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Antibiotic Misuse, Reactions, and Antimicrobial Resistance

Every year, a staggering 25 million pounds of antibiotics are administered to farm animals to fatten them and to prevent illness. Antibiotic resistance and antibiotic allergic reactions continue to be major public health problems. Resistant strains of bacteria currently thrive in both community and hospital settings. One week long course of antibiotics changed participants' gut microbiomes, with the effects sometimes lasting as long as a year resulting in a significant rise in gut-related illnesses.

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The Crisis of Antibiotic Misuse

Antibiotic Crisis Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - "Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. It can cause significant danger and suffering for people who have common infections that once were easily treatable with antibiotics.

When antibiotics fail to work, the consequences are longer-lasting illnesses; more doctor visits or extended hospital stays; and the need for more expensive and toxic medications. Some resistant infections can cause death. Sick individuals aren’t the only people who can suffer the consequences.

Families and entire communities feel the impact when disease-causing germs become resistant to antibiotics. These superbugs antibiotic resistant bacteria can quickly spread to family members, school mates and co-workers; threatening the community with a new strain of infectious disease that is more difficult to cure and more expensive to treat." The smart use of antibiotics is the key to controlling the spread of resistance.

Curtis Donskey MD - "Unfortunately, far too many physicians are still thinking of antibiotics as benign. We're just now beginning to understand how our normal microflora does such a good job of preventing our colonization by disease-causing microbes. And from an ecological point of view, we're just starting to understand the medical consequences of disturbing that with antibiotics."

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reveals that any use of antibiotics potentially increases the risk of breast cancer in women. The specific data for this study states that women who took only 1 to 25 antibiotics over a 17 year period had a 1.5 times higher risk of breast cancer as compared to women who took no antibiotics.

Antibiotics Can Change the Gut Microbiome for Up to a Year

Antibiotics destroying microbiome Doctors and patients alike should be thoughtful about starting antibiotics—not only because of the well-publicized resistant bacteria that are proliferating thanks to overuse of those drugs, but also because, a new study illustrates, there could be serious consequences for the individual.

Martin Blaser’s 2011 article published in Nature highlights the potentially dangerous long-term consequences that arise from the rampant overuse of antibiotics. He argues that changes in our microbiome may even be promoting the transmission of deadly organisms, as one of the important roles of an intact microflora is to resist colonization by pathogenic organisms. Blaser also points out that not only does the individual use of antibiotics cause permanent changes in the gut flora, but that infants born to women given antibiotics during pregnancy, or the 30% of children delivered via cesarean section, may be starting life with a significantly altered nd insufficient level of friendly gut flora. This is a serious concern because lack of diversity in friendly gut bacteria has been shown to contribute to a large number of diseases and complications.

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Deadly Side Effects of Antibiotics

Antibiotic destroys prebiotics and probiotics Antibiotics are known to have side-effects; 'allergic' reactions to antibiotics such as penicillin have been documented in medical literature for over forty years. The severity of these side-effects may range from a simple rash to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction which includes difficult or labored breathing, which are also symptoms of an asthmatic attack. It is now time to reconsider whether the side-effects of antibiotics should any longer be described as 'allergies', implying that the problem lies with the patient rather than with the drug. It is time that we acknowledged that drugs producing an 'allergic response' are toxic, and in fact producing side-effects which are in many cases symptomatic of poisoning.

The most common side effects with antibiotic drugs are diarrhea, feeling sick and being sick. Fungal infections of the mouth, digestive tract and vagina can also occur with antibiotics because they destroy the protective 'good' bacteria in the body (which help prevent overgrowth of any one organism), as well as the 'bad' ones, responsible for the infection being treated.

Rare, but more serious side effects, include the formation of kidney stones with the sulphonamides, abnormal blood clotting with some of the cephalosporins, increased sensitivity to the sun with the tetracyclines, blood disorders with trimethoprim, and deafness with erythromycin and the aminoglycosides. Sometimes, particularly in older people, antibiotic treatment can cause a type of colitis (inflamed bowel) leading to severe diarrhoea.

