By Michael Snyder | 14 October 2019 END OF THE AMERICAN DREAM — An unprecedented October blizzard that hit just before harvest time has absolutely devastated farms all across the U.S. heartland. As you will see […]
By Andrew Romano | 14 October 2019 YAHOO NEWS — As of three weeks ago, a majority of Americans — 51.1 percent, on average — opposed impeaching President Trump. Only 40 percent supported it. But that was before […]
|(Natural News) While she appears to be missing in action as of late, angry climate child Greta Thunberg of United Nations ranting fame isn’t off the hook when it comes to her questionable climate shenanigans, and neither are her parents. According to reports, Greta’s parents are the subject of a new inquiry into their fitness…|
GIZA Pyramid, Eqypt accessing free energy since ancient times (unknown photographer)
By Suni Nelson,
IF we want peace & prosperity on Earth, we raise our collective consciousness, & we choose the most impactful regenerative solutions that benefit all people & the environment. (See just a few exciting examples below). We already have:
“…..energy & anti-gravity systems, lunar bases, black shelved technologies (purposely denied patents) that can transform our world-IF we facilitate their introduction into the free market.” Steven M. Greer MD, author of ‘Unacknowledged.’
Zero-point energy (ZPE) technologies are meant for an evolved, peaceful society….us in the making. The key? These technologies must be made open-source, freely available globally to benefit humanity & the Planet. Individuals or companies can then manufacture, build, a thriving business that contributes, states Dr. Greer.
WHAT’S KNOWN: this energy transfer (power generation from the ZPE field, quantum vacuum) unlimited in the Universe, is everywhere on Earth (research & scientific proof: refer to Blog #1, Cosmometry, author Marshall Lefferts, & Physicist Nassim Haramein’s website:). It is in Nature, sound, &, in our body’s trillion of cells as spinning spheres!
WHAT’S KNOWN: bold new scientific discoveries that have been studied for many decades in classified projects need to be brought forward to benefit the human species (pertaining to the ZPE devices available since the 1950’s; active global solutions for free energy, climate change, pollution of our soils, oceans, air, transportation, housing, food & water desalinization). Richard O’Connor states in a Zero Point article, 5/5/19 @, “this tech is hidden in massive underground military R&D facilities in the US Southwest.” Why is it hidden?
Since Earth & its inhabitants are in ‘survival crisis mode,’ only able to access outdated, inefficient industries owned by ‘profit-focused’ corporations, while we presently tinker with solar & wind technologies, it’s crucial we expand perception, education & immediate funding towards ZPE technologies, to transform our situation.
Here are a few ZPE examples to look forward to:
- Examples from Richard O’Connor, 5/5/19, : ZPE modules on cars eliminates lithium ion batteries & fossil fuels; ZPE is always available everywhere in the environment. ZPE replaces the electric grid globally! ZPE Plants desalinize sea water for drinking water while pumped to irrigate agricultural farmlands, inland dry areas. ZPE anti gravity transportation replaces sea going (polluting) ships to move goods around the Planet. Airlines convert to anti-gravity as do high speed trains.
- & Physicist Nassim Haramein announce a new printer, the “Replicator” unveiled by researchers in CA, that out-dates present 3D layer-by-layer printing. Tomography technology uses 3D images to create 2D images seen from many angles. A digital projector outputs the images onto a time-sequenced rotating, resin-filled cylinder. The photosensitive resin solidifies on contact with certain intensities of light which materializes entire objects at once! “It’s as if objects are materializing from the quantum vacuum field itself.”
- Garbage technology (presently unnamed to protect the patent) exposed by the David Wilcock blog, 6/25/19, disrupts garbage/recycling collection by processing 1,000 tons of municipal solid waste per day! Everything becomes recyclable, even car tires, animal waste, ocean plastic. The only by-products are usable biofuel & distilled water, while the machine generates far more fuel than it takes to run. Machines could be placed all around the country for self-sustaining communities. No more toxic landfills, polluted oceans.
- Brillouin Energy, CA, reveals LENR/Cold Fusion controlled electron capture reaction products as a reliable & continuous heat source, using small amounts of hydrogen, nickel, electricity for inputs. Thermodynamics that are new to the energy industry & mainstream academia, this waveform can be impressed on magnetic material in new ways to heat entire buildings.
BIG PICTURE Take Away:
You get the picture how ZPE will change everything we know now, for the better, once we integrate it into every system & economy. Integration as soon as possible considering the significance: no poverty, hunger, lack of housing while abundant resources & unlimited free energy are distributed to everyone globally. From money, greed, destruction to a humane, thriving & peaceful Planet, at our fingertips.
One way to support advancing ZPE technologies & Inventors with designed devices is Dr. Steven M. Greer’s New Earth Incubator Fund @. His team will assist Inventors expansion, research, use vetting procedures to assure efficiency before releasing on the open source internet; along with how-to-build instructions. Companies will be able to scale, as well as profit from, while benefiting the world. Other significant organizations having researched & proven the unified field is prolific are: IONS, Noetic Science, Petaluma, CA, founded by Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14; & Resonance Science, Hawaii founded by Physicist Nassim Haramein, exposing ongoing Astrophysics research making the unknown real for us.
These two I feel are significant for the planet. The 11-11 Silver post may be for some to align with. I know this 11-11 has some special significance (although I’m not viewing exactly what it is).
I’m posting the linked title and a highlight or two from each.
“The next few days will be crucial to determine how the situation about the Turkish invasion in northern Syria will unfold. The Light Forces are asking everybody that feels guided to meditate for peace in Syria as frequently as possible. Instructions for the meditation are here…
“”Goddess wants peace and peace it will be!””
“It is time to take action again! It is time to take the destiny of our world in our own hands! We all agree that the process of planetary liberation is taking too long. Here is our chance to collectively speed up the process. Therefore we are using the opportunity of the Mercury transit on November 11th to create a portal through which we will unify our consciousness and enlighten the energy of the worldwide financial system.
“This activation helps the Light forces to ground the energy of Light on the surface of the planet to resolve the deadlock inside the debt-slavery financial system, finally setting humanity free. Number of people doing that activation is the single most influential factor within the power of the surface human population for speeding up the process.
“We can reach the critical mass of 144,000 people doing this activation! This will create a massive healing chain reaction in the energy field worldwide.
“…the Light Forces are asking everybody who feels so guided to buy as much silver as they feel guided, on the day of the Mercury transit on Monday, November 11th, 2019. It is very important that you buy your silver (physically or online) on November 11th and NOT before or after, to ensure the coherence and harmonic efficiency of our action.”
An early version of the washing machine was introduced in the 1850s and has since evolved from manual labor gear devices to high tech machines that assistance dogs are able to load and start.
Clothes used to be washed by pounding them on rocks or washing away dirt in streams and rivers. The metal washboard was invented in 1833 and by the mid-1800s a patent for the first washer was submitted.1 Interestingly, the machine invented in France was called the ventilator. After the washing machine, electric dryers began appearing in the U.S. just before World War I.
The first computer-aided washing machine sold to consumers was on the market in 1998.2 By 2019, computer-aided machines became smart devices able to connect to your smartphone.3 The machines detect dirt levels and adapt your washing cycles; some include a textile guard to protect synthetic fabrics.
Lee Maxwell was so enamored with washing machines he collected 1,600, now on display in the Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum.4 Commercial washing machines and dryers are used in hospitals.5 They make use of high extraction methods to save time and energy and are programmable to allow facilities the option of washing personal items, bed pads and mopheads efficiently.
Culprit: Rubber Ring on Front-Loading Washing Machine
In a recently-published study in Applied and Environmental Microbiology6 it was revealed that 13 newborns and one child in a German hospital were colonized with Klebsiella oxytoca. The newborns were 1 week to 4 weeks old and, thankfully, none became seriously ill from the known superbug.7
The bacteria were passed on knitted socks and hats used to keep the babies warm; they had been washed in a machine found on the hospital unit. Ricarda Schmithausen, a hygienist from the University of Bonn, pointed out the machines did not meet standards for hospital use and were used only for the mothers’ clothes and baby wear.
Klebsiella oxytoca occurs naturally in the intestines but may cause severe infections outside the intestinal tract.8 Most infections happen in the health care setting. Long-term complications are uncommon, but lung infections may result in damage and can be life-threatening. Hygienist Martin Exner from the University of Bonn commented on the results of the study:9
“If elderly people requiring nursing care with open wounds or bladder catheters, or younger people with suppurating injuries or infections live in the household, laundry should be washed at higher temperatures, or with efficient disinfectants, to avoid transmission of dangerous pathogens.”
