Antibiotics: Are the side effects ruining your life?

You may not have stopped to think about it, but many of your symptoms could point to antibiotic related issues.  There are times when you should absolutely be taking your antibiotic, and others where you are actually hurting your body.  Know the difference and notice when antibiotics can be harming you.

antibiotic-overuse-ibs-ibd

Taking Erythromycin, increases your risk of death from heart complication by 250%.  New England Journal of Medicine.

People with IBD have most likely taken a round of antibiotics to fight infections that might be mimicking the symptoms of IBD.  You might have heard that they are bad for your health and wondered why.   Most people don’t know that antibiotics are directly related to health damage.   They severely disable the immune system causing you symptoms of discomfort. Overuse of antibiotics is an increasing problem that even doctors who prescribe them are addressing and warning about.

There is nothing really wrong with modern medicine.  The problem that doctors warn about is that overuse causes antibiotic resistance and damage to your health.  Especially damaging gut health.  Remember that antibiotics kill bacteria without target. The gut flora must maintain a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria.  After a lifetime of ingesting common antibiotics the balance is upset.  Some doctors go as far as claiming that A – bombs stand for antibiotics.  They are a “gut grenade”.

Gut flora affected by antibiotics

Antibiotics and leaky gut are commonly linked.  It makes sense since a leaky gut is weak and permeable.  And the antibiotic can leave the gut this way if not strengthened after a heavy dose of antibiotics.

Side effects of antibiotics:

antibiotics

Avoiding Overuse of Antibiotics

There are a few way to avoid overuse of antibiotics.  By far, the most important one is knowing when you are!

  1. Taking the full of course of antibiotic treatment.  Yes you read that right.  You should take the antibiotic you are prescribed following the doctor’s directions.  That usually means taking the antibiotic until you have finished treatment even if you feel like you don’t need it anymore.  Failure to do so puts you at risk of letting bacteria become resistant and continue growing.
  2. Did you know that 80% of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. don’t go to humans?  They are administered to cows, chicken, and other livestock.  By staying away from conventional foods you are able to avoid concentrated amounts of antibiotics.
prevent-antibiotic-resistance

Antibiotic resistance

The big danger with antibiotic resistance is that your already compromised immune system will likely not handle it well.  About 80% of the immune system is located within the gut flora.   To sum it up, when regular use of antibiotics occurs the immune system and gut health are compromised simultaneously.

Understanding antibiotics

Antibiotics increase the risk of heart complications, cancer, and of course digestive health issues.

What are antibiotics?

The umbrella term, antibiotics is used for the group of medicines that are meant kill bacteria.  They treat infections caused by bacteria & parasites.  They are meant for USE not OVERUSE.   On the other hand, you should remain vigilant and never let your guard down against their potential drawbacks. Like all other potent medication, antibiotics have a downside.

Diarrhea for no apparent reason can be seen as a reason to take antibiotics.  However, this is also a symptom that you should slow down on the antibiotic intake.  25% of patients undergoing antibiotic treatment actually have diarrhea and worsening symptoms as a side effect antibiotics. 

antibiotics

On a CCFA pamphlet you can find this quote.  “Antibiotics are often used in the management of IBD, both to treat disease-related intestinal infections, and occasionally to address intestinal inflammation or disease complications. Infections can mimic the symptoms of an IBD flare. Therefore, your doctor will often check for a variety of intestinal infections when there is a change in your symptoms.”

IBD & Antibiotics

For IBD patients and family members this is old news.  Doctors will prescribe an antibiotic to ensure that it is not an infection you are dealing with instead of IBD, or IBS.   But do you know that antibiotics can be bad for your health?   Yes they are literally a poison to kill bacteria & infections.  What does this really mean though?

antibiotics-harm-health
If you are on antibiotics now because your doctor is making sure its not H. Pylori before going further with analysis for Ulcerative Colitis or another Inflammatory Bowel Disease then think again before your next pill.

How are antibiotics BAD for health?

Essentially, antibiotics are well-known for disturbing your gut flora and throwing it out of balance. This is because they attack and kill both good bacteria & bad.  There is no “target” for antibiotics other than bacteria.  In other words, while they are effective in ridding your body of the infectious bacteria.  They will also devastate & destroy the good ones.  Therefore, while they may have helped your body overcome a bacterial infection for the moment, they may have simultaneously made you even more vulnerable to harboring bad bacteria in the future.  In conclusion,  leaving your gut health in a weaker state.

What do antibiotics do to your health?

Aside from diarrhea, you may also be predisposed to Irritable Bowel Syndrome which can lead to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS & IBD). A chronic disorder characterized by constipation, abdominal pain and cramps, gas, bloating and diarrhea. Billions of good bacteria normally thrive in your intestines, more concentration being in the lower parts or your bowel. Antibiotics destroy all of these good elements and thus make you more prone to IBS.

This study, found that long term consumption of common antibiotics puts you at risk of sudden death due to cardiac arrest.  Additionally, other studies prove long term use of antibiotics (every time you are sick) CAUSE IBS and other chronic conditions.  The disturbance of the gut flora, is of course poor gut health, leaky gut, and eventually chronic conditions.

Yes, its true antibiotic overuse and resistance is a factor in developing chronic illnesses.

Antibiotics that disturb gut flora, and cause diarrhea and IBS include the following:

  • Amoxicillin-Clavulanate
  • Ampicillin
  • Cefixime
  • Cephalosporin
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Azithromycin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Erythromycin
  • Tetracycline

The Significance of Good Bacteria in Maintaining Gut Health

Your gut flora or the good bacteria naturally living as part of your gut ecosystem have a plethora of benefits.

  • They protect your gut and fight against disease-causing bacteria.
  • They help in developing and maintaining your gut’s immune system.
  • They help break down food to produce a wide variety of enzymes that aid in the absorption of nutrients.

When displaced by antibiotics, your gut health is compromised. In addition, the chances of contracting future bacterial infections are significantly increased.

Gut Health Restoration: A Serious Necessity

Your gut flora or the good bacteria naturally living as part of your gut ecosystem have a plethora of benefits.

  • They protect your gut and fight against disease-causing bacteria.
  • They help in developing and maintaining your gut’s immune system.
  • They help break down food to produce a wide variety of enzymes that aid in the absorption of nutrients.

When displaced by antibiotics, the future of your gut is compromised and your chances of contracting future bacterial infections are significantly increased.

Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics

  • Probiotics
  • Essential Oils
  • Raw Vitamins
  • IBD Diet

The best alternative to antibiotics is protecting yourself with a healthy diet.  A nutrient dense and healthy diet consisting of real foods is the #1 alternative to antibiotics.  Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) are irritated by most antibiotics on the market.  The best way to snap back into optimal health after taking antibiotics is eating real foods.  Get enough fermented foods in your diet everyday for optimal healing.

In conclusion, you should avoid excessive consumption of antibiotics so that you can turn to them freely when your body needs them.  Antibiotics are the group of medicines used to treat and kill infections caused by bacteria and certain parasites.  They don’t work against viruses.  For example, the the flu or common cold.  Skip the urge to take a penicillin if your stomach feels funky and grab an immune system booster instead.

  “An ounce of prevention is better worth a pound of cure.” -Benjamin Franklin

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Good bugs to snap back after antibiotics