The Art of Using Antibiotics – How To Limit the Damage

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I spent the entire day at the hospital yesterday.

It all started on Friday night, when our family had a homemade patio dinner on a beautiful summer evening. I felt a little “funny” afterwards, but attributed it to hard trip to the gym just before we had dinner.

And then, all hell broke loose.

At 5am, I woke with dagger sharp pins and needles in my skull and the worst headache I've ever experienced. After lying motionless in bed until 9am, unable to move a muscle without intense grimacing, I finally attempted to get out of bed, and realized that not just my head was messed up, but my entire body felt as though it had been hit by a truck.

I hit myself with Phenocane, tylenol and diphenhydramine (quite the cocktail, I must admit), and sucked down about 30 ounces of coconut water, then stumbled back into bed. I didn't wake until 10pm that evening, just long enough to open my eyes, look at the clock and pass back out.

At 10am the next morning, I woke to an intense throbbing in my arm, and red, extremely painful rash on my elbow. After one hour, the rash had spread a couple inches up towards the armpit, and I couldn't move my arm without intense, searing pain. I snapped a picture of the red streak in it's early stages (see photo).

So now I was scared, because I had no clue what the red streak was, but it appeared to be heading for my heart. I called one of my buddies, who threw me in his car and hauled me to the emergency room.

At the ER, they took blood samples and found me to have a fever, a high white blood cell count, and classic flu symptoms. But the docs were baffled as to what the red streak was.

After ruling out a blood clot with an ultrasound, or some kind of nasty spider bite, they finally settled on a diagnosis of lymphadenopathy, which is basically swollen lymph nodes. In my case, the entire lymph vessel from the elbow to the armpit was swollen, red, inflammed, and incredibly sore to the touch, so I was lucky enough to get a second diagnosis of lymphangitis, or an infection of the lymph vessel. A few days later, they “rediagnosed” it as cellulitis, that also spread to the lymph vessels.

And so, I have a hefty dose of amoxicillin antibiotic that I'll be taking for the next 10 days, along with codeine to manage the burn-like pain on my arm.

But I'm not a huge fan of antiobiotics. They don't discriminate between good and bad bacteria, so they can really do a number on your gastrointestinal tract health, and this can also lead to yeast overgrowth. Not to mention, they tend to make you nauseous and have crappy workouts.

Furthermore, if you're on a fluoroquinolone antibiotic like Cipro, you can significantly increase your risk of rupturing a tendon during physical activity.

So what am I going to do about these antibiotic side effects, to limit the damage from antibiotics?

1. Take Probiotics. Since antibiotics kill off the good bacteria in your GI tract, you can limit this damage by keeping the probiotics coming in strong while you're on your antibiotic, and preferably trying to take them at least 2-3 hours separately from the antibiotic. Not only will I be drinking my fair share of our homemade kefir and homemade Kombucha (both excellent probiotic containing beverages), I'll also be popping 9 Caprobiotics per day. To help the probiotics colonize my gut and to give my immune system major support, I'll be taking 4 Kion Colostrum capsules with my probiotic, on an empty stomach. I'll also be teaming up my probiotics with 5 drops of anti-yeast and anti-bacterial oil of oregano three times per day.

Probiotics are still going to take a pretty big hit if you're on one of the more gut villainous antibiotics like Clindamycin. Saccharomyces Boulardii is one probiotic strain to look for that can stand up to the battle just a little bit better, but you'll want to get on it before you start the antibiotic. This is not pleasant to discuss, but your GI tract is mostly going to be empty wasteland by the time the antibiotic has run its course. The time that the probiotics are going to do the most benefit is immediately after you get off the antibiotics, and for the next 2-4 weeks after.

Fermented foods naturally contain a high amount of probiotics, so in addition to kombucha and kefir, include things like sauerkraut, pickles, pickled beets, pickled turnips and carrots, and Kim Chi. There are many others. To destroy bacteria and enhance food safety most grocery store brands have been pasteurized, and this will kill most of the beneficial bacteria – so it will be most beneficial to find home brews, make your own fermented foods, or look for non-pasteurized brands.

2. Protect Your Organs. Milk thistle capsules, which are a plant extract, may protect the liver from becoming damaged as it breaks down medications. This is true not just for antibiotics, but also alcohol, Tylenol and other drugs.

In addition to milk thistle extra, drinking aloe vera or using an aloe vera capsule can assist with stomach protection and detoxification. Similar to probiotics, try to time the aloe vera consumption at a separate time than the antibiotics.

3. Ginger. To settle the stomach and limit the nausea from antibiotics, I'll be chewing on boiled ginger root and drinking homemade ginger tea (which is a lot more potent than the stuff you get from teabags at the grocery store). Just peel the ginger, slice it into small slices, boil it, and then lit it simmer for 15-20 minutes.

4. High fiber supplements. The good bacteria in your stomach feed on fiber, so taking a psyllium supplement, or a high fiber greens powder like Enerprime is necessary to keep them growing. As much as can be tolerated by your stomach, which will likely be sensitive, try to also include vegetables for added fiber, although you may need to boil or steam them, and possibly blend them into smoothies, to allow them to go down easier. Chia seeds and flax seeds are also good sources of added fiber, and you can grind them, then mix them in a 1:9 ratio of seeds to water to make a drinkable “sludge”.

