Deficiency and Toxicity: The 2 Causes of Chronic Disease – Episode #4

Helpful Definitions:

Genome: The genome is the entire set of DNA instructions found in a cell. In humans, the genome consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes located in the cell’s nucleus, as well as a small chromosome in the cell’s mitochondria. A genome contains all the information needed for an individual to develop and function. – National Human Genome Research Institute

Hello, welcome to the Good Living Doc show. My name is Dr. Mark Smith. I am the Good Living Doc. My website is You can find all of my podcasts there, as well as transcripts of each podcast in case you prefer to read rather than listen to these episodes. Thanks for clicking play and giving me a listen. If you like what I’m saying, please follow and subscribe so that you can be notified when I release a new show.

Before we begin, it’s important to know that we’re going to be talking about health matters. We’re going to talk about medicine, disease, natural methods of trying to make our bodies healthier, and it’s important that you understand that I’m not your medical doctor. I’ve never examined you, and so please don’t take what I say during this program as personal medical advice. Please don’t attempt to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition or symptom in yourself or anyone else without the guidance of a licensed health practitioner. And if you decide that you want to change some things about your health care regimen or about your life because of something I say on this show, please do so with guidance…again…with a licensed health care professional.

So, let’s begin.

I want to read you some statistics today. And these statistics are going to blow your mind. How do I know that they’re going to blow your mind? Because they blew mine? When I got done reading these statistics, my mouth was hanging over. Now, these statistics were compiled by some major medical organizations including the…

    • Rand Corporation

    • U.S. National Institutes of Health

    • Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease

    • American Diabetes Association

    • American Cancer Society

    • CRS Report for Congress

    I’m going to put these references on my website so that you can find them and read them yourself if you care to. And we hear a lot of statistics in the United States. So much so that I think that a lot of times we hear so many statistics about health and disease that they kind of just…they don’t impact us very much anymore because we’ve heard them so many times and they don’t shock us like they should shock us.

    When I say that 400,000 people die from heart disease every year, most people hear that statistic and it doesn’t really affect them very much…and it should. That’s a lot of people. But because we hear statistics like that so often, we tend to just kind of zone out when we hear numbers like that.

    Or if I say 100 million people in the United States have diabetes or pre-diabetes, why don’t these numbers shock us? Why don’t they make us question things? And it might just be because the disease care people have taught us that something like diabetes is hereditary. That you have no control over it. It’s just something that is.

    And I think a lot of people feel very helpless when it comes to insulin problems and they don’t really know that there are options…that there are things that they can do to reverse type 2 diabetes. And so I think we hear those statistics and we say…well, I mean, what are we going to do about it? And we just kind of go on with our day because we’re not really aware that there are things that we can do make ourselves healthier.

    Because those statistics don’t really impact us to a great degree, I want to talk about money. I want to talk about the money that the United States spends on these diseases.

    Get a load of this…

    In the U.S. alone, heart disease and stroke cost over 1.3 billion dollars. Cancer, 625 million dollars. Diabetes, 477 million dollars. Obesity, 402 million dollars. And digestive disorders, 337 million dollars…

    Per day.1-6

    Heart disease and stroke costs 1.3 billion dollars…per day. Cancer, 625 million dollars…per day. Diabetes, 477 million dollars…per day. 

    On a per capita basis, these figures apply to virtually every industrialized nation.

    According to the National Academy of Sciences, 30 percent of health care spending provides zero benefit to patients, but instead represents waste due to unnecessary services, excessive administration costs, price gouging, inefficiency, fraud, and lack of effectiveness. Just the cost of healthcare waste exceeds 1.2 trillion dollars per year. 2.4 million dollars per minute.

    And as mind boggling as those numbers are, they don’t include the cost of millions of visits to doctors, millions of visits to hospitals, and millions of treatments to deal with the side effects associated with prescription drugs every year.

    I can’t believe it. I can’t believe these numbers. All this money that we’re spending…that United States is spending on these diseases, and they’re just getting worse. There’s no answer.

