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What is Human Internal Ecosystem?

Updated on April 13, 2015

Your Microbial Menagerie - Two hundred Triliion Microsopic Organisms

Our body's resident microbes seem to be overwhelmingly harmless.
Our body's resident microbes seem to be overwhelmingly harmless.
Two hundred trillion microscopic organisms - bateria, viruses, and fungi - are swarming inside you right now!
Two hundred trillion microscopic organisms - bateria, viruses, and fungi - are swarming inside you right now!

Two Hundred Trillion Microscopic Organisms are Swarming Inside You!

Like Our Environment, A Healthy Microbiome inside and outside the Human Body is a Diverse Ecosystem of Balance

With trillions of microscopic organisms that include bacteria, viruses, and fungi; the largest collection weighing as much as four pounds clings to our gut. There is more: our bugs each have their favorite hangouts. Our skin has more than a million microbes per square centimeter. Another bug enjoys and prospers inside our hair follicles, while an entirely different microbe lives in the crook of your elbow. Our mouths are home to over a 1,000 different species. Each have a favorite pace to live. Different sides of our teeth sustain distinctly different combination of bugs. Harmony is the key to all of the bugs living peacefully with each other. When this happens, we are "healthy!"

Little is Known About these Invisible Communities and How They Affect Us

It appears that our comparable body part host similar microbial ecologies - whereas contrasting areas - like sweaty underarms and dry forearms - have different communities. Our scalps share similar bug communities. My back bug community is different from my scalp bug community. Bug specialization is the norm for each of our bodies. We represent a segregated community of specialist that live in harmony when each different bug community needs are met - but not at the cost of their neighbors. The "bad" bugs are kept in check.

Homeostasis (Balance) of Bugs: the Key to Our Health

Our happy residents (freeloaders!) educate our immune system and outcompete and block potential pathogens (bad bugs). We have as an example; lots of Staph germs on our skin. Our good bugs live all over our skin prevents deadly staph germs from taking over and harming us.

Go Easy on the Anti-Bacteria Medicines and Soaps!

When you use antibiotics, you are dropping a bomb on your microbial community. It is like setting the forrest on fire to kill your weeds.

How does This Help Me?

An example of how the balance of our external and internal microbial community affects us is where a lady was treated for six months for life-threatening Clostridium difficile infection. Which causes severe inflamation of the colon. She had a poor prognosis. All antibiotic treatments had failed. In desparation, the doctors mixed a small sample of her husband's stool with a saline solution and injected it into her colon. Within 24 hours her diarrhea had stopped. In a few days her symptoms were gone. The doctors were surprised to discover there was nearly a complete replacement of the woman's microbial flora (bugs) with her husband's microbes. The doctors had destroyed her good microbiome with antibiotics. When the doctors transplanted the new bacteria, they simply moved in to occupy the empty space. More research needs to be done on how fecal transplants work and how the impact the microbiome.

The Future for Our Microbial Community (Our bugs externally and Internally)

With the cost of human genome sequencing dropping, personalized medicine is a real possibility. Individualized therapies and synthetic drugs that are tailored to us individually based upon our genectic makeup. A genetic profile of our microbiome will be taken with treatmnents prescribed from instant molecular data. Apparently, healthy germs helps to keep our body healthy!

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    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Enlydia Listener,

      Glad to hear it worked out OK. Most people are too quick to medicate with antibiotics. We use way too much antibiotics. We are devastating our bodies and the bad bugs we do not kill mutate into super bugs that are not killed by antibiotics...

      Note the following:

      BOSTON (AP) - Children suspected of being infected with a particularly nasty form of the E. coli food poisoning bug should not be treated with antibiotics because they may trigger dangerous complications, a study warns.

      A rare complication in children, usually under age 5, is hemolytic uremic syndrome, which results in destruction of red blood cells and kidney failure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 2 percent to 7 percent of E. coli infections lead to the complication, and between 3 percent and 5 percent of those victims die.

      A study by doctors from Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle found the link with antibiotic use, which had already been suspected. Their study is scheduled to be published June 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine, which released it Wednesday.

      The Seattle doctors reviewed the cases of 71 children under age 10 who had diarrhea caused by the bacterial infection between 1997 and 1999. They found that hemolytic uremic syndrome developed in five of the nine children given antibiotics, compared with five of the 62 who did not receive the medicines.

      E. coli infections usually clear up without treatment, and use of antibiotics is not recommended for any patients.

      While the latest study does not prove that antibiotics are to blame for the syndrome, the team led by Dr. Craig S. Wong wrote that the evidence of an association "is strong and plausible."

      They theorized that antibiotics cause the release of toxins from injured bacteria into the intestine.

      A variety of the usually harmless E. coli bacteria called causes an estimated 73,000 cases of food poisoning in the United States annually. The infection often spreads through eating undercooked contaminated meat and typically causes bloody diarrhea.

      Source: Study Warns Against Antibiotic Treatment For E. Coli

      Thanks for your comments...

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 6 years ago from trailer in the country

      I had read of that treatment for E-Coli...

      E-Coli is a difficult disease to deal son had it after the hospital treated him for MRSA...they had put him on so many varying antibiotics for the MRSA, that his system was compromised...our solution was charcoal and acidophilus.