July 16, 2022
When you are making food choices, do you ever consider: what foods support or help me keep healthy gums and what foods breakdown my gums? Your mouth and the health of your gums can affect your whole body, including influencing some very serious health issues. Today we will discuss what foods are good for oral health and how poor gum health can affect metabolism and other inflammatory conditions. The bottom line is that food matters when it comes to gum and teeth health, so tune in to learn more about what you can do to keep your mouth and teeth happy and healthy!
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CAROLYN: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. If you've been listening to Dishing Up Nutrition for a while, you know that dietitian, Cassie Weness and I shared research and clinical experience about how eating too many processed carbs and sugar can be one reason that 50% of adults today have high blood pressure.
So if you have high blood pressure and missed that show, you may want to listen into the podcast. To hear that podcast: very easy. Just go to weightandwellness.com all spelled out and click on podcasts. You will be looking for the show that aired on July 4th called Blood Pressure: Salt or Sugar. Surprisingly sugar is very inflammatory and I'm sure you've heard us say that before. Right? And affects our blood sugar even more than the salt that you sprinkle on your vegetables. Unfortunately, we don't hear a lot about the sugar side of high blood pressure
JENNIFER: That’s right?
CAROLYN: So now it's time to introduce this week's show and our hosts. I'm Carolyn Hudson, and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian. And I'm officially retired, but I still enjoy presenting nutrition information, doing some classes like corporate classes. And I also obviously am here on Dishing Up Nutrition. So joining me today is Jennifer Anthony, who is a dental assistant and also one of our nutrition educators. Welcome Jennifer. I have never been on the show with you so I'm so happy.
JENNIFER: Me too. I'm delighted to be with you today, Carolyn.
CAROLYN: Yeah. Great to see you. So today we're going to discuss foods for good oral health and how poor gum health can affect our metabolism. I bet that's a new thought for a lot of people.
JENNIFER: I think it is.
CAROLYN: Yeah. Jennifer, how long have you been a dental assistant and maybe you could share with us how healthy patients’ teeth and gums are these days.
JENNIFER: Well, good morning listeners. It's been a minute since I've been in the studio. So Carolyn I am a certified and licensed dental assistant and I have been a dental assistant for 29 years.
CAROLYN: All right.
CAROLYN: Lots of experience.
JENNIFER: Lots of experience and lots of experience in a lot of dental specialties. I've worked in general dentistry, oral surgery, prosthodontics, periodontics, which specializes in gum tissue, which we'll be talking a lot about today. And currently I work in my favorite dental specialty, which about 18 years of the 29 has been and that's endodontics.
JENNIFER: Which is root canal specialty, which I'm sure a lot of listeners are cringing right now. But it is very rewarding because most of our patients leave really happy. We usually raise our expectations of what a root canal is. So to answer your second question how healthy are patients’ gum and teeth, you know, over the last 30 years, I've seen definitely rise in decay. I've seen a rise in periodontal disease, inflammation in the gum tissue and also resorption. And resorption…
CAROLYN: Oh what’s that? Explain that for our listeners.
JENNIFER: Yeah. Resorption is when the tooth kind of eats away itself, almost an autoimmune response if you will. Think of termites and wood. Okay.
CAROLYN: Oh yeah.
JENNIFER: And that can be a result of trauma. It can be a result of teeth moving too fast during orthodontic treatment or unknown reasons. So we used to see maybe one case a year. Now it's several cases a month.
CAROLYN: Wow. Wow. That's a huge increase.
JENNIFER: It, it, it really is. It's surprising.
CAROLYN: Yeah. So we're discussing food that help keep your gums and your teeth healthy and foods maybe that you should think about limiting or even avoid whenever possible.
JENNIFER: Yeah. And some of these may be more obvious where some of these might surprise some listeners. So here's a rather interesting fact: more than half of children six to eight years old have a cavity in at least one of their baby teeth. And the problem with this, Carolyn, is if there's too much decay and that baby tooth is lost too soon, it will affect the development of their adult teeth. So that can definitely be a problem.
CAROLYN: Oh, okay. Very interesting. I'm learning a lot of stuff, Jennifer. That's really good. Another fact is that more than half of teens have a cavity in at least one of their permanent teeth.
