In a huge meta-analysis, published recently (May 3, 2016 in JAMA) researchers found that up to 70% of antibiotics prescribed during a two year period were actually inappropriate prescriptions.
This is a hugely important study, because with the recent exponential rise of antibiotic resistant infections, each and every use of antibiotics absolutely MUST be warranted.
When we truly *do* need to use antibiotics (and they can save lives, make no mistake about that) we need them to WORK.
Add on to that the unnecessary chemical load to the body and the potential side effects, both annoying and deadly serious, that all prescriptions drugs put patients at risk for, and this is simply an unacceptable overuse of antibiotics.
- Over 180,000+ physician visits were sampled throughout 2010 and 2011 in the United States from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.
- 12.6% of these visits culminated in an antibiotic being prescribed, most commonly for sinusitis, suppurative otitis media, and pharyngitis.
- For acute respiratory infections, only 50% of the antibiotics prescribed were determined to be appropriately prescribed.
- This number represents about 34 million antibiotics prescriptions annually being prescribed for respiratory infections unnecessarily.
- Moreover, antibiotics for any reason (all uses for antibiotics combined) were thought to be justified only about 70% of the time… meaning that collectively, about 30% of all antibiotic prescriptions across the board are completely inappropriate.
- For example, in pharyngitis (sore throat) specifically, researchers found that over 72% of cases of pharyngitis were treated with antibiotics inappropriately.
- This data echoes similar findings in other countries, one example being a recent Dutch study published last year that found almost 50% of antibiotics prescribed for respiratory tract infections were prescribed inappropriately.
So what can we do to cut down on the inappropriate use of antibiotics?
You can boost your immune system right now to decrease your chance of getting an infection and allow you to fight an infection more successfully… reducing the need for an antibiotics in general.
The goal here is to have such a strong and healthy enough immune system in place that it doesn’t matter if you sit next to someone who has the flu on the bus…
…it doesn’t matter if you turn a doorknob right after someone who has a stomach bug touched it…
… it doesn’t matter if you are in line and the person in front of you keeps coughing on you…
…the healthier we each are individually, the less any illness will spread and the less antibiotics we require as a society. Which equals less antibiotic-resistant super bugs for us all.
1. Decrease your sugar intake.
I started off with the hardest one (for me at least!) because sugar directly suppresses the immune system and leaves you more susceptible for picking up communicable illness.
I have a massive sweet tooth — I recommend taking L-Glutamine in order to decrease sugar cravings.
Also, consider giving less sugary snacks to children when you send them off to camp and to school and you will be ensuring that their immune system stays as high as possible when surrounded by their classmates germs.
2. Increase your restorative sleep.
You NEED restorative sleep at night to keep your immune system working optimally during the day.
Nighttime is a time of not only repair and process and release but also a time of resetting to meet the next day.
Studies show that sleep deprivation causes everything from slowed metabolism, to brain atrophy, to a decreased immune response.
- Have a goal of 9 hours of quality sleep a night if possible…
- Invest in an indoor Grounding product so you can deepen your restorative sleep at night…
- Take some melatonin if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep…
- And read this blog post I wrote with loads more tips on getting a restorative full night of sleep!
3. Allow yourself to retain some extra weight.
This is a little known fact but as I blogged about from the medical literature last year… but having extra weight on helps you combat overwhelming infection.
There is a reason that newborns and the elderly are the most likely to die from the flu and other viral illnesses — their energy and metabolic reserves are generally less than that of a vibrant strong older child and adult.
4. Colloidal silver spray.
This is a wonderful antiviral remedy that you can use immediately after a suspected exposure to a viral illness.
If you found yourself standing next to someone in line who coughed nonstop over your shoulder — go ahead and spray your oral mucosa with some purified silver and instantly decrease your chance of picking up their pathogen.
You can keep colloidal silver at your desk at work, in a small spray bottle in your purse, and in your suitcase to use as protection during travel.
5. Immune boosting supplements.
My three non-negotiable favorite immune boosting supplements are:
- Vit C (1,000 mg a day)
- Vit D (1,ooo IU a day)
- and probiotics (1 – 5 billion CFUs a day)
At least 70% of our immunity starts in the gut — yet to most other health care practitioners still don’t yet recommend daily probiotics as a way to protect against viral outbreaks.
6. Eat your antivirals.
Eating immune boosting foods such as garlic and oregano can help you boost your immunity to viral illnesses naturally.
Cinnamon and raw honey are both highly anti-viral as well, and have the ability to stop viral illnesses in it’s track!
Try this recipe daily to boost your immunity and take an extra teaspoon full whenever you’ve had a known viral exposure when out and about in your community:
Anti-Viral Cinnamon Honey
Organic Ground Cinnamon
Mix 1 Tablespoon of Organic Raw Honey with 3/4 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon.
Eat 1 teaspoon as needed!
This makes three servings — enough to take three times a day during known viral exposures or at the onset of any viral symptoms.
You can eat a teaspoon of this cinnamon honey straight, you can use it in your nightly or morning tea, spread over toast (the perfect winter breakfast!) swirl into your breakfast oatmeal, and you can use it to dip fresh fruit into for the added anti-oxidant boost!
This is one antiviral remedy that children usually take with a smile. (Do not give honey to children under 1 year of age.)
7. Wash Your Hands.
The #1 thing you can do, even if you can’t do a single other thing on this list,
is WASH YOUR HANDS!!!
Wash your hand before eating, before touching your face, before rubbing your eye, after blowing your nose, whenever you come home from being out and about, and before bed.
Just washing your hands more frequently than ever can be the one step that prevents the widespread epidemic of ANY viral illness, any season!
And if you can’t wash your hands, then use StellarCleenz to wipe your hands instead.
Infinitely preferable to hand sanitizers (which, like antibiotics, are having bacterial resistance develop and contributing to superbugs in hospitals) these reusable silver cloths cut out toxic chemical exposure completely…
…and they work.
Scientifically proven to kill 99% of the harmful bacteria, virus and fungus that cause infections, StellarCleenz wipes are reusable indefinitely, these wipes are eco-friendly, 100% natural, chemical free, and with no toxic side effects. Find out more here.
8. Stop Worrying.
The point isn’t to become fearful of every single person and every single surface you encounter, but to proactively boost your own health so that you could walk directly through an entire street of people with the flu and still not get it.
This is absolutely possible.
Exposure does NOT equal active infection.
The reality is that you are likely to encounter someone with a cough or sniffle today. Or someone feeling nauseous.
And instead of feeling like the next victim of this or any other illness, you should *know* that our bodies absolutely and 100% have the ability to be exposed to nasty viral illnesses and NOT BECOME ILL WITH THEM.
This is natural for us.
It is natural to be surrounded by pathogens, including viruses, and to NOT BECOME INFECTED BY THEM.
It just takes a healthy immune system, lots of hand washing and good hygiene.
Follow the previous 7 steps listed above and #8 — stop worrying — will take care of itself.
If you can help share this information with others than together we can help decrease the necessity of seeking antibiotic use in the first place.
The key is empowering each other with positive, helpful, supporting things that we can do every day to dramatically decrease our chance of becoming sick with communicable disease.
It’s not realistic to sequester yourself away from all exposures.
A much more empowering and healthy choice is to walk with the health confidence of believing in your own innate power to be exposed to illness and not personally contract it.
Let your body do what it does best — ward off infection and keep you healthy.
This is what your immune system is made for.
And these are the ways you can optimize that process.
With much love and faith in your Well Being…