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Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea
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Antibiotic-associated diarrhea - (AAD)

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Antibiotics Kill Your Body's Good Bacteria, Too, Leading to Serious Health Risks

by Doug Kaufmann

"It is ironic that this humbled fungus, hailed as a benefactor of mankind, may by its very success prove to be a deciding factor in the decline of the present civilization."

-Dr. John I. Pitt, The Genus Penicillum, Academic Press, 1979

Simply put, antibiotics are poisons that are used to kill. Only licensed physicians can prescribe them. The drugs are used to kill bacteria. Certainly, many people have benefited from using them. However, if bacteria were the only organisms that antibiotics killed, much of this book would be unnecessary. In fact, I con≠tend that poisons that kill small organisms in small doses -- organism-specific varieties notwithstanding -- can also kill big organisms, when they are taken in big doses. You, my friend, are a big organism.

Weíve talked about the link between fungus and human disease. This chapter addresses the possibility that antibiotics may help fungi to proliferate within the human body.

As an adult human, you have three to four pounds of beneficial bacteria and yeast living within your intestines. These microbes compete for nutrients from the food you eat. Usually, the strength in numbers beneficial bacteria enjoy both keeps the ever-present yeasts in check and causes them to produce nutrients such as the B vitamins.

However, every time you swallow antibiotics, you kill the beneficial bacteria within your intestines. When you do so, you upset the delicate balance of your intestinal terrain. Yeasts grow unchecked into large colonies and take over, in a condition called dysbiosis.

Yeasts are opportunistic organisms. This means that, as the intestinal bacteria die, yeasts thrive, especially when their dietary needs are met. They can use their tendrils, or hyphae, to literally poke holes through the lining of your intestinal wall. This results in a syndrome called leaky gut. Yeasts are not the only possible cause of this syndrome. Some scientists have linked non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as naproxen and ibuprofen to the problem. Given their ability to alter intestinal terrain, antibiotics also likely contribute to leaky gut syndrome.

In addition to possibly causing leaky gut syndrome, I believe that parasitic yeasts can also cause you to change what you eat in that they encourage you to binge on carbohydrates including pasta, bread, sugar, potatoes, etc. So, it should come as no surprise that weight gain counts as one of the telltale signs of antibiotic damage and subsequent yeast overgrowth.

By altering the normal terrain of the intestines, antibiotics can also make food allergies more likely. An array of intestinal disorders can ensue, as well. Sadly, most doctors claim ignorance concerning their patientsí intestinal disorders rather than admit that the drugs they themselves prescribed actually caused the disorders to begin with.

Tons of antibiotics are fed to American livestock on a daily basis, purportedly to proof them against bacteria. This practice not only possibly contributes to antibiotic resistance in humans -- many experts feel weight gain, and not disease prevention, is the real reason antibiotics are so widely used. Fat cattle sell for more than thin cattle. Thatís all very well, but imagine what the antibiotics thereby possibly present in dairy products could be doing to our childrenís health.

Back in the 1950s, two researchers in Albany, New York, worked to develop an antimicrobial drug from a substance produced by a soil-based fungus. Although the nystatin they discovered is technically a mycotoxin, it works wonders an intestinal antifungal. This as yet revolutionary drug stops the yeast overgrowth caused by all other antibiotics and is 100 percent safe to use. In addition, nystatin works with no side effects, though it can cause a pseudo sickness that patients often confuse with side effects.

Also in the 1950s, scientists used mice to grade the relative toxicity of 340 antibiotics (Dr. William S. Spector, The Handbook of Toxicity, 1957). The researchers based their rankings on the amount of a given antibiotic required to kill half of the lab mice injected with it. I relate this story only to ask you, before 1957, how did scientists decide what would serve as prescriptive doses for these very same antibiotics when used in humans?

Iíll assume that the same toxicity scale remains in place today. If it does, and if a given dose of penicillin will kill 50 percent of mice injected, it stands to reason that a much larger dose, or perhaps repetitive doses extended over 40 years, might prove fatal to a human. I donít know if larger doses are in fact administered to people. And, the 40-year scenario has its problems. But you have to admit, itís certainly food for thought.

The time span between when patients take rounds of antibiotics and when they die interests me. Thatís because I believe that few people really die of heart disease and diabetes. In actuality, antibiotics are responsible for deaths attributed to these diseases, because these drugs are what caused people to develop the diseases to begin with. And yet, incredibly, death certificates usually state the probable cause of death without mentioning whether the deceased had a history of taking antibiotics.

Remember, antibiotics are dangerous mycotoxins -- fungal metabolites. Just as importantly, medical experts have written articles maintaining that these drugs kill people. But, other experts insist on remaining sceptical as to the problem, even though these same experts readily recognize the link between weakened immune systems and death.

According to the 2001 Allergy and Asthma Report, the first immunodeficiency syndrome was identified in 1952. This document tells us that since that time, "more than 95 immune syndromes have been identified, with new conditions coming to light every day." The report goes on to say that research indicates that "increased antibiotic use in human infancy may be associated with increased risk of developing allergies."

Max Planck won the 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics. He once weighed in as to why science is slow to change even in the presence of overwhelming evidence that it should do so.

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light," Planck said, "but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with the ideas from the beginning."

That a new generation will grow up knowing of the dangers inherent in taking antibiotics is a good thing. That doctors will continue randomly prescribing fungal toxins should teach us the importance of knowing medical facts before blindly accepting any prescription. Please study the antimicrobial benefits and the immune system stimulants that nature provides. Know also that, in some instances, antibiotics may become necessary.

If you reach the point where no alternatives exist, I recommend that you ask your doctor to prescribe nystatin simultaneously with the antibiotic (see Dr. Hollandís article). Also, keep in mind the post-antibiotic importance of restoring the intestinal terrain with plain yogurt and probiotics. If you experience bloating, belching, gas, constipation, diarrhea, GERD, or other intestinal problems, probiotics can play an important role in restoring your intestinal terrain.

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