Tag Archives: functional medicine

The connection between oral health, gut health, and overall health. 

Rick Gold, President of Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.

Rick Gold, President of Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.

By Rick Gold, Certified FDN Practitioner.

As a certified FDN (Functional Diagnostic Nutrition) practitioner, I work with clients to help them find and eliminate the root causes of their symptoms.  The body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism, and all it needs from us is to give it what it needs to do its job: removal of environmental & lifestyle stressors that cause dysfunction, and proper nutrition.

If you strive to find and eliminate the root cause of your symptoms instead of masking them and flood your body with proper nutrition, you can restore balance and homeostasis to your body and allow it to do its job of keeping you healthy.

There are so many potential underlying causes of chronic illness.  Sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep, increased toxic burden, lack of proper nutrition, chronic undiagnosed bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, bacterial imbalances in the gut, OTC and prescription medications are just a few underlying causes.

So where does oral health fit into all of this?  To understand the connection between oral health, gut health, and overall health, we need to first understand a bit about how the body works:

Anytime the autonomic nervous system senses stress, it sends a stress signal to the brain.  The brain then sends signals to the adrenal glands that the body

The HPA (Hypothalamus/Pituitary/Adrenal) axis illustration shows how the body responds to ANY type of stress.

The HPA (Hypothalamus/Pituitary/Adrenal) axis illustration shows how the body responds to ANY type of stress.

is under stress.  The adrenal glands then produce cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone.  Cortisol prepares the body to handle stress.  This is called the “fight or flight response”.  When the fight or flight response is activated, all bodily functions that are required for immediate survival are heightened, and all bodily functions (like digestion, reproduction, or rest and repair) are shut down.

It doesn’t matter what the stress is that you are experiencing; from emotional stress over your job or your relationships, physical injuries, hip, spine, or jaw misalignments, getting chased by a bear, or chronic bacterial infections, the scenario that I just described above will play out every time.  This system works well when the stress we encounter is short-lived.  But these days, stress is something that we live with 24/7/365.  In this scenario of constant stress, the fight or flight response shifts from a life-saving bodily function to one that causes digestive dysfunction, infertility, hormonal imbalances, leaky gut, and malnutrition!

Stress Man

Chronic bacterial infections and heavy metal toxicity are major sources of persistent stress on the body that chronically invokes the fight or flight response.  The oral cavity is one of the most common and most overlooked sources of chronic bacterial infection AND toxicity from heavy metals.  To illustrate this, allow me to get personal with you and share part of my health journey:

Six years ago my state of health was a mess, and I began my health journey to find and eliminate the underlying causes of my stress.  My health has improved dramatically since then.  I had addressed my diet by eliminating gluten, dairy, and other food sensitivities.  I had addressed healing my gut using antibacterial protocols, probiotic therapy,  gut-healing foods and supplements.  I incorporated meditation into my daily life.  I worked on optimizing my quantity and quality of sleep.  I even worked diligently with my wife to rid our home of chemical-laden cleaning products, cosmetics, etc.

But amazingly, while my overall health had improved dramatically, there were still a few things that confounded me.  Although I was much healthier and my immune function had improved, I still had a tendency towards sinus infections when I would get sick.  My blood tests continued to show a slightly depressed white blood cell count.  I still had intense food sensitivities, especially to dairy.  I had pretty much covered everything, right?  Not so fast!

The one area of my body that I had not addressed in recent years was my oral health.  I felt

The tooth that had the root canal done to it.  You can clearly see the mercury filling on top.

The tooth that had the root canal done to it. You can clearly see the mercury filling on top.

that I had an issue with a root canal that I had done about 13 years ago.  The only type of dentist I would ever use for myself, my family, or recommend to clients is a biological dentist.  I decided to go see a biological dentist that I refer all local clients to for oral evaluations.  After a thorough examination, she had determined that the root canal was indeed a problem (I had an abscess and a chronic bacterial infection from the affected tooth that reached into my sinuses) and the beginnings of periodontal disease.  Talk about

a chronic stressor that invokes the fight or flight response!  This chronic infection was putting major stress on my immune system,

The cap that was used to cover my tooth was made of a cheap, non-precious metal that was corroding in my mouth!

