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What Can We Learn From Our Current Affairs?
By, Dr. Robert Waters
If we can learn anything from the current world-wide infection, it is that we need to take care of ourselves. If we make ourselves resilient…if we maximize our biochemical health, we will be able to resist diseases, viral and otherwise. Data from around the world indicate that old, frail people and people with serious illnesses like diabetes and emphysema are overwhelmingly the ones that get seriously ill and die from the present virus, and indeed, from influenza outbreaks every year. Very healthy people and children may only experience mild symptoms or none at all. In addition, more and more studies, have revealed that the lower a person’s vitamin D level, the more susceptible the victim becomes to serious illness or death. Deficiencies of other nutrients like zinc, C, A, Omega-3 also weaken us.
The other day, my daughter was at a grocery store and saw an older man with a mask at the checkout. The young man bagging groceries was also wearing a mask; the older man then complimented the employee for wearing a mask. Most of the people in the store, including the cashier and my daughter, were not wearing masks. My daughter then noticed that the mask wearing customer had one item in his cart – a case of soda pop. This got my daughter thinking about how our focus has been really skewed – from taking care of ourselves and thus preventing or minimizing the results of an infection (things we have control over) to worrying about wearing masks, gloves and drowning ourselves in hand sanitizer.
When I started my practice in 1983, I entitled it Waters Preventive Medical Center. I had adopted the idea that “we are what we eat” and also, how we digest that food. In addition, I also learned early on that in the last century, humans have intoxicated the Earth and themselves with 10’s of thousands of new synthetic chemicals and millions of tons of toxic metals.
Because of my extensive background in molecular biology and biochemistry and also serendipitous encounters with patients suffering from unique clinical syndromes who couldn’t be effectively treated with the standard therapies I learned in medical training, I centered my practice on replenishing the body with unprocessed, whole organic food. Body systems can’t be repaired without adequate biological building blocks – nutrients – vitamins, minerals and essential fatty and amino acids.
I also adopted various interventions to rid the body of the myriad of metallic and organic toxins that every one of us has accumulated. This is done primarily through the use of chelation therapy to remove toxic metals like lead, cadmium, aluminum, mercury, arsenic. The organic poisons from plasticizers to pesticides are best removed by sauna therapy. Of course, we also use various herbs and gastrointestinal detox procedures.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but most patients that come to me are already suffering with significant symptoms or overt disease states. While nutritional interventions and detoxification procedures are the center piece of treatment, we go into detail to uncover and address the various underpinnings of their condition.
Like all physicians, we start with a thorough history and physical. This includes a look at their family, occupational and dental histories. Risk factors are thus identified that are contributing to their complaints.
We then dig deeper through extensive laboratory evaluation. Most MD’s look at basic tests: blood counts, chemistry panel, cholesterol panel and maybe a thyroid test. This isn’t nearly enough to understand and treat most illnesses. For example, do you know your vitamin D level? This “vitamin” is actually a steroid hormone that activates 100’s of genes related to bone health, immunity, neurological and psychological function, blood sugar regulation and much more. In fact, virtually every cell has receptors for the active form of vitamin D.
We also measure trace elements like zinc and copper; iron status – too much is as dangerous as not enough; fatty acid content of cell membranes; markers of free radical damage and, of course, endocrine functions. The later includes evaluation of adrenal, thyroid and sex hormone biology.
2500 years ago the Father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates said: “All disease begins in the gut.” The scientific work done over past decades has documented his statement to be absolutely true. Gut health is related to every system of the body. The series of organs from your mouth to your colon contain the organs of digestion and also a population of microorganisms numbering 10-fold our own cells. The scientific library Pubmed (The National Library of Medicine) at last look listed 70,734 scientific treatises on the topic of the relationship between this “virtual” organ and every cell and tissue in our body.
We evaluate the members of this digestive community – both beneficial and pathogenic – the capacity of the digestive juices to break down our food; the presence of inflammation; the production of the vitally important short chain fatty acids, synthesized by our bacterial partners and the immune status of the gut.
After the lab tests are obtained, we advise a nutritional regimen to regain and maintain your health. This is not a diet! It is a return to your ancestral way of eating. We help you individualize this to fit your lifestyle and medical needs. The most important thing to do is eliminate the toxic substance called sugar.
We also begin correcting your chemistry with nutritional supplements, herbal medicine, endocrine balancing molecules and in some cases, small doses of pharmaceuticals such as low doses of the immune-regulating agent naltrexone. We also address the pharmaceuticals you are presently taking and attempt, over time, to reduce or eliminate them if possible.
In summary, if we can take anything away from the current situation, let it be the need to have robust health. Real health gives resilience and resistance to disease. Prevention.