The Mold Gut Connection – How Your Digestive Issue Maybe Caused by Mold Toxins | Podcast #371

If you’ve encountered mold from a water-damaged building or contaminated foods, you’ve likely encountered mycotoxins—toxic byproducts of mold. They’re common environmental toxins, and they have adverse effects on many body systems, including the gastrointestinal tract.

While you’ve probably heard about other symptoms that can follow mold exposure, Dr. J and Evan discuss that mycotoxins can also cause severe problems for your gut. They also talk about how mycotoxins impact gut health and the microbiota and what you can do to help restore your gut health once you are exposed to mold.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
1:57 – Mycotoxins
10:16 – Functional Medicine Approach
13:54 – Dopamine Mechanis
15:20 – Mold Inhalation Effects

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live, It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today’s topic is gonna be wonderful for the podcast. We’re gonna be talking about the mold-gut connection and how your digestive issues may be exacerbated by mold toxins, so great topic here Evan, personally been affected by himself and we see lots of patients all the time with these issues so let’s dive in. Evan, how are we doing today man?

Evan Brand: Yeah man, doing really well, and a lot of people have been to naturopaths, they’ve been the functional medicine people they’ve been a conventional doctor, they’ve been treated for SIBO and SIFO, whether it’s Rifaximin or natural SIBO protocols, maybe they’ve done SIBO diets or some of these rotational food diets and that sort of things, maybe they’ve tried berberine, oregano, garlic, and maybe they’ve made some progress, but then they’re still stick, they’re still suck, I’m gonna mix up my words, they’re stuck  and sick so that’s a bad combination of essays and this is likely due to a mold toxin problem because I’ve seen it too many times and I suffered on my own and even the labs now tell us they give us a cookie-cutter report but that cookie-cutter report nonetheless is still valuable because even the lab has painted the connection between mycotoxins which are essentially mold farts that you breathe in, in a water damage building and the connection to certain bacterial overgrowth, specifically Clostridia but also Candida and the mechanism of why this is so damaging especially to young children is because we know that Clostridia bacteria screw up the organic acid levels called HPHPA and this affects levels of neurotransmitters, so when you get these children, they have behavioral issues, they may be diagnosed with something like PANS, which is a Pediatric Acute Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. These kids usually have sensory problems, food sensitivity, skin issues, histamine problems, allergies, maybe they’re biting children, maybe they’re angry or irritable, this can all be traced back due to this toxicity.

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: 100%. So that’s quite interesting, now you talked about mycotoxins essentially being mold fart, so essentially the mold off-gasses, right? And, your different kinds of mold, right? It could be Penicillium, it could be Aspergillus, right? It could be the black mold, Stachybotrys, these types of things and then they produce various mycotoxins and when we do different tests, like plate testing on homes, supposedly each mold or so can produce about 300 different mycotoxins, whether it’s Ochratoxins, or aluminum is that correct?

Evan Brand: Yeah, which is crazy because we can only test for a very, very small amount on the urine so really, we’re trying to just look for some evidence of this bonfire, we’re looking for the ashes, Oh my god, there must have been a fire here, this big mold exposure, we’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg so yeah, you’re right. Our testing is good but it’s still very primitive compared to the amounts of mycotoxins that are being produced.  

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah.  And the type of organic acid testing that we’re doing is on the great plains. We’ll look at some of the organic acid compounds that correlate with, like Aspergillus or different mold toxins. Is that correct? What are those big mycotox? What are the big organic acids again? 

Evan Brand: So, it’s all on paper. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Membranes

Evan Brand: Yeah. So, you’ll see oxoglutaric. You’ll see citric acid can be high in a fungal overgrowth too so it’s all page 1. Oxaglutaric, you got hydroxybenzoic which is related to bacteria. I could pull up an O but in general it’s just page one. It’s typically numbers 1 through 18. If you see any big red flags on that either a combination of a bacterial overgrowth specifically a clustering problem and or Candida or fungal colonization and the lab indicates that so tartaric acid would also be on there, carboxy citric acid is also on there. So, in parenthesis, you’ll see under these organic acids now which is great because this has improved over the years that you and I’ve been running these labs. It now says Aspergillus so on number 6, which is tartaric acid under number six, it’ll now say Aspergillus. And you’ll know if that’s elevated, you’re colonized for Aspergillus which means that you’ve now been exposed to a couple situations could have happened either you had a large enough amount of mold, you were exposed to mold, long enough or your immune system was weak enough where now you become a mold factory. So, you can be a mold reservoir, more specifically a mycotoxin reservoir where you just have this exposure at the moldy hotel in Mexico and then you come back home and you’re sick or if you were weak enough, now you’re growing mold. Even if you move to the desert to avoid mold, you stay sick because you’ve got that colonization so with 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Ionization, that’s happening.      

Evan Brand: Yeah. So, you can prove that which is very important because now that would justify the use of herbal antifungals to try to remedy this situation. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: That makes sense. Let me go pull up one of my old tests. Let me see if I can find it. Hold on. 

Evan Brand: Now, the conventional treatment is typically antifungal medications that are gonna knock this out. But, as you and I with our functional practice, we don’t like to use that. So, number 4 would be classified as the fungal, the ferran-2,5-tricarboxylic, you’ve that Ferran carbonyl glycine. Yeah. So, number six. Yeah. So, this is old enough where they didn’t have the molds but on the new ones in parentheses 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Let me say Aspergillus. It is primarily Aspergillus for all three of these. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and the number nine tricarboxylic is Fusarium.  

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Fusarium. Yep.  And then Arabinose and Tartaric are also correlated with yeast overgrowth. This test here for instance, I did a great plane and a Genova test at the same time and this one actually came back much higher on the Arabino side than the great plains. then the Genova tested. So, it’s interesting you know different samples and such. But yeah, this one Arabinose is strongly correlated with Candida but then 

Evan Brand: I just ran my own, I’ve got Candida right now too so I’m on a protocol, right? Now, I just run. Yeah. I showed up with Candida and I want people to know because you were a speaker on the event. It was called the Candida summit which I ran like  five years ago and you know we had like 30 people talking about it and I could look back but I tell you I don’t think anybody had made the connection here which was the mold Candida connection back then and now what I’m finding is basically you’re just playing whack-a-mole with Candida until the mold’s gone meaning you may rotate through various rounds of antifungals but out the back door, you’ve got to be using the appropriate binders to pull out the mycotoxins so if you’re just beating Candida down and it keeps coming back. It’s probably the mold, not the Candida that you need to be after. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah. And, that’s where it’s good to run a test like this. Also, maybe a urinary mycotoxin test or just make sure your environment’s good because I always tell patients if the environment’s not good and you’re having reoccurring issues then you’re just not getting to the root cause. So, the first thing is to isolate the environment. Make sure the environment, your home, your apartment wherever you’re living run a high-quality mold plate test on there. We’ll put links down below where you guys can access the plate testing.  Isolate that, right? Make sure there’s no water damage or if there’s been leaks. Make sure it’s been addressed and dealt with. Make sure that’s dialed then the second thing is you can run a test like an organic acid test with your functional medicine provider. See if there’s any colonization. And, it that’s chronic, yo can get to the root on that and then you can always run urinary mold where you’re looking at mycotoxins coming out in the urine that can also be helpful but typically if this is good and there’s nothing at the home then you’re probably in pretty good shape and it’s probably more of an acute kind of dysbiosis thing probably from poor diet, poor digestion other bugs, other infections, etc. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. And the cool thing is that you can kill two birds with one stone or even three birds with one stone and what I mean by that is let’s say you run that oh and you showed the elevated Arabinose, you know, there’s a Candida problem but if we see tartaric above that’s high and then down below, we see some of the bacterial overgrowth markers, the blends that you and I formulate and have, we might be able to kill bacterial overgrowth, fungal overgrowth and a Candida problem. All in one fell swoop and that’s incredible and you know your gastroenterologist or even your mold doctor is likely not gonna be able to do that. They may come in specifically with itraconazole or fluconazole or nystatin. But as you know, we’re facing this big problem of antifungal resistance just like we’re finding with antibiotic resistance and so now, you’ve got these very virulent strains which are difficult to kill with conventional medications. You and I have talked about this before but the long story short of it is all the different alkaloids and terpenes and beneficial nutrients in the plants, those don’t have this resistance problem. And if you’re mixing this herb and that herb, it’s not one plus one equals two, it’s one plus one equals ten. You get the synergistic effect. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah. You see the same thing with addressing bacteria and other bigger bugs and berberines and Artemisia Wormwoods have synergistic effects. Also, the fact that you get a lot of antioxidants in a lot of these herbs. And so, especially if they’re high-quality, you get a lot of antioxidant support because when you start killing bugs, it’s a lot of oxidative stress that’s happening. And then, when you provide like an antifungal like Diflucan or an Amphotericin or a nystatin or a ketoconazole, obviously, there’s no antioxidants in those drugs and so you’re gonna have a lot of oxidative stress so it’s nice to have a blend different herb in there. One, to prevent the resistance. And then, also, people have yeast issues and a lot of times they have bacterial bugs as well and efflux pumps are a big thing that a lot of bacteria and bugs use to kind of protect themselves. So, I cannot say, like bacteria is like a sinking canoe, right? and essentially, you poke holes in that canoe with a lot of the herbals and think of the efflux pumps as the person in the canoe, baling water, right? So, they try to keep on bailing water, bailing water, so they don’t sink, right? And so, think of the herbals when you inhibit the efflux pumps whether it’s a ginger or different antimicrobials, it’s like taking the buckets away from the bacteria that’s bailing water and allows then to sink that allows them to effectively be destroyed that along with addressing biofilms too. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s awesome and the cool part too is you can minimize the die off if you’re doing this right. You know a lot of people when they hear these conversations, they get afraid. They go oh my God, Candida, mold, bacteria, parasites, worms like oh my God, this is a lot of stuff in me. I want it out of me but now I’m afraid. Am I going to feel worse before I feel better and the answer is if you do it properly that should be minimal to a nonexistent problem? I think you and I have refined our protocol so much over the years now that we have these tools and these other therapies in place that are standalone products but we often add those in or if we see that we hit a roadblock or a big bump in the road like a die off, we can change dosing. We can rotate. We can add in other support. We’re always talking about liver and gallbladder and binders and hydration and biofilms. These other pieces, these other variables, these are the make-or-break things for some people. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: 100%. And when people kind of want to go after the gut, we live in an antibiotic like kill, kill, kill generation so people tend to, when they find out they have an issue, they want to go kill, kill, kill and that can be very stressful in the body so it’s always very important to calm down the inflammation, get the immune system stronger, get the hormones that help with anabolic metabolism which is healing, recovering, anti-inflammatory support that kind of sets the table because the more stressed and inflamed you are, your lymphatic system, your detoxification system, your immune system won’t work as good and plus people forget your detoxification system, right? The cytochrome p450 oxidized pathways, especially the phase two pathways, they’re gonna run off of a lot of sulfur-based amino acids and so if we don’t have great digestion and we’re not eating you know good healthy animal protein or good healthy plant cruciferous vegetables. If we can’t tolerate them, we can’t break them down. May not have a lot of those sulfur building blocks to run those phase two pathways and so that’s why kind of getting the deck set so to speak so we can really hit phase two better just not with support but just getting digestion working better and a good diet working better sets the table and allows us to effectively kill so much better.

