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mrsa

Posted by herbalistic (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 29, 08 at 13:54

My mom has contracted MRSA infections at least twice now since she started working as a crossing guard for a school in the SW. She is 79 years old and the primary caregiver for my father who is 82, diabetic, has heart and respiratory problems and has not had good health for sometime. I am worried about her passing on the infection but she says she is practicing good hygiene.

It seems like my mother has been prone to some type of infection or another all her life but now it is manifesting as MRSA. I've told her she needs to cleanse her bloodstream and have suggested red clover tea. Does anyone else have any suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: mrsa

What exactly is she supposed to be cleansing her blood stream of? Certainly Not MRSA because if she has MRSA in her blood she is hours from death.

Just FWIW getting an MRSA infection isn't as bad as getting a wildtype Staph aureus infection unless you are using antibiotics (most of which have little effect on MRSA). If you think it is from the job I would suggest that she stop for her health and focus on sterilizing the hell out of her house, because she probably spread MRSA around when she was first infected and might reinfect herself or your father again.


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RE: mrsa

Proneness to infection [in general] usually indicates a filthy bloodstream. She should cleansing her bloodstream of toxins that serve to further depress her immune system making it harder to fight off the various infections that seem to arise. Actually I would recommend a total body cleanse including the colon. I know she could do better with her eating habits - she likes sugar way too much.
No, the MRSA has been a spot on her hand -twice and in her nose once. Definitely don't want it spreading to the bloodstream!
Her Dr. is giving her antibiotics -obviously other than the type it is resistant to- and prescribing rest.


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RE: mrsa

Probably Vancomycin, one of the few things left that most MRSA isn't highly resistant too.

What do you mean Filthy bloodstream? Can you list some of the compounds that might be in her blood that you call toxins? Do you have any solid way to measure them? Or are you just guessing that it is toxins in the blood? Typically what we find is that susceptibility to infection has less to do with diet and exposure and more to do with genetic polymorphisms. Some peoples immune systems are more effective than others at dealing with one infection or another. Much of it has to do with the Toll-like receptors, which are a branch of the immune system so ancient that we share it with plants. They discovered a one letter polymorphism from the consensus sequence on the TL5 receptor that confers a very high resistance to HIV, So high that these people can go decades with only minor symptoms and no medication.

Science is really cool stuff.


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RE: mrsa

Something else really cool about medicine. The methicillin resistance in MRSA is granted by Penicillin Binding Protein 2a (pbp2a) which in turn is coded for by a gene called mecA. mecA expression is supressed the Thorazine, a common antipsychotic agent. We may yet get a few more years out the the current antibiotics. Its still a case of use it and loose it but thats better than not having it to begin with.

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2008 Oct 3. Reversal of methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus by thioridazine.

Also a big thanks to Dr. Mark A. Crislip who's podcast I heard this on.

This hasn't been tried in humans yet, so I would advise against it, but it shouldn't be too long till we give it a go.


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RE: mrsa

For those who are told that their bodies are full of "toxins" and that their organs need to be "cleansed", here are some good sources of information debunking these claims.

"The best way to "detox" the body is simply to let your body do its job. Unless you have a medical problem, your body takes care of itself quite nicely, experts say.

"The liver and kidneys are nature's best-kept secret, because they are the weapons to eliminate toxins from your body," says (Christine) Gerbstadt (MD and dietician). "If you are concerned about certain substances in your diet, it is easier and safer to simply eliminate [those substances] rather than engage in unhealthy detox plans."


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RE: mrsa

HUH!!!!!!!
What kind of idiots are you? This person comes to you for some advise and you trash her with some medical gobledegook. Of course what do you expect from some medical spammers who could'nt find their toenails with a flashlight.

MRSA is a staph germ gone wild because of idiots like eric and brendon because idiot hospital people like or them personally did'nt have sense enough to wash their hands between patients and thus MRSA WAS BORN IN HOSPITALS.Yes because of poor hygene of the medical community. It was a strictly Nosocomial(Hospital borne)disease untill finally it started spreading years later to schools. So in fact the two medical clowns are in part responsible for your mother having an infection on her hand. And they think it's a joke. GET REAL!!

HERBALISTIC, What ever you do don't listen to these clowns. You have done the right thing to see your doctor. Make sure you take every pill don't skip any and before you're out of antibiotics try to get another round and take them all too.don't leave one untaken. That is the important thing. eric said one right thing in his rambling. Your mother needs to eat healthy.Build up her immune system with vitimins. A stomach cleansing now is'nt advisable as she needs her energy to fight this infection. I know what you mean by filthy bloodstreams. Every American i know has a filthy bloodstream by the trash they eat including eric and brandon.

Brendon is unaware that native people have used fungal antibiotics for thousands of years to good effect. But than brendon is very young and naive.And he can copy big words wonderfully.

Could eric and brendon be full of mental toxins and maybe need a mental enema? LOL!!!! Just a joke folks!!!!


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RE: mrsa

Methicillin-resistant staph (MRSA) infections did not come about because of poor handwashing technique. The organisms evolved because of our success in treating infections with antibiotics, to which the bugs have become increasingly immune through the process of natural selection.

"The methicillin resistance gene (mecA) encodes a methicillin-resistant penicillin-binding protein that is not present in susceptible strains and is believed to have been acquired from a distantly related species (4). "


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RE: mrsa

Oakleif is apparently unaware that antibiotic resistant bacteria don't just date back to the dawn of hospitals, but actually probably date back to before animals walked on land.

We haven't been spewing medical gobledygook, when I use a big word its because it is the only word that means what it does and it has a very specific meaning. Also my interest in medicine in an academic one, I have never worked in a hospital and outside of that I am a hand washing nut. Infectious disease is what I pay the most attention too and I am very good about hand washing, which I do about 10 times a day in my fairly normal life.

In the future rather than criticize us as idiots it would probably make you look more reasonable if you did a little research first.

I even just learned something new that should help Herbalistic out
"Decolonization

After the drainage of boils or other treatment for MRSA, patients can shower at home using chlorhexidine (Hibiclens) or hexachlorophene (Phisohex) antiseptic soap from head to toe, and apply mupirocin (Bactroban) 2% ointment inside each nostril twice daily for 7 days, using a cotton-tipped swab. Doctors may also prescribe strong antibiotics such as Clindamycin or Levofloxacin. Household members are recommended to follow the same decolonization protocol."

Here is a link that might be useful: Try to do at least a little search before you call someone stupid


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RE: mrsa

BRENDAN:

From your offensively named link:

"MRSA infections occur mostly in hospitals and healthcare facilities, with a higher incident rate in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Healthcare provider to patient transfer is common, especially when healthcare providers move from patient to patient without performing necessary handwashing techniques between patients. However, it should be noted that MRSA can cause infections outside of hospitals as well. In one hospital in Texas 12% of staff were carriers of MRSA.[36] While in an Illinois emergency room it was found that 15% of the ED staff were carriers.[37]"


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RE: mrsa

Silversword, I suggest you reread my post and Oakleif's post. I said "Try to do at least a little research before you call someone stupid" in response to oakleif's "What kind of idiots are you? " and "Could eric and brendon be full of mental toxins and maybe need a mental enema? LOL!!!! Just a joke folks!!!!"

I accused her of having done no research, with is consistant with what she said.

I think that unintentionally you have committed a strawman fallacy by misunderstanding the point I was arguing, the point you are arguing against (presumably that "most people do not catch MRSA in hospitals", which is very much false) is distinctly different from my own, that MRSA did not originat in hospitals. Most humans live in Europe and Asia, humans did not originate in Europe and Asia.


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RE: mrsa

One bright note in the MRSA saga is that a new antibiotic based on a substance from mushrooms will apparently kill some varieties of it. Also, I suspect that elderberry leaves and bark, as well as other herbal substances that yield organic cyanides (which are of course poisonous, but supposedly do not penetrate skin as rapidly as the non-organic ones)could possibly have a retardant effect. Indians reportedly used such substances externally to treat resistant skin infections.

Staph in general, and therefore MRSA in particular, loves to live on human skin, and apparently will easily penetrate it and go deeper if solvents such as alcohol are used to try to kill it. I think it is possible that statements, by people in societies that rarely bathed, that they would die if they did could be due to experiences with this germ or a similar one. The protective oils of the skin help to resist infection, but many lotions help to cause the pimple formation that allows staph to go deeper into the skin. The Cetaphyl non-comodonic skincare products can be helpful. Pump soaps are safer than bar soaps, even medicated ones, because the germ can colonize soap as well. Brendan's soap suggestions should be followed--Hibiclens is the safer, less drying, and apparently better one to use. Ask for the large size and request a pump that fits the bottle it comes in--it will probably have to be specially ordered.

I was told by a pharmacist that Dakin's solution is used in hospitals against MRSA. Dakin's is a combination of chlorine and a buffering agent to make it less damaging to skin, and there is a site somewhere on the internet that gives the ingredients and proportions to mix it. It is available over-the-counter, as is Hibiclens, but many drugstores do not keep it in stock.

A small MRSA spot can sometimes be killed by applying a tiny bit of straight, regular Clorox bleach to it a few times with an earswab, if Dakin's doesn't do the trick, followed by a few more treatments with Dakin's that also swabs the surrounding area. Straight chlorine is very damaging, and I recently read it can be a factor in blood clot formation, so it is definitely not something recommended by physicians. Additionally, straight Chlorine can leave scars, and overuse of Dakin's can dry the skin out enough to make it more susceptible to infection.

Medical protocol now is to surgically excise certain infected areas rather than try to treat them with antibiotics, but the problem with that is, with a fully colonized patient, the germ can re-enter the open wound from other areas on the body. Additionally, staph likes to grow along things like fibers and hairs, so it also grows better under bandages. I suspect that staph likes to colonize elastic and latex, or at least to grow under areas covered by these. The best way to slow spread from one part of the body to another is to wear breathable clothing that makes that less possible.

I discussed this subject with a woman whose whole family passed MRSA around for years; she said it eventually went away, but I don't know if that was because it evolved into a less virulent form or if the family carrier died.

This is not a medical forum, but the medical doctors have not been serving the community well with this infection. They typically do not tell the patient what they have, and do not explain that it can colonize the whole body. They tend to prescribe lesser antibiotics which can cause the infection less competition from other organisms native to the body but not kill it, and then accuse the patient of imagining things if the malady persists in subclinical form. Unwary patients then spread the infection to other family members. This can be tragic when a sickly grandparent spreads it to a susceptible young grandchild.

