Friday, April 23, 2010

Five ways to fight bacteria resistant to antibiotics....

Today's Post: Friday, 4-23-2010

All too often people with infections who take antibiotics do kill them off do one or both of two things, they stop taking the antibiotic when they feel better but before it kills all the bacteria; &/or they do nothing to help their immune system kill of some of the bacteria in other ways.

That results in having some of the tougher and less susceptible bacteria survive. After several generations of this, the remaining bacteria are immune to the original antibiotic.

Even worse, most to nearly all factory farms raising livestock in the United States both raise the animals in conditions likely to make them sick AND dose them daily with antibiotics even when they show zero signs of being sick.

People then eat the foods produced and ingest the resistant bacteria this produces. Worse, this problem is about 40 times more effective in producing resistant bacteria than the large effect from what people do when they don’t take all their antibiotics. The scale of this currently is astoundingly large.

What this can do to you is truly frightening if do you get a dangerous bacterial infection from a very resistant bacteria.

You can die when you either wait too long to get treated or your doctors cannot find a drug that works to kill the bacteria.

Even if you survive, you may have permanent disfigurement or disability from what the bacteria did to you before you were cured.

And, last but far from least, the medical bills for multiple drugs and hospitalization can be huge. For example, it can cost over $250,000 to treat someone who has TB that is highly resistant to multiple drugs.

Here are five ways to prevent this from happening to you.

I. Avoid cuts if you possibly can. But if you get a cut or gouge in your skin that cuts into it, let it bleed some at first as this helps wash out the wound; then wash the area and the area surrounding it gently with normal soap and warm water and rinse the same way; dry very gently using air flow and drying the area around the wound; then cover with a bandage; change the bandages gently either once a day or if they fill up with blood or get wet; then keep the area bandaged until it fully heals.

That prevents most infections. And the last step not only helps prevent infections but has been proven to speed healing of the wound.

II. Make sure the hospital you go to follows the practices that prevent infections and unnecessary use of antibiotics AND isolation of patients who have or who carry antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Do its doctors always wash their hands between patients and after visiting patients with infections or who carry antibiotic resistant bacteria and does the hospital and its doctors see to it this is done 100 % of the time?

Is it hospital policy to only give antibiotics if they are definitely necessary? (This was tested in Norway and found to dramatically cut MRSA, or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, infections.)

Does EVERY patient who gets an antibiotic hear why it can keep them from getting well and cause bacteria that may harm them later if they fail to take ALL the doses before they stop?

Does the hospital test admitted patients and isolate those who have antibiotic resistant bacteria on their skins even if they have no infection?

Does the hospital require ALL patients take probiotics for several days before surgery or take something like three days worth just before surgery on short notice.

You are something like TEN times less likely or more to get infected with an antibiotic resistant bacteria with all the decrease in risk and costs that implies in a hospital that makes SURE to do each of these things 100 % of the time compared to one that makes no special effort to do any of them.

Each of these steps has been shown to work. EVERY hospital should do all of them. But that’s not done everywhere yet.

III. Make your body more able to kill the bacteria without drugs so you both are less likely to be infected even by the drug resistant bacteria AND are more likely to have killed some bacteria before you get an antibiotic and in addition to the antibiotic if you are given one.

That both protects you and reduces the amount of antibiotic resistant bacteria in circulation.

Take at least 2,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 and at least 5,000 iu a day of D3 if you get a bacterial infection. Recent research has shown that that much D3 is not only required for good health and boosts your immune system but also is needed to ACTIVATE your immune system’s killer cells. Taking this much vitamin D3 protects you against infectious bacteria something 10 to 20 times more than if you are deficient or only take 400 iu a day.

Take probiotics. They are safe for you but both occupy the niche in your body first AND defend themselves separately against invaders. (People who take probiotics before surgery are far less likely to get a c. difficile infection by a resistant strain or a susceptible one.)

Take vitamin C daily from 250 mg a day to over 2,000 mg a day and 30 mg a day of zinc. (Taking 30 mg of zinc requires you to also take 2 or 3 mg of copper to balance the zinc unless your body fails to process copper.)

These two nutrients combat infection.

It also may be important to take 5,000 iu of retinol, the animal based version of vitamin A. (Taking beta carotene and eating many foods each day that contain different carotenoids also protects your health in many ways; but to fight infection the retinol works far better I’ve read.)

IV. Mostly avoid eating meat from animals fed grain on factory farms.

You can do that in two ways.

a) Instead eat beans and lentils and nuts for much of your protein intake and nonfat and very lowfat dairy; eat wild caught fish and meat from animals fed only grass that are only given antibiotics if they actually get sick and are humanely treated while they are alive.

This set of things also tends to help you avoid ingesting large amounts of pesticides and herbicides that are bioconcentrated in the fat of factory farm, grain fed animals. It also lowers your LDL and excessive inflammation both of which lower your risks of heart disease. And, it’s been proven to lower high blood pressure.

b) Also support countries and laws that prohibit mass routine treatment with antibiotics of animals that are not sick.

A recent story explains that this was done and is being done in Denmark. Many factory farm people complained this would increase costs as if it would triple them or worse. The reality is that it cost closer to 5 cents a pound to do this.

Given how horrific the world with no antibiotics that work will be if this is NOT done, 5 cents a pound is a miniscule price to pay!!

V. Notice and support companies that are beginning to make drugs that will kill even the nastiest of the mulitply resistant bacteria.

One such company that may have such a technology is Achaogen of South San Francisco. (See .)

I’m sure other companies are working in this area given its importance. But I read about this company recently. They say the have preliminary reports of positive results using this technology.

I hope their efforts to create an effective set of drugs is successful. And, I hope those drugs have few bad side effects

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home