WHO Antibiotic Awareness Week, The Problem, A Plan of Action and A Potential Solution
The key facts, are as follows:
- Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.
- Antibiotic resistance can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.
- Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.
- A growing number of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhoea – are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.
- Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality.
(World Health Organisation, October 2016)
Different approaches required
Given these facts, we need to seek suitable, practical and effective alternatives, as the situation is escalating out of control. Lifestyle changes are also a very important and integral part of this. It must be made clear that most homeopaths accept that there is a time and a place for antibiotics. In certain difficult, severe bacterial infections, they are potentially life saving. However, this being said, there is undeniable over prescription, which has to be addressed, for the sake of world health. It is important that everyone is aware of this and begins to take their own health management seriously and to stop demanding medications for minor ailments that are self limiting. Frequent antibiotic usage is potentially dangerous to one’s health and is a huge cause of iatrogenic disease. Take with caution and awareness of this proven fact.
Ban Ki Moon, the UN General Secretary, at the United Nations conference on drug resistant bacteria in September 2016, stated:‘ It is estimated that more than 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant infections, though it could be much higher because there is no global system to monitor these deaths. And there has been trouble tracking those deaths in places where they are monitored, like in the US, where tens of thousands of deaths have not been attributed to superbugs.’ He went on to say: ‘If we fail to address this problem quickly and comprehensively, antimicrobial resistance will make providing high-quality universal healthcare coverage more difficult if not impossible antimicrobial resistance is a “fundamental threat” to global health and safety. (UN: 2016)
Plan of action
It is important to recognise that less is more in terms of antibiotic usage, not only for one’s own health in the short term, but to avoid long term resistance. Save them, wherever possible, for those times of acute, dangerous infection. This could be one of the most valuable things you do for your own health. Check with your health care provider that the use of antibiotics in your case is essential, or if monitored, is the complaint likely to go away in of its own accord with good self care? Common viral infections that do not benefit from antibiotic treatment include: (Mayo Clinic: 2012)
- Flu (influenza
- Most coughs
- Most sore throats
- Some ear infections
- Some sinus infection
- Stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis)
- Try and avoid illness in the first place by eating a well balanced diet suitable to you, (taking into account food sensitivities and intolerances.) Exercise and get adequate sleep, supplement with vitamins and minerals and probiotics where necessary. Reduce stress and employ strategies to make this easier (meditation, yoga etc.)
- Recognise your health is your responsibility. Prevent disease as much as possible optimising the above approach.
- Understand that there are side effects with antibiotics, which can seriously affect your health. Yeast infections, both local and systemic are often the result of indiscriminate antibacterial onslaught which eliminates healthy as well as unhealthy gut flora; this can result in even more prescriptions, creating a cycle which is difficult to break. Avoid wherever possible.
- Remove ‘Maintaining Causes (see earlier blog.) In other words, as much as possible remove those things that you know make you sick. eg: if you are a smoker with a hacking cough, stop smoking.
- Research different approaches should treatment be required, starting with homeopathy, which has been wonderfully beneficial to many. Cases and research links given below.
The Homeopathic Approach/A Solution?
Much of healing witnessed using homeopathy is empirical, in other words, the patient gets better after a consultation and this is easily observed. No formal Randomised Control Trials are needed; it simply works; there are numerous examples of this happening in a variety of conditions on this website here. If formal RCT’s are required to prove or convince one of its efficacy, several cases of success with using homeopathy are included in a prospective, pragmatic study of 499 patients, over 6-months looking at homeopathy as an alternative to antibiotics, by Professor Dr. Michael Frass, Medical University of Vienna, The study can be found here:
Animals, both domestic and farm, often respond beautifully to homeopathic treatment and destroy any preconceived, limited, judgmental idea that homeopathy is placebo. This recent triple blind randomised control trial with piglets is evidence of healing, without the need for antibiotics:
Prevention of diarrhoea in piglets
A high-quality placebo controlled trials identified by Mathie & Clausen was carried out by Wageningen Univsersity in the Netherlands:
‘In this triple blind RCT, 52 pregnant sows were treated with either Coli 30K (a homeopathic medicine made from E. coli bacteria) or placebo. The sows gave birth to 525 piglets and those in the group treated with Coli 30K had 6 times less diarrhoea than the piglets in the placebo group. This result was statistically significant (p < 0.0001) meaning that it is extremely unlikely to be a false positive result due to chance alone.The homeopathic medicine used in this study was made from E. colibacteria, alternately diluted and succussed to produce an ultra high dilution of 10-60, meaning that it should no longer contain any molecules of the original bacteria.
The particular technique used, where the medicine used is made from the same substance which causes the disease being treated, is a sub-type of homeopathy called ‘isopathy’. As the only existing way of preventing this disease in livestock is by using antibiotics, this study should be repeated to confirm its findings, as it may provide an effective way to help reduce overuse of antibiotics. (Veterinary Research: 2015.)
Another trial concerning farm animals (cows) having successful outcomes hails from India: ‘The comparative efficacy of homeopathic and allopathic systems of medicine in the management of Indian dairy cows.’ It can be found here, http://www.hawl.co.uk/fileadmin/HAWL/user_upload/articles/comparativeefficacyindiastudy.pdf the conclusion being : ‘We conclude that the combination of phytolacca, calc flour, silica, belladonna, arnica and ipecac is effective and cost effective in the management of fibrotic and non fibrotic mastitis in lactating dairy cows compared to antibiotics.’ (Indian Veterinary Research Institute, 2004)
Thus, it is clear that farm animals also respond well to homeopathic treatment and a return to health without resorting to antibiotic treatment. It is also hugely cost effective. Should you require more research data, in every sphere concerning homeopathy, this is a wonderful resource: http://hpathy.com/scientific-research/database-of-positive-homeopathy-research-studies/
We are an over medicated society, one which has become reliant on doctors to cure our every aliment. It is time to recapture a sense of responsibility for ourselves and our families that does not include taking medication for minor conditions, rather to look after our own health first, following the above advice. We owe it to ourselves, our children and our families to be as well informed as possible. Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, was right and prophetic in his prediction: ‘If the disease is treated with violent allopathic drugs, other graver, more life threatening ailments are created in its place.’ Aphorism 37 (a), The Organon of Medicine.
As ever, should you wish to consult a homeopath: www.findahomeopath.org.
Gill Graham. BSc, (Hons) BA, (Hons) RS Hom, DHMH
Data Base of positive reseach studies (2015) available at: : http://hpathy.com/scientific-research/database-of-positive-homeopathy-research-studies/
Mayo Clinic (2014) Antibiotics misuse puts you and others at risk: available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/antibiotics/art-20045720
Homeopathy as an alternative to antibiotics (2014) Professor Dr. Michael FRASS Medical University of Vienna, Department Medicine, Doctor´s Association for Classical Homeopath. Available at:
The comparative efficacy of homeopathic and allopathic systems of medicine in the management of Indian dairy cows.’ (2004) Available at: http://www.hawl.co.uk/fileadmin/HAWL/user_upload/articles/comparativeefficacyindiastudy.pdf
UN meeting tackles the 'fundamental threat' of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.(2016) Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/20/un-declaration-antibiotic-drug-resistance?CMP=share_btn_tw
Veterinary research (2015) available at: https://www.hri-research.org/resources/homeopathy-the-debate/essentialevidence/veterinary-research/
World Health Organisation, October 2016.Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/antibiotic-resistance/en/)