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Fixin' Healthcare

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Antibotics

Speaking of flu and cold season, please avoid pressing your doctor for antibiotics to treat "flu" or a cold. Antibiotics are potent agents but they have no effect against viruses.

Antibiotics should not be used inappropriately because antibiotic therapy changes the balance in the vast array of bacteria that inhabit the colon. This might cause diarrhea or a more serious problem. The colon bacteria are essential for well-being by contributing to digestion of food, the production and absorption of vital nutrients, and protection against carcinogens.

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a serious worldwide problem. The use of antibiotics increases the problem by reducing the "competition" and selecting resistant bacteria that grow and spread. Antibiotic resistant bacteria can pass from one person to another. When a serious
infection does occur, the treatment options are limited.

The best defense against viral infection is nutrition, exercise, hygiene (handwashing) and vaccination (influenza). The complex interaction of nutrients in whole foods sustain the immune system and protect against infection. Eat a diet high in vegetables and fruit with lean protein and low fat dairy. Eliminate highly processed food and junk food, especially those containing altered fat and trans fats. Exercise is beneficial for immunity. Stress and obesity can harm immunity. Vaccinate the children and young adults first.

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