Antibiotic Resistant Disease Is A Major Man Made Problem

The antibiotic-resistant bacteria Extended
Spectrum Beta Lactamase (ESBL) is killing both
people and swine in Denmark.

The bacteria has been implicated in the deaths
of a number of cancer and liver disease
patients. The number of infected patients
jumped 50 percent last year.

Health officials said the bacteria is being
transmitted to humans through pigs. The
increased use of antibiotics in agriculture may
be behind the spread of the resistant strain.

What are ESBLs?

Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamases (ESBLs) are
actually enzymes produced by certain types of
bacteria, which renders the bacteria resistant
to the antibiotics commonly used to treat them.

ESBLs were first discovered in the mid-1980s. At
the time they were mostly found in the
Klebsiella species of bacteria, in hospital
intensive care units. Until recently, few people
were affected by these mutated bacteria and it
didn’t appear to be a major growing concern.

That has changed, however. According to the
British Health Protection Agency (HPA), a new
class of ESBL (called CTX-M enzymes) has emerged,
which are now being widely detected among E.Coli
bacteria. These ESBL-producing E. Coli are
resistant to penicillins and cephalosporins, and
are becoming more frequent in urinary tract

Other species of bacteria that can now produce
ESBLs include:

K. pneumoniae

K. oxytoca


Proteus mirabilis

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

The Problem is Worse Than You Think!

According to a study published October 2007 in
the Journal of the American Medical Association
(JAMA), there were close to 100,000 cases of
invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus (MRSA) infections in the United States
in 2005, which lead to more than 18,600 deaths.

To put that number into perspective, HIV/AIDS
killed 17,000 people that year.

Antibiotic-resistant disease Is a major man-made

This was the study that propelled MRSA into the
news last year, combined with a number of school
outbreaks that took place around the same time.
Discussions focused largely on reducing medical
over-use of antibiotics, and proper hygiene such
as washing your hands with soap and water to
reduce the spread of infectious disease.

But little has been said about the rampant
over-use of antibiotics in agriculture, which is
a MAJOR source of human antibiotic consumption,
and hence increased antibiotic resistance.

Agriculture as a Source of Antibiotic Resistance

Both MRSA and ESBL are being traced back to
animals raised for food production, especially

These animals are often fed antibiotics at low
doses for disease prevention and growth promotion.
Animals receiving antibiotics in their feed gain
4 to 5 percent more body weight than animals that
do not receive antibiotics, but the price is high
for you, the end consumer, because this practice
also creates the perfect conditions for antibiotic
resistance to flourish.

Denmark’s health officials claim they’re unsure of
how farmers and veterinarians, who have not
consumed infected meat, are becoming infected.
However, according to research cited on Johns
Hopkins website, the main reservoir of these
organisms is in the lower digestive tract, and
they can persist within the gastrointestinal tract
for months. So perhaps the answer doesn’t have to
be all that complicated.

So, the meat industry practice of using antibiotics
is indeed a driving force behind the development of
antibiotic resistance in a now wide variety of
bacteria that cause human disease.

The long stalemate on this issue constitutes a
struggle between strong science and bad politics.
The FDA finally banned the use of fluoroquinolones
– a widely used class of antimicrobials — from
agricultural use August 1997, but not without the
Bayer Corporation kicking and screaming in vehement
opposition. After all, antibiotics for livestock
use is big business. It constitutes about 70
percent of ALL antibiotic use! They couldn’t
replace that market with human consumers even if
they tried.

Other Agricultural Sources of Antibiotics

Another heavily tainted meat product you should stay
away from is conventionally raised chicken. A 2006
study published in the Journal of Infectious
Diseases found that bacteria from conventional
chicken and from people who ate the chicken became
resistant to Synercid, a strong antibiotic used to
treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In essence, it
can cause resistance to the last lines of defense
currently available in the modern medicine cabinet.

It also found that it was rare to find resistant
bacteria among antibiotic-free chicken, while the
majority of bacterial isolates from conventional
poultry were resistant.

But, the ramifications of using antibiotics in
agriculture don’t end there. Antibiotics filter
down through the food chain in sometimes
non-suspecting ways.

Antibiotics are also being transferred, via
manure, into your food supply.

