How Antibiotics Could Be Playing a Role in the Development of Your Mental Illness

Updated: Feb 1

Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, fatigue, or brain fog?

If so, there is a chance that your gut health has played a role in the development of these conditions.

Antibiotics are a miracle. They have saved many people from horrific infection and death. But with more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occuring in the U.S. each year, and over 35,000 people dying as a result of those infections, traditional antibiotics may be prescribed at a cost not associated with dollar signs.

But what can we do about it?

Read on to learn about what can help you recover from antibiotic use, what simple yet powerful substance has been clinically proven to fight infection without harm to the body, and more.

How Antibiotics Work

Antibiotics are drugs designed to kill bacteria or slow down their growth. They do this, while leaving human cells unharmed.

Antibiotics inhibit bacteria in a couple of ways. Some antibiotics break down the cell wall of bacteria. Others inhibit or cause dysfunction of certain proteins involved in the duplication of bacterial cells; this keeps bacteria from multiplying.

There are two general types of antibiotics: narrow spectrum and broad spectrum. Narrow spectrum antibiotics target specific bacteria. Broad spectrum antibiotics kill or slow down the growth of a wide range of bacteria.

Generally, broad spectrum antibiotics are the type prescribed, as we don’t always know what specific bacterium is causing an infection, and there is often a combination of bacteria causing the problem.

Antibiotics have been a miracle in preventing death and injury from many potentially fatal bacterial and fungal infections. But what kinds of problems are they leading to?

Why Antibiotics are a Problem for Gut Health

Antibiotics, especially broad-spectrum antibiotics, can "desertify" our gut, laying waste to many helpful strains of bacteria.

This leaves potential antibiotic-resistant bacteria to evolve in the gut. It also leaves our gut vulnerable to other infections, as our gut no longer contains many of the beneficial microbes that keep our body and mind in balance. This leads to inflammation, which can cause disease, cancer, and mental illness.

If our gut goes on like this for long enough, we can develop what is known as ‘gut dysbiosis’. Without our many, many strains and species of beneficial gut microbiota to protect our organs, develop and create neurotransmitters, and digest and ferment vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, our body and mind can become places of havoc and chaos.

Antibiotics are Overprescribed

Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928. During his nobel prize acceptance speech, he warned against the potentials of penicillin-resistant bacteria.

"The thoughtless person playing with penicillin treatment is morally responsible for the death of the man who succumbs to infection with the penicillin-resistant organism." (Alexander Fleming, 1945)

According to the CDC, it is estimated that 1 in 3 antibiotics are prescribed unnecessarily. There are also many times when antibiotics are prescribed for patients ill with viruses, which antibiotics are completely ineffective against.

Each time an antibiotic is prescribed, it wipes out multiple strains and species of bacteria in the gut. This is particularly problematic as we need so many species and strains of beneficial bacteria for almost every process in the body, and many in the brain.

It can take an entire year for a person to recover from one round of antibiotics. For many, especially children that are prescribed antibiotics, full recovery may never come. Thousands of studies have linked deficiencies of bacteria or microbial imbalances in the gut to autoimmune disease, mental illness, and many other nutritional deficiencies and health complications.

How Antibiotics are Creating Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria

Some of the bacteria that survive antibiotics are those that have adapted and evolved to become resistant to the antibiotics. These are known as antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or “multi-resistant bacteria.” These bacteria are leading to severe health complications and death for millions of Americans each year.

But antibiotic-resistant bacteria aren’t only developing as a result of antibiotic prescription. They are also also developing due to the use of antibiotics in the animals that we eat.

Many farmers and ranchers in the mainstream meat and dairy industries use antibiotics in mass quantities, both to keep animals from getting sick and to make them gain weight.

This leads to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the animals’ digestive tract. We then consume their meat or milk, which can lead to that same antibiotic-resistant bacteria entering and multiplying in our own gut.

The CDC estimates that 1 in 5 antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections come from animals or the food that we eat.

Unfortunately, we are now seeing the ramifications of our over prescription and consumption of antibiotics. As stated previously, more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year. Over 35,000 people die as a result. And these numbers are only increasing.

The Rise of Bacterial"Superbugs"

We are already seeing cases of bacteria that are resistant to every single antibiotic that we have. These multiresistant bacteria are known as “superbugs”. These bacteria give these “superbug” DNA traits to their offspring, as well as share these superbug DNA traits with other bacteria. In a sense, they learn from each other and combine their defensive knowledge.

Antibiotics, it would seem, are not a long term solution to fighting bacterial and fungal infections on a regular basis. The development of new antibiotics to fight these bacteria only seems to make the situation worse, as it develops new strains of multiresistant superbug bacteria.

This, quite literally, could end us as a species. We need to find other ways of fighting bad bacteria.

One clinically-studied, completely natural method of fighting bacterial infection in the gut and body is Raw Manuka Honey. Read on to find out more about this incredible, natural immune-superhero that is being used throughout the world as an alternative to antibiotics.

