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Monday 18 April 2016

Antibiotic drugs. The End of an Era? Long live the safer alternatives!

Antibiotic drugs have been the most magic of all magic bullets for the last 60 years, but we are rapidly approaching the end of that era. Even the conventional medical establishment, which has watched the failure and demise of so many of its wonder drugs, are concerned. They have accepted that there is a growing resistance to antibiotics, that they have few left that are effective, and that there are no new antibiotics in the pipeline.

However, this recognition only goes as far as resistance, which is explained to the public not as a 'failure', but to the overprescription of antibiotics over the years, especially to children.

The Dangers of antibiotics have been ignored, and remain largely unpublicised. Ask most people and they would still say that antibiotics cure diseases, and are entirely safe. They are not. Antibiotic drugs are indiscriminate killers of bacteria, including the 'good' bacteria that we need, particularly in our stomach to aid digestion, This has led to a serious decline in the health of our gut during the antibiotic era, because of the unbalance these drugs have caused having incorrectly blamed bacteria for too many health issues.

The use of antibiotics with very young children appears to create long-term health problems, which may not be surprising when it is recognised that they disrupt the gut flora of infants. They are associated with the growing obesity epidemic. They are known to cause serious diarrhoea. They have been linked with Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. The overuse of antibiotics, particularly during childhood, has been linked to Non-Hodgkin s Lymphoma, and to serious liver damage. They are linked to blood sugar levels and diabetes, to asthma and eczema, to heart disease, to HIV/AIDs, and even to some mental disorders.

So the failure of antibiotics drugs will not be an unmitigated disaster. Once the conventional medical establishment cannot use them anymore we will probably witness a dramatic decrease in some of the chronic diseases that are now increasing, and have reached epidemic proportions.

Yet the public debate about the replacement of antibiotics focuses almost exclusive on what conventional medicine, and in particular the pharmaceutical industry, can come up with - as if anything they have ever given us, over the last 100 years and more, has ever been safe! Conventional medicine will continue to make the same mistake that it always makes - mistaking the bacteria present within an infection as the cause of the infection, and not the bodies response to the infection.

As Pasteur knew well the microorganisms present in infections were "more an effect than a cause of disease." He understood that infectious disease did not simply have a single cause, but was the result of a complex web of interactions, both within and outside the body.

So the answer to the failure of antibiotic drugs, and their replacement with something safer, will come from another quarter.

We will have to look towards more traditional medical therapies, to herbalism and homeopathy, and other therapies that work with the body, and does not seek to fight it. We will have to look towards some of the plants and substances we have known about, and used, for centuries, such as:
  • Garlic
  • Coconut oil
  • Oregano essential oil
  • Grapefruit seed extract
  • Pomegranates
  • Echinasia
  • Andrographis
  • Eleutherococcus senticosus
  • Berberine
  • and to dietary supplements, such as Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Zinc and Probiotics.
And in particular, we will have to look towards homeopathy, which has used a variety of remedies for a variety of infections for over 220 years, remedies that are known to treat infection safely and effectively.

Throat infections
Homeopathy can ofter many remedies for throat infections, including Belladonna, Baryta Carb, Lachesis, Lycopodium, Phytolacca, Spigelia and Mercurius

Skin infections:
Calendula and Hypericum tincture is often used for bacterial skin infections, and the healing of cuts and grazes. Silica and Hepar Sulph are two remedies often used for boils and cysts.

Bladder infections
The most important homeopathic remedies for the treatment of bladder infections, such as cystitis, are Hydrastis, Berberis, Staphysagria, Cantharis, Apis, and Sarsaparilla, but there are many more, used according to individual symptoms.

Sinus infections
Homeopathic remedies frequently used for sinus infections including Kali bich, Pulsatilla, Mercurius, Nat Mur, and Allium Cepa, but again, there are many other remedies, given according to individual symptoms.

There are many different types of infection, ear infections, conjunctivitis, cystitis, gonorrhoea, that I have dealt with on my 'Why Homeopathy?' website.

So, infections may soon be untreatable with antibiotic drugs, but this does not matter, there is no need for panic. 

