There was a time when you could go to your healthcare provider and get a prescription for antibiotic drugs if you had an infection in your lungs, throat, skin, or gastrointestinal or genital tract. These infections would clear up after a week and everything would work as usual.
This all changed several decades ago when there were infections appearing that would normally clear up with the standard, broad-spectrum antibiotic drugs—but they weren’t.
It seems that these drugs were developing a resistance to the older drugs, so newer ones were continually being used to compensate for the organism’s genetic adaptation. Indeed, it appears that there were many different types of bacteria that were doing the same thing with their DNA. Hence, stronger and more powerful antibiotic drugs had to be made to combat these superbugs.
What was the reason for all of this antibiotic resistance?
It seemed that these broad-spectrum antibiotics were being greatly overused in children, adults, and institutions, such as hospitals and nursing homes.
A good example in this case is the manner in which upper respiratory infections in babies and children were (and still are) managed. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these cases are caused by the viruses, not the bacteria. Antibiotic drugs do not kill viruses. It would seem that using repeated rounds of antibiotic drugs to kill viruses or fungi has also done a great deal of damage to the developing immune system in young patients.
The problem here is that when you take antibiotics needlessly, they kill the good guys too, not just pathogens. The good guys are, of course, the billions of flora that normally line your intestinal tract and help maintain a healthy, well-functioning immune system. These bacteria are essential for human life and are an integral part of digestion, vitamin metabolism, detoxification, and immune activation.
Some new research recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has helped to shed some light upon this contentious subject.
The researchers exposed groups of mice to several different types of antibiotic drugs. One group of mice developed a greater susceptibility to lung infections following the administration of the antibiotic. These mice also showed changes in the bacterial colonies in the gut, which were adversely affected.
Opportunistic infections of the upper respiratory tract and skin can frequently occur following the use of antibiotic drugs used to treat an infection.
I recommend taking a high-potency multi-probiotic formula containing at least two to three billion active bacteria if you are going to be taking any antibiotics. You will also need to stay on these probiotics for two to four weeks after you have stopped taking your medication.
Sources for Today’s Article:
“Antibiotics in early life may alter immunity long-term,” ScienceDaily web site, August 18, 2014; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140818095901.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28Latest+Science+News+–+ScienceDaily%29.
Russell, S., et al., “Perinatal antibiotic-induced shifts in gut microbiota have differential effects on inflammatory lung diseases,” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology August 18, 2014; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2014.06.027.