When we feel under the weather, we take antibiotics to stop bacteria that make us sick. Most of the time if you take the right amount of antibiotics under a doctor’s supervision, you will get better. But, sometimes bacterial can become resistant to the drugs you are taking. Here is what going on under the microscope.
Naturally, bacteria reproduce with asexual reproduction. They can grow at exponential speed. When you take antibiotics, the drug will supposedly stop bacteria from spreading any further. But, if the dosage of the antibiotics is too low, it does not kill off all the bacterial and some invade. As they divide, some random mutation takes place. That mutation strain can lead to a resistant to particular antibiotics. Initially, only killing some of the bacterial allows the stronger strains to survive.
The process may happen naturally to some extent. But, it can greatly speed up for people who take antibiotics for the wrong reasons, take repeated courses, or don’t finish the course.
This effect isn’t limit to antibiotics. In fact, anything that kills bacteria like anti bacterial handwash, gel, and all other cleaning products can also encourage bacteria resistant and lost their effectiveness.
It’s not only to human that bacteria becomes resistant. Bacterial can become resistant in Animals as well. Farmers often give antibiotics to their animals on the regular basis. To maximize their profits, most farmers need to keep a lot of animals in a close environment. The opportunities for diseases to spread are much higher. In situation like that, antibiotics might be given to the whole herd to prevent the infection from spreading. So, there is a risk of overusing antibiotics in large scale farming for low cost foods too.
So, the next time you need to take your medicine, don’t ignore your doctor’s warning. Make sure you take all the medicine that is prescribed to you. If you stop the antibiotics early, it may cause some bacteria strains to mutate and resist antibiotics. Only take antibiotics on doctor’s order. Antibiotics are ineffective for a flu or cold that is caused by virus. In fact, if you take antibiotics for the wrong reasons, it may work against your health. Some bacterial are essential for your health. By indiscriminately taking antibiotics, good bacteria may be killed and create opportunities for bad bacterial to replace them.
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