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

Answer:

Dr. Larson, I have always appreciated how conscientious you are in your practice, and in your ongoing study to legitimately find the truth. And I think it’s impressive that you stay open minded….plenty of docs wouldn’t even ask me what I think. Like I once did, they trust only peer-reviewed-journal-published clinical trials. Of course, the drug industry INVENTED the clinical trial, which hasn’t ever been tested.

There’s plenty of evidence that should be considered that didn’t go through a multi-million dollar drug trial.

I am aware that occasionally antibiotics may be necessary, in a life-threatening situation. Thank goodness we have them for meningitis!

But I also believe that preventative antibiotics lead to ever-downward-spiraling health problems. I just can’t accept that 20 men on a firing squad are needed to remove a splinter. Just one trained practitioner, with fine instruments, is needed for that. We have lots of natural options that work, outside drugs.

Antibiotics—just one dose!—destroy the vast majority of healthy gut bacteria that is the crux of our immune system. A healthy gut has more organisms flourishing than the entire body has cells! And one round of antibiotic can cause cascading problems for years, even decades. I believe that virtually everyone in North America now has gut issues, and impaired digestion. The reasons?

Number one, antibiotic use. Number two, processed and preserved foods. Number three, genetically modified corn and soy, and hybridized wheat.

I wish that medical professionals would talk about the OTHER side of that issue—the guaranteed health problems that result from antibiotic use—and let the patient decide. That seems fair and right to me, that “professional liability” (CYA) not trump patient best interests to the point that so many of us are just avoiding the medical professional altogether.

I realize none of this is your fault, nor any single practitioner’s. The system has become very broken, where the American tort system has terrified doctors and made malpractice big business.

But I am on the patient advocate side, and I always look at what is best for the whole organism, for the long term. And I know quite a few docs standing up against the codification of medical care to be a monopoly for drug approaches—docs who are so angry that they risk status and even license to “do the right thing.”

I listen to people every day. At my lectures in 50 cities annually, and in emails, facebook, and my blog, people detail the chaos and devastation from their broken immune systems that always starts in the gut.

How do they have a chance, if AB’s are prescribed for just EVERYTHING? The body is never trusted, by the authors of the “standard of care,” to send white blood cells to the rescue and to do its job.

The medical system in the U.S., unlike in Europe and most other parts of the world, absolutely refuses to use natural plant extracts (herbs, essential oils, etc.) to aid and nurture the body’s immune system.

Antibiotics are a good thing only if they’re used once or twice in a lifetime, at most, to deal with an absolute crisis.

Twenty years ago, many who are well educated about the ramifications of AB use were sounding the alarm bell about overuse for ear infections and every cold and flu symptom.  Nobody listened much.

So we’ve gotten worse, rather than changing course. Now we prescribe antibiotics as PREVENTATIVES before every surgery, even dental surgeries. I worked on a mental hospital children’s unit where the kids were given MONTHLY antibiotics as preventatives!

I was told that endodontists would refuse to do a root canal on me, if I didn’t take a preventative AB. So I found an endodontist who didn’t have that policy. Perhaps he was stepping outside “standard of care.”

Or maybe he just looked the other way. (Later this month, I am having the tooth with that root canal, which failed 18 months later, removed. At the time I did not know how toxic the practice of fossilizing a dead tooth is. But now I do.)

Sure, on a rare occasion, there’s an infection that morphs to become something dangerous. But I take issue when doctors are alarmist about a possibility that is one in ten thousand. (That’s how docs got my mother to agree to AB’s every few months when I was a child—by telling them my strep could become scarlet fever.) I consequently spent a lot of my adulthood recovering my broken immune system.

Some of the risks of antibiotics are nearly 100%–yeast overgrowth and devastation of healthy flora in the gut, for instance.

In fact, on a rare occasion, an AB can be fatal too.