Evan Brand: Yeah and I know we’ve talked about a lot in a short amount of time, we’ve gone fast so listen back as needed but I want people to understand the connection because of the title of this episode, I want people to understand the mold-gut connection. So, the connection is the following: the mycotoxins weaken the immune system and allow the opportunistic bacterial overgrowth to thrive along with the Candida. So, if you’re working upstream at the SIBO-SIFO situation but you’ve got an underlying mycotoxin problem, you’ve got to address that if you fully wanna get better. The other mechanism of the mycotoxins is a couple. Number one is they damage the microbiome so we know specifically that mycotoxins do the same thing as, like food allergens, they disrupt the gut barrier and create intestinal permeability. So, that’s another reason you want to pull those out of the circulation by using specific binders based on your labs. And then the other mechanism too is we know mycotoxins affect the brain chemistry and specifically lower dopamine so when you get into pain signaling, you get into motivation and mood and just your overall vitality. If your brain chemistry is affected, we can also measure that but it could be directly attributed to the toxin for example in like rat studies when they inject them with mycotoxins or expose them to mold toxin, the dopamine levels crash. So now, all of a sudden, you’ve got this brain chemistry piece to address too, now people have heightened pain sensitivity, they’re depressed. They may be just more flat with their life. Once again, they go to their psychiatrist. They’re not gonna bring up mold toxicity, they’re putting them on an antidepressant medication. They’re never gonna say, “hey, oh your basement is flooded, that’s why you’re depressed and anxious and you have diarrhea”. So, the connection of the gut symptoms too, the diarrhea, any type of bloating, burping, digestive pain especially in children. Children don’t use the same language as adults. So, if your child is complaining about stomach pain that could be one clue that there’s something related. That was my issue for my daughter, Summer. She was complaining of tummy aches so we did run stool on her. She did have H. pylori when she was two. We tested real high. Maybe I gave it to her by sharing water bottles or something but either way, we took care of that and then stomach pain was continuing that was when we had got exposed to mold. Luckily, I got her on binders. Now, she’s in a better place. So, I’ve seen it unfortunately with my own kids and it’s stressful to see your kids suffer but it’s a good lesson. It’s a good learning lesson that your children are not crazy and if your kids are complaining of a chronic issue like this with pain, you know, consider this as a possibility especially if you as the mother are toxic because the toxins go through the placenta and they also go through breastmilk. So, if you have your own digestive skin, whatever problems, mood problems in your kid, has similar issues as you, well, it could be the generational passing of toxins. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: So, let’s go over that mechanism one more time with dopamine. So, obviously dopamine is a neurotransmitter and when we’re chronically stressed, physical, chemical or emotional, dopamine can go downstream and get converted into adrenaline which kind of helps manage the acute stress response. Is it just a fact that the mold is inflammatory and creating a stress response and activating the sympathetic nervous system that the dopamine is being taken and depleted downstream or is there something else? I want to make sure I get that mechanism hammered down.       

Evan Brand: I don’t know. Type in rat dopamine, mold or rat dopamine, mycotoxin. See if you can find it. There were several papers on this. I don’t know if they discussed the mechanism in it or not. My assumption would be that it’s multifactorial. I think the big mechanism would be that the mycotoxins affecting the gut barrier then affecting nutrient absorption then there’s likely less amino acid conversion to dopamine. So, I’m thinking, it’s more of a malabsorption problem but also we know that ochratoxin for example damages

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Like malabsorption, like it’s affecting the absorption of protein in the gut? 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I think that’s one mechanism. I think the other mechanism would be direct brain damage. We know that okra toxin for example damages the cerebellum. We know that the Verrucarin and the Stachybotrys mycotoxins affect the brain and the prefrontal cortex which impairs, like your ability to think clearly. So, I think it’s both. I think it’s the gut damage and I think it’s the direct brain damage too. I am going to pull it up here. Can you see it on screen?  

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yep. 

Evan Brand: Let me make it bigger on my side here. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah. So many mycotoxins, trichothecenes. We test that in some of the mycotoxin tests. Yeah. Induced neuronal cell apoptosis so some of that could be you’re just causing the cells in the brain and especially in the substantia nigra of the midbrain. That’s where dopamine cells are being produced. Some of it could be apoptosis that means programmed cell death and or inflammation in the olfactory epithelium.

Evan Brand: Interesting.

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: So, it seems to be a neurodegenerative and then look it says it caught ochratoxin A causes acute depletion of dopamine and its metabolites. 

Evan Brand: Look at that. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: So, I wonder if that’s a, it sounds like it’s possibly a stress response, right? Because dopamine can, tends to go downstream to adrenaline. It could be almost like an autoimmune response because you’re having apoptosis. This is neuronal cell death, program cell death. This is part of the reason why apoptosis is important, right? Because if you don’t have good immune function, this is how cancer forms, right? Your immune system helps program cells to die when they need to die. This is apoptosis but if you can’t do that then cells can overgrow hence you have a tumor, right? And so, this is actually happening to unhealthy or the very healthy tissue that you need to be functionally healthy that produces dopamine in the midbrain. So very interesting. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Talking about the hippocampus too, we know that hippocampus, I’ve got two of them. Remember, that’s why a lot of people have brain fog problems and also I would say that short-term to long-term conversion is impaired.

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Can you see this one here? The mold inhalation one 

Evan Brand: I’m just seeing that you’re highlighted on the hippocampus word for now.  

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Let me switch back to the other one here. This is mold inhalation. This is interesting. Let’s go pull this up. All tight. Mold inhalation causes innate immune activation, neural cognitive and emotional dysfunction.

Evan Brand: So, this is pretty new. July 2020 paper here so relative. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah. So, the ability of mold to cause such symptoms is controversial since no published research has examined the effects of controlled mold exposure on the brain. Patient symptoms following mold exposure are indistinguishable from those caused by innate immune activation by bacterial or viral exposure. Interesting. So, in this study here they added in. See here. Toxic and nontoxic mold stimuli would cause innate immune activation with concomitant neural effects and cognitive and emotional behaviors. We internationally administered intact stachybotrys. This is black mold extracted non-toxic stachybotrys spores and a saline vehicle to mice.  

Evan Brand: You don’t want to be that mouse. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Wow. No. As predicted, intact spores increase interleukin 1 beta, immune reactivity in the hippocampus both spore types decrease neurogenesis. This is forming new neurons in the brain and causing striking contextual memory deficits in young mice while decreasing pain thresholds. So, this is another word saying, causing more pain in the body. So, if you have mold exposure, joint pain could happen, right? And enhancing auditory acute memory in older mice. Nontoxic anxiety. Yeah. Also increase anxiety like behavior. Levels of hippocampal immune function correlated with decreased neurogenesis that’s creating new neurons in the brain. Contextual memory deficits, right? Obviously, less memory and or enhance auditory cued feared memory. I wonder what that means. Maybe it’s just like, uh, you’re more sensitive to external stimuli.    

Evan Brand: I read that. Yeah. I read that as sound sensitivity which is yeah part of the toxin and light sensitivity too so people will often have to wear sunglasses even when it’s not very bright. You and I talked about that in the context of adrenals years ago but that’s also a mold toxin thing. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yep. And an immune activation may explain how both toxic mold and nontoxic mold, skeletal elements cause cognitive and emotional decline. So, it’s really important. We don’t wanna be in an area where there’s a bunch of mold toxins and we can do a whole other podcast on how to mitigate mold toxins as a whole. I mean, of course, get your home tested. That’s the first thing. If you have water damage, make sure it’s mitigated by a professional right away because mold starts to form when sitting water in as little as two days. Got to make sure that’s under control and then if you’re on the fence, get yourself tested, right? We’ll run an organic acid test. Maybe run a urinary mycotoxin test and see what your actual load is but again one of the big telltale cue signs is you know, get your home. If there’s mold there and you start feeling significantly better and you go back, you notice an increase and definitely get your internal mold tested as well via urine. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well. I know we got to wrap this thing up. We got calls to get to but I hope this is helpful for people. We can always get geekier and dive deeper and go longer but I think you guys get the gesture, the connection of the brain toxicity, the gut damage. There’s a mitochondrial element with the chronic fatigue piece. So, if you are suffering from any chronic issue whether it’s mood like depression, anxiety, energy problems like chronic fatigue, low libido, poor erectile function, cold hands, cold feet, increased light sensitivity, blurry vision could be other things but this is a big smoking gun and all of us are inside way too much. We’re not outside like the Amish are all day. They might have moldy homes but they’re not breathing it in the majority of time. They’re outside in fresh air where the toxins are diluted. So, us with our indoor lifestyle as modern humans, we’re at more risk of this stuff and our buckets are already full due to pesticides and other toxicity in the environment so this is a really, it’s an epidemic problem, maybe the biggest one.

