups/downs of taking antibiotics. I would only suggest them as a last resort.

      A couple women suggested the following for BV without medicinal treatment: shower twice per day and sleep in the nude to let the vag air out. Here is a website and what worked for one girl, it is basically a combination of vitamins: https://patient.info/forums/discuss/bv-cured–62462

      Do your own research and good luck!

      Danielle

  20. Omg I’m happy to read this. I started antibiotics since 2 weeks ago for skin problems and i feel i’ve had a great increase of appetite. I eat more and I’m still hungry!! I always had problems with my appetite generally, sometimes not being hungry at all for dinner per example, so at first I was thinking it was a good thing. But generally, I don’t eat all that much and get satiated quickly and can keep going with little in my stomach. However today I had breakfast, lunch, was pretty satiated i felt then I took a shower and went to the store. As I was shopping, i started getting so hungry i thought i was going to faint. I had to eat some garbage snack to keep me going. I have to take dinner earlier cause I’m too hungry too. I took 3 pounds since starting the antibiotics. There’s also the fact it’s holidays and there’s more food around the table, but as I said, I generally don’t eat that much anyways. I know antibiotics are not a longterm solution and I was thinking of doing it only for a month to see some skin improvement following my doc recommendation. I was feeling weirded out since all I found online pointed out towards a loss of appetite as a second effect and not the opposite. But I’m thinking of stopping because I don’t see myself so much feeling hungry like that and never getting satisfied. Should I stop gradually? My pharmacist told me I could stop abruptly but some info i find online says the opposite.

    Anyways thanks for your post!!

  21. I am on Cephalexin for a skin infection that I tried battling naturally but could not get rid of. I noticed I am gaining weight although I’m eating healthy and exercising so in your article you confirmed it could be the antibiotic but how do we reverse the effects now that we have consumed the antibiotic?

  22. Hi Laura, could I personally email you regarding an antibiotic I took? I am a healthy 31 year old, I took flagyl for 7 days, 500mg twice daily… And I think I am having some pretty bad side effects. It’s been a few weeks since the last pill I took but … I’m not doing well and I don’t know here’s to go for help. I don’t think my GP would have a clue.

    • Hi Lauren! Flagyl caused some pretty bad side effects for me, including joint pain, digestive issues, anxiety and more. Fortunately, they all went away but I can no longer tolerate Flagyl. I hope you feel better soon! Google Flagyl side effects and you will find lots of info.

  23. I have been on some of the most powerful antibiotics due to two infections in my skull. I had to have surgery on aneurysms and contracted these two very bad infections. I have been on antibiotics for the past year and a half. up til now I have always been very motivated and kept my weight low. (115 pounds 55 years and 5′ 1/2″) Now I find that I can’t keep the weight off and I experience an increase in my bowel movements. I have a belly that I can’t seem to get rid of and I am at about 124 pounds. Any suggestions. I can’t do major work outs yet but I don’t want this to get out of control.

  24. Between Oct 2014 and Aug 2015 I was on antibiotics for sinus infection over 100 days. I have now gained 15 pounds with no change at all to previous and normal diet. How can I reverse the effects of the antibiotics and get back to my normal weight?

    • What antibiotics were you on, if you don’t mind me asking ? Have the reoccurring sinus infections stopped, and if so .. What helped this? I , too, am battling over a year of chronic infections and strong antibiotics . They’ve had me on so many courses of Augmentin XR that I was barely eating due to abdominal discomfort , yet I was not losing weight and did not realize how alarming the lack of nutrition was on my body. It was not until couple months ago , that I was given Z pak( from a clinic that was rushed, crowded , & the Drs barely listened however I was so tired of sinus pain that I just filled it assuming the worse would be …? Maybe less impact on infection ? Well, within a week I started noticing I was losing weight and sweating constantly . I still had no appetite and within a month of stopping that XR biotic, I had lost 25lbs and weight loss continued . I had more sinus infections and received weak antibiotics AGAIN, while waiting to see ENT surgeon. By 2nd month, I’ve lost almost 35lbs & I am not nor was I overweight. I now look very ill, as if I’ve been starving self or etc.. And it’s been so rapid that I feel ill and confused .
      I think they do cause weight gain , I know for myself I retained a lot of water , had no appetite and was not regular in daily BM. Once stopping any antibiotic , approx 48 hrs later I start being ill to stomach with cramps and excessive restroom visits . I’m not sure why but I do know that for myself , I’ve retained water and gained weight until ceasing those horrible meds
      They DO HELP INFECTION but now I’m scared that I will be sick forever , unless taking them

  25. Hello,

    I have been reading your blog for a few months and find it very helpful. I am currently 46, and having major problems with what I believe is hormonal imbalance related to periomenopause. Specifically, I think I have low progesterone and am insulin resistant. I eat pretty healthy, and get moderate exercise. I am overweight, but find it nearly impossible to even shed a pound.

