The Top 5 Benefits of Activated Charcoal

Reasons To Use Activated Charcoal

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

What is Activated Charcoal

Powdered activated charcoal

Activated charcoal, formerly referred to as a “universal antidote,” is used in homes and hospitals around the world to treat a variety of problems, ranging from at-home beauty treatments to remedies for life-threatening conditions.

Internal Use

Activated Charcoal Internal Use

We are consuming more toxins than ever, so it is important to take steps to lessen the load our biology has to process. Toxins coming from pesticides, processed foods, chemicals in the water, and our environment all put unnecessary stress on our bodies. A large, porous surface area allows activated charcoal to bind to toxins and drugs, effectively reducing the damage the toxins would otherwise cause.

Detoxification: Taking activated charcoal capsules after exposure to unsavory toxins supports healthy liver and kidney function and promotes health and longevity.

Hangover Rx: Taking a capsule of activated charcoal with each drink will help your body get rid of the alcohol, lessening the effects of a hangover. The reason behind this is the porous surface, which is able to absorb toxins and safely escort them out of your body.

Gas/Bloating: Studies have shown capsules of activated charcoal as an effective method of lessening symptoms of gas and abdominal cramps. Taking a 500mg capsule with your meal can reduce the uncomfortable bloating that follows.

Click here to schedule a consult with a functional medicine doctor to determine how activated charcoal can help you!

Cosmetic Use

Activated Charcoal Cosmetic Use

Surprisingly, activated charcoal can also be used in a variety of ways to enhance natural beauty and for anti-ageing effects.

Teeth Whitening: Despite their deep black color, activated charcoal capsules can be used as a natural teeth whitener. Simply pop open a capsule, wet your toothbrush, and dip it into the charcoal powder. Brush your teeth with the charcoal for about two minutes, rinse thoroughly, and admire your bright white smile!

(Note: Charcoal is a great way to whiten teeth naturally, but as with any teeth whitening process, don’t do too much too fast! Stick to brushing with charcoal ~2 times per week.)

Clear Skin: Activated charcoal can be used on the skin to achieve a clear, glowing complexion. Use it in a face mask to reduce visible pore size and pull toxins from the skin, or add some to your face wash for a detoxifying exfoliant.

Healthy Hair: Hair, like skin, can get oily. Activated charcoal can be used as a dry shampoo to lift oils from the scalp and give your hair more volume. Bonus: treat your scalp by adding some activated charcoal to your shampoo! Not only will it leave your hair feeling cleaner, but it also can help ease symptoms of dandruff and itchy scalps.

Medical Use

The ER has used activated charcoal as an emergency treatment to overdose for ages. Charcoal’s ability to bind to most organic compounds, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, bleach, cocaine, and mercury make it a miracle for dealing with accidental poisoning. However, proper dosing is necessary for charcoal to work; be sure to have medical oversight in case of emergency.

Closing Remarks

Activated Charcoal is a powerful tool to have in your health arsenal. Keep in mind, moderation is key! We’ve learned how charcoal binds to what you consume, and charcoal doesn’t discriminate. It will just as easily bind you the good nutrients as it will the bad toxins, so don’t go crazy! Charcoal can also cause constipation when consumed in excess. Taking a couple of capsules after a risky meal or with some alcoholic drinks is ideal usage. If you are worried about taking too much activated charcoal or are starting to experience constipation, you can mix it up with Detox Aminos to offer your body a powerful antioxidant boost!

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor for a personalized health plan!

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3521259

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26409027

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1306980/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0008816/?report=details

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1676641/

 

Best Supplements and Nutrients for Detoxification

 

Best Supplements and Nutrients for Detoxification

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Types of Toxins

There are two main types of toxins that we are regularly exposed to, called endotoxins and exotoxins.

Exotoxins are toxic materials that come from the outside world and make their way inside us, for example, by eating or breathing them in. They include foods, cleaning agents, car exhaust, makeup, as well as much of what we ingest both topically and internally. They also include less-visible sources, such as radiation and electromagnetic stressors from cell phones and towers.

Types of Toxins

Endotoxins are toxins produced within our bodies, such as those produced by our gut bacteria or those formed when our organs incorrectly or incompletely perform a task.

Light to moderate exposure to the stressors listed above is normal, and improves the body’s ability to react to stress. However, too much exposure can throw our processing of these stressors into overdrive, which allows the toxins to hurt the body.

Modes of Detoxification

The human body has many modes of getting rid of toxins naturally; here are some of the main players in the human detoxification system:

Modes of Detoxification

  1. Skin: Sweating expels toxins through the skin. Detoxification the body leads to beautiful, glowing skin!
  2. Liver: The liver plays a major role in detoxification by preparing toxins to be expelled as urine or as bile.
  3. The Gut: A healthy gut is crucial for properly getting rid of toxins, otherwise, toxins may be reabsorbed through the intestines.
  4. Kidneys: Our kidneys filter our blood, diverting waste to the bladder to be expelled as urine.
  5. Lungs: The lungs bring in oxygen into the bloodstream while dispelling carbon dioxide out of the body.

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor to determine which supplements are best for you!

Detox Through Lifestyle and Supplementation

There are many ways to enhance your body’s natural detoxification systems, both by being conscious of your lifestyle and by adding in supplements.

Lifestyle awareness includes:

1. A Healthy Diet:Avoiding toxins in your diet, as well as keeping inflammation low, does wonders for keeping things running smoothly. Grains, sugars, bad fats, and processed foods are all toxic to your body. Grass-fed meats, healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables, and fermented foods are your friends!

2. Juicing: Juicing cruciferous vegetables can help the gut function at the top of its game, you can even add a little pineapple, green apple, or carrots! Just go light on the fruit, as it can be high in sugar and too much of that creates a fungus-friendly environment!

Detox Through Lifestyle and Supplementation

3. Consuming fat: “The solution to pollution is dilution;” well, in terms of toxins within our body fat, anyways! Most toxins are fast soluble so the body has a propensity to shuttle toxins into these fat cells. The body will then be more resistant to burning up this toxin-filled fat until it has the capacity to do so. By ensuring we consume enough high-quality fats, we can bind to the toxic fats so that our bodies are able to burn off and get rid of the toxins.

4. Infrared:Infrared lights and infrared saunas are great ways to detoxify.

5. Exercise:Exercise kickstarts your respiration and perspiration, and mobilizes body fat where many toxins reside.

6. Hydration:Drink at least half your body weight in water each day. Add lemon or apple cider vinegar to enhance the detoxifying effects.

Supplementation can also assist in getting rid of toxins:

1. Glutathione:Liposomal glutathione is the optimal source of this master antioxidant. Grass-fed whey is another great addition to your diet, as it is a precursor to producing your own glutathione within your cells!

2. Alpha Lipoic Acid:ALA has the power to regenerate antioxidants, and protects the mitochondria from toxicity. It is both fat and water soluble, meaning it can get to those pesky toxins hiding in fat cells that most other nutrients can’t reach.

3. Superoxide Dismutase (SOD):Breaks down superoxide free radicals, and is available either as a supplement or in foods such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, and wheatgrass.

4. N-Acetyl Cysteine (N.AC): Helps reduce the effects of chemicals and toxins in the liver, the recommendation is about two grams.

5. Chlorella and Spirulina: The chlorophyll in these two binds to toxins and improves the body’s ability to bring oxygen to the cells, which means the cells produce more antioxidants to fight toxicity.

Chlorella and Spirulina

6. Activated Charcoal:Charcoal binds to toxins on a molecular level, meaning they are unable to escape and are expelled through the stool. It’s so powerful that it’s used in emergency rooms for drug overdoses!

Activated Charcoal

7. Selenium:There is a strong link between being deficient in selenium and developing autoimmune disorders. Selenium binds to heavy metals, such as mercury, and can help flush them out of the body.

8. Milk Thistle:Boosts our 2 major antioxidants, glutathione and superoxide dismutase. It also protects the liver, thyroid, and immune system from radiation stress.

Plus, check out my Detox Store for antioxidants and detoxification support.

Liver Supreme provides liver support and contains milk thistle, which as we learned, is important for boosting antioxidants and protecting our organs from radiation stress.

Antioxidant Supreme contains NAC, ALA, and Selenium (among many other powerful ingredients) to help boost your antioxidant power.

Antioxidant Supreme

Detox Aminos contain NAC and glutathione, along with a host of other powerful detoxers.

Click here to schedule a free consult to determine what method of detox is best for you!

 

Sources:

https://justinhealth.com/detoxification-101-enhance-bodys-detoxification/

http://drjockers.com/10-daily-detoxification-strategies/

www.easyhealthoptions.com/help-your-liver-detox-your-body/

https://justinhealth.com/enhance-body-detoxification/

https://draxe.com/the-best-way-to-detox/

http://drjockers.com/7-supplements-to-detoxify-your-body/

catalyticcolor.com/redjuvenator-light-therapy/

Magnesium Deficiency Causes and Solutions

Magnesium Deficiency Causes and Solutions

By: Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Magnesium is essential for proper function of over 300 enzymatic reactions and for the performance of many vital physiological functions: from heartbeat regulation to muscle contraction and relaxation. Magnesium is crucial to the body and plays a part in almost every facet of your well-being and that is why a magnesium deficiency can be responsible for almost every symptom dragging you down.

BENEFITS

BENEFITS

  • Boosts memory function
  • Muscle relaxation and sleep
  • Regulates mood and stress
  • Manages the excitability of the nervous system (calming)
  • Blood sugar control
  • Healthy bone density
  • Cardiovascular support
  • Detoxification pathways in the liver
  • Normal gut function
  • Inhibits calcium-induced cell death
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis, needed for bone formation
  • Vital for proper transcription of DNA and RNA

 A study on magnesium for insomnia in the elderly found that supplementation of magnesium improves insomnia through several measures, including sleep efficiency, sleep time, and concentration of melatonin.

DEFICIENCY CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS

DEFICIENCY CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS

Due to soil depletion and the omnipresence of processed foods, magnesium is becoming hard to find in the average American’s diet. Even within the health-conscious, high rates of prescription medications and antibiotic use lead to digestive disorders and impaired gut function, causing malabsorption of not only magnesium, but of minerals and nutrients in general, despite an otherwise clean diet.

Watching sugar and caffeine intake is important to ensure proper absorption of magnesium. Fluoride in our water supply can also negatively affect magnesium absorption.

A magnesium deficiency can cause:

  • Muscles aches and spasms
  • Poor digestion
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping and insomnia
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Worsened PMS
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Mood swings
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depressed immune system
  • Cavities
  • Muscle weakness and cramps
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Depression

…and pretty much everything else you don’t want. Neurosurgeon Dr. Norman Shealy says ,“Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency […] A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.”

A study by the British Journal of Cancer in December 2015 looked at the incidents of pancreatic cancer by magnesium intake categories of 66,000 men and women, aged 50-76. It found that for every 100mg per day of magnesium less that was consumed, your risk for pancreatic cancer went up by 24%.

If you are concerned about a magnesium deficiency or have other health queries, book your intro consult today with Dr. Justin: https://justinhealth.com/free-consultation/

SOURCES OF MAGNESIUM

SOURCES OF MAGNESIUM

  • Leafy greens
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fish, such as mackerel and salmon, especially eating some of the very small bones
  • Green beans
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • High quality dark chocolate (It’s postulated that women crave dark chocolate around the start of their period because the magnesium helps with cramps and PMS symptoms)
  • Epsom salt baths are excellent as you have a large surface area (your skin) taking in the magnesium. Try 1-2 cups of Epsom salt (which is basically magnesium sulfate) in your bath for some incredibly relaxing effects.
  • An alternate mode of relaxation through magnesium would be to hop into a float tank. Taking in about a thousand pounds of Epsom salt in about 10 inches of water leaves you feeling incredible.
  • An alternate mode of relaxation through magnesium would be to hop into a float tank. Taking in about a thousand pounds of Epsom salt in about 10 inches of water leaves you feeling incredible.

DOSAGE & FORMS

  • Magnesium oxide only has about a 4% absorption rate and is comparable to table chalk. It’s cheap, easy to find, and works well as a laxative.
  • Magnesium citrate, as you find in such products as Natural Calm, is a step above magnesium oxide. It’s also rather inexpensive, works as a laxative, with a higher absorption rate.
  • Magnesium malate is very well-absorbed and acts as a calming agent rather than a laxative.
  • Magnesium glycinate is also calming without the laxative effect. It is well-absorbed as it binds to the amino acid glycine. The glycinate form tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability, and therefore is ideal for those trying to correct a deficiency.
  • Magnesium threonate is a newer form which seems promising due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and mitochondrial membrane.

 

If you are looking to get some extra magnesium into your diet, try Magnesium Supreme (https://justinhealth.com/products/magnesium-supreme/): a relaxing 50/50 blend of Magnesium malate and Magnesium glycinate.

To listen to Dr. Justin’s podcast with Evan Brand on magnesium, check out podcast #93: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LWIGamxE2k


References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4455825/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10727669

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1855626/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23853635

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19828898

http://gotmag.org/magnesium-deficiency-101/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/08/magnesium-health-benefits.aspx

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVZqJM5BGRU

Dr. Robert Rakowski – Acid alkaline balance, cancer prevention and the magnificent 7 – Podcast # 129

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Dr. Robert Rakowski talk about what is new in the Functional Medicine Nutrition as they focus on addressing the root cause of a health problem. Listen to them as Dr. Bob Rakowski shares his experience and expertise in addressing conditions he encounters in his practice including diabetes and cancer.

Learn some knowledge bombs about conventional drugs and vaccines, including its implication to one’s health. Gain tons of information regarding his recommendation when it comes to nutritional needs of his patients depending on different situations and conditions. Also, know the importance of acid-alkaline balance and enzymes in our bodies and how it affects our health.

In this episode, we cover:

3:49   Diabetes

9:40   Improving performance through diet

18:01   Recent studies on vaccinations

25:08   Acid – Alkaline balance

29:26   Nutrition Recommendation for athletes

37:43   Nutrition Recommendation for cancer patients

 
itune

 

 

youtuve

 

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. I got Dr. Bob Rakowski here all the way from Houston Texas. We’re just in his neck of the wood yesterday. Dr. Bob welcome to the show.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Happy Beautiful day. Honored to be here as always.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you. I’m looking forward to some knowledge bombs drop here today like you always do. Well, we got this podcast on video today. So if you’re listening via mp3, check out the YouTube channel link below so you can see Dr. Bob in the flesh. So Dr. Bob, what’s new in your world of uh – Functional Medicine Nutrition?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: You know, that’s a really broad question.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: But let’s just say we get better – we get better, stronger, faster, smarter all the time. The research keeps unveiling that our strategies are simply the absolute best in the history of the game. You know I just had a patient come in take 8 different drugs and uh – you know, for diabetes, right? And some of those medicines just – that’s what they do. But yeah. We have people on good nutrition program where their diabetes resolves the typical case in 60 days or less. So she’s pretty excited to get her health back and uh – you know, stop taking some of those poisons.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Its really crazy coz in the world of Conventional Medicine, you have diabetes basically a sugar intolerance, right? Too much carbohydrate too much sugar, receptor issues, metabolic derangement. But nowhere else in medicine that if you have a peanut intolerance or a lactose intolerance, the typical treatment is you avoid the lactose, you avoid the peanuts. But only in Conventional Medicine is it – No, No, No. Keep taking what you’re intolerant to, and let’s give you drugs that shut down absorption of glucose. Let’s shut it – Let’s give you drugs like Glucophage that shut down uhmm gluconeogenesis. Or let’s just give you insulin short-acting, long acting so we can just jam that blood into the cell.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And all of the above for this patient. So, I wish I met her 20 years ago when she was diagnosed with diabetes. But I’d say, “What happened?” “How did you get diabetes?” She says, “I was fat and I ate a lot of sugar.” It’s like, “Okay, you think that’s what caused it.” Yeah. Well, I think we have a pretty easy solution, right? Like you said, I never have to put it that way. That’s brilliant. It’s essentially sugar intolerance. It’s a carbohydrate intolerance. Uh, but now, she’s post stroke in 8 meds and a lot of them are not doing her any good. And she’s like, “I want my life back.” Well, let’s get it back. You gotta be healthy to get your life back. So-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And most doctors that are you know – most people that think the doctors know exactly what’s going on with this. They’re really in the dark. I worked in surgery for four years and I was the one literally holding the limbs on the diabetic as the surgeon will come in and literally tie off the arteries and amputate the limb. Hundreds of limbs passed my possession into the morgue. And I talked to these doctors as they were scrubbing out, I’d say well, “How come we’re in front of this? What’s the prevention? What’s the fore thinking so we can avoid this?” and like, it was just like over their head. They were just there doing what  they were designed to do. And that mindset wasn’t quite in play.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: You know, if you go to a surgeon, you’re gonna get surgery. If you go to a drug doctor, you’re gonna get drugs. If you go to a natural doctor, you’re gonna get uh –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Natural Solutions.

–interruption–

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Absolutely. So I got patients in here, they’d be pouring after this podcast. But uh – It’s fun to have a little – a little shift of pace. But even really, our number one focus is education. So – As long as it’s the same line, it’s what we do with every patient at a time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Love it. So you’re uh – we’re kinda talking about diabetes right now. So what are the low hanging free- fruit for anyone that has a metabolic diabetes issue. You can be like PCOS coz a lot of people may not be at that diabetic level. They may have the insulin resistance and kinda be in between.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Well, you said it first and best. You know, it’s gonna be what we called the Ketogenic Diet. But I like a healthy Ketogenic diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: A lot of people – lasted Atkins.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: I know some things to blast him about. Like you don’t wanna have the bacon whip cream diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: But you know what, I always tell people my favourite ketogenic diet is leans, greens, nuts and seeds. So lean meats, green vegetables, organic raw nuts, organic raw seeds. That’s a great choice. Now there are some so low glycemic fruits and berries and blueberries are awesome. But as a general rule, we’re gonna do leans, greens, nuts and seeds. We’re gonna exercise. Those are the things that can get us there. Uhm you know, I always tell people, I call them the magnets inside of your gut.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Eat like, drink like, think like, move like, sleep like, talk like everyday if you do that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: If you do that, guess what? You can keep diabetes away.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. That makes so much sense. And you know, you also mention about lean meats. Now, we know that conventionally, a lot of toxins will get stored in the fat. It’s typically where it goes. So it makes sense with conventional meat for sure. If we’re eating like really good pastured meat, high-quality meat, is it okay to have more full fat meats?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Yeah. Absolutely so. Uh the president of the Swedish Grass Grows Beef Association – uh I’ve stayed with him at his farm house and a dozen trips to US, Sweden.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And they test every single lot of grass-fed beef. And the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 and grass-fed animals is 1:81.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Beautiful.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Which is a very healthy ratio. So you’d eat all that fat that you want.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And we know if you eat the – the grain, it goes up to 30-40 to 1, right?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Uh – you know it’s stored in so many ways. The animals get sick. They put them on antibiotics and the meat becomes more anti-inflammatory by multiple mechanisms beside the omega 3, omega 6 ratio. So, not a good strategy there. We want healthy animals. Do you know what you’re animals – Do you know what you’re food is eating? That’s important to know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Absolutely. That makes a lot of sense. Now in my clinic, when we look at blood sugar issue, some of the things I look at, obviously, A1C, uh- fasting glucose can be helpful. Uh – triglyceride:HDL ratio, fasting insulin. And even just the good blood sugar mirror to see how they do right after a meal. Kind of like a functional glucose tolerance. Just curious to get your take on that. And uh – what test are you doing in your office to look at these issues?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: You know all of the above. Everything you’ve just said. And those are pretty much gold standard solid and we also have a sugar refractometer that can measure urinary sugar which is pretty sensitive.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: So it’s gonna be all sugars uh – not just uh – glucose. So that’s –that’s interesting. Coz if we do have some more sugars in the __ than glucose. It’s something called Fructosamine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Fructosamine. 10-day window. Yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And uh – uh – uh yeah. That’s a nice test. So quicker response for sure than A1C.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. Now I see a lot of patients that have higher A1C’s and all the other markers look good. Do you ever get false positives or just false high readings on the A1C but everything else looks on the better side?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Not typically. But it can happen and – and so, you got to remember they don’t need value and Physiology behaves on bell shaped curves.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: So for instance, when cholesterol’s gonna elevate, that’s a functional__. Actually the uh – the glucose or the insulin is driving HMG-CoA reductase.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Which by the way is what__

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: So that elevates cholesterol.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: It also impacts cholesteryl ester transfer protein converts HDL to triglycerides. But if those mechanism fail, those numbers can work normally. Even pretty decent or close to ideal – but being on a failure aspect. So, bell shape curves, values rise then fall like insulin, right? We can have a perfect insulin with a perfect blood sugar. Or our insulin rises, rises, rises until our pancreas fail so if we can’t keep up then it falls, falls, falls, falls. So two spots that insulin can be perfect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Very good. And that’s the issue, I think – That’s the issue really bankrupting healthcare today. I mean I Think I’ve read that the average diabetic with blood sugar issues, they’re spending $2-3 million managing the disease and it’s – it’s really interesting because in conventional healthcare, there’s like disease management, right? And then with us there’s root cause management. We’re actually getting to the root cause. As we chip away the root cause, we’re actually fixing the underlying issue. Can you talk more about that?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Well, let’s talk about the cause issue first.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Diabetes is the most expensive problem.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And the sick care system. That healthcare – system is sick – their expense on diabetes. And so we do live in a universe of cause and effect. So what did you do that created this challenge? People are sitting on the couch, people are eating chips, drinking Coca-Cola, not making good dietary choices. They don’t eat right, think right, move right, sleep right, poop right or talk right. And they wonder, “Gee, I wonder how I got sick?” Yeah. And doctors will monitor them and then, Well – you know, I think a good doctor would say, “We’re not starting to get out of hand here.” You know, do something a little healthier. Like if they ask them, “Can you be more specific about that?” “Well, sorry I wasn’t trained for that, you know. Maybe go see the dietician. And I haven’t ___In hospitals my diabetic patients peak up high for dessert, you know. So uhm – you really need to go to someone trained natural if you want natural advice. If you want drug advice, go to someone trained in drugs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean I always tell my patients, “When was the last time you had a good meal in the hospital?” I mean, my god, like never.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Uh-hmm. Good point, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Absolutely. Now you build your reputation over the last 20-30 years really working with high-end individuals, professional athletes, and then you can name the gamut of the whole field, Yao Ming, and I could think of many off the bat. But working with these guys, what’s – I mean there’s probably some commonalities that you are using, or your addressing with these high-level athletes that you’re also addressing maybe with your – you know, average day person that’s looking to improve their performance? What are those – Let’s say the top three that you can take from the professionals and extract that information for the average Joe’s?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: The big three. From the sickest to the sick and the best of the best. And that’s stress, toxins, and malnutrition. So I think any of these – how are these high level athletes stress? Well there is a performance stress, there’s a recovery stress, there’s a lack of sleep stress. My favourite stress protocol that I use over the last 5 years with a lot  of success even with lab markers is using melatonin, 1-3 milligrams.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Every waking hour. We now know that melatonin actually binds to the adrenal cortex and blocks the pituitary gland or at least buffers the pituitary cortisol. And uh – by the way, the gut makes 400x melatanonin as the brain. That’s a proven fact. So it’s not –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: It’s not like the melatonin crosses the blood-brain barrier. Detox – number one thing is you know, keep yourself away from toxins. So create a clean environment. Put clean clothes in your body, clean water in your body. Then you do some medical food based detox –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Which is really, really solid. Now we start looking at malnutrition. You know, I’ve created my own food pyramid. Now they have the plate out there which is no good at all based on how they have it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Terrible.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: But based only the food pyramid, guess what? There can be food and whole natural clean healthy foods. And we’re gonna have super foods and there’s a number of those with super nature in density. And then I actually have medical foods, functional foods. And then to top that off, we have multivitamin Omega 3’s, probiotics, and vitamin D. And by the way, sicker people, they need a lot more of each of those things but you’re gonna have the best of the best in people that are fighting for their life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s really interesting that some of the foundational information that we review everyday with average patients, these are some of the things that professional athletes aren’t even doing themselves. I remember a talk that Paul Chek gave maybe a decade ago. And he talked about being in the New York Giants uh wait room. And there was like Doritos and all this crap everywhere. And for some reason they had to do it because of the sponsorship. I just couldn’t believe it. Uhm, I remem – I recall I’m a big fan – I’m from Boston area, so a big fan of Tom Brady. I know they beat the Texans last month. So maybe a little hard feeling there. Uhm, But –

Dr. Robert Rakowski: They beat everybody last month.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani. They beat everyone. Yes, so- But Brady is the functional medicine guru, right? I mean, he told – his records say in 2008 when he had his ACL injury, that he actually got better from that. That he avoided the standard of care rehab life. He saw uh – people like yourself, get the nutrition dialled in. I mean basically eats uh – alkaline, Paleo diet. 20% meat, lots of veggies, avoids nitrates,10 hours of sleep at night, all of the high-quality supplements. And this guy is getting better 40 Years into it. At age 40 – What’s your take? Coz I think most athletes aren’t even doing these things and some are. And you’ve seen the ones that are thriving.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Now you – you – This thing is if you master the basics yourself, you don’t need anything else.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And I literally got that sick when promoting my real champion Kung Fu guys. But uhm – and then we’re going, “Okay, well how are you doing on the basics?” “Tell me about your diet.” “Well, it sucks, you know.” “How are you doing on your sleep?” “Well, that sucks.” “What do you drink?” “Well, that sucks.” Right. And so we’re just talking with this very very basics and you realise that the best of the best, if they sleep better, they’re gonna perform better. Quick study with the US Military, they found out that when a military gets less than 6 hours of sleep for 6 straight nights, they functioned on a level as if they’re legally drunk. So – so just imagine that, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Six hours of sleep for six months?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Six hours for six straight nights. No, not six months, just for a week, right? And then so – do we want drunks walking with high-powered weapons? You know, that’s not a good idea. Uh – and so your cognition drops, your coordination drops, reaction time drops. All these things drop, so – When we started swinging that to the athletes – In Stanford, they had an interesting study. They just had their tennis team stay in bed an extra two hours a day. 10 hours a day within 2 weeks time, they have 17% improved performance on first serve. So sleep has been –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Our – our athletes, they’re blessed in so many ways, but yeah, they’re still misinformed like the general population.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, absolutely. Especially the fact they’re putting wear and tear on their body so they’re breaking down their ligaments, their tendons, their joints, their tissues. And an old expression – I can’t remember who said it first, but – “You can’t make chicken salad on a chicken shit.” So –

Dr. Robert Rakowski: There you go.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you have the poor quality nutrition coming in, the tendons – all those raw material and building blocks get downgraded each time. And eventually that means more time on the DL and you lose a step, then you’re out of the league, right?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: That’s exactly right. I look at Emman Smith, you know. And – and he was one of my favourite running backs and some people my age will remember him as well. But, you know – one step he went from the best of the game to barely in the game. He lost two games – two steps and he’s out of the game. Uh, but how long can you keep that well? Like you said, Tom Brady is a great example, but others pitcher and way back Satchel Paige.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And I don’t even know how old he was when he was pitching. But he seem to be absolutely timeless. You know, Gordie Howe, the hockey player played – I believe professional hockey in six different decades.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Dr. Robert Rakowski: I mean how in the world do you do that? Well, one, back then, there’s certainly a lot that are food quality.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: So, uh – pretty remarkable stuff that in today’s environment, goodluck getting good quality food. It’s just harder and harder coz our animals are malnourished and toxic. So when you do supplement – across the border, we need a supplement.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Totally makes sense. I remember Julio Franco the old uh – I think he was uh – outfielder I think from the Cleveland Indians. But he played into his mid-40s. And even – even Nolan Ryan from the uh – Texas Rangers. I mean he played into his mid-40s. Julio Franco – I remember reading articles of him. He had pre-made organic food uh – brought to the ballpark and everyone would look at him eating his own they’re like looking at him like he’s crazy. But the guy played 26 years in major leagues.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Yeah. Well you look at my athletes that have had longevity, they all got early on that nutrition is important.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I love it. And what are the most – I mean maybe this is gonna be individual, I know it is. But are there typical muscle imbalances where certain muscles aren’t turned on appropriately that you’re seeing across the board in some of these athletes?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Well, let’s just go into general population.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: ____ In Geology, there’s something Specific Adaptation__ So we sit longer, we get better at sitting. So –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: You know it starts pulling our lumbar spine into lordosis. Our spine compensates, we get forward leaning posture. Uh – you know, most of us have our shoulders drawn up, rather than down and back like they should be.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And there’s a number of imbalances. But literally the imbalances seem universal in our society. And its’ gonna be the – the – the – like what I just described__with shortened hip flexors. So when you do –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that creates reciprocal inhibition with the glutes. So then your hip extension, you’re gonna be utilizing the lower back versus hip extension for the glutes. So then you get lower back pain, right?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Yeah. I mean, by the way, you’re gonna lose a step or two or three if your glutes aren’t firing, right? That’s the most __ on a solid splint is that glute causing that hip extension, so – Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: That’s uh– across the board, super important.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One of my biggest 2 investments that I made in the last two years is I got a stand desk that can go up and down. And I also got a walking treadmill that could slide under the desk. So when I see patients virtually, like we’re talking on Skype now, I literally  walk 12 miles a day, 60 miles a week while seeing patients.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Man, that’s awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And isn’t that great? It’s amazing.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And why these companies don’t introduce what treadmill does? You know, I read a book called, Drop Dead Healthy, years ago.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: It was a writer from New York magazine. And one of his tips was, “Hey, if I’m gonna sit around and write all day, why don’t I just get a standing desk with a treadmill?” And he’d walk 1.5 miles per hour with a 3% incline.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s what I do.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And just type away and had his work and sure enough, burn calories to get healthy. Fire the muscles, stay young and get – and be productive at the same time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Makes sense. You did a YouTube video, I think it was a Facebook video, uhmm maybe a year or two ago. And you touched upon the MMR Vaccine. I was just kinda curious kinda what your thoughts in – in general? I mean we can touch upon it here, but you brought up – you know, when you speak from it, you’re talking about actual peer-reviewed research. That’s why I love it. It’s not a lot of emotion behind it. What’s your take on that? And what are some of the most recent studies you’re seeing about the MMR? Just vaccinations in general?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Well, luckily the conversation is coming into the light.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And when you walk at the data right out of CDC you’ll find out that death rate from infectious disease drop 91% –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: From basically you know, 1900 to 1964 when they started this – started the mass vaccinations. And it hasn’t gone down even a bit. And so – is there justification for some vaccines? Maybe for some kids but certainly not 76 before the age of 6. Uhm – when you look at the child’s immune system, it’s not really fully functional until the age 2. And so they generally are not gonna respond to vaccines. So if you’re injecting a new born with toxins that their immune system isn’t gonna respond to, how can you have anything but a downside to it? So I’m just very much for people making an educated choice. So let’s just look at education for a moment. Guess who does not vaccinate their children? They found out it was people in the highest income quartet, right? The highest IQ, right? And – and therefore, whether we think rich, smart people don’t love their kids –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And the answer is no, they love them enough to look into what’s going their bodies and say, “Hey, something’s not right in this picture.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And I totally agree. And if you You look at the World Health Organization info mortality rate, we’re at number 40 just behind Cuba. And if you look at some of the Scandinavian countries that are in top 10, they’ve done some epidemiological studies looking at the trend vaccinations versus the mortality rate. And in- in like Finland, Norway those type of countries only have about 10 Vaccinations in for kids for the first I think 4-5 years, where we have 40 to 50. So these countries are top 10 and they have 75% less vaccinations. So they obviously know something different than we know, right?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: I think they’re not as swayed by money.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: As our government. So by the way, the top lobby of our US government. Number one is gonna be the NRA, number two, pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Interesting.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: So – pretty basic. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And people also forget, too. The uh – the CDC, I think, make $68 billion dollars a year of off vaccine patent. So there’s a little bit of a conflict of interest there. Also, uhm – you talked about this, too. It’s interesting. In one of your lectures a few years back, you talked about the uh – the Hannah Poling issue. Hannah Poling was vaccine injured. Interesting enough, her father was a neurologist, her mom was a lawyer. So she had pretty good representation in the vaccine courts. One of things that came out of there, I think she had autism and they said that she had autism because she had a potential mitochondrial defect. And very interesting because if the government is admitting that there is potential autism from mitochondrial defects, are we screening mitochondrial defects? How do we even know it? So it’s interesting that that’s out there but we’re not even screening for that. Any take the mitochondrial defect aspect?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: I believe that the stats are just about the exact same challenge that she has. It’s about 1 in 50. But you have to remember that she was developing perfectly normally uh- and now, all of a sudden there’s boom extreme dose of toxins causing extreme brain inflammation uh in – by the way, the brain is the most energy dependent system in the body. So part of that spiralled her into a downward spiral. But to the point that the mitochondria alone is – is blatantly broad.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Uh – uh and so, you know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Plenty of these kids that are gonna have mitochondrial problems are more likely to be injured by the vaccine but it’s not a prerequisite to have a vaccine injury.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now, exactly. Yeah.Totally agree. Any other thoughts on that? Any other comments or research articles that you’re coming up?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Oh, boy. You know, so – So Hannah got a $20 million settlement.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Phew!

