medicine

Age of Superbugs…

The current hospital outbreak of superbug carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) connected to the death of two patients at a UCLA hospital is unnerving some patients scheduled to undergo the same procedure in other hospitals as well. CNN reported on Thursday, February 19, 2015 that the infection was caused by medical endoscopes or duodenoscopes manufactured by Olympus, which the FDA reportedly admits “cause challenges for cleaning and high-level disinfection.” The hospital has contacted other 179 patients who had undergone the same procedure from October 2014 to January 2015.
For almost a century now the medical profession has been using antibiotics to combat and control bacteria that make people sick. But in recent years these antibiotics seem to have lost their power to destroy some of the bacteria. The way these antibiotics have been used sometimes seems to have contributed in the creation of drug-resistant bacteria which we now know as superbugs. Superbugs are strains of bacteria that have developed the ability to resist many forms of antibiotics. The CDC claims that each year 2 million people are infected with a drug-resistant bacteria of some sort and 23,000 of them die due to the infection- in the United States alone.1
Antibiotics are among the most common types of medicinal drugs prescribed by clinicians to their patients. Sometimes antibiotics are given to livestock for disease prevention and for growth stimulation. But these antibiotics are not always a necessary treatment regimen, and their over-use as well as misuse ends up creating drug-resistant bacteria. Sometimes people take antibiotics when they come down with the flu, but antibiotics cannot destroy the flu-causing virus. They are not able to fight a viral infection. In these cases, the antibiotics only succeed in destroying a wide variety of bacteria in the body including the ‘good’ bacteria that help with the digestive process and general well-being. But some types of bacteria are tough enough to survive this form of “treatment.” They seize this as an opportunity to grow stronger and to multiply. Sometimes they even spread to other people.
As more people continue to take unnecessary antibiotics, the bacteria become more and more drug-resistant and spread, and may even share their drug-resistant characteristics or traits with other bacteria, making them stronger still while the antibiotics become less and less efficacious.
This places a responsibility on each one of us to take antibiotics only when necessary and in a manner prescribed by the healthcare provider. It is important to refrain from insisting on antibiotics against the advice of a provider.
Sources

1 National Institutes of Health (2014). Stop the Spread of Superbugs. http://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/feb2014/feature1

2 Ibid.

Laughter-A Perfectly Efficacious Therapy Costing Nothing!

It is no exaggeration to say that humor is highly infectious-even more infectious than a cold. Actually, humor is not only infectious, it is contagious. The sound of a hearty roaring laughter automatically makes us smile even when we have no clue what the person might be laughing at. Laughter has a way of binding us together-sharing in each other’s happiness. Health-wise, laughter has physiological and psychological health outcomes. For example, it fortifies our immune system. It reduces stress levels and pain. It also decreases inter-personal and intra-personal conflict. Interventional scientific studies affirm the preventive and therapeutic properties of spontaneous laughter.

Laughter has been found to have positive effects on the following:

  • Blood Pressure: When a person has a hearty laugh, initially their blood pressure rises, but then it immediately falls to levels below normal, and levels off to normal levels.
  •  Hormones: Science claims that laughter is associated with reduction of four neuro-endocrine hormones that are associated with stress. These hormones are epinephrine, cortisol, dopamine, and growth hormone.
  • Immune system: Findings of studies by Leek Berk of Loma Linda University claim that laughter strengthens the immune system and increases infection-fighting antibodies.
  •  Brain Function: Hearty laughter stimulates both sides of the brain and keeps the brain alert, which in turn enhances learning and information retention.
  • The Heart: According to a study at the University of Maryland Medical Center, laughter can help protect against heart attack.
  • A Good Workout: Laughter is said to be equivalent to internal jogging. William Fry, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, claims that one minute of laughter is equal to ten minutes on the rowing machine.
  • Mental and Emotional Health: Our moods are elevated when we find humor in difficult situations.

Is it any wonder then that the Bible asserts that “A merry heart does good, like medicine,” (Proverbs 17:22). Again the Bible has proved to be millennia ahead of science in health promoting principles.

Learn more about biblical health principles from The Perfect Prescription from Amazon.com

Also check this out: http://youtu.be/9TOcHIb8N5k

 

 

A Personalized Perfect Prescription

Pharmacogenomics or personalized medicine is based on the concept of using an individual’s genetic profile to determine the best treatment regimen for them. This is facilitated by a prediction of the benefits that individual is likely to obtain from that particular regimen. This prediction takes into account the potential side effects of the treatment as well. Conventional drugs are tested on large population groups from which the average response is reported and recorded. Personalized medicine recognizes that there are no two patients who are alike in every respect. Researchers use the individual’s genomic information to monitor how that individual responds to the drug being studied. In cases where a gene variant might be associated with a particular drug response, it is imperative to make clinical decisions based on that genetic variation. Sometimes, this can require adjustment of the dosage or it might even require choosing alternative therapy altogether. Gene variants that affect a person’s response to a particular drug are assessed in the same manner as gene variants associated with a predisposition to certain types of diseases. Scientists identify the genetic loci that is associated with the response to the drug in question. In such cases they focus on two critical determinants: First, the amount of the drug or the dosage needed to reach its target in the body of the individual and, secondly, how well the cells that are targeted respond to the therapy; particularly heart and brain cells. Scientists call these two determinants pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.  Both of them are critical in the field of pharmacogenomics. Pharmacokinetics incorporates four processes known as absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) of the drug. Pharmacodynamics is the molecular effect of the drug or medication on its target such as a cell surface or an ion channel.

Similarly, God’s calling is personalized; tailor-made to suite our spiritual genetics and to prepare us for the type of service which only we can do. His calling is not only redemptive, it also equips us with special skills needed for that particular service. Sometimes the call may require service in specific communities. No two calls are identical. God’s call may come like a clap of thunder as was the case with the apostle Paul. God can also call people even before they are conceived in their mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). Some people are called centuries before they come into existence. For example, King Josiah was called and named over 300 years before he was born, specifically to bring a stupendous revival to the nation of Israel (1 Kings 13:2). Cyrus the great emperor of Persia was also called and named by God 150 years before he was born, to set in motion the re-building of Jerusalem and to expedite the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon to their homeland: “I am God…and there is none else…I foretell the end from the beginning (Isa.46: 9,10). There are also times when the call can be a gradual wooing toward a certain direction. For instance, Mother Theresa began to hear the call long before she went to Calcutta to heal and restore dignity to lepers, orphans, AIDS patients, and the poor of India. Henry Martyn was called to the task of translating the New Testament into Hindi and Persian. He also revised an Arabic translation of the New Testament. Martyn accomplished all this in only six years before he died at the age of 31. The calling continues in our day for the need for service is unceasing: “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few…” (Matthew 9:37). For more information check out: http://youtu.be/MWkIVDKfh9w