Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Heart Patients !    Never take this antibiotic! FDA WARNING

biaxin

 

Heart Patients !    Never take this antibiotic!

 

FDA WARNING!

 

The antibiotic clarithromycin (brand name: Biaxin) may increase the long-term risk of heart problems and death in patients with heart disease, according to U.S. health officials.

 

As a result, the federal Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that it’s recommending that doctors carefully weigh the benefits and risks of the drug before prescribing it to patients with heart problems.

 

The agency said its warning is based on a 10-year follow-up study of patients with coronary heart disease. The study found an unexpected and unexplained increase in deaths among heart disease patients who took clarithromycin for two weeks and were followed for one year or longer.

 

There’s no clear explanation for how clarithromycin would increase heart disease patients’ risk of death, the FDA said in a news release.

 

One heart specialist said this type of alert is worth heeding, however.

 

“It is important for health professionals and pharmacists to identify potential interactions between medications and eliminate prescription errors to prevent this risk,” said Dr. Marcin Kowalski. He directs cardiac electrophysiology at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City.

 

The FDA said it has added a new warning about this increased risk for heart patients, and is advising doctors to consider prescribing other antibiotics to these patients. The agency added that it will continue to monitor safety reports in patients taking clarithromycin.

 

The antibiotic is used to treat many types of infections affecting the skin, ears, sinuses, lungs and other parts of the body.

 

Doctors should talk to their heart patients about the risks and benefits of clarithromycin and alternative treatments. If doctors prescribe clarithromycin to patients with heart disease, they should inform those patients about the signs and symptoms of cardiovascular problems, the FDA said.

 

And patients with heart disease should tell their doctor about their condition, especially when they are being prescribed an antibiotic to treat an infection.

 

Heart disease patients should not stop taking their heart disease medicine or antibiotic without first talking to their doctor, the FDA said.

 

Patients taking the antibiotic should seek immediate medical attention if they experience symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, such as chest pain, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, pain or weakness in one part or side of the body, or slurred speech, the agency said.

 

Dr. Satjit Bhusri is a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

 

He said, “Although this study suggests an association between this specific antibiotic, there have not been any direct correlations to increased heart disease.

 

“I would also extend this to all antibiotics in general. A short course of antibiotic therapy for a bacterial infection should be initiated if indicated by the physician; and a history of antibiotic therapy, at this time, should not be considered a risk factor for heart disease,” he said.

 

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Dr Anna Sullivan

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Uncategorized

Researchers Discover Link Between Antibiotic Resistance and Antibacterial ingredient Triclosan

Bar-Of-Soap-Hands-Wash-Suds

 

 

Researchers discover link between antibiotic resistance and antibacterial ingredient triclosan

 

Rather than killing bacteria as intended, a common antibacterial ingredient may actually be contributing to antibiotic resistance. According to researchers, bacteria that had become resistant to quinolone antibiotics developed a resistance to triclosan as well.

 

The findings, which have been published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, focused on the phenomenon of cross-resistance: wherein the quinolone-resistant mutation in these bacteria triggered self-defense mechanisms that worked together to make the bacteria resistant to triclosan.

 

Quinolones are a group of drugs that kill by bacteria by preventing them from unwinding their DNA. When bacteria can’t unwind their DNA, they’re unable to replicate themselves. However, certain bacteria can become resistant to quinolones by making it more difficult for them to halt the replication process. This in turn, the researchers wrote in their study, turned on the triclosan-resistant self-defense mechanisms.

 

This resistance to quinolones and triclosan was first uncovered during tests on Salmonella; however, lab test conducted by the researchers showed that Escherichia coli could display the same resistance.

 

“We think that bacteria are tricked into thinking they are always under attack and are then primed to deal with other threats, including triclosan,” explained Dr. Mark Webber, lead author and honorary senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham.

 

“The link between quinolone and triclosan resistance is important as triclosan has become ubiquitous in the environment and even human tissues in the last 20 years,” added co-author Laura Paddock. “Given the prevalence of triclosan and other antimicrobials in the environment, a greater understanding of the impact they can have on bacteria and how exposure to these antimicrobials may impact the selection and spread of clinically relevant antibiotic resistance is needed.”

 

Webber also expressed concerns that triclosan resistance might worsen over time, stating: “The worry is that this might happen in reverse and triclosan exposure might encourage growth of antibiotic resistant strains.”

 

However, the researchers noted that they observed no such event occurring during their study. They acknowledged that more research would be necessary to see whether or not triclosan could cause bacteria to become resistant to other antibacterial ingredients.

 

The truth on triclosan

 

Triclosan is an antibacterial compound that was first introduced in 1972 into hospitals. Since then, it has become a common addition into personal care items like antibacterial soaps, deodorants, and toothpastes; it can also be found in furniture, toys, and even clothing. The prevalence and popularity of triclosan can be attributed to the widespread belief that antibacterial products are the ideal safeguards against harmful bacteria.

 

However, recent studies have shown that triclosan does more harm than good. In their article discussing triclosan, BeyondPesticides.org listen numerous detrimental health and environmental effects that can result from triclosan exposure. These included skin irritation, endocrine disruption, water contamination, and, as was discussed previously, antibiotic resistance. (Related: Triclosan – Why we need to avoid this antibacterial chemical)

 

The multiple health hazards, coupled with the lack of evidence on the efficacy of triclosan, caused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of the ingredient in antibacterial soaps and body washes on Sep. 2, 2016.

 

In the organization’s press release, Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CEDR), stated: “Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water. In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”

 

The European Union (EU) has banned triclosan as well.

 

Despite these bans, there are still antimicrobial and antibacterial products that use triclosan as an ingredient.

