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Tue, 13 Nov 2018
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When an FDA ruling curbed fecal transplants, I performed my own

Clostridium difficile
© BSIP/UIG via Getty Images
To treat stubborn gut bacterial infections caused by Clostridium difficile, some patients have performed their own fecal microbial transplants.


Doctors and policymakers have been slow to endorse the treatment - a last line of defense against the superbug C. Diff. - even as many patients have embraced it.


I'd had intestinal distress before, but never like this. I was excreting not just waste, but blood and bits of my colon's lining - up to 30 times per day. My abdominal pain hit deeper and felt less productive than the pain of giving birth, epidural-free, to my second child. Even shingles, which stung like a dental drill against my face, paled in comparison. Such was the agony of Clostridium difficile.

Commonly known as C. diff., Clostridium difficile is an antibiotic-resistant superbug carried by approximately 5 percent of the adult population. The harmful gut bacterium is normally kept in check by other, good bacteria in the gut's microbiome. But when the microbial balance is upset - for example, by a dose of antibiotics - C. diff. can gain a foothold. Left to multiply unchecked, it may kill its human host.

Comment: As off-putting as the procedure may sounds, fecal transplants may just be the miracle procedure to fight off the plague of antibiotic resistant bacteria like C. diff. That doctors are so resistant to the idea likely means more and more people will be trying it themselves, or under the care of an alternative practitioner that cares more about the health of the patient than what arbitrary decision the FDA has made.

See also:


Biohazard

'Troubling allegations' prompt Health Canada review of studies used to approve popular weed-killer

Roundup

Health Canada says its scientists are reviewing hundreds of studies used during the approval process for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Canada's most popular herbicide, Roundup.
Health Canada says in light of "troubling allegations," its scientists are reviewing hundreds of studies used during the approval process for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Canada's most popular herbicide, Roundup.

The decision comes after a coalition of environmental groups claimed Health Canada relied on studies that were secretly influenced by agrochemical giant Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, when it re-approved use of glyphosate in 2015 and confirmed that decision in 2017.

The coalition, which includes Equiterre, Ecojustice, Canadian Physicians for the Environment and others, says academic papers looking at whether the herbicide causes cancer were presented to Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency as independent, when in fact Monsanto had a hand in writing them.

Comment: See also:


Whistle

How the EPA and the Pentagon downplayed a growing toxic threat of perfluoroalkyl substances

contamination
© Environmental Protection
A family of chemicals - known as PFAS and responsible for marvels like Teflon and critical to the safety of American military bases - has now emerged as a far greater menace than previously disclosed.

The chemicals once seemed near magical, able to repel water, oil and stains.

By the 1970s, DuPont and 3M had used them to develop Teflon and Scotchgard, and they slipped into an array of everyday products, from gum wrappers to sofas to frying pans to carpets. Known as perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, they were a boon to the military, too, which used them in foam that snuffed out explosive oil and fuel fires.

It's long been known that, in certain concentrations, the compounds could be dangerous if they got into water or if people breathed dust or ate food that contained them. Tests showed they accumulated in the blood of chemical factory workers and residents living nearby, and studies linked some of the chemicals to cancers and birth defects.

Comment: PFAS chemicals: Hidden studies conducted up to four decades ago found serious health effects


Life Preserver

Digital detox: The health benefits of unplugging & unwinding

tecnology
Recent studies have shown that 90% of Americans use digital devices for two or more hours each day and the average American spends more time a day on high-tech devices than they do sleeping: 8 hours and 21 minutes to be exact. If you've ever considered attempting a "digital detox", there are some health benefits to making that change and a few tips to make things a little easier on yourself.

Many Americans are on their phones rather than playing with their children or spending quality family time together. Some people give up technology, or certain aspects of it, such as social media for varying reasons, and there are some shockingly terrific health benefits that come along with that type of a detox from technology. In fact, more and more health experts and medical professionals are suggesting a periodic digital detox; an extended period without those technology gadgets. Studies continue to show that a digital detox, has proven to be beneficial for relationships, productivity, physical health, and mental health. If you find yourself overly stressed or unproductive or generally disengaged from those closest to you, it might be time to unplug.

Comment: Tech addiction: Photos depict how modern technology is 'stealing souls'
Addiction to technology "is placing the screen as an object of 'mass subculture', alienating the relation to our own body, and more generally to the physical world."

Antonie Geiger is a 20-year-old photographer from France who has perfectly outlined how our electronics are sucking the life out of us. They consume out attention tricking us into thinking it is about affection and all the while distracting us from living our present physical lives.

When we are not grounded in the present moment we are disconnecting. Since many of us are on a path of seeking connection we need to remember to keep our electronic tools in balance with our interpersonal connections.