There are safer, more effective therapies, readily available for the treatment of infections. What has to happen is for people to recognise that conventional, drug and vaccine based medicine, is failing, and then to actively look for the alternative therapies that not only work, but also do not require us to risk contracting the kind of diseases that are the known side-effects of antibiotics.

Friday 15 April 2016

BBC News refuses to report on MMR vaccine - Autism link

Any link between the MMR vaccine and the raging epidemic of Autism has to be a matter of serious concern, not least for parents who have to decide whether their children should have the vaccination. When a former Chief Scientific Officer makes these comments, it surely becomes a matter for national, indeed international concern.

  • that there has been "utterly inexplicable complacency" over the MMR vaccine,
  • that there are very powerful people in positions of great authority in Britain and elsewhere, who have staked their reputations and careers on the safety of MMR and they are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves,
  • that if it is proven that the vaccine causes autism "the refusal by governments to evaluate the risks properly will make this one of the greatest scandals in medical history".
  • that he has seen a "steady accumulation of evidence" from around the world that the MMR vaccine is causing brain damage, and the parents had a right to see the thousands of documents in had seen over the years pointing to this."
  • that he has had concerns about the MMR vaccine since 2001, stating that safety trials prior to the vaccine's introduction in Britain were inadequate,
  • when he points to the "explosive worldwide increase in regressive autism and inflammatory bowel disease in children", and to the growing scientific understanding of autism-related bowel disease, which have convinced him that the MMR vaccine may be to blame.
  • that "clinical and scientific data is steadily accumulating that the live measles virus in MMR can cause brain, gut and immune system damage in a subset of vulnerable children."

These are just some of the statements made by Dr Peter Fletcher, formerly Chief Scientific Officer at the UK's Department of Health (see Daily Mail Online article, published 29th March 2016). I wrote about his comments in more detail in my blog, MMR and Autism. "One of the greatest scandals in medical history".

Well, I can now confirm that BBC News does not believe that these comments are sufficiently newsworthy to comment on. When I wrote the above blog, I made a complaint to the BBC that they had not covered his story. They have not upheld my complaint. The story is not sufficiently current, unusual, or of public interest!

That is no really surprise. During the last 15 years, the BBC has been at the forefront of British journalism that has refused to look at the performance of conventional medicine, at the reasons for the epidemics of chronic disease (including autism), in the harm that can be cause by pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. Instead, it is happy to toe the line of the conventional medical establishment - that all is well with the health services that dominate our NHS, and that good health is obtainable within the pills and potions we are being offered. Conventional medicine, they are keen to tell us, in winning the battle against illness and disease.

Yet it is not just the denial of the BBC that is worrying. It is the fact that they are not prepared to investigate the concerns that exist about conventional medicine, and the damage it can cause to patients. Therefore, I asked the BBC whether it felt any responsibility to answer some of the questions raised by Dr Fletcher's statement, namely,

  • "Why isn't the Government taking this massive public health problem more seriously?"
  • Whether it is true that "no one in authority will even admit it's happening, let alone try to investigate the causes." 
  • "Why the Government is not investigating it further".

Thie BBC's response to my complaint exactly mirrors a similar complaint I made to the BBC in September 2015 about their non-coverage the Dr Thompson affair, where there was an admission that research into the MMR-Autism link had been falsified in order to demonstrate that there was no link. Not even this interested the BBC!  But the story is covered fully in my blogs, "The MMR-Autism Controversy, and the dishonesty of Medical 'Science'", and "MMR Vaccine, Autism, and the silence and culpability of the Political, Medical and Media Establishment".

My purpose in making these complaints is not to change their attitude and approach to health matters. The BBC are no impartial, and they will not change until they are forced to change. They act as a spokesperson for the pharmaceutical industry, and will not question the government, NHS line.

The purpose of the complaints is to ensure that they are 'on record' as denying these links, and failing to investigate tor report on them. Millions of parents agree to vaccinate their children on the basis that they are safe. Their doctors tell them they are safe, the NHS tell them they are safe, and BBC News merely confirms they are safe through their disinterest, their failure to investigate, and their refusal to report.

In doing so they will become culpable of misinforming the public when the link is finally proven, and cannot be denied any more - which is surely coming closer with each new revelation, and with every child who becomes part of the autistic epidemic.

