Tag Archives: hydrogen peroxide

Mind-bender antibiotics: hello date-rape obesity

Scared fat woman
You never know it’s happening, until it does. Copyright: xavigm / 123RF Stock Photo

Just a little pill, maybe a capsule.

But not slipped into your drink or hidden in your food – taken by you voluntarily.

Because your doctor prescribed it. A nasty chest infection perhaps – or in your urinary tract. UTIs are dangerous and need immediate attention.

Beware, beware

But that pill is dangerous too – to your particular system. An antibiotic that kills germs, yes – but also knocks out so many of your own bacteria inside your gut, you’re suddenly out of kilter.

Out of kilter, out of control, powerless and knowing nothing about it – as treacherous to you as the date-rape drug, rohypnol. Because now, against your will, you’re going to get fat – overweight like two-thirds of British adults already are – another victim of the obesity epidemic.

Fat, from one little pill? You’re probably on a course of them 3 times a day for 7 days, 500 mg each, serious stuff. First to tip you out of balance – and then to keep on shoving.

As we’re only starting to recognise now, our bodies are filled with microbes. At least 100 trillion bacteria live in our gut, more than ten times our total of human cells. There are even more viruses than bacteria, maybe 1,000 times more – and fungi too, we’re host to a whole micro-world we’re never aware of – mostly beneficial, some dormant, some hostile but unable to do anything because they’re so out-numbered.

Wow, a whole new entity of our bodies we never knew about – our living life force, possibly more important than our brain, heart, lungs and all of the rest of us put together. Teeming and breeding, doing all the heavy lifting we always thought we did ourselves – like digesting, driving our feelings, regulating our body balance and controlling our immune system.

Disaster explosion

OK, so you can imagine what happens when a dose of antibiotics suddenly arrives among this lot out of nowhere. Antibiotics kill bacteria, so it’s like a terrorist letting loose with an atom bomb, then shooting in all directions with a machine-gun.

If your Doc is clever, this antibiotics bomb will mostly target the bacteria that’s giving you grief, the cause of your UTI. Your body balance changes, your bloodstream goes around, and your kidneys get reinforcements against what ails them. That’s the upside.

Yeah, but in your particular case – we’re all as individually different in the variation and numbers of microbes we have in our systems – your balance has gone for a ball of chalk. Lots of “good guy” bacteria have died, allowing more “bad guy” bacteria into their place.

And if you’re unlucky, that could mean enterobacteriaceae, a bacterium that interferes with food extraction capability and telling your appetite when you’ve had enough, sending false signals to your brain. Enterobacteriaceae, the obesity pathogen.

Maybe the bacterium triggers your brain into eating more – and eating compulsively. Maybe it doesn’t. Could just be that it squeezes every last ounce and energy out of your food, way more than normal. Is your poo less? Less body waste, there’s a clue right there. It depends on your metabolism.

So say you don’t bulk up immediately, your size 12s still fit if you breathe in first. Then you start to notice – always feeling tired, always thirsty, always busting to go to the loo – beginnings of type 2 diabetes.

Because you don’t just get fat on the outside, you can get fat on the inside too. Around your liver and pancreas spells trouble – diabetes without even LOOKING fat.

Antibiotics tsunami

But maybe it’s not enterobacteriaceae at all, you’re being manipulated by something else – still just as powerless, still a victim against your will. Unconscious brain washing.

Any farmer could probably guess right away. It’s the El Dorado of modern farming – feed antibiotics to your livestock and body growth accelerates almost immediately – from calf to cow in 18 months instead of 4 years – bigger, fatter, worth a lot more money.

Ew! Antibiotics have skewed your bacteria to fatten you up, just like a pig for market.

Which also means you’ve been on antibiotics long before the Doc gave you your current prescription bomb. All your life in fact – even right back, before you were born.

Because antibiotics have been so successful at growth promotion in the food production industry, they’re used everywhere and all the time – for livestock, pigs, poultry, fish – even vegetable, fruit and grain crops.

Pretty well whatever you eat has antibiotics in it – either directly in feed, or indirectly through manure boosting feedstock growth, lacing the soil, or leaching into our rivers and drinking water.

And every time they hit your gut, even in drip-drip little quantities, they kill more bacteria, shove your balance even more out of whack, reduce the vital biodiversity your body needs for all the many functions it has to perform. Leaving only the stronger, tougher basics – descended from the crude essence of the first life forms on Earth millions of years ago – able to withstand cataclysmic volcanic eruptions, meteor strikes, earthquakes, acid seas, drought and extreme temperatures.

You will survive. But price is, you’re going to be fat. Fat and increasingly unhealthy too. Not just from obesity and probable type 2 diabetes – from all kinds of other illnesses as well.

Not feeling so good

Yes, your appetite system has been massacred, but so has your immune system. And your Mum’s before you – and her Mum’s before her – three generations of continuous bombardment, so that our biodiversity is 30% less than it was the day antibiotics were first discovered.

And it’s not just you, it’s all of us. Two-thirds of adults, a third of our kids are already affected – by a slow-motion rape that is only just beginning.

Not the kind of thing you can go to the cops for though. Better to get clever.

OK, so if antibiotics are out, what protection is there against dread diseases and infection?

Not a lot once you’ve got them, except the expertise of your doctors and meticulous attention to hygiene – oh, and the one proven treatment before antibiotics, fighting external infections with silver.

Which means get a paper cut at work and you’re still reasonably safe – wash it out well and use an antibacterial silver plaster from Boots, £2.50 for a pack of 10.

Rediscover hygiene

And there’s key right there too – wash, wash, wash. Keep yourself clean and safe and your internal microbes can’t be touched. Mist up the air with hydrogen peroxide and the bugs in the air can’t get you either. And they’re there alright – flu, colds, TB, pneumonia? Everything else too, these microbes are so small just about all of them ride the air, even though they’re not normally airborne.

Eat right and careful too. If you can reduce enterobacteriaceae, you change the balance for other bacteria to take their place. Like if you’re lucky, christensenella, a bacterium that might actually make you thinner.

Away with 18s and back to the 12s.

There’s nothing nice about being raped – or being violated by obesity. But your soul can only feel better for being yourself again.

Originally posted 2016-01-22 15:04:19.

Gut feel says Dame Sally is right – and it IS all BS

Woman with tummy trouble
Our defences are down – so we need better hygiene

Nannying, yes. But Dame Sally is absolutely right.