It is impossible to completely and with total certainty get rid of the germ from a human body. A few germs can remain and eventually crop up again. The only way to deal with it is by constant diligence and good hygiene. Bed linens should be completely changed at least once a week (and washed in the hottest water available, possibly with chlorine and a degreaser such as Lestoil, as should towels, bedclothes, and undergarments); clothing should be completely changed daily; etc. etc. Eyeglasses, hairbrushes, and anything else touched frequently such as computer keyboards and chair arms should be cleaned at least weekly. Full strength Clorox chlorine is the best cleanser, but a strong dilution can be tried, or full strength alcohol, for things chlorine would damage. The germ even colonizes the paint on hospital walls, so that's how persistent it is.

Lesions should never be touched by unprotected skin, and therefore protective latex gloves, earswabs, and cotton balls are a good thing to keep on hand if there is an area that needs treatment. Any contact with the nose by the fingers should be immediately followed by handwashing or hand sanitier use, before touching anything else. If itchy spots on the body are scratched, ditto--and a dab of sanitizer on the itchy spot (or a cleaning of the spot with Cetaphyl cleanser) could be a good idea.

Staph in general does not like temperatures below 60 degrees F, so a cooler house can help. I don't know if freezing an article (such as leather gloves) would actually kill it or just send it into a dormant state.

The artificial sweetener in Tom's toothpaste and Orbit gum cannot be digested by staph, and therefore discourages it. The Japanese found that another substance combined with that sweetener appears to also kill MRSA, but I have been unable to re-find that article.


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RE: mrsa

Excuse me Brendan, I should have also referenced Eric's post with that comment. I did read the posts, but thank you for your suggestion.

MRSA proliferates in hospitals. Staph has been in existance prior to humans, but the bacteria has mutated due to antibiotics and a resistance to antibiotics. The MRSA strain was first discovered in the 1960's, after the introduction of methicillin, which was introduced to treat staph infections. How can antibiotic resistant staph exist before antibiotics?

The first documented outbreak occurred in a Boston hospital. For the next two decades most infections came from hospitals and other healthcare settings. Now, in recent years, along with increased knowledge about this infection people are beginning to get MRSA from their community (commonly referred to as "community-associated MRSA")

In the healthcare community it is traditionally associated with hospitalization. Only recently has it become a community transmitted affliction.

I think it's pretty safe to say that MRSA originated from hospitals, and as a result of humans creating methicillin. Otherwise why would it be called MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staphlococcus aureus?

Getting off of sugar is very important when getting rid of staph. Detoxifying your system by going off of antibiotic-laced meats, eating fresh vegetables, taking vitamin c, vitamin e, lowering stress, eating garlic and raw honey (if not allergic to bees) can also strengthen immune system and help fight infection. Cod liver oil or flax seed are also good.


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RE: mrsa

The atnibiotic gene mecA probably wasn't around before the antibiotic in a functional form, however antibiotics have been around since long before humans, the difference is that we use the as drugs now. We have been using herbs and eating foods that contain antibiotic compounds since we have been using herbs and eating things. We didn't invent all of these antibiotics (although we did change a number of them chemically) what we did was purify them and prescribe them to people who had infections, this turned up the pressure so that only bacteria that are resistant live and that means that eventually all the susceptible bacteria die off. Infections are spread by poor hand hygiene yes no one will disagree, the thing is that even with perfect hand hygiene MRSA would still have come to be and would still be a problem.

It is not safe to say that MRSA came from hospitals, because it is patently false. Someone brought it to a hospital at some point, and they couldn't get rid of it at the hospital, they can't get rid of it from jail's either, and before the discovery of Methicillin they had bigger problems with worse forms of Staph.

Methicillin has reduced the deaths from Staph, no matter how you measure it, Evidence based medicine's use of Beta-lactams knocked down 95% of a problem, now people are pointing to the remaining 5% and stamping and shouting about the horrible monster medicine created, its not fair and its not correct.

Just because Beta-lactams cannot kill Staph does not mean that removing "toxin's" is going to help, or that getting off sugar or using vitamin C or E (unless you have a deficiency, vitamins are like the nitrogen you use in your garden, a little bit helps, a little more doesn't, a lot more hurts), and raw honey does not strengthen your immune system, honey is antimicrobial for a number of reasons, modulations is not one of them, its sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, and a tiny bit of minerals and a tiny bit of enzymes and then a five more kinds of sugar (22 in all). and besides, are you sure you want to strengthen your immune system? There are two ways that the immune system gets stronger arguably, one is that it attacks more things, that's called an autoimmune disease, and the other is a sustained inflammatory response, which also kills you.

Lowering stress and eating fresh fruits and vegetables are both good recommendations for fighting off disease, not always enough, but most of what you can possibly manage with out antibiotics.


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RE: mrsa

My point earlier was not that MRSA doesn't proliferate in a hospital setting, but that the bug did not originate due to poor handwashing technique.

It's also worth noting that Staph infections did not suddenly become a problem with the development of MRSA. Non-antibiotic resistant Staph was killing people long before the introduction of antibiotics. Inappropriate and excessive use of antibiotics encourages drug-resistant strains; antibiotics however are lifesavers in many instances.

To address some misconceptions about MRSA: most of us at one time or another are colonized (asymptomatic carriers who are not infected) by Staph aureus, whether MRSA or by other strains. Unless you're susceptible to serious infection (for instance, immunosuppressed) or at high risk of transmitting MRSA to other, susceptible people, decolonization (through topical and possibly systemic antibiotics) is not necessary.

MRSA is only rarely transmitted through clothing or linens. Lack of washing is not going to protect you from MRSA infection or colonization; good hygiene will be protective. Putting any amount of Chlorox on your skin is a bad idea, unless you want dead skin that would likely be even more attractive to MRSA or other infectious agents.

Attempting "detoxification" through diet is not going to work, though healthy eating does encourage good health in general. Trying to starve yourself or avoiding sugar (which is necessary for metabolic functions) will not help.

What the medical community can do, apart from continuing to provide good care, is to avoid prescribing antibiotics unnecessarily and follow good handwashing and barrier techniques to prevent spread between patients. Awareness of these measures has increased and some hospitals have been very successful at limiting infection as a result.


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RE: mrsa

1. I'm not against antibiotics.
2. Arguing that antibiotics that have not been chemically processed by humans (in other words, plants and their derivatives) would have created MRSA eventually is illogical.
3. Going off of sugar (including naturally occurring sugars) is effective against staph. I have personally seen diet changes work against staph time and again and is recommended by many physicians, both Eastern and Western.
4. Obviously honey is sugar. It can also help strengthen the immune system.
5. Staph is everywhere, on everything. Weakened immune systems, the young and the very old are more susceptible to having it be an issue.
6. Do you have any suggestions of your own, or are you going to continually bash other peoples suggestions?


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RE: mrsa

1 good
2 I'm not arguing that they would have eventually, I'm arguing that they probably did long ago. Antibiotics are chemical warfare agents, there are a number of different countermeasures that bacteria use, mecA is the gene that can bind to methicillin, I do not know where it came from initially.
3 Do you have any evidence to go along with your anecdotes?
4 Sugar is a vital part of the bodies immune response, you should show us a paper to support this claim, or explain a rational for a mode of action at the very least. Honey is used for infections, but in a very different way.
5 you forgot those with poor hygiene
6 Read the first reply, I actually started out with a valid suggestion, avoid the source of contamination and focus on not reinfecting her self by cleaning.


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RE: mrsa

I hope that I've helped clear up some misconceptions about MRSA and its transmission. Here's some more information, including suggestions on good hygiene.

silversword, you seem to be mistaking disagreement on a subject for a personal attack, or just enjoy being combative. The latter is more likely, seeing as your first post in this forum (in this thread) involved making fun of another poster's spelling:

silversword: "LOL- I got here from Hot Topics...
I have a hard time believing that Mensa would have in its ranks a member who cannot spell "common".
"

You've since proceeded to attack other posters who politely disagree with you about certain subjects. Maybe this behavior is all the rage in Hot Topics, but it is not appreciated here.


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RE: mrsa

MRSA can be transmitted by things such as toilet seats and doorknobs, and people who have it are even instructed to try to sterilize their light switches. Brass (or possibly copper) doorknobs have been advocated for use by hospitals because MRSA apparently cannot live on them. It's a good idea not to wear clothing that will not cover the skin in a sitting position when using public transportation, dining out, attending the movies, etc. Impetigo, a form of staph infection, can be contracted by leaning on a counter or table that someone with that condition has touched. Tablecloths and clothing collars are some of the things that have been developed through custom to minimize staph spread.

MRSA has been transmitted in public steam baths and in school gym rooms, and it is something to watch out for in public health clubs. It is becoming an increasing problem in contact sports, and some professional athletes have spoken out about it. It was found to transmit itself from one fencer to another via the metal wires used under fencing garments. People who have skin-to-skin contact with others who are infected can themselves become infected and bring it home to their families. Some intractable cases of acne are undoubtedly caused by it, but it does not appear that acne patients are warned about this possibility.

People who have recently been on antibiotics or are on long-term antibiotic therapy are more apt to pick it up, but are never warned of this. Likewise, people with joint replacements or other artificial equipment placed inside their bodies are more at risk for intractable internal cases of MRSA (since artificial body parts can be colonized with bacteria but cannot fight infection as a natural part of the body could), but also are given no advance warning of this or how to protect themselves from it. Young, healthy people in health clubs can easily be carriers but have no problem themselves with it.

The OP's mother may have contracted her MRSA from her crossing guard uniform, if that was shared, or from someone or something in the school environment. It is also possible, though, that she could have been infected previously, possibly by her own husband, and that standing out in the cold and getting chapped skin allowed it a point of entry. Pets can also provide points of entry if they cause small scratches or punctures with their claws. Anyone with active MRSA infection should immediately treat any broken skin with Dakins. Mercurochrome was taken off the market, and its substitute does not always work, nor does iodine. Alcohol, as stated previously, can assist penetration deeper into the skin.

