Prescription drugs and FDA

  1. Not taking antibiotics? Your belly bugs might still be at risk

    Friend, right now… as you read this… you're crawling with bugs.

    No, I'm not talking about those multi-legged pests like ants and spiders that have started to hatch with the warmer weather.

    I mean the community of bacteria inside your GUT!

    Your gut is home to TRILLIONS of bacteria (a.k.a. your "microbiome"), and the majority of them are beneficial. They help your body break down food... synthesize vitamins... and even pump up your immune system.

    But "bad" bugs also lurk among them -- and if anything disrupts the balance between good and evil, these rogue critters can take over, walloping you with everything from toilet troubles to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

    Now, I've told you before about how antibiotics can wipe out the good guys and open the door for an overgrowth of infectious bacteria like C. diff (a.k.a. “deadly diarrhea”).

    But according to a new study, antibiotics aren't the ONLY offenders in your medicine cabinet -- because even non-antibiotic drugs can wreak havoc on your microbiome!

    In the study, European researchers tested over 1,000 drugs that are currently available behind the pharmacy counter to see what effect, if any, they had on 40 different strains of beneficial bacteria that normally reside in the human gut.

    And it turned out that 24 percent of the drugs zapped the good bugs and made it tough for them to grow!

    Now, some of the drugs tested were antibiotics, so no surprises there.

    But what's really shocking is that nearly 30 percent of the NON-ANTIBIOTIC drugs also threw the balance of the gut flora off-kilter.

    Those drugs came from all therapeutic classes, from painkillers to sleep meds to antipsychotics – which means that you could be putting your belly bugs in peril EVERY time you fill a prescription!

    What's more, the researchers noted that when non-antibiotic drugs threaten your microbiome, they can cause the SAME side effects as antibiotics, such as abdominal cramps and the desperate need to “go.”

    Of course, the ideal way to guard your gut is to turn to nature -- rather than drugs -- for whatever ails you.

    But if you're currently taking any prescription meds, you want to do everything you can to protect the delicate balance of bacteria in your belly.

    Eating fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut can help beef up the good guys and keep pathogens from gaining a foothold.

    If the sour tastes of those foods aren't your favorite, supplement your diet with probiotics from a trusted maker. Look for a brand with multiple strains and colony-forming units (CFUs) in the billions.

    Eating a diet full of fiber... exercising regularly... and even drinking black or green tea can also help promote the growth of beneficial strains in your gut.

    Just stay away from sugars (whether "natural" or artificial) and refined carbs -- because the sweet stuff makes harmful bacteria grow like gangbusters.

  2. These meds create a buffet for bad bugs

    You check in to the hospital... and you expect to check out feeling much healthier than when you arrived.

    Thankfully, most folks do.

    But more and more, we're seeing that those who’ve spent time in hospital beds pick up secondary infections that are WORSE than the illnesses they came in with!

    That's because nasty bacteria often lurk in healthcare facilities -- and one of the worst offenders is a bug called Clostridium difficile (a.k.a. C. diff), which causes deadly diarrhea.

    Now, the overuse of antibiotics is primarily to blame for the C. diff epidemic that’s currently sweeping the nation -- because antibiotics wipe out the "good" bugs in your gut along with the bad, allowing C. diff to swoop in and fill the void.

    But we haven't known exactly HOW C. diff thrives once it takes up residence in your gut... until now.

    A new study shows that antibiotics practically serve an "all-you-can-eat buffet" to these rogue bacteria!

    In the study, North Carolina State University researchers introduced C. diff into the guts of mice that were treated with antibiotics. Then, they analyzed the contents of their guts four different times over the next day.

    It turned out that as the population of C. diff in the mice's guts INCREASED, an amino acid that normal gut bacteria "eat" as a fuel source -- called "proline" -- DECREASED.

    After further analysis, the researchers found that the proline was being gobbled up by none other than C. diff -- because antibiotics had pretty much wiped out all of the other competition!

    Imagine the regular patrons of a restaurant clearing out to make way for a private banquet, and you'll have a pretty good picture of how C. diff got to eat like a king.

    That feast allowed C. diff to multiply rapidly and ultimately dominate the mice's guts, developing into full-blown infections.

    Once C. diff takes over, it's tough to stop these bugs -- because they're resistant to some of our most powerful drugs. That means that you want to do everything you can to avoid this pathogen in the first place.

    C. diff can hide out on everything from medical equipment to bed linens. And alcohol-based hand sanitizers DON'T kill C. diff – so when spending time in a healthcare setting, be sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water.

    Above all, you should only take an antibiotic when absolutely necessary.

    But if you do end up needing one, taking probiotics -- or eating fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut -- can repopulate your gut with beneficial bacteria that fight C. diff by crowding them out.

    Just don’t take your antibiotic and probiotics at exactly the same time, because the antibiotics will neutralize those good bugs as soon as they're in your belly.

  3. NSAID users commonly exceed recommended daily limits

    What will maxing out on pain meds do to you? If you're prone to pain -- whether from headaches, arthritis, or just the slings and arrows of aging -- you might have a bottle of ibuprofen within reach at all times. After all, you never know when it's going to hit you. (And when it does, it's usually at the...
  4. A new FDA warning about MRI contrast agents

    Feds finally sound the alarm on this dangerous test When you've got a condition serious enough that your doc orders an MRI, you probably don't think twice before saying yes to the test. You want to know what's happening inside your body -- and an MRI is one of the best ways to see what's going on. Now, right before...
  5. Antibiotics for dental work can open door to C. diff

    Could you catch a case of deadly diarrhea... at the dentist? My friend, we're in the throes of an epidemic -- one that gets little attention in the mainstream press. I'm talking about infections of the lethal bug Clostridium difficile (a.k.a. C. diff), which causes crippling diarrhea... is resistant to some of our most powerful medications... and kills someone every...
  6. Antidepressants spike head injuries in Alzheimer's patients

    These pills can kick you while you're down With all that candy and all those pumpkins already cramming store shelves, it's beginning to look a lot like Halloween. And even if your trick-or-treating days are way behind you, this spooky season reminds us that things aren't always as they seem. Take, for example, two illnesses that often go hand in...
  7. Taking ibuprofen for arthritis can spike your blood pressure

    The death risk that's lurking in your medicine cabinet When you've got arthritis, getting up in the morning can be excruciating. In fact, it can be so bad that instead of making a beeline for the coffee pot, your first stop may be the medicine cabinet. And if you're like millions of other Americans with arthritis or other forms of...
  8. Ease lupus without dangerous drugs

    Mainstream meds for this 'incurable' disease can wreck your health Q: Two years ago, I was diagnosed with lupus. I took prednisone for about four months, but I'm concerned that the side effects of these drugs are dangerous. Do you have any suggestions regarding natural supplements that would benefit me? GR: Lupus (a.k.a. systemic lupus erythematosus,or SLE) can cause fever...
  9. Medications can cause tinnitus

    What your doc won't tell you about that antibiotic prescription Q: Ringing started in my ears after taking Zithromax for a severe infection in the year 2000... and has never stopped. Is there anything I can do for my tinnitus? GR: Certain medicines can certainly be toxic to your system -- and especially to your ears. These include chemo drugs...
  10. Gallbladder removal leads to nutritional deficiencies

    What you're really missing when your gallbladder is gone Q: How does having your gallbladder removed 30 years ago affect your health today? GR: It's interesting, because most people who've had their gallbladders removed don't give the organ much thought, once it's gone. And most docs don't give their patients any instructions in particular about how to make up for...

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