Recovering from surgery….+ thoughts about YOUR dental treatments, part 1 of 3

Last Friday, I had five hours of oral surgery under general anaesthesia. I had my two root-canal teeth removed. I had read multiple books and papers on toxic dental practices, and had become convinced that root canals are UNIVERSALLY a terrible idea. I’d learned that the research of Weston A. Price, possibly the most well published dentist in history, showed that trapping fossilized dead teeth in the mouth causes the bacteria in the miles of dentin tubules to morph into some of the deadliest thioether organisms on the planet, and range the body, causing deadly auto-immune conditions and cancer.

I recommend Root Canal Coverup by George E. Meinig et. al. (a great synopsis of Price’s vast research), The Roots of Disease: Connecting Dentistry & Medicine by Drs. Kuacz and Levy (DDS and MD / JD); Toxic Dentistry Exposed by Drs. Munro-Hall; Uninformed Consent: The Hidden Dangers in Dental Care by Drs. Hal Huggins and Thomas E. Levy; Whole-Body Dentistry: A Complete Guide to Understanding the Impact of Dentistry on Total Health by Dr. Mark A. Breiner.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I’m an information and research junkie and consume a lot of info in a short period of time. About the time I discovered how root canals (not to mention mercury in amalgam fillings) are contributing to disease, I developed a blister on the outside of one of my root-canal teeth. The gums were a little sensitive.

And I just had this sense that my immune system was straining. I don’t know how to describe it, exactly. I still looked and felt healthy, still running and playing tennis and working long hours and traveling with intense schedules, without incident.

But I’ve become pretty attuned to minor phenomena in my body, in my quest to be as healthy as I can be. And I FELT that my immune system was under assault. Was I impressionistic because of everything I’d read? Maybe. I don’t have anything more compelling than the fact that I just felt like my immune system was revving, and maxed. That, and I had these weird rashes. Arms, legs, stomach.

It’s not easy to get in with Dr. Wall. He does a lot of meticulous research and planning before a major procedures, and I had to go for a few hours for many diagnostic procedures. Then my $7,000 day in his office included 14 procedures, including bone cavitation, putting a fibrin plug/clot of my own blood rich in adult stem cells in the wound, to help heal and to help bone fill in. Plus a bone graft for the zirconium implant I will get for the tooth in front, in six months.

(You can see that the front one of the two extracted teeth is missing only if I laugh really big. The two extracted were at the back, on the top.)

I planned to be down-and-out for a couple of days. In fact, the Friday of my procedure, I had to make a tough decision. My undefeated tennis team had gone to the State playoffs and won. I had to miss sectionals, against 5 other Western states’ top teams, to have my surgery. I didn’t want to cancel and wait two more months.

So I chose to have the surgery.

More tomorrow.

Antibiotics and dental surgery….do I agree with taking AB’s preventatively? Part 1 of 2

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I think you are pretty conservative and avoid antibiotics, but I had an interesting experience recently in my dental practice that I want to share with you.  You influence a lot of people to make better choices for their health, and if you agree with me and my position as a health care provider and trying to do what is in the best interest of my patients, maybe you can pass this on to your readers.

The AAOS (american academy of orthopaedic surgeons) currently recommends that persons who have had total joint replacementsshould take one dose of antibiotics one hour prior to high risk dental procedures (not a whole week of antibiotics, just one dose) to avoid bacteremias forming in the artificial joint and causing a systemic infection and possibly failure of the artificial joint.  I had a patient recently who refused to take an antibiotic before a procedure because she avoids taking antibiotics in general.

Hand holding pillsI contacted her orthopaedic surgeon, and the nurse from his office recommended the same protocol for her, and she still refused.  She walked out of my office informing me there was no way she was going to take the antibiotics and she would find another dentist who would do the work without making her take the antibiotics.  I worry about her health and the risks she is taking.  I also worry about the dentist she finds to treat her without following the standards of care, as his license may be in jeopardy for treating her this way if complications were to arise anytime down the road.

