Germs in the Bathroom
This blog article is not for the faint of heart. If you are squeamish, have a weak stomach or never really want to know what is in your bathroom, please stop reading now. As once you learn this, you can never “unlearn” it.
A while ago, in one of my Thursday night homeopathic study group sessions, the instructor was talking about the repertory. The homeopathic repertory is a HUGE book of over 2,200 pages. It's a homeopath's "go to" guide in choosing a remedy that will best cover the totality of the symptoms in their case. Anyway, she was talking about how someone she knew had 2 copies of this huge book and would leave one in his bathroom to read/study when he was in there taking care of business. Most of the people in the class were like, ewwwww. lol I have always wondered about germs in the bathroom. I was surprised to learn what I did. Also, surprisingly enough, there are other germs in your home that are far worse.
Where Are Germier Places?
On average there is more bacteria and germs on your cellphone, kitchen sponge/dishcloth, kitchen sink and your coffee maker's coffee reservoir than any other place in your home. (8) Anything that is warm and damp a lot has the ability to breed bacteria.
What Can You Do at Home?
Did you know that when you flush your toilet, germs, bacteria and actual feces can be shot into the air? Yep. Then they land on surfaces in the bathroom. Many people I know have their toothbrushes in cute little holders next to the sink. Think about what's landing on that and now goes in your mouth. GAH! Never fear, your body is amazing and has probably taken care of gastrointestinal issues that this has caused many times in the past. But, it’s probably a good idea to keep your toothbrush in a cabinet or covered anyway.
It is always best to shut the lid on the toilet of your home before flushing to avoid spraying poop everywhere. It isn’t perfect, however it’s better than leaving the lid open. In fact, there may be more germs on your cellphone and toothbrush than an actual toilet seat. According to pubmed.com in an article dated 2012, titled Toothbrush Contamination: A Review of the Literature — more than 10 million bacteria call your toothbrush home. (1) "There are real concerns, if you have it in the bathroom," she said. "As you flush the toilet it, you expose your toothbrush to germs from the fecal matter."(2)
How Do Public Toilets Affect You?
A study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology assessed the microbes in 4 different public restrooms. Scientists actually discovered genetic traces of more than 77,990 distinct types of bacteria and viruses in these spaces. (3) Now I realize this is much more than you will ever find in your home, however, if you ever use a public restroom, could you be bringing some of those germs into your home from your backside, shoes, purse, clothes? Anything is possible.
Crazy stats like this truly make you realize the importance of cleaning and disinfecting. Especially in public places. Even after cleaning with a 10% bleach solution, these experiments prove that bathroom surfaces don’t always remain microbe-free. According to that same article, researchers took samples from 2 restrooms on the third floor of the North Life Sciences building at San Diego State University. Within one hour of cleaning and disinfecting, bathrooms were re-contaminated with microbes and fecal bacteria. What's even grosser, toilet seat samples clustered based on restroom gender showed that Lactobacillus and Anaerococcus dominated female toilet seats, and the gut-associated Roseburia and Blautia were more abundant on male toilet seats.
Lactobacillus is considered a friendly bacterium that normally live in our digestive, urinary, and genital systems without causing issues. Lactobacillus is also in foods like yogurt, kefir and probiotics. Abaerococcus on the other hand is not a friendly bacterium. It can cause infection even though it is a normal part of the human microbiome. It is considered a pathogen found in ovarian abscesses, chronic wounds and vaginal discharge of women. It can be present in urinary tract infections, chronic ulcers, pleural empyema, blood infections, and soft tissue infections. (4) People with weakened immune systems may be more susceptible to this kind of bacteria.
Roseburia is found in the human colon. It has been linked to several diseases (including IBS - irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, nervous system conditions and allergies). Testing for Roseburia could be beneficial to see biomarkers for symptomatic pathologies (e.g., gallstone formation) (5) I could not find very much information about Blautia. What I did find seems to point to it being beneficial bacteria and the lack of it could possibly cause heart disease. (6)
Not all bacteria are bad. Think of all the things we come into contact with in our own bathroom. Also. in a public bathroom. Think about all the germs and bacteria in both of them and how many people who use the restroom and don’t properly wash their hands or don’t wash their hands at all don't get sick. Also, there are new findings regarding air hand dryers that spew the germs around more. “Within a large building, potentially pathogenic bacteria, including bacterial spores, may travel between rooms, and subsequent bacterial/spore deposition by hand dryers is a possible mechanism for spread of infectious bacteria, including spores of potential pathogens if present.” (7)
If you still want to use a public restroom after reading this, kudos to you. I am not so sure anymore. lol Just kidding. I do think about all the restaurant employees and medical staff that don’t wash their hands. Or the employees that do wash properly yet touch the door handle after someone who didn’t. Not that appealing to eat out any more. lol
In conclusion, the best you can do for yourself and your family is reduce your susceptability! Wash your hands, eat a well-balanced diet, limit stress, get enough sleep, exercise and drink plenty of water. When we are healthier, we reduce the ability of these germs and bacteria to cause issues for us. Stay healthy out there! Also, being on a homeopathic constitutional remedy would not hurt. Homeopathy is AMAZING!
Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to send an email to me at Melissa@sweetwillowspirit.com. Cheers to a happy and healthy life!
Love and light!