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According to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, conventional medicine is treatment that is “widely accepted and used by most healthcare professionals”. This generally means drugs and surgery, which are most widely used treatment methods.

Alternatively, there are other treatments (called, unsurprisingly, alternative treatments) that include chiropractic and acupuncture.

In past years, alternative treatments have been gaining in popularity, and one reason is antibiotic resistance. Leading experts have expressed concerns over ‘superbugs’ that may develop as a result of bacteria adapting to the antibiotics we use to treat them. Some researchers went so far as to claim (in The Lancet health journal) that these superbugs could erase a century’s worth of medical advances.

This issue has long been known and triggered innovation. MRSA is an infection that has become immune to antibiotics and is extremely difficult to treat. It is especially dangerous in hospitals where people with open wounds and weakened immune systems are at a greater disadvantage.Avoid Antibiotics

But what can we do about the current state of antibiotics? It’s not that there is no way out; in the past, drug development kept pace with evolving microbes, which meant constantly new classes of antibiotics. But this has ceased since the late 80s due to insufficient profitability.

Some suggested strategies to combat the rise in resistance include cutting the amount of antibiotics prescribed, improving hospital hygiene and pushing the pharmaceutical industry to work on novel antibiotics and antibiotic alternatives.

Diminishing the amount of antibiotics may be a problem because antibiotics are so integrated into our everyday lives and infrastructures. While its possible to fathom the costs today, it’s not so easy to predict how much it will cost in the future. Antibiotics are also used in agriculture, fishing, and veterinary medicine, so there are those aspects to consider as well.

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A recent article claims that American children get too many unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for upper respiratory infections. More than one in five pediatric office visits lead to a prescription of antibiotics, according to a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In addition, about 10 million antibiotic prescriptions are written every year to treat upper respiratory infections. Unfortunately, prescribing these medications will not necessarily curb these infections. The infections will become increasingly resistant to antibiotic treatment and therefore they will be tougher to treat.

Unnecessary antibiotic use runs the risk of side effects or potential allergies to the medications. Of course, it also increases the risk of antibiotic resistance. It would seem that treatments alternative to antibiotics are the way to go for relatively minor infections. We published a list of 15 alternatives treatments you could use for a middle ear infection.

This way, we can save the antibiotics for the more serious surgeries or cases, where we really need them.

 

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