CAROLYN: That's, yeah. That's a lot.
JENNIFER: That really is. You want to hold onto these teeth your whole adult life. You want them to be strong. So here's another interesting and alarming fact: up to 75% of adults in America over the age of 35 have gum or periodontal disease, which is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gum tissue. And like I mentioned in the beginning that I worked for a periodontal practice, you know, when people had severe periodontal disease, they definitely had a chronic metabolic disease happening in their body due to inflammation. So there's definitely a link there.
CAROLYN: Oh yeah. Very interesting. So what is the problem with having gum disease? You know, you may, maybe you might have bad breath or a toothache, but it may cause a much more serious problem. Certainly heart disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis and cancer have all been linked to poor gum health.
JENNIFER: Definitely. And you mentioned osteoporosis and interestingly enough, we know the nutrients that are good for our bones are also good for our teeth. There's a strong link between type two diabetes and gum disease. There's actually a two-way link to gum disease and diabetes. Researchers have found higher levels in of A1C when people have gum disease. And for listeners that may have heard of an A1C test, you know, and what really is that? It's a diagnostic test for how well your body has controlled the sugar that's in your blood for over about two to three months.
Gum disease can actually affect blood sugar control. Often people with gum disease can be more susceptible to bacterial infections due to bits of food getting trapped in those unhealthy gum pockets, which can lead to bone loss between the teeth. A study published in 2017, found nearly one in five people with periodontal disease or periodontitis had type two diabetes.
CAROLYN: That's a lot.
JENNIFER: It is a lot.
CAROLYN: One in five. Wow.
JENNIFER: Yeah. And a common drug I would see on medical health histories when I worked in periodontics would be Metformin. And that's that drug…
CAROLYN: For diabetes.
JENNIFER: Yes. Type two diabetes to help control blood sugar.
CAROLYN: Yeah. So I think that's, that's interesting. That's why they ask all these questions at a dental office. What medications are you on? And you know what? I never really put all that together. Cause I've guess I've never had too many problems with my teeth or my gums, but anyway.
CAROLYN: Researchers have found that people with gum disease are twice as likely to have heart disease. Why or what is that connection? So basically, if you have gum disease, you have a low-grade infection in your mouth and that is causing a chronic inflammatory condition in the rest of your body, right? Or somewhere else in your body. So the arteries, they can become inflamed and that's going to lead to heart disease. Or maybe it's your joints that are inflamed. That's going to lead to arthritis, or your brain can actually become inflamed. And that could lead to Alzheimer's.
CAROLYN: That's kind of scary. Isn't it?
JENNIFER: It's very scary. When you're making food choices, especially if you're struggling with gum disease, do you ever consider what foods support or help me keep healthy gums and what foods maybe inflame my gum tissue and could lead to bone loss? Bottom line is that food matters. We say that all the time on the show and in our classes. Food matters and it matters when it comes to our gum and teeth health. Your mouth and the health of your mouth can affect your whole body. It's definitely all connected.
CAROLYN: We see that all the time. Don't we?
CAROLYN: Everything in our body is connected, even if we can't make that connection.
CAROLYN: So that's one of the things we really love doing this show about. We help people make that connection between the food they eat and the things going on in their body.
JENNIFER: Absolutely. We help them connect the dots.
CAROLYN: So there is a connection between weight gain and poor gum health. Is there a connection between, between that; the weight gain and poor gum, poor gum health? It may surprise you that there is a connection, but if you are unhappy with the lack of your weight loss, it could be because of poor oral health. You might be surprised that gum disease and tooth problems could be behind your slow weight loss efforts. So it's already time almost for our first break, Jennifer.
So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Today we are discussing how poor dental health cannot only slow your metabolism, but also create more hunger. Stay tuned because you may find the reason for that slow metabolism. And we'll be right back.
JENNIFER: We are offering another Nutrition for Weight loss virtual Zoom series starting Wednesday, July 20th. If you sign up by July 17th, you can get $50 off the class series fee. And Zoom is such a great way to do a class. If you're busy, if you don't want to have to worry about the gas money to get there, it is such a great opportunity just to do it from the comfort of your own home. So to sign up, call our offices at 651-699-3438 or sign up online at weightandwellness.com.
