Antibiotics: think twice about taking them...
New Forest homeopath tells why antibiotics may not be the answer
Antibiotics save lives, no question. But if you’ve currently got the nasty cough that’s doing the rounds or your child has an ear infection, you might think twice about accepting antibiotics. Homeopath Sue Leach of Boldre Homeopathy in the New Forest gives five reasons why:
5 Reasons why we should think twice about taking antibiotics
1. Antibiotics wreck your immunity.
Every time you swallow antibiotics you kill the 3-4lb of beneficial bacteria in your gut as well as those causing your infection. This allows the ‘bad’ bacteria (most particularly pseudomonas, clostridium, klebsiella and, probably the most virulent, candida) to grow unchecked – which wrecks your immunity.
2. This effect lasts two years. A single dose of an antibiotic can eradicate the protective effect of our good flora. Take a course of antibiotics and it’s eradicated for up to two years, according to a study by the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control – leaving you open to yet more infection.
3. Which leads to…
Damage these parasitic yeasts can cause includes:
- Intestinal disorders such as IBS
- Leaky gut syndrome: the bacteria use their tendrils, or hyphae, to literally poke holes through the lining of your intestinal wall.
- Obesity: it is thought that, as these bad bacteria thrive on sugar, they can also change our appetite, encouraging us to binge on carbohydrates and gain weight.
- Allergies: according to the 2001 Allergy and Asthma Report, increased antibiotic use in childhood may be associated with increased risk of allergies.
4. Increased risk of disease.
Some believe that, once the harmful bacteria have taken over, they are contributory to many of our chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Many illnesses are resistant to antibiotics Bacteria are canny organisms: when under attack they mutate. For many years the introduction of new antibiotics outpaced this mutation process and the development of illnesses resistant to antibiotics. However, recently antibiotics have been rendered less and less effective. In the States at least two million people annually acquire serious infections with bacteria that are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics designed to treat those infections. And, it is estimated, at least 10 million people will die worldwide by 2050 from antibiotic-resistant diseases.
5. Repeated doses make things worse.
One of the top reasons children come to my practice is repeated ear infections. Sometimes children have had up to 10 rounds of antibiotics by the time they are two; yet, parents come to realise, the drugs had little benefit and in some cases made the problem worse.
This is borne out by research. In a study at the University of Utrecht, when children with chronic middle ear infections (otitis media) were given an antibiotic or placebo over seven days, there was no difference in recovery rates. And, according to research at University of Pittsburgh, giving antibiotics made it all the more likely a child would have further ear infections.
If you do have to take antibiotics…
- Take probiotics after finishing the course. This injects a healthy dose of beneficial bacteria back into the gut.
- Avoid sugar and sweet food, which feed harmful bacteria.
- After repeated antibiotics take an antifungal such as olive leaf extract, garlic or caprylic acid; go on an anti-candida diet (details on request); then take probiotics for at least three months.
- Keep your bowels moving with fibre-rich psyllium husks. This will keep your digestive tract as clear as possible until you can repopulate it with friendly bacteria.
Sue Leach MA LCPH RSHom, Boldre Homeopathic Practice, Lymington SO41 8PN.