    If you get a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, you have type 2 diabetes, and you get on medication that you never get off of. You have type 2 diabetes forever. Trillions of dollars. The amount of money over the last 20, 25 years with these statistics…we can’t even wrap our minds around how much money that is.

    And everywhere I look is a sick person. Everywhere I look…heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, mood disorders, depression, anxiety, attention deficit, digestive problems, people having their gallbladders taken out, prostate cancer, breast cancer…what is all this money doing? And it’s providing zero answers.

    This goes back to the conversation we’ve been having over the last couple of weeks about the differences between the disease care people who teach us that the body is weak sick and stupid, and me trying to tell you that your body is intelligent and that it’s designed for health innately from birth.

    Maybe the reason that these numbers aren’t shocking is because people believe the body is weak, sick, and stupid. And if that’s the case, if these things are all just inevitable, then the numbers just are what they are. They’re inevitable. There’s nothing you can do. And so, it is what it is, basically.

    If you believe your body is intelligent, and that you were designed for health…that the body was made for health, then it’s just mind-boggling.

    I have a patient that came in last week, and this guy loves coming here. He’s a cool dude. He’s from Jamaica. He was walking out of his front door that day…he’s telling me…and his neighbor was outside and said, you know, he had his work shirt on…and the neighbor said, “Oh, you’re going to work?” And he said, “Yeah, I’m going to go to my chiropractor first, but yeah, then I’m going to work. And the neighbor said, “You believe in that crap?”

    And we chuckled about it because….you know…in 26 years I’ve heard that again and again and there’s nothing I can do about it except laugh. But it also depresses me because I know that there are people like that out there who would never consider doing anything but disease care.

    I have a friend like this. This guy gets a sinus infection twice a year, and twice a year he goes to his disease care doctor and gets a prescription for antibiotics. And the guy’s miserable for two or three weeks, but he never would consider…this is a friend of mine too…you know…which is funny because he would never consider doing the things that I tell him to do like changing his diet, take some of these supplements, you know…do the kind of things that we know help the body work better…to get that inflammation down and to get his immune system up so that he doesn’t have these problems, but he does not want to hear it.

    And there are people on the other side of that track too, where they won’t do any kind of medicine. They won’t take any kind of drug, and I think that the answer to living well…to good living…is somewhere in the middle. There’s a place for all these things. It’s just that the two different philosophies that we’re working with just have different tools at their disposal and you have to know when to use the right tools.

    If you use the right tools for the job, we have much better chance of coming out on the other side better off.

    Disease Care and Wellness Require Different Tools

    It’s like if your house was on fire. That’s an emergency. What are you going to do? You’re going to call the fire department, and the fire department’s going to come out and the fire department has very specific tools that they have to help you. They have axes and hoses.

    So they’re going to go in your house and they’re going to use their axes to bust out windows, and break into places they need to get to for their hoses, and they’re going to knock down burning debris so that it doesn’t catch other parts of the house on fire, and they’re going to drench your house with water. They’re going to destroy your house. I mean it’s already being destroyed, but they’re going to destroy it their way in order to save the structure.

    Now, once the fire is out, it doesn’t really make sense to use the same tools because now you’ve got to rebuild. Right? Now you’ve got to rebuild your home and it would make no sense at all to use the same tools to rebuild. You can’t rebuild a house with axis and hoses. You’ve got to call the carpenters now. You need hammers and nails and carpet and paint and drywall. Those are different tools.

    The wellness people are the people who build you up. They’re the ones that have the tools to make the body healthier…to teach you and guide you and to make the body healthier. You can’t use axes and hoses to rebuild the house. But in the same way, when there is an emergency, you’ve got to use emergency measures.

    So, you’ve got to use the right tools in order to do something that the body needs. Sometimes saving your life is important. Sometimes the fire department’s got to show up and they’ve got to do their thing to save you. But it doesn’t make any sense. You need different tools in order to get yourself well because axes and hoses just don’t work.

    If all people do is the emergency care, which I consider to be disease care, too. Because if you’ve got a disease, it’s an emergency.

