While vacationing in Key West recently it was hard not to stare at the young man and his bikini clad girlfriend on the chaise lounges next to the pool. Actually, my eyes were drawn towards the young man in his early 30’s. I couldn’t help but notice the IV port in his abdomen along with an electronic gizmo taped slightly above the port. The port was readily recognizable since I have a daughter with Type I diabetes and she has used an insulin pump for decades. The “gizmo” was a more recently invented technological device which reads blood sugar levels instantly and then communicates with his insulin pump. After discussing the device plugged into his belly, I was more interested in just how he developed Type I diabetes. Parents, please pay attention to what follows. Here is his story:
At age 15 he suddenly and unexplainably became sickly. This lasted for a persistent 3 months. The treatment was the standard pediatric handout of antibiotics on and off. At the end of 3 months of this treatment, his body attacked his pancreas resulting in an autoimmune disorder simply known as Type I diabetes. I can relate since I have two kids who reacted to a single dose of antibiotics resulting in Type I diabetes. It may only take one dose to trigger such a response.
It is so easy to think the side effects of medicines, particularly antibiotics, won’t happen to you or your child. Unfortunately, when some side effects develop, they are irreversible and lifelong. If you like gambling, take them. Saying, “But I needed them” is likely an overstatement. Sorry if that was harsh. We are heading towards a time when antibiotics will be under lock and key, given out only to the sickest of the sick. Currently every time a person takes an antibiotic it affects our entire society resulting in community-wide antibiotic resistance. And you thought the opioid epidemic was bad? Change is coming soon.