It made the news again today the over use and over prescribing of antibiotics in Ireland. According to a study published in the Irish Journal of Medicine in July of this year 65% of GP’s surveyed agreed that antibiotics are over prescribed in general practice.
The over use of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance where the antibiotics no longer work. This puts you and others at risk. The over reliance on antibiotics effectively makes your immune system redundant. The immune system is our defence against disease. Antibiotics weaken our immune systems as individuals and as social groups.
The over use of medicine is a phenomena first identified by Dr Mark Chassin in the US. The over use of medicine and certain medical treatments is being driven not by evidence based medicine, but by economics and the needs of medical insurance companies. Its an issue that extends into many other areas of medicine including psychiatry, cancer treatments and coronary disease. Dr. John Wennberg has written about this issue in Tracking Medicine. Peter Orszag an american economist has warned that in America the cost of medicine is unsustainable.
Herbal medicine offers a natural alternative not by replacing one pill with a herb, but through an alternative paradigm of medicine that treats people holistically. Garlic and Echinacea are just two of the many natural ways to boost and protect your immune system.
Managing stress is central to maintaining a healthy immune system. Many of us are over stress and our health is suffering as a result. If your finding that your turning to antibiotics to deal with small infections that may not even be bacterial maybe its time to reconsider if you want to continue with the quick fix approach or deal with the underlying stress factors?
The best insurance policy you can have is a strong immune system 🙂