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The Toxicity of Smoking

Some years ago Danny, at age 50 decided to let go of addictive habits and turned to Dr. Dennis Fera, a holistic physician in Hillsborough, for help.

Dr. Fera tells his patient that age 50 is an excellent time to pursue good health—and it’s never too late to start.

Danny lit his first cigar-ette at age 19. He smoked 30 cigarettes a day for the next 30 years, until, with Dr. Fera’s help, he put the habit behind him.

Says Danny, who prefers informality, “He told me it was ludicrous to keep load-ing up with toxins when one of my goals in coming to him was to detoxify my body. He convinced me that age 50 was exactly the right time for me to go down a new path to good health.”

Danny also speaks openly of substance abuse issues, especially alcohol, which cost him his marriage and resulted in long black-out periods earlier in life.


Says Dr. Fera, “Not surprisingly, considering his history, Danny came to us with significant health problems related in large part to his addiction to tobacco and other substances. The best estimate is that cigarettes and cigarette smoke contain about 4,000 chemicals, including nicotine, tar, arsenic, and carbon monoxide. More than 40 of these chemicals are proven carcinogens, creating risks for both active and passive smokers.

Many Approaches to Health and Healing

As a holistic physician with extensive training in physical medicine, Dr. Fera employs many "non-traditional” therapies to aid his patients in their quest for emotional and organic balance and robust health. His therapeutic approaches include:

CHELATION THERAPY. A safe, effective IV detoxification process that is also increasingly used to restore the blood flow in victims of arteriosclerosis without surgery. Often used to remove concen-trations of mercury, lead, and other toxic metals from the body.

OXIDATION THERAPY. Another IV procedure that rapidly relieves allergic reactions, symptoms of influenza or other acute viral infections. Tumor cells, bacteria, and other unwanted foreign elements in the blood can usually be destroyed with hydrogen peroxide treatment.

A procedure called “photolumin-escence” is beneficial in the treat-ment and cure of an extremely broad range ailments, from colds and flu to kidney diseases, osteo-porosis pain, tinnitus, certain dermatologic problems, and many others.

PROLOTHERAPY. Used for treat-ment of painful joints (back, neck, shoulders, knees, etc.). An injection procedure that is often beneficial, particularly when other treatments don’t work and X-ray findings are negative.

NEURAL THERAPY. Scars and other traumas to the body can cause areas of disturbed energy flow known as “interference fields.” Neural therapy eliminates the interference field, restoring normal energy flow and balance to the nervous system.

NATURAL HORMONE THERAPY. Used to address a wide range of problems including fatigue, weak bones, frequent joint injury or chronic pain, weakened immunity, thyroid problems, unsatisfying sleep, and skin problems.

NUTRITIONAL MEDICINE, including IV therapies and a strong emphasis on nutritional balance and proper use of vitamins and supplements.

STOMACH AND INTESTINAL SCREENING AND TREATMENTS. Used to discover the presence of pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, yeast, and various parasites, and to overcome digestive related prob-lems, GI irritation, and inflam-mation.

MERIDIAN STRESS ASSESSMENT TESTING a non-invasive technique to evaluate imbalances in glands and organ systems, and to help the body achieve optimal balance.

“Testing revealed that Danny had a number of serious heavy metal toxicity problems, including abnormal levels of mercury, lead, and cadmium in his blood and in his body. Cigarette smoking is the most important single source of cadmium. On average, smokers have four to five times higher blood cadmium concentrations, and two to three times higher kidney cadmium concentrations, than non-smokers. These high levels of cadmium promote skeletal demineralization and increase bone fragility and fracture risk.”

Testing the Patient

Testing also revealed that Danny’s lungs showed signs of heavy stress as a result of years of smoking. A stressed liver was likely linked, at least in part, to substance abuse issues. And testing also revealed that Danny was a good candidate for chelation therapy—a process that, over time, removes heavy metals from the body.

Notes Dr. Fera, “We also tested to determine the toxic issues confronting this patient. For many patients, intravenous Vitamin C and replacement mineral infusions are necessary to support the body through the metal removal process. A complete program of chelation therapy includes good nutrition, pure water, vitamin and mineral supplementation, regular exercise, and avoidance of health-damaging habits such as smoking and excessive intake of alcohol.”

Removing Toxins

Removing toxic metals from the system promotes many beneficial changes, Dr. Fera notes. “Chelation therapy is proven to be a safe, effective, relatively inexpensive treatment to restore the blood flow in victims of arteriosclerosis, for example, without surgery. Through the intravenous administration of EDTA—an FDA-approved prescrip-tion medicine—toxic metals that contribute to free radical damage are eliminated from the body via the urine.

“Free radicals are created when food is oxidized to create energy,” explains Dr. Fera. “During the process, free radicals are produced that are highly charged oxygen molecules that are harmful to the body in general. They are usually neutralized by antioxidants like vitamins C and E. When the body is overwhelmed by free radicals, they overcome the antioxidants available, which can lead to many health problems. The most common causes of free radicals are excess sun, smoking, stress, and obesity.

“Toxic metal build-up,” he continues, “creates free radicals that damage cell membranes and blood vessel walls—resulting in arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Hardened arteries reduce blood flow. This build-up of plaque in the arteries reduces the nutrient and oxygen exchange between the blood and tissues; reduced blood flow through the arteries starves vital organs of life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients; enzyme systems are disturbed; cell walls become leaky, allowing calcium, sodium, and other elements to enter.

“All of these conditions, and more, can lead to heart attacks, strokes, memory loss, impotence, possible amputation of extremities, and more,” says Dr. Fera. “Free radical damage is also believed by many scientists to be a significant contributing cause of cancer, diabetes, and other ‘age-associated’ diseases.

“With chelation therapy, leaking and damaged cell walls are allowed to heal, and arterial plaque formations smooth over and shrink, permitting greater blood flow. Circulation improves. Arterial walls become softer and more pliable, resulting in easier expansion, and normalizing blood pressure. The function of individual cells and enzyme systems improve. Chelation therapy increases oxygen and nutrition to cells as well as facilitates the removal of cellular waste products.”

Just four months after working with Dr. Fera, the patient reported that “I feel more fit, more completely healthy, than at any time I can remember in my entire life. I’m just getting better every day.”