Antibiotics & Weight Gain

Day #98, Feast Day #55

I am on my last day taking antibiotics and am more than ready to be done with them. Despite trying to get back on track with alternate day fasting this week, my scale has been messing with my mind. I have been gaining and losing pounds like my scale is on a rollercoaster ride. I got on the scale yesterday before work, and I gained 2 lbs in the night. Sure, I had a small slice of cake and a cocktail when I broke my fast that evening, but 2 lbs?!? I also have averaged below my baseline calories this past week. I've also had a lot of heartburn the last couple of days. So, what the hell is going on with my body? Even on bad weeks I haven't seen this much volatility in my weight before. My first thought is that it has something to do with being on antibiotics.

I used to work for a pubic interest group, so I am generally suspicious of taking any medication for the most part because I am wary of the influence of profit-driven, pharmaceutical companies, drug manufacturers, and their lobbyists. These are the same companies that pay off rival companies to delay the production of generic medications, do "phantom" recalls of tainted products from retail stores, and literally have given people AIDS. Now that I have noted my paranoia/bias, can antibiotics cause weight gain?
This fat antibiotic fed laboratory mouse says, "Yes!"
My stepfather has worked in the animal slaughter industry basically his entire life. So I have known that some agribusinesses mix antibiotics into the regular animal feed, so they fatten up their animals quickly. Luckily his company does not use this practice. The agribusiness practice of feeding animals low levels of antibiotics has been repeated in controlled laboratory studies. Mice fed a low dose of antibiotics got fat in these studies. It turns out the mouse bodies were converting more carbohydrates into fatty acids and storing more fat while on antibiotics than the control mice.

I obviously was given a therapeutic level of antibiotics and not a low dosage. I am also not a mouse. So do antibiotic treatments cause human weight gain? A summary of research on this topic suggests they do. The types of gut bacteria and their populations are correlated to weight in people and may be an important factor in weight gain, loss, and maintenance. Children treated with antibiotics early in life also tended to be more overweight than children who had not been treated with antibiotics when they got older.

So that cake and cocktail may have magically turned themselves into fat overnight due to my compromised bacterial balance. Ugh. Now that I have a good theory as to why my weight has been all over the place this week, I am glad that I get to start repopulating my gut with good bacteria tomorrow.

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