The medical profession is in a state of profound denial about the problem and has not been fair with susceptible patients; they have been minimizing the problem and withholding essential information on how to economically and reliably avoid and/or control it and nip it in the bud before a person is completely colonized with it. It is almost impossible to get completely rid of once it has been allowed to get a hold on a person's skin.

Transmission from one individual to another via clothing might not be too great a risk, but that depends in part on the carrier's hygeine and how long ago the clothing was laundered. Wearing the same clothing close to the skin for more than one day is recommended against, and daily showers are also recommended (but can also cause problems if too drying to the skin).

The minimization of the problem is in part a measure of its intractability, and the "do nothing" approach toward the spread of infectious disease role-modeled by the Nixon (with HIV) and Bush (with MRSA, West Nile virus, leprosy, and who knows what else) administrations. Both underused and underfunded the Public Heallth Service, which is supposed to track such infections. MRSA was recently made a non-reportable illness "because it is now so widespread." The Bush administration's decision to not allow Medicare to pay for the treatment of MRSA incurred in a hospital setting has provided an incentive to not recognize and deal with an infection in the early stages, when it is most treatable.

There are people who have had to have multiple invasive surgeries to deal with this infection.


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RE: mrsa

I agree with all of the facts about the spread of the disease that you listed.

However "but also are given no advance warning of this or how to protect themselves from it." is not just inaccurate its patently false, it is standard of care to warn of the risk of bacterial colonization and has been for the last 20 years. Any doctor who doesn't warn of this is in danger of loosing their license.

As for Acne I personally had a conversation with my doctor about this, and I do not and never had a huge acne problem.

The medical community is keeping very close tabs on this, and not covering it up, just trying to keep it in perspective. All of the information that you are using to make your proclamation that the medical community isn't acting on this issue is from the medical community or made up from whole cloth.


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RE: mrsa

In my area they have been covering it up and not warning people of its presence in the community. It has been going on for years; one pharmacist told me of schoolmates that would have to go onto antibiotics immediately if they had any slight injuries.

I am shocked that someone on this board would openly accuse another poster of fabrication.

You appear to be able to bring some good information to these boards. Please restrict yourself to that, please. Most posters on these boards do so in a spirit of sharing, not a spirit of conflict. What I post is for the benefit of others, not to spar with you. On the other hand, I resent it when the hard-won information that I share is watered down by a less-knowledgeable individual that questions it out of what appears to be ignorance.

The medical community may be gradually acknowledging the threat of MRSA a bit more, after being shamed into it by numerous websites devoted to the frustrated posts of sufferers. For years, the medical community mocked womens' fear of unclean toilet seats, and claimed that no one could catch another person's acne. Acne is caused by germs, and if it is staph (as it is roughly 50% of the time) of course other people can contract it, although not necessarily as acne. They have deliberately and deceptively soft-soaped the issue.

They are still minimizing it and meeting their own professional needs rather than those of the people who contract it. I have read numerous accounts by people who were treated and sent home with no idea of what they were dealing with. The only reason that it appears to be "Kept in perspective" is that the sufferers are left to fend for themselves as best they can, with little useful everyday information to go on.

People with joint replacements are required to use antibiotics before dental work, but not informed that this could open them up to other infections and that they need to avoid health clubs, etc. for awhile until their natural flora return. I have looked into this matter extensively and I stand by all of my statements.

I feel it is only fair to warn you that if you EVER demonstrate similar rudeness to me in the future, I fully intend to report you to the board moderator. I have always liked the herbalism forum, and have no intention of putting up with the antics of a rude, interactively ignorant, self-appointed, pseudo-medical poster that thinks he is a vigilante; and I am similarly not interested in seeing you drive other posters away.


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RE: mrsa

I disagree with eibren's contentions as well. Nothing personal is meant by it.

The good information out there on MRSA comes thanks to state and federal health care agencies, researchers and medical providers. There is no attempt, deliberate or inadvertent to keep patients in the dark about it. It would be appreciated if any claims to the contrary could be documented for our benefit.

More on MRSA and what public health officials are doing about it here.

More to the point of the OP, there has still been no citation of any evidence-based herbal way to "cleanse the blood" or prevent MRSA infections. Good hygiene (including proper handwashing) and not getting into a panic about toilet seats or other public surfaces are a good idea.


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RE: mrsa

Hi Brendan,
Nope. I have no proof that going off sugar is effective in the treatment of staph. I did not take copious, diligent, infallible notes that will hold up in a court of law. It's all personal experience, that's why I prefaced it with that. Again, if someone is actually taking advice from members of this board, none of whom have proved beyond a doubt their posted opinions or "facts" are accurate, I would expect that person to do their own research before following anyone's posted advice.


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RE: Irony

Hi Eric,
I did think it was ironic and very funny that MENSA has among its ranks a member who cannot spell 'common', since that is what we are (those who are not members,myself included). Tell me you don't see the irony in that. After reading a bit about Oak I understand physical problems have left her with issues, and I really am sorry if I hurt her feelings. But I think the irony stands, and can be appreciated.

I'm sorry you see my responses as attacking. I don't feel that is what I'm doing. This forum is a hot-seat of dissension and petty behavior from what I can tell. I think it may be more logical to raise the standards before telling others what is and what is not appreciated. This forum was dragged through the mud to get to Hot Topics...


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RE: Question for you

Eric...

"More to the point of the OP, there has still been no citation of any evidence-based herbal way to "cleanse the blood" or prevent MRSA infections."

Why do you think that is?


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RE: mrsa

If alcohol is known to drive this organism further into the skin why are alcohol based hand cleaners used in hospitals? While I try to avoid ever having to enter the doors of one of these "sick" buildings I have occasionally visited people there or had to have minor tests done. I know alcohol swabbing of skin prior to injections has long been known to be largely ineffective as it is impossible to sterilize the skin. I wonder if MRSA is spread more readily by health personnel and visitors relying on cleaning hands by this method rather than by washing with water and appropriate cleaners.

I know if I ever have a problem with this infection I am going to use essential oils, especially tea tree topically on my skin.

There have been many studies on the link between nutrition and the immune system. Excessive sugar and poor nutrition (as well as antibiotic use) do have an effect on the immune system because they have profound effects on the bacteria in the GI system. The health of the immune system is closely linked to the health of the gut. Both good bacteria as well as more pathogenic varieties have roles to play in the gut and if the balance is upset by sugar or antibiotics it is usually the more virulent pathogenic varieties which survive while the "good" bacteria are killed. One needs to ingest acidophilis type bacteria to improve this balance.

I personally think it's a miracle there are not more health problems given the unhealthy diets so many think are "normal". Of course this may be changing with the epidemic of diabetes and other rampant chronic diseases of our society.


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RE: mrsa

A member of my family got staph aureus. The doctor took it very seriously, it was reported to the CDC, the spot was lanced, antibiotics were given in extremely high doses and they are fine now. Very scary stuff. We treated the after effects of the antibiotics with probiotics like acidophilis to prevent a disparity in good bacteria.

I think acidophilis is essential when taking antibiotics. One of my co-workers kept having recurrent issues after taking antibiotics, I got her a bottle of acidophilis tablets and told her to ask her doctor if she could take them. Two weeks later the doctors were commenting on her remarkable health. I do credit it to those miracle pills, and so did they!

I think that you are right on regarding the "sanitizers" that are used rather than hand washing. Esp. since the continued use of stronger and stronger antibacterial wipes is contributing to the increase of resistant germs.

And I agree that diet is a big factor in disease. Considering the lengths we have gone to get away from truly fresh food, everything is packaged within an inch of its life these days. I had a mom tell me the other day that her kid got "fruit", she buys these "fruit bars" and "fruit juice" (with perhaps 10% "real" juice). Ha ha ha. It was all I could do to keep a straight face. Most people don't want to know. It's a matter of convenience and lack of education.


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RE: mrsa

"The good information out there on MRSA comes thanks to state and federal health care agencies, researchers and medical providers. There is no attempt, deliberate or inadvertent to keep patients in the dark about it. It would be appreciated if any claims to the contrary could be documented for our benefit."

When I became aware of an MRSA problem in my community, I called the county Public Health Department, and was provided with minimal information. After witnessing a friend's continual problems with this organism, I finally reported the issue to my senator.

I have been to the CDC and other official health sites, and none of them speak to the staph germ's dislike of temperatures under 60 degrees F; I found that in an old microbiology book. When I shared that information with some local physicians, they were surprised, as they had never heard that.

You yourself rejected out-of-hand the information that Clorox cholorine can kill the germ on human skin, in a guessed reaction that was indefensible. I have personally seen it work if done in tiny, carefully controlled amounts, on beginning lesions.

I have a friend who had this, and was finally sent to an "infection control center" for assistance with it after her general practitioner having refused to refer her for over a year. After attempting to intimidate her into denying what she had, the "IC" guy finally took at the lesion and then took a new tack, asking if she was satisfied with the operation she had had a few years ago at his service area's hospital. The attempt was to obviously ward off any complaints of a transmission at his local hospital, where, it was equally obvious, he thought she had incurred it.

The health club where my friend actually incurred the origional infection (in the form of a large boil) after sitting one time in a steam room without a towel under her was eventually closed down, ostensibly for other reasons.

Her origional dermitologist for the complaint referred her to another dermitologist after she made a comment that she would "like to get her hands on" whoever was spreading the malady. At this point, she had no idea what was going on, as she had never heard about MRSA and had not been told by her dermotologist that a possible explanation for her repeated infections could be that, and she foolishly believed that something like this would be tracked by the Public Health Department. She was told by that practitioner to wipe the general area with peroxide, which appeared to cause it to spread. Instead of telling her, or the physician to which she was referred, the truth when she was referred over, the first dermotologist allowed his nurse to imply that she might be suffering from her imagination.

The woman uses excellent hygeine and has never had a positive culture, but finally a lesion her new dermotologist was able to recognize as MRSA was incurred, and she was given the new mushroom-based antibiotic for it, which luckily worked for that particular lesion-- although she reported to me that she had to apply it for longer than the ten days the instructions stated (her physician had told her to do this if needed).

This woman has used Clorox in tiny amounts for red spots which would not go away after applications of Dakins, and they have gone away. Not only does it work, if very carefully used in very limited amounts and the surrounding skin is avoided, but it seems that against some strains it may be the only thing, short of surgery, that does work. I therefore am shocked that you would reject it out-of-hand without further empirical investigation of your own. Additionally, I had shared this information with her after being told it by a pharmacist that used to mix it into Dakins solutions in a hospital where he previously worked.

