Injustices As I See Them

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     Nutritional Periodontist
      August 29, 2016  


InjusticesIt disturbs me when I see what I perceive to be injustices. I wrote about this before. Sometimes (not often) these injustices could involve life or death situations.


A Life or Death Example

An EpiPen® is a medical device that allows a person who is having a severe allergic reaction to administer epinephrine from this device instantly into their leg muscle. In just seconds, the epinephrine could save a life from a severe allergic reaction.


When I saw the news that Mylan, a pharmaceutical company, raised the price for its two-pack of EpiPens from $94 in 2007 to $608 today, I was appalled. People who depend on them also have to replace them every year because the effectiveness of the medicine expires. How could a responsible company and its executives make a lifesaving device so unaffordable to many who need it?


If the increase in the cost of production was necessary to raise the price, that could explain a rise in the retail price. But, if the increase in the cost of production was only the result of normal inflation over that timeframe, then what caused the huge price jump?

  • Could it be selfish executives of the company who wanted a bigger paycheck?
  • Could this be an example of price gouging since the EpiPen has no competition? It is the only device of its kind.


Just a few days ago, however, the CEO capitulated and said the cost of the EpiPen would be coming down through various discounts. In my opinion, this change of plan did not come from the goodness of the CEO’s heart. It came from the political pressures that were placed on the company and the overall outrage that was generated from the general public.


Another Pet Peeve

Here is another pet peeve I have that is nowhere as life threatening or ludicrous as the Mylan fiasco. I get annoyed by medical professionals who give the impression that they are sharing useful information with their readers over the Internet when if fact it is a guise to sell their products.


Recently I received an email from a medical person whom I highly respect. It was a lengthy email explaining how eating a different way could improve specific ailments that the reader might personally experience. As I read through the email, I expected some advice as to what to eat or what not to eat to improve that ailment. Some basic information was described. However, when I got to the end of the email, there was a button to click to get more information. That click took me to a page to subscribe (for a fee) to a series of weekly recipe plans that would be emailed to me so that I could eat healthier and rid myself of that ailment. How disappointing and tricky. The original email gave me no indication that there was going to be a sales pitch when I clicked for more information. So many Paleo-type recipes are available for free on the Internet.


Do I sound too self-righteous? I don’t mean to be.


Let Me Share

Anyone and everyone can recieve my 3-page document that describes the good foods, the bad foods, and the foods to eat in moderation in order to support a healthy body. I also post my original nutrient-dense recipes on my website. These are available for free to those who are interested.


I am not against the entrepreneurial spirit, and I am not against capitalism or making money. Not at all! I am against lengthy emails that appear to be informational, and then getting to the end only to find out it is a sales pitch disguised as quality content. Unfortunately, I see this sales tactic becoming more frequent.


Here are links to my 30-Day Reset Diet and my original Paleo Recipes. Also, here is my graphic of how a typical plate of food should be proportioned. All are free. Share them for free with whomever you wish.


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5 Steps to Heal Your Damaged Gut

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     March 11, 2016  


5 stepsYou may have a damaged gut even without knowing it.


Over 50% of people with an overabundance of bad bacteria in their gut have no obvious symptoms. These people may not experience stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation. Yet, problems in other parts of their body could be caused by what is going on in their gut. Examples could be weight problems, blood glucose problems, heart problems, joint and muscle problems, skin problems, cognitive and neurological problems, and even periodontal problems.


Who knew? Most people would never think that these diseases might be linked to a problem starting in their gut.


I wrote about functional medicine tests to search for the not-so-obvious causes of mouth problems. HERE. HERE. Even if you never had these tests performed, I have a program to help you get healthier. You could start with step #1 below and then evaluate your results. You might want a functional medicine professional to guide you. Here are my five steps:


  1. Begin a 30-day reset of your diet to remove the foods that could be triggering or exacerbating gut problems and include the foods that might help repair your gut. For most individuals, this step alone could completely repair damaged guts. It may take 60 or 90 days for some people to see results.

  3. If you identified that there were an imbalance of bad bacteria and other microbes in your gut, either botanical or prescription medications might be necessary to bring your microbial garden back into balance.

  5. Include appropriate probiotics (friendly bacteria to repopulate your gut) and prebiotics (types of fiber that feed your good bacteria and encourage their growth). At times, it might be better to consume these along with step #2. At other times, it might be better to start taking these after the unhealthy levels of bad bugs have been brought under control. Remember, we are trying to get to the ultimate causes of your problems – not just treating the symptoms of these conditions.

  7. In some situations, you might have levels of toxic substances in your body that could interfere with your normal bodily functions. Some of these substances could include heavy metal toxicity, mold exposure, insecticides and other industrial chemicals. Testing for these substances could be complicated and controversial. However, my first recommendation would be to eat specific, nutrient-dense foods that enhance your body’s natural ability to clear these toxic substances.

  9. Although this may seem unrelated, your stress level has a tremendous effect on the health of your gut and the health of your immune system. You should think about this and come to terms with what bothers you and why. (Here is an article I wrote about mouth lesions related to severe emotional stress.) Coping is critical. You may need to seek professional help to understand your triggers and to learn specific coping skills. Some stress reduction techniques include meditation, mindful living, efficient exercise, restorative sleep, yoga, hobbies, walking in nature, having fun anyway you define it, and engaging in sports.


If you have gut problems, either with obvious symptoms or not-so-obvious symptoms, this 5-step process could make a huge difference in your health.


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Are There Holes In Your Gut?

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     March 3, 2016  


Holes in your gut?Bad things could be leaking from your gut into your bloodstream. It’s called a leaky gut or more correctly intestinal permeability.


You may not know if you have this problem. It’s not necessary for you to have obvious gut distress to confirm you have a leaky gut. You don’t have to have bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. In fact, most people with leaky gut do not have belly problems, but they have other problems in other parts of their body.


Sometimes, a leaky gut could result in thyroid disease, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, insulin resistance, neurological conditions, and various autoimmune diseases.


Interestingly, some mouth problems could be the result of a leaky gut. It is curious how this could occur.


Specific foods like processed grains and sugars (as well as other foods) could cause a change in the balance of bacteria in your gut. An overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut could cause inflammation and damage to the gut lining. This lining is only one cell layer thick, and damage could easily cause small holes to develop. Once this happens, toxic substances could leak into the bloodstream, which would cause various inflammatory reactions. Once in the bloodstream, inflammation could damage tissues in all areas of the body.


It is also noteworthy that the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut could cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the mouth. Here, Here. All of a sudden, a vicious cycle might begin. Here’s how:


The processed carbohydrates that damaged the gut are also the food for the bad bacteria that are now overgrowing in the mouth. The bad bacteria in the mouth continue to grow uncontrolled. Bad bacteria in the mouth could cause gum disease and tooth decay. Also, sores in the soft tissues of the mouth could pop up. As more problematic food is eaten, more damage occurs in the gut, and more bad bacteria proliferate in the mouth. The vicious cycle continues.


So, do you have holes in your gut?


While there is a blood test provided by Cyrex Labs (Array 2) that could help determine if you have a leaky gut, that would not be my first suggestion. The simplest solution would be first to remove all the offending foods that could be the source of damage.


An elimination diet is one that removes all the potentially harmful foods. Here is my 30-Day Reset diet, which is an elimination diet that lists all the bad foods to remove as well as those foods that are perfect to eat. I recommend this first step to my patients who need more in-depth exploration of the cause to their problem. At a later date, other functional medicine testing (including the Cyrex Array 2) could be prescribed if necessary.


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