Skip to content

Country

Antibiotic Overuse Concerns Medical Community

Antibiotic Overuse Concerns Medical Community

Using antibiotics against a virus is like trying to catch ants with a mousetrap | Parents, be careful!

Antibiotics are the most commonly used drugs for the treatment of children’s diseases. Unfortunately, their use has become so common that sometimes the real cause of the infection is neglected.

Many factors contribute to the inadequate use of antibiotics: the possibility of free purchase, use without consulting a doctor, recommending drugs to friends whose children have similar problems, desire for a quick cure, motivation of doctors to use the “best medicine.”

Should I give my child antibiotics?

Here’s a quick overview of the statement from one of the pediatricians.

“As a pediatrician, it’s the easiest thing for me to give your child antibiotics (ABX) for what is likely a viral illness. I have dozens of patients each week who come in with symptoms and complaints, likely viral illnesses. I explain viral illnesses to the family in detail, but most want antibiotics.

I can easily give antibiotics. In fact, if I give ABX, I can justify billing at a higher level to insurance (99214 vs. 99213). As a result, I not only make more money, but parents leave happier.

Is it the right thing to do? Not at all.

When I don’t give ABX to a family, not only do I risk parents not being happy and leaving me a poor review, but I then likely will have to dedicate time for phone call follow-ups as these families tend to call for ongoing symptoms (need to let the viral illness run its course).

I understand it’s tough to take a day off from work and take your kid to the doctor just to be told to continue supportive care, but it’s the right thing to do.

So please, parents, when I don’t prescribe ABX, I do it honestly because I care about your child. I have seen children have horrible Clostridium Difficile infections from ABX. I have seen a young girl with UTIs that are now resistant to almost every oral ABX.”

How often have you heard those famous sentences about a sick child and a pediatrician: “Because she didn’t give him an antibiotic to pass it faster,” “So what if he just coughs? It will clear up if he gets medicine…”

Let’s see what this is all about.

Although it does not seem that way, your pediatrician is happy when he sees his patient growing and becoming a happy and healthy child. So it’s not a surprise that parents somehow like the least sentences like: “It’s a viral infection, we just need to be patient.”.

I know that. I’m a parent.

In two days, a child often appears in another doctor’s office, who sees the developed symptoms and decides on antibiotic therapy. After that, the child is much better. But, the first doctor, who advised patience, turns out to be ignorant.

The trick is that bacteria, like everything else, need time to show their face!

Most of us find it challenging to be patient and wait, especially when it comes to our sick child.

BUT, IT’S CORRECT! Why?

Antibiotics do not prevent the disease from developing if it is a viral form, nor will it be shorter.

We have the opportunity to witness a pandemic, don’t we?!

If it was that easy, it would be great. But it’s not. Caution is needed because antibiotics have side effects.

Do you know that the intestines regenerate even a year to two after one course of antibiotics, depending on age?

And that ugly and sometimes hazardous complication might bring pseudomembranous colitis, a bowel disease that can end in surgery?

That is why your doctor carefully chooses a probiotic preparation. Sometimes it is necessary to adjust the dose or change the medication.

Patience makes up 90% of parenting, and that’s why parenting is a tremendous job. But also a beautiful one!

Therefore, be patient. And brave.

Choose carefully whom you will trust to take care of your baby’s health.

What can you do to prevent your child from developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

Talk to your doctor about using antibiotics.

Accurate diagnosis, knowledge, and pharmacological characteristics of drugs are prerequisites for successful antibiotic therapy.

To use the most effective medicine, doctors often prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics, which act on several bacteria simultaneously.

It is much better to use an antibiotic targeted, i.e., for that bacterium that is the direct cause of the disease. That will reduce the possibility of antibiotic resistance.

So tell your doctor when your child was the last time sick and which antibiotic your kid last used. This will help them choose therapy.

Do not give antibiotics to a child on their initiative for infections such as colds, flu, or coughs.

