Antibiotic Paradox

Antibiotic Paradox

Through the following text you will be able to find out how harmful the (over) use of antibiotics can be and the irreparable problems that can occur because of the improper use of any medicines. It is very important to note that in spite of all the harmful effects, in some cases antibiotics simply cannot be avoided and may be the only border between life and death.

I do not advise you to stop and not consume the therapy that was prescribed by your doctor. The use of medicine such as antibiotics is the responsibility of the patient himself and the doctor who prescribes it.

My goal is to inform both the patient and the doctor about the problems that may occur because of the uncontrolled and improper use of antibiotics, and also to pay attention on some alternative methods and ways that can successfully replace synthetic drugs without having any harmful effects.

How Much Does the Blue Whale Weight?

The blue whale weighs roughly about 100,000,000 grams while one bacteria is heavy only 0,00001 grams. Obviously the difference in weight between the whale and the bacteria is almost impossible to be called numerical.

However, the more interesting fact is the one that, the tiny organism, invisible to the eye, has the power to kill and destroy the largest animals on the earth but also any other living beings, including the human being.

How can this be possible?

First let’s clarify what the term bacteria actually is. The bacteria is a microscopic single cellular organism which can be literally found everywhere. This is not the problem since most of the bacteria are not dangerous but on the contrary, they are very useful.

The average person has about 100,000 billion bacteria living in the skin and in the womb. Most of these bacteria support our biological functions and keep us in life, they help in boosting metabolism and protect us from other harmful bacteria.

The useful bacteria are degrading the dead plants and animals in the nature and thus clean the environment and produce fertilizers. Some bacteria even have the power to degrade toxic compounds.

For example, scientists have tested and used bacteria that eats crude oil in order to cleanse the sea near in Alaska’s coast when oil leaked from the Exxon Valdez Tanker.

Let take Escherichia Coli for example

Depending on the environment in which the bacteria develops and inhabits, some species can be very useful and in the same time they can be very harmful, even deadly. For example, Escherichia Coli lives in the human and animal digestive tract and is a regular part of the stomach flora.

Escherichia not only protects the mucous membranes from other harmful bacteria but also produces vitamin K which we most definitely need. The problem with this bacteria is that when it comes out of the digestive tract into another environment, it has the ability to mutate and it starts to spread.

Escherichia through feces, or in some other way, may pass into the urinary and / or vaginal tract and cause infections and inflammation.

Uncontrolled reproduction or change in the characteristics in the new environment will cause the Escherichia to cause problems such as urinary, vaginal, lung and skin infections.

Even if the same type of bacteria, in some way, returns in the digestive tract, where it was useful in its original form, will cause problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, and faints. In people with very weak immunity it can even cause death.

The same or similar problems will arise if a person, on some way, enters Escherichia coli bacteria of animal origin. Although this is the same type of bacteria, animal Escherichia has very different characteristic and does not affect humans in the same way as the Escherichia that is created in the human organism. It should also be very clear that the life of diabetics would be much more difficult without the Escherichia coli bacteria.

If you didn’t know, Escherichia coli is used to produce insulin for insulin injections

Biological War Games

The bacteria is very adjustable and easily adaptable to new environments. One of the main causes for spreading of the bacterial infections is hygiene. Just a few hundred years ago, at the time of no soap or hot water, the epidemics took away a hundred of thousands of lives. It is general opinion that mortality caused by bacterial and viral epidemics has been significantly reduced by the invention of antibiotics and that the average lifespan of humans has therefore increased.

One of the main causes for spreading of the bacterial infections is hygiene

Statistics show us how much was the average human life before and after the reveal of antibiotics. It is correct that the average human life is prolonged and that bacterial and viral infections do not take away as many human lives as they did before.

However this is mostly due to the improvement of the quality of life. First of all it is due to the improvement in the hygiene. Soap, hot water and education are the main causes of reduction of infections and prolongation of the human life and not the finding of the antibiotics. It is very simple, a small number of people suffer from infections and therefore the average length of the human life has been prolonged.

I don’t intend to underestimate antibiotics and their role in the modern medicine. After all, many lives have been saved by antibiotics. Before the antibiotics were found, people were dying by common illness, flues or toothaches.

However, antibiotics never have contributed to reducing the number of harmful bacteria or viruses in the environment. In fact, they even helped in the development of new bacteria and viruses that are much more dangerous and harmful to human health and the environment in general.

Also, antibiotics are responsible for the massive spread of some dangerous bacteria that once existed in very small quantities and did not cause any problems. It sounds paradoxical but it is true. Antibiotics, the purpose of which is to fight against bacterial and viral diseases, also contribute to the development of new, more dangerous microcellular organisms and the uncontrolled expansion of some bacteria which the human immune system once could easily overcome. The reason for this is the abuse of antibiotics and their consummation when they are not needed at all.

Let me briefly explain the history and method of operation of antibiotics. By the way, you should know that the word “antibiotic” literally means “against life”.

Antibiotics are not human inventions. In fact, they are older than the humans about 3 billion years. From the first signs of life on the planet, bacteria and fungi fought for food and territory. Those were the fights for life survival and species maintenance. For that, these microorganisms used chemical and biological weapons.

