Antibiotic resistance is a growing threat in the world. The concept is simple enough: the frequent use of antibiotics causes bacteria to develop resistance. Antibiotic resistance is easily shared among bacteria, potentially resulting in pathogenic bacteria becoming drug resistant. Why is that such a big deal? Because then if you get an infection antibiotics will have no effect! Even a mild pathogen can become fatal through this mechanism.
Many people think that it is only those in the natural/alternative health community who are opposed to the frequent use of antibiotics. This is simply not true! The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization) are both advising patients and their doctors to not use antibiotics except in specific cases. That doesn’t seem to be what is really happening however, as my patients report that their family doctors put them on antibiotics for almost everything including all of the conditions the CDC warns not to use antibiotics for.
If that weren’t bad enough, antibiotics are used a great deal on farm animals, resulting in antibiotic exposure even if you don’t get any prescription antibiotics. Antibiotic resistant “superbugs” are now being found in food destined for human consumption, an ominous indicator of the spread of resistance.
There are now “nightmare superbugs” affecting the elderly and frail in healthcare settings, completely resistant to the strongest antibiotics available. This has the potential of becoming an epidemic, yet most people (and most of their doctors) remain either ignorant or skeptical of the facts.
What can you do to protect yourself and limit your contribution to a potential plague? First, learn the CDC guidelines and remind your doctor about them. Secondly, learn how to keep your microbiome (your internal population of beneficial bacteria) healthy and functioning. Learn how to keep your immune system protecting you-in other words, work at being healthy! Understanding how antibacterial soaps and disinfectants may promote these problems (which is very counter-intuitive) is also a good idea.
Please take a moment and read some of the articles I’ve linked below: