Recently the news ran yet another story about the overuse of antibiotics, saying that 1/3 of the prescriptions are actually harmful. Antibiotics are strong medicines used to treat infections, including life-threatening contagious diseases, by destroying or slowing down the growth of bacteria. But antibiotics can cause more harm than good when used incorrectly.
By overprescribing antibiotics we are helping bacteria get stronger and resist the very things used to treat them. The CDC says that each year in the US at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die from those infections.
We are creating resistant strains of illness for which we have no defenses and no cure.
Antibiotics should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They are not effective against viruses and that’s where we get in trouble.
Most of our common illnesses are caused by viruses. Things like colds, flu, ear infections or bronchitis are not treatable with antibiotics.
So why do doctors keep prescribing antibiotics for those types of illnesses?
Because it shuts us up.
When we go to the doctor we want them to give us something to fix our problem. The majority of patients are unhappy if they go to the doctor and don’t get a prescription for something. In fact studies show that patients will keep going to different doctors until they find one that will give them an antibiotic even if it won’t help their illness.
For some people taking a pill seems easier than brewing tea, doing herbal steams or using a neti pot to relieve symptoms.
Taking an antibiotic that you don’t need can actually cause you harm. Bacteria are needed by the human body to function; there are over 500 species of bacteria in your gut alone. There are 10 times more bacteria in the body than actual human cells.
According to research published in mBio, a single course of antibiotics is strong enough to disrupt the normal makeup of microorganisms in the gut for up to a year.
The word antibiotic comes from the Greek word anti meaning “against”, and the Greek word bios meaning “life”. The life they are intended to be against is bacteria but antibiotics can’t tell the good from the bad, it just wipes out all bacteria
The best way to avoid overusing antibiotics is by treating viral infections with natural remedies.
The very things that doctors are being advised not to prescribe antibiotics for, colds, flu, coughs, sore throats, ear infections and bronchitis, happen to be very treatable with herbs and other holistic methods.
Don’t get me wrong, we have the best trauma medicine of anywhere in the world. I’ve always said if I am in an accident or fall and break a bone please don’t take me to an herbalist, take me to the hospital. But once they fix me up, get me out of there fast and to my holistic practitioner for a full recovery.
It is important to know WHAT to use WHEN.
Too many times clients come to me and say “I’ve tried everything and nothing worked so I came here.”
Herbal remedies are not a last ditch effort,
they should be a first line defense.
Click here to read my blog The Color of Snot to learn more about diagnosing your own symptoms.
Use antibiotics for:
Strep throat ~ Pneumonia ~ Tuberculosis ~ Salmonella ~ Meningitis ~ Bacterial ear infections
Don’t use antibiotics for:
Colds ~ Flu ~ Sore Throat ~ Cough ~ Bronchitis ~ Ear Ache ~ Sinusitis