Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The latest health science proves that the new exercise trend not only helps you lose weight, but makes you healthier. It's called HITT, which stands for High Intensity Interval Training. I've tried it and can attest to the results.
The only problem is, it violates one of the cardinal rules of exercise: do something that you like.
Those HITT classes at my gym are always packed, but I have yet to find a person who actually enjoys the workout! If you don't like your form of exercise, research shows you are less likely to continue with it. Nevertheless, people do seem to stick with it because they must like the results.
The key to HITT, or simply interval training as some people call it, is pushing yourself to the absolute maximum energy output you are capable of. In other words, run like you are literally running for your life. It hurts! And you can't do it for long before your body gives out.
Going full-strength, in a sprint, whether you are running, biking, swimming, climbing stairs, or what have you, only lasts for a short period of time before you burn out. Most intervals consist of 30-second spurts. Then you rest for a minute or two and do it again.
You don't want your heart rate to go back down to normal between sprints, but you do want to make sure that you are rested enough to go again.
One of the most appealing aspects to interval training is that most of these workouts are short...much shorter than traditional workouts. You can find trainers who recommend as few as a couple minutes of high intensity interval training only a couple of days a week, to trainers who recommend 20 to 30 minutes of interval training one to three times a week. That's less of a time commitment we're used to hearing we need to make to maintain good cardiovascular health.
A word of caution: don't try interval training if you are not used to exercising at all. Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Compared to traditional exercise regimes, HIIT is superior in that it boosts the human growth hormone in ways less intense workouts do not. According to the journal Cell Metabolism, HIIT almost immediately and significantly improves the DNA, such as the genes involved in fat metabolism.
The research shows that when you exercise full-on, everything-you've got, in short bursts, your body activates genes that increase the production of fat-busting enzymes in a way that moderate exercise does not.
As if that's not enough, another study showed the importance of HIIT on the reduction of diabetes. After only two weeks of HIIT, consisting of three workouts a week, the participants noticed they were able to improve their insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation. Another study showed people suffering from Type 2 diabetes were able to improve their blood sugar levels for 24 hours after just one session of HIIT. That's pretty impressive.
HIIT has been shown to activate mitochondria, the precious building blocks of our cells that provide us with the vital energy we all want and need to live our lives efficiently. Scientists say the reason HIIT promotes mitochondrial formation is because it causes STRESS on the body.
This does not happen when you are simply walking or performing some other type of low intensity exercise. It's the stress, the taking your body to its limit, that causes this wonderful mitochondrial reaction.
Bt let's face it, you pay a price. It hurts. But it's worth it. Other stressors that improve the mitochondria are fasting and calorie restriction. ame theme...tricking your body, throwing it a curve-ball causes it to work harder and ultimately work better.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Don't be fooled by all those television commercials advertising "LOW-T" medication. "LOW-T" stands for low testosterone. The medicine they are peddling is the hormone testosterone.
Simply put, if you take that medication, you are on "testosterone therapy." The ads suggest taking testosterone will restore a man's sex drive and energy. Therefore, it's not surprising that the sales of testosterone gel, patches, or injections have gone through the roof in recent years, to the tune of $400 million a year.
The most recent data is from three years ago. At that time, doctors prescribed testosterone therapy to 5.3 million men, which is about five times higher than a decade earlier. You can bet that number of prescriptions has significantly increased since 2011, thanks largely to the slick marketing campaign. The promise of a fountain of youth is tough to resist.
But there is a serious risk associated with "LOW-T" medications.
New research indicates testosterone therapy doubles the risk of heart attack. Also the Food and Drug Administration is looking into the likelihood that testosterone therapy also increases the risk of stroke and death.
Scientists have known for some time that the risk of heart attack in all men over the age of 65 doubles if they are taking testosterone therapy. But now that risk extends to men younger than 65. New evidence from Consolidated Research in Los Angeles suggests men who are younger than 65, who have a history of heart disease, are at double the risk of a heart attack if they are on testosterone therapy.
Researchers found the heart attack risk doubled in just 90 days after the men began testosterone therapy. Although the two-fold increase in risk in younger men was seen only in those with a history of heart disease, William Finkle, one of the lead researchers, said all men should be wary of testosterone therapy.