Full strength Clorox chlorine will leave scars, but so will surgery--and usually larger ones, as delay allows lesions to grow larger.


People are going through hell with this thing mainly because physicians are concerned about legal liability and other issues of theirs, not the patients.

When you say, "There is no attempt, deliberate or inadvertent to keep patients in the dark about it," you are, in the very same thread, doing so. By making an unsubstantiated guess about the effect of Clorox in tiny amounts on small lesions, you are impeding the flow of information and misleading those who desperately need this information.

I'm not surprised that many of those who incur MRSA are dead within five years. The dead hand of the medical profession appears to be seeing to that. If we ever experience a "plague of boils" as claimed in tales of Armageddon, this will probably be the reason.

The time and effort that you and Brendan are expending, denying aspects of this problem that you do not appear to fully understand, would be better spent investigating safer uses of chlorine to deal with this germ, and whether or not it is biochemically possible that it will also be able to develop a resistance to chlorine.

Although the ideals that Brendan believes are actually still implemented in the real world of medicine may be the official policy, they are not what is being followed in the practicing medical community. Physicians are still in love with the idea that they are God-like creatures that can lead their blind-but-adoring patients toward health without sharing any of the Hows and Whys. In the days of the internet, patients are now able to figure out a few things for themselves, but they need accurate diagnosis to do so--they are still not qualified to do that. If physicians withhold accurate diagnosis or treatments, they are betraying thier patients and their own profession.

There was a political reason for my friend's betrayal by her first dermotologist. He had had her on an antibiotic for rosacea for a long period of time, and the head of his practice apparently did not approve. In order to allow her to continue with a treatment that had been generally helpful to her, he apparently referred her elsewhere, but gave a humiliating reason to cover up his own situation. (A chronic lung problem she had also cleared up with the use of the antibiotic).

As long as physicians in the community are not backed in the hard decisions they must make in treating patients, patients will not be fairly served.


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RE: mrsa

Alcohol-based hand-cleaning products are highly effective in killing microorganisms in sufficient concentration. While soaps and sanitizers containing triclosan may be contributing to bacterial resistance, I know of no good evidence that alcohol-based wipes/washes (which work at many sites to breakdown bacterial cell walls) are contributing to resistant bugs, or "driving them into the skin". More info here on handwashing and associated myths.

The idea that sugars in the diet "feed" infections or cancer and that drastically reducing them will prevent or successfully treat these conditions is widespread among alt med advocates but not backed by evidence.

To silversword: I think the reason no herbs are known to "cleanse" the blood of MRSA is that there is no research or clinical evidence to support the idea.
As to atmosphere in this forum, I agree that there's been far too much name-calling and personal attacks. It doesn't help if newcomers arrive and promptly start doing the same thing. brendan's posting in Hot Topics about the problem does not justify participants in that forum showing up here to create squabbles.


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Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers and MRSA

I would like to clear up the issue about using alcohol on the skin.

My friend reported to me that, after using rubbing alcohol on her skin near the area of her initial lesion, small red spots appeared. Over the course of several months, small pimples which appeared to her to be additional MRSA infections would arise from some of those spots. Some of those pimples did lead to actual, larger spots that required antibiotic treatment.

It was my conclusion that the alcohol had assisted the germ to penetrate through the skin and therefore spread. That may be why her origional dermotologist told her to wipe the area with peroxide rather than alcohol--but she was never warned not to use alcohol, so I don't know what the dermitological field knows about this. I do know that her present dermitologist has her using the Cetaphyl cleanser for cleansing those areas, and she feels it has a retardent effect on the pimpling, although some still seem to be slowly developing.

What I have not seen any PHS BB or other site explain to patients is that staph (again referring to my old micro text) has both a large colony and a small colony stage. In people, that seems to be the difference between boil formation and just developing a pimple.

There are long-term antibiotics people can be on to inhibit boil formation which yet will allow pimpling to occur. If the pimples are not dealt with, they can eventually lead to new problems. It's best to kill the germ at this small stage if at all possible.

Despite what my friend told me, I still use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. I am hoping that since it is a gel and also has vitamin E in it that it will not cause the same problems that her rubbing alcohol did. I also frequently wash my hands and use a strong hand lotion.

I have said this before, but people keep mentioning the use of essential oils in reference to MRSA. Research was done on the use of Tea Tree oil, and it was found that concentrations of less than 3% could lead to increased resistance by staph germs rather than killing it. This is pretty much in line with the advice sometimes given to not use germicidal soaps unless they are really needed.


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RE: mrsa

Everything I've read concerning bacterial resistance to tea tree has showed that bacteria have not become resistant. However, I have not recently looked for any studies.

Was it only in concentrations under 3% that the resistance occurred? How about over 3%? Was this a study in Australia using quality oils and who funded this study? Sorry for the questions but I know there are many who would like to discredit the value of EO's.

I know it used to be well known that it was necessary to soak an object in alcohol for 30 minutes for bactericidal action to occur. Guess the new alcohol products are really good!

I doubt it matters whether alcohol is used in pure liquid form or in a gel, it's still alcohol and likely removes any protection the skin naturally has to bacterial invasion.

Re: excessive sugar in the diet, it's not a matter of "feeding" infections or cancer but rather that the immune system is compromised due to the unhealthy state of the flora in the gut. Our state of health is very dependent on this bacterial balance but few even know about this important system.


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RE: mrsa

Luckygal, all I remember from the article is that the concentration had to be at least 3% if it was not to become a problem. I think it might have been an article on Pub Med, but I have no idea who researched it or what their affiliations might have been. Since I do not live in Australia, I decided to remember it as a rule-of-thumb for my own reference.

As Eric's article regarding hand cleansers showed, concentrations of germicides in a solution are important. I do not imagine Tea Tree would be immune from that; in fact, 3% wold be quite a low concentration to be effective, compared to some other things.

Eric, I thought I read previously that alcohol needs to have a certain percentage of water present to be effective as a germicide, and that, therefore, 95% concentrations of alcohol were less effective than, say, 65% ones. Do you know anything about that?

To tie this in with herbalism, alcohol does, of course, come from cultured fruits and grains. (Where does chlorine come from?)

Some of you may remember that, during the flu-like episode (SARS) from China that scared everyone not too long ago, many Chinese tried to sanitize their environments with vinegar, another product of fermentation, but that vinegar proved not to be a useful germicide toward that particular germ...I think, again, that chlorine did prove to be effective, but I could be wrong on that. Ten percent chlorine is supposed to kill HIV, but I don't know how long it takes.

It's too bad we don't have a chemistry thread in which it could be explained to us why some fermentation products and essential oils are germicidal to some organisms but not others.


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RE: mrsa

Yes, my understanding is also that pure or nearly pure alcohol is less effective as a germicide than, say, 70% alcohol. I don't recall what the biochemical explanation is, but I'll pass it along if I run across it again.

Re sugar - what is "excessive" intake, and is there any good evidence on what this supposed gut/immune connection is?


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RE: mrsa

Eric, not sure if the following link will satisfy your question on the gut/immune connection but at least the authors appear to be associated with a recognized university. There are lots of links by naturopaths which I could post but that might not convince you. There is other info on that site as well altho some of it is more technical than I care to wade thru tonite.

As far as probiotics value to the GI system I believe this is becoming recognized even in allopathic medicine.

What constitutes "excessive" sugar intake for you is something I cannot advise you. I believe refined sugar to be unhealthy for myself in any amount. All one has to do is look at the quantity of refined white sugar or the amount of sweetened pop produced world-wide and it's pretty apparent there must be a lot of people consuming excessive amounts. Does this increase in sugar consumption coincide with the increase in diabetes, chronic diseases, and skin infections? I believe that the more sugar consumed the fewer healthy food choices people make and ill health will likely follow. Just my opinion tho.

Here is a link that might be useful: Overview of Gut Immunology


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RE: mrsa

I'm just guessing, but it would seem to me that excess sugar might lead to more of the 'wrong" micro-organisms growing in the gut (because of their better ability to utilize pure sugar?), thereby lessening the protection that a good intestinal flora could produce.

I do know that staph is more of a danger to the gut (ie causing intestinal blockage) if certain antibiotics are being taken, and antibiotics also disturb intestinal flora.

Excessive sugar is definitely bad for diabetics, and possibly it overstresses the systems of people who do not have diabetes as well. It would seem to me that any diet that the human organism had not evolved to utilize could potentially cause problems. We are omnivores, but I don't think our digestive and metabolic capabilities could prevail over those of ducks or pigs.


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RE: mrsa

I didn't see anything about sugar in the link to the book on gut immunology, which had the following statement in the summary of the chapter on diet:

"It should be noted, however, that studies into the role of functional foods with regard to the human immune system are still in their infancy and a great deal of controversy surrounds the health claims attributed to some functional foods. Consequently, thorough studies are required in human and animal systems if we are to move towards developing a functional diet that provides maximal health benefits"

This is in line with what I've seen - lots of claims about diet, immune functions and "leaky gut", little to no evidence. Limiting sugar sounds fine from a health standpoint in terms of such things as lowering calories and dental health; fighting MRSA is another story.


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RE: Response to Eric

Hi Eric,

In reference to your message to me:

"To silversword: I think the reason no herbs are known to "cleanse" the blood of MRSA is that there is no research or clinical evidence to support the idea."

I don't think anyone else on the forum thought the OP was talking about cleansing blood that has been infected with MRSA. You assumed that was what she meant, and you are still running with it. That said, I agree that there is not very much research on herbal remedies for health, however; cleansing the system of toxins and boosting immunity through diet/exercise/herbs can prevent recurrences of infection. I'm not going to cite this. I think it is common knowledge. If you can find substantiated evidence that shows me to be wrong, I would be interested in reading it.

In regards to the second part of your post, where you wrote:

"As to atmosphere in this forum, I agree that there's been far too much name-calling and personal attacks. It doesn't help if newcomers arrive and promptly start doing the same thing. brendan's posting in Hot Topics about the problem does not justify participants in that forum showing up here to create squabbles."

I'm not justifying my behavior, I'm explaining why I wrote that. If you cannot see the irony, I apologize. I also do not think that your assumption that I was "creating squabbles" is valid. The only squabble that was created (by my original post) was you making an issue of it. I think that Oak would see the irony. I apologized to her, and I think you continuing to make an issue about it speaks volumes to your incendiary nature.


