Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Ways to avoid antibiotic resistant bacteria….

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 7-7-2015

You likely have other things to worry about.  I know I do.

But if you are like me, you’ve grown up in a world where short of violence and accidents most people reliably live to be at least 60 years old.  And people who are educated and employed most of their lives tend to live to be at least 80.

But before antibiotics, life and bringing up kids was a lot more risky and chaotic. 

People knew friends and family and colleagues and famous people who died suddenly of infections.  People went to funerals a lot too.

Just as two examples, President Abraham Lincoln and Leland Stanford, Senior had sons who died of diseases we have since then been able to stop with antibiotics.

Since the advent of public health measures and antibiotics that world left us. 

But thanks to antibiotic overuse in medicine and massive antibiotic overuse by factory farms, it is coming back.

The good news is that you can minimize the amount of antibiotic resistant bacteria in you.

You can help boost the pressure on politicians to actually cause factory farms to be cleaner and more humane instead of covering the bad results of doing the opposite by using antibiotics routinely.  If that kind of antibiotic use became illegal and the laws had teeth and were very well enforced, that would stop the main cause of the spread of antibiotic resistance.

And, you can hope the researchers into new antibiotics and ways to use old ones with boosters we didn’t need to use before such as IV megadoses of vitamin C AND the old antibiotics get effective replacements into mainstream use in time.

I don’t always agree with the positions of Jenny Thompson who writes the HSI eAlert email I get.  But sometimes she clearly gets it right.

Today I got this:   [I’ll put some of her comments in bold.]

"..antibiotic-resistant superbugs are going to kill nearly 40,000 Americans…young and old… this year alone.

Before long, experts are warning that superbugs could kill one out of every six people who undergo a hip transplant and could turn even a simple infected cut or abrasion into a death sentence.

Just think about that for a moment. Twenty five years ago, superbug infections were practically unheard of. Ten years ago, you rarely saw them outside of hospital settings.

And now, superbugs are only a couple years from becoming one of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States -- right alongside heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

It's a problem that even Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, saw coming 70 years ago. He watched as certain bacteria became resistant to penicillin, and warned about the coming "evil" of superbugs if antibiotics were overused.

But now that evil is here, and our government isn't doing much to stop it.

A few months ago, President Obama released his big strategy to fight these superbugs. But even though the plan will cost us taxpayers $1.2 billion, it's still a day late and a dollar short.

And the biggest place it fell short was down on the farm. Obama had the chance to stop the rampant, unnecessary use of antibiotics in farm animals -- a major source of our exposure to the drugs. Only he didn't.

Believe it or not, 80 percent of all the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are given to livestock. The drugs make animals gain weight quickly so they can be sold for more money at slaughter. But all those antibiotics head straight for the food supply and our stomachs, and they're a major contributor to the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

And while Obama claimed he had developed a "comprehensive plan" to fight antibiotic resistance, all he proposed was a voluntary policy that lets the beef and poultry industries police themselves.

I'll give you one guess how that's going. Antibiotic use in livestock is actually increasing, not decreasing.

As Congresswoman Louise Slaughter put it, "your government is not going to protect you" from antibiotic overexposure and superbugs.

Which is why we have to learn how to protect ourselves.

Here are a few simple… but potentially life-saving… steps that can get you started:

Don't take antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. Doctors and dentists will often zip off an Rx when it's not needed, and many patients will even ask for antibiotics on their own.

If you really do need an antibiotic, ask your doctor for one that targets your specific infection, not a broad spectrum one. That may require a bacterial culture be done, but it's well worth it.

Antibiotic creams like Neosporin should also be used sparingly. In fact, a study published in the CDC's monthly journal said that Neosporin is likely contributing to a new, antimicrobial resistant strain of MRSA.

When buying beef and chicken, either go the organic route, or look for a label that says "No antibiotics." Steer clear of meaningless claims such as "All Natural."”

Here are my comments:

Here are some other things to do:

A. To avoid infection with antibiotic resistant bacteria:

1.  When injured and cut, cleaning the cut and safely covering it prevents infection. 

Wash gently with soap and rinse gently. Allow the cut to bleed a bit first if you can and the cut isn’t too large since the blood flow helps with cleaning. 

Put on liquid hand soap first and wash, THEN rinse after the soap has removed the oils the bacteria are in. When you do your last rinse use hot but not too hot water since this will help with clotting a bit.

Then keep covered with a bandage until it’s completely healed.  (Besides less infections this speeds healing compared with leaving the injury uncovered.)

If you need something to cover a raw area beside the bandage, use something like A & D cream that besides the vitamins A & D3 provides a physical barrier to germs but no antibiotics.

2.  Take the new recommended intake of 7,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 or a bit more!  One of the things that much D3 does is to greatly increase the power of your immune system. 

And, if antibiotic resistant bacteria get killed by your immune system, the fact that most antibiotics won’t kill it no longer matters!

3.  To the extent you can, try not to visit hospitals or be a patient in them.  If you do visit one, wash your hands just before you leave and just after you get home!

B.  Take probiotics daily.

And NEVER eat or drink things with artificial sweeteners. 

Sucrose and the other artificial sweeteners do the worst possible double, they kill your protective probiotic bacteria and tend to increase harmful bacteria in your gut! 

Unbelievably, they test to be MORE fattening than even high fructose corn syrup too!

C.  Use as many of these ways as you can to minimize or eliminate eating meat and poultry grown with antibiotics:

1.  Get a lot of your protein from organic vegetables, tree nuts if you aren’t allergic, and beans and lentils if you aren’t allergic to them.  But avoid soy and its byproducts. 

2.  Get a lot of your protein from wild caught fish either fresh or canned such as canned Alaskan salmon that’s wild caught.

3.  Eat only eggs from pastured chickens and dairy from cows fed only grass.  Many of those also say they are antibiotic free.

4.  Eat meat of any kind only rarely.  And when you do, make a special effort to eat only 100% grass fed meats. 

(If it just says grass fed instead of 100% grass fed, it may be grass fed but grain finished which is about 90% as bad as always fed grain.  And the penning up process to “finish” the meat can create a need for antibiotics or include them to speed the fattening process.)

5.  I recently went to a Pizza event.  Because I could eat the meat and leave the cheese that might be fake cheese with trans fats and leave the wheat crust which I knew to be harmful, I decided since I was hungry to do that.  I ate ham and pineapple and pepperoni.

True I did avoid some fatteners and harmful ingredients by doing this.  But it took nearly 6 weeks before most of the effects of the possibly antibiotic resistant bacteria in the meat were driven out of my gut by the probiotics I take.  Yeeg!

Needless to say, if I’m invited to a Pizza place again, I’ll eat before and after at home and just have beer at the Pizza place!

6.  Notice that each and every strategy  I list here would send close to zero purchases to the companies that stuff beef cattle and poultry full of antibiotics.

They may be too unethical to stop.  But if enough of us stop buying, companies like that who don’t pay attention will stop selling and go out of business.

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