How To Protect Yourself Against Bugs

If you think that bugs are just wishy-washy bugs that cause flu, tummy upsets and other relatively minor inconveniences – think again.

Infectious diseases are now a major threat to your health – and your family’s health.

There are several main reasons why infectious diseases are back.

First, international air travel means that killer bugs can be brought from the jungle to the city within hours. There was far less danger when infected individuals travelled on slower, more traditional forms of transport. Patients carrying the disease would have died long before they reached heavily populated cities.

Second, bugs such as viruses are constantly changing – and getting stronger. As scientists produce new vaccines, existing viruses adapt and change. The deadly Ebola virus used to be transmitted through the blood. But changes to the virus in a laboratory means it can now spread through the air – like flu. In 1918-19 a flu bug far less deadly than the Ebola virus killed 25 million people. Genetic engineers experiment with viruses (sometimes for military purposes) and produce new, stronger, more lethal infections.

Third, vivisectors in laboratories around the world are constantly giving existing viruses to animals. They use some of the rarest and most deadly viruses. Some of the research work is done for the military – who want ever more lethal viruses for biological warfare. Problems really start when viruses – or infected animals – escape from laboratories. There are countless billions of viruses in the world -each one a thousandth the size of a bacterium. Everyone could be a ticking time bomb.

Fourth, the overprescribing and abuse of antibiotics means that bugs have acquired immunity and have become stronger and more lethal.

  1. Your body’s immune system helps to protect you against infection. If your immune system – your inbuilt defence system – is in tip-top condition then you will be far less vulnerable to these marauding bugs. What you choose to cat can have a big effect on the strength and effectiveness of your immune system. You can strengthen your immune system and reduce your susceptibility to infections (and cancer) by changing your diet. You must do everything you can to keep your body’s immune system in tip-top condition. It is vital to eat regular supplies of foods which contain antioxidants. Recommended foods include: apples, asparagus, baked beans, broccoli, brown rice, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chick peas, corn, grapefruit, lentils, oats, oranges, peas, pineapples, potatoes, soya beans, spinach, strawberries. I also recommend taking sunflower and pumpkin seeds daily.
  2. Unless your diet naturally contains garlic then I recommend that you take a garlic supplement every day.
  3. If you eat meat it is important that you give it up – particularly if you have an infection which is being treated with antibiotics. The spread of a number of killer infections has been traced to meat shipments. The basic cause is simple: farmers routinely feed antibiotics to their animals to keep them healthy. Animals which are fed with antibiotics inevitably acquire antibiotic resistant organisms. Repeated problems caused by meat infected with antibiotic resistant E. Coli are a direct result of this still unregulated and uncontrolled farming practice. Many of the people who fall ill after eating infected meat have been taking antibiotics – for throat or ear infections for example. The antibiotic prescribed for the throat or ear infection clears the body of many of its natural infections, allowing the antibiotic resistant superbug to take over a virtually competitor free body.
  4. Stress will damage your immune system and impair your body’s ability to fight infection. It is, therefore, important that you reduce your exposure to unnecessary stress. Make a list of all the factors which add stress to your life and then avoid those stresses which can be avoided.
  5. Try to avoid buildings which have closed circuit air conditioning systems. When air is constantly recirculated your chances of acquiring an infection are dramatically increased. If one person sneezes or coughs then the chances are high that everyone in the building will be exposed to the bug.
  6. You should try to keep away from hospitals, doctors’ clinics and other places where sick people congregate – and where antibiotic resistant bugs are likely to be much in control. I used to favour open plan wards since patients in such wards can be kept constantly under supervision by nurses. The explosion in the incidence of antibiotic resistant bugs means that single rooms are now preferable for any patient requiring hospital treatment.
  7. Whenever possible you should avoid methods of public transport which recirculate used air. Modern trains tend to have no opening windows – with the result that if one person sneezes in a carriage the chances are that everyone else will be exposed to (and possibly catch their disease).
  8. If you eat eggs do not ever buy (or eat) eggs with cracked shells. It is much easier for an infection to enter an egg with a cracked shell. Eggs laid by genuinely free range chickens are likely to be healthier than eggs laid by hens kept in battery cages.
  9. Make sure that your fridge is kept cold enough. The temperature inside your fridge should be below 3 degrees Centigrade.
  10. Make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food. Staphylococcus, for example, can be transmitted hand to hand. Wash all kitchen dishes and cutlery thoroughly in hot, soapy water.
  11. Never refreeze food which has been previously frozen and then thawed. Thawing increases the number of bacteria and refreezing food increases the chances of infection.
  12. If you eat meat make sure that it is completely thawed before you start to cook it. If you do not do this then the chances are that the middle of the meat will still be frozen when you start to cook it – and will not be properly cooked when the rest of the meat is ready. Meat which is raw will probably be full of bugs.
  13. Keep foods apart from one another in your fridge in order to reduce the risk of cross contamination. Put meat (a high risk source of infection) at the bottom of the fridge and keep it away from other foods.
  14. Don’t ever buy tins which are rusty, bulging or badly damaged.
  15. Always check the sell-by date before buying food. Don’t be tempted to buy (or use) food which has passed its sell-by date.
  16. If your doctor wants to prescribe an antibiotic ask him if he thinks it is really essential — or if he is just giving you the prescription because he thinks you want an antibiotic. Don’t take these drugs unless you really need them.
  17. Eat live yoghurt – which contains the ‘friendly’ lactobacillus acidophilus. (Soya yoghurt also contains it).
  18. Don’t take drugs (either prescribed or bought over the pharmacy counter) unless you really need them. Always investigate other ways to deal with health problems.
  19. Teach children not to cough or sneeze without using a handkerchief.
  20. Try not to touch your eyes with your lingers – that’s an easy way for bugs to get into your body.

