Are Antibiotics Less Effective?
Use of antibiotics is widespread. Doctors prescribe them for everything, from common colds to infections in children. They’re also added to chicken and livestock feed. We consume these animals and the antibiotics in their systems. The results are whole new populations of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that do not respond to even the most modern antibiotics. This has turned formerly ordinary infections into life-threatening diseases.
Also, because antibiotics are destructive to the immune system, taking them year after year has weakened the defenses we have to fight these illnesses and diseases on our own.
Should We Medicate More or Less?
There are not many new drugs being researched and developed. We have a limited range of new effective antibiotics.“We no longer have effective ways to treat serious infectious disease. Clearly, we must encourage more judicious use of these important drugs,” says Dr. Hamburg of the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA commissioner says that the agency has increased its internal discussions about the antibiotic resistance problem. The administration is also talking to consumer health groups and the food industry about regulations regarding the use of antibiotics in animal feed. Doctors have new guidelines on the use of antibiotics for patients. The FDA will increase its collaboration with outside groups in academia and government-industry health organizations next year.
What This Means for Our Health
For years, experts have been warning that we are heading into a “post-antibiotic world” where antibiotics will no longer work. The World Health Organization calls antibiotic resistance one of the three greatest threats to human health.
Because of the improper use of antibiotics, strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics are now killing hospital patients worldwide. We must launch efforts to combat the problem now. Otherwise, diseases that are currently curable will make a dangerous comeback. Just like 100 years ago, and thousands of years before that, our doctors will be unable to treat a host of common infections.
How to Protect Yourself
Here are a couple of relevant ideas:
While scientists are trying to come up with new antibiotics, we can help avoid illness by maximizing both the health of our immune system and bodily defenses. A balanced diet of healthy organic foods and regular exercise, along with high-quality vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, can go a long way to both healing and to prolonging health.
Regular chiropractic and acupuncture treatment also help fend off illness by maintaining positive spinal alignment and ensuring proper nerve communications with the entire body. These complimentary treatments also restore proper blood flow and encourage the body to heal naturally. Together, they improve overall function.
You should always follow antibiotics with a good strain of probiotics containing S. Boulardii. This particular strain is shown to help balance bacteria in the gut.
SOURCE: Food and Drug Administration, Oct. 2010, http://press.org/news-multimedia/videos/cspan/295841-1.