There’s a 50:50 Chance You Don’t Need That Antibiotic Prescription

September 23, 2013

Health blog readers already know that antibiotics are over-prescribed, and that it’s leading to a terrifying increase in antibiotic resistant bacteria. Now, the CDC is stepping up and raising awareness, and releasing numbers.

50% of antibiotic prescriptions are either useless, or less than effective. Some instances: sinus infections are routinely treated with antibiotics, but most often caused by viruses; Nursing homes are big offenders, and a hotbed for new superbugs; North Dakota and most of the South and Midwest prescribe antibiotics at rates much higher than the rest of the country (and consider population differences in regards to disease transmission).

Then of course there’s farm animals, which are still routinely dosed with antibiotics. In countries that stopped the preventative use of antibiotics on animals rather than only as treatment, antibiotic resistant bacteria levels dropped dramatically. It would make a huge difference in the US, too, but the medical profession would have to get on board as well.

If you’re given antibiotics you don’t need, it can really cause problems. Besides the side effects some of the stronger versions, being on mild antibiotics will kill your good gut bacteria. It’s why you need to take a probiotic everyday (take at a different time than any antibiotic—if you take your antibiotic with meals, have yogurt as a snack, for instance).

There’s one scary-but-kinda-funny news story making the rounds about a man who lost all, or at least enough, of his gut bacteria that yeast could take over—most likely after a round of antibiotics years back. The yeast was the right kind for making beer—so the man would randomly get drunk without having to drink a thing!

It’s an extreme case, but you get a good illustration of the side-effects. You need those good bacteria to keep yeast and other pathogens at bay.

As cold and flu season approaches, remember that most of the illnesses going around will be caused by viruses, and the only thing for it is R&R. Skip work, stay in bed, and stay hydrated.

You can also support your immune system with colloidal silver.

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