Beating Brain Fog

BEATING BRAIN FOG

Beating Brain Fog

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Chances are you have experienced brain fog at least once in your life. It’s hard not to suffer from the brain sluggishness brought on by our modern world full of processed foods, sugar overload, and high-stress lifestyles. But fear not: if you are tired of the mental slowdown that is brain fog, we are going to discover some of the common causes and ways to banish brain fog for good.

SYMPTOMS OF BRAIN FOG

Brain fog can manifest itself in many ways. Most commonly, signs of brain fog include:

  • Low energy
  • Headaches, trouble concentrating
  • Low motivation
  • ADHD symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Forgetfulness
  • Depression

SYMPTOMS OF BRAIN FOG

CAUSES OF BRAIN FOG

Lack of sleep: Brain fog often leads a person to feel tired, and when addressing the cause of brain fog, it’s important to first ensure that you are sleeping enough.

CAUSES OF BRAIN FOG

Nutritional deficiencies: Paired with overconsumption of sugar, alcohol, and refined carbs, a poor diet lacking in vital nutrients is going to have a negative impact on your brain function.

Hormone imbalance: Our cortisol, serotonin, and dopamine all keep each other in check. When even one of these hormones rises or falls by too much, the whole system is thrown out of balance. Working with a functional medicine doctor can help you determine where your levels are at, and how to get them in a harmonious balance.

Inflammation: Inflammation, at the root of most modern diseases, is once again a leading culprit behind brain fog. Inflammatory molecules stimulate microglia activation, which is commonly found in brains of those with psychiatric diseases, such as those of children with autism.

Lipopolysaccharides (LPS), or endotoxins: Bad gut bacteria produce toxins, LPS, which trigger inflammation. These bacteria can make their way to the gut lining and cross the blood-brain barrier, causing brain fog as well as a host of other issues.

TREATMENT FOR BRAIN FOG

Diet: Avoiding processed sugar and artificial sweeteners, eating healthy fats, ensuring you are well-hydrated, and eating anti-inflammatory foods will all help keep you and your brain in top shape!

TREATMENT FOR BRAIN FOG

Supplements: Magnesium helps your body keep its internal clock in check, which in turn helps regulate proper hormone production throughout the day.

Adaptogens such as ashwagandha and holy basil lower cortisol, reducing fatigue and stress.

Curcumin Supreme is a powerful antioxidant containing three different bioactive forms of curcuminoids from the spice turmeric, which is very anti-inflammatory.

Our Brain Support store holds a host of brain power boosting supplements, such as Brain Replete, which contains powerful vitamins and amino acids, like B vitamins and 5-HTP.

Brain Replete Supplement

 

Lifestyle: We know that getting good sleep is vital, as is keeping stress low. Getting exercise and getting vitamin D straight from the source (the sun!) are also important in maintaining a healthy brain and body. Avoiding EMFs will help reduce brain fog, as will grounding, by walking in the earth barefoot, or with a pair of grounding shoes such as Earth Runners.

Get tested: Hormone imbalances, food allergies, and infections are all hard to detect. With the help of a functional medicine doctor, you can test for food sensitivities, hormone levels, and address any parasites or bacterial/fungal infections that might be dragging you down without your awareness.

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

Hypothyroidism, Low Iron and Anemia | Fatigue

Hypothyroidism, Low Iron, and Anemia

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Today’s video is going to be on hypothyroidism and low iron or iron-based anemia. Again, we’re going to talk about thyroid conversion; we’re going to talk about thyroid synthesis, as well as your thyroid activation.  We will also touch upon your adrenal function and how it plays into anemia.


So off the bat, iron – really important. Your animal-based heme iron source is going to be the best. There are going to be plant-based heme iron sources, but those aren’t going to have a real big effect on increasing your ferritin and raising your iron saturation

Big 3 things that may cause iron issues

  1. Vegetarian / Vegan diets
  2. Excessive menstruation
  3.  Malabsorption

Causes of Iron Issues

So when we look at why the iron is not getting into where it needs to go, these are going to be the big three why’s.

Again, iron is really important. These are the 3 mediums we got to deal with animal based-sources. In my line, we have a product called, Iron Supreme, that’s a Ferrous Bisglycinate. A lot of conventional iron, like the ferrous sulfate, can be constipating, cause your stools to go black, not the best. So we have an amino acid blend one that works good, called,  Iron Supreme.

Low iron and T4 production

There’s a process called iodination. And that’s basically binding iodine, tyrosine and thyroglobulin together in making your T4 molecule. T4 is tetraiodothyronine. So T4, really simple: it’s going to be your tyrosine, and it’s going to be 4 molecules of iodine around it – that’s going to be your T4.

Low Iron and T4-T3 Conversion

We need iron to actually make this process – the iodination process that binds these iodines to the tyrosine up there. That is going to be iron dependent. So we need enough iron for that process. Low iron and T4 to T3 conversion is also really important because iron is also part of the five deiodinase enzyme as well. And so we have selenium as part of the enzyme, but iron plays a role of coming in here. And it is actually converting this molecule T4 to T3.  How does it do that? It becomes in here like this and it’s actually going to play a role at knocking that off. Again, selenium also plays a role with that, too. So low iron and T4 to T3 conversion is very important.

Low iron and adrenal function

There’s some research showing there’s correlation with low iron (Fe) equals low cortisol.

low iron = low cortisol

Cortisol, an adrenal corticosteroid hormone produced by the adrenals. So we actually need cortisol to actually activate thyroid hormones. If you go look at the T4 to T3 conversion, one of the big things that’s needed in this conversion step is cortisol. So if we don’t have enough cortisol, that’s going to affect how we convert and activate T4 to T3. It’s also going to affect T3 pooling. We need enough cortisol to get T3 into the cell. So we can have T3 pooling and an increase in reverse T3, if we do not have enough iron – so really important.

Click here to have a functional medicine doctor help you with iron issues

What is low iron effect?

Low Iron Effect

Low iron affects T4 synthesis, iodination with tyrosine thyroglobulin and iodine. It affects T4 to T3 conversion with the iodination process and also affects cortisol in that conversion process. And also, iron is really important for thyroid hormone recycling as well –so very important.

What to look for in determining iron levels?

Determining Iron Levels1. Ferritin: A storage for iron. It will go low when iron is low. So below 30, there is an issue.

2. Iron Saturation (Iron Sat): This below 25, there is an issue.

3. Iron Serum:  It isn’t really that big of a deal. It’s typically around 40-80 on average. You can have normal iron serum, though, and have these other things out of whack, though. So it’s good to look at iron serum. Sometimes we’ll see that high and these can be low. And we’ll see increase in inflammation. So it’s good look at iron serum but it’s not going to be-all, end-all. Most people only focus on that.

4. TIBC & UIBC: Are binding proteins that go high when iron is low.

To access a highly absorbable iron supplement to boost your low iron levels, click here.

And again, these are your real good,  your more complete, advanced iron panel. Ferritin, iron stat, iron serum, TIBC, UIBC. Your typical medical doctor may look at RBC, hemoglobin, and hematocrit, and see if they’re all low. So RBC below 4.1; haemoglobin below 11.5;  hematocrit – I think, low 40’s. That will give you a pretty good idea of how to analyze your iron levels. And again, iron and anemia – iron-based anemia are deal busters. So if you don’t get your iron levels looked at and assessed, you’re not going to fix your hypothyroidism issue.

Click here and have your iron levels looked at and assessed by a functional medicine doctor


Again, this is Dr J here.  Click here and subscribe. Go below if you need help and you want to dig in, dig deeper your thyroid or other health issues, click below and schedule a consult. And again, subscribe for more videos coming your way. So, look for the live stream videos. We’re starting now on that, too.

Natural solutions for high blood pressure – Podcast #117

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand dive into a discussion about high blood pressure, something everyone is all too familiar with, and they explain what the root causes are and how you can manage it conventionally and with functional medicine.

Find out what nutrient deficiencies can be caused by blood pressure medications and what you can do about it. Discover how you can manage your blood pressure in the long-term with functional medicine. Also learn some tips on what to eat during the holidays and how to get that mouth feel while eating good food when you listen to this podcast.

In this episode, topics include:

01:45   High Blood Pressure Overview

05:39   Blood pressure myths

10:46   Mechanisms

12:04   Nutrition and stress

20:10   Lifestyle

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, there! It’s Dr. Justin. Evan, how are you doing today, man? It’s almost Christmas.  December 23rd here, really excited for the holidays. How you doin’?

Evan Brand:  I’m as excited as you are.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great! So the question is have you been a good boy this year?

Evan Brand:  I’m on—I’m on the good list.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Good, awesome!

Evan Brand:  What about you? Are you on—are you on the nice or the naughty list?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Of course, I’m on the nice list. Now the question is, are you gonna leave some Paleo cookies out for—for Santa, or are you gonna leave some—some glutinous cookies out for him?

Evan Brand:  We actually did buy some organic Annie’s cookie for a Christmas party. I will probably not be partaking in them even though it’s organic which is great there’s the wheat, so I will be avoiding the wheat. I’ll probably buy Miracle Tart for myself for Christmas since I’m part Santa.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, exactly. That’s the—the Hail Mary tarts, right?

Evan Brand:  Yes, those are so good. There’s only one place in the whole city you can get them here and so that’s where I go to—to get them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Do you guys have a Whole Foods down there in Louisville?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, we got Whole Foods. They don’t stock them there though. They stock them at this little local place called Rainbow Blossom. They have random things like Epic. They have Epic products. They have their pork rinds and that’s the only place you can get him.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  And they’re really darn good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow. Very cool.

Evan Brand:  You know what I’m talking about? Epic?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, the Epic bars you mean?

Evan Brand:  Have you seen them?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The Epic bars?

Evan Brand:  No. Yeah, but they have pork rinds now. Have you seen them?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, I have seen them. I have patients that just got some recently/.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, the pastured pork rinds. They’re really good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Gonna have to get them for sure. I love pork rinds.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. Well, we talked pre-show that we were gonna chat a little bit about blood pressure. We really haven’t gone into that so much.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I mean this is common. Just some statistics at a glance, you got 70 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide with high blood pressure, and if it’s left untreated you run into many, many, many issues. The biggest one that people probably know of is a stroke, and one time probably 25-30 years ago my grandmother had high blood pressure so high that she felt a shooting pain in her brain. So she went to the emergency room. She had my grandfather take her in and her blood pressure was over 220 by maybe 150, 220/150 something like that, just insanely high that so high that the nurse freaked out and immediately, immediately took action to get the blood pressure down. So this is not always the way that people find out they have high blood pressure issues. This could be going on behind the scenes for decades, but there are some simple strategies that we can talk about that can help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. It goes up naturally with age, right? But that still should not be over 200. That’s just mind blowing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, absolutely. So when you look at blood pressure medications, you know, for the most part, that’s a chronic type of ailment. It tends to happen over a long time and it’s—for the most part, it’s something that’s chronic and that the blood pressure medications aren’t gonna get to the root underlying cause.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now if your blood pressure, you know, you’re upwards of 160—that’s the systolic number. That’s the—the pressure that your heart creates in the blood vessels when the contracts and the bottom number, that’s called the diastolic number, like D for down, it’s the bottom number and that’s kind of where the pressure is in your arteries/heart when your heart’s kind of relaxing. So you pump—the lub dub—that’s the heart contracting and where it’s pressing down, that’s the top number, systolic, and then where it’s relaxing, that’s the bottom number, the diastolic. So when you get about 160 with the systolic, that can kind of be what I call the danger zone. So if you are at that level and let’s say, you haven’t quite made the diet and lifestyle changes, I do think being on a medication at higher levels until you get to the root cause is better because you wanna avoid a stroke or some type of a heart attack, right? So we want to make sure that if it’s high and you’re not doing anything about it, getting that blood pressure down is better, but in the long run we don’t want that to be the only answer.  We wanna look at getting to the root cause and we’ll kinda go over some of the root causes here in just a bit.

Evan Brand:  Great point. So just to be clear if someone’s listening and they have high blood pressure but they’re scared or they do not like conventional medicine you would still advise that person to go get on the drug even if it is short-term because you’re safer on a drug with side effects that lowers blood pressure than having high blood pressure and doing nothing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, and you were talking–

Evan Brand:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Upwards of above 160 and let’s say you already have a lot of a healthy—or sorry, unhealthy habits going on, poor exercise, sugar, inflammation, all that and you don’t quite know where to go yet, again I just would hate to see someone, I’m—I’m a little more concerned and I hate to see someone go and have a cardiovascular incident that could’ve been prevented with some blood pressure medication in the short-term but in the end, right?

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We wanna get on board with the functional medicine coach/doctor that can get to the root issues because the nice thing about blood pressure, it’s easy to monitor. You get one of these $30 Omron blood pressure cuffs, the self ones on Amazon you can monitor it multiple times a day, and then you can see the number go down and guess what? You just call up your doctor. “Hey, Doc, I’m doing some natural things to help lower blood pressure. My blood pressure’s dropping naturally. I like to taper off the medication.” And most medical doctors, if you’re being responsible and monitoring it and you’re telling them you’re doing things they typically have no problem with that if you show them that you’re responsible by keeping track of it.

Evan Brand:  Yup, well said.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so off the bat, anything you want to comment on that?

Evan Brand:  Well, so with blood pressure, you know, there’s tons of things that can cause it. I would say we should probably dispel the myth of the salt high blood pressure, I mean, kind of—part of it’s true if we’re talking about the garbage salt, right? The iodized salt, the sodium chloride plus iodide, but with like a good pink salt or a good Himalayan sea salt, there’s so many different options with black salts, there’s volcanic salts, the sodium is not gonna be the problem there, it’s the inflammation combined with a low-quality salt that could be the problem, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, they’ve done studies I think it’s in the Journal of the American Medical Association where like salt even, they—I don’t think differentiated the quality of salt, probably your regular table salt that’s not so nice. I think it increased like maybe 2 mmHg, right? Two or three, that’s like the top number. That’s like going from 120 to 122, 123.

Evan Brand:  Why did that—why did that become such a popular widespread myth do you think?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s a great questions. There’s a lot of things in conventional medicine that are that way. I mean, you can look at grains, you can look at sugar, you can look at trans fat. I mean, you can look at cigarette smoking. You can look at so many different things–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Of how they kinda got that way but for the most part the only reason, the only, you know, motivation to avoid salt is if you already have severe kidney damage, maybe the only reason why you’d want to decrease salt consumption is because you have active kidney issues right now. But if you didn’t have that, getting high quality minerals on board will be helpful and again, if your blood pressure is excessively low, salt will help bring your blood pressure up kind of in a modulatory way, but it won’t make it go excessively high. You won’t have high blood pressure because you have more sea salt intake. You will have higher blood pressure but higher and high are two different things. Higher meaning a couple millimeters of mercury bump, that’s where we’re looking at.