Like I said if viral, antibiotics don’t help. The health issue will pass spontaneously in a few days, regardless of whether the child is taking antibiotics or not.

If you gave your child antibiotics, you might mistakenly believe that they were the ones who led to a positive outcome.

What is harmful in this situation is that you may have destroyed weaker bacteria with an antibiotic that was redundant in the first place. As a result, the more resistant ones remained, especially if the child took the antibiotic for a short time.

If you stop taking antibiotics earlier, the remaining bacteria will multiply. So, when they get a chance to cause disease again, these bacteria will be much harder to destroy because they will be more resistant.

Do not insist that your child be prescribed an antibiotic when the doctor thinks it is unnecessary.

If MD decides that it is a bacterial infection, he will prescribe an antibiotic that acts on the bacteria that often cause such symptoms. However, if MD is unsure and the child does not feel very bad, the doctor will decide to wait a few days and examine the child again.

This decision is not wrong – some diseases simply have their course, and it takes some time to develop a typical clinical picture.

When your doctor has prescribed an antibiotic for your child, follow these instructions:

Give the child an antibiotic in the appropriate dose (as recommended by the doctor), just in time (strictly respecting the time interval between doses) and complete the therapy to the end (even if the child feels better), to cure the infection completely and prevent the possibility of bacteria acquire resistance to antibiotics.

Along with the antibiotic, be sure to give the child a probiotic to restore the damaged intestinal flora. Namely, antibiotics not only destroy bacteria that cause inflammation but also “good” bacteria in the intestines. Then there is free space, which can be inhabited by pathogenic bacteria and cause diarrhea, severe intestinal infections, etc.

LONG TERM SIDE EFFECTS OF ANTIBIOTICS IN CHILDREN

The use of antibiotics in young children may alter the natural populations of gut microbes in a way that leaves them predisposed to weight gain and asthma in later childhood. (1)

Are there long-term problems with antibiotics? Yes. But mainly, when they’re prescribed for stuff like viral infections (for which they do nothing, but many idiot parents demand them anyway), which tends to cause resistant bacteria strains.

What can I offer my kid to protect him/her from antibiotic impact?

If your kid is older than one year, it would be wise to give him manuka honey alongside propolis.

Hydrogen peroxide gives honey its antibiotic attribute. But some types, including Manuka honey, have more antibacterial qualities.

One of the significant antibacterial components of Manuka honey is a compound called MGO (methylglyoxal). It comes from converting another compound in Manuka honey known as dihydroxyacetone (DHA). It is highly concentrated in the nectar of Manuka flowers.

The higher the concentration of MGO, the stronger the antibacterial impact.

Honey producers have a way of rating the potency of Manuka honey.

It is called UMF (Unique Manuka Factor).

The UMF mirrors the concentration of 3 compounds found in Manuka honey: MGO, DHA, and leptosperin. To be considered therapeutic, Manuka honey needs a minimum rating of UMF™ 10.

One of the most notable and exciting aspects of manuka honey is its ability to kill damaging bacteria while at the same time stimulating good probiotic populations.

Recent research has shown that it’s effective against over 50 pathogen species in addition to many specific types which attack us internally, such as those found within our digestive system.

What are the benefits of honey for children?

In addition to being a sweetener, honey also offers some health benefits.

Energy density: a teaspoon of honey gives about 20-30 calories. So you can add it to a child’s meals to meet overall calorie needs. If you give children honey, choose manuka honey.

Supports skin health: Manuka honey is known for its healing properties. Its antimicrobial properties and ability to heal wounds help treat lesions, insect bites, burns, and ulcers. A mixture of honey with propolis and olive oil can help treat damaged skin and conditions such as psoriasis or atopic dermatitis in children.