Also, I wanted to mention that we've got some openings in some of our offices for full-time and part-time front desk positions. And they are in our Maple Grove, North Oaks and Woodbury locations. And this is such a great opportunity, such a fun and healthful environment to work in. It's a great opportunity. So again, just give our offices a call if you're interested in that.
CAROLYN: Yeah. We love our front desk staff people.
JENNIFER: Yes we do. Absolutely. All right. Before we went to break, we were making that connection between gum disease and gaining weight or slow metabolism. So when you have chronic infection in your gums, you usually have inflammation in your body. And this inflammation can alter the way your body uses energy, as well as how it stores fat. So this inflammatory response affects the production of leptin, which is a very important hormone in your body that helps you feel full and satisfied after you eat.
CAROLYN: So, you know, there are many reasons for having a slow metabolism and to always be fighting hunger and wanting more to eat. Oh my goodness. That's a struggle for a lot of people.
CAROLYN: So it could be poor oral health or of course, any of that ongoing gum disease. And that can often slow your metabolism. Again, to help you understand that old diet belief of calories in and calories out is just not working and maybe a subtle way to blame the victims.
CAROLYN: I, I mean, we see that all the time. You know, as a dietitian, I try to find what is that root cause of the slow metabolism? Cause just having people eat less is not the answer.
JENNIFER: No, it never works.
CAROLYN: In fact, I always tell people if, if you have to eat significantly less, you are actually slowing your metabolism.
JENNIFER: That’s right.
CAROLYN: Because you need to, you need to eat to keep the metabolism up and going.
JENNIFER: That's right.
CAROLYN: You know, otherwise you will be doomed to eating that lower calorie, lower intake of foods for a long time.
JENNIFER: Absolutely. We know that a hundred calories of a pastry is not going to react the same way in your body as a hundred calories of wild caught salmon.
CAROLYN: Right. Right. Exactly.
JENNIFER: It just, the calories in calories out, it just doesn't work.
CAROLYN: It doesn't work.
JENNIFER: Let's look at the connection or association between periodontal disease and obesity. A study published in the Journal of Dental Research in 2009 titled, “Is Obesity and Oral Bacterial Disease”, came to the conclusion that gum disease or periodontal disease may contribute to the development of obesity. An analysis of populations with and without periodontitis indicates that 70% with periodontitis are overweight or obese compared to 37% without gum disease.
CAROLYN: That's an amazing statistic.
JENNIFER: It is. Yeah. And what's a connection there? Inflammation. They also found that overweight people appeared to have more severe periodontal disease. They had more plaque, more bleeding and deeper pockets for infection to form. And I want to circle back to plaque. So most people generally know what plaque is as that, that slimy surface on your teeth. But what is it? It's the waste that comes from bacteria. Kind of gross to think about, but if you leave that on your teeth and you don't clean it off properly, it will form into tarter. And tarter is what's scraped off in your dental cleanings. And the most common area for that deform is on the lingual part of the lower interior teeth or the tongue side of those lower front teeth. And I, for one struggle with that too. One thing that I have found to work really, really well is a toothpaste called Dentalcidin.
CAROLYN: I love Dentalcidin.
JENNIFER: It's great. And we sell it in our offices, but what it really does, it’s from a company called Biocidin and it helps to balance all the bacteria in your mouth. Because again, plaque is the result of bacteria.
CAROLYN: Mm-Hmm. And just to be clear, Jennifer, bacteria in your mouth is normal, right?
JENNIFER: It's normal.
CAROLYN: We're supposed to have bacteria in our mouth.
JENNIFER: Yes. It's like, just like in our gut.
JENNIFER: We have good bacteria and we have bad bacteria. In fact, dental decay is a result of a certain type of bacteria combined with a sugar source. And some people don't have that bacteria. Yeah. They just born without it. And my husband's one of them. He's never had a cavity.
CAROLYN: Oh, wow.
CAROLYN: That's so it's kind of in our DNA maybe.
JENNIFER: Yes. That has a lot to do with it too.