The fungi and the bacteria produced toxic compounds in order to destroy their competition. These compounds are in fact, the first antibiotics and a natural part of the defense system of the organism. These naturally occurring antibiotics were unknown to the mankind as the history says. While these microscopic organisms successfully fought against each other, people died from infections caused by the same exact microorganisms.

The fungi produced antibiotics to fight the bacteria but the bacteria changed and adapted constantly. These changes have been passed on to newborn bacteria and helped them survive the attacks. Such changes caused them to be resistant to natural antibiotics. So the first bacteria that were resistant to natural antibiotics existed long before people knew about bacteria.

This natural process and the ability of the bacteria to change into new, more resistant form is today the main cause of the appearance of diseases on which synthetic drugs no longer function.

Until the appearance of synthetic antibiotics this process was naturally balanced. The bacteria would only become resistant to one type of toxin produced by fungi or other bacteria. The fungi would produce another species and so on.

Nature made cure that none of these microscopic organisms prevail. However, the invention of synthetic drugs and antibiotics disrupted the natural balance. Bacteria were no longer required to adapt to natural antibiotics created by other organisms only but also antibiotics that were produced by humans.

E Coli Again…

Every time a person uses an antibiotic for the purpose of curing and controlling the infection or some inflammation, hundreds of different types of bacteria are killed in the body at the same time. First, the antibiotic destroys the weakest bacteria, regardless of whether they are those that have caused the disease or those that are completely harmless or even useful. This will be explained by the example of Escherichia coli bacteria.

Just imagine that a female gets an infection of the urinary tract that is caused by E Coli.

After taking a sample of urine, the laboratory will provide a doctor with an analysis indicating the amount of bacteria that caused the infection and in most cases a list of antibiotics to which the bacterium reacts.

This exact fact that the laboratory tests the bacteria from the urine to many types of antibiotics leads us to conclude that the Escherichia itself has more subtypes, some of which will not even respond to particular drugs. However, this was not always the case.

At the very beginning there was only one antibiotic that could eliminate the infection. However, this antibiotic will not destroy 100% of the bacteria. Even in the case of the destruction of 99.999% of bacteria, the small number of bacteria that survived will settle down and reactivate in the most convenient time, producing new bacteria that will be resistant to the originally used antibiotic.

The next infection which may come in a short or long period of time, will not be treated successfully with the same amount or even the same type of antibiotic. Because of this, the pharmaceutical companies always looked for new and stronger antibiotics to whom in time, all the bacteria and viruses will inevitably adapt.

Every new type of antibiotics, leads to the creation of a new type of microorganism that is more resistant and more dangerous than the previous ones. This process has led to the creation of so-called “super-microorganisms” that are absolutely resistant to all the currently existing drugs. We will talk about this later.

To return now to the case where we mentioned a female who in some way got the infection of the urinary channels caused by Escherichia coli. The analysis of urine showed the number of bacteria and the types of antibiotics that the doctor can prescribe in order to eliminate the infection.

The appropriate antibiotic was prescribed and the person started the therapy. After only a few days of consuming the drug, the number of the bacteria has decreased and the symptoms of inflammation have reduced.

There is no more pain while urinating and the person feels healthy. In this situation, such patient can make two choices. One, to stop consuming the medicine because they feel healthy and two, continue on following the doctor’s instructions until the therapy is complete.

Which one of these two decisions is right and which one is not?

A person that thinks right would follow the instructions until the very end which is in any case, quite right. Because if you don’t complete the dose to the end the following things can happen. The infection will return very soon, if it doesn’t return immediately and the rest of the Escherichia coli or any other bacteria will adapt to the antibiotic that you consumed and will rest until the convenient moment to start developing a new infection which will be very difficult to treat or destroy with the same type of antibiotic used before.

On the other hand, this is what happens when a person completes the prescribed dose of antibiotics. It is undeniable that in some cases the infection will be eradicated and the symptoms will disappear. This person will be conditionally cured. I said “conditionally” on purpose. I mentioned before that the antibiotic will not only attack harmful bacteria, but also the bacteria that is completely harmless and useful.

In the case of antibiotics that are prescribed for infections of the urinary tract that are caused by Escherichia coli, antibiotics will mainly destroy lacido bacillary bacteria in women which is a very important part of the vaginal flora and protects the vaginal mucosa from harmful bacteria.

What will happen in this case? One infection has been rehabilitated but the doors were left open wide for the appearance of a new infection. However this time in the vaginal tract.

We all know that the Escherichia coli lives in the digestive tract and that one part of it is secreted through the stool, through the colon and anus. There is a very short distance between the anus and the vagina and it is shorter than the vagina to the ureter.

In normal circumstances, the bacteria could easily fight against the small number of Escherichia’s that are transmitted from the anus to the vagina. However, the good bacteria are now being destroyed by a drug that was consumed in order to destroy the original infection.

This means that the antibiotic has weakened the patient’s immune system by destroying all the beneficial bacterium. This is not the only way in which antibiotics weaken the immune system and damages health but we will deal more with this later in the article.

