This is going to be a long post so you have been forewarned. My Mom has had health issues for as long as I can recall, everything from asthma to Gurd, to thinking she had fibermyalgia at one point – which she didn’t have but they gave her weed pills so that was interesting. Right before we left for Bali in September I got a call that my mother was in the ER with congestive heart failure resulting from a virus in her heart. They didn’t know the cause of the virus but they ruled out heart disease and said she did not have a heart attack. It turns out her heart’s ejection fraction was 20% (an average healthy heart is around 60 – 65%). One of the things my mom did mention to me in passing was that she had recently been to the dentist where she is typically administered antibiotics because she has a pre-existing heart murmur (something doctors consider very common). I never knew that people with pre-existing heart conditions are given antibiotics when having dental work done, but apparently this is common knowledge in the medical industry. My husband, who is a nurse in the heart unit, looked at me like yep this is something we all know. At that time this piece of information was mentioned but not given a lot of attention to as they were focused with the immediate task of draining the fluid from her heart and lungs. She was released the next day and put under nurse evaluation over a few months to see if the heart could heal itself before advancing to the next step.
Five months passed with my mom seeing no improvement in her overall energy or ability to do anything for a prolonged period of time. Even taking out the trash was becoming difficult for her and she would have to take a break. My mom was sent to a specialist in February to see if she would be a good candidate for a pacemaker which would make her heart pump more blood, hopefully increasing her ejection fraction on its own. She was told she was a candidate and in quickly underwent surgery to have a pacemaker inserted at the age of 62. Nothing is more upsetting than watching a loved one struggle with their health. But what makes it harder to watch is when they do not see the connection and importance of living a healthy life for their bodies and how everything correlates. My parents were raised in a different time, they aren’t avid researchers and they believe what a doctor tells them without question. Well, thank God they have a daughter like myself to ask the hard questions, disagree with the doctors and research the hell out of things.
Over those weeks I had started listening to the Food Heals podcast and there was an episode where the ladies were telling their back stories. One was talking about how she had a cavity and started looking into healing her teeth on her own as well as other tips to keep an alkaline and clean mouth. I didn’t give it much thought in connection with anything, just listened to what they said and wrote down things to remember. That night I talked to my mom who sounded pretty down about her heart situation and discouraged that the pacemaker wasn’t making her feel any better. If the pacemaker doesn’t work your next and only traditional option is a heart transplant. She was very scared and did not want to go through with that option, she said she would just accept her fate in that case. I cried when I got off the phone with her thinking of the possibility of a reality without my mother, but then I got mad, like really freaking pissed. This can’t be the only option I told myself. I can’t just accept my mom has CHF and then gets a heart transplant at 62 years old. I won’t accept it. Then the lightbulb went off in my head. I thought back to the Food Heals episode about dental issues and I started avidly researching dental issues and CHF. Well, there is a lot of research and studies out there directly linking dental issues to heart disease, CHF and autoimmune diseases like MS and Lupus. Let that sink in for a minute. Your mouth health can cause issues in your body from autoimmune to heart disease. Who the F knew?!
So, back to when my husband acted like this was all common knowledge. If it is, why aren’t doctors sending patients to the dentist right away and/or educating them on this? And if they are mentioning it why aren’t patients immediately looking into how to heal their mouths if they had work done? I get angry because so many people (my parents included) only look at treating the immediate issue and dont think about helping the cause of it or even admitting something so simple as your mouth could be the cause. So I started to ask my mom about her dental history and what do you know, she’s had multiple root canals which is one of the leading causes I have found that can result in heart issues. Shortly before she experienced her heart issues in September, she went in to fix a root canal that already had an infection in the tooth, the same visit where she was given zero antibiotics. In my mind all of this added up and meant there was a very high probability that her root canal infection and bacteria in her mouth, coupled with her weak immune system sent the virus to her heart. Again – this is common knowledge in the medical field. For those of us who are healthy you could have the same scenario, but may not get an infection or you could, but it wouldn’t go past your mouth to your heart because your immune system is strong enough. I felt like a freaking food detective that had just cracked a case. I felt on top of the world. But once I knew the cause I had to start researching the solutions and quickly.