5. Glutamine. Glutamine plays a variety of roles in the gastrointestinal tract, including repair of the intestinal lining and elimination of yeast infections, and also supports the body's metabolic processes of fighting off infection. Taking an amino acids supplements or another isolated source of the free amino acid glutamine should also be added to your protocol.

To be honest, I'm just a handful of hours out from the hospital and still pretty sick.

I'm typing this while lying in bed, I can still barely move my right arm, the red streak now covers the entire arm, and my splitting headache hasn't gone away yet. Since I get sick about once every 5 years, I find this to be terribly inconvenient – but wanted to give you the heads up should you ever find yourself prescribed antibiotics and want to limit the damage.

Thanks for reading, feel free to ask your questions about the art of taking antibiotics in the comments section below, and I promise to get better soon!

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108 thoughts on “The Art of Using Antibiotics – How To Limit the Damage

  1. jacqueline villamor says:

    watch out because antibiotics can make you fat I took antibiotics about 8 months ago and put on nearly a stone in weight in 6 weeks asked my doctor who said it could not be because of the antibiotics. I am taking them again for divuctulitic infection and in three days have put on 3 ibs when I looked into antibiotic can they make you fat. they can so take probiotics which is what I will do. apparently it is because they kill good bacteria as well as bad

  2. Judi D Neumeyer says:

    When on IV antibiotics for MSRA infection for a few weeks, should the patient rest or take measures to be active?

  3. Mank de Silva Wijeyeratne says:

    I have had 3 courses of antibiotics since the 20th of December 2018. This was for a gum infection. This morning I got up feeling really awful. My Throat was hurting, I was feeling feverish and had a Back Ache. Now, the Doctor who saw me said that I need another course of Antibiotics. The Antibiotics prescribed previously were Augmentin, Ampicilin and another, which I can’t remember the name.This morning the doctor told me to take Augmentin for 3 days. I have started taking it. I want to know how I can limit the damage caused by these Antibiotics and replace the good bacteria in the gut.

    Your advice would be most helpful.

  4. Albert Karaptian says:

    I was recently in an accident, suffered an injury that subsequently became infected and I had to take several dreaded antibiotics. This left my digestive track cramped, bloated and unable to digest food like I used to. Prior to the accident and since, I’ve done all the basics: taking pre and probiotics, eating kimchi and kefir and greek yogurt, kombucha etc..; to no avail.

    I believe within the last 3-6 months you did a podcast with a gentleman who had an extreme reaction to antibiotics and this guy searched the world for remedies. It left a lasting impression.

    I’ve searched your podcasts online and just can not find it.

    Would you be able to assist me and direct me to the link?

  5. Jason Gagnon says:

    Hey Ben,

    I’m having a similiar issue with Cellulitis in my hand (specifically in the knuckle) I’m curious how long it took you to get back to regular training, and if you trained at all during the coarse of the infection/antibiotics?

    Thanks, all the best.

  6. Amber N Affleck says:

    I did one day of augmentin for sinus infection . Had to come off of it as my belly is spool u part and nauseated. I hate antibiotics. I have leaky gut to begin with . Anyways, what probiotics do you recommend? I am eating bubbies sauerkraut, lifeway kefir, turkey bone broth, and taking prescript assist. I’m also using scram from health force which has milk thistle in it.

  7. BRENDA HILL says:

    My eight year old came down with similar symptoms on Saturday and deteriorated quickly as a small pimple on his forearm became very hot and swelling soon wrapped around his elbow. Within about 15 hours from his first complaint we were at the ER. Seeing your post I can see where we could have been had we waited (though he was in so much pain I can imagine waiting another minute).

    My first concern was MRSA too as he does jiu jitsu and those kids share all kinds of nastiness on the mats. He did have cellulitis. MRSA could not be confirmed bc it wasn’t draining yet and they didn’t want to put him through the pain of aspirating it when it wouldn’t change the course of treatment. They gave him IV ABX and I saw him come back to life literally before my eyes within an hour. He was prescribed Clydamyicin for 10 days.

    He’s always had gut issues and was already almost over candida that we’ve been taking Lactic Acid Yeast to fight. Guess we’re back to square one on that. Besides the diarrhea, we can tell it’s taking it’s toll because his behavior is completely irrational. He is whiny and argumentative. You are so right about the gut/brain connection. It’s only been two days! Not sure how we’ll do this for 8 more! Thanks for sharing your suggestions. We’ll up his homemade kombucha intake and I’ll add the oregano oil and pick up the milk thistle as soon as the stores open.

    So sorry you’ve had to go through this. I hope you’ve made a full recovery.

  8. Sandeep says:

    I hv bn on antibiotics fr a month n wil be on these fr 6 more months can u plz help me what should I do I m just 27 I dnt want to destroy my body at this early age

  9. Amy says:

    What is the best probiotic supplement to take ?

  10. Ann says:

    How helpful this is. I was on tons of antibiotics, then 3 days after finishing them thought I had a horrible stomach bug, when it didn’t go away I started looking for reasons/solutions, this is one of the most helpful things I’ve found and have already ordered some of the supplements I didn’t think about. This might be a dumb question with an “everyone is different” answer, but how long should it generally take to heal a wounded antibiotic gut? I’m just wondering, are we talking strict diet/supplements for weeks or months or longer??

