Saturday, January 31, 2009
We are facing a huge health care crisis. More and more of the
disease causing bacteria we are exposed to on a daily basis are
becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Allopathic medicine
calls this bacteria “Superbugs”.
Bacteria and germs are a part
of everyday life and serve a purpose. Usually we live in harmony with
these microorganisms. It is only when our immune systems become
compromised and weakened that illness can set in.
How do antibiotics become resistant in the first place?
many people whenever they become sick a first line of defense is to
take antibiotics prescribed by their doctor. Many stop taking the
antibiotics as soon as results are seen and the person begins to feel
better and doesn't complete the recommended course. This allows the
stronger strains of bacteria to survive and reproduce. Bacteria has a
short life cycle but reproduces very quickly. Once the person begins
to experience symptoms again and returns to the doctor the doctor in
turn prescribes an even stronger and more expensive antibiotic that is
not only toxic to the bacteria but is also toxic to the body as well.
times antibiotics are prescribed inappropriately for viruses. Many are
unaware of the fact that antibiotics are ineffective in the treatment
of a virus. Unfortunately there is virtually no way to distinguish
between a viral infection and a bacterial infection without the use of
diagnostic tests. Some of these tests are difficult to perform as well
as expensive. Many times doctors will go ahead and prescribe
antibiotics to “cover all the bases” without really knowing for sure.
Other times doctors are pressured into writing a prescription for
antibiotics by the patient or the patient's parents. According to the
US Government at least half of the 100 billion prescriptions written
for antibiotics each year are unnecessary. In 2004, the FDA required a
warning to be added to the labeling of antibiotics to warn of the
dangers of overuse.
Over the years doctors have begun to
prescribe antibiotics less. Unfortunately we are still being exposed
to antibiotics through the food we eat and even the water we drink.
Many animals that are not organically raised are regularly given
antibiotics due to poor living conditions which breeds illness. When
we consume this meat we are also consuming the antibiotics. Municipal
water supplies can also become contaminated from runoff into streams
and groundwater from feedlots on these animal farms.
MRSA – The Hospital Born “Superbug”
to the Mayo Clinic, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA
is an infection caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria — also
known as "staph" - that can be fatal. Decades ago, a strain of staph
emerged in hospitals that was resistant to the broad-spectrum
antibiotics commonly used to treat it. MRSA was one of the first germs
to outsmart all but the most powerful drugs.
In the 1990s, a
type of MRSA began showing up in the wider community. Today, that form
of staph, known as community-associated MRSA, or CA-MRSA, is
responsible for many serious skin and soft tissue infections and as
well as a serious form of pneumonia.
Vancomycin is one of the
few antibiotics still effective against hospital strains of MRSA
infection, although the drug is no longer effective in every case.
Several drugs continue to be effective against CA-MRSA, but this
bacteria is rapidly evolving as well and it may only be a matter of
time before it becomes resistant to most antibiotics.
Who is at risk of contracting MRSA?
who have been recently or are currently hospitalized. According to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in American
hospitals alone, healthcare-associated infections account for an
estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each
year. More than 70% of the bacteria that cause hospital-acquired
infections are resistant to at least one of the drugs most commonly
used to treat them.
- Those who have received an invasive medical procedure such as surgery, catheterization or dialysis.
- Those who have recently taken antibiotics.
who reside in a long-term care facility. Cases of MRSA are more
widespread in these types of facilities than in hospitals.
- Those involved in contact sports. CA-MRSA or community-associated MRSA can be spread through cuts and abrasions.
- Those who are health care workers and those who associate with health care workers.
- Those who have a weakened immune system. Children are also at higher risk as their immune systems are not fully developed.
to Fox News at least six state school districts have recently reported
students infected with MRSA and this infection is responsible for the
deaths of at least three children. So a good question would be what
can we do to strengthen the immune system naturally and prevent
- Building up the immune system using natural whole
foods such as fruits and vegetables supplies the body with much needed
nutrients in order to boost immune system function. It is also
advisable to take a complete multivitamin and mineral supplement, such
as Super Supplemental,
that is derived from natural sources on a daily basis. Unless you are
getting organic, fresh foods that are locally grown and in season you
are probably not getting maximum nutrition. Herbasaurs is an excellent natural multivitamin and mineral supplement for kids.
- Avoid food and water sources that may contain antibiotics.
proactive in your health care instead of reactive. With almost 100,000
deaths each year being being blamed on health care-associated
infections, prevention is definitely the best medicine.
sure to practice good hygiene with regular hand washing with soap and
water. Also be sure to thoroughly clean cuts and scrapes to prevent
- Get appropriate rest and exercise along with managing stress effectively.
- Avoid contact with those who are sick.
- Use Garlic. Garlic or a high potency Garlic
supplement is effective against bacteria that is resistant to
antibiotics and has long been known as “nature's penicillin”. Children
should take only ¼ to ½ of an adult dose while nursing babies can
receive the antimicrobial benefits of Garlic through breast milk when
Garlic is taken by the mom.
- Use Echinacea.
Echinacea actually promotes the production of T cells and can shorten
the duration of upper respiratory infections. As Echinacea is an
immune system stimulant, it should not be used by those who have
autoimmune disorders and should not be taken longer than 8 weeks at a
time then take a break for a week or two.
fights infection and supports the immune system and promotes lymphatic
cleansing. It is used in the treatment of colds, sinus infections,
urinary tract infections and tonsillitis.
lymphatic system contains a network of channels throughout the body and
it's main job is to detoxify the body. The lymph nodes or glands serve
as barriers of protection. We have about 100,000 lymph nodes
throughout the body, which contain white blood cells and other immune
cells which attack foreign invaders. When the flow of lymph is
obstructed by swelling you may get a condition called Lymphedema which
can be very painful. When the lymph system is sluggish toxins can
accumulate in the body. Whenever a person is sick they typically don't
feel like getting physical exercise which can cause the lymph system to
become stagnant causing slowed healing. Using a supplement such as Lymphatic Drainage during illness promotes detoxification of the lymphatic system and promotes normal lymph flow throughout the body.
Mayo Clinic – www.mayoclinic.com
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – www.cdc.gov
Fox News – www.foxnews.com