Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wash Your Hands

Did you know that you are at more risk of catching a cold by shaking someone’s hand than you are by kissing?  And, did you know that washing your hands is even more effective than drugs in preventing contraction of the influenza virus?

Obviously it’s important to wash your hands, but there is a right way and a wrong way to perform this important healthy task.

First of all, use plain soap and water.  Avoid using anti-bacterial soaps; they contain a poison called triclosan that doesn’t rinse off.  This poison not only kills ALL of the bacteria on your hands (even the healthy ones) but it also has been shown to cause cell damage in humans.

Also, the use of such strong anti-bacterials help to strengthen the bacteria, which will adopt to the poisons and develop into a ‘superbug’ that is resistant to them.

A recent study showed that people who use anti-bacterial soaps “developed a cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms just as often as people who used products that did not contain antibacterial ingredients.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that your skin is the primary protection against invading bacteria.  NOT the soap. Over-washing and using overly strong cleansers on  your skin can actually increase your susceptibility to germs by removing precious protective oils or even creating tiny cracks by drying out your skin. Remember that germs ON your skin rarely cause a problem.  It is when the germs find their way INTO your body (either in your mouth, nose or eyes, or through a crack in your skin) that they cause illness.

Avoid anti-biotics, too....

Using antibiotics clear your system of ALL bacteria.  As I’ve said before, most bacteria in your stomach is good and necessary for your health.  Taking antibiotics for a cold is similar to burning down a forest because someone littered. And what’s more, they have NO EFFECT ON VIRUSES.  Viruses are what cause colds, not bacteria.

Similar to using anti-bacterial soaps and cleansers, taking antibiotics can lead to the development of resistant bugs. If you use antibiotics you are increasing your susceptibility to developing infections that are resistant to that particular antibiotic. You can then become a carrier of this ‘superbug’ and pass it along to others.

I recently read that ‘anti-biotic-resistant infections’ are now claiming more lives annually than AIDS.

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