Overuse of Antibiotics is Bad for the Immune System
Antibiotic is Greek for anti, meaning against and bios meaning life.
A bacterium is a life form that is either good, living in our intestines or bad, invading our bodies and making us sick.
Antibiotics are drugs used to treat infections caused by bacteria.
Healthy immune systems destroy bad bacteria before they can wreak havoc in the body causing illness.
Our bodies attack the bacteria by sending white blood cells to the harmful bacteria leaving the good bacteria alone.
How Do Antibiotics Work
Antibiotics work by killing the bad bacteria which are living organisms that are growing and reproducing in the body to cause illness.
Antibiotics are ineffective on viruses. Viruses cause the common cold, flu, runny nose, middle ear fluid, chest colds, sore throats, and bronchitis.
What Overusing Antibiotics Can Do
If antibiotics are overused or used incorrectly there is a chance the bacteria will become resistant to antibiotics and become less effective against the bad type of bacteria that invades the immune system’s defenses.
Once the prescribed course of antibiotics have been taken and the bacteria may still exist which is a sign that the bacteria is fighting against the antibiotic. The antibiotic is no longer effective; therefore, when we go back to the doctor, we are still sick.
Sometimes we are upset when we leave without antibiotics, thinking they will help fight the bad bacteria. What the doctor knows is that the antibiotic is no longer working. The immune system starts breaking down aiding in harboring the bad bacteria.
Some doctors will still prescribe the antibiotic or try a new one. The immune system is fighting the bad bacteria, and the antibiotic is interfering with that fight. So be wary before trying to get another prescription of antibiotics. Your immune system needs time to recover so it can fight the battle for you.
Yeast Infections: An Ugly Side Effect Caused by Taking Antibiotics
Since the immune system is lowered or weakened by taking antibiotics, a fungal infection or yeast infection can occur because there has been a disruption of the normal bacterial colonization. The immune system has been suppressed, therefore, providing an environment within the body which fungi can thrive.
Yeast infections are caused by a fungus known as Candida. Sometimes when someone is in the hospital, the use of strong antibiotics or even several antibiotics fighting bacterial infections are being used, and the patient contracts a yeast infection.
One good way to fight the yeast infection is to eat yogurt. Yogurt contains probiotics the healthy or good bacteria that lives in our digestive system and helps fight a yeast infection caused by antibiotics. While taking antibiotics eat plain yogurt. Eating yogurt with sugar or flavors might cause the yeast infection to become worse.
Alternatives for Antibiotics
Inappropriate Use of Antibiotics
It is harmful to inappropriately overuse antibiotics, especially for colds and other viral illnesses. We’ve all probably gotten sick and had some unused antibiotic in the cabinet but if you are not dealing with a bacterial infection, they have no effect.
There are dangerous side effects. Inappropriate use of antibiotics, by either taking them for the wrong reason or overusing them, can cause the bacteria to resist the effects of the antibiotic treatment. This is called bacterial resistance or antibiotic resistance. Certain bacteria have become resistant to some of the most powerful antibiotics. The antibiotics not only go after the bad bacteria, but the good bacteria, too.
The scary thing is that without the good bacteria fighting in your system and the build up in your immune system against the antibiotic, there are illnesses that are more common and dangerous if not treated. For instance pneumonia, meningitis, sinus infections, skin infections, and tuberculosis are becoming harder and harder to treat with antibiotics.
The widespread resistance of antibiotics has become one of the biggest concerns of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (Source: Kids health.org)
Taking so many antibiotics lowers our immune system and destroys the good bacteria leaving us open to illness, infection, and disease. Beware of relying on antibiotics for a lengthy period of time unless under doctor's supervision.
SHolland10 is not a medical expert. The information provided is from personal experience and research. Do not ignore symptoms of illness, infection, or disease. There are many instances antibiotics are needed. Consult your physician for more information.