3 Ways We Can Stop the Superbug Crisis Without Antibiotics
Alarming statistics portray a mushrooming health problem, as the magnitude of bacteria resistance to antibiotics is nearing epidemic proportions globally. The misuse and overuse of antibiotics in the treatment of human infections, as well as the rampant use of antibiotics in the agricultural industry has contributed to the emergence of superbugs, dangerous bacteria that cannot be eradicated by antibiotic treatment. Addressing the problem requires a multifaceted approach.
When antibiotics made their debut on the world stage over 70 years ago, they were termed “magic bullets” because they were amazing effective against a broad spectrum of bacterial infections. Today, superbugs have cunningly devised ways of putting on bullet proof vests, mutating so they become increasingly invulnerable to the effects of these drugs. As a result, doctors are forced to use stronger antibiotics with more toxic side effects, and consequently, the risk of complications and deaths have risen exponentially.
New research is shedding more light on exactly how antibiotic resistance spreads, but these new discoveries have not led to a solution to the problem yet. A three-fold approach is needed.
Approach one: Reduce use in humans.
Since antibiotic use is a driving force behind resistance, doctors have been told to reduce the amount of these medications they prescribe, preserving them for serious or life threatening cases. While some progress has been made is this area, much more is necessary.
The use of antibiotics has declined across the nation by 17 percent; however, this reduction is not uniform in all states. Although the use in some states has fallen by one third, the use in others has not declined at all.
Along with urging doctors to restrict their use, the public also should be made more aware of the problem. A recent poll reveals misperceptions over antibiotic use lingers among healthcare consumers. Approximately a third of Americans have the erroneous conviction that antibiotics are effective against viral infections. Furthermore 39 percent do not believe that taking antibiotics when they are unnecessary will reduce their effectiveness for others.
Approach two: Reduce use in agriculture.
Compelling evidence indicates a link between contracting a superbug and eating meat containing antibiotics. A report in July of this year said that 8 million women were at risk for developing superbug bladder infections from consuming antibiotics-fed chickens.
Earlier this month during Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with other public health organizations, pushed for several actions to address the root cause of resistance. They encouraged limiting the use of antibiotics in food animals and called for veterinary oversight in administering antibiotics deemed necessary for animal health.
Approach three: Explore novel therapies.
Practitioners within the natural health community advocate various means for fighting superbugs, including taking garlic or certain varieties of Manuka homey. They also recommend boosting the immune system through measures such as eating a healthful diet and taking probiotics, along with getting regular exercise and eliminating toxins.
The tremendous need for developing antibiotic alternatives appears to have increased the interest of researchers within the allopathic community to explore natural solutions as well. Recent studies have found one of the B vitamins may help fight resistant infections.
It is imperative that the use of antibiotics decline dramatically and that researchers find alternatives. Infectious disease expert, Dr. Christopher Lee of Hospital Sungai Buloh, warns of the impending disaster, saying that if antibiotic resistance continues, infections will become more uncontrollable and eventually the world will have no effective antibiotics. Scary thought, indeed.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.