Any time you take medication regardless of what it is, you may experience side effects. You may not experience anything, but many people do get side effects and some are mild and some are severe enough to go to the hospital. That is why when you listen to commercials for medications, the ad campaign must legally list the potential side effects that people could experience if they take that medication.
Side effects are your body’s way of reacting to it and sometimes if it is mild, your body takes it well. Having no side effects will mean that. If you have difficult side effects, then your body is not adjusting to it well. However, side effects are not the only consequence because even once the medication leaves your body in the physical sense, it can interact with animals as it enters sewer systems.
Additionally, before those drugs exit your body, they will also meet with your gut microbiome. That is something to always remember: the medications you take will interact with the bacteria living in your gut.
What Does It Mean For You When Medications Interact With Your Gut Microbiome?
There was not much knowledge about this fact years ago, but studies are now showing that the millions of bacteria living in your gut will not only interact with the medication you take, but the medications will accumulate in your gut too. It does not matter what type of medication you take whether it is heart medication, antidepressants, OTC pain relievers, and so on. Scientists now know that they must start treating the microbiome as an organ. Even though not much was known years ago about how the medication would interact with the microbiome, it was known that the bacteria in the gut could chemically modify the drugs taken. That phenomenon is known as biotransformation.
However, there is more to the story than biotransformation itself. Studies have shown by conducting experiments in labs with over 20 bacteria species interacting with 15 drugs that bacteria accumulate the chemicals without changing them, unexpectedly. It surprised the scientists to see that biotransformation was not the main way that bacteria affect the drugs in the body. And this distinction could be critical.
According to researchers, drugs that are accumulated in bacteria show the potential to not only change the metabolic processes and behavior of bacteria – but will affect the balance and distribution of the different populations of bacteria. The point is that those drugs do not only have an effect on you but they will have an effect on the gut microbiome that is unknown at this point.
However, it will not affect everyone the same way because everyone has different types of gut microbiome which means that changes within your system will cause changes to it as well.
Altering Your Diet Alone Will Change The Microbiome In Your Gut
When you change your diet and have weight changes, there will also be changes to the gut microbiome and that also means the medications you take will have different effects on it than they would on someone who has not changed their diet altered anything else.
However, regardless of how much you change your lifestyle and diet, medications will still have an effect on your system. The gut microbiome will change the chemical ingredients to the medicine which can cause it to not be as effective as it could be. The bottom line is that in some cases, dosages of drugs will need to be altered. What dosage may be correct for someone may not give them the full benefit because of how the gut microbiome causes changes to that. More research on this issue needs to be done to determine more.