Death by Antibiotic Usage on the Rise. What to do about it.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga. Has reported that death from antibiotic resistant bacteria has risen to 35,000 per year. This breaks down to 1 death every 15 minutes.  The super resistant bacteria, commonly called superbugs, are becoming more intelligent than the most powerful and sophisticated antibiotics that the pharmaceutical manufacturers can produce.  In what sounds like a plot out of a science fiction movie, geneticists report that these living super germs are actually teaching other germs how to outwit the antibiotics.  Antibiotics were always considered a miracle drug. They were designed to fight off bacterial infections that the body could not handle on its own.  Antibiotics have saved millions of lives since their inception. And continue to do so.  With the advent of intelligent, antibiotic resistant superbugs, there is now a major concern with their ability to save lives.  Super resistant bacteria is a manmade problem.  There is no debate about this issue. The problem comes from the overuse and over prescription of antibiotics.  Antibiotics destroy bacterial infections, not viral infections.  Antibiotics do not work on viruses.  Therefore, every time a prescription is given for someone with a cold, runny nose, minor sore throat or a stomach ache, the antibiotic is useless for treatment.  But once in the body and with repeated doses, your body’s germs adapt to the antibiotic drug, becoming tougher, stronger and resistant to future antibiotics.  This makes you more susceptible to an attack from a deadly  super germ.  To add to the problem, the antibiotics destroy the naturally occurring good bacteria in the body that enhances the body’s immune system.  The very system responsible for fighting germs and illnesses.  The CDC estimates that about one third of prescriptions for antibiotics in emergency rooms and doctors' offices were given for infections that didn't need them. That's 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions each year. One of the biggest problems comes from medical practitioners in private practice.  It’s called the “Just in case” phenomenon.  The doctor will perform an examination on the patient, determine that the patient has a virus and then prescribe an antibiotic “just in case” there may be bacteria. This one method of practice contributes to a major amount of needless antibiotic prescriptions.  The other problem is the patients themselves.  A trip to the doctor where one is told to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids does not sit well with a lot of patients. They feel a visit to the doctor should come with medication for their condition.  In my own case, I took one of my small children to the pediatrician for a check-up. The doctor told me that my child’s ear was red and it could be the beginning of an ear infection. She proceeded to write me a prescription for an antibiotic. I told the doctor, since my child has no symptoms (ear ache, fever, etc) that I would pass on the prescription and would monitor my child. The doctor told me that was a good idea because 80% of ear infections all resolve on their own.  That statement alone made me want to smack myself in the head as to why I was being given an antibiotic prescription.  The more serious fact is how many parents would not know about ear infections and would just follow the advice of the doctor and fill the antibiotic prescription?  So, the big question is how do we combat antibiotic resistant super germ bacteria?  The answer is less use of antibiotics in the body.  Never take antibiotics for viruses like colds, viral sore throats, stomach viruses, etc.  The less exposure to antibiotics the less chance the germs have to learn how to fight and resist their use.  Also, please realize that using hand sanitizers that contain antibiotics also contribute to the problem.  If the hand sanitizer contains triclosan or triclocarban it contains antibiotics. Use hand sanitizers that are alcohol only based.  In addition the foods we eat can also contribute to your body becoming antibiotic resistant. Cows, chicken, turkeys, pigs and farm raised fish that are treated with antibiotics pass the antibiotic on to you and contribute to resistance.  That is why it is extremely important, if you eat animal products, to eat organic drug free ones.  Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says that whether it's overuse in humans or animals, since antibiotic resistance is largely a man-made problem, it requires man-made solutions.  "We are the problem. We have seen the enemy, and it is us," he said.  Fauci added that “ if doctors, patients and public health officials work together, it will be possible to stem the tide of antibiotic resistant infections.  I think we can. I really do," he said. "But it's going to require a global, concerted effort."

Chiropractic Thought for the Week:  Chiropractic care is one way to help the population cut down on its use of antibiotics. Though not a treatment for infections or disease, chiropractic is one way of boosting the body’s immune system health naturally.  In addition to eating healthy, exercising and getting plenty of rest, chiropractic care, just like taking vitamins can help you to be healthier.  Research in the field of immune system health and chiropractic shows that chiropractic care on a regular basis can increase the rate that the body repairs its own DNA, increases white blood cell production with thoracic adjustments and can lead to the increased production of resistance enzymes all important factors in immune system health.

 

Chiropractic and Pregnancy Care:  Numerous patient reports and some clinical studies are revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the various health challenges that women experience with pregnancy” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. 

McCoy added “In the case report presented, the woman was suffering from upper back and lower back pain, in addition to sleep issues during pregnancy that resolved under chiropractic care because of the nature of the nervous system and its relationship to the spine and how the body functions. Research is revealing that chiropractic care can play a crucial role during pregnancy, labor and delivery.” 

According to researchers the nervous system controls and coordinates all functions of the body and structural shifts in the spine can occur that obstruct the nerves and interfere with their function. By removing the structural shifts, chiropractic improves nerve supply and function. 

 

Author
Dr J. Zimmerman, Chiropractor Dr. Zimmerman is a practicing chiropractor from Galloway, NJ with 30 years of chiropractic practice.

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