Don’t you think that it is so paradoxical the thing that the drug that is originally prescribed to fight against the Escherichia coli actually helps to form a new infection and this time not only in the urinary but also in the vaginal tract?

Unfortunately, this is not all of the paradoxical (over)use of antibiotics in modern medicine.

The Enemy of My Enemy…

How true is the saying “the enemy of my enemy, is my friend “? Let’s try and analyze this in the following example.

Let’s take a woman that suffers from an infection caused by Escherichia or other bacteria. The reason why I always take Escherichia coli for example is the fact that most of our patients have problems with this bacteria. (Although the principle is the same with all the types of bacteria).

Let’s also imagine that this is not the first infection but an infection that returns a couple of times and there are a number of cases like that when it comes to Escherichia coli. A patient who constantly has problems with this type of bacteria, probably changed a couple of different types of antibiotics all in order to fight this terrible infection. What is happening in this case?

Escherichia coli itself has developed into several different subtypes, each of which is resistant to one or more types of antibiotics. In the vaginal flora and the urinary tract, we have Escherichia coli bacteria that are completely resistant to all types of used antibiotics.

The interesting fact is that these three subspecies of the same bacteria control each other i.e. all three of them co-exist in the organism equally. Each of the subspecies control the reproduction of the other two and occupies about one third of the environment in which it co-exists with the other subtypes.

Unfortunately, there is not any analyses that can show how much subspecies the bacteria has. Now, here comes a part of an even bigger paradox than the use of antibiotics. The doctor will be forced to prescribe an antibiotic or a combination of antibiotics because of the infection.

The patient will start with the prescribed therapy and the antibiotic will at first destroy non-resistant bacteria, and if your doctor hit the right combination of drugs, those bacteria that are somewhat resistant to some antibiotics. In this way, two thirds of the harmful bacteria will be destroyed. However there is still going to be one third that is completely resistant to all antibiotics. What is left for you to do now? In an environment where there was a balance between the three subtypes of the bacteria, the antibiotic managed to destroy the competition and helped to the worst species, that are un-destroyable, to spread without any interruption. By destroying two other, less resistant subspecies, the antibiotic completely freed the way for a completely uncontrolled expansion of the third subtype which cannot be destroyed by consuming drugs.

Escherichia coli is a perfect example for demonstrating the abuse of antibiotics. This phenomenon was described by Stuart B. Levy, director of the Center of Adoptive Genetics and Drug Resistance with Tufts University from Boston and author of the Antibiotic paradox.

All credits go him for using his book name for my article.

How to Make a Friend of an Enemy?

What happens to the good Escherichia coli, which usually lives in the digestive tract and is useful to us at the time of consuming the antibiotic therapy in order to fight the urinary infection that is caused by Escherichia coli?

Of course the antibiotics cannot make a difference between the good and the bad Escherichia and it will also strike the bad and the good bacteria in our body. However, the good bacteria is also adjusting to the new environment and produce their own subspecies but also, they too become resistant to antibiotics.

The problem with this is that some bacteria that is potentially harmless or even useful in some cases, can transfer the possibility of antibiotic defense to those bacteria that are dangerous to our health. Or even worse, they begin to multiply in quantities that will eventually become dangerous and harmful.

The more frequent the antibiotics are used, the greater the chances that the bacteria will develop resistance to it. The most common place for the antibiotic-resistance to occur are the throat, urinary tract, vaginal mucosa, lungs and digestive tract.

People whose immune system is weakened by stress, age, illness or medical treatment as well as children whose immune system has not fully developed, has the greatest chance of being affected by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Especially if they have spent a long period of time in the hospital.

Another one of the paradoxes is that some of the microscopic organisms, which did not exist or existed naturally in small numbers, begin to grow in large amounts due to the antibiotics that destroyed those bacteria that kept them in natural balance. While these organisms can be harmless, they can also become fatal if they begin to develop resistance to antibiotics.

Professor Levy says that we are witnesses and causes of massive changes and development of new microorganisms.

By developing and consuming antibiotics, the mankind has changed the historical course of the natural evolution of bacteria

Let’s take for an example, penicillin, an antibiotic that is considered to be one of the greatest human findings and is probably most famous out of all antibiotics. Only four years since the beginning of mass production and use of penicillin, doctors have begun to observe all the types of bacteria that became resistant to it.

This was predicted and warned by Aleksandar Flemin himself, the man who discovered the penicillin. He even predicted that the situation will even get worse when penicillin will be available as a pill. It turns out he was absolutely right. A large amounts of resistant bacterial species were found in hospitals, where penicillin is most commonly used.

Scientists have discovered that the bacterial species that are found in the hospitals are very different from those that are used in the laboratories. The hospital species, not only were resistant to penicillin, but could also help in destroying it in large quantities so not any dose enhancement has the power to help.

That, unfortunately, proved to be just the beginning of a major problem.

Let’s take a look at staphylococcus a bacterium that can be found almost anywhere! From earth through animas, to human organism. This bacteria was not a big problem at first, because the human immune system dealt with it easily. However, in people with weak immunity, staphylococcus can cause serious infections. This is the case with people that experience stress, cancer patients, people with severe burns etc.

