Antibiotics: When to take and How to heal?

Antibiotics can cause some serious side effects and damage to our bodies but sometimes they are necessary.

Below are eight reasons why your child might need antibiotics. These conditions scare parents and are over treated with oral antibiotics. Sometimes we need antibiotics. But not as much as you might think.

Ear infections

—-> that cause the child to have 104 fevers, vomiting, and extreme discomfort

80% of ear infections resolve without antibiotics.  It is important to have your provider help you with pain relief and congestion management.

Strep Throat

—-> fever, swollen tonsils, white patches, red splotches on the roof of the mouth (called palate petechiae), abdominal pain, red tongue, and feeling horrible.  A condition which is left untreated can lead to rheumatic heart disease.

90% of sore throats and complaints of “strep throat” are viral. Just cuz the tonsils are huge, red, and have white patches does not mean strep.  Testing is needed.  Also, this condition is over diagnosed.  Many people are carriers. In other words, they have strep as part of their microbiome and it’s not causing them any issue.  In the modern world, we swab every person with a sore throat and send it for culture.  It comes back positive thus we must treat (so we don’t get sued). Now we cause a problem.

Zoom visits are not adequate.  Clinical exam and testing is needed.

Kidney Infections or UTIs

—-> fever, painful urination, back pain, bloody urine.  Babies can just have high fevers and be unwell.

90% of burning with urination, smelly pee, or frequent urination complaints I see in clinic are not UTIs. In sexually active people STI (sexually transmitted infections) need to be ruled out.

Zoom visits are not adequate.  Clinical exam and testing is needed.

Pneumonia

—-> cough, fever, chest pain, body aches, no appetite, shortness of breath

80% of pneumonia in kids is viral. Cough and fever do not mean pneumonia. Clinical exam is very helpful. Chest X-rays can be helpful.

Zoom visits are not adequate.  Clinical exam and possible testing is needed

Sinusitis

—-> headache, tooth pain, snot, congestion

80-90% of “sinusitis concerns” do not need antibiotics. This needs good decongestant, nasal irrigation, reduction of inflammation, and sometimes Chiro adjustments or craniosacral manipulation. Acupuncture works as well.

Zoom visits are not adequate.  Clinical exam is needed.

Meningitis

—-> fever, headache, stiff neck

majority of meningitis in immunized kids is viral

Abscesses

—-> red hot lava area with central pus. RARE need for oral antibiotics

Incision and drainage is superior to oral antibiotics in many medical studies.  I do use topical antibiotics after getting the pus out to help speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of recurrence in bigger lesions

The key to preventing the use of antibiotics is a holistic lifestyle.  Also, it helps to have a good relationship with your provider, keep your doctor updated on the symptoms, don’t let symptoms go on for weeks and then ask for help.

Lastly, overprescribing of antibiotics is an issue with doctors and patients and hospital systems. Doctors over prescribe antibiotics. Patients demand antibiotics. It gets a little more complicated. Patients rate doctors on patient satisfaction surveys and doctors who prescribe more antibiotics get better scores. Better scores mean better bonuses. Not ok!!

So NOW…

How do we protect and recover from a round of antibiotics?

Here are my top 7 ways to protect and recover from a round of antibiotics:

Sugar

—-> keep it to as close to 24gms of added sugar as possible during and after antibiotics to prevent growth of Candida

Probiotics

—-> Lactobacillus rhamnosus-based and Saccharomyces boulardii-based probiotics are the most researched strains in helping gi side effects

Fermented foods

—-> like kimchi, pickles, kombucha, kefir and yogurt are helpful and a natural probiotic

Fiber rich foods

—-> can help repopulate the gut microbiome AFTER the course is over. You want to avoid fiber until after the course is over to avoid feeding the resistant bugs

Milk thistle

—-> helps support liver, gut and mitochondrial health which are all affected by antibiotic use

L-Glutamine

—-> assists in repairing the tight junctions in the cells lining the gut, helping heal leaky gut

Ginger

—-> helps decrease inflammation in the gut while fighting the infection at the same, keeping resistant infections and inflammation down

Aloe Vera

—-> scoop it out of plant leaf to gently coat and heal the gut

Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider before starting something new and to see if any of these might be right for you. Ginger and milk thistle can interact with certain medications so always check first.

Stay well, Dr. Ana-Maria

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