I saved these to write about after Christmas – not wanting to seem too Scrooge-like. A Cincinnati Enquirer piece buried in the front section on December 20, headlined ‘Infections linked to heartburn remedies’, and another on Christmas itself, again buried in the same mostly unread section, saying ‘Silver can cure at tiny dosage: Particles can help fend off bacteria’. Both on the same topic of infections.
The bad news – which should have been on the front page in a simple sentence – people taking the major heartburn drugs Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium seem more prone to getting a potentially dangerous diarrhea and the intestinal inflammation called colitis.
More outrageously bad news buried farther down in this already buried story: Most study patients hadn’t been recently hospitalized and weren’t taking antibiotics, both of which can increase risk for infections.
YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY – going to the hospital and / or taking antibiotics increases your risk for infections. The health establishment knows this. We sheep who do what our doctors tell us seem not to know this.
The other story talks about that fact that the ancient Greeks and Egyptians used silver to fight infections, and the Romans adopted the practice from them. Buried deep in that story is the statement that two million hospital patients are struck with bacterial infections annually – and 90,000 – nearly 5% – of them die. YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY – 90,000 people die of infections they picked up in the hospital. I actually have read higher numbers than that in other stories. My former husband has currently undergone surgery and is having skin grafts because of an infection.
Now, like so many other things, we’re re-discovering silver’s natural powers. Of course, we’re testing it. Something that’s worked for millenia we have to test first.
We tested Prilosec, etc, and look where that got us. This nasty C-diff germ caused problems for less than 1 in 100,000 people in the UK in 1994 – and now cases are up to 22 in 100,000 in 2004.
These stories raise so many red flags for me. Why do we medicate heartburn – which is our bodies telling us we’re abusing them by what we eat – instead of altering our patterns? Most of what we Americans eat supplies no real nutrition and – if it’s causing heartburn – is doing us damage. We medicate rather than change. One of the researchers in the Prilosec story says ‘…everyone and their brother seems to be on them.’
One of my student interns last year looked at me as though I had holes in my head when I suggested we figure out what the root of his heartburn was and work on that. He’s on one of those drugs now and eating food he should basically never put into his system. Yet listening to his body, considering his current food intake, looking at the kinds of pressure he puts himself under are the ways back to health. Not magic bullets.
Those of us in the alternative health world have long known about and used colloidal silver for infections. Simple, cheap, calming self-help. Available in every health food store. The testing going on now may make some minor improvements, or may turn silver into a magic bullet which becomes part of the problem. Working with the silver to learn more about its properties, rather than conquering it to wrest its secrets away, would be the appropriate way to work. Less arrogance, more partnership. In this as in so much of life, attitude is everything.
We can heal ourselves, body, mind and spirit. We can partner with health professionals – alternative and mainstream – to learn about ourselves. We can meditate and use our intuition to select from the options the professionals present. We can become healers ourselves through the many classes offered in the many modalities. Sheep-ness is causing most folk to spend the last 20 years of their lives increasingly medicated and having less fun.
Let’s quit looking for magic bullets. Let’s listen to our bodies, and pay attention to the available information. And just get over the notion that our health is in the hands of our doctors. YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY. Just get over it.