Is this you: You have a sinus infection or bladder infection; you seek medical care and are prescribed an antibiotic; after you stop taking the antibiotic, your symptoms return, causing you to see the medical doctor again for more antibiotics? Before you know it, your symptoms do not go away and you are taking more and different antibiotics for longer and longer periods of time.

Or perhaps you are taking an antibiotic daily in an attempt to keep symptoms of an infection at bay?

Unfortunately, you are not alone. Antibiotics are the leading prescribed class of drugs in the United States, with an estimated 84 million prescriptions being written annually during office visits, and another 40 million prescriptions after discharge from hospitals (CDC, AIA). It is also estimated by the Centers for Disease Control, that only 10% of these antibiotic prescriptions are warranted.

The Three Major Causes of Infections…

Not all infections are alike, even though they seem to cause the same general symptoms: pain, swelling, redness, discharge, fever, aching, and general fatigue. However, the agents that cause the infection are different:

Viruses. Viruses are small pieces of genetic code that enter a susceptible cell and take over its functions, telling that cell to make more of the virus. The immune system quickly destroys viruses once they are detected. Viruses “run their course”, meaning each virus has a usual time limit where it causes signs of an illness before the immune system destroys it. Viruses account for nearly 75% of all ear, sinus and upper respiratory infections.

Fungus. Fungi are a type of mold. Inside everyone’s body (in their ears, nose, vagina, bladder, bowel and intestines) a special type of fungus exists. It is Candida albicans. This fungus needs to be present to protect the body and to help the intestines break down food. When there is too much Candida, it can produce the signs of an infection. The Mayo Clinic estimates that Candida infections account for 98% of all recurrent infections, and about 15% of new infections.

Bacteria. Bacteria are cells in themselves. When they enter a susceptible body area, they multiply and make more bacteria cells. A healthy immune system can destroy bacteria; if the immune system is not strong enough, a bacterial infection can continue. Bacterial infections account for approximately 10% of all infections.

Parasites. These are listed because parasitical infections can occur. Most of the time, these type of infections occur from uncooked pork products. Some scientists estimate that everyone on the planet has a parasitical infection and has contributed many health concerns to parasites. However, many people do not have signs of an infection from parasites. Less than 1% of infections are the result of parasites.

How Antibiotics Work…

There are 17 different classes of antibiotics; however, each class works in a similar manner. Every antibiotic is either a general (“broad-spectrum”) or specific (“focused”) antibiotic. A broad-spectrum antibiotic is designed to eliminate a variety of similar bacteria. A focused antibiotic targets only one or two specific bacteria. If you did not receive a test prior to your being prescribed an antibiotic, you would’ve been prescribed a broad-spectrum antibiotic; nearly all prescribed antibiotics are broad-spectrum.

Notice that antibiotics target BACTERIA. Bacteria are cells in themselves. Our body is made up of many cells. Cells are individual units within the body that are separated from other cells by a shell, as it were. The shells of bacteria are different from the shells of the cells in our body. Therefore, your immune system can seek out and identify what is not part of the body.

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