 

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Dr J J

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Salmonella Poisoning Alert, the Worst Chicken You Can Eat

chickenantibiotics

 

Salmonella Poisoning Alert, the Worst Chicken You Can Eat

 

50-Year Cover-Up Killing Millions

 

Antibiotic-resistant infections affect 2 million Americans annually, leading to the death of at least 23,000.1 Even more die from complications related to the infections, and the numbers are steadily growing.

 

According to the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), just one organism — methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA — kills more Americans each year than the combined total of emphysema, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, and homicide.2

 

A 2015 report3,4 commissioned by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron estimates that by 2050, the annual global death toll from antibiotic-resistant disease will reach 10 million, and the global cost for treatment will be around $100 trillion.

 

Experts have been warning about the implications of antibiotic resistance for years, but as their warnings have largely been ignored, the number of strains developing resistance to even our strongest antibiotics has been allowed to grow unabated.

 

While overuse of antibiotics in medicine and widespread use of antibacterial household products (items containing triclosan5) are part of the problem, the inappropriate use of antibiotics in farming bears the heaviest responsibility for creating the antibiotic-resistant superbug crisis of today.

 

An estimated 80 percent of total antibiotic sales in the U.S. end up in livestock. For example, commercial chicken producers have a history of treating each egg with gentamicin, an antibiotic listed as “essential” to human medicine. One chicken producer has seen the light though, and has abandoned this risky practice.

 

Perdue Proves Meat Production Can Prosper Without Drugs

 

Perdue Farms no longer uses gentamicin. In fact, according to a recent report by Mother Jones,6 the only antibiotic remaining in use at Perdue is narasin, an antibiotic not used in human medicine, and only about one-third of its chickens ever get it. (It’s used to treat a parasitic intestinal condition called coccidiosis.)

 

Any other antibiotics are administered to sick birds only (about 4 percent of all birds). According to Mother Jones:

 

“Perdue … the country’s fourth-largest poultry producer, has set out to show that the meat can be profitably mass-produced without drugs.

 

In 2014, the company eliminated gentamicin from all its hatcheries, the latest stage of a quiet effort started back in 2002 to cut the routine use of antibiotics from nearly its entire production process.”

 

Interestingly, Perdue fared the best in a 2010 Consumer Reports test7 checking for the presence of the foodborne pathogens salmonella and campylobacter in commercial chicken meat. Fifty-six percent of Perdue’s chickens were free of both pathogens.

 

Its main competitors, Tyson and Foster Farms, both had 80 percent of their chickens tested positive for one or both bacteria. Organic store brand chickens had no salmonella at all, but 57 percent still harbored campylobacter.

 

According to Consumer Reports, “This is the first time since we began testing chicken that one major brand has fared significantly better than others across the board.” Even back then, Perdue’s exemplary success was attributed to its more stringent policies on antibiotics.

 

Why Use Antibiotics in Food Production?

 

In food production, antibiotics are used for two purposes: 1) to combat disease brought on by overcrowding and unsanitary conditions, and 2) to promote speedy growth. The growth promoting ability of antibiotics was discovered by American Cyanamid (now part of Pfizer) in the 1950s.

 

It revolutionized livestock farming, allowing farmers to grow bigger chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows faster, without having to feed them more.

 

The main problem with using antibiotics in food production is that when microbes are exposed to repeated low doses of antibiotics, they quickly develop resistance. This possibility was highlighted by biologist Dr. Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin.

 

He noted that unless all of the microbes are killed, remaining survivors pass their resistant genes on to the next generation of bacteria, and so resistance becomes stronger and stronger, until the bacteria becomes completely impervious to the effects of the drug. As noted in the featured article:8

 

“When you treat thousands of chickens in a huge enclosed barn with, say, steady doses of tetracycline, you risk generating an E. coli bug that can resist the antibiotic you threw at it, and that bug’s new superpowers can also jump to a strain of salmonella that happens to be hanging around.

 

Now, two nasty pathogens that plague humans have developed tetracycline-resistant strains.”

 

The 50-Year Cover-Up

 

In the U.S., use of antibiotics in food animals rose six-fold between 1960 and 1970. It didn’t take long before scientists started warning that this practice had the potential to create a public health crisis.

 

By the end of the 1960s, British scientists found that feeding antibiotics to animals produced resistant bacteria that could be transmitted to humans. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) taskforce came to a similar conclusion in 1972.

 

At that time, the FDA stipulated that drug manufacturers had to prove their products did not contribute to resistance or risk losing their drug approval. So, the drug industry set out to prove antibiotics in animal feed would not pose such problems.

 

As reported by Mother Jones, rather than settle the question, their efforts resulted in a 50-year long cover-up of the facts:

 

“[T]he Animal Health Institute, a trade group of animal-pharmaceutical manufacturers, contacted Dr. Stuart Levy, a young Tufts University researcher who specialized in antibiotic resistance.

 

The group wanted Levy to feed tiny, daily doses of antibiotics to chickens and see if the bacteria in their guts developed resistance … Levy found a family farm near Boston and experimented on two flocks of chickens.

 

One got feed with small amounts of tetracycline. The other went drug-free. Within 48 hours, strains of E. coli that were resistant to tetracycline started to show up in the manure of the birds fed drugs.

 

Within a week, nearly all the E. coli in those birds’ manure could resist tetracycline. Within three months, the E. coli showed resistance to four additional anti­biotics the birds had never been exposed to: sulfonamides, ampicillin, streptomycin, and carbenicillin.

 

Most striking of all, researchers found that E. coli resistant to multiple antibiotics was appearing in the feces of the farmers’ family members — yet not in a control group of neighbors.

