A new study has come out that links the overuse of antibiotics to developing type 2 diabetes, which is a new revelation among the many already known dangers of antibiotics. One million people in the United Kingdom were studied, and researchers found that if someone was prescribed two courses of antibiotics, they were more likely to develop the disease. The four different types of antibiotics that showed the increased risk include penicillins, cephalosporins, quinolones, and macrolides.
The study found that between two and five courses of penicillin increased diabetes risk by 8 percent, with more than five courses increasing the risk of diabetes by 23 percent. Someone who took two to five courses of quinolones had a 15 percent greater risk of developing diabetes, but taking more than five courses upped the risk to 37 percent.
The study was published in the European Journal of Endocrinology, and also took into account other risk factors for diabetes including smoking, infections, and heart disease. The study senior author Dr. Yu-Xiao Yang, of the University of Pennsylvania said “While our study does not show cause and effect, we think changing levels and diversity of gut bacteria could explain the link between antibiotics and diabetes risk.”
There have also been other experts to come out and agree with the results of the study, suggesting that more research is needed to figure out if the gut bacteria is to blame for the increased risk of diabetes. The gut bacteria has already been known to contribute to insulin resistance and is also a cause of obesity, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the antibiotics change the structure of the bacteria or trigger some sort of chemical reaction. There is also a link between things like gingivitis and heart disease, which proves that bacteria that enters one part of the body can contribute or influence to certain medical conditions.
The main problem with antibiotics is that if they are used too often or prescribed for too long of periods of time, the bacteria itself will become resistance. This sometimes means that you have to go through more than one or two courses of antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria, and it also leads to doctor’s prescribing even stronger antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria. In the long run, antibiotics can significantly mess with the digestive ecosystem and process, which can be associated with the development of diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
While this does not mean that you shouldn’t take antibiotics if you have a legitimate bacterial problem, it does mean that you should not be looking at antibiotics to cure simpler conditions like the flu or a sore throat. The less you take antibiotics in your lifetime, the better your digestive system will be, which means you will have less of a chance of triggering insulin resistance or another much more serious problem. Although more research needs to be done to confirm the link, this new study does fall in line with other studies with similar outcomes, and it’s something doctor’s need to think about before sending a patient out with multiple antibiotic prescriptions.