Penicillins, cephalosporins and erythromycin can all cause this problem but it is most common with clindamycin, an antibiotic usually reserved for serious infections. If you develop diarrhea while taking an antibiotic, immediately contact your doctor. Some people are allergic to antibiotics, particularly penicillins, and can develop side effects such as a rash, swelling of the face and tongue, and difficulty breathing when they take them. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic; sometimes the reaction can be serious or even fatal. This is called an anaphylactic reaction.

Stuart Levy MD, Tufts University - "People should realize that although antibiotics are needed to control bacterial infections, they can have broad, undesirable effects on microbial ecology. That is, they can produce long-lasting change in the kinds and proportions of bacteria—and the mix of antibiotic-resistant and antibiotic-susceptible types— not only in the treated individual but also in the environment and society at large."

Revenge Of The Microbes: How Bacterial Resistance Is Undermining The Antibiotic Miracle

Home base business opportunity Professor Graham Bell, from McGill University in Canada warns that the new antibiotics pose" a serious and unprecedented" risk to public health. He warns that regulatory authorities tend not to look many years ahead when deciding whether to grant licenses to new drugs. "They are poorly designed to detect even grave and highly probable risks to public health arising from the population biology of microbes. "Instead of dismissing the possibility that widespread resistance will evolve, we should use the bitter experience that we have gained from conventional antibiotics to plan for it."

Sarah Boseley- "The era of antibiotics is coming to a close. In just a couple of generations, what once appeared to be miracle medicines have been beaten into ineffectiveness by the bacteria they were designed to knock out.”

Conquering Candida Yeast Infection Antibiotics are common cause of Candida. Antibiotics destroy both harmful bacteria and good bacteria. When antibiotics destroy friendly bacteria it gives the Candida a chance to begin to multiply. Anyone who has been treated with antibiotics for acne, major dental work or any condition where antibiotic use has been frequent, more than 1 course of 7-10 days, is a prime candidate for Candida.

Antibiotics are the acidic waste products of fermentation

Robert O. Young D.Sc., Ph.D. - "Antibiotics are the acidic waste products of fermentation. To make an antibiotic, you need a yeast or mold and some sugar for the yeast or mold to ferment. The bi-product of the yeast or mold fermenting the sugar is the acidic antibiotic. The acids from antibiotics DO NOT KILL BACTERIA. They only force the bacteria to change.

Into what does bacteria change? Into yeast and mold. That is why when you take antibiotics you end up with a yeast infection! That's the antibiotic causing the bacteria to change from one form to another. I call this process of change "biological transformation" and the reason why you should NEVER take antibiotics."

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Overuse and Misuse of Antibiotics in Pediatrics

Breaking the Antibiotic Habit in infants & Children "Excessive antibiotics in children almost certainly stops normal maturation of a healthy immune system. Lack of healthy bacteria in the intestines caused by antibiotics creates an environment in which pieces of partially digested proteins are able to penetrate the barrier of the intestinal lining. When these abnormal proteins enter the blood the body properly reacts to them as foreign substances. The foreign proteins cause an antigen antibody reaction producing symptoms and setting the stage for a possible auto-immune illness to develop. food allergies can also appear along with impaired absorption of nutrients which may lead to poor health." James Howenstine, MD.

It is estimated that between approximately 70 to 80 percent of physician visits for sinus infections resulted in a prescription for antibiotics. The problem lies in the fact that these medications are designed only to attack bacteria, not viruses. Yet, it is viruses which cause the overwhelming majority of sinus infections (often referred to as a "cold" or "the flu"). So, what is the harm? The answer is a phenomenon known as bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Bacteria Antibiotic resistance is a widespread problem, and one that in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls "one of the world's most pressing public health problems. In a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Dr. Tim Walsh at Cardiff University's team investigated cases of multi-drug resistant Enterobactericeae infections - which include E.Coli and Salmonella.

Need help? The spread of a drug-resistant bacterial gene could herald the end of antibiotics, researchers warned us. Learn how to minimize your exposure to debilitating and often life-threatening microbes by taking practical, preventive measures to strengthen the immune system and accelerate immune response.

