Tuesday, April 12, 2011

When weapons lose their potency

Man's quest to remain healthy is sometimes derailed by diseases of the metabolism triggered either by internal mechanism or by environmental factors. Sometimes there are diseases caused by infective organisms like bacteria which subvert health and cause critical and sometimes irreversible illnesses. When research led to discovery of disease causing organisms it was naturally followed by research to tackle them leading to the birth of the antibiotics, beginning with Pencillin. With its advent, it looked like panacea for all infectious diseases of the time. That is because bacteria have found ways to see that the medicine does not cause them any damage and that is how antibiotic resistance was born.

Now this is an issue in medical world and the World Health Organization has called for focus on this subject as to its causes and ways to reduce resistance. This is an area where for the incipient infections to start with and later as a complementary medicine; homoeopathy would be of sublime use.

Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics in many ways. The bacteria that have been countered with the antibiotics and have survived alter their genome and pass it on. It helps the bacteria to either destroy the antibiotic or otherwise its ability to inhibit bacterial growth. The laws of natural selection suggest that the bacteria would become resistant to antibiotics over a period of time but it is the improper and repeated use of antibiotics that is more likely to cause this problem earlier than expected.

More often than not patients do not comply with the usage of antibiotics and do not take the whole course or skip doses in between. They can be guilty of starting to use the medicines late or even worse taking extra doses of the medicine against suggestion in the early phase in an anxiety to be rid of the problem at the earliest. They may also stop the medicines early after experiencing relief.

Last but not least is the issue of the availability of medicines in our country which only makes the patient go back to the pharmacy with the previous prescription and use the same medicines which may not be pertinent to this episode and end up with the antibiotics being useless. Every physician would have heard their patients say that they have just taken some “eye drops” and not antibiotics from a nearby medical store for a minor redness of the eye which would not have warranted an antibiotic. All this has only meant that the antibiotics which are potent life-savers are not being given the opportunity to help us at the time of need.

We are currently in need of strategies to help maintain the effectiveness of antibiotics and thus ensure that their life-saving capacity remains available to future generations. It is under such circumstances that a safe, alternative therapy like homoeopathic medicine can come into play. When the initial symptoms of infection are noticed these medicines can be indicated as they are effective in keeping the infections at bay. In post-operative conditions, traumas, injuries etc. these remedies can work along with the conventional medicines and help the patient to recover earlier. Homoeopathic medicine could be a blessing in disguise as it will lead significant decrease in the need for antibiotics and when the need arises they are up to the task in exterminating the bacteria and protecting the body.


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