......to Second-Hand Reactions
A regular column by Gloria Gilbère N.D., D.A.Hom., Ph.D.
Gloria Gilbère is an internationally respected traditional naturopath, homeopath and doctor of natural health. Author of the bestselling books 'I was Poisoned by my Body' and 'Invisible Illnesses', she restored her own health after suffering from leaky gut syndrome, fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), and now successfully helps others do the same. She focuses on finding drug-free solutions to 'invisible illnesses' such as these which she refers to as Multiple Allergic Response Syndromes (MARS).
You can now benefit from Gloria's wisdom and experience by visiting us at The Environmental Illness Resource regularly to read her latest column!
Monday, March 19th 2007:
Bacteria: The Good, Bad and the Ugly
by Gloria Gilbère, N.D., D.A.Hom., PhD.
We in colder climates are all waiting for the sun to shine, warm weather to return and the anticipation of traveling and getting outdoors. Those of you in warmer climates are continually faced with health conditions that arise from rapid bacterial growth. The victims of multiple allergic response syndromes (MARS) and immune system challenges are getting by day by day waiting until the time they can again look forward to enjoying life, regardless of the weather. Whichever category you find yourself in, the importance of supplementing and protecting your intestinal immune defenses cannot be overstated.
Scientists now confirm that over 75% of our immune system is based in our gut thats right, our gut. If we continually assault the health-enhancing bacteria whose job it is to protect us against invading health-depleting bacteria, we dramatically reduce our bodys ability to provide us with health and quality of life the difference between adding years to our lives and adding life to those years.
Because our world is now so global and interconnected we must, more than ever, be aware of the necessity to wash frequently to protect against disease-causing bacteria in any weather and in any region.
While it's well known that bacteria can harm us, it is also a documented fact that specific species of bacteria are essential to maintaining and restoring health.
The Health Consequences of Products to wipe-out germs
The dark-age view of bacteria has caused a surge of antibacterial products from soft soaps to disposable wipes that claim to "wipe-out" germs, to topical antibacterial creams that are, all too often, overused.
What many consumers fail to realize is that fancy, chemically-scented, antibacterial cleansers carry a very high price tag - suppression of the immune system.
It's difficult to imagine the same products that are meant to "clean-up" health-depleting bacteria/germs are also "cleaning-up" the good bacteria that protect us from disease.
Several studies and books have been published warning about the dangers of antibiotic resistance - decades before the issues caught public attention. More recently there are concerns even from a U.S. Federal Drug Administration advisory review panel regarding the safety of using antibacterial soaps on a daily basis.
Re-populating your Immune Village
The body's ability to protect itself from offending organisms can be enhanced or weakened by a variety of methods; the most important protection is maintaining an intestinal ecosystem with plenty of health-enhancing bacteria from probiotics.
A prevalent source of digestive illnesses from bacteria that grows rapidly in heat, regardless of the season, carries with it the higher risk of infection, especially those from food that is not properly refrigerated or those found in contaminated water.
There are three types of bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract:
1. Beneficial (friendly, health-enhancing)
2. Pathogenic (hostile, health-depleting)
In order for our GI tract to protect us from health-depleting organisms, it must ideally contain approximately 85% health-enhancing (good) bacteria, and 15% health-depleting (bad). During times of illness, antibiotic use, over-use of antibacterial soaps, or excessive stress, the percentages are reversed, making us vulnerable to disease and eventually escalating to multiple allergic responses.
Probiotics are essential to a wide range of bodily functions including, but not limited to, the following:
Support of white blood cells to fight disease
Control of putrefactive bacteria in the intestines
Enhancement of blood structure by providing essential nutrients
Assists digestion by making it readily available for absorption
Manufactures vitamin "B's" including abundant B-12
Reestablishing intestinal terrain "killed off" by chlorinated water
Manufacture natural antibiotics, like acidophilin produced by acidophilus - effective against many types of bacteria, including Streptococcus and Staph
Lessening of intestinal stress from food poisoning while also aiding overall digestion
Improving peristalsis and helps normalize bowel transit time
Assists in normalizing cholesterol levels, according to studies showing regular use of lactobacillus bacteria
The next time you use that antibacterial hand and body cleanser, remember that you're killing good and bad bacteria. Isn't it better to wash more frequently with hot water and regular soap than to subject your immune system to yet another insult? It's bad enough that we consume animal products that have been fed antibiotics and growth hormones that compromise our defenses, now we're assaulting our bodies by killing the army that defends us.
The secret to staying healthy in a world occupied by immeasurable amounts of health-depleting microorganisms is to take probiotics on a regular basis, not only when illness is tapping you on the shoulder.
The following is how and when I use and recommend supplementation with probiotics:
- When traveling - take a non-refrigerated probiotic for 36 hours before air travel, during the trip, and at least 36 hours upon your return to protect against exposure from all the re-circulating air in the aircraft full of germs and chemicals.
- At the first sign of food-poisoning, spoiled food, or gastrointestinal upset, take a high potency refrigerated probiotic of at least 20 billion and repeat every hour until symptoms subside. You may then continue a high potency formula for at least 14 days to repopulate health-enhancing bacteria and provide long-term benefits.
- After taking antibiotics, take probiotics for twice the length of time as the initial therapy. I find that the minimum amount for effectiveness to replenish the good bacteria should be 30-60 billion microorganisms per day.
- At the first sign of cold, flu or illness of any kind, I take 30-60 billion twice a day and continue until all symptoms are gone.
- Daily as a proactive measure for good health I take at least 5 billion.
If you do take an antibiotic, there are probiotics that have been scientifically tested to survive when consumed right along with antibiotics, be sure youre protected with the correct probiotic. Note: Remember that an antibiotic (meaning against life) is meant to kill all the bacteria, good and bad, leaving you vulnerable to yet another infection 6-8 weeks after you complete the course unless you replenish your health-enhancing bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract.
Remember, probiotic means "for life"; these little organisms are your body's arsenal of defense, naturally.
There are many effective probiotic blends available through health shops, pharmacies and your natural health care provider. Be sure you seek professional guidance to be sure which blends and concentrations are appropriate for your individual needs. For specifics about the probiotics used and recommended by Gloria, visit her website at www.gloriagilbere.com.
Gloria consults worldwide via telephone, for more information log onto her website at www.gloriagilbere.com
Next up (Mar 26): Your Health is Only as Strong as Your Weakest Link
Learn more from Gloria's books:
I Was Poisoned By My Body, The Odyssey of a Doctor Who Reversed Fibromyalgia, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - Naturally!
» Buy Now
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Pain/Inflammation Matters: Recipes for Life
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The information provided is not to be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or cures for any condition, disease or disorder. It is presented as educational and investigative material and the consumer assumes full-responsibility for using any product, procedure, protocol or therapy.
Gloria E. Gilbère, LLC, and its representatives, does not warrant and shall have no liability for information provided in this newsletter or on this website, intended or implied. Consult your health care professional for medical-related conditions or concerns.