Things That Damage Gut Flora #1: The Truths on Antibiotics, Drugs, Pesticides, Chemicals etc…
Since we have learned the importance of Gut Flora (the microbes/ bacteria residing in the gut) now it’s time to know the culprits that destroys them and cause chronic conditions and neurological disorders.
Antibiotics are prescribed all too easily now than before and the frequency is extremely high in Asia specifically South Asian countries. I have had a 9 year old client who had severe constipation and was prescribed with antibiotics to poop!! What a terrible medical system we live in. Getting antibiotics as drugs is one thing but have you considered the ones you get from poultry, farmed fish, even fruits and vegetables? Meat, dairy (as if dairy itself wasn’t enough now you have antibiotic rich dairy to think about), eggs, legumes (daal!), nuts are routines laces with antibiotics for commercial purpose to control disease and good crop turnover.
- Antibiotics not only destroy the beneficial bacteria in the gut but also harm other organs and tissues.
- Antibiotics change bacteria, fungi and virus from benign (harmless) to pathogenic (harmful) hence giving them ability to invade tissues.
- Antibiotics make bacteria resistant to antibiotics! This means now we need more powerful antibiotics to kill these pathogens.
- Antibiotics have direct damaging effect on the immune system making the body vulnerable to infections that requires antibiotics and so the cycle continues.
- Penicillin (antibiotics ending with “cillin” in their name) damages 2 major resident good bacteria, Lactobacilli (probiotic compound that creates lactic acid which kills bad bacteria) and Bifidobacteria (probiotics compound that helps digestion) while causing growth of harmful ones like Streptococci and Staphylococci (they cause infectious diseases). These harmful bacteria move the bowel bacteria up to the intestines which causes disease like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
- Tetracycline (those antibiotics ending with “cyclins”) commonly prescribed for acne or minor skin infections can stay in the body for as long as 2 years! They alters gut wall proteins which makes the gut wall prone to pathogen invasion (harmful microbes coming in easily) and next they alert the immune system to attack these proteins which causes the autoimmune diseases (body’s defense system attacking its own tissues and proteins!). What a devastatingly tragic cycle.
- Antibiotics can enter the body of breastfed babies via breast milk when the mother gets antibiotics. Babies who already has fragile gut flora then gets even more prone to gut dysbiosis which ultimately leads to eczema, asthma, allergies etc.
Drugs are poison given in controlled amount, just enough to do its job which is why they always have side effects and comes in labels to keep away from children! Hear this from a Pharmacist! Drugs potentially does even more damage when given for long time. Pain killers stimulate the growth of hemolytic form of bacteria that breaks down our red blood cells, steroids on the other hand has strong immunosuppressing ability which means it reduces our body’s immunity by prevention the immune cells to attack various body systems. Autoimmune disease often starts due to the use of such drugs in the 1st place. Steroids also almost always cause the overgrowth of fungi Candida in the gut. Contraceptive pills is a hidden enemy as these pills are usually taken for a very long period of time and they cause serious gut dysbiosis and when these mothers give birth, their babies often suffers eczema, allergies, asthma and learning disabilities. Drug related gut dysbiosis are the toughest to treat as they are the most severe and resistant to treatment.
What we eat has direct correlation to our gut flora. Convenience food, processed and mass marketed food that are nearly nutritionally empty has become the existence of modern life. Do you know the chips, chocolate, sausages, crisps, etc. are produced in a way that gives uniqueness to your palate in such a way that you crave for more even though you might be full. Commercial food scientists in the food company labs creates artificial colours and flavours that piques interest to young and adult all alike and they are often devoid of any nutritional value except sugar and starch! These sugar and carbs increase the growth of the bad bacteria which disbalance the gut.
Another culprit is the breakfast cereal!! We think whole wheat cereals should be healthy! But the opposite is true. The high fiber content of legume based starchy cereals is full of a type of fiber that body can’t digest or process properly. This causes negative gut flora, general digestive disorders and our body simply don’t know how to process them so they are stored in the bowels since its job is to holds on to things that are unprocessed thinking the job is unfinished. These food rot in the large intestine (bowel) leading to constipation, IBS, stomachache, indigestion, bloating, weight gain etc. Also in autism kids since their gut is already in disbalance these rotting creates even more damage. Don’t forget gut is the place where nutrients are supposed to be absorbed. And if the gut wall is inflamed nutrients can’t be properly absorbed and brain development and functions are hampered. All bodily functions require brain functions one way or another. To truly solve diseases especially neurological, look at the health of the gut. It’s all connected in more ways than we know or thought before!
Chemicals, pesticides and plastics…
From the food we eat to the cosmetics we use all things are now majorly made of chemicals!! Processed food? Chemicals. Skin cream and lotions? Chemicals. Even the soda you lovingly drink is nothing but fake flavours, sugar, water and some CO2! Pesticides are also in fruits and vegetables that we think are safe. A lot of organic produce are not necessarily free of chemicals and pesticides! To be able to put the “organic” label any company needs to use nature derived chemicals and pesticides. Commercially grown food has synthetic more harmful pesticides while organic ones have nature derived pesticides. Plastics are another very dangerous culprit. Not only do they destroy the nature but our brains too. Plastic containers release chemicals especially BPA that mimics estrogen in the body and disrupt the endocrine system. Heat from car, UV rays of sun, microwave all causes chemicals to leach into the content of the containers and is later absorbed. Skin is the largest organ of our body and is like a sponge soaking up whatever we put on it. Chemicals from cosmetics and lotions are absorbed and released into the bloodstream which later causes many harm. Heavy metals like lead, cadmium, mercury are all connected to disrupting the brain health and are amply found in sea fishes like Tuna, and salmon, in tinned food, drinking water from the tap, soil, fertilisers etc.
So you can see now that the modern life has indeed become a trap for us laden with dangerous chemicals and pesticides and other matters that are causing various disbalance and destructions in a plethora of our systems. In a separate blog post I will discuss individual topics that I skimmed here but as for this the aim was to let you know the many ways we are harming our and our children’s gut that are causing neurological disorders.
Upcoming Blog Post- Part 2 More Chemicals That Destroy the Gut Microflora
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