Antibiotics May Harm More Than Heal

Antibiotics May Harm More Than Heal



Scientists have released studies in recent years revealing antibiotics may do more harm more than heal. This conclusion seems to be the result of the habit of advanced countries giving out countless prescriptions.

When fall and winter begin, there will be colds, fevers, headaches, and pain. Medicines will fill up cabinets. Jackets twice people’s size will fill up closets, and jingles will visit ears while touching hearts.

The antibiotics may seemingly replace food until spring returns. Then, spring will replace the colds and fevers with pollen and allergies. These will also need pills to combat sicknesses. The cycle continues from season to season.

Although these drugs have proved helpful in the short term, the long-term may have a very different result.

Parents give their babies antibiotics if they get sick. These may cure them, but the possible long-term effects may cause the children more problems.

The Utrecht University scientists in Netherlands unveiled their research results on Sept. 7, 2016. They revealed these to the European Respiratory Society International Congress in London.

These scientists researched multiple studies. The studies were about the connection between a few sicknesses and the children who took antibiotics between birth and two years old. The illnesses were allergic rhinitis, hay fever, and atopic dermatitis, eczema.

Inflammation causes the latter. Signs of eczema are red, dry and itchy skin. When rubbed, the skin becomes sore and may become infected. Blisters with puss could form on old spots, which tells an infection is present.

Whereas, rhinitis and hayfever originate in the immune system. Air particles, allergens, enter the body, and the body overreacts, which may cause a sneezing and a runny nose. One may have yellowish instead of clear drainage from their nose. If this occurs, then that person has a sinus infection. Further symptoms include itchy and watery eyes.

The studies that these scientists analyzed were published between 1966 and 2015. There were 44 studies with 650,000 participants, their analysis produced intriguing results.

With children who had taken antibiotics before two, the chance of hay fever increased 14-56 percent. The risk of eczema increased 15-41 percent.

The Texas Children Hospital’s food allergy program director in Houston had something to say. According to CBS News, Dr. Carly Davis said that despite these connections, questions still remained.

Davis commented that these infections could be caused by the allergic disease. The antibiotics may have also helped changed microbiota, and that might have helped cause the disease. She added the only thing they know is that there is a connection.

Notwithstanding, the University of Bristol professor of pediatrics also said something about the connection. Adam Finn said that the studies had evidenced the long-term effects of antibiotics. He also noted that doctors may have to balance the harmful and healing aspects of antibiotics.

Another set of scientists constructed a wholly different experiment. In this, antibiotics were placed in a rectangular petri dish. The dish was marked with nine lines, parallel to the short side. These separated the different concentrations of antibiotics. The drugs with the greatest strength were placed in the center of the dish, with each row, on either side, gradually decreasing to lowest concentration.

They then placed the bacteria on the weakest drugs. The microorganisms then moved through the dish in spite of the increasing concentration of the antibiotics. In a span of just 12 days, the bacteria had spread to the innermost part of the petri dish.

This final mutated microorganism was resistant to antibiotics and these bacteria are called superbugs. At least 23,000 people die yearly from being infected with the bug. according to NPR.

Tami Lieberman is an MIT evolutionary microbiologist and one of those who worked on the project. She explained that their goal was to demonstrate the bug’s evolution using real circumstances; not discuss it in an abstract manner.

The scientists found that as the bacteria was advancing, it became swifter and overtook the slower colonies. This means as the antibiotics were becoming more concentrated, the bacteria could work its way to the center easier.

Lieberman also said that they wanted to get people to understand this. That this demonstration was the first step to teaching people why they should not be prescribed antibiotics.

The antibiotics talk continues. Some say that there is insufficient evidence, and others say that there is enough. However, the results of the experiment speak for themselves.

The antibiotics may heal more than they harm or harm while healing, according to some of the scientists stated above. For others, antibiotics may harm or heal.

By Osveen Funwi
Edited by Cathy Milne


CBS News: Antibiotics before age 2 linked to allergies later
NPR: WATCH: Bacteria Invade Antibiotics And Transform Into Superbugs
The Huffington Post: Babies Given Antibiotics Are More Likely To Develop Eczema

Image Courtesy of oliver.dodd’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License