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Are Antibiotics Bad For You and How Do They Affect Your Body

Updated: Apr 14, 2022





Antibiotics have been prescribed for many years to treat some bacterial infections. More commonly, antibiotics have been used to skin infections, have, or due to have an operation or have a bite that could lead to an infection

The Link Between The Gut Microbiome and Health

Most of us reading this article have, at least once, been prescribed a course of antibiotics and are now wondering the effects it has on our body, more specifically our gut microbiome. It has been well documented that antibiotics, more specifically, oral antibiotics, can cause an adverse effect on our gut microbiota which can cause both short and long term effects consequences on on our bodies. Some of the conditions can include gastrointestinal infections, weight gain, obesity, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer.


Another consequence can include bacterial antibiotic resistance. Although our gut microbiota is ever-changing due to the different foods we have, studies have shown that antibiotics can cause the consequences that have been mentioned which I will go into further detail later.


Our diet, lifestyle, alcohol and smoking can all have a consequence on our gut microbiome. Over time our gut microbiota can decrease due to different infections and over time our gut microbiota does tend to recover back to pre infection levels. Our sex, ethnicity and geographical locations also impact the differences in our microbiota composition. For example, studies show that people living in Europe will have a less diverse composition than those living in some parts of Africa and South America


Although some of our gut microbiota is restored after some time having been on a course of antibiotics, some people may find it difficult to restore their microbiota due to further complications with their gut. Those with an already sensitive gut from a previous course of antibiotics or even just due to poor health or diet, can experience problems restoring their microbiota to pre-antibiotic levels. One cause of this may be due to a leaky gut. We will go into further details of a leaky gut in another article


To summarise, antibiotics do indeed have an effect on our gut microbiome which could leader to further complications further down the line. I will go onto further detail on how to restore your gut microbiota and how to try and be as healthy as you can be using supplements and changing your diet.


All studies I have used in this article have been linked below


References


Kuipers E. J. (2019). Encyclopedia of gastroenterology (Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Science).



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