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Pharmaceuticals and IBS

This is pure irony.


Pharmaceuticals can cause IBS.


This was my story. I developed symptoms after a massive 3-week daily dose of intravenous antibiotics to treat my intractable case of Lyme disease.


It is rare that pharmaceuticals heal IBS but did you know that certain drugs can clog up your liver, break down your intestinal lining, throw off you Ph balance and kill your beneficial bacteria?

I wish someone told me this before I got sick. I had no idea the effects that my pill popping habits had on my health and delicate digestive system.


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As a kid I was regularly given allergy shots for my severe environmental allergies. And when that didn’t work, doctors brought in the big guns. They gave me an immune suppressing steroid called prednisone.


Prednisone can suppress the production of adrenal hormones, increase blood sugar, cause mood swings and kill beneficial bacteria.


Then in my early 20s I got a massive dose of antibiotics to treat dose Lyme disease. Because antibiotic tablets would not work, I was given a daily dose of intravenous antibiotics for three weeks.


Despite the intensity of this doses, no one mentioned probiotics to me. Antibiotics kill beneficial bacteria and when combined with a high sugar diet and a stressful lifestyle, it’s a recipe for digestive problems.


I was diagnosed with IBS a few years later.




My initial IBS symptoms were annoying but manageable.  They got much worse after I started taking the birth control pill. The birth control pill can also kill beneficial bacteria, cause Candida infections and compromise the liver’s ability to regulate estrogen in the blood.


Not only did the birth control pill worsen my digestive symptoms, it caused symptoms of anxiety and depression. I didn’t realize at the time time that the pill was the cause of these symptoms, so I went on antidepressants to fix the problem.


Antidepressants added a bigger toxic load to my struggling liver.

After this I began to get chronic yeast infections, for which I was prescribed Diflucan, which is one of the harshest pharmaceuticals on the liver. I didn’t know at the time, I just kept taking it over and over again.

Soon I had hit rock bottom with my health.


I got off all the drugs but it took years and a lot of hard work and sacrifice to bring my body back into balance.


What I wish my doctors told me about pharmaceuticals


Doctors seem to gloss over the fact that pharmaceutical treatment comes with a price. Not only are they as hard on the liver as street drugs, but they can solve one health problem and create a new one in the process.
Leaky gut syndrome is another common cause of digestive issues. The cells of the small intestine become damaged and the spaces between them become larger, letting undigested food particles and waste pass through. Below is a list of  drugs that can cause leaky gut.




NSAIDs- non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

Birth control pills




Chemotherapy drugs





Aside from the chemotherapy drugs, I have taken all of these digestion-destroying drugs.

Of course other factors can cause leaky gut, like a high sugar/flour/toxin diet, stress, pathogenic micro organisms, and nutritional deficiencies. But taking these drugs will increase your chances of digestive imbalance.

I also took a lot of antacids like Tums, which is typical for people who have stomach upset and heart burn. Years later I discovered that they contain trace amounts of aluminum, which adds up if you take a lot. Tums also throws off the body’s Ph levels and balance of digestive bacteria.

To learn more about the side effects of pharmaceuticals, check out this website for specific side effects.

Or check out the Rx Reformer, a former pharmaceutical rep who’s exposing the serious risks of taking “legal drugs”.


Welcome to the TWILIGHT ZONE


Recently I watched a TV commercial for an antidepressant called Pristiq. During the commercial they listed the side effects of this drug, which includes tendency towards suicidal thoughts, bleeding, stroke or seizures.



While pharmaceutical companies are required to report their side effect in their commercials, no one seems to be listening to the list of side effects. Why would someone who is depressed take something that will make them feel suicidal?
Many doctors keep prescribing pills as the only option for healing.


It’s a flawed system that can cause harm. My intention is simply to make you aware as I wish someone had done for me.


Popping a pill may seem like the easy solution but it represses symptoms instead of solving the problem.


This blog post is like my personal public service announcement about the dangers of popping pills.


Friends don’t let friends take pharmaceuticals.


Note:I am NOT advocating getting off your prescription drugs without consulting your doctor. Some drugs can be life saving. I’m simply pointing out that you should know what you are taking, question and notice the side effects and explore alternatives.

angelafavheadshotAngela Privin is proof that IBS is NOT an incurable disease or a disease at all. IBS is a body out of balance. It’s an invitation for change. After solving her own IBS mystery more than a decade ago Angela trained as a health coach to help others.

Angela uses both science and intuition to help people figure out what’s out of balance in their body. She works with lab tests, dietary changes, supplementation and nervous system rebalancing. Get help rebalancing your digestive system and solving your IBS mystery here.


  1. Angela, I was put on antibiotics for 10 years 2x a day as a preventative from getting bacterial meningitis which I had 3x. I ended up with Chronic Fatigue, Epstein Barr Virus, and Candida – and it took me these ailments to turn things around and get healthy (the good). Now for me, I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for antibiotics and on the other hand, Im not sure I wouldn’t have gotten it again if I wasnt on them (unless I got a copy of “Super Immunity” by Joel Fuhrman). I am TOTALLY with you as I see how the overuse of antibiotics and SO many other meds are completely misused and people think if there isn’t a warning sticker on the bottle, it isn’t dangerous. This is scary to me. I remember watching “Food Matters” and in it someone said Bar NONE any medicine effects your liver. What a precious organ to mess with. So if completely necessary pharmaceuticals can be life saving but otherwise – try any other way first and then try again!! I have healed myself at least 10x from ailments that doctors wanted me to be on medicine for permanently. No joke! Once you are on meds too it isn’t always a life sentence (although the drug companies make money if you are) – so continue to find ways the body can do what is wants to do best (and if you can’t find a health coach!) and I hope people realize that they can do away with the meds once and for all (like me!).

    • Wendy I agree that sometimes drugs can be life savers. I also needed antibiotics because Lyme Disease can do so much damage if left untreated.

      My complaint is that no one told me about probiotics and how to live my life after treatment to get back into balance. Pharmaceuticals are not evil but not telling the whole story about them is. And of course they are often over used when natural remedies, rest or diet change could help heal the problem better.

      Thanks so much for sharing your story and perspective.

  2. You’re wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing your story, making a very clear statement, and offering extremely beneficial information. I look forward to diving into those links.

    Functional practitioners are coming into the picture and are offering food and probiotics as treatments. There is a paradigm shift happening, and we can only hope doctors of western medicine hop on board sooner than later!

    • I agree Wendy, I love functional medicine and hope that it reforms our out dated medical system.

  3. Angela, Thanks for sharing your story and the fabulous resources.
    Lyme Disease is very hard to treat and you needed the anti-biotics. I used to manage a Functional Medicine Clinic where Lyme is a specialty and know first hand how hard you would have had it if you hadn’t been treated. Sooo glad you caught early enough!
    But yes…the trade off is the RECOVERY from the medicines!

  4. I will certainly be sharing this article. People need to know your story. Thanks for sharing it with us and for being such a great model.

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