Antibiotic resistance has become an increasingly common problem with many different illnesses, bacterias, and of course germs. Preventing antibiotic resistance is one of the best ways that you can assure you will not be faced with an illness that is not curable with antibiotics. Illnesses and bacteria that was once able to be wiped away with some simple antibiotics are now often hard to treat due to the increase in various antibiotic effectiveness reducing lifestyle changes including hand washing procedures. Follow these tips for preventing antibiotic resistance so that the next time you get sick the medication will actually work!
Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Tip #1: Don’t Use Antibacterial Soaps!
Antibacterial soaps have long been the subject of controversy when it comes to the growing antibiotic resistance that has become a major problem. A study in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy found that increased use of hand soap that included the antimicrobial agent Triclosan reduced the effectiveness of certain antibiotics on treating MRSA and other forms of S. aureus. Further, studies show that the use of regular soap and water, scrubbing for at least 30 seconds, and rinsing is just as effective at removing harmful bacteria from the hands as using an antibacterial soap which could cause antibiotic resistance.
Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Tip #2: Go All Natural and Organic!
Organically grown farm animals are fed only organic feed and are not given any type of steroids or growth hormones. Many of the growth hormones and antibiotics that are used in the feed of cattle, chicken, and swine will result in a resistance to antibiotics in humans. What this means is that when you eat nonorganic meats you are increasing your risk of antibiotic resistance because you have ingested antibiotics in the meat that you are eating. Reduce this risk by eating only organic meat.
Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Tip #3: Medicate Properly!
I’ve seen this a hundred times before, a person gets prescribed an antibiotic for a particular infection or illness and months later when they feel sick again, instead of going to the doctor they just begin taking left over antibiotics again. First, you shouldn’t have left over antibiotics because in most cases you are required to take them until they are gone–doctors tell you this so that you don’t just take the antibiotics until you start to feel better and then stop taking the medication before actually killing off the infection that warranted the use of the antibiotics in the first place. This is because you are teaching the infection how to build a resistance to the antibiotics every time you only take them a little bit and do not complete the treatment as prescribed. Take antibiotics as prescribed and only when prescribed to prevent further antibiotic resistance.
Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Tip #4: Medicate Quickly!
In many cases, doctors prescribe antibiotics that are to last a period of say 10 days when in fact the medication has done its job within 7 days or even 5 days. Ask your doctor to prescribe the shortest method of antibiotic treatment to help reduce your risk of antibiotic resistance in the future. A shorter span of medication will also prevent you from having lots of medication left over because you decided to quite taking it once you were feeling better–the result–no antibiotics left laying around for the next time you feel sick so there is nothing to tempt you to self medicate and increase antibiotic resistance.
Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Tip #5: Wait it Out!
In many cases you can wait out an infection without actually taking antibiotics. In cases of minor infections such as minor ear infections or urinary tract infections you can often wait out the infection and let your body naturally fight it off without the use of antibiotics. If you can deal with the pain or the problem and the infection is not life threatening then it’s sometimes a good idea to wait it out to prevent the use of antibiotics when unnecessary. The less times you take an antibiotic the least chances you will have for antibiotic resistance in the future!