    1. Typically 8-12 weeks is the amount of time most guts take to heal.

      I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this. These are just my own personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever.

  11. Tracy Matfin says:

    Wow! I’m impressed with how old this publication is and how many people it has helped – including me. Just last Friday, July 14, 2017 I woke up with my foot and shin burning. I knew something was wrong and went to the ER. By the time I got there I was experiencing intense rigors (tremors), nerve shock and a spiking fever. The redness was rapidly creeping up my whole left leg. They immediately admitted me and stuck two i.v.s – one in each arm and started pumping in the antiobiotics. My white blood cells were up and so was my lactic acid. I was scared – we were looking at sepsis. Luckily I got there in time, my body is strong and the antibiotics worked. I’m generally not a fan – but they saved my life. I was on three different kinds, iv dripped in for four days. My gut is a wasteland now. I am alive and the side effects are careening over me. Intense heartburn and burning headaches. I’ll make it and I’m grateful for the advice you have posted. Any other ideas for the headaches? Aloha! Tracy

    1. Tracy, I'd start by focusing on your gut. The gut brain connection is so strong, I think if you clear that up you find your headaches lessen. Of course, I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this. These are just my own personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever.

      Start here:…

      1. BMW says:

        Thank you. I was on a ten day treatment of augmentin 875 for flu/sinus infection. I am so not into Drs. or their drugs. But… itchy, tingling, numb thighs, can’t sleep, off and on appetite and I finished the Augmentin Feb 31st. Gotta flush my system!

  12. michael rosen says:

    Hi Ben! Was curious re the below:

    “I’ll also be teaming up my probiotics with 5 drops of anti-yeast and anti-bacterial oil of oregano three times per day.”

    does this pertain to after finishing one’s course of antibiotics? Because it seems counterintuitive to take something (oil of oregano in this case) that will kill more bacteria, especially when taking high doses of probiotics…please advise, and thanks!

    1. Oil of oregano does NOT kill good bacteria in the gut or elsewhere!

  13. Jocelyn Isaza says:

    Also,I know it sounds weird,but even my hands hurt & the bottom of my feet are hurting like sensitive. It’s really hard to describe….just need some answers & healing 100%

    1. I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to and then choose a 20 or 60 minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that.

  14. Jocelyn Isaza says:

    Azithromyosin* if that’s even how you spell it :-) homemade chicken soup * lol There’s definitely other errors in there,extra s’s & where someone scared me into thinking I might get the rheumatic fever etc. enough so that I took the other antibiotic. There has just still been heaviness,feeling like I can’t breathe right on & off,tightness in my chest & some burning & some burning in my throat,hurting & just still feeling achy, weak tired & my body seems to be getting hot on and off since yesterday… Frustrated:/ Sorry,I should’ve looked over the comment before I sent it :)

  15. Jocelyn Isaza says:

    I was given Clindamyacin several months ago and I ended up getting C diff, only I didn’t know that at first so when I went to the doctor she aggressively treated me for something else and gave me an antibiotic shot and then to is it through myosin that night and then a week later I did four days of Flagyl. It was horrible how I was feeling from that dizzy shaky and nauseous on and off and I stopped taking it after four days. She told me to take the Diflucan for the yeast infection that the antibotics had given me amongst other things after my period was over so I did that and it didn’t seem to help so I went to a gastrologist who had suggested that he thought I had the infection and I did a stool test which confirmed that I had the c diff. They told me to take vancomycin and I took 10 days of that eating yogurt throughout the course and eating fairly healthy with probiotic and antibiotic foods like wild caught salmon and call me chicken soup. I started to feel slightly better and then my throat started burning and into my chest tightness and burning in my chest as well. I went to the doctor and they told me that I have strep throat. I guess my immune system is so low that I ended up getting it from someone at work. For 3 1/2 weeks I just took a probiotic and apple cider vinegar with organic honey and distilled water and that seemed to help a lot but I was still feeling the burning in the hurting in my throat and my chest tightness etc. as I still am after a month and a half later. After the 3 1/2 weeks someone scared me saying that I would be getting rheumatic fever or rheumatic heart disease so I took another antibiotic amoxicillin and two days after that I started having symptoms in the abdomen in my chest and throat still and I have done another stool test but the results haven’t come back to see if the infection came back or not. I don’t really know what’s going on but I am still feeling just horrible and achy and very weak my skin on my hands has been cracking a lot. I went to the hospital two days ago because I was feeling dizzy and she put an IV in my arm and it burned and hurt really bad and still today two days later it’s hurting above the entry point & when I push on it it shoots a little bit down my arm. Has that ever happened to you before? I’m just really frustrated at this point and I’ve gone to different doctors with no real answers. They just want me to take more vancomycin when I don’t even know that I got the infection back I just know how I’m feeling so I haven’t taken it. I said something about maybe yeast or something possibly being in my body from all of the antibiotics and they just prescribed me more Diflucan which I don’t even think worked when I took it the last 3 times. He gave me a seven day period of it when I was on the amoxicillin and honestly I feel like the only thing that really helped was the Apple cider vinegar with the distilled water and the organic honey, but ever since the symptoms came back like a week and a half ago the Apple cider vinegar was bothering my stomach a lot so I stopped drinking it. I have been taking bio k plus & drinking kefir,but not every day. I was switching on and off between the two trying to find something that would work and eating a lot of probiotics and antibiotics foods still along with the garlic and ginger now. Some of that feels like it’s helped but very little and I’m just frustrated and don’t want to feel like this anymore. I know this is like a story but this is what’s been going on over the last several months. If there is a yeast thing going on in my body do you know how to get rid of it without having to take some kind of supplement because I tried that for a couple of days and felt horrible….not really sure what to do at this point except for keep fighting to heal 100% I would just book a consult with you but honestly at this point after school and everything I just don’t have the extra money to do that so any advice that you may have would be helpful & thank you so much for sharing your story & I hope that you are feeling much better at this point:)

