Almost everyone has been prescribed antibiotics at some stage of life. Many doctors prescribe antibiotics as a precautionary measure. Instead of focusing on the bigger picture of overall health, antibiotics are given frequently, without adequate reason, as a means to safeguard against the possibility of infection. Babies, young children, and the elderly are given antibiotics too readily..
THE ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE EPIDEMIC
As a result of antibiotic overuse, antibiotic resistance has been observed in all classes of these drugs. This simply means that superbugs have developed in response to constant antibiotic use. Strains of bacteria have become resilient to survive antibiotic formulatons. Some pathogens are even considered multidrug resistant, making them more dangerous than ever before.
As far back as 1992, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, published a paper called “Epidemiology of drug resistance: implications for a post anti-microbial era” in Science (Cohen ’92). This paper gained popularity for its coverage of unchecked antibiotic resistance in hospitals and surrounding communities from 1950 to 1990.
Antibiotic resistance may cause history to repeat itself.
Deadly superbugs are on the rise once again. Despite modern medical breakthroughs and improved sanitation in our contemporary world, UK authors published an article in the Lancet, warning the public of the seriousness of increasing bacterial infection death rates. Authors believe that bacterial infection fatalities “might return to those of the early 20th century,” being directly related to antibiotic overuse.
What are repercussions of antibiotic abuse? If antibiotics are no longer effective to fight off infection, even routine medical procedures could pose risks. A patient undergoing simple surgery could develop a postsurgical infection. If antibiotics become ineffective to treat the infection because of antibiotic resistance, basic surgery could be fatal.
Let’s not forget the “backdoor” antibiotic risk. The Centers for Disease Control in the US issued a 2013 report that confirmed a connection between routine antibiotic use in livestock and growing superbug infections among people. More than 70 percent of antibiotics sold in the US go directly to farm animals. Animals farmed in poor conditions are at a higher risk of infection. Antibiotics keep livestock infection levels low to increase profit, and these drugs also have a metabolic effect to fatten up the animals.
So, we are eating antibiotics in processed meat to further increase exposure. The same antibiotics also contribute to the problem of antibiotic resistance in the environment. Antibiotic resistance is serious and widespread. It can result in thousands of deaths a year and millions of related infections.
PREVENTION IS THE ONLY WAY
Antibiotics have long been used as the first course of action to fight infection. Antibiotics have certainly saved lives, but growing antibiotic resistance can’t be discounted. Antibiotic overuse has become equally dangerous and leaves modern society vulnerable to serious infection and even death.
Researchers believe that prevention starts with nutritional therapy. When the body is lacking in essential nutrients, immunity is compromised. A person that eats a pro-inflammatory diet full of processed, commercial foods may not have the nutrients they need to ward off an outside attack. Vital supplements for robust immune health include zinc, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics.
Yet the majority of us will continue to suffer. The reason why? Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are also a growing epidemic, along with antibiotic resistance. When you put all of these risk factors together, infection is an even greater possibility.
Lower levels of physical activity and poor nutrition will deplete the body of essential micro and phytonutrients. A poor diet also means lower fruit and vegetable intake, which can support immune health with natural anti-adhesins and antibacterial properties. Modern agricultural methods and food processing technology may also contribute to the problem—stripping fresh produce of essential nutrients.
Environmental and dietary factors burden the immune system. This phenomenon is obvious anytime you travel to a less developed country. There, you may be at greater risk of pathogenic infection, to which the locals are naturally immune. Clearly, pharmaceuticals aren’t the answer to superbug strains of bacteria, virus, and yeast.
ANTIBIOTIC COMMON SENSE
It’s important to take antibiotic use and exposure seriously to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance. It’s critical not to take antibiotics unless you have a bacterial infection that requires treatment. This can be discussed with your doctor to determine if antibiotics are really needed; bacterial infection must be confirmed through a medical lab before antibiotics are administered.
More than half of all antibiotic drugs are unnecessarily prescribed.
Beyond antibiotic use, immune health is more significant than ever before. Immune health holds the key to fight deadly superbugs. Robust immunity is the only way to overcome infection. Support your immune health daily with really healthy foods and essential nutrients. Immune boosting nutrients like vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and zinc are highly recommended.
Hypothiocyanite ions taken directly can significantly enhance immune function. Hypothiocyanite ions were first used for food plant sterilization in France and later for bulk milk sterilization by the World Health Organization. Today, the same benefits are seen in immune therapy in Finland and the UK, spurred on by a dental professional who used hypothiocyanite ions to prevent and manage periodontal disease.
You can fight against antibiotic resistance by only using antibiotics when absolutely necessary. You can reduce your risk of infection with natural immune-boosting nutrients to cut down on antibiotic overuse.