Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wisdom with Antibiotics

Many different brands of this product exist.   In Mexico, a refrigerated lactobacillus drink can be purchased at most grocery stores.

One example of a vaginal anti-fungal which also can be used per rectum for rectal thrush infections.  Ask your physician for guidance for this.

    Antibiotics are necessary evils. As many of you know, an antibiotic is useful in order to limit the replication of bacteria so that our bodies can gain a stronghold and ultimately defeat the infection.    Many minor infections can be treated topically (with antibacterial creams or even pine oil derivatives)  However, a true antibiotic taken by mouth cannot defeat an infection which is viral, or a fungal infection.  In fact, an antibiotic will make a fungal infection worse.
        "Why then" you ask, "Did my doctor prescribe an antibiotic when I had a viral infection ?"  Generally, it is best not to prescribe an antibiotic for a viral infection. Occasionally, however, it is done in order to treat an additional evolving bacterial superimposed imfection, or a sinusitis, for example, which can occur when a viral infection leaves us compromised enough that we catch the next bacterial infection to which we are exposed. There are trade offs for doing this though.  Using antibiotics more frequently means that we expose the normal complement of bacterial flora in and on our bodies, and we make ourselves more prone to infections with more resistant bacteria.   For example, when my eldest children were babies, amoxicillin was taking care of bacterial infections that most infants and toddlers had.   Now, this is often not the case.  More and more antibiotics have had to be developed in order to effectively treat bacterial infections which have developed resistance to some antibiotics or groups of antibiotics.  Additionally, some types of antibiotics treat certain types of organisms effectively, and make little or no difference to others. It is therefore important to let your physician select the antibiotic you take (after informing him/her of any allergies)  I know the temptation to steer your physician is great, but you should try to resist this. Sometimes a physician must get something called a c & s, a culture and sensitivity to correctly identify the causative organism of your infection and to find an antibiotic that will actually treat the infection.
           Many times, a physician or a dentist prescribes an antibiotic and does not complete the directions.  Anytime you are taking an antibiotic orally, you may also be wiping out HEALTHY, NORMAL bacteria, that we call normal flora,  as well as the bacteria we have intentionally targeted.   One action that we can take in order to prevent doing so, is to ingest probiotics.  In many nations, one can buy lactobacillus acidophilus in capsules as a probiotic which can easily be administered.  One should take these, if you can, anytime that you are taking an oral antibiotic, and for a few days after completing them.  This will help to avoid the diarrhea which can occur, as a result of inadvertently sterilizing ones gut while taking antibiotics.   These will also help to prevent other results of antibiotic use, and fungal overgrowth.  If you cannot obtain lactobacillus or similar preparation, then yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese and other fermented milk products can aid in the restoration of intestinal bacteria, and to some degree, in other areas of the body as well. If you take lactobacillus while you are taking an antibiotic, it is probably best to take them apart from one another by at least three hours.
           Sometimes, an infant on an antibiotic develops an angry red diaper rash which burns and creates significant discomfort for them..  This is a thrush or yeast diaper rash.  This can be treated in the short term by giving the infant yogurt, and by placing plain yogurt directly on the reddened area of the buttocks, until you can see your physician for a cream that can cure this rapidly.     Children and particularly women on antibiotics can also develop a yeast infection of the vagina.  In most places, your pharmacy can provide an over the counter cream and directions for intravaginal administration.  These medications are often Miconazole or similar preparations.  Please be sure to get the ones intended for vaginal administration, and not the ones intended for athlete's foot.      Rectal yeast infections can also occur as a result of using a full run of antibiotics.   One can use a rectal Miconazole suppository designed for vaginal treatment, in the rectum at bedtime, for generally three days, in order to treat this.    Most yeast infections can be treated this way.  The few that are resistant, need to be treated with antifungals which are available by prescription from your physician.    See your physician if you have any doubt as to what is going on, OR if you develop a thrush infection of your throat, as this also needs to be treated a little differently.
           Recurrent yeast infections without prior antibiotic use may signal something else going on.  Sometimes hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and some other disorders will begin this way.
            With all of these cautions, if you are on an antibiotic, you should be cautioned to complete the amount prescribed. Taking a shorter run of antibiotics and discontinued without good cause, could help to create strains of bacteria which are more resistant to antibiotic treatment in the future.
               Since Miconazole and other over-the-counter yeast infection treatments targeted at vaginal yeast, are inexpensive, and frankly work well beyond their stated dates of expiration, if stored in a heated and cooled area, those interested in preparedness might wish to buy one or two boxes in anticipation of yeast infection treatment at some point.   Other brands, are listed below, and include the generic drug name, for those of you who are out of the country, or prefer to buy generics, and then a US tradename following. The generics of these drugs work just fine.

       MICONAZOLE NITRATE   (Monistat)
       CLOTRIMAZOLE          (Gyne-Lotrimin or Mycelex)
       BUTOCONAZOLE         (Gynezol or Femstat)
       TIOCONAZOLE             (Vagistat-1)

This is simply one brand of Kefir.   When buying product please read carefully. You are seeking a high bacteria count in order to reseed your colon properly.

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