A 2007 study in the Journal of Environmental
Quality looked at whether food crops will
accumulate antibiotics from soil covered with
antibiotic-containing manure.

In a greenhouse setting, corn, lettuce and
potatoes were grown on soil that contained hog
manure with a commonly used veterinary
antibiotic added.

The antibiotics were absorbed by all three
crops, into both their leaves and tissue.
Meanwhile, the antibiotics also transferred to
the potato tubers, suggesting that root crops
like carrots, radishes and potatoes may be
particularly at risk of antibiotic accumulation.

These findings unfortunately also have
implications for organic farmers, who often use
manure as their main source of fertilizer. And,
as it stands, manure that contains antibiotics
is still allowed under the organic label.

How to Avoid Excessive Antibiotic Exposure

So how can you ensure that the food you feed to
yourself and your family is pure and healthy?

Apart from growing it yourself, your best option
is to get to know a local farmer near you — one
who uses non-toxic farming methods. If you live
in an urban area, there are increasing numbers of
community-supported agriculture programs available
that give you access to healthy, locally grown
foods even if you live in the heart of the city.

If you are looking for a safer alternative to
commercially raised beef please be sure to check
out grass-fed beef. Grass-fed cattle are not
routinely fed antibiotics. They may occasionally
receive them for an infection, but that would be
the rare exception, and even then they are only
used for a few days.

“Natural” is best, organic superior, and to learn how to undo the negative effects you already suffered.

Breaking the Antibiotic Cycle

Is this you: You have a sinus infection or bladder infection; you seek medical care and are prescribed an antibiotic; after you stop taking the antibiotic, your symptoms return, causing you to see the medical doctor again for more antibiotics? Before you know it, your symptoms do not go away and you are taking more and different antibiotics for longer and longer periods of time.

Or perhaps you are taking an antibiotic daily in an attempt to keep symptoms of an infection at bay?

Unfortunately, you are not alone. Antibiotics are the leading prescribed class of drugs in the United States, with an estimated 84 million prescriptions being written annually during office visits, and another 40 million prescriptions after discharge from hospitals (CDC, AIA). It is also estimated by the Centers for Disease Control, that only 10% of these antibiotic prescriptions are warranted.

The Three Major Causes of Infections…

Not all infections are alike, even though they seem to cause the same general symptoms: pain, swelling, redness, discharge, fever, aching, and general fatigue. However, the agents that cause the infection are different:

Viruses. Viruses are small pieces of genetic code that enter a susceptible cell and take over its functions, telling that cell to make more of the virus. The immune system quickly destroys viruses once they are detected. Viruses “run their course”, meaning each virus has a usual time limit where it causes signs of an illness before the immune system destroys it. Viruses account for nearly 75% of all ear, sinus and upper respiratory infections.

Fungus. Fungi are a type of mold. Inside everyone’s body (in their ears, nose, vagina, bladder, bowel and intestines) a special type of fungus exists. It is Candida albicans. This fungus needs to be present to protect the body and to help the intestines break down food. When there is too much Candida, it can produce the signs of an infection. The Mayo Clinic estimates that Candida infections account for 98% of all recurrent infections, and about 15% of new infections.

Bacteria. Bacteria are cells in themselves. When they enter a susceptible body area, they multiply and make more bacteria cells. A healthy immune system can destroy bacteria; if the immune system is not strong enough, a bacterial infection can continue. Bacterial infections account for approximately 10% of all infections.

Parasites. These are listed because parasitical infections can occur. Most of the time, these type of infections occur from uncooked pork products. Some scientists estimate that everyone on the planet has a parasitical infection and has contributed many health concerns to parasites. However, many people do not have signs of an infection from parasites. Less than 1% of infections are the result of parasites.

How Antibiotics Work…

There are 17 different classes of antibiotics; however, each class works in a similar manner. Every antibiotic is either a general (“broad-spectrum”) or specific (“focused”) antibiotic. A broad-spectrum antibiotic is designed to eliminate a variety of similar bacteria. A focused antibiotic targets only one or two specific bacteria. If you did not receive a test prior to your being prescribed an antibiotic, you would’ve been prescribed a broad-spectrum antibiotic; nearly all prescribed antibiotics are broad-spectrum.

