Imagine an old medieval city. You know, like the ones we see on TV, with high walls and towers, and archers standing at the top of the walls ready to shoot arrows at the invading hoards!
This city is your body.
The high walls of the city are the barriers your body uses to block foreign invaders.
The walls are the lining of your digestive system, the lining of your respiratory system (your lungs), and your skin.
Every one of us has these “walls’ right?
But the walls would be pretty useless if we didn’t have those “archers” standing at the top of the wall, ready to shoot arrows at the invaders, correct?
Those “archers” are called your “microbiome”. These are the “good bacteria” that live in your digestive system and on your skin, and help you “fight off” other bacteria, viruses, and foreign invaders.
Inside the walls, inside the city, you have another army, ready to fight if anyone gets inside these walls. That’s your immune system!
Your immune system is the SECOND line of defence for the city. It kicks in if anyone DOES get inside the walls. But your Microbiome is the FIRST line of defence, stopping attackers from getting inside the walls in the first place.
Now imagine that one of those archers on the wall spots an army of “bad” bacteria approaching the walls. They immediately start firing arrows. Your “good bacteria” are fighting the “bad bacteria”.
After a day or 2, if the “defenders” are winning, everything goes back to normal.
If the “defenders” are loosing, the immune system kicks in to help.
You may start feeling sick at that point.
The smart move at this stage is to give your archers and armies a chance to fight the war and win. Why? because once they do, they learn important lessons, and they become stronger and more able to defend from the next attack.
The less smart move is to immediately go to the doctor and get antibiotics.
So now imagine your archers firing arrows from the wall and then a cloud of poison gas drops from the sky and kills the “bad army”. But this toxic gas kills all your archers too!
This is what antibiotics do. They don’t distinguish between the good and bacteria. They kill everything.
So you may feel better, because all the “bad” bacteria are now dead. But guess what, your walls are now empty of archers. Your FIRST LINE OF DEFENCE is gone!
This is why “smart” doctors recommend taking “Probiotics” with your antibiotics. Probiotics put archers back on the walls!
Now let’s imagine another scenario. Your walls are full or archers and a foreign army approaches to attack you.
This time however, the invader is not an army of bacteria, but an army of Viruses! Your archers start to attack them.
But you go and take antibiotics. This poison gas drops, but guess what. The viruses don’t get affected! So now your archers are all dead, but the army of viruses is climbing the walls!
This is because antibiotics don’t work on viruses. They are designed to kill bacteria only!
Most “flu or cold” are viral, not bacterial, in nature.
And guess what, one of the biggest health issues health authorities are now facing (especially in developed countries) is “antibiotic resistance”.
Bacteria that used to get killed by antibiotics are no longer being affected.
This is because the widespread use of antibiotics has caused the foreign invading bacteria to “adapt” to the antibiotic and no longer get affected!
Of course some of it is due to antibiotics sprayed on foods (pesticides and herbicides) which we end up eating, but the majority is due to an overuse of antibiotics.
In fact, a recent study revealed that more than HALF of antibiotics prescribed by doctors were given WITHOUT confirming if there is an infection in the first place (https://wb.md/2NxopK8).
Be smart in the use of antibiotics. They certainly have benefits, but only when used under the right circumstances.