Lifesaving Benefits … At A Price

I have spoken to very few people who have not taken an antibiotic at some time in their life. Prescribed for bacterial infections and sometimes parasites, antibiotics can be a lifesaver – but using antibiotics can be harmful.

The human gut is populated with trillions of microbes – estimated to be ten times the number of human cells that make up our bodies. These microbes support our immune system and affect our weight, our moods, our vulnerability to allergies and asthma, and our risk of autoimmune disease. They are symbiotic partners in creating wellness in our bodies.

What Do Antibiotics Do?

Anti-biotic means anti-life, and these drugs are effective at decimating our microbial population – both the good guys (beneficial bacteria) and the bad guys (pathogens). After a course of antibiotics it can take a long time for our microbes to grow back, and it often never returns to its former state. Even a single round can have permanent effects; hence, why I say using antibiotics can be harmful.

Our immune system is constantly addressing bacterial threats behind the scenes. When you “feel sick” it’s actually not an infectious microbe causing the symptoms. What you feel is your immune system going into high gear, and your symptoms (fever, congestion, fatigue) signal its activity. What your body most needs is for you to hear its call for help and change your activity – rest, hydrate, sleep, slow down.

Before Choosing Antibiotics

Since using antibiotics can be harmful, I suggest you consider options for supporting your immune system by:

  • Keeping your Vitamin D around 50 ng/ml.
  • Sleeping – seriously! It provides vital restoration.
  • Take a daily probiotic or eat fermented foods (natural sauerkraut, kimchi, plain yogurt)

Microbes are always competing for space and resources in our gut, and a diverse population will help to prevent infections and imbalances. By wiping out the bacterial competition, antibiotics can give both fungal microbes and antibiotic resistant microbes a chance to become more virulent. This is a major cause of downstream dysfunction.

Alternative Options

It’s important to remember that antibiotics only generally work against bacteria, not viruses. If you note symptoms of your body fighting something, you can start with the changes I mentioned above (rest, hydrate, sleep and slow down). Don’t rush to reduce your fever if it is not particularly high as that is one of your body’s primary defense mechanisms for killing pathogens. Give it some time and consider these added steps:

  • Take an extra 10,000 IU Vitamin D daily for a week.
  • Take 30-40 mg Zinc Picolinate daily on full stomach.
  • Stop consuming dairy foods if you have any congestion.

If you do find yourself needing a course of antibiotics, it’s critical to take a strong probiotic. The probiotic will help to hold ground for the good bacteria in your gut. Take it daily while taking the antibiotic and then for a month afterward. Take this probiotic separate from the medication so that it isn’t countered by the medication. This is best at night before going to bed if you are taking the drug twice a day.

You may be concerned about your immune function and reluctant to go to the doctor to avoid unnecessary exposure. Thankfully, there are simple steps that you can take to support your body in its daily mission.

Take a deep breath and evaluate your situation. You can make changes to support your immune system.

Kelly Lutman Pursue Wellness

What’s the Condition of Your Battleground?

The battle against COVID-19 rages on. Most of us now know someone who has tested positive for the virus or, sadly, has passed away. We continue to practice social distancing and stay in our homes, though it pains us to be apart from family and friends.

Have you found your perspective changing with regard to the virus? In the early days we scoured the internet for tips on fighting this unseen enemy. You may have increased your Vitamin C, and begun a regular practice of disinfecting your home.

I, too, have watched interviews and read articles related to the virus and how it affects the body in an effort to determine how best to respond. I came across a lengthy essay by Charles Eisenstein that brought up a key issue …

In the short term we want to save their lives; the danger is that we lose ourselves in an endless succession of short terms, fighting one infectious disease after another, and never engage the ground conditions that make people so vulnerable. That is a much harder problem, because these ground conditions will not change via fighting.”

To what ground conditions do you think he refers? What have reports said are those who are at greatest risk? Those who have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, digestive issues, asthma, and more. These are ground conditions. If the ground on which the battle is fought is already compromised, the battle will be that much harder.

What is your ground condition? Do you struggle with symptoms – signals that your body is asking for help? Perhaps you have found medications that help keep them at a tolerable level.  Has that truly resolved the ground condition, however? There are multiple ways to approach this.

The Conventional Approach

Perhaps you have gone to your doctor for your arthritis, and received a referral to a Rheumatologist. They may have ordered some tests and given you an anti-inflammatory prescription or even an injection.

The Functional Medicine Approach

If you were to visit a functional medicine practitioner, you would be asked numerous questions to explore what is actually causing the inflammation in your joints. Treatment would start with that cause. It could be excess weight, your high-stress lifestyle or some of the food you eat on a regular basis.

As a functional medicine practitioner, I might use diet, lifestyle, supplements and other modalities to help decrease the inflammation in your joints so that you no longer have pain. When you have symptoms of disease – messages that your body is calling for help – I dive deep into possible root causes. I am both a detective and an educator, and my mission is to explore the path and guide you to restored function – not just place a band-aid on the symptoms and see it as good enough.

Are you concerned for the condition of your personal ground on which a future battle will be fought? Reach out to me and let’s set a time to chat about what you need and how I can help.

Kelly Lutman Pursue Wellness