"We don't have enough evidence to say testosterone supplements in men under age 65 without heart disease are safe," he said.
Future studies could prove the risk is for all men, regardless of their history of heart disease.
And while these strong warnings exist, there are some men who benefit from testosterone therapy. The key is accurately diagnosing and treating low testosterone. For example, some men who don't even need testosterone take it, and other men, who actually do need it, take TOO MUCH of it.
Those television commercials, online quizzes (which are sponsored by the same companies behind the commercials), even well-meaning internists and physician-assistants often tell men they need testosterone therapy if you they are experiencing low libido and low energy.
The problem with that diagnosis is that describes far too many men that actually need the therapy. Sometimes a blood test is taken, but that too, is not conclusive enough.
As a point of clarification, it should be noted that candidates for testosterone therapy are men with low libido, or in other words, men who aren't very interested in sex. Low libido is not a symptom of erectile dysfunction. The main symptom of ED is a mechanical problem. In other words, the drive is there, but the physical capability is not. Many people think LOW-T and ED are the same thing, but they are not.
Here's the right solution:
A man with low libido and low energy, who is wondering whether the problem might be low testosterone, SHOULD SEE A UROLOGIST. It's important that the urologist check your testosterone level FIRST THING IN THE MORNING.
Testosterone therapy is not always the answer, and if it is, it's important to get the right dose.
Obesity causes low testosterone. Enzymes in belly fat convert testosterone to estrogen. This is what's behind men having breasts, commonly referred to as "man boobs." So if you lose weight, your testosterone levels might rise naturally.
Depression also causes low testosterone. So focusing on beating depression can raise your testosterone levels, without taking the hormone. This can be done without medication in many cases through exercise, spiritual growth, and therapy.
And one more thing: testosterone therapy is hormone replacement therapy. We know that hormone replacement therapy is a very common treatment for women experiencing menopause symptoms. In fact, most doctors say HRT is the best treatment for menopause symptoms.
But just like testosterone therapy in men, women who are considering hormone replacement therapy should make sure they visit a hormone specialist, such as a gynecologist, before embarking on HRT.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Are you sad in the winter? People have talked about those blues since before the Civil War. But in the last 30 years, doctors officially recognized it as a named, medical condition.
It's called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, and you can beat it!
SAD produces symptoms similar to hibernation. You're not as motivated to do things. You'd rather just sit around and eat.
The reason people get SAD is because of the decreased sunlight in the winter, which can disrupt our circadian rythym, also known as our body clock. Melatonin, a hormone which makes us feel tired, is triggered by darkness and reaches its highest levels at night. People sometimes also have increased melatonin levels during the day.
On the other hand, there's the neurotransmitter seratonin, which is triggered by sunlight and makes us feel happy. But people with SAD have low levels of seratonin.
SAD severely affects five percent of Americans and another twenty percent have a mild case and don't realize it.
A lot of people put on weight and blame it on the winter months. But people with SAD have a craving for carbohydrates and tend to overeat during the winter months and end up putting some weight on as a result of this medical condition.
Women are more affected than men and it's more prevalent in northern climates. But these people don't need to suffer any longer. So many people tend to ignore it and chalk it off as the winter blues, but people should know there are treatments for it.
Light therapy is a very effective treatment. It involves sitting in front of a specialized light box for 30 minutes a day. It needs to have a power of 10-thousand lux, which is more than 20 times stronger than the average light bulb.
The sensation of sitting in front of a light box is similar to sitting outside, sitting at the beach or under the sun. It doesn't emit any heat but it's just a very bright light... kind-of like your own personal box of sunshine!
Tanning beds are NOT and acceptable treatment for SAD because they emit ultraviolet rays which can cause melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. Take it from me, as one who regularly suntanned outside and also used tanning beds in my 20s, and who, in my 40s contracted melanoma, there is never a good reason to step into a tanning bed.
The World Health Organization has classified ultraviolet tanning equipment as a known carcinogen, despite arguments from the tanning industry, that tanning causes skin cancer.
