Antibiotic Awareness Week 2018: The Problem, A Plan of Action and A Potential Solution

Every year, The World Health Organisation (WHO) designates a week in November (this year 12-18th) to bring awareness to the global problem of antibiotic resistance. A recent article in The Guardian, highlights the ongoing, dangerous issues involved: ‘The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates resistant infections could kill about 2.4 million people in Europe, North America and Australia by 2050 unless more is done to tackle the problem, which it describes as “one of the biggest threats to modern medicine”. This includes about 1.3 million deaths in Europe and 90,000 in Britain.’ (The Guardian, 7thNovember 2018.)

The complex solution to this crisis, is as ever, multi-faceted. A collaborative global approach across all sectors involved in public health is a priority. A major part of any solution would, in my opinion, lie in the education of the public in how to avoid infections in the first place, where ever possible; this will be discussed throughout the article. It is also important to stress that there are actually very few occasions where antibiotics are required. If taken indiscriminately, they will cause far more problems than allowing the body to heal of its own accord, and eventually lead to the resistance discussed above. Taking them only when strongly indicated for severe infections would increase effectiveness and, in most cases, help to avoid resistance. Otherwise, healing through homeopathy is a viable solution; cases of infections being cleared in both people and animals are discussed within the text.

There have been many articles written to highlight the dangers of over prescription but hopefully the following information will summarise concisely and clearly the problem and present sustainable solutions.

The key facts, are as follows:

  • Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.
  • Antibiotic resistance can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.
  • Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.
  • A growing number of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhoea – are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.
  • Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality. (World Health Organisation, October 2016)

Different approaches required

Given these facts, we need to seek suitable, practical and effective alternatives, as the situation is escalating out of control, as witnessed by the frightening statistics above. Lifestyle changes are also a very important and integral part of this. It must be made clear that most homeopaths accept that there is a time and a place for antibiotics. In certain difficult, severe bacterial infections, they are potentially lifesaving. However, this being said, there is undeniable over prescription, which has to be addressed, for the sake of world health. It is important that everyone is aware of this and begins to take their own health management seriously and to stop demanding medications for minor ailments that are self-limiting. Frequent antibiotic usage is potentially dangerous to one’s health and is a huge cause of iatrogenic disease. Take with caution and awareness of this proven fact: ‘Iatrogenic disease is the result of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures undertaken on a patient. With the multitude of drugs prescribed to a single patient adverse drug reaction are bound to occur. The physician should take suitable steps to detect and manage them.’ (Krishnan, NR, Kasthuri, AS, 2011)

Ban Ki Moon, the UN General Secretary, at the United Nations conference on drug resistant bacteria in September 2016, stated:‘ It is estimated that more than 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant infections, though it could be much higher because there is no global system to monitor these deaths. And there has been trouble tracking those deaths in places where they are monitored, like in the US, where tens of thousands of deaths have not been attributed to superbugs.’ He went on to say: ‘If we fail to address this problem quickly and comprehensively, antimicrobial resistance will make providing high-quality universal healthcare coverage more difficult if not impossible antimicrobial resistance is a “fundamental threat” to global health and safety. (UN: 2016)

Plan of action

The problem of resistance has been clearly described and the associated dangers spelled out, in no uncertain terms. It cannot be stressed enough that less is more in terms of antibiotic usage, not only for one’s own health in the short term, but to avoid long term resistance. Save antibiotics, wherever possible, for those times of acute, dangerous infection. This could be one of the most valuable things you do for your own health. Check with your health care provider that their use in your case is essential, or if monitored, is the complaint likely to go away in of its own accord with good self-care. Common viral infections that do not benefit from antibiotic treatment include: (Mayo Clinic: 2012)

  • Colds
  • Flu (influenza
  • Bronchitis
  • Most coughs
  • Most sore throats
  • Some ear infections
  • Some sinus infection
  • Stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis)

Adjunctive advice

  1. Try and avoid illness in the first place by eating a well-balanced diet suitable to you, (taking into account food sensitivities and intolerances.) Exercise and get adequate sleep, supplement with vitamins and minerals and probiotics where necessary. Reduce stress and employ strategies to make this easier (meditation, yoga etc.)
  2. Recognise your health is your responsibility. Prevent disease as much as possible optimising the above approach.
  3. Understand that there are side effects with antibiotics, which can seriously affect your health. Yeast infections, both local and systemic are often the result of indiscriminate antibacterial onslaught which eliminates healthy as well as unhealthy gut flora; this can result in even more prescriptions, creating a cycle which is difficult to break. Avoid wherever possible.
  4. Remove ‘Maintaining Causes (see earlier blog:http://news.findahomeopath.org.uk/2016/07/10/getting-to-the-route-of-sickness-by-removing-maintaining-causes-and-obstacles-to-cure/ ) In other words, as much as possible remove those things that you know make you sick. eg: if you are a smoker with a hacking cough, stop smoking.
  5. Research different approaches should treatment be required, starting with homeopathy, which has been wonderfully beneficial to many. Cases and research links given below.

