Antibiotics have helped millions of people fight serious infections since the 1930s. With the advances of antibiotics, our society has been able to fight off pneumonia, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections (UTI), as well as treat premature babies and do complicated surgeries. However, recent research is pointing to a widespread resistance to antibiotics. Dr. Oz recently did a segment on the secret dangers of these antibiotics where he said that the widespread use of these drugs, coupled with no advances in that field since the 1970s, is leading to antibiotic resistance and new superbugs that the medical field has no treatment for.
What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are drugs that slow down the growth of or kill bacteria. Bacteria can multiply and cause different kind of infections to occur in the body. While most of the time our body’s immune system can fight these bacteria, sometimes they overpower our bodies, and we get sick. In these circumstances, doctors usually recommend that we take drugs to kill off the bacteria that’s causing the infection.
It is very important to note that antibiotics can only kill bacterial infections, not viral infections. This is vital as it has been proven that physicians often prescribe drugs for viruses; in these cases, the antibiotics only kill off the good bacteria, while leaving the virus to invade your body.
Dangers from antibiotics
What many of us don’t realize is that antibiotics kill most of the bacteria that they come in contact with. However, our bodies contain over 100 trillion good bacteria that is responsible for regulating our digestion and immune system. Antibiotics don’t discriminate, they kill off the good and the bad bacteria. This leads to side effects, such as diarrhea and yeast infections. Drugs.com says that “antibiotic reactions can range from mild allergic reactions to severe and debilitating adverse events… and allergies are one of the most common antibiotic side effects leading to emergency room admission… Mild allergic reactions may only result in a skin rash. More severe allergic reactions, called anaphylaxis, can lead to shortness of breath, wheezing, hives, and swelling of the face, lips or tongue.” The site lists other potential side effects as nausea/ vomiting, kidney toxicity, hearing loss, livery toxicity, anorexia, headaches, etc.
Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics are microorganisms that “contain live bacteria that will repopulate the gut,” says Natural News. They can be found in food, such as yogurt and kefir; just make sure to look for food that lists live and active cultures on the label. Also, you can purchase probiotic supplements and take them with antibiotics. This way, while the drugs will be killing off all the bacteria, the probiotics will replenish the good bacteria.
Dr. Weil recommends to “look for brands containing Bacillus coagulans (BC-30) or Lactobacillus GG in liquid or capsule form. The dose is one tablespoon of the liquid culture or one to two capsules unless the label directs otherwise.” Children need five to 10 billion living units, while adults need 10 to 20 living units of probiotics. Take them two hours apart from your antibiotic, and continue do take them for thirty days after.
With Dr. Oz and other medical professionals stating that our bacteria is now becoming resistant to antibiotics, green tea could be the answer to the issue. “‘We tested green tea in combination with antibiotics against 28 disease-causing microorganisms belonging to two different classes,” Dr Mervat Kaseem, of the university’s pharmacy faculty, said in a prepared statement to U.S. News & World Report. “In every single case, green tea enhanced the bacteria-killing activity of the antibiotics. For example, the killing effect of chloramphenicol was 99.99 percent better when taken with green tea than when taken on its own in some circumstances.’
Kaseem and colleagues also found that green team made 20 percent of drug-resistant bacteria susceptible to cephalosporin antibiotics, an important type of antibiotics to which new drug-resistant strains of bacteria have evolved resistance.
In almost every case and for all types of antibiotics they tested, the researchers found that drinking green tea at the same time as taking the antibiotics appeared to increase the action of the antibiotics and reduce drug resistance in bacteria. In certain cases, even low concentrations of green tea were effective.”
Dr. Oz found that millions of antibiotics are being proscribed needlessly every year in America. Many infections, such as ear infections and sinus infections, will usually go away on their own, without any drugs. Always ask your doctor if it is necessary to take drugs, or if you can give it some time to see if your body will fight the infection. Also, there are many natural alternatives to antibiotics that you can try.
Natural News provides this list of natural antibiotics that you can easily purchase online or at a health food store.
– Healing Honey – Active Manuka 15+ 12oz (UMF 15+ or higher)
– Andrographis (particularly useful for upper respiratory infections)
(See my blog about using andrographis for a flu or cold here)
– Colloidal Silver
In summary, talk to your doctor and do your own research before taking antibiotics. Remember that many infections will go away on their own, and that antibiotics do not treat viruses, only bacterial infections. Try natural alternatives first, but if you have to take antibiotics, make sure to take them with green tea and probiotics to help your body fight off the infection, while keeping your good bacteria replenished.
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