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: And not everyone is as genetically sensitive, right? Some people, they go into a moldy area. They get brain fog, right away. Some people do fine. Either way, it’s definitely a stressor in the stress bucket and if you know it’s there, you definitely wanna pull it out because it’s gonna help give you more resiliency and more adaptability. Great podcast today Evan. Everyone listening on the audio version, we pulled up some studies and some lab tests on the video version. We’ll put the link down below so you can see the video version. We’ll put some links to some of the labs and the products that we talked about today so you guys can take a look at those. Evan, great chatting with you. Head over to evandbrand.com to reach out to Evan via functional medicine nutritional support worldwide as well as justinhealth.com, Dr. J myself at justinhealth.com for me myself. We are here to help and support you guys wherever you are. Have a phenomenal day everyone.  

Evan Brand: Take it easy. Bye-bye.

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Take care. Bye now. 

The Root Causes of Anxiety – A Functional Medicine Approach | Podcast #370

Conventional medicine labels anxiety as a neurotransmitter imbalance and relies on pharmaceutical drugs to dampen the symptoms. Although, prescription medications can be a helpful and even necessary tool in periods of overwhelming anxiety. But we have so many more tools at our disposal than just medications!

Dr. J and Evan explain that they recognize that anxiety is often the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” in functional medicine. It’s the clear and present warning that something is going on below the surface that needs our attention. Our current circumstances may have been the breaking point, but the anxiety manifests in underlying issues. That’s why rectifying these issues is necessary to make anxiety more manageable or even eliminate it!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
2:06 – Acute and Chronic Stress
4:06 – Amino Acids and Herbs
11:24 – Gut Issues
16:26 – Functional Medicine Approach


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today, we’re gonna be talking about the root causes of anxiety, a functional medicine approach, and how to get to the root cause. Really excited about this topic. We see many functional medicine patients with these exact issues and we always want to get to the root cause of why that is so. Evan, how are we doing man?    

Evan Brand: I’m doing good. You know the anxiety story for you and I talking about anxiety goes back literally eight years. It would have been late 2014 when I was in my luxury apartment in Austin and I was calling you and I was saying, “dude, I can’t stop this”. My heart is pounding. I’m freaking out. What the heck is going on and you said, “man, if you go to the emergency room, all they’re gonna do is they’re gonna give you some sort of anxiety medication. So why don’t you go and take about a gram of magnesium and see what happens.” And so, that’s what I did. I think I might have had some pharma GABA or some other tools on hand, maybe some passion flower and luckily, I calmed it down but little did I know back then that I had some of the big root causes of anxiety that were unresolved which included mold toxicity, Lyme, Bartonella, some of these tick-borne infections that drive up the nervous system, unfortunately. Now, knock on wood, anxiety’s been a minimal to non-existent part of my life and It’s incredibly freeing because anxiety can be so debilitating that people become housebound or they become afraid to travel, they become afraid to go on planes. They become afraid to seek the raise at their job. They just want to live in this little cocoon because they’re so afraid and anxiety is also very debilitating for children too. It affects their confidence and their self-esteem and their motivation for school and how they get bullied and so, I mean, we could do an hour on this but think just to open this thing up with a bang, I would say that infections are a big driver of anxiety so whatever that is a tick-borne infection like a Bartonella, Babesia, Lyme situation or gut infections like we’ve talked about a thousand times in the last 10 years together which is parasites, bacterial overgrowth, worms, Candida, anything that’s gonna release a toxin or aggravate the immune system. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. 100%. So anytime you look at anxiety, you always have to get to the root cause, right? Obviously, if it’s unresolved emotional stress, your body is designed to create anxiety for a certain situation, like if you, I don’t know, if you have lived in a forest across the street and there are bears, there should be a healthy amount of anxiety so you know, don’t leave food out and you’re just a little bit more careful with your habits so you don’t get attacked by a bear, right? There’s a healthy bit of anxiety there which is good to kind of keep you on edge so you are alert and you make good decisions. We’re talking about things that are, you know, unhealthy amounts of anxiety where you don’t have those types of emotional stressors, right? Obviously, if those emotional stressors are there, kind of take inventory of them and figure out what that corrective action is you need to kind of close the anxiety loop. I always say close the anxiety loop. What is that action? You have to take that allows you to feel confident that you are not ignoring the reason why there is anxiety there. If you did that, great, awesome. Check that off your list. The next thing is like you mentioned, obviously, any type of chronic stress or acute stress can create anxiety, right? And so, chronic and acute stressors do different things to your body. They’re going to cause B vitamins to get recycled and used up at a higher rate. They’re gonna cause magnesium to get used up at a higher rate. They’re gonna put you in a fight or flight position, where your body goes into fight or flight and then that’s gonna cause increases of cortisol, increases of adrenaline and it’s gonna cause your brain to get hyperactive and obviously at the same time it’s gonna affect digestion too when you’re in fight or flight. It’s gonna decrease your body’s ability to make stomach acid and enzymes and it makes it harder for you to break down your food. And so, and then of course, the more stressed you are, now you’re gonna start craving more processed foods that increase dopamine and increase a lot of those, uh, feel-good brain chemicals to buffer that but so, I always look at like what’s the constructive vehicle to fix this, what’s the destructive vehicle. Destructive vehicle feels good at the moment but creates problems down the road. Constructive helps at the moment. May not, maybe not quite as fast but then actually gets to the root cause over time. And so, some of our constructive vehicles like you already mentioned, magnesium, right? Theanine, right? B6, B5, right? And I always look at nutrients first, like nutrients are in the hierarchy before herbs so nutrients first and then, in the hierarchy coming down would be herbs, Ashwagandha, passion flower, Valerian. Those things are nice herbs that kind of activate and stimulate GABA. So, GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. So, it’s the brake pedal on the nervous system. So, think of the gas pedal as adrenaline, as cortisol. That’s the fight or flight nervous system response and the gas pedal is gonna be GABA and the things that are gonna help with GABA are gonna be Taurine, Theanine, GABA in and of itself. And then on the herbal side, things like Ashwagandha have multi-adaptogenic effects. They can increase cortisol and increase stimulation when things are too low but they can also tamp it down when it’s too high. I like my wife. She was really stressed the other day. We are getting our kids out for an easter party and she’s like, “you have something to give me? I am so stressed.” And I’m like, “here you go”. And I gave her a bunch of GABA, Taurine, and Theanine and magnesium, some B5 and vitamin C and some Ashwagandha and she looked at me like two hours later, she’s like, “what the heck did you give me. I’m on cloud 9.” I’m like, yeah, you know that, the better living through chemistry right there. 

Evan Brand: That’s great. Yeah, and motherwort. I love motherwort too. It’s great for the anxiety when you’re having, like, heart palpitations, blood pressure type issues as well. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hyperthyroid too. They use it on hyperthyroid, as well. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. That makes sense. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Too high thyroid, it can also be. It can help dampen that down, as well, which is nice. 

Evan Brand: It’s great for grief too so like the cool thing about certain herbs is they can be an emotionally calming tool but they can be a nervous system calming tool too. So, like, as you mentioned, there could be an emotional thing like a bad boss, a bad spouse, a bully. You know that type of emotional anxiety driver but it could be a chemical driver too, meaning like a toxin driving the nervous system to be ramped up. Also, we should talk about blood sugar. I know we’ve done podcasts on this before but you know there’s a big impact on issues with blood sugar. Thank the Lord, my blood sugar is so good now, I could eat dinner at five and not eat till 1pm the next day and I’m stable, like, I can fast for extended periods of time as needed and I don’t have any issue but however when my gut was a wreck which I want people to pay special attention to, if your digestive system is compromised, you’re not gonna be tolerating fasting that well because you’re already so likely nutrient deprived because of the malabsorption due to the infection. So, years ago when I tried doing this type of fast, I would have major anxiety and that’s low hanging fruit so do what you got to do but you got to get your gut tested and then fix the infection first. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, just kind of looking at a bunch of different things. So, on the emotional side, right? If it’s unresolved emotional trauma that’s creating anxiety, you know, someone wrote about DNRS, that’s great. You know, this NLP, where you kind of visualize a stop sign or something to kind of do a pattern interrupt. That’s excellent. EFT, EMDR with eye movement or different tapping on meridian points to kind of dampen down that sympathetic nervous system response. And again, these are gonna be good, you know, uh, more chronic issues. Yeah. If it is an acute issue, you know, a lot of times, just get to the root underlying issue where that issue is acute.  

Evan Brand: I was on a plane one time and the turbulence was so bad and I started tapping on the plane. That really helped. I’m like okay. Even though it feels like this plane is about to crash, I love and accept myself and I’m like okay that’s fine.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Especially things like that. You don’t have control, right? There’s nothing you can do outside of just sitting there and getting through it. And so, it’s better when those things are kind of the case but you know, it’s kind of like, I’m just trying to think of you know an example, it’s kind of like, you go upstairs and don’t turn the alarm on for the house or like maybe did I leave the front door unlocked, right? And so, there’s a natural bit of anxiety. You start going down to bed and that little bit of anxiety kind of creeps in, you’re like, I’m not gonna be able to get to sleep fast if I don’t at least just check on the front door, right? So, let me make, oh good, it’s locked. Oh good, the alarm is on. Good. Now, that anxiety can go down because it’s there for a reason, right? So, if there’s a root cause, act on it, right? If there’s isn’t a root cause, right, but it’s more emotional, you can do some of the tapping and you can work with a practitioner to get to the root cause on that and then of course having better biochemistry will get will make every bit of anxiety better because you’ll be able to adapt to it and deal with it better. And so, of course, like we already talked about with cortisol, chronically high levels of cortisol and adrenaline are gonna be big so you have to get to the reason, the root cause why. And again, foods could be a reason why like gluten, too much processed sugar that can drive up that anxiety. Again, you already mentioned blood sugar fluctuations. If you’re on this reactive hypoglycemia roller coaster ride where blood sugar goes up because you ate too much processed carbohydrate, refined foods, junkie, vegetable oil, omega-6 fats. Blood sugars up and then it can crash right back down. The crashing is where you tend to get a lot of adrenaline cortisol stimulation and on the way up, you get lots of insulin so you get this insulin-cortisol-adrenaline kind of tug of war happening and that can be very stressful on the body. And then, of course, if your blood sugar is chronically high and you’re making tons of insulin that can also be a problem too. High levels of insulin can cause all kinds of problems with hormones, especially in women, it can cause issues with ovarian cysts and testosterone problems. And then, high levels of blood sugar deplete a lot of your B vitamins and magnesium. And so, if we have poor levels of B vitamin and B6 and B5 and B1 and B2 and B3 and folate and B12 and magnesium is depleted, that’s gonna cause more stress and more cortisol issues and it’ll be harder for you to deal with and adapt to that. 

