Why Antibiotics Today Could Threaten Your Life Tomorrow

by Sarah Healthy Living, Healthy Pregnancy, Baby & ChildComments: 110

Contrary to the opinion of the conventional medical establishment, there is no free lunch when it comes to antibiotics. Doctors for the most part are still handing out prescriptions like candy to their patients despite the continuing and growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

There is now a strain of tuberculosis (TB), the scourge of the last century, that is completely resistant to all antibiotics.  Doctors have nicknamed this TB strain “TDR”  for Totally Drug Resistant.  As of January 2012, a dozen patients in India were infected with this TB superbug.

The problem with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections continues to expand with babies and children representing a large chunk of the cases.  I’ve been contacted by more than one young mother recently who was beyond desperate to resolve a MRSA infection in her child – an infection which was resisting all conventional treatments like antibiotics.

Beyond the problem of antibiotic resistance, however, are the long term effects of even a single round of antibiotics.  The expectation in the health community that you can just fix the damage with probiotics and/or fermented foods and that gut flora magically returns to normal seems to be far from accurate.

Evidence is now emerging from multiple sources that gut flora may actually be permanently altered by drugs or, at the very least, the damage persists for several years.

Gut Damage from Antibiotics Persists for Long Periods of Time

The Journal Microbiology reports that the generally acknowledged precept that use of antibiotics only causes disruption of the gut flora for a few weeks is highly flawed.

Gut flora does not quickly return to normal after a round of antibiotics.

Even a short course of antibiotics can lead to resistant bacterial populations taking up residence in the gut that persists for up to 4 years – maybe even longer.

As a result, researchers are urging prudence and restraint in the use of antibiotics in order to prevent treatment failure for patients that have resistant bacterial populations still residing in their intestines from previous courses of antibiotics.

What this means is that taking antibiotics today for an illness that is not life threatening may in fact lead to a growth of superbugs in your gut that could actually threaten your life down the road and prevent antibiotics from working for you when you desperately need it.

Could Damage to Gut Flora Be Permanant?

Dr. Martin Blaser MD of New York University’s Langone Medical Center who writes in the August 2011 edition of Nature, has this to say about damage to gut flora from antibiotics:

Early evidence from my lab and others hints that, sometimes, our friendly flora never fully recover. These long-term changes to the beneficial bacteria within people’s bodies may even increase our susceptibility to infections and disease. Overuse of antibiotics could be fueling the dramatic increase in conditions such as obesity, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies and asthma, which have more than doubled in many populations.

As evidence, Blaser goes on to say that infections with H. pylori, the bacterial cause of ulcers, has plummeted in recent years.   H. pylori, as it turns out, is very susceptible to the same broad spectrum antibiotics used to treat children’s ear infections and colds which are doled out without much thought at most pediatrician offices.

Shockingly, the majority of children routinely receive up to 20 courses of antibiotics before the age of 18.   In addition, between one third and one half of pregnant women receive antibiotics during pregnancy.  The high C-section rate is also a contributing factor as surgical birth negatively affects the composition of gut flora in children as they completely miss out on exposure to Mom’s friendly bacteria as they travel through the birth canal.

This is a lot of antibiotic exposure for our younger generations and the implications for those children who don’t acquire H. pylori due to excessive antibiotics appear to be dramatic with a higher risk for both allergies and asthma.

Blaser’s research group has also observed that lack of H. pylori in the human body affects the production of ghrelin and leptin, 2 hormones that play a factor in weight gain.

Preservation of the MicroBiome

The composition of a person’s microbiome, not only in the gut but also on the skin and everywhere in the body, has huge implications to long term health.    Altering this balance with antibiotics not only negatively affects the variety of bacterial species present but also promotes the retention of resistant bacteria in the gut for up to 4 years and perhaps far longer.

Preservation of your personal microbiome is critical and affects not only your health but the health of your children as parents bequeath their microbiome to their offspring.

Blaser observes that:

“Each generation … could be beginning life with a smaller endowment of ancient microbes than the last.”

If Dr. Blaser and the other researchers are correct, it seems that people need to guard their microbiome from the assault of antibiotics in the same manner that they protect their home and possessions with locks on the doors.

Bottom line?

If your illness is not life threatening, skip the antibiotics even for something like strep which even WebMD admits will almost always resolve without drugs or complications.  The risk to your future health is just too great otherwise.

 

Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist.com

Sources:  Long-Term Impacts of Antibiotic Exposure on the Human Intestinal Microbiota, Microbiology, November 2010

Short-term antibiotic treatment has differing long-term impacts on the human throat and gut microbiomePLoS One. March 2010

Antibiotic Overuse: Stop the Killing of Beneficial BacteriaNature, August 2011

Are Antibiotics Always Necessary for Strep Throat?

How to Repair Your Gut After Antibiotics

The 11 Best Natural Antibiotics and How to Use Them

How to Kick Strep Throat Faster and Better Without Antibiotics

Picture Credit

Comments (110)

  • Yessi

    I’m a big advocate of holistic health – and avoiding antibiotics at whatever cost. 6 years ago a month of clindamycin damaged my gut and I believe I am still dealing with the ramifications. Needless to say, I have avoided antibiotics like the plague (which I’ve actually contracted from a beaver before – no joke!).

