Yesterday a 45 year old friend of ours passed away. I hate to say it but I think gut bacteria, antibiotic resistance, and our medical system probably led to her death. This is why it matters to all of us.
I debated bringing this up as it is still so raw for us. Also my assertions about what killed her can’t be proven, but I do think there is certainly a strong possibility. I would hate to think others may die from antibiotic resistant bacteria when it may be preventable.
First a little background. Our friend was a 45 year old woman recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Otherwise she seemed very healthy, rarely missing work for illness. She had her ovaries removed and, of course, was given plenty of antibiotics to prevent infection from the surgery. She was also put on chemotherapy and sent home, she was doing pretty well for a little over a week. When a chemo patient goes home they usually give them antibiotics as well. The antibiotics are to prevent bacterial infections, as there is an increased risk of infection due to a low white blood cell count (this is a direct result of chemotherapy).
She ended up developing a lung infection and pneumonia, and was admitted to the ICU. They tried pumping her full of antibiotics, but she continued to get worse, and ended up dying from the infection.
So how is the gut involved? Again, this may not be exactly what happened to her, but it is certainly a strong possibility.
One of the most common causes of bacterial pneumonia is caused by the bacterial strain Klebsiella pneumoniae. This strain often shows up in the guts of people that have little competing bacteria (a weak microbiome). When there is little beneficial bacteria in the gut this strain starts to proliferate. It is likely a very small amount of gut bacteria gets aspirated into the lungs during a cough, acid reflux, etc., When the immune system is normal this isn’t much of a problem, but when it is compromised it can be a huge problem. There are other strains of bacteria that can show up in our gut that cause the same problem, this is just one of the most common.
So why didn’t the very strong antibiotics in the ICU help her? It turns out there are many antibiotic resistant strains of klebsiella. Chances are it was one of these strains that took over. Using antibiotics, when an antibiotic resistant strain is the cause of the infection, may only make things worse (by killing off all the non-resistant strains).
What could have been done? Again, none of this may have helped, we just don’t know. I would have started a natural protocol of some kind, in addition to antibiotics, to control antibiotic resistant strains. It can’t hurt and it would be merely supplementing what the doctors were doing. I would also try to concurrently rebuilding the microbiome (e.g. Chapter 2 in The Gut Health Protocol). I don’t know what the Oncologist would say about that, I’m just saying what I would do. I recommend if you, or someone you know, is in this situation that you ask the oncologist if it is OK, and ask “why” if they recommend you shouldn’t try something.
My first uBiome test showed Klebsiella pneumoniae in my gut. I knew kleb could be dangerous if it entered my lungs. I guess I didn’t know it could be fatal, or that there were so many different antibiotic resistant strains! The two uBiome tests I did after The Gut Health Protocol no longer show this bacteria. So even though the number of test subjects equals one (n=1) I believe that this protocol, and perhaps other protocols like it, can remove a minor Klebsiella infection from the gut. I know many of you have had this bacteria show up in your stool test and uBiome tests (someone told me it showed in their stool test today!) These people may want to do a follow up test after a couple of months on the protocol to make sure it’s gone.
I hate to think that my friend may have been saved if her doctors would have prescribed a couple of natural supplements along with antibiotics, but I think that may be the case. Certainly something that should be studied. More and more of antibiotics are becoming useless as these pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria strains become antibiotic resistant. We need more options. Besides herbal kill supplements there are other natural options, such as: peptides, bactericides and phages. All of these have been used in the past, and are still used in some countries. Phages are especially promising as they have no side effects, no downside to trying them. One issue with phages is that they are very specific, you need an exact phage to match a specific bacterial strain (taking a generic phage mix probably does little, if any, good). But the bigger problem is that phages are natural, and not patentable. This means that no one is going to pay to find and develop those strains into a treatment; there is just no profit in it.
So for now this just serves as another reason to keep our gut’s microbiome as healthy as possible.