Evan Brand: And I would say, if you have anxiety longer than the week, I would almost consider that chronic. I mean, it’s crazy to me, how many people you have and I’ve talked to over the years who’ve had anxiety for a decade or longer and sometimes as one person commented that anxiety and OCD together is terrible. A lot of times OCD does come hand in hand with anxiety. We’ve done podcasts specifically about amino acid therapy and we use amino acid therapy in our clinics but if you have OCD, anxiety, low self-esteem, worry, negativity, depression, disturbed sleep, those are all symptoms of low serotonin. So, what you need to do is to get an organic acid test so we can measure this and look at the brain chemistry because if you’re not testing, you’re guessing. So, when you’re listening to this conversation about anxiety, I swear to you, you’re never gonna find a psychiatrist that’s gonna say, “hey, maybe we need to run an organic acids test, maybe you have low brain chemistry because you have bacterial overgrowth. So, we’re also gonna run a stool test. If they’re out there, send them our way, we’ll do a podcast with them but I doubt your psychiatrist is ever gonna consider running functional medicine testing on you to investigate this. I don’t care if you do lorazepam or the klonopin or whatever. It’s not the root cause and it’s gonna dig you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any benzo 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Any benzo is gonna dig you further in the hole because now you’ve got this dependency issue and now you’ve got his issue of withdrawal and I don’t know if you’ve read some of the stories on this but my God if people try to acutely stop those benzodiazepines, there’s major major major side effects. So, it’s just not around

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Especially, if you’re on doses, you know, above one milligram or so on a benzo, it can be harder to get off and sometimes the taper can be, you know, six months to a year coming off of it. If you’ve been on it for a while or been on a higher dose. Yeah, you need to kind of do a slower type of taper for sure. 

Evan Brand: And there’s so much, I mean, just think of how many millions. I didn’t look at the numbers here but how many millions of people are on prescription anxiety medication and they never ever get to the root cause. It’s so sad to think about someone that’s been on like a Lorazepam or another benzo for 20 years and they’ve never once asked about the gut. The question came in, how does dysbiosis cause anxiety. What are the mechanisms? Well, I think, one, right out of the gates is gut inflammation. Number two would be nutrient malabsorption because as you mentioned, a lot of these B vitamins are necessary for many processes in the body including energy production so sometimes you have anxiety and chronic fatigue and that sucks too because now you’re too tired but you’re anxious so that’s not a fun recipe either. What else would you say about the gut anxiety connection? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, so anytime you have chronic gut inflammation whether it’s from food, whether it’s antibiotics. Antibiotics are creating rebound yeast or bacterial overgrowth. We could put H. pylori in that category, and other infections, as well. That’s a one you and I already mentioned, creates malabsorption just from indigestion, right? Not enough enzymes, not enough acids, not absorbing things well. Two, you’re gonna have exogenous production of lipopolysaccharides which in and of itself are a toxin, right? They’re produced, they’re part of the gram-negative bacteria in the gut and they’re stressful on the liver and there’s also can go to the blood-brain barrier. And when they’re in the brain, they can create mood and anxiety issues as well. So yeah, lipopolysaccharides, you could have acetaldehyde and mycotoxins from fungus. You could have issues with the parasites producing their own type of internal toxins for sure. Of course, your body also produces through healthy gut bacteria, a fermentation process to make its own B vitamins, vitamin K. Those kinds of things. So, if we have dysbiosis, we typically are gonna have low levels of beneficial bacteria so we don’t have that good endogenous production behind it. And then, of course, that’s gonna over activate our immune system. So now, we have all these toxins kind of slipping through our bloodstream. We have undigested food particles, getting through our bloodstream. Now, our immune system starts becoming hyperactive and that can suck up energy. That can suck up resources. So, there’s studies on for instance H. pylori creating mental health issues, mental, emotional issues, depression and anxiety partly because of the lipopolysaccharides and endotoxins are the same thing by the way. LPS or endotoxins and obviously nutrient absorption problems too.   

Evan Brand: Man, when I had H. pylori, I was super anxious. I don’t know if I was depressed as much but I was definitely anxious and you remember how skinny I got, I mean, I lost so much weight too. So, a lot of people, you know, they look at anxiety on the surface right. And everyone looks anxiety is just like this mental thing and you just need to watch some hoorah motivational video and just get over your fears and that I was like no anxiety goes way deeper than that. You just eloquently illustrated this, the aldehydes from the yeast and the fungus toxins and the bacterial toxins and the parasitic toxins and the mycotoxins. You guys, this anxiety is not in your freaking head. It’s not. It may manifest in your head but the root cause is not in your head unless you’re describing like, this toxin getting across the blood-brain-barrier but beyond that, the gut I would say is the biggest driver of anxiety. I’d say, if I had to pick one place to look, it would be the gut.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, when we look at this, what’s kind of the hierarchy of addressing this? So, of course, you fix the foods, right? Because the foods are one. You’re gonna decrease inflammation from the foods. And the inflammation in the foods is gonna cause gut permeability so you cut out the gluten, the dairy, the processed refined sugars and flours, the junky omega-6. You focus on good high-quality animal-based fats, good healthy proteins, you know, more carbohydrate from fruit and starch, especially if there’s blood sugar issues and then from there, then you work on digesting it. So, make sure enzymes and acids and good digestion are there. Get your gut looked at especially if there’s any type of chronic bloating or motility issues or indigestion, unadjusted food in your stool, diarrhea, then you get your gut looked at and of course if this issue is more chronic, you want to look at your stress handling system so the interplay sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system in your body and your nervous system is your adrenals and so you can get your adrenals looked at cortisol rhythm wise, you can do a cortisol panel. Look at your cortisol in the morning and throughout the day. Make sure it’s not too high or it’s reversed. On a good organic acid test, we can look at neurotransmitters like Vanilmandelate which looks at adrenaline. We can get Homovanillate which looks at dopamine, right? We can get the DOPA which looks at dopamine. We could also get 5-hydroxyindoleacytate to look at serotonin and then of course we can look at B6 like a kind of urenate or xanthurenate, right? We can look at brain inflammation markers like picolinate and quinolinate so there’s inflammation in the brain that gives us more indications. We can look at oxidative stress markers like 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine. There are good markers out there to look at these different things to give us a window of what’s happening so you know, we work on the food, work on the lifestyle, sleep. Make sure we’re digesting and breaking things down. Look at the nutrient deficiencies, look at the gut, look at the infection, look at the digestion and then of course, you know, we can always branch out and look at mold or mycotoxins or heavy metals or more toxic burdens down the road. That’s the foundation first and then I would say on top of that, if there’s any type of chronic pattern where there’s an emotional trauma involved that’s more unresolved definitely bring in a good practitioner, you know with some tools in their tool bag of NLP or EFT or EMDR or hypnosis. Anything that you want techniques to get into the subconscious but again the healthier you are the better the emotional stuff is to resolve so if you’re doing EMDR and EFT and NLP and you’re eating processed food and crap, it can still work, but it’s gonna be better when your brain chemistry is healthier. 

Evan Brand: Oh, yeah. Amen. Well, think about all the people that are in talk therapy and then they go and they go eat a subway sandwich for lunch, thinking that they’re doing themselves a good favor by eating turkey on wheat bread with processed cheese and then they get mayonnaise or sweet and sour sauce on it or whatever the heck they’re doing and then they feel like crap, I mean. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.  I’m not a big fan of talk therapy in the long term. I think, talk therapy is good did you kind of just consciously process something like how did this happen maybe you’re learning some tools to enter into your life from a habit standpoint to fix whatever that issue was but then most of that trauma sits in the subconscious area of the brain which is where 90% of all your thoughts are subconscious and so that’s where you want some of these techniques like we talked about but I think talk therapy is good to acutely process what you’ve observed whatever your experiences are and then talk about, hey what can you do, you know, as a person today as an adult today, um, you know, from a habit standpoint to address it but then after that then you gotta, you know, if you’re in talk therapy months and months later and you’re still just ruminating over the same thing then it’s a subconscious thing you got to work on next.   

Evan Brand: Yeah, and look, don’t let me talk people out of doing it. I’m not trying to do that but what I’m saying is I’ve had people that said, “oh yeah, I’ve been with this therapist for 3 years and I meet with them every week or every other week”. And I’m like, “okay and what do you do with this therapist?” “We talked.”, “Okay and what else do you do?” That’s it. It’s talk therapy and I go, okay, you’ve been doing talk therapy every week or every two weeks for 3 years and you still have anxiety that’s this bad. We got to dig deeper. So, like I said, there’s a role for that but it’s not gonna get you out of the woods. The person who commented about the dysbiosis and anxiety question, they also commented in here said they did have a stool test that showed H. pylori. They have extremely high Morganella which is one of those bacteria we’ve talked about and calprotectin which is gut inflammation over a thousand. Fatigue and anxiety were the main symptoms. We see this everyday all day. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Exactly. I’m familiar with that case for sure. And inflammation in the gut can definitely create those types of issues and get to the root cause of it too.  And then, someone writes in, about Accutane too, I mean, this is super common if you get into the dermatology world. I mean, dermatologists, they either cut something. They burn it off with a laser. They freeze it off or they use some type of antibiotic, topical or internal or they use some kind of like, synthetic vitamin A. That’s it. That’s the dermatology world you know in a nutshell and they tend to not get to the root, you know, we’re talking like more chronic acne, chronic skin stuff. They tend to not ever get to the root cause of how or why that’s even there. Diet, sugars, junky, omega-6, poor digestion, poor fats, poor proteins. They don’t really get to the root cause of what that is and so, they recommend synthetic vitamin A, which is Accutane, which again, will decrease the amount of oil produced by your sebaceous glands which can be helpful in the short run if they’re producing too much oil but they can create chronic skin and eye dryness in the long term and they’re not even getting to the reason why your skin’s producing too much oil to begin with. Usually, it’s too much insulin. Insulin is a huge driving factor of excess oil and then of course, you have different food allergens, gluten, dairy, too much sugar. That can also cause a lot of problems with the skin cells. 

