Before there were antibiotics, many individuals died from everyday diseases such as pneumonia. If you are old enough, then your parents may have had a sibling die in infancy from an infection because antibiotics were not available. While antibiotics are not effective against viruses, the medications can inhibit the growth of bacteria or destroy bacteria to make you healthy again. Antibiotics have saved many lives, but the bad news is that overuse of the medications have led to additional problems that experts now want to control.
Bacteria Are More Resistant Due to Overuse of Antibiotics
One of the major problems with antibiotics is that physicians have often prescribed the medication for minor ailments, and this has led to resistant bacteria that are difficult to control or eliminate. Not only have physicians prescribed too many antibiotics, but also, the individuals who raise animals for food have fed the medications to poultry, pigs and cattle in order to have healthier livestock. Unfortunately, this has also caused some of the bacteria that infect animals to become more resistant, leading to chickens or sheep that cannot overcome a disease.
You Can Read Food Labels to Avoid Consuming Antibiotics
Unfortunately, research also reveals that some of these antibiotics remain in the meat of the animals and are ingested by humans or other animals, increasing the strength of dangerous bacteria. Today, more consumers are concerned about consuming animal products that might contain antibiotics, and they are refusing to buy pork, beef or poultry products that are contaminated with these drugs. The good news is that when you are shopping for food at a supermarket, many of the package labels will state that the livestock was not fed antibiotics.
Antibiotics Can Change Your Metabolism
However, there are also other problems concerning the use of antibiotics, including obesity. Some studies suggest that the use of antibiotics changes the human body’s metabolism by altering the natural chemicals that are in the stomach and intestinal tract. In addition, some scientists believe that the early use of antibiotics in children may lead to increased insulin resistance.
How to Avoid Overusing Antibiotics
There are particular times when taking an antibiotic is appropriate, but you should make sure that your physician prescribes the medication rather than using a friend’s prescription or ordering capsules from an online store. Antibiotics will not help you overcome influenza or a common cold because these conditions are caused by viruses rather than bacteria. In addition, refuse to buy animal-based food products that were raised using antibiotics.