But when using antibiotics has the opposite effect and makes you more susceptible to dangerous bugs, it is a serious health scare situation referred to as antibiotic resistance.
What Is Antibiotic Resistance?
Antibiotic resistance is a condition in which the bacteria and microbes become resistant to any effects of antibiotics. It happens when new bacteria are born with changes that reduce the impact of drugs and antibiotics on them. Antibiotics work by reducing the reproductive abilities of bacteria and preventing them from producing, or by killing them. But in the case of antibiotic resistance, bacteria are able to reproduce and multiply in numbers, causing more damage and also avoiding death.
Why Is Antibiotic Resistance A Cause Of Concern?
Today, antibiotic resistance is one of the most worrisome health issues across the global medical community. As more and more people have used antibiotics for years on end, its effect on bacteria has now globally reduced, making them immune and a bigger threat to human health. Another health threat is that such bacteria can spread from person to person, spreading an epidemic of powerful superbugs.
While most infections were earlier treatable with ease, they are becoming more alarming now both in children as well as adults. Once bacteria get resistant to antibiotics, it is almost impossible to treat the condition using any other method. In such a scenario, if a person is affected with a condition in which the bacteria are antibiotic resistant, the affected person will pass on the infection more easily to another person than someone who is affected with it and is not suffering from antibiotic resistance.
How Do Bacteria Become Antibiotic Resistance?
When you take antibiotics on a regular basis and without really requiring them, you kill some bacteria, even as the more resistant ones remain safe. These bacteria then multiply and create stronger bacteria that will be less affected by the antibiotic than the previous ones. Using antibiotics over and over again will gradually create more bacteria that will be immune and resistant to the effects of the antibiotics.
How To Prevent Antibiotic Resistance
Here are a few ways you can follow to make sure you can prevent the occurrence of antibiotic resistance:
- Speak to your doctor to understand whether there are alternate ways of treatment instead of using antibiotics. Also, unless your doctor asks you to go for it, do not press for an antibiotic prescription.
- If your doctor does prescribe antibiotics, make sure you follow the entire course and finish the dosage, even if you are feeling well after some of the dosage. This will ensure that you are completely cured and all harmful bacteria are eliminated, instead of leaving some behind in your system that could produce antibiotic resistant bacteria.
- If you are suffering from any type of viral infection, do not take antibiotics as it will not be effective in curing the illness, but will only increase the chances of antibiotic resistance.
- Many people are taking probiotics under the impression that these can prevent antibiotic resistance from taking place, but this is not yet proven medically. Speak to your doctor about the same to know more.