    That is, until yesterday. After 9 days of treating strep throat naturally, with a conjunction of GFSE, cat’s claw, artemisinin, cloves, black walnut, crytpoleptis, probiotics, broths, whole foods, rest, and so on, I developed Scarlet Fever. I had a rash, golf-ball sized glands, and I was in pain and exhausted to the point where I went to the hospital. Trust me, I have been through a lot with Lyme disease, and I have avoided the hospital many a time when others probably would have gone. I also treated Lyme with natural anti-microbials and immune and metabolic boosting practices. I’m proud of it, too. I am still hestitant to advocate long-term antibiotic use for even the worst of cases, however I believe antibiotics can be the lesser of two evils SOMETIMES; the two evils being immune and gut damage VS death. Hate to say it but I feel so much better right now. I know that getting better is not as simple as finishing my course of antibiotics. I have weeks, maybe months (we’ll see) of gut repair, avoiding infections and probably probiotics. I didn’t ever want to deal with this again, but I am here, and I know the drill.

    November 10th, 2015 1:13 pm Reply
  • Amanda

    When my youngest son was born he had a temp of 102 degrees which went away quickly after delivery and never came back. Thankfully, we had written in our birthing plan that our son would not be given any injections, medication of any sort, or have any medical procedure performed on him without our consent. Because the pediatrician was VERY persistent (to the point of being ugly about it) on giving him antibiotics BEFORE they had tested him for the cause. When we refused repeatedly, they became very angry and acted like we were horrible parents. Of course his tests turned out fine and he is doing wonderful, no problems whatsoever. All this to say, not only are antibiotics dangerous, but doctors go WAY overboard with them. And ,sadly, the medical community at large refuses to even explore natural treatments.

    April 27th, 2014 6:27 pm Reply
  • Kim Fickes

    My 10 year old is having oral surgery on Friday and they want to put her on antibiotics as a preventive measure against infection after the surgery. I do not want to comply. Would you agree with me on this that it is unnecessary? Anything you would recommend her take to serve as a natural replacement? Garlic? She is taking fermented cod liver oil.

    Thanks.

    March 25th, 2013 12:17 am Reply
  • Heather Lee

    Great info, but yes, definitely discouraging. I have had to give my daughter antibiotics 3 times in her life (she’s 9 now), and hate to think I have damaged her forever. I am a very “crunchy” mama, but these times were when infection was out of control and none of my natural methods had worked.

    So, I’m wondering – what now? A very useful adjunct to this article would be something that gives a little hope as well – like lots of suggestions for returning the body and flora to balance, as much as possible. List of ideas? Or links to other articles on that topic? Thanks!

    January 14th, 2013 3:05 pm Reply
  • Deborah

    I was always told to eat yogurt while taking antibiotics. The probiotics in the yogurt are supposed to restore the “Good bacteria” while the bad & good are being destroyed by the antibiotics. How do you feel about this suggestion?

    January 11th, 2013 6:58 pm Reply
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  • Erin

    I’m new to this entire thought process, so,please be nice :)
    My 8 year old son has been on many rounds of antibiotics in his lifetime due to sinus infections and bronchitis. He has a twin sister who has probably had antibiotics twice ever. They are raised the same way, so it’s always just been “the way he is”. He has asthma and many allergies.
    Several times in his life he has had problems with his bowel movements. But usually a course of Miralax gets things moving. This time, however, nothing is helping, everything is just causing miserable stomach cramps. His large intestine in completely full of feces and hasn’t changed in two months. His pediatrician has referred us to a gastroenterologist. It was not until I ran across this article that I realized its probably his lifetime of antibiotics causing the problem.

    If you have any suggestions for help, I would appreciate them greatly. He’s miserable and I don’t know how to help.

    Thanks

    January 9th, 2013 9:30 am Reply
    • Judith

      Erin, I’m so sorry you and your son are dealing with this problem. Have you tried enemas? They would only be a short-term solution. You don’t want to become dependent on them, but they can usually help relieve constipation, in my experience. If your doctor did not suggest them and instruct you how to do enemas at home, I would think that was a huge oversight. After getting relief with enemas, I would then work on his diet. That might mean delving into information on the GAPS diet, which is designed to heal the gut and eliminate the results of leaky gut, which can include allergies and many other health issues. The GAPS diet can be restrictive at first, but you gradually add back many foods. And it includes probiotics to re-establish the friendly flora.

      I’d make sure he drinks ample water, too.

      In any case, that is what I’d do. Since he is in such discomfort, you might need advice or help at first from a health professional if you decide to try enemas.

      January 9th, 2013 7:45 pm Reply
    • Beth

      Erin, if I were you I would make sure he has an enema or colonic irrigation soon to address the immediate problem. You could find a natural health practitioner to do this. Then work to heal his gut dysbiosis that has resulted from multiple rounds of antibiotics. There is another thing that may sound off-putting but is being embraced and heralded by many as a wonder treatment and that is fecal transplants (usually from a healthy family member) to repopulate the intestinal tract.

      January 9th, 2013 9:44 pm Reply
    • Erin

      Thank you for your responses so much. Did more reading on this site. I’m taking him to a chiropractor tomorrow to see if he can get some relief. We’ve never been, but it can’t hurt to try. I will inquire about the enema or irrigation too. I’m reading up on the good bacteria, etc, to try and figure out where to start. Again, thanks for your responses!

      January 9th, 2013 11:58 pm Reply
      • Judith

        Erin, here is one of many articles about antibiotics, gut flora and the GAPS diet from Dr. Mercola:

        January 10th, 2013 9:11 am Reply
        • Erin

          Judith,
          Thank you…the link is not here. Could you try again?
          Thanks :)

          January 15th, 2013 12:05 am Reply
          • Judith

            I thought I included the link. Trying again!

            articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/01/10/antibiotic-dangers.aspx

            January 16th, 2013 12:54 am
  • Charles E. Abrahamsen, MD

    Sarah, I have been reading your emails and watching your wonderful videos for years. I am not a fan of WebMD or antibiotics, but in my usual “check the primary source” i followed your link to WebMD after reading your “Even WebMD states that antibiotics aren’t really needed for strep after all.” You quoted WebMD as saying “Strep throat will go away in 3 to 7 days with or without treatment. Doctors usually treat strep throat with antibiotics even though they may not make you well faster.” The link you gave (“Source: WebMD”) is http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/tc/strep-throat-topic-overview. Sarah, I couldn’t find that language in my search of the WebMD webpages on strep throat. Can you answer with a link to the webpage from which you took the quote?