Evan Brand:  Makes sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Except if it’s low—if it’s low, it’ll bring it up much higher because you know, let’s say your adrenals are really key at holding on to minerals and if you’re decreasing your mineral retention because the aldosterone that your adrenals make is low because of the adrenal dysfunction that’s happening, you will pee out more minerals and that—that’s important for regulating blood pressure and that’s also important for their sodium potassium pumps, so if we don’t have enough high quality sodium, those sodium potassium pumps kinda that creates the gradient and how things go in and out of the cell, now if don’t have adequate sodium on board, that can definitely be a stressor for the body.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, makes sense and you and I hear this all the time with people with adrenal problems, if you stand up quickly you may get lightheaded or woozy, you’re not regulating your blood pressure. You may not have high blood pressure, you could actually have low blood pressure in some of those cases, but either way your body’s ability to regulate blood pressure does decrease if there is adrenal stress which definitely there’s gonna be adrenal stress of there’s infections and inflammation, and all the things that you’ve already mentioned, maybe other things like insulin resistance. How do you know if you’re insulin resistant? Well, if you look into—well, there’s—there’s calculators and all of that to look at, what is it? Waist to hip ratio and all of that. But if you look into the mirror and you see that you’re overweight, it’s likely that you have some level of insulin or possibly leptin resistance problems which can then cause blood pressure to go high.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely so when we look at blood pressure, one of the biggest things that will throw your minerals off and cause a higher than normal blood pressure is increased fructose consumption, i.e. sugar and just increased elevations of insulin. Insulin will cause a retention of sodium. That’s why one of the first things you notice, you cut out sugar for 2 or 3 days, you lose like 3 or 4 pounds weight, maybe even more. Now you’re not losing 3 or 4 pounds of fat. You’re losing 3 or 4 pounds of fluid because as the sugar goes down, right? One molecule of sugar holds on to—to I think 3 or 4 molecules of water, something like that. So as the sugar goes down, so does the sodium and so does the water. So what happens is you flush out a lot of fluid when you cut down the carbohydrates and cut down the sugar, and with fructose—fructose, high amounts of fructose inhibits this enzyme called en—endothelial synthase. Endothelial synthase is a nitric oxide-based enzyme that’s really important for vasodilating, and dilation means opening up those blood vessels. So if we decrease the enzyme that opens up those blood vessels, it’s like clamping down on that hole. It’s like going out in your garden taking the hose that’s putting out water and putting your thumb over the edge of it to make that stream go stronger and stronger.

Evan Brand:  That’s a trip. Now let me stack on another idea here. If there is adrenal stress, someone’s also gonna be dumping a lot of magnesium which you need that to help relax the blood vessels so you’re compounding the issue and if you are adding the fructose or the high fructose corn syrup or sodas in there, that’s gonna cause blood sugar issues which is gonna create a bigger crisis and the adrenals are gonna have to be more stressed if they’re not already. They’ll be more stressed because they’re having to kick in as the backup generators because then the pancreas and the liver not being able to keep up, so the whole cascade really kinda falls apart at sugar it sounds like.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. So we have a couple of different mechanisms. Let’s break them down. So we have just the—the general sugar kind of mechanism with it’s table, you know, your sucrose, fructose, kinda glucose thing that’s increasing insulin and that’s gonna hold on to more fluid and more sodium, and that will increase blood pressure via that way. We have the fructose mechanism that will increase or decrease the endothelial synthase enzyme which will decrease the vasodilation, i.e. cause constriction of the blood vessels, and we also have plasminogen activator inhibitor mechanism. So the higher amounts of insulin we have, our plasminogen activator what that does is it—it decreases or I should say, it decreases clots, i.e. it increases fibrinolysis. So -lysis means to cut. Fiber means like a clot. So it’s breaking down blood clots. So imagine little occlusions from cells sticking together, fibron, it’s gonna decrease those clots and allow smoother flow in the plumbing in the cardiovascular system. So if we decrease the clots, that means the plumbing flows smoother and that means we’re gonna have less pressure to have to push through those clots. So we have the plasminogen activator inhibitor-2 mechanism that also gets drained with higher levels of insulin.

Evan Brand:  Make sense. Should we talk about nutrition now?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Evan Brand:  So Omega 3 deficiency is huge, I mean, if you look at hunter-gatherers or if you even just look Ennuit studies, you’ll see that the average Ennuit was consuming anywhere depending on what you look at, but on the low end 10 or 15g, sometimes 20g of Omega 3’s per day and we’re lucky if we get someone to take a 1g or maybe 2g supplement of Omega 3’s. So there’s a huge, huge deficiency and when you look at research linking Omega 3’s to blood pressure problems, what you’ll find is the people who have the lowest blood pressure readings have the highest blood levels or serum levels of Omega 3’s. This is a huge find and this is why I’m very, very passionate about getting people to supplement with some type of Omega 3. We’re gonna assume that most people are not eating enough wild caught fish and also then you run into the issue of the methylmercury in certain bigger fish like tuna. So for me I’m more pushing people towards a supplement because I know a lot of people don’t want to cook fish multiple times a week anyway, so you can look at like a fish oil or a krill oil, but at the end of the day, could you still get some fish into your diet? For sure, a cod or a wild caught salmon would be good, but your—what is it called? StarKist tuna that’s probably sitting in genetically modified soybean oil. You want to stay away from that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, and fish oil also is a natural blood thinner. It keeps the cells of from sticking together. So it’s kind of a natural thinner, kinda like a Coumadin or a warfarin, but without the side effects. So it does thin out the blood a bit for sure.

Evan Brand:  Great point. Yeah, that’s why we gotta tell people if they’re going to get surgery you would think, “Oh, man, supplements are fine.” That is one case where we would say, “Hey, look, why don’t you stop taking your fish oil for now if you’re going to get surgery, because we don’t want your blood too thin.” So it is very, very effective for that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. So we talked about vitamin D. There’s also other natural blood thinners like ginkgo which help increase oxygenation by increasing blood flow. Even things like systemic-based enzymes taken on an empty—empty stomach especially serratiopeptidase. So if you have various clotting or you have occlusions in the coronary arteries, taking some of these enzymes on an empty stomach they’re gonna be enterically coated so they’re not gonna be used for digestion. They won’t get exposed and degraded by stomach acid. Ideally they’ll make its way into the bloodstream where these guys can hit areas of plaque or occlusion and break up any fibrin or scar tissues that may be hanging out in there.

Evan Brand:  Here’s another—you—you brought up vitamin D. Here’s a good—a good hack and obviously it may take money if you’re somewhere closer to the polls and it’s wintertime, you’re not gonna have as much sunlight but there’s definitely some research that shows that if you exposed your skin to sunlight, that it’s gonna increase the level of nitric oxide which is isn’t gonna naturally help you to dilate your blood vessels and then, therefore, reduce your blood pressure. So you could be taking a fish oil supplement, you could be going to the beach and getting some sunshine, and then what about stress? We should probably mention stress, too, because a lot of this is we’ve already talked about stress, right? Nutritional stress, mineral stress, but emotional stress, too, if that goes unaddressed and people are harboring anger and negative emotions, that’s not good. That cannot—it’s definitely not helping your blood pressure. Put it that way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, all of that will basically increase cortisol and adrenaline which does have a vasoconstricting. It’ll—it’ll put that thumb over the water hose a little bit tighter, incre—increase that flow because of the stress hormone. So stress emotionally knocks over a domino cascade of adrenaline and cortisol, which does have a big impact on the vascular system.

Evan Brand:  Which would be good if you and I were running from a bear, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, totally make sense, right? Because we gotta get blood flow to those extremities, the toes, the fingers, the arms, the legs, so we can run and fight and flee. But if we’re just sitting on their desk or like, you know, driving to work and we’re just boiling and we don’t—necessarily don’t need that type of blood flow. You can see the stress on the vascular system that is caused by that type of hormonal cascade.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I mean this is another example where the ancient wiring system really does try to benefit us but when it’s chronic acute stress which sounds like an oxymoron but you’re dealing with acute stressors like a cell phone notification—ding! And that goes off all day, that’s a chronic acute stressor. Your body doesn’t know the difference, so I encourage people if you have it, get rid of your notifications. I promise the world will not fall apart if you have your phone on silent or even airplane mode most of the time, and then you can get back to life on your terms. Because what I find with people dealing with emotional stress, and—and hypertension is that many people feel like there’s never enough time in the day. They’re always playing catch up and I found personally, if I get up a bit earlier I feel more in control of my schedule. You and I are very, very, very passionate about calendar software, so we love our calendars and couldn’t live without them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  So that—so that’s another helpful thing. But for me, it’s also focusing on the most important things in the morning. You gave me some really good advice when you talked about kind of the morning visualization and all of that. I’ve— I try to do some type of morning meditation, visualization exercise, that helps to increase the amount of control and at the end of the day, the goal is just to reduce your perceived stress. Justin and I can’t wave a wand and say, “Okay, look your stress is gone.” But if we can fix or improve the way that you respond to what you have on your plate, at the end of the day, you’re gonna be much healthier. You’re not gonna releasing cortisol all day. Hopefully, you’re gonna have less food cravings. You’re gonna be less dependent on glucose because you’re gonna be burning ketones and fat, and you’re gonna be in a much better place, mentally, physically, cognitively, blood sugar-wise, everything.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A hundred percent and just piggybacking on what you said, just a little bit of sunlight makes a big difference. They’ve done some studies and again a lot of this is correlation not causation, but you know there are some potential mechanisms there, like with the nitric oxide and potentially with the kidney and how vitamin D can really help blood pressure, one study talked about a 10 ng/mL increase, so you know, if your vitamin D’s 30, that’s like taking it from 30 to 40, and someone who’s vitamin D levels are lower can have a 12% lowering of their blood pressure and also people who had the highest vitamin D levels had a 30% lower risk of developing hypertension. Again not causation but correlation but there are some hypothetical mechanisms that we just mentioned that could be at play so a good rule of thumb here especially in the winter months, get your 25-hydroxy vitamin D looked at and if you haven’t gotten it tested yet or you don’t have the ability to test it right now, a good rule of thumb is 25 for every 25 pounds of body weight, you have 1000 IUs of vitamin D is fine. So I’m a little over 200 pounds so I would do about 8000 IUs of vitamin D, maybe round up to 10. Someone who’s half that, obviously 4000 is a pretty good starting point if you’re just trying to figure out, hey, how can I take this vitamin D to lower my blood pressure?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, some people worry a lot about the vitamin K because we’ve talked before about the whole traffic cop analogy of vitamin K helping to direct and keep calcium where it belongs and not into your arteries and things like that. Do you worry much about vitamin K1, K2 supplementation or you just focus on getting plenty of good butter?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  If we’re going vitamin D on a high, if we’re using vitamin D and we’re going with it for a long period of time, we’ll make sure there’s a couple hundred micrograms of the MK2 in there.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, MK—I think it’s MK4 and MK7.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Let’s see, I’ll have to look at my bottle over here, but the vitamin K 2, the X factor, the activator, that’s what we’ll use and that will significantly help keep the calcium where it needs to be in the bones, and also just getting high quality grass-fed and essential fatty acids, a little bit of liver, all that stuff’s gonna be phenomenal for vitamin K.

Evan Brand:  Excellent. Now I wanted to get back to more lifestyle things. We talked about vitamin D. We talked about Omega 3’s. Exercise is a good one for sure, I mean, the—the basic part of it is just that you’re becoming more insulin sensitive. I mean if you think about how hungry your appetite is when you get done with a good high intensity workout. Oh, my gosh, you can just feel amazing, and if I do a protein shake after an intense workout, I feel like it’s going straight my bicep. I love the feeling but now—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Evan Brand:  After super high blood pressure, would we want to tell people, “Look, start with just walking.” You probably don’t want to put somebody on a high intensity interval training if your blood pressure is already 150-160. You might not be able to handle it. You might get dizzy and—and more stressed out than—than we want you to be.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly so you have, you know, the mechanism you just mentioned by having the insulin receptors be more sensitive. That means your pancreas has to produce less insulin to get the sugar into your cell, so it can be burned up. Number one. You’re obviously you’re burning—you’re putting less sugar into your body so you’re using more ketones for fuel. So we’re being more fat or keto adapted at that time, and then also the heart just gets stronger. As the heart get stronger, it needs less force to pump. It has a higher stroke volume so it can push out more blood per pump and that obviously will have a—an effect of decreasing the blood pressure and then also growth hormone and/or just exercise will increase nitric oxide. And that will have an effect of—

Evan Brand:  That’s—that’s so cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Vasodilating and opening things up, too.

Evan Brand:  Yup. That is so cool. How about—what about indoor—indoor air pollution. You know, the EPA talks about 10 or 100 times more toxic exposures inside your home than outside. So air purification could be a good idea because if you’re breathing in these different toxins, that’s also an invisible stressor that’s gonna be elevating that whole nervous system sympathetic, fight or flight response, which we really don’t need to press that button anymore.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, so anytime you put a stressor on your body, whether it’s physical, chemical or emotional, and this kinda fits into the chemical realm, i.e. toxin realm, that can be a stressor on the body and your adrenals and your fight or flight system may respond. It may put you into a sympathetic type of stress response and again we already know what happens with that cortisol increase that’s gonna create constriction. Why? Because the stress response pushes blood flow to the extremities, right?

Evan Brand:  For survival—survival over I don’t know what the—the other side of the coin would be. But your body goes for survival any day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, exactly. Surviving over thriving. The problem is thriving only happens after the survival mechanism is turned off, but most people are constantly living with that survival mechanism turned on and activated.

Evan Brand:  So now this can get a little bit complicated.  So I know this may be tough for us to cover this, but let’s say we have someone that is already on a blood pressure medication like a lisinopril and we’re wanting them to go the natural route or they have intentions to go the natural route. How does that work? Do we bring the doctor on board and we have to say, “Look, you know, I’m working with a functional medicine practitioner. We wanna start using some natural things like Hawthorne or other blood pressure modulating herbs. Can you help me to lower my medication?” You know, how—how should that relationship happen between the prescribing doc and then someone like us trying to help to switch them to something natural or just get them off any type of meds completely?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So what I typically tell patients, I say, “Are you interested in getting off your blood pressure medication? Do you wanna get off them?” And almost anyone that’s seeing someone like us, they definitely wanna get off them.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Again, the biggest problem with a lot of the blood pressure medications is they actually perpetuate the need for more blood pressure medications. So what I mean is they actually create nutrient deficiencies. Things like potassium which are really important for blood pressure, magnesium which is a natural beta blocker—these little receptor sites in the heart that the nervous system activates and it creates, you know, more excitability in the heart and that can cause the—the heart to have to pump harder and that can increase the blood pressure in the arteries. So magnesium’s a natural beta blocker, really important for relaxation. People that take it, one of the first thing they notice is they start to relax and wind down. That’s why Epsom salt baths are so popular with people that are stressed. So magnesium, potassium, calcium, various B vitamins, so all these nutrients become more deficient in these types of medications. These medications are known to create these nutrient deficiencies. So like I mentioned before acutely if you’re not in good place, you wanna be on one of these medications until you can get your—your lifestyle and everything in order, and you find a good nutritionist and/or functional medicine doctor to work with, that’s when you can start to move forward and the nice thing is it you just monitor it. You can tell your doctor, “Hey, we’re gonna be doing some things to help lower it naturally. A lot of times they think there’s nothing you can do. I mean, they may be keen on the whole diet and lifestyle thing. They may think that you can’t get down to the point where you are off the medications, but a lot of times they’ll entertain the idea. “Hey, let’s monitor it. Let’s see where you’re at out and you can go from there.” The biggest though misconception you gotta be careful of if you’re only testing your blood pressure during the day when you’re at the doctor’s office, we called The White Coat Syndrome. Just being around the doctor in the office and all the, you know, “Hey, am I gonna get a shot today or a needle or give blood, whatever,” so it’s a lot of stress about getting poked and prodded when you go to the doctor’s office. That can increase your blood pressure as well. So I tell my patients, first thing you get up in the morning. You’re still horizontal. You’re lying down. Take your blood pressure there. Take it at random intervals throughout the day and just kinda make some notations of how your blood pressure ranges. It may be 20 or 30 mmHg higher when you’re more active, but when you’re more relaxed, it maybe 20 or 30 lower, and if you’re sleeping—

Evan Brand:  I had my grandfather—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, go ahead.

