Originally published April 11 2013
Five ways to protect yourself from deadly antibiotic-resistant bugs
by Summer Tierney
(NaturalNews) The unsettling news about antibiotic-resistant super-bacteria is gaining attention, as reports of outbreaks continue to surface in hospitals and other health care facilities across the nation. Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) appears to prey on the those with compromised immune systems, which is why it seems prone to take up residence in places like hospitals, where the sick presumably go to recover and feel better.
Instead of healing, however, and in addition to the many already questionable medications they receive while there, patients now also run the risk of exposure to the CRE bacteria and the potentially fatal infection that may follow -- a condition for which conventional medicine is, by its own admission, incapable of treating. The bacteria is so named for its impressive tolerance of carbapenem antibiotics, drugs which are considered by doctors to be the very last line of defense. But as a defense against CRE, those drugs remain ineffective. As a result, people are dying. With a current mortality rate of 40 percent (meaning it kills that many of those who become infected), concern over CRE has swelled far beyond that of other less deadly, but similarly antibiotic-resistant infections like MRSA.
Furthermore, with no likely effective candidate among antibiotics currently in development and no real financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to develop one (there is more money to be made in the assisted perpetuation of chronic illness than in any one-time treatment, after all), the situation begins to look rather bleak. It is with that in mind that Natural News reminds its readers that a healthy immune system is always the best defense against any threat of illness. To accomplish this in a meaningful way, one must strengthen the entire body and not just one piece of it, so that it has the energy to heal and protect itself. With this holistic approach in mind, consider the following best practices to boost your immune system, help protect yourself from initial exposure, and give yourself a fighting chance against harmful invaders:
1. Reduce your exposure to harmful microorganismsWhenever possible, do what you can to avoid giving CRE the home advantage. This means that keeping clear of hospitals and nursing homes (CRE's preferred stomping grounds) is a very good start. Of course, accidents can happen, hospital trips are sometimes necessary and visits to loved ones are to be expected during the holiday season. So if you must go, do what you can to give yourself a fighting chance against possible attack (see steps 2-5). Staying out of harm's way also means avoiding the use of antibiotics, since they tend to indiscriminately kill bacteria in the body, including the friendly bacteria necessary both for proper digestion and for keeping other internal bacteria and micro-organisms in check, making you more vulnerable to harmful invaders. For this reason, antibiotics are most often detrimental to the immune system and are best avoided unless the situation is life-threatening.
2. Embrace a diet rich in nutrients and mineralsOne thing most health-minded folks agree on is that eating lots of fresh, organic vegetables rich in essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals is simply one of the best habits a person can have. And because they spend more time in the ground, root vegetables are a particularly good source of minerals, which are critical for cell permeability (which allows the body to make use of such nutrients) and yet alarmingly absent from most people's diets, thanks in part to soil depletion. For this reason, eating more of these and other vegetables can help to boost the body's overall nutrient uptake, contributing to a healthier body and a stronger immune system. For maximum benefit, however, you'll want to simultaneously abandon the consumption of any processed, refined or junk foods, as they will only impede the progress you might otherwise make. Put simply, when your body must spend extra energy on normal everyday functioning, that means less energy is available for the strengthening of your immune system. Remember, the body's first priority is survival, and many people are undernourished enough to lack the energy required for any meaningful healing. In time, though, a healthy diet can assist the body in a natural detoxification process, allowing it to dump heavy metals and other accumulated toxins, eventually healing current chronic infections and also reducing vulnerability to new ones.
3. Take naturally potent antibacterial supplementsThe addition of powerful probiotics and nutritional supplements to an already healthful diet can be of great benefit to restoring the body and building up the immune system. Look for those with natural antibacterial and other well known healing properties, like colloidal silver, garlic, oregano, bee propolis, cinnamon, ginger root, turmeric, or seek out high quality extracts from foods rich in antioxidants (such as acai, blueberry, pomegranate and cranberry). Be sure to check recommended dosage and appropriate uses for whichever probiotics and supplements you choose.
4. Rest well and reduce stressAn adequately rested body is a healthier body. Sleep allows the body to enter the healing (parasympathetic) state, where it can best work to rebuild energy, detoxify naturally and protect against illness. In our stressful culture and times, many people can remain in the fight-or-flight (sympathetic) state for longer than is healthy for the human animal, contributing to the exhaustion of certain vital glands and organs. Because chronic and acute stress are a major contributing factor to disease and illness, a reduction of stress levels can help the body to be better prepared for future challenges to the immune system. At least 8 to 10 hours of sleep is recommended per night, and at least 12 hours per night for those who are currently ill.
5. Get regular, moderate exerciseA workout routine that's too rigorous may actually do more harm than good, by perpetuating that sympathetic-dominant nervous state. For this reason, moderate to light exercise can be of greatest benefit during times of healing repair. Remember, too, to drink plenty of pure, clean water as well -- not only to stay hydrated, but to help flush out toxins.
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