So if you are suffering with SAD, say "no" to the tanning bed, but "yes" to the light box.
And in addition to the light box, other ways to brighten up your life include using higher wattage light bulbs, installing a sky light, sitting closer to the window, trimming branches that block sunlight and simply opening the blinds.
If you have SAD and work in a dark environment, (like the CBN newsroom which has no windows!) try to make it a point to spend a few minutes outside every hour or so.
And if you are planning a winter vacation, go somewhere tropical if you can!
Although it's tempting for people with SAD to reach for their comforter, they should reach for their gym bag instead. This is because exercise is another great tool for fighting the effects of SAD.
A cardiovascular workout pumps oxygen into the brain, making us alert and energetic. Exercise also releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that create a feeling of euphoria.
So if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder also known as SAD, a few lifestyle changes can help you enjoy winter. Spring will be here before you know it!
Monday, February 03, 2014
Oscar-winning actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman is apparently the latest victim of a heroin overdose. Police say the number of deaths from heroin overdoses is sky-rocketing across the country.
Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment with the needle still in his arm and dozens of packages of heroin strewn about his apartment, some empty, some full. Family members started getting worried about him when he failed to pick up his three young children at their mother's home.
Hoffman allegedly used the newest, most lethal type of heroin, called "white heroin," that is the purest form of heroin mixed with an opiate. Police say the drug is sweeping the nation because its high availability and low price make it an attractive alternative to prescription pain killers.
Millions of American adults and teenagers are hooked on the tremendously addictive painkillers Vicodin and Oxycontin. But finding the drugs and paying for them is getting more difficult as demand increases and authorities are tightening the means of dispensing them. Some of these pain killers sell for an astounding $80 for just one pill.
Prescription pain killer addicts have started switching from those drugs to heroin because it's easier to find, costs less, and packs a bigger punch than pain killers.
Like all addictions, it takes more of the heroin to get the same high, so the user continually increases the amount they use to get a more intense high, ultimately leading to fatal overdose.
Rehab centers are reporting a rise in heroin users, especially ones from middle class homes. Users find heroin is easier to get than other drugs and less expensive.
Rehab is the best way heroin addicts can free themselves from the biological pull of the drug. Choose a rehab clinic that is Christ-centered and include a relationship with Jesus and a reliance on his power to deliver from the bondage of drug abuse.
Parents should talk to their children about the dangers of heroin, pointing out, for instance, that people can die from a heroin overdose the very first time they try it.
Also be on guard for signs your child might be using or abusing drugs, such as changes in personality, weight, friends, or school performance.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
The FDA is asking doctors to stop prescribing medications that have more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen per dose. That's because too much of the drug can cause liver damage, even death.
In fact, the Centers For Disease Control estimates that 22,000 Americans visit the emergency room because of an acetaminophen overdose and 150 Americans die every year from it.
In some countries, acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause of liver transplants. The FDA is expected to issue a warning to consumers about their consumption of acetaminophen on over the counter drugs.
Until then, we must all use caution. It's very easy to overdose on acetaminophen. That's because acetaminophen is in more than 600 over-the-counter medications, as well as prescription medications, that when we take more than one during the same period of time, the amount of acetaminophen just keeps piling up in our system.
The next thing you know your liver is in jeopardy.
So how much is too much? The FDA says the upper limit for humans is 4,000 milligrams per day. That is the absolute maximum. But you should not get anywhere near that amount.
It may surprise you to know how easy it is to get there, however. Many pills contain 500 mg of acetaminophen per pill, prescription and over-the-counter. Take 10 of those in one day and you're at the limit.
Ideally, you should try to stick to 325 mg per dose. But again, be very careful when you are taking more than one medication.
The good news is, it's easy to know how much you are taking. The amount of acetaminophen is clearly marked on all over-the-counter medications as well as prescription pills. Look for the word "acetaminophen" or the letters "APAP," an abbreviation sometimes used for the drug.
Pay attention to how much is in each pill you are taking and add it up. Once you start looking at those labels you may be shocked to learn how much acetaminophen is in ordinary medications.