Evan Brand:  Sorry, I didn’t—I didn’t mean to interrupt. I had my grandfather do that because he went to his doctor, which he doesn’t like his doctor anyway, and I tell him, “Look, you can—you can get a new doctor.” I don’t—he feels so tuck. I don’t know. It’s just that mindset. Anyhow, 40 difficulty—40-point difference from morning when he first got up, took his blood pressure—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Compared to at the doctor’s office. I mean, we’re talking a difference of 120 to 160. I mean, that’s insane, 40 points. So here you go and it’s not like the doctor is going to monitor you and say, “Hey, let me check your blood pressure again next week.” If they see that high once, they’re gonna put you on the drug.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s it.

Evan Brand:  And write that prescription that quick.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly and the insurance base model for visits with your conventional MD, there’s just not time to talk about diet nor do they even—are they even educated about it? There’s virtually zero nutritional education and if there is any, it’s based on a pathological level, right? Vitamin C causes scurvy, B1 deficiency causes beriberi, or it’s the food pyramid—eat your 10 to 11 servings of grains a day.

Evan Brand:  Ugh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Let’s not talk about the GMOs or the carcinogenic pesticides sprayed on the food daily.

Evan Brand:  Oh, my gosh. I know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So you don’t like get the best perspective.

Evan Brand:  I was watching a video by Eric Berg, you know, Dr. Berg?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Watching a video of him talking about glyphosate which I already knew most of it, but it’s just mind blowing that now research is starting to look at how small of glyphosate exposure it really takes to disrupt this whole hormonal health cascade. I mean we’re talking points, parts per billion or are parts per trillion in some cases, I mean, here you are thinking, “Oh, the 80-20 rule, 80 organic, 20 not.” I wanna be as close to a hundred as I possibly can.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, a hundred percent, and again glyphosate a.k.a. Roundup, right? That’s the major pesticide sprayed on a lot of these Roundup resistant crops, basically allows them to not have to do any weeding at all, because it kills everything except the plant, i.e. kills the weed and it’s the chelator. So it pulls away minerals, so guess what? It’s pulling away a lot of good minerals, some of the ones I mentioned that are really important for healthy vascular health and controlling blood pressure.

Evan Brand:  Yup. Wow. That’s a trip and you combine that with 24/7 technology, that Fight or Flight mode is going.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. So obviously getting the adrenals under control, getting the diet under control, getting the—your glycemic load under control, meaning keeping the carbohydrates within range for you. If you’re overweight, getting them close to 50 and getting more to a ketogenic approach starting out is gonna be a great starting point and then getting some of the extra nutrients back in like magnesium, zinc, potassium, folate, B6. These are common nutrients that are deficient in people taking blood pressure medications, right? We’ve talked about the nutrient deficiencies caused by these medications and then also adding things like Hawthorne or a.k.a. foxglove. I think there’s a medication made after these herbs, too.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I think—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That are—that’s conventionally used.

Evan Brand:  I think they’re—they’re rooted from that. I think they come from the plant.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  And of course, they patented and changed it to where it doesn’t resemble the plant anymore but—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s it. So some medications are actually made from those types of extracts. So we kinda reviewed the diet and lifestyle things, and that these drugs work a couple different ways. You mentioned the lisinopril or the hydrochlorothiazide. These are like water pills. They just cause you to pee more and lose more of the fluid then you have ones that affect the angiotensin-converting enzyme that affects—it’s in the lung

area menu of ones that affect the receptor sites in around the heart whether it’s the beta blockers or the—these adrenergic receptor blockers that affect heart contractility, so there’s a couple different ones there and again in the end, we want to get to the root cause of why you have these blood pressure issues to begin with.

Evan Brand:  Yup, absolutely! I’m sure we can make this an hour—an hour-long show but it always is going to end. You got—you gotta dig deeper and figure out. We could talk all day about the lifestyle and all that, but in some cases, people are doing everything right or what they think is everything right and they still have high blood pressure so there could be some other type of infection or something deeper that is causing the sympathetic stress and we just have to uncover it and I don’t know if I mentioned it to you. I ran a 401H and a GI MAP side-by-side on a female, let’s see about two weeks ago, and the GI MAP showed up with seven infections including two parasites and the 401H showed up with nothing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  Is that not crazy?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is pretty crazy. The other one was–

Evan Brand:  So I sent over—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Was the other one the GI Map?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay. So we got DNA technology on one versus the antigen-based under the microscope technology on the other.

Evan Brand:  Yeah and I have to go on symptoms because I mean those a lot of symptoms, so get tested but—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, you know my—yeah.

Evan Brand:  What were you gonna say?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You know my method on that. If anyone has got symptoms we always wanna cast a bigger net because we have the possibility for holes in one, so 2 tests as a minimum when we’re looking at gut infections for sure.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And again the nutrients that are so important for heart contractility where we’re always trying to—if we go off on a tangent everyone, we’ll pull it back in and try to relate it, but the nutrient deficiencies caused by some of these infections, these nutrients like the magnesium and the B6 and the folate and all of the other minerals, potassium, magnesium, etc., zinc are really important for heart contractility and blood pressure, so if we have holes in our intestinal tract metaphorically, where we have a decrease in the absorption of these nutrients, that can affect our vasculature and our blood pressure for sure.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so we’re talking SIBO, other you know, any type of bacterial overgrowth problems, yeast problems, parasites, things that are stealing your nutrients basically you’re referring to where you’re not getting fed yourself because you’re starving from the inside out because you’re feeding something else and not feeding yourself or hydrochloric acid levels are low. I mean, could we go as far as to say—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A hundred percent.

Evan Brand:  This cascade could start by having heartburn and then getting put on PPIs which then reduces hydrochloric acid, which then reduces absorption, so then the nutrient deficiencies cause the hypertension.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A hundred percent and I’ve seen so many patients that are adrenally fatigued or have adrenal dysfunction per se, and they can’t really regulate their blood sugar. They have to eat every two hours and their blood pressure gets super wonky, right? It goes down below 90 sometimes and we have to flood their body with extra minerals, enzymes, and hydrochloric acid and eat every two hours just to be able to maintain everything because the glandular system is so out of whack, which again correlates back to blood pressure. Now in this side of the fence, we’re dealing with the lower side which can still create just as many issues, not as quite dramatic as the high blood pressure ones with stroke and heart attack, right? Heart attack is occlusions and blockages in the heart. Strokes obviously conclusions and blockages in the brain. So we wanna do our best to avoid the high stuff and make sure we adhere to as many of these natural strategies as possible.

Evan Brand:  Yup, absolutely. Well said. So if it’s high, implement the stuff that you can, take the free information, and then if you need to work further, work further. Reach out to Justin. Reach out to myself. Get help. Get this taken care of. This is something that is so common, but that doesn’t make it normal. So many people can relate to high blood pressure, maybe you’ve dealt with it or you have a family member that’s dealt with it. I could think of a dozen people off the top of my head and they just get put on the drugs, nothing ever changes with diet and lifestyle, they continue to suffer and will get more symptomatic as time goes on. So don’t be in that statistic. You can—you can get healed and you can reverse this without too much hassle and a relative amount of time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, so if someone’s tuning in now, maybe they fell asleep the last half hour, well, shame on you. No. But here’s the general gist, okay, here’s the gist. If you fell asleep and you’re waking up now, diet—get it in order, just what Evan said, get the carbohydrates dialed in. If you’re overweight, start with just vegetables and maybe add in a small amount of low fructose types of fruit. From there, optimize fat, become a fat burner, and then on top of that, look at the adrenals, look at your stress, make sure that’s dialed in because of the cortisol response. And then off top of that, look at the nutrients—magnesium, zinc, hydrochloric acid. Look at blood pressure medications, potential being—

Evan Brand:  Omega 3’s.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Omega 3’s. You can look at herbs that can help, the foxglove/Hawthorne types of medications or herbs I should say, which are based off of medications as well.  Omega 3’s, blood thinning, gingko, systemic-based enzymes, Hawthorne. These are all really good things to help kind of support and address blood pressure and then get to the root cause, work with a functional medicine doctor that can help you put—put it all together because it could be a little overwhelming if you’re walking into this and you’re like, “Shoot! Where do I start?” And then also a little bit of exercise and then really look at the fructose, because how that has an effect on the endothelial synthase and the blood pressure via the contractility in the arteries.

Evan Brand:  Yup, well said. And I have heard people say that they like listening to us because it’s relaxing. So you did a great job! In case I did fall sleep for the last 35 minutes, you summed it up. So good job!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Perfect! Excellent and again most people that come and see me at least and I think it may be for you, most people are coming because of a whole bunch of other symptoms, and then blood pressure is kinda like a—an artifact there sitting in the background.

Evan Brand:  Agreed, yeah, that’s exactly the case. They’ve been through 10, 20 people. They’ve been going for fatigue or joint pain, but “Oh, I happen to have high blood pressure, too”. And it’s something that gets thrown to the back burner and I don’t think it should be on the back burner.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly and most people there are just seeing their medical doctor, and medical doctors are more than happy to manage it which we mention is great in acute cases, right? But long-term, that’s not gonna be the best option because of the nutrient deficiency. So in the end, you know, don’t look at your medical doctor as the long-term person to give you the answers to fix it. They’re just there to help manage it and again, I mean, who wants to manage, I don’t know, diarrhea forever? You want the diarrhea fixed. Who wants to manage a headache forever? You want the headache fixed. So management’s okay in the short run, but in the long run, it gets pretty frustrating and you want to get to the root cause.

Evan Brand:  Amen. You can only put so much duct tape over that—that red light on your dashboard and you just gotta fix what the problem is. Why is that light on in the first place?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, yeah. Well, this was a great holiday show. I mean, everyone is probably—well, I shouldn’t say everyone but a lot of people are gonna be getting their carbs and the refined sugar and gluten on on this holiday season. I will not be or if I do, it’s good to be in a—a way that is ideally grain-free and lower sugar, so I get the mouth feel effects, i.e, the food tastes good but I don’t get all the collateral damage later.

Evan Brand:  Agreed. So what if you wanted to do like some mashed potatoes and gravy, would you do something like that and try to get a wheat-free gravy taken care of like a slow-cooked turkey they would have some natural gravy coming off of it or what? How would you do it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yeah, some mashed potatoes, I mean, loaded up with some good butter, heavy cream, and then for your gravy, you just throw some of the drippings from the turkey in there with some celery and I use carrots, and I blend it up just like that and it’s just super thick. If you want to make a little thicker, you can add a little bit of coconut flour and that’ll give you a nice thick gravy there, and if you want you know, don’t go to the potatoes, go to the sweet potatoes that have a little bit of a lower glycemic index, i.e. they don’t—

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They don’t go and then will convert to sugar in your blood as fast, so that could be a good move or you can do the white potato. You can do 25% white potato, 75% cauliflower mash, and you mix it in and it gives a—a pretty similar mouth feel mall feel you won’t really know that much if you’re not using it another glycemic load is decreased by 75%.

Evan Brand:  I know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That means less insulin.

Evan Brand:  That’s excellent. Excellent. Yeah, I got my wife converted over to sweet potatoes now. She’s like, “Wow, these are so much better than white potatoes..” I’m like, “I’ve been telling you that for three years.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. Anytime I’m dealing with patient’s—the key thing with dealing with patients when you’re making diet changes, the first thing that they go to in their head is like, “Oh, crap. I gotta remove these foods.”

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That creates a stress response. So I’m like, “No. We gotta be solution-oriented.” What’s the substitute? Because there’s tons of substitutes. So if we get them thinking about what’s the substitutes? How can I create the mouth feel? How can I get that taste in my mouth that I want that I’m missing by eating the bad food? How can we get with the good food? So like last night, I wanted a whole bunch of pasta. I’m like, “Oh, I really want pasta.” So I got some miracle noodles which are made from glucomannan, a fiber, basically has zero calories and zero sugar, and I did a whole bunch of butter noodles and I had it with some rotisserie chicken, and it was phenomenal, and I felt like I was eating pasta, but no sugar, no grains, virtually no calories which obviously calories don’t matter but it’s nice that you can eat a lot of it and it’s not gonna impact your insulin levels.

Evan Brand:  That is so cool, yeah, and I’ll speak for—for myself and possibly you, too—put it this way. I love eating if this way of eating was horrible, I wouldn’t do it. I mean, I am not missing out on taste or pleasure from my food at all. I’m more satiated than ever before. I feel so much better. My brain works so much better. The—there is light at the end of the tunnel for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, my favorite line is nothing tastes as good as good feels.

Evan Brand:  Say that again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nothing tastes as good as good feels.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Meaning, it—for me it’s more rewarding to feel good later than to get that short taste in the moment of some crappy inflammatory foods. Because in the end it’s great but then I just feel crappy. I’m bloated. I’m gassy. I got brain fog. So you gotta weigh in that, you gotta weigh in the deleterious side effects with that short-term thing and a lot of times, there’s a risk for more analysis you can do where you can do where you can pull out some sugar, maybe use some Stevia or Xylitol or cut down the carbs or do a different source there that’s less inflammatory where you feel good and then honestly, if you’re like, “Screw it!” Well, throw in some charcoal. Take a whole bunch of charcoal to help decrease the toxins. That’s another good Plan B.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I feel like we’re rambling at this point. I feel like this is the talk after the first cider has set in—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  After the main conversation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. I know. Nice little tidbit for anyone listening though. These are all gems I think though.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I agree. I agree. Well, let’s wrap this thing up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Go check out Justin’s site. Justinhealth.com and then check out NotJustPaleo.com. You could reach out to one of us, get help, get to the root cause. Justin’s got some free thyroid videos. I’ve got some videos on my site as well you could check out. So plenty of information. There’s no shortage of—of clinical pearls at this point I don’t think.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. Anyone that’s—well, everyone that’s getting ready to celebrate their holidays, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and if you’re kinda on the fence here trying to figure out when’s a good time to make changes in your health because you’re struggling, now’s always a great time. The New Year is coming up, so feel free and reach out to Evan or myself. Info is below and we wish you a super happy and healthy new year.

Evan Brand:  Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks, Evan. You, too.

Evan Brand:  Bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  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

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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.

 

Coffee, Caffeine and The Adrenal Fatigue Connection

Coffee, caffeine, and the adrenal fatigue
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Today’s video is going to be on the truth about coffee. If you want more info on this, check out my recent podcasts on this topic over at beyondwellnessradio.com

We have some of the benefits of coffee up top. We’ll break them down and we’ll make sense of it all. Also, we will talk about some of the negative aspects of coffee or how coffee could be or caffeine can be taken in a way that’s negative. It could hurt your physiology.

Again, some people take caffeine in a way that can exacerbate their thyroid or their adrenals or affect their appetite. Also, we’ll talk about how caffeine can be applied and coffee can be applied in a way that optimizes mental and cognitive performance. So let’s kind of weigh out the pros and cons on each side here.

Coffee and Adenosine

Let’s discuss some of the good things here. We have this inhibitory neurochemical called adenosine. Adenosine is an inhibitory compound, so it helps kind of dampen and relax and decrease energy in your body and how you function and feel. This is kind of like GABA, if you will.

So it’s like, if you have like a calming tea like a chamomile or a flower-based tea, that’s kind of really dampening and causing your body to relax. Typically the exact opposite of why you want to take in coffee. You want to take in coffee so we can actually dampen this adenosine response. This is helpful if we’re looking to get some work done; focus; get some energy going; increase cognitive performance because we’re learning; or we’re taking in new information; or we have to be focused dealing with people all day.

It is very helpful to be able to decrease that adenosine, dampen that. That’s why coffee is better in the morning, in the first half of the day, not taken after the noon time. This is because caffeine has an 8-hour half-life. So we want to work on metabolizing that coffee before it’s time to relax. If you’re drinking coffee too late in the afternoon, it’s going to be hard to shut down.

