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On antibiotics and antibiotic resistance II

superbug strain of bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotic drugs vector

Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance can very quickly become abstract concepts, and it may seem strange that medications that I am getting might carry more significance then actually getting me better. What is the connection between my  common cold and future superbacteria? To clarify; It is the bacteria that develop resistance, not us as individuals. Resistance comes from Latin: “Resist” . So, just as we use antibiotics to fight off bacteria, the bacteria develop defense mechanisms against the antibiotics. Some bacteria can also exchange such “defense secrets” between themselves.

 

In order to limit the resistance to antibiotics doctors and nurses are taking samples from patients. The samples are being tested in a laboratory to see what antibiotic is the most efficient for that bacteria. You may have heard of the terms “narrow-spectrum” and “broad- spectrum antibiotics”. The broad-spectrum ones works in many different ways whereas the narrow-spectrum ones are more limited, thus the drug of choice when we want to mitigate antibiotic resistance. So if your doctor first takes a test of you and awaits the answer to it before you get antibiotics, that means the doctor does a good job, and she does if she gives you a narrow-range antibiotics. As a rule of thumb, you can distinguish between the narrow spectrum and broad spectrum antibiotics how many times to take them. Should you take one or two tablets to the day, it is broadly wide, while if you are going to take it three or four is the narrow spectrum.

Cartoon viruses characters vector illustration organism biology. Isolated cartoon viruses characters on white background. Funny vector graphic infection cartoon viruses characters bacteria ugly.

These posts about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance are simplified, but WMC hopes that these concepts has become clearer. There are bacteria everywhere, and if we can no longer treat infections caused by them, it will for example make most cases of surgery high risk. We need to work together to make sure that future generations also have treatment options for bacterial infections.

olepetter

Accurate and updated information

Ole Petter Drønen, MD, Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board

“With more than 10 years’ experience working as a doctor in sunny Gran Canaria, I have met a lot of patients that are elderly people and far away from home. They usually feel very uncertain and insecure about their own medical history. This lack of vital information leads to prolonged time to implement safe and accurate treatment, increases the patients’ worries and the overall costs of treatment.
Hence, the best advice I can give is this: If you get sick when travelling, it’s essential for the doctor who is going to treat you, that he get as accurate and updated information about your health and medication as possible. The World Medical Card provides you with just that.”

In addition to the card that fits in your wallet, you’ll have 24/7 access to your own health profile on your computer and your mobile phone. With your mobile phone you can easily translate your medical information to 19 different languages.

Click here to order your World Medical Card

Kirsten Øverby

The Spanish doctor was impressed

Kirsten Øverby ,LHL member

“I have COPD and am dependent on daily medication, but that doesn’t stop me from being active and travelling! In the spring of 2012 I went on a pilgrimage tour of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The tour was to include 8 days of following the pilgrimage on foot. By the end of the first day walking along uneven mountain paths, I had to visit the doctor due to acute tendonitis in my foot. The Spanish doctor was impressed when I took out my World Medical Card and he could see what medications I took. He logged on to my health profile online and double-checked the information. I quickly received the right antibiotic that wouldn’t interact with my medications. That was a huge relief for me. It’s important to have the World Medical Card with you to show which medications you use when you are abroad, and I recommend that all LHL members who travel order the card!”

In addition to the card that fits in your wallet, you’ll have 24/7 access to your own health profile on your computer and your mobile phone. With your mobile phone you can easily translate your medical information to 19 different languages.

Click here to order your World Medical Card

Cartoon viruses characters vector illustration organism biology. Isolated cartoon viruses characters on white background. Funny vector graphic infection cartoon viruses characters bacteria ugly.

More about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance can rapidly become abstract terms, and it can seem a little strange that medicines I get from my family doctor can have an impact that goes beyond hopefully (but probably not) making me better quickly. What’s the connection between my cold and future ‘superbugs’? Let’s get one thing clear from the start: it’s the bacteria that develop resistance, not us. The word ‘resistance’ comes from the Latin resistere, meaning to withstand or oppose. So just as we use antibiotics to withstand bacteria, the bacteria develop defence mechanisms (there are several types) against the antibiotic. Some bacteria may also exchange these ‘defence secrets’ among themselves. Read More
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What is antibiotic and antibiotic-resistance?