These days, now that many of us are suffering with colds or the flu, multi-symptom cold remedies are being consumed in large, frequent doses. This is exactly the type of situation we need to worry about. Headache medications, sleeping medications, cold syrups - they usually all contain lots of acetaminophen.
Drinking alcohol while taking acetaminophen also puts you at risk and can amplify the problem.
Acetaminophen may also cause serious skin reactions in some people, which are rare but can be deadly. These conditions can cause blisters, serious rashes, reddening of the skin. Go the doctor immediately if you have these reactions after taking acetaminophen.
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
The cold blast sweeping the nation is serious business. Depending on the temperature and the wind speed, serious conditions such as frostbite or hypothermia can overtake you in mere minutes. They can even turn deadly.
The best precaution against frostbite and hypothermia is obviously to stay inside. Also make sure animals and loved ones are inside. Many cities actually instruct law enforcement officials to search under bridges, in parks, and other known places where homeless people are typically found, and bring them to shelters.
If you must go outside in freezing weather, cover all of your skin and make sure to wear a hat. Your best bet is a coat that has a wind and waterproof outer shell. Wear layers to trap warm air and insulate your body. Wool and polypropylene work the best, not cotton.
Frostbite is the actual freezing of your skin. Obviously it damages your skin, often permanently. It can affect any part of your body, but your ears, nose, fingers and toes are most at risk. So make sure to take extra precautions to cover those parts of your body thoroughly.
Once I was taking a ski lesson in Colorado on a very cold January day. My instructor actually stopped a passing skier going down the mountain and informed him that he had frostbite! He told the frost-bitten skier to report immediately to the first aid center at the bottom of the mountain.
I was curious how my instructor knew this passing stranger had frostbite. My instructor said frostbite is easy to recognize. People who have it have white, grey, or yellow patches on their skin. It will look waxy and pale. Also, don't be surprised once the person warms up to see blisters on the skin.
People with frostbite must not touch or rub the affected area. Instead, immediately get out of the cold and into a warm area, preferably a place that also offers medical help. If no medical help is available, you'll have to help the victim yourself.
After they are inside, take off any tight clothes or jewelry that might be impairing their circulation.
This next step if tricky:
- Warm the affected areas in WARM water NOT HOT water! The temperature should be between 100 and 105 degrees.
- DO NOT apply a heat source directly to frostbitten skin.
- Immerse the affected area in the warm water for 20 to 45 minutes until the tissue is soft. DO NOT rub or massage the area.
- Put dry, sterile gauze between the fingers and toes to get rid of moisture.
- Elevate the affected area to help reduce swelling and pain.
So that's frostbite.
Hypothermia is a little different.
You can tell by looking at someone that they might be suffering from hypothermia if they exhibit a change in their mental status. They might also be shivering, have dark or puffy skin or have rigid muscles. People suffering from hypothermia might also have an irregular heartbeat or be unconscious.
Just like in the case of frostbite, if you see someone with hypothermia, get them out of the cold immediately and get them medical attention.
If no medical attention is immediately available, treat the victim yourself. First, keep them in a flat position and get them out of their wet clothes and into dry ones. But do this VERY CAREFULLY! Rough handling can cause cardiac arrest!
Cover their body, including their head, with blankets, pillows, towels, even newspapers, whatever is available.
Once an elderly couple I knew told the story of how they once woke up in the middle of the night and discovered the heat had gone out. To their horror, their baby lie in her crib...BLUE from the cold! Wisely, they stripped off their clothes and placed the child in between themselves, skin-to-skin, so that their their combined body heat warmed their infant. Everything turned out fine.
Hopefully you will not need to know these treatments for frostbite and hypothermia, but accidents happen and you never know when this information could save a life.
Friday, December 06, 2013
Millions of Americans dread the holidays. Leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas, many people anticipate painful emotions and wonder whether they will be able to handle it.
The holidays are especially painful for people with relationship woes. There is no more acute pain than family pain. Many people have unresolved conflict with children, siblings and parents, conflict that can include divorce, estrangement, and unforgiveness.
Many people are dealing with deep feelings of loss, such as through death, an empty nest, or a relationship that's ended.
Others have difficulty managing the emotions of the holidays because of financial stress that stem from an inability to purchase food and gifts.