Stop Your Child's Ear Infections Naturally Without Antibiotics

Treat Ear and Respiratory Infections Without Antibiotics Antibiotics and ear tubes treat symptoms of a problem. Two out of three infants receive antibiotics before they turn one year old. By the age of two, three out of four children have received the drugs, according to recent research. These findings are especially concerning as resistance to common antibiotics is becoming an ever increasing problem. Deaths caused by Staphylococcus aureus, the so-called superbug that is resistant to most antibiotics, are reportedly increasing.

Moreover, research from a new study has shown that children from low-economic backgrounds are more likely to receive antibiotics than those from more well off families, and boys tend to receive antibiotics earlier than girls. Low-economic background might be a factor because people from this group tend to have higher rates of respiratory illness due to smoking and a lower likelihood of breast-feeding.

They do not strengthen the organism so that it can fight the infection itself, nor do they make the organism less resistant to future infection. In chronic ear infection, it has become standard procedure for physicians to use ear tubes in conjunction with antibiotics or in place of it. These tubes help drain the pus from the ear, but this treatment only deals with the results of the problem; it does nothing to Alternatives to Antibiotics treat the reason the infection was able to spread in the first place. This physiological fact may be the reason ear tubes have been found to be of questionable value."

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Antibiotic properties of glutathione

Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) are growing in prevalence in both the outpatient and inpatient settings and are some of the most common diseases seen by dermatologists, who are often the first point of care for these patients. Microbial resistance to antibiotics continues to rise as more virulent strains evolve, and strains predominantly found in the hospital setting are now being seen in the community. Therefore, innovative approaches to combat this trend are needed.

GSH to raise glutathione level Glutathione (GSH) is a well-described and established antioxidant. It participates in detoxification of xenobiotics, regulation of cellular growth, modulation of immune response, and maintenance of the thiol status of proteins and cellular cysteine levels. GSH is also known to have a regulatory effect on immune cells and even inherent antibacterial properties have been reported. To this end, the value of GSH as an antibiotic was evaluated by growing methicillin resistant S. aureus, E. coli, K. pneumoniae and P. aeruginosa strains isolated from human skin and soft tissue infection in the presence of GSH.

At a physiologic concentration of 10 mM, GSH had no effect on bacterial growth. At concentrations above 50 mM, which created acidic conditions (pH < 4), bacterial growth was completely inhibited. When adjusted to physiologic pH, GSH exhibited a bacteriostatic effect in a concentration-dependent manner. Additionally, the cytotoxicity of GSH was evaluated in a murine cell line. GSH was relatively non-toxic to murine macrophages, even at the highest concentration tested (160 mM). These results suggest the potential utility of GSH for the prevention and/or as adjunctive treatment of infection, most significantly in disease states associated with GSH deficiency.

Antibiotics and Yeast Infection -The Yeast Cell Overgrowth

More and more people are using antibiotics to cure minor infections, but have little clue that these types of medication are playing havoc with their immune systems. Taking even the shortest course of antibiotic or steroid based medication can have a catastrophic effect on your immune system, kill the essential bacteria in your gut, and leave you wide open to other more serious infections.

Antibiotics weakens the immune system which leads 
to bacteria overgrowth and Candida yeast infectionAntibiotics will kill off both the good and bad bacteria in your system, and most of the essential bacteria in your gut will be killed or damaged. This good bacteria is what helps to keep the yeast cells from overgrowing, but once they've gone, the yeast are free to grow and spread. Because the antibiotics have weakened your immune system, your body will be helpless, and the yeast cells will be free to overgrow further and spread to other areas of the body. Once you've completed your course of antibiotics, it'll take your body weeks, and sometimes even months to re-build your immune system. And, if a yeast infection takes hold, you could end up in serious trouble. A yeast overgrowth will further weaken your immune system, and before you know it, you'll end up catching every bug that's going around, you'll feel tired and run down all the time, and your yeast infection will gradually get worse and worse.

Dr. Lisa Landymore-Lin wrote all about this in her book Poisonous Prescriptions asking, ‘Do Antibiotics Cause Asthma and Diabetes?’ We are now even beginning to question the role of antibiotics as a cause of cancer since they do lead to pathogen overgrowth especially in the area of yeast and fungi. Chris Woollams writes, “It is estimated that 70 per cent of the British population have a yeast infection. The primary cause of this is our love of antibiotics.

