Eat Dirt.

This is our fault. Doctors over-prescribing antibiotics. Got a cold? Take some penicillin. Sniffles? No problem. Have some azithromycin. Is that not working anymore? Oh, got your Levaquin. Antibacterial soaps in every bathroom. We'll be adding vancomycin to the water supply soon. We bred these superbugs. They're our babies. And they're all grown up and they've got body piercings and a lot of anger.” From House M.D.

The fact of the matter is, God made our bodies to fight off sickness, you can’t keep from getting sick, and by trying you’re probably making yourself sicker.  Our immune systems are amazing things.  When a germ enters our body, our white blog cells hunt it out, and work on killing it.  Then our bodies make antibiotics to prevent us from getting the same germ ever again.  We can get different variations of different germs, but never the same twice!  How cool is that?  Somehow, over the course of the last few years people have taken it upon themselves to think that if they have the sniffles, cold, or flu they need to get an antibiotic.  This just isn’t true, and in fact, it’s caused the evolution of germs to become what is known as “superbugs”.  ((Superbugs include gonorrhea, salmonella, staph, and e coli-to name a few))  These are germs which have evolved past antibiotics.  Scary thought isn’t it?  We’re harming ourselves more than helping ourselves when we super sanitize our homes, have anti-bacteria soap, over-wash our hands, and tote hand sanitizer with us everywhere.  By killing any bacteria we come across, we’re not letting our bodies do their job.

If you love your kids, let them eat dirt.  Ok, maybe not eat dirt literally, but studies have shown that exposing kids to nasty germs will help them fight off infections as they grow up.  I personally believe this to be true because of the examples in my life.  My grandfather has, to my knowledge, never gone to the doctor for a cold/flu ever.  When he got sick, he dealt with it, and is currently a pretty healthy 94 year old.  In the same way, I do not think I have ever seen my father go to the doctor because he was sick, he also just let colds run their course, and you hardly ever see him sick.  Now for more personal experience.  Since I have known my husband, (nearly 6 years mind you) he has gone to the doctor one time!  He had the flu and was running a pretty nasty fever.  I have gone to the doctor more often.  I hate to be giving out too much information here, but I have big tonsils.  They are always big, and you can always see them.  ((I had a doctor once ask jokingly if I took vitamins for my tonsils!))  When I get sick I almost always get a sore throat, as big tonsils mean when germs come hurtling through my mouth or nose the germs land on my tonsils instead of heading to my lungs.  If I get a bad cold, it’s almost always throat related.  My tonsils, during these colds, get so bad I can barely swallow and even breathing is difficult.  I can’t lie in any position but on my back, and the pain is pretty bad.  If my throat shows signs of not getting better, or if it is getting way too difficult to do common things, then I usually think it’s time to go to the doctor.

Want to hear the funny part about only going when I think it’s truly needed?  The last time I got a cold and went to the doctor was October of 2009, right after getting back from our honeymoon.  I hadn’t been to the doctor in over a year at this time.  I had a fever, had trouble breathing, couldn’t sleep in any way except for partially sitting up, could barely swallow, and was in so much pain I could hardly stand it.  My husband and I headed to the doctor, who REFUSED to give me antibiotics, because they are too over-prescribed!  AND it’s happened more than once!  I’ve had tonsillitis which a doctor refused to prescribe antibiotics for.  It’s more frustrating than anything because if I knew they would make me suffer anyway I would have stayed in bed!

((I do want to add that the elderly and those with compromised immune systems should seek medical treatment when it comes to sickness, along with taking more precautions than those who are healthier.  Obviously I am not a doctor, so these are just my opinion.))

What are your thoughts about germs?  Have you been refused antibiotics?


Jamie said...

I agree with you. The only time I take medicine is for my allergies. They can get pretty severe. My husband on the other hand hates to take any kind of medicine. And he refuses to go to the doctor unless the family gangs up on him. However, that's only happened a couple times because he's rarely sick.... hmmm... I do believe there is a connection there.. :)


Missy said...

I only go to the doctor when a cold or sickness hasn't passed by a month or so. I wait as long as possible. I don't like taking any kind of medicine really. I stopped taking cold meds and ibprophen (except for cramps.)

Amy said...

I tend to avoid taking medication unless I really need it, too. I've read anough about drug resistant diseases to be nervous about building up an immunity to antibiotics. Some of the info out there on drug resistant staph, strep, etc.. is really scary!

Anjanette said...

Thanks for commenting on my guest post! Our family avoids anti-bacterial hygiene products as a rule and we try to avoid antibiotics. We caved and gave our little ones antibiotics for an ear infection earlier in the year and have been dealing with digestive and dental problems ever since!

Whitney said...

I've worked in pharmacies and doctor offices, and I must say that I've never heard of a doc refusing antibiotics. In fact, the opposite was the case. If the patient (parent or other adult) was there and expected to leave with a script then that's what the doc did. I've seen massive amounts of antibiotics, strong pain killers, and others be prescribed for a just in case or preventative approach. I was always amazed by how quickly parents took their children to the doc or went themselves over ailments that could be resolved with a little nutrition, rest and time. The fact of the matter is, though, that most individuals can't afford to be sick. They can't afford to miss work or have to make arrangements for caring for sick children. Can we fault someone who must work every hour he/she can to make ends meet for not taking a risk of missing pay for being sick? As much as I am for the lessened dependence on medical interventions and increase in natural solutions of rest, nutrition, exercise and time to heal, I also have come to a understanding of the many many facets of the problem from my work experiences. Even still, I do strongly believe one move in the right direction is the promotion of wellness over medicine. For those who don't necessarily have to fret over every hour = pay, I certainly think making more information available and encouraging individual decision making is wise. Thanks for the post! (I may skip on the eating dirt though ;) ).

Anonymous said...

Very interesting points. Thanks!

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