Whatever the source, sadness often bubbles to the surface during the holidays because it is during these times that we pause and take stock of our lives and realize they fall short of everything we'd hoped they would be.
It's important to recognize that the root cause of holiday stress and the holiday "blues" is unfulfilled expectations. And right on the heels of that realization, we must understand that our expectations are unrealistically high.
First, there is the media. The commercialization of Christmas is pure deception. We are bombarded with images of activities, relationships, and possessions that are complete fantasy...mostly with the end goal of selling something.
I recently saw a television commercial where one character gave a brand new car to the other. The car was actually sitting in the driveway with a big red bow on it. People who think the media accurately represents reality would naturally be depressed after seeing that commercial, because most people can't even come close to being able to afford a gift like that and would feel inferior as a result.
This is why it's important to remember the Christmas that's portrayed in the media is imaginary. That's not how real people celebrate Christmas.
Secondly, there are our own expectations that are unrealistic. Don't put pressure on yourself to do things, buy things, or feel things that are impossible. Dial it back several notches and focus on what Christmas really means.
Christmas is about our one and only avenue out of the certainty of eternal damnation and into life everlasting with God, characterized by love, joy, and beauty that we are incapable of even imagining.
Jesus came into the world to sacrifice himself for our sins so that we could be reconciled with God. If it weren't for Jesus we would have no hope whatsoever.
Our sin makes it impossible for God to accept us into heaven when we die. But Jesus, being perfect, God as man, paid our sin debt. Through Jesus, and Jesus alone, we have forgiveness from our sins, and through him, entrance into life everlasting.
No death, no tears, no sadness, no poverty, or loss -- there is only one way to have all that, and it's through Jesus. He came into the world to accomplish this amazing, loving act on a day we call Christmas.
By directing our minds toward the true meaning of Christmas we obliterate the sadness of our broken lives here on earth and are reminded of better things to come.
Having said all that, there are also some lesser, but still practical, ways to manage the stress and sadness that often accompany the holidays.
When it comes to avoiding money problems, make a plan ahead of time of how much you are going to spend. Make sure it's a number that will not cause you to go into credit card debt. Make a list and stick to it, so you won't fall victim to impulse buys that you will regret later.
Doing something for someone else is a sure way to lift your mood. Churches, hospitals, and nursing homes all need volunteers this time of year.
Speaking of your mood, it's hard to beat good old fashioned exercise as the best mood booster around. Forget those anti-depressants and sleeping pills. Go work up a good, long sweat and those endorphins, our natural mood-boosters, will chase the blues away.
If you anticipate being lonely, make plans ahead of time to get-together with people. Isolation can lead to depression, so force yourself to be around other people and focus on giving love, not getting it. Also, reach out to family members who are far away via Skype, letters, emails, or videos.
Remember,Christmas is about Christ. Accept the free gift of salvation that is found through him alone. Then know that he loves you and wants to help you.
The Bible says, "cast your cares on him because he cares for you." So do it! Take your problems to him and he will comfort you.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Protect yourself and your guests from food poisoning this holiday season. Here are some helpful hints that you'll want to follow to make sure your turkey and your leftovers don't make people sick.
When it comes to poultry, whether it's turkey during the holidays or chicken anytime during the year, we need to take extra precautions.
Poultry can be contaminated with a bacteria called salmonella, and if it is not killed, it can infect people. Salmonella poisoning makes most people very sick and can even be deadly, according to family physician Dr. I. Phillip Snider.
"People usually develop diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and they will start to feel flu-like symptoms," he said. "And most people will get through these just fine in four to seven days. But people who are very young, like infants or young children, or elderly individuals or somebody with a compromised immune system, they will have a harder time fighting the infection."
Salmonella is found in raw turkey, chicken, and duck. It is very important to thaw poultry in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. This is because if you get your bird too warm, salmonella can grow.
Chef David Miller is an instructor at the Virginia Culinary Institute. He says turkeys often require days, not hours, of thawing time in the refrigerator. Many cooks don't realize this until it is too late, and they don't have days in which to thaw their turkey before the big holiday meal. If that happens to you, fear not, there is this "plan B."