The physicians found the superbug on the babies’ skin, but it did not trigger infections. Tests ruled out the bacteria being passed from the mother or health care workers. Ultimately the team learned the source was a rubber door seal on the washing machine.10
The authors cautioned that those doing laundry for individuals susceptible to infection, such as the elderly or people with a compromised immune system, may need to take precautions with their machines at home to avoid transmitting pathogens.
It may be important to be especially careful of energy efficient front-loading washing machines. These use lower water temperatures and rely on a rubber seal to contain the water in the machine.
Top-Loading or Front-Loading Washing Machine
When it comes to purchasing a new washing machine and dryer for your home, the options seem nearly limitless. Washing machines may start at $275 and go as high as $2,500. Some even multitask and allow you to wash two loads at once or go straight into a drying cycle without touching the clothes.
Consumer Reports11 tested machines to determine cleaning efficiency and how gentle they were on fabric. Older machines use an agitator and load from the top. They’re the least expensive with the shortest cycle times but are tougher on fabric and may increase water pollution leaving your home.
High-efficiency top loaders use less water and extract more of it, which shortens the amount of time you run the dryer. A front-loading machine is gentle on fabric and uses the least amount of water. In addition, front-loading machines may be stacked to save space. However, washing times are usually much longer and Consumer Reports finds mold can be a problem, especially in front loaders.
A high-efficiency top loader takes from 60 to 80 minutes to wash your laundry, compared to the 60 to 120 minutes of a front loader.12 The top-loading high-efficiency washing machine is gentler on your clothes than a standard and offers savings in water, detergent and energy.13 While all washing machines carry a risk of developing mold growth, it may be more difficult to keep a front-loading machine dry and clean.
Is There Mold in Your Washing Machine?
Top loaders and front-loading machines have the potential for growing mold and bacteria when the lids or doors are kept closed, which maintains a moist environment. However, front loading machines seem to have more problems as water has the potential to accumulate behind the rubber seal without any visual sign of mold.
When mold is there, each time you open the door, tens of thousands of spores may be released into the air. The problem has become so widespread that Whirlpool,14 Frigidaire15 and others have faced class-action lawsuits alleging front loading machines collect water and trigger the growth of mildew and mold.
Ruth Ogden reported she threw out hundreds of dollars of clothing when she believed the odor from her clothes was the result of her teenage son’s sloppy habits.16
One group of environmental testing professionals17 wrote the odor emanating from front-loading machines is a combination of a chemical release from microbial volatile organic compounds, similar to traditional volatile organic compounds released from paints and petroleum-based products.
The introduction of toxic mold spores to microbial, volatile organic compounds increases the potential health risks from chronic exposure. One woman described the scent, saying:18 “It kind of smells like a turtle pond.” In 2016 one class action lawsuit involving 6 million people was resolved and the participants received up to $50 in cash or a discount on a new appliance.
Protect Your Family From Mold and Bacteria in the Wash
All machines require a deep cleaning at least twice a year to prolong the life of the machine and reduce bacteria and mold growth.19 Front-loading machines may have a few trouble spots requiring extra attention. There are a few things you can do between deep cleanings to reduce the risk of mold and bacterial growth:20
- Leave the lid or door open after each washing to allow the machine to dry
- Take your clothes out promptly and use high-efficiency detergent in high-efficiency machines
- Use a dehumidifier in the laundry room if the humidity remains above 60 percent
- Clean the washer by using white vinegar in a hot water wash, without any clothes in the machine
- Wipe down the door and rubber gasket after each wash in a front-loading machine
Clean the inside of your machine every six months with a solution made with white vinegar. Vinegar is natural and mildly acidic, and will kill up to 82% of all mold species.21 It can be sprayed on the interior between washes. Fresh lemon is also an acidic mold killer, but I don’t recommend it as a leave-on spray because substances that break down may encourage mold growth.
Use a microfiber cloth to wash and dry the outside of the machine as well, since this removes visible grime where floating mold spores may colonize.22 Pay close attention to the top lid or door, as well as any small areas where you may need to use a toothbrush. Even if you don’t see scum, you still want to clean the rubber door seal and lid or door.
Remove any dispensers used for bleach or fabric softener, even if you don’t use them. Wash these in the sink and dry thoroughly. After scrubbing out the inside of the tub, pour in lemon juice or vinegar and run the machine on the hottest setting to help remove stains, detergent buildup and mineral deposits.
