Antibiotic: Simply Scary

The discovery of penicillin in 1929 was groundbreaking. Since then, millions of people have received antibiotics and effectively fought illness.

Today, however, apocalyptic warnings are associated with these medicines too. The red flags emphasize the dangers and side effects of antibiotic overuse. In one report, at least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in outpatient settings were unnecessary. 

Unwarranted antibiotic use will result in a severe epidemic of antibiotic resistance. Researchers calculate that if nothing changes, up to 10 million deaths a year worldwide can be the result of antibiotic resistance by the year 2050.

Antibiotic resistance is undermining the foundations of our modern medical system. No longer can we count on these drugs for a broad array of critical situations: for patients needing joint replacements or open-heart surgery or Caesarean sections; for immune-compromised individuals receiving cancer treatment or organ transplants; for people undergoing other increasingly commonplace, high-tech invasive procedures. writes, Michelle A. Williams is dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

A new report examined antibiotic use in 76 countries and discovered a 39% increase in use from 2000 to 2015. Researchers found this increase in antibiotic use was most dramatic in both low-income and middle-income countries, which experienced a 114% increase. 

Keep in mind that antibiotics can’t cure everything. Plus, they are ineffective against viruses. 

Viral infections such as colds, flu, or mononucleosis should not be treated with antibiotics because antibiotics fight bacterial infections only. Common bacterial infections include strep throat, urinary tract infections, and most ear infections.

Antibiotics can be life-saving, but overuse has led to the serious problem of antibiotic resistance. A bacterium can change and resist and become stronger and potentially unstoppable. Bacteria evolve over 4 billion years and outwitted many conditions that tried to destroy them. So it’s no surprise that antibiotics can become ineffective or cease to be effective.

What can we do to protect ourselves guard against antibiotic resistance? First, if you use an antibiotic, continue to take the drug as prescribed. Resist stopping the antibiotic early if you start feeling better (a common mistake). This one action makes it easier for the bacteria to replicate; those that survive the shortened treatment become stronger and more able to resist being killed by that particular strain of antibiotics.

Second, never use leftover antibiotics. If they are past their expiration date, the medicine has weakened; another way bacteria are strengthened, causing resistance. Third, remember, antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections — not viruses.

Last but not least, today, we know certain combinations of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants can play a superior role in boosting the body’s immune system. Foundational nutritional support can help with bacterial and viral illnesses by promoting and enhancing the immune system.

Natural remedies help maintain a healthier immune system in any case. Ancient cultures found ways to strengthen the body’s immune system as a way to better defend against illnesses. Some of these immune strengthening protocols involve traditional herbal combinations.