CAROLYN: Interesting. So I want our listeners to think about, you know, this concept of microbiome, you know, we've got a microbiome. We have these microbiomes kind of acting independently and interdependently throughout our body, in our mouth, in our stomach, in our gut.
JENNIFER: In our eyes. In our brain.
CAROLYN: Yes. Everywhere.
CAROLYN: Everywhere. So that's really interesting. So researchers have found pro-inflammatory cytokines produced by gum disease actually increases our insulin resistance. It also increases inflammation and causes weight gain. So oral bacteria may contribute to obesity in actually three different ways. Oral bacteria alters metabolism, usually causing weight gain.
JENNIFER: The bacteria that's present in periodontal disease can stimulate, stimulate our appetite much in the way like we just talked about, you know, the bad bacteria in our gut, which is similar. Also can crave, give us cravings to want to eat more. It's like the bacteria saying “feed me”, but it's not saying “feed me grass fed steak and broccoli”. No, no. It's saying feed me donuts. Feed me pizza, right?
CAROLYN: Yeah. Yeah. Something sweet and nice.
JENNIFER: Yeah, absolutely. So third: oral bacteria increases insulin resistance and creates a defective metabolism. And again, the end result when you have a defective metabolism is that you can gain weight easily.
CAROLYN: So what else does poor dental health cause? We know any chronic inflammation puts stress on the body. Stress, no matter what the source will raise cortisol levels and higher cortisol levels can decrease your thyroid hormone production and interfere with the conversion of T4 to active T3. So again, your metabolism is going to be affected. So it's almost time for a next break here already, Jennifer.
JENNIFER: Flying by.
CAROLYN: So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Last week, I was checking out at the grocery store and I overheard two ladies complaining about their menopause problems. Waking up in the middle of the night, having hot flashes. They were both really stressed out about their body changes. So I thought to myself, oh my goodness, these women need to take the Menopause Solution series and get some answers.
So if you are struggling with hot flashes or sleep problems or anxiety, or even that weight gain that happens during menopause, let me suggest taking our six class series Menopause Solutions. It's an online class and it's taught by Melanie, a registered and licensed dietitian, and Kara, a certified nutrition specialist. So give us a call at (651) 699-3438 and ask your questions. We will strive to help you have menopausal zest instead of menopausal problems.
JENNIFER: It's a great class.
CAROLYN: And we'll be right back.
BRITNI: Hi, this is Britni, one of the dietitians at Nutrition Weight and Wellness. Before we get back to the show, let me ask you a question. Do you ever experience brain fog, PMS, hot flashes, or maybe acne along your jawline or chin? Often these symptoms can be caused by hormone imbalance. And that is why we have something special planned for Dishing Up Nutrition listeners. Starting July 25th, we will be offering a free five-day online challenge called Take Control: How to Rebalance Hormones Naturally.
During our free five-day challenge, you will learn the connection between food and hormone balance while taking on daily attainable challenges that lay the foundation for improved hormone health. You will have access to a private Facebook group, daily Facebook live events and exclusive daily challenge resources sent direct to your inbox.
If you are ready to take control and rebalance your hormones naturally, sign up for this five-day challenge by going to weightandwellness.com/challenge. That's weightandwellness.com/challenge. I hope you will join us July 25th through 29th for this free online challenge. Thanks for listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. And let's get back to the show.
JENNIFER: If you want to change some not so good eating habits or just learn what real food nutrition is all about, let me suggest taking our signature class called Weight and Wellness. This is an in-person class series starting August 18th through September 22nd. And this one is taught at our Woodbury location. It's six classes for two hours from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. And this one is on Thursday evenings and nurses and social workers can earn continuing education credits and learn an eating style that supports your health. I've taught this class. I've taken this class. It's so much fun. It's so much fun just to see, you know, how well people progress throughout the class.
CAROLYN: Yeah, I love that class.
JENNIFER: Me too. So if you're interested, give our offices a call at (651) 699-3438 and we'll get your questions answered.
CAROLYN: So before we went to break Jennifer, we were talking about weight gain and cortisol levels and the ability for us, for our thyroid to change the inactive T4 to T3 in order to increase our metabolism. Right?
