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Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

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  • Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

    I was talking to the wife the other day, she is a Surgical Technologist and has been for almost 10 years, which gives her some credentials for understanding medicine and how things affect us.

    There are medical problems out there called Super Staph (sp) that is a very major issue. Infections that resist even the strongest medicines to stop.

    Now we were talking about how sick people get and how antiseptic a childs life is but that our generation (X) seems to be the last one that has any strength of the immune system. When I grew up, and my generation did, 60's - 70's mainly, we got dirty, we got sick, we got well. We didn't have this plethora of anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners. We weren't rushed to the emergency room for every little cold and cough immediately either, it usually was a day or 2 later if the fever or cold or whatever persisted. Our immune systems got strong and as we got older we got sick less. But now people are insulated in a thicker cocoon of prevention and sterility. Kids do not get sick like they did in my day and they also are rushed to the ER and pumped full of drugs and anti-bacterial and other medicines at the slightest sniffle. The newer generations are the ones who are getting these diseases and worse as they become adults and go out into the world.

    A good example is the cold my wife caught and brought home. We had it for about 2 weeks, pretty tough cold. But people who she worked with were calling in sick, and being sick for over a month. Younger people who should supposedly be stronger to resist things like this. I am 45 and my wife is 46. I heal pretty fast, average cut is healed in 4-7 days and I am diabetic as well. I had carpal tunnel surgery and was back to the computer and other things withing 3-5 days while the doctor commented on how fast my incision healed. He took the stiches out in 1 week rather than 2 and let me take the cast off completely after 4 weeks instead of 6.

    My point is that with the antiseptic life we bring our children up in they do not develop as good of an immune system and thereafter are more likely to get sick and stay sick longer when they are out on their own.

  • #2
    Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

    Ok, sounds reasonable and you may be right but is there anything with some sort of data to back this up?

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • #3
      Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

      Originally posted by Sluggo View Post
      Ok, sounds reasonable and you may be right but is there anything with some sort of data to back this up?
      Just observational. It is what I see in workplaces and what my wife sees.

      The rushing to the ER over every little ailment rather than taking care of it at home is obvious if you spend some time.

      How much would companies lose if someone did an actual study and proved that my observations were correct?

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • #4
        Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

        Originally posted by Sluggo View Post
        Ok, sounds reasonable and you may be right but is there anything with some sort of data to back this up?
        I'm sure there's actual data out there but like Wlessard, I've also observed it. MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is one of the staphs that is prevalent in hospitals and nursing homes and in the past, was just another staph infection treated with antibiotics. Over time, it became resistant to the drugs and can now be very deadly. There are several factors that caused this strain of bacteria to become resistant with one being overuse of antibiotics and another being that many people only take their antibiotics until they feel better, sometimes leaving half of the supply in the bottle "in case" they need it again. The problem is that taking only half a regimen of the drugs doesn't always eliminate the problem, it only weakens the bacteria and once the drug is stopped, the bacteria can get stronger and more resistant.
        Overuse of antibiotics will often kill the "good" bacteria in our bodies...I actually had this happen after being on a Z-pack (Azithromycin) twice in about 5 weeks. It killed the bacteria needed to digest and absorb food properly and ended up losing about 10 lbs. before going back to the doctor and taking an antifungal drug for two weeks.
        Overuse of antibacterial agents such as soap and hand sanitizer is also a bad thing because again, it doesn't discriminate against "good" bacteria so it can actually weaken our immune system. Exposure to the a little of the "bad" bacteria helps build up resistance and is the premise behind live vaccines. If we never build up that resistance, then we end up getting sick because our body lacks the ability to fight off the bad stuff. Since most of the antibacterial agents don't kill 100% of the bacteria, it allows it to grow stronger...it's like giving it a half of a regimen of antibiotics, the surviving bacteria comes back more resistant.
        A little side note...one of the best ways to fight seasonal allergies is to purchase honey from a beekeeper in your area, the closer to your house, the better. The reason is that there is a little pollen from the local plants in the honey and taken daily, helps desensitize the body to the allergens. I told my dad about this years ago because he suffered from sinusitis every time the flowers and trees went into bloom and since using a teaspoon of honey daily in his coffee, he no longer has problems when the ragweed and other irritating plants bloom.

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • #5
          Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

          This may sound crude but kids need to be able to eat some dirt. They need to be allowed to go outside and play sports and that involves playing in muddy fields and sometime just being covered in the stuff. If germs were as bad as the adverts for antiseptic house cleaners made out I'm unsure how humanity made it out of the first millennium without everyone spending decades with colds and flue.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • #6
            Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

            Originally posted by PeterUK75 View Post
            This may sound crude but kids need to be able to eat some dirt. They need to be allowed to go outside and play sports and that involves playing in muddy fields and sometime just being covered in the stuff. If germs were as bad as the adverts for antiseptic house cleaners made out I'm unsure how humanity made it out of the first millennium without everyone spending decades with colds and flue.
            Crude or not, it's the truth. My kids were very healthy when they were young and remain healthy as adults...not because I was a bad housekeeper (I'm not) but because I didn't panic every time they dropped the pacifier or got dirty playing.

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • #7
              Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

              I don't think this is so much a matter of weaker immune systems due to antiseptic lifestyles. When I was a kid (I'm a good deal younger than you) there was no concern about getting dirty. I even threw out dead mice and squirrels without any kind of concern for what may be on them. I never saw much difference from others in my age group. The fear of germs seems to be more recent. Of course, that's not to say that the average person isn't a bigger sissy these days.

