As a holistic health coach and healer, I see a lot of talk about gateway drugs and their ability to ruin a person’s health and life long term. A gateway drug is simply a habit forming drug that might not necessarily be addictive but may lead to the use of other drugs. Many of these gateway drugs are legal (pending age restrictions), and can include alcohol, cigarettes, and cannabis.
While there is little doubt that engaging in any of these substances can lead to abuse of other drugs, there is one drug that is actually prescribed by doctors that can initiate a path of destruction, all in the name of “health care”. This drug alone could arguably cause more health issues than any of the other often cited gateway drugs, yet, it often gets a free pass because it is prescribed by trusted authorities in authorized institutions. I’d argue that these professionals could be implicated as the real drug dealers, under the auspices of “science”.
The drug which I speak of is antibiotics.
The scary trend in antibiotic usage
It wasn’t so long ago that doctors were prescribing antibiotics for nearly any kind of infection, including those that weren’t bacterial in nature. According to the CDC, in 2014 there were 266.1 million courses of antibiotics provided to outpatients in U.S. community pharmacies. For perspective, that’s approximately 8 out of 10 people using antibiotics in 2014 in the U.S.A. alone.
What is even more telling, is that at least thirty percent of antibiotics prescribed in an outpatient setting are unnecessary, which means there was no need for an antibiotic at all. Total inappropriate antibiotic use, which includes unnecessary use and inappropriate selection, as well as improper dosing and duration, may approach 50% of all outpatient antibiotic use.
Combine these two important factors with the growing body of evidence of antimicrobial resistance in which properly prescribed antibiotics will not work, and you have a practice that is grossly outdated that could have far more side effects than beneficial outcomes.
The long term damage inflicted from a course of antibiotics
In a situation where antibiotics may be considered life saving and the only known course of action in the moment, they can become necessary. However, the majority of situations are not that dire, and one needs to understand there are ALWAYS internal consequences of taking antibiotics that could ruin your health for the rest of your life (or at least require a healing process that could last years or even decades).
One such consequence is the disruption of your gut bacteria, and consequently, your immune system. Your gut is home to 100 trillion micro-organisms and 400 different species of bacteria. They play a very important role in digestion, immunity, mental health, and metabolism. Since up to eighty percent of your immune system is located in your gut, and ninety percent of your neurotransmitters (which regulate mood) are produced in your gut, the destruction of beneficial bacteria inside it can negatively alter your digestion, immunity, and mental health.
Since antibiotics can’t differentiate between good and bad bacteria, they decimate all bacteria in its path. It’s equivalent to RoundUp herbicide for your lawn – it will get rid of the weeds, but the grass will also be completely destroyed. This decimation will disrupt the delicate ecosystem and create a state of dysbiosis, or what is known as bacterial imbalance. When the good bacteria population falls precipitously, it creates an opportunity for other opportunistic organisms to flourish, such as Candida Albicans. This can lead to more gut imbalance, destruction of the intestinal wall, and something known as leaky gut.
When the intestinal wall starts to allow these microbes, toxins, partially digested food, and other particles through into the bloodstream, the immune system flags them as foreign invaders resulting in an attack that leads to chronic inflammation and pain. This taxes you immune system, liver, and lymphatic system and if left untreated, will develop into various autoimmune disorders.
This is a very common scenario regardless of your state of health prior to the antibiotics, and can easily lead to more infections, health concerns, and chronic disease that the pharmaceutical industry will be more than happy to supply you with more drugs, none of which fix the problem. This is the VERY slippery slope when one chooses to use antibiotics, often unnecessarily.
So what do you do? First, do everything you can to avoid prescribed antibiotics in the first place, and secondly, learn how to recover and rebuild your destroyed gut bacteria and immune system.
How to avoid antibiotics
In principle, antibiotics are relatively easy to avoid especially in non-life threatening situations. Simply consume antibacterial foods and herbs on a regular basis, and keep your environment as pristine as possible (diffusing antibacterial essential oils, for example). Also, lessen the load on digestive and immune compromising foods and beverages like sugar, alcohol, gluten, hydrogenated fats, and artificial ingredients. This will help you avoid a bacterial infection in the first place.
Knowing that not everyone will be willing to follow these principles, and that a bacterial infection may happen despite your best efforts, then you can bring in the big guns to eliminate it. Some of the best natural antibiotics include garlic, colloidal silver, echinacea, Manuka honey, and oil of oregano. You can learn more on how to use them and the best sources, here.
However, one of the best natural remedies that gives a comprehensive and simple application to destroying rogue bacteria while leaving your good bacteria in place, is the Antibiotic Tonic. You can easily make it up on the spot with a good juicer or even a blender, or make it in advance and store it in the fridge or even freezer for emergency use. You can get the full recipe, here.
This is an excellent and immediate remedy for most people, and has worked wonders in my experience to get rid of the infection, and avoid the domino effect of prescribed antibiotics. It’s not just about saving you from pain now, but also the pain and work required to recover from pharmaceutical medicine later.
How to recover from antibiotic usage
If you have had antibiotics even once, you’re certainly not alone. At some point in our lives a bacterial infection is likely to occur, along with a trip to the clinic, which will most often result in antibiotic usage. You can start to rebuild, but to do it effectively you need to dial in your diet and supplementation.
In this rebuilding, avoidance of processed foods, sugar, and alcohol is important as they will only feed the opportunistic organisms that are now likely taking over, which will lead to more gut dysbiosis and liver complications. A diet that focuses on removing any unfriendly organisms (like Candida Albicans), replacing enzymes and good bacteria, and repairing the delicate lining of the intestinal wall is paramount. Supporting the liver and kidneys during this process is also important, as well as stimulating the lymphatic system for proper drainage.
All the best in your avoidance of gateway drugs, and on the road to recovery.