The Double-Edged Sword of Antibiotics
Will You Win the 50/50 Antibiotic Lottery?
Just this morning I was talking to a friend who was vacationing down south. She mentioned how quickly a bug had gotten into her system, pushing her body temperature to 104 degrees. She went to a local medical clinic, got a round of antibiotics and 12 hours later she started to feel somewhat normal.
Even though the doctor truly didn’t know if it was viral or bacterial, she seemed to win the 50/50 lottery that it was bacterial. If it had been a viral infection the provided antibiotics would not have had an impact.
Antibiotics Solve AND Create Problems
The WHO (World Health Organization) has declared this week as World Antibiotic Awareness Week, November 13-19, 2017. The keyword is “Awareness” because even though antibiotics have been saving lives for 90 years, they have also created forms of drug-resistant bacteria that have created even more problems.
Western adults get colds 2 to 4 times a year and children 6 to 10 times. The common cold, flues and as many as 95% of noticeable sicknesses are caused by viruses. Therefore, 90% of antibiotics sold may be totally ineffective short term. Our guess is that the common cold occurrence with children in developing countries is even higher than 6 to 10. In these countries, antibiotics can be purchased for as little as $1.50 with no prescription needed from a doctor.
Bad Bacteria Versus Good Bacteria
Seventy percent of the immune system resides in the gut. The use of antibiotics not only take out the bad bacteria but also the good disease fighting allies. After the good bacteria are removed, bad strains such as Helicobacter pylori move in creating stomach ulcers. We have seen symptoms of ulcers in young adults reversed in many cases with green vegetable-derived compounds. Left untreated these conditions can last a lifetime.
Good gut bacteria help to protect the digestive tract by creating a lining. As well, it assists with the digestion of foods and promotes a variety of actions such as vitamin production and metabolic functions. Additionally, good bacteria release antibacterial substances that prevent disease.
One way of preventing bad bacteria is by crowding them out with good bacteria. This is known as competitive exclusion.
A healthy micronutrient-rich plant-based diet promotes good bacteria. Good bacteria feed on fiber which is abundant in unrefined plant food. Unfortunately, hundreds of helpful bacteria are lost with the use of antibiotics. Therefore, creating a vacuum for the bad strains to come in.
Our Time With Antibiotics is Running Out
One of the WHO slogans is “use antibiotics wisely to combat rising drug resistance”. We agree with this but also ask the question, what do you put in place of antibiotics? Thrive feels that more awareness needs to be created about restoring the damage in our gut which has been caused by the overuse of antibiotics. We need to create a strong immune system that can effectively overcome diseases. This is what our Growing Health program is all about.
The good news is that the solution to fix the overuse of antibiotic costs little to nothing. Simple, fresh, whole foods are all that is needed.
For more on this topic watch out for our new book called Super Immunity for Developing Countries coming out in 2018.
Learn more about World Antibiotic Awareness Week by clicking here.