Many believe that one of the biggest threats to public health—in fact, the next pandemic—is antimicrobial resistance. Today, the CDC lists 18 different types of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and classifies five as urgent threats to human health.
In past 100 Year Lifestyle articles we have talked about Superbugs and the War on Germs. We’ve stressed that becoming a germaphobe isn’t the answer. Life is about balance. The fact is, we have all sorts of good bacteria and viruses in our body. Scientists estimate over 100 trillion of them that are necessary for life. It is actually the assault on germs that created antimicrobial resistance and is throwing our bodies and our environment way out of balance.
In this post-COVID time where masks and hand sanitizers are being given away and television advertising focuses on the antimicrobial properties of everything from children’s toys to clothing, the topic demands a deeper look.
What it Is
For clarity, antibiotic-resistance refers to bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Antimicrobial resistance is a broader term that is used to describe resistance to drugs among a variety of microbes, including parasites, viruses and fungi.
While antimicrobial resistance has largely gone unnoticed or at least unspoken about during COVID, the pandemic actually made it worse. Hand sanitizer, antimicrobials and disinfectants set record sales. The Wall Street Journal reported that hand sanitizer sales alone jumped 600% in 2020.
According to The New Statesman:
The scary thing is, it’s insidious and silent. The latest figures suggest AMR will cause over 10 million deaths per year by 2050. This is more than deaths from cancer and diabetes combined. And triple the current Covid-19 death toll of 3.4 million deaths worldwide since 2019.
WHO’s annual Antibacterial Pipeline Report also found that antibiotics currently in development are insufficient to tackle AMR:
The 2020 report reveals a near static pipeline with only few antibiotics being approved by regulatory agencies in recent years. Most of these agents in development offer limited clinical benefit over existing treatments, with 82% of the recently approved antibiotics being derivatives of existing antibiotic classes with well-established drug-resistance. Therefore, rapid emergence of drug-resistance to these new agents is expected.
It’s not news that looking to the pharmaceutical industry to solve the problem that drugs have created isn’t going to work. And agricultural use of pesticides in crops and food production compounds all of this.
What can you do? Plenty. First, as always, educate yourself. Question medications you might be prescribed by your physician, especially antibiotics. Be aware of the antimicrobial properties of home and personal products you might use, particularly disinfectants, antiseptic, and general cleaning products. Learn about natural alternatives to cleaning and personal use products, as well as natural antibiotics and their uses. Herbs, essential oils, and spices have a long and documented history as antimicrobials, as well as honey, garlic, echinacea, ginger, and oregano.
Limit your exposure to pesticides used in food production by choosing organic foods, including vegetables, meat, and dairy, to avoid or limit exposure to antibiotic residues in the food supply.
Get back to nature, listen to your body, and find a chiropractor who will support your health freedom and the choices you make to support your 100 Year Lifestyle!
By creating an artificial environment, we’re not stimulating our immune system enough. Germs are immune-stimulants. They challenge you to be prepared.
Dr. Deepak Chopra