 

Find out if coffee really is good for you or otherwise from a functional medicine expert by clicking HERE!

 

Benefits of Coffee

The benefits of coffee

Fat Breakdown

One of the benefits is this dampening effect which can help us with energy and focus. Caffeine that’s in coffee, about 150mg to 300mg of caffeine per cup on average increases lipolysis. What is lipolysis? Let’s break it down. Lipo- means fat. -lysis means to cut or to break. So it’s fat breakdown. It’s the fancy word for fat breakdown. Having coffee and/or caffeine before workout can actually be very helpful at breaking down and increasing free fatty acids in your body. This is so you can start burning more fat for fuel, really helpful.

Nutrients

Coffee actually has a lot of B vitamins, a lot of alkaloids, a lot of antioxidants that are very beneficial for your health. People forget that. If you’re doing instant coffee or Maxwell House or Folger’s, or maybe some of these cheap brands, there’s a good chance that that may not be the case.

Antioxidant

What’s an antioxidant? Well, stress oxidation causes your body to basically lose electrons. So if you have this electron right here, which is like a negatively-charged compound and basically oxidative stress comes in and it pulls away your electron. Antioxidants basically take that and prevent this from happening. So antioxidant is anti-loss of an electron. It keeps those electrons paired together versus being broken up. That is kind of how that works. Oxidation is a loss of an electron, so it’s the anti-loss of an electron.

Positive effects on Cognitive Diseases

There are lots of studies on coffee and its effect on decreasing Parkinson’s, also decreasing Alzheimer’s or dementia-like memory symptoms. There are also some studies on coffee not affecting cardiovascular disease, not attributing and not affecting cardiovascular conditions.

My clinical opinion, if you stimulate the body too much because coffee is a stimulant, that activates the sympathetic nervous system. And part of what happens with sympathetic activation is increased heart rate because that’s part of what happens when we’re stimulated. Heart rate goes up to increase blood and increased oxygenation. So that can put extra stress on the heart. If you do have a heart condition, too much caffeine may be an issue for you. We do know that there are some benefits cognitively, which is great, really good stuff.

 

Disadvantages of Coffee

Disadvantages-of-coffee

Adrenal Stimulation

We know coffee does have adrenal stimulation. What does that mean? It’s going to stimulate adrenaline. We have a couple of different words for adrenaline: catecholamines, norepinephrine, epinephrine. Medicine loves to confuse us, so we have lots of different words that mean the same thing.

So in here, we have cortisol and then we have adrenaline. Those are our big things that are happening. Now these can be okay if we’re healthy and we have healthy adrenal function; it may not be a bad thing per se. It’s getting a little cortisol or adrenal push that may help performance. This may help this increased lypolysis, so that may be beneficial.

Sleep issues

Your cortisol rhythm is like this—here’s your AM, here’s your morning. Here’s your PM, in the afternoon. So typically, you wake up and your cortisol goes down like this throughout the day. If you’re adrenally stressed, and you’re doing coffee too much later in the day, it will have a negative effect on your sleep. Let’s say your coffee happens lower in the day; and then what happens relatively-speaking at night, you start going back up and this can be where sleep issues start to happen.

So I typically recommend not consuming any coffee after eleven or twelve o’clock. I always do it with the good high quality fats in there to time release it. And just make sure if your adrenals are messed up or your rhythm is switched, make sure you go and get your adrenals looked at and supported with a functional medicine doctor. You need to get them back in cycle and then cutting coffee out maybe the right thing for you. It may be. So this is the whole cortisol rhythm thing.

Cognitive Performance Issues

This is a big thing. Dave Asprey has kind of made this famous where coffee is known to have a lot of mycotoxins in it; so you want to avoid crappy coffee that can affect cognitive performance. You want to use coffee that makes you feel good and perform better. So the good sources like I mentioned.  The mycotoxins, the pesticides, the chemicals—so you want to avoid all those and choose high-quality coffee. Mix it and blend it in with fat so you have that time release effect that I mentioned earlier.

Jitters, Anxiety, Tachycardia

The CYP1A2 gene is a specific genotype that has evolved into an enzyme. If we don’t have this gene here, we can have a decrease in the enzyme that metabolizes caffeine. So if we have this enzyme that has decreased activity, we have decreased enzyme activity. That means that we are not going to be able to metabolize caffeine because that’s a poor caffeine metabolizer. This may make it hard for us to metabolize caffeine. So what happens is that caffeine sits in our system longer. That half-life of 8 hours is going to be much longer, maybe 10, 12, 15 hours. A half-life is how much it takes to take the caffeine in your system and cut in half. So if it takes 8 hours to cut in half, every 8 hours we continue to cut that caffeine in half. We want to make sure we’re able to metabolize it fast. If we’re not able to, doing any caffeine at all may cause jitters, anxiety, and tachycardia. This feels like the heart is beating out of your chest.

CYP1A2 genotype

So you got to be careful. This CYP1A2 genotype, if we have that we’re going to have decreased enzyme activity for breaking down caffeine. Now should you go and get a genotype test, personally don’t waste your money. Everyone here who has this issue knows it. They’re sensitive to coffee. They have it –there’s caffeine from tea or coffee, they are sensitive. If that’s the case, definitely you want to avoid caffeine. If you have energy issues, though; and you’re using that to help increase the energy and it’s too stimulatory, then you got to go get your adrenals looked at. Have it checked and assessed, and get on a functional medicine program.

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor!

Recommendation

Recommendations for coffee drinking

Now when I do my coffee, I mix it with butter, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil. If you have autoimmune conditions, you may want to do ghee or not even use coffee. You can maybe do a chai tea instead, if you’re sensitive.

MCT gives you these various ketone precursors that are about 6-8 times higher than in your typical coconut oil where MCT is extracted. And then also using good quality butter, we have butyric acid, these short-chain fatty acids that are really helpful. The goal is it kind of time releases the caffeine.

Essentially, if here’s the caffeine coming down the pipe here, it basically time releases it. Now the caffeine comes in much slower. So instead of having this really big bolus of caffeine, when we have the fat in it, you’re going to see what happens is this. We have what I call the magic carpet caffeine ride experience. We now have the fat and caffeine together having this gentle up and down type of effect. This is much more gradual which is nice. You don’t have the up and the down, and you’re also getting a lot of good fatty acids which can help your appetite which is really good.

Coffee and Hydration

You just got to be really careful because when you do too much caffeine, it also put your body in that sympathetic state which can shut down your appetite. This is especially true if you’re doing a lot of ketones. It’s going to cause to pee out a lot of water, so you got to make sure you’re staying hydrated with good water that has sulfur and minerals in it. Whether it’s a Pellegrino, or a Topo Chico, or a good clean filtered water that you add minerals to, it can also affect your appetite.

Coffee and other nutrients

And remember, just because you have a whole bunch of calories of good healthy fats in that coffee, people call it Bulletproof coffee or butter coffee, your body still needs nutrients. That means you’re still not eating grass-fed meat, Omega 3’s, nutrient-rich antioxidant vegetables or low sugar fruit. You’re not eating those because your appetite’s now gone south. So we got to make sure we’re not affecting our appetite so much where we’re missing the other amino acids and nutrients. Our body still needs those for optimal health. So be careful of too much appetite suppression. Ketones can do that. You just got to be careful of it. And also if your adrenals are fatigued, you may not be able to handle that stimulation.

Decaffeinated Coffee

A couple of things you can do is have decaffeinated coffee which could be helpful. You got to be careful because caffeine is a natural pesticide in coffee. Typically, decaf coffee is sprayed in a much higher rate with various pesticide compounds because the coffee doesn’t have that caffeine; so it can be attacked by mold and other things. If you do get caffeine or decaf coffee, you got to make sure it’s a Swiss water process, not the benzene or methyl chloride process that’s involved in decaffeinated coffee in the past. You want to make sure it’s the water-based Swiss water process that just involves water and no methyl chloride or benzene since benzene is carcinogenic.

Quality Coffee

So we got to make sure, if we’re going to do it, have good clean coffee. Try to make sure it’s small sources, make sure it’s roasted. Central American’s pretty good, higher altitude coffee. Don’t go for the blends that can have a lot of different bad beans. Go for a single source if you can. A couple of my favorite coffees are Bulletproof, Premier, Research Labs makes a great coffee; and there is a handful of good coffees that you can find at different shops. Just try to go for single source. Try to go roasted and try to go for companies that have a good reputation, organic if you can. Some places are organic but they don’t pay for the label. You just got to know which ones are of that organic quality standard. So be careful of the appetite.

What’s the Verdict?

So in the end, is coffee good or bad? It really depends. Choose quality. Prepare it the right way with healthy fats. If you have an autoimmune condition, cut the coffee out and use some very benign sources like a chai tea or even do nothing in the morning for a period of time. If you’re going to use butter, use ghee if you’re autoimmune, then progress to the healthy grass-fed butter. Well, if you have adrenal or thyroid issues, and you feel that caffeine is exacerbating things or your problems or your health issues; or it is abrasive on the gut, pull it out for a period of time. Add it back in. Get your adrenals and your thyroid and your hormonal system working better.

So again, this is the truth about coffee. I hope I instilled some really good info. If you feel like you’re having some issues with coffee or with your energies or your adrenals or anxiety or mood stuff, and coffee could be connected, click on screen or reach out below and make sure you subscribe to get access to more great videos coming your way.

 

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

Estrogen dominance – Podcast #110

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about hormones, their importance and their functions, as well as the symptoms of hormonal imbalance and what causes estrogen dominance. Understanding hormones doesn’t have to be complicated and if you listen to this podcast, you’ll get a clearer picture of what hormones really are and particularly for women. 

estrogen dominance - hormonal imbalanceFind out having balanced hormones is the key to feeling good and having energy. Learn how to avoid any imbalance and how to fix these issues to help you overcome stress. Discover what you can do and gain indispensable knowledge about dealing with hormones especially for females so you can perform at your best and be in optimal function.

In this episode, topics include:

00:42   Hormones

04:30   Symptoms of estrogen dominance

08:13   Causes of estrogen dominance

17:22   Phytoestrogens, stress allocation and avoidance

25:20   Nutrients

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Evan Brand:  Dr. J! How’s it going?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, it’s doing great, man! How you doin’?

Evan Brand:  Pretty—pretty well. I’m glad we got this internet thing straightened out. Let’s hit this estrogen dominance topic. People have been asking via email, social media. Clients of ours have been asking about hormones and trying to understand them. There’s so many things in the environment that impact them. Your lifestyle, your diet can impact those and so you and I wanted to outline all this together and talk about what’s affecting your hormones, why is it so complicated in the modern world, what are the new variables that didn’t exist and then what do we do to fix it. So do you wanna start—start us off?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so hormones are interesting, right? Hormones are these messengers, right? They help with inflammation. They help with growth mediation, i.e., healing and recovering, putting on muscle. They help with reproduction. Not only reproduction like in reproducing ourselves so we heal but also having children and healthy hormone balance is essential to us feeling good, to us having energy, to us being resilient and vital as we—as we age and deal with stressful situation. So hormone balance is really, really important. Now as women—women have 2 different kinds of hormones that are constantly in fluctuation generally speaking, right? Men are kind of this foghorn of hormones throughout the month. Again there’s some fluctuations on a daily basis with cortisol, as are women, but on a monthly basis, you know, men kinda have this flat rhythm regarding testosterone. Women have this kind of symphony of hormonal fluctuations regarding estrogen and progesterone. And I tell my patients estrogen is the hormone that makes you grow. Progesterone is the hormone that makes you grow up. Meaning estrogen just causes cells to just grow bigger, while progesterone helps cells to differentiate and mature, okay? This is important so throughout your cycle, kinda breaking down a woman’s monthly cycle I think is really important for the first place of connecting the dots of where abnormalities happen. So first off, women’s cycle begins with bleeding, with menstruation. Typically about 3-4 days, maybe 5 days long in some extenuating circumstances. That happens because of a drop in progesterone and estrogen. So progesterone and estrogen drop, that signals bleeding. So the uterine lining is now shed over that 3 to 5-day period. The next thing is the follicle starts to grow and that follicle, FSH from the brain is starting to be produced and that causes the follicle to grow. So FSH talks to the follicle, the follicle starts to grow. As the follicle grows, estrogen is produced by the follicle. That’s step 3. As estrogen is being produced, it eventually hits a—a toppling, you know, where it hits its highest level around day 6-9 or 6-10. Then progesterone starts to increase as estrogen tops out, alright? Progesterone is increasing due to LH. LH is luteinizing hormone. That’s a brain hormone. The two brain hormones are FSH and LH. As progesterone topples out around day 20-23 or so, that’s where hormones are at its highest regarding progesterone and then day 27-28, progesterone and estrogen fall. So if we kinda recap it real quick, briefly what’s happening is we have brain hormones causing the follicle to grow. The follicle stimulating estrogen. Estrogen stimulating LH, LH stimulating progesterone. Progesterone and estrogen dropping. And that’s kinda the general dr—gist of the average female cycle, right around 28 days or so, and about day 13-15 is where ovulation happens. That’s right where estrogen tops out and progesterone starts to rise. That’s where that 2-3 window of pregnancy happens. I’ll just take a breath and give you a chance to break it down, Evan.

Evan Brand:  Sure, sure, makes perfect sense. And a lot of women that you and I are working with may be perimenopause or menopausal so we can talk about the ebb and flow and things that change there. So basically as you’ve kinda alluded throughout most of the reproductive years, the estrogen and progesterone are in a pretty good balance, but then if you look at all the information with progesterone and estrogen levels changing, then it looks like the gap becomes bigger where there’s a relatively high estrogen compared to progesterone and that’s what we would call menopause, and then that’s when these symptoms can start to occur. So I guess what I should do now is just go through some of these what consider estrogen dominant symptoms. So this could be allergies. This could be breast tenderness. You have copper–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  Excess.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  Which I did a video on copper toxicity and everybody’s like blown away by the idea of too much copper. How about cold hands and cold feet? Decreased sex drive, depression with possibly some anxiety or agitation added to it. Could be dry eyes, fat gains especially around the abdomen, the hips, the thighs, fatigue. Could be brain fog, which sometimes that could be yeast-related as well. Hair loss, headaches, blood sugar issues and fertility, irregular periods. You and I have talked about amenorrhea, just missing your period completely before. Irritability, insomnia, mood swings. I could go on and on. I think that’s a pretty good handful of symptoms though.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely. So when estrogen’s out of whack, a whole bunch of symptoms happen. The real common ones like you mentioned—most females—these are the ones that I deal with on a daily basis with all my patients, you know, the big complaints. It’s gonna be moodiness. It’s gonna be breast tenderness. It’s gonna be cramping. It’s gonna be back pain. It’s gonna be migraines, moody, sweet cravings or sugar cravings, and I would say like water retention and even weight gain.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I would say the sex drive one has been something big. I ask that question on my intake, you know. Do you think your libido adequate? And it’s very, very rare to find a women over age 40 who says that her libido is adequate. You know, some women said they haven’t had a libido in 20 years. So I mean, these things can change with hormones and they’re not just gonna magically fall into place by diet and exercise. So eventually you and I are gonna outline what exactly is going on in the external environment that is throwing off this whole hormonal cascade here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly and typically, as a women ages, menopause is nothing more than the ovaries not functioning like they were when you were cycling and you have a drop in hormones from that. Typically over time, one the big things we see with hormonal—hormonal fluctuations over time is that estrogen drops at about 35% the rate from age 35 to 50, while progesterone can drop at 75% the rate. So this whole podcast is really surrounding the topic of estrogen dominance and part of estrogen dominance is just being exposed to a high amount estrogens in the environment—that we’ll go into in a second. The other half is is progesterone being essentially dropping so fast that estrogen—the ratio of estrogen goes above and beyond what would be normal essentially.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if progesterone starts to drop faster than estrogen, even though you may have more progesterone as a basic flat line number, that’s still gonna be estrogen dominance. I mean, some people say over the course of a whole cycle you’ll have 300 times more progesterone than estrogen. At certain times of the cycle, like depending on where you’re at like let’s say, in the follicular phase you may have as many—as much as 25 times more progesterone to estrogen. So it’s different from the perspective of where you are in your cycle, but in general estrogen and progesterone—progesterone will be about 25 to 300 times more in relationship to estrogen, alright? So if that skew starts to get disrupted and we start to have less progesterone, let’s say below 20, you know, below 15 on average, that may be a big driving factor of estrogen dominance and a lot of the whole PMS symptoms and the symptoms that you just mentioned as well—the brain fog, the libido, dry hair, dry skin, dry nails, cold hand, cold feet, cramping, breast tenderness, all the things we already mentioned.

