As a follow up to my last post, Doctors, Toxicity and Detoxification, I feel the need to point out an additional major concern with the amount of prescriptions being written by doctors these days. Having been on antibiotics for about a decade growing up, it has caused many other problems, none of which I saw coming.
I was a teenager with bad skin. Shocking, I know. So the dermatologist wrote me a script for antibiotics. I took that for months/years until it stopped working, then they switched me a different antibiotic. When that one would stop working, they would switch me to another. This cycle would continue until the doctors were out of options for me. Now, ten years later, I have developed allergies to almost every antibiotic on the market, and if I’m not allergic to it, I’m resistant to it, so it doesn’t even work for me. Now when I get sick, I have to get a steroid shot in my rear-end and I have to orally take a steroid pack as well, possibly two, depending on how bad it is. It’s terrible. I hate the steroids so much that I actually just stopped going to the doctor for illnesses altogether. Now I just “tough it out,” as I’m not really left with any other options. Luckily for the most part, lots of rest and fluids works just fine.
WebMD recently posted an article, Antibiotic Overuse May Be Bad for Body’s Good Bacteria. Well, duh. When you take antibiotics, it kills the bad bacteria in your system. What most people don’t realize, is that it kills the good bacteria as well. You need that good bacteria. The good bacteria are responsible for helping make vitamins, boosting immunity and keeping your digestive tract in order. There are now theories (and circumstantial evidence) that killing these good guys could be causing or contributing to obesity, allergies, asthma, cancer and children’s type 1 diabetes. Not to mention that with an overload of bad bacteria in your system, you feel like crap.
“Dr. Blaser points out that in a developed country like the U.S., the average child gets 10-20 courses of antibiotics by age 18. Blaser says there’s no question that antibiotics, when given appropriately, save lives. But they’re not always used appropriately. Studies have shown that doctors often prescribe antibiotics before they know whether an infection is viral or bacterial. If the problem is a virus, antibiotics don’t help.” (Source: WebMD: Antibiotic Overuse May Be Bad for Body’s Good Bacteria)
It actually didn’t dawn on me how much damage my body was still experiencing until about a year ago, when I was having a conversation with my Muscle Activation Therapist. We were talking about my diet, and I mentioned that I can’t eat sugar because I can’t just have “one cookie”, it has to be the entire box of cookies. That once I eat a little bit of sugar, I just can’t get enough, and that I am constantly craving it. I didn’t know back then that when your body is craving sugar, that is when it is most critical NOT to eat it. He asked if I had been on antibiotics for a long period of time in my life, of course the answer being yes. Well, that was the problem right there. My poor little good bacterias were trying to stay alive, but the bad bacterias had taken over. It’s like a little war going on inside my body. My poor body, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know the damage I was causing. Bad bacteria make you crave sugar. They feed off of it, and when you give into those cravings, they eat it, multiply, and then you want MORE sugar. So not only are you increasing your sugar cravings by eating sugar (seems backwards, I know), but you are also increasing the population of bad bacteria in your body. Bad bacteria, bad, bad. Go sit in the corner.
With an overuse of antibiotics, you develop a yeast overgrowth, also called a candida infection. This infection affects a large amount of the human population today, as it is also caused by the not-so-wonderful-after-all “Pill”, as well as the abundant amount of sugar in our diets, which promotes the growth of yeast. Instead of combatting this problem with more antibiotics, natural remedies like probiotics are a good solution.
Probiotics are friendly or “good” bacteria. Not only will taking probiotics help kill the bad bacteria, but they have other health benefits such as a greater immunity to infectious diseases, improved digestion and higher energy levels. I am not a doctor, but I recommend going to your local health food store and asking for some help selecting the best probiotic. You will find them in the refrigerated section within the vitamin/supplement section. You are probably saying, “Oh, I already take probiotics, they’re in my yogurt.” Just a quick note about probiotics in yogurt… Very often, commercial yogurts are pasteurized and the bacteria are dead. Even if they are alive, these yogurts generally contain high amounts of sugar, which we know encourages the growth of yeast. Lastly, milk and dairy products tend to worsen the symptoms of candida infection. So, your call, but I would check out the pill form of probiotics.
The world that we live in scares the crap out of me on a daily basis. I’m constantly second-guessing people like doctors, who we are supposed to trust, even seemingly common enough foods are made with ingredients you can’t pronounce, what is this world coming to? This isn’t by any means meant to be a negative post. Instead, the purpose of this blog is really to open your eyes. The more educated you can become, the better decisions you can make regarding your food, your medications (or lack thereof) and your body. It’s your body, and you only get one life to live in it. Let’s do everything we can to make it one amazing life, inside one, amazing body.
The more whole you live, the more free you become.