CAROLYN: So there's a lot going on there.
JENNIFER: There is a lot going on. In those cases we're feeling run down. We're feeling tired. We're craving sugar.
JENNIFER: Yeah, definitely. The downside of high cortisol levels is it will usually raise blood sugar levels. And this is really interesting, especially, you know, we know continuous glucose monitors are real popular right now for people and even people without type two diabetes. And the most interesting thing is for these people that get them, what amazes them the most is obviously our blood sugars are going to rise when we eat sweets and sugary foods or processed foods. But what they don't realize is when they have a tough morning or they're anxious about something, suddenly their blood sugar goes up.
CAROLYN: Oh yeah, yeah, definitely.
JENNIFER: Yeah. And so when that happens, it increases your risk of gaining weight around your middle and that'll lead to insulin resistance and prediabetes. So to not gain weight, especially around the middle, it's important to manage stress. Okay. Whether stress comes from lack of sleep or poor gum health, it's necessary to manage stress. I mean, it's a stressful time right now.
CAROLYN: Oh, for, for how long now, Jennifer?
JENNIFER: Yeah. It's crazy.
CAROLYN: Oh my goodness.
JENNIFER: And we don't have control over a lot of that.
CAROLYN: No, no. So we need to try to manage that stress the best we can.
JENNIFER: That's right. We do have control over how we manage our stress, what we're putting in our mouths and how we move our bodies.
CAROLYN: Mm-Hmm. So as a dietitian, you know, helping clients lose weight, I often have to cut back on a client's exercise. And I think, you know all about that. Don't you, Jennifer? Maybe we'll hear a little bit more about that later. But over exercising or overworking often creates a stress response and clients actually end up gaining weight. So I can't tell you how many times I told clients, oh, you're exercising just a little too much. And they go, well, how can that be? You know, but at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we really try to find the real cause of that slow metabolism and help them correct that problem.
JENNIFER: That's right.
CAROLYN: Again, we dig to the root.
JENNIFER: The root cause. Yeah. It's just so funny how people think, well, I'm going to sacrifice my sleep to get up early and go to the gym. And it, it just works against you.
CAROLYN: It doesn't work that way.
JENNIFER: Yeah, that's right. So as a dental assistant, we often suggest that patients to reduce sugar and processed carbohydrates. And I really want to zero in on soda, not just regular soda, but diet soda. So the ingredient that we're most concerned about is phosphoric acid.
CAROLYN: Mm-hmm. Yes.
JENNIFER: It not only damages bones, but it damages the enamel on her teeth and it, it will erode away at our teeth. And diet soda has even a little bit more phosphoric acid in it
CAROLYN: Than regular pop.
JENNIFER: Now, when you, when I've been to certain dental seminars, what's always fascinating is they'll hold up a, a, they'll have a slide of two miles side by side with eroded teeth and one, a patient had abused meth and the other one, they had abused soda. And you can't tell them apart.
CAROLYN: It's that distinct.
JENNIFER: It's that distinct.
JENNIFER: Yeah. So yeah, it's, it's a definitely a problem, you know, and I think most parents are teaching their kids to cut out the sugar, to stop drinking the soda and the juice, but kids and most adults are still overusing sugar and processed carbohydrates because about 75% of adult Americans have periodontal disease. You know, whether that's in the form of gingivitis, more of a mild case or severe periodontal disease.
But rather than talking about the dangers of sugar, let's spend the remainder of this hour sharing nutrients you need to create healthy gums and teeth. And I want to mention a book if you're more interested on this that I absolutely love. And it's by Weston A. Price. And the name of the book is Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Now Weston A. Price was, he was a Canadian dentist and he really was interested on the relationship between nutrition, dental health, and physical health. And so he did the research throughout the world. It’s a fascinating book: highly recommend it.
CAROLYN: Well, thank you for that. I'm sure some of our listeners will try to seek out that book and, and read it. So one of the nutrients so important for good gum health is vitamin C. So several studies have found that even 200 milligrams, which isn't very much of vitamin C daily lowers your risk of gum disease. So let's talk about foods that are loaded with vitamin C: broccoli. One of my favorites. I usually put a cup of frozen broccoli in my smoothie every morning. Red pepper, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, oranges, lemon, kiwi, and grapefruit. So are you eating one of these foods with each meal or maybe just once a day?
