Gut Bacteria (Part II)
Long term effects of antibiotics and antacids on our gastrointestinal system can be detrimental.
The balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut are disturbed by these types of medications. As a result, they are creating more resistant bacteria (resistant means when antibiotics are needed, they are not effective in killing germs). This resistant bacteria overpowers the good bacteria and results in poor digestion, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and weakened immunity. This is especially evident in IgA (Immunoglobulin A) cell mediated mucosal immunity and implicated in autoimmune diseases, arthritis, irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and the epidemic of allergic reactions we now see. The composition of colonic bacteria is also a risk factor for colon cancer.
If the use of the products that disturbs the flora are discontinued, it can take up to two or more years to restore balance of good and bad bacteria.
A healthy stomach has a low pH or an acidic environment to be able to breakdown food, absorb nutrients and defend against pathogens. Decreasing stomach acid, as a result of taking antacids, alters the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. This creates bad opportunistic bacteria to grow preventing the proper breakdown and absorption of food and nutrition. Gastric or stomach acid is a major factor against intestinal colonization of the GI tract by bad bacteria. Thus, there is increased risk of GI infections with lowered gastric acid.
Diet also effects the flora. A poor diet, high in sugar and low in fiber, leads to the use of antacids and is nutritionally deficient.
We need to support and protect our gastrointestinal flora by choosing different options to treat infections. These options exist and are effective with the proper guidance of a fully trained and education natural doctor.