              מה מכילות החדשות?


              • #8
                Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

                Originally posted by Wlessard View Post
                Just observational. It is what I see in workplaces and what my wife sees.

                The rushing to the ER over every little ailment rather than taking care of it at home is obvious if you spend some time.

                How much would companies lose if someone did an actual study and proved that my observations were correct?
                Unsure but the study should come first, the conclusion based on the results. Not the other way around. Again though, I tend to agree with the theory as it sounds reasonable. I have similar feelings about the levels of medicine in use today, more to the point the laundry list of side effects that tends to accompany just about all drugs on the market today. It would be funny if it were not so sad that most ads today pimping some new drug seems to have to give up at least a 1/3rd of the ad to list out all the potential problems using the new drug. Expected and "unlikely yet minor" side effects, other more dangerous side effects, etc. Perhaps that has something to do with your theory here on dependence.

                מה מכילות החדשות?


                • #9
                  Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

                  Originally posted by Mrs. M View Post
                  I'm sure there's actual data out there but like Wlessard, I've also observed it. MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is one of the staphs that is prevalent in hospitals and nursing homes and in the past, was just another staph infection treated with antibiotics. Over time, it became resistant to the drugs and can now be very deadly. There are several factors that caused this strain of bacteria to become resistant with one being overuse of antibiotics and another being that many people only take their antibiotics until they feel better, sometimes leaving half of the supply in the bottle "in case" they need it again. The problem is that taking only half a regimen of the drugs doesn't always eliminate the problem, it only weakens the bacteria and once the drug is stopped, the bacteria can get stronger and more resistant.
                  Overuse of antibiotics will often kill the "good" bacteria in our bodies...I actually had this happen after being on a Z-pack (Azithromycin) twice in about 5 weeks. It killed the bacteria needed to digest and absorb food properly and ended up losing about 10 lbs. before going back to the doctor and taking an antifungal drug for two weeks.
                  Overuse of antibacterial agents such as soap and hand sanitizer is also a bad thing because again, it doesn't discriminate against "good" bacteria so it can actually weaken our immune system. Exposure to the a little of the "bad" bacteria helps build up resistance and is the premise behind live vaccines. If we never build up that resistance, then we end up getting sick because our body lacks the ability to fight off the bad stuff. Since most of the antibacterial agents don't kill 100% of the bacteria, it allows it to grow stronger...it's like giving it a half of a regimen of antibiotics, the surviving bacteria comes back more resistant.
                  A little side note...one of the best ways to fight seasonal allergies is to purchase honey from a beekeeper in your area, the closer to your house, the better. The reason is that there is a little pollen from the local plants in the honey and taken daily, helps desensitize the body to the allergens. I told my dad about this years ago because he suffered from sinusitis every time the flowers and trees went into bloom and since using a teaspoon of honey daily in his coffee, he no longer has problems when the ragweed and other irritating plants bloom.
                  As I said to Wlessard, I tend to agree with the theory. Would like to see science back it up even though I doubt there will be much support the effort of science that may go against both the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

                  מה מכילות החדשות?


                  • #10
                    Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

                    Both my grandpa's lived very long lives my Irish grandpa who drank and chewed tobacco lived to be 91 and my Welsh grandpa with diabetes never drank but did smoke a pipe lived to be 89. Neither of my parents lived as long passing away at 84 and 85. Longevity seems to run in my family but with all the improvements in healthcare people seem to be dying earlier rather than later.

                    מה מכילות החדשות?


                    • #11
                      Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

                      The death rate remains the same as it always has, one person, one death. I think Heinlein said that.

                      מה מכילות החדשות?


                      • #12
                        Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

                        I don't think a formal study is neccessary to support the conclusion---though it could lead to some insight about mechanisms and what not.

                        The evidence is overwhelming. There's a reason Mexicans can drink their water and Americans have to drink bottled water when on vacation there. It's because the native's immune systems have been challanged and the visitor's hasn't.

                        מה מכילות החדשות?


                        • #13
                          Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

                          Originally posted by darth omar View Post
                          I don't think a formal study is neccessary to support the conclusion---though it could lead to some insight about mechanisms and what not.

                          The evidence is overwhelming. There's a reason Mexicans can drink their water and Americans have to drink bottled water when on vacation there. It's because the native's immune systems have been challanged and the visitor's hasn't.
                          Being a veteran of the sewage treatment industry I can attest to this. After breathing the air at treatment plants over several years I rarely get sick, and many of my colleagues have experienced this phenomenon as well.

                          מה מכילות החדשות?


                          • #14
                            Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

                            Originally posted by John Drake View Post
                            The death rate remains the same as it always has, one person, one death. I think Heinlein said that.
                            You'll cause Actuarians to jump out the window with that thinking.

                            מה מכילות החדשות?


                            • #15
                              Re: Being too antiseptic in our lives leads to sicker people

                              Originally posted by darth omar View Post
                              I don't think a formal study is neccessary to support the conclusion---though it could lead to some insight about mechanisms and what not.

                              The evidence is overwhelming. There's a reason Mexicans can drink their water and Americans have to drink bottled water when on vacation there. It's because the native's immune systems have been challanged and the visitor's hasn't.
                              There's also the fact that few Mexicans drink the water either, at least without treating it somehow, like boiling. My understanding is that America is one of only a few (though definitely not the only) countries where people regularly drink tap water "raw" as it were.

                              מה מכילות החדשות?

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