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Antibiotics Put 142,000 Into Emergency Rooms Each Year.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control Waits 60 Years to Study the Problem

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just released "the first report ever done on adverse reactions to antibiotics in the United States" on 13 Aug, 2008. (1) This is "the first report ever"? How is that possible? Antibiotics have been widely used since the 1940s. It is astounding that it has taken CDC so long to seriously study the side effects of these drugs. It is now apparent that there have been decades of an undeserved presumption of safety.

Antibiotics can put you in the emergency room. Common antibiotics, the ones most frequently prescribed and regarded as safest, cause for nearly half of emergencies due to antibiotics. And, incredibly enough, people in the prime of life - not babies - are especially at risk. The study authors reported that "Persons aged 15-44 years accounted for an estimated 41.2 percent of emergency department visits. Infants accounted for only an estimated 6.3 percent of ED visits." They also found that nearly 80% of antibiotic-caused "adverse events" were allergic reactions. Overdoses and mistakes, by patients and by physicians, make up the rest.

Allergic reactions to antibiotics may be very serious, including life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Searching the US National Library of Medicine's "Medline" database (2) for "antibiotic allergic reaction" will bring up over 9,700 mentions in scientific papers. A search for "antibiotic anaphylactic shock" brings up over 1,100. Many papers on this severe danger were actually published before 1960. Given this amount of accumulated information, one might wonder why CDC took so long to seriously study the problem.

Beyond antibiotics Overuse of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance. At its website, CDC currently states that antibiotic resistance "can cause significant danger and suffering for people who have common infections that once were easily treatable with antibiotics. . . Some resistant infections can cause death."

In the USA alone, "over 3 million pounds of antibiotics are used every year on humans . . . enough to give every man, woman and child 10 teaspoons of pure antibiotics per year," write Null, Dean, Feldman, and Rasio. (5) "Almost half of patients with upper respiratory tract infections in the U.S. still receive antibiotics from their doctor" even though "the CDC warns that 90% of upper respiratory infections, including children's ear infections, are viral, and antibiotics don't treat viral infection. More than 40% of about 50 million prescriptions for antibiotics each year in physicians' offices were inappropriate."

Dr. Lawrence Wilson - "To strengthen the immune system, one must address the needs of the whole body. A strong immune system is essential for health. It is a very complex system of the body, involving the skin, intestines, nasal mucosa, blood, lymph and many other organs and tissues. Factors that impair the immune system include nutrient deficiencies, contaminated air, water and food, unhealthful lifestyles and too much exposure to harmful microbes. Other factors that weaken the immune system are negative attitudes and emotions and the presence of toxic metals, toxic chemicals and biological toxins in the body. Others are sluggish metabolism, lack of rest and sleep, excessive stress or too much exercise. As these causative factors are removed or corrected, the immune system improves."

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Antibiotics in Animal Feed is a Growing Public Health Hazard

Beyond antibiotics Currently, an estimated 70 percent of antibiotics and related drugs in the United States are used in the feed and water of healthy animals -- a practice with serious consequences for human health. Bacteria that are constantly exposed to antibiotics develop resistance to these drugs. When humans get sick from resistant bacteria, the antibiotics prescribed are less likely to work.

Experts have long known that the overuse of antibiotics by doctors and their patients has reduced the ability of those drugs to cure infections. Now there is mounting evidence that the antibiotics widely used on farm animals are also diminishing the power of important antibiotics to help people.  Giving animals antibiotics in their feed can cause microbes in the livestock to become resistant to the drugs. People can then become infected with the resistant bacteria by eating or handling meat contaminated with the pathogens. Resistant bacteria are called Superbugs that cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections and skin infections are just a few of the dangers we now face.

"Many of us believe there is a tremendous overuse of antibiotics for animals," said Marcus Zervos, an infectious disease specialist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., who was involved in the Michigan case. "There is some very strong opposition to our view that animal antibiotics are undermining antibiotics for people, but this whole area has to be reconsidered." Most of the antibiotics used on the farm are not administered to treat sick animals.