 

The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, were so stunningly clear that Levy thought they would prompt the industry to rethink its profligate antibiotic use, or at least inspire the FDA to rein it in. But the industry rebuffed the study it had bankrolled, questioning the validity of the data …

 

In 1977, the FDA proposed new rules that would have effectively banned tetracycline and penicillin from animal feed, but the House agriculture appropriations subcommittee, led by agribusiness champion Rep. Jamie Whitten (D-Miss.), ordered the FDA to wait, ‘pending the outcome of further research.'”

 

FDA Complicit in the Antibiotic Cover-Up

 

An internal FDA review on the safety of feed additives belonging to penicillin and tetracycline classes of antibiotics, which began in 2001 and ended in 2010, revealed that 26 of the 30 drugs under review did not meet the safety guidelines set in 1973, and none of them met current safety guidelines.

 

However, this information only came to light after the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the FDA to obtain the documentation. The FDA is supposed to look at three factors when determining the safety of an antibiotic-based feed additive:

 

Are antibiotic-resistant bacteria being introduced into the food supply?

Are people likely to be exposed to those bacteria?

The consequences of what happens when people are exposed to those bacteria — would they still be able to get treated with human antibiotics?

Based on these three factors, the NRDC’s report9 concluded that virtually ALL feed additives containing penicillin and tetracycline antibiotics pose a “high risk” to human health and should not be permitted in animal feed, yet about half of the total sales for these two antibiotics are used for that purpose.

 

The FDA knew this for well over a dozen years, yet did nothing to curtail the unsafe use of these drugs. The NRDC report also found that as far back as the 1970s, when many of the antibiotics now used in feed were being reviewed for FDA approval, 18 of the 30 antibiotics were already considered “high risk” for human health, but were approved for use in animal feed anyway.

 

Over the years, as warnings about dire human health effects mounted, farmers started using more antibiotics, not less. Between 2009 and 2014, agricultural antibiotic use in the U.S. increased by 23 percent.

 

Finally, in December 2013, the FDA issued its long overdue guidance on agricultural antibiotics. Alas, it only went so far as to ask drug companies to voluntarily restrict the use of antibiotics that are important in human medicine by excluding growth promotion in animals as a listed use on the drug label.10

 

The rule goes into effect in January 2017. However, farmers can still use antibiotics for therapeutic purposes, and this loophole allows them to continue feeding their animals antibiotics for growth promotion without actually admitting it, since enforcement is lax at best.

 

Why Most Commercial Chicks Are Treated With Vaccines and Antibiotics Before Hatching

 

Getting back to Perdue and poultry production, chickens are not just fed antibiotics in their feed. As mentioned earlier, most hatcheries also dose the egg with gentamicin. Why? Mother Jones explains:

 

“About 40 years ago, a herpes virus called Marek’s disease began to attack chickens, and vets discovered that vaccinating the chicks while they were still in their shells could inoculate them for life. But when you penetrate eggs with a needle … the tiny hole … (allows) bacteria in.

 

To solve this problem, hatcheries added small amounts of gentamicin to the vaccine … This method was so efficient that, decades later, the hatchery ended up being the trickiest place for Perdue to remove antibiotics from production.

 

The company gets its eggs from contract breeders, and in the past eggs often arrived covered in bacteria-laden manure. Now Perdue requires its breeders to deliver clean eggs. Perdue also used to mix its Marek’s vaccines in the middle of a less-than-pristine hatchery.

 

Today the company mixes the drugs under sterile laboratory conditions and injects clean, antibiotic-free vaccines into clean eggs. It took a while, but by March 2014 the company had banished antibiotics from all 16 of its hatcheries.”

 

How Poultry Vaccine Created a Lethal Supervirus

 

What Mother Jones does not delve into is the story of how this vaccine created a supervirus. As previously reported by PBS,11 vaccinated chickens spread Marek’s disease to unvaccinated birds, and research shows the vaccine actually makes the disease spread faster than it normally would.

 

Compared to a sick, unvaccinated bird, a vaccinated bird sheds 10,000 times more viruses. Scientists have also found the vaccine made the virus more virulent, with exceptionally rapid lethal consequences for unvaccinated birds, which can catch the virus via contaminated dust.12 According to PBS:

 

“This is the first time that this virus-boosting phenomenon, known as the imperfect vaccine hypothesis, has been observed experimentally … [T]he vaccine is ‘leaky.’ A leaky vaccine is one that keeps a microbe from doing serious harm to its host, but doesn’t stop the disease from replicating and spreading to another individual …

 

[T]he results … raise the questions for some human vaccines that are leaky — such as malaria, and … avian influenza, or bird flu … Vaccines for HPV and whooping cough can leak too …

 

‘Previously, a hot strain was so nasty, it wiped itself out. Now, you keep its host alive with a vaccine, then it can transmit and spread in the world,’ [co-author Andrew] Read said. ‘So it’s got an evolutionary future, which it didn’t have before’ … The vaccination of one group of birds leads to the transmission of a virus so hot that it kills the other birds …

 

Like Marek’s vaccines, vaccines for avian influenza are leaky. For this reason, they’re banned from agricultural use in the U.S. and Europe. When bird flu breaks out in these western chicken populations, farmers must cull their herds.

 

However, Southeast Asia uses these leaky vaccines, raising the possibility for virus evolution akin to what’s happened with Marek’s disease. ‘In those situations, they’re creating the conditions where super hot avian influenza could emerge, ‘Read said. ‘Then the issues become what does that mean when it spills over into other flocks, into wildlife or into humans. Avian flu is the setting to watch for evolutionary problems down the line.'”