How To Cut Your Cancer Risk By 80 Per Cent

Doctors spend enormous amounts of time, energy and money on treating cancer but don’t spend much time telling their patients how to avoid cancer.

However, astonishingly, doctors now what causes 80 per cent of all cancers. It is my view that you should be able to reduce your cancer risk by 80 per cent by avoiding those “triggers” which are known to be responsible for causing cancer.

Here is my advice:

  1. Don’t smoke tobacco and keep away from other people who smoke tobacco.
  2. Cut your consumption of fatty food.
  3. Do not eat meat.
  4. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  5. Eat plenty of fibre and whole grain foods.
  6. Do not have any unnecessary X-rays.
  7. Do not spend long periods of time in the sun.
  8. Try not to live underneath of close to electricity power lines or close to an electricity supply station. Do not sleep or sit too close to electrical appliances.
  9. Avoid foods which contain large quantities of additives.
  10. Keep your weight under control.
  11. Minimise your consumption of alcohol.
  12. Avoid smoked, salt-cured, salt-pickled or barbecued foods.

Side Effects Of Drugs

Despite the fact that one must hold the pharmaceutical industry directly responsible for most of the side effects (and deaths) caused by drugs there is no doubt that the number of problems could be reduced if patients were more aware of how best to protect themselves from side effects.

It is a sad but true fact that of all the drugs prescribed only a relatively small number are taken in the way that the prescriber originally intended them to be taken. Drugs arc taken at the wrong time, they are taken too frequently and they are sometimes never taken out of the bottle at all.

It is important to remember that modern prescribed drugs are not only potentially effective but also powerful and potentially dangerous.

There are several questions which should be answered before a patient starts taking a drug – for example, how long the drug should be taken for, whether it should be taken before, during or after meals and whether it can cause drowsiness. Usually the answers to these questions will appear on the label of the bottle containing the drugs. If the answers do not appear there then the fault may lie with the doctor who wrote the prescription or the pharmacist who dispensed it.

Here are some things to watch out for:

  1. Some drugs can be stopped when symptoms cease. Others need to be taken as a complete course. A small number of drugs need to be taken continuously and a second prescription will have to be obtained before the first supply has run out. The patient who knows what his drug is for, why he is taking it and what the effect should be, will be more likely to know when a drug is to be stopped.
  2. If a drug has to be taken once a day, it is usually important that it is taken at the same time each day. If a drug has to be taken twice a day it should be taken at intervals of 12 hours. A drug that needs to be taken three times a day should be taken at eight-hourly intervals and a drug that needs taking four times a day should be taken at six-hourly intervals. The day should be divided into suitable segments.
  3. Some drugs which may cause stomach problems are safer when taken with meals. Other drugs may not be absorbed properly if taken with food.
  4. A number of patients (particularly the elderly) are expected to remember to take dozens of pills a day. When a day’s medication includes tablets to be taken twice daily, three times daily, mornings only and every four hours, mistakes are inevitable. If a patient needs to take a number of drugs a day mistakes can be minimised by preparing a daily chart on which the names and dines of different drugs are marked. Such a chart will reduce the risk of a patient taking one dose twice or struggling to remember whether a particular pill has been taken yet. To avoid the risk of overdosage, sleeping tablets should not be kept by the bedside. It is too easy for a half-asleep patient to mistakenly take extra tablets. In the case of a suspected overdose medical attention must be sought.