Antibiotics Kill Your Body's Good Bacteria, Too, Leading to Serious Health Risks

"It is ironic that this humbled fungus, hailed as a benefactor of mankind, may by its very success prove to be a deciding factor in the decline of the present civilization." -Dr. John I. Pitt, The Genus Penicillum, Academic Press, 1979

Yeasts are opportunistic organisms. This means that, as the intestinal bacteria die, yeasts thrive, especially when their dietary needs are met. They can use their tendrils, or hyphae, to literally poke holes through the lining of your intestinal wall. This results in a syndrome called leaky gut. Yeasts are not the only possible cause of this syndrome. Some scientists have linked non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as naproxen and ibuprofen to the problem.

Given their ability to alter intestinal terrain, antibiotics Need help?also likely contribute to Leaky Gut Syndrome. In addition to possibly causing leaky gut syndrome, I believe that parasitic yeasts can also cause you to change what you eat in that they encourage you to binge on carbohydrates including pasta, bread, refined sugar, potatoes, etc. So, it should come as no surprise that weight gain counts as one of the telltale signs of antibiotic damage and subsequent yeast overgrowth.

By altering the normal terrain of the intestines, antibiotics can also make food allergies more likely. An array of intestinal disorders can ensue, as well. Sadly, most doctors claim ignorance concerning their patient's intestinal disorders rather than admit that the drugs they themselves prescribed actually caused the disorders to begin with. Tons of antibiotics are fed to American livestock on a daily basis, purportedly to proof them against bacteria. This practice not only possibly contributes to antibiotic resistance in humans -- many experts feel weight gain, and not disease prevention, is the real reason antibiotics are so widely used. Fat cattle sell for more than thin cattle. That’s all very well, but imagine what the antibiotics thereby possibly present in dairy products could be doing to our children’s health.

Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that are normally present in the digestive tract. These bacteria are required for proper digestion, the synthesis of Vitamin K, and the prevention of yeast infections and pathogen growth. Studies have shown that the continual use of antibiotics has a devastating affect on the immune system. Each time you use an antibiotic, the immune system gets further and further suppressed. Antibiotic kill friendly helpful microflora bacteria in a body, not just the pathogenic bacteria. A healthy intestinal tract with a balanced microflora can boost the immune system, keep pathogenic diseases of the intestinal tract in check. Probiotic use creates an intestinal environment that can improve a user's immune system. The intestines are the body's largest immune organ. It's a fairly hostile environment and a well balanced system can relieve immunological stress associated with an unhealthful system. This gives the immune system a chance to enhance its capabilities in other parts of the body.

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Are Antibiotics Making Your Animals Sick?

Family of pets Richard J. Holliday, DVM - "Antibiotics disrupt the normal population of beneficial microbes in the gastrointestinal tract of all animals, these beneficial bacteria are the first fine of defense against most diseases, without them the animal is more susceptible to other infections. Antibiotics depress the immune system by decreasing the number of circulating white blood cells. This lowers the animal's ability to fight infections. Some antibiotics, such as chloramphenicol, can cause irreversible damage to the bone marrow. Many bacteria develop resistance to the effects of antibiotics, This resistance can be passed to other bacteria, The concern is that if humans are exposed to resistant bacteria from animals then the use of antibiotics may be Ineffective in treating any resulting disease. This is the major controversy regarding the use of antibiotics on a regular basis in food producing animals."

Dr. Karen Becker DVM - "It’s vital to understand that antibiotics do not discriminate in the type of bacteria they destroy. They kill both the healthy and unhealthy bacteria. And, by decimating the good bacteria, you increase your pet’s risk of subsequent intestinal infection and yeast overgrowth. Every time your pet is placed on antibiotics. I strongly recommend you use a high quality Probiotics, which replenishes the beneficial bacteria the antibiotic destroys. I also recommend you ask your vet to perform a culture and sensitivity test prior to guessing at which antibiotic will be effective for treating your pet’s infection, unless the infection is life threatening.