And the proof is in our own gut – our gastrointestinal tracts.

Down there, where more than 100 trillion of our own body bacteria are hard at work, providing the life force by which we are who we are – the essence of every one of us.

Our microbiota reality

Our bacteria are possibly the most important body component of all – more than the brain, the heart, the lungs, or any of the rest of us. Simply because, without them we wouldn’t exist. No digestion, no energy, no power, no immunity, no emotion, no opportunity to think – the OS software to drive the body machine.

Pretty vital, right? But already under very serious threat.

Because to fulfil all those functions and enable the many thousands more that we’re capable of, the nature of those bacteria needs to be as diverse as possible – an app for every life eventuality and challenge, our body’s answer to everything.

Great, but nothing like as resilient or all-capable as it was. In the last 50 years, the biodiversity of our internal bacteria has dropped by 30%. Not as many varieties, not as many in each category, whole swathes of them killed off and gone.

Result, we’re not what we were – underperforming 30%. Not so well regulated or running so smooth. Prone to glitches and weaknesses. Out of adjustment and out of balance. Less able to resist hostile bacteria from outside. Liable to infection. Drifting out of control.

All this from bacteria? All they do is eat, right? So how come?

When things go wrong

Ah, but it’s what they eat and how they eat it – and whether they do or don’t. Whether that’s the right thing to do, or something’s not happening because they’re not there anymore.

Like the bacteria that react to taste and hunger satisfaction.

When the body needs energy, the taste boys trigger the brain – and we start lusting after food to suit, whatever the need is. Carbohydrates one way, protein another – which the brain translates into chocolate cake or burger and chips, according to our food experience.

Likewise, when we’ve had enough, the hunger satisfaction boys pull the plug. We’ve eaten, there’s fuel in the tank, we’re good to go for the next few hours.

So what happens if these two glitch? The taste boys go berserk for Coke, bacon sarnies and endless indulgence. The hunger satisfaction boys switch off altogether – can’t be bothered, or can’t remember what they’re supposed to be doing.

Whoops – binge eating. Gobbling mindlessly because we’re out of control. Noshing for the sake of it. Addicted to taste rewards and stopping at nothing to get it. Meal times, snacks in between, constant nibbles – a one-way ticket to obesity. Not a conscious thing in the mind, but compulsion by the body.

All because our bacteria are not all there, or not functioning properly. Dead and gone or missing and damaged.

So what kills bacteria, or graunches them like this?

Enter, the killer

Nothing less than the miracle drugs that have changed modern medicine.

Antibiotics – the phenomenon that has made the impossible possible – heart transplants, brain surgery, hip replacements, everything. And they’re used for everything too, the magic muti that people demand for even the slightest ailment – even against viruses, where they never work. Little Jimmy’s got the flu, give him some streptomycin.

Use and over-use, de luxe.

Er, they also make things grow – faster, bigger, better – bulking up to twice the size in less than half the time.

Sixty-five years of continuous use and farmers are using 65,000 tonnes of the stuff every year. Shovelling antibiotics into livestock, poultry, fish, plants and grain crops like there’s no tomorrow. Millions and millions and MILLIONS of examples that antibiotics promote growth.

But hang on a moment, that’s the stuff that WE eat! If they’re full of antibiotics, that means we must be too. We eat them, it’s their fattening growth promoter that winds up in OUR stomachs.

Nah, nah! Got it all wrong mate. The authorities know about residual antibiotics, so every farmers keeps a withdrawal log to show when he stops dosing them, ready for market. The stuff metabolises into the animal’s system – ten days or two weeks, we’re jake – no antibiotics.

Yeah, right

Which with respect to Dame Sally, is where the BS comes in – and we do mean cow-poo.

Yeah OK, all those animals go through withdrawal. But like they’ve done all their lives, they generate poo by the ton. Beef cattle for instance excrete between 80 – 90% of the nutrients they consume. Along with a lot of the antibiotics they’ve noshed too.

Some of that poo gets processed and fed back to them again – it’s still got lots of nutrients, why not?

And cow-poo makes manure – which fertilises the grass they eat, and a whole stack of cash plant crops too. Including maize meal, corn, rapeseed and sugar beet, which cows get to eat as well – many of these crops also boosted by their own antibiotic growth promoters or blight defence.

You can see where this is going.

The farmer might pull the antibiotics his cows get – they’re still mainlining on the stuff coming through in the crops grown to feed them. BS from start to finish – animals and plants are still full of antibiotics – and we keep eating them, three meals a day, every day from child-birth on up.

Double whammy

OK, Dame Sally, that’s TWO sources of antibiotics everyone has. The medical one, dosed up when sickness strikes, but often silly stuff as well. And the food one, with a residual dose coming through in everything we eat – the water too, because the cattle run-off flows into the streams.

Yup, they’re right there in the Thames – trimethoprim, oxytetracycline, ciprofloxacin and all your other favourites. How do you like them apples – which, by the way are also routinely sprayed with streptomycin and oxytetracycline?

Uh huh.

So now you expect the standard rant about antibiotics resistance and how medicine faces a crisis.

Sorry Dame Sally, but we’re out of our heads about much worse than that.

First off, the obesity epidemic that already has two-thirds of adult Brits overweight and at risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and all the others. The cows were overweight, so we are too – in a slow-motion epidemic that will take decades – quite different from the rapid-fire flu disaster of 1918, or the months-long onset of AIDS.

Second, the lowered resistance and defence capability of our internal bacteria. We’re 30% more susceptible to illnesses and disease – along with unexplained malfunctions in all parts of the body, allergies, deficiencies and other types of failure – probably autism and mental issues too.

And that’s why you’re right to nanny us, Dame Sally. Why we should carry tissues, wash our hands, drink tea not wine and step away from the Jammie Dodger. We’re more at risk than we’ve ever been.

Because in our biologically impaired and deficient state, we’re more likely to catch germs and fall sick, more likely to go off the rails eating the wrong stuff, more likely to wind up in hospital.

As you’ve said yourself, many times, Dame Sally – we need to tighten up on the way we care for ourselves – we need to rediscover hygiene.

Up our game, or else…

And as the pace of this crisis accelerates, that means way more than hand washing. It means the living space around us too. Janitorial companies make a lot of noise about deep cleaning to get rid of germs. But it’s not just surfaces that need attention, it’s the very air around us too.

