Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS • Nutritional Periodontist
April 24, 2017
Ryan came to my office the other day and told me he wanted to get healthy. He had gum disease and various medical issues including high blood pressure, excessive weight, and cholesterol levels that were high. His problems were similar to those of Jason, who I discussed last week. Ryan said he wanted to get healthy, but there were other things going on that would make getting healthy difficult if not impossible.
Ryan was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and was drinking a six-pack of beer at least twice a week. Eating healthy food could not offset the damage that these toxic substances were causing his body.
Here’s an analogy that explains Ryan’s dilemma:
A house is on fire, and a firefighter is attempting to put it out with a high-pressure water hose. However, there is a gasoline leak that is steadily pouring gasoline on the fire. The firefighter can try as hard as he can to put out the fire with the water hose, but the gasoline will keep the fire going until the gasoline leak is stopped completely.
Likewise, Ryan’s body is on fire with poor food and poor lifestyle choices stoking the flames. The body cannot heal if toxic substances are constantly being poured into it. The toxic substances must be stopped and removed.
I discussed my concerns with Ryan and explained the spiraling downward path his body was on. The toxic elements he was putting into his body were highly destructive. Ryan considered reducing his smoking and drinking, but I told him a reduction would not work. Ryan needed to completely eliminate the tobacco and alcohol that were abusing his body. Although repair would take many months, Ryan needed to stop his smoking and drinking immediately and totally if he really wanted to begin a path to healing.
Here are my initial efforts to help Ryan move forward. I would…
- Eliminate the active infection in his mouth and teach him how to clean his mouth efficiently.
- Recommend a local support group that could offer necessary encouragement to help him with his smoking and drinking addictions. If necessary, smoking and alcohol cessation products could be considered for a short period of time. However, his commitment to total elimination of tobacco and alcohol would be critical for his ultimate success.
- Provide a 3-Day Food Journal for Ryan to complete so I can evaluate his eating habits. I could then introduce a customized eating plan including a nutrient-dense diet and the elimination of harmful foods.
Ryan told me his goal was to get healthy. To begin a healing process, Ryan needs to become proactive with his lifestyle changes. It could take several years for Ryan’s goal to be realized. However, today could be the first day of his healthy recovery.