Could Antibiotics Be Contributing To CIDP?
Antibiotics may contribute to the development of autoimmune disorders. If you have CIDP, this may be relevant to your health.
By Shiraz Abbas
Antibiotics are very important in fighting infections. However, one of the down sides of using them is that they not only kill off the bad bacteria in your body, but they also kill off the good bacteria. This is not good news if you have CIDP which is an inflammatory autoimmune disorder.
Around 70% of the good bacteria in your body can be found in your gut and these bacteria play a significant role in regulating your immune function. A 2013 study concluded the following:
Gut microbiota interacts with both innate and adaptive immune system, playing a pivotal role in maintenance and disruption of gut immune quiescence. A cross talk between the mucosal immune system and endogenous microflora favours a mutual growth, survival and inflammatory control of the intestinal ecosystem. Based on these evidences, probiotics can be used as an ecological therapy in the treatment of immune diseases.
A particular area where good bacteria are critical is in the body’s inflammatory and autoimmune responses. How does this work? Well, good bacteria are very important in controlling the population of bad bacteria in your gut which may be responsible for autoimmune inflammatory disorders.
What antibiotics seem to do is that by killing the good bacteria in your gut, they leave more room for bad bacteria to eventually grow thereby bringing about inflammation in the gut.
More specifically, it seems that the bad bacteria play a role in bringing about a dysfunction in a person’s CD4 T cell response which plays a very important role in regulating the body’s inflammation.
Huffington Post writes:
CD4 T cells are known to play a critical role in the inflammatory response. Dysfunction in these cells is involved in the overactive immune response that eventually leads to the development of chronic inflammatory conditions like Crohn’s, lupus, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.
The evidence for this stems from a study on mice who were treated with antibiotics and had the good bacteria in their guts reduced. Huffington Post summarizes it as follows:
For the study, the researchers treated female mice with the equivalent of more than 100 times a normal human dose of several antibiotics during pregnancy and also treated their pups with the same drugs during their first three weeks of life. A second group of pregnant mice and their pups remained untreated to act as a control.
The pups treated with antibiotics had reduced levels of gut bacteria, as was expected. When the pups were eight weeks old, the researchers examined CD4 T cells from both the treated and untreated groups to examine their ability to induce intestinal inflammation in other mice.
The scientists found that immune cells from the antibiotic-treated mice induced a significantly more severe and rapidly forming disease than immune cells from other mice. Antibiotic-treated mice also had increased stress hormones, which suggests a connection between reduced gut bacteria and stress response.
The studies are telling in many ways. Although antibiotics are essential in our fight against disease, we need to be mindful of their use and only take them when absolutely necessary.
If we do end up having to take them, we must make sure to consume probiotics like homemade fermented yogurt in order to replace the good bacteria that were killed off. Finally, it is a good idea to eat organic foods that have not been treated with antibiotics which was discussed in more detail last week’s article.
Before you do anything, always make sure to discuss with your doctor first.
Shiraz Abbas is the founder and manager of the CIDP Neuropathy Support Group. He is also one of the main community educators of IVIG therapy. He resides in Fresno, California. Shiraz can be contacted through our free CIDP advice service at 1-855-782-0574.