Antiviral properties: Pure Manuka honey from New Zealand has bactericidal and antiviral properties against pathogenic bacteria. These properties are the probable reason for using honey in Ayurvedic medicine, especially for treating coughs and colds. Furthermore, despite its sugary content, it is known that controlled consumption of honey can prevent dental problems such as caries.

Anti-inflammatory properties: Thanks to its proven antioxidant activity, honey is considered a natural remedy for inflammatory conditions such as sore throats, asthma, mucositis, gastroenteritis, etc.

Antioxidant and antibiotic properties: Natural honey has antioxidant and antibiotic effects. These health-promoting properties of honey have made it the most widely used food among children.

Prebiotic properties: Honey acts as a prebiotic. This means that it helps maintain a healthy intestinal microbiome by feeding probiotic cultures.

Relieves gastric acid reflux: Honey can be used for relief if a child suffers from GERD. Manuka honey intake alleviates this condition by coating the esophagus and gastric mucosa. This prevents the flow of food and gastric juice upwards, thus providing relief.

Relieves constipation and diarrhea: Constipation and diarrhea are not uncommon in children. So, if your kid suffers from these conditions, you can give him raw manuka honey on an empty stomach to get relief.

With a bit of water after.

When can you start giving children honey?

Here is what the MD practice is preaching.

Yes, honey is nutritious, but children should be introduced to it only after one year. In this way, botulism in infants is avoided, a disease that can occur due to the consumption of honey in children younger than one year.

Honey could contain bacteria that produce spores called Clostridium botulinum, which can multiply in the intestines. Bacteria release toxins that can irritate a child’s intestines because infants have an underdeveloped digestive system that cannot fight Clostridium spores.

However, honey is safe for children older than one year because their digestive system is mature enough to expel bacteria from the body. But, use it as a substitute for refined sugar, but not as an addition!”

I GAVE MY LITTLE ONE FOOD THAT CONTAINED HONEY. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

First, don’t panic or try to pump out his/her stomach. That won’t help.

Watch for symptoms such as constipation, lack of facial expressions, respiratory distress, etc., and go immediately to the hospital if you notice any.

Many parents make this mistake, but babies aren’t constantly dropping dead. We do it to be extra safe, just in case. I’m sure you’re all good.

I looked into this at some point (because I get annoyed by “rules” that have no ‘check; in reality).

There were a couple of botulism cases in the 70s, and the only connection found was that the babies had recently eaten honey.

So this is the origin of the recommendation. Although botulism does still occur occasionally, the specific link to honey is not firmly evidence-based as far as I know.

C. botulinum is prevalent in soil and marine sediments worldwide, most commonly as spores. However, these spores are found everywhere. So pretty much any fresh product has some risk level.

Infant botulism is rare after nine months, almost unheard of, and never after 1 year. Also, honey may be a cause, but it’s not the leading cause. Soil contamination is a big one. But you don’t tell people not to feed their kids soil because. It’s not like anyone is feeding kids soil on purpose.

And I bet you know a kid or two who likes to check out what kitty droppings taste like?!

There’s so much to know it feels impossible to know it all! I know. Mums are learning every day and still mess things up, sometimes.

Hang in there, mama!

In the end …

Antibiotics are excellent and necessary for fighting off infections (some of which can be deadly).

Still, if they are administered improperly, the probability that certain bacteria will develop a resistance to the antibiotic medications will increase.

Think about this: you have 10x more bacterial cells in your body on any given day than human cells. This is because you exist symbiotically with the microbes in your gut, skin, mouth, etc.

They help you break down food, take your vitamins, and train your immune system. So it makes practical sense that wiping them all out every time your kid gets the sniffles probably isn’t good for your little one.

PS. You can safely give honey to babies under one year provided it has been steralised. Medical Manuka honey can safely bee given to young babies or applied to breastfeeding mother's nipples if they have become cracked or have mastitis.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED on blog.manukanatural.com

Learn More

Previous article How Honey can Optimise Athletic Performance
Next article Do these Natural Antibiotics still work today?