Many people never stop to consider how antibiotics affect them and take them believing that the antibiotics will only do them good and there’s no harm or risk. This “harmless” drug however has created a global concern and it’s continued use is being questioned at all levels.
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence of the harm created by antibiotics and how irresponsibly they are handed out by the medical, osteopathic, and naturopathic professions. So why do people continue to accept their use? Part of the problem lies within society itself and the culture of medicine. Medical doctors have inaccurately been viewed as the upper echelon in the health community. If they consider them to be safe enough to hand out so freely, then they must be okay, is a common sentiment. The inability of the medical profession to make accurate assessments with most patients, however, is repeatedly demonstrated by the medical profession’s failures. A common statement that you’ll hear from medical doctors is how unprepared they are by their schooling and training to handle the majority of the patients that they see. Frank Lipman, MD states, “I was shocked that my training was not very helpful for at least three quarters of them.”
It’s important to understand why most people takes antibiotics and what happens in the body as a result. When the body’s immune system is weakened by stress, chemicals, heavy metals, emotions, etc., the activity of microbes can increase and pathogenic microbes can start to flourish. The body’s immune system responds by activating some fast and some slower immune system mechanisms to help contain and eliminate not only infections, but also chemicals and heavy metals. These immune response mechanisms can create fevers, aches, chills, fatigue and other symptoms that we commonly associate with infections, colds, flues, etc. Contrary to the pharmaceutical companies attempts to educate us via commercials that these responses require drugs, they are actually signs of a healthy immune system responding appropriately. The very fact that they exist is not to alert us to run and take drugs, but to signal to us to support the body in this process to facilitate the healing response. The typical response by most people is to run to their doctors and get antibiotics (It’s important to note here that medical doctors are educated in the same way and posses very little understanding of the normal physiology of the body). When we take the antibiotics, the antibiotics suppress the immune system (remember that it’s already being suppressed) and by suppressing the immune system, they eliminate the healthy and required immune responses that create the symptoms of fevers, aches, pains, etc. With the disappearance of these symptoms, we feel as though we are healthier and the harmful infection has been eliminated. In reality, the symptoms are gone, but the antibiotics have created antibiotic-resistant strains, suppressed the immune system further, destroyed all the healthy bacteria in the body for up to 12 months or more, and have set the stage for many diseases and cancers throughout our life.
Antibiotics are associated with a very wide range of diseases and conditions, from acne and asthma to life-threatening diarrhea, colitis, and cancers. The knowledge of antibiotics causing cancers first emerged decades ago. Antibiotics destroy all of the bacteria in the body within 5 to 7 days. This reduces the capacity of the microflora to produce phytochemicals that protect against cancer. Once destroyed, it takes 9 to 12 months, or more, for the bacterial flora to regrow back. Without the normal bacteria, the body is now vulnerable for an extended period of time. Several gut pathogens can cause serious problems during a course of antibiotics. Senior author, Justin Sonnenburg, PhD, said “Antibiotics open the door for these pathogens to take hold. Some studies have thus far shown that even after 3 years, the original flora is never restored, indicating a permanent alteration of the flora, and therefore function and balance in the body. This permanent alteration can lead to lifelong changes and impairments. The FDA has stated that the fluoroquinolone antibiotics – Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox can cause severe, permanent, and disabling nerve pain throughout the body. Having talked to a few of these people myself, you have to be prepared to spend the rest of your life (if you can call it that) spending every last cent you have trying to find a way out of the hellish hole these antibiotics can leave you in. If you need more proof, have a look at the stories being shared on these two sites – FQVictims.org and Fluoroquinolone Victims Advocacy Network.
Antibiotics affect immune function and inflammation, in ways that increase cancer risk. Use of antibiotics is associated with increased risk of incident and fatal breast cancer, and colon cancers, and prostate cancer.
The FDA is warning the public that azithromycin (Zithromax or Zmax) can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart that may lead to a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm and sudden death.
“Clinical levels of antibiotics can cause oxidative stress that can lead to damage to DNA, proteins and lipids in human cells, but this effect can be alleviated by antioxidants.
Taking antibiotics renders individuals susceptible to diseases and conditions by leaving them in what is termed a germ-free state. In animal studies, “intestinal atonia frequently killed germ-free animals. Other investigations showed that germ-free animals have anatomic, physiologic, and immunologic features not shared with conventional animals. For example, in germ-free animals, the alimentary lamina propria is underdeveloped, little or no immunoglobulin is present in sera or secretions, intestinal motility is reduced, and the intestinal epithelial cell renewal rate is approximately one-half that of normal animals (4 rather than 2 days).” Put more simply, they alter the shape and growth of normal cells of the intestinal tract, reduce the presence of immune factors, and retard the cell’s ability to repair itself.
“…studies with antibiotic treated animals suggest that the flora protects individuals from pathogens. Investigators have used streptomycin to reduce the normal flora and have then infected animals with streptomycin-resistant Salmonella. Normally, about 106 organisms are needed to establish a gastrointestinal infection, but in streptomycin-treated animals whose flora is altered, fewer than 10 organisms were needed to cause infectious disease. Further studies suggested that fermentation products (acetic and butyric acids) produced by the normal flora inhibited Salmonella growth in the gastrointestinal tract. Figure 6-2 shows some of the factors that are important in the competition between the normal flora and bacterial pathogens.”
As a culture, we have come to believe that antibiotics serve a necessary and needed role. Unfortunately, that may not be the case as researchers continue to show that antibiotics are far more dangerous than previously thought.
A new study from Harvard researchers shows that antibiotics damage and alter human DNA, as well as proteins and fats in tissues. This type of effect classifies antibiotics as teratogens. “A teratogen is a drug or other substance capable of interfering with the development of an embryo fetus that may lead to birth defects or developmental malformations.”
Researchers at Duke University found that exposure to antibiotics may also increase the risk of LBW. This in turn was associated with cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
Other researchers have linked the use of antibiotics to causing cancers of the skin, prostate, and breast. Sudden death is always a risk factor with antibiotics use that most people don’t realize, and doctor’s definitely never discuss with their patients.
Antibiotic-induced DNA changes can also cause lung disease, cardiovascular death, pancreatitis, as well as many other conditions. A single dose of antibiotics can strongly alter microbial profiles and predispose humans to diseases like C. difficile with 40-50% mortality rates. Antibiotic-induced and resistant C. difficile affects approximately 3 million people yearly in the U.S. alone. What most people don’t realize in all of these cases is that alterations and damage to the DNA are involved and this damage is taking place whether or not the disease immediately manifests itself.
Antibiotics expose everyone to increased levels of infection from pathogenic organisms that are resistant to all antibiotics.
Over 50% of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary with some estimates as high as 70-90% in children. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the President’s Council on Advisors on Science and Technology in Washington, D.C. “To be frank, there’s a very poor state of practice in terms of antimicrobial prescribing,” he said. The inappropriate use of antibiotics continues to be high (22-61%) in hospitals and clinics alike.
This gross misuse of antibiotics by medical doctors can create lifelong diseases in our children – “Therapy with broad-spectrum antibiotics is frequently performed in pediatric practice and children receiving this therapy within their first year of life are particularly prone to develop allergic diseases later in life