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RE: mrsa

silversword: "I don't think anyone else on the forum thought the OP was talking about cleansing blood that has been infected with MRSA. You assumed that was what she meant, and you are still running with it."

It was not an assumption. The opening post said this:

"It seems like my mother has been prone to some type of infection or another all her life but now it is manifesting as MRSA. I've told her she needs to cleanse her bloodstream and have suggested red clover tea."

Actually there is plenty of research on herbal remedies both in the public and private sector. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) alone allocates about $250 million a year for research. Not every possible herbal remedy is researched, but the same can be said for other treatments. Research funds are not infinite.

"Detoxification" to prevent infection may be "common knowledge" among some people, but it's not an evidence-based assumption. I'd be happy to look at any facts you might have to the contrary.

Lastly, there's nothing "incendiary" about asking for an end to personal attacks in this forum. It's nice you apologized to oakleif; if you take some time to learn what the forum is about, stop making personal comments or suggestions that others here don't belong, that'll be even better.

Enough said.


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RE: mrsa

Oh my.

Eric: "I think the reason no herbs are known to "cleanse" the blood of MRSA is that there is no research or clinical evidence to support the idea."

silversword: "I don't think anyone else on the forum thought the OP was talking about cleansing blood that has been infected with MRSA. You assumed that was what she meant, and you are still running with it."

Eric: "It was not an assumption. The opening post said this:

"It seems like my mother has been prone to some type of infection or another all her life but now it is manifesting as MRSA. I've told her she needs to cleanse her bloodstream and have suggested red clover tea."

Yes, the opening post said that. I agree. But nowhere in those two sentences does she say that the MRSA has infected the blood.

My understanding is that she is talking about cleansing the bloodstream to boost overall health/immune system so that the MRSA (and her other prior infections that she is prone to) will not infect in the future.

We've agreed that MRSA infects compromised immune systems more readily than healthy persons.

I agree that asking for an end to personal attacks is not incendiary in itself. I don't know if Oak felt "personally attacked", she never said anything, and I don't take her to be a shy gal. You took it upon yourself to say something. As I realized at that point there was a misunderstanding of the 'tone' of my first post I made an attempt to both clarify, and apologize for any confusion/hurt feelings, etc. I may have caused. I feel that you and Brendan especially are not responding to the OP's original request for suggestions on blood cleansing but attempting to debunk alternative remedies that were asked for and given by other posters. The dissent that is caused by this attitude, and the prevailing clash and animosity on this forum I believe have a direct correlation.

As for your pompous comment that "...if you take some time to learn what the forum is about...that'll be even better..."

I hardly think anyone needs to take much time to figure out what the forum is about. Its name "Herbalism Forum" is self explanatory, and if that weren't enough, it also states right up there at the top of the forum.

"This forum is for the discussion of herbalism, the use of herbs for medicinal purposes. Any advice given here is that of other users and GardenWeb makes no warrant as to its appropriateness."

In regards to our disagreement regarding research and herbal remedies:

The amount of research monies allocated for herbal remedies is subjective. One may say, as Eric did that there is "plenty of research" (keep in mind that the definition of plenty is "enough" or "as much as necessary") while another (me) may say there is "not very much". Neither are quantifiable. However when one compares the amount of research done on herbal remedies to the amount done on pharmaceuticals the disparity is obvious. That is what I was referring to when I said "not very much".

As a comparison, you say one company dedicates $250 MILLION annually for R&D of herbal remedies. The average amount of money one of the large pharmaceutical companies spent for drug R&D annually in the last ten years is $2.88 BILLION (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/571493_2)

The advertising funds allocated for those drugs was comparable to the R&D costs. And people wonder why herbs are not seen as a viable option. Not enough research, and in our culture television and advertising are paramount to consumer interest.

Interestingly enough, paying double what other countries pay we have the most expensive healthcare in the world (probably doesn't have anything to do with lobbying or the big pharmacutical companies, it's probably because it's the best in the world, right?).

Nope. We are ranked LAST compared to other "rich" countries. Our percentage of GDP spent is highest, our infant mortality is highest, our life expectancy is lowest... (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/etc/graphs.html)

hmmmm.... ever think that the drug companies might not have our best interests at heart?


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RE: Staph and Sugar Links

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/927907/stop_eating_sugar_and_beat_mrsa.html?cat=5

http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/MRSA.html

http://abchomeopathy.com/forum2.php/2624/1

http://books.google.com/books?id=mpXt_seL2XAC&pg=RA1-PA169&lpg=RA1-PA169&dq=staph+diet+sugar&source=web&ots=Hd8F9Hwd1x&sig=6W-Dx0HDAcuj_1MAHuR6Yo0480M&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result#PRA1-PA168,M1


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RE: mrsa

Posted by eric_oh: "I didn't see anything about sugar in the link to the book on gut immunology"

Ya know, Eric, I don't think I can find one link to "prove" everything you say you would like to see proven all in one link. You asked for a link on the gut/immune connection and I provided that. I'm glad to see another poster has found many links for you to critique. Without a doubt you will find those not to your satisfaction as well. Trying to change a closed mind is a waste of my time.

Thanks silversword for the useful links. You are an asset to a Herbalism forum.


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RE: mrsa

I didn't ask for any one link as "proof" of anything - just any good evidence that sugar depresses the gut immune system and causes infections. After all, advising people to cut out sugar or "excess sugar" represents a major dietary alteration. It'd be nice to know it has some basis in fact, beyond people's "gut" feelings. :)

One link that silversword posted is an article by someone named Brandy Madison, in which she claims that one's immune system can be shut down not just by sugar, but by bread and crackers as well (those evil carbohydrates again). All that's based on (in addition to the claim that if we just alter our diets, even cancer can be overcome by the immune system) seems to be Brandy Madison's opinion.

Another article talks about various herbs that are supposed to fight MRSA, but appears to consist of anecdotes, not evidence.

"hmmmm.... ever think that the drug companies might not have our best interests at heart?"

Closest to their heart, as with every business (including the multibillion dollar "natural products" industry) is making profits. It's interesting to see that you quoted a figure of 2.88 billion dollars annually spent by one pharmceutical company for research and development. How much of that involves research into botanical-based drugs? Seems to me that drug companies would love to find another taxol, now a major plant-derived chemotherapy agent - or any other botanical agent it could promote as "natural" (one big company's research into Stevia is now about to pay off following FDA approval of this sweetener).
The $250 million mentioned as spending on alt remedies by NCCAM (a branch of the National Institutes of Health, not a company) is small in comparison, but as I noted that's just one source of research into "alternative" remedies sponsored by government, universities, and drug companies.

There'd be even more dough available for herbal/supplement research if the companies that market these products ponied up for research at the same rate as the big pharmaceutical companies. I've yet to see any of them match these expenditures as a percentage of annual profits.


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RE: mrsa

I have been temporarily lurking and don't plan to stay long, but I did want to address this,

One link that silversword posted is an article by someone named Brandy Madison, in which she claims that one's immune system can be shut down not just by sugar, but by bread and crackers as well (those evil carbohydrates again).

Carbs are not evil, simple carbs (vs. complex carbs) are evil. And while breads, pasta, rice, etc. are considered complex carbs, depending on the ingredients, some will quickly convert to sugar.

White flour, and therefore white bread, crackers, pasta and rice, as well as white potatoes, quickly converts to sugar. That is why the list includes bread and crackers. 100% whole wheat anything - bread, crackers, rice or pasta, does not convert to sugar.

Studies have been done that indicate sugar suppresses the immune system. Eating sugar cannot cause an infection, but can supress your immune system to a point where you cannot stave off what you're exposed to, thus getting an infection, or can make an illness worse.

From an article I am linking to below,

Along with specific treatments for each condition, naturopathic physicians will often recommend
supportive treatments that can speed recovery from any illness:

3) Decrease intake of sugars: Eating simple carbohydrates (sugar) lowers the bodys ability
to fight infections.1 During any infection it is best to lower or stop your intake of simple
sugars and carbohydrates such as sweets, breads, pasta, sweetened fruit juices and foods
made from refined (white) flour. It is also important to avoid food allergens. You may
know what foods you are sensitive to, but sometimes allergy testing is needed.

As you can see, eating foods to which one is allergic also suppresses the immune system. So does having surgery. Sugar is not the only culprit, but it's one culprit that remains in our control.

Here is a link that might be useful: Naturopathic Treatment of Upper Respiratory Infections


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RE: mrsa

Eric, the problem is that no matter how many internet links one provides I feel you will nit-pick your way through them. These are meant as examples, as discussion provoking rather than absolute proof. I don't have absolute proof. I am not a nutritionist, a physician, an herbalist, or naturopath. Again, anyone who takes any advice here without doing their own research is taking a risk.

That said, here's some "evidence" from a Nobel laureate in medicine:

"German Otto Warburg, Ph.D., the 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, first discovered that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells. The gist of his Nobel thesis was this: malignant tumors frequently exhibit an increase in "anaerobic glycolysis" - a process whereby glucose is used by cancer cells as a fuel with lactic acid as an anaerobic by-product - compared to normal tissues.(1) The large amount of lactic acid produced by this fermentation of glucose from the cancer cells is then transported to the liver. This conversion of glucose to lactate creates a lower, more acidic PH in cancerous tissues as well as overall physical fatigue from lactic acid build-up.(2,3) Therefore, larger tumors tend to exhibit a more acidic PH.(4)anaerobic glycolysis

Hence, cancer therapies should attempt to regulate blood-glucose levels through diet, supplements, exercise, medication when necessary, gradual weight loss and stress reduction. Since cancer cells derive most of their energy from anaerobic glycolysis, the goal is not to eliminate sugars or carbohydrates entirely from the diet but rather to control blood-glucose within a narrow range to help starve the cancer cells and boost immune function."

References

(1) Warburg O. On the origin of cancer cells. Science 1956 Feb;123:309-14.

(2) Volk T, et al. pH in human tumor xenografts: effect of intravenous administration of glucose. Br J Cancer 1993 Sep;68(3):492-500.

(3) Digirolamo M. Diet and cancer: markers, prevention and treatment. New York: Plenum Press; 1994. p 203.

