By Barbara Hay ~
As we settle into the fall, we know that cold and flu season will soon be upon us. Unfortunately, not all of us are immune from the latest strains and, as soon as we get the sniffles, a sore throat or a drippy nose, the first thing many of us do is reach for an antibiotic. They’re usually readily available in our medicine cabinets.
Did you know that 47,000,000 prescriptions in the U.S. are unnecessarily prescribed?
Antibiotics are often over-prescribed by doctors and emergency rooms. They may save lives, but any time antibiotics are used, there’s a chance they can lead to antibiotic resistance, not to mention the side effects they can cause. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control warns of the dangers of antibiotic overuse. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people get infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 people die as a result of this resistance.
Antibiotics won’t help common bacterial infections including most cases of bronchitis, many sinus infections, and some ear infections. Nor will it make you feel better if you have a virus. Antibiotics do not work on viral infections, colds, flu, or runny noses, even if the mucus is yucky, thick, yellow or green.
Antibiotics do save lives, and when a patient needs antibiotics, the benefits outweigh the risk of side effects. While antibiotics can be very effective when prescribed and taken properly, they can also cause physical problems like reductions in good bacteria and immunity to the antibiotics themselves. Common side effects of antibiotics can include: rash, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and yeast infections.
Talk with your healthcare professional about the best treatment for your or your loved one’s illness. If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Contact your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics, or if you develop any side effects, especially diarrhea, since that could be a C. difficile infection, which needs to be treated immediately.
Respiratory viruses usually go away in a week or two without treatment. Ask your healthcare professional about the best way to feel better while your body fights off the virus.
Of course, the best way to fight disease is to stay healthy in the first place. A good diet, plenty of water and moderate to vigorous exercise are good lifestyle choices that help avoid the onset of disease.
To stay healthy and keep others healthy:
- Clean your hands.
- Cover coughs.
- Stay home when sick.
- Get recommended vaccines (flu shot, for example).
A pure and effective vitamin regimen along with an immune support product (like the Activate-C Immune Complex I take) can also be effective. Be sure that you research the supplements you choose and make sure there are studies that support your choice.