Are the antibiotics in your food making you sick?

I really never thought that I would see the day when this headline hit mainstream media:  “CBS: Antibiotics in animal feed can harm children, doctors warn”.  I feel like I have been on a rant about the many forms of drug abuse (in this case antibiotics) for ever!  Finally, the American Academy of Pediatrics has publicly stated that antibiotics in our livestock feed has become a serious problem and health risk to humans:

“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) technical report says the practice of adding antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs to the feed of healthy livestock, commonly done to promote growth and prevent disease among animals in crowded conditions, often leaves the drugs ineffective when they’re needed to treat infections in people, especially the youngest among us.”


Did you know that antibiotics are used more for animals than for humans? Did you know that antibiotics are pumped into the water livestock drink and the food they eat. If the old adage “you are what you eat is true, the we, if we purchase and eat commercially processed meats and cheeses, are consuming massive doses of antibiotics.  Don’t you think this is a problem?  Well, it is, and now a concern that has been voiced for decades is finally making headlines.
What is currently the topic of discussion is how the practice of prophylactically and indiscriminately using antibiotics on our livestock is contributing to antibiotic resistant bacteria. But what about those people allergic to antibiotics and sulfa drugs? If the antibiotics fed to and injected into the live stock is present in the meat and milk, this can have devastating health affects on those who have an allergy to those drugs


Let me try to show you by example that you too could be suffering from symptoms related to the antibiotics in your food and you don’t even know it.  Misty is a patient of mine.  She came to me via referral of her friend for treatment of her headaches.  Misty had DAILY headaches for as long as she could remember going back to early childhood.


In my experience symptoms that are daily, not seasonal, and do not seem to wax and wane are due to a food allergy or intolerance.  I told this to her during our consultation and she agreed to do a food diary for me.  After reviewing the food diary, I had her eliminate certain food groups from her diet for 10 days.  My number one food to have her eliminate was dairy.  Given her history of sulfa drug allergy and the fact that her favorite food was cheese, I knew that the dairy was likely the culprit.


By the end of the 10 days, Misty was feeling good and had been headache free for 5 of those days! But she was missing dairy and so we proceeded with the re-introduction phase of the diet to reintroduce the eliminated foods one at a time to see if reintroduction of any of those foods would trigger headaches.  On the day that she was to re-introduce dairy, I had her come into the office and told her to bring with her just 1-2 oz. of the cheese of her choice.


I watched Misty eat the cheese she brought in and we chatted for a little while.  Within 10 min she began to get red in her face and around her neck and within another 2 minutes she began to break into a sweat and feel nauseated.  Within 20 minutes, she had a really terrible headache.  At first I couldn’t decide if she was allergic to the casein (the protein in the dairy) or if it was a reaction to the antibiotics that made their way into the cheese.


So, we re-eliminated dairy and she felt great and was headache free the entire next week, but when we went to re-introduce the dairy again, I had her purchase cheese from a small local organic farm.  I know this farmer well and I knew that she did not use any antibiotics on her animals.  Misty was really reluctant to try cheese again, but when we re-introduced it this time, she had no reactions – none.  We concluded that it was the antibiotics that the animals had been treated with that had been causing her debilitating headaches all these years.  This changed her world, she now has to eat dairy free to avoid headaches since you can’t always know where the dairy is coming from, that means avoiding it altogether to be safe.
Are you allergic to sulfa drugs or antibiotics and experiencing un-explained symptoms like, headaches, digestive issues, skin issues, chronic fatigue and other allergy-like symptoms? Maybe it’s what you are eating…or what’s in your food? If you’d like to get to the bottom of your symptoms, call for a consultation: (239) 243-7835.

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