The gift Cody gave me this year...
Updated: Jan 18
It seems like most of our patients knew what I was receiving as a birthday/anniversary/Christmas gift before I did. Whitney, our dental assistant, told me yesterday for every patient who seemed mildly interested he could hardly contain his excitement. Now that I am over the initial embarrassment of Cody's generous anniversary gift (four years of nothing but love), I can divulge some of my inner thoughts, feelings, reactions.
As many of you know, Cody loves health and the human body. That is the basis of our biological dental practice. Recently he has been completing some training in the functional medicine realm, and, well, I sometimes I bear the brunt of his newly acquired knowledge. If you didn't have the pleasure of hearing first-hand what I unwrapped on December 10th (our anniversary…winter weddings are the best!), I'll do the honors: a bucket. Also known as a commode. Or rather, an opportunity to test fecal matter for sensitivities to a variety of things including gluten, cow's milk, eggs, soy, and a report of how capable my gut is of absorbing fat. An opportunity, okay. But I really didn't have a reason to test...
I don't have gut issues. I don't have skin issues. I don't have trouble sleeping. I don't have any neurological issues (at least that I know of).
Nevertheless, to appease Cody, I did it anyway. We both did the test. And here's a snap shot of my results:
“Holy Crap!” (no pun intended) he exclaimed at 4:30am this past Sunday morning while furiously scrolling his email. “Honey, I have some grim news…” The cliff notes version is simple. I am very intolerant to gluten, eggs, cow’s milk, soy, and some other things I don’t really understand (pretty sure Cody doesn’t know either). To me, this is hugely disappointing for obvious reasons. Cookies and cheese are my favorite foods, and after many years of drinking coffee with creamer I finally found an alternative (Bulletproof coffee) which I love and which is also 100% fat. Cody actually apologized a few days after receiving the results,
"I feel like I've taken away your will to live and I regret having you do that test!!!!" he admitted.
The truth is I've wanted to make a dietary change for a long time. Part of the responsibility of owning a biological dental office is not necessarily playing the part, it is being the part. It's time that I take a serious stance to be the best version of myself along with our patients who seem to be so dedicated to health. I don't have any symptoms of food intolerance, but I have learned that MANY people do not have symptoms. I often wonder:
What if I don't know how bad I actually feel? What if by changing my diet now, I'm stopping something that could have spelled drastic problems in the future?
Cutting out dairy, eggs, and gluten (as well as limiting fat) will be difficult, no doubt. It is something I am willing to do now that I have evidence of harm, even if I don't feel it physically. I've been around Cody enough to hear him tell patients that many serious diseases don't hurt (diabetes and cardiovascular disease to name a couple). Chronic diseases are what seems to be crippling our generation. I can’t help but imagine what I might be missing if I didn't take this step, this open door towards optimal health. There is one more thing. I am human. Cody is human too (believe it or not)! Just ask him how he “protected” Vivienne on Halloween night by eating most of her trick-or-treat candy. “It’s called being a good dad Allison!”, third Reeses cup already unwrapped…
And as we approach Christmas, I’m reminded that we have family traditions (of course revolving around food) and I refuse to miss out (at least this year!). I would be so sad to skip chocolate croissants and egg casserole on Christmas morning and Brandy Alexanders in the afternoon! However, I did make a discovery this week that I hope is evidence that cutting out these “staple” foods won’t be so bad ... coconut milk eggnog is definitely BETTER than regular eggnog (you can trust me on this).
I am human, just like you, so I will continue working towards a completely gluten, dairy, and egg free diet and I will not allow myself to feel guilty when life happens. Can you forgive me for not being perfect?
If you're curious about getting your own bucket, or perhaps gifting one to a loved one, let us know and we can get you all the information you need.
Merry Christmas! With Love and Joy, Allison Kriegel
FOLLOW UP: Since so many of you asked...
Hello! Who knew that a gift to my wife would be so curiously sought after. This very brief message is a follow up to our email sent before Christmas, if you missed it, you can check it out on our blog here. You may be wondering why we did this or what this has to do with dentistry. For starters, many of you know my interest is in optimal health and wellness and I enjoy learning new things every day. I recently have been studying gluten, and the damage it is capable of causing to the human system. Many of us (including me before I began to study this family of proteins) are under the impression that if you do not have gastrointestinal issues when you consume gluten, then you most likely do not have an issue/intolerance with it. However, this has proven to not be true, as many people express their intolerance for gluten in other ways, primarily in the neurological system. This chronic inflammation and damage can go unnoticed and undiagnosed for years. A great book on this is called Grain Brain by David Perlmutter. As for dentistry, gluten can play an interesting role for some. When gluten is consumed, it can inflame the lining of the gut and make it difficult to absorb a lot of vital nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, making one much more prone to a host of issues...including dental decay. When someone has a hard time absorbing fat soluble vitamins like vitamin D and K, they now are up against a wall mineralising their bones and teeth. As a result, they are at increased risk for osteoporosis, dental decay, and many other diseases. There are actually ways a dentist can be tipped off to a possible gluten intolerance by markers in the mouth. I am sure many of you know someone who goes to the dentist, does all of the things their dentist tells them to do, and still has a cavity every time they go in for a check up. We need to start thinking outside the box and understanding that fluoride, brushing, flossing, etc, etc, etc cannot outperform poor nutrition. Nutrition is the foundation for everything (including dentistry) and gluten is a bullet many of us should dodge. For those of you who inquired about the test, you can find all of the information you need at enterolab.com. If you want to order your own, follow these steps:
Visit enterolab.com, explore the options you have, find which test best suits you and your needs (Allison and I both tested with the Panel A2: Gluten/Antigenic Food Sensitivity Stool/Gene Panel). Prices will vary depending on which test you choose and if you decide to complete any follow up testing.
Create a client profile, order your test, and list Dr. Cody Kriegel as your "provider".
Let us know how it goes and share your results with us if you'd like! We would love to hear your stories and experiences... past, present, and future!
In service to you and your health, Dr. Kriegel