Notice that antibiotics target BACTERIA. Bacteria are cells in themselves. Our body is made up of many cells. Cells are individual units within the body that are separated from other cells by a shell, as it were. The shells of bacteria are different from the shells of the cells in our body. Therefore, your immune system can seek out and identify what is not part of the body.

An antibiotic can do the same thing. When a person takes an antibiotic, it looks for the shells that have a certain identifier; it then destroys those cells by, in essence, cutting a hole in the bacteria’s shell. The cell dies, hence the bacteria dies.

Unfortunately, broad-spectrum antibiotics do not know the difference between good bacteria and those causing an infection. Our bodies contain bacteria that are necessary for food digestion, vitamin and mineral absorption, and mucous membrane nourishing. When an antibiotic is working, it will destroy these bacteria as well.

(It should be noted that special “antibiotics” are for parasitical infections (such as Actelion), viral infections (such as Tamiflu) and fungal infections (such as Mycostatin or Lamisil). These are not the ones discussed in this article, as these are rarely prescribed and are not the ones prescribed in abundance.)

What about the Other Causes of Infections?

As antibiotics only work on bacteria, they will not work on viruses, fungal infections or parasites. If you take an antibiotic for an infection that is caused by a virus, parasite or fungus, the infection will not get better.

But I Feel Better When I Take an Antibiotic…

The signs of an infection are actually signs that the immune system is fighting the infection. When an antibiotic is taken, the healing efforts of the body are halted because a new, more toxic matter has entered the body. The infection is harmful (which is why your body was fighting it), but toxic, chemical substances are more harmful so dealing with them takes priority for the health of the body. Even if the infection is being caused by a virus, the symptoms of that infection will diminish or disappear because the body has something more harmful to focus on. Remember: the signs of an infection are the immune system fighting the infection. Without the immune system fighting the infection, the symptoms will diminish or disappear until the drug is gone or “handled” by the body.

Is Repeated (Chronic) Use of Antibiotics Safe?

Not counting allergic reactions to antibiotics, there are many documented cases of adverse reactions, the most common being diarrhea and nausea. In the digestive system (intestines and stomach) are good bacteria that help with digestion and assimilation of nutrients. When these good bacteria are killed by the antibiotic, digestion is disrupted and the good yeast (Candida albicans) that exists in the intestines has more space to grow, so it does. Remember, yeast is not killed by antibiotics. Not only is there yeast over-growth, but there can be decreased nutrient absorption and a difficulty breaking down foods that are eaten, resulting in diarrhea and a risk of nutrient deficiencies.

Another not-often-discussed effect is, in effect, immune suppression. As mentioned earlier, the immune system slows down when the body has to deal with chemical toxins/foreign substances. If a person has a virus, the virus will continue to make more of itself, unhindered by an immune system. Once the antibiotic is stopped, the virus will show itself again, but it will be stronger because it has had the opportunity to take a stronger hold. Also, the fungal infection discussed in the previous paragraph will get worse over the course of the antibiotic; it too was not hindered by an immune system. With yeast being everywhere in the body, it is possible that the signs of a recurrent infection in the sinuses or bladder, for example, are being caused by yeast. As mentioned earlier, the Mayo Clinic believes that 98% of recurrent infections are the result of YEAST, not bacteria, so recurrent antibiotics in these cases would not help the situation.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been associated with chronic infections, a result of the weakened healing responses from chronic antibiotic usage.

A new concern that has arisen concerns auto-immune disorders. It has been suggested and is now being studied that taking immune-boosting supplements while taking antibiotics increases the risk of a person developing an auto-immune disorder, as the immune system becomes confused when it is being both suppressed and boosted at the same time.

Another problem with chronic antibiotic usage (it won’t be discussed here, however) is the development of “super-bugs,” bacteria that cannot be destroyed by any typical antibiotics because they (the bacteria) had been exposed to antibiotics so often that they are now “immune” to them.

How Can the Cycle Be Broken?

The immune system is designed to seek out and neutralize any invaders, whether they are bacterial, viral, parasitical, fungal or other. The stronger the immune system, the quicker the response will be to these foreign invaders.

There are many herbal supplements available that taut being “immune enhancing” or “immune strengthening”. Some of the most common herbal immune supporting herbs are: echinacea, elderberry and goldenseal. The most common vitamin is Vitamin C.

