As far as I remember antibiotics have played a huge role since my childhood. Sneezing with cold or down with fever,antibiotics have been a major part of the treatment. For any kind of bacteria that acts in the body, the first thing that my doctor always loved to give me was antibiotic.I’m sure many of us have been treated with antibiotics over lifetime.Its totally understood that antibiotics are important medications. It helps in preventing the spread of harmful bacteria that adds to the serious complications of the diseases.Excess use of antibiotics has lead to the life threatening factor called Antibiotic Resistance.
How do antibiotics work?
Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections.They helps the immune system fight infection by killing the suspected bacteria.Blocking important bacterial process or preventing them to grow further.Many are specialized for certain bacteria and many are generalized. They even kill the good bacteria in the process.
Do we need antibiotics?
Yes ! we need antibiotics to treat severe infections in humans and animals. We need antibiotics before surgery as it helps to protect the body from possible infections.In fact the development of antibiotic was one major achievement in modern medicine. Lot many diseases no longer having potential deaths care like pneumonia, Gonorrhea and Step throat.
Problem with antibiotics over use
The problem is not with the medicine but the problem is with the “overuse of antibiotics”.Since 1940, the antibiotics are playing a major role in treating bacterial infections. Unfortunately antibiotics are also prescribed for the patients with the kind of diseases that do not need to be treated with antibiotics. And here lies the danger of over usage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around one-third to one-half of antibiotic use is unappropriate. This is creating a threat of Antibiotic Resistance.
Let me point out the problems with the antibiotic overuse:
- Poor absorption of vitamins and nutrients.
- Antibiotics wipes out good bacteria as well.
- Overgrowth of yeast and harmful bacteria.
- Affects gut microbiome by altering its function.
- Reduced protection for compromised immune systems such as with cancer, AIDS, premature babies and transplant recipients.
- Antibiotics are increasing many cases of untreatable Gonorrhea.
Along with the above potential dangerous, there is one major danger which is threatening the future ;the danger of becoming antibiotic resistant .
It is important for everyone to know that antibiotics treat bacterial infection but they do not treat viral infection. For example, viral infection that not require antibiotic treatment include Bronchitis, cough and cold, ear infection, sinus infection, stomach flu etc. And if you are taking antibiotic for viral infection it will not cure infection or help you or your family member to feel better. It will cause harmful side effect and promote antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic Resistance Meaning
Antibiotic resistance is one major threat human health worldwide. It can affect any country ,any age or anybody.Please note that its “bacteria” that becomes antibiotic resistance and not any human or animal.The overuse of antibiotic makes it resistant towards a certain strain of bacteria. When it no longer helps to
stop the bacteria, such bacteria are called antibiotic resistant.Any such bacteria which has survived the antibiotic treatment can multiply.It also can pass on the resistance properties to other bacteria and become superbugs. Since 1980 there is no development in creating new antibiotics and very soon there are chances that many will become antibiotic resistant.
Dangers about Antibiotic resistance:
- Higher medical costs
- longer stays in hospitals.
- Increased mortality.
- Threatened Ability to treat common infectious diseases .
- In many cases animals are fed antibiotic for their growth.There are chances they may develop Antibiotic resistance which can be transferred later through their consumption by humans.
Prevention and control
As we all know by now that antibiotic resistance is increased by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics. Major role is played by General practitioners, hospitals, doctors, chemists as well.In order to prevent ourselves to get into such condition we can take care of the following :
- Antibiotics should be taken on the prescription of only certified health professional.
- Never use shared or the leftover antibiotics.
- Prevent infection by following cleanliness while cooking and eating food.
- Practice safe sex .
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- The health professionals should prescribe antibiotics only when they are needed and according to the guidelines.
- Health professionals should give information to the patient about the correct use of antibiotics and dangers of the misuse.
- As a patient do not force your doctor to prescribe you antibiotic to treat you fast.
- In order to avoid bacterial infections, you need to practice good hygiene.
- Practice hygiene in order to save yourself from food borne bacterial infection.
- Use antibiotics which is prescribed by the doctor take timely course and you should complete the entire course of treatment.
We all should be aware of some basic medical knowledge of what medications we are consuming .. I hope this article helps to understand the about misuse of antibiotics and causes of antibiotic resistance. In India antibiotic resistance is spreading widely .It is important henceforth you should avoid overuse of antibiotics for yourself and family and also encourage others to avoid it as much as possible.I would also suggest use of alternative health treatment like homeopathy, Ayurveda in common health issues.
Stay Healthy and smart 🙂
This post is a part of #MyFriendAlexa challenge. It’s an endeavor to bring interesting stories, places, food and places to the readers. I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with blogchatter.