Over use of an­tibi­otics leads to health prob­lems

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - HEALTH - Dr. Gif­ford Jones Dr. W. Gif­ford-Jones is a syn­di­cated colum­nist whose med­i­cal col­umn ap­pears in The Guardian ev­ery Tues­day. Check out his web­site, www.docgiff.com, which pro­vides easy ac­cess to past col­umns and med­i­cal tips. For com­ments, read­ers are

What would it be like liv­ing in a world with­out an­tibi­otics, where a sim­ple in­fec­tion could kill you?

It could hap­pen, as in­creas­ing num­bers of bac­te­ria are re­sis­tant to an­tibi­otics. But there are ways to by­pass an­tibi­otics so this fright­en­ing sce­nario doesn’t oc­cur. One her­bal rem­edy, re­cently im­ported from Europe, can help to end the re­mark, “We know where you’re go­ing!”

The U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol re­ports 440,000 Amer­i­cans are sick­ened ev­ery year due to eat­ing or han­dling food con­tam­i­nated with re­sis­tant bac­te­ria. At least 2,000 of th­ese peo­ple die from the in­fec­tion. And over half of the an­tibi­otics used are pre­scribed in­ap­pro­pri­ately!

In Canada, pub­lic health au­thor­i­ties re­port that about 25 per cent of sal­mo­nella in­fec­tions are re­sis­tant to an­tibi­otics. It’s shock­ing that some su­per bugs out­live nine dif­fer­ent an­tibi­otics.

So what can doc­tors, and the rest of us, do to de­crease an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance? Ac­cord­ing to one study 20 per­cent of peo­ple who re­ceived a pre­scrip­tion an­tibi­otic asked for it. It’s of­ten a fool­ish re­quest for a cold, sore throat, si­nusi­tis, bron­chi­tis, ear in­fec­tion and the flu, which are due to vi­ral not bac­te­rial in­fec­tion. It’s a waste of money be­cause vi­ral in­fec­tions do not re­spond to an­tibi­otics.

How many are aware that more than half the an­tibi­otics used by hu­mans are also fed to an­i­mals? Un­be­liev­ably, Health Canada al­lows an­tibi­otics used for se­ri­ous in­fec­tions in hu­mans to be sold “with­out a pre­scrip­tion for use in chick­ens, beef cat­tle and other an­i­mals”! The more an­tibi­otics con­sumed, the greater the risk that bac­te­rial re­sis­tance will oc­cur.

For­tu­nately, some food chains are now serv­ing poul­try never given an­tibi­otics. But it’s a hard sell to con­vince farm­ers to in­clude cows and pigs. Why? Be­cause they are more valu­able, live longer and have to re­main health­ier longer.

Never for­get that more fre­quent hand-wash­ing with soap and wa­ter could sig­nif­i­cantly de­crease in­fec­tious dis­ease and re­duce the need for an­tibi­otics.

How­ever, au­thor­i­ties agree that the use of bac­te­ria-fight­ing hand cleansers make sense in hospi­tals, but not in homes.

Bar­bara Mur­ray, for­mer pres­i­dent of the In­fec­tious Dis­ease So­ci­ety of Amer­ica told a U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Com­mit­tee, “This sum­mer I cared for two pa­tients with di­a­betes and uri­nary tract in­fec­tions (UTIs) due to a highly re­sis­tant strain of E Coli. Both had to be ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal for in­tra­venous ther­apy be­cause their in­fec­tions were re­sis­tant to all oral an­tibi­otics!” She added that “prob­a­bly ev­ery woman by age 60 has had at least one UTI.”

Stud­ies show that ev­ery year 30 to 50 mil­lion North Amer­i­can women suf­fer from UTIs, of­ten due to re­sis­tant E coli bac­te­ria. Th­ese re­sult in re­peated ag­o­niz­ing at­tacks. Now, a new nat­u­ral her­bal rem­edy, avail­able in health food stores, called UTI EDrops, can pre­vent and treat this in­fec­tion. Like cran­ber­ries, they pos­sess an anti-stick­ing fac­tor that keeps E coli from ad­her­ing to the blad­der wall. In ad­di­tion, their an­ti­sep­tic and an­tibac­te­rial prop­er­ties, form a pro­tec­tive layer on the wall of the blad­der to pre­vent fur­ther bac­te­rial growth.

UTI E-Drops are highly ab­sorbable, pro­vid­ing a low but ef­fec­tive dose. The usual oral dose is 40 drops added to a small amount of wa­ter three times a day. In ad­di­tion, this rem­edy will elim­i­nate the ter­ror when in­fec­tion causes blood in the urine.

Years ago, while study­ing at The Har­vard Med­i­cal School, I ar­rived home one Christ­mas to find my father near death due to an un­di­ag­nosed rup­tured ap­pen­dix. For­tu­nately, peni­cillin, a new an­tibi­otic, was smarter than bac­te­ria. It saved my father’s life.

For­tu­nately, education de­creases the use of an­tibi­otics. Doc­tors now given an hour of in­struc­tion in the proper use of an­tibi­otics, has de­creased their use in treat­ing up­per res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions by 50 per­cent. And in­ap­pro­pri­ate use in treat­ment of si­nus in­fec­tions and pneu­mo­nia by a whop­ping 70 per­cent!

Shortly be­fore I com­pleted this col­umn, I talked to a para­plegic pa­tient who must use a catheter reg­u­larly to empty her blad­der. This re­sulted in re­peated in­fec­tions in spite of five dif­fer­ent an­tibi­otics! She re­ported that use of UTI E- Drops re­solved her dilemma.

Please let me know if this is help­ing oth­ers.

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