    I have been to two gynecologists, one just wanted to put me on birth control (no…tried it and it made me crazy)… The other one told me a had a uterine polyp and performed a D&C only to find no polyp. (That is when I gave up on gynecologists…) Couple that with living in an area where there are no endocrinologists within a 300 mile radius…I’m kind of at a loss right now.

    I know (by results from ultrasounds) that I have had a few ovarian cysts over the last few years, although no one has officially diagnosed me with PCOS. I know a few cysts does not necessarily mean one has PCOS. However my periods are out of control. The last one (which stopped about three weeks ago) lasted a full nine weeks. The bleeding goes from nothing to VERY heavy (I wear two pads and a tampon at the same time, and have to change every 20 minutes.) I also pass very large clots. So all this to say, there is a lot going on here…

    I find this post interesting, because along with everything else I also have rosacea. I have been on a low dose antibiotic for 10+ years. Yes, every day for 10+ plus years. My dermatologist seems to think this is normal? If I stop talking the antibiotic, the rosacea flares up. Any advice?

    Thanks so much!

  26. Hi Laura,

    What a wonderful article, thank you for writing it! I have gained 20 pounds over the last few years, and I’ve always been a healthy eater (mostly organic, no sugar, almost never drink alcohol, etc.), and I exercise regularly! I was thinking it was a hormonal issue since I’m a female over 40, but now I think it’s all the antibiotics I’ve taken over the years.

    For some reason I have been plagued with UTIs my entire adult life, in spite of doing everything right (drinking tons of water, using cranberry and d-mannose, staying clean and urinating before and after sex). I’m not really sure why I have this problem so severely when I am so committed to natural health, but I suspect it has to do with a dysbiosis of the flora not only in the intestinal tract, but in the urogenital area as well (there are some studies that show that flora plays a big role in chronic UTIs as well as other problems like Interstitial Cystitis). I am a heavy user of probiotics, but as you say that does not really cure anything, only helps lessen symptoms.

    The problem I see is that Americans generally are a very sick bunch. We are exposed to so many toxins in our food, water, air, and emotional/spiritual environment, so staying off of antibiotics is tricky. I can’t tell you how many times I have drank gallons of water and pure organic cranberry juice, while eating entire containers of d-mannose and bottles of oregano oil, only to end up in the urgent care or even the ER six or seven days later with a severe UTI that’s now moving up into my kidneys, since I waited so long trying to avoid antibiotics. Sigh. 🙁

    I guess we are just waiting on the Fecal Transplant pills to become available and widespread, is that correct? And if I’m understanding the situation, we are going to have to get donors from the mountains of Tibet or the Amazon rainforest tribes, or some other remote population that will still have the entire bacteria genome intact, since modern peoples have caused major species of this population to go extinct in our own bodies. Does that sound about right?

    Thanks again for your great article! 🙂

    • Hi Cora,
      thanks for your comment.
      With regard to your recurrent UTIs, you don’t take hormonal birth control, do you? (it can cause chronic bladder infection)

      • Thanks for the reply Lara! No I don’t take birth control pills or any medications at all, only natural herbs, homeopathy, etc. (Although I did take bcp for years, as a young lady many years ago.) I’m not sure why I have this problem so severely, but I suspect that ultimately it’s a flora issue, though I can’t be totally sure. (I believe there is also an emotional/psychological/spiritual element to this problem, but I can’t figure out practical ways to address that, other than therapy, etc., which I have done a lot of, with no improvement on the physical side.) I’m currently taking lots of probiotics, fermented foods, and berberine, but I still have some severe candida-like symptoms. (I’m not having UTIs right now because I just got out of a long term relationship about two years ago, so I have been single recently). I suspect that the disrupted flora is what leads to the UTIs, so I’m still tackling that issue. On a positive note, I found that if I do everything perfectly (drink tons of water, take cranberry and d-mannose consistently all the time, drink zero alcohol, and follow hygienic practices) I can prevent most UTIs. But if I slip up even a little bit in any of those areas, I will instantly get a horrible UTI, and nothing seems to cure it except the dreaded antibiotics. 🙁

        • Yes, the vaginal microbiome is very important for bladder. In my book, I recommend the strains: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14, which are available from a few brands.

          • Yes, I have been using those! But do you recommend them orally or as a vaginal suppository? They are rather expensive so I’ve just been taking them once a day orally.

  27. This is not a very useful or empathetic article when it blames people for taking antibiotics. There are people like me who have to take them long term. Although you briefly mention that fact, you offer no solution to weight gain in those circumstances.

    • Hi Sandra, thanks for your comment.

      My purpose in writing the article was to make the point that one of the most important things for metabolism and hormone health is to put in place strategies to avoid future antibiotics. That’s what I do with my own patients.