I try to avoid antibiotics whenever I can for myself, but there are times when it may be worth the major complications which could arise.  I am not willing to put my license and my career on the line to treat someone who refuses to follow the written protocols and standards of care for surgeries which they have had done in the past, which now place them in a higher risk category.  I don’t know if you understand what I am saying here, but let me know if you agree or disagree with me.

Sincerely,

Dr. G.L.

Thyroid—you might have a problem and not know it

All estimates I’ve read are that 25 to 50 percent or more of American women have significant thyroid issues. Possibly over half of women over 40. Most of these women are undiagnosed. If you have low thyroid, which is the most common thyroid problem, symptoms may be low energy, slow metabolism / weight gain, dry skin, bags under your eyes, fatigue, hair loss, depression, poor circulation, low immune function, and insomnia.

My best friend since childhood, on the other hand, has the “auto-immune” condition of hyperthyroidism, which is just as miserable. Her thyroid is always revved and overproducing. She goes the drug route. The symptoms are a racing heartbeat, weight loss, increase or decrease in appetite, insomnia, fatigue, diarrhea, mental disturbance, infertility, thinning hair, itching and hives, heat intolerance, and tremors / shakiness.

All the endocrine disruptors in the environment and food supply affect thyroid function. Don’t eat soy! Don’t expose yourself to pesticides, or plastics, or heavy metals. Avoid drugs, alcohol, and unchecked stress.

Doctors will likely put you on synthetic hormone. Remember that the drug thyroid is not bioidentical to the thyroid produced in your body. It’s been molecularly altered, each drug different from each other, to earn a patent.

If you find a clinic that specializes in bioidentical hormone, the cost is far less, and your body can assimilate and utilize the hormone effectively, like the hormone your own thyroid produces.

I spent four years on a synthetic thyroid drug, many years ago, before I knew any better. It helped me drop the 40 lbs. I’d gained in a year since I became hypothyroid. But it increased my risk for cancer. I happily transitioned to bioidentical and have been on it ever since. Recently I went completely off thyroid to test whether perhaps my good diet compensated, and maybe I could produce hormone effectively by myself.

The good news is, my baseline was much better than it was 10 years ago when I first was tested. The bad news is, I got ugly bags under my eyes. I made some videos last summer in Denver when I was completely off thyroid, and I can’t even look at them. Ugly. My body makes about 60% of the thyroid I need. I take a few drops of nascent iodine each day, now, and my bioidentical thyroid keeps me happy and balanced.

You can read whole books on the thyroid phenomenon by Mary Shomon, a bestselling author. Too many women are hypothyroid and going without treatment. Remember to google “bioidentical hormone” rather than starting with the standard M.D.’s practice of automatic drug-oriented HRT (hormone replacement therapy).

And remember, having an M.D. check you for T3 will not give you the whole answer. When I gained 40 lbs. because I was very hypothyroid in my mid-30’s, I was tested for that and the doc told me it was “normal.” I knew I was NOT feeling normal, but what was I to do?

You must get the full blood panel and have a highly specialized bioidentical practitioner look at the interplay of T3, T4, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and a variety of co-factors. When I did that, my life changed dramatically because they could treat my whole body, rather than just drug one element, throwing other critical elements into imbalance.

If you’re feeling healthy but want to make sure you’re getting enough iodine, using refined salt with chemical, synthetic iodine enrichment, is harmful. If you want ways to get more natural, bioavailable iodine in your diet, to enhance your body’s ability to make and utilize thyroid hormone?

Talk to your holistic practitioner about whether you should take nascent iodine (available online, google it) or Lugol’s solution (prescription). My practitioner had me paint a 1”x1” patch of my inner forearm with drugstore iodine, and if it disappeared in an hour, she said that was a sign my body needs iodine. (However, I believe others dispute this test as valid.)

Food-based sources are kelp (which you can take in tablets, or it’s a wonderful salt replacement seasoning), or dulse, or nori sheets (seaweed). Those are high-iodine sea vegetables. If you take too much, you would notice being jittery, anxious, shaky, so if so, you could back off those foods. But generally, you’d have to eat an awful lot of sea vegetables to create an imbalance.

