Tag Archives | Health

Antibiotic Resistance Worse Health Crisis Than AIDS

Antibiotic resistanceLast year the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of the apocalyptic public health implications of antibiotic-resistant organisms. Now the World Health Organization has issued a statement that it could be worse than the AIDS epidemic, reported via the Telegraph:

A child’s scratched knee from falling off their bike, common bladder infections among the elderly in care homes and routine surgery to replace broken hips could all become fatal as antibiotics are becoming increasingly useless, the World Health Organisation has said.

The crisis is bigger and more urgent than the Aids epidemic of the 1980s, it was warned.

UK experts said the ‘era of safe medicine is coming to an end’ and government funds must be pumped into the production of new drugs.

In the foreword to the report Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security, wrote: “A post-antibiotic era — in which common infections and minor injuries can kill — far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century.”

He said: “Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating.”

He said modern medicine, from the treatment of urinary tract infections and pneumonia in babies to chemotherapy and kidney dialysis are under threat.

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Fecal (Poo) Transplants on the Rise

Digestive system diagram enWe’ve covered what Mosaic calls “Medicine’s dirty secret” before, but the idea of using someone else’s feces to cure an ailment is apparently growing fast, including instructions for trying it at home:

This is how far a mother will go.

Your daughter has been sick for more than four years with a severe autoimmune disease that has left her colon raw with bloody ulcers. After multiple doctors and drugs have failed, you are frantic for her to get better. Then you send her disease into remission, virtually overnight, with a single act of love. “Who wouldn’t do that for their daughter?” you say. It’s like a miracle, you say. “An overnight magic wand.”

You’ve agreed to do it again – twice – for strangers. You’ve seen first-hand how effective it can be and you felt so badly for the patients and their families. Had you donated blood or plasma, no one would blink.

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Texas Family Wins Big Lawsuit Against Frackers

PIC: Ostroff Law (CC)

PIC: Ostroff Law (CC)

A Texas ranching family was awarded nearly $3 million in a lawsuit against Aruba Petroleum, a company running a fracking operation near their property. Health problems began to occur soon after. Ranchers fighting a powerful entity engaged in an ethically ambiguous enterprise? I’m sure that Cliven Bundy’s pals will be lauding their victory. Right? Right?

Via the LA Times?

In a landmark legal victory that centered on fracking, a middle-class north Texas ranching family won nearly $3 million from a big natural gas company whose drilling, they contend, caused years of sickness, killed pets and livestock, and forced them out of their home for months.

Tuesday’s $2.95-million civil verdict by a six-person Dallas jury is thought to be the first of its kind in the nation. Other landowners have sued over drilling and reached settlements, but legal experts think this is the first jury verdict.

Robert and Lisa Parr filed suit against Aruba Petroleum Inc.

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Ibuprofen Leads to Leaky Gut

Equate Ibuprofen Pills and BottleSo many people take ibuprofen or brand name versions of it like Motrin that it’s almost become the 21st century aspirin, doled out to any family member feeling sick, worried about getting sick, or about to undergo strenuous exercise. But before you reach into the medicine cabinet, consider this report from the Daily Beast:

…Recently, some gluten-free champions have revisited studies from the past 20 years that show NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen might just play a contributing role by increasing the likelihood of leaky gut syndrome. According to one NIH study, “All the conventional NSAIDs studied were equally associated with small intestinal inflammation apart from aspirin…” and “intestinal permeability changes were significantly more pronounced” with some of the tests.

There is also evidence that NSAIDs cause intestinal damage when taken in conjunction with exercise. “This is the first study to reveal that ibuprofen aggravates exercise-induced small intestinal injury and induces gut barrier dysfunction in healthy individuals.

