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Yes, it is hard to know what to do.

People talking about the overuse of antibiotics tend to overlook the lives they save. Bacterial infections kill. I would be dead of nephritis, years back now, without them. Without them, woman die after childbirth. Without them, babies die pneumonia.

I am, myself, brewing up a nice strep throat. I am going to trot on down to the doctor tomorrow, and get a Z-pac for it. But first they will test me to make sure. Neither they, nor I, want to take anything for no reason. If the test comes back negative for strep I will not whine. I will wait the bug out. Antibiotics are no use on an unknown virus critter. (But it is strep-- it is. I have had strep throat about 20 times. I know how it feels. Before you ask, no exaggeration. When we lived in Illinois we had a friendly sailor neighbor who was a passive carrier. He never got sick, but I got strep in my ear/throat every time he so much as waved at me!)

So there is no need for me to worry. It can be fixed. Or it is self-limiting. One or the other. I don't have to die of it, as G. Washington did.

Anyway, this article makes some new points. It is an ugly read-- for lots of reasons. It describes medical experimentation on kids-- for one thing. (And on sailors for another, which I suspect they still do.)

Bear in mind, also, it is an opinion piece. The facts are there-- but the conclusions are those of the author and his editor. It seems to me that the conclusions are correct.

Let me know what you guys think, if you read it. The link between size gain and antibiotics is new to me. Did you all know of it already?



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 11th, 2014 04:38 pm (UTC)
Agreed. If I don't need antibiotics, I sure as heck don't want them! I know first hand the problems with resistant infections...

The link was interesting, thanks for sharing it.

With or without drugs, I hope you feel better soon!

Edited at 2014-03-11 04:40 pm (UTC)
Mar. 11th, 2014 05:57 pm (UTC)
Yes, I did. Over here it's almost common knowledge not to eat too much chicken, because they are fed with antibiotic laced food. And I heard about the fact that children born via cesarean are weaker than children born the normal way.

Funny though - recently scientists admitted that there isn't a real research on how to find out which sort of diet causes which weight or how fast or on whom... They startet one last year and it will take at least six years.

Get better soon. Maybe thinking of healthy sailors helps? :)
Mar. 11th, 2014 06:37 pm (UTC)
Kids born by c-sec never get mom's good bacteria, and they never get the water squeezed out of them either. But again c-sec save lives-- of moms and babies.

We just have tyo get the balance right somehow.
Mar. 11th, 2014 07:14 pm (UTC)
If not for a C section, I would have been put in a small grave almost 42 years ago. But while I may be fat, I actually have a really good immune system (at least up to this point, I can say); I am not sickly.
Mar. 11th, 2014 10:01 pm (UTC)
Me too, and my kids.
Mar. 11th, 2014 09:28 pm (UTC)
Yes, you are right. It's always about balance. Hadn't thought of that.
Mar. 11th, 2014 06:30 pm (UTC)
anti-biotics have their place and you rightly say that any of us wouldn't be here today if they hadn't been discovered BUT we have overused and abused them - and we have to point the finger at US agriculture that mumps animals full of them; and the 'squeaky clean( briade who get scared at the sight of a healthy dose of bacteria - the kids today don't have the resistance because things have been over pasteurised etc.. I'm allergic to the penicillin group (another mistake and it's my last!) I prefer probiotics where possible and anti-biotics only when all else fails.

As for the 'this can cause weight gain' etc - pick a treatment, pick a journalist in need of a headline....add a spoon of salt and ask someone who really knows before taking.
Mar. 11th, 2014 07:12 pm (UTC)
By coincidence I read that same piece yesterday on my own. I'm in the middle on the antibiotics issue - I think they ought to be used to treat sick animals, but I'm not so hot on the over-growth hormone part of it. No, I don't want horribly expensive meat, but if the meat is of good quality, maybe you don't have to eat so much of it to get the same taste and nutrient benefits - so maybe it would even out.

