The human microbiome and its importance in maintaining good health have become an increasingly popular topic. So the following should throw up some red flags if you are considering using antibiotics to treat your baby's illness.
One course of antibiotics disrupts the gut microbiome for a whole year.
Think about that. Now, if you don't know what a gut microbiome is, understandably, you may be thinking: so what?
Ok, let's briefly refresh about what the gut microbiome is and why it's so important. That'll be where we start with the 5 reasons to say no to antibiotics for your baby.
FIVE: Major Disruption Of The Gut Microbiome
The microbiome is made up of quadrillions of microbes and is centric to human health as a whole. The human immune system is reliant upon the microbiome. Some would even say that the microbiome is the human immune system.
The microbiome is made up of many types of microbes also known as microorganisms, most notably bacteria. The body needs good bacteria.
Agents meant to kill bacteria, known as antibiotics, do not discriminate. In other words, while antibiotics kill bad bacteria that cause disease, they also kill the good bacteria necessary for maintaining a healthy human microbiome.
I'll say it again because it bears repeating:
FOUR: Antibiotics Contribute To The Creation Of Superbugs
A superbug is a strain of bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics.
So herein lies the question:
If the recommendation is against the use of antibiotics, why does this matter?
Well, studies have shown that the evolutionary process these bacteria go through to become antibiotic resistant is actually making them stronger, and more difficult for the human immune system to fight off.
THREE: Use In The First Year Of Life Is Linked To Food Allergies
Studies have shown that children who were exposed to antibiotics in the first year of life were more likely to be diagnosed with food allergies. Multiple exposures have been strongly associated with an increase in the odds of being diagnosed with food allergies.
This may not seem like a huge deal. It seems everyone is allergic to something nowadays. Let me share, from experience, it's no fun having to carry an epipen for a child with deadly allergies to nuts & shellfish. Not to mention the over 100 other foods and substances he is allergic to.
Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and celiac disease occur when the body is prompted to attack itself.
Studies are starting to show increasing evidence that autoimmunity is associated with the unfavorable changes in the microbiome caused by the use of antibiotics.
ONE: They Are Usually Entirely Unnecessary
If the above reasons aren't a good reason to at least research whether or not antibiotic use is a good idea, how about the fact that in most cases they are 100% unnecessary.
Most parents don't consider whether or not a common illness is life-threatening when deciding to run to the pediatrician to get a prescription for antibiotics.
But why not?
The unintended consequences are not your fault! This is the way we live!
But I do encourage you to consider two things before turning to antibiotics:
1. Unintended Consequences
This is your decision! I hope I've helped make it an easier one for you.