    January 6th, 2013 8:59 am Reply
  • Toni O’Neal

    I am a registered nurse and have been told that untreated strep throat can lead to heart damage
    . I have a degenerative Mitral Valve and have had to have heart surgery and many other procedures since I was 42 years old. I believe that my heart problem stemmed from what probably was strep as a child. It was diagnosed as the “red measles” at the time. Therefore, I would be concerned about not treating strep. What are you thoughts on this?

    January 5th, 2013 8:07 pm Reply
  • Carrie

    I am going to start the Body Ecology Diet this week. I am 31 and have been on more than one course of antibiotics in my life and have definitely had digestive issues with them. I think there is always hope even for someone with severe digestive issues or even if they’ve been on antibiotics for years. It just takes work unfortunately.

    January 5th, 2013 7:03 pm Reply
  • Paula

    Excellent article! I am going to share with my clients. Despite my advice some of them still take the poison when they have the sniffles not realizing the long term damage they are doing. And some of them even give these to their poor children! Alas, those are usually the same ones that are feeding them bagels and donuts for breakfast.

    January 5th, 2013 2:18 pm Reply
  • Laura Adams

    So what about the babies who do come in via cesarean and Mother was given antibiotics? Is there hope in the slightest if followed by a life time commitment of fermented foods and traditional cooking? My son was born via cesarean 8 months ago and since we have been working on re-balancing our bodies. I hate to live in fear that we are forever doomed…

    January 5th, 2013 2:00 pm Reply
    • Shani

      Keep doing what you are doing. With your diligence over the course of years you both will begin to reestablish NEW good flora. It won’t be identical to those you lost but you can’t cry over spilt milk. The new microbles will be a base to pass on to the next generation. Gotta start somewhere.

      January 5th, 2013 6:43 pm Reply
  • bekah

    I would love to know your thoughts on this regimen for boils. My daughter’s kindergarten class had an outbreak of boils, likely spread in the class bathroom. Our whole family, in turn, got boils as well. Ou pediatrician did not want to give antibiotics (like the other kids were getting) since they rarely cross into a boil. His recommendations were to: add 1/4 cup of bleach to a bath (pool level of chlorine) and soak for 15 mins twice a week, use antibacterial in the shower instead of soap, bleach all washcloths and underwear, and not to reuse towels. He said MRSA doesn’t respond to bleach, so this would be much better than lancing the boils to test them. Ours cleared up faster than those on antibiotics. My OB/GYN winced at the bleach, but most aren’t fond of pool-levels of chlorine anyway.

    January 5th, 2013 1:17 pm Reply
  • Jessica

    Sarah – I thought H. Pylori was an unfavorable bacteria to have in the gut. As I read your post, it’s the first time I’ve read the opposite. Where can I get more information about H Pylori being favorable?

    January 5th, 2013 1:08 pm Reply
  • Saffron

    Also should one invest in probiotics or enzymes?

    January 5th, 2013 12:26 pm Reply
  • Rachel

    I have used Garlic oil many times along with homeopathic remedies for ear infections in my kids. I have 4 kids, my youngest two (because of what I learned since they were born) have never had antibiotics!! My older two boys have each only been on meds 2 times each and they are 7 and 9. I now know that they didn’t really need it, but nothing I can do about that now. I was on antibiotics several times a year as a child and my parents fed us crap food. It sucks, but you can’t control that. I just hope that someday my kids appreciate how they were brought up, foodwise and medicine wise and keep it going for themselves and their own families :)

    January 5th, 2013 12:25 pm Reply
  • Saffron

    How does one heal and repopulate the gut?

    January 5th, 2013 12:14 pm Reply
  • B

    I wish that I didn’t have to take antibiotics. However I was born with cystic fibrosis. I’ve taken an oral antibiotic every day for most of my life. When I’m sick I get massive doses of 3 different IV antibiotics. I would love it if I didn’t need them, but unfortunately I do.

    January 5th, 2013 11:20 am Reply
  • Kristin Cusamano via Facebook

    ACV is always on my list when we get sick and oregano oil, black cumin seeds, extra vit d, coconut oil.
    For ear infection or cold 1 drop of peroxide in each ear. While lying on your side let it sit in each ear for about 5 mins then drain. It will reduce the duration of the illness

    January 5th, 2013 8:54 am Reply
  • shannon

    After reading the other comments, I realize I have more to say. I am 67 years old, but when I was a 24 year old young mother of three and they were having ear infections again and again…a friend suggested I see her pediatrician, a DO MD. Dr Viola Frymann changed our life, our diet and our health. My children did not have another cause for antibiotics while they were growing up because I changed the kinds of foods I bought and fed them. As they grew up and went out into the world, they started eating what everybody else was eating. They started to get colds and flu but their health has been very good and strong all their lives. I believe due to having such a good start with their diet.

    January 5th, 2013 8:37 am Reply
  • shannon

    Thank you for getting me on the right road to health…. You work here is greatly appreciated.

