Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Forget Zika—this is what you should really fear
But it’s something you must know about because it truly could spell disaster and cost countless lives on all continents.
Antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Here is what you must know about this real health threat and why it’s not just all “hype.”
How it started—we became reckless
Over the last several decades we’ve become extremely reckless with antibiotics.
They’ve been over-prescribed, used inappropriately (when the infection in question was not confirmed to be bacterial), and even used prophylactically to prevent infections (especially ear infections in children).
Plus daily-use antibiotic lotions have been a popular treatment for acne sufferers.
This recklessness has also continued beyond our doctors’ offices and onto our farms.
Agriculture accounts for about 80 percent of all antibiotics used in the US. Over 25 million pounds of antibiotics are administered to livestock in the US every year for purposes other than treating disease—instead they are used to make the animals grow larger faster (and fatten up the bottom lines for the livestock and milk industries).
And the residue from those antibiotics ends up in the meat and milk from the animals, and hence in your body.
They’re the Terminator
Antibiotics work by destroying dangerous infection-causing bacteria in your system…but they also kill off your body’s beneficial bacteria too.
Your friendly gut bacteria is where 70 percent of your immune system resides, and when they’re slaughtered by antibiotics, it’s not a temporary minor hit. Instead, it can take your gut microbiome a year or more to recover from one single course of antibiotics.
Having an unhealthy intestinal flora balance leaves you susceptible to repeated infections (and other illnesses), has been implicated as a cause of Crohn’s disease and can trigger digestive issues like gas and bloating.
We’ve ignored their intelligence
One thing that we’ve repeatedly ignored is that bacteria are extremely intelligent. As such, they can change and evolve and become resistant to antibiotics.
So far bacteria have found a way around every antibiotic we’ve developed, and we’re at the point now where they are causing deadly infections that even our most potent drugs can’t touch!
Plus researchers recently discovered a new gene called MCR-1 in both pigs and people in China. MCR-1 is a gene mutation that makes bacteria resistant to even our strongest, last-resort antibiotics (called polymyxins), and is capable of being spread and diversified between different species of bacteria (such as E.coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae).
Eventually, this can result in the development of an extensive array of dangerous “super bacteria” that can potentially resist all treatment…and can spell doom for large numbers of people worldwide.
Minimize your risks
Here is where you need to take the bull by the horns and minimize your potential risks. There are no more “magical wonder drugs” to undo this catastrophe, so it comes down to you.
Support your immune system health with probiotics and vitamin D. The stronger your immune system is, the less likely it is that you will be facing a dangerous infection.
Talk to your doctor immediately about other options if you are on long-term antibiotics. If he asks why show him this blog.
Use antibiotics ONLY when absolutely necessary and other measures (such as rest, vitamin C, garlic and lots of fluids) have not been enough to help you overcome a bacterial infection.
Make sure you actually have a bacterial infection versus a virus. Antibiotics are useless for viruses. Insist on a test before you take antibiotics.
Buy organic meat and dairy--that is the only way you can be sure you are getting antibiotic-free food.
Reduce stress- Chronic stress can damage the friendly flora in your gut, thereby weakening your immune system and increasing your susceptibility to illness.
Ditch the antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer. These too have played a role in antibiotic resistance by helping to make bacteria stronger. If bacteria can outsmart antibiotics, they can certainly get past antibacterial soap and hand goo too. Plain old soap and warm water are best.