Ditch the soon-to-be useless antibiotics and do this instead

I believe the antibiotic era will come to an end in my lifetime. Because bacteria and viruses evolve quickly and develop resistance to our drugs, infections are growing too powerful to treat with antibiotics and antivirals. But there is still a great deal that we can do to protect ourselves.

For every infection, there is an interaction between the host (that is, you and me) and the infecting bacteria, fungus, or virus. Most of conventional medicine focuses on the infecting agent. However, host factors are also very important and they are entirely under your control.

So if you would like to put an end to frequent colds, viral infections, the flu, sore throats, and other mild to moderate infectious illnesses, here is a list of the top 7 steps you should take to reduce your risk of infection:

  1. Stop eating sugar and white flour and instead eat 6 to 9 cups of non-starchy vegetables and berries for your carbohydrates. A lower carb intake will lower your blood sugar, which makes your white blood cells much more effective.
  2. Eat high quality protein every day. Your immune cells need amino acids to make antibodies to attack the infecting agent.
  3. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night and go to bed and sleep when you become ill. It is during sleep that your immune cells are most active in fighting infection.
  4. Get enough iodine, selenium, and trace minerals in your diet. Your immune cells use these trace minerals to make the molecules that attack and dissolve the infecting agents. Include iodized salt and/or seaweed in your diet to have sufficient iodine (80% of Americans have low iodine levels).
  5. Get enough vitamin D. Because we live and work inside, and wear sunscreen when we go outside, the vast majority of Americans are severely deficient in vitamin D, which means we do not make enough antimicrobial proteins. We make vitamin D in our skin when ultraviolet light activates the cholesterol molecule. This pre-hormone is then transported to the liver and kidneys, where it is transformed to the active form of vitamin D which is more like a hormone than a vitamin. If you are not able to maintain a tan year round, take a vitamin D supplement; most people should take between 2,000 and 8,000 IU a day. Since that is a very wide dose range, it is important to monitor your blood level of vitamin D so that you don’t develop toxic levels.
  6. Get enough vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is needed to properly manage calcium in your blood stream, which is why I stress eating 3 cups of greens every day. The bacterium in your bowels takes the vitamin K from the greens and converts it to vitamin K2, which is absorbed further down in your bowels. Taking a vitamin K2 supplement is wise if you take more than 2,000 IU vitamin D per day.
  7. Take care of your microbiome. The mix of bacteria and yeasts you have living in and on you partners with your immune system. The health-promoting bacteria keep the disease-causing bacteria, yeasts, and parasites in check. Fertilize your health-promoting bacteria and starve your disease-promoting ones by eliminating sugar and white flour from your diet and eating enough non-starchy vegetables and resistant starches (formerly called soluble fiber) so that you have 2 to 3 soft bowel movements each day.

Personal immunity is vital to fight disease

I treat patients with complex chronic illnesses in a traumatic brain injury clinic and a therapeutic lifestyle clinic. Often these patients because they have several chronic health problems, often including diabetes and multiple autoimmune conditions, they are on 20 or more chronic medications, pills for diabetes, high blood pressure, mood, pain and immune-suppression therapies. They often have multiple bouts of infections, frequent colds, and influenza episodes.

We observe that adopting dietary and lifestyle changes improves their energy, reduces pain, clears brain fog, and sharply limits the frequency of infections. Those with chronic fatigue syndrome often find their energy improve, as do those dealing with chronic Lyme disease.

These steps will improve your health, making you, the host, much more resistant to infection. As the bacteria and viruses become more resistant to our drugs, taking care of ourselves will be increasingly important.




Dr. Terry Wahls

By Dr. Terry Wahls

Dr. Terry Wahls is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa where she teaches internal medicine residents and sees patients in a traumatic brain injury clinic and a therapeutic lifestyle clinic for those with complex chronic disease. In addition, she conducts clinical trials testing the efficacy of diet and lifestyle to treat chronic disease. She is also a patient with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, which confined her to a tilt-recline wheelchair for four years. Dr. Wahls restored her health using diet and lifestyle interventions and now pedals her bike to work each day. She is the author of The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine and the paperback, The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles, and teaches the public and medical community about the healing power of intensive nutrition.  
You can learn more about her work from her website: www.terrywahls.com. She is conducting clinical trials testing the effect of nutrition and lifestyle interventions on MS. She is also committed to teaching the public and medical community about the healing power of the Paleo diet and therapeutic lifestyle changes to restore health and vitality to our citizens. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at @TerryWahls. You can learn more about her research at here.