HOWEVER!!! If you are taking an antibiotic, DO NOT take any supplement that may boost the immune system! Remember, an antibiotic is indirectly suppressing the immune system; taking a supplement to boost the immune system will confuse the immune system and could lead to an auto-immune response.

One of the best ways to break the antibiotic cycle is to support the body through homeopathy. Homeopathic medicines can be used safely with antibiotics or herbal supplements, as homeopathy works to restore the balance to the body’s healing ability; homeopathics don’t work directly with the immune system, but work to make it more effective when it is ready to be more active.

Homeopathy also works with your body to eliminate the reasons that infection strikes and takes hold. As homeopathic medicines are not an “antibiotics”, they don’t care what is causing the infection, only that an infection or foreign entity is present and needs to be removed. They work quickly to restore balance, but they are gentle in action. Homeopathy does not shut anything down or inhibit any natural body process-they support eh body’s ability to act.

What Else Can I Do?

Remember that diseases don’t occur in a vacuum, meaning that there is no one reason why a disease strikes and why it may stay around. Always consider the emotions that are stirred up by the disease, or the emotions that may’ve started the troubles. Each area in the body holds some emotions more strongly than others; for example, the bladder holds fear; the nose, sadness and despair.

Also look at your living and work environments. If you have a chronic sinus infection, do you live in a home that has mold? Do you work in an area that has been freshly painted? Look at your personal habits. Do you frequently hold your bladder so you go to the bathroom only twice daily? Do you smoke?

It is also a good idea to supplement your diet with Probiotics, such as acidophilus. With antibiotics destroying the good bacteria in the body, these good bacteria need to be replaced. There are many acidophilus or probiotic formulas on the market; or eat a yogurt daily, one that has “live yogurt cultures.”

Know This…

If you want to break the antibiotic cycle and stop suffering, know that it can be done! You have the symptoms of an infection because your body is fighting to get rid of it, meaning that all you have to do is give it a little help and the body will do the rest. You don’t have to suffer the remainder of your days; you don’t have to put your life, creativity and joy on hold because of a chronic infection. Know that there are options. Know that you can be free of your suffering.

Choosing Meat Without Antibiotics Or Growth Hormones

With the problems our country faces with obesity, many are wising up and reading labels more. So while looking at fat content and calories, it should be no surprise that some are reading labels to find out if their meat has been treated with antibiotics or growth hormones.Livestock that are raised on feed daily that is riddled with antibiotics are given it so they grow faster. Since there is an industry standard when it comes to “market weight”, giving animal’s antibiotics or growth hormones makes the process faster. Most of the places that give their animals antibiotics have their animals in crowded spaces that can stress the animals out, making them susceptible to disease. Livestock from a different environment, one where they are free to wander around in a more natural environment, are not as susceptible to disease. And naturally, antibiotics wouldn’t be given to help increase growth.Consumers must be wary of products at the grocery store that are marked hormone and antibiotic free. This does not mean they were never given these products. They could have been raised on them, but then withdrawn the treatment a few months before sending them off to be processed for consumption. The fast still remains that they most likely were raised on antibiotics and growth hormone. One of the best ways to know if your meat is truly free from these types of chemicals is to buy from a reputable source, either locally or online after extensive research.Some may find it surprising that federal regulations ban the use of growth hormones for hogs, yet it is not the same for sheep or cattle. Those apposed to growth hormone treatments find this information appalling. If it is against the law to use them for one type of animal, those apposed agree it should be that way for all.