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In 1947 a Live Fish Got Stuck in a Man’s Throat: Here’s How They Removed It

PIC: Klem (CC)

PIC: Klem (CC)

Here’s one from the archives: In 1947, medical personnel had to perform an emergency tracheotomy as part of a complicated procedure to remove a fish that had become lodged in the throat of an unlucky Malaysian man. The man’s family said that the fish had jumped from the man’s net and into his mouth, becoming lodged in his throat. Sounds about as likely as people who visit emergency rooms with rectums stuffed with “foreign bodies” that they “accidentally” fell on while naked, but what do I know? Stranger things have happened. Anyway, this is a pretty gruesome story…

Via Discover:

CASE REPORT: A Malay villager was admitted to the Malacca General Hospital on Feb.27, 1947, in a very distressed state, with laryngealobstruction.There was a marked stridor and retraction of the intercostal spaces. He was throwing himself about on the stretcher and was very dificult to examine, and of course quite unable to give any history.

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“Anti-Vaxxers” Demonized

RougeoleDPAre you in favor of vaccines? Or do you think they are more dangerous than the diseases they protect against? There’s a war going on for your hearts and minds and there’s no doubt which side the Daily Beast falls on:

Measles was considered eliminated at the turn of the millennium. Now it’s back, thanks to the loons who refuse to vaccinate their children.

Of all the things to be nostalgic for, infectious diseases probably don’t make it onto many lists.

However, if you happen to pine for the good old days when measles was an active public health threat, I have good news for you. The anti-vaccine crowd is bringing it back.

There is currently an outbreak of measles in New York City.  Considered eliminated in the United States in 2000, last year saw a record number ofoutbreaks around the country. It’s only three months into 2014, and not only is the nation’s largest city seeing cases in several boroughs, but other major metropolitan areas are warning of new cases as well.

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Some European Nations Installing Raw Milk Vending Machines

Pic: Lesyeuxpourvoir (CC)

Pic: Lesyeuxpourvoir (CC)

Don’t expect this in America any time soon. The feds aren’t very keen on raw milk, which they consider a health hazard. Me? I don’t drink milk at all. Lactose intolerant and all that. Miss ice cream, though.

Via EcoLiving:

Compared with pasteurized and homogenized dairy, the news source argues that raw milk offers a wealth of nutrition—all without the drawbacks of oxidized fats, denatured proteins, antibiotics or growth hormones typically found in pasteurized and processed milk products.

Given the purported benefits of raw milk, multiple European nations have installed self-service vending machines that provide 24-hour access. Michel Cantaloube, who helped introduce the machines in France, the UK and Spain, hopes to expand the venture into a similar vending machine for raw yogurt.

Other countries like Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands have begun to install their own raw milk vending machines as well.

However, the U.S.

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Why Ordinary Food Will be the Future of Medicine

Pic: GardenKitty (CC)

Pic: GardenKitty (CC)

T. Colin Campbell, one the featured scientists/doctors in the breakout documentary Planeat, writes at CounterPunch:

The Problem

Few issues have become so intensely debated and politically charged as the need to reform the health care system. This debate has resulted in the ObamaCare program (The Affordable Care Act), which aims to expand and improve health care, thereby reducing health care costs.

Presently, US health care costs constitute 18% of GDP, up from about 5% around 1970 (1). These costs are burdensome and many sectors of our society are paying the price. School programs are being scaled back because of the escalating costs of retiree health care benefit programs, as illustrated in Michigan where they are “laying off teachers, scrapping programs and mothballing extracurricular activities…[because of]…health care bills of retirees.“(2). About 60% of personal bankruptcies are now attributed to medical care costs (3) and these rising costs are eroding family incomes (4), among many other devastating outcomes.

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WHO Warns Of Global Tidal Wave Of Cancer Deaths

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization, has warned that cancer treatments can’t beat a “tidal wave” of cancer deaths, and that obesity, smoking and drinking alcohol are three of the leading avoidable causes in industrialized nations. The following is their press release:

Global battle against cancer won’t be won with treatment alone

Effective prevention measures urgently needed to prevent cancer crisis

cancer reportThe International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization, is today launching World Cancer Report 2014, a collaboration of over 250 leading scientists from more than 40 countries, describing multiple aspects of cancer research and control.

Based on the latest statistics on trends in cancer incidence and mortality worldwide, this new book reveals how the cancer burden is growing at an alarming pace and emphasizes the need for urgent implementation of efficient prevention strategies to curb the disease.

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