Your Dishwasher Has the Same Rubber Ring
It’s important to remember that dishwashers have the same type of rubber gasket, and that running the dishwasher does not clean the interior. It does increase the humidity inside the machine, which raises the risk of spreading mold spores throughout your kitchen.
Clean your dishwasher by taking out the detachable racks and using a towel or toothbrush to remove any scum you find.23 Next, replace the rack and fill a container with a cup of white vinegar. Run the machine completely empty with a cup of vinegar in the upper rack on the hot water cycle.
This helps to clear out detergent buildup, dissolve minerals and neutralize food odors. Once finished, sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda on the floor of the dishwasher and run it on the hot water cycle. Repeat these two steps every two months to prolong the life of your appliance and reduce the growth of any mold or bacteria.
One of the leading causes of death in American hospitals is something many are still unfamiliar with: septicemia (sepsis or septic shock). Also known as blood poisoning among lay people, sepsis1 is a last-ditch effort by your immune system to fight an infection in your body, which can lead to multiple organ failure and death unless promptly treated. As explained by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences:2
“The body releases immune chemicals into the blood to combat the infection. Those chemicals trigger widespread inflammation, which leads to blood clots and leaky blood vessels. As a result, blood flow is impaired, and that deprives organs of nutrients and oxygen and leads to organ damage.
In severe cases, one or more organs fail. In the worst cases, blood pressure drops, the heart weakens, and the patient spirals toward septic shock. Once this happens, multiple organs — lungs, kidneys, liver — may quickly fail, and the patient can die.”
While viruses, fungi and parasites all have the ability to trigger sepsis, bacterial infections are currently the most common cause. The most common types of infection triggering sepsis are respiratory and urinary tract infections.3 That said, research4 has demonstrated the number of fungal-induced sepsis infections is on the rise.
The problem is that sepsis is often overlooked as many are unfamiliar with its signs and symptoms. It’s also notoriously difficult to treat. A successful outcome relies on early detection and rapid treatment.
Sepsis Is the Costliest Condition Treated in the US
Each year, an estimated 1 million Americans get sepsis5,6 and up to half of them die as a result.7,8,9 According to data10 from two hospital cohorts, 34.7% to 55.9% of American patients who died in hospitals between 2010 and 2012 had sepsis at the time of their death (depending on which inpatient population they were in).
Experts are now calling for recognition11 of sepsis as a distinct cause of death, hoping this will result in better clinical practice guidelines. They also stress the importance of awareness in the community and the emergency room. To this end, September 13 has been designated “World Sepsis Day” to raise awareness.12
Conventional treatment, which is typically focused on high doses of antibiotics that further contribute to antibiotic resistant bacteria, is also a tremendous financial burden. A U.S. government report13,14 published in 2016 found sepsis was the most expensive condition treated in the U.S., racking up $23.7 billion in health care costs each year.
The good news is there’s an inexpensive treatment that has been shown to be very effective against sepsis. The bad news is the number of hospitals that have adopted it as standard of care is still limited.
Vitamin C Concoction — An Inexpensive Cure for Sepsis
In 2017, news emerged about a critical care physician who claimed to have discovered a simple and inexpensive way to treat sepsis using an intravenous (IV) cocktail of vitamin C and thiamine (vitamin B1) in combination with the steroid hydrocortisone.15,16
The precise protocol used was 200 mg of thiamine every 12 hours, 1,500 mg of ascorbic acid every six hours, and 50 mg of hydrocortisone every six hours.17
The doctor in question, Dr. Paul Marik, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in East Virginia, published a small retrospective before-after clinical study18,19,20 showing that giving septic patients this simple IV cocktail for two days reduced mortality from 40% percent to 8.5%.
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where Marik works, has since made the protocol its standard of care for sepsis, and others are starting to join in. Unfortunately, many hospitals are still dragging their heels, waiting for more clinical trials to be completed.
This despite the fact that the treatment is harmless in and of itself, meaning it won’t make the patient any worse than he or she already is. A 2018 review21 of the available research presents a hypothetical model for why and how the Marik protocol actually works, discussing how each of the three components are known to impact the biological processes involved in sepsis.
As noted in that review,22 reception of the treatment has been mixed, with some critical care leaders embracing it while others aren’t using it at all. What this means is that your ability to receive this potentially life-saving treatment is dependent on the hospital where you end up.