    God Bless,


    1. I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this. These are just my own personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever. At this point, I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to and then choose a 20 or 60 minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that.

  16. Mathilde says:

    Hi Ben,

    Which antibiotic was given to you for MRSA ? I suspect I have one on my finger. Dr. just gave me today Amoxicillin with Clavunate potassium 3 times x day + antibiotic ointment Mupirocin 2% also 3 times x day to apply on finger. Been having infection for past 3 weeks. Used essential oils tea tree, oregano, eucalyptus…. manuka honey as ointment … it worked and improved, but redness still there and if I stop, I can tell will come back. Now just started those antibio tonights, already knew about probiotics, so going megadoses 2 hours after antibiotics. I stooped oral oregano oil because it is harsh on liver too and antibio will add to that. Anyway. just wondering which antibiotics worked for you. I’ll start aloe vera + milk thistle tomorrow am because got a headache 20 min after ingesting the antibiotics. Will do bone broth too + psyllium. Right now I’m heading to bed. Hopefully finger will start to improve again and further by tomorrow AM.

    Thanks for also answering in my email, not sure if I’ll find your website again tomorrow ! (happened to me in the past LOL). Thanks

    1. I don't remember which antibiotic it was, but it was a hefty dose and a very powerful one. A quinolone derivative. You need to do everything I wrote about in the article. In addition, I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to and then choose a 20 or 60 minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that.

  17. Chris says:

    Hey Ben, about 10 months back I was on a cycle of clindamycin for my sinuses, then 2 months later after that I took omicef for my surgery. I took a month cycle of probiotics, nothing potent and then was hospitalized for accidentally drinking water with black mold out of my keurig. Ever since then I have been dealing with severe constipation and probiotics were wayyy too strong for me, even a quarter cup of kombucha. I have slowly been building my tolerance back up with probiotics like culturelle and align but still dont feel right. I was thinking about trying oil of oregano to kill off whatever may still be there. What would you suggest be the best protocol to heal my gut. Thanks.

    1. Hey Chris, it's a little too much to go over here, I would suggest you book a consult at <a href="” target=”_blank”> and choose 20 or 60 minutes and we'll go into detail there. Also check out this article:…

  18. misha says:

    I got hospitalized yesterday with vomiting and the worst headache ever. I broke into a cold sweat and basically thought I would not survive the night. The pill I had was cepodem. To make it worse, I still have a headache. Looks like the symptoms won’t clear till the body is rid of all traces of the antibiotic

  19. Laura says:

    Thank you! This was really helpful! Hope you’ve made a full recovery. Best wishes from London! :) x

  20. Natalia says:

    Hi, Ben, thanks so much for thinking of how your misfortunate circumstance might benefit others. Do you know if antibiotics kill all the vitamins and minerals that come through green juices and eating vegetables or would a diet particularly rich in chlorophyl be advantageous? In other words, what else do antibiotics kill other than all the good/ bad bacteria?

    Also would you take antibiotic as prevention for getting infection after a surgery? Thank you.

    1. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, so you'd want a diet rich in probiotics during your antibiotic regimen – those fruits/veggies would need to be fermented!

  21. Jean Hilde says:

    Ben, did you ever figure out where the MRSA came from? And are you all better now? I hope so!

    1. open wound…I was off racing triathlons so could have been water, hotel room bed, hospital, etc.

  22. Julia Dashwood says:

    Ben, was cellulitis the final diagnosis? Is there a definitive diagnosis for cellulitis? Did it recur?

    1. For me? The diagnosis was MRSA!

  23. Sondra says:

    Sorry you went through this! Useful Information though.

    1. Cheryl says:

      This was very helpful! Sorry you had to go through all of that but grateful that you posted your experience for others to benefit. You are adorable.
      Thank you.

  24. Taylor schmitz says:

    Hey there, hope all is well. Obviously it has been a long time since you posted this article, but do you have any tips for nausea AFTER you take antibiotics? Ginger tea, no. Bread, no. I have a rare disease and can’t do the oils or any meds or supplements of any kind. I’m on Neomycin and Rifaximin for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, and the Neomycin makes me terribly sick. I also take a vegan soluble fiber powder supplement with every dose of Rifaximin. Please, anything will help. Thank you.

    1. I should begin by clarifying the fact that I am *not* a physician and this is *not* to be interpreted as medical advice. Please talk to a licensed medical professional about all of this! If I were in your shoes and I couldn't take any supplements I would consider the use of acupressure points for nausea. You can read up on those here:…

  25. kruddz says:

    Great post. Thanks for the useful information.