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And what’s pretty fascinating is – is Sanjay Gupta –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Interviewed Julie Gerberding who was the head of the CDC at the time. And she never answered any question directly. And she just basically said, “You know what, very rare case. Parents, whatever you do, please make sure you go out and make sure your kids get their vaccines.” And after that, after she retired from CDC, she got some –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Merck.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: mega contract to be a spokesman for a bright and major drug company –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Merck. She’s the head of vaccine research of Merck.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Absolutely insane, right? So uhm – you know I’d like to hope that somehow, someway in their grey matter they’ve really think that this is a good service for humankind. But oh my gosh, there’s plenty of educated people who’d argue with that. So what’s the stance? I think everybody should get educated.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Everybody should get the right decision and have the freedom to make the right decision for their child.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I don’t personally think vaccines cause autism. It can’t be causal because  it would be a one-to-one relationship. Everyone that got a vaccine, would have autism. But we know there’s definitely stressors out there. GMO’s, heavy metals, whether it’s- forget mercury. It could be aluminium, it could be phthalates, it could be squalenes. It could be other compounds. It could just be antigenic load from too many at once. Uh – leaky gut, uh – babies not being breastfed, right? All these different stressors could add up and make someone more susceptible. What are your thoughts on that?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: I agree with you. You know, but let’s take it a step further. Let’s look at risk-benefit always. I mean, look at the risks of these diseases, it’s relatively minor in the population right now. You know, my kids all got the chickenpox. And –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: You know, none of that – it never lasted more than more than – more than five days. My son got the whooping cough. He beat it and got a lifetime immunity. I had a kid come into my clinic that actually have Rubella. And so found out, I took him home to play with my kids. My kids never got sick. You know, but uh – you know, whether you’re exposed or not, at least there’s a possibility that you can’t beat a natural immunity and a healthy body. And the data is really questionable. What is the risk-benefit? I think for healthy kids, especially the way it’s going right now, it’s more on the side of the risk then benefit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. That totally makes sense. Uh looking at all the things that are happening to your clinic, is there any new things that you’re delving into clinically right now?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Uh – Well, there’s the statement there. There is nothing new under the sun, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Fundamentals.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: We always get better, stronger, faster, smarter at what we do, but like you said, the fundamentals. How many people have really mastered the fundamentals? And not many, right? And even if they have, they’re coming in saying, “I’m totally awesome. I feel lots of the charts are amazing. Do you think you can – game up a little bit more?” Uh, so it’s hard to beat the fundamentals, you know. Everybody always wants to come up with a shiny new penny. But reality is you can’t beat good, clean, healthy living. And – and you highlight it. There’s a lot in the basin –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And just focus and discipline and then the magnificent seven.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally makes sense. And what are the foundational lab testing – I mean, obviously we know you’re drinking clean water, eating organic food, you’re doing all that good stuff, your sleep is probably dialled in, you’re exercise is dialled in. What are the more nuanced things you’re doing right now to assess your health? Lab tests or uh – treatments? What’s happening in your neck of the woods?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: You know, in terms of real subtle things, we’ve been doing this for decades at this point. The pH Balance –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Probably doesn’t get enough press for being so critical. So I always tell patients every single enzyme in our bodies is pH dependent. You know our hormone’s pH dependent. And as we look across the board, we see the sickest people have the worst acid- alkaline balance. Their buffering is actually terrible. Uh – and so how do we buffer it? We buffer it with good elimination, good detoxification.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: High Levels of – of nutrients, quality food choices – But I think pH is one of those markers that we need to spend more time pursuing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. And how much this diet and food uhm – affect pH? I know we’ve talked about this before. A lot of people say, “Well, we cut out meat.” but then we know that grains are actually 10x more acidic than meat as well. And we know that inflammation plays a huge role on that. What’s your take?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Well, we have to understand that every process that we have that makes energy, makes acid.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: So as I explained to doctors and the patients as well, oxygen goes into the cell, product comes out, converts oxide and the one in the blood can form carbonic acid.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Carbonic acid. Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: A hundred trillion cells doing – a trillion times a day. So as we start looking at this process, the Pharmacology Journal say this – They say, “Look, how much acid you eat a day? Maybe a 100 units.” “How many do you produce by living? Probably 15,000 units.” So we have at least a dozen different buffers against acid inside the cell and outside the cell. So we got proteins, we got phosphates, we got minerals, we got bicarbonate buffer. And all our elimination routes get rid of acid. So uh – as I tell patients who contributes very little to acid burden, but it’s basically what makes up our acid buffers. So we wanna make good choices.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So what you’re saying is adding the inflammatory foods in there will increase the acid but making sure nutrient rich, lots of greens, lots of rich minerals, magnesium potassium. Those things are gonna help buffer a lot of the – out. A lot of the acidity.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Well said. Yeah. That’s exactly right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What other lifestyle things are creating more of an acid environment?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Stress.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So just emotional stress, physical stress. Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: All of the above. When you’re- you’re running on a fight or flight mode, understand that the first organ that’s affected is the liver. The second organ that’s affected is the kidney. The third affected organ that’s affected is the brain. Higher-level cognition drops. And so we might not necessarily be a fight or flight circumstance but if we’re sitting under a light of a blue spectrum, where I got a nice screen in front of my computer house –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: We have a blue blocker app.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: That it’s – it’s actually blocking the blue light. But I’m being bombarded with blue light. My melatonin’s suppressed, my cortisol’s high. I – I basically am not controlling my stress hormones. I’m inflamed and I’m in trouble, so. Several strategies like that. Modern life creates modern challenges and we’re just beginning to see. Wow, okay they made it so this stuff has a real downside to it. We need to deal with it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So a lot of people may justify a vegetarian-vegan diet because of this acid-alkaline theory. So, you know, looking at a pH chat of food and only choosing foods that are seven or above. You- you’re okay choosing some foods on the acidic side, like high quality, clean lean full fat meats that are good quality, etc.?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: We are omnivores.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: I mean, we have canines.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Incisors –

Dr. Robert Rakowski: For the purpose of tearing meats, right? So –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: When you look at the fact there’s certain things we absolutely can’t get from plant based diet. We can’t get B12.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And as a general rule, we don’t get high enough quality protein and we don’t get  bioavailable iron. So there’s a number of factors that come in. We just wanna make  smart food choices. Predominantly plant is good, you know. You know that’s a real good rule. Michael Pollan who work on the book, “In defense of Food” –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: His top rule is eat food not too much, mostly plants.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mostly plants –

Dr. Robert Rakowski: That’s really solid advice.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean look at Tom Brady. He’s a big acid-alkaline guy. 80% vegetables, 20% meat. I think that’s a pretty good way to go for a lot of people.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Yeah. And you look at his body mass, right? And his – his exercise burden. If that’s good enough to keep him in shape, why wouldn’t it be good for the rest of us?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what’s your take on vegan or vegetarian people that are excelling in professional sports? You work a lot with these people. I know there are people out there that say it. My theory is they have to be doing a whole bunch of pea protein or hemp or rice protein. Something to get the extra aminos in there. What’s your take?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Well, they are. Certainly if they’re seeing meats. We can manage mind to the lean tissue breakdown but there are also supplement branch in amino acids, they’re doing B12 injections. So, uhm – you know, there’s a way but it takes a lot of effort. And a lot of supplementation on a vegetarian based diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Plus you don’t get the rich sulfur amino acid the 12 that run those glutathione detox pathways, too.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Absolutely. They can get some in cruciferous vegetables but it’s certainly a higher concentration in meats.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Plus I noticed too, you have to really combine your, you know, rice and beans for instance. You really have to combine your proteins well because there are some deficiency in methionine and lysine which are really important for let’s say producing carnitine. Run the carnitine to burn fat for fuel. So you really got to combine things well. But if you look at, let’s say, rice and beans, you know,15 g of protein to 75 g of carbohydrate. People that are maybe insulin resistant, that may be a little bit too high in the carb side.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: I’m with you on that. You know, I mean people – we only need to find a diet that works and we need to find a diet that makes sense. And for the most part to me, the  vegetarian diet doesn’t make sense for too many people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. That makes sense. So just looking at kinda like your pre and post workout, you know, set ups with your professional athletes. What does that look like? So you get them ready for the workout. Are they doing a shake before? Are they doing something during? What are they doing afterwards to recover? And what do you recommend supplement-wise pre and post?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Well I did train them more than—and there’s a before training and after that’s required. So there’s plenty of data just depends on what kind of training. But branch and amino acids help maintain the lean mass.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: The electrolytes, the fluids, and all that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: He’s not gonna eat a meal. You know, meal is gonna take a lot more time to digest than uh – shake. And so I usually want them to eat a minimum of 2 and a half hours    in front of an intense Workout. So it’s at least well digested. And that should be not a super heavy meal, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. Coz if it’s – once in the stomach, it’s not gonna get to the extremities or if you’re still eating, your digestion is gonna be compromised. So I really like a prework out shake, a post work out shake and something simple during training. Nothing’s gonna tax the digestive system. Pre form amino acids, branch and amino acids, electrolytes and fluids during the training.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Typically, with the electrolytes, will there be a little bit of a glucose or fructose with that?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: I do. I do some fructose. Now we’re looking at these athletes that need fluid replacement and electrolyte replacement. They’re training plenty hard. Fructose has ¼ the glycemic index of glucose. With that said, post workout, for certain athletes, there’s a benefit. Actually spiking insulin, lower cortisol.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Lower cortisol, yeah. Bingo. Makes sense. Are you using a product like with the Endura, with the electrolytes and with the extra fructose?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Yeah. So I – I use a couple of different products. One is Endura and we’ve got a product called, Dynamic Fruits and Greens, which is a powder based of 20 different organic super foods, so. Taste good, goes down good, and certainly works good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. It’s very, very cool. So are there any challenging cases that have come into your office at all recently?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Yeah. Everybody has their own unique challenge. Uh – you know, probably the most recent real earth-shattering cases, I have one that it was probably somewhere you like to describe when you go to the foot to be amputated.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Uh, she was – she was scheduled for an amputation. The first thing I saw was a picture. I never cover the foot of just a few days. So I added a dose every single waking hour to kill infection to re-enhance uh – circulation to control the control the blood sugar. I would say two weeks she had a tremendous shift in the color of her blood-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: A lot of gangrene started to recede. Uhm – we got pictures of the entire process.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: But literally, she did auto like a tips –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Uh for the toes a lot. But she kept the rest of the foot fully functional. But what’s better about that case is, at first she was taking a mega dose of insulin and half a dozen drugs, and they were all failing. By the time we were done with her, she was taking just the lowest dose of insulin since her diagnosis is you know, since childhood age, she was diabetic. And the no other drugs and really the tissue help up the entire body improve dramatically.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow. Amazing. I know you mentioned earlier but taking mega doses are you know, higher amounts of melatonin to help increase uh – antioxidants and such. Uh, tell me about the feedback loop. Do you feel like taking that much in for how long – will that affect the feedback loop of the, you know, gland talking and making melatonin?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: It’s highly improbable.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: That the melatonin cross the blood brain barrier. So the Gas – World Journal of Gastroenterology shows that the gut makes 400x times melatonin as the brain. The gut also makes the majority of the serotonin so that’s – that’s nothing new to people who have been studying that. So it’s unlikely that it will cross the blood-brain barrier. And what – the reason I believe is number one, sleep nutrient, is because it puts the break on cortisol. But I only do that for 7 to 10 days.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Because I have ___ and maybe a person’s own production could become altered. So we do it to have a quick shift in the metabolism memory__So I haven’t seen any that’s had challenged it. And on the flipside of that, I’ve seen plenty of people that have been feeling better than they have in decades doing that for a short period of time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And when you recommend hydrochloric acid to your patients, do you feel like giving hydrochloric acid affects the feedback loop at all with gastrin and HCL production in general?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Certainly can.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: So what we’re gonna do is, we do a hydrochloric acid challenge.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Which is actually defined by Jonathan Wright –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Over 25 years ago. But basically, when people eat their meal, they’re gonna try supplementing with hydrochloric acid coz if they have a burning in their gut, they probably don’t need it. That’s too much HCl.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Uh they should really have a nice warming sensation, uh –but most people wouldn’t get that. And so what we do is we have to do it after the meal so the body is gonna release whatever they’re gonna release. Then as we start enhancing the digestion to the proteins, the minerals, and to the essential nutrients, the body can be more effective at producing the HCl. Uhm but– you know, we don’t want people to__

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: The guideline is the lowest dose for the shortest duration. So as soon as they can start titrating down their own dose, uh- and by the way, let’s say, you start taking uh- let’s say, 4 hydrochloric acid tabs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And you have to do that for a few weeks. Also, and 4 creates a little uncomfortable sensation. Guess what? For now, 3 ½ for 3 and then ultimately, we’d like people to be able to wean off it a little bit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. That’s really good general idea. And regarding enzymes, do you like taking enzymes before, during or after a meal?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: It’s gonna do different things.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And so enzymes away from food, there’s actually a specialized supplement in the gut called an M cell. And the M is for macromolecules. And in a pediatric gut, new born infant section has a ton of those cells. And by the way, when you look at mother’s milk, it has immunoglobulins in it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: That’s passive immunity.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And the only way that it can get to the infant system is by being absorbed intact so they have a higher concentration in each cell. So we all have the ability to absorb certain macromolecules intact. If you take enzymes away from food, it have a number of systemic benefits. Take it with food, I always tell people it digest food. But away from food, it digests into the system like scar tissue, like infection. And there’s even date suggesting that it’s anti- cancer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. The serrapeptidase enteric coated enzymes work phenomenal. I used a company about called World Nutrition. They do really good pepsin. Great research on dissolving cancer and such as well, tumors, too.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: It’s fascinating. You know the book, “Wellness against all Odds” Started 30 cancer patients off of being cancer with nothing but actual remedies. One of the things they did was natural enzymes and pancreatic enzymes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Nicholas Gonzalez.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Gonzalez – has passed.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: I had a few years ago, last year.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Last year.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Last July.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: He published the longest survivability of non-operable pancreatic cancer patients.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And the only intervention was pancreatic enzymes. So it’s something we need to dive into and look at.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think it’s excellent. Yeah. And you have quite a bit of experience dealing with cancer patient. I know we can do a whole podcast on this. But what are the low hanging fruits dealing with cancer patients? I think you already mentioned the ketogenic diet. So you may – you may add that in there. But what are the top three things that your – we should be listening to or focusing on with cancer?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Well, you started out right with ketogenic diets.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: We actually did a rat study within a ketogenic diet and I think the exact statistic was it was something like 50, 58, or 59% longer than people who did not eat ketogenic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: The second thing is gonna be tons – by the way, the entire diet should be organic. But –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Of course.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: fruits and vegetables. So-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Tons –

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Study goes way back but people that eat the least fruits and vegetables get most cancers than those eating the least. I mean, here’s one that people may not think about, but again, in the book, “Wellness Against All Odds”, daily coffee –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Everyone of this patients did that.  And that’s a great way to get the liver dump bile and toxins.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup. I know you have a little slogan here –

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And if we go –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Go ahead.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Uh – I was gonna say if I tell them one more-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: But since we’re on the topic of melatonin, National Cancer Institute, talked about mega doses of melatonin at bedtime, 40-50 mg.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And these patients that have inoperable cancer, live longer with less tissue breakdown. So I think what you’re going with is not by jingle but savaging that live jingle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Way back when 20 years ago, there was a jingle that was the best part of waking up was Folgers in your cup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. Let’s hear it.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Now the best part of waking up is Folgers in your butt.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, I love it.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: But we certainly have better coffee choices, right? We like organic coffee and –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Of course.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: But the top super food that is real nice for drinking and detoxing, if that’s how you wanna use it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Everytime I see a Folgers commercial now I flashback in to you in seminar, singing that jingle there. So –

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Very cool. So we have ketogenic diet, we have uhm –coffee enemas, obviously the organic greens, organic diet. Anything else? Any other low hanging fruit?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Well, you have to look at stress management.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: So –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Sleep, too.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: The top two enemies of the immune system are gonna be stress and sugar. And  then you threw in sleep in there. You wanna get good sleep. But the first immune cell that drops in a high stress response is a natural killer cell. So daily meditation, visualization. These are things that are proven to have anti-ageing, anti-cancer, certainly long__

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think the World Health Organisation put shift work. You know, essentially not sleeping when it’s dark out in the same category, in the same cancer category as asbestos and cigarettes smoking. So we know, you know, it’s a non-substance carcinogen.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: I don’t really know why it’s even legal to still do that, you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I understand that some people need to work the night shift, work the night shift. The idea of shifting your clock so frequently is just so harsh and you’re right. The data is overwhelming. Nobody should do it. It’s toxic on every level to the body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And it’s funny, too, because the people you think of with shift work, you think of doctors and residency, right? The ones that are standing up all night, ER docs, people that are on-call. The people that are supposed to be promoting health will actually making them the sickest. And I think there’s statistics that the average MD lives 10 years less than their average patient.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Years ago, there was a special on TV – on Youtube uh –and Impaired-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And they found out that among all the professions that the medical doctors have some of the highest risk of drug and alcohol dependents, uh – clinical depression.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: So we gotta take care. These are good people. They’re not in the good system but I hope they got involve to help people. Hey, emergency medicine is great. If you need medicine, medicine is great. But listen, we don’t need to be drugging every man, woman and child for every made up malady on planet earth.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely.

Dr. Bog: It’s just crazy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. Absolutely. I had a conversation with Paediatric Oncologist over the weekend. And we’re talking about ketogenic diets and we’re talking about sugar. And one of the most interesting things is oncology – there’s very little nutrition given about cancer. I mean I’ve had many patients seen on-call and they’re like, “No, diet has no implication in it.” And they’ll even don’t take your antioxidants, don’t take your vitamin C, don’t take your curcumin for tumor while we’re doing treatment. So that – that’s always very irritating. But the test that they use to look at cancer, the PET scan, right? Uh Positive Emission Tomography. What the test is, it’s basically giving someone some radioactive glucose. And seeing where that glucose goes because the cancer cells are soaking it up. So we know that we’re using these testing to test in conventional medicine to see where the tumor is going. So essentially we’re feeding it during the test so we can get a radiograph picture. But we’re not even telling people to not eat the foods that’s feeding the cancer in the PET scan got begin with.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Complete and total disconnect, you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Total.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: It is uh – cancer cell takes up glucose at about 10x the rate of every other tissue in the body. So, yeah. You nail it right on the head. You know, when you explain it to patients as we just have, they get it. And you know, I got a friend right now who’s finishing  Osteopathic- college. Just an absolutely amazing guy. And he always tells me, he says, “Bob, a big part of education is education against natural medicine.” You know, and a lot of people buy it. But lie in sinker. And that’s why we’re such a sick nation and we started a trillion dollars on sick care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow, love it. I mean you said it just so succinctly. Well, is there anything else Dr. Bob, on your mind that you wanted to bring to the listeners?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: You know, it’s always such a joy connecting with you. But I think we hit it pretty well. We don’t need the real extravagant about how we proceed with health. You know the basis of health is love, do what you love, love what you do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Love yourself, zealously inspect what you put everything in your body. Have a purpose. And in our environment, we need to have discipline. So I was just uh – I’ve read 6 books by Navy Seal in the last year.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: And listened to a podcast by Navy Seal. But yes, it says “Discipline Is Freedom” you know, and – and so, one of our mentors said we all must suffer one-two pain. The pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment. If we start living an undisciplined lifestyle, eating the garbage that’s stale, watching the garbage that’s on TV, drinking the garbage that they promote to us, guess what? Garbage in, garbage you will be. So uh- master the basics, be very, very careful about everything that you allow in your environment, especially bad TV. I think that’s been my one of my most recent personal discipline is no more TV for about four years and I don’t know that I’ve missed anything. I mean, no news, nothing like that. I haven’t missed anything that happened in the world. I heard we had a presidential elections.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hahaha

Dr. Robert Rakowski: But I mean, seriously, right? How many of us really need to be immersed in the bad news every single day? It’s just crazy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally makes sense. And it’s great that you are a physician that totally embodies health. Your practicing and promoting all of it. You’re telling to your patients yourself so you can be a shining example of that.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Well, back at you. Uhm – when we talk about shining, it’s funny, I’ve been training mixed martial arts and some of my patients look to me, they said, “you get punched in the eye this weekend.” “No, I was playing basketball. We played six hours of basketball.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Went up for the board and flicked an elbow to the eye. I wish I had a better story than that. You know, but it’s fun playing basketball with my son who’s 23 and fit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Playing with him for six hours, and everybody else, you know. It’s just – you know, healthy living has so many awards and rewards. I personally don’t understand how can somebody make a choice other than to maximise their wellness. Coz it’s a beautiful way to live longer around this planet and contribute.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And last question for you. If you’re stuck on a dessert island, and you only can bring one supplement, one herb, one whatever, what is it?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Well you know, number one super food I’m planning to get is Ghanaian donuts. It’s got the full complement of vitamins, amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber and water. I uh – and so-

Dr. Robert Rakowski: It’s considered to cause a sync in nutrition perfection. So that’s what I’m going with. But  let me go with my navy seal buddy. They said, Hey, if they drop you out in any of the world, and you can only have two things with you, whatever weapon, whatever you would take is I’m gonna need two things.  I need oxygen and I need water. And he says the Seals without oxygen, they realize they need it. They go without water, they realize they need it. You know what, guys like us, we can fend for ourselves just give us some air so our brain can work and give us some water so that we can function for about 5 days. Five days anywhere, we’re gonna be okay. We have enough savvy to find what we need to survive and make the world better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Again, anyone that’s listening, thedrbob.com (T-H-E-D-R-B-O-B.com) Dr. Bob lectures to help professionals, physicians, nutritionists, nurses and he also has some excellent coffee in your website, too. I know you’re really big in the coffee that you mentioned as well. So feel free to check out Dr. Bob.  I think you’re also available for appointments worldwide as well?

Dr. Robert Rakowski: Yeah. You gotta love this technology, right? So I do Skype on occasion halfway around the world. We have to get our timing just right. Uh – I always prefer treating patients face-to-face just kinda face-to-face is okay. But I’d rather see them in person. But guess what? We got some pretty good successes across the planet. Just with a different eye looking at the data that they have.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome, Dr. Bob. Thank you so much for what you do.

Dr. Robert Rakowski: I appreciate it. You always enjoy making the world better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank You.


Reference:

www.thedrbob.com

Organic Acid Testing Review – Uncover Your Metabolic Road Blocks

Organic Acid Testing Review

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Organic acids are made by your metabolism. They come from amino acids or proteins essentially. They can give us a window underneath the hood what’s happening with B vitamins, with methylation, with detox, with neurotransmitters, mitochondrial function, how you’re generating energy from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, etc. Watch this video and learn more what are the five big root cause of organic acids.


Today’s video’s going to be on organic acid testing. We’re going to dive in deep to a patient’s lab. Also, we’re going to go over organic acids- how to look at them, testing-wise and what they actually mean from the inside out.

Organic Acids

So off the bat, organic acids are made by your metabolism. They come from amino acids or proteins, essentially. They can give us a window deeper under the hood of what’s happening with B vitamins, with methylation, with detox, with neurotransmitters, mitochondrial function, how you’re generating energy from proteins, fats and carbohydrates, neurotransmitters, oxidative stress. It even can look on fungus and bacterial overgrowth. So it gives us a good window of what’s happening underneath the hood.

Now, we will look at tests. Actually look at the summary of abnormal findings and go through what everything means.

Why organic acids go out of balance?

  1. Poor diet
  2. Malabsorption
  3. Stress
  4. Toxicity
  5. Genetic (MTHFR)

Out-of-Balance Organic Acids

Poor diet

This can be poor macronutrients, proteins, you’re on a low-fat diet, a very high amount of carbohydrates with insulin resistant or could be just poor quality of food. Lots of toxins, chemicals, inflammatory food as well. So make sure that your diet is on  point.

Malabsorption

This could be low stomach acid or enzymes. You could have infections infections like SIBO or bacteria or parasitic infections, and could even be food allergies as well. Including sensitivity followed by leaky gut, etc.

Stress

This could be emotional stress such as relationship, financial issues, family, friends issues, work issues. It can also be too much exercise, very high amount of physical exercise or even too little. And it also could be sleep – poor sleep. Sleep really helps recharge and reinvigorate you for the next day and repair also.

Toxicity

Toxins whether it’s from round up or pesticides, glyphosate, heavy metals and environmental stressors like mold or mycotoxins or even EMF.

Genetic

There is an MTHFR, SNP issue or just need certain higher levels of other nutrients like magnesium or B6. Everyone’s a little bit different.

So now knowing that, let’s dig in. So off the bat, you can see this patient’s lab test a lot of things are popping up. Issue with fatty acids, issues with carbohydrate, energy. The big thing off the bat is amino acids,amino acids, amino acids. Carnitine’s actually made from methionine and lysine free-form aminos, tyrosine neurotransmitter issues.

 

Some issues with amino acids seen on lab tests

Issues with Amino Acids in Lab TestsThis means that neurotransmitters are more burnt out. And the big thing I’m seeing is stress and/or malabsorption. When you see amino acids like this go crazy off the chart, that’s definitely an issue – lower brain amino acids and obviously, gut issues.

In this patient, we have other lab tests in this patient but there’s infections present as well, which is setting up for that area number two which is the malabsorption issue. We’re seeing nutrients not quite present at optimal levels and just the pattern we’re seeing really tells us a strong  malabsorption going on. Persons diet’s already good, pretty good. Malabsorption is definitely present and with that, stress definitely becomes an issue. Also, sleep and all that we are working on that with the adrenals in diet and lifestyle;but malabsorption is definitely present.

So let’s go look at the nitty-gritty of the lab testing here. We like the patient to be somewhere between the top part of the first and the bottom part of the fourth. This is what I call the sweet spot that we like right in the middle. This is like the field-goal post we want to kick the ball right through for that field goal. When organic acids go high or low, there’s essentially imbalances in those intervention or companion nutrients.

Demand or Depletion Issue

You can see the Carnitine for the Ethyl Manolate. You can see that Mandelate, the companion nutrients, Tyrosine. So if these organic acids go high or low, it means either a demand or depletion issue. So when organic acids go high, there’s a massive demand issue. That means the body needs that nutrient at a higher amount than what is present.

So my analogy to the patients and that’s like you’re making $1 million a year but you’re spending $2 million a year. You’re making a lot of money but you are spending too much. Your budget needs to get rained in. That’s the big five things we talked about earlier. And then on the depletion side of now your organic acids are low. That’s typically from chronic stress of those big five issues, more chronic longer-term issue. It’s like you’re making $1000 a year, but you’re spending 10,000. One, you’re not making that much to begin with. Number two, you’re spending way more than what you’re making, anyway. So it’s going to be impossible to get ahead.

So we have to work on getting to the big five of why that is the case. When you see organic acids high or low, they mean different things, but low is more depleted; high is more demand. They both mean that those intervention nutrients need to be supported and addressed. And obviously, the underlying big five stressors need to be looked at- which in this case, is definitely going to be malabsorption and stress.

Low Amino Acids

You can see this person here, a little bit high in the Ethyl Malonate, which we talked about – means Carnitine, we saw the L – lactate. So you can see if we draw a sweet spot here, we’re very low in this area. And that’s another marker for amino acids. So the amino acids are very low and you can see some of these are two-tailed, some are one. So if you were to do like a Beta Hydroxy Butyrate, well there’s no left area that’s low. But if you go down below, under energy production, there’s definitely red on the right and left of Citrate, Cis-Aconitate and Isocitrate.

So that means we have two-tailed here and only one tail below. That matters is that we have, let’s say Malate is low, that’s important to know. But it’s more important that if Isocitrate is low because it’s actually a red area. It’s two-tailed, there’s a high and a low versus just a high.

So on that note, we can see with the above that’s amino acids, lower amino acids. You can see the mitochondria. Here’s our sweet spot. If we only have two organic acids in the sweet spot, we definitely have these two were low, but these three above are more important because there is no red area to the left down there.

Uncover your metabolic roadblock by CLICKING HERE 

Low B Vitamins

But we can see the mitochondria and how we’re generating energy is severely depleted and again this one of this patient’s chief issues is fatigue and you can see five areas in the bad left area and you can see three are very low. So definitely a depleted mitochondria, for sure. B vitamins, nothing’s flagged high but you can see we’re definitely in the low area. We’re definitely in that first quintile, and if you go back here, you can see B complex vitamins are part of what’s needed to drive the citric acid, Krebs cycle, warrior mitochondria. Essentially all the same name here for this.

So B vitamins definitely in the lower side. Methylation, a little bit in the lower side. I get more concerned when these go higher with Methylmalonate goes higher, it means we’re depleting a lot of B-12. When B12 isn’t present, Methylmalonate goes high. So it’s definitely part of this sequelae of this low B vitamin symptomatology we’re seeing. Lower energy means lower B vitamins.

Low Vanilmandelate

Neurotransmitters, you can see this person is low in Vanilmandelate, which means lower adrenaline. Lower adrenaline so their ability to regulate stress and adapt to stress is going to be thwarted and maybe some anxiety too, pretty possible or inability to focus When you have not enough adrenaline or dopamine, you typically lose that ability to focus longer and the time there. Homovanilate, 5-Hydroxyindoleacetate, that’s serotonin and dopamine, those are okay. Kyunurenate, it’s a little bit low. It’s a marker for B6, Quinolinate and Picolinate are markers for brain inflammation. Look okay but definitely the adrenaline markers are lower. Oxidative stress look pretty good. I’m fine with these being low because, you know, less oxidative stress, stress or internal rusting.

Low Detox

Detox, you can see, very much on the low side and again this didn’t even get flagged on the summary page of this. It’s important because if you’re just getting this test on your own, you’re like, “fine detox look no problems”- wrong. There is a massive polar shift to the left, which tells me there’s a severe depletion, remember. Lower organic acids depletion on the left section. Sulfate, the only one in the middle. This is sitting right on the fence of being low. Right on the fence being low gets flagged at 28. That’s 29- that’s a big marker for sulfur amino acids and glutathione precursors. So definitely an issue. They’re having a harder time to bring those nutrients on board to make the glutathione and to make all the phase 2 and phase 1, literally toxifying support.

High Indican

And in gut bacteria, it’s got one that’s high down here and the one that’s borderline. Indican is on the higher side that means not quite digesting protein well. Inability to digest proteins in putrefaction happening and just higher amounts of bad bacteria. And as you can see here this is what gets flagged when it’s 5% in the top 5%-1.41 It gets into the red .73, 1.41 and reach the top 5% of the reference range. Top 5% in this patient here. 1.84. So we don’t just look at it when it’s high, that’s very high. A lot of gut bacteria dysbiosis and some putrefaction  are happening, meaning not quite digesting protein. And that makes sense because when we go back to the protein on the summary page, a lot of amino acids were low and then yeast and fungus looked okay.

Summary

summary

So if we go back here to the summary page, high and low organic acids mean something. We already talked about that. Depletion on the low-end demand in the high-end. The big five tend to be the driving factors why this go out of balance. Diet, malabsorption stress, sleep, toxicity and genetics. Genetics being MTHFR, and we’ll see that with high amounts of Methylmalonate and/or formiminoglutamate but again, this is a quick video just to give you some insight of how we’re looking at how we’re interpreting this test. And we put this test together to look at body system three and we have to look at the other two body systems, and maybe even blood work. And obviously, a full diet and lifestyle review so we can get a complete picture of what’s happening under your metabolic.


If you enjoy this video, click subscribe on screen. If you’re a little overwhelmed and you want to dive in deeper to your health challenges, and you want to figure out what’s happening with your unique case, click on screen or click below the consult link. Go to https://justinhealth.com and schedule a consult with myself. Again, this is Dr. J here, look forward to having more great videos coming your way.

CLICK HERE and ask an expert to uncover your metabolic roadblock

Dr. Andrew Hill – Improving brain function, baldness and head trauma – Podcast #118

Dr. Justin Marchegiani has a special guest back again today, Dr. Andrew Hill. For this podcast episode, they talk about brain function, baldness and head trauma.

Discover the different medications or drugs that are used for ADHD, anxiety and sleep issues and how they will affect people in the short or long term. Find out how mindfulness and meditation can help with brain function and training. Get some information on insulin and the history of gluten as well as a brief history of genetics and evolution. Learn what should be done in cases of head trauma or brain injury when you listen to this episode.

In this episode, topics include:

01:40   Biofeedback/Neurofeedback

14:38   Medications and Smart drugs

40:16   Insulin

48:22   Gluten

56:48   Baldness

62:35   Brain injury/trauma

itune

 

 

youtuve

 

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, there! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. We got Dr. Andrew Hill on the show today. Dr. Andrew is a grad over the UMass Amherst School. I went to school as well so we’re fellow alums, also a PhD grad over at UCLA. Dr. Hill, it’s been a while, but glad to have you back on the show.

