Thank you to one of my readers for asking:

What are you thoughts on antibiotics? Specifically, do antibiotics really affect gut flora?

As a Western-trained physician, I admit that antibiotics have saved lives. I don’t, however, believe that antibiotics are the only reason we get better from an infection; antibiotics simply aid the immune system to bring the infection down.

image_antiboticsThere are some drawbacks to antibiotics: allergic reactions, diarrhea (cleaning out your gut flora, the bacteria that normally lives in your large intestine), and they can also promote an infection called C diff, a bug that jumps at opportunity. When you take antibiotics, you literally wipe out every bug (good or bad) in your intestine. C diff is resistant to most antibiotics. With all other bacteria gone, C diff has free run of your guts, causing secretions, pain, diarrhea and fever. C diff can be diagnosed with a stool test.

While bacteria are present when you have an infection, I do not believe they are the root of infection. Rather, your own overwhelmed and weakened immunity is the root cause of most infection. A weak immune system originates from lifestyle choices; a poor lifestyle will promote an overwhelmed and stressed out immune system that allows bacteria to grow in number