On the upside, “Enthusiasm for this drug combination in sepsis has grown rapidly” since the release of Marik’s initial study results, and much larger studies are now underway.
One of them is the VICTAS study23 (Vitamin C, Thiamine and Steroids in Sepsis), sponsored by Emory University, which expects to have about 2,000 participants. The projected completion date for this study is October 2021, although preliminary results may become available as early as December 2019.
What to Do if Your Doctor Refuses to Administer This
If your doctor refuses to consider Marik’s protocol offhand, convince him or her to review the recent studies cited here that show this works.24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33 Simply look up the references in the endnotes to the previous sentence (references 24 through 33) and make copies to take to your doctor.
Alternatively, you can go to PubMed34 directly and type in “vitamin C” and “sepsis” in the search engine and you will get a list of the available research.
These articles are completely free to download. I hope you never need to access them, but if you do, you can print them and use the information to convince your medical team to use these simple life-saving strategies. If they refuse, I would strongly suggest you take control of the situation and find another doctor and/or hospital that will.
Vitamin C Alone May Lower Mortality Risk
Most recently, a study35,36,37,38 led by Dr. Alpha “Berry” Fowler was published in the October 2019 issue of JAMA. The study is not reflective of the Marik protocol per se, as it only used IV vitamin C, but its results are still tantalizing.
Fowler and his team sought to investigate the effectiveness of vitamin C infusion on organ failure scores and biomarkers of inflammation and vascular injury in patients with severe sepsis and acute respiratory failure.
Curiously, while the vitamin C infusion had no detectable influence on these end points, those who received the treatment did have a higher chance of survival, and spent less time in the hospital. As reported by NPR:39
“If you read the study summary, vitamin C didn’t help the patients. But if you dig deep into the paper, you will find that the people who got the treatment were much more likely to survive … The rub comes from the way the study … was designed.”
While vitamin C alone had no impact on organ failure scores and biomarkers of inflammation, when the researchers looked at 46 secondary endpoints, they discovered the mortality rate for the treatment group actually dropped from 46% to 30%. As noted by NPR:40
“If death had been the primary endpoint of the study, this result would have been highly significant. The conclusion would strongly support the hypothesis that vitamin C is an effective treatment of sepsis.
But there’s a catch. Since Fowler and his colleagues looked at 46 secondary endpoints, it’s likely that something would randomly pop up as statistically significant. It’s as though they had 46 bites at the apple to find something meaningful …
What patients really care about, of course, is … whether they live or die. Fowler tells NPR that he now rues his decision to select an endpoint that seemed more likely to show a benefit …
Though he’s now bound by the rules of experimental design to downplay the mortality results, he personally feels a sense of success. ‘We’re all whooping and hollering because of what we found,’ he says.”
Fowler’s team also found that, on average, those who received vitamin C had by day 28 spent three fewer days in the intensive care unit than the placebo group (seven days compared to 10). By day 60, the treatment group had also spent seven fewer days in the hospital overall —15 days compared to 22.41
Vitamin C, Thiamine and Steroids Have Synergistic Effects
When asked for comment on Fowler’s study, Marik pointed out vitamin C and corticosteroids have a synergistic effect. In other words, Fowler’s study cannot really be used to judge the effectiveness of vitamin C, thiamine and steroids in combination, as it only used one of the three ingredients.
Vitamin C is well-known for its ability to prevent and treat infectious diseases on its own. Influenza,42 encephalitis and measles43 have all been successfully treated with high-dose vitamin C, and previous research has shown it effectively lowers proinflammatory cytokines and C-reactive protein.44,45,46
To investigate the mechanism of action for vitamin C in sepsis with and without steroids, Marik, in collaboration with John Catravas, Ph.D., a pharmacology researcher at Old Dominion University, and others performed a study47 in which endothelial cells from lung tissue were exposed to lipopolysaccharide — a type of endotoxin found in patients with sepsis — in the absence or presence of ascorbic acid and hydrocortisone.
Interestingly, when either vitamin C or the steroid were administered in isolation, very little improvement in endothelial barrier function occurred. When administered together, however, the infection was successfully eradicated and the cells were restored to normal.