    Health & Wellness! Namaste.

  26. Helen Harvey says:

    Looks like Lyme disease!! That’s exactly how I felt upon first infection. I had v swollen lymph nodes, terrible flu symptoms and fatigue and circular rash. Been sick nearly 20 years now with chronic Lyme. Hope u feeling ok now

  27. JS says:

    In my opinion, that looks a lot more like a bullseye from Lyme disease.

  28. Angel says:

    I haven’t eaten red meat in a year. Two days ago I had a small steak. Now last two days I’m had bad miagrains and puking everytime I move or try to drink water. Now it’s the second day I’m dehydrated. I can drink water now and my vitamins. But I’m so weak. Like I got hit by a truck. My stomach is sick in the normal ways . You can imagine. Anyways got any additional information that will help me out. Would be great. I don’t like hospitals. Or drugs so. Please and thanks. Angel

    1. #1 top tip I can give you for a situation like this is activated charcoal. 3-5 capsules can do a very good job absorbing toxins, and I even use it when I'm eating out at a restaurant that has meat I"m "suspect" about, such as sushi. I like this stuff:

      1. Maisie Olson says:

        First of all I happen to know Mrsa when I first see it. Since I absolutely abhor anti biotics if there is any way around them at all I will find it. What you dont realize is that apparently Manmade antibiotics is only temporary treatment for Mrsa. It continues to plague you. In that vein I had one round bump come up on my arm and since I knew that my wound clinic has quick more natural cures for this kind of thing I went there and the doctor had the nurse apply what i call fluffy iodine and gave me a script for it. Being that my copay was 90 dollars I looked on line to see if anything I already had killed mrsa and being as i doctor myself which i would not necessarily recommend but I saw turmeric. Note there was no recommended dosage and you always have to account for body weight for anything to be effective. Turmeric has to have black pepper in it to be effective. I took two capsules morning and night and in 3 days it was gone. My husband meanwhile developed the same thing and same treatment worked for him. I know you are about to say but how do I know that its mrsa. To that i say either go to a doctor immediately for a diagnosis grab his prescription take if you to or take the turmeric and if it does get bigger or not just disappear then fill the prescription or go to er. Also if you just see a red bump and you take turmeric, the turmeric definitely isnt going to hurt. And same advice if it gets any bigger go to doctor. I apparently picked up the mrsa from going grocery shopping. As to getting it again I seriously doubt that i ever will as i add a little turmeric to curry powder and put it in. my food nearly every day or I take turmeric capsules two in am and two pm. Read all the other benefits of turmeric. I have never had another arthritis pain and it is detoxifying according to the internet. Also protects the brain so you dont get alzheimers. Of course ive never had another mrsa. This doesnt help Angel. . My personall number one priority would be to drink plenty of water to flush out the toxins. Another really good detoxifier You take two one thousand mgs twice a day and by third day of that you are going to flush it out in sweating. So be sure you are drinking extra water. Also it has other great effects. Read up on it. It can even get rid of pain. Increases blood circulation so much so that i got rid of stasis ulcers. I t is energizing. I took 4000 mgs one night and could not sleep until 6 am. Also dont encourage the bacteria nor viruses by eating high fructose corn syrup. Read dr josh Axe on line about
        High fructose corn syrup.

        1. Maisie Olson says:

          Somehow even though i reread above twice the detoxifier i was referring to is MSM. Sorry about that

  29. Ren says:

    For those who have been adversely affected by fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, Floxin, etc.), there are many support groups on facebook (Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Group), and also many websites, among which are — which has stories of how people have gotten better and — which lists all types of these pills including ear drops and eye drops for pediatric and veterinary use.

  30. Tori says:

    Thanks for this! I hate having to take antibiotics after learning so much about what they can do to your body (recently). I’ve had to take antibiotics at least 5 times in the past 4 years due to mastitis (bad infections everytime I try to nurse my kids), c-sections, tooth infections (had all my wisdom teeth removed to take care of that), etc. I’m now on ANOTHER round because I developed mastitis again yesterday. I’ve been eating prebiotics (cabbage, banana, and kale in my coconut milk smoothie this morning). I take a probiotic every morning and I eat raw/live sauerkraut (skipped it tonight because I’m feeling so nauseous). It’s good to read about tea and other things to help with this. Plus I took my probiotic at the same time as my antibiotic this morning and I need to space that 3 hours out I see after reading this article. I’ll look into milk thistle now and some of the other things you mentioned. I’m trying so hard to repair my gut because I definitely have candida and this type of stuff is really cramping my progress!

  31. josephtgriffith says:

    Does garlic kill good bacteria and do you need to take probiotics or sacaramyces boulardi when taking 3 garlic cloves a day for several weeks to re colonize your gut?

    also when you take cinamon oil, white thym oil or lemongrass oil, do these also kill good bacteria?I hope you have recovered, this is some scary stuff

    1. Garlic, like oregano, is not going to bad for your good bacteria (in moderation) – it's the pharmaceutical based antibiotics you primarily need to be concerned about for that.

