Sunday, August 19, 2012


I know I've got four more countries worth of pictures to show, but I thought I would blog on something a bit more relevant, and possibly more useful. As a biologist, I've long known that a healthy flora of good bacteria in the gut is required for proper digestion. But not until now was such knowledge relevant in my life. I learned that I not only contracted one, but two parasites, when I had that mouthful of water during my triathlon on May 18. I was put on a rather high dose of antibiotics for 10 days, and an additional iodine-like medication for 20 days. Needless to say, the strong drugs basically wiped everything from my body. A couple of days after my course of treatment, I began to have what seemed like a recurrence of the symptoms when I contracted the parasites. I was in Europe at the time so there wasn't much I could do. My doctor told me that some people have the symptoms when they are coming off the drugs, and that a course of probiotics might help. I immediately began to eat lots of yogurt at every meal. But yogurt just doesn't provide enough bacteria darn it.

For the next couple of weeks, I would experience nausea, bloating, cramping, heartburn, and a loss of appetite every couple of days or so. Since coming back to the states, I did my first of three (yes THREE) stool samples to make sure that the antibiotics had indeed killed the parasites. The first came back negative for parasites. But why the nausea, bloating, etc...? Well, it seems that such symptoms are not only signs of a parasite, but also signs for a lack of healthy bacteria in the gut. I went to my local health food store and bought some live bacteria, 50 billions worth. It's only been three days, but I feel significantly better. I've regained my appetite, the nausea subsided, and I'm very much less gassy. The two types of bacteria you want to supplement are L. Acidophilus and Saccharomyces Boulardii. Your doctor should be able to recommend the proper dosage. I rarely ever take antibiotics, in fact, I can't remember the last time I took them. I had no idea of the side effects, but in the future, I will always supplement with probiotics during and after a course of antibiotic treatment.

A bit random but I came across this recipe for a great drink with tart cherry juice. My dad suffers from gout and he and I were trying to find some natural remedies to relieve the the gout pain. We learned that tart cherry juice is a powerful antioxidant that could reduce his gout pain. But it also reduces inflammation, reduces the risk of heart disease by absorbing bad cholesterol, and increases melatonin to help you get a better night's sleep. Simply mix one part tart cherry juice to 1.5-2.0 parts sparkling water. Add two lime wedges and you're golden! It's a great post-workout recovering drink!

And even more random, I'm including a pic of me racing an OLY distance triathlon in 1993! I was a young 21 when I did this race in Sonoma, check out the old skool speedos, helmet, and aerobars!


Beth said...

I LOVE that picture of you racing from 15+ years ago!!! :)

And the probiotics are such a great idea. Glad they helped you out. I take them routinely!

Libby said...

I love love love the flashback pic! awesome! oh and how have you existed this long without probiotics?! I would be in a world of hurt without 'em. glad you are parasite free- we can be friends again now- even though you aren't a woman ;)

Valerie said...

I also love the picture with you riding a bike. And like you, I also like probiotics. I've actually been taking it for a couple of years already. And really glad with the result. It aids my digestion.