The cap that was used to cover my tooth was made of a cheap, non-precious metal that was corroding in my mouth!

which was showing up as an unexplained slightly lowered white blood cell count for years on my blood tests.  No wonder I suffered from leaky gut, bacterial imbalances in the GI tract, food sensitivities, and malnutrition!  Chronic bacterial infections in the oral cavity are also linked to autoimmune disease, heart disease, and cancer.  The dentist expertly removed the root canal and during the procedure discovered that it was filled with mercury; yet another chronic stressor on my body that explains many of the symptoms I had experienced for the last 12-13 years.

You can clearly see the infection once the tooth was pulled out.  It has a white tint.

You can clearly see the infection once the tooth was pulled out. It has a white tint.

So far I have touched on how bacterial infections in the oral cavity can cause gut and immune dysfunction.  I haven’t even yet discussed how mercury can disrupt our health.

Symptoms and conditions that correlate with mercury toxicity.

Symptoms and conditions that correlate with mercury toxicity.

Mercury amalgams can and do constantly shed mercury into our oral cavity and we swallow it into our GI tract.  Mercury alone in the GI tract can cause leaky gut.  It is a major irritant to the gut lining.   The gut lining intimately linked to mental health.  Did you know that about 90% of serotonin that our body makes is made in the lining of the gut?  Serotonin deficiencies are intimately linked to depression and anxiety.   This is one reason depression is a major symptom of mercury toxicity.  Mercury can pass through the gut lining and into the bloodstream.  Mercury from dental amalgams also out-gases and is inhaled.  Inhaled mercury goes straight to the brain and easily crosses the blood brain barrier.  It is known to be a potent neurotoxin.  Click here to read a comprehensive scientific review of mercury in all of its forms and the effect it has on human health.

Now that all the mercury has been removed, the next phase of my healing process will now focus on gentle heavy metal detoxification.  Luckily, I’m equipped with the knowledge to do this.  Unfortunately, so many others are not.

Oral health is a crucial aspect of any wellness program and I urge everyone to find a biological dentist in their area for a thorough evaluation to determine if chronic bacterial infections or heavy metals are part of the underlying cause of poor health.   To find a biological dentist in your area, go to iaomt.org.

If you live in the South Florida area and are looking for a biological dentist, there is only one that I recommend, and I’d be happy to connect you with her.  Feel free to contact me!

Thanks for reading.  Now it’s your turn!  Do you have dental amalgams?   Can you relate to any of this?  Write your comments below and let’s bring some awareness to this issue by sharing this article with our friends and family!

Thanks,

Rick Gold

Certified FDN Practitioner.

Contact me:

Email: Rick@goldfunctionalwellness.com

Website: www.goldfunctionalwellness.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/goldfunctionalwellness

 

 

The key to vibrant health that modern medicine overlooks.

short history of medicineModern medicine has its strong points, especially when we consider how effectively it treats and heals acute, life-threatening injuries or conditions.  If you are badly injured in a car accident, having a heart attack, stroke or other acute symptoms of that nature, EMS, first responders and emergency room staff can literally be the difference between life and death for you.  They are a godsend!  Modern medicine is also adept at early diagnosis of chronic diseases such as CVD and cancer.  

But what does modern medicine do for us to help us build our health and stay healthy to avoid those chronic diseases and to live a long, happy and healthy life?  Let’s take a look at some statistics: 

As a nation, we are sicker than ever. We’re suffering from record levels of autoimmune disorders, cancer, heart disease, alzheimer’s, autism & digestive ailments like GERD & IBS:

 

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING, DESPITE ALL OF THE ADVANCES IN MODERN MEDICINE OVER THE LAST CENTURY? 

 

It is fair to say that if you go to a doctor for treatment these days you are going to experience one or a combination of the following 5 outcomes:

  1. A non-diagnosis – aka they have no clue what is wrong with you and it’s “likely in your head”.  
  2. A diagnosis and prescription drugs.
  3. A diagnosis and surgery.
  4. A diagnosis and chemo.
  5. A diagnosis and radiation.  

Pills, surgery, chemo, radiation.   That is the way modern medicine attacks our health issues today.  Agreed?

