Monday, January 24, 2011

Re: Am I overusing Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are often prescribed and requested for many different types of symptoms, such as; ear aches, colds, flu's, runny noses, and a host of other types of illnesses. Many of these symptoms are caused by viruses, which can not be fought off with antibiotics. Taking antibiotics for a virus will not help you feel better faster, and can actually be dangerous. Resistant bacteria are a growing concern in the medical community. The use of antibacterial hand soaps, laundry detergents and other antibiotics have created bacteria which can resist antibiotics.

MRSA/STAPH is very difficult to treat, because of the resistance to many antibiotics, and the occurrence of this type of infection is rapidly increasing. Your chances of contracting infections increases if you are admitted to the hospital.

According to data from use of antibiotics is rising. Here are some startling statistics...
  • In 1954, two million pounds of antibiotics were produced in the US . Today the figure exceeds 50 million pounds. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000)
  • In one year in the US , of the 51 million physician visits for colds, upper respiratory tract infections, and bronchitis, 50% to up to 66% of those visits culminated in an antibiotic prescription. (Annals of Internal Medicine, July, 2000)
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most common bacterial cause for illness such as meningitis, middle ear infections, and community-acquired pneumonia causes an estimated 700,000 to 1 trillion middle-ear infections in children a year, 50,000 cases of pneumonia, hundreds of cases of meningitis and blood stream infections, and 4,000 deaths per year. (CA Dept of Health Services, 2001)
  • In California , out of the three main classifications of antibiotics tested for effectiveness against streptococcus pneumoniae; penicillins show a 30% resistance level, erythromycin-like antibiotics 22% resistance and fluoroquinolones 1%. This means one in three people who receive a penicillin type antibiotic, it may not work. (CA Dept of Health Services, 2001)

What does all of this mean?
It means that about 1/3 of Americans receive a prescription for antibiotics every year. Of course some people get multiple scripts each year, which is another entirely different concern.

Antibiotics can not kill a virus... What are viruses? Organisms that mask themselves within our tissues and the cause of:

  • all colds and the flu
  • most coughs
  • most sore throats
  • viruses usually involve several parts of the body

They can also cause infectious diseases such as;

  • chicken pox
  • yellow fever
  • most childhood respiratory diseases
  • diarrhea
  • most upper respiratory infections
  • viruses are usually the precursor to bacterial infections

Bacterial infections include...

  • strep throat
  • urinary tract infections
  • most ear infections
  • some sinus infections
  • usually are localized to one part of the body

Antibiotics can kill bacteria that are not resistant. Bacteria adapt to their surroundings, which is the basis of antibiotic resistance.

What's the answer?
Use antibiotics only when you are absolutely in need of them. Your body can fight off many bacterial infections and viruses itself, if given proper nutrition and rest. Most of you have heard a doctor say "it just has to run its course," this is true in many cases. Occasionally a person whose immune system is already challenged will need additional support to recover quickly, but antibiotics should only be used when it's absolutely necessary to fight off the bacteria.

Increased vitamin C, under a physicians guidance, up to 4000-6000 milligrams a day has been shown clinically to absolve strep throat in acute stages.

To avoid getting sick you can do the following

  • wash your hands thoroughly often, especially when in public
  • eat a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables
  • avoid sugar and high fructose corn syrup
  • supplement daily with vitamin C, D, E, and other antioxidants
  • utilize monolauric acid (Lauricidin) to help prevent viruses
  • normalize gut flora
  • have your zinc level tested with a zinc tally test

What if I get sick?

  • supplement with additional vitamin C to bowel tolerance
  • have your zinc levels checked
  • drink lots of water
  • take Lauricidin to 3 times a day (8 hours apart)
  • get some rest - stay home in bed if you need to

Talk to your natural health provider about options for your specific symptoms, often there are natural ways to reduce symptoms, and get you back to normal quicker.

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