Antibiotic Resistance: What You Can Do to Help
By Genevieve Cunningham
Before antibiotics were readily available in the world, getting sick was incredibly scary. For the most part, we just had to hope that our bodies had strong enough immune systems to fight off the illness. When antibiotics were introduced, it was a literal life-saving discovery. Since then, we've become heavily dependent on this modern day drug. We get sick, head to the doctor, pick up a prescription from the pharmacy, and get better in a few days. Unfortunately, this may soon no longer be the case. Bacteria has grown resistant, and as a result, antibiotics are becoming less and less effective. It's a true health epidemic -- and a scary one at that. To help curb the crisis and maintain your health, take a look at what you can do to help fight the battle against antibiotic resistance in the world today.
Prevent the Spread of Illness
The less often we have to take antibiotics the less likely the bacteria is to become resistant. But in order to take less antibiotic we need to prevent as much illness as possible. To do this, make sure you have impeccable prevention habits. These include washing our hands, covering your nose and mouth, using soap and hand sanitizer, and avoiding ill people. Preventing the spread of illness makes it more likely that the medicine will work in the few circumstances in which we're forced to take it.
Don't Abuse Medication
Bacteria and other illnesses are constantly evolving. That's why a certain illness that used to respond to antibiotics can become resistant. It changes. We can't always avoid this natural progression, but if we abuse medication, we give the illnesses more time to evolve. If you're not sick, don't take medicine. If you have a virus, don't turn to antibiotics, which don't help with viral illnesses. Only take medicine when it's necessary so that the illness won't be overly exposed to the treatment and won't learn to evolve past our current management techniques.
Too many people get prescribed antibiotic, take it until they feel better, and then totally stop. They don't finish out their round of treatment. They don't take all of the antibiotic they've been prescribed. And while this seems logical in most people's eyes, it's really bad in the long run. Why? Because the illness hasn't been completely eliminated. And now it's been exposed to the antibiotic and can learn how to survive despite it. If you've been given medication, follow the instructions explicitly every single time.
Antibiotic resistant illness is a scary thing. What will we use to overcome these common diseases? While we'll definitely have to evolve as a society and in the medical community, we should certainly do what we can to help. Follow these tips to help stop the spread of this problem. With more research and a society that is willing to follow instructions, maybe we can improve our health and general wellness as we move into the future.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Oklahoma City, Okla.