"If you have to rush it, the best way to do it is under cool, running water so the turkey is covered but the water stays running the whole time," Miller advises. "The water should be draining."
It's important to understand that raw poultry juices can be contaminated with salmonella, so always put your bird in a pan while you are thawing it in the refrigerator. Those raw juices can contaminate everything they touch, so keep them away from other foods.
"After you've been handling the raw bird, you need to make sure the surfaces are clean, the knives are clean, and you wash your hands real thoroughly before handling anything else," Miller said.
To kill bacteria, use soap or, to be most cautious, mix a tablespoon of bleach into a gallon of warm water. Use paper towels because bacteria can breed in sponges.
In order to kill salmonella during cooking, the oven temperature needs to be at least 325 degrees, no lower. Use a thermometer inserted deep inside the turkey, not touching the bone, and cook the turkey until the turkey's internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
So that's the low-down on salmonella. But it doesn't end there.
E-coli is another bacteria that sometimes ruins a holiday get-together.
"Any time you get a food-borne illness it will take anywhere from 12 to 72 hours to know that you're starting to get the symptoms," Dr. Snider said. "So oftentimes it's very difficult to know when it's a food-borne illness versus a viral infection that can give you intestinal symptoms."
E-coli bacteria can grow when the temperature of the food is warmer than 40 degrees, but cooler than 140 degrees. So make sure your refrigerator is cool enough, and get those leftovers in there within two hours of serving them.
In other words, don't leave them sitting on the table or on the counter for hours and hours for people to "graze" upon. Put those leftovers in small containers and try to eat them within four days for optimal protection.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Homecoming queens come and go but none can hold a candle to Molly Anne Dutton. She is telling the world about how she narrowly escaped death from abortion, and is living proof of why abortion is a horrific mistake.
Molly was crowned Auburn University's 100th Miss Homecoming. This gives her a platform to tell her story and hopefully save the lives of people who are headed toward death through abortion.
By observing her triumph, it causes us to mourn the loss of the millions precious people, whose lives were cut short in utero, and were not afforded the opportunity to live like Molly was.
By looking at Molly we can only imagine who we are missing, people to love. We can only imagine what we are missing, the contributions they would have made to society had they lived.
Molly Anne Dutton is so beautiful, smart, loving and talented...such a gift to the many people she touches.
Molly is courageous, because her story is so personal and began in such an ugly manner, but ended up beautiful.
She was conceived 22 years ago in California when her married biological mother was raped. Molly's biological mother was given an ultimatum by her husband: either abortion or divorce.
Rather than aborting, Molly's biological mother chose to give up her child for adoption. She wanted a good home for her unborn baby. She chose a Christian adoption center in Birmingham, Ala., to help her. It was called Lifeline Children's Services and is still in operation today.
A couple serving on the Lifeline board of directors chose to adopt Molly, bringing her into a large, loving Christian family. Molly has five other siblings, three of them are adopted.
Molly is not only an advocate for adoption rather than abortion. She is particularly passionate about adoption after a sexual assault. So many people who are opposed to abortion in general think it is, however, prudent in the case of rape. Molly is using her platform as Miss Homecoming to encourage even people who becoming pregnant through rape to carry their baby to term and give it up for adoption.
"If you ever find yourself in a situation or have a sister or a cousin or a best friend that is in trouble … there are resources there," she said.
The statistics are shocking. Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. One out of six women is victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. There are many resources that can provide hope for women who are experiencing the darkest time of their lives. However, with the right counseling, darkness turns to light and life.
When Dutton was crowned Homecoming queen, she planned to use her platform to educate and empower the women of Auburn University who've become pregnant through sexual assault to seek adoption rather than abortion. But now her message is resonating far beyond the boundaries of Auburn. She's getting the national recognition she deserves.
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
There is an urgent, critical heath crisis taking place right under our noses and not many people seem to know about it. If they are aware, shockingly, they don't seem to care.
For the first time ever, the Centers For Disease Control issued an urgent warning about certain bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotics. This is a nightmare scenario because it means that if you contract one of these infections, doctors might not be able to help you, and you could die.
