New research suggests that the risk of allergies skyrockets in babies that were given antibiotics and antacids. Allergy rates have jumped in recent years especially among children.
Researchers at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences explained that a healthy gut can keep the immune system and health in top shape. Antibiotics and antacids disrupt the gut microbiome.
Study authors recommend giving the drugs to babies only when it is absolutely necessary. While some allergic reactions can only lead to mild discomfort, other reactions can be deadly.
An allergy happens when the immune system identifies a food or other external factors as dangerous pathogens that must be fought off. New research suggests that some allergies may affect babies before birth.
When babies explore the world, they find external factors which they learn to identify. Their immune system identifies those factors too and decides if they are harmful or not. If the immune system considers that there is a danger, it builds up defense against it.
Immune System and the Gut Are Closely Tied
However, our bodies can build defense to the wrong things like foods, pollen, drugs, or grass. Allergies rates are significantly higher in the developed countries than in poorer countries.
Some studies found that one cause may be first world countries being too clean for children to build a healthy immune system. With household cleaners removing nearly all germs and bacteria, the immune system is left jobless and it starts flagging harmless items as allergens.
Past studies have also shown that the gut bacteria have tremendous influence on the immune system. There needs to be a close coordination between the two for a healthy body.
Antibiotics and antacids cannot tell the difference between good and bad gut bacteria like the immune system can, which leads to an imbalance in the gut. The imbalance affects babies primarily because they are still developing.
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