The immune system is primarily affected by the good bacteria in our intestines. Using antibiotics is intended to kill bad bacteria, but it kills both the good and bad, leaving the intestines susceptible to pathogens. Previously, I wrote about the need to take good bacteria after a course of antibiotics here but there are many more medications that cause the same problem.
All medications create side effects, but the detrimental effect on the immune system is not well publicized. Common medications such as, antifungals (Diflucan, Nystatin, etc.), pain meds (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, etc.), the birth control pill, corticosteroids (prednisone, steroid inhalers, etc.), chemotherapy and others all deplete the good bacteria in the intestinal tract. Often these meds are taken long-term which requires daily use of probiotics to keep healthy immune and digestive systems. I wrote about the side effects with taking antibiotics here and these apply to all of the meds listed above.
The good bacteria produce more B-vitamins than we can consume orally each day. The good bacteria help the intestinal cells to produce enzymes that digest proteins and carbohydrates. The good bacteria also create the proper pH to maintain the perfect balance of bacteria for a healthy immune system and the ability to fight off strep, E. Coli, staph and parasites to name a few.
The loss of these valuable healthy bacteria leads to inadequate digestion, growth of bad bacteria, creating an increased likelihood of allergies, candida, parasites, and any digestive disorder. The disrupted digestive function impairs absorption of nutrients, affecting neurotransmitters that may cause emotional disorders and psychological diseases, such as ADHD, depression and even Schizophrenia.
I consider probiotics to be like seeds for a healthy garden in your intestines. If you take any of the above medications, take a daily supply of at least 15 billion probiotics and eat mostly perishable foods such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat, nuts and seeds and very little processed foods to keep a healthy immune system.