Evan Brand: And not to mention, the connection between people that have anxiety and acne. Guess what, they’re both linked to the gut. So, if you have acne and anxiety, you gotta investigate your gut. Please. Please. Please.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. And again, you know, outside of that, you know, we look at different toxins down the road. If we look at heavy metals, there’s different tests. We can look at, to do a challenge test on your metals with a DMPS or some kind of a challenge agent. We can definitely look at mold if there’s mold in the environment that’s important to look at. And again, if you’re in an environment where you feel better leaving that environment then there could be some mold in there, especially, if a history of water damage that was unresolved, definitely want to get your mold looked at or just your home looked at too, especially if it’s something that the whole family is dealing with just get the home looked at to start. It’s usually cheaper and more effective out of the gates. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. well said. And, heavy metals too. I’m glad you brought that up. You know, mercury and other heavy metals that can stimulate the nervous system and cause issues. So, if you have a bunch of silver fillings in your mouth, you’ve got to consider that. May not be your number one smoking gun, sometimes it is but heavy metals are a big problem and even detox too can make people feel too sick. I mean, you and I have seen this many times. Other practitioners that have handled people before they come to us or they’ve done something too aggressively with chelation or other detox methods and then they’ve ended up worse. So, there’s like a tight rope and that’s where the art of medicine comes in. Everything is not just like cookie cutters. So, too much is a problem. Too little is a problem and that depends on gut and detox and beta glucuronidase and liver and all of it. So, like if your friend got better and you tried what your friend did and you didn’t do well, that might not be your right protocol.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Exactly. And then, just to kind of highlight the nutrients in, compared to talk therapy, Julia Ross is out there. She’s like a family therapist person but she’s done a lot of books on amino acids and diet and she had different clients that she used to use talk therapy for years and years and years and said, “hey, let me just try adding in some amino acid therapy to their protocol and let’s see how they do with their talk therapy when we add in the amino acids”. She started to do that and then these patients would come the next week and they’d be like, “Yeah, just, I’m just good. I just don’t even feel the need to talk about it. I’m over it”. And it’s like wow so it’s like it gives people the equipment to kind of, like, process these issues and again I think talk therapy acutely may be fine. It’s just when you’re talking about the same thing for years and years and years, you’re probably not getting to the root cause, right? This is probably just covering up something else, you know. Now, I think it’s better than being on a drug, right? So, if it’s helpful and you don’t need a drug that’s great but, in the end, you know, if you can do some of these nutritional things along with it, you may find that you can just deal with the issues better you know I, the analogy I get patients is, try dealing with difficult problems around the home and not having slept for a couple nights. You’re gonna lose your patience with your wife with your kids. You’re not gonna be able to think right, you’ll be foggy, get some good night sleep and then wake up and deal with the problem. It’s like you’re gonna be way more equipped to deal with it. I think that’s kind of how brain chemistry works when you’re dealing with these stressors. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Absolutely. Well, I remember in that book too, talking about how, like, amino acids were administered, right? At the beginning of a session and then the people would just immediately like, smile or loosen up or relax and so it’s amazing no matter how much you talk. Long story short, I know we’ve beat the drum on this for a minute but last thing, no matter how much you talk. It’s never gonna change your levels of serotonin just by talking it out. If you have a gut problem that’s affecting your nutrient absorption which is affecting the tryptophan and the conversion with the B6 over to 5HTP and then over to serotonin and then to melatonin so sleep issues too. So skin, sleep, anxiety, they’re all connected depression. We’ve already talked about that. This person here’s putting a bunch of question marks like they’re mad at us. What is the connection between Accutane and depression?   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s just a side effect. It’s a side effect of the drug. 

Evan Brand: It could be a side effect. Yeah.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Just the side effects of the drug. That’s all it is. Yeah. So certain drugs, you know, are gonna have side effects. Ibuprofen can cause ulcers and liver issues, right? Just a drug side effect.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well, we got to wrap this thing up. But if you need help clinically, you can feel free to reach out. We work with people around the world. We send these functional medicine labs to your door. We have an incredible logistical team on both sides where it’s incredible. We can help people in literally every part of the globe where people like us don’t exist or maybe they do but we’re better. So, if you need help, you can reach out directly to Dr. J, that’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani at justinhealth.com for consults or me, Evan Brand at evanbrand.com. We’re happy to help. You guys, don’t give up. We’ve been through it. We are warriors ourselves and we’ve worked on our health for years and we love what we do and we love helping people and there’s so much possibility when you can beat an issue like anxiety. So, like I said in the beginning, whether it’s seeking that raise, that new promotion, that new job, that new spouse, you know, that partner, that relationship that you want to grow but you can’t because you’re held back by anxiety. This is a huge huge problem and you can overcome this. So please don’t give up. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. If you guys enjoyed it too, look down below, you’ll see a little link where you can write us a review. We appreciate the review and if, also, it’s benefiting you, feel free to share with family and friends and there’ll be links where you can reach out to us directly to get that extra bit of help. All right guys, have a phenomenal day. Take care. Bye everyone. 

Evan Brand: Bye-bye. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.  

 

 

Top 5 Reasons You Are Losing Muscle Mass | Podcast #369

Muscles are essential to everyday movements, and if you noticeably lose muscle mass — especially without knowing why — it can be alarming. Losing some muscle mass is normal as you age. However, losing muscle mass quickly or atrophy, especially in the context of other symptoms, can indicate an underlying illness.

In this video, Dr. J and Evan discuss the top reasons you lose muscle mass aside from aging. Preventing a loss of muscle mass can also be achieved by exercising regularly (such as functional strength training) in conjunction with a balanced food template of lean meats and proteins, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains.

However, if the loss is due to an underlying illness, it must also be addressed and mindfully managed with a trusted healthcare professional or your functional medicine doctor.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
2:33 – Functional movements
3:37 – Infections
7:21 – Vegan-vegetarian
9:35 – Autoimmune digestive disorders
12:21 – Hormones
15:06 – Types of muscle building


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today, we’re gonna be chatting about the top five reasons you are losing muscle mass. This is really important. All right. If you’re losing muscle mass, it’s gonna be essentially an all-cause predictor of mortality, increased mortality. So, we gotta make sure that we’re keeping our muscle mass and or improving our muscle, especially as we get older, we need good muscle to support and stabilize our body so we don’t get hurt, we don’t slip, we don’t fall, we don’t get injured. We don’t slip a disc so to speak. So, we have to make sure that we are keeping our muscles strong and functional. Evan, how are we doing today man?  

Evan Brand: Doing really good. I talked with a guy actually this morning where his mother, due to age and related muscle loss, fell, broke her hip, got in the hospital, had to get surgery, got an infection, died. So, I’m not saying everyone is gonna end up like that. But my God, look at how quickly something just like a fall due to lack of muscle strength and mobility could turn into something scary where you’re hospitalized, you’re getting surgeries, you end up with a hospital acquired infection then you’re on antibiotics then you go septic, I mean, this is crazy and so I hope we can help people prevent. This is such a common story. I mean, how many times have you heard, like, old granny falls, breaks her hip and that’s the end of her. She never recovers. It’s like, that’s not good. And so, fortunately, in the past, up until the past couple years, both of my grandparents right around 80 years old, they were playing tennis and they were still active in mobile so I just encourage you guys, just because you’re getting grow older that doesn’t mean that you need to become a couch potato. Even some of her friends that she’d played tennis with are in their mid-80s, still playing tennis, still moving well on the court. So, I just encourage you to find something that you love first and foremost. Use exercise as a side effect of having fun, meaning, if it’s pickleball, if it’s tennis, if it’s ping pong for all I care, I mean, basketball, volleyball, I mean, whatever you can do it. It doesn’t have to necessarily be intense. That’s all fun stuff, maybe competitive, fine. But exercise is a side effect of it. But if you’re just trying to depend on willpower to go run a mile, I think that’s a terrible long-term strategy and I don’t think you’re gonna like to continue with it, like my row machine, you and I both, we have the same row machine, we love it. You can go on there, and you can do little games, you could do just row, you could pick like, oh, I’m gonna, I wanna burn 10 calories or I wanna grow 500 meters and you have this like goal that motivates you to do something, but at the end of the day, all this physical performance is gonna pay dividends. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No. Exactly. 100 percent. So, when I kind of, when I lift weights, I’m always trying to do functional movements, I think as you get older, especially as you know, you move into adulthood, you want muscles, right, you want to look fit or lean or trim right? You wanna feel solid but you wanna have functional muscles. One that allows you to do housework or click pick-up your kids easier and feel more confident or do well at your sport or just be able to enjoy life and feel good like if you think about, like, getting into a car, right? You get into a car, it’s like a one-legged kind of squat, right? So, I’m a bigger fan. As you get older, trying to do more unilateral body movements, meaning like a one-legged squat, a one-legged lunge or a lunge obviously with that, you know, you can look at discrepancies in your body. If you’re doing a squat, you know, you have other sides that you can compensate for but when you’re doing one-legged movements either a dead lift or a squat or a lunge or a step-up, it magnifies imbalances in the body. I like that because most of the time, when you’re moving, you’re actually on one foot in a sense and so it’s good to do movements like that so you start to develop a lot of the stabilizer muscles that support you when you’re moving so you don’t get hurt. 