    January 5th, 2013 8:30 am Reply
  • Sasha

    First i must say that i am a HUGE fan of your blog and ideas … and i thank you for such amazing work … but i must confess: the more i read your blog (i kind of read most of it already) the more i feel doomed and that made me really depressed … i cannot eat entirely like you and the WPF suggest because where i live there is no access to most of the things you suggest … i took so much antibiotics during my lifetime and i messed up really good and now i hear that there is no way out … i spend a fortune buying the supplements and getting them delivered to my country … and i became obsessed with fermented food and everything good i can get my hands on … but no matter how hard i try i always get the message loud and clear from your blog (and many others who are similar) that i am doomed and it’s not going to work … i just wanted to let you know how desperate this almost dogmatic view to nutrition might seem to people … sorry if i was too harsh

    January 5th, 2013 2:56 am Reply
    • Susan

      Sasha- For 9 years, I wrote a column for my local paper. It was to be about events in the community or light-hearted issues of general interest. But some weeks, coming up with material to write about was difficult. Either things were too quiet in town, or I simply felt like I had nothing to say in particular that week. I was always thankful in those times for a piece of news that i could spin and turn into a column. If I didn’t write a column, then I didn’t get paid.

      Why am I telling you all this? Because perhaps when a blog post is expected as often as Sarah’s come out, it becomes difficult to find something that will appeal to everyone, but it still has to be written, so she simply goes with it. I can’t speak for Sarah, but it seems like running a blog would be a horrendous task; not only to continue to come up with interesting topics, but to research them, fact check them, etc. Sometimes the info she shares is going to be a downer, but the bottom line is that, it is informative.

      But overall I get the jist of what you are saying. When you follow all these blogs the overall message can get heavy on some days. Don’t eat this, avoid that, make sure you eat more of that! UGH! Its maddening. I was getting to the point where it was overwhelming me too! So now, on many days, I scan the info and put it on the back burner. If I ever need it, I’ll Google it and then do further research from the bloggers I respect. You aren’t the only person I’ve seen express this message. It seems like many people are feeling overwhelmed by all the messages of doom and gloom on many of the sites I frequent. Its stressful and exhausting! So, I just decided to say “F it” and eat well, sleep well, laugh hard and play daily, and let the rest worry about itself!

      January 5th, 2013 3:21 pm Reply
      • Magda

        I agree with Susan. Ultimately you have to find what works for you. I have just about done it all – and I’m only 36!! I did a traditional type diet back in Europe, then went the lowfat route. Then went back to somewhat traditional diet, then WAPF, then gluten free, then GAPS and now… well, it’s a GAPS style, somewhat traditional whole foods is the best I can describe!! I do the best I can. Like you, because of my situation I can only get some things in the ‘best’ category: grassfed local beef, organic produce, etc. but not others (pastured eggs here are not that great). My bottom line is this: you can only do the best with what you have right now. GAPS has taught me that miracles are possible, even with substandard food (not local, grassfed, organic, etc.). So keep on plugging!! Do the best you can, take small steps in the right direction, etc.
        The quote above only that the evidence ‘hints’ that flora may not recover. Who’s to know for sure??? This may mean that some people may simply have to eat more fermented food for longer, take a stronger probiotic, etc. but they may heal. So what if we’re only 95% or 90%? Who’s to say??
        P.S. Stress will do you no good – and will only harm you in the long run.

        January 5th, 2013 9:13 pm Reply
        • watchmom3

          Yes, I agree not to get too crazy about every new thing that you learn; I also have to say that I am working my way through the Weston Price book and unless I misread, it seems that once some of these folks that he studied went off and then back on their native eating, their health problems began to relent. The human body is an amazing thing and has “talents” that we just don’t fully understand. So, trust that when you are doing the best you can, learning more all the time and praying for God to direct you, it will work out. God bless all those who are searching for TRUTH.

          January 7th, 2013 10:14 am Reply
  • Jay

    Sadly, after doing tons of reading, I gave up and began to give antibiotics to my 2 and half year old for a uti, (proteus penneri). I read that D-Mannose was ineffective against this bacteria, and that she risked liver damage. Does anybody know of any alternative treatment? Either way, I think that I will have to complete this treatment anyway. It has been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made since becoming a parent. Sarah, do you have any advice for me? I feel defeated. I am giving her Culturelle in between the two daily doses of Septra. I really, really did not wanted to give it to her and always allowed her to heal everything naturally in the past, but this time I got really scared.

    January 5th, 2013 2:54 am Reply
    • Luci

      This is info on the homeopath we use. She is truly amazing. I met her during her visit to our island, but she consults most of her clients long-distance. She has been successful in treating all manner of illness and you can just check in with her whether she could help with your problem as well. She sure helped us with ours! Best wishes!

      Phyllis Georgic, Pennsylvania Homeopath,
      One of the nation’s best classical homeopath’s, Phyllis Georgic, She works with Amish communities in Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio, and has literally reversed major illnesses for children and adults treating everything from measles, to cancer, to the common cold. She also treats people with their constitutional homeopathic remedy, and works long-term with her patients.

      Call her at:412-708-2167 or 412.445.0970 or 724.887.4001
      Or e-mail at: georgic@salsgiver.com
      She is also available for acute consultations which will assess a situation like a broken bone, sprain, common cold, etc., rashes, etc.
      Testimonials:

      “She cured my husband of an anaphylactic reaction he had been having for a week. The emergency room doctors had him on Prednisone, Benadryl, with no symptom relief. He was in extreme pain and had a rash all over his entire body. His asthma was flaring up. Within an hour of taking the remedy, he had significant symptom relief. Within 24 hours, he was back to normal and off of all the medication. 3 days later all of the hives were gone.

      “During my first pregnancy, I was sick for 9 months. During my second pregnancy, in the fourth month I was referred to Phyllis. I went from throwing up 3-5 times a day, extreme exhaustion, constant nausea, and within one day, of taking the remedy prescribed, I went to throwing up once a day and within 5 days, I was cured and had a beautiful pregnancy and beautiful healthy baby. When Phyllis first began treating me for the insistent vomiting, I was so malnutritioned from not being able to keep food down, I woke up with an ear infection, pink eye, and a sore throat. She was able to provide me a remedy that cured my ailments without antibiotics.”

