Antibiotics are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs. They’re often prescribed unnecessarily, especially for viral infections, colds, flu, sinus infections, and other conditions they were never meant to treat.
Antibiotic use is becoming more specific “a drug for every bug” and can be life-saving in isolated cases. Unfortunately, they’re over-prescribed and their use is not without side effects.
Antibiotics deplete the body of healthy flora (the friendly, good bacteria) that resides in the gut and on the surface of the skin. These bacteria help to maintain a healthy immune system. Repeated use significantly compromises the gut and immune system. Since 70-80% of the cells in our immune system are found in the gut, it isn’t surprising that autoimmune diseases are on the rise with increased antibiotic use.
And, let’s not forget about the gut-brain connection. Anything that affects the gut always affects the brain: an inflamed gut = an inflamed brain; an irritable gut = an irritable brain; an infected gut = an infected brain; a leaky gut = a leaky blood brain barrier.
“The primary seat of insanity generally is in the region of the stomach and intestines.” – Phillipe Pinel, French psychiatrist (1745-1826) known as the father of modern psychiatry
After just one round of antibiotics, risk for major depressive disorder increases 23-56% and risk of anxiety increases 17-44%. [J Clin Psychiatry. 2015 Nov;76(11):1522-8]
The more antibiotics you take (or have taken over the years), the greater the dysfunction in your gut, immune system and brain.
Antibiotics decrease the ability to excrete mercury, a neurotoxin. They kill all the good bacteria along with the bad leaving you susceptible to colonization by pathogens such as Candida overgrowth, yeast, parasites, H pylori, C diff, and other dysbiotic bacteria, which leads to other problems in the body.
Antibiotic use also causes depletion in several important nutrients including zinc, magnesium, calcium, biotin, inositol, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, and vitamins C, E and K.
A study conducted at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan shows that children given antibiotics in their first six months of life have an increased risk of allergies to ragweed, pets, grass, and dust mites. They also have an increased risk of asthma and autoimmune disease.
Early exposure to antibiotics in the first 15 months of life increases the risk of developing Crohn’s disease.
An infant gets their first inoculation of gut flora from the mother’s birth canal during childbirth, which is why a mother’s use of antibiotics during pregnancy may predispose the child to asthma and a variety of other ailments, including neurological dysfunction and autoimmune disorders.
Researchers at Karolinska Institute in Sweden found a strong connection between antibiotic use and the onset of celiac disease.
Taking antibiotics just 5 times within 15 years makes you 50% more likely to develop diabetes!
There’s a direct relationship between long-term antibiotic use and breast cancer. – Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD
Just one course of antibiotics negatively alters your microbiome for up to one year! –mBio
Another study published in PLoS One, found that just one course of antibiotics caused negative changes in the microbiotia for up to four years post treatment.
In addition, four years after treatment high levels of the macrolide resistance gene erm(B) were found, indicating antibiotic resistance.
Macrolide antibiotics (azithromycin (Zithromax), clarithromycin (Biaxin), quinolone, and erythromycin) increase the risk of sudden cardiac death. In a meta-analysis of nearly 21 million people, these antibiotic drugs were linked to cardiac arrhythmias and a significant cardiovascular risk.
Fluoroquinolones may be the deadliest antibiotics of all. They can cause mitochondrial dysfunction, serious blood sugar disturbances, neurological dysfunction, mental health side effects and psychiatric problems including anxiety, depression, psychosis, hallucinations, insomnia, tremors, seizures, memory loss, bipolar disorder, disturbances in attention, disorientation, agitation, nervousness, memory impairment and delirium and more! Every single one of these neuropsychiatric symptoms have been reported as a side effect of fluoroquinolones in many of those suffering from fluoroquinolone toxicity.
The excessive overuse of antibiotics has led to “superbugs” that are becoming increasingly resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics that are used to treat not just farm animals, but humans as well.
You eat what the animal ate! Whether you take prescription antibiotics or if you consume factory-farmed, antibiotic-tainted animal protein sources, you’re getting the side effects of antibiotics. Livestock consume up to 80% of the antibiotics used in the U.S. Therefore, if you consume animal protein, eggs or dairy products, it’s crucial that they’re antibiotic-free, organic, pasture-raised, and grass-fed sources.
“The risks of potential side effects need to be weighed against the potential benefit that antibiotics provide. This is especially pertinent as usage of placebos have been shown to be almost as efficacious and much safer than antibiotic therapy.” – Kelly Brogan, MD
Science has shown the following antibiotic alternative (natural antimicrobials) to be more effective in resolving bacterial infections and imbalances without the side effects of pharmaceutical antibiotics.
“All disease starts in the gut.” – Hippocrates
Healthy digestion, good bacteria (flora), sufficient levels of stomach acid, and optimizing your microbiome is crucial in how you think, feel and function, your weight, reducing symptoms of autoimmune disease, depression, anxiety, brain fog, fatigue, gas, bloating, sugar and carb cravings, and minimizing food sensitivities and your risk of diabetes, autism, and even cancer.