// SOLUTIONS //
Intravenous Vitamin C or High Dose Vitamin C // One of the major solutions I kept coming across was Intravenous Vitamin C or high dose Vitamin C. I watched a video about a man who had an ejection fraction lower than my mom’s who solved his CHF issues with 1. IVs of Vitamin C and 2. having his root canal removed by a holistic dentist (watch below).
Here is another great source of cases that were cured by fixing dental issues such as root canals: http://www.icnr.com/cs/cs_17.html. I also read that 90% of root canals get an infection so this is very common.
All of my research was enough for me to pursue this path for my mother. I figured it couldn’t hurt and if it didnt work at least we could say we tried other alternatives than waiting around. If you are interested in Vitamin C IVs look in your area for holistic or alternative medicine facilities that administer these. If you cannot afford them, try the high dose at-home vitamin C protocol which you can read about on Chris Beat Cancer website. I started my mom on this protocol shortly after, once we realized how expensive IVs are and she says that she feels much better when taking it. She is currently taking about 10,000 mgs or 10grams of Vitamin C a day right now of Solaray Vitamin C Powder ($15). The Vitamin C helps out the immune system and combats the infection. “Vitamin C supports nearly every system in your body: your adrenals, your immune system, your cardiovascular system, and more. Perhaps the most important is that it is a neutralizer of free radicals. The sicker and/or more toxic you are, the more free radicals you have in your body, and as a result, the more Vitamin C your body will absorb and use.” (source)
CoQ10 // CoQ10 strengthens the heartbeat to boost output and can improve ejection fraction. A review of 11 CoQ10 studies has confirmed that a 3.7% improvement in ejection fraction and a 0.28 Liter/minute increase in heart output. (source) I got my mom on CoQ10 right away.
Dental Appointment // My mom actually listened to me about the dental connection and made an appointment with the dentist. She went in a few weeks later and voila! they found a serious infection with an abcess in one tooth (on the last root canal they had touched with no antibiotics) and two other teeth with issues as well. They had no idea how long it had been there but it was severe. She was scheduled for oral surgery on the worst tooth to have them go in and clean out the infection, which happened this week. I feel so blessed that my mom listened to what I was saying and actually went to see if this was happening. From what I have read you can have a serious infection and not even know it, which is what happened to my mom. It also doesnt always show up on X-rays so get more than one opinion if necessary.
2. Oil pulling // Oil pulling is thought to remove pathogenic bacteria, improve oral hygiene, and help detoxify your system. To perform it, you vigorously swish an oil (coconut oil) in your mouth, “pulling” it between your teeth for 20-30 minutes than spit it out.
3. Tongue scraping. Using a toothbrush just pushes crap in more on your tongue.
4. Eat an alkaline diet, so cut out the crap! Bacteria and infections thrive on sugar, acid and junk so cut out the processed foods and try to add more plant based foods in your diet. When I say processed I mean meats and cheese too, yes these are highly processed along with all the other crap like crackers, cookies, fast food, etc. Try to keep your body like a green machine, so think salads, juices, plants, vegetables and fruit along with tons of water. I also read a lot about the benefits of turmeric and its ability to kill bacteria so I would advise in adding this in too.
My mom has slowly been improving over the past few months as she has followed the high dose Vitamin C regimen and the dental cleaning steps. Her infection was just cleaned out this week and I am so excited to see how her health improves now that the infection is removed. I am not expecting a miracle, but I am hoping for a slight improvement in her overall health. My advice to anyone reading this is to research like hell and push for alternative explanations for things doctors can’t explain. Luckily my moms regular doctor and cardiologist have been openminded and on board with all of our alternative methods and we have been working together for an integrative approach to healing her heart. I will write a follow up post once more time has passed so I can share her recovery. I hope this post helps someone out there who needs it. xx, Beth