Most of the time, the body does its job after an insult like surgery, and the immune system is consequently strengthened.  My biological dentist has natural things to prevent disaster: before my oral surgery, I will have a high-dose IV Vitamin C. Dr. John Augsperger, who hosted my class in Colorado Springs last week, does the same, and he gave me his favorite dental hygiene product, the all-natural Tooth & Gum Tonic by Dental Herb Company.

I LOVE this stuff. No chemicals, alcohol, flavorings, preservatives, sweeteners, chemical poloxsamers or fractionated ingredients. It’s essential oils, herbs, all organic or wildcrafted. It’s the best mouthwash you’ve ever used, gum-disease preventative, and it’s really STRONG, too.

Dr. Augsperger is a biological dentist. I’ve found lots of them who research far beyond what the ADA-controlled dental schools teach, to discover a whole world of different thinking. It’s exciting, it’s empowering, it has lots of innovative solutions….and it’s just way outside “standard of care.”

Outside just dentistry, there are lots of natural antibiotics for child and adult use, that are cell specific and don’t destroy gut flora or healthy cells.  Colloidal silver. Garlic. Herbs like goldenseal.

Antibiotics virtually guarantee yeast overgrowth. They virtually guarantee that viruses and bacterial organisms will bring the whole organism to its knees, over and over, because now its defenses are down.

My friend Ben got a sinus infection and now he’s on antibiotics over and over, I think about 6 times in 2012 already. He has tons of devastating consequences for this vicious cycle, including terrible digestive problems, that many people suffer with now, thanks to our sick love affair with antibiotics.

(Similarly, medicine uses steroids with even more devastating effects on immunity.)

Anyway, Dr. L, this is my opinion and my experience. Since I started refusing antibiotics completely 17 years ago and using alternatives, my family has gotten dramatically healthier, and I’m happier with my arsenal of options, rather than being dependent on pharmaceuticals and waiting to get in to see a doc who, in the end, is kind of a one-trick pony with the prescription pad.

The main one, of course, is to keep them eating a plant-based, high-raw, mostly alkaline diet. Then they’re strong and far less susceptible to the scary stuff.

Your thoughts?

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.

“The plural of anecdote is not data” . . . part 1 of 4

I’m still laughing since I read that most excellent quote–thanks, Katie!

 

When I’m teaching my college students elemental data analysis and research, I tell them my two pet peeves about research in general, but particularly in the field of health and nutrition.

 

I say that I am completely frustrated with medicine.   The vast majority of research inside modern medicine is bought and paid for, motive tainting it to the point of near uselessness.   A profit motive is often counter to the interests of the public health (a flaw in the capitalist economic system, not that I’m advocating for any other system).   Nowhere is this more evident than in the field of prescription drugs.   The problem is highlighted by the 2007 release of a study of the world’s 20 largest pharmaceutical companies (often referred to as Big Pharma): they spend 2:1 on marketing (drug pushing) versus research and development!

 

On the other end, as Katie’s quote alludes to, “alternative health” doesn’t have big bucks backing it, so those who market natural remedies often rely on case studies.   One person, or even ten, saying their constipation improved taking X or Y herb?   That’s not compelling research.   Worst of all is the fact that many health/nutrition products are marketed by people with little knowledge base (in direct sales and network marketing models).   Those selling many products these days rely on nothing more than anecdotes, or “testimonials.”      

 

               

 

 

 

 

Their selling sometimes looks a lot like a revivalist religious meeting, and that turns me cold because it’s emotion based rather than logic based.   Look at the folks claiming their gout or their psoriasis or their athsma is better because of Product X, at those meetings, and tell me: do they look truly healthy?   Can you really believe that a diet of hot dogs and potato chips, with a little pasteurized miracle mangosteen juice or a pill of  some kind, is the answer to all health problems?  Do a product’s claims fit with what you already know, or is it just wishful thinking and preying on the desperation of so many people in poor health?

 

I see the problems with  common reasoning flaws on a micro level, constantly.   Three examples tomorrow.