Evan Brand:  And let’s talk about some of the causes here. Birth control being a big one that can contribute because with birth control, you’re basically just keeping your estrogen levels sky high and so this is just a common prescription for many teenage girls, I’ve heard of even girls as young as 12 years old now getting put on birth control pills for their periods, you know, if they’re having really bad periods. So talk us through that. What’s going on with birth control pills? Why are these such an issue?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, birth control pills are nothing more than like synthetic estrogens. You have like Yasmin and these synthetic estradiol compounds and they basically jack up your estrogen level as a female about 4 to 500%, 4 to 5 times. And that’s a problem because hormones, right? If you look at—go to any opera or any symphony, there’s a specific timing and a volume in which everything needs to operate in. If something goes too—too loud or too quiet or something, the timing’s off, you can easily have a beautiful symphony turn into noise pretty darn fast. Now taking that analogy to a hormone cycle, if those things start to go too high because of synthetic hormone overload or too low because of hormone stress driven by inflammation, that can start to create hormonal symptoms. So that’s the big thing right there off the bat. So estrogens are gonna be jacked up way high. Sometimes with the Merena IUD, that’s inter—interuterine compound that’s put up there to prevent the egg from implanting in the uterus lining, that is—that’s actually using synthetic progesterone. So that’s a little bit different. But most of the birth control pills are gonna be synthetic estrogen-based and basically what it’s doing is keeping the estrogen so high all the time so you don’t have that rise in progesterone happening. You don’t have that cycling of hormones. So basically it shuts the HPA axis and because your hormones are so high, the LH and FSH kinda go to sleep because–

Evan Brand:  So the body eats—the body thinks it’s pregnant.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, not necessarily. The body—well, I guess you could say at a certain level. Typically progesterone’s gonna be really high with pregnancy and you’re gonna have HCG off the chart. So you’re not gonna see that because if you ran a pregnancy test while you were on a birth control pill, you wouldn’t come back with a pregnancy test being positive because you’re not making–

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The beta HCG. But what it’s doing, it’s shutting down the brain because the brain has this domino rally of FSH raising and then LH raising, so kinda shuts that down, because when the hormones are really high, FSH and LH don’t really have to work as much because the high amount of hormones is just shutting down the whole entire symphony. It’s like going into a symphony and with the foghorn. You just overpower all the instruments, you just can’t hear anything.

Evan Brand:  Makes perfect sense. Let’s talk about the metabolism of these two. That’s something that people do not talk about. There are side-effects that we could go into. We won’t bore you with those today, but there are nutrients—your vitamin C, your magnesium, zinc, and other minerals that are required for metabolizing these pills through your liver. So if you look at someone who has been on birth control for many, many years, mo—more than likely you and I are gonna look at their adrenals. We’ll probably see low function and if we look at like an organic acids test and if we’re looking for vitamin C or other nutritional markers, they’re probably gonna be deficient. Maybe not a—maybe not the only cause would be birth control but it’s definitely a factor. And then now I know we have to mention the environmental part of estrogen still. You know, we’ve talked about adding excess estrogen in via birth control but we have all the xenoestrogens in the environment, and now we’re seeing teenage boys with man boobs and you know, this is not—this is not good. This is not something that would have happened let’s say even 100, maybe 150 years ago with this breast enlargement. Can—can we go through some of those like the, you know, the—the meats, the plastics, the canned goods, all of that stuff?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, exactly. So again, we already kinda mentioned some of the mild to moderate symptoms regarding estrogen dominance and again people that are listening that are familiar with some of the pathological situations like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, fibrocystic breast, polycystic ovarian syndrome, even breast tumors. Those are ultimate, you know, severe more pathological forms of estrogen dominance in action.

Evan Brand:  Right. It makes sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then—yeah, and regarding some of the underlying environmental causes, too much sugar is gonna drive a lot of this because too much sugar is gonna increase insulin. Insulin resistance drives more fat growth. Because if our cells are saturated and we can’t burn sugar in our muscles, well, guess what happens to that sugar? It goes right into fat and fat actually is its own exocrine gland. It produces a hormone that’s gonna cause fats—it’s gonna basically produce leptin which is another hormone that’s gonna decrease our body’s ability to signal satiation and signal that we’re full, which is another thing, and it’s also gonna produce more sex hormones like estrogen. So if we have more fat cells, fat cells will actually produce more hormones and throw us off even more. So driving insulin resistance, driving fat, fat will then drive more estrogen and then also it’s gonna screw up the whole combination here with leptin which is gonna make us feel hungrier and eat more of that same junk that got us there and to begin with. So a lot of these mechanisms that we overlay, you can see there’s almost like this vicious cycle to them where they kinda repeat itself on a loop over and over and over again.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and then like you mentioned, they could all start with diet or sugar. So I mean, that’s a—that’s a huge one. It’s not something that we wanna skip over but you and I, we hit the diet piece so much that we’re assuming if you’re listening to this show, then you’re generally closer to like an AIP style diet where you’re not eating gluten. Maybe you’re doing a little bit of dairy in the form of like some ghee or some grass-fed butter.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Evan Brand:  But beyond that, you—you gotta have that foundation in place, and then we could go on with the personal care products. You got your pesticides and herbicides.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yes.

Evan Brand:  But you’re eating organic, you’re avoiding that. You got your makeup for women. So that—that is in the personal care category.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huge.

Evan Brand:  But think about women that are lathering themselves a lot of times with heavy metals and phthalates and all that, too, in their makeups.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You also have your pesticides, I mean, a lot of those are estrogenic in origin. Pesticides, fungicides, herbicides. You have a lot of chemicals in the water as well. Remember when you get your water filtered back, the conventional water filtration in your community won’t filter out a lot of the hormones in the water. So you’re getting–

Evan Brand:  Yeah, we—oh yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  The—the trace amounts of pharmaceuticals you’re talking about–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  That people flush down the toilet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Absolutely.

Evan Brand:  Fluoride would be another one that we could talk about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  That’s another endocrine disruptor there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, fluoride. Also a lot of these polybrominated diphenyl ethers that are in flame-retardant products and various solvents, definitely not good. Milk if we’re drinking or consuming conventional dairy, a lot of the milks are treated with a Posilac, which is—or similar—no, Similac’s the formula. Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s Posilac. Posilac is the growth hormone given to cows to produce more milk essentially and then we have conventional dairy or conventional meat which could come from cows because cows are gonna be given hormones as well on the meat side, right? You have your Jersey cows which produce the milk. They’re given the Posilac to make more breast milk or make more you know, cow milk, and then we have the cows that are eaten for steaks and meat and those cows are gonna be given more growth hormone and estrogens to make more meat as well. They’re also given mycotoxins, too, to produce more fat to make their meat more marble then they’re given a lot of grains which are loaded with mycotoxins as well to make the meat more marbled. So a lot of different chemical toxins that are coming in on both sides of the fence.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, not even to mention the grain they’re getting fed is likely sprayed with glyphosate or it’s genetically modified grain that these conventional meat products have consumed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bingo. Exactly.

Evan Brand:  Yeah. Last thing on—on the, I guess on the xenoestrogen route would be fragrances. So any woman or man wearing you know, perfumes, colognes, air fresheners, using those little trees that people put on their rearview mirror. It’s the worst smell on the world.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, absolute toxins.

Evan Brand:  Don’t use those.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolute toxins. I remember in high school, I used to love having those in my car like the—the vanilla scent one. I thought it was so cool but then the more I studied it, it was just absolute toxins.

Evan Brand:  So were you the guy who when one of the trees ran out of scent, did you go to the car wash and buy another tree and stack it on or did you remove the first one?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I—I would remove the first one, but I always keep a tree in there to keep it going.

Evan Brand:  Oh, I—I’ve seen people who have 20 trees stacked on one another on their rearview mirror.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know.

Evan Brand:  They can’t even see out the windshield.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Isn’t that nasty?

Evan Brand:  It’s horrible. Well, actually, Luke who and I were talking about–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Before the show–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Luke Storey.

Evan Brand:  Luke—he posted something online about he got in an Uber and he posted a picture of a guy who had like 20 of the black trees.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, God.

Evan Brand:  On his g—on his a—and so he had like a little portable ozone generator that he was breathing in in—in the backseat of the car.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, my God. Unreal.

Evan Brand:  Poor Luke.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know. What you gonna do?

Evan Brand:  Yeah. Let’s talk about phytoestrogens, too, in the food if—I guess we’ll hit the diet piece again. So these are your sources of soy. So mainly we’re talking about soy bean, your tofu, all of that. Something that’s frustrating for me is when you’re looking for a good protein bar, you may—you might find an organic protein bar at your health food store, but typically one of the first ingredients is gonna be soy protein crisp. It’s like come on, that’s not good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know. Whatchamacallit, yeah, Clif Bars has got them. Even I think–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A lot of the Zone bars, too. There’s only a few bars that actually have decent, clean protein in their bars, but that’s a big one. Soy’s a big phytoestrogen. Outside of miso, natto, or tempeh, soy is—for the most part is not gonna be good. Some menopausal females can get away with a small amount of it, if fermented-wise because it can help modulate their hormones when they’re lower in estrogens, right? Menopausal, but for the most part, people should not be doing soy. It’s not a good thing. It’s—and outside of that, too, we talked about the chemicals. We talked the industrial solvents, the hygiene products. You can always go to the website, skindeep.com or org to look up your products that you use on your face, on your hair, on your skin, your makeup, and see how much chemicals or toxins are in them. Oh, stress! Stress is huge because stress will cause your progesterone which is a major building block of your hormones to go downstream. Meaning it will progesterone and shunt it in the cortisol or stress hormones so you can deal with whatever that stressor is, because your body is hardwired to prioritize stress and inflammation first over recovery and healing and fertility second. And it kinda makes sense because if you’re stressed now, the body wants to deal with that stress, get over it and then because able to repair later, because if it doesn’t deal with the stressor, it may not get to that next point of being–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Able to heal and recover. So it’s just allocation.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, maybe you’re—maybe you’re dead and because you got eaten by the bear because your body was trying to repair and run at the same time. It can’t do both, so people who are listening, you know, always have the ancestral lens added as filter on to our conversations because this is very new. All this stuff that we’re dealing with, the environment is so new and we still have this ancient wiring systems that’s thinking–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Okay, there’s a bear coming down my driveway right now, I need to be in Fight or Flight, so recovery is—is not prioritized. And people listening, even just you having a notification sound—Justin and I have talked about this before, but even just having notifications on your smartphone or your computer “Ding!” every time you get an email, that’s triggering a biological response in the brain, that’s a hormonal response. Your body’s thinking, “Oh, what the hell is in that email? Is that a bill? Is that letter from somebody I don’t wanna hear from? What’s in that inbox?” That could be a huge source of stress so you really need to—you could either track your heart rate variability or just track how you feel. If you feel your heart racing or gut hurting after you’re expose to social media, something like that, these are the invisible stressors that can really trigger stuff for people and if you put—well, what does that actually do? You’re just saying this. But what does it do? Well, it inhibits the conversion of—of hormone, your T4 to your active T3, and so then you’re gonna have those hypothyroid symptoms and it could all be due to the stress.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and just think about it like this, right? If you’re barely getting—barely making enough ends to meet, you know, you’re barely getting enough money to make ends meet, so to speak, right? Do you have enough money to go and start investing in things in the stock market or real estate? Probably not because you’re just so focused on getting the bills paid. That’s all you can focus on. Once the bills are paid, i.e., once you’re able to manage stress and inflammation in your life, then you can think about investments after that, right? Same thing hormonally with how your body is prioritized to allocate bandwidth to essentially.

Evan Brand:  Right, that—yeah, that’s well said.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You can–

Evan Brand:  Do you want talk about–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Do you wanna talk about solutions for this? I think avoidance is kind of the—the big one that we could say in one sentence and be done with that, you know? Getting these things out of your life, making sure that you’re eating organic, making sure that you are staying away from the chemicals as much as possible. You’re looking at your skin care products. You’re looking at the makeup, the mascaras, the foundation, all of that crazy stuff that women put on to, you know, they feel like they have to put that on to be beautiful. I promise most women I see, they’re more beautiful without makeup. You look so much better. I tell my wife, “You don’t need it.” Country singers they say—they sing that in their songs like, “Oh, don’t put on makeup.” But it’s a real thing, especially if you have, you know, freckles and—and whatever natural skin pigmentation, that’s pretty. You don’t have to cover that up. So maybe turning off the TV is the first step to get through that process.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Because women are brainwashed into thinking they have to—to have caked on xenoestrogens to look pretty and they don’t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly and that’s part of the whole, you know, brainwashing that Hollywood does, is they try to make most people feel incredibly inadequate about themselves so they can go buy some product and you know, frankly, it works. As much as a lot of women don’t like it and they complain about it, but it works and that’s why they do it.

Evan Brand:  Well, because if—yeah, you’re saying because if one lady is gonna wear makeup, then you don’t wanna be the only one without it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right. I mean, I—my wife asked me, “Should I wear makeup tonight?” You know, she’s telling—she’s asking me this. I’m like, “No, you shouldn’t.” I like you better without makeup. It’s just—it’s better. It’s healthier.  But–

Evan Brand:  It really is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But there are some natural things out there. I know there’s a-

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There’s some—some mineral-based makeups that you can just kinda touch things up and it’s more mineral and more natural-based and it’s easy and you’re not adding a big toxic load. Those will be if you’re gonna use makeup because some people may not be ready to make that switch, but that’s the better next step to look at.

Evan Brand:  I’ve seen a couple organic mascaras. I don’t know how it could be organic. But Hannah’s purchased a few organic mascaras and then also a few foundations. I don’t know if they were considered organic or they were labeled without phthalates. I can’t think of the brand right now. I wanna say it had the name Doctor in it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huh.

Evan Brand:  Doctor’s Best or something and it was a brand of makeup. If you look on Amazon, I know there’s a bunch of different companies out there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely. So diving in here, we talked about the stress allocation and how your bodies and your adrenals can be affected by this whole thing, right? Because of the prioritization of progesterone to cortisol. You also touched in on how that cortisol can affect your thyroid because if your hormones start going off, if progesterone starts going off, that can affect thyroid conversion because if cortisol’s out of balance, that can affect T4 to T3 conversion which is your inactive thyroid hormones, so you’re active thyroid hormone. And also progesterone’s a powerful stimulator of TPO, which is the enzyme that helps bind tyrosine and iodine together to make thyroid hormone. So progesterone is really important to building thyroid hormone. So you can see this is why you don’t just get one symptom when hormones go out of balance because it just has this constellation ripple that can happen and many symptoms can occur because of it.

