There has been a lot in the media lately about the risks of diabetes and antibiotics. Researchers are finding more evidence to support the idea that there is a link between taking antibiotics and developing diabetes.
In the latest evidence of a link between diabetes and antibiotics, a new study with mice found that repeated use of antibiotics added to the risk of type 1 diabetes, especially in young children. This adds to the existing evidence that antibiotics increase the chances of type 2 diabetes in some adults.
The evidence is growing
It is important to note that despite all of the research between diabetes and antibiotics a direct link between the two has never been established. The growing amount of evidence to support the theory however does warrant people especially parents, to exercise a degree of caution when it comes to the prescription of antibiotics for children. The evidence suggests that the more antibiotics that you take over a period of time, the more likely it is that you will become diabetic.
Why is there a link between diabetes and antibiotics?
As mentioned there is no hard evidence to suggest a direct link between the two but the theory of why there is a link surrounds the changes in the intestinal bacteria (microbiome) in the gut that is caused by taking antibiotics. These changes may create changes in other cells such as immune system cells that cause inflammation in the insulin producing cells that can lead to diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes in mice
In a recent study lab mice were given antibiotic doses equivalent to the ones children would receive for a typical ear infection. After 3 antibiotic treatments the lab mice showed an enhanced rate of type 1 diabetes. The read through between lab mice and humans is of course clouded but the research is scary to say the least. The statistics say that on average, by the age of 10 a human child may have had up to 10 courses of antibiotics. Parents have been warned. Please see my in depth post on the symptoms of a child with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes studies
In research conducted in Denmark researchers found that people who took an antibiotic 5 times or more over a period of years were up to 50% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who took one or no antibiotics. Again the reasoning for this is not entirely clear. It is possible that gut bacteria that metabolises sugar in people is impaired leading to type 2 diabetes. It is also possible that the repeated infections that require antibiotics increase the risk of diabetes.
People react differently to antibiotics
Quite often a sign that the body is fighting an infection, before symptoms develop, is higher than usual blood sugar levels. Infections are known to raise blood sugar levels as your body is busy trying to fight the infection and it does not focus on other things it normally would such as regulating blood sugar levels. Taking antibiotics can often see your blood sugar levels quickly return to more normal levels In fact antibiotics work so well in the body it can raise the possibility of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) in some diabetics. The bottom line is – don’t take antibiotics for a common cold or sniffle, cough or sneeze. Fight these viruses with plenty of rest, water, keeping warm and recovery time.
Change the lifestyle factors that can lead to infection
Before taking a course of antibiotics you can do everything in your power to change the conditions that your body finds itself in to pick up the infection in the first place. The best course of action often is lots of bed rest and water to flush the body of any contaminants. Antibiotics often help your body fight any infections but quite often will not kill off the infection completely. That means that there is a good chance of the infection returning again in the future, only next time it will be more resistant to antibiotics. Please see my article on the best vegetables for diabetics to eat here. Also an article on the best overall foods diabetics should eat here.
Some side effects of taking antibiotics
This is by no means meant to be a negative post on antibiotics but it is meant to raise awareness on them. Antibiotics can help diabetics and non-diabetics alike. They can save lives and have saved humans from things like bacterial infections and pneumonia. Some of the known negative side effects of antibiotics include –
- Nausea and vomiting and diarrhoea
- Swelling of the joint
- Retinal detachment
- Heart palpitations
- Poor kidney function
- Urinary infections
Further information on natural remedies
I recommend that people look at this resource as an alternative to antibiotics. This was written by a medical doctor on the best and most effective way to kill super-bugs. It gives people all the tools and information needed to survive the what the author describes as the coming “Antibiotic Apocalypse” and protects you and your family with natural remedies from mother earth. Expect you and your family to all get a significant boost in your immune system and to look and feel healthier by reading this.
Antibiotics play a vital and important role in our society. In short they can save your life. The problem is that it gets over prescribed. If you have taken a course of antibiotics more than twice or three times in the last 2 years then you should be screened for diabetes more regularly. Parents of children who get an infection should put their children on antibiotics only after all other options have been explored. Again I highly recommend that you read this book as a starting point.
Please reach out to me below to add your thoughts on diabetes and antibiotics