Dr. Larson, I have always appreciated how conscientious you are in your practice, and in your ongoing study to legitimately find the truth. And I think it’s impressive that you stay open minded….plenty of docs wouldn’t even ask me what I think. Like I once did, they trust only peer-reviewed-journal-
There’s plenty of evidence that should be considered that didn’t go through a multi-million dollar drug trial.
I am aware that occasionally antibiotics may be necessary, in a life-threatening situation. Thank goodness we have them for meningitis!
But I also believe that preventative antibiotics lead to ever-downward-spiraling health problems. I just can’t accept that 20 men on a firing squad are needed to remove a splinter. Just one trained practitioner, with fine instruments, is needed for that. We have lots of natural options that work, outside drugs.
Antibiotics—just one dose!—destroy the vast majority of healthy gut bacteria that is the crux of our immune system. A healthy gut has more organisms flourishing than the entire body has cells! And one round of antibiotic can cause cascading problems for years, even decades. I believe that virtually everyone in North America now has gut issues, and impaired digestion. The reasons?
Number one, antibiotic use. Number two, processed and preserved foods. Number three, genetically modified corn and soy, and hybridized wheat.
I wish that medical professionals would talk about the OTHER side of that issue—the guaranteed health problems that result from antibiotic use—and let the patient decide. That seems fair and right to me, that “professional liability” (CYA) not trump patient best interests to the point that so many of us are just avoiding the medical professional altogether.
I realize none of this is your fault, nor any single practitioner’s. The system has become very broken, where the American tort system has terrified doctors and made malpractice big business.
But I am on the patient advocate side, and I always look at what is best for the whole organism, for the long term. And I know quite a few docs standing up against the codification of medical care to be a monopoly for drug approaches—docs who are so angry that they risk status and even license to “do the right thing.”
I listen to people every day. At my lectures in 50 cities annually, and in emails, facebook, and my blog, people detail the chaos and devastation from their broken immune systems that always starts in the gut.
How do they have a chance, if AB’s are prescribed for just EVERYTHING? The body is never trusted, by the authors of the “standard of care,” to send white blood cells to the rescue and to do its job.
The medical system in the U.S., unlike in Europe and most other parts of the world, absolutely refuses to use natural plant extracts (herbs, essential oils, etc.) to aid and nurture the body’s immune system.
Antibiotics are a good thing only if they’re used once or twice in a lifetime, at most, to deal with an absolute crisis.
Twenty years ago, many who are well educated about the ramifications of AB use were sounding the alarm bell about overuse for ear infections and every cold and flu symptom. Nobody listened much.
So we’ve gotten worse, rather than changing course. Now we prescribe antibiotics as PREVENTATIVES before every surgery, even dental surgeries. I worked on a mental hospital children’s unit where the kids were given MONTHLY antibiotics as preventatives!
I was told that endodontists would refuse to do a root canal on me, if I didn’t take a preventative AB. So I found an endodontist who didn’t have that policy. Perhaps he was stepping outside “standard of care.”
Or maybe he just looked the other way. (Later this month, I am having the tooth with that root canal, which failed 18 months later, removed. At the time I did not know how toxic the practice of fossilizing a dead tooth is. But now I do.)
Sure, on a rare occasion, there’s an infection that morphs to become something dangerous. But I take issue when doctors are alarmist about a possibility that is one in ten thousand. (That’s how docs got my mother to agree to AB’s every few months when I was a child—by telling them my strep could become scarlet fever.) I consequently spent a lot of my adulthood recovering my broken immune system.
Some of the risks of antibiotics are nearly 100%–yeast overgrowth and devastation of healthy flora in the gut, for instance.
In fact, on a rare occasion, an AB can be fatal too.
Most of the time, the body does its job after an insult like surgery, and the immune system is consequently strengthened. My biological dentist has natural things to prevent disaster: before my oral surgery, I will have a high-dose IV Vitamin C. Dr. John Augsperger, who hosted my class in Colorado Springs last week, does the same, and he gave me his favorite dental hygiene product, the all-natural Tooth & Gum Tonic by Dental Herb Company.
I LOVE this stuff. No chemicals, alcohol, flavorings, preservatives, sweeteners, chemical poloxsamers or fractionated ingredients. It’s essential oils, herbs, all organic or wildcrafted. It’s the best mouthwash you’ve ever used, gum-disease preventative, and it’s really STRONG, too.
Dr. Augsperger is a biological dentist. I’ve found lots of them who research far beyond what the ADA-controlled dental schools teach, to discover a whole world of different thinking. It’s exciting, it’s empowering, it has lots of innovative solutions….and it’s just way outside “standard of care.”
Outside just dentistry, there are lots of natural antibiotics for child and adult use, that are cell specific and don’t destroy gut flora or healthy cells. Lots of essential oils (firstname.lastname@example.org can tell you about them). Colloidal silver. Garlic. Herbs like goldenseal.
I did a blog HERE on natural alternatives to AB’s. My readers contributed what works for them.
Antibiotics virtually guarantee yeast overgrowth. They virtually guarantee that viruses and bacterial organisms will bring the whole organism to its knees, over and over, because now its defenses are down.
My friend Ben got a sinus infection and now he’s on antibiotics over and over, I think about 6 times in 2012 already. He has tons of devastating consequences for this vicious cycle, including terrible digestive problems, that many people suffer with now, thanks to our sick love affair with antibiotics.
(Similarly, medicine uses steroids with even more devastating effects on immunity.)
Anyway, Dr. L, this is my opinion and my experience. Since I started refusing antibiotics completely 17 years ago and using alternatives, my family has gotten dramatically healthier, and I’m happier with my arsenal of options, rather than being dependent on pharmaceuticals and waiting to get in to see a doc who, in the end, is kind of a one-trick pony with the prescription pad.
The main one, of course, is to keep them eating a plant-based, high-raw, mostly alkaline diet. Then they’re strong and far less susceptible to the scary stuff.