Antibiotics have saved millions of lives over the years. Without them, we’d live in a world full of scarlet fever, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. They are a miracle drug that can cure an infection in days instead of weeks or months—but only when used properly.
But antibiotics have a dark side—they can be overused, leading to dangerous antibiotic resistance. In this article, we’ll talk about how they work and how they can affect your overall health.
What Are Antibiotics?
Antibiotics are a mainstay of modern medicine. They are a type of medication that treat bacterial infections. They’re used to kill or slow down the growth of bacteria in the body, which helps your body fight off the infection and get better. Antibiotics can only treat bacterial infections, not viral ones.
History Of Antibiotics
Antibiotics have been used in ancient civilizations. For thousands of years, people have been using substances derived from plants to fight infections.
In 1000 B.C., Egyptians were using honey to treat infected wounds. Moreover, in 300 B.C., when the Greek physician Hippocrates used moldy bread to treat infected wounds and sores.
The first antibiotic to be discovered was penicillin. Alexander Fleming discovered it in 1928. Penicillin was made available for public use in 1942, and it quickly became an important tool in battling infections caused by bacteria.
Antibiotic Saved Million Of Lives
Antibiotics are a pretty miraculous invention. They’re why people with bacterial meningitis can walk around and live their lives rather than dying in agony almost immediately.
Before the first antibiotic was ever created, 90% of children who contracted bacterial meningitis died. But now, we can treat the disease more effectively thanks to antibiotics.
It’s hard to imagine a world without antibiotics. In just over 100 years, they’ve drastically changed modern medicine. Moreover, they extended the average human lifespan by 23 years.
The Downside Of Antibiotics
Antibiotics are a miracle drug. But they’re not a miracle cure-all. In fact, when it comes to the misuse of antibiotics, the consequences can be serious.
Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria become immune to an antibiotic drug. When this happens, you can no longer use that drug to treat an infection because it won’t work anymore.
The bacteria will continue to multiply and cause more and more problems since the antibiotics aren’t working anymore. These bacteria are called superbugs.
In short, superbugs are bacteria that have grown resistant to antibiotics, which means they’re not affected by the drugs.
What Causes Antibiotic Resistance
Antibiotic resistance is a real problem, and it’s important to understand what causes it. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change so that a drug that is used to kill them no longer does. This can happen because of several reasons, including:
We Use Antibiotics Too Often
When you use antibiotics, they kill the bacteria in your body. This is good because it helps you recover from an infection and kills good bacteria that help keep your immune system healthy. You’re killing off both bad and good bacteria when you take an antibiotic. That’s not always a good thing!
The more you take antibiotics, the greater the chance that some bacteria will survive and grow stronger than they were before. When this happens, those bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics (superbugs). This means that even if you get another infection later on in life, your doctor might not be able to give you an effective treatment.
We Use Antibiotics Wrong
Most people don’t finish their course of antibiotics. That’s the truth. And now we have a problem: antibiotic resistance has become increasingly common.
Why? Because bacteria that survive an antibiotic treatment now become resistant. They can multiply and pass on resistant properties to other bacteria—which means you may have killed enough bacteria to feel good. But now you left some bacteria in there that are learning how to fight the next round of antibiotics.
The best way to prevent this is by following your doctor’s instructions when it comes to taking your medicine, especially if you’re taking it for a longer period of time than just one or two days.
Antibiotics and Your Gut
It’s no secret that the overuse of antibiotics has led to an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But did you know that using antibiotics can also wreak havoc on your gut?
The human body is home to trillions of bacteria—and antibiotics kill them all. In fact, that’s what makes them so effective at fighting infections! Unfortunately, the drugs wipe out both good and bad bacteria when you take an antibiotic.
Protecting it is critical. The bacteria in your gut can affect virtually every aspect of life, especially in children. If you’re a parent, you know that protecting your child’s health is an ongoing—and sometimes difficult—task. But it’s also one of the most important things you can do as a parent. And one of the most important ways to protect your child’s health is by keeping their gut healthy.
So what can you do to protect your child? Start by avoiding antibiotics. Ask your doctor if there is a safer alternative before giving your child antibiotics. And if your child does need to take these medication, make sure you finish the entire course of treatment—even if they start feeling better before all the medicine is gone.
How To Fix The Gut
As we’ve discussed, antibiotics are a big part of our lives. They’re used to treat infections and reduce the risk of disease by killing off bacteria in our bodies. But they have a downside: they can damage our gut microbiome and cause other health issues.
But don’t worry! There are things you can do to fix the gut and keep it healthy even when you need antibiotics.
Avoid Antibiotics If Possible
If you know your infection is caused by bacteria that respond to antibiotics, ask your doctor if there’s another treatment option for your condition. They may prescribe an antibiotic but also recommend probiotics or another supplement to help maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in your body.
Eat The Good Stuff
Try taking probiotics and prebiotics to help replenish the good bacteria in your body and restore balance in your digestive system. Moreover, eat a low-glycemic diet rich in whole foods while taking probiotics or prebiotics.
It may take some time before your digestive system returns to normal after taking antibiotics, so be patient as you wait for things to get back on track!
Focus On Gut Repair
Make sure you’re getting enough of the nutrients that promote healing. Glutamine is an amino acid that helps rebuild the mucosal lining of your intestines, which the antibiotic has damaged. Omega-3 fats also help repair the mucosal lining and increase intestinal blood flow. Vitamin A and zinc also support proper intestinal function.
Treat The Underlying Problem
If you feel like you’re always getting sick, maybe it’s time to consider strengthening your immune system instead of taking antibiotics. Moreover, if your immune system isn’t working properly, then it can’t fight off infections and can lead to chronic inflammation.
If you have chronic inflammation, antibiotics lower your defense system even more every time you take antibiotics. This makes you more prone to recurrent infections. It’s a vicious circle: The more often you get sick, the more likely it is that the next time will be worse than ever before.
So why not try something different? Treat the underlying cause of the inflammation and strengthen your immune system so that it won’t be such a big deal next time something goes wrong!
Antibiotics have saved many lives, and we don’t want to go back to a time without them. However, the more we take them, the worse things get. So, use antibiotics only when you need them.
When you take antibiotics, be extra careful with your gut. Repair and replenish with the right diet and probiotics to keep your gut healthy and happy.
We believe in your body’s ability to heal and thrive and want to help you get there. If you’re ready to take control of your health, contact us today!