The Faster We Go The Further Behind We Get

One of the front page articles today in the Wall Street Journal discusses the issue of tuberculosis in India.  The scientists and doctors there have discovered a strain of tuberculosis that is resistant to all known treatment protocols.  You might be saying, “so? that is in India which is half-way around the earth.”  You might also say that tuberculosis is generally found more likely in pockets of poverty, of which India has more than its share.  You would be correct.  Healthy, well-fed people are less likely to get tuberculosis.  So, why am I bothering to mention this problem?

There are two reasons to be concerned about what is happening in India with tuberculosis. The first is that in the past, especially in the early 1800’s, tuberculosis killed 2/3 of the people who were afflicted with it all over the earth. It was the main cause of death in Europe.  It is not an innocuous organism.    There has actually been concern for some time about more virulent and resistant strains developing.  We know that organisms are being carried by humans all over the earth easily now through our mass transportation.  It is just a matter of time before this and other strains appear in the United States, if they are not here already.  It seems obvious that we need the major cooperation of scientists across countries to find new  ways of treating this disease.

That brings me to my second point.  The unfortunate additional news conveyed in this article was about the blaming of different agencies and people in India that more had not been done.  We humans tend to do that.  We seek to blame someone else so that we do not have to take responsibility for taking action to address a problem.  Please do not think I am speaking only of the Indian people.  Look at the political process in the US for daily, mean blaming by one side of the other for our problems.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is a very childish approach.  The “it’s all your fault”  is heard from young children.  We should have outgrown this attitude by adulthood, yet we have not.

What is the take home message?  1)This is another impetus for getting your health in order.  We are finding increasing numbers of resistant, more virulent organisms that make us sick and can even kill us.  Humans have a tremendously powerful immune system to fend off these illnesses, as long as we support our immune system and keep it healthy.  2)The next time we are tempted to say “It is all your fault” catch yourself first.  Stop.  See that as coming from an angry or frightened child part of yourself.   Then use your adult self to consider all the options you have available.  This will reduce the stress and make your immune system that much stronger.

To your health…

About Cathie Lippman, M.D.

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