Viruses and bacteria are so microscopically small, they’re most of the time airborne. Which is why we need a Hypersteriliser – to mist up the air with ionised hydrogen peroxide so that everything is sterilised, safe. Our internal bacteria are safe – the external ones are all oxidised to nothing.

Yeah, we gotcha Dame Sally.

The BS stops here.

Originally posted 2016-01-21 16:20:48.

Once ALL antibiotics go phut, what do we do?

Helpless doctor2
When the drugs don’t work and your system is down, better be seriously careful
with your hygiene

You take the pill, you swallow, it does absolutely nothing.

The Doc changes your meds, and gives you a shot.

Still nothing.

You’re going downhill fast and this bogey is gonna get you.

Miracle drugs failure

Because when antibiotics don’t work – and they’re beginning not to Big Time – there’s not a lot medicine is able to do.

Why DON’T they work?

Shoulda listened to the heavies when they warned us years ago.

Overuse of antibiotics has triggered an unstoppable wave of antimicrobial resistance – superbugs immune to whatever we throw at them. Already there are some that are resistant to ALL antibiotics. Soon that will be the norm. The cupboard is bare. No more miracle drugs to save us from expiry

As Sir Liam Donaldson – England’s Chief Medical Officer before our charismatic Dame Sally Davies – said back in March 2009, “Every antibiotic expected by a patient, every unnecessary prescription written by a doctor, every uncompleted course of antibiotics, and every inappropriate or unnecessary use in animals or agriculture is potentially signing a death warrant for a future patient.”

In other words STOP USING ANTIBIOTICS.

Not good if you’re already on the slippery slope.

But sound advice considering the damage that antibiotics have done.

Double-edged swords

Damage? Aren’t they supposed to be life-savers?

Once upon a time, yes. But that show left town.

You see, antibiotics work by killing bacteria. Which means round about now they’ve been killing bacteria inside our bodies for sixty-five years.

Not wrong, but oops!

We may not know it, but down in our gut, our bodies are home to several hundred trillion bacteria. They outnumber our human cells by more than 10:1 – and as we’re starting to learn more and more, they’re absolutely essential for our survival.

Because it seems they’re not just along for the ride, they do important things that affect our whole bodies. Like handle digestion, produce proteins, regulate our immune system – even shift our emotions and define our habits. And every single one of us has a unique combination of bacteria, as individual as fingerprints.

Plus this microbiota, as researchers call it, is not just any old bunch of bacteria. To keep us healthy it has as wide a diversity as possible – biological experience and instructions for protecting the body, keeping it in tune, and repelling invaders.

Yeah, so?

At war with our gut

For sixty-five years we’ve been throwing antibiotics at it – every time an atom bomb of killing in our gastrointestinal tract. Bad bacteria destroyed, yes – and a whole lot of beneficial ones as well.

Amazingly, our microbiota usually manages to recover. A bit wobbly maybe, to be expected with several million vital bits knocked out. Which kinda explains why it never QUITE gets back to normal.

Bad news for our kids, because they can only go with what we pass on to them. Assaulted by antibiotics on prescription maybe ten times by the time we’re sixteen.

And ALSO drip, drip every single day from the residual antibiotics we ingest from food – more and more and more – because antibiotics are a major growth promoter for livestock and plant crops, so farmers have used them on an industrial scale for the last sixty-five years.

Uh huh.

Which goes to explain why our bodies’ biodiversity is 30 per cent lower than it was 50 years ago. 30% less able to do all the things they used to be able to do, 30% less resilient, 30% more prone to infections and diseases.

Not helped at all by our lazy couch-potato lifestyle, our sugar-laden diet of processed convenience foods, or the fat we put on thanks to antibiotics bulking us up like pigs ready for market.

Yeah, so we get ill with something, bad enough to need an antibiotic – and the things don’t work. Plus our resistance is down 30% from where it should be. What the heck do we do now?

In the poo

Strangely enough, being in the crapper is one answer.

We’re in trouble because our microbiotas are under-powered, right? No miracle drugs to rescue us, and our internal bacteria are under fire.

OK, so first, send in reinforcements – healthy bacteria from someone who is perfectly hale and hearty. Backup and restore in the shape of a poo pill or poo transfer. Because believe it or not, FMT or faecal microbiota transplants are fast becoming an effective way to restore the gut imbalances that make us ill.

In the clear

Next, avoid getting ill in the first place. Steer clear of germs and get rid of them when they threaten.

Which means back to soap and water – washing our hands before and after every activity that could cause trouble – always before food, and always after the loo.

And keeping germs out of our indoor living space too – where we work, where we eat and sleep, where we get together. All easily neutralised with a Hypersteriliser – by a hydrogen peroxide mist that oxidises all viruses and bacteria to nothing on every surface and throughout the air – safe, sterile and secure.

Antibiotics?

Yeah, still a problem for major surgery where infection control is vital.

But for everyday living – as long as we’re careful, we don’t need them.

 

 

Originally posted 2016-01-20 14:57:24.

Contagious, infectious, why you’re gonna catch it

Unhappy woman in viral mask
They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere! And germs aren’t picky who they infect

What goes around, comes around, right? Which is why you’re gonna catch it.

Because we’re not all hermits.

We need to be with each other and share things – at work, at home, or out enjoying ourselves.

Get a life and keep it

Otherwise, avoiding bugs is easy – we stay in splendid isolation and talk to nobody.

Not much of a life though, hey?

So we’re out there with everybody else – and sure as little apples, if there’s a bug going round, we’re ALL gonna catch it.

No, no, it’s not going to be because someone coughed over us, or sneezed in our direction. It’s not going to be because somebody honked their guts out on the office carpet either.

We’re careful, we keep away. We’re sympathetic, yes – but we don’t let that stuff touch us.

Besides, the place LOOKS clean and our hands aren’t dirty. If whoever it is stays away from work, we’re laughing.

If only we knew.

Because they could stay away for a week and we still might catch it.

Telling ourselves we can’t SEE germs doesn’t mean they’re not there. And germs, believe it or not, can survive for weeks clinging on to whatever – not the same as a nice, warm bod, but do-able.

So yeah, they’re there alright, all around us – like raindrops in a rain storm… No, hang on, that’s not all-embracing enough – like steam particles in a sauna.

SURROUNDING us.

Our own bio-aura

For starters, we each of us trail a cloud of germs – actually a cocktail of bacteria, skin and hair debris, viruses, fungi particles and dust all around us wherever we go.

There’s more in the air too, swirling and floating in every space on Earth. Too small to see so we don’t even think that they exist. Good germs, bad germs – so universally present it’s almost impossible to avoid them.

Only by washing them away are we momentarily safe from them – or eliminating them from the space around us, which amounts to the same thing.

Otherwise, we’re at risk, every moment of our existence.

We’ll touch something that somebody else has touched – a door handle, a light switch, a salt shaker or a phone. Next minute, because we do, we’ll touch our face and that’ll be it – bacteria will get in through our eyes or mouth – we’ve got the bug.

Yeah OK, most of the time it doesn’t happen.

Careless hygiene costs health

Our life and its surroundings are clean enough and hygienic enough for us to get away with it.

Which means we get forgetful. Careless because we’re always on the go. We don’t clean things, because they don’t look dirty. Or we get Harry casual when we do, choosing a wipe instead of a proper scrub with soap. And as for disinfecting… not even on the radar.

Want an example?

Look no further than your favourite coffee hangout.

More especially, watch the barista make your start-of-the-day cappuccino to go. See that steam pipe on the Gaggia machine? That’s to bubble the milk, give it that distinctive foam al perfetto.

Uh huh.

Now watch the J-cloth that wipes the pipe, then into the plastic jug, waiting for the next order. Watch again. Same wipe action, back to the jug. Over and over – all morning if you watch long enough.

Not exactly hygienic, right? Shouldn’t that be a fresh cloth every time? Or a tear-off paper towel?

Yet who else is watching? Not even an inspector is likely to pick that up. Unconscious habit – and so perfectly normal that nobody sees a thing.

And that’s how it happens. Sleep-walking ourselves into sickness.

A little bit of soap

Like, be honest, when was the last time you washed your hands? Before you left home? When you reached work? After you hit the loo? Before your ritual ‘cino and Danish?

Don’t worry if you feel a twinge of conscience at the last two. Most people forget either of them are so vital – a wonder we don’t fall down dead with so many germs around.

Makes you think twice about the office though, doesn’t it?

Perhaps not as safe as you think.

Especially when Harry from Sales upchucks after the staff party.

All those germs floating around. Billions and billions of them. Often only 2 microns across – small enough to fall THROUGH an unglazed terra cotta plate.

Ew! Because it only takes around ten particles of norovirus – our favourite winter vomiting bug – to infect someone. And one droplet of vomit can contain 100,000,000,000 particles.

OK, so Harry stays away – and so do you. Except it’s near the photocopier, an area you can’t avoid.

Germ defence force-field

Nae problem, your work has got you covered with a Hypersteriliser.

You go home last thing – and the chars move in, right? And last thing when they quit is press the button on the machine.

Hisssssssss!

That’s ionised hydrogen peroxide misting up the place. Penetrating everywhere through the air space and oxidising germs on the fly. Over, under, behind, through – into all the cracks and corners. Over every surface too.

Forty minutes later, the place is sterilised. No viruses, no bacteria, nothing.

Next day, Harry is safe, home in bed.

And you’re safe with your ‘cino and Danish – after a turn by the wash basin. No point taking needless chances.

Except what? No Hypersteriliser, it was only on appro?

Better book your own sickie off now, it’s only a matter of time. And get the boss to order one fast.

Because you’re going to catch it.

So’s he.

Originally posted 2016-01-12 16:27:37.

Avoid norovirus or worse as flood waters drop

Rain girl
Just remember, germs are like raindrops but smaller – up in the air and all over the place until you get rid of them

Goodbye Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva and Frank.

You weren’t nice and we never liked you – good riddance.

Likewise storms yet to come – Gertrude, Henry, Imogen, Jake and Katie.

We know you’re coming, but don’t expect us to roll out the welcome mat. You and the rest of your Named Storms mob have done enough damage already.

The long road back

So now it’s the heartache and the clear up. Putting your life back together.

But be careful.

There’s sickness in that water – and sickness where it’s been.

Up to your ankles in the kitchen, even more in the street. With the over-run sewer system four feet below that. Which means there’s poo in that water, nothing about it is safe. And as the level goes down, that yuck is going to be everywhere.

Be safe, don’t touch it, or risk getting it on your skin. Norovirus could be lurking there – or even worse, cholera. For sure, there’s nothing healthy.

So whatever you do, wash your hands if it gets on them – or if you’ve touched anything lying in it. Norovirus spreads on contact – and it only takes a dab. You don’t want that misery on top of everything else. Cramps, runs, upchucks – no thank you.

Wash your hands properly too, this stuff is pernicious. Find yourself some hot water – as hot as you can stand – and give yourself a good going over. Soap and scrubbing brush. Under your nails and between your fingers. Like you’ve got plague on them and you can’t take chances – which if you think about it, is true.

Proper hygiene is everything

And which of course means your place will need the same treatment.

After days of immersion in poo, sweeping out the mud and hosing everything down is not going to be good enough – not even with a turbo-wash. It’ll be in the wallpaper and the plaster – in the concrete and even the bricks. Going to have to be brutal.

It’ll be UNDER the floorboards too – in the crawl space around the foundations. By the time you get to it, a kind of sludgy, gooey gunge. Norovirus in there – and all other kinds of nasties. Squirt it out if you can, possibly forcing it out through the air bricks. You don’t want the drama of ripping everything up to get rid of it.

Yes, it’s a health hazard, but if you can get rid of most of it, it’s possible to neutralise the rest with hydrogen peroxide or some other oxidising steriliser.

Misting up the under-floor gap with a Hypersteriliser is a good choice – any airborne germs will be clobbered immediately and the stuff is good at forcing itself into difficult nooks and crannies. Any viruses or bacteria it comes in contact with will be dead in around 40 minutes.

Likewise any mould. The hydrogen peroxide won’t physically get rid of it, but it will kill it dead – you can tell in two ways. It won’t be that horrible black any more, but a pale grey. And whatever smell there might be – if it’s anything organic – will have disappeared.

That hydrogen peroxide mist will work well in the rest of the house too – especially at getting rid of the smell. But remember it’s only a vapour – actually a super-vapour called a plasma, which is why it’s so effective. But it won’t physically clean or scrub, so any smells could come back when the stuff wears off after a week or so.

