Forget the Avian Bird Flu for Now – This Infection Is an Immediate Threat

January 10, 2006
Volume 03    |   Issue 2

While the world is waiting for the next flu pandemic, a dangerous bacterium has mutated. It's becoming nastier and is a threat to your health. But I'll show you how to beat it.

This bacterium, Clostridium difficile, used to be found primarily in hospitals, attacking weaker and older patients, and was more of an annoyance than a serious problem. It can cause nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue, was once easy to treat. A dose of antibiotics usually did the trick.

But now it's become resistant to the antibiotics that previously kept it in check. Once you get a bacterial overgrowth, the medications usually used to eradicate it may not work. C. difficile is not only being found outside hospitals, it's now infecting young, healthy people as well. Some of them have died from it.

Recently, researchers found an additional complication. Some common medications taken for heartburn, like Prilosec, Nexium, and other antacids, are contributing to this increased outbreak. This is because stomach acid naturally kills some C. difficile germs, keeping them under control.

What can you do if you get nausea and diarrhea? Run for the probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and other species of beneficial bacteria. Don't just take one or two of them and expect your symptoms to go away. Find the strongest probiotics you can and double up or triple up on their suggested dosage for a few days.

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There are plenty of probiotics you can find in health food stores. Some are stronger than others. One of the best formulas I've found Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics 10 Plus (available in most health food stores) was also found effective in good scientific studies against the deadly flesh-eating bacteria, Stapylococcus aureus. It's the product I use for all overgrowths of bad bacteria from those associated with the common flu to food poisoning. Ask for the strongest brands at your local health food store.

If you don't have nausea or diarrhea, this is an ideal time to keep your digestive tract healthy and ward off an outbreak. Start taking probiotics to build up your armies of friendly bacteria that can fight C. difficile or other pathogenic bacteria that are so rampant this time of year.

Second, don't take antacids if you can avoid them. Often, digestive enzymes work just as well without side effects. Antacids not only destroy the beneficial bacteria that keep pathogens in check, they can actually contribute to heartburn.

Third, avoid antibiotics whenever you can. Make sure your doctor has good reason to give you an antibiotic – like strong indications of a bacterial overgrowth. Viruses like colds and flu don't respond to antibiotics. Many "bugs" are becoming immune to antibiotics. If there's another solution, take it.

To keep on top of specific brands of probiotics, learn natural solutions to heartburn, and read about herbal antibiotics, subscribers to my newsletter can get further information on specific brands of probiotics, natural solutions to heartburn, and effective herbal antibiotics that don't cause antibiotic resistance. They're all available on my website.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,

Sources:

Gorbach, S.L., et al. "Successful treatment of relapsing Clostridium difficile colitis with Lactobacillus GG," The Lancet, December 26, 1987.

"Popular heartburn drugs linked to diarrhea," AP, December 19, 2005.

Fekety, R., and A.B. Shah. "Diagnosis and treatment of Clostridium difficile colitis," JAMA, January 6, 1993.

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