By Rick Merizon

I am humbled and so inspired to have been asked to write this new addition to the BaleDoneen newsletter. This is going to be a space through which we can all learn the incredible journey others have taken to wellness through the BaleDoneen Method (BDM). I hope this new column can be data-driven, experiential and, most of all, inspiring. 

It is so fitting to have this first story detail the experience of Dr. Wade Marler. After reading his story, all of us will be able to relate to some or all his struggles and subsequent incredible successes. Wade is a 52-year-old father of five young boys, has been married for 27 years, lives in the Seattle area and is a practicing dentist. What follows is Wade’s story in his words.

Tell me a bit about you and your life prior to seeking the BaleDoneen Method:

I was very active in high school sports in a small town in Ohio. I was your typical tall, thin high school boy who was really into sports. I played basketball and was part of the winningest team in my high school’s history. It is a small accomplishment, I know, especially for a small-town school, but was pretty fun. I have also always loved to water-ski. After high school I served a two-year mission for the Church of Latter-day Saints in Brazil. While there I was very humbled and realized how most of the rest of the world lives. I was extremely grateful for all that I had in this very wealthy country. After my mission I went to Ohio State University for dental school. I’ve been practicing since and try to keep up with my boys and their active life.

Tell me about your journey that brought you to the Bale Doneen Method:

In dental school I started gaining weight and became less active the busier I became. Over time, I developed metabolic syndrome (a combination of factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high fasting blood glucose, and excess abdominal fat). Over 20 years I gradually became sicker and developed anxiety, for which I have a family history. I began medication for my anxiety. However, it continued to limit my interest in doing things that I would have otherwise wanted to do. As time went by, I became less active, gained more weight, and struggled to maintain the lifestyle I wanted. Only one year ago I planned to retire in four years because of the stress and I didn’t think I could continue to do my job physically because my body didn’t seem like it could handle the stress. I was achy every morning and developed sleep apnea (a major risk factor for heart disease and one that limits sufferers from getting a productive night’s sleep).

I found the BDM through Doug Thompson. Doug runs a dentistry wellness center in Michigan and worked with Dr. Bradley Bale (co-founder of the BDM) to develop the periodontal guidelines for BDM dental providers. After reading Beat the Heart Attack Gene, I was sold. I had my initial assessment with Dr. Pierre Leimgruber at The Prevention Center for Heart & Brain Health in Spokane in January, 2022.

Tell me about what Dr. Leimgruber discovered during your initial assessment:

When I visited Dr. Leimgruber for my initial assessment, my total cholesterol was 259 (anything over 200 is high), I had high systemic inflammation, Lp-PLA2 was 138 and Hs-CRP was 6.3 (anything <0.5 is high), my fasting blood sugar was 111 (anything over 80-90 is considered high), and even though I’ve never partaken alcohol, I had a fatty liver thanks to a high-sugar diet. I also discovered I had several significant genetic risk factors for cardiovascular disease. I was overweight and prediabetic, and Dr. Leimgruber confirmed I had metabolic syndrome.

How has the treatment plan been working?

Incredible! My life has taken a 180-degree turn. I actually love my job because now that the anxiety is gone, the stress is very manageable and no longer debilitating. I can also move throughout my day without aches and pains. I have been eating much healthier foods and sticking with my genetically appropriate Mediterranean diet. I’ve lost more than 70 pounds since January. My most recent lab results provide the hard data for what I’ve been feeling. My total cholesterol is 131 (down 128 points), my inflammation markers are down considerably. My Lp-LPA2 is 73 (down from 138) and my Hs-CRP is 1.9 (down from 6.3). My fasting blood sugar is 78 (down from 111 and back to a healthy level). I no longer have a fatty liver or am prediabetic. As far as my bloodwork goes, I look like a young adult.

I’ve also started taking several supplements including Omega 3, vitamin D, CoQ10, and a daily aspirin, and completely cut out sugary drinks. My dietary changes weren’t easy, but I was very motivated. The rewards have far outweighed the drawbacks. I’m trying to eat “farm to table” style with lots of whole foods. I’ve continued to use my CPAP machine for sleep apnea. I know I’m not sleeping as well as I could be, but I am working on that.

Have you been able to improve your overall quality of life?

Absolutely. The anxiety part was very significant, and I’ve been able to get control of that. As the inflammation in my body decreased, my anxiety went away. I understand that one of the effects of the microvascular inflammation in the brain can be anxiety, depression, ADHD, memory loss, dementia, and other brain disorders. There is a growing body of evidence that shows links between inflammation and mental health. People with high levels of anxiety often have the same inflammation markers that contribute to heart and arterial disease.

I’m still getting well and improving, but my bad days now are much better than my good days were before. I’m hoping to start water-skiing again and am excited for that. I’m also very excited to go to work every day, which is a big change from before. I no longer plan to retire any time soon because I look forward to helping others. I feel so much better, and have more energy and new, reinvigorated joy for my daily life. My brothers (a physician and a pediatrician) and I are starting to utilize the BDM in our own practices and will be offering the BDM for all our dental and medical patients.

Do you have any thoughts for other prospective patients?

Yes, I’m trying very hard to point my patients to the BDM to improve their health. The approach and treatment are life-changing and very different from the symptom-based healthcare system of today, as opposed to the root-cause-based treatment of the BDM. Like I said, my brother and I will be practicing the BDM and providing those insights for our patients.

We Americans are sicker than we know. Ironically, there are 10 million more thin people with metabolic syndrome than overweight people; though I acknowledge if you are obese your chances of having metabolic syndrome are much higher than the thin population. Many people don’t realize there are better answers, and in many instances it’s not just drugs. So many ailments stem from unhealthy arteries (eg. brain, limbs, eyes, kidneys, and heart). These diseases collectively affect the majority of Americans and can be controlled, or more likely reversed, through modifications in diet, lifestyle, and including certain supplements. 

What did you think about the process of finding a BDM provider and submitting your new patient forms?

It wasn’t bad at all. Before becoming a patient, I was very concerned and knew the BDM was my best option. The whole experience was very pleasant and impressive. The initial assessment was incredible and a very rare phenomenon in today’s medical field. I spent four to five hours with Dr. Leimgruber to learn all about the BDM, root causes of inflammation, insulin resistance, arterial disease and my treatment plan. I had lots of time to ask questions.

Is there anything else that you want to add about the experience?

What the BDM offers is to live your longest, but most importantly, healthiest life. The BDM improves your health span and allows you to live a longer, healthier, and more enjoyable life.