      1. josephtgriffith says:

        yes but I have no idea how much garlic is a moderate amouint when trying to treat fluid filled bumps on legs that have been there for about 4 months. Can garlic or other essential oils cure this and how much is needed? I have heard of people ingesting essential oils or garlic for infections. It would be great to try garlic or essential oils before anti biotics. But how much garlic how often or how much essential oils are need to kills the infection and will too much kill good bacteria, but how much is too much?

        do we crush the garlic and apply to the infection and blend a clove and drink? I was thinking three large chunks about the size of half a medium thumb about in inch long 3 times a day.
        and any other immune boosters besdies magnesium, liposomal vit c and NAC that could boost the mimmune system for fighting what could be staph?

        1. I'd be happy to continue this conversation in a one-on-one consultation. We can really get into the meat of the matter then!

    2. Maisie Olson says:

      Garlic is a very good natural antibiotic. I cured a case of pneumonia using it on myself. In answer to your question natural antibiotics cannot differentiate between good and bad bacteria. I asked that from someone who has access to a computer programmed to help the public make informed judgments about their health. If you think about it is only logical. I personally buy a bottle of kombucha and drink about a fourth every day. Usually drink this way every day. Its not the tastiest but i got over it and actually look forward to drinking something besides plain water. For anyone who is interested there are several natural antibiotics and i have taken all that i will list. There is olive leaf. I only take whole olive leaf. It is great for bacteria. I have tended to get staph infections. I have taken it twice for that. Not recommending this but i took 20 capsules and infection symptoms of red swollen leg and feeling somewhat weak was gone in 5 hours. Then next day i took two caps twice a day x two days just in case the olive leaf missed any stragglers.
      Then there is turmeric as I mentioned above.
      Best antiviral i have found is whole neem leaf.
      Do Not ever ingest neem oil. It is very toxic
      And should be diluted and use in small amounts on skin and boy does it stink..There is also wild oregano oil grown in Turkey. Follow online directions. If you hate the taste you can buy capsules. You can also buy premade essential oil blends for flu and colds and apply to skin in carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba.. really good to keep your immune system in top shape is MSM. Neem leaf mentioned above Itook
      2 caps twice a day and in 3 days cold/flu bug was gone i just took it until symptoms gone.

  32. Chris Swain says:

    Ben, I have an Ironman race in 19 days. I’ve come down with a chest infection over the weekend and my Dr wants me to take antibiotics. Chest doesn’t feel too bad but not sure if taking the antibiotics will be harder to recover from than the infection itself. Can you offer any advice to get me to the start line in the best condition possible? Thanks

    1. EVERYTHING I recommend in this article, Chris!

  33. Rosana Sherwood says:

    Odd Ben Greenfield your lymph arrived at what it did. I’m looking to the Indian medicine (how to spell it?!) Castor Oil remedy. Have been tired and did not get to it this week end. Here is my latest to get minimum $11,000 to safely repair the damage done to my teeth from Tetracycline-“The Significance of Rapidly Falling Blood Sugar

    August 2013 Ask Life Enhancement

    [email protected]

    Ward Dean, MD-Interesting answer you gave Patrick, of Bloomington, MN. Odd you didn’t catch Patrick’s writing “orthodox medical people don’t have a clue about handling such issues.” You suggested he be evaluated by an endocrinologist. I have never met so many fool endocrinologists as I have here in Salem, Oregon. To the best of me, I may not have seen an endocrinologist at all. I may have in Michigan where I grew up. I remember a Dr. Ruebin Lopatin, MD. I’ll have to check if he was an endocrinologist. This was so long ago he probably passed since I saw him.

    You should have referred Patrick to other great people than an endocrinologist. You should have referred Patrick to Dr Richard K. Bernstein, MD. Interesting you didn’t. Most MDs hate Bernstein since he is so good. Bernstein is an endocrinologist. Since he is in NY and Patrick is in MN, might as well refer Patrick to Jan Kwasniewski, MD. I hear he is very good, but is in another country. I always ate fat (Kwasniewski’s trademark more or less) and as far as I know I have been taking insulin next longest to Bernstein. Bernstein has been taking insulin 50-60 years. Bernstein has done much better than I. The reason being may be my mother took Tetracycline when she was pregnant with me. More on that later. Another great person you can refer Patrick to is Ted of earth clinic. Ted is great and very helpful. Please refer Patrick to Richard C. Kaufman. He is a great one who is so on the ball with activated charcoal (AC). Very sharp with AC and his other products. Another great one you can refer Patrick to is askbarefoot108mh. Tyler Berry-What Internet name do you use for your great products? Is it that different from what I wrote? Ha! David Rieben is the last, but not least great one you can refer Patrick to. He sells Enagic Kangen water machines. Do your best to buy one from him in my name since I haven’t sold one yet. Oh, Tyler Berry-Today, my chiropractor told me he had been on antibiotics over a 26 year period. In chiropractor school his intestines messed up. He was taking AC every week for 2-3 months! He couldn’t understand Kaufman’s AC three times a day for two days a week. Of course, I left out some detail since I just read of it the day before. I told my chiropractor to look up Richard C. Kaufman. I can’t wait to do Kaufman’s AC protocol!