      “I call Phyllis regularly to treat my family for common colds — sore throats, flu, etc.. Upon telling her our symptoms, she’ll prescribe a remedy, and usually within 24 hours, we are completely better. She is so quick and experienced that she knows which remedy to prescribe within minutes.”

      “My son got whooping cough a few years ago when it was prevalent on Kauai. With the right remedy, he was over it within three weeks, while many other children were sick for up to 90 days.

      January 5th, 2013 5:03 pm Reply
  • Blanca Villanueva Perez via Facebook

    I’ve used pure oregano oil for earache and infection. Cleared the problem.

    January 4th, 2013 10:53 pm Reply
  • Rita Janzen Talbot via Facebook

    @ Margaret. Would tea tree oil have worked on an ear infection? I shop with melaleuca, so ofCourse I have some on hand, just never heard this before. I reluctantly took my daughter to the dr for amoxicillin last week. I didn’t know what else I could do for her.

    January 4th, 2013 8:34 pm Reply
    • Luci

      Friends also used garlic oil on a bad ear infection their toddler had, very successfully. Knock on wood, we haven’t had any at our house.

      January 5th, 2013 4:42 pm Reply
  • Amber Shore

    I can’t remember the link at the moment, but I heard recently that a doctor cured a disease that had to do with bad bacteria overgrowth using a “fecal transplant.” Not an entirely pleasant idea, but it has the potential to quickly replenish gut bacteria to healthy levels.

    January 4th, 2013 8:00 pm Reply
    • Mona

      Hi, Amber. I’m pretty sure you’re talking about curing an infection with Clostridium difficile (C. diff, for short) with a fecal transplant. C. diff can be caused by a number of things that disrupt gut flora, including antibiotic use. It is notoriously difficult to treat and sometimes it recurs despite persistent treatment. Fecal transplant can be used in some of these cases.

      January 4th, 2013 8:56 pm Reply
  • Leanne

    Hi Sarah,
    I’ve been wondering for quite some time now… what are your thoughts on rice cakes? I’ve can’t make up my mind whether to put them in the same category as popcorn or processed cereal… Do you think they’re suitable for a healthy diet?
    Love, Leanne — a fellow foodie & certified nutritionist with a huge passion for “alternative health” :-)

    January 4th, 2013 7:54 pm Reply
  • Colleen

    The website is for WHO facts on TB. Being in the health field, this is something I am concerned about. Over prescription of antibiotics is common, mostly because people are uninformed and think it will help viral infections, asking for it. Physicians can fell pressured to prescribe it not wanting to lose patients, or just by incompetence. I have seen some Drs starting to prescribe probiotics when patients are on them, which I think is a good step toward greater awareness of the problem. As for TB, many cases or drug resistance are because of noncompliance due to poverty or lack of quality medication. The course of treatment is 6 months, and some people just stop taking them. That only wounds the bacteria, and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger goes for bacteria as well. Thanks for educating people in the judicious use of antibiotics.

    January 4th, 2013 6:56 pm Reply
  • Linda

    Are you willing to say what brand you are using?

    January 4th, 2013 6:51 pm Reply
  • Carrie Nordin via Facebook

    my 7.5 yr old son sounds like he has just developed bronchitis. i was going to take him to the doc today but i know that he will come out with a scrip for antibiotics. what are my alternatives????

    January 4th, 2013 6:31 pm Reply
  • Megan

    This reaffirms my choice to not use antibiotics just recently to treat a skin infection in my daughter. It felt like a bit of an experiment, and I did not know how serious the infection could be, so I was ready to pick up the Rx if needed. However, we successfully navigated it by removing grains, sugar, and dairy from her diet for almost a week, used colloidal silver, oil of oregano, and liquid garlic. She broke her own fever and the infection visibly appeared better within a day, improving each day thereafter.

    January 4th, 2013 6:03 pm Reply
  • kylee

    I am wanting to start using alternative medicene but am not sure where to start. When i take my little one and she has an ear infection or a uti caused by her kidney reflux the doctor always gives her meds. She is only 7 months old and has taken three different antibiotics. How do i find out what to give her to prevent and also to treat. Please help.

    January 4th, 2013 5:32 pm Reply
  • Tabatha Lesmeister via Facebook

    Miranda, I have often wondered the same thing about my daughter, bc I took 2 rounds of antibiotics during her first two months, oh how I regret it! I was in a new-mom haze. She has struggled with several allergies and eczema to this day (she’s 14 mos) and I often wonder if I caused or contributed with those antibiotics I took.

    January 4th, 2013 4:57 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    Reading this article and people getting lax about taking their FCLO…I am going to go take mine because I too have been lax!

    January 4th, 2013 4:28 pm Reply
  • Kelli

    Perhaps the medical establishment will actually start paying attention to alternative antibiotics now.

    January 4th, 2013 4:00 pm Reply
  • Miranda G. Kissling via Facebook

    my son was on antibiotics for almost the first month of his life. now he suffers from allergic eczema now and then and i am certain that it is related :/

    January 4th, 2013 3:16 pm Reply
  • Jojo DVega via Facebook

    Use iodise salt to treat infected sore throat. Around 3 pinched of fine salt will do the job.

    January 4th, 2013 3:05 pm Reply
  • Tara Horvath via Facebook

    Sadly, gut damage from abx can last forever, not just “a long time.”

    January 4th, 2013 2:22 pm Reply
  • Cyndi Martinek Phillips via Facebook

    Colloidal silver goes way past what antibiotics do because it works on bacterial and viral infections plus yeast and it’s cheap to make at home.

