Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Understanding and preventing tooth decay


Tooth decay is widespread.  One out of five children has tooth decay, yet it is 100% preventable and cavities can even heal, if they are addressed early enough.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria, which are passed from person to person.  We acquire them from our parents and loved ones, even as infants.  These bacteria enjoy eating simple carbohydrates (sugar) and they then excrete their toxins in the form of lactic acid.  Lactic acid then can sit on the teeth and demineralizes them which puts a hole in your tooth.  We call this kind of tooth damage a cavity. Left unattended or untreated the damage can extend deeper into the tooth. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Nutrition and Tooth Decay


  

Did you know tooth decay is a (relatively) recent problem for mankind?  Until the advent of farming approximately 12,000 years ago, cavities were rare in our ancestors. With the addition of grains to the diet, the bacteria in our mouths began to change. The bacteria, once benign, started evolving.  Thus, tooth decay was “born.”  As more food processing developed people started eating flour, breads, sugar, and processed foods. This encouraged the oral bacteria to become even more aggressive and destructive. 
A researcher from the turn of the 20th century, a dentist named Weston Price, was a man well ahead of his time.  He and his wife traveled to many points on the globe, exploring the mouths and diets of people living in isolated tribes or communities.  These people had not had exposure to the processed foods, flour or sugars that were the main diet staples of the then current “modern” societies.  Dr. Price photographed and documented the many big, beautiful, healthy smiles of these indigenous people. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Food and Dieting Myths - Healthy weight loss



In trying to maintain a healthy weight I needed to unlearn many of the myths surrounding food and dieting.

A CALORIE IS NOT A CALORIE

I used to believe that the number of calories I ate were the key to weight gain. I believed the myth that calories in and calories out accounted for all weight changes. This was very frustrating for me because I just couldn’t seem to eat small enough portions to lose weight. Also, eating these small portions left me very hungry and unsatisfied.

Eventually a doctor I consulted recommended a low carbohydrate diet and suddenly I started to shed my excess weight without difficulty. What I came to learn is that contrary to popular belief, calories are NOT the only thing you need to concern yourself with when it comes to losing weight. Research over the last 20 years has made remarkable progress in understanding adipose tissue (body fat cells) and how we gain and lose weight. Calories have very little to do with this process. Some calories (carbohydrates and sugar) can turn straight to excess body fat and some simply cannot.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Water Therapy - the gentle pain reliever



I have experienced chronic pain since I suffered a spinal injury when I was a teenager. Prior to my injury, I was able to run, hike, backpack, bike and do just about any other exercise that a healthy young woman could do. In fact, I loved all kinds of exercise. However, after my injury things were different because many types of exercise started causing me discomfort. Eventually, I discovered water therapy and water became my friend. Especially, natural salt water because it does not have any chlorine and it nourishes my body with minerals from the ocean.

Not all of us have access to the ocean but many of us have access to some kind of swimming pool, whether it be at your local YMCA, JCC or sports club. There are also many water therapy programs that specifically work with patients in chronic pain.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Withdrawing from Opiates - Part 2 of 2.




(Read Part 1 at this link.)

After 1-2 weeks of taking opiate analgesics our bodies develop tolerance and become dependent on them. This means that it might be very uncomfortable to suddenly discontinue the use of opiates. There are several key concepts to helping withdraw comfortably from opiates.

Prevention of withdrawal symptoms:

Before we discuss strategies for withdrawing from opiates, let’s discuss how to help to mitigate the inevitable onset of tolerance and dependence to begin with.

If your doctor feels that you will need to be prescribed opiates for longer than 1-2 weeks, then ask that they prescribe a long acting opiate right from the start. Long acting opiates smooth out the highs and lows of the medication in your system which decreases the development of tolerance and abuse. With short acting opiates the body gets a high dose and then quickly switches to a lower dose after just a few hours. Your pain level with increase with each low that occurs, potentially making you feel like you need a higher and higher dose to keep you comfortable. In this case you don’t need a higher dose but a formulation that smooths out the highs and lows, so you stay in a steady state of pain relief over time. This also makes it much easier to withdraw when it is time to discontinue the use of opiates.