Evan Brand: Let’s get into the functional stuff, like the functional medicine stuff, not functional movement but like functional reasons, I’m gonna go ahead and say, number one as a category of infections and you and I can break this down as much as you want. Yeah. I’m gonna say infections because you know my story, you saw me, I lost like, 25 pounds without trying and some of it was related to H. pylori. I think the parasite also wrecked me so I would just say infections as a whole. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah so when you have inflammation in the gut, right, it can be cause by infections like a parasite like Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Blasto, H. pylori, bacteria in that category, SIBO, general dysbiosis, bacteria imbalances, right? It creates inflammation in the intestinal tract, right? Whether it’s small intestine, large intestine, if you look at where these nerves sit on the spinal column, they sit in the lower thoracic to lower lumbar spine, and you know, let’s say t10 to L5 or so. Maybe even, maybe even S1 and when you have inflammation in the intestines, it’s on a two-lane nerve root highway from your intestines to your spine back to the muscles, right, so we have what’s called a visceral somatic reflex. So this Visceral means organ, somatic means muscles. So inflammation in the organ can actually take that signal of inflammation put on that two-lane highway to the muscle and it can actually create that muscle to shut down or not be fully facilitated or active and so with inflammation in the intestines can cause that. Now, women know this just think about the average women that has PMS and has PMS symptoms of back pain. It’s their ovaries having inflammation or hormonal imbalance that’s then refluxing to the muscle, right, visceral organ, somatic muscle. So, women know that if they have PMS or if you ever had a gallbladder issue, you feel it in your shoulder, if you have appendicitis, you feel it in that lower right hip quadrant, right? If you have a heart attack, you feel in the jaw down the left side down the left arm so we know there’s this organ muscle connection so a lot of people can have muscle issues because their core and their back gets very weak due to inflammation in their intestinal tract and the more inflammation there is the less likely you’re wanna, you’re gonna, wanna lift and want to do one of them, you know put resistance on your body because you’re just more inflamed and you’re more likely to get hurt and injured. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. So, if you, now, not all people lose weight and I’ve seen many women who gain weight magically 20, 30, 40, 50 pounds, sorry ladies, sometimes it happens that way. It’s where you gain weight due to infection but for me and I’ve seen other men the same, you lose weight, so I don’t know, I would just say this, any fluctuation whether it’s weight gain, including muscle loss so you could gain weight and still lose muscle right. You could gain body fat and lose muscle so whether it’s a significant, let’s say 10, 20 pounds or more weight loss or weight gain with no explanation, I would definitely look into the gut, start looking for infections  and as you mentioned, the strength is important and people don’t want to get strong if they feel like crap and so for me, luckily, my gut’s much better and now I feel good with resistance training whereas before I was just so depleted. So, let’s go into reason number two, I’m gonna say nutrient deficiencies, now, this ties directly into infections right because in the case of H. pylori, if it’s reducing stomach acid. Now, if you’re eating this good grass-fed steak, you’re not really getting as much nutrition from that and so these nutrient deficiencies compound over time because if you don’t have the amino acids being cleaved off the meats to produce muscle mass that also creates a big problem so nutrient deficiency and we could go any direction you want with this even vegetarian vegans, we could talked about the deficiencies there and how they’re gonna have trouvle with muscle mass. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. So, of course, if we have vegan vegetarian, we’re not gonna get enough carbohydrate, we’re not gonna get enough protein, typically or if we get enough protein, right, let’s look at the combination of rice and bean which is a pretty common one. Well, you end up getting 70 grams of protein to 15 grams or so of carbohydrates so you get a lot of carbohydrates. Now, if you’re not that active or you’re more insulin resistant, you know some, most people are gonna need probably a minimum of half their body weight and in ounces of protein so if you’re like 200 pounds that’s 100 grams of protein. Well, do the math if you’re getting 15 to 20 grams of protein per 70, 75 grams of carbs that’s you know, 75 times five, you’re looking at like 340 to 400 grams of carbohydrates. Obviously, you can fix some of that by doing, like, a protein shake, like protein or hemp protein, you know, you can fix some of that. But again, you’re still relying on artificial sources, not whole food sources. Now, the benefit of the animal product is you’re gonna get all the protein, none of the carbs and you’re typically, if they’re grass-fed and pasture-fed, you’re gonna be getting excellent good fatty acids along with it and you won’t be getting a lot of the excess omega-6 fatty acids like you’re not gonna get on the vegetarian vegan side. So, you have this nutritional density that you get on the animal side which is wonderful and as long as we’re choosing you know, avoiding the factory farm, you know, we’re doing grass-fed pasture-fed, you’re gonna be in great shape and the next thing after vegan vegetarian is low stomach acid so if we have achlorhydria, low stomach acid, and that typically connects with low enzymes too, we may have a hard time breaking down a lot of that proteins. So, I know when you had some of your gut infections years ago, I think you had what Cryptosporidium, Gardia, H. pylori, that’s it Three Amigos, right? And so, when you had this gut infection, you also had lower stomach acid, lower enzyme levels. So, supplementing the enzyme and the acid so we can break down those amino acids and then also adding in or cutting out the bugs is helpful and then sometimes adding in some amino acids in a free form can be helpful because 40% of the Energy that you get from the protein actually goes into digesting the protein. It’s like having a credit card with a 40% transaction fee, right? Very expensive. So, there is some benefit by doing amino acids, if it’s already broken down but we still wanna make sure the whole food is dialed in and that we’re getting enough, uh, we’re getting access to the whole food nutrients via hydrochloric acid and enzymes too. 

Evan Brand: All right. Moving on to another cause here, and this is inspired by a comment here from Teresa, she said that she has muscle wasting from my colitis. So, we could just say, any gut issues and that one include autoimmune gut issues, right? So, colitis or what’s called pancolitis would be the whole colon, even celiac, Crohn’s, I mean, any of these autoimmune gut issues oftentimes that’s gonna create a lot of muscle wasting that ties directly into what we just said though which is nutrient deficiencies and infections. A lot of these people with major gut issues, like this, there’s usually a trigger. Now, in the case of like, celiac, obviously, that may or may not have a parasite infection involved but this is still part of the equation and we can use gut healing nutrients to work on this, you can put some of this stuff into remission but you know what, I don’t want people to do, you know, what I don’t want people to do is like eat clean all week and then they go eat garbage on the weekend. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Yep. 100%. And so, of course, if you have colitis, right? Whether it’s microscopic or ulcerative colitis, you know, it’s an extreme irritable bowel disease, you gotta look at the foods and then sometimes the foods could even be in vegetables it could be in the oxalates, the phenols, the salicylates, the FODMAP, so sometimes even healthy foods on paper could be problematic and then of course, you know, the grains and the dairy and he refined carbohydrate and the omega-6 fats of course those right. So, getting the inflammation via food is super important, we talked about dysbiosis, we talked about SIBO, H. pylori, of course is super common because H. pylori is notorious for lowering stomach acid and so of course, if we’re just taking stomach acid and enzymes and we’re not fixing the H. pylori, you know, that may not get to the root cause. So, if we’re taking supplements like hydrochloric acid or enzymes or bile support, we also got to make sure we’re getting to the root cause of any additional bugs that could be present and if we’re chronically stressed like the adrenals if we’re in sympathetic fight or flight the sympathetic fight or flight nervous system tends to be more catabolic than anabolic. So, anabolic is building back up, healing, recovering, getting stronger. Catabolic is breaking down. So, from this fight-or-flight state, our bodies always tend to be it. You know, running versus, building and growing and so if you’re catabolic from the adrenals being over active with cortisol, that’s gonna make it hard to build muscle, you’re gonna be breaking down the muscle instead, making glucose out of it and it’s also gonna be harder to digest because your body’s hard wired to take blood and bring it to the extremity so you can fight, flight or kind of run versus to the organs so you absorb and break down. So, that fight or flight is really important in fir digestion, for where the blood goes and also and how it allocates nutrients. It’s more likely to break down muscle than build muscle back when that fight or flight is really active.

Evan Brand: That’s a good call. That’s exactly where I was gonna go next is hormones, I was gonna talk about maybe low testosterone. We’re seeing that in men in their 20s, 30s, 40s, I mean just low hormone levels and women need some level of testosterone too. So, if you do hormone issues whether that is adrenal related cortisol, thyroid hormone, maybe you can riff on that for a minute because I think people are focusing on gut gut gut, which is great but there’s also this other connection of the hormone piece and I will tell you my cortisol was completely depleted when I did a salivary panel  years ago. My cortisol was flat all day and it was really tough no matter how much I tried in the gym, I was weak. Like, just my God, I could not make progress, fortunately better now, but man I’ve been through it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Some people, they may be high with their cortisol and we have to use adaptogens to calm it down of course, like good diet and lifestyle things, some may be low and typically you don’t just go low all of a sudden. You ten to be on the higher over stimulated side for a while and then you ten to crash and that’s where that low cortisol kind of comes together and with that chronic cortisol, a lot of times we see low DHEA, and DHEA is important because that’s gonna be a precursor to a lot of men and women’s sex hormones and so women will go more down the estrogen side. Men, it will trickle more down testosterone. These are both anabolic hormones and so if we have lower DHEA, that tells us the adrenal issues that are going on are more chronic and DHEA will go downstream to more of these anabolic building up type of hormones so very important to take a look at your DHEA because that could tell you if you’re more catabolic inflamed place. And also too, if you do exercise, I get it if it’s like your first couple of movements, It’s like a new exercise kind of thing, you may be a little bit torqued. It’s new but you shouldn’t be overly sore after your workouts. If it’s a new thing, fine, or it was really you know, an acute hard workout but in general you shouldn’t be overly sore, you know, more than two days or so later. You really shouldn’t, you should still be able to function like maybe you feel it like it feels like you did something but it’s not overly sore if you are um and it was a reasonable amount of exercise, it wasn’t like you did too much you’re probably in a more catabolic state, and it’s also you could be over exercising too. So, you gotta make sure you’re not over exercising.  

