Struggling With Antibiotic Resistance

I never saw it coming. The process started with a small, but painful sensation right in the middle of my right butt-cheek. A very annoying problem because I am a writer squirming around as I try to fill up empty screens with words.

At first, I downplayed it as just some stupid little irritation that would go away as soon as it came. Being a diabetic for about 25 years now I am prone to inflammations and infections. This was just another in a long succession of intermittent, annoying, health problems.

At the onset, the thought never occurred that it might be an infection. I had not had any accident, no cuts, abrasions or scrapes so that did not pop up as the culprit. That is until it persisted and grew into an open sore. The pain level also rose dramatically.

I went to the doctor. He did not think it was serious. He wrote a prescription for a mild antibiotic and a cream. I left the office confident that the problem was in hand. Back home I took a pill, applied the cream and applied a bandage.

By that point sitting at my computer and performing my daily writing ritual was growing into a serious challenge. The pain was so intense that I had to force myself not to move at all. That worked for a while. I took the full antibiotic course and got into the habit of cleaning and dressing the open wound three times a day.

The process began last November. As I came to the end of the bottle of pills I was hit by a wave of disappointment and confusion. I had to face the fact that the infection had gotten worse, not better. Had the doctor misdiagnosed it? Had he given me the wrong antibiotic? Worse, did I have some rare new infection?

I went back to his office in a far more worried state than I was during my first visit. He admitted he was puzzled but brushed that aside. I got a new prescription for a stronger antibiotic that was going to require four consecutive injections.

Once again I returned home feeling a bit numb but optimistic that this stronger injectible antibiotic would do the trick. I got the injections and waited for the medication to build up in my system and wipe out the infection. I waited and waited. The situation did not get better it got even worse.

By then I could not sit and also had a hard time walking. The pain was constant even when I was trying to write while lying down. This time when I returned to the doctor’s office he told me to go to the emergency room. He would not try another antibiotic. In fact, he seemed at a loss.

Instead, I went to a clinic. The doctor there did prescribe another antibiotic, took a culture for the lab and had nurses scrub the wound. It just kept growing as if the antibiotic cream was a placebo and the injections had been nothing but water.

At that point, I had added symptoms including chronic fatigue and the first signs of depression. These two are features of a diabetic’s life and I knew what they were as soon as they arose. My immune system was beaten down and using whatever energy it could get from whatever source was available.

I did not get my hopes up during the third two-week course of the latest antibiotic. In fact, I was on pins and needles the whole time. When I finished I was not surprised that it too had failed at its job. Still, it never occurred to me that I might be antibiotic resistant.

By that point, I began to consider the possibility that my 71-year old body was running out of gas. My energy level was so low, and pain level so high that I could not write. I could only walk the short distance to the corner store to ship and my mood was buried in the pits.

When I returned to the doctor’s office he did not seem too surprised by the fact his prescription had failed. He put the lab report up on the lightbox and pointed to it. “I am afraid the results show you are resistant to every type of antibiotic we have.”

I simply could not wrap my mind around his statement. I had never thought that I had overused antibiotics to the point my immune system built up a total tolerance. Then again, nobody ever tells you where that line is.

In fact, I had taken at least one course each of the 3 previous years to cure sinus infections. I left the office completely confused and with no idea of what to do next. The doctor suggested that I schedule an operation to remove the infected area. My thought was that hospitals are great places to contract infections. I was not eager to take that option especially when it would mean I could not sit at the computer and work for a much longer period of time.

Believe it or not, that whole process went on for four months and I still had the infection. I decided to tough it out and see if my body would mobilize and get rid of it. Then I had an impulse to try one more doctor, a female who I had seen before and was impressed by.

She gave me a spray that the other doctors never mentioned, Microdacyn. This spray is a biologically active treatment for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds that are difficult to heal. I applied and applied it every day and started seeing improvement much to my relief.

My status now is guarded and uncertain. I do now I cannot afford one more sinus infection. I did discover one effective treatment, Phage Therapy. However, that is only available in Eastern Europe. I advise a very conservative approach when it comes to taking antibiotics, only do so when it is truly necessary.

Over-The-Counter Drug – Need to Know Its Benefits and Detriment

The OTC drug market has grown rapidly over the past few years. Thanks to the major players in the market, such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, and GSK, focusing on OTC drug development and the conversion of prescription to OTC, the other market players have also been influenced. The diversity of pharmaceutical companies focusing on OTC has helped the market flourish with a faster growth rate.

Nevertheless, there are still many issues that hinder the market’s growth. Many safety problems are inherent to OTC drug purchase. With increasing safety issues, the government has tightened the rules to control purchase.

Time- and Money-saving
As of 2012, there are over 300,000 OTC drugs in the market, and according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), annually a total of 2.9 billion retail tips purchase OTC products. These drugs help the patients in saving time that is spent on doctor visits and diagnostics test for minor ailments. Also, this saves money for the consumers, which is needed to visit a physician and on prescription.

Cost-saving by Healthcare Systems
OTC medications reduce the necessity to visit the doctor/physician. This saves resources for the healthcare industry in particular, thereby allowing it to divert its resources to more pressing healthcare issues, which would require physician involvement, such as diagnosis and treatment procedures for serious conditions. OTC medicines provide access to safe medication for nearly 180 million patients, while, at the same time, saving capital for the healthcare industry. Self-care via these medications is estimated to contribute to savings as high as USD 5 billion to the taxpayers and consumers in the United States annually. As per CHPA, OTC medication saves around USD 102 billion for the US healthcare system annually.

