With the topic of antibiotics once again brought to our attention, here, Director and Principal Dietitian, Gillian Killiner shares her advice on improving your health and therefore ultimately the need for antibiotics.
The media has repeated the call for people to act to avoid antibiotic resistance, and this got me thinking. Antibiotics are required for ill health, so if we can all avoid getting ill then no antibiotics are required! Obviously, I am not that green, and this is never going to happen, but I do feel that a high percentage of antibiotics used in the past have been requested by people unnecessarily and the knock on effect have resulted in a negative impact on health.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) website has the following advice:
- Everyone can take some simple actions.
- Do not use antibiotics to treat viral infections, such as influenza, the common cold, a runny nose or a sore throat. Ask your doctor for other ways to feel better.
- Use antibiotics only when a doctor prescribes them.
- When you are prescribed antibiotics, take the full prescription even if you are feeling better. Ensure that members of your family do the same.
- Never share antibiotics with others or use leftover prescriptions.
- Remember, each time you take an antibiotic when it is not necessary, the effectiveness of the antibiotic decreases and it might not work the next time you really need it.
As a Dietitian I treat people each day to assist their health and well-being. I ensure they are optimal with their diet and lifestyle to boost their immune system and avoid ill health.
Avoid taking health risks eg: eating a diet of processed foods, excess alcohol, smoking, poor sleep hygiene is vital to avoid unnecessary antibiotic use.
Eating a variety of nutrient rich foods everyday makes a real difference. In addition, getting good sleep, drinking sufficient fluids and enjoying some exercise layers up the protection to illness.
There will always be a time when we may need an antibiotic this could be for a wound infection or surgical procedure. Save yourself for unexpected events like this and do your very best to avoid antibiotic resistance.
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