Dr. Andrew Hill: Yeah, thanks for having me, Justin. I’m guessing a lot has happened for Beyond Wellness, as well as on my end of things, the past couple of—few months.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool! I’m excited. What’s new on your neck of the woods?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  We are—and we, I mean, a new company I’ve been working on called Peak Brain, we’ve been opening up brain training centers, neurofeedback centers. We’re also doing a lot of free mindfulness instruction, you know, I’m sure we talked about this last time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Just to review a lot of different aspects on you know, call it biohacking, call it therapy, call it exercise. There’s lots of different avenues into this space and for many people, different choices might make more sense towards you know, free things–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Like mindfulness and meditation where you’re always carry around the equipment. Once you know how to do it, you can always practice. So I have this focus, at this point of bringing tools to accessible, or bringing the accessibility to people. So the idea is to provide a lot of you know, open mindfulness instruction and these training centers as well as the higher tech tool that people can sort of you know, buy services and getting a lot of hands on training and qEEG and neurofeedback. So I’m taking it more to the—to the fitness and out of the clinical level as much as possible these days.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you’re doing more qEEG or neurofeedback work?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah, the—most of the neurofeedback we do is EEG-based–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, got it.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Neurofeedback or biofeedback. We also do HEG, which is another form of neurofeedback. We do a little bit of HRV, which is biofeedback referral. Let me—let me break–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  This down for one second. There—there’s some overlap in terms. All neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback but not all biofeedback is neurofeedback. The difference really—the central nervous system as—as you know is a pretty savvy guy, but the body is—some of the systems is everything encased in bone essentially. So—all the nerves are inside the spinal column, the brain and so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And everything outside is—is peripheral nervous system, and so broadly you can define neurofeedback as central neurofeedback or sorry, central neurofeedback or peripheral biofeedback.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And that’s for the line that—that is getting drawn, but it’s a little blurry because you can do things centrally, like HEG where your training blood flow voluntarily and EEG is a form of central biofeedback where it’s involuntary thing—so the lines blue quickly because the body is not divided into, you know, discrete compartments that are purely isolated from each other in—in a system, so it’s a little bit of complicated but that’s probably more information than you need—on—on the differences. So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool. So if someone is out here, maybe they have excessive sympathetic nervous system overdrive or an adrenal dysfunction–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? Neurofeedback and/or EEG tend to be a really good way to dampen that’s—over sympathetic, over fight or flight response that’s happening. So if someone’s having that, they’re making the diet and the lifestyle changes, maybe they’re on an adrenal program using some adaptogens and nutrients and they’re stabilizing their blood sugar, making themselves be a more—a fat burner, would the next step be, if they’re doing all these things correct, how would they incorporate–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The EEG neurofeedback into their life?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  The next few steps in terms of you know, adding tools and technology to support, you know, health as well as transformation would be probably to add in either peripheral biofeedback tools like HRV, like all that skin response, like mindfulness, like meditation practice and then I would say the next level is adding in the sort of higher tech tools like the EEG neurofeedback. And—and to enter that stage, you sim—and if there’s a problem, I mean, for the average person who’s working on stress management or just trying to optimize the performance, you know, you will wanna build things to have a good foundation. If you’re trying to remediate a specific issue, you have seizures, you have ADHD, you got some, you know, problems that’s really getting in your way then you can go right to neurofeedback, I think as a, you know, first line intervention. And for something like that, you start with what is called a brain map, a quantitative EEG ideally and those are usually baseline assessments of brain activity that or then compared to a normative database, and out that you get maps that tell, you know, practitioner like myself how unusual you are compared to a population. And then we examine the most unusual aspects of your brain, how it’s functioning and some of those tend to cohere with certain functional limits or patterns or bottlenecks. You may notice I’m using a lot of very tentative language and that’s because the qEEG is not neuroimaging. It’s statistical analysis. You know, it’s you compared to some distribute—there’s some distribution of—of continuum of function, you know? So it’s really you compared to a bunch of different average people and—and your brain can be special and unique and wonderful, and—and really unusual and still be fine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  So qEEG is—is much of an art as is a science. There are a few things in the EEG and the quantitative EEG that are well validated, some diagnostic markers, or other you know, some discriminants, pretty reliably if you have clean EEG, you can spot traumatic brain injuries in people if they are at all significant. You can often or almost always actually spot ADHD. The FDA has a pretty good at this point support of a few discriminants in the EEG that suggests ADHD, including you know, going so far as to support a hardware diagnostic headset a couple years ago as actually diagnosing ADHD passively without any clinical involvement and essentially it’s doing I—I believe it’s—it’s doing a ratios of frequencies in the brain. So you start with these assessment tools to get a peek under the covers, and so the quantified self implication as well as a, you know, remediation benefit and you get a sense of how your brain works and then the next step is to start exercising and training it using you know, biofeedback feedback essentially and we shape brain activity and figure out how that affects function and over time you make changes to the brain. I know we talked about this before, but it’s essentially offering conditioning, not if you could think Skinner not Pavlov–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  So we aren’t—we aren’t making you know, a voluntary response happen by providing a—a random thing like—like the bell and pairing it with the stimulants.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, exactly.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  What we’re doing is instead only rewarding certain stimuli you do. So Skinner, you know, Skinner’s left alone noted Pavlov but it—I think it bears expanding. Skinner trained essentially pigeons to peck along bars or do certain behaviors to get rewards, you know, to turn a light on or you know, hit a switch or something. And a Skinner box is a behavior-shaping device. You don’t just examine how pigeons behave. You examine how they learn so you’re shaping or changing their and the way you do that and operate conditioning is you reward behavior that is near what you want to accomplish, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  You find what the brain is doing moment to moment, and then you—you know, when—when a certain brain wave moves a little bit or trends in the right direction or stays in the direction that’s when you provide—provide the reward. So over time your—you’re shaping.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  You’re just rewarding—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Shaping, right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  A different trend, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And then you move the goalpost and you reward further, you know, development of the trend, the physiological trend and not direction. The—the weird thing about—about the analogy of Skinner vs Pavlov is this is operate conditioning. However, the pigeon knew what it was doing. It was—you know, it was trying different things. Pigeons actually can get very superstitious.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  If you—you know, if they spin around once, and then get rewarded, they will then spin around once and they approach that food bowl and switch again because they’ve learned. Pigeons are like baseball players. They’re so superstitious–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  A little ridiculous.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is funny.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  But in the case of EEG—the—the analogy breaks down because what you’re rewarding, the—the behavior if you will of the brain, a fluctuating EEG that’s happening in a time course that is faster than you can perceive or control. So it’s really measuring sort of the real-time, you know, under 100 milliseconds or time window of what fluctuating in your brain. And you don’t really control things in that time course. You are only perceiving in the like 92 to a couple hundred milliseconds timeframe for most of us. We don’t proceed rapidly and we perceive most of what’s going on, you know, neurologically. And so as it’s fluctuating, reward it and shape it, and over time it changes which was kind of magical and lovely. But it—it’s not the magic of neurofeedback that’s doing that, it’s the magic of the brain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  It’s the brain’s ability to interpret a signal, a shaping signal. It’s the brain’s ability to enhance its plasticity in response to a signal. There’s really good evidence now that neurofeedback rams up plasticity fairly profoundly, something called a—an evoked motor potential can be used to measure plasticity of cortex. Essentially, you—you trans—carry all magnetic stimulations and zap a little bit of the brain and see—like over the hand area of the motor cortex and see how much bulk it takes to make the hand jump.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  It—it sounds brutal but it’s actually a fairly innocuous little thing they do with TMS, just to see if they’re over the right area. The—there was an experiment a couple years ago that showed that before-and-after neurofeedback. After neurofeedback, the motor cortex respond to a much lower voltage, a much lower, you know, signal before it perturbs or it jumps in responds and changes. And—and so this is a sign of motor plasticity or learning–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  You know, broadly, that seems to be upre—upregulated regulated fairly rapidly with neurofeedback.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And when you’re saying–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  With the other evidence of this. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And when you’re saying neuroplasticity, basically your brain is almost starting to rewire itself essentially.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah, it’s rewiring itself. You know, I—I think of it sort of like it’s getting younger because–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  For many of us we—we’ve have the experience of being, you know, over plastic. I mean, that’s being a teenager is to some extent. Things just change a little, you know, too rapidly, swing. But there’s this—there’s this proliferation of synapses, of connections between neurons in early seniors,  10 through 14 or 9 through 14, or around 9 or 10 or 11, the brain sort of finishes all this lateralization. It’s often that’s where a lot of final development happens. Post that age is when language acquisition without an accent becomes very difficult, but right after there’s this—there’s this proliferation for a few years or synapses. Massive like overbuilding in some ways. Think of like a forest that is becoming so thick and so overgrown that it just doesn’t have a lot of light getting through it. You know, it’s almost like too much in terms of synaptic density, and then there’s a big period of learning where those synapses change widlly in mid-teen years and many get pruned away, you know, this—this neuropile as it’s called.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  It’s pruned away into more discrete circuits. And that’s the time of profound learning and skill development and self-regulation, and other things in those mid-teen years. And so I really do think about you know, the plasticity enhancement features of neurofeedback as sort of rolling back some of the—some of the kid, not the—the decline of synaptic flexibility that was so prevalent when most of us were in our mid-teen years when things were just changing and responding and changing and responding and—and learning was like trivial because it’s just learn, learn, learn, and change and grow and develop. And it all seems effortless, you know? Relative how things feel, you know, 20 years later or 30 or 40 or 50 years later. So—so that’s my goal from all this stuff. Be it nootropics or mediation or neurofeedback. And—and be it for whatever goal, peak performance, substance abuse, you know, remediation if you will, changing your relationships and your—and you’re in control over substance behavior which is hard when you think about it. Getting control of executive function, getting control of aging, getting control of mental illness. These are equivalent in my mind. They’re all about getting some control over this 3-lb blob that uses most of our, you know, glucose and oxygen resources on our body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And—and learning to take you know, a little more active role if you will in how it develops, how it changes, how—how it has a trajectory of improvement and aging, and learning and growth. So a lot of my focus is—has really swung far towards encouraging and supporting people’s access to these tools.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Interesting and you mentioned a couple of things especially with ADHD, and it’s interesting when you–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because when you compare and contrast, you know, the—the functional, more natural alternatives, EEG, nutrition, functional medicine for like, let’s say ADHD, you also have the conventional options which are pretty mainstream, but they typically involve stimulants–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Methamphetamines, Adderall, Prozac, you know, those type of medications where you’re trying to–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Overstimulate the brain into focus, into the ability to pay attention, how is that different? I mean, obviously, one I see is whipping a horse, whipping a tired horse. The other one is—is much more different and is trying to align the brain in a more functional, more sustainable way.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Can you compare that?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Interesting analogy. An interesting analogy. Let me—let me just talk about medications for a second.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Now I’m not a psychiatrist. I’m a neuroscientist, but I—you know, I know a thing or two about pharmacokinetics–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Of course, yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And dynamics and how—how they work. The—in theory, they should not be working. Psychostimulants should not be working by whipping the tired horse. In theory, the CEO of the company is asleep under the desk, and the psychostimulant is like a cup of coffee to get something productive again so they control all the random nonsense going on in all the different departments of the company.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  So it—it’s waking up some—an executive that is not controlling thing versus driving an already tired system. I just want—you know, I wanna shift the metaphor a little bit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Because there’s a couple of other classes of drugs that are now used. You mentioned SSRI’s I think.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, Prozac.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah, Prozac. Not as used sometimes—on no longer very much in kids and teens because the—the suicide fatality–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Side effects, yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Increased risk is pretty high.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  They’ve discovered.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  That’s often not a great course, but the other two classes that are used, some of them promising with—with some promise are mood stabilizers and beta blockers, blood pressure meds that are being used really seem to work for some of the most acute behavioral symptoms.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Are they beta-blockers? That they’re helping to decrease that action potential in the heart and the sympathetics. Is that how it’s working?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Not sure how they’re working. Things like—like Intuniv which is a—what’s that? Atenolol or something. I forget–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  What the—what the generic is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah, it’s basically beta blockers which work great for other things, too. And as well as comorbidity. So I wonder how much is it does ADHD cause anxiety being dealt with better, and you know, but all day long I look at brains that have been labeled ADHD or anxious or other things, and I often find there’s some agreement with labels on the physiology and how it functions, but not complete, you know. And they’re often very coarse and very poor agreement. So I—I will say that—that functional patterns that support the interpretation of ADHD, anxiety, and sleep issues tend to show up together more than they show up separately. So you almost always, if you see two of those three things, you almost always see all three—ADHD, sleep issues, and anxiety.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I know there are potential adverse–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  In terms of—Uh-hmm?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know there are potential adverse effects of the methamphetamines long-term on the brain, so I get in the short-term, hey, you got an exam–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You’re gonna do it to kinda get really get those centers revved but long-term, what’s your take on that?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah, well, it depends on the class of psychostimulant. I mean, some things like Adderall–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Adderall.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Since you have a structure similar to—to methamphetamines–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Those things we—we don’t know too much about and—and it’s probably not great long-term. The drugs like methylphenidate, Ritalin–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  That seems to actually be a little neuroprotective but don’t necessarily work for everyone or you know, have—have all the benefits. You know, when I was just post college or in college, I—I need to add Ritalin and it made me really sedated. I was profoundly ADHD, classic ADHD, in you know, even in my 20s, not so much anymore but—but back then I was, and methylphenidate just made me feel numb, you know, Ritalin. And—and it just did not work to control my attention and at that time as a “young” man, I did take Adderall. It worked relatively well and I tried it again about a decade or two later and it my—I have my liver gotten too old. I couldn’t tolerate the side effects. And I—and I think I’m not so concerned about the—the short-term side effect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right. It’s definitely the long-term.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  As you say–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  But—but even the short-term side effects can be fairly profound to a developing person. If you’re appetite suppressed, if your sleep’s disrupted, if you have underlying cardiac issues, I—I think that stimulants in general can really provoke a pretty, you know, negative set of consequences in the short-term. I don’t know that we know a huge amount about long-term, but I think that the sort of atypical stimulants like Ritalin, we know are fairly safe long-ish term because of how long people have been on them. And we know that the biggest risk for a lot of the other drugs is more about either sensitivities, like I said, cardiac or other issues or there’s—there’s risk of abuse in—in stimulants, right? There’s often very significant risk of abuse, and I think the problem—that the scope of the problem is actually, even I’m—I’m downplaying it a little bit is actually much more dramatic that I might—that we might suggest because I think ADHD and, therefore, stimulant prescription is so phenomenally rampant and fat outstretched the actual clinical sort of narrow scope focus of pathology that must be addressed. I mean, ADHD is a bucket that has become you know, huge, to swell and catch all kinds of things especially in school systems.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  There are like something like half or three quarters of you know, in some school systems have kids that are on psychostimulants, and have these diagnoses. And I don’t think the diagnoses match. First of all, I think ADHD is only diagnostically relevant when it’s getting in the way and—and it’s so profoundly overdiagnosed that you know, it’s a fraction people who have some attention problems under some circumstances that I would call ADHD—you know, capital A, capital H, whatever.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  The—and prescribed for. Because the consequences are high and this is the medical doctor’s you know, job of course to know this that there are—are side effects you must balance against the desired effects–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And the side effects and stimulants are not significant, they’re better than other things. I’m not sure why the beta blockers work. I have a hunch we’re gonna discovered it’s more about reticular activating system issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And thalamic—and thalamic activation of downstate–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Than it’s really gonna be about you know, cortical activation and—and relaxation if you will. But all those things regardless of how they’re working are doing short-term intervention. They’re not teaching their brain how to not be ADHD, but how to sustain your executive function, and sustaining sort of you know, sustain a—a perspective on attention that is resilient and not reactive. That takes some work and you can get there, but it’s not—you know, it’s not rocket surgery. You can get there through mindfulness or meditation, and you can absolutely work on ADHD and other another cluster type phenomena with a short simple mindfulness practice. In weeks, it will start changing your brain. The research is mounting. You can do a lot of mindfulness to—to reign back in executive function challenges that aren’t necessarily, you know, there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I think you can learn a lot by the mechanism of how these drugs work. I mean, if you—if you know about the methamphetamines–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Just the average listener here, they really are gonna stimulate serotonin and dopamine and a lot of your catecholamines, norepinephrine, epinephrine. So if that’s helping, while the question becomes how can we utilize construct of vehicles to increase those neurotransmitters? Also they block the reuptake to so they allow more of these nutrients or more of these brain chemicals to sit in between the pre-and postsynaptic neuron. The problem is long-term, we start to have more degrading or recycling enzymes that break them down faster. So if short-term, it works okay. But in the long-term, you start gearing up more enzymes to break them down.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So the question I guess comes down to what can we do, I mean, on the neurofeedback side to improve these neurochemicals and maybe you want to take it to the diet side and maybe even supplements side, too.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah, you can do a fair amount. I mean another benefit of neurofeedback is it really makes your brain more sensitive and sort of reset some this—this acquired tolerance. And we see that in psychostimulants dramatically. You know, a couple weeks into neurofeedback you have to reduce your dose usually because you’re suddenly getting hit with a sledgehammer by—by your psychostimulants if you’re taking the.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  We also see it from things like cannabis oddly enough. You suddenly have to ramp your—your consumption down if you’re a cannabis user because your brain is super flexible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  But some of the—some of the best of research is still coming in. I mean, we don’t really understand nutrition fully in terms of ADHD. And it’s also not a homogenous issue when it’s actually truly present. I mean, there are several variants, some more types of you know, dopamine receptor coding repeats that show up that gets classified as ADHD, and some of them make you more hyperactive but also more resistant to distraction and some of them make you, you know, more distractible but less able to focus—but also able to, you know, almost more able to focus rather when you get checked in. So it—it’s a little bit of confusing space and, therefore, what works for one person is not necessarily what works for other people. But those blog classes like mindfulness and neurofeedback works for pretty much every so that’s why I start there. There’s other things that may work for you. Things like L-tyrosine, which of course is the precursor to dopamine, does work for–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  A certain percentage of people as a—as a support to attention pretty profoundly and I—I have a hunch that it’s working best for those people who’ve either been on stimulants, on who’ve got you know, one very sort of narrow subtype of ADHD where it’s really about a dopa—a dopamine receptor you know, proliferation. And for those people I think L-tyrosine is actually helping in need. There’s no real evidence that supplementing L-tyrosine increases levels of dopamine, but I have a sort of perspective on it where I’m gonna let the dopamine system regulate itself, because you know, anything goes directly to synapse or increases release of dopamine, things like stimulants. Those are always gonna be adapted to by the system because there are supraphysiological. They’re dangerous. They’re—they’re alarming to the brain and the brain has to adapt and, therefore, meaning tolerance, addiction especially in dopamine. So my perspective on this stuff is always to back up a level in the regulatory space if you will and feed the neurons, feed the dopamine neurons what they need to use their enzymatic chain to make dopamine. And there you’ll only get more dopamine if you actually need more dopamine in the moment. I mean I’m really somebody who—who believes that there’s no such thing as a chemical imbalance in the brain. It can’t really exist and there’s you know, massive sweeps of regulatory tuning in terms of receptor density and receptor sensitivity and all kinds of other things like that but my—my perspective on monkeying with the systems is they know how to regulate themselves and any ideas we have about what we’re are gonna be really imperfect at best, and you know, therefore, we’re gonna be trying things that don’t make sense. I think we got lucky with you know, SSRIs as mentioned earlier, Prozac. We now know that Prozac, yeah, if does work on serotonin, but not necessarily to increase it, you know, all sorts of neurons have autoreceptors that measure the amount of serotonin in the synapse that they are releasing into the synapse.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And if SSRIs decrease breakdown and, therefore, increase synaptic levels of serotonin, the autoreceptor shuts down release. So actually you have to adapt to it, you get sort of lower tonic release of serotonin in your—in your brain than you—than you did before you started taking whatever it was. You know, the SSRI. That’s—that sounds like that can’t possibly be true because serotonin’s the happy chemical and it—it’s antidepressive. It’s just not. I mean, if you—there’s something about the anxiety, it’s a little more closely linked to serotonin. But the antidepressive—antidepression effects of the SSRIs as well as anything else that lists depression, be it learning new things, be it exercise, be it whatever you’re dealing. The final common pathway if you will of depression release seems to be increase of BDNF. Brain derived–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Neurotropic factor.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Neurotropic factor, right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  In the hippocampus, which is all about learning and integrating information. That—that’s kinda what that job is and that’s really the key, yeah, I think. The key plasticity if you will, neuroregulatory factors. So it’s all about, I think the name of the game is BDNF. And depression is elicited by raising it through indirectly, you know, many steps back by—by tweaking serotonin and the brain responds to that loud signal by—wait, what’s going on? And getting a little more plastic if not integrate the slightly bizarre signal it’s getting from the SSRI is my—is my take on it. It cannot be, you know, perfect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How about B vitamins? How about B vi—I find B6 or P5P–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Pyridoxal-5-phosphate–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Sure. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Is deemed really important to help convert some of these amino acids in the brain.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Oh, yeah, all—all kinds of reasons. I mean, just look at the Krebs cycle,

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Just think back to our physical biology, there’s all kinds of amazing things that B vitamins do to the Krebs cycle, specifically some of the, you know, nicotinamide riboside, NA—NADH in terms of electronic streams. There was some related research—sorry—there’s related compounds in the Krebs cycle called alpha-ketoglutarate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Which recently some research came out of UCLA, about a year ago, that showed that the anti-aging benefits in model organisms, C. elegans in this case. The anti-aging benefits of alpha-ketoglutarate are like 10 times higher than resveratrol in the same organisms and through a differnet mechanism—we know the resveratrol activates sort of the stress response gene, CERT, and that seems to be how they cause, you know, the sort of French paradox and other you know, animal model documented life-extension things. But the—the alpha-ketoglutarate is operating in a different place. It seems to be tweaking the Krebs somehow and, therefore, optimizing energy production. So all the other thing that tweak CERT, like caloric restriction, like cold stress–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  They do extend lifespan in model organisms but they do it at the cost of either mobility or reproduction, right? The animal become less metabolically active and that’s what happens if you restrict calories in humans, too, you know? Eventually we downregulate metabolism, not—not immediately.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  But eventually and—and so caloric restriction is the only biohacking modality that’s been proven to actually affect aging, but in model organisms, it does do it at the cost of metabolic output and it probably–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Does the same thing in humans. So I’m excited about not only B vitamins, but things like alpha-ketoglutarate and this is the idea of going after the energy, you know, production machinery a little bit more directly. You know, lubricating ATP production. So B5, B12, and of course, we need versions that can cross-convert a methyl state, so ideally hydroxos and things. So yeah, I—I think a really good compliment B vitamin is kinda necessary. I think that you can also get really specific in a way that we don’t really understand yet, in terms of what you might need for B vitamins. I mean, there’s a lot of that genetic research done looking at methylation analyses–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And that’s essentially a study of how B vitamins are used in metabolism of energy and neurotransmitters. You know, that’s sort of how—how that—those analyses are used least. And–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And when you’re talking about B vitamins and B12 though, you have like methyl B12–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you mentioned the hydroxyl and the adenosyl, when would you recommend one over the other?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I don’t know is the short answer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And I—I don’t—I don’t think enough is known. I mean, the—the methylation stuff, you know, it’s not well-established. There’s—from my perspective and—and I come from sort of the optimism space being clinically many years ago, there’s a lot of focus on methylation in childhood diseases or development including these you know, things like autism and Fragile X and a lot—there was a lot of focus for many years on energy production and methylation. And some of it seems to do something in some of these people and some of it is just bad science, and we don’t know the line between it unfortunately because it’s grown out of a population of people who’ve been trying every—I mean, when you have an autistic kid, you try everything until you find something that works, and almost nothing works. This is how—this is why autistic spectrum population is a pretty good segment of the neurofeedback market because they discovered that it actually affect the brain, very little effects, you know, profoundly affects the brain people of autistic people. Neurofeedback can, doesn’t always, but it can. And that got a lot of attention in that community, so therefore, you know, word of mouth is very high, and—and that’s why there’s a big push there. And the same thing is true with methylation. Sometimes the right B vitamin cocktail, you know, dial it in in an authoritative manner.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Are you familiar with—with pyroluria condition where you need excessive B6 and zinc levels?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah, I’ve heard of that. It seems to be related to phenylketonuria as well where there’s some aspartame sensitivities, right? It’s a similar genetic, but it’s more about elimination of—of some core vitamins.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so they—they need just accelerated levels of B6 and zinc and—and will see some of it–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  On the organic acids test, but we give them higher levels of B6 or zinc and helps their mood or helps their sleep or helps whatever else in their energy systems to function better.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Do you have any clinical experience with that?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I—I don’t, but really this is outside my area of expertise. I—I sort of do a little bit of personal biohacking in this space but my understanding of supplements is not as broad probably as my understanding of nootropics, so you know, B vitamins when I think about them are all about, “Mmm, how can I t weak the brain?” So I think, you know, B vitamins, I think like saw beauty in the, you know, which is a thiamine, a B1 dimer essentially gets into the brain and then cleaves. Then you have a massive hit of thiamine to the brain and if somebody came in as an alcoholic, I would—I would think, “Ooh, thiamine.” Because they have impaired B1 metabolism from drinking alcohol for many years and they probably have memory issues and—and failing the basal brain like mammal antibodies because of thiamine deficiencies. So I have a very specific you know brain focus on this stuff and not a good understanding of either the—you know, the phlebotomy driven if you will understanding of—of the biochemistry. It’s just not—I work at a very high-level of brain waves, so for me it’s all about tweaking that—that dance versus reading out the—the low-level output if that makes any sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so let’s shift gears with some of the smart drugs that you’ve–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You’ve done. I know we kinda have our pallet here, whether it’s modafinil or piracetam or aniracetam or oxiracetam. What’s—what are your favorites? I know in the past you’d mentioned you’re not–

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A big fan of the modafinil, so I’ll let you have it.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah, you know, of course, I have designed TruBrain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And so I’m a big fan of mix of classic you know, a—a racetam plus a good choline, plus a few other things to support it and that’s sort of what went into the TruBrain formulations. Personally I—I’m still, you know, I still—piracetam and either CDP-choline or Alpha-GPC, still the best one to you know, combination I’ve ever found. And—and there hasn’t seem to be any downside or tolerance in these things when used for years and years and years, so that’s the, you know, the more serious biohacker’s you know, stack or the beginning biohacker stack potentially, but a little bit less racy, less risky, less you know, fully understood would be things like L-theanine. I—I mean I’m a big fan. I—I keep a couple things around my house, my office, and my campsite when I’m hanging out with my hippie buddies.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And those include L-theanine and ibuprofen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ahh.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Because L-theanine can pull back over caffeination pretty quicky.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And over arousal, anxiety, and a few other things.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s doing that with GABA, right?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  For some people. Yeah, it’s very GABAergically–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  It appears to be very GABAergic in alpha wave productions. If you really, you know, can break some—break some stage that aren’t comfortable, and then ibuprofen for—for those folks that have like, you know, smoked one too many joints or eaten one too many pot cookies and their, you know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Freaking out because of that. Ibuprofen can knock back THC intoxication a little bit and—and help people who are in crisis. So from my perspective, there’s a 2-mile like emergency kit if you will, nootropics. Even though ibuprofen is not really nootropics. In fact, pain killers in general probably should not be considered nootropics because evidences is—is—and I’m sorry, analgesic pain killers, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, those are just things—the research is mounting that they actually turn off either learning or empathy a little bit in some cases. Now ibuprofen seems to be the better case these days because the cannabis research anyways, there’s evidence that it eliminates the memory formation problems that happen when you’re high as well as–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Reducing some of intoxic—the high level of intoxication that people gotten in trouble with it. So there’s a little bit of benefit there but a lot of things do actually tweak brain function fairly profoundly, and we don’t yet know, you know, what that necessarily is for many of these things. Even things like Tylenol and you know, ibuprofen, these—the brand names—I guess Advil is a brand name of that one, but whatever. Even those are not necessarily you know, that are without side effects and there are organ system issues with all those drugs as well–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I mean, kidney for ibuprofen–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Elevated liver enzymes. Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And liver for Tylenol.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And every year–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Gut lining. Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  You know, people make sui–yeah, gut lining for apirin—or ibuprofen. Every year people make—make suicide attempts with Tylenol and end up in liver transplant wards waiting for a liver because Tylenol’s so profoundly toxic to the liver. So yeah, not those but I—I also think, and get back to the ADHD question, there needs to be a big emphasis on not only systemic inflammation but supporting lipid metabolism through things like fatty supplementation, you know, Omega 3s, medium-chain triglyceride, even get good ketone production. For me, the—the focus on nutrition is shifting more towards getting crap out, you know, bad sugar, bad starch, actually all sugar bad starch and leaving in or enhancing the quality fats which include Omega 3s, Omega 9s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Medium-chain triglyceride–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Usually food sources of those but I’ll toss them. I’m not a fan of refined oils. I—I don’t love them and most forms of refining I find either strip things out or leave things rancid, and so I try to get as much as possible from food, of course not always possible, and so I do supplement with DHA. That’s the only Omega that I—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Supplement and I get it form of—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Algae or fish?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  In, yeah, exactly. Algae.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  TruBrain—the—the capsule form of TruBrain, still has a DHA capsule in the afternoon packet, and so we—that’s my sort of baseline—gotta get some Omega 3’s in because I know my body can cross convert as necessary. It’s not efficient but if necessary to make EPA from DHA and DHA seems to have more brain affinity so it’s a better, you know, Omega to go after if you’re gonna supplement and then I of course, keep my diet super low and grain-fed in anything including, you know, I don’t eat grains. I try not to eat anything that’s eaten grains.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yes.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And that keeps my Omega 6’s pretty low, too, which is, you know, something Westerners, specifically Americans are quite bad at.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and it sounds like you like really established to—to really have good fats, kind of a Paleo template-esque as well.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I did, I guess. I mean—I didn’t know it was called that, you know, I was—I was sort of looking at initially of course, I don’t know, 20-25 years ago I—I read this book, and it was all about cycling ultra-low and ultra-high carbs and you know, there’s some flaws in the theories in the book but it had really good explanation how insulin works and it really stuck with me and there’s all kinds of you know, before that I thought insulin was just the thing that your body secretes in response to blood sugar spikes so then your cell can suck the blood sugar up and store it, either as fuel or lipids, whatever. But you know, I sort of realize at that time that it actually is tied to all these other hormones and other regulatory, modulatory things that cause you know, catabolic or some anabolic changes and releases of growth hormone and—and cortisol and it started it started to get me thinking a lot about how probably somewhat a time bomb the—the typical way of eating, which was like repetitively spiking our blood sugar. I mean, let me—let me—the—the blood sugar question is fairly well understood but it’s also not, not magical. We dropped back to a sub—a less well understood but also very similar feature of regulatory systems in the body or brain which is cortisol in the brain, high levels of cortisol, a person responds to stress and it goes up so you can focus and be alert and a bunch of other things happen in the brain and the body, but in the brain, it watches the range of cortisol and as it goes up, it responds and when it goes down, it responds differently. If the cortisol level goes up and stays up, response fails. The brain stops responding and eventually those high levels of cortisol start killing brain tissue and you know what, that’s exactly what happened in things like diabetes. If insulin goes up and stays up with repetitively spiking your blood sugar until eventually your cells stop responding to the insulinogenic signal and that causes a cascade of failures at every level.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  In body metabolism and aging and repair and growth and learning and, I mean, the list goes on.  And so I figured that out about 20 years ago and, yes, I have a slight, you know, problem with ice cream occasionally I will admit it. But on the days that I’m being good, I’m perfect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And I’m good about 80% or 85% or 90% of the time, and on those days I’m absolutely damn ironclad on keeping my total carbohydrates below 65g.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup,

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Unless I worked out you know, hugely—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Like a 90-minute ______ class when I can barely let myself off the ground, then I might have you know, like an extra 20g of carbohydrates right after that and coconut water or something to replenish my glycogen from my you know, quivering muscles.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  But that’s when I have profound physiologic signal of you know, glycogen depletion and good note for, you know, levels of carb intake, the human body is fully depleted can store about 50g of carbohydrates per hour.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Of glycogen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  So you know, you—it would never make sense to—to take more than you can store and spiking for me anyways, I sort of figured it out it used to be around 20g of raw carbohydrate seems to spike my blood sugar and I—so, so my—my general rule is never more than 20g at anyone sitting, never drink my carbohydrate—it seems to spike things faster if it’s you know, sugar in a drink or you know, even milk or something versus—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How about the Glycemic Index though?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Ah, Glycemic Index is a load of hooey. It’s—it’s about—it’s about as accurate as—as calories, you know? Which are also a load of hooey.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How about—how about the—how about the glycemic load?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Ahh, see that’s—that’s a valid concept.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  We just don’t know necessarily how foods produce it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  The—the rating of food is, you know, arbitrary little bit but the—the effects of load on insulin and—and the carrying capacity if you will is occupying sensory—a sensing molecule is—is a real thing. I don’t know what that is but I do know if you keep your in—if you keep your signal of sugar low, very low in the body, the way regulatory systems work is s they listen harder. What that means for insulin is increased insulin sensitivity.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  So I don’t think it matters if you’re in ketogenesis or if you’re Paleo or Primal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I think if you—if you stop spiking your damn insulin, and you get a sense of what that feels like when you occasionally go over it, I mean, if you spike it every day you don’t notice it. But if you spike it once a week, you—you know exactly what it feels like to have your insulin go up a little—a little bit above, you know, where you need because you have this drunk feeling and you get a little bit sleepy afterwards, and—but you know, after you adapt to lowish carbs and high fat, energy is rock solid stable. So at some point I figured this out and about the same time we started figuring out as a you know, culture if you will—Westerners how problematic you know, many grains mass produced farm grains at least are—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  In—in their correct format, you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And I started two’s together, I went, “Oh yeah, that’s what my gut feels like, you know, pun intended, feels like crap all the time is because of all this, you know,  inflammation and sludge moving through my system all the time from eating pizza and whatever else I was eating in the 80s and 90’s.” So you know, yeah, it ends up being Paleo or Primal-esque and I—and I would say, I would say that you know, more—more primal blueprint if we have to tie it to an existing pran—plan in Paleo because I do think there’s a place for dairy in humans, or can be at least, not—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Not every human can handle it and we have to make space for inter-individual variability but dairy in a cultured or fermented form, I’m just not willing to give it up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  You know? And there’s, you know, we can make a rationale but historically, ancestral health although I don’t generally make that connection because humans are ridiculously adaptable so we can point to any population in history and point out something that they’ve eaten that we couldn’t handle now. You know? People are variable. So whatever works for you is really what’s important. The insulin as a general rule, you know, carb loads are rules, the general—general guidelines are not you know, ironclad what’s gonna work for you, but—but I do think that you know, cheese and cultured butter and—and other fermented, you know, dairy can be fairly beneficial to the body I think it—it can develop in the gut biome can break it down to—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  To useful things. I think it can be a really great source of nutrition and I’m, you know, I’m also of Scotch-Irish ancestry. I’m gonna eat me some cheese.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  You know, some really sharp, crumbly you know, grab me by the tongue and squeeze kinda cheese.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely,

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I have to have that. It’s—it’s built into my—into my body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And if you can do raw cheese—

Dr. Andrew Hill:  So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You know, obviously if you get more of the enzymes intact so you can break down the casein and protein—

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Which tends to be the more—

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Problematic protein out of them all.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah and—more problematic and it’s also huge again, genetic variability in terms of—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Can you handle that or not? Right? And I am blessed to be able to handle dairy, no problem. I’m cursed so that at least current generation, you know, mass-produced chemical shit storm wheat—I can’t handle and I’m not like half the Americans who seem to have no problem with, you know, mass-produced wheat. I’m of the, you know, at least 40%, 50% that seem to have fairly significant issues with—with eating you know, bread so to speak from commercial grains. So, you know, I was a baker throughout high school and into college.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huh.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And I’m a—I’m a nominal cook. I’m an amazing baker.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I can bake you anything you want, name it. I’ll walk into a kitchen. If there’s ingredients, you’ll—you’ll, you know, be happy but—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I can’t—I can’t bake. You know, I can’t bake with wheat, with gluten as an adult essentially, as a—as a grown man because of the lack of, you know, ability to handle it and I—and I—this is—this not a new thing. I didn’t know why I had poor digestion as a teen and you know, early 20’s person but I did and it was eventually because of you know, of—of grains. I—I have a hard time wrapping my head around us as a society and human creature, culture, developing this big, fat, greedy, hungry brains that needed high starch to really be fueled with the fact that half the planet seems to be struggling to metabolize starches and grains. These two things are really incongruous to me and I don’t—I can’t quite wrap my head around it. I don’t quite believe the full you know, idea that we’ve distorted the plants you know, too profoundly because—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Humans are adaptable and—and they seem to be able to adjust long-term to re—and quickly to big changes in diet. I just don’t understand why we’re having such a hard time. I—this strikes me as a blind man and elephant situation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  What I discovered there’s some third factor that’s really you know, causative in destabilizing our ability to handle brains, and you know, 50 years ago that doctor was not present.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think it is—

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Nowadays it is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I know, if you’ve read Dr. Davis’ book, he talks about the—

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-huh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Genetic modification of wheat, not like the genetic modification when we’re talking about with like Monsanto, but just we’ve started off—

Dr. Andrew Hill:  With breeding.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  With breeding.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Just kinda cross-breeding.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We have this einkorn wheat that was nine chromosomes and then we—we kinda cross, you know, cross-bred it so it can produce more gluten and you know, we’re res—basically be able to withstand various weathers and conditions. Now part of that from what I’ve seen with the genetic mod—genetic modificaion and the hybridization, the gluten content—

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Has gone up significantly. I think 50%, 75%. So part of it could be just the extra gluten that is present that maybe wasn’t there years back.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Maybe. I think it’s really—it may be due to that or the gluten may have changed in some—in some form. And the reason I think of this is oats. You know, oats do not actually have true gluten. They have only gliadin, you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  You have other forms of—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Zeen—

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Gluten, gluten-like proteins.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Or avenin, avenin.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah, but—but exactly. It’s different.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And theoretically, if there’s no cross-contamination, you have gluten-free oats, theoretically people shouldn’t have an issue with them, and you know, I’m about as—as pale as they come as sickly, you know, 23andMe points me at Scotland and Ireland and is not unsure about it at all. You know, I’m like I’m one of people. I’m short. I’m wide. I can climb mountains. I hang out in cold climates and love it. You know, I’m—my people ate oats and I as an adult cannot handle gluten-free oats all that. You know, a little bit but not all that well and there’s not a lot of those proteins in something like oats compared to true wheat, so I’m not sure what it is. I think there’s something else. I think we’ll discover that there’s something unrelated to wheat completely, unrelated to food completely that has changed how we—how we do this and I don’t know if it’s—you know, something in a processing step or—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How about Roundup? How much is the—the glyphosate contributing?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  You know, and maybe—and maybe 20 years of ex—of exposure to that you know, in my traditional western diet has sensitized me forever to you know, those type of proteins found in starchy you know, grains. I held feeds just fine but not—but not grains. So and again—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  This is an N of 1 and I’m, you know, just an informed consumer here, but I—I think that those—those glyphosphate and other you know—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Chemically induced problems, we—we know those things cause problems. You know, when I was in grade school, you know, I wrote a paper on how DDT made you know, eggs fragile and it was—had to be removed for the environment in like 70s.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And this is not—this is you know, there’s always things like this. Every year, we go, “Oh, yeah, oh yeah, BPA. Ooh, oh yeah, that, hmm. Okay, let’s get that out of the environment, let’s get that—that out of our diet,” and one of those things is gonna be—is gonna interact the gut environment, the micro via the—the genetic expression of the microbiome, something will—is gonna be manning—there are many, many times the genetic, you know, material load of chromosomes in our gut that are not human DNA—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Than—than there are. You know, the microbiome is incredibly more complex than our own genome, profoundly more, you know, many, many, many, many, many, many times bigger in terms of number of actual genes, and you know, I have a hunch that we’re—we’re gonna find something in there is—is you know, thrown off by something we’re doing—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  As a modern people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I guess the next will be comes down to how long does it take for our DNA to adapt, because I know where human species have been around at some level at 1.8 million years, but perhaps and what grains have been here about 10,000. So I guess the question becomes are all of us adapting at that same rate to be able to handle grains?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah, I mean, it’s a bit of—what you mean by adaptation?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Being able to digest. Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  We seem to very float—yeah, but that—that might happen quickly. It’s—I don’t think we fully understand what it—what is necessary in producing those, you know, old enzymes and ways to break down material. Like for instance, we can’t digest cellulose anymore, you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  At one point in our development as—as creatures, we could eat wood pulp and survive off of it probably if we had to. That’s no longer the case. We no longer have those enzymes. You know, that swept through the population probably over many thousands or tens or hundreds of thousands of years, we weren’t quite yet human. But other things, you know, your—your grandparents had an experience that’s affecting your genes right now, Dr. Justin, you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I mean, if your—if your grandparents were at World War II, I’m assuming you’re about my age—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And they experienced trauma or you know, stress—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Or anything else, the way your brain and body secrete and respond to cortisol is different than it would be—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Otherwise.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  You know, two generations of epigenetic, sort of cascade—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Have affected you. So the question about you know, how quickly does it take to adapt is unfortunately you know, becoming blurrier and blurrier the more we—we discover about the—the genetic expression or the organism learns and changes and patterns on the environment. You know, the—the gene for sort of modern big brain size that is in humans, I think it swept through the primate population at the time in something like 20,000 years which is absolutely fast. I mean, there’s no way that—that could—that could have happened by breeding pressure. You know, it happened through a combination of a bunch of factors probably including things like natural disasters and isolated certain population.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I mean, who knows what else, but you know, those are individual—actually two or three identified gene based on brain size, and those swept through the population in a—in a blink on an evolutionary timescale. But we talk about evolution as if it’s this massive glacier melting, no—no pun unintended.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And it can be, you know, this is why I’m—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  The fact that I’m bald is—is gla—is a function of glacial evolution. It—it took a long time for that to show up, but the fact that I was hyperactive as a kid, the fact that I’m sensitive to gluten and other forms you know, grains. That might simply be a function of my genome going “Dude, that hurt,” or “I gotta respond to that,” or “That’s dangerous,” and I ‘m not sure what it responded to but it’s unfortunately left me unable to you know, enjoy baking or—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Consuming, you know, really good pizza which is—which tragic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And what’s the evolutionary role for baldness? I know you were kind of touching on that briefly there.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Ah, you know, I don’t know, I—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A theory?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I see a few theories including things like it allows radiation of heat a lot better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Because the brain is ridic—I mean, 90% of body heat is sort of escaping through the head. If you’re bald, you lose more heat through the top of your head. It allows your brain to cool itself more. There’s also some testosterone you know, relationships where it might not an adaptation so much as a you know, epiphenomenon of some other adaptation. Slightly higher testosterone expression or—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Or your levels in the—in the skin produce suppression of the follicle which is male pattern baldness, that set link characteristic of male pattern baldness, not all pair of patters in all baldness, but you know, the one that I have is—is probably a high level testosterone that reduced you know, the follicle. I’m not sure it—it produced, I mean who knows? The more I learn about the brain and the body, the more I’m surprised at how damn efficient every adaptation is. Nothing seems to happen by random and adapation is that you think serve one feature, serve multiple often. So I wouldn’t be surprised if at the same the organism was learning to become more efficient or a heat radiator. The same adaptation made it more you know, competitive sexually or something, and that meant the genes proliferating, you got both baldness and higher level of testosterone with some creatures, you know? But for me and I work in EEG which is a mysterious space. For me, understanding plausible is enough.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  If we can tweak a system and they can respond, then plausible is—is good enough as long as we are fighting is what is actual.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Interesting.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And we’re discovering what is actual in things like follicles. You know, there was a study out a few months ago that showed that—that they’ve figured out why hair goes gray and it looks like the same mechanism actually might be related to the—the key of the suppression of the follicle. There are some—some evidence that they tested but there’s some theory that was generated by this first finding. The first finding was, “Oh, look! Here’s what makes hair go gray.” And that actually explains why thigns like resveratrol may actually reverse—may actually plausibly reverse graying in some people who—who claim that it does, it’s not a wide—widespread phenomenon but it seems to happen. But the same mechanism seems to you know, suggest suppression of hair follicle and so we might be like right around the corner from you know, no more male pattern baldness through cosmetic you know, pharmacology if you will or genetic manipulation or who knows but it seems to be we’re right around the corner from—from solving that if you will. And then I’ll have a very firm opinion about how it works.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. So you’re thinking—

Dr. Andrew Hill:  But right now, you know—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  It doesn’t matter.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So you’re thinking the resveratrol could be helpful?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I think it probably can be. You know, I don’t—I don’t mind being bald, you know? I—Ia m—I guess I’m blessed in that I have a sort of Patrick Stewart shaped head.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And so I can cool it off—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it, yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  it’s fairly, it’s fairly round. There’s not a lot going on up there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Beyond curve.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I—I can pull that off and I, you know, I wear glasses so doesn’t mean to break in that expanse of flesh but—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  It doesn’t really bother me and I don’t really care too much about it. But yeah, resveratrol will probably or some related molecule probably, you know, unsupress the follicle, I mean, right now resveratrol has other uses, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mitochondria, yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  You’re taking resveratrol for mitochondrial support.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  It seems to suppress estrogenation or other Romanization—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Of some hormones, so take it to protect the heart valve. If you’re taking other compounds can be useful. You know, there’s a few other like—like serotonergic but you don’t wanna take 5HTP and—and other serotonin converting things and get peripheral nervous system serotonin, that will do damage. You know, you’ll get peripheral neuropathy and damage your heart valve. If you wanna take you know, resveratrol and things like to suppress Romanization of hormones, but I—I bet we’re gonna discover something else like that, and suddenly sprout big, thick full heads of hair. And—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And will I try it? Sure. You know, because I actually have a gorgeous—you wouldn’t know this—but I have a gorgeous you know, reddish blonde Scottish mane.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And you know, it’s been 25 years since I’ve seen it, and you know, I can grow a ground _____ Willy style moustache right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And I might, but it’d be kinda fun to go all full like you know, lion again, just playing in my age, so I say, yeah. I—as much as I am sort of laughing about who cares if we cure baldness, I would probably partake if there was a you know, natural-ish substance that I could tweak my—my follicles with.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, I love that. Well, kinda finishing up here. I wanna just go through just a—a rapid question round for you. Just kinda hit these next couple things off.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Just really quick, sound good?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright. ADHD, what are the top 3 things you do for that?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Meditate, neurofeedback and drop sugar out of your diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Addiction.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Understand why you’re using.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Is it impulsivity?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Is it boredom? Is it discomfort with your emotions? Is it brain injury that lead you to behave where you weren’t inspecting. Figure out which it is and solve it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. You’re studying for an exam. What are the best things to get your brain revved up for that?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  The best thing is to space your practice versus mass your practice first of all.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Short breaks ideally with rest and sleep in between them over many days to ensure consolidation. The other thing is to put yourself in the perspective of get to versus have to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  So engaged with your—engage with your material because it’s fun and find a way to make it so. And the third thing is don’t binge on food when you’re studying. Snack very lightly make.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  To make sure you don’t end up in a—in a bonk, blood sugar-wise which will completely abolish the learning and studying interest you have for that session.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. Top three smart drugs.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Clearly, piracetam, cito— citrocholine and let’s say DHA.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  DHA.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  These are the kinds of drug. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. Basically the 22 carbon fat and the fish oil. Awesome.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah, it seems to, you know, and maybe even Vitamin D might even fall in that category.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  These things are so profound in—in so many tissues and supporting so much metabolism. I think they upregulate stock even when it’s not noticeable.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. Recovering from brain trauma or a TBI.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  First thing, don’t do anything immediately.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Fast, right?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Don’t jostle your brain physically or mentally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  mmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  For a few weeks then drop inflammation, which means rest, low sugar, and then you can start doing things like neurofeedback and concentration-focused mindfulness to start waking up all that bruised and delta-rich cortex.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I’ve seen a low of stuff on low-calorie diets especially for a couple days after the injury.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah, it’s just that fasting produces a drop in inflammation, so you know. Yeah, basically you gotta rest and you can’t even think hard ideally. You know, you definitely, you know, the—the damage comes in concussions from the second impact that you get in certainly within 3-5 days but maybe even 3-5 weeks after a first significant insult to the brain. There’s all these inflammatory cytokines that cause inflammation after the first insult that protect the brain in the—in the short term but make it fragile, make the tissue very shatterable for days and if you receive a second impact in that time, the damage—the damage is much more profound. You know, the damage carries through the brain , you know, through a solid almost, the way it would like a block of ice instead of just kinda pushing on a—on a corner like a piece of Jell-O or something, so—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  You gotta let your brain rest for weeks, you know, 3 to 5 weeks if it’s a significant injury, and you can rebuild, you know, if you’re somebody who’s had a lot of wear and tear, brain fog, irritability, wearing out mid-day with cognitive fatigue, those are the—those are the 3 big signs. If you are somebody who’s post-concussive and you—you  realize that you still are, you know, months or years later, do something about it. Get some neurofeedback. You can completely—not completely maybe—but you can certainly affect it positively. And there are some long-term risk for many post-concussive. You know we know now that, you know, there’s a study out a few years ago, not even a few months ago I think or something last year, that showed that high school football players who never played a game but practiced with the team show early signs the chroma—of chronic, or sorry—CT, chronic, traumatic encephalopathy. From beginning brain scan, to the beginning to the end of the season, without ever playing a game—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Simply doing practice. So the amount of damage the brain can actually shrug off is negligible. It’s not really supposed to be bounced.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Or st—or change direction suddenly at 60 miles an hour. It’s not designed to go 90 miles an hour highway and suddenly stop, you know, or anything else where—where you’re launched through the world and then suddenly stopped. The brain’s great at you know, not that extreme impact, but it fails very quickly over a certain amount of impact. Let’s say it’s not force and we hit that force all the time. A single—there’s a study out 2 weeks ago maybe—a single stocker heading drill, and in heading the ball 20-30 times in a few minutes, memory test before and after showed a three quarters drop in performance, severe hermit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Right afterwards. Now, the study didn’t—didn’t look at long-term, it looked at immediate and it found a—and it found massive GABA-ergic, well, they were hypothesizing GABA as an inflammatory response but they found inflammatory markers and they found massive impairments in memory right after drill, and those things we know are things the brain learns from and—and responds to. So there is no safe level of head impact, you know? If I ever have a kid in high school, they are not going to play football or soccer. You know, I—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That was my next question.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah. Never.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Would you like your kid to play football?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  No, I would not. No, I would not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And what do you think about what’s happening with the NFL? I mean, do you think this is just like smoking in the 1950s and it’s just, we’re just waiting for enough—

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Research to come to a head?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yes, absolutely. Yup, absolutely. The—the NFL will become and also ran a small network of people who were the bad boys who still continue to do this thing that leaves people damaged. The NFL will be seen as an organization like Monsanto that has secretly known for decades that they’ve been injuring and killing people and had been doing lots with millions of legal dollars to keep that suppressed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  And we will discover that if there—it just isn’t. It was never safe. That will be considered a barbaric time in—in 50 years.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think you’re right. Well, here, last question with you Dr. Hill before we find out more about where everyone can go see you. If you’re on a desert island, what’s the one supplement or nutrient you bring with you?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Alright, well, does this—does this desert island have coconut trees or not?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It does, so you’re gonna have the medium chain triglycerides there.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Nice. So if I have coconut meat and—and fat and everything else—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You could probably fish, too, so you’re Omega 3’s and DHA will be recovered.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I can fish, I got my DHA, you know, okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Sunlight, vitamin D, that’s covered.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I think that—I think that something, maybe beta-carotene.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, so vitamin A.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Or, no, I don’t know, I may go get astaxanthin from like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Shellfish.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You probably would.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  So, hmm, what—what can I—what couldn’t I get from a natural, from an island I really needed? Yeah, I would probably have to say something like piracetam.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  You know? but not, you know, let me—let me give you a non-standard answer. I—I wouldn’t bring any racetams with me. I’m on a desert island. I’m gonna relax.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  I’m gonna fish. I’m gonna you know, I’m gonna get plenty of vitamin D and—and good food and you know, maybe—maybe grow some vegetables. Huh! But if I’m actually on a desert island, high-performance is not my survival. I’m gonna survive and once I’m surviving, I think—I think the environmental press of—of having to live and pry on a desert island would be sufficient nootropic to keep me functioning at my highest level.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. very cool, Dr. Hill. Now people who are listening, they wanna find out more about you and about TruBrain and about some of the services that—that you provide. Where is the best place to find more info on you?

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Yeah, so fols can check me out at @AndrewHillPHD on Twitter. I think I’m also at Instagram, but that’s a pretty anemic page. Peak Brain LA, Peak Brain Institute has a Twitter, @peakbrainLA. We have a website, peakbraininstitute and of course, trubrain.com—T-R-U-Brain dot com is the supplement—it’s the supplement that the nootropic stack that you mentioned that I helped design a few years ago, and you know, I’d love if people reach out and ask me a specific brain questions. We have very unique brains. You put 10 people in a room, there’s at least 11 different brains in that room from my perspective. You really gotta share what’s special about you and celebrate it or take control of it and tweak it and address it. So I’d love if folks have, you know, quirky brains they wanna share to look me up and—and find out what we’re doing and you know, there’s lots of ways to—to take control and change your brain, so give me shoutout if you want one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks a lot, Dr. Hill. It was a great talk and we look forward to chat with you again soon.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  My pleasure, Dr. Justin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You take care. Have a good one.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  You, too. See ya.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye now.

Dr. Andrew Hill:  Bye.

Putting together the optimal functional medicine program – Podcast #116

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand discuss about effective functional medicine programs and how they create and follow protocols. This interview goes in-depth about the world of functional medicine practice.

functional medicine programsFind out why you shouldn’t wait for something to happen before doing anything about it health-wise. Discover the differences between Body System One and Two and how optimal health can be attained. Learn about the various tests you can take and the right tools that are available to further achieve better and more effective results with functional medicine.

In this episode, topics include:

01:26   Get help as early as possible

07:00   Body System One

10:19   Diet and lifestyle

17:16   Body System Two

38:22   Tests

itune

 

 

youtuve

 

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, Evan, it’s Dr. J in the flesh. How we doin’ this Monday?

Evan Brand:  Hey, man! I’m doing great. How are you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I’m doing great. Can’t complain. It’s a little rainy Monday here in Austin. The grass is getting plenty of water which is great. I got the fireplace on behind me, so it’s got that wintery Christmas feel a little bit.

Evan Brand:  Nice. Excellent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Can’t complain. How about you?

Evan Brand:  Doing well, man. Hey, we were trying to record this thing, and then we had choppy audio so I wanna repeat what my little rant was because I thought that was important. I’m always curious about what is the catalyst for someone to work with yourself or myself, and I had a lady this morning who had been listening to us for six months and she knew that she had problems. She had a lot of gut issues going on but she continued to just listen to try to fix herself, and then she got the diagnosis of alopecia and now she’s lost over half the hair on her head, and now she’s figured out that that’s the time to come and get help. And I just want that to be a fire under people’s butts listening that you shouldn’t wait until things are so bad that you’re at rock bottom before you get help and unfortunately, that’s the conventional system that we’ve all been brainwashed to do which is we wait until we’re really bad, we absolutely need a doctor or practitioner and then we go get help. And my advice, get help now. If you have symptoms and things are off, and this is something you’ve—you’ve trained me on so much. It’s like, “Evan, look, these issues are not gonna resolve themselves. You have to resolve issues now. They’re not just gonna magically disappear.” Did you wanna speak on that a little bit about people just waiting too long or people just not having enough reason so they think to get help?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, well, there was an interesting scenario just the recently. There was a plumber in my house a few months back and he was doing some work, and there was just like a leak on the faucet, and for some reason the leak went away the next day. So there were two plumbers there and he goes down and looks, and he couldn’t find the leak. And he goes, “Well, maybe it just went away,” and then his partner, the plumber next to him spoke up and said, “You know what? Leaks never go away on their own. If there’s a leak, it’s gonna get worse.” So he went down there and he looked, and he said, “Okay, well, we just need more flow and if you had more flow coming, it would start to leak.” And he looked a little deeper back and he found the leak and just the environment wasn’t quite right enough for the leak to be expressing itself but the whole idea was that these problems don’t ever tend to go away by themselves. So that was kind of the moral of the story and connecting it to your patient, let’s say if you have these symptoms, they’re gonna get worse and the question is, how long do you wanna wait until those symptoms, right? Pain, pay attention inside now—that’s what symptoms are—whether it’s aesthetic, whether it’s inflammatory, whether it’s mood or energy. How bad do they have to get before you start getting a—a fire under your butt so to speak.

Evan Brand:  Right. Well, and my grandparents, their old house, you know, they had issues with their plumbing and they had to wait until their entire basement was flooded and thousands and thousands of dollars’ worth of carpet and furniture was ruined due to the flood before they came in and got the issue. So maybe they saved, you know, a couple hundred bucks in the beginning, but then it cost them likely $10,000 or more in the long run because they waited until things just hit an absolute worst-case scenario. So you know, I know there’s a lot of people out there listening that are trying to fix themselves and you and I certainly applaud that. I mean that’s what this is all about, right? Taking your health into your own hands and us teaching you how to fish, but at a certain level, you really just have to reach out and—and don’t be afraid to get better and—and don’t be afraid. You know, we’re real people. We don’t bite and we’re here for you. That’s what this is for. The show is to inspire you and to help you, but there’s nothing that’s gonna replace a one-on-one, you know, with one of us because there’s so many courses and online things, and things that you can look into, but it’s not specialized and I’m against specialization if you only look at one person. But you know, something we’re gonna talk about today is functional medicine is a specialty but we’re breaking that down. We’re—we’re looking at someone. We’re casting a net wide enough to look at every body system, so that we’re gonna figure out what in the world going on with somebody.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. And so the template for how we treat patients is pretty unique for—for us as functional medicine clinicians, right? There a lot of nutritionists out there that will primarily just focus on the diet piece. There are a lot of medical doctors out there that I find that will a lot of time skip the diet, maybe focus on more of the hormones and ignore the gut. You have other people that will only work on infections, whether it’s Lyme or a gut doctor. They’re only focused on the infections. So the question is, how do we become the general or the ultimate general practitioner, where we can pull the key issues from the infections, from the hormones, from the diet, from the lifestyle, from the digestive system, and combine them together and mesh it? So we put it all together in a way that is holistic, that represents the underlying cause from each person, because that underlying cause percentage-wise may be different for each, meaning one person that may be 60% diet, 30% infections, and 10% hormones, and others it may be 30% diet, 50% hormones, 20% gut. So you gotta look at it from the perspective of what piece may be the bigger player, and it may not be the same for each person. So we may not know, but if we hit them all in the order that we consider to be the order of priority, that’s gonna give us the highest chance of hitting all of those key issues and not missing them.

Evan Brand:  Right, and during the free calls, you and I block out just a few hours each month for free calls, which we’re always booked up for those and it’s a true honor to be able to offer that to people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Evan Brand:  A lot of people ask us, “Hey, Justin or hey, Evan, you know, can you just tell me right now what tests we’re gonna need to run.” And we can’t because that involves a case review, that involves looking at your history, looking at the fork in the road when did things get bad, how long have things gotten bad, what else was going on at that time in your life in terms of stress and travel and relationships and moving. You know, so there really is no one-size-fits-all program. Now there are similar tests that we run on nearly everyone, but at the end of the day, it’s so case-by-case and I know people wanna just get put into a box because it makes them feel comfortable. I mean, think of like Weight Watchers, right? You know, it’s a point system and you can buy their little hundred-calorie snack packs of pretzels. But that’s a horrible box to be in and you don’t wanna be confined there. So it—it’s a box of functional medicine but it’s a box without boundaries, too, because we never know what toolbox or toolkit we’re gonna need to reach into to pull something out specifically based on—on your symptoms.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. So we wanted kinda get things dialed in, and we have like the pallet of our tests that we may choose from for body system one. That’s like the hormonal system and we break that up into ATF and ATM, adrenals, thyroid and female hormones for our female patients and then our ATM, adrenals, thyroid and male hormones. And depending on how deep we go is depending upon what kind of symptoms present themselves and how long the patient’s been sick. Typically, the longer someone’s been sick, it may be better to get more data so we can fine tune the plan better, more specific to what’s going on. If someone’s been maybe not feeling good for just a little bit of time, maybe only a few years or a few months, we may run less off the bat because we don’t need as much data. Typically, the low hanging fruit tend to work on people that aren’t as chronic. So that’s kind of a good rule of thumb. So our body system one test are gonna typically include high-quality adrenal tests. Well, and that depends. I know we’re going back and forth and testing, you know, the new Biohealth saliva test that’ll be out soon. We’ve been using the Dutch for a bit of time. We have been using the old Biohealth 201. I have lots of patients that come in with other subpar salivary hormone testing that—that come in. We also look at the DHEA sulfate, which is an adrenal marker of sex hormone precursors from the adrenals, DHEA sulfate. And then we’ll also add on female and male hormones to those tests, whether it’s female hormones, progesterone, estrogen, estrogen metabolites, the different kinds of estrogens, estradiol, estrone, estriol, whether we are looking at the DHEA metabolites like androstenedione or etiocholanolone. Those also get factored in, maybe even melatonin as well. So we’ll look at all these different metabolites on the hormone side and then depending on if they’re showing with thyroid symptoms, we may even run a thyroid blood test or we’re looking at all of the thyroid markers, TSH, T4 Free and Total, T3 Free and Total, reverse T3, T3 uptake, and thyroid antibodies. So those are kind of all of the hormonal tests that we may run. And we even have some different. We may even time it up on day 20 of a female cycle if they’re—if they’re menstruating to get a window into where their hormones are tapping out. We may even look at a full month long panel, testing hormones every other day for a full month, so we can get a window of ovulation and the ebb and flow of the hormones throughout the month, just to make sure it’s optimal for fertility.

Evan Brand:  Yup, well said. So body system one. I mean, this is the foundation, you know. You talk about these people that just focus on the gut and we’ve dealt with that. I mean a lot of times and I know you hear this just as much as me if not more, “Oh, I’ve already been to 10 specialists or 20 specialists or 20 doctors. They all think I’m crazy or they said it was just the gut. They gave me antibiotics.” If you don’t get the hormones aligned and checked out, you’re kinda wasting your time really because if you have cortisol issues, you’re likely gonna have leaky gut issues which is gonna leave you susceptible to infections. So it’s like if we come in and just hit the gut, which we’ll talk about in a minute, body system two, it’s not really worth it, right? Because if you get the infection gone, but the leaky gut’s still there due to the cortisol issues, I mean, that’s kind of a bigger top of the food chain issue, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100% and just backing up one bit, everything sits on a foundation. So the introductory foundation for everything is diet and lifestyle.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And we’ve talked about this before, but just to make sure we don’t miss it, the foundation is gonna be what you eat, when you eat, the quality of food that you eat, how you sleep, how you move, how you deal with stress, and hydration. So that’s gonna be a really important piece of the puzzle. Making sure we’re eating nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory, low toxin foods. Making sure the diet is dialed in for you. Now what does that mean for you? Well, if you’re just a little bit sick, maybe you’re kinda in the middle, it’s not too bad, a Paleo template may be good to start with. Alright, no grains, no legumes, no dairy. If we’ve been sick for longer, maybe we have a history of autoimmunity in the family, or there may be known autoimmunity in yourself or known autoimmune symptoms, well, the next step may be an Autoimmune Paleo template where we go to the next step which is cutting out nuts, nightshades, and eggs. And then from there if there’s excessive gut issues, we may look at specific carbohydrate diet where we cut out salicylates and phenols and peel our vegetables and—and make sure everything’s well cooked and mash our foods. We may even look at a GAPS approach where we focus more on bone broth and soups and—and the same type SCD stuff, more in a liquid, palatable—a liquid, more palatable type of form. And we may even go to a low FODMAP diet where we cut out the fermentable carbohydrates–fermentable oligo-di-po—let’s see, fermentable oligo-di-mono and polysaccharides. So it’s your—your fermentable carbohydrates, your fermentable sugars. So we may add that piece onto it just to make sure that we’re taking as much stress off the body. We’re stabilizing blood sugar. We’re not adding toxins from the pesticides and chemicals and GMO and Roundup and—and the glyphosate and we’re stabilizing blood sugar. We’re not skipping meals and we’re making sure that we’re sleeping good at night and we’re hydrating appropriately in between meals or 10 minutes before, so we’re not diluting digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid.

Evan Brand:  Well said and there’s a ton of overlap in all of those, too. I mean–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A ton.

Evan Brand:  You’re going to be omitting gluten. You’re gonna be omitting–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Many of the dairy components, the inflammatory component, then you’re going to stay away from pesticides and chemicals. I had a guy the other day. He asked me. He said, “Well, I’m not sensitive to gluten. So do I still have to avoid it?” I said, “Absolutely.” There’s no deficiency of gluten ever and just because you don’t think you’re sensitive to it, some of your skin rashes and all that is probably caused from some type of food intolerance. You know, you don’t have to be doubled over in pain from eating a bagel to—to necess—you know, to necessarily have to stay away from it, right? You don’t have to be falling over, needing a morphine shot due to the pain from gluten if you—if you have anything, any symptom, headaches. I mean I had a lady who had migraines for 20 years and it was amazing how simple it was just to get the diet and the gut cleaned up and the migraines went way. So I think people expect massive, massive symptom sometimes to be caused from gluten and otherwise, they don’t wanna get rid of it but you should just get rid of it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, my thing with grains and gluten is if you’re gonna cheat and you’re gonna do grains, number one, the safest grain for most people tend to be white rice. So that’s tends to be an okay alternative if you’re gonna do a grain, if you’re gonna cheat. White rice tends to be okay. Even better, try doing the safer starch. You know, yucca, plantains, sweet potatoes, let’s see—I said plantains, yucca, sweet potatoes,  squash—those type of safer starches tend to be a better alternative for most. Go ahead.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I was gonna say taro, too. Some people talk about that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Taro, arrowroot, yeah, and then also if you’re gonna—like let’s say you’re like, “I’m gonna do bread.” Well, sourdough bread has actually shown to have less gluten because of the fermentation process that gliadin protein tend to be more dissolved in the fermentation process. So if you’re gonna go get all glutened out, take a look at the good, better, best side of it, right? Good or best would be abstaining and doing zero grains. Good may be doing like white rice or better—sorry, better maybe doing like white rice or something that’s fully gluten-free. And then third would be, alright, fine. You’re gonna do a gluten bread, well, it’s gonna at least be fermented, i.e. sourdough bread. It’s fermented, so the gluten and the compounds in there that may be more allergenic are decreased. But the other things–

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That Evan and I still wanna touch upon are the lectins, are the phytates and the oxalates, the mineral disruptors, the protein disruptors, and the high amount of pesticide and Roundup that are on some of these products. So you can at least reduce it by going organic and by going the sourdough method so it’s at least fermented and soaked, so the grains are gonna be more palatable and not have the mineral and enzyme disruptors. But again, better, right? Good, better, best. Best is gonna be at least keeping the grains out. Good or better part is gonna be in between, going like a rice protein and then like, you know, good would be doing the fermented sourdough bread option like I just mentioned.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and put it this way, it helps me sometimes to understand kind of the ancestral or the planetary perspective on this. These plants and these grains, they don’t want to get eaten–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yeah.

Evan Brand:  And digested, right? I mean, they want to pass seed on through an animal and then it come out fully digest—or un—you know, undigested, fully undigested, so that that seed can go back into the ground and grow more grass or grain. I mean, that’s the goal with birds and humans, too, if it goes through and it’s not getting digested, the goal is for that seed to be intact enough to grow more plants, and they don’t wanna get eaten.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  So that—that’s enough reason there that—that makes sense and really help me. But like, “Oh, man. Wow. Okay.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it’s pretty simple, right? You know, from evolution standpoints our role, I mean, it sounds crude is just to be able to pass on our—our seed to our offspring, right? That’s pretty much it. You know, be able to survive enough so you can procreate and pass on your DNA to your offspring. That’s pretty much it. Now there’s two ways of doing it. There’s having claws and weapons and tools and teeth, so you can prevent getting attacked on or preyed on, right? That’s like the wolf or the fox, or maybe us with our weapons as humans. And then there’s the, “Okay, I’m gonna get eaten, right?” Berries, grains, but there’s gonna be seeds and things that are gonna keep the seed and the DNA intact, so eventually maybe it will go back and be able to grow again and pass on its offspring so it can live again, right? So there’s two methods. It’s either you’re gonna fight now or you’re gonna basically submit but live the fight another day by passing itself back into the soil again so it can grow.

Evan Brand:  Yup, yup. Should we move on to body system two?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and then last piece that is the foundation with the diet, I’d say is also the emotions. So if there’s a lot of emotional stress, like there’s an active serious relationship issue. You know, not just like hey, you know, you had a fight here or there but you have active relationship problems. Maybe there’s an active divorce issue. Maybe you’re real problem with the child or a family member or maybe a death of a loved one or serious work stress, or stress at your church or where you go to—to have a spiritual connection, or you excessively exercise a ton, right? Those kind of things need to be looked at because they can provide a lot of stress underlying. So we wanna make sure there’s not an active emotional issue because it affects the timeline in which we expect healing to occur. If you’re actively going through a divorce or you’re having serious work issues, we may say hey, our goal is gonna be just to dig out feet in and prevent us from sliding downhill, and we may not be able to gain a whole bunch of ground going uphill.

Evan Brand:  Well said, yeah, and I’ll also mention the electromagnetic fields which I’ve done–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yes.

