Writing Exercise #8

Step 1:
One of the most interesting things I have learned in this course is the gut microbiome. Prior to taking this course, I had very little knowledge about the gut microbiome and its affects on our health. It was really interesting to find out how the condition of our microbiome can tell us so many things about our health such as correlation to development of several diseases, and obesity. Reading about the microbiome almost every week made me reflect on the things I eat and how they might affect my gut microbiome. For example, I had always thought I took antibiotics to get rid of the bad bacteria in my body and never would have thought it was also negatively affecting my body as well. I had took antibiotics for my acne for 2 years. I did not know that antibiotics would adversely affect my microbiome by also harming the good bacteria in my gut. I am

Step 2:
antibiotics would adversely affect my microbiome by also harming the good bacteria in my gut

Step 3:
From my first free write, I underlined the phrase, “antibiotics would adversely affect my microbiome by also harming the good bacteria in my gut”. I chose this phrase because I had really bad acne growing up, so my primary care doctor prescribed me antibiotics. He has warned me about the minor side effects taking the antibiotics such as sun sensitivity, skin dryness and irritation but I had no idea it had also affected other parts of my body besides my skin. So, it was interesting to find out that antibiotics had also affected the benefitival bacteria living inside me. When the doctor prescribed me the medication, I saw an immediate change in my skin. Because of this I had always thought antibiotics were the best for getting rid of infections in the body. I remember in one of my discussion posts, I had talked about how rapid bacteria can adapt and develop certain resistance, I wonder if there is constantly made new antibiotics to fight off these bacterias or do people just rely on taking different antibiotics to kill it?

Step 4:
After doing this writing exercise, this significantly helped me organize my thoughts about what to write for my final paper. Before I had no idea what to write my essay on, but now writing out my thoughts, it helped me figured out what topic I am most intrigued about to write on. In order to prepare for my final paper, I will research the background on antibiotics and their functions in the human body and its affects on the gut microbiome. I will begin looking for primary and secondary research articles to provide relevant information and support for my paper.

Writing Exercise #7

There are several factors that the mother and infant could be exposed to that may influence the colonization of the microbial community in the newborn infant. First, the mother’s diet could affect the infant’s microbiome. As the fetus develops in the womb, all the nutrients it receives comes from what the mother eats. For instance, if the mother makes healthy eating choices while pregnant, most likely, the fetus will also be positively affected. On the other hand, choices such as drinking alcohol, smoking, and taking antibiotics will harm the infant. When the mother is severely ill, ingesting antibiotics will negatively harm the developing microbiome in the fetus because it does not target specifically only the “bad” bacteria, but it also harms “good” bacteria in the gut microbiome. Another potential factor that may influence the microbiome newborn infants is the mode of delivery. This is important in the development of the infant’s initial microbiota because the fetus is exposed to other microorganisms such as vaginal microbiome. Furthermore, whether the fetus is fed breastmilk or formula largely affects the microbiome as well. This is because breastmilk has beneficial bacteria that colonize the infant’s gut–which helps the baby’s growing immune system and metabolism.

Writing Exercise #6

In terms of my own personal philosophy, I firmly stand by the side of medicine; as I will hopefully have a job within the healthcare field. Because of this, I have a positive outlook on antibiotic use. From this course, I have learnt that antibiotics may cause many negative side effects such as damaging both bad and good bacteria, and most importantly, adversely alters the gut flora that is correlated with the onset of many diseases such as gastritis or gastric cancer. However, despite knowing this, I believe that the pros of antibiotics outweigh the cons. Antibiotics are crucial and are the most effective treatment for infections. 

Growing up, I have had very bad acne. I had terrible acne up until sophomore year of college. That is when I was prescribed antibiotics for my acne in combination with other types of medicine. I found the antibiotics to be very helpful in my acne and it even made it almost completely disappear.