      Of course I also know many people need help from past antibiotics. Probiotics can help, which is why I prescribe them, but they don’t completely fix the problem, so there’s no point pretending they do. I wanted to communicate that. If I did know an easy way to fix the problem, I would definitely share it with you all!

    • I agree with Lara I’ve been on antibiotics for 12 weeks to clear cellulitus before open heart surgery but the weight piled on,I think the advice for taking pro biotics is good advice there’s no harm in it only good

    • I don’t think she is blaming anybody! She is trying to help us. I also have to take antibiotics very frequently because of a very poor immune system that is prone to getting all kinds of infections. I appreciate the insight and advice, Dr. lara!

  28. What do you suggest to your patients that have had extensive antibiotic use? If probiotics don’t help, what about probiotic rich foods? Is there and answer for these patients? Thanks

    • Probiotics help, but they don’t solve the problem. Whenever possible, it’s better to avoid antibiotics in the first place.

          • I empathise with Sandra here. I was on four courses of antibiotics (in hospital for IV) a few months ago for what would have been a life threatening condition in the pre-antibiotic era. It is perhaps the fourth time I have taken them in my life, and I go to lengths to avoid antibiotics as I have struggled with gut problems for the last 15 years. But like I said, this time I had to do it, and I’m glad to be alive! But yes, disconcerted to have a small weight gain (6kg) which I have never had to deal with before. Four months later, the weight is still there – all of it.

            I appreciate that Lara focuses on avoiding future antibiotic use, but as she acknowledged in her article, sometimes it is a necessary evil. So a few ideas on damage control would be awesome. To simply repeat “it’s better to avoid them in the first place” is unhelpful in an article that is probably getting hits because we have taken antibiotics and had some weight gain as a result. I can’t go back in time, and even if I could, I would take the antibiotics again because they saved my life.

      • I totally agree with Lara one has to help oneself as much as one can in these cases my surgeon admitted me to hospital for intravenous antibiotics through a drip so it was kinder on my stomach before open heart surgery .Problem was solved back to loosing weight with pro biotics helping me.Thanks Lara

  29. I came across this article at a point of dispear. I am a very fit and healthy person (run 10k in less than 50mins and do this several times per wk as well as gym classes) Last yr I noticed my weight creeping up, at first I wasn’t concerned as I moved homes and started driving so I thought it was just a change of life style and that I would lose it the same way I’ve lost holiday weight in the past.
    I started working out but my the weight just kept going up each month. I had a few family events so I became so obsessed with losing the weight that I was easily excising 3 hours a day. Each event passed with me just getting bigger and people visibly shocked by my appearance. My usually toned abs turned to jelly my face was so swollen I looked like I was wearing a fat suit and I was just permanently bloated even though by now I was hardly eating anything cause I was now horrified by what was happening to my body and my lack of control over it. I got to over a stone over weight and a dress size bigger.
    That’s when I googled do antibiotics make you fat? And came across this article it was like someone pulling the rag from my feet. All those months of intense training and only getting bigger flushed before me.
    I have a cyst that grows on my breast than bursts after a week or so. I initially got this cyst once a year but for some reason I got it every 6-8 weeks last year. Every time I would get it, I go to my GP who would prescribe a course of antibiotics!! So between October 2014 to November 2015 I was on antibiotics every other month!!
    I’m writing on here to give hope to anyone in this situation. After reading this and similar articles, I started taking probiotics and 4 months later I’m starting to see a body I recognise. I’m still nearly a stone overweight but I think I’ve lost half a stone from my biggest point. It’s a slower progress than I am used to but after everything I’ve been through I’m just greatful to be getting smaller each month rather than bigger! I’m leaving this here to give hope to anyone in the same situation as I know how it feels to feel so helpless at one point I even thought about which friend/family I would aproch to ask for a same of their poo for my fecal transplant! Likely I don’t think I’ll be needing that anymore. !

    • I agree entirely about this experience thank you there is light at the end of the tunnel.its very true and encourageing.Its nice to read these up building blogs that make better sense of a situation

      • After having a similar experience of weight gain due to antibiotics, someone suggested me to have two tea spoons of flex seeds everyday, at breakfast and dinner, for its probiotic benefits and insulin balancing effects. After 3 weeks of use, I must say that it really works. I’m consistently loosing the extra weight, and that in the most natural way.

  30. Ms. Briden, Thank you for this article. I thought I was going nuts! However, it just confirms my belief in how well I know my body. Seven months ago, I had an antibiotic treatment due to H-Pylori (Omeprazole 20MG & Oxaprozin 600MG). I also received treatment of two iron fusions for anemia due to this buggaa. I noticed weight gain, however I wasn’t too concerned at first as I was very thin, and I am a distance runner. But the problem is: I am now at an uncomfortable weight and even with my running, I can’t seem to lose it. I run approximately 30-40 miles a week. I knew something was off. I do NOT over eat. I am very aware of what I am putting into my body. I have mostly a vegetarian diet. Oh, another thing that I have noticed, I believe I loss some of my sense of smell.
    I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have read your article, however, you make no mention of a remedy on the situation. I was wondering if you could give me some additional feedback on that score. Thank you, Cynthia G.

