Antibiotics can affect long-term health

Antibiotics are routinely given for a variety of infections.  We have come to expect the prescription, and we will even call our doctors and request them at the first sign of infection.   To be sure, antibiotics are a godsend.  I am thankful for them.

However, in my opinion, they are used too often, and sometimes for infections that are not bacterial.  Here are some bullet point statics.

  • The overuse of antibiotics increases the risk of bacterial resistance in the wider community.
  • Researchers are realizing that long-term health harms from antibiotic exposure in early life and before birth, including an increased risk of infection, obesity, and asthma.
  • Antibiotic use during pregnancy can alter the mother’s microbiome and therefore the microbial profile her baby acquires.
  • Antibiotic exposure within the first year of life is associated with a 10-15% increased risk of obesity.
  • In a recent Danish study, a mother’s exposure to antibiotics in pregnancy was associated with increased risk her child would develop severe infection (requiring hospitalization) in the first six years of life.
  • There is evidence that antibiotic exposure in pregnancy is associated with increased birth weight and obesity in early life.
  • Childhood asthma has increased in parallel with antibiotic use.
  • Antibiotic use in early childhood (first 12 months of life) is linked to gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn’s and ciliac disease.
  • Childhood inflammatory diseases, including juvenile idiopathic arthritis have shown a similar association.
  • Antibiotic use in early adulthood is associated with bowel cancer. The risk increases with more courses of antibiotics.

These points were taken from an article in THE EPOCH TIMES, September 13-19, 2018 edition.

Until next time,

Dr. Polly