Evan Brand: Yeah or I’m thinking like what about lactic acid build-up too due to gut bacteria or a mitochondrial issue due to some sort of toxin where they’re just depleted, they’re not recovering well, they’re not performing well. So, maybe not directly related to muscle mass but I think mitochondrial issues could be something to look into. You and I measure this and look at this on an organic acid test and we often find a lot of issues, I mean we’re in a toxic world with a lot of chemicals, metals, pesticides and so these things damage the mitochondria which to me would directly impair your ability to perform. Is it directly reducing muscle mass? If your mitochondria are damaged, I’m not sure on that. I’m sure we could look into it but it makes sense. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Absolutely. So, a couple different types of um ways you can build muscle, right, we talked about resistance training is obviously gonna be my favorite, right? So, we can do resistance training that kind of acts like cardio so if we do let’s say three or four movements back-to-back to back-to-back that kind of acts like cardio like or instance if I do like bicep curls, right, this is resistance training, you’re probably not gonna see a big bump in your heart rate which is bicep curls, right? So, there’s resistance training where you’re not getting a cardio effect and it’s resistant training where you’re actually getting a cardio effect. So, just like, people think cardio, like, oh, I’m gonna try them all that’s cardio. It’s well no, you can do exercise that’s resistance and still have a cardio effect. So, if I just did like bicep curls or tried extensions probably not a big cardio effect. Now, if I did like bicep curls and then I paired that with the next exercise, let’s say kettlebell swings, right and then the next exercise being some type of full body row or a lunge, you can see how you start getting more muscle groups involved. Your heart rate starts to go up significantly. So, that’s nice because there’s some benefit if you look at some of the zone two exercise theories that are out. With zone two exercises, essentially, when you’re working at about 60 to 70 percent of your max heart rate so if you’re at typically like you know, typically around if you’re like max heart rate for most people in their 40s or so will be like maybe around usually, it’s 225 minus your age and so if you’re like 40 that’s like what 225 minus 40 would be like what 185 and so you do 185 times 60 or so that should give you then you’re around like typically around 120 or so for your heart rate so they want you to stay around 120 for about 30 minutes. Now, you may find that you kind of have that zone 2 type of benefit while you’re actually doing lifting, if you kind of do it in a circuit fashion, then you choose movements that are more compound, you may find your heart rate stays that high. Now, the benefit of zone two is you get this really nice drop in your resting heart rate. There’s a lot of people that are reporting a lot of their data from like their fitbits or their or rings where they just have a significant drop in the resting heart rate that they wouldn’t necessarily see for like interval training or I’m sorry like a type of a tabata training where you’re like high intensity low, right? So, this kind of steady state thing for 30 minutes, you know, could have some cardiovascular muscle benefits and you may also be able to get some of that like if you do circuit movement so you can, you know, get one of these fitbits and measure your heart rate while you’re doing it and see if you can stay around 120 for that 30 minute phase that kind of put you in that zone two category around 120 or so. 

Evan Brand: Very cool. There was a comment in here from Selena, what about muscle wasting with chronic Lyme? Yeah. 100%. Unfortunately, I’ve dealt with Lyme with co-infections from many tick bites over the years and that’s a big big factor because Lyme loves collagen. It really likes to eat up your collagen reserves and then the inflammation it creates, that invites other things like the Bartonella to move in and create more inflammation in your joints. I’m sure that is a big big factor for you. I think you can get better from it. I’ve certainly gained muscle mass even with the infections, I would still throw it in the infection category though. I think the gut infections are a big one too so don’t go all in online and forget the gut bugs because if you’ve got H. pylori, I think that’s a bigger smoking gun for your digestion. Lyme could still wreck you and cause you to lose muscle, I know one of the girls that I used to work with, I saw her recently at a park and she was so skinny, skeleton skinny and she’s had Lyme for like a decade so I know it really affected her in that way but I do think some of that is reversible if you work on the bugs and get your gut better. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And also, people that have Lyme, it’s very rarely it’s just Lyme. It’s like Lyme but then they have, like a ton of dysbiosis, really poor digestion, so it’s usually people are already in this kind of not so great state and then Lyme comes in there and it’s the straw that breaks camel’s back and because it was the thing. They pushed them over the finish line. They just look at Lyme as being the culprit for all of it and therefore, I think it’s all then all they do is focus on that one thing because they think, oh well this is the root cause because this is what happened when everything went sideways and they get myopically focused on just that and then they’re on these crazy herbal antibiotic protocols for years and they don’t fix the other thing so still get back to the basics with your digestion with your, you know addressing the guts, um, really addressing all the stressors, the adrenals, make sure all of that’s kind of dialed in. Also, how did you do with collagen, I mean I found collagen it’s just great for building up that connective tissue because even like in today’s day and age, we’re getting a lot of muscle meat from our protein source, we’re very, we’re not getting enough of our connective tissue or skin or hide or those type of things like the soups and bone broths probably our ancestors used to do. We’re not getting a lot of those amino acids which are really important for connective tissue. 

Evan Brand: I do good with it. I do it every day. I do collagen protein every day so it helps man. I don’t have any elbow problems anymore, my knees are better so like my joints are like so much better, my skin is probably better, hopefully that’s helping with the muscle too. She commented that she did have Bartonella and Babesia. So, yeah, that’s a triple whammy, I mean, you gotta keep working on it, I’m not a fan of the antibiotics, this is a topic for another podcast but you had mentioned that you were doing antibiotics and you know that typically causes the Lyme to go into like a cyst form where it hides from the immune system and a lot of people rebound and relapse on that so I prefer herbs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And also, if you go look at all the antibiotic side effects, they all match Lyme as well and so it’s like joint pain, fever, malaise, and so there’s like you see a lot of these conventional or should I say more natural minded medical doctors like oh that’s just 

Herxheimer, that’s like but it’s like you literally are giving something that has the same side effects of the disease you’re trying to treat and so that’s why we tend to like herbal treatments that are more gentle and we’re trying not to hurt and we’re trying to kind of choose a low dose of herbs that are gonna allow us to support the immune system, still have an antimicrobial benefit, we’re still providing a lot of antioxidants and nutrients in the herbs which is the benefit of the herbs and they don’t cause as much mitochondrial damage while we work on everything else. So, we’re still not gonna ignore everything else and we’re gonna find a treatment that makes sense and doesn’t make you feel sicker and have this self-fulfilling prophecy that the side effects actually match the disease that you’re taking.  

Evan Brand: No joke. I mean, we do a whole podcast. Let’s do one sometime on this but she said that she was tired of antibiotics, it’s been three years. Yeah. I mean, that’s affecting your gut which is affecting digestion. We know antibiotics damage the mitochondria so if someone had muscle mass and they had done antibiotics, obviously, you got to look at the gut so I would recommend that you do a stool panel. Do organic acids, try to uncover it, somebody said I look like Arnold Schwarzenegger with the beard, I hope that’s a compliment. Thank you.     

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. There you go. I like it. Very good. So, I hope this helps everyone out of the gate here. I mean, just kind of like start from the basics like all right, so to keep your muscles strong you have to have one not be stressed, right? So, do not put yourself in a catabolic state. Think of like, your adrenals being an overdrive, think of like good sleep, good hydration, good food, allowing yourself to be in a parasympathetic nervous system state. Deep nasal breathing, right, appreciation, gratitude, right, make sure we have good digestive support enzymes, HCl, we’re eating a really healthy anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, low-toxin template, again, I have some patients that have autoimmune conditions where they have to be even more carnivore because they’re really sensitive to the plant nutrients then after that, looking at all the bottlenecks that could be absorbing things or causing absorption problems in the gut, right, like Evan mentioned, Evan had three Amigos, right, Giardia, Crypto, and H. pylori. And then looking at any of the other bugs there and then of course what types of movements are you gonna do, right? You can start out with just walking if that’s kind of a foundational level then you could start off with some type of a you know circuit training, picking three or four movements and going back-to-back-to-back. You could do some kind of a zone two cardio thing where you do about 30 minutes or so at 120 beats per minute and you can do something non-impact. I like rowing because rowing devices you’re using upper and lower body and you’re putting your body into extension or most of the times on like cardio, you’re kind of like hunched over and like doing your elliptical or you’re running like this or you’re kind of in this flexion state where a rower you’re kind of opening up so that’s kind of cool so those are a couple of tools you know to stimulate the muscles and to um make your heart work as well as make your muscles work. 

Evan Brand: I love the rower. Hiking too. I mean, hiking is so easy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Hiking is great.

Evan Brand: I really love it because there’s a lot more variability in your movement as compared to walking on a flat surface so I’m having to like bring my leg up more to go over that rock to go over that tree root like it’s a lot of more leg involved than a flat surface so I love it as long as I’m not getting a tick bite, I’m happy in the woods. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And my favorite functional movements would be like a one-legged squat, uh, it’s excellent and you could just have a chair underneath you where you sit, touch and come back up and you could put up like a phone book on it or something so you don’t have to go all the way down to parallel, uh, a single leg deadlift is excellent and step up. I know, right. I know you can just grab whatever book right. I’m thinking up like the thickest book I could think of right. You know something like that. And then, you could do that and then you could do a step up which is great like on a plyo box and step up. That’s what this is.  

Evan Brand: How about, I mean the jumps? Obviously, that’s more intense but man those jump boxes, my God, that’ll, you talk about workout, that’s intense. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah. I mean those plyo boxes are wonderful, I mean, I like is that 

Evan Brand: What it’s called the plyo like p yeah how you spell that? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Like P-L-Y-O like a plyometric box

Evan Brand: That’s where you’re jumping up and down up and down? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I actually like going on top of those and then just jumping off and then get into a squat because then you’re teaching your body like I’m generating all this force and I’m trying to absorb it so you’re teaching your body to be a shock absorber like just soak up energy which is great.  

Evan Brand: To think about that, that hurts my knee. Thinking about jumping off, I used to, I screwed up my knee years ago though you know, I was jumping off loading docks like behind warehouses when I was a kid with a skateboard and when you bail off the skateboard I would land flat on the concrete, my God. That hurt. That was done.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No. Totally. But yeah, if you’re putting your joints in that kind of intensity, make sure your form is good. Some people say don’t go knees over toes, there’s a whole knees over toe guy on I think Instagram that talks about knees over toes but if you do that just make sure your form is good and you’re not causing any inflammation. Make sure you have enough protein and collagen, amino acids on board as well so you’re dialed in. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. And if you need help please reach out, we work with these issues all the time. We’ll help you investigate what’s going on. You may have this root cause, you may have that root cause, you may have multiple root causes but we’re happy to help find the puzzle pieces because you can’t fix what you can’t find so that’s where we come in, we’re happy to help you with this issue. If you want to reach out clinically, we work around the world with people we’d love to help. You can reach out to Dr. J directly at justinhealth.com and there’s consults available everywhere, lab testing, we can get it to your door. It’s no problem. If you’d like to work out with me, not physically but work out with the labs, let’s do it at evanbrand.com. So, justinhealth.com, evanbrand.com, we’re happy to help. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We’re here to help and we’ll put some of the products that we talked about like collagen and some of the nutrient support, we’ll put them in the description below so if you wanna access some of the things that we recommend for our family and patients and take ourselves, feel free and access that. All right guys, hope you have a phenomenal day. Take care of you all. Peace. 

Evan Brand:  See you. Bye-bye. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.

Evan Brand: Bye. 