Evan Brand:  Countless podcasts on. I had a lady the other day. She heard a podcast about EMF that—that was on the show and she bought a meter online and anything above 1 milligauss, a measure of magnetic field is bad, right? And this lady had 50 milligauss in her bedroom. And so she lives in San Francisco. She didn’t believe it. She called the power company as I told her to do and they came out and they measured, and sure enough, it was about 25 or 30 milligauss. So her meter was pretty inaccurate, but it was accurate enough to detect a problem that warranted further investigation. And even the power company was like, “Well, this is insanely high.” I mean, you’ll see some people that say anything above 3 milligauss of magnetic fields which comes from power lines is—is bad, but either way, 20, 50, that’s insane and so she’s moving immediately and she said she hadn’t slept well for months and kinda like my story that you and I chatted about when I had to move. I was measuring 7 milligauss in my office and I feel like I didn’t sleep. So I mean, that’s another cause of adrenal hormone issues that you and I are discussing and talking about with people because it’s—it’s an invisible smoke, right? If you had glasses that you could wear and see this stuff, everybody would freak out. But it’s invisible. And like my friend Eric Windheim says, “It’s like fighting a ghost.” So you have to measure this stuff and—and mitigate it, and there’s more. We won’t go into more detail today, but just check out EMF in the search bar on the website, and you’ll be able to find, you know, more episodes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. So we addressed the foundational pieces, diet, lifestyle, emotional stress, meal timing, nutrient density–

Evan Brand:  Environmental.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Toxins from the chemical. Toxins are essentially—the electromagnetic toxins, right? That’s kinda in that toxin realm.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We hit that. We talked about the hormones, ATM, ATF. And then next step is gut function/gut infections. Now typically when we start out with the diet piece, depending on what’s happening symptomatically, if we see a lot of reflux, a lot of bloating, let’s say we have a history of vertical ridging in the nails or we see a lot of undigested food particulate or the stool looks grayer or the stool floats or we have poor hair quality or very dry skin, these are all symptoms that we’re not digesting our food optimally. So to support the diet piece, we may bring some of the digestive support up forward, and bring it into intro phase. What I mean is we may bring in some of the hydrochloric acid, some of the enzymes, some of the bitters, some of the digestive support to help stimulate digestion because we see that as supporting the intro phase. We’re working on digesting foods and making sure that piece is dialed in. So that may have to be brought up forward because it’s—it supports the foundation. That’s number one. Number two is we have to knock out the infections. So as we look at body system two, we really break it down into 5 steps. So number one is remove the bad foods. Number two is replace the enzymes and acids like I mentioned. So that’s the digestive support to make the intro diet piece work better. Number three is repair and repair means repairing the adrenals because we have to make sure that piece is there. because we don’t wanna work on really healing the gut, until we have the hormonal environment dialed in to help reduce inflammation and help heal the gut lining and help improve IgA levels, which is the localized immune system in the digestive tract. We also wanna make sure healing nutrients are present for people that have extra gut inflammation or extra gut irritation. Things like L-glutamine and the healing nutrients, the licorice root, deglycerized licorice root, maybe slippery elm, maybe cat’s claw, maybe some gentle amino acids like L-glutamine, and Jerusalem artichoke, etc. These are healing nutrients that help that gut lining. Number four is the removing of the infections and we’re able to remove the infections most adequately because of the 3 phases before it. Because of the removing the foods, the replacing the enzymes and acids, the repair in the gut lining and the adrenals, now we can come in and we can start working on removing the infections, and the infections are gonna be specific to the stool test we recommend to pick up the infection. So the H. pylori comes back or fungus comes back or various multiple parasites come back, those all need to be specifically addressed with unique protocols for each. And then number five is going to be the re-inoculation with robotics, really receding all of the good seeds after the weeding’s been done. And then number six is gonna be the retesting to make sure one, infections are cleared and two, there are no new infections as last podcast talked about, making sure there are no resistant infections that were burrowed in deeper that are showing their ugly head, and the only exception will be adding probiotics in the repair phase. Because sometimes probiotics can have an anti-inflammatory effect, and depending on how bad the gut is, we may add some probiotics in the ref—the repair phase as well as the reinoculation phase to help support gut healing and inflammation.

Evan Brand:  Well said. I wanna speak just for a minute and see if you wanna add anything to it about the topic of antibiotic use and infections. There’s a lot of hate on the Internet about herbal remedies for infections, you know, whether it’s an M.D. or a naturopath or someone. You know, getting in an argument about saying, “Oh, herbs don’t work. You have to use triple therapy or this antibiotic or this antifungal prescription.” And there’s very, very, very, very few cases where it takes us more than one or two rounds to get rid of an infection using just herbs, no prescription. So could you add something to that conversation, too? I would 95% of patients can address their gut function and their got infections with herbs alone. 5% of the time we may have resistant bugs that we’ve treated, re-test, still there. Treated, retest, still there. Treated, retest, still there. And it’s 2-3 times and we’re not able to knock it out. But I’ve had people go and on the third time, we knock it out. So the antibiotics may be an option for some people. The conventional antibiotics that are typically run like the metronidazole, the Flagyl, which are the most commonly prescribed ones for these infections tend to miss the infection about two-thirds of the time. And then a lot of times the antibiotics prescribed for your typical triple therapy for H. pylori like clarithromycin, amoxicillin, and/or omeprazole like Prilosec, acid-blocking medications, tend to do the same kind of thing. They’ll miss the infections a third half the time.

Evan Brand:  Well, what about this, too? What about creating more resistant strains due to the antibiotics that have been so overused? Which then makes our job a little bit tougher because people have gone through rounds and rounds of this crap and it’s done nothing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. That’s the problem is you run the risk of having these antibiotics not work in the time where maybe you really need them, like you get in a car accident or you step on a—a rusty nail or some, some kind of infection that’s more acute and more severe based on the exposure of the microbes. So I’m always about conservative to invasive, right? What’s the most conservative type of care off the bat? It’s always gonna be diet. It’s always gonna be lifestyle. It’s always gonna be using antimicrobial herbal medicines that have been around for literally thousands of years to have a strong safety profile, to have the ability to use them long-term without resistance–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And also aren’t gonna wipe out a—as many other microbes, any other beneficial microbes the may be present that are helpful for your gut. We won’t wipe those out and create more problems. I can’t tell you how many patients I’ve seen that have been on antibiotics and had devastating side effects, and now we’re treating them from the damage caused by the antibiotics in the beginning. I’ve seen it so many times. Don’t see it with herbs though.

Evan Brand:  I know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But I see all the time with antibiotics so I’m always very conservative and we go up in—in gradations on what step one is. Herbs. Step two. Herbs. Step three. Maybe herbs. And then if we’re still having issues, then we go and we lean towards the antibiotics, typically on step three most of the time.

Evan Brand:  Yup, yup. Well said. And just the fact that this has been used, the herbs that we’re talking about. They’re been used for thousands of years before antibiotics were invented. To me that says something about the success rate and the safety. So when people read concerns about herbs. A lot of times the concerns are unwarranted unless you’re talking about mixing herbs with pharmaceuticals, like you know, 5HTP and SSRIs and stuff like that. Yeah, you can get into trouble. But generally, there’s really nothing to be concerned about compared to the tens and if not hundreds of thousands of people dying due to medical error. That’s now the third leading cause of death. Did you know that? Medical error.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  So—so this—this is real. This isn’t something were just saying on our—on our high horse. You know, this is for real. Look at CDC death or medical top causes of death. You’ll see medical error and this is from the proper, you know, or this is the prescribed rather is what I meant to say, the prescribed dose of a medication is still causing third leading cause of death, is medical error.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I know. I know Barbara Starfield has her prized article in the Journal of the American Medical Association 2000, all on how much medications and surgical procedures done correctly, right? Hey, the surgery was a success but the patient died. Hey, the prescription was—was perfect according to what the patient’s symptomatology was, but the patient had an ulcer and died, right? Just like that happens with ibuprofen 19,000 times a year according to the New England Journal of Medicine. So we know there’s a risk with conventional treatments. So we wanna be as conservative as possible, so we don’t have to go to those type of higher risk procedures.

Evan Brand:  Agreed, agreed. Well said. So yeah, the infections are huge. I mean, Justin and I, we have more podcasts on that talking about our own history with infections. So not only are we in the trenches helping others remove them, but we’re doing it on ourselves, too. So this is—this is a huge piece and has been instrumental for me to get my—my weight back when I’ve lost, you know, 20 pounds of muscle from infections. So this is a real big deal in something that has to be addressed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct, and I think the key thing, too, is we’re not anti-medication.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We’re all about using the correct tool at the right time, but also weighing the pros and cons. Like if we’re, you know, we got our tool bag on or our toolbelt on, right? And we have all these different tools in our tool bag, alright? And we look at this screw and it’s the flathead groove in it, so we know I gotta pull my Phillips head out, right? I’m not gonna look at that screw and be like, “Screw this, my dog must not gonna allow me to use this flathead, throw it away and then try to pull it—the Phillips in there and try to work it.” So let’s say it’s a—a flathead groove, I’m not gonna look at flathead screwdriver and throw it away, and say, “I’m gonna try using a Phillips, right?” I’m gonna go and say, “Well, this is the right tool for it. So I’m gonna put it in and I’m gonna use the correct tool based on what’s presenting itself.” That’s like if you get in a car accident, we’re not gonna look at the patient and say, “Great! Let’s just throw you on some turmeric right now and call it a day.”

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No. We’re gonna say, “Go to the ER. Get the correct test to make sure there are no fractures, no bleeds, no hemorrhaging.” You may even want to be on some higher dose pain meds. You may want to avoid the opiate ones, right? Because of the addiction, but maybe some higher those pain meds acutely just because you’re in severe trauma and pain. And then we’ll get you stabilized and then we’ll get you on a really good routine after. So we look at the right routine. If we see that flathead groove, we’re reaching for the flathead screwdriver. We’re not reaching for the Phillips.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, absolutely. And if you break your arm, yeah, you don’t go take a dose of turmeric and fish oil. I mean, you need to get that checked out and make sure there’s no internal bleeding, etc., etc. So there’s no trophy for—for trying to be a hero and dismissing the acute, incredible trauma medicine that—that is offered. You know, it’s just the things we’re dealing with, their 1, 5, 10, 20, 30-year chronic issues and that’s where functional medicine tends to have far superior success rates. You know, 90+ percent success rates that you and I both have.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, and some of the things that are talked about regarding antibiotics, and I’ll put some of the research in the show notes, but antibiotics can create oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. That’s a big issue, so the mitochondria is gonna be the powerhouse of the cell which is gonna help generate ATP which is like the fuel currency for energy, and also creates oxidative stress which is just a way of breaking down your body, right? Oxidation, you leave a rusty nail in the rain, it gets all rust or you leave a nail out in the rain, it gets rusty because of that oxidation process. We have internal rusting. Doesn’t quite show itself like that, a brownish rust, but it happens—it happens internally and that creates a depletion of a lot of your antioxidant reserves. So your body has to use up more vitamin C, use up more vitamin E, use up more nutrients that would typically be used for other healthy functions. So oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are a side effect of some of these antibiotics use. So we really want to make sure if we’re using them—excuse my frog on my throat—we wanna make sure they are used appropriately for the right situation.

Evan Brand:  Well said. Yeah, and I’ll briefly mention, typically for body system two, we’re gonna be looking at comprehensive stool testing. We’ve discussed that. So whether PCR-based testing or otherwise, and then also the organic acids testing. So you hear us talking, maybe it sounds fancy, mitochondrial issues, amino acid metabolite problems, etc. but we can see and I see it all the time. Vitamin C levels, very, very, very low across the board most time on organic acids which is a urine test that you do at home and then you send that back to the lab and then we go over the results and then stool testing, you’re gonna be able to find infections. You’re gonna go through the protocol and then you’re gonna retest and the infections are gonna be gone. So that’s—that’s it for body system two. Let’s go on to body system three, Justin. So detox, methylation, making sure that people are able to actually do things at the end of the line. Once everything has happened, once a good digestion has happened, you’ve absorbed your minerals, your colon’s helping to produce vitamins for energy, your probiotics are doing the things they should be doing, now it’s time to get the stuff out of the body. We’re hoping the liver is gonna be able to do what it can do. We’re hoping you’re pooping, right? I mean, people buy all these fancy detox powders and teas, but it’s like if you’re not pooping but once a week, that’s a huge issue. That’s a great way to detox, poop and pee. How simple and revolutionary is that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. Poop, pee, breathing, and sweating. It’s like un—unreal. So looking at a lot of the detox things, certain nutrients are required to detox. So you can see why number three, why detox is put number three. Let’s just break that down so everyone can get the—understand the concept. Again in this show, we’re really committed to being able to teach concepts because if you get the concept, there’s zero memorization involved in it. Once you get the concept, it’s like riding a bike. You get back on—Boom! You never have to go to that learning curve of falling. So what’s the concept? So number one, if we’re poor foods and eating toxic foods, and foods that are nutritionally poor, what happens to detox? Automatically impaired.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? So why are we gonna work on detox off the bat? Because if we just get that first phase done, we’re starting to work on detox even though we’re not working on it directly, because it’s body system three, we already worked on it in the intro phase. Number one. Number two, we actually start breaking down the foods. That means we start breaking down the proteins into their smaller amino acid constituents and we know how important the sulfur based amino acids for operating phase 2 detoxification. Phase 2 is like the n-acetylation, hydroxylation, the glutathione production, the methylation, and we need methionine and we need cysteine and glutamine and glycine and taurine, and all these really important sulfur aminos, and if we can’t break down our protein constituents into those smaller products, you know? Ripping off the pearl necklace and pulling off the individual pearls, that’s what it’s akin to. If we can’t do that, we’re not gonna be able to run phase 2 and then frankly we need lots of antioxidants and B vitamins to run phase 1. So if we have SIBO or dysbiosis, well, our probiotic production internally from our gut bacteria is automatically forwarded or downregulated because we know good bacteria in our gut produces a lot of those nutrients for us, right? Good bacteria eats poop and poops nutrition, B vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients. Bad bacteria eats nutrition and poops poop. Bad bacteria makes you more toxic. So what is the more toxicity from the bad bacteria due to body system three? It decreases its function. So you can see how we lead up to diet and lifestyle. We lead up to digesting food. We lead up to healthy gut bacteria, knocking out infection, addressing the flora, because all of that sets the stage for body system three, so we can come in there and really support the nutrients that are missing, the pathways that aren’t working properly, and we can potentially even knockout specific heavy metals if we see heavy metals are in there with other types of chelators and compounds that pull the metals out. And some of the test we do—well, I’ll take a breath there, Evan. Any comments?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I mean, well said. I wanted to mention this comes at the end because we want to make sure that everything else has been addressed upstream. I mean we’re not going to go straight to detox if we know that you have infections and we know that you’re still getting, let’s say artificial sweeteners in your diet which can be placing a burden on the liver, right? So we want to see the liver and your detoxification abilities, methylation, this includes anybody with like MTHFR genetic defects. This includes you, too. All that other stuff’s gotta be taken care of first because we want to see what the actual baseline is. Not the baseline when you are doing so much sugar and alcohol and bad fats and artificial sweeteners and all of that that’s got the burden on the liver. So once we get all that stuff out of the way, then we take a look at body system three. It’s the, “Oh, okay, so this is the true baseline,” and then yeah we can look for heavy metals, from dental fillings, amalgams, you know, bad food, bad water, too much tuna fish, other environmental exposures, and then we can start helping to get the detox system working better because if you’re not pooping well and you have an overburdened liver, you’re just gonna be recirculating all these toxins. So then you’re gonna get the joint pain and the allergies and the asthma, and the skin problems, the headaches, the brain fog, alcohol intolerance, I mean, we could go on and on but you gotta get all that other stuff taken care first, so if you go straight to detox or somebody tries to sell you on some detox protocol first when you don’t even know if you have leaky gut or not, I would be cautious and maybe you have more to say about that, but I don’t like the idea of pushing stuff out of people’s body if they don’t even have enough trash men to come gather all of the trash at the end of the road.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, 100%. So we have everything lead up to it and I think you emphasized the whole leaky gut part right because the leaky gut as you mentioned is really the consequence of all of the inflammation, the inability to break down food, the compromised immune system, and then the infections. All of that will lead to leaky gut. So leaky gut isn’t necessarily a result. It’s more of an effect of all of the inflammation and the damage.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? The gluten, the bad foods, all of the inflammation. So that’s kind of the end product that you get there is leaky gut. So looking at everything that you mentioned. How do we quantify it? Because you put some really good points out there. How do we actually know what’s going on from the detoxification side? Well, we’ll look at an organic acid test. Typically as a good starting point because we’ll get a window into various detoxification pathways, whether it’s pyroglutamate or other types of organic acids, sulfate—these are organic acids that will give us a window into how those sulfur aminos are doing. If the demand for them is higher or if they’re depleted. And we’ll also get a window into B vitamin status. We’ll get a window into methylation and we’ll also get a window into oxidative stress by looking at the 8-hydroxy 2-deoxyguanosine for instance. Again, these are all like jeopardy words but these are organic acids that give us a window into all these systems, whether it’s simply xanthorrhoea for B6, whether it’s the amino acids for the brain with vanilmandelate or homovanilate or 5-hydroxyindoleacetate or whether it’s markers for gut bacteria like hippurate or benzoate. So these—these markers give us a big window into what’s happening and the organics can really help tell us what’s happening there from some of those detox nutrients, and we may even look at like a SpectraCell or a NutrEval as well. Again, I lean more towards the organics because that’s my baby.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The NutrEval combines the organics with another blood test for nutrients, too. So that’s a—another side option which at least does contain the organics and that gives us a good window into what’s happening but we always go back to intro, body system one, hormones, ATF, ATM; body system two, the ability to digest, removing food allergens, healing the leaky gut, repairing the gut lining, removing infections, adding in probiotics, and retesting because we gotta make sure new infections aren’t there and the old ones are gone. Number—body system three is gonna be detox nutrients and that’s typically where we follow suit, and we reserve the right to kinda move some things in. Like if I know someone has a ton of oxidative stress, I may throw some extra vitamin C that we may discover on an organics test, I may throw it in with the adrenal protocol. So we do things and we mix-and-match outside of that box a bit, so if any patients are listening, they may think, “Well, Dr. J gave me some detox support in body system one,” and that’s gonna be dependent upon how that person’s presenting, how sensitive they are, and how bad their detox is. We may add some small things in with body system one, because maybe the adrenal support is too much for their liver, and we need to give their liver just a little bit of support so they don’t have a lot of those hormone side effects.

Evan Brand:  Totally, well said. I’m gonna mention two things and then we can wrap it up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cool.

Evan Brand:  One for me on the organics, which I just love is the quinolinic 5-HIAA ratio–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Looking at inflammation because you could go on and on and sound fancy, but when someone sees inflammation and you’re like, “Look, here it is.” It’s like, “Oh, crap.” Because inflammation, you know, even a conventional physician is gonna talk about inflammation as a cause of disease, right? And so when we can actually prove that to a client or a patient, it’s incredible and it’s very profound to be able to do that and then whether it’s 3, 4, 6 months later when the retest comes, and you can see that that number’s gone down, it’s very, very rewarding for both of us, and lastly, the toxin piece, too, something that Justin and I have been talking about a lot and—and I’m running on—I’m running this test on nearly everyone I possibly can–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Including myself is the GPL-TOX so I can look at the toxic load because I bought a sauna based on my toxic load of insecticides, and this is not a challenge or a push test so even the sickest people, we don’t have to worry about doing any type of chelation which may push some stuff out. You just urinate in—in the morning in a cup and you send it off. And the cool thing is you can run it side-by-side with the organics, so it’s literally the same urine sample. All you have to do is spend a little bit extra investment to get both test run organics and GPL-TOX at the same time, and I had insecticide levels in my body that are known carcinogens that were higher than they should be. And so for me, this is a huge, huge, huge new realm of opening up this. Look, we know there’s detox problems. Let’s fix it, but what are we actually fixing. You know, that had always been the question, right? Ooh, there’s detox problems. Man, you got headaches. You got chemical sensitivity. You can’t handle perfumes, gas fumes. Look, here’s why. And oh, man, is there anything more fun in the world than this? I mean, I—I don’t think so.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I agree. I mean, it’s like we’re CSI detectives without all the—the murder and blood, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We’re trying to put together the—the puzzle piece that’s really getting people’s quality of life back. So just summarizing those tests. We run the organics test. We run maybe the OAT, which is the—the Great Plains Lab organics. We run the GPL-TOX. We may run the NutrEval, the SpectraCell and then we have the heavy metal challenge test where we challenge, with a chelation compound, like DMPS or DMSA or EDTA to get a window into the toxic burden of metals because metals don’t want to stay in systemic circulation. They don’t wanna stay in the blood. They only go on the blood acutely in that first 24 to 48 hours, then they go into the tissue.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Whether it’s the brain or the individual tissues or even bones when it comes to lead. So we gotta get a window into it so we have to do a challenge, a provocation agent that can go in into the tissues and really kinda pull things out. It’s like, “Hey, you go outside. You look for bees. There may not bees swarming around, but if there’s a beehive there, well provocation agent’s throw rock into the beehive, right?” You know those bees are in that beehive when those—when that rock hits it and those bees come out, that’s the provocation agents. So we use that same kind of methodology with the heavy metal test. The rock is like the chelation compound that we use to see what’s coming out in the urine and a lot of times we see aluminum, we see arsenic, we see cadmium, and we see a whole bunch of mercury and lead, and it’s different for each person.

Evan Brand:  Yup, absolutely, and then you got blood metals, too. Quicksilver’s Blood Metals is cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand: There’s the Mercury Tri Test, too, for hair, blood, urine. There’s so many different things out there. A lot of them are good. A couple of them are bad, but you know, we’ll help you to make the distinction what is right for you and this is case-by-case. Some people they may not need to investigate metals. Other people they’ll come to us and they’ll say, “Evan or Justin, man, I got metal problems.” And they just have a gut feeling and in those cases, I say, “Okay, cool. Let’s get you checked out.“ It’s not gonna hurt. It can only help you to investigate. So if you have a gut feeling and that gut feeling can be disrupted obviously if you have got problems, right? Because the inflammation in the gut, you might be getting mixed signals, but if you have a gut feeling, ask us, and let us help you to investigative. If it’s something we didn’t bring up yet or maybe it’s early in the game and we wanted to do it later, just bring it up because you never know. You could be onto something that we just haven’t got to yet and that may save us, you know, a month or two of—of time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. And again, we’ll the show notes for everything, the full transcription, again in my new Thyroid Book that will be coming out very soon, just putting the finishing touches on it, we’re gonna have a chapter in the book all on this type of discussion, putting it all together because I feel like this is probably one of the key pieces that most functional medicine practitioners and doctors really, it—it’s very esoteric. It’s kind of in the ether. Like how does it all look?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Like what does the whole plan look like? And it just kinda like, you feel like almost like they’re making it up as they go and I think is really important if you’re gonna hou—you know, you’re gonna hike Mt. Everest so to speak, I wanna see that map. I want to know how we’re gonna go up there. I wanna know how we’re navigate that crevice and—and get across that—that ledge or that cliff. I wanna kinda feel like it makes sense when we get directions. So I think that’s a really important piece that we’re adding, is that clarity and that, you know, what’s our fu—future pacing vision? How are we getting to the top?

Evan Brand:  Yup, amen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Anything you wanna add there, Evan?

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so. I think this was great and fun as always, real honor. If people want to schedule, go to justinhealth, J-U-S-T-I-N, Justinhealth.com to schedule with Justin. If you want to schedule with myself, go to notjustpaleo.com and like I said, we both block out a few hours, so you know, if there’s a spot available, you wanna grab it for the 15-minute free call. See if we’re a good fit, you know, discuss your options together. Justin and I are happy to do that and we look forward to helping you all out. You know, listening to this is one thing. Getting in the trenches with us is another, and I mean without functional medicine, I would likely still be dealing with depression and irritable bowel syndrome and skin issues and fatigue and insomnia and adrenal problems. I mean, every aspect, everything that could’ve gone wrong was wrong in my body systems and just one by one, plucking these things off the list, and there’s never a finish line, right? I mean it’s always a continual journey. So you’re just always pushing to the next step ahead and this is your time. You know, you don’t have to suffer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. I appreciate the hope and the inspiration, Evan.

Evan Brand:  Yes, sir.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great chat. Great chat. Look forward to chatting with you very soon.

Evan Brand:  You, too. Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Have an awesome day!

Evan Brand:  You, too. Bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye.

Addressing reoccurring gut infections – Podcast #115

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk all about gut testing today. Find out about the protocols they’ve done and what additional tests and new recommendations they have in battling gut issues when you listen to this podcast.

bauchschmerzenLearn how it is quite normal for a new infection to pop up after having been treated with an initial infection. Discover what steps you can take to effectively treat these parasites and other digestive issues. Find out what different parasites can cause infections and how you can get tested for them.

In this episode, topics include:

02:47 Evan’s testing and symptoms

09:19 Next steps and recommendations

14:39 Additional testing and treating new infections

19:30 Dr. Justin’s lab tests

25:40 Conventional vs functional medicine treatment

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan Brand, it’s Dr. J, man! How are things going?

Evan Brand:  Hey, things are good! Winters coming, unfortunately it’s rainy and cold here today. What about—how you doing?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, it’s actually about 75 and sunny and really nice today. So it couldn’t be better.

Evan Brand:  I—I do miss the weather. I do miss the Austin weather.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, It is, in general, it is quite good especially this time of year. I was actually last weekend waterskiing just before Thanksgiving and it was perfect. I mean, the temperature of the water was great. I didn’t even have to pull out my wet suit yet.

Evan Brand:  Wow, that’s—that’s awesome. I miss the weather and the food.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely. And it’s been a while since we chatted a bit. I’m, you know, I need my Evan Brand daily dose here.

Evan Brand:  Hey, man. I agree. It’s a pleasure talking with you as always.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. I know you been doing the Adrenal Summit with Dr. Christiansen, which is great. How did the Summit go?

Evan Brand:  Oh, man. It went good. I think we ended up with like 60 or 70,000 people registered so it was much bigger than Alan and I anticipated. I don’t know why or how it became so much more successful but put it this way, I’ve spent many hours on the phone with HostGator trying to upgrade the hosting. We ended up having to get a dedicated server because they said, “Oh, yeah. With this upgrade should handle your traffic,” and then we upgraded again and still crashed it. So we ended up having to get an insanely expensive server just to handle the traffic. So that’s a good problem to have. I’ve—I’ve not had that much success with something to continually crash and crash and crash websites so that’s cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, that’s a definitely what we call a better quality problem for sure and if anyone’s listening and wants to get access to the Summit, what’s the best way for them to do so.

Evan Brand:  They could just check out adrenalresetsummit.com and they can check it out. There’s 34 speakers including yours which I think was definitely top three talks for sure. Your talk on conventional versus functional treatment of adrenal issues. They can get your talk, the transcripts, all that stuff if they get the—the full package.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s awesome. Very, very cool. Well, today we talked about gut testing. I know we reported on a podcast we did back I think early in the spring where we reviewed some of your lab tests and then we talked about reviewing some of mine. So today we’re going to review some of my older podcast or my older labs that we did on an earlier podcast, as well as some of yours and some of the retest, and basically the moral the story on this—on this podcast will be recurrent gut infections. Great! You’ve gone through a second, a third round, what do you do? What’s the next up? And typically, other things that happen like what if a new infection comes up that wasn’t present the first time, which happened in your case that I’m really excited to go over.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, absolutely. So where should we start? Should we start at my first symptoms when you saw me and you like—you said, “Evan, man, that looks like you got an infection.” Where should we start the journey?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think there will be a good place and then also reviewing the labs that we did back in the spring, kinda reviewing the results of those and then sliding up to present day with you and present day with myself.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I wanna hear about yours, too. So with my—with myself, you know, it took me a while maybe 3-4 months before actually got the test run, wife was busy, we were moving, you said, “Evan, get checked out.” That was like right when I was moving, you know, to—back to Kentucky.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  So I the test done. I got the 401H run and that’s where we found the abundant growth of E. coli, that’s where we found the Cryptosporidium, the Giardia. Both of those are bad parasites. You do not want those and so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%.

Evan Brand:  That’s when—that’s when you and I talked and crafted a protocol together about what we should do to get rid of these things and then it took me from March until August to get the retest of the same lab. The Crypto and Giardia gone. Great. Did not show up with parasites.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Evan Brand:  Something that was detected that wasn’t detected before is H. Pylori. So as of August, the H. pylori showed up and then you and I chatted again about, well, what should we do now? What’s next steps for gut—got gut protocols for H. pylori. So I’m finishing up H. pylori protocol. I plan to retest probably January-February. I’ll do a retest and see—see what’s going on. See if the H. pylori’s gone. Symptoms, skin has improved massively. I’ve showed you and you’re like, “Wow.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I could see it in your videos. You—you’ve better skin tone, a little clearer and less—less redness or irritation. So I can definitely see a huge improvement on your skin.

Evan Brand:  I—I didn’t realize how inflamed my face was and having breakouts.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm., Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  So I didn’t realize how profound it was until it’s gone. It’s almost like these infections have played dingdong ditch on my skin for so long that I didn’t remember what clear good skin should feel and look like. So that—that’s a massive improvement. Energy levels have gotten better. Sleep is way better. I was waking up in the middle of the night all the time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  When I had those parasites especially around full moons. Now I’m getting some of the best sleep. Also adding the fact that I moved away so—from those high electromagnetic fields, now I’m sleeping better than I have since I was probably 8-9 years old.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  Like I feel like I’m sleeping like a little baby, like a kid again, and it’s remarkable.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. So in general just kinda going back and letting the listeners know a little bit more about your history in case they’re coming into a this a little bit late. You did have a history a while back with IBS, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, that’s what started this whole journey back 2008-2009–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  When I was in college. I mean, the first thing I had to do when I went into a building was figure out where the bathroom was because–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  I may have to run to the bathroom and that was a—a life, in a lifestyle strategy that I assumed, maybe some people dealt with but it just became normal, right? I mean, I didn’t think anything of it. I knew it sucked. I knew it wasn’t fun but I didn’t know there was a way out. And I went to the conventional docs, they prescribed three drugs which I did not fill any of the prescriptions, acid blocker, anti-spasmodic and some other type of drug, did not take any of those. Removing gluten basically cured 80% of the issue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  But 20% of the issue remain where I had this cyclical issue with my gut where every month or every couple months, you know, symptoms would pop up. Maybe get some loose stool and then things would go back to normal. And you think, “Oh, maybe it was just something I ate, maybe I got gluten somewhere, but no it was these infections.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly and the big thing, too, some of the symptoms that you experience after you cut the gluten out even though you had these infections, you had a big improvement with some of the IBS symptoms—bloating, diarrhea, constipation, those kind of things. But you still had other symptoms, right? You are very blood sugar sensitive. You had the cold hands and cold feet, and sometimes you’d have some like some panic attacks, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Anxiety, heightened anxiety.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I remember—I remember calling you when I was still in Austin. We were going to move and I said, “Dude, I cannot slow my heart down. My—my heart is beating out of my chest. This is abnormal.” Now granted there was a huge amount of lifestyle stress. I think we were moving–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Evan Brand:  Driving cross-country in two days. I mean, there was huge–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huge.

Evan Brand:  Impending stress, but I was still adrenally fatigued where I was not able to handle it. And my adrenals showed low which I’m going to say is due to some of the malnutrition cause from the digestive issues. My fingernails had the vertical lines. The weight loss like I told you and you saw me when I moved to Austin, I was about 160 pounds and I was down to like high 130s or 140. I lost 20 pounds in a year without trying which some peeps, “Oh, Even, I want that problem.” No, you don’t. No, you don’t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. It’s definitely not a good type of weight loss, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, exactly. So weight has stabilized. I’m actually approaching 150 pounds. So I’ve gained back—what is that? About 12—mmm, give or take 5, 5 to 12 pounds, just depending on what my official starting point was when the weight loss stopped.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And very little diet changes because you were really on point. I think the only thing we tweaked in your diet is pulling out a little bit more dairy.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, unfortunately I had to get rid of the—the organic raw, grass-fed cheeses that I love. The—they’re gone. So now I just do a little bit of butter, some ghee.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you did a lot better. I remember seeing your skin really improved when we pulled out the—the dairy, that last piece there.

Evan Brand:  Yeah. Yup, absolutely, man.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then tell me about that the—the cold hands and cold feet. How’s that improved since we knocked out the Crypto and the Blasto—or no, Crypto and Giardia?

Evan Brand:  Cold hands, cold feet still there like I told you. I—I’m wearing these elk moccasins with sheep skin in them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Any change at all? Any change at all? 5, 10, 15%?

Evan Brand:  I—I say nothing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Evan Brand:  I think—I think no change at all.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But the bigger change you’d say would be more of the mood stuff, the anxiety, those kind of things?

Evan Brand:  Oh, for sure. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Evan Brand:  I mean mood’s much better. Brain fog, you know, if we looked at—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Brain fog, yup.

Evan Brand:  If we looked at the 02, you know, we had high candida markers on there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The fungus. Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so the yeast problem was also causing bloating which was unusual for me. I’d never have bloating before. And when you see—we see people joke about, “Oh, I feel pregnant.” No, for real like you can have massive yeast problems that can be—that can be successfully treated. So the—so the yeast gone. I have no bloating issues anymore, but the cold hands, cold feet, we gotta figure that one out. So if you help me figure that one out, I’m gonna be eternally grateful.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and it could be some type of inflamed—inflammatory type of thing that’s affecting your thyroid or your adrenals. We’d have to look at your adrenals again. That’d probably be the next step and we got some—some potential test coming up soon. Go ahead.

Evan Brand:  Thyroid—thyroid looked good. I remember we talked about that. We looked at antibodies, looked at thyroid levels. I’d have to look back again but it checked out okay. There was no—no Hashimoto’s, nothing that looked really out of whack. So maybe we’ll have to see once this new adrenal test that I told you about the other day, once we get that run on ourselves we’ll have to see what’s—what’s changed. Maybe there’s still some lingering adrenal issues. I would say so, because any type of days where I’m really pushing it, you know, 12-16 hour days, I feel it. I’m like, “Oh, that was too much, too hard.” So I think there’s still some adrenal recovery going on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And one thing we miss though during your last lab test. I have your lab test up here now. Do I have permission to—to go over it?