    January 4th, 2013 2:19 pm Reply
  • Juliana Sutton via Facebook

    Sheena Davies there are several natural, effective remedies for mastitis; Blue Violet Leaf tea, citrus essential oils, and an awesome herbal combo called Happy Ducts by WishGarden herbs. Also, repeated mastitis infections can result from a lack of silica (a mineral) in the diet. For more info you are welcome to contact me via fb or the store I manage ~ Indigo Forest (734) 994~8010 ~ we are a holistic family store located in Ann Arbor, MI.

    January 4th, 2013 2:01 pm Reply
    • Lyne Drouin

      Juliana, I am interested in your methods of holistic treatment for bronchitis.

      January 4th, 2013 3:59 pm Reply
  • Corey N Mindy Bauder via Facebook

    Colloidal Silver is one of the strongest antibiotics in nature. I’ve used it to treat infected wisdom teeth prior to teeth removal, sinus infections, pink eye, etc. Great stuff and it will not damage your healthy gut flora!

    January 4th, 2013 1:58 pm Reply
  • Chris Bramich via Facebook

    Ginger, thanks…been taking good probiotics for years; avoided sugars, seen great nutritionists and alternative docs. Candida is just overly persistent and especially reactive to fermented foods…likely started after a double round of Cipro and Bactrim 5 years ago.

    January 4th, 2013 1:44 pm Reply
  • Sarah Couture Pope via Facebook

    Rebecca Vander Weit Campbell on my Resources page are several companies that sell it … you can compare prices but they are all good in my experience. http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/resources/#supplements

    January 4th, 2013 1:11 pm Reply
  • Brittnee Turner Horting via Facebook

    Sheena…there are a couple essential oils that would help you! Eucalyptus is really good for pain as well as killing infections. Lavender also works well for pain.

    January 4th, 2013 1:09 pm Reply
  • Rebecca Vander Weit Campbell via Facebook

    Where would you all suggest I purchase fermented cod liver oil? Any online resources?

    January 4th, 2013 1:08 pm Reply
    • Erin

      Green Pastures is company in America that makes fclo. There website it greenpastures.org. There are other sites who carry some of their products, but, of course, are not as comprehensive.

      January 4th, 2013 5:10 pm Reply
  • Pavil, the Uber Noob

    Is there a way to get an assay of one’s gut micro biome?

    Ciao, Pavil

    January 4th, 2013 1:04 pm Reply
    • Lana

      Yes, through Metametrix you can get a GI Function Profile. Find a doc at their website (metametrix.com) and then shop for one who will order the test and allow you to pay the lab up front. That way it’s as cheap as it gets.

      January 5th, 2013 2:05 pm Reply
  • Morgaine Donohue via Facebook

    Speaking of, Im on a round of augmentin right now. I noticed a rash last night on the sides of my face, around my ears, and as of today its spread to my temples. Is that normal?

    January 4th, 2013 1:03 pm Reply
    • Charlene

      Be careful. That sounds like hives – maybe an allergy to the med. Please ask your doctor about this. Could be dangerous.

      January 5th, 2013 1:02 pm Reply
    • Jennifer

      Could be german measles too . . . but if you’re taking meds probably that

      January 6th, 2013 12:25 pm Reply
  • Ginger Jilek via Facebook

    Chris- if you can’t tolerated fermented food or cod liver oil, I would suggest a lot of wild caught fish, flax seeds, chia seeds(all for your Omega 3) organic free-range eggs (for your vit A and D), and probiotics until your candida can get under control. Avoid all sugars!

    January 4th, 2013 1:02 pm Reply
  • Chris Bramich via Facebook

    What if your body doesn’t tolerate Cod liver oil or fermented foods well? I think I’m still battling a stubborn candida problem and CLO and fermented foods both give me GI issues.

    January 4th, 2013 12:57 pm Reply
    • Judith

      I’d add liver to the suggested foods, for vitamins A and D, plus many other nutrients.

      January 5th, 2013 6:39 pm Reply
  • Lindsey Miller via Facebook

    Sheena raw coconut oil kills yeast and fungus.

    January 4th, 2013 12:52 pm Reply
  • Angie Carswell via Facebook

    Sheena, I dealt with Chronic mastitis too. More than likely it is a yeast problem triggering the mastitis. Major doses of live probiotics and a diet that starves the yeast will benefit you and your nursling.

    January 4th, 2013 12:50 pm Reply
  • Michelle Hernandez via Facebook

    so what are some other ways besides antibiotics? i am very new to this.

    January 4th, 2013 12:49 pm Reply
  • Lindsey Miller via Facebook

    Efje use h2o2 dilute to three percent and gargle it will pull the infection out! It does work I have tried it and I didn’t need a dentist!! Although if I didn’t do that it would have been a filling..
    Order it from amazon Bobbys brand I use costs ten quid and you can use it for so much!

    January 4th, 2013 12:47 pm Reply
  • Sarah Couture Pope via Facebook

    Amanda Ruth That’s a great way to say it .. using antibiotics mindfully. Doctors and patients alike just knee jerk and go to the meds without considering the ramifications down the road. Nothing wrong with antibiotics .. they are truly a wonder class of drugs but we need to not get complacent and use them without vigilance and prudence.

