Welcome to the age of conveyor belt medicine.
Doctor’s visits move so fast these days it can feel like you’re just flying through your appointment.
If you’re lucky, you get 15 minutes from start to finish. But some docs have their factory medicine routine so polished you slide in and out in 10 or less.
In the time it takes to do a load of laundry, they’ve seen four patients.
And how do they manage it? Unfortunately, more often than not, it’s by cutting corners.
Maybe he doesn’t bother to ask you about all your symptoms. Perhaps he doesn’t check to see what medications you’re already taking. And he almost never bothers to explain his diagnosis or talk about options.
But one of the most common time-saving techniques is to whip off a prescription for antibiotics.
Because despite being the poster child for over-prescribing, docs are STILL giving out antibiotics for every sore throat, sniffle, or bladder twinge.
And this is despite knowing how dangerous this corner-cutting practice can be.
Antibiotic overuse can have serious consequences
Drug-resistant superbugs are the direct result of this antibiotic overuse. And that can mean when you REALLY need one of these wonder drugs it will no longer work for you.
And even if you dodge the superbug bullet, taking too many antibiotics can have other significant health consequences.
We now know that we owe much of our good health to the right balance of bacteria in our gut. And continually wiping them out with unnecessary antibiotics could lead to heart issues, memory problems, and even depression.
Antibiotic overuse could raise diabetes risk 53%
But one devastating consequence of antibiotic overuse is often overlooked. And that’s how these drugs can raise your diabetes risk.
In fact, one study found that the more often you take antibiotics, the higher your risk skyrockets. And we’re not talking about popping a boatload of pills or a small risk here, either.
Researchers found a link between taking antibiotics just five times or more over 13 years and 53 percent leap in risk compared to folks who only took the drugs once or not at all.
And folks taking less weren’t spared a rise in risk either. Two to four antibiotic prescriptions over 13 years were associated with a 23 percent jump in risk.
How antibiotics could bump up diabetes risk
This wasn’t a cause and effect type of study, of course. But if the antibiotic overuse link is confirmed the reason for the jump in risk is, likely, two-fold.
First antibiotics can cause changes in your gut flora that are associated with obesity. And obesity, of course, is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
And second, the changes in your gut-bug balance can mess with how your body digests and processes food. This can include how it responds to sugar leading to insulin resistance and ultimately diabetes.
Refuse to become the next victim of conveyor belt medicine. And so no to antibiotic overuse.
Sometimes an antibiotic is the right choice. But if your prescription was merely written to save your doc a little time YOU could pay a permanent price.
If you feel rushed at your next doctor’s appointment, insist on slowing things down. And don’t just fill a prescription for an antibiotic without discussing your options first.
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