Wednesday, November 13, 2013

We The People: a Rx for Better Health

As a mom I am concerned with the well being of my kids. I want them to eat healthy food. I want them to get over illnesses fast AND I like the idea that I can buy products that kill germs before they can get me and my family. But what does that really mean?
It means I buy food at a decent price and prepare fairly balanced meals. It means I take my kids to the doctor when their boogers are green, throat is sore, and they have a juicy cough. It means I purchase antibacterial wipes, soaps, school supplies and anti- microbial clothing. But is all this making them less healthy? 
Well, the truth is that WE THE PEOPLE may just be making ourselves less able to deal with illness. You may ask, how is this possible? Isn't all that previously mentioned stuff supposed to help us? Well, in theory- yes, but think about where they are coming from-- business/ companies that are looking to fit a "need" or give us a feeling that their product is needed. But by overusing, not understanding what we are using, and minimizing our exposure to germs we may be putting ourselves at risk. 

For example... How many times have WE THE PEOPLE run to the doctor because we or our kids weren't feeling well. Perhaps even showing signs such as a low grade fever, a juicy cough, maybe even green boogers? What about that infection from a hangnail? Well, the honest answer is that we go to the doctor more often today than in any previous decade... Why? Because we want to get better more quickly and keep on moving on. Now don't get me wrong, there are times when prescriptions such as antivirals and antibiotics are needed. But, have you ever noticed how quickly they are dispersed? And then I ask, how many doses are left in the bottle? 

I also use the example of of overuse. Take a close look at your soap, deodorant, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer, pencils, scissors, sponges, mouth wash and yes, your clothes- socks and undies too! Most of these are "treated" with an antimicrobial or nano silver products that works to kill, minimize or prevent bacteria from entering our bodies. Neat concept, but with tragic side effects. What these products do include, but are not limited to 1) kill the weak germs, preventing us from building immunity and making us more suseptible to the stronger ones, 2) enter our bodies through absorption and initiate and aid in the building of resistency to a variety of antimicrobial/ antibiotics, and 3) get washed out of the product in the laundry and run the risk of entering the water supply- not everyone or everything has the privilege of ingesting, using, purchasing treated water. 

So, how do WE THE PEOPLE combat the need to feel better faster, the marketplace flooded with products, and our own choices within our families and homes? Well, what I did was start reading. I started finding out what exactly was in the products I purchased. I came to understand more about the food I was purchasing and how it is ALL safe. That I can actually help my family and my budget by serving well stored and prepared food and that the "sell-by" dates really are guidelines. (My nose and eyes are the best judges.) 

I have also begun waiting until it was needed to go to the doctor and not just after the first day of illness or because a weekend was coming. I make sure that if I, or a family member, am prescribed an antibiotic that I finish it and that I vary the ones I am given. 

I have stopped buying as many products as I could that were labeled "antibacterial", "microban", "antimicrobial", and that included nanosilver. Have I eliminated all of these products from my house- no, but I have cut down. 

So tonight, as I wait for the last load of laundry for the day to get done, I simply share a glimpse of insight into a prescription for better health. WE THE PEOPLE have the power to make a difference in our homes and with our families. We can write our own Rx list. What will be on yours? 

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