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Knowing This about Antibiotics Can Save Your Life

Updated on February 11, 2017
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Sabrina loves to write about love, life, and everything in between in a candid yet humorous approach.

Antibiotics can be a life saver. They can literally save your life when you have a life-threatening infection or illness. This is because they are very strong and effective. Most people only take antibiotics a few times in their life when nothing else will do. Antibiotics should be a last resort, when all other options have been exhausted and nothing else is effective. Unfortunately, this is not the case in modern medicine. Antibiotics are prescribed like candy even when they are not necessary. For example, antibiotics are only useful when a person has a bacterial infection. Antibiotics have no effect and are not helpful for viral infections. If you have a cold or flu virus, antibiotics will not help you at all.

You should not ask for antibiotics from your doctor for illnesses they are not helpful in treating. In fact, your doctor should know better than to prescribe antibiotics for something they are not helpful towards. If you take too many antibiotics for illnesses like the cold and flu, which they are not effective towards, your body can become immune to them. What will happen then is that when you really need antibiotics for something serious, your body will reject them and you could die from an infection because your body is so used to antibiotics. When it comes to matters of health, you need to take control of your life and do some research before just taking any antibiotic a doctor prescribes because they can have seriously dangerous consequences.

All antibiotics are dangerous and strong, but there are some that are especially harmful to your health and can have damaging side effects long after you stop taking them. Clostridium Difficile is an infection in the intestines that is caused by the use of some antibiotics. This is because antibiotics kill not only the bad bacteria that is causing illness, but also the good bacteria in your intestines that helps keep you healthy. After taking antibiotics you have no good bacteria left which means your body's defenses are down. This is like going into battle without weapons and expecting to come out alive and well, it's just not realistic. Unless good bacteria are replaced quickly after the antibiotic kills it, the C. Diff infection will develop because the bad bacteria start growing out of control and in turn cause devastation to your body. This is a very dangerous and life-threatening infection that causes symptoms such as inflammation of the intestines, severe diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. This infection, called C. Diff for short, even causes around 14,000 deaths a year in the United States. C. Diff is very common in hospitals and nursing homes. This is because many people in hospitals and nursing homes are on antibiotics. If you spend a lot of time or work in such a place, remember to keep yourself safe by washing your hands often with soap and water. Hand sanitizer is not enough to kill the C. Diff spores.

The antibiotics that are most known to cause C. Diff are Ampicillin, Amoxicillin, and Cephalosporins (like Cephalexin or Keflex). Clindamycin is another strong antibiotic that is very often prescribed by dentists to prevent infection. You should be vary of this antibiotic because it is very strongly linked to causing C. Diff. You should be very careful of taking these antibiotics and when possible request to take others that are safer and have a smaller chance of causing C. Diff. Antibiotics that occasionally cause C. Diff are Penicillin, Erythromycin, Trimethoprim (Primsol), and Cipro (belonging to the class fluoroquinolones). The antibiotics that rarely cause C. Diff are Tetracycline, Metronidazole (Flagyl), Vancomycin (Vancocin), and Aminoglycosides (Gentamicin or Garamycin).

You should be especially careful about taking antibiotics in the fluoroquinolones class because they are known to cause not only C. Diff but also long lasting effects like swelling or tearing in the tendons or joints. In fact, there is now a lawsuit against Cipro for people who have experienced nerve damage or paralysis after taking this very strong antibiotic. Cipro is so strong that it is known as the nuclear weapon of antibiotics and should not be taken unless all other options have been exhausted and failed. Cipro is designed to treat very strong bacterial infections such as the one caused by Anthrax. This is a last resort antibiotic for the most deadly infections, yet it is very popular and prescribed by doctors for minor infections like the urinary tract infections!

Please don't be afraid to ask your doctor many questions before taking the antibiotics they have prescribed. First off, ask if there are any alternatives to the antibiotics. Remember, there are many natural antibiotics that are just as helpful in treating infections without the nasty side effects. Examples of natural antibiotics are garlic, onions, honey, olive leaf extract, grapefruit seed extract, peppermint oil, wild oregano oil extract, and many others. If there are no alternatives to you taking an antibiotic, make sure to tell your doctor that you want an antibiotic that is less likely to cause C. Diff and other dangerous, long-lasting side effects. Remember, there are antibiotics that rarely, if ever, cause this life-threatening infection known as C. Diff.

If you absolutely must take antibiotics for an illness, infection, or after surgery, remember to take probiotic supplements as well. Probiotic supplements create good bacteria in your body that the antibiotic destroys. You must take probiotics along with the antibiotics or shortly after if you want them to work properly and prevent you from getting C. Diff. Popular and effective probiotics to take after antibiotics are Florastor and Culturelle. Florastor is a great probiotic that is yeast based and creates good bacteria in your body. Culturelle is also another good probiotic that creates good bacteria and keeps C. Diff away. There are also many other great probiotics out there that will help keep you healthy after taking antibiotics. Probiotics can be purchased at all vitamin stores such as The Vitamin Shoppe, Nature's Way, GNC, and Vitamin World, among many others. Some probiotics like Florastor and Culturelle can even be purchased at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and CVS Pharmacy. Other probiotics come in foods such as in yogurt, kefir, and other fermented foods. Ask your doctor to make sure which is the right one for you.

Remember that prevention is always better then treatment. If you prevent an illness from ever developing, you do not have to spend time suffering. Probiotics are a must if you are taking or have taken antibiotics. Probiotics replenish the good bacteria that your body needs in order to stop it from developing dangerous infections like C. Diff. Try to do your own research before taking any medication, but especially antibiotics, because they can have terrifying and devastating effects on your body. It is always better to keep yourself healthy by eating well, exercising, and using natural ways to prevent illness. As soon as I heard about what antibiotics are capable of, I knew I had to share it with others so that no one is left in the dark about them. Stay safe everyone, because health is everything!


Doctor Oz Talks About Antibiotics

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