It pays to be thorough

To do the job properly, you’ve got to chuck away all the carpets, lino, wallpaper and plaster so you can scrub down with disinfectant right to the bare walls and floor. Your place won’t look pretty, but at least it will be safe. Mist it up again with hydrogen peroxide and chances are good any smell is gone permanently.

The no-smell thing is important, because that means any microbial action has been stopped – there are no more germs breeding in there to come and get you. If the smells come back it either means you missed a bit and the germs break through when the hydrogen peroxide wears off – or the place isn’t fully dry and mould is reforming. Another mist-up will give you a quick fix, but the real answer is to get down and dirty all over again – this time, with a more eagle eye.

Look after yourself while you do all this, because don’t forget you ARE exposing yourself to germs – and nasties like norovirus are airborne as well coating everything, so you could by mischance breathe some in. To be really safe, Public Health England have this excellent guide – useful and easy step-by-step stuff anyone can follow.

There, all done – and well done you. A real schlep, but you don’t want anyone coming down with anything serious on top of all the other setbacks.

Welcome back to the land of the living.

Originally posted 2016-01-07 16:22:45.

Red Alert: smog in China – bio-smog in your office

Worried woman in mask
Yes, it’s in the air – and our defences are lower than they’ve ever been

It’s Beijing’s first red alert ever. Schools closed, cars banned, visibility down to 600 yards in places.

It’s nasty stuff too. Poisonous particles, like a toxic gas. Essential to wear a face mask.

But at least you can SEE smog. You know it’s hazardous, so you can take precautions.

Invisible killers

Not like germs.

One cell of a virus or bacterium might be only 2 microns across. A millionth the size of a smoke or dust particle. Too small to be visible. A bio-smog.

But it’s a fact of life that germs are all around us, all the time .

They’re even necessary – hard to believe, but we’re mostly composed of bacteria ourselves. 10% human, 90% bacteria.

So it’s kind of essential we look after our bacteria as much as ourselves. Microscopic partners that keep us going, regulate our metabolisms, and even power our immune systems.

Invisible world

Of course the world we live in full of bacteria too, especially the air. Viruses, fungi, mould – all kinds of living organisms. And everything else too – oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, dust, fumes, smoke, particles of this and that. Exactly like smog, only invisible.

Not normally a bad thing either. Most of the time we’re never aware of these swirling, floating clouds of matter.

We even generate our own – a personal aura of surrounding bacteria unique to each of us, plus tiny flecks of dead skin, hair, grease, sweat and other body detritus – a unique body signature we trail around with us wherever we go.

It’s not unlike a force field that keeps bad stuff out. Bad bacteria can’t get into our bodies because our resident good bacteria crowd them away.

Unless an accident lets them in through a cut or skin break. Or we let them in through the sensitive tissue of our eyes, nose and mouth which we unconsciously touch 2,000 – 3,000 times a day. Or if we ingest them with our food, or simply breathe them in.

Bio-smog

So there it is – bio-smog in the office. Only we don’t know it’s there. An ever-present atmosphere of both life-giving and hazardous forces that we are immersed among every single day.

We could be victim to them at any second. Just be in the wrong place at the wrong time, touch the wrong thing or person, and BOOM – it’s flu, or norovirus, or an allergy attack, or whatever is doing the rounds.

OK, we all know the downside of getting sick.

Our bodies go through varying degrees of unpleasantness while they fight the infection – coughs, sneezes, cramp, vomiting – until we feel better. Our immune systems kick in with defences learnt as an infant, crawling around stuffing things into our mouths. A couple of days, and we’re better.

Or not.

Which is when we go to hospital, so our bodies can get help.

And one of the first treatments we get is the miracle of our modern age – a course of antibiotics. Amazing stuff, truly. Within hours we turn the corner. The bad bacteria in our bodies get clobbered, their attack is halted. Everything goes back to normal.

As if.

Not so miraculous

Because antibiotics don’t only kill the bad bacteria – they kill a lot of the good ones as well. Or hurt them, mutate them, change what they do, or prevent them from doing it properly. Collateral damage.

Which is why so many of us keep feeling sick after the antibiotics – it takes a while for our surviving bacteria to get back on their feet.

Oh yes.

Dropping an antibiotic capsule in among the 100 trillion bacteria that colonise our gut is exactly like lobbing a hydrogen bomb among the high-rise apartment blocks of one our biggest cities. Exactly why doctors never prescribe them unless they’re necessary.

Except of course, we “know” about antibiotics, we pressure them to. Gimme my miracle I want it now!

Result, antibiotics have become so overused they’ve developed resistance. Whole chunks from our repertoire of miracle drugs don’t work any more.

If only that was the worst of it.

You see, it’s not just medicine that overuses antibiotics. The big culprit is farming.

Overuse, big time

Shovelling antibiotics into food livestock enables more intensive methods with bigger profits – more animals in less space that’s not always clean. It bulks them up too – makes them fatter, faster, ready for market sooner. Even bigger profits.

The same with plant crops – more from less, quicker. The food production jackpot.

Thing is though, that traces of those antibiotics get through to us in everything we eat. Since child-birth and even in the womb, we’ve been exposed to background antibiotics our entire lives. Little hydrogen bombs one after another – boom, boom, boom!

Uh huh.

So no matter how carefully we’ve been nurtured through childhood, our immune systems are shot.

Where our bacteria would have acquired hereditary defences from our mothers and learned new ones from good, healthy exposure to dirt as dribbling babies – they’ve been killed off, stunted, or made unable to recognise threats when they happen.

Yeah, our immune systems are still working, sort of. But not as effectively as before this constant flood of antibiotics started washing over us.

Grandma never got dosed with 20 micrograms of streptomycin every day from the milk she drank. Or enrofloxacin from her boiled egg. Her immune system remained fully intact. No phantom allergies in her day – any illness was real and her body fought it off, naturally.

Without looking like a porker, either.

Bigger and bigger

Yeah, you’ve got it. Just like farm animals, we bulk up too.

In the last twenty years – exactly the time that farming with antibiotics has moved into high gear – we’ve ballooned bigger and bigger. Today, a quarter of our kids are grossly overweight – and two thirds of adults – an increasing cause of heart disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, cancers, depression and anxiety.

Bad?

You bet. A double-whammy.