I wouldn't necessarily be surprised if it is affecting human obesity. Yes, we do less activity than people did 100 years ago. Yes, we have junk food they didn't have then. But is that all of it? Because I watch people who eat as much or more than I do, who are at the same level of activity or less, who are not nearly as large as I am. Could be it's just me; or maybe I just have a predisposal that other people don't, that is affected by an environmental influence (food? drugs? air?) in ways they aren't.
Mar. 12th, 2014 12:25 pm (UTC)
I only by organic or red label French produced meat...but I'm lucky - in France we still respect food enough to be able to buy these things easily I don't each much meat so when I do I don't mind paying he price. I remember years ago buying a chicken on one of the best supermarkets in England and being horrified that it smelt and tasted of fish because it had been fed fishmeal! I also had a temp job at a local turkey producer - I left after 2 days after typing up the schedules for the transporting of chicks to 'raising farms' and on to the slaughterhouse....TBH in comparison the Jews travelled in luxury on their way to Aushwitz (some of my relatives among them)! We need to stand up for decency in the way our food is produced. hormone/antibiotic treated meat; GMO cereals and corn normally vegetarian animals being fed 'meal' based on (often infected) carcasses...all should be clearly labelled so that people can choose to be poisoned if they wish. I'm not a vegetarian but I do feel that people are to brainwashed into thinking they must eat meat every day. the alternatives are not expensive if you learn to cook.
Rant over :D

Oh yes, all diets work for someone - the answer is to find the one that works for you and to stick to it; A diet that promises quick weight loss also promises a quick regain if you stop following it and they are often no nutritionally balanced. when i need to drop a few kilos (and right now I DO need to) I use a good kitchen scale, a reliable calorie counter, fresh food and I cook my meals. I can eat very well and healthily on 1200 cal a day and lose weight steadily. It doesn't hurt to 'fall off the wagon' now and then - if I'm invited out or when I go to the monthly dinner with my service club - I don't worry about the diet.
and remember that exercise tones up the 'flab' and in doing so develops muscle weight which is heavier than fat...so it isn't just the weight but the 'look' that is important...and a healthy look not a pseudo-anorexic model style!

Edited at 2014-03-12 12:27 pm (UTC)
Mar. 12th, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC)
I'm not concerned about being fat. Society has brainwashed us into thinking if we don't conform to a certain look/body size, we're unhealthy or on the verge of blubber-death. When I was in the best shape of my life, I was on reduced calories of quality food, walking upwards of 15 miles a week on hills, working three jobs concurrently, felt good ... and weighed more than twice what insurance charts dictate should have been my "healthy" weight. Fuck that.

Feeding a country of 300 million+ people, sadly, requires more than cottage-industry-sized farms. Genetic modification of crops has been going on for thousands of years (you may be thinking transgenic, which is different than hybrid selection). Too, the U.S. is right now relying on agriculture for a lot of its export economy, so it's quantity, quantity; you can argue this is a failure of our government that we don't have other strong export industries, and I would agree with you. But I'm talking reality. I think the most realistic thing we can do right now, even if it's not the ideal (because economy rarely tolerates "ideal"), is what we are doing, which is to try to force livestock producers to create more space for the many animals they raise. Unless about 3/4 of people in cities want to give up their jobs and move back to the country to start farming (which may happen in the next 50 years, who knows?).
Mar. 12th, 2014 06:50 pm (UTC)
This. I cannot buy only organic meat for a family of four. I cannot afford it. We eat less meat than I did when I was a kid. But I have not given it up entirely.

I try to shop for a variety of things. I try to buy things that are unmessed with-- but going all organic is not an option.

I was mostly interested in how long the antibiotic thing has been going on. (Right from the start, it would seem,) and the way that a medicine which was intended to save lives (and has!) was used for other things too.

Also it is a little weird to read about a world where people wanted their kids to be bigger.
Mar. 12th, 2014 08:21 pm (UTC)
The problem of going organic especially in cities is a big one because of the price certainly - I was a few years ago lucky enough to belong to a small group who bought larger quantities and so got quite good discounts but when I moved i lost that opportunity .
Here the allotment movemeny has taken off again with many coucnils renting small patches of land to people to grow their own veg and fruit - but I suspect land is much too scarce in greater New York for any such thing.
When i was growing up the allotment with first my grandfather and then my father working on it certainly made a difference to our variety and taste in meals which we never would have had otherwise.

Mar. 12th, 2014 08:51 pm (UTC)
Some people belong to food co-ops, or have little garden plots. But there is a long waitlist. There are other hoops too. Essentially it is like a club, You have to be invited in.
Mar. 12th, 2014 11:50 pm (UTC)
Some cities are looking into using old buildings, especially multi-story, for almost like hydroponic and greenhouse food growing, since there's plenty of open space - you just need the artificial light and heat, humidity, to help the plants grow.
Mar. 13th, 2014 12:06 am (UTC)
NYC has made the tops of some buildings into gardens, which is a great idea for lots of reasons. I could probably grow tomatoes in here, we already have a light for son's cactus.
Mar. 13th, 2014 12:10 am (UTC)
how sensible - most cities everywhere have loads of such useless buildings after all
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )