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Healing Infections without Antibiotics

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We bet there are many of you reading this article who think nothing of taking Vitamin C and lots of liquids for a cold or using Aloe Vera gel for a burn. But, how many of you think about using natural treatments for bladder or vaginal infections, for a strep throat, or for more serious infections such as hepatitis or pneumonia? Most of the time the proper use of natural substances such as vitamins and herbs and homeopathic remedies will help you get over these conditions.

But it's important to know what works best for each condition, evaluate whether or not it's working, and to assess the consequences of unsuccessful treatment. In the case of hepatitis, for example, orthodox medicine has no real treatment, so you've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. (We've seen Hepatitis A cases respond within a week to a combination of nutrititional supplements, herbal liver support, and homeopathy.) With pneumonia, strep throat, and bladder infections, on the other hand, we monitor our patients very carefully. We recommend natural treatment for nearly all types of infections, with the exception of gonorrhea and chlamydia, both of which are often asymptomatic in women and can result in permanent infertility if not emiminated.In such cases, there are natural interventions which are helpful following antibiotic treatment. Otherwise, we refer out only a few times a year for antibiotic treatment because natural alternatives work so well. If your infection is minor, you can try some of these suggestions yourself; otherwise be sure to consult a naturopathic physician.

Antibiotics have a number of drawbacks. They kill bacteria indiscriminately throughout the body. That's their job. So, if you have a strep throat, for example, the antibiotic you take kills the good bacteria, lactobacillus, in the gut and the vagina, which you need to crowd out Candida (yeast) if it arises. That's why vaginal and intestinal yeast infections are so common after antibiotic use. Antibiotics are often prescribed routinely, without any evidence of infection, with a "just in case, it can't hurt " mentality. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses, but are routinely prescribed anyway. When taken repeatedly, they can weaken, rather than strengthen, the immune system, and may lead to more serious problems later. This is especially true when antibiotics are given for years, as tetracycline for acne, or when, as with resistant bladder infections, one antibiotic is followed, unsuccesfully, by yet another stronger one. There are many effective natural alternatives which work with, rather than against, the body's own healing mechanisms. Why not try them first and save antibiotics for a last resort?


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