Having endured C. Diff and a very long recovery (21 months so far), I've learned a few techniques that are useful in avoiding antibiotic use.
1. Keep teeth and gums clean. Use pics, floss, and brush your teeth every morning, after every meal, and before bed. Periodontal disease and lack of oral hygiene can lead to infection and require antibiotic use.
2. Nasal Spray. Using saline nasal spray (available in any drugstore) several times a day, especially during allergy season and during a cold can help avoid a sinus infection.
3. Netty Pot. Clearing your sinuses during a cold and a bad allergy can help avoid mucus traveling to the lungs causing bronchitis.
4. Take allergy medication at the first sign of an allergy.
5. Daily use of Vitamin C can help ward off a cold.
6. If you do get bronchitis, don't take an antibiotic unless it is determined to be a bacterial infection.
7. Drink lots of water every day. This helps keep UTI's at bay. Even when I have gotten a UTI, I forced water and I got rid of it without the antibiotic.
8. Use a disposable mask on a plane and during doctors visits. This is uncomfortable for most people because they feel embarrassed, but it helps avoid colds. Japanese tourists have been using these for years to avoid contagion in crowded places. Besides, if people think you might be contagious, they'll avoid you. So it's all good.
9. Infections from ingrown nails. This is usually in the toes due to rubbing from shoes. The best way to avoid them is to get a pedicure every few weeks. Manicurists/pedicurists can remove ingrown nails before they become a problem and even after they do. Of course, make sure they are very clean in their use of tools, etc. Women usually don't have a problem having pedicures, but many men (including my husband and son), think it is unmanly and wouldn't get a pedicure even if it meant losing their toe (I'm exaggerating). To treat at home, soak your foot in warm Epsom salts several times a day.
Hope these suggestions help. Avoiding antibiotic use is the first line of defense against C. Diff. and its recurrence.
Aloha to all,
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