The harmful side of antibiotics

The Community uncovers how misuse of antibiotics can have a negative impact on your health
The Community By Indira Kasaeva
Published on August 23, 2015

In today’s fast paced lifestyle there’s no time to be ill; there’s work, school and a million other activities waiting. At the slightest feeling of a cold or an infection, popping an antibiotic has become a natural way to deal with the problem. However, in most cases antibiotics are not the solution.
Antibiotics are a treatment for bacterial infections; however they are very often misused for virus infections. The most common problems like colds, flus, some ear infections, bronchitis, most coughs and sore throats shouldn’t be treated with antibiotics. The same goes for infections like stomach flus and some sinus infections. When you have a virus and you take an antibiotic, the pill has no effect on the virus but instead destroys all the beneficial bacteria in your system. Antibiotics are without doubt a powerful tool to treat diseases but very often they are used incorrectly. Misuse of antibiotics can harm your health in the long term and cause very serious side effects.

Bacteria creates antibiotic resistance
Over the years the excessive use of antibiotics, especially with children, has created bacteria that are resistant to the medication.  Such bacteria developed a defence system against antibiotics and this defence mechanism is also passed on to other bacteria.  Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a serious threat because an infection can no longer be treated with the same medicine.  To get rid of the infection the patient requires more time, greater expenses and new therapy treatments, which all contribute to driving up drug and hospital costs.

Wipe out the gut flora
There are around 100 trillion bacteria in your intestines. It is a natural balance between harmful and beneficial organisms. The beneficial bacteria safeguarding your immune system and taking care of your digestive system are called the gut flora.  Strong antibiotics wipe out the entire gut flora. In a case where the infection is a virus, beneficial bacteria are being destroyed while the harmful virus is not affected.

Fatal diarrhoea cases for children
Even though antibiotics don’t work on viruses, doctors very commonly prescribe antibiotics for viral infections associated with common cold. This notion creates severe side effects especially in children. Due to wrong antibiotic prescriptions for common infections children develop antibiotic resistance to C. diff. bacteria.  C. diff. causes severe diarrhoea that can have fatal cases.

May be the cause of chronic diseases
While not yet scientifically proven, doctors suggest that there might be a link between antibiotics and the rise of chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes type one, allergies and even obesity.

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