Stuff you’ve gotta know about Vitamin D

 

Did you know that Vitamin D isn’t really a vitamin? It’s more like a hormone.

(It’s a precursor for the mineral calcium, which has more functions for human beings than any other mineral.)

Did you know that after you go in the sun, your body needs a few hours to convert the substances collected on your skin to Vitamin D in the body?

(Hardly anyone knows this. That’s why I’m writing this blog. It’s a tip that could actually be lifesaving.)

If you’re going to get Vita D from the sun, get regular exposure during daylight hours, and then don’t take a shower for several hours!

Tank up on it during the spring, summer, and fall. Then, during the winter, take 5,000 to 10,000 IU of D3. You got that? D3, not D2!

The most assimilable forms will be in olive oil capsules, rather than hard pills.

Too many of us get very little of it, because we’re office workers who never get outside, or we live in climates with intemperate weather much of the year.

Next post, I’m writing a little about THYROID hormone, which affects many if not most American women—and some men, too.

What Every Woman Should Know About Hormones, part 4 of 4

So how do you get on bioidentical hormone? The self-dosing method that many women use, which is very unscientific of course, is to take dessicated animal hormones, such as thyroid, you can get at a health food store. These are natural supplements, and as such, are unregulated. (There are measures being actively legislated that would take our access to natural supplements away except as prescribed by M.D.’s. Europeans have already lost many of their rights to, for instance, higher-dose vitamin supplements.)

I recommend if you can afford it, however, you get a full blood panel and have a bioidentical specialist interpret it and get a compounding pharmacy to make your prescription supplements. Google “bioidentical hormone” and your state. Some practitioners are nurse practitioners, others N.D.’s, M.D.’s, even chiropractors with additional training.

Law requires your practitioner to get your blood tested every six months to make sure your hormones are at appropriate levels. Unfortunately most insurance companies do not cover the full blood panel for a holistic practitioner—or much of anything that practitioner does, actually. My practitioner doesn’t do the FULL panel ($400-$500) each time; she may just look at T3 for thyroid or anything we are concerned about.

You may be able to get an M.D. to prescribe the blood panel, so your insurance company will pay for it, but a bioidentical specialist should work with you.

(Incidentally, under President Obama’s health care reform, our ability to get bioidentical hormone through non-M.D. practitioners, and compounding pharmacies, is in serious jeopardy within a year or two. You can imagine that drug companies are threatened by the increasing competition from inexpensive, natural bioidenticals. They have exerted their influence over our policymakers.)

Find a bioidentical hormone clinic where you live (run by M.D.’s occasionally, but also nurse practitioners who can prescribe, or sometimes physicians’ assistants, chiropractors–who cannot prescribe–and other practitioners). Google it, or ask around.

In Utah Valley, the ones I know are Francine Opfar Weiss (Utah Health and Wellness Center) and Catherine Kipp (Utah Valley Wellness Center). They are both nurse practitioners with master’s degrees.

If you use a bioidentical hormone clinic you want to recommend, wherever you live, please feel free to comment here. One of my goals on GreenSmoothieGirl.com in the future is to have a forum or resource to post and review your recommendations for holistic practitioners.

By the way, I use a natural, bioidentical form of progesterone cream. I also take bioidentical thyroid, as I was exposed to massive radiation, having been a cow’s-milk-fed infant downwind of the Nevada Test Site, where the grass cows ate had 5,000 times the radioactive fallout deemed safe by our government. Many Utahns have sued the federal government and won damages for their medical treatment. I haven’t developed thyroid cancer, so I have no place in the settlement, even though I am thyroid suppressed. I’m doing very well thanks to an education, careful monitoring, and an excellent thyroid-supporting diet.

Suzanne Somers believes bioidentical hormones saved her life, now well over a decade past her cancer diagnosis. I, too, believe they play an important role in my health. I often use kelp tablets, naturally high in iodine and inexpensive to buy, or Nascent Iodine or Lugol’s solution, to help my body utilize thyroid hormone. I also use natural progesterone cream applied to the skin, and a bioidentical thyroid, made for me at a compounding pharmacy.

