Thursday, October 22, 2015

Why Antibiotic Use Has Been Shown To Make Children Gain Weight

A recent study found that children who were given antibiotics gain weight more quickly than those who don’t take the medicines.  Additionally, it was found that their weight gain can be cumulative and progressive.

We have heard about the diarrhea and tummy aches antibiotics can cause but weight gain seems a little far fetched.  It really isn't.  Your digestive tract is a complex ecosystem that is home to many microorganisms (intestinal flora), including hundreds of species of bacteria. Many of these bacteria are beneficial, performing essential functions, but some of the bacteria that normally inhabit your intestinal tract are potentially dangerous. These harmful bacteria are usually kept in check by beneficial bacteria unless the delicate balance between the two is disturbed by illness, medications or other factors.  Antibiotics can be disruptive to intestinal flora because they destroy beneficial bacteria along with harmful ones. Probiotics can help build up the intestinal flora and stabilize the digestive tract.  However, there are times that without enough good microorganisms (before the digestive tract has recovered), the bad bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotic you received grow out of control, producing toxins that can damage the bowel wall, interfere with digestion and trigger inflammation.

Once bowel damage, poor digestion and inflammation have started to set in, the body will not be receiving the nutrition that it should.  The nutrients from food are not absorbed properly which can cause food to remain undigested, leaving toxins behind.  Further, lack of nutrition causes a person to feel weak.  Looking for energy, a person may feel hungrier and eat more to get the energy they need.  It is similar to a sleep deprived individual who tends to be hungrier than their better rested friends.  Excess toxins and more appetite are a breeding ground for weight gain.

One of the pillars of good health in Ayurveda is digestion. When our digestive ability is strong, we create healthy tissues and eliminate waste products efficiently,  Then our bodies will have physical strength, mental balance and immunity.

This study, our current knowledge of how antibiotics affect the body and Ayurveda teach us the importance of good digestion.  There are times that antibiotics are necessary but they should be used as a last resort.

Stay healthy & well,
Lisa

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