 

Probiotics and Oregano Take the Place of Antibiotics at Perdue Farms

 

So what is Perdue using to keep its birds plump and healthy in lieu of antibiotics? The answer is natural remedies like probiotics and oregano. As in humans, by keeping the chickens’ intestines “well-seeded” with healthy bacteria, pathogens are suppressed and immune function is boosted. Certain strains of probiotics (which Perdue guards as a trade secret) have also been shown to boost the chickens’ growth rate. Moreover, as noted by Mother Jones:

 

“After Perdue bought an organic chicken company called Coleman Natural Foods in 2011, it adopted another unorthodox therapy: oregano. The fragrant herb … has anti­microbial properties that, when added to feed, help the birds stave off infections. But, I ask Stewart-Brown, won’t bad microbes develop resistance to oregano, too? Likely yes, he says, so Perdue only uses oregano to prevent particular infections, not as a constant additive.

 

Moving away from antibiotics, Stewart- Brown says, has forced him to think about the birds’ overall well-being … Perdue even turns off the lights in the chicken houses for four hours a night so the birds can rest. In the past, lights were left on 24 hours per day on the theory that chickens kept awake eat more and thus get fatter faster.

 

Reducing stress by letting the birds rest … makes them healthier — and since healthy birds grow faster, the extra sleep has the same effect as constant feeding.”13

 

Another alternative warranting further investigation would be colloidal silver, which has a history of use that stretches back thousands of years. As noted in a 2013 study,14 which assessed silver’s ability to reduce or prevent post-surgical infections, its bactericidal activity is well established. Researchers have also demonstrated that silver makes antibiotics thousands of times more effective!15

 

Know This: Your Actions Make a Big Difference!

 

Why did Perdue make all of these changes when regulations don’t require them to do so? Turns out Perdue listens to consumers. Starting in 2002, the company started noticing an increase in queries about its use of antibiotics. According to Perdue, “You can drown them with science to suggest they shouldn’t be worried, but the worry is real.”

 

A few years earlier, in 1998, the company began an experiment to evaluate the impact of antibiotics on growth. Three years later, the results were in, and they were not favorable for the continued use of the drugs. Nearly 7,000 chickens raised on 19 farms were included in the trial.

 

Half were given growth promoting antibiotics, and the other half got none. Before slaughter, each bird was weighed. The difference was minuscule. Antibiotic-free birds weighed on average a mere 0.03 to 0.04 pounds less than the antibiotic-fed chickens. That doesn’t amount to much when you consider an average chicken weighs between five and six pounds.

 

The results proved you can eliminate the drugs without harming profitability, and armed with this knowledge, Perdue decided to address people’s concerns by moving the operation away from antibiotics. Interestingly, a 2015 scientific review found that antibiotics don’t promote growth the way they used to.

 

Before 1980, antibiotics boosted growth by about 15 percent. By 2000, that effect had dropped to 1 percent. The reason for this has been attributed to improved nutrition and hygiene, and better breeding methods. All in all, it seems clear that use of antibiotics — at least in chicken farming — has virtually NO benefits anymore over and beyond the occasional use to treat a sick animal.

 

Perdue’s actions are a perfect example of what happens when enough people take the time to share their views and concerns with food companies. Your actions made the difference here, and it’s important to recognize this fact. Even if you don’t contact a company directly, each time you buy a product you vote with your pocket book, and your choices drive the food system. So be conscious of the system you choose to buy into.

 

Tell Sanderson Farms and KFC to Follow in Perdue’s Footsteps

 

Remarkably, despite all the evidence pointing out just how dire the antibiotic-resistant disease situation has become, there are companies out there that still pay it no mind. Sanderson Farms is one of them. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is another16 According to its CEO, Joe Sanderson, Perdue’s shift away from antibiotics is nothing more than a marketing ploy, and one he doesn’t care to imitate. As noted in the featured article:17

 

“Sanderson … has held to the old-school party line, maintaining that ‘there is no evidence that using these antibiotics for chickens leads to resistant bacteria.’ Cost is the No. 1 decision maker when people go to the grocery store to buy chicken, he says, and using antibiotics remains the cheapest way to produce a lot of meat fast. ‘We believe the majority of chicken sold in grocery stores will continue to be grown with antibiotics,’ he says.”

 

No, Mr. Sanderson. While cost certainly plays a role, at this point in the game it’s no longer the determining factor. Literally millions of lives are at stake if we do not address the elephant in the room that is agricultural antibiotics. Paying a few pennies more per pound of chicken is a small price to pay for a clean bird, and I’m certainly not the only person who feels this way.

 

The fact that Perdue has been growing faster than any of its competitors is evidence of this fact. The fact that the other top poultry producers, with the exception of Sanderson, are also transitioning over to antibiotic-free is another tipoff. If you agree, I urge you to contact Sanderson and tell him antibiotic-free does matter. You can use their online Contact Page to write them an email, or better yet, call them at 1-800-844-4030, or write a letter to:

 

Sanderson Farms

Attn: Joe Sanderson, CEO

PO Box 988

Laurel, MS 39441.

 

KFC is another major food company that has so far failed to take the situation seriously. While many restaurant chains, including McDonald’s, Subway and Taco Bell have vowed to limit or discontinue use of chicken raised with antibiotics, KFC has made no move in that direction. You can reach KFC by calling 1-800-CALL-KFC, or fill out their feedback form, available on the KFC website.

 

Antibiotic-Treated Pork May Contain Carcinogenic Residue

 

Eating antibiotic-treated foods is like taking a small amount of antibiotic on a daily basis, and this is exactly what you don’t want to do if you’re concerned about your health and well-being. It can disrupt your gut flora, and predispose you to drug resistant infections.

 

It may also expose you to potentially dangerous drug residues. The veterinary antibiotic carbadox is one example. This drug has been used by American pork producers for nearly 40 years. Besides controlling swine dysentery and bacterial swine enteritis, it also boosts growth like many other antibiotics.

