The material on this web site including antibiotic overuse is offered to you for informational purposes only and is not meant to be interpreted as medical advice to diagnose, treat or cure any immune system disorder. You should consult with a qualified health professional whenever your health is in question.
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Immune System Etc.com focus: antibiotic overuse, immune system information, the immune response, immune system support, what you need to be aware of when you boost the immune system, what is immune system balancing, combating immune system stressors, what weakens the immune system, what strengthens the immune system, immune system deficiencies including auto immune disorders and how you can help the body heal.
Immune Stressors
Immune System
Antibiotic Overuse
By 1965 over 25,000 different antibiotic products had been developed. There was a fanatical enthusiasm for their use. Diseases that used to be killers became no more than an inconvenience.

Researchers and physicians felt that the area of bacterial infection and disease had been conquered. Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease. Anthrax is a bacteria. So is Strep, Staph, E. coli and Salmonella. The list is virtually endless.

According to researchers today the constant use of antibiotics with humans and livestock is a leading factor in our growing inability to eradicate disease. The overuse of these “wonder drugs” has improved the strength of our ever-evolving bacterial population.

Our efforts have pushed them to evolve. We shoot them with a big “gun”; they mutate, become stronger and elude that “gun” down the road. Then a new bigger “gun” is required.

Viruses and bacteria are extremely adaptable. Some bacteria can now live in bleach. The stronger these enemies become, the stronger, more complicated and costly antibiotics need to be to eliminate them. Some infections are now antibiotic resistant like staph and strep. Both have antibiotic resistant strains. There are others.

Joshua, a Wisconsin microbiologist, and Esther Lederberg “showed that the use of antibiotics in colonies of bacteria in which even less than 1 percent of the organisms were genetically resistant could have tragic results.

The antibiotics would kill off the 99% of the bacteria that were susceptible, leaving a vast nutrient-filled petri dish free of competitors for the surviving resistant bacteria. Like weeds that suddenly invaded an untended open field, the resistant bacteria rapidly multiplied and spread out…” The Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett 

In 1997, David Dacha, Director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said, “In recent years antibiotics have become less effective against infectious agents, and we are concerned with the ‘post’ antibiotic era”. We are running out of “guns”. 

Antibiotics Cut Off Immune Response
Dr. Peter D’Adamo says that antibiotics cut off immune response. Your body’s responsibility for fighting an infection has been taken over by medication.

He further states, “Did you know that antibiotics only reduce the level of infection? Your body’s immune system is still required to finish the battle.

When you allow your body to go to war on its own terms, without antibiotic intervention, it develops not only a memory of specific antibodies to the current infection and any similar to it, but also the ability to fight more effectively the next time it is challenged or attacked.”

As the invaders are getting stronger, our immune systems are increasingly more ill prepared.

Yeast Infections
Dr. D’Adamo continues by saying that, “continued and heavy use of antibiotics destroys not only the infection, but all of the good bacteria (healthy gut flora) in the digestive tract.

Many people experience diarrhea, and quite often women become subject to recurring and persistent yeast infections.” Candida albicans is the usual yeast offender. There are other species.

Other things that trigger candida infections, according to Elizabeth Lipski, author of Digestive Wellness are birth control pills, steroid medications, and sugar. She states that probiotics help keep candida in check.

These fungal and bacterial overgrowths initiated through use of antibiotics or other things mentioned give off endotoxins (toxins produced within the body) that suppress immune system function by knocking out commun-ication pathways between cells of the immune system.

Without these pathways in operation, immune cells don’t attack. Healthy gut flora supports immune function but does not replace those communication pathways. Reference: Dr. Jesse Stoff

When To Take Antibiotics
Antibiotics, when appropriately used, are important medical tools that save lives. If your immune system isn’t up to the task, by all means take them. Compensate for their use.

One way is by increasing the number of good immune supportive bacteria in supplement form according to Dr. Jesse Stoff. Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli (probiotics) are friendly bacteria that can add balance to the intestines.

Support immune function. “If microbes are becoming more resistant and virulent, we must increase our own resistance and strength to outsmart them. We must boost immune function so that people well be less receptive to infection.” Elizabeth Lipski, MS,CCN
See also Immune 101


Fast Facts
  • Antibiotics kill bacteria however your immune system is still required to finish the battle. Any remaining bacteria not overcome can become stronger through mutation resulting in antibiotic resistance and stronger bacterial opponents.

  • Your intestines are loaded with bacteria. Balanced bacteria (both “good” & “bad”) in the intestines supports immune function. An overgrowth of “bad” bacteria can occur after antibiotic use because antibiotics can’t tell the difference and kill “good” bacterial as well. This suppresses immune function; releases toxins. Others things like alcohol can also disturb bacterial balance.

  • A bacterial imbalance can result in yeast overgrowth. The immune system is partly responsible for keeping yeast at bay. 
Antibiotic Overuse & The Immune System