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Excessive misuse of Antibiotics. Bad side-effects on immune system

BY: Swati | Category: Health and Fitness | Post Date: 2008-10-07

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It seems more and more doctors are prescribing antibiotic medicines these days than ever in past. A common person like me who is not medical savvy is always confused whether or not these powerful antibiotic medicines, and if they are any good for me in a long run. In countries like India antibiotics seem to have become the most favourite prescribed drug. Yes, there are times when antibiotics are needed and we should really take them otherwise it can cause severe medical conditions, but most medical researchers believe antibiotics are just being over prescribed by doctors. If you visit a doctor and he does not prescribe a medicine/antibiotic after check-up,he may actually be doing a favour on you, because your body is naturally getting a chance to fight back. Expecting pills each time you visit a doctor is not right.

Antibiotics are strong medicines that fight bacterial infections but they are also the most abused substances in modern
medicine. About fifty years back Alexander Fleming discovered the famous penicillin. In many cases antibiotics are truly life-saving drugs.

The initial idea of the use of antibiotics was for life-threatening illnesses only and not for minor bacterial infections or other smaller complains. Repeated and excessive use of antibiotics can disturb the persons own immunity. harmful side effects to some crucial organs and other internal ecology, even harming the good bacteria inside our body.

Doctors at their end might often want to avoid "just in case" scenarios even though they are very rare. Repeated use of antibiotics also leads to generation of super-germs and super-bacteria, which then require even stronger antibiotics to deal with. If a doctor prescribes an antibiotic to a child, you should be a bit concerned and discuss with your doctor why he/she thinks it is needed. When children are growing up, their immunity development is at its highest point and one should be careful about disrupting this natural process by using antibiotics, unless they are really needed.

Most minor infections will be cleared the body's own immune system and resulting in a stronger natural body immunity. Since antibiotics can cure large variety of bacterias, often doctors prescribe only as a precautionary measure even if they are not sure of the real medical condition of the patient.

In developing countries, patients expect that a doctor should always prescribe some tablets resulting in quick cure ( even if it is not the most sensible one), this mounts a pressure on the doctor itself to prescribe an antibiotic which results in a quick relief. On the other hand if a doctor tells that the patient is suffering from a minor cold or viral infection and no medicine is needed, people may think that the doctor is an idiot and does not know how to treat patients. In western countries, the use of antibiotics is very low when compared to most developing/backward countries.

Apart from the problems described earlier, antibiotics can often have side-effects. Tetracyclines can leave yellow stain on a child teeth, decrease levels of Calcium, iron and magnesium. Anti-inflammatory antibiotics can decrease level of vitamin D, vitamin C and folic acid. Stomach upset and diarrhea are common side effects. Some antibiotics are used in animal food which is then passed to the human when we consume animal or dairy products. Sometimes insurance companies might not even pay for your antibiotics.

Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses, such as
* Colds
* Flu
* Most coughs and bronchitis
* Sore throats, unless caused by strep

If a virus is making you sick, taking antibiotics may do more harm than good.

Antibiotics are effective against bacteria because they work to kill these living organisms by stopping their growth and reproduction. Viruses on the other hand do not respond to antibiotics at all, they are just they are particles containing genetic material wrapped in a protein coat.

# Follow your pre scription strictly, antibiotics are effective only when you take them for the full time prescribed by the doctor .
# All antibiotics are different, therefore you should not use medicines of others or save them for later use. Always throw away unused antibiotics.


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