Thanks to penicillin, staphylococcal infections became an almost irrelevant problem even though they were deadly before penicillin was made. However, over the time, staphylococci began to show signs of resistance to penicillin.

Scientists have developed a new drug, methicillin. This antibiotic is very different from the penicillin and had success in destroying staphylococci for some time. In the late sixties, doctors used methicillin to treat Staphylococcal infections. However in the 1980s, the staphylococci bacteria became resistant on methicillin, penicillin and a lot of other antibiotics.

Scientists are particularly worried about these species called Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which means Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This bacteria was found in hospitals where patients with very weak organism are attacked. Many of these patients couldn’t even survive these massive infections.

Scientists who have studied the MRSA bacteria, discovered over 470 subtypes of this bacteria using genetic code. All these 470 subspecies came from only one species that was discovered in the early sixties in Egypt.

At the end of the sixties, the MRSA has spread to North America, Europe, and Africa. By 1990, the MRSA has spread throughout the world and in 1995 only 1409 people were infected and killed in New York City’s hospitals. In 1999 the Center of Disease Control and Prevention announced that the infection started to spread among people that are not even in the hospital.

From 1997 to 1999 the MRSA was the cause of death of about 200 people in Minnesota and North Dakota. Four of those 200, were until then very healthy children by the age of 1 to 13 who have never had visited the hospitals until they were attacked by this bacteria. The type of bacteria that had the power to kill them was somewhat different from that found in the hospitals.

Scientists realized that MRSA is no longer limited to exist in the hospitals but also in the whole human environment.

The problem was that this bacteria became resistant to antibiotics such as Vancomycin which are considered to be the last weapon after all the other antibiotics don’t work.

In the beginning of the nineties, 2% of the cases of infections were induced by the Enterococcus that is resistant to Vancomycin treatment. This type of bacteria is known as “VREF” which started to develop massively in 1997 and the famous and strong Vancomycin was not effective in 50% of the cases.

How do bacteria and viruses become resistant to the effects of antibiotics?

One of the ways is the natural way with the genetic mutation that gives the organism better chances to fight the attack. For example, a bacteria that mutated and adjusted to the effects of antibiotics will survive while the other bacteria will get destroyed.

The antibiotic, by destroying bacteria that did not mutate, disrupts the natural balance and destroys other bacteria, actually, those that kept the balance. The surviving bacteria will then genetically transit antibiotic resistance to the other bacteria that will come after them.

The scary fact about this is that just one bacteria has the power to produce several billion new ones that are going to be resistant in antibiotics in only 12 hours.

Another way that bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics is to transpose or transfer the genetic code to other bacteria. Bacteria, which in some ways become resistant to the effects of antibiotics, will find a way to transmit its powers to other bacteria which until then was not resistant. The ability to transfer and exchange genetic code helps some bacteria to adapt to the new environment and to new antibiotics.

The third and perhaps the most intelligent way that the bacteria receives the resistance to antibiotics is their ability to pick up this so-called plasmids. They are small parts of DNA that can be found in the environment. Bacteria, from time to time, collects or discards these small DNA parts which may contain drug resistance information.

The Shigella organisms caused an epidemic in 1968 in Guatemala that infected over 12.500 people. With analysis it was confirmed that the microbe’s Shigella contained plasmids that were resistant to 4 types of antibiotics.

The bacteria can successfully share drug defense techniques so they can become antibiotic resistant, even before they even get In contact with them.

“The bacteria will always find a way to defend against the antibiotics we consume to destroy them”, said Dr. George Jacobs of Harvard University

Bacteria can resist the antibiotics in several ways. One of them is for the bacteria to simply break down the antibiotic. In order to decompose the antibiotic, the bacteria use enzymes that are produced by the cells, and attacks the chemical structure of the antibiotics. The bacteria that is resistant to penicillin and cephalosporin work this way.

Another way is for the bacteria to block the antibiotics and stop it from entering the cell or even throw it out of the cell if it was already in.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa acts in this way. Some bacteria for example, can even fool the antibiotic and redirect its action to something else, stopping them for doing what they were created for. Many bacteria use sporulation. It is a process in which the bacteria thicken their outer walls and completely disappear or even go into hibernation so that they would wait for the attack of the antibiotics to pass. When the conditions improve, they again become active. This is an incredible intelligence for a non-cellular organism.

Knowing that one cell can intelligently remember and share information with other non-cellular organisms, brings scientists to new theses and not only in relation with bacteria but also in relation to any cell.

For example, the thesis that we are thinking only with the brain has long been put on the questionnaire. Many scientists even claim that each cell of our organism has its own memory. However, some of them argue, and the writer of these lines firmly believes in it, that it is possible to cure the organism by changing the memory of the deceased cells i.e. meditation, breathing exercises and other spiritual methods. This is a theme for itself and we will deal with it on another occasion. Now we will only retain on the use and abuse of antibiotics.

Destroying of the Immune System

Another reason why the number of antibiotic-resistant diseases is increasing in the number of people with a weak immune system. For example, people that are undergoing modern cancer treatments, almost necessarily have a weakened immune system. Also, patients with AIDS have almost no immunity at all. When the immune system is not functioning properly, people consume antibiotics in order to cure the infection with which the organism, with a normal immune system, would easily get through.

