We all take antibiotics – and we take them a lot.
40 percent of all adults and 70 percent of all children take one or more antibiotics every year, not to mention their use in billions of food animals. 1
When you or your child is ill, it’s sooooo tempting to just go to the doctor and ask for antibiotics, or take the prescription he hands over without asking any questions. You may figure that taking antibiotics can’t hurt, and might help. You might know that there’s a risk of side effects, but reckon that risk is small.
Please understand this: just because the man is wearing a white coat, doesn’t mean that he always does the right thing. It has been proven that doctors are now over-prescribing antibiotics by the bucket-load. 2
Studies show that half of the estimated 100 million antibiotic prescriptions each year for respiratory tract infections may be unnecessary. 3
A huge majority of people who see their doctors for sore throats or acute bronchitis receive antibiotics, but only a small percentage of those people should actually have been prescribed antibiotics. Those illnesses usually are caused by viruses, and antibiotics — which only treat bacterial infections — do not help. 4
Why Do Doctors Need Snacks?
Here’s a fun fact: did you know that you are more likely to be prescribed antibiotics if you see your doctor later in the day?
It’s true: Studies show that doctors appeared to ‘wear down’ during their morning and afternoon clinic sessions, and antibiotic prescribing rates increased the later the day got. 5
Researchers on this study suggested that “Remedies for this problem might include different schedules for the doctors, shorter sessions, more breaks or maybe even snacks.” Snacks? Really? If your doctor had a snack, he might alter his prescription for your child’s illness?
Confidence inspiring, no?
And here’s another unsettling fact: Many rheumatologists and general internal medicine physicians say they regularly prescribe “placebo treatments” including active drugs such as sedatives and antibiotics, but rarely admit they are doing so to their patients. 6
They’re not supposed to do this, of course. Giving someone a drug that you know perfectly well is not going to work, in order to shut them up, is by its very nature is deceptive and therefore violates patients’ autonomy. But the doctors in the study said they did not believe they were behaving unethically by either using placebos or not being upfront with their patients about doing so. 7
The doctor handing you that prescription may be tired, cranky, need a snack, or just desperate to shut you up and get you out of his office.
But here’s the really important thing for you to know: the danger of antibiotics isn’t just about creating a hypothetical superbug that might someday attack someone else.
Most people simply do not understand the real risk of antibiotics. 8 But those risks to your health are very real, and immediate.
How Can Antibiotics Hurt You?
Antibiotics harm you and your child, the minute you start taking them.
Antibiotics have now been linked with to include digestive dysfunction, diarrhoea, ulcerative colitis, obesity, problems with food absorption, depression, immune function, sepsis, allergies and asthma. 9
Antibiotics can also cause tendinitis, inner-ear problems and hearing loss, impaired kidney function, and other problems. Antibiotics can trigger something called oxidative stress — which damage the bacteria’s DNA and enzymes, as well as the membrane that encloses the cell. 10
Why does this happen? It’s because antibiotics don’t just kill the bad bugs that are causing your infection. They kill everything else inside your microbiome as well.
If you imagine your insides as the Amazon rain forest, full of loads of lifeforms like flowers and trees, birds and deer and jaguar, taking antibiotics is like fire-bombing the rain forest. Total wipe-out of everything – not just the bad bugs.
If you’ve ever suffered symptoms of diarrhoea or IBS after a course of antibiotics, you’ve experienced this result for yourself, first hand. The good bugs have been wiped out, and can no longer do their job properly.
And the good bugs that you need to digest your food and run all the systems in your body don’t ever grow back – not properly. What takes over the empty dead space are the opportunists – the weeds.
Now researchers have discovered that the long-term effect of antibiotics is even worse than we feared.
Antibiotics also kill intestinal epithelium. 11
Epithelium is another nifty new vocab word for you. It’s the stuff that lines blood vessels and organs throughout the body. Your glands are made of epithelial tissue. You’ll find epithelium in the walls of your capillaries, the lining of your lungs, the ducts of your kidneys, pancreas and salivary glands, the lining of your gut.
So if you’re killing epithelium inside the intestine, you’re drilling holes in the very important place in your body where you’re also trying to absorb nutrients and store your immune system.
Not ideal, really, is it?
How Can You Fix It?
But there is good news: probiotics can undo the damage caused by antibiotics.
It has now been shown that keeping your immune system “primed” by eating foods enhanced with “good” bacteria can help counteract the negative effects of antibiotic. 12
And guess what the most powerful probiotic food is?
Why is this best? You want to choose a milk-based probiotic, because it has been shown that dairy products boost the effectiveness of probiotics. 13 Choose a liquid and not pill-form, because kefir is a live multi-strain probiotic, with bacteria living and thriving in their own medium. This is far more powerful than any dried or dehydrated probiotic, where the bacteria are dying off over time.
And make sure that your kefir is made with goats milk rather than cows milk, because studies show that goats milk is more beneficial to human health than cow’s milk. 14
Live, active goats milk kefir returns those good bugs to where they need to be inside your body – and repairs the antibiotic damage! 15
What is your experience with antibiotics? Have you ever noticed after a course of antibiotics that your digestion was impaired? Have you suffered allergies, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne or IBS in the wake of a course of antibiotics?
I’d love to hear from you –