Evan Brand:  Yup, well said. So avoidance. We talked about lifestyle changes, you know, doing what you can whether it’s a floating tank, whether it’s yoga, tai chi, qigong. There’s meditation. There’s gratitude exercises, journaling. You and I have done entire podcasts dedicated to that. I don’t wanna skim over it but I think there’s so much that said about stress that you—you just have to—you have to do it. And if you say that you don’t have 5 minutes to meditate, well, you probably need quadruple that amount of time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. Yup, setting a timer like that can be really helpful. Even just sitting and just breathing. Just—just staring literally out—out your window. Just staring and just thinking about the sky or whatever, just clouding your head or just whatever is going on and just think about whatever you’re looking at. That’s why you talk about forest bathing or walking in nature and just being 100% present where you’re at. Oh, look a tree! Oh, look a rock! And all you’re focused on is what your eyes are gazing at.

Evan Brand:  I love it. Yeah, I mean I’m looking outside right now. It’s a beautiful day here. It’s in the mid-60s so it’s getting chilly but the sky is so blue. I mean, I’m so grateful for that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.

Evan Brand:  To not have a cloudy day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. That’s awesome.

Evan Brand:  Should we talk about nutrients? You wanna go there in terms of like estrogen metabolism support–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Stuff like that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so let’s just kinda dive in the gut because the gut’s really important to the nutrients getting to where they have to go. Would you agree?

Evan Brand:  I, oh—yeah, 100%!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so we’ve kinda talked about it when we did our dry run round 1 on this podcast on Friday that got—didn’t quite go through on our side, so we’re even more polished for this podcast round 2. We talked about estrogen hormone conjugation, and conjugation is nothing more than putting a straightjacket on the hormone. Okay, so, you know, because we’re talking about estrogen here, estrogen begins with E so we’ll use Evan as our form of estrogen in this analogy.

Evan Brand:  Here we go.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright? So E for Evan, E for estrogen. I’m putting a straightjacket on Evan so I can escort him out of let’s say the—the rowdy club, right? He’s—he’s going crazy. He’s fist-pumping. We’re gonna put a straightjacket on him, escort him out of the club. That’s kinda like what our body does to estrogen. It’s done its thing. It’s going. It’s getting shot back out the gallbladder into the gut to get metabolized. We bind these proteins to it. It’s called conjugation or in this analogy, straightjackets on Evan so we can escort it out. The problem is back gut bacteria imbalances meaning more bad bacteria in relationship to good bacteria in your gut—this is called dysbiosis—this upregulates specific enzymes known as β-glucuronidase. You know it’s an enzyme because it ends on the word –ase. This enzyme basically comes over and takes the straightjacket off. So imagine Evan being escorted out of the bar, right? The club. He’s being rowdy. Someone clips open the straightjacket and now he’s loose and he’s—he’s running away from the bouncer or the police. That’s what happens. Estrogen gets unconjugated or deconjugated. Boom! It can go right back into circulation and cause tissue to grow, whether its endometriosis or cause fibroids to occur, or create hormonal imbalances and symptoms and mood swings, and affects your mood and—and cause you to gain weight. All these different things can happen when we have gut bacteria imbalances. So that’s kind of the—the estrogen-gut detox mechanism. And then we also have the fact that if we have malabsorption because we have too much gut bacteria imbalance, more bad than good. We have low stomach acid and low enzyme levels, well, we’re not gonna be able to break down a lot of the nutrients we need to be able to metabolize hormones, whether it’s B6 or zinc and magnesium or various B vitamins that, you know, help with phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification, sulfur-based amino acids. All these things have to be broken down into their constituents so they can be absorbed and get into circulation and also we need to ionize various minerals, like magnesium and zinc. These are really important minerals. We have ionize them. That basically allows these minerals to get soluble. It’s solubilized into the bloodstream so it can do its thing and be utilized.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I mean we could add another layer on top of that. Parasites, yeast, we know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  With Doctor–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  All these things affect that.

Evan Brand:  Dr. Jonathan Wright’s book, Why Stomach Acid is Good For You. We know that any woman listening over age 30, you have lower levels of hydrochloric acid and enzymes than you did when you were 20. So it’s not to—you don’t have to guess and—and check and think, “Oh, do I low enzymes?” I guarantee it. I would suggest and you tell me if—if you suggest different, but I generally suggest anyone over age 30 especially people that busy or eating in a rush or scrolling–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Big time.

Evan Brand:  Scrolling on their phone while they’re eating which is a big no-no, you gotta have enzymes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%.

Evan Brand:  Supplemental enzymes that is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I mean enzymes and/or hydrochloric acid because hydrochloric acid actually activates enzymes.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hydrochloric acid activates pepsinogen to pepsin in the stomach and also provides the PA stimulation for the pancreas to produce trypsin, chymotrypsin, lipase, a whole bunch of other proteolytic enzymes that are really important. So without HCl and/or enzymes, you’re gonna be in a world of hurt when it comes to digestion. And most women don’t get this, men as well, but they don’t understand the fact that you can have digestive problems and may not actually have digestive symptoms. People think, “Well, hey I don’t have diarrhea or constipation or bloating, I’m not too gassy, I don’t burp too much, I don’t have any acid reflux, and I got to the bathroom every day. Hey, I don’t have a problem.” Right? But a lot of times, their moodiness, their PMS, they migraines, their other issues in their body–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Can be driven by the inflammation going in their gut because they’re not—they don’t or they’re not expressing with atypical—I’m sorry, they’re not expressing with typical gas symptoms, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea. They’re expressing with atypical, outside of the norm symptoms that just are really hard to be connected and their medical doctor they go to won’t ever recognize it because they are great, they’re depressed—could be a hormonal issue, could be a gut issue, but guess what? They’re gonna be put on Wellbutrin–

Evan Brand:  Lexapro.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Lexapro, Paxil. Hey, you know they’re feeling, you know, a little bit anxious. Great, they’re gonna get thrown on Xanax.

Evan Brand:  Ugh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, you know, they’re feeling like their cycle’s a little unstable, they’re getting thrown on a birth control pill. It could totally be from–

Evan Brand:  That’s horrible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  All the other dysbiosis and the poor detox happening in their gut.

Evan Brand:  It’s horrible, man. It’s horrible. I had a female last week, she asked me—we found Giardia and Blasto—the double, double trouble there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Double trouble.

Evan Brand:  And she said, “Well, I don’t have any gut symptoms. Do we still have to treat it?” I said, “100%, you can—just because you’re, you know, not running to the bathroom with diarrhea, the typical manifestation of Giardia, it doesn’t mean we can just let it stay there.” Could you—maybe you would have a—a more, a better answer than me. I just said, “Absolutely.” But I know there could be more to that. You can be as long-winded as possible with this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I tell people that everyone has the right to be infection-free, right? That’s my goal. To make sure everyone’s infection-free. Now the problem is everyone also has the right to have more than one issue going on at once. So a lot of patients, they have hormonal imbalances, but they also have other issues that are driving the hormonal imbalances that don’t necessarily from bird’s eye view connect, i.e., the Blasto and Giardia and this girl’s female hormone or mood symptoms. So–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so anytime there’s a stressor, that’s an issue. It’s like you walk into your house. Okay, let’s say you have a couple of guest bedrooms. Let’s say you don’t go in those guest bedrooms for a while. The guest that was in there last left the water running just a bit. You don’t know it. You don’t hear it. But you get this water bill every month and it’s just a little bit higher than you’re used to and you’re like, “Why the heck is my water bill 30% higher? I’m barely even using it. I’m gone half the month. What’s going on?” And then you look over and you’re like, “Oh, the water in my guest bedroom’s on. That’s what it is. I’m gonna turn it off.” Now what’s this equal? Having water in your guest bedroom on is like having a parasite or a bug stealing your nutrition, pooping inside of you, i.e., creating biotoxins, creating inflammation and maybe even creating leaky gut which is stressing your immune system which takes up energy. All of those stressors like that parasite or infections involved in, toxins, malabsorption, leaky gut, immune activation, that’s nothing more than draining your energy. So instead of your energy being allocated to performance and recovery and healing, right? It’s going towards something else. Just like your water bill’s being sucked towards these guest bedrooms that you don’t even—you’re not even aware of them because you’re not there on a day-to-day basis.

Evan Brand:  Now so from the nervous system perspective, couldn’t we say that you’re gonna be sympathetic dominant, more fight or flight?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  More, 100%. Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Because you’re fighting an internal battle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bingo! And the problem, the sympathetic nervous system, the allocation because we’re hardwired this way and it totally makes sense is when the fight or flight, the sympathetic, that’s like the gas, go, go, go, go, go. That’s the gas, the sympathetic fight or flight nervous system shuns blood flow towards the muscles, towards the outer extremities because we have to fight and flee and we need oxygen and nutrition and glucose to get to those outer extremities so we can perform. If the blood glucose is inside the intestines and inside all the organs where they should be and they’re digesting, you will not be able to run as fast. That’s the main reason why activity after your meal is destructive for your digestion, you get an upset stomach. Remember the old analogy of like, “Hey, you shouldn’t go swim. You should wait, what, 2 hours or an hour after you eat to go swimming.” Why is that? It’s because at some point, someone did that and they got a cramp because there wasn’t enough blood flow or they got an upset stomach and got sick.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So–

Evan Brand:  Because you’re trying to rest and digest and be active at the same time. You can’t do it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and the analogy is this, right? If the sympathetic fight or flight nervous system is your foot in the gas, and if the digestive system and relaxation and repair is the brake pedal, what happens when you hit the gas pedal and brake pedal at the same time?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it’s not a good—not a good—not a good picture.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No, no, exactly.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You’re—you’re spending a lot of time going nowhere fast.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so to wrap this whole segment up of—of this part of the—the conversation. If you’re someone listening, especially female, or you and I are working together, you’re working with Justin already, and you tell us, “Yeah, but my life’s not that stressful. I’m not that stressed.” It doesn’t matter because all of this hormonal imbalance and these symptoms that you have could all be going on due to something in your gut. And Justin, you and I both are—we’ve seen false negatives on stool test results. So sometimes it may take one or two or three times to really find what’s going on. So if you’ve gone to your conventional doctor or even the gastroenterologist, the specialist you’re gonna get referred to that’s gonna throw you on prescription acid blockers, if they run tests on you and how up negative, don’t necessarily take their word for it. I hate to say this that these prestigious hospitals and et cetera are missing infections but you and I see it every single day in the clinic and we’re finding these infections. So if you actually get something on a piece of paper, you’re gonna have a lot more room to work with. So don’t just go buy hormone balancing or hormone this or hormone that supplement. You really need to get to the root of the root which in some cases could be the infection route.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, 100%. And again, really looking at everything holistically is really exactly how you have to do it because of the interplay with body systems that may not typically connect to the average person because you know, they’re not a trained functional medicine clinician and definitely will not connect with the average conventional medical doctor because they’re training is drug symptom, drug symptom, drug symptom, and they don’t look at upstream stressors and body systems that may be out of balance.

Evan Brand:  Sure, so I’ll put it even more—even more direct. If you’re going to your OB-GYN or your endocrinologist, they’re not gonna have a clue about you having a cryptosporidium infection in your gut and giving you an herbal protocol to remove that infection so that your hormones come back into balance.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%.

Evan Brand:  It’s never gonna happen. I mean, I will—I will bet you know every silver bar that exists on the planet that—that you’re not gonna get it. If you do, then that doctor, they—they’ve stepped up their game and they’ve done some functional, you know, they’ve taken some functional courses.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And sometimes it’s good like get that workup done. You know, just you know, go with the low-hanging fruit. I find most of the time patients come to see me and that’s already been done–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it’s already been missed but hey, always start with what’s the easiest and you know, what I consider to be the low-hanging fruits, that way you know you’ve crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s so to speak and then you can go up the chain regarding the—the functional medicine, you know, ladder so to speak.

Evan Brand:  Sure, and I guess we could briefly talk about, you know, the financial aspect of it, too. If someone does have health insurance or they’re able to go see a doctor through their work and it’s at no charge to them, then you might as well try to milk that for as much as you possibly can, but unfortunately in most cases the lab results that get sent over to you and I that we review, there’s not much evidence there. We can’t really work with that. We really have to do the more functional tests which are an investment but sometimes that’s what it takes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. So looking at this point here. If everyone listening or anyone listening is dealing with a—a hormonal imbalance, whether it’s men and just having low libido and—and poor muscle tone or women having PMS or menopausal symptoms or everything in between that we already mentioned, the whole litany of—of different items there, the next step is gonna be one, digging into the female hormones, right? Testing hormones at the right time of your cycle. We test female hormones typically around Day 20 or so if we’re looking at progesterone to estrogen. Some we even run a month-long cycle to see how the hormones fluctuate every other day. And some will even dig deeper into looking at thyroid as well as a full gut panel. So depending on where you’re at, if you’re having issues and you’ve already kind of ruled out the things we’ve already talked about on the diet and lifestyle, the next step would be to step it up regarding the functional medicine’s options that are available and kind of our—our palette if you will.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So the next step would be to reach out to either myself, to Evan, notjustpaleo, Dr. J myself, justinhealth.com or some other competent trained functional medicine doctor or practitioner to get everything kinda lined up in order based on what we talked about in the podcast today.

Evan Brand:  You hit on the—the last word that I wanted to say is the order.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  You know, something that is very important for anything, you know. If this is just adrenal problems or just hormone problems or just gut problems, whatever it is, it has to be done in the right order. Please, please, please don’t add to your supplement graveyard because you read about some product on Amazon or you saw it at the health food store and it was in the hormone section. Save your money because if you’re doing things in the wrong order, you’re really just wasting your money. Now I’m not gonna say that taking a zinc supplement is necessarily gonna make you worse because we know that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No.

Evan Brand:  70% of women or more are not getting enough zinc, so yeah it’s not going to hurt you. It might help you but why go and spend all this money if it’s not done in the right order because you’re gonna save so much more money in the long run if you do things in the right order by working with a practitioner.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, it’s like baking a cake, right? Let’s just pretend it’s a gluten-free flourless cake for our—for our healthy analogy, right? You have the eggs. You have the—the coconut flour or you have maybe some Stevia in there, whatever else, maybe some grass-fed butter or coconut oil. Well, how we mix things in baking a cake is really important to the outcome of the product, of the outcome of the cake.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So let’s say you—you do start doing a heavy metal cleanse first, gut-killing second. You work on the diet 3 months into it and then you don’t touch the hormones and the thyroid til month 4. Well, you did a lot of things that were supposed to be done but they were just all done in the wrong order. Just like making a cake, you cook it before you mix the eggs and then you add the—the Stevia at the end or whatever. It doesn’t come out to be a nice-looking cake.

Evan Brand:  Yup, yup, Well-said.