However, these drugs as we see from the previous explanation, are not the best solution at all. In addition to the abuse of synthetic drugs, one of the main reasons for the weakening of the immune system is – everyday stress. Because of today’s way of life there is almost no possibility to avoid stress so on the other hand, there is a way to fight the bad effects of stress with maintaining a strong immune system.

Side Effects

Doctors are trying to cure the antibiotic-resistant diseases by prescribing even stronger doses or different types as well as combinations of multiple different types of antibiotics. Also, some antibiotics cannot be consumed in the form of pills but by injections.

When the organism becomes resistant to all common antibiotics, doctors are forced to prescribe drugs such as Vancomycin. This is a very expensive drug that has to be consumed by an injection. It can cause side effects such as high temperature, fever, inflammations, damage to the kidneys.

Here are some of the “side effects” or the so-called contradictions copied from a box that contains antibiotics: liver damage, visual impairment, loss of menstruation, impotence, vomiting, diarrhea, hypertension, loss of desire for sex, panic attacks, depression, uncontrolled urination, internal bleeding, fetal degeneration in pregnant women, etc.

I don’t know what you think but to me, these side effects don’t sound any “sideways”. Just imagine a situation when you get uncontrolled anal leaks in society. What should you do? Just say “Pardon?”, as if you are sneezing or “I apologize it is just a side effect caused by my drugs”.

It would be way more appropriate and correct that the warnings on the boxes sound like this: “The use of this medicine can cause one or a combination of the following: Liver cirrhosis, dizziness, vomiting, increased blood pressure, internal bleeding. In pregnant women it can cause spontaneous abortion as well as toxic milk in nursing. The side effect of this medicine may help you with the burning feeling while urinating.”

Unfortunately, the antibiotics are sometimes, the only option that makes the border between life or death.

In addition to this, bacteria and viruses are not the only organisms that have developed resistance to antibiotics. Some parasites too, have this ability. For example, malaria caused by a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes.

Every year more than 100 million people suffer from malaria, and one million of them die. In Africa, malaria is the second reason for death just after aids. One of the causes of mortality in malaria is that the parasite which causes disease, has become Chloroquine resistant, which was at the time the only cheap but effective treatment.

In some parts of the world people consume this drug as a common aspirin, whenever they have a headache or pain. This irregular and uncontrolled use of this drug has helped to develop resistance of the parasite.

Today this drug is not at all effective against malaria in almost 100 countries where malaria is a major problem. Developing countries cannot afford other, more expensive drugs that in time will of course, themselves become ineffective. That’s why malaria has become a problem bigger than ever before.

Who Is the Real Superhero?

Scientists are fascinated by the ability of microscopic organisms to develop their own immunity. One example is a microbe known as Deinococcus radiodurans.

This organism can be called the Superman of the world of bacteria. It has the ability to survive 12 million degrees of radiation. About a thousand degrees of radiation will kill a man so you do the math. This microbe can also compile its own DNA that has been damaged. In this way, he keeps himself in a perfect condition constantly.

It is then that the question arises, why did one bacteria develop the ability to defend itself against radiation that is much larger than any radiation on Earth?

Scientists just assume that the reason for this is the place where this bacteria is inhabited. These are the deserts and rocks of the Antarctic mountains where no drop of moisture has been seen for over a thousand of years. Luckily, this bacteria is fed with other bacteria and it seems that it doesn’t like the taste of human beings.

I recently watched a volcano broadcast on the Discovery Channel of Canadian television. Scientists have found traces of DNA in the samples of lava of some volcano located on the border of Ethiopia with Eritrea that indicates on the fact that the bacteria can work at extreme temperatures.

Virus or Bacteria?

I have mentioned viruses several times in this text so I feel the need to clarify the difference between the two sciatic organisms.

I already mentioned earlier that the bacteria is a microscopic one-cellular organism and that it can be found everywhere. About 100 thousand billion inhabits in and on man. This actually means that most of the human body’s mass is made of bacteria.

We already know that some of them are useful, as long as they are in their place. Bacteria that is harmful to humans, or even deadly are called pathogens of the bacteria. The human immune system, which is partly composed of other bacteria, does not allow pathogens to reproduce or harm the organism. One or several pathogenic bacteria can not harm humans. It takes tens of thousands, or even millions of these bacteria to start causing symptoms. This is due to the toxins that produce harmful bacteria or simply eat the human tissue.

It takes about 20 million bacteria to cause inflammation of a child’s ear. The same bacteria can cause various other problems depending on where it occurs. For example, streptococcus can cause lung inflammation as well as ear infections.

Viruses are much smaller than bacteria and in order to reproduce and develop they must be in the living cell. Fighting the virus can be even more difficult than fighting with bacteria. In some cases, the symptoms and problems that are caused by viruses will disappear by themselves after a while.

For example, let’s take a virus of a common cold. People say that a cold that is being treated lasts for one week. Depending on the immune system, the symptoms of the cold can last from 3 to 15 days. With some viruses, you need to be patient and simply let the virus pass on itself. In these cases, it is recommended to work and focusing on strengthening the immune system so that it has the power to fight against the virus.

