The Dangers of Overusing Antibiotics

Naturally Savvy
Naturally Savvy

Why are antibiotics dangerous?

Bacteria quickly learn how to become resistant to antibiotics, making their use for future, more serious infections, obsolete. Many strains of Streptococcus, E. coli, and Haemophilus influenzae are not only resistant to penicillin but also to broad spectrum cephalosporin and sulfa antibiotics.

The more antibiotics used by a given individual, the more likely the development of resistant infections. The reemergence of diseases like tuberculosis, once nearly eradicated in North America, is just one of the many newly recognized dangers of the overuse of antibiotics.

Antibiotics can cause Candida yeast and fungi growth, which leads to subsequent immune suppression caused by mycotoxins secreted by these organisms. The more fungi in the system, the higher the likelihood of developing food allergies or intolerances as well as autoimmune diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and numerous others.

Antibiotics also cause nutritional deficiencies as well as organ damage, especially to the liver, kidneys, and nervous system.

Antibiotics suppress immunity through the destruction of friendly bacteria in the small and large intestines. For example, antibiotics used for middle ear infections actually increase a child’s infection rate by up to six times compared to placebo.

Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria protect us against infections not only in our bowel but also in other areas like the skin. Overuse of antibiotics as well as the birth control pill can wipe out these friendly organisms, rendering the body more susceptible to bacterial, viral, yeast (Candida), fungal, and parasitic infections.

The beneficial bacteria (probiotics) are also involved in either the synthesis or bioavailability of many vitamins and minerals. Antibiotics can therefore lead indirectly to a long list of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The most important of these are the B complex vitamins, vitamin A, zinc, and magnesium. The end result may be anemia, chronic fatigue, and other nervous system symptoms such as memory loss, depression, anxiety, worsening premenstrual syndrome, fibromyalgia, and insomnia.

In my next blog, I will discuss some options you could try instead of turning immediately to antibiotics.

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Dr. Zoltan P. Rona is a graduate of McGill University Medical School (1977) and has a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry and Clinical Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut (1984). He is past president of The Canadian Holistic Medical Association (1987-88) and is the author of three Canadian bestsellers: The Joy of Health (1991), Return to the Joy of Health (1995) and Childhood Illness and The Allergy Connection (1997). He is co-author with Jeanne Marie Martin of The Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook (1996) and is the medical editor of the Benjamin Franklin Award winning Encyclopedia of Natural Healing (1998). He has had a private medical practice in Toronto for the past 35 years, has appeared on radio and TV as well as lectured extensively in Canada and the U.S. Dr. Rona currently writes regular articles for Reader’s Digest, Alive, Vitality magazine and for several web sites. His latest book “Vitamin D, the Sunshine Vitamin” was published in 2010. In 2011, Dr. Rona was named Chief Medical Advisor for NAKA Herbs and Vitamins and has developed a line of nutritional supplements (TriStar Naturals) which are sold in health food stores across Canada. He can be found at