Evan Brand:  Sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, cool. Your TSH came back really good, 1.290.  Your T3 actually looked pretty good, 3.5. One thing I noticed though is your T4 Free was very high, 1.82. That’s off the charts. So I would be curious to see what you’re reverse T3 levels are like. I would not be–

Evan Brand:  I don’t think it was on the panel.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nope.

Evan Brand:  Was it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No, it was not.

Evan Brand:  Darn it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I would not be surprised if your reverse T3 levels were very high because I’m seeing a very high amount of T4 and then a good amount T3. So there’s a—a spillage with that T4 to T3 conversion. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw an increase in reverse T3, which you know, are the metabolic blanks that fill up the—the space for the bullets and the clip, right?

Evan Brand:  So, wouldn’t this be pointing us back to the adrenals again?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  As a major factor?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, one thing that I think we’ll have to do next–yeah, one thing I think we’ll do next is we could talk about looking at the new Biohealth Adrenal Test that’ll be coming out soon which I’m really excited about that we talked about last week.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  As well as comparing it to the Dutch. I love to see looking at both of those side-by-side what kind of Intel we get and I wouldn’t be surprised over time once we get you fully infection-free because that H. pylori, like we said, is still there. So that’s probably affecting stomach acid and enzyme levels and mineral absorption.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we gotta make sure you’re on hydrochloric acid. How’s that going with you?

Evan Brand:  Oh, I take enzymes like Skittles, so I love them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How about hydrochloric acid thought?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, HCl, I’m getting about 600, 4 to 600 mg–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Per meal?

Evan Brand:  With each meal. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I would say taper it up to 3000 mg per meal, so about five capsules of HCl combined. In Dr. Jonathan Wright’s book about, you know, why you need stomach acid. He finds people may need, clinically up from 1000 up to 5000 mg of betaine. So I kind of go somewhere in the middle because I don’t want you to get a peptic ulcer.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I would—I would try inching up to 4 to 5 capsules slowly in the middle of the meal and just make sure you’re not getting any warmness or irritation.

Evan Brand:  So you’re thinking about of a—a gram on the low end then?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  On the low end, you should be starting there and then working your way up. I’ll go up to at least 3 g.

Evan Brand:  Mmkay. So-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  300 mg, 3 g.

Evan Brand:  So what—what I’ve been using, I’ve been experimenting with the pure—I’ll—I’ll send you—I’ll send it to you about the Pure Encapsulations one where they have— I wanna say there’s 250 HCl in each capsule, and then plus—plus all the enzymes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So what I do with patient like yourself–

Evan Brand:  So would you say add–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm., go ahead.

Evan Brand:  I was gonna say, so with these extra enzymes I’m not sure if I really need X amount of protease x 5, so I wonder–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bingo! Yup.

Evan Brand:  H—HCl by itself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bingo! You’re leading me.

Evan Brand:  Then would be the solution.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. So when I’m dealing with patients, typically anyone that has a gut-related issue where we see digestive-related issues or digestive-related gut infections, depending on how bad their gut is, we’ll either separate the enzymes from the HCl just so we can get the pill count more reasonable for the HCl because a lot of the combo ones are about 200 mg. So you need about three times more pills to get the same HCl amount and that becomes a little, you know, convoluted when you’re taking 15 or 16 capsules per meal.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So would like the HCl like in my line, it’s HCl Supreme at anywhere between 1 to 5 capsules which that’ll—the 5 will get you about 3 g or 3000 mg on the high-end and then play with the enzymes been 1 and 3, 1 and 2 will probably be fine with the enzymes per meal.

Evan Brand:  Mmkay. I’m gonna do it. Let’s see what happens.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And when I say play with it, what I mean is with the HCl you have a palpable effet, right? You get the irritation or the—the warmness, right? Those—that kind of feeling with the HCl. Take in the middle the meal. With the enzymes, it’s hard to say. So get the HCl dose gonna fine-tuned first and then once you have the HCl dose, just taper up the enzymes and see if you notice an improvement with how you feel. Like it may just be lighter after a meal, better bowel movements. You just feel like there’s less bloating or less digestive issues, better regularity, start with one. See how you do and then go up to 2, and see if you notice an improvement with any of those symptoms I just mentioned. If you notice an improvement, keep it at the higher dose. If you don’t notice an improvement, you can just keep at the one capsule per meal kinda standard dose.

Evan Brand:  So how do you feel about upping the pepsin, because I’m—we’re gonna be upping in pepsin closer to a gram there for it, you know, 3 g of betaine, we may be at a gram of pepsin. How do you feel about that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s fine. No problem with that.

Evan Brand:  That’s good. Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, no problem with that. So looking at your test I would just say the thyroid, I’d like to redo it with the reverse T3 and then follow up with those 2 adrenal tests just because it’d be really great to biohack that and present it to the listeners.

Evan Brand:  I know. Were—were the antibodies on there? I couldn’t remember.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They were and they came back good, 5 on the TPO which is great, you know, anything below the teens is fine, and then below the one on the thyroglobulin antibody which look good as well.

Evan Brand:  Cool, excellent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, very cool. So recapping, right? You came back with Crypto-Giardia to start and some fungal issues, right? And then we retested and then we saw Crypto and Giardia gone–

Evan Brand:  H. pylori.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But H. pylori popped up. So this is kind of irritating for a lot of people that have an infection. They get it treated. We see some results with those initial infections being knocked down but a new one pops up. And typically what happens is gut infections can kind of burrow in to the gut wall, so they go, you know, more superficial, right? More distal, the proximal in relation to the gut wall. So they—they burrow deeper in. So typically what happens is the gut lining heals from inside—or I should say from the outer layer to the inner, deeper gut—gut wall layer. So outer layer to deeper gut wall and if infections are penetrating deep into the crypts or into the gut lining or gut wall, then it may take time for them to show up on a stool test. So t typically we knock out those infections, they can hide in what’s called the crypts and we can get this crypt hyperplasia phenomenon where they dive deep into the crypts, so if you look at your hand where your fingers meet your palm, that little indentation, that little U spot, that’s like the crypts. So imagine the outer gut lining, right? The outer gut lining is like the fingertips and the inner gut wall is like the palm, and it can hide in where those fingers actually meet the palm and that’s like the analogy of the crypts in relation to your hand, so you can physically see it. So that’s kinda, as we go deeper in, and we go from like the first knuckle to the second knuckle to the actual palm part where the infections burrow deeper in in relation to your gut.

Evan Brand:  Yeah and we’ve discussed that on previous podcasts about healing from the inside out or the outside in, however, you—you want to say it but this is the proof right here. I mean, here these infections are they’re gone but then something else is still there. So basically what you’re saying is with this H. pylori, you’re saying that would’ve been a deeper infection, so maybe longer-lasting or you—you’re thinking maybe H. pylori, the Crypto-Giardia, but since we’re working from the outside in and we’re working deeper now that the H. pylori has now revealed itself. Is that right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I think it was always there and now because the immune system has been supported by just knocking out some of these infections, and the gut has kind of healed somewhat, so we’re kinda getting down into the deeper parts of the gut where some of these infections may have been buried deep. And H. pylori is known to burrow deeper into the gut lining, too, right? So scen—two scenarios, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Number one—actually three scenarios. Number one, the infection wasn’t there and it was a new—it was reinfection over the last 2 or 3 months during treatment. Scenario number two is the infection was missed by the lab or scenario number three, the crypt hyperplasia phenomenon and you know, sometimes it can be typically two or three. The lab may have missed it. That’s why a lot of times we run 2 tests with patients that we highly suspect of gut issues and as you talked about, I’m not sure if we mentioned it, but your GI Map that we ran side-by-side the 401 missed the H. pylori. So little bit different, but the 401 also is the H. pylori antigen where the GI Map was a DNA test for the H. pylori. So the antigen’s the gold standard, right? We have a higher level of false negatives than positives. So the fact that we got a positive on the test is a really good sign we know it’s there.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So again, infections kind of burrow in to the gut lining deeper into the gut walls, so the gut’s gonna heal from the outside in and being deeper into the gut wall where those fingers meet your hands so to speak, and that’s what tends to happen we get these infections come into the surface. So with you, we have the H. pylori present but the Blasto—or the Crypto and the Giardia is clear. Is that correct?

Evan Brand:  That’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Excellent because the Giardia and the Crypto are much more virulent infections than H. pylori.

Evan Brand:  I know. I’m glad those were gone. I was thrilled. That was a great day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And so we tweaked your protocol a little bit and we’re gonna check in and see where you’re at in the next month or two.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, we’ll see January, come round the time of my birthday or so. We’ll see what’s going and hopefully I’ll be sym—you know, infection-free for my birthday. That’d be a good goal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I agree. Anything else you wanna add to what we just chatted about?

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so. I’m excited to talk about yours.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely. So I did some lab tests, too. Okay and I’ve been doing lab tests for years on myself, so it’s always fun to see what new stuff comes back, plus some–

Evan Brand:  So where should we start—where should we start your journey. I wanna hear what you think is your starting point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I mean right now gut-wise, I’m pretty darn good, like no real symptoms with my gut unless I eat some bad food. So I try to, you know, for the most part be 80% Autoimmune Paleo, and with the exception of, you know, some nuts and here and there and a little bit of butter here and there, but outside of that I’m pretty–

Evan Brand:  Chocolate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Pretty sure, yes, a little bit of dark chocolate. That’s kind of debatable but you know, high-quality 90% organic, you know, good dark chocolate. So that’s kinda where I live most of the time.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And typically I never cheat with gluten. If I cheat, I try to always make sure it’s a gluten-free cheat just because, you know, why not? I have options to do that and I know how good I feel being off that. So that’s where I’m at there.

Evan Brand:  I agree.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I have a previous history of Hashimoto’s, I mean slightly elevated antibodies, so I gotta be careful with gluten. So I’m really diligent to make sure that’s a priority to not get exposed to that kryptonite for me. That’s number one. Number two, I’ve done gut test and I’ve had relatively good success with being clear with infections. I came back I think in 2009 with the equivocal Giardia infection. I cleared that out. I had a lot of fungal stuff in the past. So I’ve really knocked out fungus, little bit of Giardia in the past. And my most recent lab test in the 401, I actually came back clean. I mean nothing. No growth, no bacterial issues, no, nothing. So I was really excited about that and then on the GI Map test, I did come back with a little bit of C. diff, a little bit of salmonella, a little bit enterococcus overgrowth, a little bit Morganella morganii, and then a little of Geotrichum fungus and–and some lower enzyme. So you know, I’ve upped my HCl, upped my enzymes, we’re knocking out some of the bacteria and that bacteria isn’t that bad. That’s kind of benign stuff, so we’re knocking that down right now, and then I also ran the DRG. So I ran the DRG, the GI Map, and the 401H, all at the same time, which is really cool. And on the DRG, I came back with a little bit elevations in fecal fat which we kinda suspect right because my enzymes were lower so we’re upping the enzymes, upping the HCl a bit, that’s—I’m confident it’s helping. E. histo came back slightly elevated. Come back—came back at 688 on the GI Map—I’m sorry, on the DRG. Anything 350 or higher is considered positive and–

Evan Brand:  So let—so say that one more time. So anything above 350 is a positive for the histolytica and you were what?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was 688, so I was–

Evan Brand:  Ahh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Almost twice the limit.

Evan Brand:  Tell people—tell people what that is, just so they don’t like glaze over and glaze over and go like, “Whoa! Histolytica, what is that?” Talk us through it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so a Entamoeba histolytica, it’s an amoebic infection. The histo- means cell, -lytic means to cut, so it’s an amoebic infection the cuts through cells, right? Doesn’t sound too nice. We see it quite frequently but it’s, you know, on the nastier side. It’s a pretty bad infection. Dr. Kalish was one of his weak links that really knocked him out for a bit, infection-wise. Other people and clinicians I know have gotten it and been hurt by it, but it’s a nasty infection. It’s an amoeba. So it’s gonna be small. You’re not gonna see it in your stool. I do a lot of waterskiing in Lake Austin so it’s possible it maybe some water. I swallowed some water and I got it that way. I go to Mexico quite frequently, so it’s hard so it’s hard to say what the vector was, but we’re knocking it out. We’re knocking it out right now. I’m on a protocol, just about to be finished, and I’ll be retesting soon and we’ll report our retest results for the listeners.

Evan Brand:  Awesome, awesome. Yeah, I think—I think it’s probably—my guess is the waterskiing. Now, what makes me wonder though. Let’s just say that if—maybe you did swallow water, you probably did, but what if it went up your nose, too. So let’s say you fall off the skis, the water goes up the nose. Could you get the same level of—what would you call that? I guess you would just call it an infection. Would—can—can you get that same amount or is the same amount of susceptibility to the infection nasally as opposed to orally?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I would say it’s possible for sure. I would say it’s definitely possible. I’m not a—I don’t see many nasal parasitic infections. I mean you’re gonna have a lot of IGA and immune membrane protection there that’s gonna help kind of knock things down. Plus I think–

Evan Brand:  Well, I just wonder—sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, no problem.

Evan Brand:  I was just wondering if you get it up your nose and then you feel it drain down into your throat and then go into the GI tract that way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that’s what I would imagine what happened because your body’s gonna produce mucus and things to—to slide it down into the gut because the gut’s got a highly acidic environment where it can kinda be like bleach on that dirty picnic table and kinda clean things up. So I would imagine the body’s gonna start the immune response there, and also flush it into the stomach.

Evan Brand:  But if HCl was low due to–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Stress.

Evan Brand:  Stress.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, poor habits, eating gluten.

Evan Brand:  Then that could have led to the inability for that infection to become more invasive, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  So now that the enzymes are there. If you’re in the same situation again. Let’s just say maybe it was from skiing, if you’re taking enzymes now as a pre-ski supplement, then it’ll you know, that’s—that’s gonna significantly increase your protection. Wouldn’t you say? Because anything that does–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  Get down, there—there’s protection there. So maybe you did like an Epic barn and enzymes before you went skiing or something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, maybe maybe some enzymes, some probiotics, HCl, maybe a little bit of herbs. I tried to do a little bit of herbs with some probiotics just to make sure that doesn’t happen. But there’s, you know, there’s the two types of scenarios where this happens, right? There’s the opportunistic bug where you’re your immuno compromised, you’re stressed, your diet’s not good. A lot of physical, chemical, and emotional stress overload and your immune system is now weakened and then these critters kinda sneak their way to the front door, right? That’s like the first scenario. Scenario number two is you get hit with a whole bunch of infectious debris, and it’s like having a gang of people outside your door knocking it down, where you’re kinda defenseless, right? So scenario is kind of a chronic set up where you’re compromised. Scenario number two is you‘re just overwhelmed with the amount of debris coming in there and it’s harder for your immune system to respond.

Evan Brand:  Yup, could you speak on the conventional treatment for this. I think sometimes you and I we love functional medicine so much, we forget that there are conventional practices out there which are typically very inferior for this type of issue?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, for conventional parasite, the most common medication that’s gonna be prescribed is gonna be Flagyl or metronidazole that’s gonna be thrown at people. Typically 1 to 2 weeks at the most, and that may work a third of the time, and quite frequently it won’t work at least two-thirds of the time and then you have more conventional docs that have—are using more let’s say advanced type of antibiotics that may work better where it’s a paromomycin or it’s Nidazole or Alinea or Humatin, so there’s other medications that may be used. Again I like to use the herbs first because of their safety record, tend to be a little bit more selecting towards the bad critters and away from a good, and then to also working its biofilms, too, and they have synergistic effects like berberines and Artemisia work really strong together and if you add in silver, it can also make the herbs work better and then you have other herbs like clove or grapefruit seed extract that may be beneficial for fungus as well. So there’s a lot of synergy that you get with the herbs and you can do it longer term without the side effects that you get from the antibiotics.

Evan Brand:  I love it. I love it. Well, thanks for bringing that up because I know you’ve had clients and patients say the same thing they say to me which is, “Oh, Evan. I’ve done all the herbs. They don’t work.” And it’s like maybe you’ve just not done the herbs long enough. Maybe the practitioner didn’t create a protocol that was effective enough, but the herbs do work and you and I see it every single week in the clinic that it’s real and you absolutely can’t get rid of infections with functional medicine and the right type of approach.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100% and again it’s gonna come down to what’s the infection and then the dose, you know, we’re using much higher doses. I mean, typically, if you look on the instructions of some of the supplements we’ll use, the dose is probably 75% less recommended and then we use a lot of herbs and nutrients together synergistically. And the key is in my opinion that really helps is we’re building up the immune system by making the diet, the lifestyle changes, supporting the adrenals and/or other hormonal imbalances before we go after the infection. That’s what really supports the immune system so it makes the whole process of eradication much easier and easier to—to rebound back from both.

Evan Brand:  Well, that and the fact that you and I both use professional healthcare companies to manufacture our product. So if we’re comparing–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  A consumer grade herb say from Now Foods or Gaia Herbs or something like that, which can be great. Compared to a professional healthcare product, I mean the quality is completely different, much, much higher. So when you get, say 250 mg of something, you’re actually getting that or you’re getting close as you can to that, versus with consumer grade products that you may buy at Whole Foods, you can’t say the same about absorption rates and bioavailability, things like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely and then we’re combining it, and then the real key thing is we test afterwards, right? You never wanna guess. You wanna test. So then we’ll follow up with that retest and like in your situation, we know the H. pylori came—the H. pylori was—was there, right? That was a new infection. So now that’s on our bull’s-eye. We tweak your protocol a bit and make sure everything’s dialed in and then we go back to the drawing board. So the next step for you is while we’re doing all these things with the H. pylori is get that adrenal re-tested and see where we’re at with it and then the next step would be support whatever systems are out of balance with the adrenals and the thyroid and make sure you’re infection-free.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and I’m going to continue to—I took a little break from adaptogens but I’m gonna continue to add adaptogens back again. I can feel it. I got out of the sauna the other day and I was—I took a shower. I just had a real, real light breakfast, didn’t—didn’t have much at all and—and I had some shakes going on in my hand, so I knew it was a combination of maybe like a healing reaction, but some adrenal stress, too. I could feel it. I was like, “Oh, man.” It’s like Justin, he’s in my head. “Blood sugar, Evan. Blood sugar.” So you know, I had to eat something and—and felt significantly better. But I know there’s still—there’s still some work to be done on the chemical front, too. You and I—we’ll have to do another show if we haven’t already on the GPL talks and we need to get you checked out, too, because I had those insecticides on that GPL that were off the charts and those are probable carcinogens. So that’s a whole another, a whole another podcast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, we’re gonna have to get that done and we’ll do a whole podcast on that. So kinda wrapping things up for you, knocked out 2 infections, Crypto-Giardia, awesome, really, really good there. Myself, I just came back with the E. histo and a little bit of bacteria and a very small amount of fungus, cleaning that up, been doing that for the last two months, getting ready to retest soon, and again the key thing is doing 2 tests was helpful. I find this really helpful–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Especially when you really want to rule out gut stuff and then outside of that, following up with the retest and making sure everything else is dialed in.

Evan Brand:  Yup. Are you doing any—any oreganos for like that geotrichum or some of the other fungus.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Yeah. My line—I used the GI Clear 5 and I use that at 6-8, 6-9 capsules that I hit it up pretty hard and then I—

Evan Brand:  Wow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I followed up with the GI Clear 4 in my line and then I rotate between the 1 and the 6. I went back and forth and I add a little bit of silver, you know, again, I could do a little bit more intricate things because I know I’m gonna do it, but sometimes with patients the big thing you gotta do is compliance ,right? So if you get too intricate with patients, it may create some compliance issues. So I try to keep it more simple, but for myself I—I played around with mixing some things on and off which can be helpful, but again even just going at it straightforward would probably knock the infection out. No problem.

Evan Brand:  Agreed, man, so you’re—you’re hitting it pretty darn hard then, 9 of those a day?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, yeah, just about done though. I think I used my last GI Clear 4 this morning so I’m switching over to probiotics I think tonight and then I gotta get those tests back in and retest by the end of the year.

Evan Brand:  Yup, how long—how long was your—was your protocol. Was it—did you do 4, 6, 8 weeks?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I did about 8-10 weeks.

Evan Brand:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was off for a little bit because I was traveling. It was tough to—to bring everything but I—

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was able to maintain it pretty well. Typically if I cheat with the herbs, I’ll at least take morning and night so when I wake up–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And when I go to bed, so at least can get both those in.

Evan Brand:  So if compliance is 90%. Most cases you’re gonna do well. Like you said, if the foundations are already built into place and diet, lifestyle, stress management strategies, all that’s in place, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, so the key things is if I miss my afternoon dose, I make sure if I’m supposed to get 6 of 1 pill, I wanna make sure it’s 3 and 3. I don’t do 2 and 2, and then just say, well, I’ll go with a, you know, a 30% less dose. No, I keep the dose the same. We just double up.

Evan Brand:  Now, so do you believe—do you put faith in the idea or the term, a healing reaction, or do you think that’s just an overhyped term that’s kind of an excuse for someone that’s not getting supported properly, meaning someone’s hitting something too hard but the practitioner maybe is not giving them the proper liver support or if this person is not pooping enough and they’re really constipated that they’re having some of that autointoxication that way.  I mean, is there something to healing reactions or do you think that there’s maybe another part of the wheel that just hasn’t been cranked at the same time that you’re killing this stuff off?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think both. I think if someone’s having a healing reaction to start at the normal dose, it tells me that their infection is quite virulent and their immune system and lymphatic system and detox are having a difficult time. I went right up to the full dose with mine and I’d no problem, like not one symptoms.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Maybe a tiny but of lethargy or fatigue. No issue. So if a patient goes up to that full dose and they have reaction, it tells me something. It tells me there’s probably a lot of debris the body is trying to respond to and—and kinda flush out and it’s having a difficult time, so you know, our list making sure diet and blood sugar is there and making sure sleep’s there, and making sure waters there, right? Once that’s off our list, making sure we have adrenal support, digestive support, and nutrient support. Good, now that’s off our list. Then we go to the infection and if we’re still having that, during the infectious time and we’re pooping regularly and bowel movements are regular, well, the real simple thing is we cut everything down, cut it out 2-3 days, get symptom-free, add everything one at a time half dose to full dose, and if we’re really sensitive we may go quarter to half to three-quarters to full. Then add the next product in and as long as we don’t have a negative reaction, we go up to the full dose. If we have a negative reaction, we back off, go to the next product. Like so if it’s at 4 caps, the reaction happens, well, great. Back down to 3. No problem.

Evan Brand:  Move on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Go to the next one. Move on. And then once you get everything back in, then you got back up to the first one again and you try inching it back to the full dose. So that’s my supplement reaction or my detox protocol, and then we’ll typically add in side-by-side that is some ginger tea, some activated charcoal, and/or bentonite clay or diatomaceous earth. I typically pick one. I’ve been going more with the charcoal in the DE these days. We’ll even throw in some fiber. It just depends with patients.

Evan Brand:  I love charcoal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  Charcoal is amazing. I mean, I’m visualizing this. It’s so fun because it’s almost like being a sound mixer. You picture—you picture the guy at the concert, you know, he has this little lever over here, this little dial. He spins this dial this way, backs this dial down, pulls up this little switch, flips that level, turns that button—boop! I mean, it’s his—it’s so fun to do this stuff, man. It never gets old.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I totally agree. So regarding the healing crisis, I think it means something, but I always tell people, don’t be the tough person. Don’t try to tough it out. It means something.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Back off. Get the ginger tea in. If you want to throw in some charcoal in between meals or some extra fiber, fine, and then we’ll gradually increase at one by one. Now typically anyone that has a long history of autoimmune stuff or gut stuff, I always go slow but sometimes you get people that are doing pretty well and then you’re like, well, let’s just back right in to a full dose and they get hit by a bus.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we just go back, quarter, half, three-quarters, full or we just start at a quarter half and then increase and any negative reactions, back off to the last safest dose, or—and then move on to the next supplement.

Evan Brand:  You’re not going to win a trophy if you finish your protocol faster than somebody else.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, exactly.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Most times if we had add the detox support and curtail the dose, it’s like throwing the lobster in the water that’s already cold. It doesn’t scream, you know, you can—you can just turn it up slowly. No problem. You throw the lobster in the hot water, man. Those things make a, you know, some nice screamy noises that aren’t too pleasant. Even though I love lobster, I hate that—that part so–

Evan Brand:  I’ve—I’ve not cooked lobster to—to experience that myself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, yeah. I have a lot of empathy for animals but I also know it’s the circle of life, and there’s a lot nutrient density, but that’s the whole analogy is, going back, is if you slower you don’t get the—the nasty effects, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Instead of lobster screaming at your body and your tummy and your limb screaming.

Evan Brand:  So for you hopefully on retest, everything’s gone. We’re hoping nothing extra shows up for you like a deeper H. pylori infection.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s the goal. Yup. I’m i’m feeling pretty good about it, man.

Evan Brand:  Awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cool, very cool. Well, anything you want to address, Evan?

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so. I think this was well said and we should wrap it up. I think if we keep going then people will fall asleep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  So hopefully this was entertaining and I mean, talk about a level of transparency, I don’t think there’s anything higher than what we’re doing and what we’re talking about, so I hope you all enjoyed that and—and appreciate that fact because it—it’s rare to find this level of transparency and we have nothing to lose. I mean, this is—we’re in the trenches every day. So I mean, this is what it’s all about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think people will really have a lot to learn seeing that their—their doctor or their healthcare practitioner is in the trenches, too, and doing it and still working on their health. And again, I can’t think of any people on, you know, health people on the iTunes or on the Internet world that are getting this level of transparency and exposure out to their listeners.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I mean, not that we have the time to go and—and research, but I feel like we would’ve known by now if somebody was revealing everything. There’s this weird perception, you know, where if you’re the practitioner, you’re the expert, you know, you’re the—the caretaker that everything is just 100% perfect and that’s not true. There’s many different exposures. I mean, you and I do as much as possible as we can to do everything right, but you still go skiing in water where there could be something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  I’m convinced that I got the Crypto and/or the Giardia from swimming in Barton Springs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  I took in a huge amount of water. So life still happens and as much as you and I can do the things to try to create these little bubbles of you know, a nutrition bubble and lifestyle, and all these great little parts of our ecosystem, we still operate in an ecosystem that is generally pretty toxic in terms of all the things that are out in the air, food, water, soil and you’re going—you’re going to come across stuff and it is just about what do you do to increase your resilience against these things once you kill them off, like you said was some of the post infection support, you know, people may hear—hear this and think oh kill, kill, kill, but eventually we’re strengthening us, too, as the host and so that’s why you and I, you know, maybe we take an extra day off or we go spend some more time in nature because that’s the stuff that’s going to heal you in the long term. You know, you can—you can continue to go through rounds of a gut killing protocol, but at the end of the day, if you’re not healthy, you’re going to continue to get reinfected because the host is weak and if the host is weak, then I mean, that—that’s something Reed Davis said to me, that I though was pretty profound. He’s like,
“Kill, kill, kill.” He said, “But you gotta fix you, too.” The host has gotta be resilient. So that’s where the adaptogens and all the other fun stuff that we chat about comes in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and if you guys listening and really enjoying it, give us a nice review on iTunes. You can click the link below. We appreciate your support. Anything else, Evan?

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, man. Great chat today. I look forward doing this again real soon.

Evan Brand:  You, too. Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You, too. Bye.

Evan Brand:  Bye.

 

Torea Rodriguez – Toxins, infections and autoimmune disease – Podcast #112

Dr. Justin Marchegiani interviews autoimmune specialist, Torea Rodriguez, in this episode where they talk about autoimmune diseases and how these can be exacerbated by toxins and infections in the body. Find out how one thing leads to another and what types of lab tests are vital in helping to get to the root cause of issues. 

Torea Rodriguez Discover what supplements can aid in fighting autoimmune conditions. Learn how important it is to deal with stress or avoid it completely to be healthy along with making diet and lifestyle changes, as well as find out about healing pathways that worked for some people which may just work for you, too.

In this episode, topics include:

13:55   Infections

16:35   Stress

24:42   Biofilms

30:58   Supplements and Herbs

36:26   Toxins

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, there, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to Beyond Wellness Radio. Today we have a functional medicine practitioner. Her name is Torea Rodriguez and she’s right out of Santa Cruz. Right, Torea?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, Santa Cruz is it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome! And you’re an autoimmune specialist, correct?

Torea Rodriguez:  I am. I do functional—err—functional medicine specializing in autoimmune. That’s how I got started. I got sick with autoimmune Hashimoto’s and it’s what I’m most comfortable with and it’s what I understand the most. So that’s what I focus on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  What an epidemic autoimmune conditions are today, huh?

Torea Rodriguez:  Absolutely. I was reading in the Autoimmune Fix, Tom O’Bryan’s new book.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And he was explaining that, you know, most autoimmune diseases, what we know now is that it’s more of an autoimmune spectrum–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  As opposed to a specific disease, and so while there’s—I don’t know—there’s over 135 classified autoimmune diseases, it’s probably even more now and that all of those are just what’s known to us right now. Like there could be so many other ones and so it’s really the spectrum effect that happens, and yeah, it’s really prevalent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, it’s really interesting because with autoimmune conditions. If you really look at what the conventional medical establishment has to offer, I mean, it’s not too much. I mean, they have your immunosuppressive medications, corticosteroids like prednisone. I mean, there’s not really even a diet shift or diet modality when it comes to autoimmune conditions, even though we know the research and the literature’s so, you know, rich with that type of information and also the idea of leaky gut really isn’t even talked about. What’s your take on the conventional medicine approach medicine offers—mainstream medicine for autoimmunity?

Torea Rodriguez:  I think that they are in a very unfortunate situation to be honest. They’re behind in terms of research. There’s not one doctor that I know, you tell me if I’m wrong–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  But there’s not one doctor that I know that has the time in between their 15-minute consults to also go and read the PubMed and the medical literature to stay up on what’s going on, so I think they’re in a very unfortunate situation. And then the other part about the traditional medical establishment is that they’re focused on special areas. So we’ve got the cardiologist for the heart health and we’ve got the endocrinologist for, you know, the endocrine system and the different hormone systems and all of those different things–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez:  And they’re looking at it from a very specific point of view from that organ if you will, when really autoimmunity needs to be that 30,000-ft view, big picture view because it’s the entire immune system. It’s the entire body that is having a problem. So yeah, I think that it’s just they’re in an unfortunate situation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. I mean, I see that every day. It’ s like unless you have a clinical framework in which you operate in, I mean, you could skim through articles but it may not mean much to you because where do you plug that clinical piece of information into how you treat patients because typically it’s 3- to 5-minute consult, right? With the pat–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  With the patient. You have a prescription pad. For the most part you’re looking for a diagnostic code that justifies, you know, you to make money off the patient because they are—they are business and then typically that involves a prescription, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Or some type of procedure for the most part and that’s it. I mean, that’s—it’s really about managing that condition and the whole idea about addressing it or fixing a root causal issue really isn’t even there. I mean, it’s—it’s amazing that people can go to physicians where their goal really is just how can we prevent the symptoms from getting worse down the road versus let’s fix this.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It—totally different mindset.

Torea Rodriguez: Yeah. Complete different mindset and that was my exact experience when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s back in 2009 and I started working with an endocrinologist because that’s where people go who have thyroid issues. They go to an endocrinologist and start working with them and you know, he prescribed me medication after medication and it’s not working and I can’t get my labs stable and it’s still not working, so we’d switch it or we’d double the dose or, you know, we kinda got to a point where I challenged him because at that the time I needed to pass an aviation medical and I challenged him and I’m like, “Look, I need to pass this exam in a month. We’ve got a month. What do you got for me? Like we gotta do this, otherwise I have to stop flying for a living.” And he just kind of put his hands up and he was kinda like, “Well, you know, the next thing I know to do is to radiate the thyroid and cut out the rest of the tissue.” And I was just like, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Brakes on full.” Like that’s not the path that I wanna go down.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez: And that was the real foray for me to start looking into functional medicine and to start looking at alternative solutions because I knew that it—there was something else going on. It wasn’t just the thyroid. I mean, there’s countless people out there with thyroid issues and they feel fine. So what is going on? And I wanted different answers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. This is a great segway into kind of let the listeners know a little bit more about you. And most people, they kinda walk that, most practitioners are physicians—they walk the journey of the wounded healer. Right? They have some type of health–

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ailment themselves, they bump their head against a wall a few times—that wall being conventional medicine, and then was able to find a path that actually worked that—that really was focused on root causal health information.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So why don’t you share your story—I know you mentioned you were a pilot. I think you also have a biochemistry background, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah. Yeah, my undergrad degree is in Biochemistry–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, great.

Torea Rodriguez:  And you know—and I worked in the technology industry so I’ve kinda bounced around and cruised a little, but at the time I was a professional pilot, I wasn’t feeling good. I mean, I knew something was wrong and when it came time to really decide, “Am I gonna go under the knife to try and fix this? Or am I gonna try and find alternative solutions?” I really knew in my heart of hearts that I needed to find an alternative solution.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  By under the knife, you mean getting your thyroid removed, right?

Torea Rodriguez: Yeah. I mean–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  He wanted to give me a radiated thy–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Iodine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  And then cut out the rest of the tissue and I did not wanna have surgery to be honest.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So–

Torea Rodriguez: I just did not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. So it sounds like you were diagnosed with Graves’? Is that what happened?

Torea Rodriguez:  No.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Or was it something else?