This will prevent the possible spread or appearance of some other diseases which may arise as a result of a weakened immune system. Unfortunately not all viruses can be that easily overcome as the viruses of a common cold or sore throats.

Scientists have developed vaccines against some of these viruses. Also, drugs that can treat some of the viral diseases have been developed. These drugs are only relieving the pain and effects of viral infections and are not a reliable remedy that will completely cure the infection.

Mixing with all the natural, genetic mutations of microorganisms and the natural balance is not the only problem that is caused by the consummation of antibiotics. Especially when it comes to human health.

Antibiotics and the Liver – A Recipe for Catastrophe

My father, Dr Enes Hasanagic, was a specialist in toxicology and a doctor of medicine that has been studying the effects of antibiotics on the human body for many years. In his book, Medicinal herbs and the liver, he described how an antibiotic effects the liver.

The antibiotic itself is not that much harmful to the liver, but the toxins that are created in the bowel as antibiotics are very harmful to the metabolism can cause a major problem.

As we are aware, every chemical substance that is consumed through the mouth including food, water, goes through the liver. When the food and the drugs are digested in the stomach, and the stomach acid is separated from the chemicals the liver will direct these substances in the part of the organism they are most needed.

The liver also processes and eliminates the unnecessary substances that include toxins from the food and medicines. The liver has no trouble into processing small amounts of toxins from the food but it is very difficult for the liver and sometimes impossible to process toxins that are caused by metabolic decomposition of antibiotics and other drugs.

Not only that these toxins cannot be eliminated from the body, but they can form their own cells. This leads to a disease known as liver cirrhosis. Cirrhosis may also pass into liver cancer.

The cirrhosis that is caused on this way is the hardest one to treat, especially if the patient is compelled to continue the use of the same drugs. The whole therapy is designed to eliminate the negative effects of synthetic drugs and help the liver in normalizing the performance of its basic functions.

The therapy is often modified according to the needs of individual patients and consists of a complete system of herbal teas, drops, tinctures and a special diet.

We are not Losing the Battle, We are Losing the War

Let’s get back to the bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics.

Bacteria such as Enterococcus faecalis, the bacteria of tuberculosis and the bacteria of pseudomonas have learned how to resist the attacks of more than 100 different drugs.

Until recently it was thought that the tuberculosis is held under control and that it is easy to treat with the already existing drugs and antibiotics. However, the reality is that today there is no 100% effective drug against this diseases. Also, we must understand that we are in this situation today because of the people’s mistakes and their overuse and abuse of antibiotics.

According to the data from 1999, only 25 million kilograms of antibiotics were produced in the USA alone. I cannot find the information for the present time but be sure that this number has definitely increased.

In this same year, doctors form all around the world prescribed 235 millions of doses of antibiotics to patients, many of them to children. In a U.S. News & World Report, on May 10, 1990, in an article titled “Losing the Battle of the Bugs”, which in translation means “We’re losing the battle against microorganisms,” announced that the use of antibiotics among children has increased by 48% since 1980 until 1999.

In the April 12, 1999 article entitled “A New Treatment to Your and Your Family’s Health, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention” transcribes about 100 million doses of antibiotics in America alone.

Who is the guilty the most in this situation?

Many would say – doctors!

Although, medical workers should bear part of the responsibility for the existing situation, we cannot blame only them. Many of the patients themselves insist on antibiotics for viral diseases in which antibiotics don’t have any effect.

In America, as well as in many other countries, doctors paid by the number of patients that are admitted they are trying to keep their patients satisfied by granting them their wishes and prescribing them the requested drugs.

Just look at the prematurely dead Hollywood stars to whom doctors prescribed the requested medicine just to keep them as their patients. Michael Jackson, Ana Nicole Smith, Heath Ledger, Britney Marphy, all died due to improper use of medicines, which were prescribed by their own requests.

Antibiotics should be prescribed only if there is no other solution

Another reason why we cannot blame the doctors is the insufficient number of medical professionals in some parts of the world. Some doctors have 100 patients a day. No matter how good the doctor is, he is just not able to look closely and patiently in everyone’s case and control the condition and needs of every patient. Unfortunately, in such situations, the antibiotic appears as the most unique and fast solution, despite the fact that in some cases, it is not necessary at all.

Large pharmaceutical companies don’t contribute in improving the general condition. They are making huge profits by the production of antibiotics and the pharmaceutical companies consciously and intentionally don’t provide enough information about all the real consequences and side effects of the use of antibiotics. Many of the drugs are marketed even before they are sufficiently tested.

Patients themselves, to a large extent, contribute to this problem by requiring a certain type of antibiotics even when they are not at all necessary. In addition, they often make other mistakes. One of the most common one is not finishing the prescribed dose of therapy and stop consuming them in the moment when the symptoms of the disease disappear. This, as we already mentioned, causes the creation of new, more resistant bacteria.

Another very big mistake is leaving the antibiotics and then using them again for some other illness. Also, if you throw out the antibiotics that have expired in the toilet or sink will lead to them reaching into the nature and then disturb the natural balance.