The Long Story About Sheep

My first experience with sheep was nonexistent. I knew that they had wool and went Baaa. I read a lot of books on sheep and the art of spinning wool. It was a dream that I wanted to fulfill. I looked around price wise and the starting price was $75.00 to $500.00. Well that is quite a bit of money if you wanted a small flock. I knew I wanted a flock that would reproduce so we could sell lambs and have extra meat. If everyone was getting $75.00 to start well I wanted in on the action. Here in Maine there is a weekly classified for livestock. I entered in an ad for free livestock wanted. I received a few calls for different kinds of animals such as chickens, goats and sheep.The call for the sheep was an exciting one since the lady wanted me to take 10 sheep. She explained that the sheep were a hobby and when she had them sheared she sent the wool to Canada to have the wool made into blankets for her Christmas gifts. Now everyone has received a wool blanket she wanted to do something else. She was changing over from sheep to horses. I said “yes” before I checked with my husband. When he called I told him the good news. Now he knew I wanted sheep because I had sheep magazines all over the house and I conveniently left a few in the bathroom.”Where are we going to put them??” he said.We don’t have enough fencing or stalls. I am always the one to put a happy face on things, I suggested we clean out our storage area for the sheep, it would be perfect.”Who is going to do all the moving??” he asked.”The kids and I will”, I said.At the time we had goats and he already didn’t like them so I had to choose either sheep or goats. Truth be told I was sick of the goats too, so off to the classifieds they went.Mid week the woman called me and asked when are we picking up the sheep, I wasn’t sure since I still had the fencing problem to resolve. She said no problem you can have all the fencing and the stakes if you pick them up by this weekend. That all sounded great to me.I guess this is where I should explain that my husband is an over the road truck driver and leaves on a Sunday and comes home on a Friday. So Friday night we are heading across Maine to the coast for a 2½ hour drive for 10 free Shetland sheep on a million dollar estate. Needless to say my husband was quite grumpy and tired. All we had was our mini van to transport the animals. We took all the seats out and headed over that way. It was almost 9pm by the time we got there and she wasn’t expecting me. When I called her to tell her we were on our way she said fine but she thought I was someone else and the sheep were not corralled in yet.They finally got them in the barn and we started loading them in one of the sheep had a beautiful set of curly horns and the rest was a variety of colors. Only 8 fit in there snugly but we had no room for the fencing. We would have to come back the next day. The ram kept banging up against the windows and getting his horns caught in the seat belt straps. It was 11pm when we got back on the road. Having 8 animals moving around and sticking there faces in yours and doing Baa in your face was enough to keep us awake. Never mind I think all 8 of them must have peed about a gallon each on the way home. When we finally arrived home it was after 1 am and we backed the van up to the doors of the barn, backed the van in half way and closed the barn doors. We opened up the hatch and a lot of liquid was running out along with manure. The sheep came out and we corralled them into the stall. I fed them some grain that she had given us and pulled out the van from the barn. The carpet was pretty much ruined and it smelled pretty bad. We left the windows open all night to get rid of the stink.The next day the kids and I pulled the carpeting out and attempted to clean it. It was right down to metal. Then we tried to clean the inside which went better than the carpet. It still smelled sheepish and wooly but we could live with it.We really didn’t get to see too much of the estate the night before so we were taken aback when we pulled in the next afternoon. Right on a rocky cove a huge house and a brand new barn. She even had matching Persian cats in the barn to catch mice. We went back to pick up the fencing and she had some other pens for us to pick up too. It took a few hours and the inside was packed full. She still wanted us to take 2 more sheep but we declined on the ride home the night before I promised I would never do this again to my husband. He was going to keep me to my word. So now we had sheep and fencing. My husband was not going to set up the fencing too. The kids were off on summer vacation and I thought it would be a fun project to do. Ha Ha Ha no one thought it was fun but me. My daughter will help no matter what but my oldest son won’t. He does make a big production of it all when he doesn’t want to do something. First it is the eye rolling, stomping of the feet, taking his time and then disappearing all together. Finally my daughter and I decide he should stay up at the house and wait on customers. We put up the fencing ourselves. There were holes to be dug at least 3 feet down and every other wooden post was a metal post. The metal posts had to be pounded down to a certain point and all we had was a sledgehammer. I was standing on cement blocks to pound them in while my daughter held them. We had to nail the fencing onto the posts and hood the metal ones on the clips. Okay it wasn’t the greatest job but it good enough. We had used a few trees as posts and we did mange to get my son to at least dig the hole for the posts. It took us a full day and I couldn’t move my neck and my back hurt so much