Antibiotics can be lifesaving. Or they can also be used to do more harm than good. Sadly, the later is more common.
A new study found that most hospitals are greatly over-prescribing antibiotics. Specifically, they aren’t following through on adjusting antibiotic prescriptions to match diagnosis (overburdened or just lazy?).
In some cases, hospital patients are prescribed a couple of different antibiotics in order to get the ball rolling on treatment while the lab works on a diagnosis (in fact, administering a broad-spectrum antibiotic is standard at many hospitals just for being a patient). Once a diagnosis is in, hospitals are supposed to stop administering the remaining pills.
The most common side-effect of taking more antibiotics than you need is the death of your good-gut bacteria, and a slew of related symptoms: stomach ache, diarrhea, poor digestion. For some people, (especially those on strong antibiotics, or you know, a handful of different ones), this really tears up their stomach and can cause bleeding.
There is also a more serious side-effect: overusing antibiotics causes those hospital to grow superbugs, like MRSA (which also comes from ranching), but also like drug-resistant pneumonia, an airborne illness that is a huge health risk to any hospital patient with a weakened immune system (like the elderly—who can then bring it back to their retirement homes, where it can devastate communities).
And it’s the time of year where antibiotic prescriptions are going to needlessly skyrocket: sinus infection season. The majority (about 80%) of sinus infection cases aren’t caused by bacteria, and so can’t be cured with antibiotics. It is something doctors do to get patients to shut up and get out the door without feeling like the doctor did nothing.
With or without the antibiotics, patients get better… more or less. The thing is, with the antibiotics people tend to get overconfident, and not support their immune system or get the rest they need to recover.
Then they go to Twitter, and complain about having “chronic sinus infections” or “another” sinus infection, or “recurring” sinus infections.
But here’s the thing, it’s usually the same sinus infection—they may have started to get better, and then just never kicked. Respiratory diseases can be hard to beat if you don’t really tackle them and take care of yourself!
So in the go for another round of antibiotics. Again. And again. All. Winter. Long.
Don’t fall into the antibiotic-loop this winter.
-Be proactive when it comes to your prescriptions: know what you are on, and why—push hospitals to follow up if they say they’ll modify a prescription based on test results.
-Sinus infection? Unless you’re having serious side-effects, or it lasts far longer than you think it should, skip a visit to the doctor—rest, warm clear liquids, and good nutrition are about all they can recommend.
-Attack sinus infections naturally: with a sinus rinse. It clears out all the gunk (although it may take a try or two, if it’s a bad one) so you can sleep easier.
-Sinus rinse safely: never use tap water! Tap water has parasites that can be deadly when given a direct path to your brain (via your sinuses). Try our colloidal silver sinus flooding kit instead—it has a nose bulb, MesoSilver, xylitol (for pH), and cups. And if you buy 2, ground shipping is free! So order before it’s too cold for ground shipping. (Everyone in your house should have their own nose bulb).
Were you on the antibiotic carousel last winter? Share your thoughts!