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July, 2012

What's Your Patient's Wellness Number? It's Time You Found Out

By Donald Hayes, DC

The germ theory of disease was popularized by Louis Pasteur in the mid 1800s. The theory was not new at the time Pasteur claimed to have "discovered" it and for the most part had been dismissed as invalid by the leading scientists of the day. Nevertheless, Pasteur promoted the theory that fixed, external germs invade the body and cause a variety of separate, definable diseases. In order to get well, you need to identify and then kill whatever germ made you sick.

The tools generally employed were drugs and surgery. Prevention included the use of vaccines as well as drugs, which, theoretically at least, worked by keeping germs at bay. Obviously this approach was and still is embraced by the allopathic and pharmaceutical world.

Biological Terrain versus the Germ Theory

Just prior to the time that Pasteur began promoting the germ theory, an extremely brilliant medical doctor and medical school physiology professor by the name of Claude Bernard developed a theory that the body's ability to heal was dependent on its general condition or internal environment. Thus, disease occurred only when the "terrain" or internal environment of the body became favorable to disease.

According to Bernard and most other scientists of that era, disease occurred to a large extent as a function of biology and as a result of the changes that take place when metabolic processes are thrown off. They knew that germs existed, but they believed that germs became symptoms that stimulate the occurrence of more symptoms, which ultimately culminate in disease. A body thus weakened also naturally becomes vulnerable to more external harmful germs.

A key "metabolic process" that would be thrown off as a result of a biological change would be the pH of body fluids.

In fact, history clearly demonstrates a connection between the thinking of Guyton and Bernard. Guyton's physiology professor at Harvard was Walter Cannon, MD, who coined the term Homeostasis in 1902. Cannon gave much of the credit for his concept on homeostasis to the research and work years earlier by Claude Bernard.

To point to a modern day reference of terrain versus the germ theory, research published in Science Daily on April 2, 2012, that was conducted at Carnegie Mellon University by a grant from the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, stated that colds (condition) are "not caused by the cold virus (germs)" but are a "side effect" of the ability of the immune system to regulate inflammation (terrain).

Is the Terrain Is Strongly Defended?

Chiropractors have always had a desire to have a clinical marker of a patient's current state of wellness that was noninvasive and would not increase the burden on healthcare costs. Patients certainly are looking for a more accessible, inexpensive, noninvasive, easy-to-use screening tool that would help their doctor monitor their health status and devise an effective preventive and therapeutic wellness lifestyle treatment plan.

Doctors and patients need not look any further than a simple principle taught in medical physiology: saliva pH!

It's my opinion that saliva pH is the best marker of that elusive wellness goal because, among other things, recent published research shows that a decrease in saliva pH correlates linearly with pro-inflammatory blood cytokines, the chemical messengers that trigger cellular inflammation in the body that can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, oxidative stress and cellular inflammation.

What Is Cellular Inflammation?

Cellular inflammation is the type of inflammation that is typically below the level of perceived pain. This type of inflammation disrupts hormonal signaling at the cellular level that can lead to a reduced blood and saliva pH value and eventually can lead to the development of chronic disease and decreased physical performance.

You can't feel cellular inflammation, but you can measure it. The best way to measure cellular inflammation is by saliva pH testing.

Is Saliva pH Testing Valid & Scientific?

Research published in February 2012, using saliva pH as a marker, showed a linear correlation to pro-inflammatory blood cytokines and chronic disease.

As saliva pH went down and became more acidic, cardiometabolic risk components such as inflammation, oxidative stress, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and CVD went up. In fact, inflammatory cytokine status progressively increased across all pH quartiles in the whole sample group. The authors of the study suggested that the biomarkers of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease could be performed directly from saliva pH, eliminating the need for blood sampling and thereby decreasing costs while increasing accessibility to screening tools. E-mail me to receive more information on this published research.

What Causes An Acid-Alkaline Imbalance?

Alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, sugar, carbonated beverages, all processed and fast foods are acidic. The acidity of some soft drinks is caused by carbon dioxide, which is a waste product we breathe out. If you add to that acidic carbonation and up to 10 teaspoons of acidic sugar, it's easy to see how quickly a person can create an imbalance. If you drink one eight ounce glass of a popular cola drink that has a pH of 2.5, you would need to drink 20 eight ounce glasses of pH 7.0 water just to neutralize the harmful effects.

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