Self-Control over Health
The OTC medications provide the liberty to patients to eliminate the need to visit a physician or other clinical setting for common ailments. Instead, they can easily procure medications to address their ailment by procuring drugs without a prescription. According to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, around 81% of the adult population is using OTC medications. It is being helpful in providing symptomatic relief to around 60 million people. The statistics show that the consumers are aware of their health conditions and are paying attention to the treatment. OTC medication helps people meet healthcare needs and empower individuals about health management.

Product Innovation
OTC drugs that can treat multiple symptoms are another example of innovative products. Innovation is also resulting in improved performance, in terms of speed, strength, etc., thus improving the length of the effect. The diversification of the product is also achieved, as targeting different age groups – children, adults, woman, and old people with different products – are emerging and will drive the OTC drug market in future. The manufacturers of OTC target the women group, resorting to angles like pregnancy, weight loss, and even self-expression, which leads to new innovations. Similarly, OTC brands target children groups, with innovative offerings that consider two key drivers: enhancing the fun look and feel, and making it easier for parents to administer the dose to their kids.

Teen Drug Abuse
According to available statistics, around 12% of teenagers have admitted having abused OTC cough syrup. The major abuse of cough-and-cold medicines is seen among the teen population. Other medications include the usage of pseudoephedrine, marijuana, and diet pills. The major reason behind OTC abuse is the lack of education in teens about the dangers associated with OTC drugs. The parents are not well-educated about the adverse effects of OTC drugs, nor do they show interest to take the advice of physicians on this. This ultimately leads to hazardous casualties that can affect health or even lead to death.

Usage among the Geriatric Population
According to statistics, 40% of the OTC drugs are used by the geriatric population of age 65 and above. The geriatric population suffers from one or more diseases and are always on multiple medications. Sometimes, the OTC drugs purchased can cause the risk of drug interactions, leading to adverse drug effects. Other OTC medications, such as motion sickness pills and painkillers, that are commonly used by the elders cause hallucinations, stomach, and kidney problems, which can be considered as dangerous side effects for the geriatric population.

Usage in the Pregnant Population
Most of OTC drug labels carry the precaution about whether it can be used by pregnant women or not. However, due to negligence, people tend to use OTC drugs without proper knowledge, which may lead to life-threating situations. OTC drugs, such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen, should be avoided during the pregnancy, as they have shown adverse effects on unborn children or complications during delivery.

OTC Drugs through the Internet
With the development of the internet technology, medicines are now available at the doors. Sexual performance medicines are one of the products that are sold through the internet at a high rate. These medicines are used on over-dosages and are usually taken along with the alcohol. Research shows that sexual medicines have a reverse effect on sexual performance, when taken in combination with alcohol and can cause major heart problems.

In every seed of good, there is always a piece of bad-the saying goes the same with OTC drugs. But, with care, such as proper consultation, reading of labeling and acquiring the knowledge, the disadvantages associated with OTC drugs can be avoided and will help achieve a healthy and cost-effective treatment.

Five Facts You Should Know About Varicosities Before You Visit Your Doctor

When it comes to the medical field, it can be pretty normal to feel completely lost in a sea of terminology that really means absolutely nothing to anyone who is not a doctor. It can be especially hard on the senses when you hear a term that’s somewhat frightening, such as varicosities, and realize that it is just another way of referring to varicose veins.

It’s important to note that your doctor may be referring to the idea of issues pertaining to veins (i.e., shape, color, general condition), so simply looking at it as just varicose veins might be a little too narrow in scope. However, for the most part, you’re dealing with varicose veins, and while not as frightening a term, the idea of having them isn’t at the top of your list of things to deal with in life.

Most of us remember an older female relative walking around with her legs striated in a way that we weren’t sure was safe, painful, or just odd-looking. Even when you’d ask your parents, they were quick to dismiss it as something that you deal with when you get older. Now, you’re older, and the idea of dealing with the same things makes you want to crawl under a rock. However, rather than hide from embarrassment, it is best to talk to your doctor about them and what can be done to get rid of them.

Before you do visit your doctor, thought, it’s important that you have a little knowledge on the topic before your next appointment. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

Varicosities Means Varicose Veins – It can be easy for a patient to mix up terms like vascular (pertaining to blood vessels) and varicosity (the condition of being varicose).

Can Be Found All Over Body – While most common in the legs, you can find varicose veins all over the body. In fact, one of the more surprising conditions that can develop during pregnancy is vulvar varicosities.

Getting Older Leads to More Elastic Veins – When a blood vessel is compromised, it can lead to more issues like varicosities developing.

Pregnancy Is A Leading Factor – A woman’s body goes through a number of changes during pregnancy, and this includes changes in blood flow. Varicose veins developing in the legs and vulvar area.

Obesity & Sitting or Standing Also Factors – With a country that is dealing with a high incidence of obesity, it’s no wonder that varicose veins may start being more common than they already were. We’re also a country that has a fairly sedentary lifestyle, which also leads to more cases of varicose veins. Even those that stand for long periods of time can exert pressure on the blood vessels of their legs, leading to varicosities.

Varicosities (varicose veins) are nothing to be actually frightened about mainly because they don’t pose much of a threat to your health. However, every case is different, and for some individuals, their varicose veins are actually more severe and require decisive treatment that can be more invasive than other methods. Talk with your doctor about where you stand on the treatment spectrum, and for your peace of mind, have him or her use terms that you might be more at ease with.