Then, BBC News will have to answer the real question. Why did you not report? Why did you not investigate? Why did you fail to inform the British public? Why did you not carry out your editorial guidelines about impartiality? Why did you fail to fulfil your statutory duties?

The unfortunate thing is we are uncertain how long we have to wait for this, how many parents will subject their children to dangerous vaccines, how much longer the BBC will continue to insist that we remain ignorant.

Unlike other parts of the mainstream media, the BBC has no shareholders, no links on their board with pharmaceutical companies (not that this should be an excuse for their silence). It is the licence payer who owns, and pays for the BBC. Most licence payers are, have been, or will become parents. And the BBC is not serving us well.

Meningitis. Caused by antibiotic drugs?

Were you aware that patients with meningitis are twice as likely as to have taken antimicrobial drugs (that's both antibiotics and antifungal drugs) within the year before diagnosis than those without the disease? If not, I wonder if we will ever be told?

The research, undertaken at King's College, London, and published in the British Journal of General Practice, also found that patients with meningitis were four times more likely than those without a diagnosis of meningitis to have taken antimicrobials in the week preceding diagnosis, while patients who had been prescribed more than four antimicrobial prescriptions in the previous year were almost three times more likely to contract meningitis than controls.

Well, if we haven't been told by our doctors, or informed by our media - which we haven't - it is not because doctors and the media do not know about this research. The doctors e-magazine, Pulse, published details of the research on 11th April 2016. It stated that the conclusion of the research was that the study provided "another reason for caution in antimicrobial prescribing in general practice".

This was a substantial study which compared antimicrobial prescription in over 7,000 bacterial and viral meningitis cases with nearly 30,000 controls. It thought that antibiotic and anti fungal drugs may disrupt 'the body’s natural microbiome to facilitate meningitis'.

Yet, as usual with anything to do with the conventional medical establishment, balm is then thrown on to the flames. It might be that those who take the drugs are more susceptible to contracting meningitis!

It is this type of thinking that allows pharmaceutical companies to continue to sell drugs, regardless of the potential dangers.

The study itself states that "the size of that association merits further investigation". What this usually means is that without further study the drugs will continue to be given to children, regardless of the dangers of contract meningitis, and that as the study findings might be replicated, the pharmaceutical industry will not fund any future investigation.

Our doctors are under increasing pressure to reduce the prescription of antimicrobial drugs (because of growing antimicrobial resistance), especially resistance to antibiotics. And the problem is that conventional medical has no alternative to them.

There are alternatives to antimicrobial drugs, including antibiotic drugs. They are homeopathic treatments. But the conventional medical establishment, including our doctors, and the mainstream media steadfastly refuse to tell anyone about this. The sooner parents become aware, and start looking at the alternatives to pharmaceutical drug treatment, the safer their children will be.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

If you suffer chronic pain conventional doctors have nothing safe or effective to offer

New draft NICE guidelines for chronic back pain is discouraging the use of Paracetamol. Doctors are being told that they should review anyone taking this drug as it is not effective in treating the condition. No so evident in the guidance is another important reason for the guidance. Paracetamol is not safe, and certainly not the safe drug doctors told us it was until comparatively recently.

Frustrated doctors are saying this is putting them between 'a rock' and 'a hard place'!  As one doctor says,

          "Paracetamol is a no-no, apparently - though try telling that the the thousands who self-medicate".

So 'the rock' is paracetamol. The 'hard place' is the decades of conventional medical advice to take the drug, as it was considered both safe and effective. Indeed, so safe and effective were we told paracetamol was it is now readily and cheaply available without prescription. And patients know of nothing else.

Yet this is not the only problem, as the same doctor tells us.

          "...if NSAIDs don't help, it's co-codamol, but that's only for three days, of course (says so on the box), so after that, you're on your own, mate."

So doctors have little else to offer chronic back pain sufferers. The doctor's magazine, Pulse, further explains the dilemma now faced by conventional medicine.

           "The draft guidelines, which are currently out for consultation, are set to dramatically shrink the drug options available to GPs in general - and will mean they can no longer prescribe paracetamol on its own. Instead they can consider cocodamol or another combination of paracetamol and ‘weak’ opioid as a second line option for acute episodes, if patients cannot take an NSAID or find they do not work."

