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Your Healthy Family: Sometimes antibiotics don't always have to be the answer

Posted at 2:59 PM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-20 16:59:24-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — In our last two stories we have been talking about the proper use of antibiotics to combat the spike in drug resistant infections across the country. Recently I learned that there are some cases when a different approach can be just as, if not more effective than taking antibiotics.

Dr. Michael J. Barber, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS, FAHA, is the Medical Director of the Strata Integrated Wellness Spa in Colorado Springs. Dr. Barber explains antibiotics certainly have an important role to play in medicine. “I prescribed antibiotics for some of my patients when they need it. If you truly have a severe infection, you may need antibiotics but often times our body will heal itself if you give it something natural to support it.”

Turns out that was exactly the case for Colorado Springs resident Todd Morris. Todd says earlier this year, “I had a very painful situation in my digestive tract. I didn't know what it was.”

When Todd couldn't get in with his primary care doctor right away, he reached out to the team at Strata rather than going to the emergency room.

Todd says Dr. Barber was the first to see him. “They got me in immediately, and I got to see Dr. Barber, and then Dr. Powell. They quickly diagnosed my situation and I woke up the next morning and I was feeling about 80% better.”

Todd was diagnosed with SIBO that is basically an overgrowth of bacteria in his gut. “That type of condition is usually treated specifically with two different types of antibiotics that are very powerful. The problem with that is that they kill both the good and the bad bacteria,” Todd said.

Taking powerful antibiotics also would mean as his bacteria eventually returned to normal his SIBO likely would as well.

Dr. Barber says, “What Dr. Powell as a Naturopathic Doctor did with Todd was instead of saying, ‘Here are some antibiotics we are going to clear your gut completely of all the bacteria and that's going to take care of the inflammation.’ It would have only been a short-term process. Once the antibiotics are done the process comes back again you’re right back to square one.”

Todd explains the approach Dr. Karly Powell took with him. “Dr. Powell introduced me to the FODMAP diet. I essentially had to get rid of all grains, wheat, soy, and I started eating 100% organic. Within a matter of a couple days I was 100% better, and I learned that there are certain foods that I should be eating, and certain foods that I should be avoiding and that is pretty much anything commercially processed is not a good option for me.”

In September Todd said, “Six months later, I really haven't had any issues. I thought giving up sugar and Dairy and some of the foods that I used to really like would be difficult and it was actually the opposite. It was so much easier than I ever thought it would be and I'm very happy that I did it in a natural way. I love eating good foods, vegetables were not real high on my priority list but now when you have good food that's prepared well, there is a noticeable difference on how I feel.”

Once Todd was feeling better, he began to immerse himself in many of the programs offered at Strata Integrated Wellness Spa. “I took some cooking lessons and really got involved. I didn't realize how much research is out there for someone like me with my condition. Once I learned what I needed to eat, and what I could eat and what I couldn't eat it was a real educational process for me.”

Dr. Barber says the approach they take at Strata on many conditions is to not only treat the symptoms but more importantly the cause as well. “I liken it to painting rotten wood. When you paint on rotten wood it will look better on the outside, but what's going on underneath is still there. Our approach is to get at what's underneath by looking at the whole person and addressing not just the obvious problem but all the contributing issues.”

If you have questions about the many programs and services offered at Strata Integrated Wellness Spa feel free to contact them.