As we move towards better medical practices, we often find clients asking their provider, “Why can’t you give me an antibiotic?”
Antibiotics have been a life saver since the 1920s, when penicillin was discovered. Since then, we have had several generations of antibiotics designed to treat specific bacteria, while others are broad spectrum (meaning these medications target several different types of bacteria).
Having repeated exposure to antibiotics causes more sensitivities, allergic reactions and, at times, resistance to bacteria. When your body becomes resistant, the antibiotic loses its efficacy or ability to properly kill the bacteria that is causing your illness. In turn, some providers will then treat you with more medication for longer periods of time, exposing your immune system to other problems like yeast infections.
Exposure to antibiotics can cause symptoms like rashes, headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea or at its worst, severe allergic reactions. Illnesses such as colds, sore throat (viral pharyngitis), acute bronchitis (cough), sinusitis, and nonspecific upper respiratory infection are conditions that do not require antibiotic treatment as a first line of intervention.
Tips on how to prevent the spread of infection are:
- wash your hands
- cover your cough or sneeze
- call HealthFirst for suggestions with over-the-counter medication treatments or to schedule an office visit
The more educated we become, the better advocates we will be in protecting our bodies from unnecessary medications, and preventing resistance.
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