I’m not saying that this approach is ALWAYS bad.  sometimes pills are necessary.  Sometimes surgery is necessary (again, especially in acute emergency situations).  However, there are 2 problems with this method:

  1. None of those options seek to discover and eliminate the cause of your symptoms.  They only seek to squash the symptoms.  For instance, if you have chronic sinus infections you’ll be prescribed an antibiotic like augmentin.  It will kill the infection.  But does it find and eliminate the root cause of why your immune system is compromised?  Does it take your diet and lifestyle into account and find out what areas of your body are malfunctioning or out of balance, and create a lifestyle reboot of sorts to help restore balance and function?  Not even close.  Thus, you will just keep getting sicker and sicker as your body continues down the road of malfunction while only addressing symptoms and not the underlying cause.
  2. Pills, chemo, & radiation involve some of the most toxic substances we can put in our bodies.  From heavy metals to many pharmaceutical drugs and chemo/radiation, these toxins serve to further disrupt our bodies’ normal function while alleviating symptoms.  Surgery many times removes body parts that are necessary for optimal bodily function. 

Antibiotics, for instance, kill an infection, but also are known to cause increased intestinal permeability and gut dysbiosis, both of which are intimately connected with onset of autoimmune conditions.  It also leads to food sensitivities, as a widening of the tight junctures in the small intestine that are supposed to keep I digested food particles out of the blood stream are now letting them through.  What follows is an immune reaction and the creation of antibodies against those food particles.  So, kill the infection, destroy the lining of your small intestine, and cause food sensitivities.  Good trade-off?   I don’t think so…

The same goes for prescription AND OTC painkillersstatin drugs, antacids, and immune suppressing drugs.  They all have one key element in common:  They treat the symptoms and ignore the causes.

Symptoms don’t just appear out of nowhere.  Our bodies are brilliant organisms that do a terrific job of shifting and adapting to constant insults and assaults on their cellular function.  Over time, the burden of these chronic insults from diet, lack of sleep, stress, lack of exercise, and the thousands of chemicals, toxic metals, pesticides and preservatives take a toll on our bodies and impairs functionality at the cellular level.  It might take years of functional loss at this level before symptoms ever even appear.  

So, if you are one of those people proudly burning the candle at both ends and bragging to friends and family about how much you are able to take on and how productive you are on such little sleep and with intense stress levels (you know who you are), the message to you is: you are human, and it will catch up to you.  One day, one or more symptoms will smack you over the head like a sledgehammer and you’ll think “woah…what is this?  I am healthy!  One day I’m fine and the next day this?  What gives???”  That’s because your body was silently losing function at the cellular level for years before your symptoms appeared.  And that happened because you weren’t taking care of it properly.  

You had too many holes popping up in your ship and you finally ran out of material to plug the holes!  

 

Plugging leaksAnd now your ship is starting to sink.  Now here is the question:  Do you just need more plugs, or do you want to find out what is causing the holes and eliminate that?  Because the answer to that question is the ultimate determinant between vibrant health and simply surviving for the rest of your life on a cabinet full of pharmaceutical drugs or surgeries.  

This is the type of stuff that I work on with my clients: implementing a total paradigm shift in the way they view their health and especially their symptoms.  Symptoms are not just a nuisance that need to go away.  They are our bodies way of communicating to us that something is malfunctioning and needs our attention.  Once we start viewing symptoms in that way we start to ask “why?”   Why am I feeling this symptom?  What is my body trying to tell me?   And then we can begin our detective work and find the cause.  

And the cause usually has to do with poor diet, poor sleep, poor exercise habits, poor mechanisms or protocols to cope with external and internal stressors, and a lack of properly supporting bodily function through intelligent supplementation.  Unfortunately, this holistic view of the body and lifestyle as a major factor in disease prevention and building health is vastly overlooked by the conventional medical community.

If you are interested in building your overall health, restoring optimal function, energy and vitality to your body, this is where you need to start.  Change your perception of what health is and what symptoms are, and change your life!  

I hope this was helpful and if you have any further interest in this topic you can always fill out the contact form on my site OR schedule a FREE consultation with me.  

Thanks, 

Rick Gold, Functional Wellness, FDN Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.

Website: www.GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Book a consult: http://www.snapappointments.com/listing/38C

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Follow me on Twitter: @RickGoldFWP

Email: Rick@GoldFunctionalWellness.com

 

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted.  The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author.  Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.