It’s that time again. Time for another episode of everyone’s least favorite show, “Bad luck OR bad meds?”
When you’re faced with a life-or-death battle with a devastating disease, you might be tempted to blame the former. (WHY ME?!) But too often, it’s actually the latter.
Every year countless folks battle the lingering aftereffects of a medication. They’re the innocent victims of a devastating side effect that no one warned them about when they took it.
And now, new research confirms how one common class of meds MOST of us have taken before… antibiotics… could set the stage for a fight with one of today’s leading killer cancers.
We’re talking YEARS later, too. Which is why no one has made the link before now. And we all thought it was just bad luck.
The TRUE trigger for some colon cancer cases
The bacteria in your gut play a key role in your overall health in countless ways.
In fact, they’re so vital that despite decades of research, scientists are STILL uncovering more… often unexpected… ways in which they help keep us healthy every day.
But when you take an antibiotic, those friendly bacteria can get wiped out. And sometimes, they never fully recover.
As a result, the new study finds, taking antibiotics for six months could increase your odds of colon cancer by 17 percent over the next 5-10 years.
Colon cancer is one of America’s leading killer cancers. It’s responsible for some 1,000 deaths every week. So the last thing in the world we want is to do anything that could increase our risk.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the link either. Earlier this year I raised a red flag about the potential relationship between antibiotics and colon cancer.
And now, after a study of 40,000 cancer cases, scientists are saying there’s a clear connection we can no longer afford to ignore.
Reduce your risks with probiotics
Instead, take two actions that could reduce your threat and maybe even save your life.
You shouldn’t flat-out refuse to take a medication your doctor recommends, of course. But don’t be shy about having a conversation with him before you decide to fill a prescription. Especially when there is a chance it could increase your colon cancer risk.
When it’s for antibiotics, you could discover it’s a “just in case” prescription you may not even need. Unfortunately, it’s a common practice that persists to this day despite having learned about the dangers of overusing these drugs long ago.
Thoroughly discuss the pro and cons of any antibiotics he prescribes. Find out exactly why you need the drug and what it’s expected to do.
And finally, ask if he thinks a watchful waiting approach would work. This is when you agree to wait a set period before you fill the prescription to see if an infection clears up on its own.
Keep in mind, antibiotics aren’t the enemy. They’re powerful and even life-saving drugs. And sometimes, you really do need one.
In those cases, you can undo some of the damage by taking a probiotic. The supplement will help replace any good bacteria killed by the drugs to restore balance.
We can’t say for sure yet that probiotics will undo enough of the antibiotic damage to reverse your colon cancer risk. The research simply hasn’t been done yet.
But we do know probiotics can be beneficial in all sorts of other ways. That includes fighting off the short-term drug side effects such as diarrhea and secondary infection and strengthening immune function.
Plus, there are already in vitro and animal studies showing probiotics can trigger cancer cell death and inhibit tumor cell growth and metastasis. So there’s every reason to think they could help with reducing any linked colon cancer risks too. And hopefully, new research will confirm this in the coming months.
Keep in mind, in some cases, antibiotics can kill off probiotics nearly as fast as you try to replace them. So don’t stop your supplements for at least a couple of weeks after your prescription ends.
Better still, since there are all kinds of daily threats to our good gut bugs, consider making the probiotics a permanent part of your daily routine.