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Here is a list of some possible, common side effects:

  1. Drowsiness is a common problem with all drugs which have an effect on the central nervous system – these include sedatives, tranquillisers, sleeping pills, most drugs used in the treatment of anxiety and depression and drugs used in the treatment of epilepsy. Drowsiness is also common with antihistamines (these are commonly used for allergies and so patients suffering from hayfever, for example, should be aware that their medication may make them feel sleepy).
  2. Nausea and vomiting may be caused by many different drugs including pain relievers, drugs used to treat infections, hormones and drugs prescribed for heart conditions.
  3. Dizziness is commonly caused by aspirin but drugs used to treat high blood pressure, nerve disorders such as anxiety and depression and infections can also cause this side effect.
  4. Drugs such as penicillin which are used to treat infections often cause diarrhoea – as do some drugs prescribed for intestinal disorders such as indigestion, gastritis and constipation.
  5. Headache is a symptom that is associated with an enormous range of drugs.
  6. Drugs used in the treatment of high blood pressure and in the treatment of nerve problems seem particularly likely to produce a dry mouth.
  7. Pain relievers, drugs used to treat infections and steroid drugs are the prescription products which seem most likely to cause indigestion or wind.
  8. Skin rashes are extremely common among patients taking drugs. Drugs used to treat infections – such as penicillin and sulphonamide – are commonly associated with this problem. A skin rash may suggest an allergy to a drug.
  9. Itching associated with a skin rash means that an allergy reaction is almost certain.
  10. Constipation is a common side effect with pain relievers, antacids, cough medicines and (naturally enough) drugs used in the treatment of diarrhoea.
  11. Other side effects which are commonly noticed by patients taking prescription drugs include: confusion, hallucinations, tremors, fainting, wheezing, palpitations, blurred vision, depression, sweating, ringing in the ears and sexual problems such as frigidity and impotence.

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Here are some tips to help you minimise your risk of developing a side effect if you have to take a prescription drug.

  1. Always follow any specific instructions that you have been given by your doctor. Read the label on your bottle of pills and take notice of what it says.
  2. When you’re not using them drugs should be stored in a locked cupboard out of reach of children, in a room where the temperature will be fairly stable. The bathroom is probably the worst room in the house for storing medicines. Your bedroom -which probably has a more stable temperature – is much better.
  3. Never take drugs which were prescribed for someone else. Return all unused supplies of drugs to your pharmacist.
  4. It is wise to assume that all prescribed drugs can cause drowsiness. You shouldn’t drive or operate machinery after taking a drug until you are sure that you are safe.
  5. Drugs do not mix well with alcohol. If you want to drink while taking drugs ask your doctor whether or not it will be safe.
  6. Do not take non-prescribed medicines while taking prescribed drugs unless your doctor has told you that you can.
  7. Do not stop taking drugs suddenly if you have been advised to take a full course. Ring your doctor for advice if you need to stop for any reason. Some drugs have to be stopped gradually rather than abruptly.
  8. Be on the look out for side effects and remember that if you seem to develop new symptoms while taking a prescription drug then the chances are high that the new symptoms were caused by the treatment you are taking for your original symptoms.
  9. Report any side effects to your doctor – and ask him if he’s going to report the side effects lo the authorities. The vast majority of doctors never bother to report side effects – with the result that potentially hazardous drugs remain on the market for far longer than they should.
  10. If you need to see a doctor, while taking a drug make sure he knows what you are taking – particularly if he intends to prescribe new treatment for you. Many drugs do not mix well together and may, indeed, react together in a dangerous way.
  11. Do not assume that a doctor you have seen in the past will remember what he prescribed for you on a previous occasion.
  12. Learn the names and purposes of the drugs you take. If you are not sure when to take the drugs that you have been given ask your doctor or the pharmacist. If you think you will forget the instructions you are given ask for them to be written down. The name of the drug should always appear on the container.
  13. Do not remove drugs from their proper containers except when you need them or if you are transferring them to a device intended to improve compliance.
  14. Try to see the same doctor as often as possible. If several doctors are prescribing for you there may be an increased risk of an interaction between drugs which do not mix well.
  15. Use drugs with care and caution, but do use them When they are required. Doctors sometimes divide patients into two main groups: those who are willing to take drugs for any little symptom and who feel deprived if not offered a pharmacological solution to every ailment, and those who are unwilling to take drugs under any circumstances. Try not to fall into either of these extreme groups.
– By Vernon Coleman

Alternative Medicine: Learn When To Use

Is alternative medicine safe? Does it work?

Here are some brief notes on some of the best known forms of alternative medicine. But remember: if you are thinking of trying any form of alternative medicine then my advice is that you should check with your own doctor first. Make sure that he is happy about what you are planning to do. And do make sure that the alternative practitioner you intend to consult is properly trained.