Microscope 2

Water Science: Evidence for Homeopathy

water science
© The Asian
If the common physician, scientist and educated consumer were to believe Wikipedia, they would assume that there is absolutely no research that shows the efficacy of homeopathic medicines in the treatment of any ailment. Furthermore, they would conclude homeopathic medicines are so small in dose, there is literally "nothing" in a homeopathic medicine.

And, if you are this gullible and vulnerable to Big Pharma propaganda, then we've got an island to sell you for $24! According to The Washington Post, Wikipedia's article on homeopathy and Jesus Christ are the two most controversial on that website in four leading languages (English, French, German and Spanish).

Attention

The 'remarkable' decline in fertility rates

Mother and baby
© Getty Images
There has been a remarkable global decline in the number of children women are having, say researchers.

Their report found fertility rate falls meant nearly half of countries were now facing a "baby bust" - meaning there are insufficient children to maintain their population size.

The researchers said the findings were a "huge surprise".

And there would be profound consequences for societies with "more grandparents than grandchildren".

Comment: See also:


Biohazard

US: 1 Dead, 164 sickened in ongoing turkey salmonella outbreak, 35 states affected

salmonella

Salmonella
Just two weeks out from the biggest turkey-focused day of the year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that 164 people across 35 states have fallen ill from Salmonella-tainted raw turkey.

The CDC said that 74 more people were reported sick in the ongoing outbreak since its last report in July, and the outbreak has been linked to one death in California. Lab tests showed that raw turkey products contaminated with Salmonella had multiple sources of origin, and the outbreak strain was identified in raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys. While the CDC says it believes the sources of the outbreak strain show it could be "widespread," no products or brands have yet been recalled. The National Turkey Federation said it is cooperating in the ongoing investigation.

"Our members have individually reviewed their Salmonella control programs in all phases of turkey production and are working collectively through NTF to address this and all strains of Salmonella," it said in a statement on Thursday. "The intense focus of our membership on this issue has allowed the industry to further strengthen guidelines for biosecurity and food safety."

Comment: Reports of contaminated products and infectious diseases are in the news with increasing regularity these days: And for clues on the possible causes: Also check out SOTT radio's: The Health & Wellness Show: Syphilitic Superpower: The rise of STDs


Info

Pain: Why do some people hurt more than others?

pain
© Mikhail_Kayl / Shutterstock.com
Some people feel more pain than others.
Anyone who came of age in the 1990s remembers the "Friends" episode where Phoebe and Rachel venture out to get tattoos. Spoiler alert: Rachel gets a tattoo and Phoebe ends up with a black ink dot because she couldn't take the pain. This sitcom storyline is funny, but it also simply illustrates the question that I and many others in the field of "pain genetics" are trying to answer. What is it about Rachel that makes her different from Phoebe? And, more importantly, can we harness this difference to help the "Phoebes" of the world suffer less by making them more like the "Rachels"?

Pain is the single most common symptom reported when seeking medical attention. Under normal circumstances, pain signals injury, and the natural response is to protect ourselves until we have recovered and the pain subsides. Unfortunately, people differ not only in their ability to detect, tolerate and respond to pain but also in how they report it and how they respond to various treatments. This makes it difficult to know how to effectively treat each patient. So, why isn't pain the same in everyone?

Take 2

BBC Documentary investigates 'The Placebo Effect'

The Placebo Experiment: Can My Brain Cure My Body? Dr. Michael Mosley
Could relief for chronic back pain be as easy as taking a sugar pill? In the BBC documentary,The Placebo Experiment: Can My Brain Cure My Body? Dr. Michael Mosley sets out to investigate the power of the placebo effect.

Several studies have demonstrated complaints of lower back pain have risen dramatically in recent decades. Ranking 12th as a cause of disability in 1990,1 it's now the leading cause of disability in nearly all high-income countries.2,3 As many as 8 in 10 adults will experience low back pain at some time in their life.4

Unfortunately, while the problem is fairly common worldwide, so is the mistreatment of the condition.5In the U.S., more than 60 percent of people who see their physician for lower back pain are prescribed an opioid painkiller. This despite guidelines from the American College of Physicians which state prescription drugs should be used as a last resort.6

Comment: Placebos, nocebos, and the symptoms of healing


Hearts

Ancient cures for modern times: Bridging the health care gap in Australia

healers
Aboriginal healers are bringing their 60,000-year-old tradition into medical clinics across Australia. Working alongside doctors and other health care providers, the traditional healers known as Ngangkaṟis are offering their ancient and powerful traditional healing methods in mainstream health settings.

Traditional healers have been working in their own communities for thousands of years with amazing results, and now they are sharing their wisdom and filling the gaps of Western medicine in South Australia's Royal Adelaide Hospital and many other rural clinics around the country. In South Australia, a policy of cultural respect in the public health system supports Indigenous patients to request a Traditional Aboriginal Healer and so today we can see Aboriginal traditional medicine and Western medicine working hand in hand.