One case that has been widely publicized in recent times has been the ever-increasing use of antibiotics and the fear of so-called antibiotic resistance. But what is it talking about. Who is becoming resistant to antibiotics? Is it us who are administered the antibiotics or the bacterium itself. And why is it that sometimes we get antibiotics at the doctor and sometimes not?

The word antibiotic comes from Greek; Anti-fighting, opposing, or killing and bios-life and it is a collective term for several different types of drugs that are all used to oppose, fight & kill the growth of microorganisms, in particular bacteria. Penicillin is perhaps the most famous of all the different types of antibiotics and it was the first antibiotic that was discovered by mankind. Such an effective remedy for bacterial infections has revolutionized medicine and it has become a prerequisite for a lot of modern treatments such as organ transplantations, cancer treatments and more, where infections are always a risk.

Bacteria are a very diverse group of organisms. There are more types of bacteria than animals and birds together, most of whom are harmless, while some are dangerous. Therefore, many different types of antibiotics have been developed to cope with the various types of dangerous bacteria. But the disadvantage of having different types of antibiotics is that bacteria have the ability to develop so-called resistance, they develop a defense against the antibiotic. Therefore, the antibiotics becomes ineffective against the bacteria. There shall be more about the ‘resistance phenomenon’ in the next blog.

As mentioned, antibiotics are very effective against bacteria, but bacteria are not the only microorganisms that can lead to infection. Now in spring, infections with different types of viruses are very common. But antibiotics have no effect on viral infections whatsoever, even if you feel as bad. That’s the reason why we sometimes get antibiotics from our doctor, and sometimes not, even if we feel as bad.

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Set of germ vector illustrations - blue, orange, green, yellow and pink

Set of germ vector illustrations – blue, orange, green, yellow and pink

 

 

Allergy food concept. Allergy food as almonds, milk, pistachios, tomato, lemon, kiwi, trout, strawberry, bread, sesame seeds, eggs, peanuts and bean on wooden table

When you go on holiday, your allergies go with you.

Asthma and allergy are becoming more common in the general population, and it is also not uncommon to develop allergies in adult age. The word word allergy comes from Greek “Allos” = changed and “Ergos” = reaction, and simply said, the body (the immune system) will respond in a particular way  to an allergen like nuts, which is tolerated by others.  Allergy is not a disease per se, it is hypersensitivity of our body where the immune system is involved.  Allergens are usually a type of protein. Proteins are found everywhere in nature, so it’s basically the imagination that limits what you can be allergic to.

Most people have no serious complications with allergy, and the medicine you use (antihistamines) can be bought without prescriptions. However, some may get very strong reactions to certain allergens (whey stew, peanuts) etc. In that case, there are some precautions that are very easy to take:

1)If you are planning to travel by air / abroad, please contact both the airline and the hotel to see how they can help you.

2) If you are dependent on, for example, the Epi Pen (used in acute severe allergic reactions) check the shelf life before you fly out.

3) If you are allergic to pollen, be aware that the polling season varies from place to place, so you may want to start with your medicines even before you travel.

4) Bring a booklet / pocketwatch or similar where you can show explain what you are allergic to in the local language. Remember, that WiFi is not always available, so something written down / small book might be appropriate.

Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association

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Peace of mind with the World Medical Card

Jan Ramstad, LHL member

“I have heart disease and experience great peace of mind with the World Medical Card. I travel often and for long periods, and I don’t go anywhere without the card in my wallet. I feel assured that I will receive fast and accurate treatment should an accident occur. My wife also feels safer when she knows she can find important information about my medical condition. I recommend that all LHL members who travel become a member. ”

In addition to the card that fits in your wallet, you’ll have 24/7 access to your own health profile on your computer and your mobile phone. With your mobile phone you can easily translate your medical information to 19 different languages.

Click here to order your World Medical Card