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

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so. I think this is—this has been good coverage. Share this, if you have somebody who’s going through all this stuff. I mean, I could think of 20 people right off the top of my head who I know have problems with estrogen metabolism or estrogen dominance. So sharing is caring. This is the information that has to get out there. We’re gonna continue doing our work, we’ve got, you know, between Justin and I both, we’re over—likely over 6 million. I haven’t counted. I know for sure, 100% guaranteed over 5 million downloads of conversations that we’re having, probably up to 6 million by the 4-year anniversary of my show which is coming up really darn quick. I think it’s November 11th of 2012–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  Would be the 4-year anniversary. So that’s—that’s a lot of people but that’s still not enough. That—I mean look at the suffering out there. Look at the people that are going and they’re spinning their wheels and they’re buying these diet programs and they’re buying these fitness books and they’re not getting the answers and they’re beating their heads against the walls, and they’re buying you know, diet root beers and look at Pepsi. I mean they had to bring back their aspartame version of their Diet Pepsi because so many people complained about the taste, you know? So don’t prioritize the taste. You know, prioritize the—the quality of your—of your liquids, the quality of your nutrition. Prioritize that better over taste and if you ask me, I think aspartame tastes horrible and it’s a neurotoxin, not to mention. So always look at something through the lens of the quality, not necessarily the taste or the cost or—or all of that, because you’re really gonna save yourself a lot of trouble if you start turning around the boat now as opposed to waiting til when you hit rock bottom and then you’re coming to Justin or myself and then you’re saying, “Look, I’ve had this stuff going on for 20 years.” Well, how long have you known something was wrong? “Well, I knew I should have gotten help you know, back in 2003, but I didn’t.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Evan Brand:  You know, don’t be—don’t be one of those people. Thousands of people have come to our clinics. It’s your turn. If you’re suffering, stop suffering. You don’t need to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bingo. Love it, Evan. Well, feel free and reach out to Evan at notjustpaleo.com, Dr. J myself, justinhealth.com or beyondwellnessradio.com. Subscribe to the podcast and the YouTube channel and we look forward to providing more information very soon.

Evan Brand:  Check out Justin’s videos. He’s over 20,000 subscribers on YouTube. He’s gonna be—I’m telling him, he’s gonna be the King of Functional Medicine on YouTube.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Just able to help more people. I love it.

Evan Brand:  Yes, sir. Take care!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Have a good day, Evan.

Evan Brand:  Bye!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye!

 

Using ketosis to lose weight and improve your health – Podcast #109

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand dive into an in-depth discussion about nutritional ketosis and what benefits you can reap from it. This is a podcast episode where you’ll get valuable information about a Ketogenic-Paleo diet, what to eat (and when!) to get the best results.

ketosisLearn why insulin needs to be kept low and the ketones high. Find out how you can keep your diet in check and avoid wasting money when you’re taking exogenous ketones. Discover why carbohydrates are better consumed during night time.

In this episode, topics include:

03:38   What is Ketosis? Who is it for?

08:35   Kinds of ketones

09:50   Ketone supplements

17:36   Using ketones beneficially

28:45   Ketoacidosis vs ketosis

itune

 

 

youtuve

 

 

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, it’s Dr. J! It’s a Monday. How’re we doin’?

Evan Brand:  Hey, I’m doin’ great. What’s up with you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, it’s good that you survived the weekend.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it was extremely exciting weekend with the baby—getting a lot of trouble with the baby.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice. What’d you guys do?

Evan Brand:  Just hanging out at the park, hanging out outside.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice. That’s awesome.

Evan Brand:  You get—you get stopped by a lot of people when you have a baby.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, I know. I just a got a dog a month or two ago and I just—I’ve never realized how many people are dog lovers, but man, we get so much attention when we have our dog. It’s crazy.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, if you were single. That would be the easiest way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I told my wife that. I said, if I ever—like if something ever happened where I can go back in time—if I were to do it all over again. I would’ve got a dog like right off the bat, like just a really cute, small dog but it’s all good. I’m happy where I’m at.

Evan Brand:  Yup, cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But I wanted to say, we were talking pre-show there that I got a crown today and I go see a holistic dentist in Austin. Her name is Dr Joan Sefcik. I’m gonna actually have her on the podcast real soon. We’re gonna talk about root canals, cavities, crowns, all those things, but I had an issue with my tooth where I needed a crown. About 16 years ago I split my tooth in half when I was really young, just eating a whole bunch of sugar, eating a whole bunch of gluten. Hadn’t really got the message back then about health. Split my tooth but I was actually able to keep it together with some cement, and obviously changed my diet and never had anything like that happened with my tooth again, but I had those—the long-term consequence of that tooth being unstable so we put a crown on it and we actually did some testing, too, to figure out what the best material was and we actually—I think we ended on a cubic zirconia. So right now I have an acrylic crown that’s a temporary one and we got a cubic zirconia one coming in. We had it muscle tested and we called the lab. We—we chose the top 3 materials that test the best based on blood chemistry and then we muscle tested the top 3 and I tested great for all of them which was great, and then the doc said, “Well, you know, this is the one I have the best success with, and because you tested great with all three, we’re gonna go with this one.”

Evan Brand:  So I’m sure people wanna know with holistic dentistry, that’s all cash no insurance for that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A little bit. I mean, we have some dental but I—you know, I paid that I think out of pocket. I think it ended up costing me like a thousand bucks for the crown–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And if I didn’t have insurance, it would have cost me $1500. Something like that.

Evan Brand:  Oh, okay. So insurance kinda works for holistic dentistry.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A little bit. I mean, the thing is what’s holistic is the material we’re using, right? We’re not using the standard-based crap. I think it’s nickel a lot of times–

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it’s horrible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Which can screw up with, you know, the conduction of nerves in the body. So that’s the big thing and also she used a lot of ozones as she go in there. She’d use ozone and get in there, like a lot of essential oils. So it was really targeted to kill a lot of the bacteria and crap that could be in there even though she—I actually asked her, she said it was great, which is good. It’s testament to you know, good, clean—clean eating. So we’re gonna have her on the show real soon to talk more about healthy teeth and oral hygiene, so that that’ll be fun.

Evan Brand:  Awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I’m doin’ pretty good. Not bad. I get to go get my cubic zirconia tooth. My wife was texting me, it’s like, “Is that gonna look like one of those fake diamonds?”

Evan Brand:  Is it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  In your mouth? No, I don’t think so. I asked. It’s gonna look, you know, it’s gonna look cosmetically in sync with my other teeth. So it’ll be alright.

Evan Brand:  Awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. So we talked about doing something on ketosis. I’ve had Jimmy Moore on the podcast. I’ve spoken on Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Cruise. We did a podcast a few months ago on Keto OS which is a synthetic ketone supplements and look forward to digging in a little bit more on ketosis.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, there’s a lot of benefits. Ketosis in my opinion is not for everyone at every point in their life. It has a lot of incredible benefits for weight loss but if you have adrenal issues in my experience, some people feel worse. Maybe there is that adjustment period but I find that if people are just they’re afraid of carbs, they can tank out even more. What’s—what’s your experience with adrenal issues and—and ketosis?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I think ketosis is phenomenal for most people that are out there, especially if you’re dealing with metabolic syndrome, meaning there’s a level of insulin resistance and you’re body is having a difficult time tapping into fat for fuel, ketosis is phenomenal because what you’re doing is imagine fat is like this big branch and we’re trying to throw that branch into the wood chipper and then out of that wood chipper comes these things called ketones, and these ketones can be used by different tissue in the body and the thing is, glucose actually burns dirty. Right? It’s like a diesel fuel. You kinda sm—it’s smells. It’s stinky. If you ever drive by in a diesel car, at least the older ones. But ketones they burn really clean and when I say burn really clean, you don’t get a lot of reactive oxygen species or free radicals afterwards. So it burns really clean like that and also you don’t get the effects of glycation, which is basically all the proteins or tissue in your body gets sugar-coated and that creates basically a m—a magnet for free radicals. So we like ketones because of the stability they give people, right? With sugar, we get this up and down reactive hypoglycemic effect with a lot of people that are doing refined sugar or just higher glycemic foods, meaning they get into your bloodstream really fast. We don’t quite get that with ketones. So the big issue is most people who have metabolic syndrome, big waist, high blood pressure, lots of inflammation, lots of insulin and blood sugar, they can’t get the sugar into their cells and utilize it for fuel optimally. So they can’t—their cells are—are very resistant so they start—one, they get reliant on sugar to burn but two, their cells don’t wanna take it in a lot and actually burn it so they get very tired and a lot of that that gets put in gets stored as fat. So it’s a double edged sword. They’re tired. They don’t wanna exercise. They get cravings. They create more sugar and then when your insulin levels are high, it basically blocks fat from being burned so you’re primarily burning sugar but you can’t get a lot of it to the cells so you’re tired.

Evan Brand:  Right. I’ve heard recently which I’ve read. I can’t remember what I was reading. There’s this kind of—there’s kind of a myth that’s perpetuated where people who are only a fat burner or only a sugar burner and that’s not the case. It seems that most people have the ability to do both and if you wanted to survive in primal times then you would have, you better have that ability to be able to burn glucose or ketones to survive. But I think the goal of that is you just wanna be primarily a fat burner, not primarily a sugar burner which is what would you say, 90% of the population is probably primarily glucose—glucose driven?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I would say at least 75%, and we talk in generalities, right? We’re talking like, “Hey, you know, you’re primarily burning sugar for fuel or primarily burning fat for fuel.” That’s—that’s the thing that we’re kinda get across there and most people, you know, when we talk about calorie partitioning, their partitioning, right? You know, imagine you got a police officer and his siphoning people through, “Go that way. Go that way.” You got all these calories that are going through and the police officer is saying, “Hey, go this way into the fat cell. Get stored as fat and a small amount will actually get burned. So we’re not shunting those calories. “Hey, go to the mitochondria. Get burned. Create energy.” While you’re creating energy, you’re building muscle because you’re doing something that’s creating resistance in the body which builds muscle, whether it’s the piezoelectric effect and you’re building calcium into the bone or whether you’re putting muscle into the muscle belly. So we wanna essentially use that you know, traffic policer officer or that you know, flight tower attendant that’s telling the planes which direction to go. We want tell those calories, “Hey, go to the mitochondria. Get burned versus get stored in the fat cell.” And one the biggest ways we can do that especially with people that have this insulin resistance metabolic syndrome is getting into ketones by cutting carbs.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Typically down to 20-30g is a great starting point for most people. Go ahead.

Evan Brand:  Now, the people actually need to count? I mean, I’m probably in ketosis now at this point because I haven’t had much today. I had some—I had a bison burger and also I had some bison—or no, what did I have for breakfast? Had some kinda meat and—and I can feel that. I know because you can feel your breath start to stink a little bit more. That’s how you know. That’s like the first sign of ketosis or one of the first signs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, yeah, you get the acetone but I mean, if you’re only at like .5 mmol, I mean that’s not a ton. So maybe your breath gets a little bit fruity, that’s the acetone. So there’s 3 kinds of ketone. There’s acetone. There’s beta-hydroxybutyrate and there’s acetate. So like if you look at the breath meters. The breath meters are really measuring the acetone in the breath and then the blood is measuring the beta-hydroxybutyrate–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  In the blood.

Evan Brand:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? And then some will actually measure the ketones in the urine, not that efficient because if you’re burning ketones, well, that means if you’re burning them they may not end up in the urine, right? So if you get someone who’s in ketosis, they’re spitting out a whole bunch of ketones but they’re burning them up efficiently they may not pee a lot out. Does that make sense?

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So early on you get a lot of people that are in ketosis but they’re body’s not efficient at burning those ketones so those ketones go in the urine to start.

Evan Brand:  Well, let’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But then later on as they get more efficient, you won’t see them in the urine. That’s why I got my ketone meter right here. I use the Abbott Precision Xtra or Precision Xtra and it’s—I got blood sugar on there as well as ketone strips, too.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I’ve done the breath. It was by Ketonix.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  I’ve done their breath one. That one was pretty good. I find that I had like a low level of ketones all of the time. Let’s clear something up though. When people hear about ketones, they’ve likely been in the grocery store or Walgreen’s or somewhere and they’ve seen the raspberry ketones as a weight loss supplement. They became very popular over the last probably 5 years. First off, raspberry ketones, they’re not even derived from raspberries when you see those. Most of the time when I’ve looked at the ingredients, a lot of times there’s synthetic chemicals in there. There’s artificial colors, sometimes artificial sweeteners in these raspberry ketones. So I do not recommend them. I don’t actually know enough about what’s actually in there to know what’s actually going to happen but generally just looking at some of the ingredient list on ketones, it—it’s garbage.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, raspberry ketones aren’t necessarily ketones. I mean, if you look at what’s in there, there are these phenolic compounds that aren’t your typical beta-hydroxybutyrate whether it’s calcium or sodium beta-hydroxybutyrate salts. Like if you look at a lot of the ketone products, there’s Keto OS. There’s another one, a Keto Sport I think, and they’re using the beta-hydroxybutyrate salts, calcium or sodium. Those are like the gold standard. Now you can use precursors, right? Kinda like how we use maybe pregnenolone for adrenal support precursors. You can use precursors like medium chain triglycerides which are gonna be primarily C8 and C10. Like the, you know, the brain—the brain ketones are more C8, right? Octanoic acid or I think that’s maybe caprylic, there’s two names. I like the octanoic because it’s more descriptive. The oct–, octo–, octagon, that’s 8—8 carbons. So typically we’ll do ketones that are C8 and C10 because you get the brain effects of ketones but you also get the metabolic effects. So like typically in the morning after I have either a good clean collagen shake or some eggs and I do my butter coffee with high quality MCT oil. I’ll get my ketones up within an hour or 2 to—to .5, .6 mmol and I feel great.

Evan Brand:  Do you measure that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I measure it, yeah. Now the thing is with the Ketonix, it’s more qualitative. So like that number like let’s say you’re—you’re a different color or light on that variant. That light that you hit one day, you may hit it the next day but your number may have been different if you were measuring it in mmol of ketones. So it’s a good indicator to—to say if you’re in ketosis. It’s not a good quantitative indicator of what exactly were you.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, the other brand that I’ve seen before. I’m looking—trying to find the ingredients right now is Kegenix. So I’m trying to see what’s in here. It’s $200 for a 4-week supply.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, they’re kind of expensive. My biggest thing off the bat is number one, get your diet dialed in. So you talked about carbs. So the first thing is as a macro percentage of nutrients is you wanna get your fat up. Most people screw up in ketosis because they go too high in protein. They’re eating like you know, 30-40% protein. It’s hard to do that much in protein unless you do two things wrong. Number one, you eat lots of lean meat and number two, you do excessive protein powders. So those are the 2 things. Now you can get away, going higher on protein if you’re doing a lot of resistance training, alright? But if you’re not doing a whole bunch of resistance training, you want your macros up around 60-70% fat as a pretty good starting point. So what I recommend is just throw your foods into a MyFitnessPal and if you’re using a Paleo template, so that means you’re gonna be getting most of your meats from animal products. Your carbohydrates, you’re gonna choose obviously more from a non-starchy vegetable sources. A really easy thing is you’ll typically be good around 20-30g and you can just throw in your carbohydrates, a cup of broccoli, a cup of spinach, a cup of kale, maybe you’re doing some asparagus, maybe you do another salad for dinner or lunch. Throw all the vegetables that you do in there, you’re probably find that you sit around 30g of carbohydrate once you factor out the—the fiber, 20-30 is pretty good unless you’re doing a ton of juicing or ton of veggies. You’ll probably be around 20-30 net carbs. That’s a pretty good place to be. So that’s a good starting point and then from there, depending on whether you wanna stay in ketosis—I like to—to keep myself around 40-70 carbs a day and I keep—I get my ketones up to .5 and I feel phenomenal–

Evan Brand:  So you’re—you’re–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  At around .5.

Evan Brand:  So you’re basically in some level of ketosis most days.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. Absolutely. And then like if you listen to guys like Jimmy Moore, Jimmy is around 1, maybe—maybe 1-2. And again, you don’t have to worry about ketoacidosis until you get to about 20. Ketacidosis is potentially what could happen to diabetics type 1 primarily and/or alcoholics that have cirrhosis, with that—they have messed up livers. Essentially ketoacidosis is when your insulin levels are high and your blood sugar’s high. Okay, that typically hard to do because when the insulin goes high, blood sugar goes low.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, so insulin’s high. Blood sugar’s high in the bloodstream but what’s happening is we can’t get the—we can’t get the—the calories or the blood sugar into the cell so the cell’s starving and what happens is the body is trying to generate energy so it spits out a whole bunch of ketones.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Does that make sense?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I was looking at the ingredients here. Basically what this is, it is the beta-hydroxybutyric acid, that’s literally what’s your supplement— supplementing with. That along with some medium train—medium chain triglycerides and then leucine, lysine and isoleucine. That’s it. And then erythritol, some Stevia, some color, things like that. So you’re literally just taking—you’re taking ketones. That’s what it is, right? The—the beta-hydroxybutyric is one type of ketone?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Is that right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct. I wanna go back and correct myself. I misspoke. So regarding the ketoacidosis, it’s the insulin is low. Insulin’s low.