If you slice up a red pepper and snack on it throughout the day, you're going to get about 108 milligrams of vitamin C. Add maybe a cup of strawberries to your morning protein shake, and you've added another 85 milligrams of vitamin C. So just between that red pepper and a cup of strawberries, you've taken in enough vitamin C for your gum health to be on the safe side for your gums and for, of course your immune system.
CAROLYN: Or, you know, you could just add one or two tablets of a supplement, like Complete C 1000. That would also do the trick, right?
JENNIFER: Yeah. Lots of delicious ways to get in your vitamin C throughout the day. Some other vitamins that are critical for gum health are vitamin D3 and vitamin K2. And I'm going to talk about D first. So it's perhaps one of the most important nutrients. Have you had your levels checked in the past six months or so? So we suggest for good gum health, the level should be between 60 and 80, and most people need to supplement with vitamin D3 every day. We know we get it from the sun. We also get it from organ meat, such as liver. Also, pasture raised chickens who roam outside often contain adequate levels of vitamin D. And low levels of vitamin D are associated with depression and anxiety or SAD disorder. A lot of people struggle with it during the winter time.
So you're, this is not part of your regular blood panel when you go in for your physical. You have to ask for it. And once you get that blood test, ask your doctor what the results are. Cause they may say it's normal, but their normal is between 30 and a hundred.
CAROLYN: Yes. Excellent point. I've always gone over that with my clients. I said, well, can I see the test result? What, what, what's your number?
JENNIFER: Exactly. So it's really important to get that number. And the other important vitamin, vitamin K2 is so important. Vitamin K2 will take the calcium that's in your bloodstream and deliver it to your bones and teeth where it needs to be. So very, very critical. And the foods that we get vitamin K2 out of are butter, eggs, liver, and some fermented foods.
CAROLYN: Yeah. Dairy products, some, some full fat dairy products.
CAROLYN: So those are good as well.
JENNIFER: And, and so I like to take the if you want to supplement with more to make sure you're getting enough K2, I like to supplement with our Nutrikey brand, the vitamin D3 K2 combined supplement.
CAROLYN: That's what I take all the time. That's my go to.
JENNIFER: Me too.
CAROLYN: So a, a nutrient that's often very much overlooked but essential for healing gum tissue and for good immune protection is vitamin A. Foods that contain vitamin A include fatty fish, such as salmon, organ meats, such as beef liver and cod liver oil. We suggest maybe taking two teaspoons of cod liver oil daily for gum health and for immune function. Unless of course you eat liver at least once a week. So, and you eat liver. You do?
JENNIFER: I love it. I do. I actually have my, at my co-op the butcher there will grind it up for me, some grass-fed liver. And I like to cook mine with bacon and red onion. And I know for a lot of people, liver is kind of a texture thing. You know, when…
JENNIFER: So when it's ground it, you get the same texture as ground beef.
CAROLYN: Okay. Yeah. So that gets rid of that whole texture thing.
JENNIFER: Absolutely. And it's, nature's multivitamin. I mean, you've heard us bring it up every time we talk about a nutrient, we, the food that you can get that nutrient is, is from liver. If you currently have inflamed gum tissue and they need a powerful antioxidant to, to heal your gums, we would suggest taking 200 milligrams of coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 every day.
Research has shown that CoQ10 can reduce signs of gum inflammation and disease, including, you know, bleeding gum tissue, mild to moderate pocket depth. The best dietary source of CoQ10 is meat and fatty fish. And that includes beef, pork chicken. And here it is again, organ meats, as well as sardines, herring, salmon, tuna and mackerel, those fattier fish.
So if you have periodontal disease, you'd want to supplement with 200 milligrams of CoQ10. And I also want to mention that if you're taking a, a cholesterol lower lowering statin drug, you definitely want to be taking CoQ10. In fact, overseas, if they prescribe a statin, they will automatically give them a prescription of coenzyme Q10 with that statin.