 

In April, the FDA announced it has conducted a preliminary risk characterization, which suggests pork derived from animals treated with carbadox may contain trace amounts of carcinogenic residue. This is particularly true for pork liver, found in lunch meats, hot dogs and sausages. According to Politico:18

 

“‘The agency clarified that it isn’t recommending people make changes in their food choices while it works to remove carbadox from the market.’ Potential cancer risks are based on an assumed lifetime of consuming pork liver or other pork products containing carbadox residues, and short-term changes in diet are unlikely to affect a person’s lifetime risk … ”

 

This just goes to show how little we know about the safety of the drugs used in food animals. And it’s yet another warning signal that we really need to clean up our food supply. There are safe alternatives, so why not use them? The cost may (or may not) be a little higher, but I’m certain the 2 million Americans struck with a drug resistant infection each year would argue that the extra cost is worth it.

 

Family and friends of the tens of thousands who die from drug-resistant infections are likely to agree with this sentiment as well. At what point does public health begin to trump corporate profits? Aren’t 23,000 deaths per year enough? How high must the death toll get before factory farmers like Sanderson wizen up to the seriousness of their obligation to create safe and healthy food?

 

Where to Find Healthy Food

 

In my view, buying antibiotic-free meat is an important step if you value your health. Ideally, opt for organically raised grass-fed or pastured meats and animal products such as milk and eggs. If you’re still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out Raw-Milk-Facts.com and RealMilk.com. They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area.

 

The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund19 also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.20 California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at http://www.OrganicPastures.com. Other organizations that can help you locate wholesome farm-fresh foods include:

 

EatWild.com

EatWild.com provides lists of certified organic farmers known to produce safe, wholesome raw dairy products as well as grass-fed beef and other organic produce.

 

Here you can also find information about local farmers markets, as well as local stores and restaurants that sell grass-fed products.

Weston A. Price Foundation

Weston A. Price has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass-fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.

Grassfed Exchange

The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass-fed meats across the U.S.

Local Harvest

This website will help you find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.

Farmers’ Markets

A national listing of farmers’ markets.

Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals

The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.

FoodRoutes

The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  If you need help with your personal health care plan, or have any questions, please call us.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived JM

312-972-Well

 

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

A Hospital Stay is 10 Times More Likely to Kill You Than a Motor Vehicle Crash

hospitalstay

 

Reality Check—Hospital Stay is 10 Times More Likely to Kill You Than a Motor Vehicle Crash

 

Hospitals are typically thought of as places where lives are saved, but statistics show they’re actually one of the most dangerous places you could possibly frequent.1,2

 

Each day, more than 40,000 harmful and/or lethal medical errors occur, placing the patient in a worse situation than what they came in with.3

 

According to a 2013 study,4,5 preventable medical errors kill around 440,000 patients each year—that’s more than 10 times the number of deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes! Hospitals have become particularly notorious for spreading lethal infections.

 

According to 2014 statistics6,7 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 25 patients end up with a hospital-acquired infection. In 2011 alone, 75,000 people died as a result.8

 

Medicare patients may be at even greater risk. According to the 2011 Health Grades Hospital Quality in America Study,9 1 in 9 Medicare patients developed a hospital-acquired infection.

 

Doctors, Nurses, Hospital Administrators Blamed

 

Over the years, hospitals have been warned they need to improve infectious control, but according to two new reports,10,11 the U.S. healthcare system has largely failed to make a dent in the problem.  On the whole, only 6 percent of U.S. hospitals receive top scores for preventing common drug-resistant infections.

 

As reported by NBC News:12

 

“…America’s hospitals are still teeming with infectious bacteria, including drug-resistant superbugs…One-third of hospitals rated by Consumer Reports got low scores on how well they prevent one of the worst infections, Clostridium difficile.

 

Many are flagship teaching hospitals, like those at Johns Hopkins University or Harvard Medical School, and… the prestigious Cleveland Clinic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laid the responsibility squarely on doctors, nurses and hospital administrators.

 

“Doctors are the key to stamping out superbugs. Antibiotic resistance threatens to return us to a time when a simple infection could kill,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden told reporters…

 

“These infections are not mysterious,” he said. “They’re caused by unwashed hands, rooms that are not cleaned thoroughly, overuse and misuse of antibiotics, a lack of careful hygiene in inserting catheters and other tubes, and slow detection of outbreaks…

 

There are clear simple steps. The hard part is to do them each and every time.”

 

Patients Also Need to Wash Their Hands

 

According to a research letter13,14 published in JAMA Internal Medicine, patients also shoulder some of the blame. Again, the problem can be traced back to lack of proper hand washing.

 

In this paper, they tested patients who went from hospitals to post-acute care facilities such as rehab centers and other long-term care facilities. Nearly 1 in 4 had some sort of drug-resistant microbe on their hands when leaving the hospital.

 

About 10 percent of these patients ended up picking up yet another drug-resistant germ while in post-acute care. Of those who tested positive for drug-resistant bacteria, 67 percent still had them when they were discharged, even if they never became ill from it.

 

So this is another crucial recommendation. Washing your hands is generally recognized as an important infection control strategy but one of the MOST important times to wash your hands is when you are in the hospital, even if you are visiting someone and not a patient.

 

In this way, you’ll minimize the risk of spreading  microbes out among the general population. According to Leah Binder, president of the Leapfrog Group, an organization that grades hospitals on patient safety:

 

“We have to revise hand hygiene policies to include patients. One of the main strategies on hand hygiene is to make it easy to wash hands.

 

Most hospitals have either sinks or dispensers near the door of every room, so that it’s very easy for a provider walking in to immediately wash their hands. Do we make it easy for patients to wash their hands? I doubt it.”

 

Hand Washing Tips

 

Hand washing needs to be done correctly however, in order to be truly effective for disease control. Simply rinsing your hands with water, or giving a quick scrub with soap, is not enough to remove germs.

