Since we’ve been on the topic of sickness and medicine I thought I’d like to dig a little deeper. I hear conversations all the time about antibiotic use. Here is a conversation I overheard just a few weeks ago, (yes I was eavesdropping). “My two year old is resistant to penicillin so we have to give her a double dose, and penicillin doesn’t work on me anymore.” I almost stopped my eavesdropping- interrupted and said, “wait, what? Your TWO year old needs a double dose of antibiotics?”
I hope this hurts you to hear as much as me. Western medicine has created a nightmare situation. We have kiddos on whom one of the most common antibiotics no longer works- so what happens when a really really bad bug comes around and there is no longer anything that works. Something I saw in the hospital way too much is, “well we don’t really know what this bug is, so let’s just stick them on two or three antibiotics to be safe.” I really don’t know who is teaching medicine anymore, but last I checked we already have enough “superbugs” to not be creating more. You see, antibiotics are not for the common cold, flu, or any other bug that we don’t know where it came from. Antibiotics are wonderful! They have saved many lives, but they are way too overused. There seems to be a thought that as soon as we, or our loved ones get any sort of ailment, we need to run to the doctor as fast as we can and slap on some antibiotics. They aren’t band-aids. In fact what that is doing is allowing the virus or bacteria to mutate and become resistant to the very thing that is trying to kill it. Eventually we’ll run out of antibiotics.
Here is the caveat. I’m not against antibiotics. See your doctor, take care of yourself. But might I suggest that instead of running first thing for the antibiotic, we try a few other things. Tied in with our last topic- fevers- are not always bad. In fact fevers are designed to rid the body of the toxin that is making us sick. When God designed the immune system he gave us some pretty amazing defense systems, fevers are one of them. Now crazy high fevers (especially in kids) not good- but it’s because of the side effects those high temperatures can actually cause.
Back to antibiotic use, I’m sure you are all familiar with the terms MRSA or VRSA or at least have seen them in passing. They stand for Methacillin resistant staphylococcus aureus and Vancomycin resistant staphylococcus aureus. In layman’s terms these are common staph infections that are no longer responsive to two major antibiotics; vancomycin and methacillin (part of the penicillin family). This should scare a lot of us way more than it seems to. The fact that these infections are becoming so common and rampant proves our overuse of antibiotics.
Now please don’t misunderstand me. I like antibiotics. I’ll say it again..I like antibiotics. However, I am against using them for thing like an ear infections, a stomach bug or virus, etc. Things that are annoying and not fun; however, there are many other treatments and uses for. So the next time your doctor suggests an antibiotic just be sure that it really is necessary and not just another, “this may or may not be helpful” case. I can name on one hand the amount of times I have been on antibiotics in my life- this should be the case across the board. We have to be our own advocates and not just allow doctors to continue something, just because it’s been like that forever. Being healthy sometimes requires us to stand up and ask the “why” question. I believe the “why” question could get us a long way towards taking our health back from the the bureaucracy of medicine and taking ownership of our earthly existence.
Also as an aside- if you do happen to take antibiotics, make sure you are supplementing a good probiotic for a least a few weeks after the antibiotic is discontinued. Another yucky side effect to these drugs is that the kill the good bacteria in the gut leaving us vulnerable to other infections and bugs. Taking a good probiotic can help restore that healthy bacteria in time.
*This is in no ways supplementation for medical advice. If you have any of the symptoms above or are worried about your health please see a doctor.