by the time we were done, never mind hot, sweaty and tired.It’s funny though something my husband swore he wasn’t going to do he sure could find all the faults of the fencing and how it wasn’t right.Well you know what I didn’t care unless he was willing to fix it then I didn’t want to hear about it. The area that we fenced off was all wild brambles that didn’t produce anymore and a bunch of bamboo. We wanted it cleared and we let the sheep out to feast on what was out there. I really enjoyed them more than the goats; they were pretty quite and wanted no part of human contact except the wether. His name was Brownie; he was a bottle baby from the estate.In mid January my husband & I decided that we had a few too many animals. It had been an extremely cold year minus 20 without the wind chill. It had become an all day event thawing water in the barn.Brownie was our male wethered sheep. He was friendly fat old sheep with his big brown saddlebags on each side. He was getting old about 13 years. He ate more grain then the other 7 sheep. When he was neutered his horns were removed and with his age the winter was hardest on him.Since he was so friendly we decided to take him to the butcher first.Well as I said it was cold and my husband had dressed in his Thermal suit, hat and gloves. It was my job to find a leash to secure him in the van. My husband thought he could take care of this himself. He bribed Brownie with grain and took two handfuls of wool. Since Brownie was a wethered sheep, he had no horns to grab. Brownie locked his legs and my husband was frustrated. He pulled and pulled with no use. So my husband picked up Brownie and proceeded to walk out the door. As they were half way out the door Brownie’s feet hooked on the lip in the doorway. Now Brownie had footing and he drove his head back and smacked my husband in the face. My husband doesn’t take pain well and he dropped Brownie to the floor and held him down. I came of the workshop to find them both on the floor. My husband’s nose was bleeding and Brownies eyes were watering. I asked my husband what he was doing on the floor. “Stop fooling around”, I said. I tied the leash around Brownie’s neck and led him the van with no problem.
The next time that we needed sheep to go to the butcher we hired someone for $30.00 to chase, capture and deliver to the butcher.Sometimes being a good farmer is admitting to the things you don’t do well and finding a way to fix it. Now my husband doesn’t have to take a day off from work to chase my farm animals. Some people take it as being lazy because I didn’t do it myself. I look at it as my time spent better on another project instead of hurting myself or the animal trying to transport them.I love my sheep but I can admit I don’t know everything and shearing is another topic that I have no clue about. After reading all the magazines and books they show a placid sheep just laying there being sheared. I decided to call someone that shears small flocks. Bill has his own sheep farm and does demonstrations at fairs. Bill comes to the area to do 2 other farms and we all split the traveling fee. I spent half the day watching him at work. He was hunched over, sweating and fighting with the animals. My sheep are small and flighty; his on the other hand are big and placid. I don’t want big animals that I don’t feel comfortable handling. So was it worth $7.00 per sheep plus having the hooves done for an extra $.50, Yes it was! If it were me that would have been a 3 day job and I would have ended up calling a vet because I probably would have cut them badly.During the same winter that Brownie left we had a problem with the male ram “Rusty”. He was a beautiful white ram with the curling horns and a small patch of rusty colored wool in between his horns. It was cold in January minus 20 and with the wind chill it was minus 35. He decided he wanted all the grain and he was going to head butt all the girls. Well now everyone was bleeding from cuts on there heads. We had to separate him from the girls and spray them with an antiseptic blood stop spray. When the spring came and no lambs were produced we decided to sell Rusty. I usually give any animal here 2 months to sell, if not they usually end up in the freezer. I had plenty of calls and emails but basically everyone wanted him for free. That’s not how it works here; every animal here needs to pay for themselves. We put him in the freezer as a mild breakfast sausage. That is a big seller on my farm and Rusty did end up paying for himself.I kept all the wool from the last 2 shearing and had them stored away for when I had the time to learn to spin. My neighbor came down the first shearing to teach me how to skirt and store the wool. Skirting is when you pick out the big blobs of manure, flesh, hay and sticks out of the wool before storing. Even then the wool reeks of urine and lanolin. I asked my neighbor how to clean it and she said in hot water with a mild soap. I did just that and after the 4th washing it still reeked of the awful smell of urine and wet dog. How am I going to sell this wool, when I can’t even clean it? I asked the Shearer since I had 8 bags sitting in storage. “Sell it dirty” hand spinners would rather get it that way.” I was a little leery because I knew I wouldn’t want to buy dirty wool but it all sold. I was getting $30.00/pelt. Well the sheep just paid for there grain for the year. I never would have thought of selling the raw wool like that. I wasn’t entirely sure about my skirting abilities either but all the feedback I received was that I underestimated my wool; it was the best that they ever received. That gave me enough of a boost to try it again next year.