 

So, to make sure you’re actually removing the germs when you wash your hands, follow these guidelines:15

 

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water

Use plain soap. Antibacterial soap is completely unnecessary and could easily do more harm than good. As a matter of fact, the antibacterial compounds found in most of these soaps are another contributing factor to the rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Research has also confirmed that antibacterial soap is no more effective than plain soap at reducing bacterial contamination when used under ‘real-life’ conditions

 

Clean all the nooks and crannies of your hands, including under fingernails

Rinse thoroughly under running water

Use a paper towel to open the door as a protection from germs that harbor on handles

 

How to Make Your Hospital Stay Safer

 

Besides washing your own hands, ask all personnel to wash theirs before touching you. While many are intimidated by medical personnel, and doctors in particular, just know that vocalizing requests such as these is well within your rights as a patient, and may very well save your (and other people’s) life.

 

Other proactive steps you can take to protect yourself against hospital-acquired superbugs and medical errors include:16,17,18

 

Bring bleach wipes with you. Wiping down surfaces around your hospital bed—including the bed rails, table, IV pole, vital signs monitor, computer monitor and keyboard, call button, and television remote control—can reduce the risk of Clostridium difficile infection by nearly 85 percent.

 

Also ask your doctor to wipe off his or her stethoscope before placing it on your body.

Ask to be tested for MRSA. If you are infected, you, your doctors and nurses will have a heads-up that greater diligence and care is required to prevent transmission.

Choose a hospital with a low infection rate.19,20 Avoid teaching hospitals in June, July and August.

 

Statistically, more errors occur during these months due to the influx of new residents (doctors in training), and senior “attending” doctors taking their vacations.

 

Lethal medication errors consistently spike by about 10 percent each July, due to the inexperience of new residents.21 Also be cautious of weekends.       Make sure you really need antibiotics if one is prescribed for you. If your doctor suspects an infection, a rapid culture can help identify the bacteria in question, which will allow your doctor to prescribe the most effective antibiotic.

 

Also request the lowest effective dose possible.

 

Bathe with chlorhexidine soap a day or two before going in for scheduled surgery.  Ask your doctor about probiotics, especially if you’re given an antibiotic. Probiotics may help reduce your risk of Clostridium difficile infection.

Before scheduling a colonoscopy, ask what solution is used to clean the scope. Make sure the hospital or clinic uses peracetic acid, to avoid potential transfer of infectious material from previous patients.

 

Cidex (glutaraldehyde), which 80 percent of hospitals and clinics use, does NOT properly sterilize these tools.    Proton-pump inhibitors prescribed for heartburn or stomach pain can increase your risk for Clostridium difficile infection, so if your doctor wants to give you one, ask why, and make sure there’s a solid reason for taking it.

 

If you’re concerned you may be given unnecessary drugs or surgery, ask for a Patient Advocate, or request a different doctor.

 

Request IV’s, tubes, and catheters to be removed as early as possible, as the longer they stay in, the greater your risk of infection.   Make sure an electric shaver is used, not a razor, to prep skin areas for surgery. Razors can easily nick the skin, even if microscopically, allowing bacteria to enter and fester.

 

 

What Hospitals Won’t Tell You—Vital Strategies that Could Save Your Life

 

I previously interviewed Dr. Andrew Saul on the issue of hospital medical errors and patient safety. As the co-author of “Hospitals and Health: Your Orthomolecular Guide to a Shorter Hospital Stay,”22 he has a lot of wisdom to share with regards to keeping yourself safe from medical harm. It is possible to make hospital stays safer and more healing, and his book addresses this at depth.

 

Here are a few summarized nuggets from this interview the most important point being the first one. I also recommend buying the book for more comprehensive information.

 

Bring a friend or family member who can help look out for your best interest. This is really critical. Ideally, you want someone with you 24 hours a day, who can double-check what medications you’re being given and why, make sure nurses and doctors are washing their hands and ask questions about any procedures being done.

 

It’s human nature to be more attentive to detail when you know you’ll be questioned, so having an advocate who can keep hospital staff accountable can go a long way toward minimizing errors.

 

Understand and remember that as the patient, you are the most powerful person in the hospital. However, the hospital system works on the assumption that the patient will not claim that power. Doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators are offering you products and services, and they’re trying to get you to accept them without question, but you do have the right to say no to any treatment you do not want.

 

You also have the right to revoke permission you may previously have given. If you are incapacitated, your spouse, followed by your children, has the most influence.

Optimize your nutrition. Hospital meals are almost universally associated with ultra-processed food that will not do your health any favors. You can sometimes get better food simply by asking for a vegetarian meal. It can also be helpful to bring a note from your primary care physician if you take vitamins and want to continue taking them while in the hospital. Also know your patient rights, should the staff insist you can’t take them while staying there.

 

Being Proactive and Assertive Can Make Your Hospital Stay Safer

 

From my perspective, checking yourself into a hospital should be an option of last resort, when you have exhausted all others (barring an actual life-threatening emergency). Not only do you risk developing a potentially life-threatening infection, but they also all-too-frequently give you the wrong solution for your problem. Surgery, for example, is a widely overused option that can cause far more problems than it solves.

 

However, should a hospital stay be necessary, you would do well to heed the advice of Dr. Saul, and bring a personal advocate with you—a relative or friend who can speak up for you and ensure you’re given proper care if you’re too incapacitated (or timid) to do so yourself.

 

If you’re serious about minimizing your hospital visits, start by taking control of your health and building a strong immune system. This will minimize your risk of becoming hospital-bound due to severe illness, as well as minimize your risk of acquiring an antibiotic-resistant infection. Keeping your immune system healthy begins with common sense strategies such as eating real food, managing your stress, and getting plenty of daily movement and regular exercise.

