GOING GLUTEN-FREE

Gluten is a particular kind of protein that is not found in eggs or meat but is in barley, rye, wheat and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Going gluten-free means avoiding these grains. A gluten-free diet is essential for those who have celiac disease, a condition that causes inflammation in the small intestines, or gluten allergies.  Symptoms of celiac disease include anemia, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, gas, headaches, skin rashes, joint pain and fatigue.

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A DIET FOR HEALTH & WEIGHT LOSS

Have you noticed? Look around and you’ll see a majority of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Look in supermarkets and you’ll see a plethora of food products, many of them processed or high-fat and/or sweet laden.  Consuming such a diet often leads to poor health and weight gain. It is not surprising that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. A number of diseases, including pre-diabetes, diabetes, stroke and depression, are linked to how we eat .....

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ANTIBIOTICS IN OUR FOOD

Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.

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Watt watched a kettle boil; Roentgen fogged some photographic plates. And these people knew enough to translate ordinary happenings into something new.”

It staggers the mind to think about how many people have died throughout human history prior to the advent of antibiotics. Also known as antibacterials, these compounds either eradicate or slow disease-causing bacterial growth. Most were developed and first used between 1907 and 1985. Alfred Bertheim and Paul Ehrlich first discovered arsphenamine in 1907. It was effectively used to treat many cases of then-rampant syphilis. In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, which, of course, has since saved millions of lives. Fleming received the Nobel Prize in 1945. Previously, Gerhard Domagk received the Nobel Prize in 1939 for developing prontosil, the first antibacterial drug.


Many discoveries and developments have followed these innovations and have saved and helped countless lives. Like many breakthroughs, however, antibiotics are a double-edged sword. When they are used too much, new strains of bacteria can develop as the old ones become resistant to and mutate outside the antibiotic scope.


It’s necessary to differentiate between diseases and illnesses caused by bacteria and those that are more viral in nature. Antibacterials are just that: They fight bacteria. If your illness is viral, your doctor will not prescribe this range of drugs because they would have no impact. Many other factors can affect antibiotics as well, such as other drugs the patient may be using, pregnancy, adverse side effects and how far the infection has progressed

ANTIBIOTICS AND YOU

CHARLES SEBASTIAN

Charles Sebastian is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by charles sebastian

Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, an associate director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says we are now moving into a “post-antibiotic” phase. He says we are quickly running out of therapies to treat infections that previously had been eminently treatable.


“There are bacteria we encounter, particularly in health-care settings, that are resistant to nearly all the antibiotics we have available,” Srinivasan said. “We are thus entering an era that people have talked about for a long time. Newspaper stories and covers of magazines have talked about ‘The end of antibiotics?’ Now I would say you can change the title to ‘The end of antibiotics, period.’”


The answer? We must be careful not to overuse antibacterials. As bacteria mutate and become less manageable and more resistant, those suffering from even the simplest infections will not have the option of treatment, given the resistance built up over time.


Not long after his discovery of penicillin, Alexander Fleming said, “For the birth of something new, there has to be a happening. Newton saw an apple fall; James