Again, this blog series is not intended as medical advice, and my own actions may be different than what you need. Like many if not most women, I am estrogen-dominant, and natural progesterone balances me very effectively.

My next post is about thyroid, which affects one quarter to one half of women in the modern world, and most of them are diagnosed.

Then, my post after that is about another hormone you may think of as a vitamin because it is rather misnamed—Vitamin D!

What Every Woman Should Know About Hormones, part 3 of 4

There’s more you have to know about hormones.

Being estrogen dominant causes stroke, heart attack, cancer (especially of the reproductive organs), and osteoporosis, to name a few.

We need estrogen dominance in the first week of our 28-day cycle. Estrogen prepares a woman for conception, and it promotes rapid cell growth. It has its function, but when it’s excessive all month long, you can imagine how it fuels cancer growth. It also activates a cancer-stimulating gene called Bcl-2. (Progesterone, though, down-regulates that same gene).

Then progesterone should become dominant during the last two weeks of our cycle, to protect pregnancy. When we don’t have enough progesterone, we get PMS symptoms. Women who balance their estrogen appropriately with bioidentical creams find that their PMS symptoms abate.

Mine completely, totally disappeared years ago, and I used to have moderate to severe symptoms: big mood swings, a lot of crying and general hatefulness towards people I actually love, cramps that required drugs. All gone for many years now.

Women who have too much estrogen are often prescribed synthetic hormones. And that’s the vast majority of women over 40 these days, who are estrogen dominant. A significant percentage of women under 40 are, too. (Birth control hormone virtually guarantees estrogen dominance!)

They think they are balancing their hormones, with drugs. They’re not. You cannot balance your hormones with drugs.

Fact is, the hormones are SIMILAR to the natural hormone produced in the body, but not the same.  Testosterone andprogesterone, molecularly, are very, very similar. You know they’re very different in their function, don’t you? You’d have to stare at a picture of both of them, to ascertain the tiny difference in the oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen atoms. My point is, a small molecular difference is a very big deal!

And Provera, the synthetic “progesterone”-like drug prescribed to bring progesterone into balance? It’s far more dissimilar, molecularly, from natural progesterone than natural testosterone is!

For 20 years, doctors prescribed women synthetic estrogen for menopause symptoms—with no progesterone for the “check and balance”—and then discovered massive rates of endometrial cancer. Women with low progesterone have a 540 percent higher incidence of cancer than women with normal progesterone levels, according to a Johns Hopkins study in the 1980’s.

The Women’s Health Initiative studied 16,000 women receiving Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT, or synthetic, hormone-similar drugs) from 1997 to 2005. However, in 2002 the study was stopped, because the women were experiencing so many life-threatening side effects.

No bioidentical hormones were used in the study. Only Premarin, an estrogen so named because it is made from PREgnant MAres’ uRINe, and the highly dangerous Provera, a progestin, or drug that is similar to, but different than, natural progesterone.

Another huge study published in JAMA in 2000, followed 46,000 women prescribed Premarin and Provera and discovered that if they use HRT for five years, their breast cancer rate was 40 percent higher than women not using HRT!

At this point, in my opinion, prescribing these drugs equates to malpractice. But have they been taken off the market? Of course not. They are still the most common form of HRT prescribed today, in combination!

It’s easy and inexpensive to use natural “bioidentical” hormone, which simply means that it is molecularly identical to the hormone produced in the body.

So why don’t more people use it?

Because who would profit by promoting it? Suzanne Somers does, and brave pioneering M.D.’s like Jonathan Wright and John R. Lee do. They are more interested in the truth than in blindly furthering drug companies’ agenda. (Only altered molecules can be patented. Only patented substances can earn billions of dollars. Bioidentical substances are inexpensive and since they are natural, unpatentable. So if you’re Big Pharma—which do you market to doctors?)

And a number of docs and practitioners who sponsor my lectures “get it.” More docs know the research. Still, most don’t.