All health professionals are aware of increasing resistance in bacteria as a result of our overuse of broad spectrum antibiotics in both prescriptions and our livestock industry but increasingly we’re hearing about evidence of resistance in microbes of a variety of flavours – take the recent report on head lice that featured in the national news just this week. I am also frequently hearing from mentees about patients being affected by bugs that traditionally have been relatively easy to resolve e.g. helminths, candida spp, tinea spp, that are proving in some clients very hard to budge! A praccie said to me just yesterday, when discussing a patient with recurring resistant oral thrush who was otherwise young, fit and well (!) – ‘Is it possible that these pathogens are actually getting harder to treat.’?..Absolutely!
Naturopathically and especially herbally of course, we have a lot to offer in this situation, in terms of changing up our anti-microbial agents and approaches so that’s something in our favour for sure. In addition to this, I think we (as always!) should be thinking beyond the box…what is it in the individual’s internal environment (Gut, Genitourinary, Oral etc.) that could be contributing to these treatment refractory cases. While there’s no arguing that all pathogens have the capacity to evolve in order to overcome classic treatment agents, what’s going on with our microbiome, our pH, our barrier integrity, our innate and adaptive immunity that could be letting these blighters win?
So far my experience tells me that if we don’t change the internal environment in addition to any fancy herbal antimicrobial approach, we’re not going to win the war!
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