Our current culture dictates that with every little cold or sniffle, you head to the doctor for antibiotics. But this might not always be the best course of action. For one, most common colds and flues are caused by viruses. The antibiotics that doctors prescribe only work on bacterial infections.
Not only are antibiotics ineffective on the common cold, it is causing a much bigger problem. The widespread use of antibiotics is causing the development of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. If you fall into the antibiotic trap, you just might be responsible for creating the next great pandemic.
These antibiotic resistant superbugs are such a concern that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has launched a new ad campaign designed to make people more aware of the dangers of improper antibiotic use. They do not see antibiotics as bad when used properly. The CDC views them as an essential tool in the fight against infectious disease, but they are concerned that physicians are doing them out to the wrong people at the wrong time, and for the wrong reasons.
The main concern by the CDC is that antibiotics should be prescribed for bacterial, not viral upper respiratory infections. This is not a big cover-up and the information is out there. Yet, physicians continue to bend to patient’s whims and prescribe antibiotics when they are not called for medically. Physicians are bending to patient demand, rather than current best practices.
The current feeling is that is someone is feeling ill; the physician has an obligation to do something to make it go away instantly. In our world of instant gratification, we have some to expect the same from our highly advanced medical system. As a result, antibiotics are prescribed for coughs and fevers, most of which would simply run their course on their own without any intervention at all. The only value prescribing antibiotics for a person that has a viral infection is that it might prevent a secondary bacterial infection from settling in. However, this is not a risk that applies to the general population; it only applies to those who have a weakened immune system.
The problem with antibiotics is that they do not pick and choose which bacteria they kill. They kill all bacteria in the body, including those that are responsible for functions such as digestion, nutrient absorption, and to strengthen the immune system. Certain “good” bacteria are essential in helping to maintain the little ecosystem that thrives inside our bodies on a daily basis. This can be especially harmful for children. The harm done to the body’s own natural ecosystem by antibiotics can pose a greater risk than a minor case of the sniffles.
Antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria develop by using them when they are not needed, and by not taking the entire dosage as prescribed. Many people stop taking antibiotics as soon as their symptoms improve, but this is where the problem lies. When a patient does not finish the full course of antibiotics, some of the bacteria survive. These survivors mutate, becoming resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics that we have today. In just one day, a single mutated bacterium can produce millions more resistant bacteria just like itself. This new resistant bacteria can quickly take over the body. This new resistant strain of bacteria is much more dangerous than the original cold virus.
We have a continual war raging inside us. Many friendly bacteria help us to fight off other infections such as yeast, viruses, parasitic, and fungal infections of many types. When the bacteria in our body are destroyed by antibiotics, we are now susceptible to these other risks.
Antibiotic resistance is becoming a serious public health issue. If is now more difficult to treat conditions such as tuberculosis and certain forms of pneumonia. Their fear that the next pandemic will be born of these antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, leaving us defenseless when it hits. The CDC does not believe it is a matter of if, but a matter of when the next serious outbreak will occur.
The CDC is taking a preventative approach to the problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria and so should you. They recommend that you stop requesting, or demanding in some cases, antibiotics from your physician for minor infections and illnesses. In addition, doctors should educate their patients about antibiotics, rather than simply succumbing to their whims.
If you do choose to take antibiotics, be aware of what it will do to your good bacteria levels. You will need to take measure to restore them to healthy levels once you are off the antibiotics. The choice to take antibiotics should not be taken lightly and one must weigh the risks and the benefits.
The best thing that you can do for your health is to build your body’s own natural defenses. You can do this by eating healthy, organic, unprocessed foods. Be aware that conventionally raised dairy and meat products can contain excessively high levels of antibiotics. It is possible to consume a much higher dose from these products than your doctor would be allowed to prescribe in an entire year. Getting plenty of rest, avoiding stress, drinking lots of water, and getting regular exercise are also measures that you can take to help build your immune system so that it can fight off minor infections with ease. Adopting a lifestyle that limits your exposure to toxins can do wonders for preventing illness. If you do get ill, alternative remedies such as colloidal silver can be an excellent alternative.
What do you do when you get a cold of flu? What is your favorite natural remedy? We would love to know.