antibiotics | Integrative functional medicine blog

Antacids and antibiotics raise allergy and autoimmune rates




Being a parent is hard work. And being a parent of a child in pain can be a very scary thing. I get it, we have all been there. But before you go run out and get that prescription filled there are some things to consider.

A large study shows antacid and antibiotic use in early childhood significantly raises the risk of developing allergies.


Researchers looked at the records of almost 800,000 children born during a 13-year period to families in the military.


Surprisingly, almost 10 percent of the babies were treated with antacids such as Zantac or Pepcid for acid reflux; spitting up is common in infants and does not typically need to be medicated. But it can be scary when you are not aware. After all, adults don't spit up.


Also surprising was that more than half of the children in the study went on to develop allergies, rashes, asthma, or hay fever.


However, the children who received antacids in infancy were twice as likely to develop allergic diseases compared to the rest.


What’s worse is that their risk of developing anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can be deadly, was 50 percent higher compared to the non-medicated children.


Children who received antibiotics as babies were twice as likely to have asthma and had a 50 percent higher likelihood of hay fever and anaphylactic allergies. Those are some pretty significant increases in incidence rates.


Why you must take care of the gut to avoid allergies and immune-based diseases

The researchers suggested the negative impact antacids and antibiotics have on gut bacteria, also called the gut microbiome, play a role in the development of allergies and other immune disorders.

Additionally, by neutralizing the acidity of the stomach, which is necessary to break down foods, antacids may be allowing undigested foods into the small intestine. This negatively impacts the gut microbiome and inflames the digestive tract., ultimately leading to a leaky gut type condition. Which if its "like" leaky gut, it's going to become leaky gut. Ever heard the term fake it till you make it?

The health of the digestive tract and gut microbiome profoundly influences immune health. When the gut is inflamed and damaged and gut bacteria is unhealthy and full of bad bacteria, this predisposes a person to bunch of immune-based disorders, including but not limited to:

  • Allergies
  • Food sensitivities
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Eczema and other skin-based disorders
  • Asthma and other respiratory disorders
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Brain-based disorders

Look for the root cause of childhood illness

Although spitting IS up normal for babies, if a baby is spitting up excessively you have to ask why.

Also, if a child has reoccurring infections that require antibiotics over and over, again you have to ask why.

With any health issue or condition asking why is one of the most important questions you can ask, and one of the things we try to answer in my practice.

These are signs that the health of the digestive tract, the gut microbiome, and the immune system are already in distress.

For instance, the child could be eating a food to which they are intolerant, such as gluten or dairy — two primary triggers of immune disorders.

The child may have been born with food intolerances or autoimmunity (when the immune system attacks the body) passed on from the mother.


A child born via c-section and fed formula is likely to have a less healthy gut microbiome than a child born vaginally and breastfed. This may predispose a child to excess acid reflux or reoccurring infections. Look up Vaginal swab or sweeping for those moms that need to do C-sections. It may significantly help the health of your baby.


However, medicating a child with
antacids and antibiotics only further destroys the gut microbiome and dysregulates the immune system. This makes the child significantly more prone to immune disorders, such as allergies, anaphylaxis, autoimmunity, asthma, eczema, obesity, and other chronic issues.


The key is to address the underlying causes of an inflamed gut, an unhealthy gut microbiome, and inflammation. Some things you should look at are regular blood testing for nutrient deficiencies and excesses, stool analysis, allergy and food sensitivity testing just to name a few.


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I'm Dr. Craig Mortensen
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Antibiotics do NO good for Most sinus infections

This is an article that was all over the news in the Wall Street Journal, yahoo news, CNN and Fox News. This is important not just for our individual health but also for the health of society as a whole.
The following article was in the Wall Street Journal.

antibiotics dont help sinus infections

Most sinus infections are caused by viruses rather than bacteria and shouldn’t be treated with antibiotics — a common practice that contributes to the development of drug-resistant “superbugs,” according to new guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

The  guidelines, which also include new recommendations for treating bacterial infections, are the first issued  by the society, which represents specialists in infectious disease. A panel that developed them included experts from
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Physicians.

Nearly one in seven people are diagnosed with a sinus infection each year. These cases are the fifth most common reason doctors prescribe antibiotics. But as many as  98% of cases are caused by viruses, which aren’t affected by these drugs.

With no test to easily determine whether a sinus infection is viral or bacterial,  many physicians prescribe antibiotics as a precaution.
Deeds done with good intentions often do the most harm.

And, patients may ask doctors for antibiotics on the mistaken theory “
that they can’t harm them and they might help,” says Thomas M. File,  co-author of the guidelines and chair of the Infectious Disease Section at Northeast Ohio Medical University. But in addition to concern about drug-resistant bugs, he adds,  antibiotics can have serious side effects such as diarrhea, rash and headache, and can add to the cost of health care.

Sinus infections,  known as  acute rhinosinusitis, are an inflammation of the nasal and sinus passages that can cause uncomfortable pressure on either side of the nose and last for weeks. Most develop during or after a cold or other upper respiratory infection, but allergens and environmental irritants may also trigger them.

If symptoms last for 10 days without improvement, or include fever of 102 degrees or higher, nasal discharge and facial pain lasting three to four days, the infection is likely bacterial and should be treated with antibiotics, the guidelines say.

Viral infections can also initially seem to improve and then get worse, with the addition of a fever, meaning a bacterial infection has likely developed.

In those cases the new guidelines call for shorter treatment time than older guidance from other groups,  which called for 10 days to two weeks of antibiotic treatment for a bacterial infection. The IDSA suggests five to seven days is long enough to treat a bacterial infection without encouraging resistance in adults, though children should still get the longer course.

Because of increasing resistance to the antibiotic amoxicillin — the current standard of care — the ISDA recommends amoxicillin-clavulanate, a combination which helps to overcome resistance by inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down the antibiotic.

The guidelines also recommend against other commonly used antibiotics, including azithromycin, clarithromycin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, because of growing drug resistance.

Whether the sinus infection is bacterial or viral, the ISDA says  use of decongestants and antihistamines  may make symptoms worse. Nasal steroids can help ease symptoms as may nasal irrigation using a sterile solution — including sprays, drops or liquid, says  Dr. File, who also  recommends patients  take acetaminophen for sinus pain and drink plenty of fluids.

So whats an aching patient to do with a sinus infection? Our recommendations in our office always include drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of rest. Take Immune system boosting supplements and vitamins. Get adjusted by a chiropractor (which helps the sinuses and nasal passageways drain) and do some sinus rinses. In 98% of all sinus infection cases this will take care of the problem and get you back to normal faster.
Here are some of my favorite supplements for boosting the immune system and fighting infections.
Daily Immune by Pure encapsulations
M/R/S Mushroom Formula
Garlic extract (allicin yield 12,000 mcg/g) 300mg
Echinacea-Goldenseal with Olive Leaf
Do yourself a favor, save some money and get it through Healthwave - sign up in the sidebar
I guarantee you will save money.
It’s routinely 10-20% cheaper than amazon!

For those of you with chronic sinus infections or who seem to always be getting sick, consider this. Taking antibiotics has shown to reduce your own bodies immunity and ability to fight off sickness and infection. So the very drugs you were taking to try to make you better are actually making you worse.

HHHMMMMM........That sounds familiar!

In Good Health,
Dr. Craig Mortensen

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