A great number of scientists advise and warns of the dangers of using antibacterial soaps and other hygiene products that contain antibacterial substances. A large number of these substances give the bacteria a chance to adapt to them and undo their actual effect. The bacteria will also use these products to enhance their genetic code.

One type of very famous Escherichia coli, that causes diarrhea, has become resistant to Triclosan which is an antiseptic that is added to antibacterial soaps and toothpastes. This is what confirms the thesis and paradox that antibacterial products for daily use will only create even more problems.

BE RUDE! This is why it is not correct to put your hand in front of your mouth when sneezing and coughing!

The best protection against bacterial expansion is washing your hands often with hot water and an ordinary soap. Washing your hands after using public transport, public telephone, and toilet or computer keyboard will significantly reduce the chances of getting an infection.

It is also advised to change your toothbrush after having an infection in the mouth or the throat. The bacteria can be kept on the brush and thus it can return to the body. Also, any accessories like toothbrushes should be kept for personal hygiene and you should never use someone else’s.

Also our parents have taught us to cover our nose and mouth while sneezing, coughing or whining. It was very difficult for me to get rid of this habit after I understood that it is a mistake to do so. By sneezing and coughing in your hand you are transferring microbes to the palms and when we shake hands, open the door and type on the keyboard we are transferring this microbes again.

Of course, all microbes will be transmitted to the people that come in contact with the objects that you have already infected. This of course, in no way doesn’t mean that you need to sneeze freely into the air and let all the microbes fly freely and infect everything they can get stuck.

You just need to sneeze into paper and napkins that should be thrown away immediately after use. If you are not caring any paper with you, just sneeze inside of your elbow in order to prevent the possibility of spreading the infection.

It is absolutely necessary to change habits when it comes to antibiotics

In USA and Canada, doctors now receive instructions on how to cope and how to prescribe antibiotics only when this is absolutely necessary. There is a fear that soon no antibiotic will be effective against the most serious infections. Somewhere I heard, although the information has not been verified, doctors in Denmark no longer prescribe antibiotics for urinary infections caused by Escherichia coli or any other bacteria.

The English medical magazine “Lancet” announced that in 2006, about 40% of people who visited the doctor for a common cold – got antibiotics. Similar studies have shown that 42% of pediatricians prescribed antibiotics to children with a common cold.

In the past, many doctors considered antibiotics as the most indispensable and safest way to meet patient needs. However now, this is no longer the case, and doctors are very aware that this approach is wrong and harmful.

Dr. Tina Tan, a specialist in infectious diseases at the CHILDREN’S MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, Chicago, suggests that antibiotics should never be prescribed for some small respiratory tract infections.

Another very wrong approach is that a number of doctors prescribed more than one drug at a time, hoping that the bacterium that causes the infection will be eradicated by some of the prescribed antibiotics, and not counting the harmful effects, and that some of the useful bacteria will also be destroyed.

This approach has not only destroyed good bacteria but has also led to the creation of new antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are now resistant to many types of drugs. There is no need to talk about other harmful consequences of this kind of drug use.

Ear infections are common infections for which an antibiotic is prescribed. The result is that about half of the bacteria that usually is the cause for this kind of inflammation have become antibiotic-resistant.

The medical magazine “Pediatrics” published a study conducted on 383 patients at the Hospital in Rochester, New York State in 2000.

The doctors carefully selected which patient would receive antibiotics and which did not, for problems caused by colds and problems of the respiratory tract. Antibiotics were given exclusively to children in whom laboratory analyzes showed a strong bacterial infection. Three quarters of patients did not get antibiotics. It was found that patients who did not receive antibiotics did not have any complications, nor did the number of their visits to the medical institution increase.

Dr Michael Pichichero, one of the participants in this study, wrote that some doctors prescribe antibiotics for all patients with a cold, or problems with the respiratory tract, regardless of whether there is a real need for it.

Experts advised doctors to refrain from prescribing antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary. Studies have shown that when the use of certain antibiotics is limited, the ability of the bacteria to resist them is considerably reduced. This means that there is, even at least a small chance, seemingly irreversible, that this situation is somewhat improved.

Doctors should always wait for the results of laboratory tests to determine which antibiotic would be most effective against the bacterium that causes problems before prescribing therapy. And this is only if there is no other alternative, such as the case of urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia coli bacteria.

Another very simple, and often forgotten way to reduce the spread of infections is that the doctor wash his hands after each patient.

For the reasons described above, it is not always possible, but doctors should spend a little more time with the patient and explain all the details about the proper use of antibiotics.

Howard Baucher, a medical professor at the Boston University Pediatric Hospital, warns: “If we do not begin to use antibiotics more responsibly, we will lose any opportunity to fight infection at all.”

Treating the symptoms of cold with antibiotics can be compared to radiation by chemo because you are tired of blow-drying your hair.

How Antibiotics Do Their Work

Let’s talk about the way antibiotics are doing what they are created for.

There are two main groups of antibiotics. One literally kills bacteria and in English it is called “bactericidal”, while the other prevents the reproduction of new bacteria and is called “bacteriostatic”.

A good antibiotic should work as an overhead missile, i.e. able to find a specific type of bacteria and to destroy or prevent its reproduction, without harming the environment.

