Whether on a blog or on the evening news, you’ve probably heard about the problem with the overuse of antibiotics, not only in the United States but around the world. The problem is overuse, and the doling out of these potent medications often for things like viral infections where such medicine is not effective to begin with. Between this and the antibiotics people are exposed to through conventionally raised dairy products, many strains of bacteria are developing resistance to the drugs. This and the reasons below are good to think carefully before using this kind of medication.
Clostridium Difficile Infection
Unfortunately, one of the very common side effects of antibiotic use is an infection of the colon by toxins given off from the strain of bacteria known as clostridium difficile. These “c-diff” infections, as they are known in the medical community, cause severe diarrhea and can severely damage the intestinal tract.
The liver is the organ which has the greatest responsibility for filtering out toxins and other unwanted substances from the body and because of this, it is also the organ most likely to be harmed by certain medications like antibiotics. A new study from the medical journal Gatroenterology found that antibiotics were the worst group of medications in regards to the potential for damage to the liver.
The Cancer Link
There may also be a link between antibiotic use and certain forms of cancer. One rather disturbing study found that those who had taken 6 or more antibiotic prescription had a 1.5 times greater risk for developing certain, more unusual forms of cancer in comparison with those who had a lower antibiotic exposure.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a chronic viral illness which has been linked to antibiotic use as well. Researchers out of Belgium believe they have uncovered a link between the onset of CFS and a build-up of hydrogen sulfide in the body. This build-up can occur after antibiotic use, a salmonella infection or excessive mercury exposure.
Some researchers also believe that there might be a link between overuse of antibiotics and a weakened or damaged immune system, which ironically can lead to even more problems with bacterial and other types of infections. AIDS patients are among the highest users of antibiotics in the country.
Fungal and Bacterial Overgrowth
While antibiotics do destroy bacteria, they also trigger the release of endotoxins from the body itself which suppress the immune system. This suppression of immunity – along with the killing off of good bacteria can lead to bacterial or fungal overgrowths such as an infestation of Candida. That is why yeast infections are so common after a round of antibiotics.
Using antibiotics to fight off infection is a sort of “quick fix” that may do the job but does not allow the body to develop its own resistance. This lack of resistance development may lead to a weakened immunity that actually makes infections more of a possibility.
So consider things carefully before just taking antibiotics at the first sign of a sniffle. While these pills may fix the problem in the short run, they can also cause long-term health issues and actually make you more vulnerable to infection and disease.
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