How To Reduce Our Intake Of Antibiotics
Antibiotic resistance has become a global problem. We are encountering more and more cases of “superbugs” (bacteria that are very resistant to treatment) than ever before. Because of these bacteria’s resistance, new illnesses and infections are on the rise, and making them extremely difficult to treat. We can however, lower our chances of running into antibiotic resistance. Becoming informed on antibiotics, and their uses, are the first place to start in reducing our consumption and ultimately reducing the chance of antibiotic resistant illnesses.
What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are commonly used medications that kill over one hundred known forms of bacteria that cause illnesses within our bodies. Often your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic for you when you have an illness due to a type of bacteria; Such as: strep throat, pneumonia, and urinary infections to name a few. Antibiotics do not work against any viral illnesses such as the flu and the common cold. The best way to recover from these types of illnesses is by drinking water, getting adequate amounts of rest, and staying at home to avoid spreading the illness. Taking an antibiotic during viral illnesses will only increase your resistance to antibiotics, because there are no bacteria in your body that are causing the illness.
Antibiotics are also used in some of the foods that we eat. Many animals are given antibiotics during their raising to keep them healthy until they can be sent to be butchered. These animals include cows, pigs, and chickens. There has been significant concern in the medical community that this antibiotic use in farm animals can have a potentially negative affect on human antibiotic resistance.
What can I do to lower my exposure to antibiotics?
First and foremost, talk to your doctor open and honestly about your illnesses so they can be properly treated. Don’t pressure your doctor into giving you antibiotics when you have a viral infection. Ask your doctor about ways to help you feel better, symptomatic treatment is available for viral infections, and is a better option. Even though being sick is never fun, sometimes the best remedy is time.
Second, take antibiotics as prescribed, follow the dose schedule as prescribed, and always take all of the medication prescribed. This is very important. Do not stop taking the medication just because you have started to feel better, and never share your antibiotics with anyone else. Likewise don’t take antibiotics given to you from someone other than your health professional.
Next, stay at home if you are sick. When your immune system is down, it increases your chance of becoming sicker. Wash your hands often, and practice good hygiene. Also, keep up with your vaccinations and visits with your doctor.
You should also be reading the labels of your food. Pick meat products and eggs that were raised without the use of antibiotics. Organic foods are always safe choices if you don’t know what to look. The USDA organic stamp on foods will let you know which foods are organic. Organic foods do not contain any antibiotics. Eating organic will also reduce your exposure to other possibly hazardous materials as well, such as: chemical fertilizers, growth hormones, and insecticides.
Antibiotics were once the golden rule in treating illnesses. Their misuse has caused an overwhelming medical problem, antibiotic resistance. We need to become responsible consumers and reduce the amount of antibiotics we are taking in. By getting informed what antibiotics are, using them responsibly, and moving away from eating foods that contain antibiotics, we can reduce antibiotic resistance and protect our health, and the health of our communities
Fred is a freelance writer that loves to share information in order to help people lead a healthy life. Just click here in order to get more information.