What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics (anti-bacterials) are a powerful medicine that fight bacterial infections. They work by moving throughout the whole system and killing or stopping the reproduction of bacteria within the body. Even though most antibiotics that are prescribed are focused on killing a specific strand of bacteria they wipe out a huge amount of good bacteria in the process.
What is the effect of bacteria in our body?
Each of us have over 1000 different types of bacteria that are growing and multiplying in our digestive tract. These bacteria are our bodies first line of defence in the breakdown of the food we consume. They are our bodies allies to help wean out the good from the bad. The initial bacteria in our body came to us from our mothers breat milk.
Our bacteria is therefore our own possibly very similar to our siblings but very much different to the neighbour or the child in another country who was not nursed on the same milk. So from the beginning, we have our very own active army of bacteria that need to remain strong to be effective.
With the use of anti-biotics we clear out these bacteria killing off many of our own strands of bacteria that can never be reproduced like they once were. We then rely on other strands of bacteria trying to re-build the balance, it is often a tough and belligerentfete. Leaving our bodies with digestive problems that come and go as our army now battles to bring peace and harmony back into our belly.
Here are five reasons according to Dr Wendy Sue Swanson to avoid antibiotic use when unnecassary.
1. Antibiotics can cause side effects. The reason: while you may be giving antibiotics to treat a possible ear infection, once ingested the antibiotics go to every organ in your body thus killing off some of the “good bacteria” living there. Some new research even suggests that bacteria that live in our gut affect our brain activity, mood, and behavior.
2. Bacteria do good. Throughout our lifetime we accumulate a lot of bacteria to the point that of all the cells in and on our body, 90% of our cells are bacterial! These bacteria help keep our bodies happy – assisting in digestion and keeping a good balance of colonies for healthy skin and intestines.
3. Every dose of antibiotics changes us. Each dose of antibiotics kills the normal bacteria that live in our body. The risk of taking antibiotics is not only the side effects (diarrhea, rash, or upset stomach, for example) but the risk that each dose changes who we are. Previous research from 2012 found that antibiotics, particularly when given to infants, may increase risk for chronic disease later on (inflammatory bowel disease).
4. Antibiotics change our environment. Each dose of antibiotics to our children, ourselves, or the animals we eat changes our community’s health in general. The more we use antibiotics that kill off susceptible bacteria, the more we select bacteria for survival that are resistant to known treatments. The consequence over time for us all is more resistant bacteria or “superbugs”– harder to treat infections.
5. Unnecessary antibiotics cost money. When an infection is caused by a virus and we treat with antibiotics, it’s an unnecessary drain on our pocketbook. Simple as that. TLC (tender love and care) isn’t free (days out of work, tug on our heart) but for viruses, our TLC can be one of the most powerful things we provide our children as they heal and recover.
While the development of antibiotics over the last 100 years has certainly helped us cure many diseases, we are only beginning to understand the relationship between our bodies and the bacteria that live within us. Antibiotics can kill many of these bacteria and we are starting to learn about the substantial unintended consequences that can result.
- Dr. Matthew Kronman, pediatrician and expert in infectious disease
Makes you think what will they find is affecting us in more bad ways then good next!