Diarrhea, abdominal pain, severe inflammation of the colon (colitis), irritable bowel syndrome, skin problems, fever, elevated white blood cell count, weak immune system, vomiting, dehydration, potassium deficiencies, allergies, colon perforation, bad breath, excess stomach gas, yeast problems, nutritional deficiencies and constipation are just some of the many side effects and problems linked to antibiotics. In 1928, when Alexander Glemming discovered antibiotics, everyone was raving at this incredible breakthrough in medicine. However, over the years, this breakthrough which was heralded with curing disease is now creating disease and problems of its own.

Bacteria now has built resistance to many antibiotics. Hence, stronger and stronger antibiotics are needed to do the job and if weaker antibiotics create problems, can you imagine what more powerful antibiotics will do? It's a vicious circle because ultimately bacteria will build resistance to the new and more powerful antibiotics too! New forms of bacteria and disease are being created. One of the reasons animals are becoming microbial resistant too many of the antibiotics on the market is because vets take the “here, try this one” approach to prescribing, which is the recipe for creation of a dangerous superbug."These new problems are very dangerous and the flesh eating disease is the best example of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Antibiotics literally means against life (anti = against and biotic = life). In a healthy body, there is both good and bad bacteria in the intestinal tract. There should be about 80% good bacteria and about 20% bad bacteria.

When antibiotics are used, both good and bad bacteria are destroyed in the intestinal tract. Once the antibiotics are stopped, the bad bacteria grows back first and faster. The result is a very unhealthy and weak body with no friendly bacteria. It takes on average 1 year to recover from antibiotics if you are feeding good food and supplementing with friendly bacteria. If the diet you are feeding is bad, then your pet will take even longer to recover and may never fully recover. Antibiotics relieve symptomatic problems but after the antibiotics are stopped, the symptoms come back. So what happens now? They give more antibiotics. What's ironic is that antibiotics are then given to help combat the problems that the antibiotics created in the body. Antibiotics are definitely over prescribed and over used. Antibiotics for example do nothing for a virus and yet are often administered anyway.

Hopefully soon, common sense will prevail and medical practitioners will realize what is happening. But, it is up to you, the people to put pressures on vets to become more careful about their practice of administering antibiotics. In fact, encourage your vets to learn the alternatives. Make them aware that there are side effects that can no longer ignored. Before antibiotics, what did people do? In World War 1, medics put garlic cloves, long acclaimed for their natural antibiotic properties, in the wounds of soldiers. Some use bee propolis which has natural phagocystosis properties. Phagocystosis is the ability to encourage white blood cells to destroy bacteria. There are certainly many other natural antibiotics which have no side effects (except bad breath in garlic's case). In general, natural antibiotics only attack bad bacteria and leave the friendly bacteria alone. Become aware that although antibiotics have helped save many lives, they are not a cure by any means.


- The body should have 80% friendly bacteria and about 20% bad bacteria inside the intestinal tract. After the use of antibiotics, the body will have no more than 20% friendly bacteria and 80% bad bacteria if not more.

-Most illness, disease and problems begin in the intestinal tract. Thus, antibiotics create the potential for serious illness to begin.

-You may not be giving your pet antibiotics, but if it has ever eaten foods with preservatives, you have been giving your pet what I call 'hidden antibiotics'. The job of preservatives is to control bacteria and once your pet eats food with preservatives, it will ultimately have an effect inside the intestinal tract too and kill the friendly bacteria.

-You should expect it will take at the very least 1 year to recolonize the intestinal tract with friendly bacteria after the use of antibiotics.

-Recolonize the intestinal tract with friendly bacteria by using supplements and feeding natural foods.

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Antibiotics and Suppressive Therapies

Although the suppressive therapies are hard on the body, they do not compare with he rampant idiocy of using antibiotics for viral infections. Thankfully some measure of sanity appears to be returning to the medical profession. More and more doctors are avoiding prescribing antibiotics for colds and flus. Several critical observations must be made here.

First, antibiotics are totally ineffective against viruses. The excuse most often heard for prescribing antibiotics in a viral illness is to prophylactically protect the body against a secondary bacterial infection. This is an idea proven to be false decades ago. In the United States, of the 5 most common antibiotics prescribed, three are broad spectrum. That's a problem!