    The Tetracycline my mother took led to my many ill health effects. The Tetracycline made the color of my teeth gray. A greedy Michigan dentist filled my dental molars with mercury amalgam. The strength quality of my teeth had been fine since there was no reason for it not to be fine. Due to the mercury amalgam and or a vaccination, I began taking insulin just before I turned 10. I had also developed a heart murmur due to that Tetracycline. In addition, my spine has a curve in it that it should not. This is due to that Tetracycline my mother took while she was pregnant with me.

    I need to be treated better than I have. That Tetracycline did a mountain of damage to my health. While growing up, my father beat my two older brothers and my mother brain washed me against the world. I was not there when my father died and I will not be there when my mother dies. I have not had contact with my family for decades. Pay back is sweet.

    I need minimum $11,000 to have the mercury amalgam safely removed and safe replacements put in. I had dental work done before at the expense of my health.

    I appreciate Ward Dean, MD and anyone else in his representation assist me. It would be best I be in a line of work so my income increases to the point I am able to pay for the great dental expense I should make. It has been amazing working part time as an in home care provider (care giver) since 2003. While doing this work, I have seen how the poisoning of people through food, water, air, medicine, etc. has led to people basically becoming cripples. This is appalling.

    Rosana Sherwood

    [email protected]

    503 362 6879-I have limited income local phone usage. I do have a ten dollar phone card around I would need to locate. Please do your best to assist me into a higher income while I am in a low income state.”

    1. Rosanna, if possibly I'd HIGHLY recommend you simply contact me for a consult for this level of support!…

  34. Adina says:

    What is it recommended during penicillin intake?

    1. Pretty much just about everything listed above!

  35. Kelcey says:

    Ben, only you would still take and post pictures of red swollen extremeties while being in excruciating pain!

  36. Kelcey says:

    So sorry you are sick! You don't know the cause???

  37. John says:

    Thoughts and prayers, Ben.

  38. p@ul says:

    Sorry to hear you're sick: All my best & prayers. I'm in Europe and made it a point to take my _oil of oregano_with me;

  39. Mer says:

    Bought anything from a farmer's market recently? there's always a chance of animal infestation or fecal matter in any foods and frequently foods that are less regulated like farmers markets or csa boxes.

  40. Robert Ancker says:

    Did you have a cat bite or scratch???

    1. no…but I've been "rediagnosed" after a second ER visit with cellulitis…

  41. DawnF says:

    Ben, hope you are back on your feet soon. I need my motivational fix!

  42. CJE says:

    Not to diagnose from afar but looks and sounds like an abscess (bacterial infection) growing deep in the tissues. Only true treatment is incision and drainage and then an antibiotic like Bactrim or Clindamycin. Amoxicillin won't touch that stuff. Hope I'm wrong and you are already getting better. Will pray for you.

  43. dave says:

    Get well soon, Ben! seems like good ole vitamin C should help and check out lactoferrin!

  44. jemma says:

    You are still an inspiration. Hope you get back on your feet really soon. So frustrating feeling ill. Give it time. I had recurring swollen lymph glands, so be careful. Jemma

  45. Update on my arm: swelling has doubled in size, so docs think whatever bacteria is in there *may* be resistant to the amoxicillin I'm on. Needle or scalpel aspiration may be an option to let down swelling, but BEFORE I do that, I decided to experiment for the day (what can it hurt?) and try a couple natural remedies: A) 4am lastnight when pain became unmanageable, I did a homemade warm poultice wrap. I used garlic, a natural antibacterial, an old porous t-shirt, a couple strips of tape, and some cellophane. After a couple hours of sleeping with that on, it vastly improved comfort and brought down swelling a little bit, but now I smell like an Italian restaurant. Within 2 hours after removing poultice, swelling back to original size. B) SPOILER ALERT: since tomorrow's podcast is all about acupuncture, I'm calling some Eastern medicine doctors and looking into whether acupuncture has any indication for lymph vessel drainage. I'll keep you posted. It's still too early for them to return their answering machine messages. And YES, for those of you who are thinking I should be back in the ER rightnow, I am staying in very close touch with my 24-7 health insurance nurse hotline, and they know what I'm up to.

    1. Patrick says:

      Just hearing about this terrible setback your experiencing. With your knowledge and the wealth of medical assistance available, I trust you will have a speedy recovery!

  46. laura says:

    Get well soon Ben! Hope you feel better x

  47. Max says:

    Best wishes from Australia. For your family too, who must be worried. We need you Down Under mate. Get well soon.

  48. Paul Grooms says:

    best wishes for a quick recovery

  49. jeff Hoening says:

    Prayers for a quick recovery, Ben. Thanks for sharing with us out here. Rest up, you'll be stronger on the back end of this.

  50. Igoriko says:

    Get well, Ben.

  51. TM Bell says:

    It's good to see your human too but I'm sorry it had to happen. Hope you are feeling well soon Ben.

  52. Kim says:

    Yeah, I thought lyme disease too when I saw the red circle….but I guess the doctors ruled that out?

    1. Yes, Robert and Kim, they did rule out Lymes, and also I had no contact with cats (thank God) or rats, etc., so no nasty animal stuff involved.

