Sep 20 2015

Avoid unnecessary Exposure to Broad Spectrum Antibiotics

Published by at 12:36 pm under antibacterials,Antibiotics

What are broad spectrum antibiotics?
Know the facts about antibiotics to avoid unnecessary exposure that can affect your microbiome and your immune system for years to come.

Last week we touched on broad spectrum antibiotic use in treating acne. How many of us really know what broad spectrum antibiotics are and what is their intended purpose? Forewarning is being forearmed! Ask the right questions when a doctor wants to prescribe you or your family member an antibiotic. Is it absolutely necessary?

“Broad-spectrum antibiotics are properly used in the following medical situations:

  • Empirically (i.e., based on the experience of the practitioner), prior to the formal identification of the causative bacteria, when there is a wide range of possible illnesses and a potentially serious illness would result if treatment is delayed. This occurs, for example, in meningitis, where the patient can become fatally ill within hours if broad-spectrum antibiotics are not initiated.
  • For drug resistant bacteria that do not respond to other, more narrow-spectrum antibiotics.
  • In the case of superinfections, where there are multiple types of bacteria causing illness, thus warranting either a broad-spectrum antibiotic or combination antibiotic therapy.
  • For prophylaxis after an operation, in order to prevent bacterial infections occurring…”1*The more ‘broad spectrum’ the antibiotic, the more strains of beneficial bacteria will also be killed. “…A single course of antibiotics can wipe out beneficial strains of bacteria for six months or more…”2*It is essential to understand the side effects of antibiotic use. They can change the body’s “…normal microbial content by attacking indiscriminately both the pathological and naturally occurring, beneficial or harmless bacteria found in the intestines, lungs and bladder. The destruction of the body’s normal bacterial flora provides an opportunity for drug-resistant microorganisms to grow vigorously and can lead to a secondary infection such as Clostridium difficile (also known as “C. diff”) or Candidiasis (also known as “thrush”) in females. This side-effect is more likely with the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics…”1*Medical researcher Dr. Stuart Levy from Tufts University says that these changes are “unparalleled in recorded biologic history”. How serious is this problem? “…There are new drug-resistant versions of every disease-causing bacterium. Drug-resistant tuberculosis, for example, now accounts for one in seven new cases…”2*
  • The other, wide ranging concern of broad spectrum antibiotics is that longterm use may result in the appearance of resistant strains of bacteria, which could be transferred to people with potentially serious infections, as in hospital environments. “…According to microbiologist, Professor Richard Lacey, the widespread overuse of antibiotics is the major cause of changes observed in the last decade in the balance of bacteria in the gut. Overuse of antibiotics, in particular ampicillin and tetracycline, is resulting in a generation of new strains of ‘superbugs’ – bacteria which have become resistant to the very drugs designed to destroy them…”2*
  • “When you take antibiotics, you are doing to your body what a farmer does when he sprays his fields with pesticides” says medical researcher Geoffrey Cannon, author of the book Superbug.2* 

What can you do? Take antibiotics only when your health care provider believes a bacterial infection is either 1) life threatening or, 2) could lead to a more serious illness if antibiotics are not taken. Most illnesses are not infections and don’t need, nor respond to antibiotics. Viral diseases, such as colds or flu, don’t respond to antibiotics. Many simple intestinal infections like gastroenteritis and diarrhea can actually get worse if treated with them. Antibiotics should not be used to prevent an infection, as with acne, as they weaken a the body’s immunity, leaving us open to other, worse infections.2*

The best way to ward off infection is to keep the right balance of friendly microbiota in the gut and have a strong immune system to begin with so that your body’s natural defenses can fight off any intruders. Get lots of sleep. Take your BODY BIOTICS™ BIO IDENTICAL SBO PROBIOTICS CONSORTIA™ daily Wash your hands with soap and water, while avoiding daily use of antibacterial soaps that kill all bacteria, including the friendly. And take antibiotics only after non antibiotic treatments have been ruled out When they are necessary, they can save your life, so just educate yourself and be measured in your approach.2*

Until next week, healthiest wishes!

Kelli

 

 

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