Are Antibiotics a Boon or Curse?
Antibiotics are one of the most commonly prescribed medications for a variety of common ailments. However, many a times they are unnecessary or even contraindicated. This incessant use of antibiotics makes your body vulnerable to more diseases. Moreover, this has also led to the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains that makes the treatment even more difficult. So, what do antibiotics actually do, and why is it a good idea to use them sparingly?
Your Gut: a Home to Good and Bad Bacteria
Your gut houses approximately 100 trillion microorganisms, which include almost 400 different species of bacteria. These microorganisms are classified into Good and Bad Bacteria depending on the role they play in the body. The good microbes play a vital role in digestion, metabolism, immunity and mental health and are essential for good health and well being. Whereas, the bad ones like Salmonella or E. Coli are harmful if allowed to thrive and multiply.
A healthy gut microbial ecosystem is so vital for the proper functioning of the body that an imbalance can lead to several anomalies like obesity, gastric disorders, allergies, diabetes, arthritis, and depression to name a few.
Antibiotics kill bacteria, the good and the bad
Rampant consumption of antibiotics is like fighting with a double edged sword because they don’t differentiate between the disease causing bacteria and the ones contributing to a healthy intestinal flora and wipe out the useful microbes from your body, as well. Thus, leading to an imbalance, which research suggests can take months of even up to a year to normalize.
In fact, antibiotic use in children can jeopardize their overall growth and development, as an optimum gut flora is cardinal in the developing stages of life.
Thus antibiotics can have a far reaching effect on your gut and other functions of the body.
Manage without antibiotics
Although antibiotics cannot be completely ruled out, you can definitely prevent their misuse or overuse by eliminating certain practices.
- Avoid self prescription or medication
- Follow your doctor’s instruction and complete the course
- Never consume left over antibiotics for a later illness as the infection can be different.
- Antibiotics are useless in a viral infection, so don’t take them for common infections like viral flu, cold, most coughs, bronchitis, most sore throats, some ear and sinus infections, etc
- Don’t eat meds prescribed for others
- Maintain good hygiene
- Ask your doctor whether an antibiotic is the only option available or could you allow your body to fight the infection on its own.
You can manage a bacterial infection without antibiotics by taking alternative therapies. You can feed the good bacteria in your gut by using natural vitamins and minerals. Probiotics are also beneficial as they help replenish the bacterial flora, and should be taken especially if you are on an antibiotic regimen. Organic vegetables and fruits rich in natural nutrients can also help the good bacteria in your gut to multiply.
In a bid to find immediate relief from symptoms, we often rely on conventional solutions for various ailments. However, we also need to focus on natural safe protocols for lasting relief, freedom and lesser complications. Advances in natural medicines and clinical trials on herbs ad homeopathic ingredients have now made it possible to develop therapies that give quick relief, that boost up the immune system and prevent relapses.
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