We all take it for granted that when we have an illness or a problem we can pop-along to the doctors, get a prescription and the problem will all be cleared-up in a few days. I don't want to alarm you, but this hasn't always been the case and some predict it may not be as easy as this in the future.
Many of you may be aware of the recent campaign by the NHS and the media in the UK to raise awareness of the potential problem we face with the effectiveness of antibiotics.
Antibiotics are very important medicines that help us to fight infections that are caused by bacteria. In the past they have been highly effective, but the problem we face is 'antibiotic resistance', (where various bacteria become resistant to antibiotics and the antibiotics become ineffective).
Antibiotic resistance is one of the most significant threats to patients' safety in Europe and results from:
- over prescription of antibiotics
- over-use of antibiotics
- incorrect use of antibiotics.
It is vitally important that we follow the advice in the recent campaigns by the NHS and media and use antibiotics the right way, in order to slow down antibiotic resistance and make sure these life-saving medicines remain effective for as long as possible for us and future generations.
But is this a real threat and what does this mean for you and me?
Well, one line of thought is that it will turn-out like our worst nightmare, or the science fiction film you watched late on Saturday night, where a virus planted by aliens or a foreign power, spreads like wildfire and no one can stop it killing off the entire human race. The film more often than not has a somewhat 'happy' ending, where the leading character or characters come up with an almost unbelievable means of combating the rampant virus and what's left of the human race survives to fight another day - smaller in numbers, but stronger.
Some scientist believe that the current problem with antibiotic resistance will be overcome in a similar way, with scientists finding effective new ways to tackle infections and bacteria.
But until a solution is found, we can all do our best by buying ourselves more time by:
- Not over-prescribing antibiotics
- Not over-using antibiotics
- Following the prescription to the letter and completing the course of tablets.
In addition to this, there are more natural ways to avoid having to over use antibiotics. We can all do our best to eat well, get sufficient sleep, and generally looking after ourselves to build up our resistance to the bugs and bacteria.
Therapies such as Reflexology can help boost the immune system, ease congestion and flush out toxins to ensure healthy organs that can help to fight off colds, allergies and infections.
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