  31. Help me please m! I’ve been diagnosed with chronic uti with ecoli in my bladder- I’m on six months worth of strong antibiotics and I’m gaining weight- how can I lose the weight whilst on the antibiotics??!

  32. Up until two months ago, I was on IV antibiotics for a year and a half to treat severe lyme disease… I experienced weight gain on them, and for the past few weeks, though my PICC line is out and I am not taking any antibiotics, my stomach still bloats if I eat anything and my lower ab area feels sore as well. I am taking massive doses of probiotics and nearly every GI healing supplement on the planet to try to fix it…I am a low-fat vegan, and only eat organic, sugar and gluten free foods, so I don’t think it is my diet that is bothering me. You noted that some species are permanently extinct… But I am only 20 and have a lotta years left of having to deal with this… Any advice? Thanks:)
    Layah

  33. I’m a 59 year old woman. January 1 – I decided, that’s it! I’m changing my eating and dropping this weight. 1200-1300 calories a day, using online Free Calorie Counter to track everything. I dropped 5.6 lbs in 5 days (the honeymoon period of a diet change). Had to go to dentist on Thursday – he gave me anti-biotic “just in case” for a cavity close to nerve. Since then I’ve gained back TWO POUNDS. I’m discouraged and ready (once again) to go back to my bagels & peanut butter. Thank you for writing this article.

  34. 2 years ago I had glandular fever, hit me pretty hard. Still havnt recovered now, and that is partly because of the amount of antibiotics I’ve had this year. I have had a constant battle with UTIs since getting married (I know this is because I then became sexually active) I have tried EVERYTHING under the sun to prevent them but I get at very least one a month. (Just come off a 3 week course last month now on another week) Twice has gone to kidney. Every time antibiotics are prescribed and I’m scared to not take them because it ultimately leads to my kidneys. I’m in a vicious circle and need help and proper advice!! Please x

    • Are you on hormonal birth control? Or do you use condoms with spermicide? Both of those things can dramatically increase the risk of bladder infections. Always choose condoms with no spermicide.

      • I sure hope someone told the newly Wed to urinate after sex to help prevent uti’s.
        Through the years I have noticed our youth are not always informed of simple preventive behaviors. Also after antibiotics a person should always eat things to help restore the bodies balance. I have found a good diet should include lots of water, a good yogert such as activia. I’d suggest 2 -3 servings a day for at least two weeks. (I had bladder infections for 7 years and I’m not sexually active, I even was on a preventive antibiotic daily, it did not help. Water and yogurt was the thing that helped.)
        Also, no antibiotics unless you have a high fever or kidney infection. Dr’s tend to prescribe rx’s before they are truly needed.

  35. So help us, the ones who have been given way way to many doses of antibiotics.
    Which includes me. I went through a 4 year attract that I was on antibiotics at least once a month. One doctor wen prescribed a daily low dose to prevent bladder infections. A year a go my new primary doctor, who’s a internal med doctor realized I was multi antibiotic resistant, can could not get rid of a ecoli infection. I went on a antibiotic that’s only in it form , finished the dose. He said drink tons of water to keep flushing out the ecoli. I never had fever, just smell and clouded urine. My body no longer had the other symptoms with infection, or I was catching the infection early and the infection had not gotten to pain and fever stage. Any I was told to not do a urine culture unless fever and pain was present. One year later, no fever or pain and not even a hint of clouded urine. I also had a systom of urgent, when though I had had surgery for that 15 years ago. I attributed it to back issues, and it still gets worse with back pain. Up until recently I would have to potty every two hours even all night long. I started doing stretches that help relieve hip pain (Miranda Desmond white’s) this helped, but than eating activia twice a day for a good 2 weeks. This for some reason stopped my need to potty more than once a night. Now I get apx 5 hours of undisturbed sleep a night (assuming I don’t over do it and irritate my low back.
    I strongly suspect I have passed completely the ecoli infection and I believe the activia has made a difference in over active bladder. But I hardly eat (my son is 25 and I eat 1/3 – 1/4 of what he eats ) I don’t consume a lot of junk food, (chips area rarely in house) not daily maybe once a month I get McDonald’s. My idea of fried foods at home is fresh home made stir fry (bok choy, naps cabbage, broccoli, peppers, onions and I don’t thicken the sauce or it would be to high of salt intake), and olive oil, so my food choices are good. I even envious pasta on a regular basis. My cholesterol is good etc. I am about 100 pounds over weight, carry it well but don’t like it. To lose any weight I have to eat so little, I can’t stay warm. I’m hypo thyroid, hypoglycemic, have is to and rheumatoid arthritis, along with raynauds syndrome, so being cold is not good.
    I really need help finding a way to get pounds off. If your right about antibiotics, and based on my life, your right. I need to figure out how to turn around the problems antibiotics have caused.
    Sorry for the long story, but I felt its nessarry. I believe I’m for a start down the right path.

