If you think that antibiotics can cure almost any infection, think again. While these drugs have without a doubt saved many, many lives they are becoming less effective in getting rid of those nasty bugs.

It turns out that these bacteria have developed very fancy ways of fighting off their invaders. These superbugs are increasing in numbers and in their ability to resist antibiotics.  How can these little guys pack such a punch when it comes to fighting off antibiotics?  Well, they’ve gotten quite a bit of help from us-that’s right well meaning doctors who prescribe antibiotics for coughs and c0lds. What’s wrong with that kind of practice?  After all, when you had that awful cough  and felt like you had just ran a marathon with every muscle and bone aching, you took those pills and a few days later you felt almost normal again.  That means that those antibiotics must have done their job, right?

Wrong- if you have a cold you will  get better in a few days with antibiotics but you will also feel fine in a few days without antibiotics. Our brains are hard wired to see cause and effect when in fact there may be none. Bottom line is that antibiotics are in no way indicated for colds or any other viral infections.  Even some bacterial infections in a healthy person can resolve without antibiotic use

What antibiotics do is kill off most of the good guys as well- that is the bacteria in your gut which help digest those pepperoni cheese pizzas. They also knock out some of the bad players, but unfortunately a few or just enough of the bad bacteria remain to live yet another day.  These super bacteria survive the initial onslaught and pass their genes to the next generation of bad boys, which now are resistant to your antibiotic and at times to many others as well.

Resistant bacteria can also arise from those antibiotics which are used to make those steaks even juicier and that milk tastier. Even more bizarre are the traces of antibiotics which are in our water.  These come from among other things flushing the unused antibiotics down the toilet where guess what? they end up in our ground water.

Despite the cool drug company advertisements, antibiotics are not our saviors.  I say this fully aware that Pfizer’s stock price may depend on the public believing this nonsense.  Yet at times antibiotics can and do save lives. The art of medicine is to know when and when not to use these guys. I am fond of quality essay writing help because it is just so good.

Next week I will talk about MRSA, one of many uberbugs which have gone viral (pun intended) or rather become epidemic.