Antibiotics obviously have many positive impacts and have been rightfully credited with saving many lives from what we now see as common, even slightly benign conditions such as strep throat and ear infections. Antibiotics kill the harmful bacteria that cause infection and stop it from spreading. However, antibiotics don’t only kill the harmful bacteria, they also wipe out all present good bacteria, which we now know is a crucial component to cultivating healthy immune systems as well as many other everyday functions. Did you know that in the last 20 years human antibiotic use has risen over 40% in the US? This, along with a few other factors, is leading to a dramatic rise in antibiotic resistance. There’s plenty of research out there about the dangers of antibiotic resistance, but I’ll keep that to myself for now. Give it a quick search if you want a truly scary Halloween tale.
Many of us who have taken antibiotics in the past may have been tempted to discontinue our treatment due to their negative side effects. However, this could have a further detrimental impact on your health and cause serious antibiotic resistance. Basically, it tends to mean that leftover bacteria are left behind to grow stronger and more resistant to additional treatment. All of that being said, you may find that there are times in your life where it is essential that you take an antibiotic. While it’s essential, this can be disastrous to your carefully curated gut microbiome. However, there are steps you can take to help protect the diverse and intricate bacterial universe you have within you.