Various antibiotics do their job in various ways. Penicillin and Cephalosporin, for example, destroy cell walls of the bacterium. Streptomycin and Rifampicin affect the ability of the bacteria to produce the proteins they need for survival.

Today, there are about 200 different types of antibiotics that are used. How would the doctor know what kind of transcription should be prescribed to the patient and which antibiotic acts on which bacterium?

Some antibiotics have a wide range of effects and will destroy many types of bacteria. They work like shells. When activated and exploded, they will destroy everything around you, regardless of whether it is what is destroyed, is harmful or useful.

If the doctor is sure which bacterium it is, he can choose an antibiotic that is specially designed for this type of microbe. The doctor can send a sample of blood, chairs, urine, lungs, etc. in the laboratory. When the laboratory technician determines which bacteria it is and to which antibiotic this particular bacteria is not resistant, a doctor can apply and prescribe the appropriate antibiotic.

Sometimes doctors can use other methods to determine what kind of a bacteria they are dealing with. For example, using a simple sample from the throat can determine whether it is streptococcus. These are the only safe ways to prescribe the appropriate antibiotic.

Unfortunately, antibiotics are often prescribed without analysis. Which is due to laboratory costs, which for some other reason, the doctor will assume what is the kind of the bacteria and prescribe a broad spectrum antibiotic, or a combination of antibiotics, hoping to guess the right combination and hopefully control the infection. This creates a number of previously mentioned problems.

The only justifiable reason for a doctor to prescribe a wide-spectrum antibiotics without prior analysis is in an emergency, when the infection took already so much that waiting for the results to come in is a waste of time.

Benjamin Franklin has said a long time ago – “Nothing is more harmful to health than excessive healing”

This is certainly true when it comes to the use of antibiotics.

Sometimes doctors just assume that it is a bacterial infection and prescribe antibiotics. The symptoms of influenza and cold are very similar, they can be mistaken and doctors can prescribe antibiotics for an ordinary cold.

There are cases when the doctor will prescribe antibiotics in order to prevent the creation of a secondary infection that can be caused by a weakened immunity, or by a mild virus infection. We have already said earlier that sometimes doctors prescribe antibiotics simply because the patient requires it. People sometimes feel better when they get some medicine, even before they start to use it.

It is the hardest with parents of sick children, who are putting pressure on doctors to prescribe any medicine.

A survey that was conducted among 600 pediatricians shows that 96% of the respondents received requests from parents to prescribe antibiotics, even when these were not needed. One-third admitted that they complied with these requirements and prescribed antibiotics when they were not necessary.

An infectious disease specialist, Dr Bernadette Abanes, says doctors must be decisive and reject such requirements, but also explain to patients why antibiotics are not necessary and give some advice on how to deal with the symptoms of the disease.

Inexplicable, fast decisions, corruption, and so on lead to the fact that a medical staff is often in a position to make wrong decisions even when there are good intentions.

In 1981, the Indonesian Minister of Religion decided that 100,000 believers, who were preparing from Indonesia for Mecca, for the purpose of preventive cholera, take 7 days of Tetracycline antibiotics. This led to the development of a type of cholera called Vibrio Cholerae that was resistant to Tetracycline. In some parts of Africa, today more than 50% of the types of cholera virus are resistant to tetracycline.

In Mexico, the countries of Southeast Asia and some Caribbean countries, it is not even necessary to have a medical prescription in order to buy antibiotics. Simply enter the pharmacy and buy what you think you need. Because of this, some people from these areas developed infections that were highly resistant to most antibiotics and died before they could repair the infection and control it.

Contrary to the excessive use of antibiotics, taking less antibiotics than necessary to control the infection is also problematic. In some countries where the state pays for drugs, because of saving, doctors give fewer and lesser doses. This creates the same problem as when the prescribed dose is not completed. We have already explained the consequences of this, but we will not be wrong if we repeat it again. In this way, antibiotic-resistant bacteria is destroyed. When the non-resistant bacteria is destroyed, the resistant doesn’t have any competition in the organism and it begins to spread freely.

What to Do?

Although nowadays, a number of doctors, unfortunately will not even try to offer a chance to so-called alternative medicine, the situation, at least it seems to me, is changing for the better.

All the doctors in the world are ready to discuss the use of natural medicine as well as other forms of alternative treatment.

To be understood, my father, Dr. Enes Hasanagic, was in no way against the careful and reasonable use of chemical drugs. Today, I am not completely against the use of antibiotics and other chemical preparations when necessary. I am very against the negligence in the over-use, misusing and using them, when they are absolutely unnecessary or when there are other more adequate alternative methods.

On this issue, my father, in the 1980s, cooperated with medical experts, and my wife and I are continuing this cooperation today. Even today, I feel a kind of satisfaction when a patient tells us that he was referred to us by a doctor or doctors of official medicine. It is even more satisfying when consultations and joint efforts with other doctors bring the patient to improvement or complete healing.

I believe that only with joint forces and cooperation we can achieve optimal results, which is the reasonable use of the achievements of the official and the alternative medicine.

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Author: Vedran Hasanagic

Doctor of Alternative Medicine, a specialist in liver disease and urinary tract infections.

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