These notes are not complete – they are merely intended to provide a very brief, personal introduction to a massive subject.

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Acupuncture with fingers rather than needles. Like acupuncture the idea is to stimulate the flow of energy along the body’s natural channels. Acupressure is a cross between acupuncture and massage said to be very good for dealing with headaches, backache, muscle pains etc.


The Chinese, who invented acupuncture, believe that the human body contains 12 channels along which internal energies flow. When one of these channels is blocked illness develops. Acupuncturists stick needles into the skin in an attempt to unblock the channels and allow the energy flow to continue. Over 1000 acupuncture points have now been identified. Acupuncture does work – particularly in the treatment of pain and it is recommended by the World Health Organisation. In addition to helping patients with pain it also works in the treatment of many other disorders.

Alexander Technique

Founded at the turn of the last century by an Australian actor called F.M. Alexander who believed that many illnesses develop because we don’t sit, stand or walk properly. People who’ve been trained in the Alexander technique claim it helps relieve many health problems – particularly bone and joint troubles, backache and stress disorders.


Aromatherapists claim that by massaging patients with sweet smelling oils they can treat an enormous range of physical and mental disorders. They choose scented oils from specific flowers, plants and trees to influence moods and treat diseases. The massage itself may be soothing and relaxing.


Chiropractic was established by a Canadian called Daniel Palmer who believed that 95 per cent of illnesses are caused by displaced bones in the spine – and can, therefore, be cured by manipulating the spine. There is evidence available to suggest that chiropractic can be useful in the treatment of bone and joint disorders – for example backache.


There are thousands of healers in practice. Healers work in many different ways. Some lay their hands on their patients. Some say they don’t need to touch their patient. Many works free of charge. There’s evidence to show that healers ran produce ‘miraculous’ results. No one really knows whether this is because they trigger off the body’s self-healing powers or because of mysterious forces. There are virtually no risks or side effects with healing.


One of the oldest branches of medicine. Many modern drugs are derived firm herbal remedies. Drug companies base much of their research on looking for useful compounds that can be prepared from plants. About a third of the drugs doctors prescribe are plant-based. Today many millions of people have turned away from orthodox medicine and prefer to use herbal remedies. Herbal remedies are available for just about every illness imaginable.

There is no doubt that many herbal remedies do work – whether bought over the counter or prescribed by a herbalist.


Modern homeopathy was invented by Samuel Hahnemann in the 19th century. He believed that he could cure patients with minute doses of drugs. The theory is that the incredibly small doses trigger off the body’s self-healing mechanisms. Homeopathy has much in common with vaccination in which a small amount of a foreign substance is introduced into the patient’s body in order to stimulate the body’s defence mechanisms. It really does seem to work.


Modern hypnotherapy began with Franz Mesmer in Vienna in the 18th century. When used by a skilled expert it can be useful and effective. There’s evidence to show that hypnotherapy can help patients relax and deal with stress.


Simply means treatment using water. Hydrotherapy is practised in many health farms and alternative clinics. You can sit in it, be sprayed with it or drink it. You can have it very cold or very hot. Those who believe in hydrotherapy claim it can be used to treat all sorts of illnesses.

Music Therapy

Four thousand years ago Hindu doctors used to play soothing music while surgeons operated. They used to have music played in the wards too – they believed it helped patients get better. They may have been right. The value of music therapy seems clear. Music helps cure emotional and mental problems – and helps relieve pain.


Many modern diseases are caused by stress – and by our inability to relax. Meditation is a relaxation technique which works – and which can be easily learned for home use.


Naturopathy was founded by Hippocrates around 400 BC who said that the best way to maintain good health was to eat and exercise moderately and carefully. Simple naturopathy means having a healthy lifestyle.


Founded in 1874 by Andrew Tayler Still, an American who believed that the faults in the bony part of the body cause many diseases. Osteopaths claim that they can treat illnesses by manipulating the body – especially the spine. I don’t think there is much difference between chiropractic and osteopathy. Excellent for problems such as backache. Some experts say that half of the patients going to an osteopath have backache. Many doctors with back trouble seek help from osteopaths.

Five reasons why alternative medicine may be useful

  1. Alternative remedies are often more ‘natural’ than orthodox medical remedies – they allow and encourage the body to heal itself.
  2. It is often possible to learn alternative techniques for home use — gaining independence from professionals.
  3. Most – but not all – forms of alternative medicine are relatively safe. The risk of side effects are usually low.
  4. Alternative practitioners are not usually as rushed as orthodox doctors – they have more time to talk to patients.
  5. There are not usually any waiting lists for alternative treatment.