IS IT possible for us not to get sick? In my previous column, I identified various factors that predispose us to illnesses and diseases--genetics, nutrition, excessive "stress" and environmental pollution. Other than air pollutants and fine particulates, polluted water, soil and our food intake are contributory factors to diseases that range from birth defects and cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. They also can affect the immune system, causing other chronic illnesses like allergies.

Commonly ignored household pests and insects

Flies can smell five miles away and even fifteen miles if the wind is strong. As such, a garbage dump located this distance can be reached by a fly that is possibly a disease carrier. House flies tend to stay within one to two miles of where they were born but will travel up to 20 miles to find food. They breed in garbage cans, compost heaps and pet areas. A fly cannot eat whole and hard food, the reason why before they feed, they first vomit on the foodstuff they landed on to soften it. While feeding, the fly also defecates on the food, releasing all kinds of microbes that cause diseases. Other insects like cockroaches do the same thing, defecating while feeding on the food they landed on. Cockroaches that proliferate in many cities, especially high-rise housing in old congested districts, carry many diseases like diarrhea, hepatitis, dysentery, typhoid, amoebiasis, parasites and other microbes. Dirty, stagnant water is host to mosquitoes that carry such deadly diseases like dengue—now one of the top killers in the Philippines. Dengue mosquito carriers can be avoided by putting used crude oil in stagnant waters. Rats if they bite have a more potent effect than rabies that results from dog bites. They bring many germs like microbes that have been found to cause communicable diseases like polio, typhoid, pneumonia, hepatitis and others. Sundry household dirt, as well as those from the surroundings, invite different types of microbes—a reason why we have to keep all water sources like wells, away from contaminants.

Dental factors

Largely known to ordinary folks, common dental amalgam fillings and chronic sickness is now recognized by a significant number of dental practitioners, physicians and researchers as harmful to health. The problem is rooted in the fact that dental fillings actually comprise 50 percent mercury: the most toxic, nonradioactive, heavy metal on earth placed inside our mouth as dental fillings. Through time, mercury can slowly leech out of dental fillings. Leeching of mercury may damage the nervous system that can lead to symptoms resembling multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome and senile dementia.

Gum infections can lower the body's immune system and increase susceptibility to diseases in other parts of the body. According to Dr. Burton Goldberg, misalignment between the skull and jaw caused by temporary mandibular joint syndrome can also create various types of stress leading to depression, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, chronic pain and low back pain.

Root canals can be a major cause of illness.

The late Dr.Weston Price, former Director of Research for the American Dental Association, claimed that if teeth that have had root canals are removed from patients suffering from kidney and heart disease, these diseases will resolve in most cases. Dr. Price found that toxins seeping out of root canals may cause systemic diseases of the heart, kidney, uterus, and nervous and endocrine systems. Dr. Michael Ziff, a dental specialist from Florida points out that research has shown that 100 percent of root canals result in residual infection—a phenomenon due to the imperfect seal that allows bacteria to seep in. The oxygen lack in the environment of a root canal can cause the bacteria to change, producing potent toxins that then leak out into the body. According to an expert, Dr. Huggins, nutrient materials can seep into the root canal through the porous channels in the tooth, allowing bacteria to flourish. He states further that, “Extraction of root canal teeth should be the first thought when considering the health of the patient.”