 

Since we’ve been talking about antibiotic-resistant infections, remember that the vast majority of meats sold come from animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where antibiotics are routinely administered not only to combat disease but also to promote rapid growth. This is a major reason for opting for 100% organic and grass-fed meats and animal products, as organic standards to not permit the routine non-medical use of antibiotics.

 

As always, please share with family and loved ones.  If you have any questions or concerns about a upcoming visit to the hospital, nursing home, or rehab center, please feel free to contact us.

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

If You Do Not Put the Right Gas in the Tank, The Car Will Not Run Right

gutbacteriagood

Not All Gut Bacteria Are Created Equal, or
If You Dont Have the Right Gas in the Car, it wont run right.
Gut bacteria, which number more than 100 trillion cells, have more of an impact on our health than medical experts previously realized. But not all gut bacteria are created equal. Among other things, “good” gut bacteria improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, and manufacture the vitamins your body needs. On the other hand, “bad” gut bacteria can cause digestion nightmares, mental problems, skin conditions, and all kinds of other problems you’ll learn about in just a second.
A healthy gut isn’t made by trying to rid your body of gut bacteria altogether. It’s made by balancing the bacteria—limiting the bad guys and encouraging the good guys to grow. So let’s start at the beginning: how to figure out if your gut bacteria is unbalanced.
Are Your Gut Bacteria Imbalanced? 7 Things to Look for
How can you know if your gut bacteria are out of whack? It isn’t quite as easy as finding out if you have a fever. You can’t just take your gut bacteria’s temperature with a thermometer you bought over the counter. But there are common warning signs that something might be wrong. Keep an eye on them, and you’ll put yourself in the best position to get healthy.
Here’s what to watch out for:
Sign 1. Digestive Issues
When you think of the potential consequences of unhealthy gut bacteria, digestive problems are probably the first things that come to mind. Many doctors will prescribe drugs like Prevacid or generic antacids to help people struggling with these issues, but those medications only address surface level symptoms. They don’t get to the root cause of the problem, which is unhealthy gut bacteria. If you’re dealing with any of the following, you might have an unhealthy gut:
· Gas ( Gas is not a natural occurrence, besides what grandma told you)
· Bloating
· Heartburn/acid reflux
· Diarrhea
· Constipation
· Irritable Bowel Syndrome
· Irritable Bowel Disease (including Crohn’s, Celiac, Ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis and many others)
Sign 2: Mental Issues
Did you know the health of your gut could affect the health of your brain? It’s true. Scientists have already discovered that gut bacteria produce neurotransmitters. Now, they’re focused on another trend: people with certain mental disorders also tend to have disturbances to their gut bacteria. Also medication to take for these symptoms that are listed below, is another reason for your gut bacteria to be out of control.,
If you have any of these mental issues, your gut bacteria might be to blame:
· Depression and anxiety
· Brain fog
· OCD
· Autism
Sign 3. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
A healthy gut also plays an important role when it comes to helping your body produce and synthesize vitamins and minerals. When your gut bacteria is out of whack, your body has a harder time getting enough of the following essential vitamins and minerals:
· Vitamin D
· Vitamin K
· Vitamin B12 and B7
· Magnesium
If you’re deficient in any of the above (you can find out by getting a simple physical from your doctor), you might have an unhealthy gut. Even some doctors do not have the experience to determine vitamin deficiencies at their early stage. Give Health and Wellness a call to help you determine what you may be deficient in.
Sign 4: Antibiotics
Used correctly, antibiotics are one of the greatest innovations of modern medicine, but using them incorrectly can create gut issues. The food industry uses them indiscriminately on factory-farmed animals. Some doctors even use them on viral infections (which is useless). Antibiotics wipe out bad bacteria, but they also wipe out many of the good bacteria in the gut that are essential for your health. Research also suggests that good bacteria wiped out by antibiotics don’t replace themselves unless you intervene. If you were on antibiotic therapy to help with skin and acne conditions, you definitely have a gut bacteria problem, which some women can no longer have children because of this.
Sign 5: Chronic, Unmanaged Stress
Stress can wear you down, make you anxious, and increase your blood pressure…and it can also wreak havoc on your gut! Stress is inevitable, no matter how hard we try to avoid it. That isn’t an issue — until you let it go on for too long without managing it. Unmanaged stress raises cortisol levels, which can stop the gut from working properly. If you’ve been stressed for the past few months (or years, or decades) but haven’t acted to manage your stress, you’re more likely to have an unhealthy gut.
Sign 6: Skin Conditions
There’s been a lot of confusion about skin conditions over the years. Much of it comes from the common (but misguided) idea that the symptoms of a condition must appear in the same spot as the condition itself. For many skin conditions, the problem isn’t with the skin itself. It’s with an unhealthy gut. If you have any of these skin conditions, it could be due to unbalanced gut bacteria:
· Acne
· Rosacea
· Psoriasis
· Eczema
Sign 7: Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmune diseases can be difficult to manage because the body is literally attacking itself. It can be even tougher to spot the source of the problem and address it there. But more research is emerging linking autoimmune diseases to unhealthy guts. If you’re dealing with any of the following, you just might be able to make your symptoms disappear by taking care of your gut:
· Hashimoto’s
· Rheumatoid arthritis
· Inflammatory bowel disease
· Multiple sclerosis
· Type 2 Diabetes
The conditions listed above in the various categories are only a sampling for each section . There are many conditions that can be treated, and if you feel that you have a gut bacteria condition, please call us for a personalized healthcare plan. As we stated before eliminating one type of food groups, cold turkey, can cause seizures.
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Foods, Rx to Wellness

Mother Natures Antibiotics

onions

Consume “Mother Nature’s Antibiotics”­­

Luckily for us, there are plenty of foods found in nature that have the ability to reduce harmful bacteria in our bodies, lower inflammation and increase the presence of protective bacteria. Aside from eating probiotic-rich foods, also make sure to get enough gut-building,allergy fighting foods with “prebiotics.” These include things like onions, asparagus, raw chicory root, raw Jerusalem artichokes and dandelion greens. Also try to consume natural antibacterial foods:

  • onions

mushrooms

tumeric  (which contains curcumin)

  • echinacea
  • Manuka honey
  • colloidal silver
  • raw garlic

Raw garlic’s one of the most beneficial and versatile antibacterials to reverse disease. It contains the compound called allison, which is antifungal, antibiotic and antiviral. Use raw garlic in recipes and consider taking up to one raw clove per day. Oregano oil benefits are superior to prescription antibiotics as well. It’s a natural antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antioxidant and  anti-inflammatory food. Take 500 milligrams or five drops of 100 percent pure essential oil daily.