Torea Rodriguez:  Hashimoto’s.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So this was Hashi—yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  This was Hashimoto’s.  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Torea Rodriguez: And most, for our listeners who don’t know, usually you take out the thyroid when it’s Graves’ which is the opposite, the hyperthyroid situation, and he just didn’t—he didn’t know where else to turn. These were the tools that he had and that’s why–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  I had so much compassion for them. It’s that they—they have the tools that are in their toolbox and they’re not necessarily applicable to the types of diseases that we are seeing right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It totally makes sense and that makes sense, too, because Hashimoto’s in the early stages can seem like Graves’ because the antibodies are different. They’re not the same kind of antibodies once thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin and TA—TSH receptor antibodies, the one for Hashi’s is TPO and thyroglobulin. So different effect–

Torea Rodriguez:  Correct.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But in the early—in the early inflammation response, thyroid hormone spills out and can create that hyper kinda symptoms, so that makes sense.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I started searching for anybody that knew anything about thyroid and natural healing and I had stumbled across Chris Kresser’s writings–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm, yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  And this was back early in the day when he was just writing about stuff and he said something that really clicked with me–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Which was that we’re dealing with autoimmunity and we’re dealing with a disease of the immune system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Not a disease of the thyroid, not a disease of–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez:  The myelin sheath of your nerves. It’s a disease of the immune system and that we need to really focus on the immune system itself, and that just lit a lightbulb. It was an epiphany moment. It’s like, “Of course! That makes total sense.” So let’s go down that path. So I pretty much didn’t know where he was, didn’t care, was gonna get on any plane to go see him, begged myself into his clinic and he took me on as a client, and that’s when I really started to understand the multiple layers that had come into play to cause me to get sick and the work that I needed to do to start healing. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool. So with your working with Chris, I mean, he’s kind of a—a Paleo template guy. I’m a big fan of a Paleo template, right? Where we kinda can adjust the macronutrients and—and dial things in according to what works best for you, the patient. Just curious, if you could lay out just you and your experience as the patient, what worked best for you. What are those top 3 things that really were game changers in your case?

Torea Rodriguez:  I think the very first game changer was taking a different perspective on my diet. I had always felt that I was healthy and that I was eating very healthfully and to stay healthy on the road I was keeping to a vegetarian diet and with a lot of healthy whole grains, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Right? And so taking a different perspective and really taking a look at what it was that I was eating and what more importantly what I was missing in the diet. There were a lot of nutrients in my diet that were missing from that and so switching to a whole food Paleo type template was exactly what my body needed at the time and I would say that that in itself gave me a huge boost and huge stair step of healing right away.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So you were eating a lot of grains back then or were you eating any meat as well?

Torea Rodriguez:  I was not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Torea Rodriguez:  I was trying to stay healthy on the road.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Torea Rodriguez:  So I was staying vegetarian because of course, we were eating out all the time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Torea Rodriguez:  So yeah, so I was just like, “Oh, I’ll just stay vegetarian. That’ll keep me healthy.” And then you know, in hindsight, looking back the other time I experimented with being vegetarian was in college and I got very, very sick in college. And I know now–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  That for me and my body type, I—I need to include animal proteins in there. That’s the only way I feel really great. So yeah, so I would say food was the other thing and then rest. Not really rest—how should I say this? I had to take a very serious look at my Type A hyper-overachiever lifestyle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, right.

Torea Rodriguez:  And that was really, really hard to do as a pilot. You are used to achieving every 6 months and passing check rides and switching to the next airplane and all of those things, and that was something that was really driving my nervous system into sympathetic fight or flight all the time.  And I had pretty much activated it all the time and I really had to take a serious look at that. So that was one of the other things that was really, really key in healing but expressly difficult to adjust to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So you sound like you had some adrenal dysfunction there, too?

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, yeah. They were–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Pretty much—the way Chris put it—and I don’t know if he was trying to scare me or not, but he basically said that you are one step away from Addison’s disease. You need to do something different.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And were those initial tests that you ran for adrenals, were those on—on the BioHealth 201 adrenal panel?

Torea Rodriguez:  Correct.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, cool.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Do you remember what your total–

Torea Rodriguez:  That was my first panel.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cortisol was?

Torea Rodriguez:  I think it was like 12.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow, that’s so low!

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How about your DHEA?

Torea Rodriguez:  I don’t even remember. I’d have to go take a look. But yeah, I mean, it was pretty much tapped out. I mean, I was—I was tapped out. This was—I was sleeping 14 hours a night and feeling like I was–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Torea Rodriguez:  Hit by a Mack truck the next morning. Like I was not feeling rested ever.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And so recapping, you were eating a vegetarian diet. So I typically hear that. I think low protein, I think ex—probably excessive carbohydrate, probably lots of anti-nutrients.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, it was all carbohydrate. Because in addition to flying–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Torea Rodriguez:  The other thing that I loved to do was long distance cycling.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Running–oh yeah, there you go. So that your–

Torea Rodriguez: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You’re carb-loading, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Pretty much sugar all day long, every day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How about fat consumption? Were you doing pretty low fat consumption? Were you doing a lot of nuts back then?

Torea Rodriguez:  Probably.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, nuts and you know, a little bit of olive oil here and there–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  But butter wasn’t in the profile at all. You know, so I was very fatphobic at that point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we had blood sugar issues, we had nutrient density issues, you probably had a lot of anti-nutrient issues, adrenal dysfunction–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then autoimmunity which probably was exacerbated by all of the—the grains that you were consuming, too.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Torea Rodriguez:  Most definitely, and there was pretty extreme iron anemia–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, wow.

Torea Rodriguez: That we discovered and which explained a lot of the issues that I was having. I was getting hypoxic at very low altitudes at work and hypoxy is the term for when you are lacking oxygen at altitude and usually you’ll feel hypoxic anywhere between 8,000 and 12,000 feet. Everybody’s a little bit different.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  But I was feeling very hypoxic at 5,000.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Torea Rodriguez:  And the cabins are pressurized at 8,000 so I was even more fatigued at the end of my shift because I was constantly “at altitude” all day long and getting really sick from it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And so you were an airline–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Pilot where you like flying major airlines or–

Torea Rodriguez:  No, I flew charter and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Charter.

Torea Rodriguez:  Corporate aviation. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. Now I’ve heard that—I’m not sure if this is true—but I’ve heard that pilots aren’t able to fly while consuming aspartame, is that true?

Torea Rodriguez:  I would have to double check what the regulations are with the FAA–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez:  But at the time when I was flying–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez: Aspartame was fine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It was fine. Okay, I wondered if that’s something new.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, it wasn’t a regulated substance, but I’d have to check. That’s curious.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, alright, very cool.  And then let’s dive in. There’s one piece of your autoimmune puzzle that I think may have been an issue but you didn’t allude to it yet. You didn’t mention anything about infections. Were infections a piece of the puzzle for you getting your thyroid and your autoimmune situation under control?

Torea Rodriguez:  They were definitely a piece of the puzzle but they came later.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ahh.

Torea Rodriguez:  Like we really started with diet, lifestyle stuff first.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Started focusing on healing the gut a little bit–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  And then also the adrenals, like I was just–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  So tapped out, right? Getting some–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally.

Torea Rodriguez:  Support there, but later on we started to find the GI pathogens for sure and I tested positive for H. pylori and then later on tested positive for a—another one that I can’t even remember the name of it and you know, as we started to treat those and heal those, you know, we’ve kinda talked about lingering symptoms like what’s left, what else is going on?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Torea Rodriguez: You know, and—and sure enough we found Giardia but it took–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow!

Torea Rodriguez:  A number of tests and a number of passes at that for it to finally reveal itself and that Giardia had gotten—I’ve had it for so long that it had left the intestinal tract and actually had gone into the gallbladder.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  And so I had all these crazy gallbladder attacks that I couldn’t explain and ultrasounds to make sure it’s not stones, like it was kind of a little bit of a crazy path but we finally found the Giardia and treated myself for Giardia and that was another huge stair step is to finally get rid of that pathogen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So 3 major parasitic infections—H. pylori, something in between was a Blasto? Blastocystis hominis or Crypto?

Torea Rodriguez:  No, it wasn’t Blasto. My husband’s had Blasto. It was Crypto.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Crypto. Okay.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup, yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow. That’s—that is nasty. Yeah, that’s a Blasty-Cryp—I call that the Three Amigos by the way.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, definitely felt like the Three Amigos were having a party, that’s for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? Now when you went to go attack the Giardia, did you have to do a gallbladder flush to get the gall—to get the Giardia flushed out?

Torea Rodriguez:  I didn’t. Actually–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Torea Rodriguez:  I was pretty lucky with the anti–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez: Pathogens that we used.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Torea Rodriguez:  Actually it turned out to be fine. But yeah–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. So we have adrenal issues and that—you know, in your situation, it’s kinda unique in how it unfolds and what stressors happen in your life but how things break down is pretty consistent, right? There’s some level of–

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Dietary stress and that’s unique for person, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Whether it’s vegetarian side, whether it’s the standard American diet and lots of conventional meat and grains. You have the adrenal stressors, right? You have imbalanced amount of macronutrients, so I call that blood sugar stressors. You have infections and then you had the autoimmune—the whole immune system all revved up–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because of everything else, because all of the—the things I already mentioned.  I see that

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I see that with most patients.

Torea Rodriguez:  There’s—there’s another thing in there that kinda added to the whole perfect storm which is what I now call acute stress events.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  There was a period of time between 2008 and 2009 when I was being diagnosed where I had lost a parent suddenly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Torea Rodriguez:  I had gotten into a cycling accident and pretty severe physical injuries and I had an emergency at altitude and was the only pilot on board to deal with that emergency, so there was a huge amount adrenalin that got pumped out that day when I was dealing with that—that actual emergency, and those 3 things all happened within months of each other.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Torea Rodriguez: And that pretty much a perfect storm on the stress side of things to completely cause additional leaky gut and cause additional food sensitivities and everything else that just kinda added to the whole picture.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, you really—you really hit a point there that I wanna emphasize. You talked about the leaky gut and the food sensitivities and I think a lot of people at home, they—they hear stress but they don’t really think about how stress really impacts our digestion or impacts our gut lining.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because the biggest thing that really revs up this autoimmune cycle is stress and what it does to the gut lining and then what that does to undigested food particles and then what that does to the immune system as they slip through the tight junctions to get into the bloodstream.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, absolutely. And you know people hear stress, stress, stress, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez: I get it, but what they don’t understand is that in the lab and I think this was Dr. Fasano’s work–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Is that in the lab one of the ways that they would introduce leaky gut is hitting these poor rats over the head and causing head trauma.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And that’s a physical injury that you know, resulted in leaky gut. So when we have a lot of stress whether it’s physical injury or not, that will cause leaky gut.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And is that mechanism through the head trauma is after decreased activation of the—the vagal nerve?

Torea Rodriguez: That’s my guess.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that’s what I think, too.

Torea Rodriguez:  That is definitely my guess. Yeah, vagal nerve is so huge in recovery and, you know, stimulating the parasympathetic side of the immune system and nervous system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I was reading an interesting study just last week on petting animals and it stimulating the vagal nerve.

Torea Rodriguez:  Really? I definitely need a dog again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I—you think—I know. I practice next to my dog, Butter, all day so I, you know, pet her. I’m like, “Yeah, I’m getting my vagus nerve going.” You know, I’m—I’m practicing what I preach here.

Torea Rodriguez:  Excellent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So nice little fun fact there.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, I look for all sorts of different ways to simulate vagus nerve when trying to heal autoimmunity because so many of us get kinda stuck in the cycle of the sympathetic side of the nervous system and it’s very hard to start to retrain the body to start activating the parasympathetic side. So I’m always looking for tips like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that’s good. And now because you’ve had this history you’ve been able to effectively treat it, which is great, what are you seeing in your patients? Are you seeing similar type of events kind of cascading or what kind of infections are you seeing, too?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, so lots of GI pathogens.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  I’ve seen the gamut of them. I’m also seeing patients who are attributing some of their getting sick like how I had that perfect storm of stress events to receiving tetanus vac—vaccination—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez:  Vaccines, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  Vaccinations.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  Or you know, some other kind of trauma.  Usually it’s a trauma that can start the whole ball of wax to unravel, and so I see that quite a bit, so I pretty much apply the same technique is to let’s get an understanding of what’s going on. Let’s look for some of those co-infections and start dealing with those, so that I pretty much equate it to the immune system as pretty much over—overloaded at this point. It can’t really deal with these things effectively. So we have to help it to get rid of those things so it can become stronger to be able to keep this things at bay. So it’s, yeah–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I totally see that as well, where like the immune system is compromised. It can’t quite get rid of the infection on its own and it needs just a little bit more help with whether a specific protocol that you create to help kind of knock that infection out, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then you went—you said something about five minutes ago. I wanna kinda come back to it because I think, just through the lens of the patient right now, from a patient talking to you. The biggest thing I see patients that have chronic health issues is when they have multiple infections layered up and they—they get their stool test back or their infectious panel back and they find there is one or two infections. We treat those infections. They come back negative, but a new one comes back. And that’s a really frustrating thing that I let my patients know that there is probably a 20% chance that may happen. And we call it you know, I refer to it as crypt hyperplasia where the infection burrows deeper into the gut lining and it makes its way out as we kinda clean through all the crud if you will. What’s your take on it? How do you explain that or educate your patients about that?

Torea Rodriguez: There’s a couple different analogies that I use for that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  One is that, you know, we are basically going after the bad guys that we see in the beginning of the forest–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  But not the ones that are deeper in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Deeper in, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  And so you have to kinda keep retesting for that and then of course, I’ll get a little technical with them and talk to them about biofilms and how biofilms –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Can get you know, resistant to things like oil of oregano and you know, that kind of thing, so you kind of have–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  To play around with some of these agents that we use to get rid of the stuff to actually get after it, and then you know, the other part, too, is that if—if they’ve done a lot of antibiotics, traditional antibiotics, or they’ve done a lot of use of these herbal antibiotics, often times what doesn’t come into play is the re-population of the gut and so basically we leave this like five-star resort open with neon signs that says, “Bad guys, move in here.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  And then they’re easy to pick up on something else. So sometimes they pick up something else–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Through their travels or whatever but sometimes it’s just really just uncovering it and exploring deeper in that forest.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And this is helpful because I think a lot of people that expect you know, let’s say they have a couple of infections, they expect that once those infections are gone that they’re gonna feel 100% better. And in your situation what percent better were you after those two infections, the H. pylori and the Crypto?

Torea Rodriguez:  At that point, you know we had done a lot of the diet-lifestyle stuff–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  So I would say 60% but getting rid of those only got me about another 10%.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then so it was the last one?

Torea Rodriguez:  Then it wasn’t until–yeah, it wasn’t until we found the—the Giardia–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  And start treating the Giardia that things really started to fall into place and then looking at my final lingering symptoms, those are all Epstein-Barr related.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And so now that’s my focus personally and like I still work on the stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  I’ve been working on this since 2009, you know, so it’s—some of my clients are like, “When does it ever stop?” And it could stop now but I refuse to accept mediocrity and you know, I wanna feel good all the time so I will always pursue it, but some people choose to stop when they feel 80-90% better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right and I guess it depends, right? Because everyone, you know, when do you stop eating healthy? When do you stop exercising? When do you stop going—getting good sleep, right? It just—people, it’s very easy to get addicted to feeling great and then the potential of “Can I feel 5% better this year? What do you think? Is it possible?”

Torea Rodriguez:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So it can gets exciting, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  It totally gets exciting and you know, the thing is that that things will change. You’ll start to feel better and then you’ll decide that you wanna go travel to Nicaragua and you get a really nasty bout–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Of food poisoning. Well, guess what?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  You probably just picked up something that you should test for and see if it’s still hanging out in your gut after you get back. So, I mean, we pick up stuff like this all the time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And what are you doing right now for biofilms? You brought that up earlier with antibiotic resistance, people taking in the past. What are you doing for that with your patients?

Torea Rodriguez:  Biofilms, I mean, you can use several different agents–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  I like to use interface. There’s a couple other things–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  That I’ve used in the past. Not BiotaGen, that is a prebiotic powder.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Biotic, yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  It’s the Bio-Botanical Industries, do you know which one I’m talking about?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, there’s a couple out there–

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, shoot.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The big ones that I know for my biofilms are—are ginger–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Silver and cat’s claw or Samento. Those are my–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  My favorites to use for the biofilms. Ginger tea is like mandatory for all patients to sip on, you know, for the first few weeks because ginger—there’s a lot of studies on it on helping biofilm reduction.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, that’s fantastic! Yeah. Biocidin–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, Biocidin.

Torea Rodriguez:  It’s the other one that I’ve used.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup. And that seems to do a really good job with people who have been on the Interface for too long and then all of a sudden you’ve got something that’s resistant to that—but ginger is new for me. That’s really fascinating. I’d love to see those papers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. I mean, you just go ginger and biofilms. There is just dozens of them.

Torea Rodriguez:  Excellent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There—there was one cool paper where it showed like a Petri dish of like all this resistant bacteria or biofilms, and then like they introduced a small bit of ginger to it and it was like gone. So a big fan of juicing–

Torea Rodriguez:  Fantastic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I’m a big fan of juicing it though, like fresh juiced ginger, like just kinda throw it in your Vitamix or Magic Bullet if you don’t like the pulp–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Which I don’t like the pulp. I strain it through a French press, and–

Torea Rodriguez:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There you go. Add a teaspoon of honey especially if you don’t have any fungal issues, you could do it. A quarter of a lime and you’re good to go, and it really helps reduce those biofilms.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, ginger is amazing stuff because not only do you have biofilm disruptor, but you’ve got some really great probiotics that are on the ginger root itself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  So yeah, pretty amazing stuff. I like it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Also anti-inflammatory and anticoagulants. So keeps the crud that gets you know–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Stuck or sludgy moving along, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup. Absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cool. So with the patient’s right now, would you say the most common autoimmune condition you’re seeing is Hashimoto’s or thyroid autoimmune disease?

Torea Rodriguez:  You know, honestly I don’t see a lot of Hashimoto’s clients–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  I just see autoimmune diseases.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  In general.

Torea Rodriguez:  They’re all over the place. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  What—what are the big five for you?

Torea Rodriguez:  Rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  Hashimoto’s is definitely in there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  But then I’ve gotten some really strange ones that, you know, that are skin-related.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, scleroderma or–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, that sclerodermas and those kinds of things.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Psoriasis.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup, psoriasis for sure. Those are the big majors really.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  I don’t see a lot of people with MS and I don’t see a lot of people with Crohn’s. I thought I would. I had one client with Crohn’s, but that was it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Are you seeing a lot of multi-glandular autoimmune syndromes like more than one autoimmune condition with the same patient?

Torea Rodriguez:  Almost everybody–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  I’ve known that’s been diagnosed with our immune has been diagnosed with two if not more.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  I—I’ve two that I know about. I’ve had psoriasis in the past–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  That’s been healed and I know that’s autoimmune. It was never diagnosed by a medical professional but I also have Raynaud’s in the hands–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  That’s fun. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I see that exact same pattern. Raynaud’s, Hashi’s, and some type of either eczema or psoriatic skin condition is like super common.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, yeah, very common for them to go together.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And for listeners, Raynaud’s is just a condition where you get these vasospasms in the—typically in the extremity tips that can cut off blood flow in circulation and create that cold kind of feeling.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, it’s pretty freaky when you look at your hands and your entire fingers are white.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  From the base of the fingers to the tips. The first day that happened to me I kinda freaked out. I was on the bike and couldn’t figure out how to get the blood flowing in the fingers again. It was kind of scary.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I totally hear you. And then talk about the Epstein-Barr in the—I wanna say mono or chronic fatigue that tends to happen from that. How are you diagnosing? What are you looking on lab work to pick up EBV?

Torea Rodriguez:  So I’m a big proponent of the Immunoscience’s panel. They’ve got a viral panel and if you want we can link to it in the show notes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  But they’ve got a really great comprehensive viral panel that you can run or you can ask your doctor to run the markers for you if you want, which will take a look at whether or not you’ve got past exposure or current exposure. Most people who are dealing with chronic EBV have had a past exposure, and my theory is that our immune system is just not as strong as keeping it at bay as somebody else. I mean EBV is so common that we think that nearly 95 to 98% of the population has been—been exposed. It’s just most of them can keep it at bay. So a lot of those types of symptoms are fatigue, feeling like you’re getting the flu but never really coming down with the flu, light sensitivity in the eyes, tinnitus in the ears, pain in the lymph nodes underneath the ears, those kinds of things, maybe a mild fever but hardly ever fever associated with it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that is super common and the three major things I looked that—I just pulled up the Immunoscience panel and that’s exactly what I run, Viral Capsid Antigen, Nuclear Antigen and Early Antigen.

Torea Rodriguez:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  IgM and IgGs. Any IgM, that’s a sign of more of an acute or—potential active or reactive infection. And any IgG for the Early Antigen–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Is a sign of a potential reactivation. Is that kind of what you go by, too?

Torea Rodriguez:  Exactly. Yeah and you know, when I was first starting to look at this at myself I did this with my naturopathic doctor and we ran the whole lab, and while I didn’t have any IgM for active–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Infection, I have had in her opinion the highest titer she has ever seen for IgGs so I—I got the Gold Star award for that. So it definitely tells me that that’s something that my body has been dealing with for a very long time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and what are you doing right now from a supplement or herbal standpoint with Epstein-Barr?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, so I am making sure that I stay as far away from sugar as I–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Possibly can because sugar will break down the L-lysine in the body and L-lysine–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Is the amino acid that we need to keep viruses at bay–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  At the most, which ironically now that I know that information is why after I eat a bunch of sugar I feel like crap for three days afterwards.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Torea Rodriguez:  And I take L-lysine as a supplement. I’ve also been experimenting on myself doing an n=1 experiment with using supplemental BHT.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And some people don’t like that approach. Some people love that approach. And that seems to be helping with the constant symptoms that I was having, and not as often anymore. Whether or not it is the BHT or the L-lysine, I don’t know because I’m testing two variables are once. But those are the two things that I’ve been doing and then just making sure that I don’t have a lot of stress, because stress will set me back faster than anything,

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love how foundational things are right at the forefront. That’s I think so important. I think a lot of people miss that.

Torea Rodrigue:  I think—I think we want to throw them in the back corner to be honest –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Right? It’s like we want the easy button sometimes, and sometimes the easy button is just making sure that you’re consistent with the foundations.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I see so many people that come in or have seen me before other doctors and they come in, we have a whole bunch of infections, and the doctors they previously were with just threw a whole bunch of things at them–

Torea Rodriguez:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Didn’t really get lifestyle changes dialed in. Didn’t really get the diet. Didn’t really get blood sugar. Didn’t really get the adrenals or any thyroid or hormone stuff. And they just went after the infections right away and they just shut down.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I think echoing on what you said the lifestyle piece and the diet piece, and even the hormonal—hormone piece before that is so important as a foundation so you can go after these infections and not create a healing crisis.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, absolutely. Like I see this quite often. Of course, everybody wants to end the pain, like I get it. I totally get it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  And you know, we want those results right away but I have seen clients do the same approach with other practitioners and you know, they get thrown a whole bunch of antimicrobials for example. Yeah, that practitioner didn’t look at the liver function and didn’t realize that there are liver wasn’t ready to process all those toxins that are created when we go after the microbes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  And yeah, and they completely shut down so that’s why I do a bunch of labs upfront so that I can see like what’s the status of the liver, what’s the status of the neurotransmitters, like let’s look everywhere and then figure out a strategy, and it does take time for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you mentioned earlier, the butylated hydroxytoluene, the BHT.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Can you talk more about that?

Torea Rodriguez:  So yeah, so butylated hydroxytoluene which is a mouthful–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  BHT—that is the same BHT that used to be in breakfast cereal when you and I were young.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, is that–

Torea Rodriguez:  Like it’s the same stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, it’s the preservatives. So there are–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It keeps it crunchy when it sits in the milk for a while, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  That’s right. Totally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, I noticed.

Torea Rodriguez:  Capt N Crunch, in fact.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Torea Rodriguez:  So it—there’s research out there that says that it’s a neurotoxin. There’s research out there that says it’s not a neurotoxin. And as you know when you read PubMed research you are always gonna find both sides of the picture.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez:  But what they have found is that with lipid encapsulated viruses, so the herpes style-type viruses of which EBV is one. It’s actually herpes simplex virus IV. That it has a really good ability to disrupt that lipid bilayer of the viral body and help keep the actual attack of that virus down. And so you know, there—there’s a lot of research out there. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there that it works which is why I decided to do an n=1 experiment on myself and it seems to be definitely helping; whether or not I wanna do it long term, I’m not certain yet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I will.

Torea Rodriguez:  If I wanna do it long term. But that’s the only—the only negative of it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I will put a link to the show notes. So if anyone that wants to get more intel on that they will have that at their fingertips. That’s great.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah. I’ll also send you a link to include in the show notes. There is a PDF or an eBook out there called the—the BHT book I think is what it’s called, and it was written by a biochemist by the name of Stephen Faulks and he put together a bunch of the research on its effect on lipid encapsulated viruses.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know Steve. He wrote the book on smart drugs, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, okay.

Torea Rodriguez:  He is also known for a—what is it? Aspartame, no, not aspartame. Araspid—araspertam?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yes. Yeah, the—the various racetams. Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yes, those. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup. Big—yeah, he’s a big fan of those. Very cool, awesome.

Torea Rodriguez:  Brilliant biochemist though and he really knows his stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I met Steve over at the—I think it’s Smart Life forum down in Silicon Valley over at Palo Alto.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, he’s a big guy over there. He gives a lot of informative talks.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup, yup, really nice guy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool. Now you’ve kind of alluded to something earlier. I’m gonna go back to it.

Torea Rodriguez:  Great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  My—my brain thinks. It kinda scatters a little bit, but I—it’ll all make sense at the end here. You talked about toxins and being able to check liver functions. So are we talking about just like in an ALT, AST liver enzymes on a blood test, or were you talking about organic acid testing for the liver?

Torea Rodriguez:  I use both.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  I wanted to take a look at both. So when I take on a client we do a full blood chemistry workup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And an organic acids, and a look at both. I wanna make sure that both phase 1 and phase 2 processes are functioning properly. If they’re not, then I probably won’t go after microbials or pathogens or environmental toxins right away because we want to make sure that the body has a—an appropriate way of clearing this stuff. We don’t want to just add a whole bunch of extra burden to the liver if we can help it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And what you’re cut off for the ALT and AST on your lab test?

Torea Rodriguez:  Umm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Less than 20?

Torea Rodriguez:  Pretty much, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, I wanna make sure that, you know, it’s—it’s not too high. We want to make sure that it’s working efficiently. So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   That’s exactly what I do. Now let’s pivot here. You mentioned in our pre-interview, you talked all about the organic acids. You talked about, and I love the organic acid test, I know there’s—I do the Genova testing in my office. I know you mentioned you do the—the GPL, the Great Plains Lab testing–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And he also mentioned about their tox screen, which I’ve—doing more and more frequently. I’m actually gonna be doing a panel of myself as well as the one for the Roundup, the—the glyphosate, too.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, yeah, yeah, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So—so let’s pivot there. Talk to me more about the organics and how you’re using it with your patients and then kinda stack on how you’re interchangeably using the toxic screen, too.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, sure. So organic acids, I was taught by another practitioner how to interpret organic acids, and I’ve—I’ve used the Genova as well as the Great Plains and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  The thing that I love about the organic acids is we’re looking at metabolites of various different biochemical processes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez:  And when there’s a problem with one chemical changing form to another chemical in that cycle–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  It will kinda spill over, just like if we had dammed up a reservoir; it kind of spills over and it gets into the urine and this is how we can see where there are problems in those functions in the body. And I think I love it so much because it’s one, simple collection for the client–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  And there are so many markers that look at so many different areas, so we can see bacterial overgrowth in the body pretty easily. It’s super, super sensitive for yeast. Whereas in any kind of stool test, like if you find yeast then you know you’ve got a raging yeast infection.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah. So I like that it’s super sensitive for yeast. You can look at neurotransmitter balance. You can look at–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  You can look at methylation, nutritional deficiencies, like there is so much information in the organic acids that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mitochondria.

Torea Rodriguez:  It’s just really—yeah. Mitochondrial function which is huge–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  For people without immunity like of course, you’re feeling fatigued because your mitochondria–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huge.

Torea Rodriguez:  Are not generating energy the way that they should and they are the energy powerhouses of the cell. So you know, knowing that allows me to be able to fine tune somebody’s wellness plan so that they can start feeling better sooner in looking at those kinds of things. So I love the organic acids for that reason.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  What major areas of the organic acid test are you seeing out of balance in your patients right now?

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, gosh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Just myself, I see them all–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But there are certain ones I see more frequently. I’m just curious just kind of like your intuitive guess.

Torea Rodriguez:  In the—yeah, in the last year there’s been a lot–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oxalate and yeast issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  I’ve seen not so much neurotransmitter imbalance but definitely mitochondrial malfunction.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Torea Rodriguez: And then the rest is the bacterial overgrowth.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah is really nice because it gives you that extra net to pick up gut issues outside of what you may miss on a stool test.

Torea Rodriguez:  Exactly, which is, you know, we were talking about that forest, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  And trying to find the bad guys in the forest, this gives us another way to do that with a different method which makes it a much better sweep of that forest.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally. And what about the tox screen? What kind of toxins are you seeing? How much Roundup, how much benzene, toluene? Whatever else you’re seeing there–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, I really like it. I mean, there’s 172 markers on the—the labs. So it’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Unreal.

Torea Rodriguez:  It’s pretty comprehensive but, you know, that is allowing us to not only look at what somebody is biologically infected with like a co-infection but the environmental toxins from everywhere. So if you are getting exposed to lots of gasoline or gasoline exhaust fumes for example, maybe your work is—maybe you’re the person that holds the construction sign on the highway, you know, and you’re breathing in fumes all day long, or you’re a dental hygienist in Europe being put in the face of chemicals all day long, like we get to see those things but more importantly we are seeing pesticides that are used either in the yard or in the garden. We’re seeing the chemicals that are used for cleaning in the house or you know, the insecticides, right? In the house and cosmetics. I have to say it–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Cosmetics and you know, self-care products, the shampoos, and the soaps, and all of that stuff that we put our skin shows up in this test. So I really love it because it—this is what hammers down the lifestyle piece of it, right? Making those changes to make sure that you’re not getting exposed to plastics for example.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and what are the top three toxins you’re seeing come back on that screening?

Torea Rodriguez:  Honestly, they’re all over the map. I’ve just started running it–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And it seems to be a little bit different for everybody.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  So I haven’t seen something that’s very common. Now the glyphosate that you had mentioned–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. The Roundup. Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, so that’s pretty much coming back on almost everybody.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know. It’s scary. It really is scary.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup. And that one, you know, not only is it Roundup but that’s—you know, people hear about GMO versus organic food—GMO, 9 times out of 10 is a plant that has been modified to be able to be a Roundup-ready or Roundup resistant.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Torea Rodriguez:  Right. So they’re spraying it, like this is the whole deal with GMOs, is like there is spraying it with pesticides, folks, and you’re eating it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Tons.

Torea Rodriguez:  Like that’s what’s happening. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Like billions of pounds a year. I just got my—my whole lawn in my yard here in Austin replaced. We put down sod, and before they were saying, “Oh, typically the protocol is you know, we’re going to throw down a whole bunch of Roundup.” I said, “Nope. You’re just gonna—you’re gonna, you know, go and scalp it. You know use the bulldozer, whatever, do what you gonna do. No Roundup.” They say, “Oh, everyone does it. It’s innocuous. You know, turns into a sod, goes away.” But I’m seeing exactly what you’re seeing, lots of glyphosate or Roundup is found in people’s urine. So it’s obviously getting extracted or it’s coming out but the question is, I mean, “I’m not eating or—you know, pesticides and things like that. How are we getting exposed to it?” So it’s—it’s gotta be ubiquitous in the environment.

Torea Rodriguez:  It is pretty ubiquitous and I’ve talked to the folks at Great Plains and they’re seeing it in almost 100% of samples.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Scary.

Torea Rodriguez:  I mean, it’s—it is really scary.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  And thank you for putting in sod and not turf.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. You got it.

Torea Rodriguez:  Thank you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You got it.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Try to be–

Torea Rodriguez:  Because I can only imagine the amount of plastic chemicals that I’m gonna find in somebody’s tox screen, then they tell me that they have a turf lawn.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know and I called up the people over down here at—at Chem-free Lawns in Austin and I was talking to them about chemical-free fertilizers. They use a lot of probiotics or they’ll use–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Natural herbs. They’ll even use various Helminths or worms to kill various infections.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And—and we were chatting about that for a bit and they were talking to me about the demand to switch away from these more carcinogenic conventional pesticides to these more natural ones, how it’s just the demand is out of this world, and I think people are catching on, you know, if you follow The Truth About Cancer series that was out again this last month, a lot of these chemicals are associated with various lymphomas and leukemias and cancers that are carcinogenic and hormone disruptors. So I think it’s great that people are—by and large are starting to get exposed to this information.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And it—you know, it’s one of those things that can—can contribute to autoimmunity.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huge.

Torea Rodriguez:  Because, yeah, it’s huge. So super important.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, was there anything you wanna just kind of leave us with here? I’m gonna go onto my last question that I ask every guest, but is there anything else you wanted to share with the listeners that you find just really impactful or you’re just really passionate about right now that you wanna share?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, you know, I think one of the things that I found in my practice that has been extremely powerful is not only is it diet, lifestyle factors, looking at the functional medicine piece of it, but it’s also really taking a look at your life and what’s important, and sorting through what matters the most, and once you identify what matters the most, like get rid of everything else that doesn’t because it’s just added stress, and we don’t need it, right? So really kinda coming—becoming clear with that, and I think a lot of times people feel like they are expected to have this career, do the—be the perfect wife, you know, all of those things and it’s—it’s really fascinating to determine that sometimes I end up counselling people through career changes–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And relationship changes like those are really key parts of health so don’t ignore the emotional side either. That’s my point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think that’s really important. Where can our listeners find out more about you?

Torea Rodriguez:  So they can go to my website which is ToreaRodriguez.com. We’ll include that in the show notes because that’s a handful to spell out.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s only one R. T-O-R-E-A Rodriguez.com. We’ll put the link–

Torea Rodriguez:  Correct.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  For it below. Anywhere else? Do you have a YouTube channel? Do you have a podcast? Do you have anything else going on?

