It's no secret, we pass out antibiotics like they are candy. And the fear of antibiotic resistance and superbugs even reached the White House 2 weeks ago when Obama laid out a plan to decrease the use of antibiotics. I'm not sure what was in the plan, but I heard he had one. But I see it everyday, kids who are sick all the time. Reoccurring ear infections, bronchitis, allergies, asthma, colds, and runny noses. And we jump to an antibiotic on the first sign of a sniffle. The rise of antibiotic use can be largely blamed for the rise in chronic disease and the pattern of each generation becoming sicker and sicker. Your kid's immune system is shot.
I am still baffled when kids are prescribed an antibiotic for an ear infection. The majority of them are viral and will clear up in 4 to 6 days on there own. Not to mention chiropractic helps with ear infections. When a patient tells me that their child is on an antibiotic I quickly respond that we need to make sure we load them up on probiotics afterward to restore any lost healthy flora. They often look at me puzzled, wait the doctor that prescribed the drug didn't tell you that antibiotics kill bad bacteria and good bacteria? The absence of good healthy bacteria affects your immune system. So do you see the vicious cycle of taking an antibiotic over and over and the result is you getting sicker and sicker? It weakens you immune system. Now of course thank God for them, in life threatening situations. But is an ear infection or the common cold life threatening? Did you know the more viruses and bacteria that your child is exposed to and goes through, without the use of antibiotics, that it strengthens their immune system? I'm sure your doctor explained that to you the last time you were in. Or was he too busy writing a script with his back to you? I may sound frustrated but this is irresponsible, borderline malpractice, and we deserve better.
But in the defense of your doctor.... Last week I was on vacation, sitting on the beach, next to an MD. I won't go in to the fact that he was chain smoking cigarettes and could benefit from losing 200 lbs, no kidding, I almost asked to see his license. But we were talking about this same topic, he agreed with me, but he told me that patients come in to the office asking for drugs by name. And if they don't leave with a prescription in their hand, they act like you didn't do anything for them, or that they were cheated. I thought this was funny because on the occasion one of my daughters are "sick", I will pay my copay just to have their pediatrician listen to their lungs. Just for my peace of mind, I learned all of this in school myself (Yes chiropractors are real doctors) but I don't use it everyday, so obviously he is more skilled in this department.
So who's fault is it? If not the doctor, the pharmaceutical companies right? They run all the commercials, they put all the advertisements in the magazines, they lobby the politicians, and put reps in doctor's offices everyday with free coffee and cookies. It is their fault right? Read this very slowly, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO'S FAULT IT IS. But but but.... We need someone to blame right? Point the finger at, I don't know if you have noticed this trend in society. The truth is it is your fault, and my fault. You are the only one responsible for your health, no one else. It is your job to do the research, your job to put in the time exercising, your job to make better food choices, your job to start the preventive maintenance plan, your job, no one else's. Why is it your job? You are the only one who has to live with the outcome. So do yourself and your kid a favor next time one of you are sick, don't be so quick to fill that prescription and start investing in building the immune system now, before you get "sick".
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