Health & Wellness
Map


Ambulance

Drug-resistant mutated bacteria found downstream from sewage treatment plant in Coventry

scientist drug resistant bacteria
© Reuters / Joel Page
Scientists have found drug resistant super bugs downstream of a sewage treatment plant in the River Sowe near Coventry, media said.

The microbes contain mutated genes that are resistant even to the latest generation of antibiotics, the Independent reports.

The researchers said that sewage treatment plants are acting like giant "mixing vessels" where antibiotic resistance is spreading between microbes, which are then released into the environment.

A large number of microbes living in the river had a genetic mutation, which is known to provide resistance to third generation antibiotics or cephalosporins - a class of antibiotic used to treat hospital acquired infections, like blood infections and meningitis.

The scientists also found human gut bacteria in the river sediment that had developed resistance to Imipenem, a type of antibiotic used in severe infections not treatable with other antibiotics, which is administered using intravenous injections.

"This is a worrying development and we need to be concerned about it. We've completely underestimated the role waste-treatment processes can play in antibiotic resistance,"Professor Elizabeth Wellington, from the University of Warwick, who led the study, told the Independent.

Comment: Superbugs that are resistant to most known antibiotics are now a reality throughout the world, thanks to the over-prescribing of antibiotics for conditions that don't merit their use as well as the drugging of livestock. Fortunately, there is some hope that herbal and food sources may be still be able to treat some of these diseases.

Groups Sue FDA to Stop Addition of Antibiotics in Livestock Feed
Municipal Wastewater Spreads Antibiotic Resistance
'Devastating' implications of drug-resistant superbugs now a reality
Herbs and foods that kill superbugs

Pills

Bruce E. Levine: Illegal-Psychiatric drug hypocrisy and why Michael Pollan is smarter than I am

© paulista/Shutterstock.com
Before Pollan gained influence authoring books about food, he wrote articles about American psychotropic drug hypocrisy.

Before Michael Pollan gained well-deserved respect and influence authoring five bestselling books about food, he got my attention in the late 1990s writing articles about American illegal-legal psychotropic drug hypocrisy. For those of us who appreciate what Pollan later accomplished for the local food and real food movements, it's probably been a good idea that since 1999 he has stopped writing articles about drug hypocrisy, otherwise he might never have become so well-received.

If Pollan had continued his assault on American drug hypocrisy, he likely would have been attacked by many psychiatric drug users who mistakenly believed he was challenging their decision to choose psychiatric drugs. At least that's been my experience.

Comment: Read more about Bruce E. Levine's perspective on America's Love-Hate Relationship with Drugs and The Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America:

Attention

Big Pharma Alert: Antipsychotic meds may literally shrink your brain!

A study published today has confirmed a link between antipsychotic medication and a slight, but measurable, decrease in brain volume in patients with schizophrenia. For the first time, researchers have been able to examine whether this decrease is harmful for patients' cognitive function and symptoms, and noted that over a nine year follow-up, this decrease did not appear to have any effect.

As we age, our brains naturally lose some of their volume - in other words, brain cells and connections. This process, known as atrophy, typically begins in our thirties and continues into old age. Researchers have known for some time that patients with schizophrenia lose brain volume at a faster rate than healthy individuals, though the reason why is unclear.

Now, in a study published in the open access journal PLOS ONE, a team of researchers from the University of Oulu, Finland, and the University of Cambridge has identified the rate of decrease in both healthy individuals and patients with schizophrenia. They also documented where in the brain schizophrenia patients have more atrophy, and have examined links between atrophy and antipsychotic medication.
Cheeseburger

Eat your way to an early death: Processed foods hurt your immune system and gut health

© huffingtonpost.com
If you could make one change in your life that would lower your risk of chronic disease, help you lose weight, and make you feel happier and more energized, would you do it?

The one change I'm referring to is cutting back on processed foods. It's widely known that refined junk foods aren't good for your body as they're packed with sugar (including fructose), synthetic and rancid fats, preservatives, genetically modified (GM) ingredients, additives, and more.

Lesser known, yet equally important (if not more so), is the role of poor diet on inflammation and gut health - two factors that are intricately involved in virtually every aspect of your health.

