I saw the ugly side effects of long-term antibiotics up close when we treated Sam’s bizarre symptoms that we thought were related to Lyme disease. Our story isn’t so different from many others, of course, because antibiotics are so widely used. Lots of folks are on them, maybe even you or someone you care about.
But if that is the case I want you to know the truth about these drugs. Antibiotics can cause so much more harm than we ever thought possible.
Most folks are aware of the assault that your stomach takes from antibiotics. Cramps and diarrhea and compromised gut bugs are certainly bad news, but thankfully they’re temporary, especially when you use a probiotic. However, brand new animal research has uncovered a much more sinister potential side effect.
Research reveals a link between antibiotics and diabetes
A new study suggests these drugs may trigger type 1 diabetes, especially when toddlers take them. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a link between antibiotics and diabetes either. A 2015 study out of Denmark—published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism—revealed a link between antibiotics and type 2 diabetes in adults.
You see antibiotics wipe out probiotics, and when your microbiome is lacking friendly bacteria, the hateful ones take over. Your immune system is compromised and changes in enzyme production and gene expression occur. This is what ultimately leads to the metabolic disaster, making you way more susceptible to diabetes and all the serious complications that come with it such as heart disease, blindness, infections and amputations.
The fact is despite our growing knowledge about the dangers of overusing antibiotics they’re still being doled out way too easily. If you’re a mom or dad, you don’t need me to tell you that some doctors are quick to pull out the prescription pad to order up some antibiotics for your child with a skin rash, earache, sore throat or cough. But between you and me, the truth is they’re usually just playing a game of pin the tail on the diagnosis.
Antibiotics are useless for viral infections
Doctors often don’t know for sure if the bug your child (or you) have is a virus or bacteria. That matters because antibiotics are perfectly useless if the infection is viral. That’s why I think pediatricians and Lyme disease specialists should seriously rethink prescribing antibiotics to everyone who walks through their office door. If they do decide antibiotics are needed, they should at least consider shorter terms of usage to minimize the very real risks that come with these drugs.
I saw the over-prescribing first-hand when my kids were young, that was 20 plus years ago. Then I saw it again with Sam when he was treated for Lyme. In the United States, statistics show that approximately half of all antibiotic prescriptions written have no therapeutic basis!
But as shocking as that statistic is, I think it’s likely a gross underestimate. That’s why it’s so infuriating to learn that antibiotics could trigger a life-long metabolic disorder that requires insulin shots. Imagine a future filled with needle sticks, extreme dietary restrictions, endless doctor’s visits and a higher risk for a laundry list of other dangerous complications simply because you took an antibiotic you never needed in the first place.
Heavy usage of antibiotics may increase your risk of diabetes, allergies, asthma, colitis, Crohn’s and heart disease. There are times when an antibiotic is appropriate, but I just want you to be empowered to make an informed decision if your own physician prescribes them.
In addition to writing a syndicated column on health which reaches 20 million people each week, Suzy is the author of a number of books on natural health.
You may have seen Suzy on The Dr. OZ Show (6 different appearances), The View, The Doctors, Good Morning America Health and hundreds of morning shows. Quotes from Suzy, as well as her articles, have also appeared in major publications including Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest, OK Magazine!, First for Women, Fitness, Natural Health and Better Homes & Garden and dozens more.
Read more from Suzy at suzyCohen.com
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