Antibiotics Increase Allergies in Children

Antibiotics

Use of antibiotics in children increases their risk for allergies, asthma and eczema.

A 2009 study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology by the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood found that when antibiotics were used in the first year of life, there was an increased risk of asthma and eczema by the age of 6 and 7. The study spanned 193,412 children from 29 different countries

More and more children today are struggling with allergies, asthma and skin conditions like eczema. Chances are your child, or a child you know, is dealing with one or more of these issues.

Overuse of Antibiotics

The last decade or so has given ample evidence for the immune dysfunction associated with antibiotic use and the reduction of healthy probiotics.

In a more recent study in April of 2010, scientists from the University of Marcos found that the use of paracetamol (acetaminophen) and antibiotics in the first year of life increased the likelihood that children would develop allergic conditions.

The children given acetaminophen were 56% more likely to develop eczema and the children given antibiotics in their first year were 66% more likely to develop eczema. Acetaminophen and antibiotics in combination increased the risk of developing asthma, eczema and rhinoconjuctivitis (itchy, watery eyes and noses).

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 90% of upper respiratory infections are viral; more than 40% of the 50 million prescriptions written each year for antibiotics are prescribed for such infections. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses and the overuse of antibiotics has likely led to the drug-resistant superbugs and the 88,000 deaths due to hospital infections every year.

In urgent, life-threatening situations, antibiotics can be necessary. But if you or your child has ever taken antibiotics, those medications have killed both the good and bad bacteria in your body. Few people question the lack of healthy bacteria (flora) in our systems known as probiotics.

Beneficial Bacteria

The roots of the word “probiotic” mean “for life.” Probiotics refers to the “friendly” flora living in our digestive tracts that help us to break down our foods and gain nutrition from them. These bacteria, yeasts and molds make up 70%-85% of our immune system.

Weston A. Price Foundation researchers Kathryn Pirtle and John Turner reviewed the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Depression and Schizophrenia by Natasha Campbell-McBride in 2007.

Campbell-McBride, like the Weston A. Price researchers, found that in almost all of the cases she reviewed, such allergic reactions were caused by an unhealthy level of intestinal flora and resultant toxicity from poor digestion.

The immune response is influenced by the mucous membranes of the digestive lining.

Campbell-McBride named the problem the “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” or GAPS.This author believes that decreasing nutrition in America produces less healthy children, less passing-down of intestinal flora and less healthy digestion.

The increasingly poor diet in Americans and the less incidence of breast-feeding both contribute to intestinal damage and malnourishment.

Resultant early childhood illnesses leading to more antibiotic prescriptions worsen the “friendly flora” problem.

Campbell-McBride says that people with unhealthy bacteria levels come to crave and imbibe the very foods that will support and promote the growth of such bacteria. This includes pasteurized dairy and processed sugar and grains.

Aside from antibiotic use, other reasons for decreased levels of probiotics include:

  • Added hormones in food
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Chlorine
  • Fertilizers
  • Fluoride
  • Pesticides
  • Preservatives & Additives
  • Stress

This information may seem overwhelming when you realize how common many of these aggregators really are in the world in which we live. But many of these environmental toxins can easily be avoided or replaced with better alternatives.

If you or your children are struggling with conditions like asthma, allergies or eczema, start boosting your immune system from the inside out.

Sources

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2009)

Reuters (2010)

Life Extension Foundation (2006)

Weston A. Price Foundation (2009)

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One comment so far - add yours!

  1. Robin Neudorfer says:

    <p>I have had personal experience with this subject.<br/> My 18 yr old daughter has been following nutritional suggestions of Dr John Symes, for a seizure disorder. The eczema that she has had off and on over her short life is now gone.<br/>Also, my 21 yr old son showed signs of vitiligo at the age of 7. He also had allergies on and off as well. After two rounds of antibiotics for a staph infection, a variety of vaccinations as a US Marine, increase in allergies followed. I asked him if he would be willing to take probiotics. We did this for about 4 months. The allergies seemed to subside (we have two cats so this was evident), and he also mentioned that the noticeable white skin patches on his knees, had gone away.<br/> I am a believer in GI health.</p>

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