“Antibiotics resistance is as big a risk as terrorism,” says Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England.

“Obesity is the new smoking,” says Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England.

Except what neither of them mention is the even BIGGER threat – that antibiotics have weakened and eroded our immune systems – and continue to do so.

Not good news when there’s 30 of you in the same office, sharing the same space, touching the same things and breathing the same air. Twenty years ago maybe, but not now.

The external antibiotic

Unless of course your office is regularly treated with a Hypersteriliser. A nightly or even weekly mist-up with ionised hydrogen peroxide to oxidise ALL viruses and bacteria in your work space. On surfaces, in nooks and crannies, throughout the air space.

Total room sterility when you come in next morning. Sort of like an “external antibiotic”, but with none of the health risk – hydrogen peroxide decomposes after use into oxygen and water, which evaporates. Safe and secure.

Better than living with bio-smog.

Originally posted 2015-12-09 15:44:02.

The heck with superbugs, antibiotics make you fat

On the scales
No we’re not unhealty, our body bacteria are glitched

Forget the guilt trip, we’re not to blame.

At least most of us aren’t – even though, officially, Britain is Top of the Fat Pops of Europe – with more than a quarter of us already obese, and more than half of us definitely overweight or tending that way.

Not our fault

Yeah, admittedly there are SOME of us who do overindulge. Unhealthy eating, gorging ourselves. But not everyone’s into deep-fried Mars bars – even though we’re most of us a bit tubby.

We weren’t always like this, were we?

And while our modern lifestyle of going by car to our desk jobs, downing fast food and platzing out as couch potatoes in front of the TV doesn’t help, stress doesn’t help either. How many of us have sleepless nights worrying about our jobs, security, social image or love life?

No, not everyone’s into comfort food – in fact it’s more of a wonder we don’t waste away to nothing with all those anxieties going round in our head.

You are what you eat, the authority figures tell us – and yes, they’re right.

But they’re not exactly open with the truth about that – mostly because even THEY don’t know.

Awkward secrets

They actually don’t know that every mouthful we take – food or liquid – includes traces of antibiotics. That eggs, bread, meat, or even a glass or milk is likely to contain as much as 25 micrograms of tetracycline or something similar.

Why?

Because every day since agricultural researchers first fed streptomycin to reduce losses of cage-reared chickens back in 1946 – antibiotics have demonstrated the most unusual side-effect of rapid weight-gain, almost double in half the time, for ALL animal production.

Fast-forward to the 70s and 80s, with farmers hard-pressed to stay in business. Now antibiotics start being used on an industrial scale – 400 tons a year and more. They protect livestock crammed together in over-crowded and unhygienic conditions – AND bump up their weight faster, ready for market.

It’s an unbeatable money-maker. The big-time jackpot. So as agriculture ramps up into new high-tech intensive methods, antibiotics are added to the feedstuffs for everything – beef cattle, dairy cattle, pigs, lambs, sheep, chickens, turkeys – even fish like salmon.

No escape

Ah, so you’re vegetarian!

Don’t think you can escape that easily, antibiotics are used for plant culture too – streptomycin and oxytetracycline for fruit orchards and grain production, of course. And you bet – especially for big earners like crops for fuel ethanol and liquor distilling.

Antibiotics get into the soil too. Fertiliser from livestock, or pushed through from plants. The soil affects the ground water, so the stuff gets into everything else. Rivers, streams, reservoirs – and of course, your kitchen tap.

All of which means that whatever you eat or drink, every mouthful adds another micro-dose of antibiotics to your system. Every day, drip-drip-drip, a little more.

Your body bulks up – until one day, you look in the mirror and realise you’re a bit chubby, maybe even more than a bit. Not size 14 any more, most likely struggling for an 18.

No, no, no! You don’t want obesity or anything that goes with it. Not high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, strokes or other heart problems. Not depression, low self-esteem, anxiety or body rejection either.

So how can you avoid this constant dosing by fat-producing antibiotics?

Two chances

JAM or brute force.

JAM Is Just Add Money. Stop buying ordinary meat and veg and go for the organic stuff.

Yes, it does cost a good bit more, which takes deep pockets. But at least with organic, the farmers undertake not to use artificial anything, which should include antibiotics – but could be a bit iffy with cow manure from unchecked sources.

Always a bit iffy anyway, that “organic” label. Like how do we know everything doesn’t all come from the same place but with different stickers. It happens with sandwiches, so why not organic foods?

Brute force is exactly that. Boil those antibiotics out of existence,

You could get really thin doing this, which will certainly fix any weight problem. It won’t do you much good otherwise though, because antibiotics aren’t alive like bacteria – you can’t scald or oxidise them them to death (just in case you thought you could use an ozonifier) – you have to boil them out.

And the only way is Fawlty Towers landlady style – to boil the food for at least 30 minutes. You then have to chuck out the broth and rinse thoroughly – inevitably making sure all the food value is washed right out. Not much nutrition left there – kinda like canned foods, which are cooked sealed. All the goodness is in the brine – pour that away and it could be soggy cardboard.

Same with your water. Don’t just boil it, boil it to death. Run it through filter paper, twice. With luck you’ll be safe.

Doesn’t exactly inspire you with confidence if the Doc prescribes antibiotics should you get an infection, hey? Yeah trimethoprim will get rid of that urinary tract problem, but what else will it do?

Skewed body systems

You see antibiotics don’t just kill bacteria, they cause them to mutate. Over time and through many generations, the bacteria and others round them develop immunity. They become resistant in their genes, a quality they are able to pass on to other bacteria of completely different kinds.

Which is how a friendly, helpful and useful bacterium might pass on immunity to a passive but hostile pathogen already resident in the body – its character changes – and suddenly there’s a nasty resistant superbug running amok that no medicine can fix.

Change character? Oh yes. You see, bacteria are normally resident and necessary in the body – they even outnumber our human body cells 10 to 1. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to digest food, extract proteins, or regulate our body’s immune system. Mess with them and the whole system goes out of balance.

Which kind of explains why we’re not only getting obese, but coming down with all these weird allergies to milk, eggs, nuts, gluten, shellfish and the like. Asthma and eczema too. How come now, after all the millions of years of human existence without them?

Body bacteria glitched by antibiotics is how. Defences going crazy at phantoms that aren’t there. Lower resistance to all kinds of things, our bodies weaker and less resilient than they ever used to be. Not helped by so many of us demanding antibiotics for every little ailment.

