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This Month In Health
  • Use Only When Necessary
    Because antibiotics are used so frequently and are often used when not necessary, strains of bacteria are emerging that are resistant to the power of antibiotics, posing a threat to the health of the world if researchers aren’t able to find a way to fight them. Read >>
  • Cold Virus or Strep?
    What’s the proper use for antibiotics and how can you avoid misusing them? Read >>
  • Harsh Weather…
    Though the dry air of winter may suck the moisture from your outer layer of skin, with the right plan of action you can minimize the damage and lock moisture in, giving your skin that smooth, soft feel until the warm months of spring. Read >>
  • Appendicitis: What You Need to Know
    Left untreated, the appendix may burst, spreading infection throughout the abdomen and ultimately putting your life at risk. Therefore, it's crucial to recognize the signs of appendicitis. Read >>
Health and Fitness News
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I started training with Coach Berry when I was 61 years old.  For four months, I had suffered a great deal of back pain and knew I need to do something different. When I began with Coach, he asked me how I was feeling.  After a lifetime of training with a number of different trainers I could only say I didn't feel great.  My back pain caused me to see chiropractors and accupuncturists, but I found no relief.  After one deep tissue massage, Coach immediately had me feeling better.  After two months of training Coach had me back to 100%.  He knows what he is doing when it comes to training and injuries.  He trains people to perform exercises correctly to avoid injuries.  I have worked with many different trainers all over the San Diego County and Coach Berry is the best, most effective trainer I have meet.  I would highly recommend him to anyone who wants to improve their health and fitness levels.

Ron, age 62

Use Only When Necessary

Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern. Use them wisely.

Where would the world be without antibiotics? Developed in the 1940s, antibiotics are now used to cure infections that were once life-threatening and save millions of lives each year.

However, because they are used so frequently and are often used when not necessary, strains of bacteria are emerging that are resistant to the power of antibiotics, posing a threat to the health of the world if researchers aren’t able to find a way to fight them.

What’s the proper use for antibiotics and how can you avoid misusing them? Read on to find out.

It’s clear that we’re approaching a cliff with antibiotic resistance, but it’s not too late. Clinicians and healthcare systems need to improve prescribing practices. And patients need to recognize that there are both risks and benefits to antibiotics—more medicine isn’t best; the right medicine at the right time is best. - Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, Director of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Take as Directed

Antibiotics are only effective in treating bacterial infections such as strep throat, ear infections, pneumonia, salmonella, tuberculosis, skin infections, or urinary tract infections. They do nothing to help cure viruses, whether the cold, flu, or stomach bug.

In the event antibiotics are needed, it is important to follow their prescribed directions. How you take your antibiotics will affect how well they work, so talk to your pharmacist or physician and read the directions included with your medication. It is best to take the medication at the same time each day to keep the same amount flowing through your system all day.

You’ll also need to take your antibiotics until they are gone. If you stop taking them when you start to feel better, the infection may return and the bacteria may learn to defend themselves against the medication.

And whatever you do, don’t take someone else’s leftover prescription and don’t throw unused medications in the trash or down the toilet. Doing so may harm the environment and contribute to the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Losing Their Effectiveness

Imagine a world without antibiotics. Not a pretty picture, is it? The increasing carelessness with which doctors and patients use antibiotics is causing them to lose their effectiveness in treating medical conditions. When antibiotics no longer have the same effect on infection, the bacteria is unresponsive to treatment and becomes antibiotic resistant. When this happens, infections may take longer to heal, never heal, or spread quickly from person to person.

Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics due to natural adaptations, mutations in their DNA, and the exchange of genes between different bacteria.

These changes occur and spread to other bacteria and to other people when antibiotics are overused, taken too long, not taken long enough, not taken as prescribed, or taken for an illness that is not a bacterial infection. In addition, resistance can develop when a broad-spectrum antibiotic is used rather than a narrow-spectrum option that targets the specific bacteria. As if all these factors aren’t enough, the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals also contributes to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Whose Fault Is It?

According to a recent survey, 95 percent of health professionals admit to prescribing antibiotics to patients who may not need them. Patients readily take the medication believing it will cure their sickness and allow them to get back to normal life faster, no matter what their illness is. Additionally, nearly one out of five people say they’ve mishandled their antibiotics and haven’t finished all the medication prescribed. So it seems both doctors and the general public need reminding of the proper usage of antibiotics.

With this in mind, question your physician the next time he or she prescribes antibiotics. Make sure your illness is indeed bacterial and that antibiotics are completely necessary—and useful—for treatment. If the answers are yes, take your medication exactly as prescribed.