Is Antibiotic Resistance Real?
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
You get told all the time: “Finish those antibiotics!” or “You don’t need an antibiotic for this!”
Why do doctors always tell us this? Because they are finding fewer and fewer antibiotics to treat their patients. It is because we are becoming more and more resistant to the old antibiotic stand-bys.
How can the growing problem with antibiotic resistance be real?
- An antibiotic’s job is to rid the body of a choice bacteria that is infecting the body.
As it does this, by the way, it is taking out healthy bacteria as well, and reducing the body’s ability to naturally fight infection.
- If you do not have a bacterial infection, then the antibiotic is getting rid of ONLY healthy bacteria, not the virus or whatever is causing the real illness.
The body is then building up immunity to the foreign substance, the medicine. You try that medicine again and say “Hey, it worked last time! Why can’t I get rid of it this time?” Your body doesn’t accept it anymore.
Now, if the infection does exist, you really should finish your prescription. This is because, again, the body is going to fight off the new substance by building resistance to it. Now, the antibiotic has not had time to do its job AND it is being fought by the body. That’s a double-whammy. That infection could come back, worse than before, and stronger than before.
Bacteria mutate over time. In other words, those smart little suckers are on the lookout for whatever is trying to kill them. As a result, they change their cellular structure to be stronger against the prescribed antibiotic. If you haven’t finished that antibiotic, then that smart bacteria now mutates to fight it off. Now you could have a big problem on your hands.
There are many things to consider now if you get sick. Do you need an antibiotic? Or are you just pushing for one, thinking it can cure all? The antibiotic will NOT cure viruses. It will NOT make you feel better if you have the flu. If you get an antibiotic, are you getting the right one? Call your doctor back within a few days if you are not feeling better, don’t just stop taking the medicine. It’s possible that you are resistant or that something else is going on.
For more information on antibiotic resistance, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.