    You know, people don’t think that type 2 diabetes is an emergency because so many people have it. It’s so common that no one is scared about this disease. No one realizes what’s going on in their bodies. They just go, “Well, you know, I’ve got diabetes. I gotta eat some sugar-free food now, and take my pills.” Because it’s just so commonplace…or high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

    There are three things…there are three signs that a health crisis is coming to you. Number one is high blood pressure, number two is high cholesterol, and number three is high blood sugar. Bad things are coming if you have one of those things and you don’t do anything about it except control the symptoms and live your life. You’ve got to do something else in order to help and try and figure out what’s going on in your body and try and reverse it and make yourself healthier.

    If you don’t, then the road is the same. It leads to a bad place. If you only do what all the sick people around you do, you’re going to be sick, just like them.

    From Disease Care to Wellness Requires Change

    Once the emergency is handled, something has to change. Something has to change in order to bring your body out of this and it’s possible. Listen, there are people who follow programs with people who know what they’re doing, who reverse their diabetes, who get off their high blood pressure pills, who reverse their problems because they’re doing the things the body needs in order to express health.

    This is a monumental idea. Disease does not happen to a body. It’s not something that gets into your body. The body expresses itself based on what it’s capable of, and what it’s capable of has a lot to do with our lifestyle. But disease is not something that happens to you. It’s something that the body expresses. And if that’s the case then health is too.

    Health isn’t something that just happens to somebody. It’s something the body expresses when it’s allowed to, when we give it the things that it needs in order to express health. If your body is not expressing health, then it’s missing something or it’s getting too much of something it doesn’t need.

    I have this book on my bookshelf called the Merck Manual and probably every physician in the United States has this book in their office. It’s this giant thick book, it’s got thousands of pages in it, and it lists all the diseases known to man. So that you can go and read if you want to learn about a disease or what’s happening. It’s got all the diseases and a description of what’s happening and etc.

    Interestingly, I noticed a long time ago, when it got to the place where it says etiology, like what’s causing this problem, it was always either unknown…etiology unknown means we don’t know. Or, they would point to another organ or system in the body. Like your heart is doing this because your circulatory system is doing this. Well, why is the circulatory system doing that? So you go to that section of the book and you start reading about that. And it would either say well, we don’t know, or it would point to something else.

    What Drives Us Away From Health Toward Disease?

    So there’s this giant book with all these different causes of disease. But there are only two reasons that your body expresses disease. There’s only two things that can bring your body away from a state of health. One is deficiency, and one is toxicity. Deficiency and toxicity.

    That’s not just food. We’re talking about the things that our human genome…our genetic code… the genetic code is the same for all human beings, okay? And it basically lays out what is needed for the human species to thrive. Our genetic code determines what we’re supposed to eat, how we’re supposed to live, how we’re supposed to exercise our bodies, and it’s like that with every different species and it’s all the same. Every human is the same.

    There are zebras in Africa and there are zebras in the United States and both of those zebras in both areas of the world need the same thing. They have the same genome. If they didn’t have the same genome, one of them would not be a zebra. It’s the same thing with you and me. If we didn’t have the same genetic code, one of us wouldn’t be human, and it’s that genome that determines what we need.

    Let’s take diet, for example. The human genome determines the nutrition that I need to go into my body. That doesn’t mean that it’s going to tell me I need eggs or I need this food or that food or I shouldn’t have this food or that food. It simply outlines the nutrients my body needs to express health.

    But deficiency and toxicity…and there’s a big debate in the natural world about toxins. As soon as you say toxin they shut you down. They’re like “Toxins don’t exist. All right, that’s unscientific, unproven.” But there are such things as toxins.

    I think people got a bad taste in their mouth about that because…with all the cleanses, everybody was saying you need to cleanse because you got toxins and here, take this supplement, take my shake and use my shake to detox your body…you know…all that kind of stuff to detox and all that. So I mean people, they have a problem with toxins.

