When properly used, antibiotics are wonderful, live-saving medicines that fight infections caused by bacteria. When antibiotics are needed and used properly, the benefits usually outweigh the risks of side effects. But, antibiotics aren’t always the answer for an illness.
Often, too many antibiotics are prescribed unnecessarily, which threaten its usefulness. Taking antibiotics when not needed won’t help, and instead, will expose you to harmful side effects. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highly recommends against treating non-bacterial infections with antibiotics. Plus, overuse can lead to antibiotic resistance. That means the next time you really do need an antibiotic, it will not work.
When to use antibiotics
Antibiotics work for conditions such as:
- Strep throat
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Whooping cough
However, they are NOT NEEDED to treat some common bacterial infections like many sinus and some ear infections (That’s because these illnesses tend to get better on their own).
When NOT to use antibiotics
Antibiotics DO NOT work on viral infections. These include:
- Most sore throats (except strep)
- Common colds
- Runny noses
- Thick colored mucus
- Chest colds such as bronchitis
The downside — side effects
Common side effects range from minor to very severe health problems and can include:
- Yeast infections
More serious side effects can include:
- C. diff infection, which causes diarrhea that can lead to severe colon damage and death
- Severe and life-threatening allergic reactions
- Antibiotic-resistant infections
The bottom line of antibiotic use
It’s important to use antibiotics only when they are needed. Know the facts: protect yourself from harm caused by unnecessary antibiotic use.
Learn more at the CDC.
As a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, Dr. Michael Gutman has a special place in his heart for our military veterans. So, for Veteran’s Day, New England Urgent Care is giving out free flu vaccines to all veterans this Veteran’s Day, Monday Novermber 11, 2019.
In order to redeem this offer, veterans need to bring their old Armed Services ID or DD214 form to any of its clinics from 8 am to 7:45 pm.
Dr. Gutman explains, “I know from personal experience, veterans make great personal sacrifices to protect our fellow combatants, families and our nation. That’s why I feel it’s important to give back to those who have given so much for our freedom.”
Just before 9/11, he joined the Army reserves and was commissioned as a Major on June 4, 2002. As part of the 405th Combat Support Hospital based in West Hartford, he served as the commander of the 947th Forward Surgical Team for three years and did three tours of duty over a five-year period — twice to Iraq and once to Bosnia.
His wife and New England Urgent Care co-founder, Yahel, also served in the Israeli army teaching emergency care.
In 2015, Dr. Gutman was the guest speaker for a Veterans Day Ceremony at the Connecticut Veterans Memorial West Hartford. The American Legion Post 96, West Hartford organized and hosted the ceremony.
Watch Dr. Gutman’s special Veteran’s Day message here: https://youtu.be/GLmc1809wi8
Do you have a favorite Halloween candy? (Mine is KitKat). But too much of a good thing is, well, too much! A word of caution: don’t make Halloween an opportunity to binge on your favorite treats.
Yo-yo sugar levels can cause havoc with your blood sugar. Too much junk food can lead to weight gain. Both can lead to serious diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Instead, stay healthy by using moderation when enjoying your trick-or-treat booty.
Cavities, Candy and Kids
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States. If left untreated, tooth decay can cause pain and infections that could lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.* So, after you have a sensible bite of your favorite Halloween goodie, brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste.
4 Tips to Prevent Costume Fail
- Whatever character you decide to dress up as for Halloween, make sure your costume fits well. Avoid outfits that block your vision, or are too long or constricted that may cause you to trip or fall.
- Keep away from lit candles and use costumes that are made with flame-resistant material.
- Make sure your footwear is comfortable and doesn’t cause you to stumble.
- If you use makeup, test it on a small area first to see if it causes any adverse reactions. Wash it off before bedtime to help prevent possible eye or skin irritation.
* CDC Halloween Health
Image by annca from Pixabay
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say, “Antibiotics can cure bacterial infections, but NOT viral infections. The common cold and the flu are viral infections, so avoid using antibiotics if you have one of these.
Using antibiotics when they are not needed causes some bacteria to become resistant to the antibiotic, and therefore stronger and harder to kill.”
Visit New England Urgent Care where our experienced providers can assess your health situation to determine if your illness is bacterial or viral and treat accordingly.
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
With colder weather comes more opportunity of contracting upper respiratory illnesses like head and chest colds, and the flu. Take a few simple steps to help lessen your chances of getting ill this fall.
- Your best bet to avoid getting the flu is to get a flu vaccine. The earlier in the season you get vaccinated the better protected you’ll be. New England Urgent Care offers flu shots at all its clinics. Get yours now!
- If you’re going to sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue to prevent the spread of germs. Don’t have a tissue? Use the crevasse of your arm where your elbow is.
- We can’t say it enough — wash your hands often! It’s simple and effective! (PS: Global Hand Washing Day is October 15th)
- If you’re sick, stay home — don’t bring your sickness to public spaces like school, the gym, the workplace or retail stores.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay