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New York Times: We Are Our Bacteria

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Firestormm, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Firestormm

    Firestormm

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    Donate to Dr Ian Lipkin's ME/CFS Microbe Discovery Project:

    Website: http://www.microbediscovery.org
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/microbediscovery/
    Twitter: Microbe Discovery @MicrobeProject

    ...and let's see what's in our guts that might be making us sick :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
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  2. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    In the case of celiac disease I'd think it would be impossible to tell which came first dysbiosis or damage. Damage to the villi wipes out enzymes that degrade food so the environment including "normal" bacteria would be subjected to putrification and fermentation from undigested food. Tc .. x
     
  3. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    @Sasha

    Be sure to give us a book review!
     
  4. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    It's going to take me a while to get through Blaser's book - I must say it's very well-written, though. Not sure that it's going to cover much about what to do about our stuffed-up microbiomes - I think it's going to be more covering the story of why they're getting stuffed up in the first place (antibiotics!) and the consequences.

    :)
     
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  5. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    I guess it's reasonable to blame antibiotics, but what is the alternative? Until other treatments are available we are stuck with those.
     
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  6. Firestormm

    Firestormm

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    I think you are right. I also think there is more that can be done to better target the use of antibiotics and restrict the use of broad-spectrum ones as well as using them unnecessarily. I think much/some of this is already occurring but it would be nice one day to be told as patient what bacteria was causing the complaint, and receive an antibiotic that specifically targets that bacteria. Also I think the NHS and other prescribers needs to focus on after-care for patients who have taken antibiotics. There should be some need now to try and redress the balance in our guts once they have been blasted by antibiotics. And long-term treatment with antibiotics has to be more carefully considered... but much of this will only come with more research and then that research will need to be applied.

    I read an article about probiotics the other day: not convinced about them being a solution either to 'rebalancing' the gut microbiome. They also need to be better researched and controlled. Apparently - and I tell no lie - even a mattress is being marketed as a probiotic. It's all become something of a joke. Many products don't say what is in them or in what strength, or what dosage is needed and for what purpose... also I think there is a general feeling of distrust over efficacy. But hey-ho we'll get there in the end. In the meantime it's all a case of 'suck it and see' I suppose.
     
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  7. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    I am not my bacteria. The human body is an ecosystem.
     
  8. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I think the issue is not the appropriate use of antibiotics but the overuse and irresponsible use.
    I think Firestormm is right - we need carefully targeted use of abx, not the scattershot and inappropriate use that we have now (many doctors apparently give in to patient "pester power" and give abx when there appears to be a viral, not bacterial infection).

    And as he says, we also need abx to be followed by therapies to restore gut flora. If you look at the Microbe Discovery Project FAQs. you can see that Ian Lipkin is thinking along exactly those lines:

    http://www.microbediscovery.org/faqs/

    What kind of treatments might come out of the study?
    If gut microbiome problems are identified, treatment will need to be tailored to each patient according to which kind of microbe or microbes are involved. Possible treatments include probiotics (possibly preceded by antibiotics), restriction diets and fecal transplants.​
     
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  9. Firestormm

    Firestormm

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    Just to add that I would also like one day to be told by a test that the bacteria causing my symptoms (and the reason the antibiotics were prescribed), has been dealt with. Rather than depend solely on 'feeling better' or improved or unchanged etc. I think the exit from having been prescribed something could do with an overhaul and update. Else it's all subjective - at least in part. I mean if you feel better and can get on with life then great I guess: but did the abx really do the job? And how else will they learn if they don't follow up?
     
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