Antibiotic Use During Childhood
Dr. New Doctor's Name Blogs from 2012
Antibiotic Use During Childhood May Increase Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
It appears increasingly important to keep infants and children antibioticfree if possible. A study from Seattle Children’s Hospital demonstrates that children, particularly infants, exposed to most commonly prescribed antibiotics had a significantly increased risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory bowel disease is a disorder of the immune system causing diarrhea and other symptoms. It occurs in association with other autoimmune disorders and has been increasing in frequency. There are 2 types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Both can vary in severity over a life time. They are potentially very serious. Although remissions are possible, there is no cure at this time. Treatments have improved in recent years but progress has been relatively slow. It is an active area of research particularly in the underlying genetic abnormalities and the triggers for its onset.
The take-home message is to be vigilant with antibiotics, breast feed whenever possible and for as long as possible (2 years). The developing intestinal tract is very important to the development of healthy immune function in childhood and later in life. Pursuing an organic and pesticide/antibiotic-free diet can only help.