    • So sorry for your troubles. Please, anybody with a kidney or bladder infection take antibiotics with plenty of water. I am a nephrology nurse and have seen many patients who have lost kidney function by not taking antibiotics or suspending them before the course of treatment is complete.
      Pat, I can identify with you. I have a chronic strep B infection that requires antibiotics. I have been on them on and off for 2years and have gained weight just as you have described but the weight gain has not been as dramatic. I struggle to stay at the same weight, a battle I am slowly loosing. What I try to do is to use the probiotics, eat meats and foods that do not have antibiotics added including milk and yoguart. I feel your frustration. I stay on a 1200 calorie diet and journal as well. What I have decided is that I would rather be overweight than have to be on hemodialysis.

  36. I had to take a lot of antibiotics when I was a child because I used to get a lot of ear infections. Now I’m overweight even though I eat healthy food regularly and I don’t have a sedentary lifestyle. Do you have any suggestions on how to boost my metabolism? I’m only 22 years old and I have the metabolism of a 40 year old. Losing weight by exercise is extremely slow for me as well.

  37. So what do you recommend for patients that have had long term antibiotics and have experienced weight gain. I was on 3 months intravenous antibiotics and 6 months oral Zmax twice a day. The good news is I got rid of lyme disease which was debilitating, and I no longer have symptoms. Many others I know are not as lucky. the bad news is I have gained 30 pounds and don’t seem to be able to loose it.

    • Diet and probiotics can help to adjust the distributions of bacteria in the microbiome, but the only way to recolonize extinct species is with fecal transplant.

  38. Lara, What do you think of digestive enzymes for Candida? Do they work?

    Also, is there any value in Systemic Enzymes for inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory PCOS?

  39. From September 2013 through October 2014 I was put on several rounds of antibiotics and I have gained 20 pounds. How do I shed the pounds? I eat well and exercise regularly and the weight is like velcro.

  40. Thanks for this article. I was on Oracea (doxicycline) for 4 years to treat Rosacea. I have been gaining 10 lbs each year and cannot lose weight, despite all efforts. I’ve been off the antibiotic for 3.5 months now. Do you know how long it may take for this effect to subside, so I can lose again?

  41. I have been on antibiotics for close to 2 years. I take 3 Keflex antibiotic pills daily for aortitis. I have to take these for life and have found that I have gained almost 20 pounds since taking these. I have not changed my diet and exercise daily but still gained the weight and now it seems I can’t take the weight off.

  42. I was just on a month of antibiotics. My sinus collapsed and I had a chronic infection for close to a year. I’ve gained 10 lbs I’m freaking out I’m 53 and I e been 125 since I was a kid I’m now 135!!! Ugh. What do I do if probiotics won’t help.??

    • Probiotics might help to some degree. Also a microbiome-friendly diet of lots of vegetables. My main point about probiotics is that they are not a magic bullet post-antibiotics. They help, but only somewhat. That’s why we need to avoid antibiotics as much as possible. They were clearly unavoidable in your case.

  43. In January I went to Dominicana Trip with my wife. Got back with Shigella Sonnei and needed to take antibiotics to get rid of it. After that my weight dropped (due to toilet problems while being sick) and I cannot get back these 5kg. When I eat a lot – I gain weight, but when I eat normally, I get back. I am pretty ectomorphic by nature though. But still!

  44. My stomach has got a lot bigger , which I now realise could be antibiotics, how long will it take for the excess weight to come off, finding it very depressing, thank you

  45. Hi Laura, I agree that Probiotics cannot be the answer, and that we should be avoiding the over-use of antibiotics. However, I also do see a value in taking a probiotic regularly to benefit the gut microbiome. Do you have a feeling about regular probiotic use, and if so, do you have a probiotic that you recommend?
    Thanks!

    • I recommend against continuous use of probiotic supplements. I think they can be used strategically for a few months to try to shift microbiome balance (they work primarily by outcompeting unwanted microbes), but long-term maintenance should be with prebiotic food (ie. vegetables), and fermented vegetables.

  46. I was prescribed a one week course of antibiotics for a tooth infection and after 4 days of taking amoxicillian I have gained 2 pounds! I am just about to go on holiday in a week so I am devastated. I’m not finishing the final 3 days and I am hoping in the next 6 days the 2 pounds will drop back off?? Please help!! I am so upset.

