Last September, a woman in her 70s died of a bad case of CRE, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. It wasn’t just antibiotic resistant, it was resistant to ALL antibiotics.
You probably haven’t heard much about it. The future where antibiotics no longer work is now—at the earliest part of the window experts gave—but it’s being drowned out and ignored. Part of that problem is that while an older person dying is sad, it’s no longer considered tragedy—it’s not a headline that gets attention. Plus, most people understand, to some degree, that the elderly are a vulnerable population (and the antibiotics we shove at them is making it worse, not better) so they can think “it won’t happen to me”. But we should be prepared, because it’s here, in America, in our hospitals, the antibiotic resistant genes pass very easily to other bacteria, and it’s not going away without global change.
Don’t panic yet—there’s a lot you can do to keep yourself safe.
First, cultivate your good bacteria. A probiotic (either food like yogurt, or a supplement like Flora MGR) gives you a good baseline, but you also can:
-Switch away from super astringent soaps and allow good bacteria to grow so they can fight/crowd out the bad stuff. Smelling human is OK, but if you have no bacteria the first hint of bad bacteria is going to take roast, and while you might get sick, you might notice you smell bad. Smell is an OK barometer for a healthy skin colony.
-Use a clean washcloth each day, no loofahs.
-Those same three healthy habits: good eating, good exercise, and de-stressing (which includes sleep) do a lot for your body, and they also encourage the right sort of bacteria to grow.
Then, have good health practices.
-Hand washing works against almost every pathogen. Just make sure you’re doing it right, and scrubbing for 20 seconds (two happy birthday songs).
-Immune support can help, too (just stagger it with whatever you’re doing for your good bacterial colonies). Good immune support practices can include sleeping as your body demands, a supplement like colloidal silver, and prompt and continuing care for any illness or injury (from clean bandages to staying home when sick).
Share your thoughts about antibiotic resistance in the comments: