Some recent studies have shown a link between Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and the use of antibiotics. Although acute antibiotic associated diarrhea is well known, these studies have shown a connection between short-term use of antibiotics and more persistent irritable bowel symptoms. This may give many people an answer as to why they may be afflicted with IBS symptoms, even months after taking a single course of antibiotics. In one study, the most frequent antibiotic given was amoxicillin, the most common antibiotic used and the one most often given to children for ear infections.

One other study showed that the IBS symptoms were improved by taking a lactobacillus supplement. Lactobacillus is a form of acidopholus that helps restore the bowel flora destroyed by antibiotics. Whenever taking antibiotics, it is good to take lactobacillus to help protect the digestion.

The use of antibiotics has become so common today that we are now facing a crisis in our ability to deal with bacterial infections. Antibiotics were first widely used after 1945, and at that time doctors were cautioned to use them with restraint. However, since then they have become so widely used that newer and stronger antibiotics have been needed to deal with bacteria that have grown immune to certain antibiotics. Certain antibiotics have a broad-spectrum usage, in that they affect a wide range of bacteria, including positive bacteria found in the bowel that are necessary for healthy intestines. Cipro, the antibiotic recommended for anthrax prevention, is one of these types of antibiotics, which is why it should only be used if really necessary. As mentioned in a previous article, it is questionable that Cipro is the only effective antibiotic for that use.

One other problem with antibiotic use is that prolonged use lowers the bodys immunity, which can lead to further infections. For example, it has been recorded how repeated use of antibiotics for childhood ear infections can lead to chronic congestion in the ear, which can then require tubes to release the congestion.

The important fact is to use antibiotics only when it is clear that they are needed. Taking them for colds and flu can often be wasteful as they are more often viral infections, not bacterial.