The addition of thiamine is also important. Not only is thiamine required for metabolism of some of the metabolites of vitamin C, thiamine deficiency syndrome (beriberi) has many similarities to sepsis, and thiamine deficiency is relatively common in critically ill patients.48
Studies have also shown thiamine can be helpful for a long list of diseases and disorders, including mitochondrial disorders,49 heart failure,50 delirium,51 thyroid fatigue and Hashimoto’s (a thyroid autoimmune disorder).52 These and other health effects may help explain why thiamine works so well in conjunction with vitamin C and hydrocortisone for sepsis.
Marik told NPR that Fowler’s study does highlight two important things, though. First, that there are no side effects of vitamin C infusion in critically ill patients and, second, a lowered mortality risk. “You can argue about all the statistical nuances, but that’s what the study showed,” Marik told NPR.53
While vitamin C and thiamine administration is incredibly safe, it may be contraindicated if you happen to be glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficient, which is a genetic disorder.54 G6PD is an enzyme your red blood cells need to maintain membrane integrity.
High-dose IV vitamin C is a strong prooxidant, and giving a prooxidant to a G6PD-deficient individual can cause their red blood cells to rupture, which could have disastrous consequences.
Fortunately, G6PC deficiency is relatively uncommon, and can be tested for. People of Mediterranean and African descent are at greater risk of being G6PC deficient. Worldwide, G6PD deficiency is thought to affect 400 million individuals, and in the U.S. an estimated 1 in 10 African-American males have it.55
Know the Signs and Symptoms of Sepsis
One of the most important steps you can take to protect your health is to recognize the symptoms of sepsis and seek immediate medical attention if you suspect it.
It is important not to make a diagnosis at home. Instead communicate your concerns with a medical professional so that proper testing and treatment can be implemented. Common signs and symptoms of sepsis include the following.56,57,58 Many of these symptoms may be confused with a bad cold or the flu. However, they tend to develop much more rapidly than you would normally expect.
A high fever with chills and shivering
Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
Rapid breathing (tachypnea)
Unusual level of sweating (diaphoresis)
Confusion or disorientation
Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
Severe muscle pain
Low urine output
Cold and clammy skin
Nausea and/or vomiting
The Sepsis Alliance recommends using the acronym TIME to remember some of the more common symptoms:59
- T — Temperature higher or lower than normal?
- I — Have you now or recently had any signs of an infection?
- M — Are there any changes in mental status, such as confusion or excessive sleepiness?
- E — Are you experiencing any extreme pain or illness; do you have a “feeling you may die?”
While some will recover fully from sepsis, for many the problems do not end at discharge from the hospital. Survivors may suffer physical, psychological and/or neurological consequences for the rest of their lives. For some survivors, their immune function can remain depressed for as long as a year after their recovery, resulting in frequently recurring infections.
The combination of symptoms is called post-sepsis syndrome and usually last between six and 18 months. Symptoms of post sepsis syndrome may include:60,61
Lethargy (excessive tiredness)
Changes in peripheral sensation
Repeated infections at the original site or a new infection
Shortness of breath
Joint and muscle pains
Depression, mood swings, anxiety or sadness
Dry flaking skin and nails
Changes in vision
Reduced kidney function
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Flashbacks and nightmares
Poor concentration and clouded thinking
Short-term memory loss
There is no specific treatment for post-sepsis syndrome, but most get better over time. The U.K. Sepsis Trust62 recommends managing individual symptoms and supporting optimal health as you’re recovering.
Not all medical professionals are aware of post-sepsis syndrome, so it may be helpful to talk about your symptoms and ask for a referral to someone who may help manage your mental, physical and emotional challenges.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Sepsis
Again, part of what makes sepsis so deadly is people typically do not suspect it, and the longer you wait to treat it, the deadlier it gets.63 If you develop an infection, stay alert to symptoms of sepsis and seek immediate medical attention if they appear. Even health care workers can miss the signs and delay treatment.
While health care workers have a responsibility to prevent infections that could potentially turn septic and to educate patients about warning signs of sepsis, you can lower your own risk by:
• Promptly treating urinary tract infections (UTIs) — UTIs are the second most common type of infection,64 and one-quarter of sepsis cases are related to UTIs.65
Conventional treatment typically involves antibiotics, but research66,67 shows that UTIs caused by E. coli — which comprise68 90% of all UTIs — can be successfully treated with D-Mannose, a naturally occurring sugar that’s closely related to glucose. To learn more, see “D-Mannose for UTI prevention validated in a clinical trial.”