    January 4th, 2013 12:44 pm Reply
  • Tonya Jones via Facebook

    Efje read the book Cure Tooth Decay. I recently had an abscess on a tooth that had a crown (very painful) they recommended that I have the tooth removed. Instead I cut out refined sugars/grains, took probiotics and cod liver oil and it healed :)

    January 4th, 2013 12:39 pm Reply
  • Amanda Ruth via Facebook

    god forebid if you post information on using antibiotics mindfully – you might be labeled as ANTI-antibiotics ugh. This seen in my other areas..delay/select vacines?=ANTIvaccine…breastfeed?=ANTIformula…use natural remedies?=ANTImedicine….this post talks more about this…http://blindedbythelightt.blogspot.com/2013/01/anti-vaccine-vs-pro-vaccine.html

    January 4th, 2013 12:37 pm Reply
  • Sheena Davies via Facebook

    I have problems with chronic mastitis that doesn’t clear up without abx :( I hate hearing things like this and I don’t know what I can do differently. Weaning is not an option

    January 4th, 2013 12:32 pm Reply
    • Annie

      I got mastitis so bad that my chest was so full of infection my chest popped out the side, it was bigger than a quarter. I healed it with taking 1000 grams of vitamin c every hour for a couple of days. I did slippery elm packs three times a day, oils that you would think would be good for the infection, and soaking in the tub three times a day in Epsom salt, right after the slippery elm pack. I also ate more fruits and vegetables, and I think I did a apple cider vinegar pack too… It was a lot of work, but payed off.. Oh And lots and lots off rest!!!!

      January 4th, 2013 9:35 pm Reply
      • Luci

        When I had mastitis first time, I called the on-call physician at our local hospital and he diagnosed it OVER THE PHONE and prescribed antibiotics. I asked at least 3 times whether he wanted to examine me to make sure that was what it was, answer: no. I felt worse than before I called as I was desparate not to use antibiotics. It occurred to me to call a natural health clinic. It was Sat and a doc (naturopath) was in and said he’d need to see me to confirm I had mastitis and made time to do so as I felt that bad. He spend over half an hour wih me (way longer than ny doctor I’d ever been to before) evaluating me. He prescribed a homeopathic remedy specific to my constitution. I did the warm castor oil compress he also recommended and took my homeopathic remedy and slept. Within two hours the mastitis was gone! No antibiotics necessary. I used it again when I started to get mastitis at a much later date and it worked instantly. Now I use homeopathy for everything (has to be prescribed for you specifically) by a trained homeopath, as it is NOT a one-size-fits-all formula like regular drugs. I cannot recommend it enough. It has always worked on my daughter with colds etc. as well :D.

        January 5th, 2013 4:33 pm Reply
        • Susan

          I seem to get mastitis a few times with every child… I have four now. The first time I took antibiotics and was told to wean my 18 month old. It was absolute torture. I have since learned to recognize when mastitis might be coming on, and use alternative methods. First, I just nurse through the pain. The mastitis is not as bad if the breast is empty. Next, I use warm compresses. I favor a strong solution of chamomile tea. Chamomile is naturally antibacterial. I soak the cloth in the hot tea, and then hold it to the breast until it starts to cool off. I repeat this several times. If I don’t catch the mastitis early, sometime I will have to use oil of oregano internally to fight off the infection, along with the warm compresses.

          January 5th, 2013 7:38 pm Reply
          • cmmom

            I used a cabbage leaf compress with great results. Simply blanch cabbage leaves, put on your breast with a towel and leave it there. I would replace it every couple of hours, and I continued breast feeding. It was better within a few hours and gone by the next day.

            January 7th, 2013 4:30 pm
  • Thea Steggall via Facebook

    I hate antibiotics too but had to take it this past year also due to pneumonia. :(

    January 4th, 2013 12:20 pm Reply
  • Sarah Couture Pope via Facebook

    Lauren Snyder Grosz I totally agree .. it is so easy to let that daily dose slip. My husband got lax this year and got a nasty chest infection that no one else in the house got (because the rest of us were taking our dose!). He got over it without any drugs thankfully using just alternative methods but he won’t get lax again because the next time might not be so lucky.

    January 4th, 2013 12:17 pm Reply
  • Abby Boles via Facebook

    What do people think about nordic naturals cod liver oil?

    January 4th, 2013 12:16 pm Reply
  • Lauren Snyder Grosz via Facebook

    I really appreciate your feedback. I’ll definitely be better prepared next year. We had recently run out of fermented cod liver oil and I was lax about reordering with things being so hectic. Lesson learned!

    January 4th, 2013 12:14 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Lauren Snyder Grosz by the way, you can be thankful that your daughter responded to amoxicillin which is a mild antibiotic. If she had had many rounds of antibiotics in the past, it is likely that it would not have worked and she would have needed stronger meds and multiple courses of antibiotics. So good for you for making sure she hardly ever had antibiotics prior to her pneumonia.

    January 4th, 2013 12:10 pm Reply
  • Kimball Duncan Young via Facebook

    How would you recommend someone deal with preventing problems from the drugs needed for surgery and detoxing afterward?

    January 4th, 2013 12:09 pm Reply
  • Amanda Ruth via Facebook

    Yes!!

    January 4th, 2013 12:08 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Lauren Snyder Grosz I would consider pneumonia to be life threatening and so antibiotics would be appropriate. However, pneumonia is easily prevented with a daily dose of fermented cod liver oil so for pneumonia I would consider prevention to be the best policy.

    January 4th, 2013 12:06 pm Reply
    • Charlene

      Prior to WWII, when the pentagon made penicillin widely available, vitamin A from cod liver oil was considered to be an effective anti-infective. (Just learned this from Chris Masterjohn’s excellent research).

      My cousin’s son had pneumonia and was given antibiotics. Two years later, this formerly handsome boy now has disfiguring cystic acne. My daughter, who was a healthy athlete in high school, was prescribed augmentin for an ear infection, and has been struggling to recover from a crippling rheumatoid arthritis. Not sure the antibiotic caused the RA, but it might be a contributor.

