Antibiotic Awareness Week: Antibiotics or anti-bacterials are medicines that can destroy of slow down growth of bacteria in the body. Antibiotics include a range of powerful drugs for treating diseases caused by bacteria. It is important to note that antibiotics cannot treat viral infections like cold, flu and most coughs. While antibiotics offer quick relief from bacterial infections like fever and pneumonia, overuse of them or using them without any prescriptions can put you at risk of antibiotic resistance and much more. According to World Health Organization (WHO), overusing and misusing antibiotics puts us all at health risks. On the occasion of Antibiotic Awareness Week (November 18-24), we talk about some side effects of overuse of antibiotics and home remedies that work as effectively.
Antibiotic Awareness Week: Risks associated with overuse of antibiotics
If you under the habit of using antibiotics over-the-counter, without them being prescribed by the doctor, then you may be at risk of the following:
1. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance. This occurs when bacteria changes in the same way that reduces effectiveness of drugs or medicines designed to treat or prevent infections. In this case, the bacteria survives and continues to multiply, causing more harm. Infections caused by antibiotics can lead to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and more deaths.
Also read: Can Antibiotics Do More Harm Than Good?
2. When bacteria becomes resistance to antibiotics, common infections like fever and cold will no longer be treatable, according to WHO.
3. Infections caused by antibiotic resistance can affect anyone at any age.
4. Antibiotic resistance makes the very bacteria resistance to antibiotics, and not the patient.
5. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed or prescribed by doctors increases emergence of antibiotic resistance. This, as per WHO, is one of the biggest threats to global health.
6. Once you become resistant to antibiotics, none of the treatments that you are taking are going to work.
All these reasons are enough to convince you that using antibiotics every time you fall sick may offer temporary relief, but can harm you in more ways than you can imagine in the long run.
Home remedies that are as effective as antibiotics
Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar has the perfect solution to this. In one of her recent posts, she shares that: 1) taking sufficient rest, 2) Drinking sufficient water and 3) Having curd rice will offer the same effects as antibiotics in a week. Antibiotics may offer immediate relief in a day, but they come with the aforementioned side effects. Rest, water and curd rice offer relief without any side effects and antibiotic resistance.
- Rest: Taking sufficient rest when you fall sick will quicken the recovery process. It gives time to your body to heal and also helps in restoring immunity.
- Water: When you are sick, your fluid intake should be optimum. You should drink either hot or lukewarm water throughout the day. In case of cough and cold, it offers relief to the throat and curbs cough. It also clears mucous lining and thins down phlegm, making it easier for you to spurt it out. Keeping yourself well-hydrated also enables you to recover quickly and efficiently.
- Curd rice: This is a probiotic-rich dish which can restore gut flora. It makes you feel restful and offers a sense of satisfaction and contentment. It will improve your digestion and will make recovery easy for you.
Follow these three steps before you go ahead with antibiotics unless they are prescribed to you by your doctor. This will prevent antibiotic resistance and will enable the medicines to work as they are supposed to.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.