How do I rebuild my immunity after antibiotics?

A month ago I had strep throat and the swelling was so bad I had trouble breathing when lying down, so I went to the doctor and got a 10 day course of antibiotics. The only time I've had antibiotics before this was 2 doses around my wisdom teeth surgery. The strep was taken care of, but then I got a yeast infection (not entirely unexpected) and a cold sore, and since finishing the antibiotics I've still been vaguely sick almost constantly, either with a cold or allergy-like symptoms (though I've never had allergies). In the last month I've literally had 2 windows, each less than a week, where I felt normally healthy.

I strongly suspect that my immune system has been thrown off by losing all its friendly bacteria. I've been trying to eat a good amount of probiotic foods, like yogurt and tempeh, but what else can I do to rebuild my immunity after antibiotics?

1 Answer

  • ?
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    While some people will feed you some pseudo-science about probiotics, you don't get a cold because of the bacteria that you do or do not have in your system. Colds are caused by viruses, which are not influenced by bacteria.

    Bacteria do influence fungi. Bacteria and fungi are in constant competition. If you kill the bacteria with an antibiotic, the fungi flourish. Yeast is a kind of fungus. You got a yeast infection because the bacteria that normally battle against the yeast got wiped out by the antibiotics, not because your immune system got weaker. Your bacterial flora is re-established by now.

    Chalk this up to chance and to recall bias and September.

    Chance - sometimes you get two colds in a row after having had strep.

    Recall bias - now that you have taken the antibiotic, when you don't feel good, you say, "aha, my immune system is weak", and you remember it.

    September - children are back in school together, and people are inside more due to the cooler weather. This combination is the perfect storm for passing around colds, even if you don't have children yourself.

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