Our most powerful antibiotics, which we hope will defeat these infections, can no longer kill these super-bugs.
How does this happen? Bacterial infections are smart. When they encounter an antibiotic that is intent on killing them, over time, the bacterial infection mutates to overcome the power of the antibiotic. This is inevitable, but it can be slowed and kept to a minimum if antibiotics were used far, far less.
In other words, only in an emergency. The way it is now, however, antibiotics are being passed out like candy at the family doctor's office and antibiotics are even being added to feed for animals used for food. Not to protect against disease, but to make them bigger, faster.
The CDC even put a number to the antibiotic resistance problem, saying every year 2 million people are made sick by antibiotic resistant bacteria. Of those, 23,000 die.
The CDC listed 18 of the most aggressive bacterial infections in their resistance to antibiotics, ranking them, the top 3 are C. Difficile, which is an intestinal bacteria, Klebsiella, a type of pnemonia, and gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease.
Perhaps the worst part of this horrific situation is that when we look at why this is happening, there doesn't seem to be any motivation on the part of the some of the worst culprits to change their behavior.
For example, the main reason bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics is because doctors are over prescribing them. It's estimated half of all antibiotics prescribed are unnecessary!
Doctors know this, but they are not motivated to stop doing it. In fact the opposite is true. There is every reason to believe they will continue over prescribing antibiotics.
This is because when patients go to the doctor with symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, head cold, or tummy bug, 95 percent of the time the infection is a viral infection, not a bacterial infection.
This is important because antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. They have no impact whatsoever on viral infections, except, of course they can make it worse.
When you take an antibiotic, it kills all the bacteria in your body. That's bad news because some of our naturally occuring bacteria, actually a lot of it, fights all kinds of infections, bad bacteria and viruses.
So why do doctors do this? It's because of the 5 percent of the cases that turn out to actually be bacterial infections. Doctors don't want to risk NOT prescribing an antibiotic to a patient who might actually have a bacterial infection.
Imagine how that doctor would feel sending home a person with a bacterial infection, who later gets worse, when he could have given a helpful antibiotic. They just don't want to take the chance that someone who probably has a viral infection actually has a bacterial infection.
Right now there is a way to know for sure whether an infection is bacterial or viral, but the results usually take days, and no one wants to wait that long.
So doctors are the biggest culprits in the antibiotic resistance nightmare because they over prescribe them and don't have any incentive to stop.
The other culprits are the drug companies.
Drug companies could and should invent new antibiotics to replace the old ones that aren't working any longer. But sadly, that's not likely to happen because there isn't much profit for them. Their big cash-cows are the statins and the cancer drugs. Those are the big money makers, not antibiotics.
In the last five years only two new antibiotics have been developed. Compare that to the mid-1980s, when drug companies came out with 16 new antibiotics in only four years.
But when you think about it from their perspective, why should they invent a product that's not going to make them money? These companies are most concerned about their bottom line and that's not about to change.
The only thing that would change their behavior is if they were offered economic incentives to invent new antibiotics. We can contact our legislators to push for that type of change.
What can you do slow down the antibiotic resistance scare? This might sound obvious, but it's true: Don't get sick.
If we didn't get infections, we wouldn't be offered antibiotics. The best way to prevent getting an infection is to wash your hands, get plenty of rest, take vitamins C, D, zinc, and magnesium and take a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil a day, because it is a natural antimicrobial.
Drink lots of water... and pray...which reduces stress AMONG OTHER THINGS!
If you do get sick, go ahead and see the doctor. But don't insist on an antibiotic. Lots of doctors cave to pressure from their patients who want one. Instead, suggest to leave without an antibiotic, and promise to call the doctor if you get worse, which might indicate you will need one later.
Some hospitals are doing a good job of reducing the spread of infection. You can check with your state health department to find out which hospitals are doing the best. Hospitals are required to report the number of infections in their facility.
When you see a healthcare provider, make sure you witness them sanitizing their hands when they enter the room. Don't fight it if they want to discharge you soon. The longer you are in the hospital, the more prone you are to getting an infection there. If you have a catheter, see about getting it removed as soon as possible because having one in too long is a chief cause of infection.