• Properly cleaning skin wounds — About 1 in 10 sepsis cases are due to skin infections, so always take the time to properly clean and care for wounds and scrapes. Wash the wound with mild soap and water to clean out dirt and debris, then cover with a sterile bandage. Diabetics should follow good foot care to avoid dangerous foot infections.
• Caring for any chronic illness affecting your risk of sepsis — Research has found illnesses that increase your risk may include chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease.69
• Avoiding nail biting — One study found 46.9% of the participants were nail biters.70 Exposure of the delicate skin underneath the nail, transferred from your mouth or acquired from the environment, increases your risk of infection.
• Avoiding infections in hospitals — When visiting a health care facility, be sure to wash your own hands, and remind doctors and nurses to wash theirs (and/or change gloves) before touching you or any equipment being used on you.
If you have to undergo a colonoscopy or other testing using a flexible medical scope, remember to call and ask how they clean their scopes and what kind of cleaning solution they use.
If the answer is glutaraldehyde (brand name Cidex), find another hospital or clinic — one that uses peracetic acid. This preliminary legwork will significantly decrease your risk of contracting an infection from a contaminated scope.
Knowing your potential risk for developing cancer can help you weigh the risks against the benefits of different tests for your situation. According to the American Cancer Society,1 more than 15.5 million people in the U.S. have a history of cancer. At least 1.7 million new cases will be diagnosed in 2019, which does not include a diagnosis of carcinoma in situ (noninvasive cancer).
The society estimates 606,880 people will die in 2019, which is 1,660 deaths every day. The four most common types include lung, breast, prostate and colorectal cancer. One of the screening tests commonly prescribed to rule out colorectal cancer is a colonoscopy.
Colorectal cancer can start in the colon or in the rectum but the two types are grouped together since they have many of the same characteristics.2 The society estimates there are 101,420 new cases of colon cancer diagnosed each year and 44,180 new cases of rectal cancer. Although it remains the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women, the rate has been dropping for several decades.3
According to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance,4 the five-year survival rate has been rising. They report there are more than 1 million colorectal cancer survivors alive in the U.S. Knowing your risk factors and making lifestyle changes to prevent the development of colorectal cancer are the basis of the most recently published Rapid Recommendation of The BMJ initiative.5
In Many Cases Routine Colonoscopies Are Unnecessary
The new practice guidelines published in The BMJ6 recommend physicians use a tool to estimate an individual’s potential risk for developing colorectal cancer in the next 15 years. The team recommends that only those who have a risk of 3% or greater should undergo screening tests.
Current guidelines recommend screening for everyone over the age of 50, without regard to their individual risk. At the age of 50, this is typically less than 3%.7 The international panel reviewed scientific evidence and research data to evaluate the risks versus the benefits of colonoscopies.
They found their recommendations could accurately be applied to healthy people from 50 to 79 years who expected to live another 15 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends colorectal cancer screening for those over 50.8
Using data from across the U.S., they found the number who were up to date with their screening went up 1.4% from 2016 to 2018, representing an additional 3.5 million people.
In addition to asking if screening made a difference in health outcomes, The BMJ initiative team also attempted to differentiate the type of testing best used to screen for colorectal cancer.9 They recommended that those with a 3% risk or greater over the following 15 years could choose from one of four screening options.
The first was a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) done every year, or every two years depending upon their risk factors. Patients may also choose a single sigmoidoscopy or, the weakest recommendation from the team, a single colonoscopy.
Possibility of Cancer Compared to Screening Hazards
From their examination of the evidence, the team believed a yearly FIT, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy could reduce the incidence of cancer while a FIT every two years may not have an effect on incidence over 15 years. They wrote:
“Based on benefits, harms, and burdens of screening, the panel inferred that most informed individuals with a 15-year risk of colorectal cancer of 3% or higher are likely to choose screening, and most individuals with a risk of below 3% are likely to decline screening. Given varying values and preferences, optimal care will require shared decision making.”
The team determined that the risks associated with colorectal cancer screening outweighed the benefits in many cases. For instance, the risk of death from a colonoscopy from one source was 1 in 16,318 procedures evaluated.10 In the same analysis, the researchers also found 82 suffered serious complications.