Writing Exercise #5

Before enrolling in this course, I did not have much knowledge about the microbial communities especially in my stomach. However, after reading the articles assigned from this course, I now know the significance of the microbial communities play in our bodies. Choices that I make that positively impacts my microbial gut are consuming yogurt and multigrain fiber bars, fruits and vegetables. Prior to this course, I consumed these foods unintentionally because I enjoyed eating them. In yogurt and the fiber bars, they contain probiotics that help improve and restore my gut flora. I also eat kimchi, which contains bacteria that are beneficial for my microbiome. 

When I think about my past nutritional choices and consumption, I never realized how I have unintentionally harmed my gut microbial communities. I did so through drinking alcohol and taking antibiotics. According to an article I read, alcohol causes an adverse effect on microbial health. Although, antibiotics are supposed to destroy harmful bacteria, antibiotics terminate both bad and good bacteria. After learning several things about the microbiome in my body, I will now be more conscious of what I can eat to help improve my gut microbiota to further prevent development of associated diseases.  

Writing Exercise #4

Elissa Meites, MD, in her paper “Use of a 2-Dose Schedule for Human Papillomavirus Vaccination—Updated Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices” (2016) justifies that HPV vaccinations should be administered starting at the age of 9 years of age by use of a 2-dose and 3-dose schedule. Meites provides evidence that immunogenicity was found to be noninferior with 2 doses in 9-year-old participants than 16 through 26-year-old participants administered with 3 doses. The purpose of her work is to prove thatHPV vaccines are highly effective and safe, a useful preventative tool and is necessary for it be introduced early to help prevent the spread of HPV infections and cancers associated with it. Meites establishes a relationship with healthcare providers who can help administer these recommended 2-dose or 3-dose schedules in children.  

Writing Exercise #3

Inside the human digestive tract, there inhabits over 100 trillion microbial cells, all of 1000 bacterial species—these microorganisms are more specifically called the gut microbiota. This community largely impacts human nutrition, physiology, metabolism, and immune function. Because gut microbial communities are inside our intestine tract, a behavior that can alter the microorganisms is what kind of food we consume. Eating food such as fruits and vegetables, eating foods with high polyphenol levels, and fermented foods that contain microbes. Polyphenol change microbiota composition by influencing their growth or metabolism. By eating fermented food, you are adding probiotic bacteria into your intestinal flora, thus increasing the health of your gut microbiota. 

Additionally, lifestyle factors, diet, and exercise heavily influence the microbial community within the intestine tract. In “Role of the gut microbiota in health and chronic gastrointestinal disease: understanding a hidden metabolic organ,” it was mentioned that the gut microbiota of lean and obese individuals has different proportions of Firmicutesand Bacteroideters. Studies have shown that the more Bacteroideters you have, in comparison to Firmicutes the leaner you will be. 

Writing Exercise #2

As a healthcare professional, I would recommend my colleague to concentrate on HPV 16, 18, 31, and 35 for whichhuman papillomavirus (HPV) strains that should be covered in a new treatment. According to the article, “Viruses and Human Cancer: From Detection to Causality,” there has been over 100 types of human papillomavirus (HPV) discovered, several connected to human cancer. HPV is now recognized as the cause of all causes of cervical cancer in women, HPV strains 16, 18, 31, and 45 make up approximately 80% of cervical cancer cases. It is mentioned in the article that HPV types 33, 35, 39, 51 52, 56 58 and 59 are also linked with cervical; however, it is only carcinogenic, meaning it is only hypothesized that these strains cause cervical cancer. The new treatment that covers for HPV 16, 18, 31, and 45 should be administered to early teens who are yet to be sexually active since HPV. Because HPV is spread through intimate skin to skin contact it is necessary to administer the vaccination around this age. Normally, there are 3 doses of the HPV vaccination; the second dose administered one to two months after the first dose and the third should be given six months after the first. Without insurance, the vaccination for HPV is approximately $250, according to Planned Parenthood. There are also several programs that allows people to get the vaccination at a low or no cost. However, knowing HPV is linked to cancer, it is important for people to receive the vaccination it services as protection from contracting HPV. Not being vaccinated against HPV, raises the likelihood of getting cancer—which is much costlier to treat than paying for the HPV vaccine.