In short, nearly all processed foods are the epitome of what you shouldn't be putting in your body. The research against processed foods is hard to deny, or ignore, any longer, especially in light of a new study highlighting processed foods' detrimental effect on your immune system and gut health (and that of future generations).
Health

Three more cases of life-threatening plague found in Colorado

© Rocky Mountain Laboratories/NIAID/NIH
Scanning electron micrograph depicting a mass of Yersinia pestis bacteria.
Three more plague cases were found in Colorado, a week after the first infection of the deadliest form of the disease was reported in the state in a decade.

The man initially reported with pneumonic plague on July 11 is hospitalized. Two of the new cases also had pneumonic plague, while the third had a milder form. All four cases may be linked to the original man's dog, which died from the illness, state health officials said.

The people newly-found to be infected were treated with antibiotics, recovered, and are no longer contagious. Health officials suspect the dog that died may been exposed to plague-infected fleas from a prairie dog or rabbit, said Jennifer House, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment department.

"We've had quite a number of cases this year," House said in a telephone interview. "We do believe the outbreak itself to be over."

Comment: See also:
  • 7-year-old Colorado girl contracts "black death" plague
  • Precursor? Rare and deadly form of plague contracted by Denver man


Footprints

Puerto Rico declares epidemic of mosquito-borne virus chikungunya; 200 confirmed cases

© Reuters/Ricardo Rojas
Puerto Rican health officials declared Thursday an epidemic of chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has shown up in more than 200 confirmed cases across the island as of late last month.

Health Secretary Ana Rius said the majority of those cases were reported in the capital of San Juan and nearby areas.

The virus was introduced into the Caribbean region late last year, according to AP. The first chase of chikungunya in Puerto Rico was reported in late May.

Meanwhile, Jamaican health officials reported the nation's first confirmed case on Thursday. Dr. Kevin Harvey, chief medical officer for Jamaica, said chikungunya was found in someone who had recently traveled to a country where the virus has been transmitted locally.

Health officials in Florida also reported the first domestically acquired chikungunya infections in the United States. Both cases involved persons infected with the virus following visits to the Caribbean, then both were bitten by uninfected mosquitoes in Florida, which then transmitted the virus further.

Comment: This virus is making it's way around the globe...
  • Killer mosquito virus arrives in Europe
  • 4,600 affected by untreatable virus spreading through Caribbean islands
  • Incurable mosquito-borne chikungunya virus now found in six US states
  • Reports of individuals contracting mosquito virus chikungunya confirmed by health officials in Florida
  • Malaysia: Health ministry keeping a tab on Chikungunya virus
  • Indian Ocean virus infections climb in Mauritius


Info

Boy's ear problems had rare cause: Gut disease

Ear
© studio online/Shutterstock
A child's ear.
A 10-year-old boy in North Carolina suffered from ear pain and hearing problems for years before doctors were finally able to crack the case: He did not have an ear condition after all, but an underlying disease in the gut.

The boy saw multiple doctors for his ear symptoms, which included episodes of ear pain, bloody ear discharge and problems hearing. He was prescribed eardrops, antibiotics and other medications, but nothing seemed to help, said Dr. Eileen M. Raynor, a pediatric head-and-neck surgeon at Duke University Medical Center who treated the boy.

"It was like swimmer's ear gone crazy," Raynor said. "He was really miserable." The boy was also being treated for the skin condition psoriasis, and had skin lesions on his scalp and other parts of his body.

When the boy arrived at Raynor's center, his ears were red and inflamed, and were leaking pus, and his ear canals were narrow from inflammation. Raynor said she could not see his eardrums because the ear canals were so inflamed and damaged.

Doctors put the boy under anesthesia to perform a biopsy of his ear. Results from this biopsy and a second skin biopsy revealed that he had a skin condition that can occur as a complication of Crohn's disease.