(4). Leeper DB, et al. Effect of i.v. glucose versus combined i.v. plus oral glucose on human tumor extracellular pH for potential sensitization to thermoradiotherapy. Int J Hyperthermia 1998 May-Jun;14(3):257-69.

Maximum Recommended Sugar Intake

How much sugar should we eat? The U. S. Department of Agriculture recommends that a person who consumes a 2,000 calorie diet should not consume more than about 40 grams of refined sugars per day.

How much is 40 grams? One soda pop. How many people do you know who drink one soda pop a day? And then consider, starting in the morning...

Coffee - with sugar
Cereal - with sugar (or made of white flour, etc)
Toast - white bread?
Jam - more sugar
Juice - sugar

Here's a link:
http://www.fitamericamd.com/books/PDF/8FoodAllergies.pdf

Here's a great website on eating less sugar and why... if one does eat less sugar "we don't need to wait for new drugs"!

http://www.usc.edu/hsc/info/pr/hmm/99spring/sugar.html

And, before it is said by someone else... no, I'm not saying that if someone goes off of sugar they will never get sick, their cancer will be cured and it will never rain on the weekend.


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RE: mrsa

"Eric, the problem is that no matter how many internet links one provides I feel you will nit-pick your way through them.".

I'm willing to discuss your ideas without making unnecessary personal allusions.

The Warburg effect has been misused by advocates of various claims that don't have substance when it comes to actual testing under controlled conditions. If it was as simple as cutting out sugar to cure cancer, cancer would have been eradicated decades ago. There are some who even advocate total fasting to fight cancer. All this does is futilely weaken the patient and hasten death. Our bodies will supply necessary sugars through normal metabolic processes, breaking down our own tissues if necessary to supply them.

Rather than requiring that we read through a bunch of links and books without knowing where exactly they might mention infectious disease and sugar in the diet, what particular claim(s) can you quote that are specifically relevant to this discussion?

Regarding a link you provided earlier to an opinion piece by a Brandy Madison - she argued that one's immune system could be "shut down" not just by eating sugars, but by eating bread and crackers as well. Do you agree with her?


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RE: mrsa

I had mentioned earlier that the sweetener in Tom's toothpaste and Orbit gum might have a deterrent effect on staph in conjunction with another substance.

I think I have found an abstract of what I meant, and the sweetener is Xylitol. Farnesol is used with it (I am copying the abstract as it is free--they are selling the full article):

Vol. 48, No. 3, 2002
Free Abstract Microbiology

Actions of Farnesol and Xylitol against Staphylococcus aureus
Hisanori Akiyamaa, Takashi Oonoa, W.-K. Huha, Osamu Yamasakia, Shigeyuki Ogawab, Masako Katsuyamab, Hideyuki Ichikawab, Keiji Iwatsukia

aDepartment of Dermatology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Okayama,
bShiseido LifeScience Research Center, Yokohama, Japan
Address of Corresponding Author
Chemotherapy 2002;48:122-128 (DOI: 10.1159/000064916)
Key Words

Farnesol
Xylitol
Staphylococcus aureus
Coagulase
Superantigen
Glycocalyx
Biofilm

Abstract

Background: Heavy colonization of atopic dermatitis (AD) with Staphylococcus aureus is well documented. The isolation rate of methicillin-resistant S. aureus is high in strains from AD in Japan. Our objective in the present study was to investigate the actions of farnesol and xylitol against S. aureus for the control of AD skin lesion-colonizing S. aureus.Methods: We examined the actions of farnesol on plasma coagulation and superantigenic exotoxin production by S. aureus, the antimicrobial activity of -lactam antibiotics combined with farnesol at concentrations below the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the effect of xylitol on glycocalyx production. Results: Coagulation by S. aureus cells was inhibited in plasma containing farnesol at a concentration of 1/12 of the MIC (100 g/ml) after incubation for 24 h. The production of superantigenic exotoxins by S. aureus cells with farnesol (100 g/ml) was about 10 times lower than that by S. aureus cells alone. The MICs of ampicillin and cefdinir against S. aureus were reduced to 0.06 g/ml in Mueller-Hinton agar plates with farnesol (100 g/ml). We suggest that farnesol at concentrations above the MIC had a suppressive effect against S. aureus cells in the exponential and stationary phase and acted on the cell wall of S. aureus cells in both phases. Conclusions: Farnesol is a promising adjuvant agent against S. aureus skin infections treated with -lactam antibiotics. Further, 5% xylitol inhibited glycocalyx production by S. aureus cells and consequently had a suppressive effect on the colonization of S. aureus on the horny cells of AD lesions.

Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel-

Author Contacts

H. Akiyama, MD
Department of Dermatology
Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry
Shikata-cho 2-5-1, Okayama 700-8558 (Japan)
Tel. +81 86 235 7282, Fax +81 86 235 7283, E-Mail akiyamah@cc.okayama-u.ac.jp
http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Doi=64916

There is a similar abstract at http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Doi=64916

This website on Xylitol gives basic information about its manufacture and safety:
http://www.xylitolworks.com/aboutxylitol.html


What is Farnesol?

This is from Wiki, via Answers.com:

Wikipedia: Farnesol
Home > Library > Miscellaneous > WikipediaFarnesol
IUPAC name 3,7,11-trimethyl-2,6,10-dodecatrien-1-ol
Identifiers
CAS number 4602-84-0
SMILES
CC(=CCC\C(=C\CC\C(=C\CO)\C)\C)C
Properties
Molecular formula C15H26O
Molar mass 222.37 g/mol
Density 0.887 g/cm3
Boiling point 111 C at 0.35 mmHg
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references
Farnesol is a natural organic compound which is an acyclic sesquiterpene alcohol found as a colorless liquid. It is insoluble in water, but miscible with oils. Farnesol is the alcohol derivative of Farnesol Pyrophosphate (FPP). It is the building block of most (possibly all) acyclic sesquiterpenoids and is an important starting compound for organic synthesis.

It is present in many essential oils such as citronella, neroli, cyclamen, lemon grass, tuberose, rose, musk, balsam and tolu. It is used in perfumery to emphasize the odors of sweet floral perfumes. Its method of action for enhancing perfume scent is as a co-solvent that regulates the volatility of the odorants. It is especially used in lilac perfumes.

Farnesol is a natural pesticide for mites and is a pheromone for several other insects.

In a 1994 report released by five top cigarette companies, farnesol was listed as one of 599 additives to cigarettes. [1] It is a flavoring ingredient.

In 2007, farnesol was shown to bind the Pseudomonas aeruginosa transcriptional regulator PqsR and alter the properties of its binding to the promoter region of the pqsABCDE cluster.

Health & Safety information
Farnesol should be avoided by people with perfume allergy[1].

Essential Oils folk, take note!

;o)


 o
RE: Sugar and Health

Hi Eric,
You asked two specific questions:

1. What particular claim(s) can you quote that are specifically relevant to this discussion?
2. Do you agree with her? (the arguement that one's immune system could be "shut down" not just by eating sugars, but by eating bread and crackers as well.)

And you said... "I'm willing to discuss your ideas without making unnecessary personal allusions."
I'll respond to this first. I am stating my feelings, and I stand by them. I don't think I am being hostile to you, I am simply telling you I find your responses to be tiring and your questions to be a result of unwillingness to see my posts in the light in which they were intended.

As for the questions:

I don't know what you will find relevant to this conversation. For the sake of clarification I will elaborate further on my opinion that eating less sugar will help boost the immune system which can help prevent the recurrence of staph.

Brandy Madison could have been more clear in her reporting, but I think most people (who are on an herbalism forum) would infer that she meant non-complex carbohydrates when she spoke of bread and crackers being equal to sugar when it comes to the immune system. All starch is not bad. Bread and crackers made out of whole grains are complex carbohydrates and will not adversly effect the immune system and are necessary for a balanced diet.

TOP NINE COMPLEX CARBS
legumes: beans, peas, chick peas, lentils
chickpeas
nut butters
oatmeal (without added sugar)
pasta
soy
sweet potatoes
whole grains: whole wheat, brown rice
whole-grain cereals

"Excess sugar depresses immunity. Studies have shown that downing 75 to 100 grams of a sugar solution (about 20 teaspoons of sugar, or the amount that is contained in two average 12-ounce sodas) can suppress the body's immune responses. Simple sugars, including glucose, table sugar, fructose, and honey caused a fifty- percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria. In contrast, ingesting a complex carbohydrate solution (starch) did not lower the ability of these white blood cells to engulf bacteria...Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of two- and-a-half 12-ounce cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. In contrast, the ingestion of complex carbohydrates, or starches, has no effect on the immune system."

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/T045000.asp

I think we all can agree that disease is all around us. Staph is on our skin. Viruses are on shopping cart handles. I think we all can agree that when the immune system is low, it is more susceptible to disease. I think we all can agree that to prevent disease, keep the immune system high. This can be done with fresh air, water, natural foods, rest, exercise. I also think that we can agree that modern medicine is necessary, and that disease often cannot be fought solely with herbal remedies.

The OP was asking for natural remedies to boost her mother's immune system, which she believes has been infected with MRSA as a result of its imbalance. There are hundreds of questions we could ask before making a truly educated opinion about what would be best for this woman, or before giving suggestions that could potentially be harmful. Should we ask her for her doctors written opinion before giving advice? How about allergies, history of health, age, race? Should we make any recommendations before knowing if she has a history of heart disease or diabetes? What about if there are any immuno-suppressed people in her life, such as AIDS patients?

You wrote..."If it was as simple as cutting out sugar to cure cancer, cancer would have been eradicated decades ago. " Who is claiming that cutting out sugar will cure cancer?

You wrote that "...After all, advising people to cut out sugar or "excess sugar" represents a major dietary alteration." Yes, it does. And many well educated public-interest people advocate doing just that. If you are interested, here are the opinions of just a few:

Michael Jacobson, executive director of CSPI (The Center for Science in the Public Interest): "Sugar consumption has been going through the roof. It has increased by 28 percent since 1983, fueling soaring obesity rates and other health problems. It's vital that the FDA require labels that would enable consumers to monitorand reducetheir sugar intake."

