Tullahoma News

Follow Us On:

Family Medicine Practice

Guts, Snot, and Liquid Poo

The common cold is one of those nasty little ailments that doctors hate. That’s because there is really nothing you can do about it, but patients think you are either an idiot or a NAZI brown shirt if you don’t.

Yeah, yeah, I know there are lots of doctors out there that give antibiotics for a common cold. This is very, very bad. I mean Darth Vader bad. We have all heard that antibiotics will cause drug-resistant superbugs, and they do. But usually the superbug kills the other guy, right?

So let’s make this personal, antibiotics given for a viral infection do not help get rid of the infection. Twenty percent of people who take antibiotics will get some kind of short-term side effect: diarrhea, constipation, rash, muscle and tendon rupture, heart arrhythmia, and anaphylactic reaction — to name a few.

Long-term consequences of unnecessary antibiotic therapy include disruption of your gut bacteria. Studies indicate that it can take a year for your gut to recover after you take an antibiotic. Remember that next time your toots make your wife run out of the bedroom.

Your gut bacteria are the shock troops of the immune system. They protect you from viruses and bacteria that will hurt you. If you shoot your own troops, don’t be surprised when your town gets pillaged.

Then there is this “leaky gut” thing that we really don’t know a lot about, but antibiotics may be a contributing factor. We suspect that when the gut gets leaky it can cause immune reactions and inflammation that can lead to inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, etc.

Antibiotics have their place, but the benefits should outweigh the risks. Remember that most common colds are going to start improving in 5 to 7 days. If they don’t, then you MIGHT need to see your doctor.

To schedule an appointment just call (931) 455-CARE (2273) or visit our Facebook page.