(Mirror Daily, United States) – Having the family doctor prescribe antibiotics even for the smallest of colds is not helping your toddler – on the contrary, a new study shows this is the source of a major crisis.
Treating children’s health problems with antibiotics from a very young age exposes them to the harmful side effects of the drugs. With each “extra” and unnecessary dose of antibiotic, the child’s natural resistance increases, so next time the fall sick, they will require a much stronger dose.
New bacteria strains thrive in the abuse of antibiotics in a community, and these so-called superbugs are much more resistant to antibiotics than the regular type. There are so many health issues that point towards one conclusion – do not seek to treat your children with antibiotics they do not need it.
Furthermore, a new study noted that antibiotics can also be a reason why some children seem to be gaining weight so much faster than they did before. Researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 160,000 children aged 3 to 18 years old from the period January 2001 to February 2012.
Children who underwent repeated treatments with antibiotics during their early years in life turned out to be predisposed to being overweight. The team also found an explanation, saying that almost all antibiotics have the ability to alter the way our bodies break down the nutrients in food – in such a manner that it can lead to child obesity.
Study author Dr. Brian Schwarz, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, explained that body mass index is clearly and directly influenced by the use of antibiotics in the formative years. He added that the study revealed that in each case of early antibiotic treatment, the child had gained weight faster over a period of time.
Even though the research also pointed out that the weight increase caused by antibiotics could be modest by the time children grow up, Dr. Schwarz said the effects are cumulative and could continue into adulthood.
The initial findings from this trial led to one conclusion: it is tremendously important to reduce prescribing antibiotic. Dr. Schwartz welcomes the comments from the peer review team, even though some might disagree with his research.
Dr. Helen Stokes-Lampard, a spokesman for the Royal College of GPs, for example, thought the study’s findings could make clinicians feel intimidated and scared, as it suggests they are not behaving professionally and abusing their abilities.
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