Being sick is the pits. Whether you’re bedridden with the flu, have a terrible cold, saddled with pink eye or bronchitis – it’s not a good time. In the moment, you’d probably do just about anything to not feel that way. So, you head over to your friendly neighborhood walk-in clinic and likely get prescribed an antibiotic. You take them, and you feel better. No harm, no foul, right? Maybe not. Check out these reasons that I tell my patients to avoid antibiotics whenever possible.
They eliminate all the good bacteria in your gut.
If you’ve ever been to my office you know that the main reason I carry supplements is to ensure that my patients have access to good quality probiotics. The benefits of probiotics are proven. These powerful bacteria fight obesity, boost immunity, reduce allergies, and promote digestive health. Probiotics are a supplement to the naturally occurring bacteria in your gut. The way that antibiotics work is that they eliminate the bacteria that is causing your illness, thus making you feel better. But antibiotics cause a lot of collateral damage to the good bacteria colonies when they’re eliminating the bad ones – which doesn’t spell good things for your body.
With the elimination of the good bacteria in your gut come a few side effects. Here are just a few of them:
- Abdominal pain
- Renal toxicity
- Live toxicity
- Tooth discoloration
That’s a laundry list of symptoms right there. The fact is that antibiotics completely mess with the chemistry of our body, which is carefully balanced with good bacteria. According to this article from NPR.org, our gut bacteria might even guide the inner workings of our minds. And with increasing rates of autism and mental illness, we can’t afford to mess with it.
Your illness is viral
While some bacterial infections are caused by viruses, it’s important to understand that avoiding antibiotics is your best bet. Antibiotics cannot resolve viral illnesses or even ear infections caused by viral illnesses. Don’t believe me? Even the CDC recommends avoiding antibiotics for ear infectons caused by a virus.
They might make you fat
Here’s an interesting report: research suggests that antibiotics are linked to childhood obesity. A study conducted with 65,000 children found that those who had four or more courses of broad-spectrum antibiotics before the age of two were at greater risk of becoming obese.
They’re causing resistance
Something important to remember about antibiotics as a “progressive” drug is that we’ve been using the same types of antibiotics since the 1980’s. Bacteria also have the ability to mutate. While antibiotics can kill some of the bacteria that is susceptible, they leave behind the strong bacteria, opening the door for mutant strains to multiply. It’s a type of not-so-natural selection that we’re creating.
You don’t need them
You’d be surprised what an able body can combat, given the right resources. If you eliminate interference with chiropractic care, take probiotics to supplement your gut bacteria, and take regular doses of vitamin C, you can naturally boost your immunity and greatly decrease the time span of many illnesses that you might be tempted to treat with antibiotics. If you’re still dealing with the symptoms, a lot of people have success with colloidal silver, garlic oil, lavender oil, or even breastmilk for treating the signs of infection.
Never underestimate the power of your body. While antibiotics have their place in medicine, their over-use and, in some cases, abuse by care providers is definitely causing more harm than good. Make sure that you fully educate yourself on natural ways to combat illness in order to avoid the ill side effects and resistance that can be caused by antibiotic overuse.