  47. This piece of information is very relieving. I have been for two weeks on a high dosage of antibiotics for the treatment of helico bacteria, and I gained 3 kg, and practically eating very little. As I am a person who is very conscious about weight gain, it depressed me a lot. I am very happy to know this, but I will keep on reading more to see whether the weight gain is because of antibiotics, or hormonal change…

  48. Hi Lara, I had an emergency splenectomy two years ago and have been on clarithromycin & Lansoprazol (30mg) ever since. I was taking Clarithromycin 250mg twice daily but have cut myself down to once daily now. I watch everything I eat but look like someone on steroids, Im so overweight now and have a puffy steroid look about me. Have you any suggestions as without a spleen my GP said I will be on these antibiotics for life!

  49. Hi great article (: I’m on minocylcine and have been for about 8 months. An I’ve gained about 10-15 pounds. I’ve been doing research and discovered it’s the antibiotic. Which would explain why my appetite grew so much. Well is there anyway to lose the weight ? I mean besides exercise? And natural supplements or herbs ? I’m throwing the minocylcine out tomrrrow!!

  50. Hi Lara, I came across this blog as I am finding myself constantly hungry while on a course of Flagyl and I was wondering whether the antibiotic had an effect on the satiety hormone. Well, here is the answer. Unfortunately, this is my second course this year already after being down with a severe chest infection in the winter and now a gyno procedure not healing but getting infected.
    The change from normal eating to this constant craving is unreal. These effects of antibiotics would go a long way explaining current obesity problems in the general western population.

  51. Thanks, Laura. I hate then, but had a respiratory infection in Dec. I was instructed to take probiotics. Did ok until strep throat a couple weeks ago. I was advised to “eat some yogurt ” w each dose. Didn’t work and i jumped 7#. I also found that I developed an allergy to penicillin, though I have taken it many years ago. I am still hoping this will reverse, since i mer weight loss success before this dumb rx. I guess untreated strep can have horrible effects as well and didn’t want my family to get infected

  52. Oh my goodness. I was on antibotics for 4 weeks and i wish i had read this before. Now im dealing with alot of weight gain even though im vegan and now i feel no hope. Is that absolutely anything you can do to treat this? 🙁

  53. I have been taking antibiotics for a year and a half for acne that cannot be controlled. I have gained a lot of weight. I can bearly stand myself… This is the heaviest I have ever been…What should I do?

  54. I’m on a five-day course of antibiotics (bladder problem). While eating wisely and walking almost 5 miles per day, I have gained nearly one pound per day. (I monitor all online because I have gotten rid of 50 lbs and don’t choose to regain). My electrolytes are good. I take S. Boulardii, GG (Culturelle) and general acidophilus. And I have the usual bowel complications nevertheless. AND, the weight gain. I’m trying to get a handle on this! The only explanation that suits is the antibiotics.

    So, I shall buy and eat some sauerkraut (ugh) and do whatever possible to reverse this side effect. Any other suggestions and any other or different probiotics you suggest?

  55. My daughter is overweight for really no reason. She is a very active 11 year old, eats well (most of the time, she is 11). But all in all, she really is overweight for no reason. It’s ALL is her middle area. When I was pregnant with her I was given a ZPAK to take every month in hopes not to go into early labor like I did with my first child. I really am stumped at how she continues to gain weight, we have had testing done, gone to exercise classes and tests come out normal (thank god) and exercise really doesn’t cut it. I have talked with my doctors and they all say she will grow out of it! So sick of hearing that. So I have taken it on myself to research “why”. Antibiotics seems to always come up and my dr’s. think I’m crazy. Maybe I am, thoughts?

  56. Hi Lara,

    I have an ear infection in both ears (crusting, throbbing pain, ringing, etc.). My doctor has given me ear drops and amoxicillin. I don’t want to take it, but the pain has gotten really bad. I took my first dose of amoxicillin this morning. Should I put off the rest of the antibiotic treatment and stick with the ear drops for a few days to see if the infection clears up? I really don’t want to take these considering all that I’ve read about them, but I’m torn…

    Best,
    Emilie

    • Emilie, Sometimes antibiotics are needed, and it sounds like they are in your case. You don’t want an ear infection to progress to the point of rupturing your ear drum. I certainly did not mean to suggest that we never take antibiotics, only that maintaining a healthy immune function–and avoiding antibiotics as much as possible–should be part of our long term weight loss strategy.

  57. Doesn’t breast milk populate the gut of an infant? Would it benefit an adult to drink human breast milk for probiotics?

    Also, how do you feel about Maca for PCOS? Does it have any side effects? I read it can increase heart rate, is this true?

  58. Can you explain further why you think probiotics are less effective and why FMT might work?

    Speculating on it, a couple of thoughts occur to me:

    1. The vast majority of commercial room temperature PBs are useless – too few CFUs – of questionable species and strains – that may well all be dead (the laughable: “potency guaranteed at time of manufacture”). But I would expect a 60-day course of a quality product to have some staying power, if accompanied by permanently adding ~20 grams prebiotic fiber to the diet.

    2. The species and strains in quality PBs are probably not yet the ultimate ideal spectrum, whereas an FMT from a calibrated healthy gut might be. (Getting FMT from Hazda tribespeople might be overreaching at this moment in the evolving research.)

