It’s cold and flu season; do you really need that antibiotic too?

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Antibiotics were wonder drugs when introduced years ago, although their overuse in the USA and had a side effect; resistant bugs. From ear infections, to upper respiratory infections, doctors for years have recommended an antibiotic to help you recover. Since antibiotics only work on bacterial infections, you may have recovered naturally anyway.   Their rampant overuse caused secondary infections in the ear, yeast infections and long term gut dysfunction. Other countries culturally used these drugs differently and in some countries, you do not even need a prescription for the antibiotic since people used them less. Many parents who were raised on the antibiotic for everything idea continue to go to their doctor and ask for them.  Many doctors will give them a cocktail to keep them happy even though it does not meet our current best practices for managing a cold. Some doctors will advise against using them for simple problems and you as the patient should listen.  Unfortunately, the rise of heavy protocol care where patients are told to go to urgent care instead of their primary care doctor has not helped. Your primary care doctor is likely to know you much better than the quasi emergency room for less serious problems we call urgent care.

Ways you can recover from most colds and infections naturally

Upper respiratory infection

Often, doctors would recommend an antibiotic for upper respiratory infections to help prevent secondary infections in the lower lung as well as a cough suppressant.  While you may cough less and feel better, often these infections are viral and the lack of coughing and breathing deep actually created the infection in the lower lung and could have worsened it. Dr. C's recommendation for natural resolution of upper respiratory infections. Take slow deep breaths to fill the lower lungs with air, kill off secondary infections naturally and avoid secondary problems such as bronchial spasm presenting as bronchitis or as some doctors now classify it; asthma. If you are having difficulty with this, purchase tiger balm red, boil a cup of water for 90 seconds, add a third of a teaspoon of the balm, close your eyes and breathe in the fumes.  This will help open the bronchi, reduce coughing naturally and help you expel the bad stuff from your lower lungs.

Ear infection

Doctors for years have recommended antibiotics for ear infections until 20-30 years ago, they realized it made matters worse.  Naturally allowing the infection to improve, using methods to help open the eustachian tube this is often blocked by tonsils that are inflamed reduces secondary infections and helps your children resolve naturally. Continued use can lead to chronic problems, recommendations for tubes which can affect their hearing and is invasive.  There are natural options you may not hear from your pediatrician. Dr. C's recommendation - spinal adjustments to the neck have helped children resolve these infections and even colic.   It likely works by relaxing the muscles and opening the eustachian tubes and has been used safely by chiropractors.  Both my children were adjusted for these problems and never had ear infections.   Simple and effective.

Sinus infections

Another common cold and flu season problem is sinus infections.  The bacteria build up and seal off the sinus with inflammation and you have pain, congestion, post nasal drip and a potentially problematic situation.  Most doctors will recommend an antibiotic for this and maybe something to reduce inflammation. Dr. C's suggestion - Tiger balm as mentioned in the above section to open the sinuses. Breathe in hard.  Then rinse sinuses with ocean or another saline sinus spray and finally. neo synephrine or another spray to keep the sinuses open for 24 hours.  This will clear most developing infections naturally. Attack the developing infection before it worsens this way first.

The common cold 

Most colds are viral so antibiotics do not help the infection.  Attack the cold at the beginning of symptoms with echinacea, vitamin C powder (Use Alive from Natures Way for great results), zinc tabs, tea with lemon and honey and other fluids help flush the cold out of your system.

When you need an antibiotic

  • A cut that becomes infected.
  • Bad respiratory infection such as bacterial pneumonia
  • Sepsis.
Recently, the NY times published an article on antibiotic use and offers suggestions as to when you need them. Check their article out below

Do You Really Need That Antibiotic?

It’s antibiotic season. Brush up on how you should use them — and when to avoid them.

Dec. 21, 2023

Chasing away an infection with the right antibiotic can feel magical. Stabbing throat pain improves, coughs subside, ear aches fade. A course can save us from pneumonia and protect us during surgery. The advent of penicillin has been hailed as one of the greatest discoveries in medicine. But an antibiotic can also be a temptress. While the drugs work by killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria, we often seek them out for runny noses and chest colds, most of which are caused by viruses. An estimated 28 percent of antibiotics prescribed to children and adults are unnecessary. When a virus like those that cause the flu or Covid is causing your symptoms, antibiotics not only don’t help, they can hurt. Read more