Doctors feed us antibiotics all the time to cure various illnesses and that’s what I want to talk about today in this post. I do not reject antibiotics all together but I truly believe we would all benefit from reducing our antibiotics intake. Here’s why:
Why you should be avoiding antibiotics
If your immune system is healthy, you should not have to resort to antibiotics to fight off illnesses. Antibiotics aid us in the healing process but the truth is that most of the time, they are not necessary.
Sure, you will most likely feel better if you take an antibiotic. And who wouldn’t want to get better as soon as possible, especially if you are stuck in bed with a persistent sore throat that just won’t go away? I have had my share of bad infections and I fully understand that feeling.
But when we take antibiotics, we trade in feeling better soon for feeling worse later in life. Antibiotic overuse is a real thing and has caused the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibiotics are less effective than ever but we still take them because we are often too impatient to wait for the symptoms to go away on their own, thus creating more bacteria resistant to antibiotics. It’s a vicious circle that won’t ever end. And when those antibiotics don’t work, we reach for even stronger ones, further weakening our bodies.
Antibiotics get rid of bacteria that cause the infection but they also kill good bacteria that our body needs to function. The immune system doesn’t learn how to fight off bacteria properly because the antibiotics do it instead. That makes the immune system weaker and makes us more susceptible to next infections.
Antibiotics use is also connected with various side effects, the most common of which is diarrhea. That’s because the healthy bacteria that aid digestion in the gut are terminated.
I avoid antibiotics if I can and don’t bring my child to the doctor after each milk symptom. I first try to treat the disease myself with rest and relaxation plus a dose of some tried home remedies. And the best way to avoid antibiotics all together is to take care of your overall health on the daily basis. Sleeping well and eating clean are the key to making that happen.
Why you should not be taking it too far
But I do believe that there are times when antibiotics are needed. Sometimes even if you otherwise healthy, take care of what you eat, and don’t suffer from excessive stress, an infection can cause you to simply break down.
Sometimes there factors that simply can’t be helped, no matter how you try. Environmental toxins are the first thing that comes to mind. Check here in the Skin Deep Database to see how many harmful ingredients can be found in your regular commercial dish soap. Genetical predispositions caused by family history of unhealthy dietary habits are also an often overlooked factor.
The last time I took antibiotics was around Thanksgiving last year. I had a bad sore throat that wouldn’t let go for a few days no matter what I tried. It also coincided with holiday preparations (which are always a source of immense stress for me) and another hormonal issues that I was battling at the same time.
The sore throat finally let go but turned into an ear infection several hours later. I experienced hearing loss in one ear and just when I thought I would surely get better by now, the ear infection traveled to the other ear. I was in pain, lying in bed and thinking about all the other things I should have been doing right now.
I did everything I could. I drank mullein tea, I gargled with salt water, I took extra supplements, I inhaled essential oil blends… but nothing was helping. After 6 days of feeling like I would never get better, I decided to go to the doctor’s and got a prescription for antibiotics. I do not regret that decision and I don’t think it was a wrong one. The night before I finally went to the doctor I couldn’t get any sleep because I kept crying out from the pain. Each slight movement caused my head to throb painfully. That’s how bad it was.
This one example should show you why antibiotics are not completely evil. If I had not taken them, my infection could have gotten out of control completely and turn into mastoiditis. Mastoiditis used to be the most common cause of child mortality but thanks to antibiotics, it has become almost completely avoidable. And I am grateful for the development of science that made this happen.
It’s all about the balance
As with everything else in life, it’s all about the balance. Yes, antibiotics should be avoided but you should also know when it’s the time to give in and take them.
And speaking of balance, always remember to counter the negative effects of antibiotics with probiotics. Natural probiotics, such as yogurt, fermented foods like pickles or natto, all contain plenty of probiotics – the good bacteria. I take care to include as many probiotics as I can in my daily diet to support me, my gut, and my immune system. You can also get a probiotic supplement and I highly recommend you do it whenever you need to take antibiotics.
Are you often suffering from infections that require you to take antibiotics to fight them off? If so, it’s a clear sign that your immune system could use a boost. Consider switching to a healthier diet and eating more probiotics. Read Diet Recovery and Eat For Heat to understand how your body works and what you could be doing to make it healthier. A healthy person should not require antibiotics every time they get a bacterial infection.
So to sum up, the key to leading a healthier life is using both the wisdom of traditional medicine and the wonders of modern medicine in a way that works best for us. Relying only on one of them is not going to end well in the long run. But utilizing both is what makes us stronger.