How to Heal the Gut Microbiome After Antibiotic Use

If we find ourselves in a situation where antibiotic use is necessary, we need to protect our gut from dysbiosis and post-infection through a gut-enhancing regimen.

The following is a process recommended by Dr. Nicole Vane for protecting and helping your gut recover from antibiotic use.

Here are the steps:

  1. When you start taking an antibiotic, also begin taking a high-quality probiotic at 3-5 times the recommended dose. Find a probiotic that is doctor-formulated, preferably clinically studied, contains 20 billion or more CFU’s, and does not require refrigeration.

  2. Begin taking a high-quality oregano supplement at 3-5 times the recommended dose while on the antibiotic.

  3. Continue taking these large doses of probiotics and oregano for a week after finishing your antibiotic prescription.

You might also consider adding Colloidal Silver to your regimen. I have never used it myself, but have heard a lot of good things about its use, despite the negative mainstream propaganda surrounding it. Many people swear by its antimicrobial properties, which would aid in killing off opportunistic bad bacteria.

Do your own research on this though and make an educated decision.

Last, but not least, I recommend using raw honey as a daily supplement to help with gut health and antimicrobial treatment. Raw Manuka Honey will be discussed in the final section of this article.

Note: It's best to consult with a Doctor of Functional Medicine or other health professional for advice on healing the body after antibiotic use. Different methods could be good for some individuals and bad for others - it all depends on the environment of your gut.

Alternatives to Antibiotics: Fight Infection Without Killing Good Gut Bacteria

Antibiotic-resistant organisms are becoming more and more of a problem. We need to find a better way of fighting bacterial and fungal infections, without wiping out our helpful bacteria and fungi.

How can we treat bacterial infections without antibiotics?

New Scientific Discoveries in Antibiotics

What if we could treat a bacterial infection without killing bacteria?

Bacteria interact with one another in a complex manner. They use what is referred to as “quorum sensing” to communicate with one another and perform mass actions. Through the release of natural chemicals, they cue and signal one another when there are enough of them to take action. If there are not enough bad bacteria to perform mass actions, then they will not attack.

Scientists are working on drugs that will inhibit communication between bacteria. By preventing bad bacteria from releasing or interpreting signals from one another, these bacteria could be left unaware of how many of them there are, and would thereby never act.

Animal-testing is currently underway for this type of treatment.

Raw, Organic, Local Honey

Using raw honey is an incredible way to fight infection. Not all honey is created equal though. Don’t purchase the typical wildflower or store-brand honey. While it does contain natural sugar and is acidic - properties that are known to fight bacteria - it is hardly better than white sugar.

You want to go for the raw, local honey. It is even better if it is labeled organic as well.

Raw honey contains potent, broad spectrum, antimicrobial components. It has also been shown to be extremely effective in treating seasonal allergies.

Using Medical Grade Honey as an Antibiotic

Honey doesn’t have to be local to be amazing. Raw Manuka Honey, medicinal honey from New Zealand, has been studied at length and is known for its incredible antimicrobial properties and benefits to gut health.

One of the best parts about raw honey, especially Raw Manuka Honey, is that it has been used for thousands of years. In all those years, microbes have never become resistant to it. It is being studied right now as a powerful means of fighting both normal and superbug bacteria...and it is working.

Manuka Honey from New Zealand, as well as many similar honey grown throughout Australia, are being used around the world to treat bacterial infections, both inside and outside the skin.

If you are going to purchase Manuka Honey, make sure that it is MGO-certified. It should also be non-GMO and preferrably UMF-certified.

It is also important to note that the higher the MGO grade, the higher the level of methylglyoxal. This is the naturally occurring compound that makes Manuka Honey so powerful.

An excellent choice of Manuka Honey would be Comvita Certified Raw Manuka Honey. This stuff is MGO Certified, UMF Certified, non-GMO, and packs a serious antimicrobial punch for both the gut and wounds.

Studies have shown Manuka Honey treats digestive issues, reduces healing time, disinfects wounds, promotes oral health, treats antibiotic resistant strains such as Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), more. It is also filled to the brim with beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients.

While there are other Manuka Honeys with a higher MGO rating, they can get really expensive - $80 expensive.

Comvita Certified Raw Manuka Honey is a high-quality Manuka Honey, with all of the medicinal and gut beneficial properties, but it will not break the bank. When you consider its antimicrobial properties, benefit to mental and physical health, and ability to knock out dangerous bacterial infections inside and outside the body, it is a no-brainer for the price. Especially as it takes so little to experience benefits.

Raw honey has been around forever. It has remained antimicrobial and beneficial to health for all those years. It is one of the powerful remedies from the earth that seem to withstand the test of time. Manuka Honey hits bad bacteria in a very complex way, making it impossible for microbes to fight back or to adapt.

To learn more about what harms the gut, check out my blog article What Kills Good Gut Bacteria? Gut Microbiome and Mental Health. You can also check out my Youtube video Humans Have 3 Brains to learn more about the connection between the gut and mental health.

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