    But to me a toxin is anything that you put in your body that makes it adapt. It makes it adapt because there’s some kind of negativity involved with it. So if I eat something and my body changes in order to deal with that thing in a negative way…if it changes in a negative way…it’s causing an imbalance or something because I ate this thing, that to me is a toxin. It’s something that the body has to defend itself against…or it has to do something it wouldn’t normally do in order to deal with it.

    If I eat an apple, my body knows what to do with that. If I eat a cupcake, my body doesn’t know what that is. Cupcakes don’t grow on trees. So the body has a hard time…has to adapt to that thing and so that is toxic to my body. It’s causing stress in my body because my body’s like, what is this thing? I have to do something with this. I don’t really know what it is and so it’s a negative thing.

    So deficiency and toxicity are what make humans sick. And a deficiency could be anything that the human genome needs that it’s not getting. Not just nutrition, but it can be proper amounts of healthy exercise. It could be proper amounts of sleep and rest. It could be healthy social interactions. It could be a loving, nurturing environment that you live in. Those things are all necessary in order for our bodies to express health. And if there’s a deficiency and in any of them, it forces our body to adapt and that adaptation…the changes your body has to go through because of them cause us to get sick…eventually…cause the body to fall out of what we call health and stop expressing health and start expressing adaptation that eventually leads to disease.

    Same thing with toxicity. I’m not just talking about bad food. I’m talking about a toxic home environment, bad relationships, abusive relationships, being sleep deprived, having too much stress, exercising incorrectly…those things are toxins and in order to fill a deficiency or purify a toxicity, changes have to be made. You have to change something. And that’s uncomfortable too, for a lot of people. Very hard to change out of a lifestyle that you’ve lived for decades. Especially when there are people living in the household who aren’t supporting you.

    But drugs don’t improve health. Drugs are for emergencies. Drugs take care of the emergency. They handle the emergency that we’re going through. But they’re not the tool that brings wellness.

    Good Health is not a result of good genes

    Filling deficiencies and purifying toxicities are what bring health to a body. And if you’re not doing any kind of work to figure out what those deficiencies and toxicities are, you’re never going to reach a state of wellness.

    I have another patient. I’ve been seeing her for most of my career. She comes to see me every week without fail. She loves it here. She’s like a family member. I’ve known her for half my life probably…and she lives right. She’s thriving. She’s 80 years old and she’s thriving. She eats well. She keeps herself active. She works in her garden. She gets plenty of time outside in the sun. She’s got some stress, but she deals with it. She takes measures to mitigate that stress. She sleeps well. She’s got her lifestyle figured out. And she’s healthy. She doesn’t have any health problems.

    Her husband, on the other hand, is a wreck. Diabetes, heart problems, depression. I mean, it’s very sad…the state of health that he’s in. But he believes that it’s just luck. It’s just a role of the dice. And he gives her flak for all the things that she does for herself. And he does whatever he wants. He eats fast food every day. He smokes. He doesn’t get a lot of exercise. And his health has really gone downhill. And he thinks it’s just chance. No wonder he’s depressed. He doesn’t think that there’s any way out.

    There is. And it’s hard to look at somebody who’s healthy because the disease care people have taught us that health is a state of luck. Man, that person’s lucky. No diseases. Healthy. Must have good genes. Because to them ill health is bad genes. But if you show me a person who lives like her, I’ll show you a pretty healthy person.

    At 80 years old, still thriving, doing whatever she wants to do. She has very little pain ever. On no medications. She’s doing wonderfully. That’s not luck, gang. Okay? That’s not luck. She has done a lot of work with deficiency and toxicity. Of course, genetics play a role, but not like we think.

    If you’re not eating food that came from the earth…if the majority of your diet isn’t food that came from the earth…whole food, not processed food, not anything in wrappers bags and boxes…I’m talking about whole food…like you pick an apple from a tree and you eat it. That’s whole food. Once you turn that apple into a cup full of apple sauce with all kinds of chemicals and sugar in it, that’s not whole food anymore. But if 80 or 90 percent of your diet doesn’t consist of whole food, you’re deficient.

