Antibiotics don’t work – our immune systems are shot too

Doctor's hand

You can’t get ill if you don’t catch germs in the first place

Blame it on our super-slick 21st Century lifestyle.

The one that cocoons us from the world, shielding us from harm and often reality.

It’s not like that in Asia. Or Africa. Or South America.

Or anywhere without our idyllic standard of living.

Mollycoddled weaklings

We’re so protected we have no resistance to anything that comes along – a baby could knock us over with a feather.

We’re too big deal, see. Too shielded for our own good.

That’s the key reason antibiotics don’t work anymore.

We’re so used to popping them for the slightest hiccup, we use them like sugar in our tea.

And with that volume of use, no wonder all the microbes and harmful pathogens have developed resistance. It’s kinda like putting shoes on before they go out for them. They all do it.

More fool us.

Because now when we take an antibiotic for something, it just sits there and looks at us.

“You mean you want me to protect you, drive out the evil nasties? Sorry, too much PT.”

It’s our own fault too. Our own stupidity.

You won’t find a youngster from Islamabad or Bogota behaving like us when we were kids.

We’re microbes too, you see. Sort of.

Millions of cells all bunched together, marching around – with all kinds of jumped up ideas about ourselves.

We’re cells, they’re cells, every living thing is cells.

Just act naturally

Which means we’d better co-operate and get on. It’s total oblivion otherwise.

And we do.

Everything we are and do is a trade-off with other living cells wanting to survive, just like us.

We’re surrounded by viruses and bacteria – billions and billions of them.

They even live IN us, they’re PART of us.

Like, there are more bacteria in our mouths than there are people on Earth.

They need to be there too. To aid digestion. To feed off all the gunge that could otherwise make us ill. To fight off harmful intruders. Basically for our own good.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t clean your teeth.

But as you already know, it won’t kill you if you don’t.

In fact, weirdly, it could even kill you if you do.

You give it the business with your toothbrush, right? Then you rinse off and put it away till next time.

Clean is dirty

Mistake right there – which could be the death of you.

Because moist surfaces open to the air are exactly what viruses and bacteria need to breed and thrive.

They do the same on your washing-up scourer. And the dish-cloth you dry your plates with. Your bathroom sponge. Your facecloth. Your towel.

The very things you use to clean are the most hazardous threats yet. Premier League germ spreader systems. (Tweet this) More dangerous than you could possibly imagine.

Of course, your five-year-old Bangladeshi kid knows nothing of this.

He’s too busy out with his pals, playing in the open air. Throwing stones, climbing trees, eating dirt. The things that kids do when they’re on their own. All perfectly natural.

Good clean dirt

Building up their immune systems, if you must know.

With good, clean dirt that will one day save their lives. Developing natural resistance and bigging it up. Always with some kind of sniffle or tummy twinge – ever wondered why kids are so snotty-nosed?

That’s normal  everyday tit-for-tat in the microbiology world. The daily trade-off between living organisms. Like cowpox knocks you back with a runny nose, but protects you big time from smallpox.

None of which happens, sitting indoors playing on an X-box. Or socking into chicken nuggets behind centrally-heated double glazing.

So when an ordinary common-or-garden pathogen rocks up – norovirus, say, or campylobacter – you’ve got no defence. Both give you gastroenteritis – queasy tummy, the runs, heaving your guts out.

No cast-iron stomach for you, you didn’t chomp mud when you were five.

OK, so we’re at hazard. Our antibiotics are tits up, and our immune systems have gone for a ball of chalk.

Yeah, we could take our chances and maybe die.

Or we could strike back.

Once we’ve got an infection, it’s more or less up to our own bodies to fight it off.
If we’re dirty enough, we can beat even Ebola – the upside of why some people survive.

Risky though. Better to sidestep altogether and not take chances in the first place. You can’t get infected if there’s no germs to infect.

We have a defence

Which is why sterilising everything is so effective. Especially our living space when we’re indoors. There might be sick people around, but their germs don’t have to linger for the rest of us to catch.

Blitz the place with hydrogen peroxide mist and that’s exactly what happens.

Germs don’t escape, they’re annihilated where they are, their cell structure ripped to shreds by oxidisation.

Twenty minutes, and we’re safe – whether antibiotics or our immune systems work, or not.

That easy, huh?

See! We’re not as badly off as the doom-mongers say we are.

Originally posted on 16 August 2018 @ 12:21 pm

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

This is before coronavirus. Before the world lockdown. Before everything started to change.

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. Yes, coronavirus too.

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.

* Note: Professor Dame Sally Davies was England’s Chief Medical Officer from June 2010 to September 2019. As of October 2019, the current Chief Medical Officer is Professor Chris Whitty.

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 21 December 2018 @ 8:21 pm

Originally posted on 21 December 2018 @ 8:21 pm

Yes, dirt can save lives

Baby smiler
Growing immune systems need to learn about germs too

Amazingly resilient, kids.

They get chickenpox, measles, mumps – and never get them again.

Or at least only rarely. Catch something once, they develop an immunity – which seems to protect them for the rest of their lives.

Not just illnesses either.

They might look weak and fragile, but kids have built-in resistance to all kinds of things, particularly allergies.

Brilliant survivors

Like it or not, it’s good for your kids to eat dirt.

Not that any of us believe it of course.

We’re so paranoid about germs and dirt and keeping clean, we wrap our kids up in cotton-wool and shut them away from anything bad.

Which could be the worst thing of all.

Overdo the sanitising gels, wipes, soaps, sprays, pasteurised milk, irradiated food and antibiotic everything, and we accelerate auto-immune disease.

Because we prevent the body from learning what is good and what is bad and developing defences for it.

Makes sense if you think about it.

Learning about germs

A baby explores everything with her mouth.

The most yucky stuff goes in there and we’re horrified at the possibilities.

But how often does something bad result – and how else can her immune system become attuned to the challenges around her if it doesn’t know what it’s up against?

So eating dirt is actually good, not bad.

Up to a point.

There is still a need for preventative hygiene. And the older kids get, the less likely they can get away with not washing hands, cleaning their teeth or all the other good habits that exist to keep them healthy.

Sure, kids who grow up with allergens and household bacteria wind up stronger than kids who don’t. But not when exposure is constant and excessive – like living in damp conditions surrounded by mildew and mould.

TB and asthma are not nice for anyone. And childhood afflictions tend to be life-long, or with recurring symptoms later in life.

Good dirt, bad dirt

Which means as a parent, you need to balance good dirt and bad dirt.

You can’t watch them every second of the time, but you can make certain whatever they get their hands on is not full of dog poo or overflow from the drains.

And you can insist on common sense as they get older, shifting them from exploratory habits to safer ones as their baby systems develop, teaching basic hygiene as you go.

Besides, when it comes to nosh, kids quickly get the picture anyway.

Here comes the aeroplane, full of yummy prune and butternut. Open the tunnel, all that good stuff going down inside, to make you strong and healthy.

More fun than clods of earth or mud pies.

Been there, done that, got the immunity.