The doctor who has written the draft guidelines, Dr Bernstein, is quoted as sayings that the urgency does not concern the safety of the drug itself. Yet the dangers of paracetamol are now well know by the conventional medical establishment (although not by patients), and if it were just a matter of the drug being 'ineffective' the new guidance would surely not have been put forward with such urgency.

So what are doctors doing? It would appear that they are prescribing 20% more 'strong opioids' drugs. As another Pulse article says, a new analysis has shown "that the number of strong opioid analgesics capsules prescribed by GPs , including buprenorphine, fentanyl, morphine and oxycodone, increased by 10% from 2014 to 2015, continuing a trend seen the year before when it rose by 12%".

The article goes on to say that "this increase comes after GPs were told they may soon be barred from prescribing strong opioids for low back pain under planned changes to NICE guidelines".

These are dark days for conventional medicine. Let's be clear, this is not just a problem for those with chronic back pain. The situation is similar for anyone who suffers long-term pain conditions. One doctor, who specialises in the treatment of pain, suggested in the article that there should still be room to prescribe paracetamol on a short-term basis, even though the evidence for it is weak. And he also suggests that there is an issue with the alternative suggestion for treatment contained in the guidelines because of the increasing pressure on .... doctors not to prescribe opioids. He continues,

          "It is difficult to know what GPs are able to prescribe..."!

Difficult indeed, as I said in an earlier blog, the drug cupboard is bare! Doctors are being told regularly that painkilling drugs are not safe. And doctors are having to come to terms with the fact that the drugs they have been giving patients for decades are dangerous. Something of the darkness  facing doctors can be seen from the comments made in response to the Pulse article.

          "Would be great if these suggested other options existed on the NHS. Patients are only going to ask for what is free. If you recommend yoga classes and no meds they will only see other GP or go to OOH of A&E and get paracetamol as well as NSAIDs, benzodiazepine and TCA to follow up with own gp to continue!!!"

          "NICE & Dr. Bernstein may well be right that there's no point in prescribing paracetamol for ANY moderate to severe chronic pain BUT, if the patient cannot tolerate NSAIDs, OR codeine then what else do they suggest since the withdrawal of coproxamol???"

          "I thought the latest current guidelines didn't recommend codiene, benzos, acupuncture or nsaids. Do we just refuse to see/treat backache? I could refer to physiotherapy but there is a more than 12 week wait".

          "Dear Dr Berstein - please get real- GPs have alot on their plate - unless u get NHSE to make it a DES, nobody will even think about it, just shut up as GPs have many many many other priorities."

          "mmmm sounds like good advice. The next 18 stone six foot six self employed brick layer I see with back pain I will advise to take up yoga rather than spend 25p on some painkillers from the supermarket.  I'm so glad NICE are making recommendations that are so applicable to the real World, because other wise we might think they were out of touch academics who hadn't seen a real patient since their last job as a houseman."

          "Of course - go straight to addictive opiates with massive side effects, why didn't I think if that! With a 3-4 month wait for Physio, no access to osteopaths/chiropractors, there should be plenty of time to establish addictions to occupy the time of local drug and alcohol services and of course GPs, as we have nothing to do. I frequently wonder why I completed a medical degree, I should just have read the Daily Mail and joined NICE."

          "NICE lost the plot a long time ago."

It is not so much NICE that has lost the plot. These doctors appear distressed, and are blaming the messenger for the message, which is loud and clear. It is the conventional medical establishment that is losing the plot. The NICE guidance is given to protect the patient from dangerous drugs, yet doctors respond by prescribing even more dangerous drugs, and intent on disregarding the guidance.

But most important of all, it is a matter of concern that so many patients are not aware that there are safer and more effective alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs!

Tuesday 5 April 2016

MMR and Autism. "One of the greatest scandals in medical history"

The Daily Mail has reported an interview it had with Dr Peter Fletcher, formerly Chief Scientific Officer at the British Department of Health, in an article published on 29th March 2016. It is important that everyone, especially the parents of young children making the decision to vaccinate, or not to vaccinate, to read what he said. As far as I can see, his explosive comments have been ignored by the remaining British media, including (of course) the BBC!

  • He talks of the "utterly inexplicable complacency" over the MMR vaccine, although he goes on to explain this complacency as follows:
  • "There are very powerful people in positions of great authority in Britain and elsewhere who have staked their reputations and careers on the safety of MMR and they are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves."
  • He states that if it is proven that the vaccine causes autism "the refusal by governments to evaluate the risks properly will make this one of the greatest scandals in medical history".
  • He said that he had seen a "steady accumulation of evidence" from around the world that the MMR vaccine is causing brain damage, and the parents had a right to see the thousands of documents in had seen over the years pointing to this.
  • He said he first expressed concerns about the MMR vaccine in 2001, stating that safety trials prior to the vaccine's introduction in Britain were inadequate.
  • He pointed to the "explosive worldwide increase in regressive autism and inflammatory bowel disease in children", and growing scientific understanding of autism-related bowel disease, which have convinced him that the MMR vaccine may be to blame.
  • He says that this link between these diseases and the MMR vaccine were first made by Dr Andrew Wakefield in 1998, 18 years ago.
  • He stated that "Clinical and scientific data is steadily accumulating that the live measles virus in MMR can cause brain, gut and immune system damage in a subset of vulnerable children."
  • He added that "... it is the steady accumulation of evidence, from a number of respected universities, teaching hospitals and laboratories around the world, that matters here. There's far too much to ignore. Yet government health authorities are, it seems, more than happy to do so."
  • He asks "Why isn't the Government taking this massive public health problem more seriously?"
  • He continued, "no one in authority will even admit it's happening, let alone try to investigate the causes."
  • He further asks "Why is the Government not investigating it further - diverting some of the millions of pounds spent on advertising and PR campaigns to promote MMR uptake into detailed clinical research instead?"
  • He goes on to point out that there has been "a tenfold increase in autism and related forms of brain damage over the past 15 years, which roughly coincided with MMR's introduction, and an extremely worrying increase in childhood inflammatory bowel diseases and immune disorders such as diabetes".
  • As far as the conventional explanation for these rises, he says that there is no way that a tenfold leap in autistic children could be the result of better recognition, and 'definitional change'.
  • His conclusion was that "It is highly likely that at least part of this increase is a vaccinerelated problem." 

The Daily Mail article goes on to say that his 'outspokenness' "will infuriate health authorities, who have spent millions of pounds shoring up confidence in MMR since Dr Wakefield's 1998 statement." This is no doubt true. The usual response of the conventional medical establishment is to discipline the speaker, to strike off the offending doctor, just as they did with Andrew Wakefield. But Dr Fletcher is retired, and so out of their reach. The other response is to ignore what has been said, in the hope that it might just go away. Given the usual complicity of the mainstream media this is certainly a possibility.

Yet the Daily mail article brings out one further point about the MMR cover-up, and the government's duplicity in this.

          "He called the sudden termination of legal aid to parents of allegedly vaccine-damaged children in late 2003 'a monstrous injustice'. After agreeing to be a witness for the parents, he received thousands of documents relating to the case. 'Now, it seems, unless the parents force the Government to restore legal aid, much of this revealing evidence may never come out."

And this is just what the conventional medical establishment wants. The Daily Mail article is to be congratulated on reporting on what Dr Fletcher has said, but as usual, it gives the last word to the Department of Health.

        "MMR remains the best protection against measles, mumps and rubella. It is recognised by the World Health Organisation as having an outstanding safety record and there is a wealth of evidence showing children who receive the MMR vaccine are no more at risk of autism than those who don't."

Well, that alright then - there is nothing to worry about it would seem. We just have to cope with the rising tide of autistic children, and the lack of resources available for their care. The vaccine is vindicated. We are all, now, expected to be as quiet and compliant as the BBC, and the rest of the mainstream media is likely to be!

Note. This interview with Dr Fletcher follows closely to the admission by a lead scientists in an important 2004 study that reported there was no MMR vaccine / Autism connection that the evidence had been rigged to obtain this result.

So what parents now have to decide is whether they believe what they are being told by the conventional medical establishment. Would they buy a second-hand car from these people? Will they allow their young child to be injected with a vaccine that could have such negative consequences?