Last week the Center for Disease Control (CDC) sponsored Antibiotics Week, an effort to raise awareness about safe use of antibiotics, an important issue during winter months, when many of us suffer from viruses (cold, flu…) that cannot be treated by antibiotics.

Misuse of antibiotics can lead to bacteria with antibiotics resistance, super bugs that can no longer be treated with our current supply of antibiotics.

Antibiotics resistance can be derived from a number of misuses: not completing a prescribed regimen of antibiotics, taking antibiotics for a viral infection, and doctors prescribing antibiotics for a mild bacterial infection in an otherwise healthy patient.

Why should you take the full course of antibiotics when you’re already feeling better? I mean, they might be giving you a stomach ache, they might be causing a hard to cure fungal growth, and they might have other complications as well.

Just because you are feeling better does not mean that all the bacteria that caused your illness are gone. In fact, the ones remaining are likely stronger than the average bacteria from the original infection, so if they repopulate, the new infection will be worse and harder to cure than the original. If you are having side effects from antibiotics, talk to your doctor, and consider taking probiotics, beneficial bacteria that can replenish your body’s natural supply and get your stomach feeling right again (and fight any fungal growths).

If you have a mild infection, do not press your doctor for antibiotics. Work with your doctor for a time frame in which you will watch the infection, and return if it gets worse. In the meantime, take care to let your immune system naturally fight the infection by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and making sure you are getting proper nutrition and supplementation. If your temperature rises, symptoms worsen, or it lasts more than a week return to your doctor.

Finally, know that viral infections cannot be treated with antibiotics.

Some examples of illnesses that are commonly (but not always) viral and cannot be treated with antibiotics:

Usually, viruses and bacteria cause the same symptoms, so only a doctor can tell which type of infection you have, and whether antibiotics will help.

If you want to feel better, rest, drink water and other fluids, and make sure that you’ve considered natural supplements that might fortify your immune system or replenish lost vitamins, minerals, and other necessary nutrients.

What’s your experience with Doctors prescribing antibiotics? Have they taken cultures first? What steps do you take to prevent the growth of super bugs like MRSA? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter @ColloidsGuy!


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