Marion Nestle, chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University and managing editor of the 1988 Surgeon General's Report on Diet and Health: "Because sugary foods often replace more healthful foods, diets high in sugar are almost certainly contributing to osteoporosis, cancer, and heart disease. "

Mohammad Akhter, the executive director of the American Public Health Association: "Health officials must take prudent action to stem the dilution of the American diet with sugar's empty calories.... (to) help consumers cut the sugar and improve their diets..."

USDA advises people who eat a 2,000-calorie healthful diet to try to limit themselves to about 10 teaspoons of added sugars per day. In fact, the average American does not eat a healthful diet, but consumes 20 teaspoons of added sugars per day.

CSPI found that a Cinnabon provides 123 percent of USDA's recommended target, a large McDonald's Shake 120 percent, a large Mr. Misty Slush at Dairy Queen 280 percent, and Burger King's Cini-minis with icing 95 percent.

CSPI's 71-page petition were supported by 39 organizations, ranging from the American Public Health Association and former Surgeon General Koop's Shape Up America! to the YMCA and the Girl Scouts of America. The campaign is also supported by 33 experts on obesity, heart disease, and dental caries, including George L. Blackburn, Associate Professor in Nutrition Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Kelly D. Brownell, Professor of Psychology, Epidemiology, and Public Health at Yale University; and Isobel R. Contento, Professor and Coordinator of the Program in Nutrition and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

http://www.cspinet.org/new/sugar.html


 o
RE: mrsa

Eibren,
I think that's interesting about Tom's of Maine. I've been using that toothpaste since I was a little girl and love it! I buy the strawberry for kids for my daughter and she likes it too.


 o
RE: mrsa

Studies have suggested that using Xylitol in toothpaste and gum at least two to three times a day can reduce the incidence of earaches.

I've been using Tom's since I read that.


 o
RE: mrsa

Just be very careful with giving any of your animals sugar free treats. I know is off MRSA topic but the above posts were about Xylitol's uses. I have a 'runs' problem with most of the sugar substitutes and try to steer clear of all of them. The url from snopes I am having difficulty posting.

http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/xylitol.asp


 o
RE: mrsa

silversword: "Bread and crackers made out of whole grains are complex carbohydrates and will not adversly effect the immune system and are necessary for a balanced diet."

So can we take it that you agree with Brandy Madison, whoever she is, that some types of bread and crackers will "shut down" the immune system? If this was the case people would be dropping like flies around the world from sudden immune shutdowns and unexplained ravages of infectious diseases. Any evidence that this is occurring would be appreciated.

As to the Sears' claims about sugar and immunity, I couldn't find references to the studies the article mentioned on their site or on Pub Med. What I do find are reports that claims made for carbohydrate-restricted diets can be overblown. If there are any quality studies in humans demonstrating that you get sicker if your diet includes, for example, a couple of Cokes a day, I'd be interested to see them.

Yes, restricting sugar intake can be helpful in losing weight, encouraging a balanced diet with more fruits and vegetables and preventing dental caries. But telling someone that "Getting off of sugar is very important when getting rid of staph" (while simultaneously encouraging them to eat raw honey, which is sugar-rich and not shown to fight MRSA apart from potential use as part of a topical skin dressing) is not backed by currently available evidence.

" I think we all can agree that to prevent disease, keep the immune system high. This can be done with fresh air, water, natural foods, rest, exercise."

To keep the immune system functioning normally, I'd agree that proper nutrition, rest and exercise are valuable. Extreme diets and "detoxification" to eliminate imaginary "toxins" are not the answer.


 o
RE: mrsa

40 years ago we used to call the dietary purists who can back to the mainland from the 50th state with staph & fragil health "Survivors from Hawaii".
Many today fixated on eliminating toxins, on the one hand recover quickly/resist when get simple colds, yet on the other are whip sawed out of whack by what, to most, is innocuous.
Could it be that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger - in the sense that
challenges to the immune system condition us to be robust?


 o
RE: mrsa

"If there are any quality studies in humans demonstrating that you get sicker if your diet includes, for example, a couple of Cokes a day, I'd be interested to see them."

The NYT recently reported on a study that concluded that people who drank DIET Coca Cola (with artificial sweetener) had a higher rate of diabetes.

I do not know enough about the study to determine if causality was established, however.

Also, I have been trying to find information on the internet regarding the effect of plain soda water on people. I've been wondering if my preference for drinking soda water at times rather than regular water could in any way be connected to my arthritis or hip failure. There does not seem to be much if any information about this; if any studies have been done, they have been well hidden.


Re: artificial sugars/sweeteners in general:

I usually avoid these; I don't trust any of them, including Xylitol. I make an exception for the Tom's toothpaste since I don't ingest it, because of its effect against bacteria that can lead to ear infections.

I have been hearing of more cases of problems with the pancreas, which processes sugar, in the last few years, and I have wondered if it could be due to artificial sweetener use. This would be an interesting doctoral thesis for someone, it seems to me.


 o
RE: mrsa

Hi Gringo,
I think you are right in that 'challenging' the immune system makes one stronger. I read an article a few years back about the cleanliness of homes as related to the health of children. Seems ultra-clean houses actually produce sicklier kids, while those that are well kept but not sterile produce heathly children. Of course if one goes off the other end to a filthy house the kids get sicker.

I'm not so much of an advocate of toxin elimination (cleanses, enemas, colonics, etc) but I do think that if a person is constantly getting ill a general clean-up may be in order. Check your surroundings (mold, etc), check your stress levels, check your eating habits...

I eat healthy, a lot of vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, lean meats and not so much soda, refined sugars. But I do enjoy a fast food burger, fries and a milkshake too.

I think balance is healthy for me, and as individuals it's hard to recommend someone "should" do something without having medical knowledge and a health history for them.

I do like sharing ideas though, because I like knowing what others do to keep healthy. There's no fountain of youth, and no definitive answer!


 o
RE: mrsa

I cured my 1st case (in my 60 years) of staph with (wait for it)- LISTERINE -after over a month on 4 kinds of antibiotics with no improvement. I contacted the wonderful stuff from the stethoscope an ER doctor used to listen to bowel sounds. Yes, it was proven to be the stethoscope! Wonderful place to have it - all over my belly -NOT. I've used the Listerine soaked on paper towels 3 times a day for 3 weeks and the sores are finally getting well. Of course, I had to cure my yeast infection after all the antibiotic (but NOT with Listerine, lol). This was another 1st-never had a yeast infection before either.

Don't you just love the word ANTI-biotics.

Oh, the tea tree oil and other oils just caused an allergic reaction - they are gone with the trash-man. That had to be treated also.

My doctor did tell me to push Vitamin C and stay away from any milk products (interfers with some anti-biotics). Now the doc says I am probably more prone to get staph again and maybe even mrsa or vrsa (vac resist)- I will have to be dead to enter another ER - or I'll take my LISTERINE with me. I used and will continue to use Listerine to wash my hands, even with using surgical gloves during treatments and I actually used during baths. It's a lot cheaper than the $100.00++ for ONE anti-biotic prescription!

(And yes, it did hurt like heck, but better than the metal claws chewing at my belly and all the horrible black spots and sores). My doc just sent off some blood work - but said to keep doing whatever it was that has helped. (Not sure she believed me about the Listerine, but she did mention Dr. Lister and his "wonder" drug.)


 o
RE: mrsa

The years of antibiotic use have made the medical community indifferent to the possibility of transmission between patients.

When I get my eyes examined, I have to bring in my own tissues to protect my forehead from the examining machine; it only provides tear-off strips for the chin.

My gynecologist has disposable covers for their "stirrups," but they don't change these between patients.

Most doctors' waiting rooms have fabric-covered chairs, which cannot be easily sterilized.

The list goes on...I don't touch anything I don't have to in doctors' offices. I bring a bag in with me to place anything of mine in that I have to take off, so it is not contaminated by any surfaces in the office; I don't touch the doorknobs or any magazines; and when I return home I immediately place the clothes I wore in the laundry basket.

When "plagues" such as SARS are going around, I try to stay away from medical facilities altogether, and I avoid large medical centers that experiment with antivirals. In some instances, I wipe the soles of my shoes with chlorine after going to a medical practitioner.

All of the above will still not prevent airborn infections.

Many doctors do not understand why people turn to herbs and homeopathy for simple ailments. They are in denial of the risks of contamination that modern medicine itself presents, and they have historically failed to inform patients, for example, of the risks of contracting HIV from transplants, or even possibly from allergy treatments or immunizations that were developed with the use of human serum. Sometimes they don't even know themselves that they are using one; they have not read the literature that came with the treatment. I recently discovered that human bone is used in some dental implant procedures, and I suspect I would not have been informed of this if I had not asked--additionally, the surgeon seemed annoyed that I would think to ask, and made it clear I would not be welcomed back to his practice. He said they had not had any reports of transmission,...yet. Apparently the medical field's approach is to wait for "reports" before worrying, and to make decisions about possible infectious transmission without giving patients the oportunity to choose. Many hemophiliacs were infected with HIV because of blood pooling, even after the medical field realized it was somehow transmitted through blood.

I have often wondered about my own physician's stethoscope, and also the blood pressure band, which they prefer to place against bare skin. Thanks for this post--I will be certain to mention it to my physician.

I have also noticed that some beauticians do not seem to be sterilizing their equipment between customers, either.


 o
RE: mrsa

What eibren may not have noticed is that effective countermeasures against MRSA, programs to decrease transmission of infections in hospitals and other means of preventing illness (including vaccination) have all come from the medical and scientific community.

They're not being provided by homeopaths and other "alternative" practitioners, some of whom are even in denial that bacteria and other infectious agents cause disease. Bizarre as it seems, there are many alt med supporters who claim that Pasteur's germ theory was wrong. Some of them are AIDS denialists as well (arguing that HIV doesn't cause AIDS). As this link mentions, it's odd that some of the same people who criticize docs about hygiene (and point to Semmelweis as their hero), at the same time don't believe in the germ theory themselves.


 o
RE: mrsa

Hi Lady,
What ever made you consider using listerine? I'm happy it worked for you :)

I get pretty uptight in doctor's offices too Eibren. I try not to touch anything, and try not to go unless absolutely necessary. Going to an ER is like an invitation to catch whatever anyone else has in there. And the lengthy wait and non-sterilization pretty much ensures everyone shares their germs effectively before being treated.


 o
RE: mrsa

To Silversword: I was begging for help (on the internet) and an old mid-wife (Welch, if I remember correctly) recommended that I try it...seems she's "doctored" with it in her village for years. At that point I was ready to try about anything....

