Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You can keep your moldy bread, unless it tastes like bubblegum...

I'm not a huge fan of antibiotics. There. I said it. I know that the world as we know it today - with the population levels we sustain and need to feed - simply would crumble without this technology. I just believe that today's doctors lean a bit heavily on these - signing over Z-packs over the phone to "heal" a person's self-diagnosis. This abuse is simply going to FORCE everyone into stronger and stronger antibiotic requirements - and those that cannot afford to be treated or go undiagnosed will succumb to a superbug that cannot be fought by the body's natural immune system alone.

Am I a bit paranoid? Maybe. Do I think our nation's overuse of medicine to solve problems is money driven? Absolutely. Do I have a medical education and are my opinions grounded in medical fact? No.

Proceed at your own risk of reading an opinion...

I'm an ecologist. Simply put - nature has a balance - if you screw with that balance - everyone's screwed.

I have two specific instances that give me pause when I'm prescribed antibiotics - to the point were I will hold a fresh prescription bottle in my hand and wonder if I should actually go through with the treatment. Of course, as directed, if I start an antibiotic I always finish it.

The following are observations I have made in relation to antibiotics that the docs and pharmacists have failed to mention to me when administering the prescription.

(1) Birth control
The long and the short of this one: I know of several babies who were born 38-40 weeks after an antibiotic was prescribed. Pill babies. Women on the pill who get sick are prescribed antibiotics. The antibiotics override the system, and women get pregnant. I have ALWAYS told doctors that I'm on birth control when asked if I'm taking medication. Some have responded in a way similar to "oh, I mean real meds, sweetiepie..." fuckers. It is frustrating that I have noticed that pills fail when a women is on antibiotics - but a women is neither counseled in the doctor's office or warned on the prescription about this risk! Maybe the handful of "oops" pill babies that I know of are a coincidence...but maybe not.

(2) Good bugs v Bad bugs
Antibiotics are not discriminatory - they nuke the bodies microorganisms and can wreak havoc on the natural systems of the body. When I was in the hospital to give birth, I was given an IV of antibiotics. Many women - especially those whose water breaks before coming in - have experienced this. In addition to having this IV during labor - I had to continue on the IV for another several hours after birth because of the "reconstructive surgery" that was required... I went home with my baby and life was good. Until about a month afterward. Then shit hit the fan - and everything else. I had a crippling bought of diarrhea and vomiting. I almost lost my milk supply because I was so dehydrated. I went to the doctor (not my ob) and he said that the antibiotics that were used cleared my gut of the bad AND the good bugs, which left me a clean slate for colonization. Apparently, the bad bugs claimed me as their territory. It took a while for them to build up to a level of nasty that affected my system. He said that it is fairly common for people to experience this. He prescribed me another antibiotic to re-nuke my system - and told me to start eating yogurt with natural bacteria in it to recolonize with the good guys. Why hadn't I been told at the hospital that my digestive system had been given a run for its money and to eat yogurt to ensure a positive, non-pukey postpartum experience?

Sidebar: Of course, I went to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription he called in - and on the bottle it said - DO NOT USE IF BREASTFEEDING. What the hell? He asked me specifically if I was breastfeeding and we actually had a discussion about it. I digress...

Ok, so this rant has a lesson, ladies. Number 1 - talk to your doctor AND your pharmacist about the side effects of your antibiotics. Getting better feels like the most important thing, but taking care of a newborn that was conceived when you were religiously taking the pill while shitting your guts out is not an ideal situation. Number 2 - if you take an antibiotic - eat yogurt. It doesn't have to be the name brand - just one that has natural cultures on the label. Your colon will thank you.

Again, this is all my personal observation. Feel free to comment if you have a more informed opinion! The purpose of this post is to get you to think - and ask questions of your health care provider.

You, not they, are ultimately responsible for your well-being.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I wish I had a more up-lifting post, but I am really concerned about his issue. :)

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