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Overkill: Repairing the Damage Caused by Our Unhealthy Obsession with Germs, Antibiotics, and Antibacterial Products Hardcover – April 20, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 1 edition (April 20, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579545343
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579545345
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,809,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Popping antibiotics to quiet every ear infection has been likened to dropping nuclear bombs to quiet every enemy. Simply put, it's overkill. Risk assessment expert Kimberly M. Thompson, Sc.D., beseeches individuals to become germ savvy in order to prevent new, more resistant bacteria from reaching epidemic proportions. Busting myths and highlighting facts about food safety, cleaning products, medicines, and immune systems, Thompson plows through 31 common illnesses "that are treated--and mistreated--with antibiotics." Each segment briefly describes the ailment and its causes, signs, and symptoms. Thompson also provides specific preventive measures and treatment options for each illness, based on the reader's "RQ," or Risk Quotient (determined via an initial survey that assesses one's personal health risk profile). Those who score a low RQ for bacterial infection receive gentle prescriptions: avoid, hydrate, wash, supplement, immunize. Folks in the medium- to high-risk categories will find information about herbal remedies, helpful foods, or salves; they might also find direct orders to stop smoking, spend more time exercising, or "work with your doctor." A useful primer on food-borne and household pathogens, recipes for natural cleaners, and special attention to high-risk populations (including children and immune-compromised people) round out this vital home resource. --Liane Thomas

Review

"Dr. Thompson has written a highly readable, yet detailed and revealing, book that is both instructive and absorbing. She uniquely weaves her savvy knowledge base of prevention with the science of microbes. . . . Given current concerns with biological terrorism, this book provides a standard-setting approach for readers that other authors have failed to address." --Frederick M. Burkle Jr., M.D., MPH., senior scholar, scientist, and visiting professor, The Johns Hopkins University, and author of Disaster Medicine

"Overkill is must reading for people desiring to live healthier lives. . . . It moves "managed care" from the doctor's office back to the home -- where most health care belongs." --Harold M. Koenig, M.D., chairman and president, The Annapolis Center, and former Navy Surgeon General

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bob M on December 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Overkill serves up a blend of well-written commentary on the very operation of our medical system in a clear and concise manner, along with examples practical enough to apply to all of our lives. By virtue of assessments, readers can experience why levels of resistance continue to rise year after year, generation after generation. Seemingly innocuous chemicals designed to better your well-being often disarm potent antibacterial drugs from doing their prescribed job. It was only a few decades ago that penicillin was the panacea for Americans the nation over, but continued use has left many requiring higher and higher allotments -- subsequently leading to its virtual impotency. Before you down another pill or take a spoonful of medicine, pick-up a copy -- you'll be glad you did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Sherrod on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Overkill is definitely a great overview of the topic of antibiotics and how social norms are in essence making the entire situation worse. It briefly mentions some useful, natural alternatives. As a harvard research authority, Dr Thompson gives the reader some relief as to her abilities.

In my opinion, it is definitely a great introduction to the issue of the antibiotics craze for just about anyone. As there are two sides of a coin, i did have some reservations... When it comes to the alternatives to "reverse the damage", i feel that her regimen is seriously lacking. To sum up multiple articles on this topic, the process is basic A)remove the stimulus(toxins) B)cleanse the system C)replenish with exercise & wholesome nutrition (toxin free of course). Dr. Thompson primarily focuses on removing toxins and offers some band aid solutions, but i feel that her process is lacking in the latter two steps. She also neglects the fact that in addition to antibiotics in our food supply there is a plethora of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, food additives, etc in the food we eat everyday...which are technically toxins.

Long story short, to get better health you have to look at the whole picture You & Your Environment. Be curious!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Doc Dave on November 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
First let me say that I have not read this entire book. I browse through sections quite a bit though, and have really enjoyed it in that capacity. This book gives a lot of great background on antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and impresses upon the reader why it is an increasingly important problem. With regard to practical advice on infectious diseases, there is a very interesting test in the book that allows you to categorize your personal risk quotient (into broad groups), and the subsequent recommendations for managing risk are based on your category. I thought that this was an excellent way to write a book like this. There are too many similar books that seem meant only to shock and scare people. The author of Overkill seems to recognize that one size does not fit all, and people's fear of germs has benefits as well as detriments. People are resistant to infections to varying extents based upon their health status, from people in excellent health overall to the seriously immunocompromised, with a continuous distribution of people in-between. The course and consequences of infections often vary in accordance with one's health status as well. In order to manage their risk effectively, people should be careful with respect to hygiene and preventative measures, but not everyone needs to be equally vigilant. That is where the risk quotient comes in. In setting the book up like this, I think the author really shows a lot of respect for the intelligence of her audience of general readers. Beyond this, the book is filled with practical advice. I didn't agree with every word of the medical advice, but I am not a medical doctor, so perhaps you should read the book and judge for yourself. Highly recommended for those interested in the practical aspects of microbiology and public health.
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By S. Hiatt on September 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first seventy pages of, Overkill, obey the title doling out gritty details of the increasing microbial reistance to antibiotics: what we are doing to to make things worse, how microbes form resistances, and so on, all set against a background of historic trends in infectious disease. The rest of the book focuses on the last six words of the subtitle, "what we can do about it." If you are interested in herbal remedies, the importance of hydration, strategic uses of vitamins, child care tips, potential pathogen perils in the home, and recipes for natural cleansers and sprays, you could find this interesting. I didn't. The epilogue sums up with well-worn advice, "The future brings uncetainty, but with it, tremendous hope." If your prinicpal interest is the microbes and their resistances, this is not the book for you. Try, Beasts of the Earth, The Antibiotic Paradox, The Coming Plague, The Killers Within, and/or Microcosmos.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is a wake up call! Thank you!
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