The super-duper-bug

So yeah, enter the superbug resistant to ALL antibiotics.

Think it can’t happen? There’s a kind of super-salmonella already out there that no antibiotic can cure. About the only alternatives are an AK47 or a flame-thrower.

Or a Hypersteriliser.

It won’t kill bugs already in your system, but it won’t make you fat either.

What it will do is mist up your living space with hydrogen peroxide and oxidise ALL viruses and bacteria to nothing – safe for you to go back in without fear of germs or infection.

That plus keeping our hands clean all the time, and we may never need antibiotics any more. We simply avoid the germs they might be used for. It’s the old way of doing things. Rediscover hygiene.

Now to get the weight off. There’s even a way out from diabetes. Reduce the fat in your pancreas by as little as 6% and your system resets insulin production, you’re back on your way to normal.

Yeah, back to your chic, slim self!

Originally posted 2015-12-07 16:30:11.

Why pay to keep warm, but not to keep healthy?

Sweater girl
Warmth is even nicer…
when there aren’t any germs around

Winter’s coming.

Cold’s, flu – and all kinds of sniffy nasties.

So what do we do about it?

Not a lot.

Paracetamol, a blanket – and turn the heating up. Ah, lovely warmth!

Bills, bills, bills

£1,000 a year for a two-bed-roomed house. £5,000 and more for the office at work.

Worth every penny, right?

It won’t stop the sniffles – but goodness, how it feels to be human.

Unless you DO have the sniffles of course. Not human at all, however high you turn the thermostat. And so difficult to breathe when you feel like you’re boiling.

Open a window, let’s please have some air!

Shut the stupid thing quick – do you want us to catch our deaths?

Yeah, right. All those germs circling round. In the air conditioning, out of the air conditioning – spread evenly round the whole staff, so they all get a go. Cough, splutter, EXPLODE!

Fat lot of good paracetamol does when you’re feeling like death. Time to pull a sickie. That stuff on your desk can go to hell for a few days. Forget the heating, time to go to bed. Ironic too, that you’re running a temperature.

Germs, germs, germs

So what about those germs from whatever you’ve got? Still festering in the office, waiting for another victim. Because forget whatever we breathe in or breathe out, we all of us trail around a whole bio-aura of personal bacteria, dead skin cells and body detritus wherever we move.

That’s lingering in the office too. A whole different health hazard to your colleagues – who might have a condition or sensitivities vulnerable to your normal bio-balance. Harmless to you, a possible threat to them.

Plus of course, there’s whatever germs might be hanging around from everyday office activities. Lots of people eat at their desks, so there’s food fragments and attendant bacteria – and all kinds of stuff loitering about in the dust bunnies under keyboards and behind plasma screens – more microbial mayhem for the office germ threshold.

And most of all this stuff is floating around in the air. In that feel-good warmth the company’s paying £5,000 a year to generate. All that money to warm it, but nothing at all to take the bugs out.

Which is crazy, because for not much more than £4 a pop, that whole office space could be sterilised every night – all germs oxidised to nothing by misting up the place with hydrogen peroxide – safe, secure and totally neutral for when your colleagues arrive in the morning.

So what is wrong with this picture? £4 a room (depending on the room size) – around £1,200 a year for the days the office is in use – say, quarter of the heating bill.

Health, health, health

The difference between running a temperature and costing money in sick leave, or feeling that luscious warmth wrap around you in another illness-free day, doing what you do best and MAKING money for yourself and the company.

All it takes is one press of a button on the front panel of a Hypersteriliser machine after everybody’s gone home – and ffffsssssss!

A super-fine all-penetrating mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide spreads everywhere throughout the work area, actively grabbing at viruses and bacteria in mid-air or on surfaces, ripping them to shreds till there’s nothing left.

How can you tell?

Well that two-week old chicken mayonnaise sarnie might still be tucked down the side of Fred Nurk’s desk, but you won’t be able to smell it. The bacteria that caused the stink are dead and gone – the place is pong-neutral until new bacteria start up again. Or Fred Nurk finally sees the remains and chucks them in the bin.

Warm air, good. Healthy air, even gooder.

And yet we never even think about it. We’re not a hospital. We’re not sick. So it never occurs to us about how we GET sick.

Because now we don’t have to. With no germs around, that doesn’t happen any more. No absentees, better productivity, more bonuses, greater profitability.

So why are the brass still moaning about a £5,000 electricity bill?

Originally posted 2015-12-03 16:20:21.

How using your phone on the loo could cost your job

Girl phoning on loo
You don’t want to know what could be on your phone

Look away now if you gross out easy – this one’s not for the squeamish.

Though you might squeam loud when you realise the consequences.

You see, your phone’s got poo on it. Dinkum.

Some researchers reckon it’s not every phone, it’s only one in six.

Yeah, right.

You’re sitting on the hopper, you get stuff on your hands – impossible not to. And your phone’s in your hands, so it’s got poo on it. A no brainer.

Forgotten hygiene habits

So maybe you’re one of that amazing minority who does actually wash your hands after going to the loo. Most people don’t, in fact they’re real chance-takers.

Uh huh. Even celebs like Jennifer Lawrence fess up that she doesn’t wash after taking a dump. She denies it now, but we all tell those kind of porkies, don’t we?

But let’s get real now, who in the world washes their phone?

Nobody, right? Water and phone batteries don’t get on.

But even if you did wash it, the stuff comes straight back onto your fingers next time you use the thing. And keeps transferring to everything you touch afterwards.

The stuff on your desk? The lift buttons, light switches, door handles and all? 10 million germs on it according to research.

And how do you think the stuff got there?

Your job on the line

OK, so totally gross – what’s this got to do with losing your job? ‘Elf & Safety poo police going to get you fired or what?

A lot worse than that.

Because with stuff on your hands and your desk and your phone, it’s inevitable you’re going to transfer some to other people – the people you work alongside, your colleagues.

And as you’ve probably experienced yourself many times in this life, Sod’s Law always applies.

So while most of the time nothing happens with all this stuff on your hands – just when you don’t want it to, things go pear-shaped. Like the faeces literally hit the propeller.

Most likely calamity choice? Norovirus – the most common cause of gastroenteritis world-wide. A.k.a. gastric flu or food poisoning – or as regulars of this blog already recognise, the Don’t-Wash-Hands Disease.