CAROLYN: Yeah. I've always talked to my clients that are on statins and get them on again, like 200 milligrams of CoQ10. It's very important. I don't know why all of our cardiologists don't do that.
JENNIFER: Yeah. I wish they did. It stops the liver production from producing the CoQ10.
CAROLYN: Yeah. So, so you need to supplement with it.
CAROLYN: It's yeah, it can be very difficult. So we know that a poor diet high end processed foods and sugar often leads to poor gum health and dental cavities. So is it time to change your nutrition so that you can take control? Maybe. So it's already time for our next break here. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition.
Did you know that there are at least 76 different autoimmune diseases? Almost 5% of the population struggle with these autoimmune diseases and women make up 80% of those certain foods such as processed carbs tend to create more inflammation and discomfort while grass fed meat, organic vegetables, and natural fat actually decrease inflammation. Do you need a real food eating plan to help with your symptoms? Perhaps today is the time to call for an appointment. Our number is 651-699-3438. And we'll be right back.
JENNIFER: You know, if this show is interesting to you guys, if you really want to hear more, more topics on dental health or anything else, we we've talked about this before on some of our shows, but we have a great Facebook group called Dishing Up Nutrition on Facebook. So if you…
CAROLYN: Thanks for bringing that up.
JENNIFER: Yeah. If you have, you know, if you have a Facebook page, just put it in your search bar. Dishing Up Nutrition will come right up. So you can make suggestions for show topics. We share recipes. If you have questions for some of our nutritionists and dietitians, that's a great place to do that.
CAROLYN: That’s a private group.
JENNIFER: It is a private group.
CAROLYN: Go ahead and put it in your search bar and you’re off.
JENNIFER: That’s right. It’s a great resource. Well, some listeners have heard my story before and if, and certainly in my classes, they've heard my story, but I'd like to share it again. It's a life, I'd call it a lifesaving story. It certainly changed my life. So I've struggled with digestive health most of my life. I was a colicky baby because I'm a twin. And so for many years I had poor gut health and I thought it was normal to be in excruciating pain after I ate. And then in the late nineties, in my early twenties, I developed an exercise addiction, which led to an eating disorder and I was in and out of hospitals, a residential facility. And even though I was able to restore the weight, I was never able to shake that addiction to exercise. Now, when I talk about an exercise addiction you know, anyone who struggles with an addiction knows it's not “I want to do this.” It's “I have to do this.”
CAROLYN: Right. Yeah.
JENNIFER: It's that compulsion.
CAROLYN: It's different, different than what I was talking about earlier with just over exercising. Those people are just doing a little too much.
CAROLYN: They don't have to do it.
JENNIFER: Exactly. And you know, so it'd be up to almost six hours a day. There wasn't a lot of sleep in my life. You know, it was, it was, I didn't feel “normal” unless I did that behavior. And I hit rock bottom, if you will, in 2012, I had two emergency intestinal surgeries.
CAROLYN: Okay. That, that would do it.
JENNIFER: Yeah. Followed by a diagnosis of osteoporosis.
CAROLYN: Oh, wow. And how old were you?
JENNIFER: I was 38.
CAROLYN: Okay. Yeah. We don't, I mean, we probably have seen people with osteoporosis that age, but that's really uncommon.
JENNIFER: Yeah. It was severe. It was severe. And, and I had such horrible back pain. I still remember, I, I couldn't even drive for 20 minutes. I would have to pull over and get out of the car because it was like I was sitting on my sciatic nerve and I just, I was in pain all the time. It was miserable. I had also stopped absorbing food at the time too. And the doctors weren't really sure what to do, but luckily I had been listening to this very show since the beginning. And I had always had an, an, a passion or an interest in nutrition and an interest in food itself. I, since a young age, I always loved food.
And I really just intuitively knew that that Nutritional Weight and Wellness could help me. So I made an appointment to see a dietitian November of 2012. And after two weeks of changing my diet, and when I say changing my diet, I did it 100%. I was desperate.
JENNIFER: I went home. I got…
CAROLYN: So you were one of those that got rid of stuff and started in on, okay, this is what the dietitian and nutritionist said I needed to do.
JENNIFER: That's right.