      January 5th, 2013 12:58 pm Reply
  • Brittany Wholaver via Facebook

    What are Terra essential oils?

    January 4th, 2013 12:06 pm Reply
  • Lauren Snyder Grosz via Facebook

    My daughter is 11 and has only had one prior round of antibiotics. This Christmas she was diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia and was on Amoxicillin for 10 days. I’ve been really focused on getting her to eat lots of fermented veggies. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to deal with this type of illness sans antibiotics. Thank you in advance.

    January 4th, 2013 11:56 am Reply
    • Ruth

      There are two things we’ve found really helpful for our kids coughs/colds, and one of those has been used to treat pneumonia successfully! The Biocueuticals Immune Factors (elderberry & zinc) is great for shortening the length & severity of coughs and colds. The Dr Chris’ Lung & Bronchial Formula is the BEST one for lung support we’ve come across. It’s helped resolve pneumonia and other respiratory issues, and has strengthened our microprems lungs (damaged from his early birth and all the time on ventilation). And sometimes, we just have to use the antibiotics. My son especially has had quite a few courses in his life so far. Not ideal, but they are livesaving at times! :-)

      January 5th, 2013 11:47 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Efje Schmidt Sometimes you really do need the meds. If you tried everything else alternative then you’ve done your best.

    January 4th, 2013 11:56 am Reply
  • Efje Schmidt via Facebook

    How would you get the infection out of a tooth abscess? (for my sis) We tried everything I know and still had to use antibiotics :(

    January 4th, 2013 11:55 am Reply
    • Jennifer

      Efje – My son has a cap on one of his teeth that gives him fits, abscess every other month or so. We use two drops of Oil of Oregano in a small cup of water – swish until he can’t any longer and then swallow. When he starts to get a fever from it I add some colloidal silver to the mix and do this a few times each day. He also scrubs over it with his toothbrush and homemade toothpaste with coconut oil it and when it gets large he trys to push the pus out – ick!! We are trying to keep the tooth in there until it is ready to fall out. We’ve also started eating ghee and grass-fed butter along with Fermented Cod Liver Oil it help heal from the inside. Hope this helps!

      January 6th, 2013 12:18 pm Reply
      • D.

        Efje: Olive Leaf works very well for chronic infections. You can use capsules or liquid, depending on the infection. Sometimes both can be used at the same time. You can mix the liquid olive leaf (available online from iherb.com or Vitacost – cheap) in warm water and gargle/swish it in the mouth, you can put some (straight) onto your finger and rub it onto the tooth area, too. Olive leaf capsules can help to heal the gut, too, by opening the capsule and sprinkling it onto your food – works ok with salads, I haven’t tried anything else. I used the liquid for an infected toenail several years ago and it worked beautifully. It works fairly quickly, too.

        January 6th, 2013 5:31 pm Reply
    • Geri Quintero

      I use high doses of Blue ice fermented cod liver oil, and a tea of a Chinese herb called She Gan with my patients with good results. Take a handful She Gan root (6-8 slices) rinse and boil on medium boil in 4 cups of water for 30 minutes. Drink warm and swish the tea around in the mouth. Obviously absolutely no sugar including fruit and honey.

      January 7th, 2013 3:47 pm Reply
  • Sara Stewart Vanderbilt via Facebook

    I had a dr just give us some to “kill everything in her system” before she even had an infection (?). No thank you.

    January 4th, 2013 11:54 am Reply
    • Megan

      oh my is that Dr LOST!

      January 6th, 2013 8:35 am Reply
      • D.

        Using antibiotics in a prophylactic fashion is not a great idea. This doctor is ignoring the current trends, evidently.

        January 6th, 2013 5:32 pm Reply
  • Casey Staats via Facebook

    I took antibiotics for FOUR years to treat Lyme Disease. I regret it now, as I believe they robbed me of my fertility. Prior to taking abx, I was able to conceive my two children quite easily. After abx, I have been unable to get pregnant.

    January 4th, 2013 11:51 am Reply
    • jessica

      we are currently battling lyme with antibiotics (in my husband). Looking for alternatives. For now they are keeping symptoms at bay but the idea of doing this long term makes me incredibly uneasy to say the least because I get the gut issue. We are finding amazing healers who are doing incredible things with Lyme (and other chronic diseases) that involve much less antibiotic but most do use some.

      January 5th, 2013 12:11 pm Reply
      • Cameron

        I don’t have lyme and am not an expert, but I’ve heard Stephen Harrod Buhner has a lyme healing protocol that is herbal and apparently works well. You’ve probably looked/heard of everything, but maybe that could be useful. :)

        January 5th, 2013 4:13 pm Reply
      • Judith

        The Yahoo group Lymestrategies may have some ideas for non-drug treatments of Lyme. I haven’t been there for a few years, but it was a very active group that discussed Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections and related illnesses, with an emphasis on alternative therapies.

        January 5th, 2013 6:30 pm Reply
      • Jody

        Our naturopathic physician is treating my son with A-BAB, by Byron White formulas, to treat Lyme. It can be a long process, but no antibiotics!

        January 6th, 2013 1:09 am Reply
      • Geri Quintero

        I am an acupuncturist who 10 years ago got a tick bite with the classic red ring, and did a few weeks of Chinese antibiotic herbs along with 2 rounds of a parasite cleanse kit by Renee Ponder Herbs, the best parasite kit I’ve found. My husband also got 3 ticks deeply embeded all with the red rings 3 years ago. He did the same thing, and both of us got no signs of Lymes disease. Nature has remedies for our ailments. We need to trust the natural approaches. It is good to get an acupuncturist you trust and let her/him help guide you through this.

        January 7th, 2013 3:38 pm Reply

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