Evan Brand:  So you can’t deal with the blood sugar.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Blood sugar is high so you can’t get it–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Remember insulin’s the lock or the key that goes into the lock. The—the keyhole is receptor site, whether it’s a GLUT4 key which is that’s allowing sugar into the muscle or whether it’s on the liver and an—various different GLUTs. So imagine the GLUT’s the lock and insulin’s the key. So you can’t use the key to get into the cell. So what happens is all the sugar accumulates in the bloodstream because insulin’s low. So everything I said before is correct except it’s because of low insulin. Think, right? Type 1 diabetics have an issue with low levels of insulin because their—their islets cells in their pancreas, the beta cells have been destroyed by autoimmune attack. So they can’t get that sugar in there, so the body’s freaking out. It’s saying, “Where the heck am I gonna get energy?” So it starts ramping out a whole bunch of ketones. Ketones have an acidic ash to it or an acidic foundation to it so it shifts the pH because of instead of being a nutritional ketosis at .5 mmol or 1 or maybe 2, they are 20-10 x higher and that shifts the pH down. When the pH goes down, they can go into a diabetic coma.

Evan Brand:  Wow. Yeah, I—you said that quickly otherwise, I probably would have caught that. That makes a lot more sense. So insulin’s low, sugar’s high. That’s when you don’t wanna do it and like the supplement says that you cannot use it with type 1 diabetics for that reason.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I—exactly. And I was listening to a lecture just yesterday talking on the topic and he did the same thing I just did and I—I got his bad habit from it. He said the exact thing I said the first time.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I got the bad habit by osmosis, but we corrected it here. So think low insulin, high sugar, the cells are starving.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The body freaks out and it tries to go and generate a whole bunch of ketones but shifts the pH. Now how do we use ketones beneficially? So we can use exogenous precursors like we mentioned, okay? Obviously the diet’s gonna be foundational. Now for some people, there’s a couple of ways of doing it. You can live in ketosis. That can be great for some people. If you have cancer, lot of great studies especially over at Boston College, Dr Veech, NIH guy. He went to school—he studied under Dr Hans Krebs, I mean the guy invented the Kreb cycle, alright? He discovered it, which is how the body generates you know, energy via NA—NADH and FADH redox—redox reactions which then generate ATP in the—in the Kreb cycle as well as the electron transport chain, but this is how our body generates energy and this guy studied with this doctor that created or discovered this stuff. So moral of the story is this is another way the body can generate energy and ketones are really important part of the Kreb cycle and they are really important part of starving out cancer cells. So cancer’s primarily—primary fuel if you look at Otto—Otto Warburg or Otto Van Warburg, a German scientist in the 30s and 40s who got 2 Nobel prizes discovering this physiology around cancer cell metabolism and he found that cancer cells primarily survive on glucose and if you can starve the cancer cells of that metabolic fuel—remember it burns dirty—if we can use ketones, we can essentially starve that type of cell.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so—I mean, basically you and I both touch in to ketosis. Now I do do some sweet potatoes and things in the evening so I likely pull myself out of that so this is something that this is gonna depend on the person but you can touch in to ketosis—you do some carbs, don’t you? Do you do sweet potatoes with dinners?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I cycle in and out. I cycle in and out. Typically at dinners, I’ll do after a dinner as a treat. I’ll do a handful of berries and maybe some cream.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Or I’ll do some high quality, 90% dark chocolate that’s you know, organic and you know, obviously gluten-free. So it depends. Like this week I did buy some sweet potatoes so at one night, I’ll have that. I mean, you get different diets out there like a cyclical ketogenic diet.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There’s also Jason Seib’s stick on the AltShift Diet, which is I think a 3 days—I think it’s a 5-day low carb, 3-day high carb kinda stick as well. So there’s different things out there where you can cycle in and out and those I think tend to be really good for most people. If you’re more metabolically damaged, ketones, ketosis at that 20-30 induction phase can be pretty good. It depends. Some people I see if they’re in ketosis long-term will start to develop some of those hypothyroid symptoms, losing hair, hair loss, outer third eyebrow, cold hands, cold feet, mood stuff.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then would just add in just a little bit carbs, small amount, and they’re doing better, so–

Evan Brand:  That’s what I had to do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so some people–

Evan Brand:  I crashed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Do better so I’m not dogmatic at all. There are people out there that do great on that diet and because they’re not clinically oriented, meaning they’re not working with patients that we are, they—they just think well, because they did good on it, the other person out there that’s having a bad response or not as good response must not be doing it wrong.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I’m sorry, must not be doing it right.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because they’re doing it wrong essentially. So we always just make sure the fat macros are up, the protein macros aren’t too high, and then just make sure the carbs are there and that’s a pretty good sign off the bat and then we can always measure it. Get to a .5 to 1. 1 is pretty good. Cut off. So we can customize it and then we can figure out. Okay, you’re at ketosis. You’ve been there for 2-3 weeks. You’re stabilized now. Okay, you’re already at a healthy weight. You’re feeling good. Your markers look good. Let’s just taper up some of those carbohydrates a little bit, just a little bit. And this is where it’s cool that you can play around with these exogenous ketones, the beta-hydroxybutyrate salts like the calcium and the sodium. This is great to try. Be careful though. Don’t make the mistake of adding these synthetic ketones and eating a whole bunch of sugar. The body is programmed when insulin goes up, typically ketones never should be there, right? Because think about it, right? Insulin has to be low for ketones to be high. Because if high insulin’s present, the body will block fatty acid synthesis. What are fatty acids? That’s the tree branch going into the tree chopper. Out comes the ketones, right? So we wanna keep insulin low so if we eat a whole bunch of sugar, take some exogenous ketones, insulin’s high, guess where those ketones are going, you know?

Evan Brand:  Well, hopefully it’s gonna help go into the mitochondria.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, if insulin’s high and sugar’s high, you’ll actually pee it out. So if you use exogenous ketones, you wanna keep the insulin low still.

Evan Brand:  So if you—so if you’re eating high sugar or you’re eating high carb and then you take ketones, you’re saying waste of money.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Waste of money. And again a lot of the marketings out there because frankly, a lot of these ketone companies, they don’t care if you do it right or wrong.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because they’re getting—they’re getting paid either way.

Evan Brand:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Not saying that’s bad. There’s education that comes into play. So if you’re using exogenous ketones which I think can be great from a performance, neurological standpoint especially if you have issues with Alzheimer’s, things like that. That can be phenomenal because then if you have the right diet in place and then you add some ketones, it’s like bada-bing! You’re there. You know, we call it therapeutic ketone therapy. You know?

Evan Brand:  So basically, don’t waste your money. If you’re gonna do this thing then get the diet straightened out always but then get the—get the cyclical Ketogenic Diet or experiment with that first before you buy ketones.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Experiment.

Evan Brand:  That—that’s expensive. That’s $200 and that’s a—a way to waste it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you may not have to be you know, full out ketosis. You know, I sit around .5 to 1 and that feels pretty good. I think just spit out some ketones.

Evan Brand:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Get to a pretty good place. See if you can test it. Get down to .5 or 1. See how you feel. Stabilize and then taper in some carbs. You know, start off with a little bit of lower sugar, lower fructose fruit, and handful of berries. It’s a pretty good place and then you can always try adding in a little bit of safe starch, sweet potatoes, squash, yams, plantains. Do it at night. Because your body doesn’t need the extra sugar during the day because cortisol’s already there, mobilizing and conducting sugar out of the—out of the glycogen, out of the muscle tissue, or out of the liver. So the glucose is already going where it needs to go because of the high cortisol. Do your carbs at night where that cortisol isn’t as present.

Evan Brand:  This is fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, you having a good time here?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, this is fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome.

Evan Brand:  Well, just because you know, there—there’s so many different ways to go about this and there’s never—I—I think when people download these episodes, they think there’s gonna be like a single and that’ll be all answer, and that’s never going to exist especially for this ketosis discussion here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Plus we’re clinicians, so if it were that easy, you know, every patient would be a home run, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we have to put on our clinician cap, you know, so to speak. And we look at the diet, we customize it. So if you’re an endomorph, right? Larger, bigger, you know, wider hips, bigger belly, you know, those type of things, you put on fat easier–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it’s harder for you to burn, then you know, you’re gonna really benefit by starting out with a Ketogenic Diet and then customizing and then stack your carbs. When it’s time to stacking your carbs, stack your carbs on at night.

Evan Brand:  Here’s another thing I wanted to mention though, too, that we haven’t brought up yet. And you and I talked about Kalish’s talk I think a few weeks ago together, where if someone has a bigger waist and they have this excess body fat. Even if they go into a ketogenic approach, they may not lose weight because of those toxins that are stored in the fat cells could still disrupt the metabolism, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so the fat cells are a toxic reservoir for toxins essentially. A lot of our toxins go into the fat cell. They’re–

Evan Brand: So what do we do then if—if you’re going, you’re trying to go super low carb and yet you still just maintain your heavy weight, you cannot burn fat?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, that’s where seeing a good functional medicine practitioner helps so we’d look at organic acids. We would look at how you’re detoxifying via pyroglutamate and sulfate and a lot of these organic acids that look at phase 1 and phase 2 liver detoxification. Phase 1 is taking fat-soluble toxins, right? It’s already there. They’re lipid-soluble. I mean, they’re in the fat cell. We’re liberating them and turning them into water-soluble toxins primarily via B vitamins, antioxidants, and then we facilitate the transfer of these water-soluble toxins out the urine, out the stool, out the breath or skin, right?

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And we do that with sulfur amino acids, right? We’re supporting methylation and—N-acetylation, hydroxylation ,right? Glucuronidation, glutathione, all of these pathways that are shooting it out. So phase 1 is more B vitamin and antioxidant induced. Phase 2 is more sulfur amino acid induced. And then also some people because amino acids make carnitine, carnitine’s a really important compounds that shuttles fat into the mitochondria. It’s literally called the carnitine shuttle. You can Google it. It’s shuttling fat in the mitochondria to be burned so some people will see low carnitine. We’ll see some mitochondrial defects and then we’ll see some detox issues. So that can be something that we–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Incorporate into someone’s metabolic functional medicine program to help enhance it. So we get the diet dialed in non-dogmatically. Again, if you’re overweight, default to a Ketogenic Diet. That’s pretty safe. A Ketogenic Diet on a Paleo template. Right? Atkins create the—or Atkins made that ketogenic term famous except he used a lot of crappy foods, you know, didn’t differentiate with soy protein, added aspartame and artificial sweeteners. Didn’t care about grass-fed or chemicals or pesticides or Roundup so he kinda stumbled on it by accident–

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because he was just looking at it from a sugar and carbohydrate standpoint. He didn’t look at it from the qualitative standpoint of phytonutrients and pesticides and chemicals and—and inflammatory foods and excitotoxins like MSG and aspartame. So we know more. So we kinda add like a—a Ketogenic-Paleo template on to it and then we have tools like the Precision Xtra by Abbott and get it on—I think get it on eBay and buy the strips on eBay. There’s a company out of Australia. You can get a much cheaper—they’re expensive. They’re like $1 or $2 a strip but if you buy them here, they’re like $2 to $3. So you can get them like 50% off. I bought like 100 strips and I just test my ketones a couple times a week to see where I’m at and I pretty much know where I’m at based on what I eat because I’ve tested so many meals. I see a pattern.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if I’m eating like good, clean eggs or a good clean collagen shake with some good fats, MCT and butter in the morning, I’m sitting around .5.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I feel pretty damn good with that.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so I know we’re running out of the time but some of the benefits you can expect—I notice mental clarity goes up if I’m pushing towards ketogenic. Weight loss can happen which I don’t need to lose any weight but I am less hungry. I’m able to go little bit longer between meals. I don’t feel like I’m crashing like I was when I was doing more starch. There’s a few benefits for me. Did you wanna say anything on that part?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think you touched upon it really well. I think a lot of people will hear this especially if they’re medically oriented. People get confused between ketoacidosis and ketosis. So I already kind of touched upon the people that ketoacidosis happens to and typically you’re looking at over 20 mmol/L is gonna be what happens in ketoacidosis and ketosis, you’re gonna you know, .5, 1, that’s totally fine. Now there’s nutritional ketosis which is what we’re focusing on, right? We’re doing it by nutritionally eating an adequate amount of calories because you can go on ketosis by starving and fasting.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? Because you still drive down your insulin levels because there’s no calories. If there’s no calories, remember insulin’s the door that opens up the cell for the calories to go in. Whether it opens up the mitochondria or the muscle or the fat cell, that’s dependent upon how much insulin is coming in. But you can lower insulin by just going low calorie. So you can be in ketosis via starvation, too. The difference is we’re doing it nutritionally, meaning we’re actually eating foods. They’re real whole foods and we’re getting enough calories so you’re body’s not gonna be eating away lean tissue.

Evan Brand:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Most people confuse it and they think, “Oh, you’re gonna be ripping up your body. You’re destroying your muscle.” It’s like—well, my body’s not stupid. It rather burn the nutrients that are in it versus taking away lean tissue, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so—so don’t starve. This is not starvation–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They’re confusing the physiology.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, totally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They’re confusing it and that happens all the time.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it drives me nuts so people need to really understand ketoacidosis and nutritional ketosis, and they need to understand ketosis vs fasting vs ketosis vs adequate calories and also ketosis at the acidotic level because of cirrhosis or type 1 diabetes.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I think that’s pretty good there. If you would have sum it up, what’s the take home, Evan?

Evan Brand:  Well, take home. Try it out. Make sure you’re eating enough food. It’s easy to undereat if you’re basically cutting out, not almost, not an entire food group but essentially, so make sure you are getting enough good fats, enough good proteins, your coconut oils, your avocados, your avocado oils, your good meats, your good veggies. You know, your leafy greens are excellent. Stay away from the chemicals. If you start to crash, if you notice your outer one-third eyebrows going away, if you notice hair loss, if you feel like you’re a little bit more sluggish, you feel like hands and feet are getting cold like you alluded to, get some tests run. You can get some blood panels run for thyroid. You could get your adrenals tested to see if you’re just tanked out. Maybe you can’t go super ketogenic. Maybe that puts an extra stress on the body and you’re—you’re just not ready for that right now. So make sure your adrenals are healthy. Make sure your gut’s healthy and I think you’re gonna be—you’re gonna be on your way to—to weight loss if that’s a goal which is why many people go to—to ketogenic approaches.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So who should do this? Cancer patients, Alzheimer’s patients, anyone with metabolic syndrome, right? Waist size 35 or bigger for a woman, 40 for a man. Blood pressure, you know, in the 140s or up. Any bit of inflammation, chronic pain, any of those symptoms. A good therapeutic trial of a Ketogenic Diet, Paleo style, Paleo template is a great starting point and again if you enjoyed this show and you’re applying the information and loving it, sharing is caring. Also give us a 5-star review. We appreciate it and click below this screen and you can help us out.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, it’s been real, brother.

Evan Brand:  You, too. Take good care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You, too. Bye!

Evan Brand:  See ya! Bye!


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