You may have heard some buzz in the media or even in medical journals about concern over overuse of antibiotics. While you shouldn’t be afraid of them in general, and they certainly should be used as they are needed, unfortunately, many Americans are being prescribed antibiotics when they don’t need them. And there may be serious consequences to overuse.
The Ill-Effects of Taking Too Many Antibiotics
The biggest concern over being prescribed too many antibiotics is that doing so may cause certain strains of bacteria to “learn” how to survive or get around the antibiotic. Worst case scenario: not only would you need to take stronger antibiotics to kill smaller bacterias, but you might not be able to fight off an illness, even with a very strong antibiotic. This means that your body would, essentially, create it’s own antibiotic-resistant superbug!
Antibiotics and Gut Health
When you take antibiotics, they wipe out many forms of bacteria in the body, including good bacterias that normally live in the intestine. These good bacterias are essential to maintaining overall health and, many believe, are tied to the immune system. As a result, unnecessarily taking antibiotics can cause a major blow to overall wellness and body performance. However, if you do need to take them, make sure to also supplement with a probiotic.
Are You Eating Antibiotics Daily?
One of the major concerns with antibiotic resistance has nothing to do with prescriptions for people and has everything to do with antibiotics used in animals. When an animal is given antibiotics, it passes into anyone who eats it. Many animals are kept in tight, cramped living conditions and are very often sick or at risk of getting sick because of their environment before they are killed and butchered. In order to avoid this, look for antibiotic-free meat products.
What Should I Do If I Get Sick?
When you are ill, talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have about possibly being prescribed an antibiotic. You can take comfort in the fact that your doctor is a board-certified professional with years worth of training and education. However, if you’re uncomfortable or worried about the possibility of becoming antibiotic resistant, your doctor can explain your physical condition to you and why he or she believes that you have a bacterial infection, instead of a viral infection, that needs to be treated with antibiotics.