Antibiotics increase the risk of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn's disease in children, say researchers from Statens Serum Institute in Denmark. Antibiotics make the intestines less tolerant to
harmful bacteria, thus increasing the susceptibility to IBS.
Antibiotics destroy the microflora ('good' bacteria and other tiny organisms) that help protect the intestine. These drugs can also encourage the growth of harmful bugs and other organisms in the gut.
The research team studied 580,000 children for about 8years during which scientists examined the children's prescriptions and medical reports. The study revealed that children who were prescribed at least one course of antibiotics before the age of 4years were 1.84 times as likely to develop IBS and 3.5 times at more risk of Crohn's disease. Every time antibiotics were prescribed the risk of developing bowel diseases increased by 12%. However lead researcher of the study, Anders Hviid said, "Our study has demonstrated a link, but we cannot conclude that this link is necessarily causal."