Zika virus is losing steam as the latest “threat to humanity” (remember Ebola, swine flu, West Nile, bird flu and others before it).
But there is a clear and present danger that isn’t getting as much press. Today Australian Rock Hero John English dies of ‘surgical complications’. I’m not going to make claims at this stage. I’m just going to say that my greatest fear isn’t Zika. It’s.. Antibiotic resistant bacteria. What you must know about this real health threat . Over the last several decades we’ve become extremely reckless with antibiotics. They’re over-prescribed, used inappropriately and even used prophylactically to prevent infections (think: ear infections in children). Daily-use antibiotic lotions have been a popular treatment for acne sufferers. Th 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 12 million kilo of antibiotics are fed to livestock in the US every year for purposes other than treating disease—they are used to make the animals grow larger faster (and fatten up the bottom lines for the livestock and milk industries). The residue from those antibiotics ends up in the meat and milk from the animals, and hence in your body. The Terminator This is why I’m scared to go to hospital. Antibiotics work by destroying dangerous infection-causing bacteria in your system…but they also kill off your body’s beneficial bacteria too. Friendly gut bacteria is where 70 percent of our immune system resides, and when they’re slaughtered by antibiotics. It’s not a temporary minor ‘hit’. It can take your gut microbiome a year or more to recover from one single course of antibiotics. An unhealthy intestinal flora balance leaves you susceptible to repeated infections (and other illnesses), has been implicated as a cause of Crohn’s disease. It can trigger digestive issues like gas and bloating. I’ve ignored the brains of my ‘bugs’. 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! 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). I do believe this could result in the development of an extensive array of dangerous “super bacteria” that can potentially resist all treatment…and spell doom for large numbers of people worldwide. What I’m Doing to Minimize my risks There are no more “magical wonder drugs” to undo this catastrophe, so it comes down to me. Support my immune system health with molecular hydrogen, coconut oil and broad spectrum supplements. The stronger my immune system is, the less likely it is that I will be facing a dangerous infection. Talk to my doctor immediately about other options if you are on long-term antibiotics. My Doc knows I’m a health fanatic and humours me. I am less forgiving of him because he has lots of patients and one less wouldn’t affect him as much as it would affect me. Only go the antibiotic path when absolutely necessary and use all other measures (such as rest, vitamin C, garlic and lots of fluids) first. Ensure I really do 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– the only way I can be sure I’m getting antibiotic-free food. Reduce stress– Chronic stress will damage the friendly flora in my gut, thereby weakening your immune system and increasing your susceptibility to illness. Meditate. Savour the moment. Be. 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.