CAROLYN: A, B, C; I'm doing it.
JENNIFER: I was in. I was all in, and I noticed a tremendous change in my health.
CAROLYN: In two weeks?
JENNIFER: Within two weeks. Yeah. I was just feeling so much better.
JENNIFER: But what shocked me the most was just 10 days after meeting with my dietitian, I was driving home from work and I would usually go to the gym. And that particular day, I thought to myself, you know, I'm not really feeling it; kind of feeling tired. I'm going to go home. As I'm driving home, I started to sob because this is the first time that, you know, in 20 some years I didn't have that compulsion.
And I thought, am I really free? Am I really free of this? It was just like this veil was uncovered. It was amazing. And you know, I went on to just continue on this journey of restoring my health and every day was a gift of something new happening in my body. And yes, I was able to reverse my osteoporosis within four years. So two years to osteopenia and two more years to regular healthy bone. Now, I…
CAROLYN: And you didn't take drugs to get out of that. Right?
JENNIFER: I did not. My doctor…
CAROLYN: I want to be really clear about that. Cause most people, if their osteoporosis diagnosis comes in, what's the first thing that the doctor does?
JENNIFER: They want to prescribe a bisphosphonate.
JENNIFER: Which my doctor wanted to do too.
JENNIFER: But working in dentistry, I saw the side effects that would happen in patients that were on these drugs, especially their jaw bone, in their jaw bone. And I knew that I didn't want that route for myself. And I also want to mention, I wasn't eating dairy because dairy was a problem for me with my digestive tract back then. And I stopped eating gluten too.
CAROLYN: Yeah. I was just going to ask you, I thought, I thought you had a gluten sensitivity, right?
JENNIFER: Yes. And because I was eating gluten for all those years, I didn't realize how it was affecting my intestinal health. I wasn't absorbing those minerals and vitamins I needed for strong bones.
CAROLYN: Right. So one of the things about a gluten sensitivity, and it may not be pure like celiac disease.
CAROLYN: But if you're sensitive to gluten again, those cilia or those hairs in your intestinal tract are blunted or stunted. I don't know what words to use.
JENNIFER: They’re flatlined.
CAROLYN: They're flatlined. And that is what affects detrimentally your absorption of any nutrient. So you wouldn't have been able to absorb all of the nutrients that are required for bone health.
JENNIFER: That's correct. I was also a diet pop abuser. I drank…
CAROLYN: Oh yeah. So you had that…
JENNIFER: I drank a ridiculous amount.
CAROLYN: Oh, you did. Okay.
JENNIFER: I did for all my twenties and thirties I drank diet soda.
CAROLYN: So, so you did that cold turkey?
JENNIFER: I did. I stopped that.
CAROLYN: Okay. That's really interesting. Cause I mean, not, not all, not, not that many clients are able to kind of cold turkey it.
JENNIFER: It's very, very, very, that was very, very difficult.
CAROLYN: It was a, it's a difficult thing to give up.
JENNIFER: Yep. I drank carbonated water instead. And Zevia soda, which doesn't contain that phosphoric acid. But yeah, that was a real, that was, I would say that was harder to give up than gluten: the diet soda. Definitely.
CAROLYN: Yeah. I would definitely say that all of my experience with counseling one-on-one clients, or even in our, in our Nutrition for Weight Loss series, most of our clients kind of have to do it step by step. You know, cut back a little bit here and then cut back and cut back until, you know, they no longer have to have that.
JENNIFER: It's difficult. So you can imagine, Carolyn, all this progress that went in in my body and my brain, I became so passionate about nutrition. And I still am, you know, just to see what went on in my body, all I wanted to do after that was help people. You know, that's all I wanted to do.
CAROLYN: Isn't it a great feeling?
JENNIFER: It is.
CAROLYN: You know, you talk to people and they say, oh, I feel so much better. And you saved my life. I was teaching a class the other day. And one of the women came up to me. She said, I know about you because I brought my son when he was three years old to you. And it changed his life.
JENNIFER: Oh, wow.
CAROLYN: Changed his life.
JENNIFER: That's fantastic.
CAROLYN: So our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you very much, everyone for joining us today. And we'll see you next week.