      1. Korai Dervish says:

        Dear Ben,

        I strongly believe that I have lyme due to being bitte by multiple ticks 9 months ago and, having several migratory symptoms including the cognitive problems, chills, and metal toxicity ( which is getting better due to following a Quicksilver metal detox protocol ). I have already listened to your Matt Cook and Erin Elizabeth. I am strongly contemplating doing a round of antibiotics and feels like a big decision due to the fear that I might end up in a worse place than I am now. I can function, work out, do pretty much everything, but there’s a consistent feeling of being unwell and my symptoms seems to be increasing.

        Could you please articulate how this antibiotic and supplementation protocol worked out for you? Side effects, recovery, getting back to your old health?

        Already searched your website, but couldn’t find if you have an article or a podcast talking about this topic

        Please Help.


  53. Judy says:

    Ben, good judgment to go to the hospital but I want you to know I am seeing you healed very quickly and am sending you a flow of positive energy now. Judy

  54. kathy says:

    Will be praying for you! :)

  55. Ty McC says:

    Get well, your knowledge is essential!

  56. Robert Ancker says:

    other things to consider…..Spider bite is still always possible.
    Also, Lyme Disease:…

    May change antibiotic regimen.

  57. IVETT says:


  58. James says:

    Hate to say this but I’m glad this happened; however, I wish you a full and speedy recovery! Recently, I went thru a mega-prescription of anti-biotics (AB) consisting of 1500mg of Cipro for 20 days! This was my Doc’s measure to help with my Sinusitis. I thought this dosage to be strange and extreme. I’ve only recently learned of the full effect that AB have on bacteria and I’ve only ever had ONE doctor tell me to take pro-biotics during AB treatments! I’ve noticed some pain and discomfort in the tendons of my knees lately and now I know why – thanks to your blog.

    Additionally, I was glad to read your comment on the effects of Oil of Oregano as I have concerns for there as well. Milk Thistle is new to me. Anyways, this was a very beneficial post for me.

    Thanks for sucking it up and posting but what else would you expect from an accomplished triathlete?

    Get well!

  59. Bruce Azzarito says:

    Get well soon Ben. Did you ever connect the dots back to your patio dinner?

    1. definitely nothing to do with the patio dinner. ;) that was my last pleasant memory of the weekend.

  60. JoeBruin88 says:

    Pretty scary looking. Hope you feel better.

  61. cortthesport says:

    That is scary! I just hope they have the diagnosis correct, why in the world would you suddenly get that? Even more amazing is how clearly you seem to be thinking (and writing). Rest up and get better!!

    1. Since the lymph system is just a network of vessels and glands, it's likely that whichever bacteria (i.e. staphylococcus) left me feeling horrible on Saturday ended up spreading to my arm. Interestingly, my sleeping position is on my right side with my right arm bent and tucked underneath, so that arm was "locked" in position as I was passed out for over 12 hours on Saturday. I suppose it's possible that lack of lymph fluid movement allowed infection to localize there. But blood cultures haven't come back from the lab yet…

  62. Paula says:

    Yikes – scarey stuff!! Hope your recovery is as fast as your best PR!! Take care…

  63. Imke Jürgens says:

    Oh man. Get well soon!

  64. Craig Huggart says:

    Wow, Ben. Get better soon, man. That sounds rough.

  65. Wendy says:

    Ben, So sorry to hear this. I was wondering if you were given any explanations as to why or how this happens. Rest mindfully and get well soon!

  66. Joy says:

    Wow so sorry to hear .. I too am on an antibiotic this week ( have not been on one in over a decade) infection in finger.
    Thanks for the info, and get well soon…

  67. Cara says:

    I'm really sorry you are so sick. I know you're the vision of health amongst all your podcast listeners. I guess we're all human and even you can get sick. I hope you have a speedy recover. Be very careful going to exercise after antibiotics. I know 2 people who ruptured their Achilles tendon trying to train for a triathlon on antibiotics. Rest up – you're so young, you'll have plenty of opportunity to train and race, but your family needs to you to be healthy. Have some bone broth – that's Jewish penicillin (since I know you're not Jewish).

  68. Renee says:

    I'm glad you are ok. Wishing and praying for a quick return to healthy status for you!

  69. @jensir says:

    That is really scary stuff! Glad you headed to the hospital for this.

  70. Brad Weston says:

    Eegad, that's scary Ben. Hope you get well soon.

  71. Georg A. Krohg says:

    Ouch, that rash looks nasty! But, like a true Sensei, you manage to turn your misery and misfortune into something we can learn from. Thanks, Ben, get well soon!

  72. Shannon says:

    Get well soon, Ben. Even when you're feeling terrible you take the time to provide us all with useful information – thanks so much.

  73. Janet says:

    That's a pretty awful infection. I agree, getting sick is, at the very least, inconvenient. So, get well soon. I will be praying for your recovery today, and for strength and courage for Jessa as she will certainly be carrying a bigger load these days. God bless. Janet.

  74. Curtis says:

    First of all what a bummer. I recently got a bad infection from a dog bite. I was proscribe three different antibiotics because the infection was spreading. The first few days they were given through an IV. After that 10 more days of oral antibiotics.

    I was told not to take probiotics because they would lesson the affects of the antibiotics. It kinda makes sense. Probiotics make more work for the antibiotics.

    I'm more than leery about mainstream medicine. But that did seem to make sense.
    Any opinions out there?

    1. Probiotics don't stop antibiotics from working, but technically, you shouldn't pop both at the same time because the *reverse* can be true:…

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