    I’m sure Big Pharma™ is researching whether they can patent poop.

    • I prescribe probiotics all the time. They are helpful. They’re just not the entire solution.

      My main message in the post was that we cannot keep taking antibiotics willy-nilly for conditions that don’t really need them (such as mild bronchitis and sinus congestion), thinking “It’s Ok. I’ll just take a probiotic.” Probiotics help, but they don’t fix the problem. And yes, I agree that some some are better quality than others.

      The difference between probiotics and fecal transplant is that fecal bacteria are colonizing which means that they stay in the bowel. In contrast, probiotics just pass through that bowel (but they do influence the populations of other bacteria while they’re there).

      • Lara, will Probiotics repopulate if they are taken with Prebiotics? Please respond. Also, can you recommend a Probiotic brand? Thank you

        • Prebiotics can help your own remaining good bacteria to increase their numbers (to essentially repopulate themselves). But if you’ve lost species — if they’ve gone extinct because of antibiotics, then there is no probiotic that can reintroduce that species. (I wish there were!)

          I prescribe different strains of probiotic species depending on the situation. (what matters is the strain — not the brand).
          If it’s purely a post-antibiotics repair, then I often prescribe the strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus (GG).

          • I would think that fecal transplants herald a great advance with recolonising the gut with most strains of bacteria. eventually I think we’ll have freeze dried fecal capsules that have actually been checked to have bacteria the person is missing.

  59. This is fascinating. I was recently on high doses of antibiotics for ten months (I had Lyme disease). I gained more than 10 kgs, even though I eat quite small amounts of food, and most of it plant based (I follow the Wahl’s protocol). Is there anything i can do to shed these kilos?

  60. It was a relief to discover this article – I eat 70% plant based foods and exercise but a lifetime of dental work and a recent surgery had me gaining weight out of no-where – but surely there is a NOW solution????

    Vicki

    • It should settle after a few months. You could try introducing naturally fermented foods (like sauerkraut)– if you don’t eat them already.

  61. hi lara,
    i loved this article!
    I had tuberculosis so i had to take antibiotics for six months.. i guess it did some mess in my body and now i’m trying to correct that.. so, if the probiotics can not fix the problem, what do you think that i could do for making it better? do you think that probiotics would be good for me in a regular use, at least for help my existing bacterias?

    • Of course there are situations like yours where antibiotics are simply unavoidable. At present time, the best approach is probiotic supplements plus a diet with lots of plant starch (to feed your good bacteria).

      In the future, I predict that fecal transplant will become the standard way to recover from antibiotics. (taken as pill probably—palatable and easy)

      • thank you so much for your answer..
        i have finished my treatment about 4 months ago, but i still have to live with the damages..
        i believe that antibiotics really does such a mess in the body.. now i have acne, my periods are irregular (never were) i’m having fluid retention..
        its a shame but is so difficult to find some doctor who thinks like you… at least here in brasil is not easy find a doctor who wouldn’t suggest tetracycline, pills or accutane to resolve my problems..
        your blog has been very helpful for me..
        congratulations for your work.. and thank you.

      • Yes, I can see that fecal implants can have a future, and know they’re already used (I believe transplanted rectally) and are lifesavers in stubborn cases of c. diff. However, they will have to come up with a more acceptable name for people to really take them as pills, (maybe oblibiotics? vivabiotics, benebiotics?) because “fecal” won’t sell.

  62. What about breast milk instead of feces? Could drinking a healthy woman’s breast milk help rebuild your healthy flora? I’m ashamed and devestated by the down right murder of my health by unbelievable over use of anibiotics for chronic vaginal yeast and ear infections. I have not been cared for. I must do something. If i can’t be healthy without healthy flora then how can i cure my pcos, gerds, ibs, etc? Please help

  63. I have read that homemade milk kefir will actually recolonize the gut bacteria.

    “The bacteria in milk kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract. Kefir also contains a lot larger range of bacteria, as well as yeasts. For more information, this article lists two reasearchers’ findings on the bacteria and yeast strains comprising milk kefir grains (https://www.culturesforhealth.com/milk-kefir-grains-composition-bacteria-yeast).” – https://www.culturesforhealth.com/difference-between-yogurt-kefir

  64. Hi Lara,
    What is your view on antibiotics prescribed to correct dysbiosis, for example as a result of an analysis like Bioscreen which shows which bacteria species are in overgrowth and which are deficient? They commonly recommend antbiotics to combat strep for example, Thanks.

    • Excellent question. I was waiting for this question. 🙂
      I know that a number of clinicians prescribe antibiotics to treat dysbiosis and small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO). I cannot say that is never the right treatment, but I am dubious. It seems like over-kill to me, and runs the risk of eliminating species of good bacteria with the bad.

