Antibiotics don't cure the cold, or the flu, or any other viral illness.
you feel run down and tired all the time? Are you getting one cold after the other?
Are your kids sick all the time? Do you have to take antibiotics frequently? Do
you really need an antibiotic?
Many people come to the doctor with cold symptoms, such as a stuffy head, a streaming
nose, a burning throat, expecting an antibiotic and are disappointed when they
don't get a prescription for one.
But antibiotics are useless, may actually be harmful,
for this kind of problem. Upper respiratory infection and a dry hacking cough
in otherwise healthy persons are caused by viruses. Antibiotics are as effective
against viruses as a rifle fired into a cloud of mosquitoes. Antibiotics are only
effective against bacteria. Since most viral illnesses eventually clear up by
themselves, antibiotics are given the credit although they were mere idle bystanders.
can we do then to prevent those miserable colds
which hit us this time of the year? Frequent hand washing for one, since most
viruses are picked up by our hands. They enter our system through the mucus membranes
of our nose , eyes and mouth. So keep your hands away from your face. Help your
immune function by leading a healthy active lifestyle, avoid stress, eat nutritious
food, donít smoke, donít expose yourself and your children to second-hand smoke,
and stay away from overusing alcohol. When you feel ill enough though to see your
doctor, trust his or her counsel. Donít insist on antibiotics when they are not
needed. Hilke Breder, M.D.