Antibiotics are the devil. Seriously. I’m not typically someone who has strong opinions about what others eat or ingest because I figure, hey, it’s your body do what you will with it. Until now. I’m not going to get all preachy on you and expect arms raised, faces to the heavens type stuff, but I am going to share with you a cautionary tale which will hopefully save you from enduring the same hassles I have.
Recently my doctor prescribed me a long and drawn-out dose of antibiotics. I’m not typically keen on taking medication (I tough it out as long as I can with headaches and cramps and all that) but I figured he’s got the medical degree so he must know what he’s talking about!! WRONG. I was on the antibiotics for about a month before these wonderful flu symptoms reared their ugly head. Following that I got a cold and now I’m pretty sure a sinus infection has set up camp in my forehead. Either that or tiny elves are drilling away in, and around my eyes.
This has gone on for two weeks now. The thing about antibiotics is that they kill the bad bacteria but they also kill the good. The moment I got sick my body had zero fighting power and now it’s just going on and on and on. I have a headache around the clock and my skin is doing some kind of reactive dance which is making me want to itch it right off my body. My appetite is almost totally gone (okay a tiny tiny part of me doesn’t hate that) and I want to egg my doctor’s car or toilet paper his house or do something equally annoying but not illegal to render some kind of payback.
I went to a health food store and stocked up on probiotics. For the cost of them I better feel like a rock star by next week. I’m trying to wean myself off the antibiotics by alternating them with the probiotics to turn the damage around, but without the good bacteria fighting back the bad has the opportunity to multiply at rapid pace.
This lovely little experience of mine has led me to do a little research of my own on all of this. Many of the forums and websites I’ve come across strongly suggest I alter my diet to eliminate certain toxins to get my body back to basics. I already don’t eat meat so, the first of this process will be cutting back on my consumption of gluten and dairy (essentially the loves of my life). From there, I’m going to remove lots of my sugar intake (my third love) and then do a cleanse with a little box kit thing they sell at the health food store. This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this but none of it sounds anywhere near the avenue of fun and I know I’m going to need a little motivation as things move along. The very cheerful peace-loving girl at the health food store even cringed a little when she was showing me the cleanse kits and said “the first four days won’t feel that good but that means all the toxins are leaving your system!” and then did this little jumping clap thing. That actually made me feel slightly better about the process of wiping all things delicious from my life, for like half a second, but like I said I’m going to need some motivation so, I’m going to blog about it so there’s some semblance of accountability.
I’m already altering my diet little by little because the craziest darn thing I learned in all this is the amount of antibiotics present in food! Umm hello gross! Like I said I don’t have any strong opinions about what people put in their bodies (to each their own) and although I’m vegetarian I worked at KFC for a time and recently made my parents meatloaf for our father’s day meal. Needless to say I’m not toting around PETA pamphlets but I do have a problem with ingesting unnecessary surprises that work at killing my immune system. I kind of liked it before all this went down.
The antibiotics are used to help cows and chickens and such absorb and process their food more quickly and prevent disease amongst them as they’re often cooped up so closely it’s a breeding ground for bacterial production. Unfortunately the antibiotics creep up in the meat or eggs they provide later so that we lucky humans get to ingest all that. YUM. The solution can be as simple as buying food locally and having some knowledge of their farming practices. Seems like a lot of work, but considering how crappy I’m feeling in this moment having ingested a heavy dose of yuck in the form of antibiotic hell, I am definitely thinking it’s worth it.
I’m not saying antibiotics aren’t sometimes helpful when used to fight bacterial diseases but the more we ingest, the more immune we become to their intended function so proceeding with due caution can’t be a bad thing. This concludes my public service announcement. You’re welcome. More to come on the cleanse. Now go forth and eat local young grasshoppers.