Finally, as a natural antiviral, colloidal silver benefits your immune system and alkalizes the body. Take one to two tablespoons daily for the best results.

Foods, Rx to Wellness

Most Dangerous Food and Drug Combinations

foodanddrug

Bacon and chocolate. Chili and peanut butter. Some unlikely combinations end up working well together. But when it comes to diet and drugs, the wrong pairing can unwittingly turn into a recipe for disaster.

You don’t need a prescription to face these risks–even some common over-the-counter treatments should warrant more careful attention to your menu, says Jen Wolfe, Pharm.D., a D.C.-based pharmacist and consultant with Comprehensive Pharmacy Consulting. Here are seven dangerous duos to dodge.

  1. Limes and cough medicine. You may have heard not to drink grapefruit juice with some prescriptions, including cholesterol-lowering statins. But limes, pomelos, and Seville oranges–although not the more-common navel and Valencia varieties–also may block an enzyme that breaks down statins and other drugs, including the cough suppressant dextromethorphan. Because the medication then builds up in your bloodstream, the risk for side effects increases, says Mary Ellen Gullickson, Pharm.D., a pharmacist at Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin. With dextromethorphan, this includes hallucinations and sleepiness; in statins, you may sustain severe muscle damage. These fruits’ effects can linger for a day or longer, so it’s best to avoid them and their juices altogether while taking these drugs
  2. Dairy products and antibiotics. Some antibiotics, including Cipro, bind to calcium, iron, and other minerals in milk-based foods. This prevents the absorption of the antibiotics, ultimately decreasing their ability to fight infections, When you get a new prescription for acne or an infection, ask if the drug falls into a class known as tetracyclines or flouroquinolones. If so, avoid milk, yogurt, and cheese 8 hours before and after taking the pills. And talk with your pharmacist about proper timing if you take multivitamins with minerals–they can have a similar effect. 08/14
  3. Smoked meats and antidepressants. Check the label on your happy pills. If they belong to a class called monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOIs–brand names Marplan, Nardil, Emsam, or Parnate–combining them with foods rich in the amino acid tyramine can cause life-threatening spikes in blood pressure, says Gullickson. Unfortunately, the list of no-nos includes not only summer sausage and smoked salmon, but also red wine, sauerkraut, hot dogs, aged cheeses, soy sauce, and draft or home-brewed beer. The good news? Canned or bottled beer probably won’t hurt you–and MAOIs have largely been replaced by newer-generation antidepressants, which don’t have the same effect on tyramine levels, says Nicole Gattas, Pharm.D., B.C.P.S., assistant professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
  4. Chocolate and Ritalin. Besides caffeine, chocolate also contains a stimulant called theobromine, says Tom Wheeler, Pharm.D., B.C.P.S., director of pharmacy and pulmonary services at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. (It’s the reason chocolate harms dogs–canine bodies can’t break it down.) Combining all these stimulants in humans can potentially lead to erratic behavior and seizures. As with caffeine alone, the risks are largely individual. Your best bet: Take note of whether you feel more nervous, irritable, or wired when you combine Ritalin–especially the extended-release forms–with chocolate. If so, increase the amount of time between downing your pill and having dessert. Or, lighten up: “The darker the chocolate, the more caffeine and theobromine it contains,” Wheeler says.
  5. Apple juice and meds. Nix the nectar from apples, oranges, and grapefruits if you take Allegra, or Claritin (fexofenadine) –at least within 8 hours of swallowing the pill. These juices inhibit a peptide that transports the drug from your gut to your bloodstream. The resulting lack of absorption makes these medications, up to 70 percent less effective at stopping your sniffling and sneezing. Other medications also travel with the help of the same peptide; lay off these juices while taking the antibiotics Cipro or Levaquin, the thyroid medication Synthroid, or the allergy and asthma treatment Singulair.
  6. Cinnamon and warfarin. People taking the blood-thinning medication warfarin–prescribed to prevent or treat clots–have long been warned to keep their intake of vitamin K steady, says Wolfe. This means you shouldn’t change your weekly intake of foods like leafy greens or broccoli; because vitamin K plays a key role in clotting, doing so could affect the thickness of your blood. But there’s another risk. Cassia cinnamon, the kind on most American grocery-store shelves, contains high levels of a compound called coumarin that can thin blood and potentially cause liver damage, says Eric Newman, M.D., a resident at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. If you’re on warfarin, switch to Ceylon cinnamon instead, he advises. (Find it at gourmet or spice retailers like Penzeys, where it’s $11.29 for 4 ounces).
  7. Alcohol and acetaminophen. Resist the urge to wash down your Tylenol with a cold one–your body uses the same enzyme to break down the two substances. It’s generally best to put 6 hours between drinking booze and taking any medicine containing acetaminophen, including over-the-counter and prescription pain and cold medicines, Gattas says. But the bigger risks come with time: “If you drink alcohol every day, it’s probably not a good idea to take Tylenol,” Wheeler says. Pairing them regularly can contribute to kidney and liver disease.

Health and Wellness Associates

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