It seems ever since I took antibiotics I haven’t been the same. I’m sick more frequently, my digestion is messed up, and I have chronic yeast infections. Why?
Antibiotics are one of modern medicine’s life-saving miracles. However if preventive care isn’t taken, their use, and especially their abuse, can lead to chronic health problems.
Good bacteria serve us
The digestive tract contains an estimated 2–4 pounds of beneficial bacteria that are an integral part of our immune system. They resist bad bacteria, and they aid in the digestion of food, the absorption of nutrients, and the synthesis of B vitamins and vitamin K.
These beneficial bacteria coat the lining of the intestines, providing a protective barrier against toxins. They also nourish the gut lining and ensure appropriate production of immune cells, helping to maintain balance in the immune system and prevent autoimmune disease.
Antibiotics wipe out good bacteria
While antibiotics eradicate disease-causing bacteria, unfortunately they wipe out the good bacteria too. This leaves the digestive tract defenseless, and it compromises both nutrient status and immune balance.
Antibiotic use makes it easy for bad bacteria, yeast, and fungi to over multiply, wreaking havoc on digestive and immune health. The overgrowth of yeast, or Candida, is especially common. This can produce a wide range of troubling symptoms, including yeast infections, sugar cravings, skin rashes, brain fog, and more.
Overgrowth of bad bacteria produces toxins and antibiotic-resistant strains
Also, pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungi produce toxic substances that make their way into the bloodstream and the rest of the body. These toxins have been linked to allergies, and health ailments in the digestive, respiratory, immune, and nervous systems.
Research also shows that antibiotic use develops long-lasting strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Restoring beneficial bacteria vital
This explains why antibiotics can contribute to myriad health problems, even though they may have successfully treated a condition. Unnecessary antibiotic use should be avoided. If they are necessary, one should work with a practitioner to learn the best way to restore the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.
Dr. Brad Shook is a board certified chiropractic physician who writes at Dr. Shook's Blog.