Second, the basis of antibiotics is mold. Through millions of years of evolution, bacteria and mold have coexisted in nature - in the soil, plants and animals. When one of them developed an evolutionary edge over the other and began to shift the balance in favor of itself, the other must have rapidly learned to defend itself against this new attack. If this were not true, we would only have either bacteria or molds but not both. By using mold, we thought we could slay one step ahead of bacteria in the evolutionary scale because we're so smart. Well, the yolk is on us, the bacteria are winning, and at a record pace. So in our attempt to wipe out bacteria, we forced them into a revolutionary evolutionary change and we damaged our immunity so badly that we become easy prey for viruses. Additional side effects of antibiotics are immune suppression and the increased susceptibility to parasites.

The long term effects of the breakdown of the immune system can be seen in increased infections, auto-immune disorders and tumor formation. The body's last ditch effort to compensate for the loss of internal defenses is to hyper activate the depressed immune function. What it may do is over stimulate the immune function, sacrificing the "self" - "not self" regulatory mechanisms. The defenses then perceive its own organs and systems as "not self" and begin to mount defenses against them. This starts the precipitous march toward auto immune disorders such as SLE, MS, RA, and possibly CFS.

New strains of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)

In 1988 in a New York City hospital, the first strains of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) appeared, and between September 1989 and October 1991, 38 New York hospitals reported VRE infections, 98 percent of which were contracted during the patient's hospital stay. Soon hospitals in New Jersey, Connecticut and other states began reporting VRE infections, and the problem quickly spread to other countries. VRE infections are now a worldwide problem.

Nearly all VRE infections are acquired in hospitals. The longer the hospital stay, the greater the risk. Although the risk is highest in intensive care units, VRE infections in hospitals have been traced to nearly every patient-occupied area. Individuals previously treated with vancomycin or combination antibiotic therapy have an increased risk of developing VRE. Those with a serious disease or suppressed immune system or who undergo abdominal surgery are at increased risk. Most VRE infections occur in patients 41 to 60 years old, but they can affect people of any age. VRE infections are virtually not treatable using conventional methods. Even if combination antibiotics appear to be effective, the patient soon has a relapse more virulent than the original infection. A 1995 study at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York found that when VRE infections spread to the blood (bacteriemia), the in-hospital death rate was 100 percent. VRE infections are now the second leading cause of infections acquired in hospitals.

Warming oceans are the new breeding grounds for pathogens

Hospitals are not the only breeding ground for new versions of old pathogens. As the New York Times explained on January 24, 1999, previously unknown bacteria and viruses are blooming in the earth's warming oceans, killing marine life and threatening human health. At that week's national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, researchers reported that dying coral, diseased shellfish Herbal Alternatives and ocean waters infected with human viruses are symptoms of a rapidly growing global problem.

According to the organization, new studies show that vast colonies of human viruses migrate regularly into Florida's coastal waters from the state's 1.6 million septic tanks, and many people are becoming infected with viruses picked up while swimming, windsurfing or boating in infected waters. One study found that almost 25 percent of the people using marine beaches developed ear infections, sore throats, sore eyes, respiratory infections or gastrointestinal disease. Some of the viruses detected in coastal waters are linked to heart disease, diabetes, meningitis and hepatitis.

“Most people who come in contact with these viruses do not get ill,” said Joan B. Rose, a researcher at the University of South Florida, “but of the 20 to 24 percent who do, about 1 percent become chronically infected.” Rose's research team traced the migration of viruses from septic tanks and found that pathogens infect coastal waters within 24 hours of being flushed down toilets. Storms that churn ocean water speed the process. Many of the viruses that infect humans directly or through the eating of contaminated shellfish cannot be detected by the routine monitoring of water pollution. Other researchers at the meeting said that the increase in pathogens in the world's oceans may be linked to a 1.8-degree rise in ocean surface temperatures detected in many area

Vol. 9, No. 1 ~ January/February 2000

"It is ironic that this humbled fungus, hailed as a benefactor of mankind, may by its very success prove to be a deciding factor in the decline of the present civilization." - Dr. John I. Pitt, The Genus Penicillum, Academic Press, 1979