The Homeopathic Approach/A Solution?

Much of healing witnessed using homeopathy is empirical, in other words, the patient gets better after a consultation and this is easily observed, it simply works; there are numerous examples of this happening in a variety of conditions on this website here. What follows are significantly positive results using homeopathy for animals, in this case using Randomised Control Trials, the current ‘Gold standard’ for measuring efficacy of medications.

Prevention of diarrhoea in piglets

Animals, both domestic and farm, often respond beautifully to homeopathic treatment and destroy any preconceived, limited, judgmental idea that homeopathy is placebo.  The following recent triple blind randomised control trial with piglets is evidence of healing, without the need for antibiotics:

A high-quality placebo-controlled trials identified by Mathie & Clausen was carried out by Wageningen University in the Netherlands: ‘In this triple blind RCT, 52 pregnant sows were treated with either Coli 30K (a homeopathic medicine made from E. coli bacteria) or placebo. The sows gave birth to 525 piglets and those in the group treated with Coli 30K had 6 times less diarrhoea than the piglets in the placebo group. This result was statistically significant (p < 0.0001) meaning that it is extremely unlikely to be a false positive result due to chance alone. The homeopathic medicine used in this study was made from E. colibacteria, alternately diluted and succussed to produce an ultra-high dilution of 10-60, meaning that it should no longer contain any molecules of the original bacteria.

The particular technique used, where the medicine used is made from the same substance which causes the disease being treated, is a sub-type of homeopathy called ‘isopathy’. As the only existing way of preventing this disease in livestock is by using antibiotics, this study should be repeated to confirm its findings, as it may provide an effective way to help reduce overuse of antibiotics. (Veterinary Research: 2015.)

Another trial concerning farm animals (cows) having successful outcomes hails from India:

‘The comparative efficacy of homeopathic and allopathic systems of medicine in the management of Indian dairy cows.’ The results of this study are summarised as follows: ‘We conclude that the combination of phytolacca, calc flour, silica, belladonna, arnica and ipecac is effective and cost effective in the management of fibrotic and non-fibrotic mastitis in lactating dairy cows compared to antibiotics.’ (Varshney, J.P, Naresh, R: 2004)

Thus, it is clear that farm animals respond well to homeopathic treatment and a return to health without resorting to antibiotics.  It is also hugely cost effective. Should you require more research data, in every sphere concerning homeopathy, there are several useful resources, here are 2 sites I highly recommend: http://hpathy.com/scientific-research/database-of-positive-homeopathy-research-studies/and https://www.hri-research.org/

We are an over medicated society, one which has become reliant on doctors to cure our every aliment.  It is time to adopt a strong sense of responsibility for our own health and that of our family that does not include taking medication for minor conditions; consider rather other approaches such as optimum nutrition, lifestyle changes and of course the homeopathic approach, the effectiveness of which has been clearly demonstrated above. We owe it to ourselves, to be as well informed and educated as possible, and not to rely on perceived ‘quick fixes,’ in other words, the presumption that antibiotics are a cure all, when in fact they should only be used in certain potentially dangerous situations. Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, was right and prophetic in his prediction: ‘If the disease is treated with violent allopathic drugs, other graver, more life-threatening ailments are created in its place.’ Aphorism 37 (a), The Organon of Medicine.

As ever, should you wish to consult a homeopath: www.findahomeopath.org.

This is an updated version of a blog written by me in 2016, for Antibiotic Awareness Week.

Gill Graham. www.consultanthomeopath.com

 

References

Data Base of positive research studies (2015) Available at: : http://hpathy.com/scientific-research/database-of-positive-homeopathy-research-studies/

Hahnemann, S. (2003) The Organon of Medicine, London:Orion

Krishnan, NR,(Retd)Kasthuri,AS(Retd):Iatrogenic disorders,(2011). Available at:   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4923397/

Mayo Clinic (2014) Antibiotics misuse puts you and others at risk: Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/antibiotics/art-20045720

The Guardian (2016) UN meeting tackles the ‘fundamental threat’ of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.Available at:  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/20/un-declaration-antibiotic-drug-resistance?CMP=share_btn_tw

The Guardian, (2018) Antibiotic resistant superbugs will kill 90, 000 Britons by 2050.’ Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/07/antibiotic-resistant-superbugs-will-kill-90000-britons-by-2050?CMP=share_btn_fb

Varshney, J.P, Naresh, R (2004)The comparative efficacy of homeopathic and allopathic systems of medicine in the management of Indian dairy cows.’Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1475491604001201

Veterinary research (2015) available at: https://www.hri-research.org/resources/homeopathy-the-debate/essentialevidence/veterinary-research/

World Health Organisation, October 2016.Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/antibiotic-resistance/en/)

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