When to treat with antibiotics is a tough question for many of us to answer. Gone are the days where we feel yucky, go to the doctor, do whatever he or she tells us, and feel better as soon as possible. I absolutely loved the show, Little House on the Prairie, when I was a kid. I saw Doc Baker as a savior for the community. He knew everyone— personal and family medical and life histories, lifestyles, and habits. He could treat the whole person because he had a knowledge and understanding of the whole person. This is no longer the case. Many folks don’t even have a primary care physician, today. They run to a clinic to treat an illness or injury when necessary and go about their busy lives. This is convenient but not in the best interest of our health—unless we are taking an active, informed role in our own health and wellness plans.
I am a huge fan of natural treatments and home remedies. People lived like that for many years. More and more, we are developing allergies, sensitivities, autoimmune disorders, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. Our conveniences and lifestyle shortcuts are shortening our healthy years and/or lives. Mass amounts of pharmaceuticals, preservatives, processed food and drinks, and unhealthy, fast-paced lifestyles are taking tolls on our well-being. We aren’t sleeping well, don’t get enough of any kind of exercise, and have poor nutritional habits, in general. We need to clean our acts up, Friends. Baby steps, right? Let’s start with what to do when we are sick. The Center for Disease Control teaches us that we should NOT use antibiotics for ear infections, sinus infections, bronchitis, sore throats, and some cases of strep throat– just to name a few. How do you know when to treat with antibiotics?
First, you have to have a proper diagnosis in order to know how to treat any kind of ailment. Some people are fortunate enough to have doctors, nurses, or health care experts in their family or circle of friends. I’ve actually uttered the question, “Does this look infected to you?” to a good nurse practitioner friend. Funny—but kind of gross, I know. My point is: you can’t properly treat it if you don’t know what it is. You need the right ammunition for the right bad guy.
Find a family care physician, nurse practitioner, naturopathic doctor—anyone you trust to help you define your problem. It’s in your best interest to have a doctor who can get to know your history. It’s impossible to treat the whole patient when you’ve known him or her for the five to fifteen minutes you’ll be in the office together. There is not enough time to completely review and discuss that four-page history you filled out in the waiting room, either. Get a regular practitioner you feel comfortable with and become a part of your own health plan, including learning when to treat with antibiotics.
Ok, so you know what you have—an ear or sinus infection, bronchitis, strep throat, the flu—what next? If you don’t have a doctor who can or will offer ideas, suggestions, and treatment plans not reliant on pharmaceuticals (including antibiotics), then you need to do your research. Yes, you do have time. Your health is more important than the meeting, the call, or the next episode of whatever whiny singing competition show is on next. Sometimes you will need antibiotics or something to aid pain, swelling, or fever. The miracle of medicine is a gift if used appropriately. Unfortunately, we often overuse and overdose when we do use these miracles.
Why? We all know why but don’t want to bring it up—big pharm—money that controls our medical professionals’ choices, options, treatment plans, and ability to keep a practice open. That’s another story for another time. But there is another reason we don’t want to bring up—habit lined with laziness. We expect our doctor to throw us a prescription so we can get on with our days. Not cool, Friends. Don’t insist on something you don’t need and that might not even help you. What it will do is have negative effects on your health in other areas. Check out this scary proof link if you are curious. What makes it scarier—it was written almost four years ago and the problem continues to worsen.
Back to the treatment—the solution for the problem. Research treatment options for your sickness and follow the instructions and guidelines completely and accurately. Guess what will happen? You will get better without all the side effects and exposure to unnecessary medication, toxins, and chemicals that will have effects on your health – short-term, long-term, forever. Guess what my brother successfully treated strep with—apple cider vinegar. I lie not. I got strep for the first time this year. It is a real jerk, let me tell you! Guess what this hypocrite preaching to you did? Ran to the doctor and got antibiotics because it was days before Christmas, and I had people coming and didn’t have time to research blah blah blah. Yes, my strep is gone. But so is my gut health. My digestion is still off, Friends, a month later. I wish I had talked to my brother about the vinegar BEFORE I got sick. The older I get, the worse the effects of antibiotics are for me. Take the natural road as often as you can. Your body will thank you for it later.
The more research you do, the quicker and easier it will become. Trust yourself and return to sources, sites, and pages that you are comfortable with and offer real solutions. Here are a few of my favorites you can start with:
Ask questions, get to know practitioners in your community, online, or through books. You’ll be so proud and feel great when you make a safe choice and avoid a costly one-both financially and for your health. I surely did when I had a sciatic issue.
I had some back pain that was persistently annoying but ignored it. I was working out, so I expected it would eventually go away. But, my work requires a lot of sitting in front of a computer. Long story short—one day I lost feeling in my leg and hit the floor in pain and afraid. The emergency room doctor explained how a muscle was crushing a nerve and a disc was inflamed that probably started it all—words words—take muscle relaxers, ibuprofen, get a scope, maybe surgery, words words words. I was not happy with that. For the first time in my life, I decided I was going to act against medical advice. He was spot on with what it was—what caused it. But I started calling people, researching, and doing stretches with a doctor I found on YouTube. I saw a musculoskeletal therapist and a chiropractor who took care of business for me. Today, I still have to sit at a desk a lot. But I do the right kind of stretches. When I get lazy and feel the pain coming on, I get an adjustment and/or a massage and whip myself into shape. I became a believer. No meds, no creepy side effects, and no surgery. I know this won’t always be the case, but for the times it can be; it’s worth it, Friends. Become a major player in your own health care plan. You owe it to yourself. No one knows you like you do, and you are the one who will live in the body you’ve been given. You should be actively involved in any and all decisions affecting it. If I was confident enough to walk away from a surgery consult, I should be able to conjure up the nerve to pass on antibiotics as a first resort if I get strep again, right? Take care out there, Friends.