Torea Rodriguez:  If they subscribe to my newsletter and blog, I do a video blog every week, so they’ll be able to get that in the newsletter, and then the other thing that I’m working on right now is the five-week course that’s gonna launch in January. That’s an environmental toxin course, so it’s five weeks to help clean out the home and the body without getting overwhelmed, and that’s gonna include that environmental tox screen that we talked about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. I’m doing that more and more–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I got one on my test, sitting on my desk here that I gotta get done soon on myself, so I’m excited.

Torea Rodriguez:  Excellent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So last question. If you are stuck on a desert island and you only could bring one supplement with you, what would it be?

Torea Rodriguez:  Supplement.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It could be like an herb. It could be like coconut oil. It could be like anything. Just supplement or compound or tincture or whatever you want.

Torea Rodriguez:  Well, the first thing that came to mind is what I’m gonna go with. I’m gonna say an avocado tree.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  An avocado tree, there you go.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, so essential fatty acids essentially.

Torea Rodriguez:  Essential fatty acids, lots of fiber, it’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  You know, it’s awesome. So I love avocado. That would definitely be it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. Getting our monosaccharide fats going. Very cool.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And also fun fact about an avocado. Avocados have more potassium than bananas. Everyone thinks, “Oh, you know, potassium. Leg cramps, right? Grab a banana.”  Well, actually avocados have more and less sugar.

Torea Rodriguez:  Avocados, awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool. Awesome, Torea. Great chatting with you and well, look forward to have you back on the show soon.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, thank you so much. Super fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks.  Take care.

References:
http://www.immunoscienceslab.com/Viral/Viral%20Comp%20Panel.pdf
http://www.torearodriguez.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butylated_hydroxytoluene#Applications
http://www.growyouthful.com/remedy/BHT-butylated-hydroxytoluene.php
http://www.torearodriguez.com/
Detox course: torea.co/WholeLifeDetox
December’s Webinar on the course (06 Dec): torea.co/WLD-DEC6
BHT Book: http://www.projectwellbeing.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/BHTbook-StevenWmFowkes-100903.pdf

Testing and tracking your thyroid health – Podcast #111

Dr. Justin Marchegiani welcomes Dave Korsunsky of Heads Up Health back to the show to talk about assessing the thyroid. Listen to this podcast to learn more about the complete thyroid panel and how you can organize your lab test data. 

thyroid testingFind out exactly what you can do about all the information that you get from your thyroid tests in terms of keeping track and charting your own data to look at patterns. Learn how these can be very useful when compared to other variables such as sleep, blood sugar or even the steps you’ve done in a day. Discover why you should get a full thyroid panel and how or where you can get it.

In this episode, topics include:

02:29   The role of the thyroid and hormones

05:26   Components of a full thyroid panel

09:48   Supplementing the thyroid

21:22   Thyroid antibodies

26:10   How or where to get full thyroid panel

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thyroid_test_wrong

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, there, it’s Dr. J. I’ve got my good friend here, Dave Korsunsky. We’re gonna be chatting about how to measure—how to assess your thyroid. Dave’s got some great technology called Heads Up Health, headsuphealth.com. We use this software a lot for—to help patients kind of chart their lab data so they can follow it, create graphs, compare it to other variables like sleep or blood sugar or how many steps you’ve done in a day. So we’re gonna really dig into how to look at and how to assess your thyroid and what numbers and lab values we look at. Dave, how are we doing, man?

Dave Korsunsky: Doin’ great, doc. Thanks for having me. I can see on Skype here that you’re sitting in your home office and I remembered that just a few months ago I was over at your place and we did a—we did a show on testing ketones which went great and happy to be back and actually talking about something that I see coming up all the time. Heads Up Health is pretty active online in a lot of the different Facebook groups and different communities on Ketogenic Diets and Paleo Diets and this—this question of the full thyroid panel comes up all the time. So I’m glad we can dive into it. It’s also something that was personally relevant for me and you may recall when I was your patient, that was one of the things you helped me fix. So I can throw in some of my own personal experience here as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, that’s great. I was going to do a nice live on-screen recording here of a—with my ketones but my battery is dead. Damn it. I hate wasting these strips. They’re so expensive.

Dave Korsunsky:  Where do you get yours from? It’s 4 bucks a strip here in the US. I know there’s cheaper sources out there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I got it from the person that you told me to get it from over in New Zealand.

Dave Korsunsky:  That’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  On eBay.

Dave Korsunsky:  Actually, it was Australia.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Australia.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yeah, it was Australia.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Australia. Yeah, that’s it–.

Dave Korsunsky:  But they’re clamping down on that now. They—I think it’s illegal for them to ship to the United States now. So they’re getting harder to find on eBay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I hear you. There’s still there a little bit though, but today for lunch I had—I had a collagen bar. I had tuna with a little bit of like Mark’s Primal Mayo so like egg yo—like you know, egg, olive oil or egg avocado oil.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup, I’ve seen that product. Yup, it’s great stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then like some shreds of carrot in there and like a little bit of cut up spinach, so it’s pretty high fat, very little carbohydrate. So my ketones will probably be around 0.6 mmol right now.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now–

Dave Korsunsky:  Well, as I mentioned to you I don’t have my meter with me, otherwise we could nerd out and do some ketone testing like we did last time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Dave Korsunsky:  Another time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Another time. Absolutely. Well, today we were gonna talk about thyroid and just really put the focus on thyroid and thyroid’s important, right? Thyroid’s that gland that sits kinda right where that bow tie in the neck would, just below and outside of the Adam’s apple and it produces a metabolic hormone called thyroid hormone and that hormone gets produced and it gets converted and activated in the body and there’s a lot of things that are responsible for making thyroid hormone and activating thyroid hormone. Like we’ve talked a lot in the past about ketosis and insulin resistance and having too much or too little insulin can really have an effect on how thyroid hormone gets activated which is really interesting. So with the software that you created over at HeadsUpHealth.com, anyone listening can go head over there and get a free account, but you can plug in your thyroid lab values and–

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Let’s kinda just start—well, let’s just start with an anecdote kind of your personal story of us working together with your thyroid and then we’ll dig in to the meat of the matter here.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yeah, so this was back in I think in 2011-2012 when you were still working out of the Cupertino office.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm, yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  And you may recall you and I met at Asprey’s 1st ever conference.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Dave Korsunsky:  In San Francisco and you were hustling there. You had your—your adjustment table out–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  And you were just—I’m like this guy is awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Dave Korsunsky:  So the first time I started working with you, I—I just brought in all my labs from my conventional doctor and—and I had them in a—a horrendous spreadsheet at the time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, right.

Dave Korsunsky:  I’m sure there’s a lot of people listening who have those horrendous spreadsheets, but as we started going through my numbers and you started looking at stuff, you noticed that the only test I’d ever had one was TSH, and I maybe had 2 or 3 of those done over the course of a lifetime. Maybe this was standard physical, etc., and so that was one of the first things you ordered for me, was—was a full thyroid panel and I guess maybe I think it’s important to talk about the components about the full thyroid panel, also important to address why maybe a lot of conventional doctors only ordered TSH but in any event that was my situation. So as soon we ran the full panel, there were a few things that—that you noticed and that you immediately picked up on. The first is you noticed that TSH actually looked good. It was great actually in range, perfect. But when we looked under the covers a little bit, we noticed, first of all T4, also excellent and—and you were educating me on all these numbers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  I had no idea what any of this stuff meant as a patient and—and you sat down with me and took me through this whole panel.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dave Korsunsky:  And you said, “Hey, T4 is the start of the whole cascade.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  That never looks good but then you noticed my T4—my T3 was incredibly low, out of range low.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dave Korsunsky:  And my reverse T3 was out of range high.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Dave Korsunsky:  And everything else was fine. So that was my situation and then we started working on it and—and we can talk about the treatment protocol later but maybe you can just get into a little bit more about—first of all what are components of the full thyroid panel?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  Why it’s more important to get that, besides just TSH, and even how people can get that if—if their doctor won’t do it for them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, exactly. So you can use Heads Up Health and just kinda plug your data in there to help keep track of it. Anyone that’s really doing their thyroid testing, they can use that as a technology to help track it and then compare it to sleep or maybe their carbohydrate levels, right? You could plug it up to MyFitnessPal, one of these apps, and then see how your carbohydrates and/or your insulin chart with your thyroid hormone.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But starting off here, we kinda have the domino rally of our thyroid hormone cascade, meaning the first block that falls over is TSH. Now TSH is a brain hormone so a lot of people really get wrapped up in TSH being too high or too low, but it’s a brain hormone. It’s—it’s not quite like measuring your thyroid hormone. It’s very indirect. So TSH is looking at how the brain is yelling or talking to the thyroid. The whole analogy is if the thyroid’s not producing enough thyroid hormone, it’s like someone across the room that can’t hear you, you instinctively raise the volume of your voice, which is because the thyroid is on the lower side, right? Lower thyroid function, if someone can’t hear you, you raise the volume, the thyroid raises the volume of TSH and just like if you were in a library and—and it’s really quiet and they’re really close to you whisper and you lower the volume because it can—it’s where the thyroid or the person is very receptive to your voice. So think of your thyroid, kinda in those analogies. So TSH too high or too low can mean issues. The problem is if you’re waiting for the thyroid to be assessed and you’re looking at the TSH, it can take a very long time. Some even say 8-10 years to assess the thyroid properly by looking at the TSH because it’s a late stage indicator. It’s not the thyroid, it’s the brain. So if you’re looking and waiting for the thyroid to get assessed, it may take a while, and not to mention it’s—it—either the cut-offs for the reference range are pretty high. I mean, typically in the East Coast it’s gonna be about 5-1/2 on the TSH. In the West Coast, it’s gonna be a 4-1/2 on the TSH, where once it gets to that height, we call that hypothyroidism because the brain’s having to yell so loud that the thyroid is—we’re assuming is not responding well. I’ll just kinda take a breath there.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Any comments on that, Dave?

Dave Korsunsky:  No, I think it makes sense. I mean especially if—if you’re waiting on changes that have to happen in the brain. So help me understand that. That—that’s presumably stuff that takes a lot longer to settle in, and—and it may mean eliminating stress in your life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, sleep.

Dave Korsunsky:  It may mean dietary change. It may mean–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dave Korsunsky:  Also the things–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  That—that first have to show up at a—at a brain level, like at a neurotransmitter level or at some level in the brain. So that has to happen first before you see change in thyroid. Is that right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so when we look at TSH, it can be a really good indicator if something’s really high of diagnosing or picking up hypothyroidism.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now, the conventional range 4-1/2 on the West Coast, 5-1/2 East Coast, I like it to be around 1,

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Definitely 2-1/2, 1 to 2-1/2 is a pretty good, what I call functional range for the thyroid. That’s a good starting. Again the—where it gets fuzzy is when you start supporting someone’s thyroid because they need thyroid with thyroid glandular or hormone, most docs are basing the treatment off of the TSH.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Not a good way to do it because the brain is very sensitive. It’s more sensitive to thyroid hormone than the actual peripheral receptor sites. So my analogy for the patients is, go outside on a hot day and figure out the temperature by touching the sidewalk. Well, the sidewalk conducts heat much higher than the air, so it’s gonna be a lot hotter.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I.e., the TSH may respond more sensitively because of the receptor sites, just like the sidewalk would be hotter or be more sensitive to heat than the air. So that’s step 1. Step 2 is then looking at the T4 hormone which is what’s made by the thyroid. So TSH comes down, talks to the thyroid, the thyroid goes through this process called deiode— deiodination where it’s adding and building thyroid and tyrosine and thyroglobulin molecule to build this thyroid hormone, alright? Vitamin A, copper, zinc, magnesium, selenium are also involved in those processes. Vitamin A as well. And–

Dave Korsunsky:  So that’s why you got me on a selenium. Part—part of your treatment then was—was adding some of these supplements in at some point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dave Korsunsky:  is that right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, exactly. Iodine can be really important, too. You just gotta be very careful with iodine because a lot of people that have thyroid issues, it’s autoimmune in nature. It’s the immune system attacking the thyroid gland. So you gotta be careful because more iodine can be like throwing gasoline on the fire.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So you gotta be careful in the beginning. I always favor giving selenium in the beginning over giving—over giving iodine as well just because of that inflammatory mechanism. So–

Dave Korsunsky:  Yeah, that’s where you started me off. You started me with selenium and then we added the iodine then later.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, exactly. So we have our T4, right? We make that through this whole iodination process. Then we convert it or we activate T4 to T3. So when we look at T4, we like our T4 Total being around 6-10, that’s a pretty good range for T4 Total, and T4 Free about 1-1.5 is a pretty good range. Again, go over Heads Up Health to get all these ranges more in depth.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We then cleave off, right? This is part of the deiode—the—this is the 5-prime deiodinase enzyme, that’s selenium-based, that now cleaves off the iodine process. So it’s iodination is what makes the thyroid hormone then de iodinate, we pull an iodine, we—we grab an iodine off. So instead of being T4, now it’s T3. There’s 3 iodines now and we activate T3 which is the active thyroid hormone. So that’s what’s really having the whole metabolic reaction in the body, increasing our temperature, increasing metabolism, energy, heat, temperature and the selenium enzyme’s really important into that. And when you go on Heads Up, you’ll see T3 Free, we like above 3, you know, above 3-3.8, 3.4, you know, 3.8, 3.4 is fine, pretty good, right in that top 25%, top third of the reference range is great. 3.0 to about 4 is fine and that’s for T3 Free. And T3 Total, we like above 100, 100-130 is fine, and again we fine tune that with objective temperature testing, making sure the temperature is looking well. So typically 97.8 to 98.2 if we’re looking at the armpit or 98.2 to 98.6 if we’re looking at the mouth is a pretty good way to assess that.

Dave Korsunsky: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And we’ll do that in the morning before we get up and we’ll do it in the afternoon before lunch, because if we increase metabolism, we’re thinking that that’s gonna spill over into objective symptoms like energy but we’ll also see it as heat in the temperature.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup. So I remember when we’re working on Heads Up, you said, “Dave, you need to have a place to track basal temperature as well.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. Yes.

Dave Korsunsky:  And that’s part of what you’re doing. Do you use that to diagnose or to zero in on—on thyroid health?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  it’s a good indicator to look at side by side. The problem is a lot of people have broken thermometers, and I’m just—I see people coming back with 95 on their temperature and it’s just like they have no—you know, they’re feeling better. Their temperature’s up and then when you tell them to get a new thermometer, and it’s better. So you know, I don’t put too much stock in it, but it’s nice to see it–

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  When it starts to change and move in the right direction and it correlates with symptoms and it does that a lot.

Dave Korsunsky:  I know that when you were helping me along those lines, it was specifically recommended to use a mercury-based thermometer, and in that one time you had those on your website and they are—they’re getting increasingly harder to get, so is that still something you sell on your site?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I have a couple right here. I’m gonna throw them up on screen. I actually have 4 right here.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I used to recommend more of the mercury. The problem was I actually dropped a couple and I was just like, “Damn, it’s too dangerous.”

Dave Korsunsky:  I did, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And so it’s just—I just said, “You know what, even though it’s —it’s accurate, nice. It’s just not worth the potential of dropping it and having the toxicity of having to clean it up.” So I went away from it just because I’ve met some accidents.

Dave Korsunsky:  Sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So what I typically use now is just the highest ranked fertility digital thermometer on Amazon. That’s measured to a 100.

Dave Korsunsky: Cool, yeah, it’d be good—yeah, it’d be good to get that model if you have it. I know, I’m going to get another one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I—I have it in my store over at JustInHealth.com. It just links to Amazon and–

Dave Korsunsky:  Got it. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And in JustInHealth approved products and then my thermometer’s there. But it’s just the highest ranked fertility digital. Not just the digital but a fertility one because fertility has to be more accurate than—than not because of the nature of hormone testing in temperature.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup, good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So that’s where I’m at now. So I do like temperature. It’s nice for patients to see it, to feel it. Also with the temperature testing that’s pretty cool is you can get a window into how the adrenals are functioning, too, because if your temperatures are varying greater than 0.3°F per day can be a really big sign that the adrenals are overtaxed.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So one of the things we see as people’s thyroid and adrenals get healthier and better, their temperatures get warmer and they’re more consistent. Warmer and more consistent means healthier thyroid and healthier adrenals.

Dave Korsunsky:   Yup, okay, that’s all good. So what’s on the rest the panel? I know there’s a bunch of other stuff that’s included in—in the full thyroid panel where—we’re slowly working our way through it here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So TSH, we already mentioned.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The T4 Free and Total. Again, the Free represents about 2-5% of the hormone level.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The Total represents the balance.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  T3 Free and Total.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  T3 uptake. What’s being absorbed and taken up by the receptor sites.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We like above, you know, upper 20s, 28 to lower 30s, 32, 33, 34 is fine.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We also like to look at reverse T3. Now this is important because this was something that came up on your test.

Dave Korsunsky:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You had good levels of T4 but then you weren’t converting downstream to T3, right? We had this high level–

Dave Korsunsky:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Of reverse T3 and just, you know, a sub-clinical low level of T3 but it was me—really going downstream to RT3 or reverse T3.

Dave Korsunsky:  Exactly. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And reverse T3, it’s like putting—it’s like putting blanks in your gun. You fire the gun off, you hear the noise but no bullet comes out. You got this blank that’s sitting in that thyroid receptor site. It’s supposed be like T3 but it doesn’t quite have that metabolic property so to speak.

Dave Korsunsky:  So do you—do you see that a lot, Doc? Where there’s—where that conversion is just not happening, right? And—and what are the first things you think of when you see that the T4 to T3 conversion is just not uprating right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great question. So the first scenario, if T4 to T3 is not converting well but we see reverse T3 going high–

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You know, we always think selenium and we always think stress.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So then when we look at stress, we’re making sure the diet’s good, sleep’s good. We’re looking more at the adrenal to make sure the adrenal function is good as well, and you know, making sure practices of meditation, the right amount of exercise are good, not overexercising or underexercising, keeping all the bad foods out, and then we’ll even use things like selenium to help lower reverse T3 and even things like milk thistle to lower it as well to help clear it out because a lot of that reverse T3 is made by the liver so we can clear it out but we gotta fix the underlying reason why it was getting converted there to begin with. That’s the key.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup, makes sense. And I think in my case, it was just a combination of things exactly like you described. It was really a stressful time for me personally. You introduced the selenium supplement. I also at that time started moving over to a much cleaner diet, more of a Paleo based diet, coming off of just a standard diet. So I think all of those things helped and then what we were doing was we were—were running the thyroid panel. You’d—you’d give me my treatment protocol in my Word document. I’d—I’d get the intervention. We’d run the thyroid panel 3 months later and we’d—we’d track the numbers and I could get engaged in that process and one of the things—one of the reasons I build Heads Up was because I genuinely believe that when the patient can get engaged with their numbers and understand what they mean, it helps. It just gets—you get better results and so we saw it, right? We’d—we’d run the test every 3-6 months and we’d look at the new numbers together and I just love that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  It was really, really effective.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and I think we also did—we did some milk thistle as well to help. If I remember correctly you were doing those Insanity workouts, an hour–

Dave Korsunsky:  Yeah, I just crushed—I had crushed my adrenals.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  Like just—I was overtraining. I was in a stressful situation work-wise. You know, my diet wasn’t great. You know, having too much fun on the weekends.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, you were doing that.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yeah. All—all of the ingredients were there for a—for a disaster but luckily we were able to intervene and—and get things course corrected.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I remember you definitely made some changes with your diet. You were getting more—more quality fats, better quality fats in there as well that was helping out a lot.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then we got you on the adrenal support, too, which I think made a big difference. And I know we also had some gut issues that came up–

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Down the road, too, that I think as we addressed those we had improvements there, too. I think maybe a Klebsiella or some kinda bacterial overgrowth.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yeah, these were all important pieces that we had to work on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  Actually, another—another big one for me was actually just racking my sleep. I know it—it sounds silly but even just getting some basic metrics from like a wrist worn device, a FitBit. In my case, I’m wearing one on my wrist now. Just having some data about when I was going to bed and when I was getting up, and how much sleep I was getting on a regular basis. Until you see the numbers, I didn’t realize that I was maybe 6 hours not getting enough and when you’re overtraining and not getting enough sleep and—and you start to see all of that, and you start to see the information that I’m getting from you that are—that are suggesting lifestyle-related stressors, having that that sleep information was—was really, really helpful and it brought a whole new awareness to my sleeping patterns and help me try to move to a—a more natural sleep-wake cycle instead of midnight or one. For example, going bed at 10 and it takes some time to get your body back on a—on a more normal cycle but there’s so much data we were collecting that was helpful along the process and it’s just part of what we wanted to do in Heads Up is give people a place to track it all, but sleep was really important in addition to all of the things that—that you mentioned that we fixed as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. So kinda just coming back in line here. We talked about the thyroid conversion piece. Sleep really helps because sleep can help curtail cortisol levels, can also help maximizing growth hormone levels which are important for being anabolic and repairing tissue.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And also can help with recycling neurotransmitters, right?

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup, and—and there was al–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, go ahead.

Dave Korsunsky:  There was also some antibodies on that thyroid panel–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  That you always look at as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  You were always looking for autoimmunity.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Yes.

Dave Korsunsky:  So maybe what—we could talk about that for a bit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  One step ahead of me.

Dave Korsunsky:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Let me just—let me just come full circle on the thyroid conversion piece.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Almost there. So the sleep piece is really important.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The selenium is really important for all the nutrient levels in helping to convert that downstream.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Also insulin resistance, a lot of people that have high levels of insulin, they may have this hard time converting thyroid hormone or activating it T4 to T3. If they have high levels of stress hormone that may help as well or hurt the conversion. If they’re really have—almost low levels of cortisol because of HPA axis dysfunction.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup. That–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Where the brain is numb talking to the thyroid that can really help decrease that conversion, prevent the T4 from going to T3. Certain nutrients like copper and selenium and zinc. Also high levels of mercury can also be a big factor. So those are kinda just some—some good generalizations there. Now getting to your next question that you asked—perfect timing was was the thyroid antibodies. So, so many of the thyroid—so many thyroid conditions are actually brought upon by autoimmunity, meaning your immune system is making specific antibodies that are attacking the thyroid gland.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  One is known as TPO or thyroid peroxidase enzyme. It’s an enzyme that puts thyroid hormone together and then the other one is the thyroglobulin antibody which is the surface protein of the thyroid. And if you’re making antibodies and you’re tagging the thyroid then you’re gonna be attacking it and breaking it down and these B cells and B lymphocytes are gonna be getting in there and attacking it.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And that’s not good because as it’s being attacked, it’s like stag—stabbing a knife into it and thyroid hormone drips out.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So your TSH and thyroid hormone levels can be off for a long time. You could have hot flashes and anxiety, and tachycardia and be sweating a lot and that’s a really good sign that you’re starting this whole autoimmune progression and again, conventional medicine will not get to the root cause. They ignore the immune mechanism, i.e., the antibodies. They forget what’s driving it and they just say, “Here’s Synthroid,” and they just wanna get that thyroid TSH back nice and low again but we’re not getting with—with the simple things like the gluten and the grains and the inflammation and the insulin resistance and the infections that are so commonly addressing it.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup. I know there’s a lot of people really close to me that are dealing with autoimmune conditions and so that’s something that—that comes up all the time. You—you’ve worked with many of those people directly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  And have helped them–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Dave Korsunsky:  Make the changes necessary to—to work on those antibody numbers specifically.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I think that’s why you did really well off the bat, too, because one of the big changes you made, because you were like just starting to get into Dave’s Bulletproof Diet and you were–

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cutting out grains and really cutting out mycotoxins.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you were eating more fat so you were stabilizing your blood sugar and getting your insulin better. I think that really helped with calming down any potential autoimmunity that may have been present.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yeah, and if I think back to some of the things that were going on at that time, it was—it was definitely going on to the Bulletproof Diet at that time that helped a lot. That helped with a lot of the blood sugar stabilization.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Big time.

Dave Korsunsky:  And you mentioned that that’s one of the reasons there—there may be T4 to T3. working on stress, getting the GI stuff fixed up. You ran the tests to do that. You also ran the adrenal test which I think just are more indicative that there’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  A stress—a stressor in the system whether it’s physical or mental, so we worked on that and then some—some supplements to help. Selenium being the—the most obvious one, and all of those things worked and then we re-ran the numbers and it was—you know, it took a while. Maybe this was a 12-month process, 18-month process where we worked everything out, but it was great. And there’s that—that functional medicine type process where you’re doing what we just described. I mean, how common is that in—in your practice with patients you’re seeing?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, it’s really common especially the autoimmune piece because people are stressed. They’re not eating good—good meals. They’re insulin resistant because of the suppressed immune system of all the things I’ve mentioned, opportunistic infections kinda take hold as well. So that’s a multi-layer kind of system that we’re looking at so you really gotta wade through it systematically so we can get to all of the key lynch pins.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  If you’re just doing one thing to systematically or symptomatically make you feel better, may not be what kinda unlocks the healing long-term.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup, makes sense. And so just going back to the—to the thyroid panel, I mean, when we first started working together, you—you didn’t see that in any of my previous lab testing so it’s something you ordered right away.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Dave Korsunsky:  Is—is that something you like to do upfront with—with all patients? It’s just to see where those numbers are or is it case by case?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s case by case. It depends what symptoms are present off the bat. If we’re going to the person’s history and there’s lots of energy issues and lots of mood issues like let’s say hair loss, outer third eyebrows, let’s say cold fingers, cold hands, tingling, numbness, things like that. We will definitely order a thyroid. If we don’t have a lot of the hair loss and the cold hands and cold feet-

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Stuff off the bat, we typically stick to the adrenals first, see how good or bad the adrenals are and then I have them do temperature testing over the next month and we monitor through there.

Dave Korsunsky:  Cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And if symptoms are improving on the adrenal protocol and their temperatures look decent, we won’t necessarily jump to the thyroid off the bat. If we’re not quite getting the improvement we’re looking at and temperatures are low, then we’ll go and we’ll dig in to that thyroid.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup, that makes sense. And I’ve, you know, personally for the last 8 months I’ve been on a–on a Ketogenic Diet and have been doing really well with it but I’d love to run another panel to see how my numbers stack up and that kinda leads into my next question which is a lot of people when they go the doctor, they—they may not be able to get the full panel ordered for—for various reasons. There has to be a diagnostic code of something like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  So, I know you have the panel available. Is that one of the panels people can get from you and just go to Lab Corp and get it? I realize you gotta pay out of pocket, but sometimes that’s just the most—the quickest and easiest way instead of having to negotiate with—with your doctor.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yeah. The panel that we have online, the complete thyroid panel in the store, so justinhealth.com, click on the Healthy Living Store, you’ll see the lab test button. Click it and look for the complete thyroid panel. And that panel I think it’s about $150 and that’s a complete–

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You can’t run anything for the most part.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  On your thyroid.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s got all of the thyroid markers you need. Typically if that panel is not covered by insurance, right? That’s over a $1000.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So by just paying cash, you kinda cap—you cap your losses so to speak and that’ll give you everything you need. That’s a really good first line for anyone with thyroid issues. That’ll give you everything you need to—to get a complete picture of what’s going on.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yeah, and I see—I see a lot of people who we communicate with and just a lot of people who are asking questions and stuff who—who may not be making progress as they move to—they make the nutritional changes. They go Paleo. They make the dietary changes. They’ve adopted Keto or some of those principles and they’re not seeing any changes in body composition and so it’s—that’s often something that I think of and are those correlated? Would you start to look at—at thyroid and metabolic if you’re not seeing changes once you make the—the nutritional interventions?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. The thyroid can control metabolism, heat and energy, so it’s definitely a place that you wanna look at for sure. When people have their thyroid working better, they tend to be able to have a higher metabolism, burn more calories, burn more systemic body fat which is a really good thing.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But not all the time. Some people—it’s just, we get their thyroid working better they’re no longer depressed and constipated and their hair starts growing back.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I see the thyroid kinda being a different—having different priorities, you know, they may not be the priorities that you want so to speak, fair enough. But it’s—it’s amazing we see different things happen and I can’t tell you how much depression and mood changes with better thyroid.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yeah, and—and a lot of the people, a lot of our users who are on Keto actually, it’s a—it’s a small percentage but they do start to report hair loss in some cases and can you talk about when it may be for example a nutrient deficiency vs a thyroid for example? Is it hard to tell? Any thoughts on that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So you’re talking about looking at the lab work? How can you tell it’s a nutrient issue?

Dave Korsunsky:  Well, let’s say you were dealing with hair loss for example and you mentioned that thyroid could be one option, could it also be jus due to dietary issues, for example?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, absolutely. I mean we need protein. They tend to be all connected because if we have a protein issue, well, if we are having a protein malabsorption where it’s affecting the hair, it’s probably affecting the thyroid because we need certain amino acids that would be in those foods to help make thyroid hormone like tyrosine for instance. So if it’s showing up on the gut level, it’s probably gonna eventually make its way to the thyroid level, too. So–

Dave Korsunsky:  So protein specifically in the diet is what—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  What we’d be looking for?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I mean high quality protein. I mean if we have people with gut issues, we’ll use like various collagen peptides and/or free form amino acid products to deliver the protein in a way where there’s no digestion required to really process it.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That way it gives the digestion some time to relax while we work on fixing it.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But I never just isolate variables. If I see the thyroid and I see protein and gut issues, we’re gonna fix everything, you know?

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  As we go through body system 1, 2, and 3 and if it’s something we tr—address in body system 1 with the thyroid, meaning where we’d look at ATF or ATM—adrenal, thyroid and male hormones or adrenal, thyroid, female hormones—and we start to see the hair start coming back with thyroid hormone, that’s a great sign.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then it may come back as we start repleting nutrients in body system 2 with the gut.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm. Makes sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I mean we’ll trace it back afterwards and kinda use this retrospective look at it and say, “Hey, when we did this, that happened more and when we did this, this happened more.” Sometimes you can’t tell because there’s a delay.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we try to do our best and just fix what we find.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup, makes sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But–

Dave Korsunsky:  Well, I know I’m due for a full set of labs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  Thyroid panel included and—and you’ll be the first to take a look at them once they’re ready, so yeah, I’ve to get working on that and part of—part of what you were helping me with was—was building Heads Up Health to help people track all of this information.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dave Korsunsky:  Particularly when you’re working with health experts outside of the conventional system, just having everything in one place and being able to share it with any doctor you want, so you and I will be working on that together in the near future.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and I wanted to touch upon one last thing because I know you’re—we’re really getting out there to the Keto community which I think is great. One situation that I’m seeing is most thyroid conditions, I’d say 99% off the bat, they’re gonna do so much better off the bat especially if they’re coming from a standard American diet going Keto–

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because that’s gonna help insulin resistance. It’s gonna help this–

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Kinda numbness to this insulin receptor where–

Dave Korsunsky:  For sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You know, we’re not getting the insulin low enough because these receptors are so numb to get sugar into the cell.

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right?

Dave Korsunsky:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Insulin’s the—insulin’s the key. The receptor is the lock and basically the receptor site’s not accepting the key so we have to put—put—essentially push more keys into the hole to get that key out, to get that essentially door open to let the sugar in. So we get this insulin resistance where more keys getting into the cell. So that’s not a good thing because insulin when it’s too high can cause lots and lots of hormonal issues. One of them being thyroid conversion or T4 to T3 thyroid hormone activation. So getting on a Ketogenic Diet is gonna be essential because it’s gonna really get that insulin level down. The only thing is I find sometimes when people are long-term Keto, sometimes we may be get a little bit—we may go a little too low on the insulin and if we add just a small amount of carbs even just 10-20g, it can be enough to get your insulin levels a little bit higher and we see an aid in thyroid conversion. We’ll see T3 go up on the lab work. We’ll see hair—hair improved or maybe even temperature improved but that tends to be when people are Keto chronically or long-term. Everyone’s gonna–

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Benefit on off the bat and get a really big benefit. It’s long-term afterwards. We wanna fine tune it and I’m totally non-dogmatic about it. If you can keep at a Keto level or—that’s great. If not, we just up it 10-20g to see how we do. I had a patient just yesterday we upped it about—we add about a quarter of sweet potato at night and a lot of her low thyroid symptoms went away.

Dave Korsunsky:  Makes sense. Yeah, well, I mean this is all good stuff, Doc. I think there’s so many people that need the—the full thyroid panel. Maybe have never had it before or maybe they‘re stuck just where they are in terms of their health transformation. I know it was a huge step for me, just seeing these numbers, figuring out how we address them. I know you make the panel available to people who can’t get it from their doctor which is awesome. Heads Up Health has got the software to help people track all of this stuff especially if they’re getting data from different labs and they wanna manage it all in one place. So hopefully there’s some people who can use the information here, get their own panel run and it may be an important diagnostic piece for them as they work on their own health goals.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. I’m gonna put the complete thyroid panel in the link below so if you’re interested in it, feel free and click on it. That’ll be a great way to access that panel.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup, and I can include some information for people who want to start getting all of their health records organized using Heads Up Health. There’s a couple videos we put out there that just showed how to integrate all the medical records, basal temperature, macro nutrients so I can send that along as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great. Any other questions, comments or concerns, Dave?

Dave Korsunsky:  No, this was great. I see this topic come up all the time. So I’m glad we were able to address it and—and provide some information on what the full thyroid panel is and—and what the markers are and some of the things you can start doing to—to fix it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So anyone listening to this and kinda, you know, has all these labs in front of them and not quite sure you know what to do with it, get over to Heads Up Health. Get it integrated in there so you can start seeing patterns and then it’ll be really fun as you go forward tracking your labs. You’ll be able to see trends that you may have not seen otherwise.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup, sounds great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, Dave. Great talk! You have an awesome day.

Dave Korsunsky:  Yup, likewise. Thanks, Doc. Take it easy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks, bye!

 

Thyroid Test: https://justinhealth.com/products/complete-thyroid-panel/
Heads Up Health: https://www.headsuphealth.com


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