I have bronchiectasis, and 3 years ago I was advised by a respiratory consultant to take a general antibiotic (azithromycin) everyday for the long term. This was following a serious bout of pneumonia and sepsis which hospitalised me for weeks. I was told the antibiotic was necessary to slow down the fast rate at which my lungs were becoming infected and therefore damaged. There was no other way to control this condition in an adult of such an age (28yrs). I was told that I would not be taking the antibiotics for antibiotic properties, but rather for anti inflammatory properties. I was not advised at the time that the main side effect of taking the antibiotics would be symptoms of IBS. I found this fact out last month when it’s almost too late.
The tablets work wonders for my respiratory health – I can breathe easily each day and my infections are fewer, they stop the damage spreading through my lungs – however I now suffer with IBS, which has been officially diagnosed.
So my question is do I take the antibiotics everyday to help my lungs or do I stop them and sacrifice my respiratory health? (Believe me I’ve asked a respiratory consultant this and they don’t have an answer, other than you need to see a gastroenterologist. There is currently a 39 week wait in the UK and I am on a work travel visa in Canada.)
At present I am told by three different respiratory consultants that there is no other treatment option. I’ve seen my gp, I’ve seen dieticians, I’ve seen immunologists. I know there’s a lot more to explore and try with my gut which I’m 100% willing to explore, but how can I ignore treating my respiratory disease in the meantime?
Every time I think to take an antibiotic, I think of my gut and I stop. Because after 3 years, my gut bacteria, good or bad, will be non-existent!
My symptoms at present are abdominal pain after I eat, bloating after every time I eat (anything), blood in stools, and diarrhoea occasionally when I eat something that appears to disagree with me (onion, cabbage, spicy food, processed food).
Please help! Does anyone have a respiratory condition requiring antibiotics and is suffering with their gut also?