    You may not be having symptoms and pain and disease, but your body can’t be as good as it could. If you don’t give the body what is required by our genetic code, our genome, you are deficient. And that doesn’t mean that you’re going to immediately have pain and disease and symptoms, but you can’t be as good as you could be if you were giving your body what it needed in order to express health.

    There’s a lot of misconceptions about how we feel. We tend to think that how we feel is how healthy we are. If we feel good then we’re healthy. If we don’t feel good, then we’re not healthy. People tell me, “I know I’m 50 pounds overweight, but I’m healthy.” And the lifestyle that goes into that kind of situation is not healthy. And eventually it’s going to catch up with people, you know, eventually it’s going to catch up with you,

    But our research and our attempts to live well have to go into understanding what the body needs and how to provide it. And learning what kinds of things are toxic to the body and avoiding them. Deficiency and toxicity are the only two things that cause the body to express disease. So if you’re having a health crisis, if you’re having chronic health problems, look there first. Look to those things where you might be missing something, where you’re not giving your body what it needs to thrive.

    If you’re not exercising…exercise is genetically necessary. If you’re not exercising, you’re deficient in healthy movement. If you’re not sleeping, you are deficient in getting proper rest. If you’re going home and drinking every night, you’re building a toxicity. If you smoke, or do other kinds of drugs, if you didn’t get any vegetables today, but you ate other things…if you’re eating things from wrapper’s bags and boxes…those things are toxic and you’re building a toxicity.

    Every aspect of our daily life has to be evaluated for the things that we know provide our bodies with what they need to express health.

    Now what are deficiencies and what are toxicities…the details…the specifics…we’re gonna get into that. Can’t do it today. I’m right at the end here. So we’re gonna put a pin in that. We’re going to stop there and your goal today is going to be to try to start doing things that you know you’re deficient in and start taking away the things you know are building toxicity in your body…to build a healthy state of wellness.

    Episode 4 Good Living Tip of the Day

    In the last episode, I did the good living tip of the day. And here’s my good living tip of the day for episode 4…warm up. Especially if you’re in your 40s and 50s and you still think you’re 20 like I do. If you’re going to work out, or you’re going to work in the yard, or you’re going to help somebody move, or even if you’re going to pick up something heavy in your house…warm up first.

    Get your body ready. Get your muscles warm before you stress them. After age 40 or so, people start coming into my office with all kinds of injuries…injuries they’ve never experience before. A lot of the time it’s because they tried to do something physically strenuous without preparing their bodies for it.

    If you’re going to take a long walk, warm up first. Do some bodyweight squats, stretch out a little bit, do some very gentle repetitions of the activity you’re about to do. Get your body ready for what you’re about to do. You’ll save yourself a lot of misery.

    Because when you start reaching your 40s and 50s, you don’t really know where your limits are until you cross them. And then I’ve got to see you. Then you come in here and your neighbor is helping you walk in. So warm up before you do anything strenuous.

    Thanks for listening everybody. I appreciate you being here. We’ll see you next time on the Good Living Doc show. I’m Dr. Mark Smith…the Good Living Doc. All my podcasts are there. I’m also on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. And you can listen there and subscribe and then when I come out with a new one, they’ll notify you. And also transcripts are on the website in case you can’t listen to the show or you’d rather read it.

    As always, I appreciate you. I can’t do this without you. Until next time…take care. See you soon.


    1. Wu, Shin-Yi and Green, Anthony, Projection of Chronic Illness Prevalence and Cost Inflation. RAND Corporation, Oct. 2000.

    2. U.S. National Institutes of Health, 2000 John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

    3. Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. 2009 Almanac of Chronic Disease. 2009.

    4. Finkelstein, EA et al. Annual Medical Spending Attributable to Obesity: Payer-And Service-Specific Estimates. Health Affairs 2009;28(5)

    5. American Diabetes Association 2010.

    6. American Cancer Society 2010.

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    1 thought on “Deficiency and Toxicity: The 2 Causes of Chronic Disease – Episode #4”

    1. Pingback: Why Humans are the Sickest Species on Earth – Episode #11 – Good Living Doc

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