Crohn's disease is a condition that causes swelling and irritation in the digestive tract, which can lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea. In rare cases, patients can develop skin disorders, eye inflammation and mouth sores, but nearly everyone who develops these complications has been diagnosed with Crohn's disease before the skin symptoms show up, Raynor said.
Bomb

Reports of individuals contracting mosquito virus chikungunya confirmed by health officials in Florida

© Photo: James Gathany, CDC
A female mosquito (Aedes aegypti) takes flight after leaving the skin of a host. It is one of two species of mosquitoes known to carry the chikungunya virus.
Florida Health officials Thursday confirmed the first locally acquired cases of the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya. The two cases are the first instances in the U.S. in which the virus was not contracted during Caribbean travel, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The infected individuals were described as a 41-year-old woman in Miami-Dade County who began experiencing symptoms on June 10, and a 50-year-old man in Palm Beach County, who first noticed symptoms July 1.

Officials said that chikungunya (pronounced chik-un-GUHN-ya) - spread by bites from infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes - is not contagious from person to person, is typically not life-threatening and will likely resolve on its own.

In both cases, Florida officials said, a person infected with the virus after visiting the Caribbean was then bitten again by an uninfected mosquito in Florida, which then transmitted the illness further.
Stop

Stress slows metabolism: People burn fewer calories up to one day after stressful event

obesity
A double-patty cheeseburger and fries may be one of the worst things to eat after a stressful argument. New research suggests that for a day after being stressed out, people have slower metabolisms and burn fewer calories.

The findings suggest that regularly eating high-fat meals after being stressed could lead to additional weight gain, the researchers said.

The study involved 58 women who reported whether in the past day they had experienced stress, such as arguments with coworkers or spouses, disagreements with friends, trouble with children or work stress. The women's ages ranged from 31 to 70.

Each participant then ate a meal that included 930 calories and 60 grams of fat, similar to meals of hamburgers and fries offered in popular fast-food restaurants. Over the next seven hours, the researchers measured participants' metabolic rates, a number that shows how fast the body is burning calories and fat. The researchers also measured the participants' levels of blood sugar, triglycerides, insulin and the stress hormone cortisol.

Researchers found that the participants who reported one or more stressors during the past day burned on average 104 fewer calories than non-stressed women over the course of the day.

Comment: One of the best ways to reduce stress is to meditate on a regular basis. The Éiriú Eolas technique will help you to have improved overall health, a stronger immune system, better impulse control and reduced inflammation. It will also help you to heal emotional wounds; anything that may hinder or prevent you from leading a healthy and fulfilling life.

Health

Ultrasound risks: The perils of peeking into the womb

© Greenmedinfo.com
"Clinical use of diagnostic ultrasound imaging during pregnancy has a long history of safety and diagnostic utility, as supported by numerous human case reports and epidemiological studies.However, there exist in vivo studies linking large but clinically relevant doses of ultrasound applied to mouse fetuses in utero to altered learning, memory, and neuroanatomy of those mice."

How may doctors and unknowing patients be colluding to harm unborn babies? This recent study suggests that the seemingly benign practice of obstetrical ultrasonography is one practice that deserves urgent reassessment. Researchers exposed pregnant mice at 14.5 days gestation (a neurologically vulnerable window) to 30 minutes of fetal ultrasound and assessed the pups' behavior at 3 weeks of age. They found that the exposed pups were significantly less interested in social interactions and had significant levels of behavioral hyperactivity, in the presence of an unfamiliar mouse.

Why Did Ultrasounds Become Routine?

Today's children have been exposed to an unprecedented level of ultrasound technology, both in frequency and intensity. In 2001, 67% of pregnant women had at least 1 ultrasound, and in 2009, that percentage jumped to 99.8% with an average of 3 per woman. What accounts for this increase? Do we have evidence to suggest that this intervention is saving lives, changing outcomes, and that it is safe? What about safety in the settings it is applied most frequently, such as advanced maternal age, metabolic syndromes, and complications? Could these higher risk pregnancies represent a category of fetus that is more vulnerable to potential side effects of an intervention like ultrasound?

Comment: Learnmore about the safety of ultrasounds below:

If Ultrasound Destroys Sperm, Why is it Safe for a Fetus?
Natural Childbirth (Part 2A): Is Ultrasound Necessary & Effective in Pregnancy?
Natural Childbirth (Part 2B): Ultrasound Not as Safe as Commonly Thought
Ultrasound Shown To Exert Remote Control Of Brain Circuits
Ultrasound sends neurons down wrong path

Top