Update to Eibren...I returned to the ER that treated me so nicely and demanded treatment (after seeing MY doctor). Armed with test results, clorox and lysol wipes, I proceeded to wipe-down every single thing in the room. Then demanded that the nurse dispose of her gloves, wash her hand and don new gloves and clean her stethoscope- she called me obsession/ compulsive- I pulled down my pants, hicked by shirt and said "yes, I am since you people gave me THIS" - she fled and a doctor appeared (who did follow my suggestions). On the last trip there, the doctor was suggesting surgically excising the skin and some underlying tissue - I said goodbye fast and started looking for an alternative...even though I could use losing a few fat cells in my belly.

I'm an ornary old woman, as you all can tell - but what really blows my mind, is that there is no place to "report" this hospital for their lack or hygiene and lax habits - well except to the hospital administration. You'd think that infectious diseases (even though physical contact has to be made) would have a reporting and tracking entity - public health departments say NOT THEM - they've already got too much already. Didn't get a reply from CDC.


 o
RE: mrsa

Hi Lady,
Do you have a physician you can trust? How long ago was it? When my physician reported my family members staph aureus it took nearly a year for the CDC to get back to her. The worst part was that the staph was contracted at a public swimming location and six other people got it the same time... one man died. A real shame that the turn-around isn't quicker. I hate to think how many people could have been infected because the information about that location was not released for so long.


 o
RE: mrsa

If you believe there's a deficiency at a hospital, a good place to register a complaint is the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), an independent nonprofit group which regularly inspects 15,000 hospitals and other health care entities .


 o
RE: mrsa

Eibren It seems like you are willing to make a lot of hasty generalizations about the medical community being a negative force, they are contrary to fact and you should avoid them if you can.


 o
RE: mrsa

When SARS was going around, they didn't even have enough sense to keep people with flu-like illnesses out of the regular medical centers. They could have used abandoned schools, etc. for this. If we ever have a true epidemic, they will guarantee that most of the population that trusts the medical profession dies.

I stand by everything I have said about the medical field.

I actually respect what they do well, which is to GRADUALLY document new and effective treatments, and METHODICALLY treat illness according to standard protocol.

What they do not do well is respond quickly to new ideas or circumstances or understand that patients have a right to direct their own care. They do not share power well and operate under some arcane feudal-lord concept.

The people in the medical profession are, for the most part, Thought-and-Sensing (detail) oriented people with little intuitive ability. The few that are "feeling" oriented are mainly concerned about their own feelings, not those of their patients.

If the above were not applicable to some of the posters in this forum that continually drag all discussion into mechanistic medical-experimental argumentation, we would not have so many posts that destroy the harmony of a soothing herbal thread.

There are ways to get across one's points without ruining the pleasure and peaceful pursuits of others, but some lack the people skills or know-how to pull this off.


 o
RE: mrsa

"What eibren may not have noticed is that effective countermeasures against MRSA, programs to decrease transmission of infections in hospitals and other means of preventing illness (including vaccination) have all come from the medical and scientific community."

That's not especially true, as we can see from Ladyplumb's post, as well as my recent observations regarding the stupid way SARS was handled on the local medical level.

"They're not being provided by homeopaths and other "alternative" practitioners, some of whom are even in denial that bacteria and other infectious agents cause disease. Bizarre as it seems, there are many alt med supporters who claim that Pasteur's germ theory was wrong. Some of them are AIDS denialists as well (arguing that HIV doesn't cause AIDS). As this link mentions, it's odd that some of the same people who criticize docs about hygiene (and point to Semmelweis as their hero), at the same time don't believe in the germ theory themselves."

I don't personally know of any people in alt med who do not believe in "germs." However, I would not choose to totally discount anything said by anyone who had practiced any form of healing and was honest about their observations. Although their interpretations of results might be skewed, that would not necessarily invalidate their results.

As for the use of an argumentum ad hominum (wrongly applied) and a smearing of the whole by an overly broad brush which you have just used, these are tactics which I believe you, yourself objected to as logical flaws in another thread.

I find it interesting, though, that you choose to be on the attack in this thread over a quibble when there were several openings presented earlier, by me, for a person with greater medical skill to follow up with useful information.

It leaves me wondering just what your motivation is in posting here.

It begins to apear to me that at least two of the most dedicated posters in this forum have little interest in herbalism, or healing of any sort, but only in discrediting the points of others and making the discussion disagreeable at every possible turn. The result: Many of the finest posters this forum has had have been driven away in disgust. Was that result the intended one? I begin to suspect that it was.

You rail against those who pop in here to push their herbal products.

Is it possible that you should be also be railed against, as one paid by Big Pharma to do PR to allow them to totally take over and regulate the herbal industry? Your behavior on here is certainly suggestive of that.

You totally ignore or discount the input of almost everyone else on here. Instead of expanding discussions, you contract them.

You don't allow a full discussion of anything; your focus is on junking up threads with argumentive gobblydegook.

You ruin the harmonious atmosphere in a thread that could lead to healing for a person who has failed to find succor from her medical practitioners.

Ladyplumb's story is horrifying, yet you failed to even acknowledge it. The resentment and lack of compassion she experienced from the ER that transmitted MRSA to her is truly horrible, but matches your own.

It is no wonder the medical profession is subject to so many lawsuits. It is no wonder that so many of us need another place to go to recuperate from our encounters with medical practitioners.

This Forum should be such a place, but you have done your best to destroy that possibility. What I said to BB above also applies, to only a slightly lesser extent, to you.

This is a systems concern, not a personal attack. I am aware that you and Brendan at times make valuable posts. However, if you are both here as paid interlopers to destroy this forum, as you begin to appear to be, you should not be here. Even if you are unpaid, could there be a professional perc awaiting you for what you do here? A "political payback" of some kind? Possibly, a good laugh with your fellow philistines, and a chance to gain further recognition in your chosen field? Is that what it takes nowadays in the medical field to get ahead--taking over more and more turf? Taking over the placebo effect, even though few of you are equipped by personality or availability to pull it off? Let's go for that last 10% of the medical dollar...let's not allow people to find a way to do that themselves....

The people in GardenWeb have a right to have a peaceful place that they can come to, where the cultivation and uses of herbal plants can be cooperatively discussed, without being constantly pulled into mechanistic modernistic medical argumentation.

There are ways of presentling your points that will not be as offputting.

As long as you continue to wreak havoc on this Forum, do not be surprised if resentful posts continue to be made about the state of modern medicine, because you are a constant reminder of everything that is wrong with it.


 o
RE: mrsa

Thanks eric oh, I'll contact them - I really hope none of the 35-40 people that I saw at the ER THAT night caught anything!!!

Yes, Silversword - I trust my regular doc - she treats me as if I were family - so do the others in practice with her and I really appreciate it. She even called this hospital and complained - and basically told them to "fix" it, bless her heart! I'm not sure what all she had in mind to do, but I know she was really mad!!

It's been months, and yes, it's pretty much been a nightmare and a half, but hopefully the end is near.

This ER visit was not a huge distance away from home in a large hospital & I'm sure they have some good people - I just worry that they get so busy, they don't do the things they should that just take some time and effort.....the only reason that I'd report them (even being ornery, lol).


 o
RE: mrsa

To eibren: By "effective countermeasures" I am referring to such things as hospital programs to decrease inpatient infections, use of antibiotic regimens that kill MRSA and good hygiene practices. Telling anecdotes about supposedly bad doctors or promoting untried or ineffective cures does little to counteract MRSA.

"I don't personally know of any people in alt med who do not believe in "germs." However, I would not choose to totally discount anything said by anyone who had practiced any form of healing and was honest about their observations. Although their interpretations of results might be skewed, that would not necessarily invalidate their results."

We've had a poster on this forum who tried to argue that germs don't cause illness. And if you Google such terms as "Bechamp" (a largely discredited Pasteur rival) and "Pasteur wrong" you'll find a host of alt med advocates who argue against the idea of bacteria and other organisms being capable of making healthy people sick, or of causing disease at all. No doubt many are sincere in these beliefs, which doesn't make them any less wrong and damaging.

As for ad hominems, disagreeing in a civil manner with particular health claims is not a personal attack on the one making the claims. Calling people "pompous", "pedantic" or any of the other insults leveled against posters in recent days is unacceptable ad hominem tactics and a distraction from reasonable discourse. And come on - falsely charging those with whom you disagree with being "paid interlopers" is a personal attack, not a "systems concern".

Whether you're willing to acknowledge it or not, I and numerous other people who've posted here over the years about both the good and the bad in herbalism ((including Judy B, lazygardens and brendan> have had at least these things in common - an interest in the subject and a desire to share accurate, helpful information.

As to good posters being driven away from the forum, I'll remind you that when this subject was brought up here recently regarding daisyduckworth, she returned to post that a prime reason for her absenting herself was that strident pro-herbal advocates had made things unpleasant by refusing to accept a role for mainstream medicine in some health matters. And undoubtedly certain people don't post here anymore because they don't appreciate the insults and personal attacks that flow from alt med supporters when their views are questioned in any way.

"It is no wonder that so many of us need another place to go to recuperate from our encounters with medical practitioners.

This Forum should be such a place"

Actually, it's a forum to discuss herbalism, not intended as a refuge from all evidence-based medicine or as a place to silence discussion about negative aspects of herbalism, regardless of harm to potential users.

"The people in GardenWeb have a right to have a peaceful place that they can come to, where the cultivation and uses of herbal plants can be cooperatively discussed"

I absolutely, completely, 100% agree with this. Please do your part to make it so.


 o
RE: mrsa

Hi Lady,
I'm glad you have a good doctor. The reason I was asking is that our doctor said it was her responsibility (and that she was required) to report the case of staph to the CDC because it was highly contagious. I'm just wondering if your doctor reported it as well, since I think they may take her account a little more seriously than a patient's.

I think emergency rooms are wonderful. How great to be able to use them in an emergency. The trouble is (in my opinion) that people are using them as doctors offices, they are unable to keep them to a high degree of sanitation and the wait is so long that everyone in the room risks contracting whatever disease the others have carried in.

Our healthcare system is in the toilet. It's evident by the buses of retirees heading for the boarder for their prescriptions and the plethora of uninsured children.


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