What’s so bad about antibiotics?

Antibiotics seem to be the quick and easy way to feel better when you’re fighting an infection. After all, they kill the bacteria that’s making you feel sick.  The problem is antibiotics attack all bacteria in your body, both good and bad.  Killing good bacteria is dangerous since they are critical for important body functions like proper digestion and fighting viruses.

Destroying good bacteria in one area of your body puts the rest of your body at risk.

After endless rounds of antibiotics, it’s common for infection risk to go up. 

For example, there is certain bacteria that is normal flora in your throat and a different type that is normal flora in your stomach.  If the bacteria from your stomach (which is strong, but normal and safe in your stomach) gets into your throat, it causes an infection. If all the normal bacteria in your throat is gone, your stomach bacteria can travel and infect your throat. Can you see how this creates a vicious cycle?

Can antibiotics make you sicker?

A very strong bacteria that lives in your large intestine and helps with digestion is called C.Dif. It’s kept from traveling to other parts of the body by competing bacteria on either end of the intestines. But if those competing bacteria are gone or weakened, C.Dif travels and causes deadly infections in other places. The number one way for someone to get a C.Dif infection is too many prior antibiotics.  When everything else is killed off, the strongest bacteria in your body runs rampant.

Infections are either bacterial or viral with the two looking very similar. Unless something is cultured in a lab, your doctor may give you an antibiotic for something that is not bacterial.

Your digestive system is full of good bacteria that dies off with antibiotic use.  These good bacteria break down food so that it’s absorbed and used for metabolism.

How to heal without antibiotics

First, regular use of probiotics builds up your body’s natural resistance and protects you from all types of infections. Anyone on antibiotics should be taking probiotics as well, since they will restore the natural flora in your digestive system.

Second, vitamins, bone broth, and elderberry syrup boost immunity year-round.  Make sure you add these as part of your healthy lifestyle.

Third, rest is the fastest way to fight infection.  Instead of pushing through or going to work, give yourself time off and sleep or rest.

Fourth, stay proactive.  Jump on sickness the moment you feel bad. Aside from the above, drink lots of water, use saltwater rinses and take extra doses of Vitamin C.

Your body will fight on its own if you let it.  The more times you let your body heal naturally, the better your resistance will be and the less you will get sick.

The next time you start feeling bad, try some of these natural remedies before you ask for an antibiotic.


Dr. Megan Afshar is a chiropractor in the Greenville, South Carolina area, specializing in pregnancy and pediatric chiropractic.  For a free new patient consult, please contact our office.