Overuse of antibiotics (both in what we eat) and what we ourselves consume, leads to resistance. Resistance occurs when an antibiotic no longer has an effect on a particular strain of bacteria.
Antibiotics were designed to combat bacterial infections and in theory, were to be used when every other effort at healing (traditional and holistic) failed. They were never intended to be first line of defense for every sniffle, sneeze or itchiness that we might experience.
In 1928, when Penicillin was discovered and developed by Alexander Fleming, it was ground-breaking. During WWII it was brought to the US with the hope that pharmaceutical production could be increased.
As we all know, it was and at that time, Penicillin was considered the “wonder drug.”
This led to antibiotics being widely prescribed with little concern for the future. No one worries about overuse when something is relatively new.
My Grandmother (Nanna) came down with Walking Pneumonia in 1970. She didn’t smoke and was relatively healthy; she took few prescription drugs. Trouble was, she’d been a part of the miraculous discovery that was Penicillin in the mid-twentieth century and used it for any condition that arose. Physicians want to help their patients and so it was prescribed. Sadly, Nanna died within two weeks of diagnosis at the age of 69.
Fast forward to the last decade, when antibiotics have been over-prescribed and we’re discovering that more and more bacterial strains are becoming resistant. We, as educated patients need to stop asking for antibiotics and physicians need to stop prescribing except for serious bacterial illness or for those situations when other methods haven’t worked.
Here are six conditions (typically caused by viruses) that are often treated with antibiotics but probably shouldn’t be:
- Respiratory Infections
- Ear Infections
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
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