Antibiotics- How do they affect your health?

Gout, Arthritis, Inflammation and Antibiotics


Antibiotics have played an integral role in modern medicine saving countless lives from bacterial pathogens that would have otherwise claimed them.  This holds true under terms that we remain responsible with the administration of such a powerful resource.  Unfortunately, organisms evolve and as such we have found ourselves at the mercy of antibiotic resistant microbes stemming from the misuse and overuse of Antibiotics.

Antibiotic literally means “against life.”  While its role has been critical in destroying the life of bad bacteria, antibiotics are indiscriminate when it comes to the life of the good bacteria our bodies still need to survive.  Research has shown that childhood antibiotic use can inhibit the normal growth and development of healthy gut bacteria.  Over 70% of the immune system resides in our gut and is home to the trillions of bacteria that play a crucial part of our physical and mental health.  We are now learning how the general shaping of our intestinal health early on in life can determine our future dealings with our immune systems and disease.

The sweeping manner in which antibiotics attack ALL bacteria leaves us vulnerable to conditions that stem from the depletion of vital strains of good bacteria needed to ward off disease.  Repetitive or long-term use of antibiotics, without good bacteria replacement, renders us susceptible to the chronic intestinal inflammation we now know stems from this depletion.

A study was conducted on female mice given several high-dose antibiotics during the course of their pregnancy and then administered to their babies for the first 3 weeks of their life.  Tests were conducted at 8 weeks old and of course found a significant reduction in gut bacteria by comparison to the control group who had not received any antibiotics.  The CD4 T cells were examined in both the treated and untreated to see if they could induce intestinal inflammation in other mice.  The treated group was found to induce significantly more severe and rapidly forming disease than the immune cells of the control group.  The mice treated with antibiotics also experienced an increase in stress hormones suggesting a connection between gut bacteria and the body’s response to stress.

CD4 (T-cells) are white blood cells that play a vital role in protecting our body with our natural inflammatory response.  Overactive immune response, chronic inflammatory response, can lead to the development of conditions like Gout, Crohn’s, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, and other autoimmune diseases.

Our guts require a delicate balance of bacteria.  This is necessary to treat and prevent inflammation and disease causing pathogens.  Ultimately, gut flora is altered by stress, diet, “overly clean” environments, antibiotics and more.  These conditions are not lost to intervention(s) that can shift, prevent, and even treat autoimmune conditions.  Adopting gut-healthy lifestyles through better balanced diets, stress reduction, immune and organ enhancing vitamins and supplements, taking a high quality probiotic, proper water intake and exercise can pave a new path for anyone seeking disease control and prevention.

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