Colonoscopies Are Not Risk Free
Although a colonoscopy is supposed to help find early tumor growth, one study reported a 17% rate of missed diagnosis.11 Other risks associated with a colonoscopy include worsening stool patterns and contributing to the growth of colorectal polyps or tumors.
Perforation of the colon during the exam has an incidence of 0.2% to 5% and is widely recognized as a serious complication associated with a high morbidity and mortality rate.12 The risk of perforation rises with the age of the patient and the presence of two or more other health conditions. One study showed 51.9 people per 1,000 whose colons were perforated died within the first 14 days.13
Dysbiosis may occur after using harsh laxatives to prepare for a colonoscopy. A study published in Cell14 suggested even a short-term course of laxative use could trigger an immune response. Research on an animal model15 found treatment eliminated one family of beneficial gut bacteria and allowed another to flourish. Even two weeks after completing the laxatives the bacteria showed reduced diversity.
Many experts agree you should opt for the lightest level of sedation possible, or none at all, as full anesthesia increases risks. Those who have sleep apnea, are obese, have high blood pressure or diabetes are at increased risk from the anesthesia.16 Across the U.S. 34.4% of those undergoing a colonoscopy used anesthesia.17
The use of anesthesia was associated with a 13% increased risk of experiencing complications within 30 days of the procedure and specifically associated with an increased risk of perforations of the colon and/or a stroke. The risk of complications varied by area, with those in the Northeast reporting an increase of any complication of 12%, but among those performed in the West this increased to 60%.
Researchers who conducted one study found an increased risk of aspiration pneumonia.18 Another19 sought to determine if the procedure could be successfully completed without any sedation. Patients were given the option of undergoing a colonoscopy without premedication and then evaluated immediately following the procedure, two and five days later.
The researchers asked about the severity of pain and willingness to consider the procedure again without sedation. When questioned, only 5% experienced no pain; 41% had mild pain; 34% reported moderate pain and 20% said they experienced severe pain. However, despite the level of pain experienced, 73% were willing to repeat it without sedation and only 18% said they would request sedation the next time.
Equipment Contamination Another Risk of Colonoscopies
A real risk of undergoing an endoscopy of any nature is chance of improper sterilization of the flexible scope. David Lewis, Ph.D., and I discuss this in the short video above. One issue is the inability to thoroughly clean the inside of the scope.
Lewis describes a problem that he states is commonly experienced by physicians. During the examination the physician may be unable to see through the scope and is unsuccessful in the attempt to flush it using the air/water channel as it is clogged with human tissue from a past exam.20 The scope must be retracted and another one used.
Since endoscopes have sensitive equipment attached, they cannot be heat sterilized. Unfortunately, manufacturers have not been made to produce a scope with the ability to be heat sterilized. As Lewis points out:21 “We can put a Rover on Mars, surely we can build a flexible endoscope that we can put in an autoclave.”
These expensive tools are not disposable but require sterilization between each patient. Lewis reports that up to 80% of hospitals are sterilizing the flexible endoscopes with glutaraldehyde (Cidex). On testing, he finds this has complicated the process as it does not dissolve tissue in the endoscope but rather preserves it.
When sharp biopsy tools are run through the tube, patient material from past testing is scraped off and potentially carried into your body. This is why it’s important to find a clinic or hospital that uses peracetic acid to thoroughly sterilize the equipment by dissolving proteins found in the flexible endoscopes. Before scheduling any endoscopic examination call to ask how the equipment is sterilized between patients.
Tailor Lifestyle Choices to Reduce the Risk of Colon Cancer
Like many other types of cancer, colorectal cancer is often preventable. Research suggests only 5% to 10% of all cancer cases are due to genetic defects, while the rest are linked to environmental and lifestyle factors.22 The American Institute for Cancer Research writes that one-third of the most diagnosed cancers in the U.S. could be prevented through diet, exercise and maintaining a lean body weight.23
The extent that diet contributes to cancer death varies by the type of cancer, which researchers find is associated by as much as 70% in the case of colorectal cancer.24 For example, long-term exposure to chlorinated drinking water can increase the risk of leukemia, colorectal cancer and bladder cancer.
There are several strategies you can use to lower your risk of developing this potentially deadly disease as it is impacted by your diet, vitamin D levels, exercise and alcohol intake. I discuss several strategies you can integrate into your daily routine in my past article, “How To Help Protect Against Colon Cancer.”