      Other treatments such as diet changes and herbal antimicrobials (garlic, berberine, and oregano) work just as well in most cases, if not better. Herbal antimicrobials are less likely to destroy good bacteria, although we don’t know that for certain (there’s very little research). Strong herbal antimicrobials (like berberine) are quite broad-spectrum and in theory could destroy good bacteria, so they should be used with caution. Berberine is interesting because it also prescribed for insulin, PCOS, anxiety, and other things. It’s potential impact on intestinal bacteria, is why I try to dose it intermittently.

      • I can concur, I just finished a month long treatment for SIBO using high dose herbal antimicrobials (Berberine, garlic, peppermint oil, goldenseal) along with a strict diet and I’ve gained ten pounds and feel worse than ever! My bowels basically stopped moving so I stopped the protocol and added some carbs. Now I’m having wild carb cravings like never before! I really regret messing with my system.

        • Nancy, I have had trouble with bowels moving also… have found that gluten free diet I am taking makes bowels slow. I’ve been using combo of colace and dulcolax tablet (from pharmacy) a few days a week to get rid of the stool. Pls share any tips you come across!

    • I wish that I could suggest a way to recover completely from antibiotics, but I cannot.

      I do prescribe probiotics, but I do so knowing that they are ‘better than nothing’. I also give nutrients for rebuilding mitochondria: magnesium, coQ10, zinc. It takes a few months for mitochondria to rebound.
      My main strategy with patients is to support immune function so that they can avoid future antibiotics.

  65. Great article. Finally, a possible explanation for my husband’s struggles with weight for the last 20 years even through he eats well. He was practically raised on antibiotics for ear infections as a child. He was doing well with weight control for a few years but three years ago was on antibiotics for an infection and has been struggling with weight gain ever since even though his diet is better than ever.

    Just wondering, do IV antibiotics cause the same problems in the gut as regular prescription antibiotics?

  66. what is the solution? how can you get back on track to losing weight? I took a 7 day dosage of Levofloacin 500mg I’m having tendon issues now along with gaining a pound a day! help..

  67. Great article, Lara. You are right, we don’t hear about the long term side effects of taking pharmaceutical drugs at all. I had not heard this one – also that taking probiotics was not the answer. Obviously, probiotics only adds a few types of bacteria – not ALL types.
    I am now encouraging people to eat more plant foods which, with their fibre, become PRE-biotics which fed up what bacteria are already there. Whereas in the past I thought PRObiotics were the whole answer.
    What do you think of the soil organisms (like Garden of Life sells) – do you think they’d actually add back some of those missing bacteria – which you could then feed up with whole plant foods.

    • Probiotics don’t add species at all. The bacteria in probiotic supplements do not colonize the intestine. They simply spend some time in the gut to temporarily outcompete bad bacteria, and maybe sooth the immune system as they pass through. I think where we’re headed in future is fecal transplants, or maybe modern probiotics derived from fecal matter.

      Even better, though, is for people to stop taking so many antibiotics (and for doctors to stop prescribing them). As I said in the blog post, the best approach is to to put an infection-prevention strategy in place. And to think of that as a weight-loss strategy.

      • I’m fighting my fourth bout of c diff four years, I have co-existing auto immune conditions. Had breast biopsy last month, picked up cellulitis on incision site, the Rx augmentin woke up c diff…. Have completed three weeks of Flagyl unsuccessfuly and now beginning vanco taper. With Rx Restora. Amy advice? I’ve gained twenty pounds and I’ve hardly eaten a thing. I want to cry,

        • I, too, have been on several doses of antibiotics and in the past 3 or 4 months have gained a lot of weight and it isn’t because I am eating much of anything…I am so upset and don’t know what to do now…I am crying.

          • Patti, I am so afraid that this weight will be like steroid caused weight that is impossible to lose. My face has sort of that moon face caused by steroids from these antibiotics. Have you exoeri need the same? I’m researching vigorously and will share with you anything I find. Let me know if you find anything out also, please.

        • Ok, I think the point has been made over and over ad infinitum about “avoiding antibiotics in the first place”… WE GET IT. I think everyone landing on this blog came here after searching for confirmation that antibiotics are the root of their inability to lose weight now. I know that’s why I’M here. So, without telling us to avoid antibiotics, since we all no longer have that luxury, is there anything we can do to lose the weight again? Personally I had recurring horseshoe fisula that I kept being told should be fixed surgically, but they kept putting it off and just giving me antibiotics. So now I’m in a complete mess and feeling totally suicidal. Looking for solution here, again, not looking to be told I shouldn’t do something that it’s already done and too late…

          • @Jill….. What abx have you been taking? I have coexisting autoimmune diseases and for a while there was really struggling to stay alive… From infections sepsis, c diff, etc). Some of the abx had heavy depression and anxiety side effects. And they all made me feel like crap, and weight. I have moon face from the vanco…. I’ve gone gluten free again and hope that will do the trick.

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