Translate that as severe cramps, projectile vomiting, violent diarrhoea and days of on-going misery. Strikes in as little as twenty minutes, twelve hospitals in Scotland already smitten with it, 3 million cases annually and around 80 deaths.

The UK’s top sickie

Yeah, a major player. Get norovirus in the office and it goes round like wildfire – seen what it does to cruise ships? But at least they’re ready for it – with doctors, nurses and a whole crew standing by with disinfectant sprays and the works. Back home, all anyone’s got in the office is Band-Aid strips.

OK, so you’re playing with fire. And with poo on your hands, sooner or later something WILL happen.

Like when that make-or-break project comes in, and it’s all hands to the pump. Concentrated 24/7 to get it done. The one critical shot at fame and fortune – or the company goes to the wall.

Think it can’t happen? Ace consultants Pricewaterhouse Cooper put the cost of sickness absence in the UK at £29 billion annually. Top accountant gurus Sage put it at three times that, topping £100 billion. Plenty of companies better than yours go bang against money like that.

Facing reality

So how’s it going, with everyone at home, groaning and clutching their gut? Networked on the laptop, sitting on the loo, nobody’s brain more than mush for longer than five minutes – what chance do any of you have?

Yeah, the writing’s on the wall. Take chances and there might not BE a company left to work for.

So them’s your marching orders.

Don’t take your phone to the loo and ALWAYS wash your hands. Wipe the phone regularly with antiseptic wipes – and everything on your desk too.

If we’ve made you paranoid – and with so many germs hazards around it’s difficult not to be – you can even sterilise your office nightly with a Hypersteriliser. Germs oxidised to zero by ionised hydrogen peroxide – all surfaces and the air itself – the whole place, safe and secure.

Anyway, who wants to talk in the loo? Whoever’s in the stall next to you starts blabbing and it’s all over town, like a virus of its own.

Better to keep schtum – and hold your job.

Originally posted 2015-12-02 15:55:06.

Workplace germs: a loaded gun on every desk

Gun
Invisible – and make no mistake – deadly

Try this, right now.

Lift your keyboard and look underneath. Pretty yuck, huh?

Everyday killer

Where did all that come from? How long has it been there? What kind of germs might be living in it? Are you safe?

The short answer is, that’s all you – and ANY germs can make you sick if you’re unlucky.

The usual bad boys are flu and norovirus – the most potent, meaning they’re easiest to catch. And the most common – ready to bring you down over and over again, several times a year.

Oh yeah. And just so you know, flu kills around 14,500 people a year – most of them elderly, but you only need one complication to be included in that number.

Norovirus is even easier to catch (20 particles is all it takes) and makes you wish you were dead – those cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea are the end of the world. If it’s bad, dehydration sets in – and if that goes pear-shaped too, it’s curtains. Around 80 people die from it every year, but diarrhoea can do that all by itself.

Norovirus is a major cause of gastroenteritis world wide, alongside the main villain, the salmonella family of 2,500 bugs. Both are usually to be found on your desk along with campylobacter – another family of horribles, escherichia coli, the shigella tribe of nasties, staphylococcus aureus, bacillus cereus and clostridium perfringens.

Invisible health hazard

That gun is loaded alright – and pointing straight at you.

So how come your desk is so dangerous – up to 400 times more bugged than a toilet seat?

Ah, but we know the toilet is a hazardous place for germs – so the facilities management people are in there like clockwork, cleaning and scrubbing several times a day, sometimes even once an hour.

But they don’t come anywhere near your desk, do they? Never anything more than a quick wipe – with the same cloth that does all the desks. All that confidential stuff, projects on the go – don’t touch or else.

Plus you eat there too – like nearly two-thirds of us do.

Which is where all those crumbs and dust particles come from – last week’s fish and chips, smears of dressing from yesterday’s salad because you were on a health kick, today’s pizza. All over the desk, too small to see – under the keyboard is just where they collect most easily, behind the screen too.

Now try this.

It only takes twenty minutes or so for bacteria reproduce itself. So after a couple of days that germ population has doubled. After a week or so, it’s doubled several times over.

One touch and all kinds of things transfer to your hands – which then touch your face, your eyes, your mouth, because so many of us rest our chin in our hand when we work. Infection by fomites.

Inevitable illness

Sooner or later you’re going to get it, even if you’re meticulous about washing your hands. And you really don’t want to know how bad we are about forgetting to do that – let alone how to do it properly.

There’s more germs in the air too, stirred up by us moving around. Also brought in by each of us as part of our personal germ-cloud.

We can’t see these either, but we all have a constant aura around us of billions and billions more bacteria, some good, some bad – neutral to us maybe, but a possible health risk to our colleagues with different sensitivities and immunities. Even if we’re well, we can make them sick.

And that doesn’t include the have-a-go heroes among us who drag themselves into work when they ARE sick – driven by pressure of work, or job anxiety, or simply unable to stay away. Gone to work with illness, ready to infect us all.

Looks like there’s more than one gun pointing at us.

Time to get bullet-proof. Strike back at these germs before they get us.

And there’s only one way.

Fight back

A mop and bucket won’t crack it, especially with all those computers around. It won’t touch the air either, 80% of any room space, where most of the germs are.

It has to be a Hypersteriliser.

Never heard of it? Get ready to kiss sickies goodbye. You might even be able to bundle your sick leave together with your holidays. Take a month off Pingsonbury, you’ve earned it.

The thing looks like a posh wheelie-bin with a nozzle and lights on it, ready to spray the room with hydrogen peroxide – one of the most effective germ-killers there is.

Posh is right, the thing is state of the art. Because it ionises the hydrogen peroxide as it sprays – changing it from an ordinary vapour into a plasma – boosting its performance by releasing hydroxyl radicals, reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, ozone (a more voracious oxidiser than hydrogen peroxide), and ultraviolet.

Give it forty minutes, and the room is totally sterile. No viruses or bacteria, all gone – even on your desk.

Yeah, the dirt and crumbs and dust bunnies are still there – you’ll have to swab those off yourself – with the wipes you keep around so your hands are always clean.

But now there’s no gun – and anyway the bullets are unloaded. You’re safe and so are your colleagues. Breath easy.

Now all you have to worry about are those lunatic drivers on the roads.

Originally posted 2015-11-27 14:44:59.