Antibiotics are certainly one of the most effective drugs that have ever been developed. They do have a valid place in modern medical practice. In fact, they very often achieve their desired effect of killing bacteria in your body. However, since Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin in 1928, the discovery of additional unwanted effects of antibiotics has continued at a rapid pace. This week, we learned of a new one – antibiotics are making you fat!
It has become clear to many people that the adverse effects of antibiotics out weigh their potential benefits. Despite the fact that many medical doctors tend to extremely over-prescribe them, many people (this author included) have chosen to avoid them all together. Instead, we have discovered many natural foods and substances that have antibiotic properties. As well, I choose to focus on lifestyle and nutrition that naturally allows my immune system to fight infection, making antibiotic drugs completely unnecessary.
Flu season is upon us. It’s time to decide if you or your children will receive a flu shot this year. After all, 23,607- 35,000 people die from the flu each year, right? You don’t want to be included in this year’s statistics! But are those numbers accurate?
You’re not going to find any clear answers from the CDC. If you start drilling down, searching for the actual numbers of flu victims, flu deaths, and the efficacy of the vaccine on their website, suddenly nothing is clear – except the fact that the vaccine industry is a big business and the CDC does a superior job of hiding actual facts and figures under a mountain of doublespeak.
Remember when your heart was pounding out of your chest, your palms became sweaty and you felt nauseated before a big exam or speech in school? If anything traumatic has ever happened in your life, do you remember being physically and mentally exhausted in the aftermath? How about dizzy after having the flu or in between meals? All of these examples highlight the adrenal system.
The adrenals are part of our intricate endocrine system that releases hormones throughout the day, all working together to help our bodies run efficiently. In fact the whole system is a giant feedback loop that is exquisitely controlled. Unfortunately, it can get overwhelmed.
The hypothalamus in the brain stimulates the pituitary which then activates the adrenal cortex to produce hydrocortisone, cortisone, aldosterone and sex hormones like estrogen, or testosterone (although these are mostly produced in the actual sex organs). These regulate metabolism, cardiac function, blood pressure support, inflammation, immune system support and the ability to fight off infections, sexuality, and much more.
For example, one of the most important things that cortisol, released by adrenal cortex, does is to control immunity (IgA) in your gut. Hence, if you’re stressed, the immune response in your gut suffers, increased gut wall permeability occurs and good bacteria gives way to bad bacteria, causing immune dysregulation.
But that’s not all… The adrenal glands also have an adrenal medulla (the inside part of the gland) which is responsible for the famous fight of flight syndrome that occurs when adrenaline or epinephrine/norepinephrine, is released. It is regulated by the sympathetic nervous system and can be quieted by some simple Eastern medicine techniques.
A splitting headache, tense back pain, a high fever – just three of the experiences that the majority of us have come to know and experience at various points in our lives – some of us more regularly than others. Whether it be because of the busy nature to our lives or our desire to remove these pains as quickly as possible, many of us have become dependent upon pharmaceutical pain killers – primarily aspirin and ibuprofen – to rid ourselves of these experiences. We’ve become so dependent that in 1998 alone over 500,000 pounds of acetyl-salicylic acid (the main component used in aspirin) was produced in the United States alone, according to US EPA statistics – a number which has only grown annually since.
So many of us take both aspirin and ibuprofen because for the most part when it comes to a short-term analysis, they work! I remember 5+ years ago I had my wisdom teeth removed and there wasn’t any amount of fatigue that was going to make me capable of falling asleep while experiencing the throbbing pain the procedure had left me in. I tried to tough it out, but when I hit the 24-hour awake point I decided to give in, taking a pain-killing aspirin. The end result: I fell asleep within the hour.
If these drugs are effective for many people – including myself in a past experience – why would I bother putting together an article focused on the dangers associated with them? I’ve put this together because unfortunately research shows that the impact these drugs can have on the human body goes a lot more in-depth and long-term than the short-term potential relief.
Each October, the chiropractic profession celebrates National Chiropractic Health Month and offers the community important and relevant health-related information. This year, we’re supporting the 2015 theme, #PainFreeNation, along with the American Chiropractic Association and chiropractors across the nation.
The Painkiller Epidemic
You may have read or heard about the current drug crisis in the United States. Stories featured in Time Magazine, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and all major publications, have grabbed Americans’ attention on what the CDC is calling “the worst drug epidemic in history.” Prescription pain medications are being prescribed, used and abused at an alarming rate. At the root of this epidemic is a lack of options for pain management and countless Americans who are suffering from chronic pain and being left with nothing but a prescription to mask the pain.
We’re here to change this.
This infographic, The Painkiller Epidemic: How Chiropractic Can Fix It, walks you through the stats and facts surrounding this issue and outlines chiropractic’s important role in solving the problem.