Alarming study: Diabetes risk skyrockets when using lots of antibiotics

Alarming study: Diabetes risk skyrockets when using lots of antibiotics

The study found that the risk of developing diabetes can increase by as much as 23 percent when a heavy amount of penicillin is taken.

People who take large amounts of certain types of antibiotics are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study has found.

The research found that people were more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when they took two or more courses of a specific type of antibiotics, compared to people who never took them or just took one course, according to a LiveScience report.

The antibiotics used in the study included penicillin, cephalosporin, macrolides, and quinolones. It raises a “red flag about the overuse of antibiotics,” said an internist who was quoted by LiveScience, who added that doctors should be a lot more cautious about antibiotics.

The cells of the body stop responding to insulin, a hormone, in the case of a person with type 2 diabetes. This results in cells taking on sugar from the blood, which can lead to very unhealthy complications that can result in death if not treated.

Researchers examined a database of 200,000 people with diabetes in the United Kingdom, looking at the number of prescriptions that were given to them, comparing that with the number of antibiotics prescribed to 800,000 who did not have diabetes but were about the same age. The study revealed that people who had more antibiotics prescribed had a greater risk of developing diabetes.

Specifically, the risk of people who had between two and five courses of penicillin saw an 8 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared with those who took just one course or none at all. For those who were prescribed more than five course, that figures jumped to 23 percent over the one-to-no-course group.

Why is this the case? Scientists aren’t quite sure, but they suspect that antibiotics cause an imbalance in people’s gut bacteria. This imbalance has been linked to obesity and insulin resistance in the past.

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