The Gut Connection With Urinary Tract infections (UTI) and Yeast Infections | Podcast #367

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common medical problem affecting millions of people worldwide. The primary source for UTIs is presumed to be the gut. That’s why in this video, Dr. J and Evan talk about how gut bacteria can contaminate the urethral opening, eventually propagate themselves in the bladder, and cause symptoms of a UTI and possible yeast infection.

They also added that women are significantly more likely to get UTIs than men. It is due to anatomical differences that make it easier for disease-causing bacteria to travel to the urinary bladder after accidental transfer from the bowels. They also discuss the other clinical and evidence-based factors with helpful tests to find the root cause of these issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00  – Introduction
1:53   – Urinary System
10:54 – Antimicrobials and probiotics
18:55 – UTI and Yeast Infection


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excited to be here with Evan Brand. Today, we are gonna be chatting all about the gut connection with urinary tract issues, UTIs and yeast infections. Really excited to dive into this topic. This is the common female topic that we deal with. I mean, men deal with UTIs as well but men have a longer urethra area so it’s harder for men to have UTIs with them. Women have a much shorter urethra so bacteria can make its way up to the urinary tract and blood much faster and easier and so probably more of a female issue but we’re gonna dive in. The physiology is similar between the two so men listening will still get something of it as well. Evan, how are we doing today?

Evan Brand: Hey, doing really well. And so, looks like about 90% of infection in the bladder, 90% of these cases of these infections of bladder, urethra and kidneys, it’s all related to E. coli, which of course E. coli are in your poop and can generally just take route up that way and they can migrate and populate within the urinary tract and so women obviously know these symptoms if they’ve had it but it’s you have to urinate more frequently, it’s painful urination. It could be pressure in the pubic area. It could be fatigue. It could go more severe into kidney injury but most women are usually so miserable before they get to that point that they end up doing some sort of conventional treatment. So, why don’t we just talk about the conventional approach because I think it’s great to highlight what people are doing and then what we’re doing differently that we may argue is a far more sustainable solution without the side effects. Antibiotics are gonna be huge and we’ve got some statistics on this. Antibiotics are prescribed for 33% of women to combat a UTI before the age of 24 but of course these synthetic antimicrobials are not without short- and long-term consequences.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m gonna just share one thing here on screen just so everyone can see. So, you can see the female anatomy, right here is the urethra, here’s the bladder so you can see a very short distance from the urethra to the bladder. You can see here in the male anatomy, right at a much longer distance to get up here. Obviously in the urinary tract, you’re just typically with the UTI, it’s the bacteria that’s making its way up here, okay, into the urinary tract that’s causing the infection like Evan already mentioned that’s mostly gonna be bacteria, right?  Usually on the UTI side, it’s gonna be E. coli there, can be some Pseudomonas, it’s mostly E. coli. And so, it’s really easy for women to get bladder infection because you can see it goes up faster. Again, things like birth control pills we’ll talk about and antibiotics really shift the urinary pH and the intestinal pH which has a major effect on the bladder and the urinary tract and it makes it easier for bacteria to grow that tends to be why women are a little bit more susceptible than that for bladder infection obviously but in general you’re gonna see that with birth control pills because how estrogen affects the pH and then also women when they menstruate, right, just that whole vaginal area right there, sloughing off that endometrial lining. All that blood flow does shift that whole entire are to be way more alkaline because bloods around 7.3 pH so it does shift that whole vaginal tract to be more pH higher on the pH side which can increase other bacterial infections more on the vaginal side but hopefully that helps. Any comments on that, Evan?  

Evan Brand: Yeah. It’s totally interesting and this is stuff that maybe you didn’t pay attention to in school and biology class but now in adulthood it’s a lot more important and I think people just don’t even understand the anatomy of it and this is something that according to the research here, 25% of people treated for UTI, they will experience a recurrence 6 – 12 months later. So, I mean, that’s a quarter of these people that now have another UTI and they just go on this merry-go-round. And of course, every time you go on these antibiotics, you’re damaging the mitochondria, you’re damaging your gut microbiome in total, so it’s not just this one thing that you’re doing, it’s the sum to your system and it can really add up.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, when we deal with urinary tract issues, I kind of look at, okay, you have yeast issues over here. They’re kind of, they intermingle right and how the different things happen. You have bacterial issues over here, right? So, your UTI issues are primarily bacterial, right, affecting the urinary tract. You can have BV, bacterial vaginosis, that’s another bacterial issue. Usually, Gardnerella bacteria is one that’s affecting the vaginal canal. So, a little bit different, right? Different, you know, same general area, different anatomy per se. You’re gonna have similar sequelae of tissues affecting it, right?  The big difference with the BV issue is you’re gonna get the potassium hydroxide odor which is, that’s kind of the fish smell. That’s what the bacteria in the vaginal canal does, it creates that potassium hydroxide that’s the fish odor. You’re not gonna quite get the odor with the UTI but you will have the burning during peeing. So, that’s gonna be the big differentiating factor. Sometimes, more odor on the BV but sometimes you can have none and then of course more pain during urination on the urinary tract issue and then if that continues to be left up that bacteria will eventually continue to go north and eventually hit the bladder as you can see that anatomy pretty short on video here. But, one of the big common issues is I would say like the big three, anytime I look at this problem, they tend to be the same. It’s gonna be a combination of antibiotic use so we’re wiping out a lot of the good flora in our intestinal tract which also affects the vaginal or urinary microbiome and then that affects the beneficial probiotics that actually make hydrogen peroxide like probiotics usually make hydrogen peroxide which is antibacterial. They’ll make different acids, glucuronic acid, they’ll make acidic acid. Different acid acids that actually help keep the microbes in check. They make hydrogen peroxide H202 and it keeps a lot of the bad bugs down. So, the first thing is we have a wiping out of the beneficial flora that also drive yeast overgrowth too so the same thing where it wipes out the good stuff, the beneficial probioflora, the probiotics the Bifidobacter, the Lactobacillus. The different species within the Bifidobacter and Lactobacillus, right? There’s Rudaea, casei, plantarum, lactis, these are all beneficial species, okay, that keeps the bacteria in check but also when you knock down a lot of the good stuff that can also causes this rebound overgrowth and yeast and that’s a lot of doctors today even on the conventional side tend to give an antifungal after an antibiotic in a lot of these female patients because they see a lot of these symptoms happen frequently. 

Evan Brand: Wow. And, you’re mentioning the antibiotic that starts this whole cascade and that’s not necessarily the antibiotic to treat an existing UTI and then we’re talking about these recurring UTIs. We’re talking antibiotics for something simple like, I’ve heard of some women going in for a dental cleaning or something just that seems benign and then boom the antibiotic just really had forced them to take another fork in the road with their gut health and of course the vaginal health is affected. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Now, with urinary tract issues, I mean they’re simple things, right? Sometimes, just after intercourse, after sex, just not peeing. Sometimes that sperm and the semen being up there can kind of create some issues with bacteria so urinating after sex can be very helpful. You’ll see it with younger kids just wiping the wrong direction, right, essentially wiping back to front bringing some of the bacteria in the stool into that urinary vaginal area can be a problem. Sometimes different contraceptive methods like that involve, like a spermicidal intravaginally can sometimes mess up the milieu of flora in the vaginal tract. Having bladder stones or kidney issues can sometimes have problems, going in for a surgical procedure where they put in some of a catheter, you know, those are, you know, gonna be way unlikely but you know just kind of given the gamut of those across the board. And then of course, you know, the antibiotic exposure and I would even say just too much sugar, too much carbohydrate, a lot of bacteria like acellular easy to digest refined processed carbs. So, more carbohydrates, more sugar, more grains, more flours are definitely gonna work, you know, increase those microbes’ kind of having a feeding frenzy if you will.   

Evan Brand: And, how can you find this out? Well, there’s an easy to do at home test that you can buy for less than 10 bucks. You can do these test strips at home. These urinary test strips and if generally, you see a dark purple, you’ve got a big issue and so it’s something that people should have on hand if you’ve suffered for a while. I know a lot of women; they just hate having to go to the doctor’s office and get tested and then they leave with another antibiotic and then they’re on this merry-go-round. So, we talked about the conventional approach, they really as far as it goes antibiotics 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, with the test strips, I think most of them are primarily looking at either immune cell in the urinary tract. I think, a lot of times with yeast or bacteria. They’re looking for, like leukocytes or leukocyte esterase, they’re looking for bacteria or I’m sorry immune cells in there. I know, some of the yeast ones are looking at pH so they’re looking at a more alkaline type of pH. The more alkaline the pH moves from six to seven to neutral, right, neutral is around 7. Into the 7-ish range, that tends to say that okay we have more yeast issues or we’re starting to move back in the direction of bacteria if we’re starting to see some of these leukocytes moving into the urinary tract. 

Evan Brand: Yes. It’s kind of an indirect marker, right? You’re looking at those leukocytes and that’s what you would be seeing in terms of like, the light purple, dark purple, extreme purple on the test strips.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, they’re looking at the immune system starting to come in there and obviously with a BV issue, bacterial vaginosis. They probably need a swab to see what’s going on there, see if it’s like a Gardnerella or a Pseudomonas or Klebsiella, you know, what the bacterial species is. Now, typically with yeast issues in the urinary tract, I’m sorry with, uh, yeast infections primarily gonna be Candida or Candida subspecies. With BV, it’s primarily Gardnerella and with UTI’s it’s gonna be E. coli, typically.    

Evan Brand: Now here is the cool part. Are you ready to talk about some of the transitions you hit on the diet piece of a bit of sugar process things? Maybe we should hit this first and then we’ll talk about, like, the functional strategies that kind of thing. You and I were talking about this before we hit the record that so many people, they want the solution to an issue like this but they haven’t even got the foundation styled in, in regards to their sleep, in regards to stress, proper hydration, nutrient density, lack of antibiotics if possible. Just those foundational pieces, a lot of times, are gonna keep women in a place where they’re not gonna end up with this problem so if you’re just tuning in, somehow you found us and you’ve not been listening for a while and you’re just now hearing us and you’re looking for this magic remedy, you got to make sure you get the foundations in order first because in theory, this should not happen if you’ve got the foundation style then.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct and so first thing out of the gates is just foundational things like hydrating enough because if you have a UTI issue just having constant good water flow and also you know with some electrolytes in the water that can be very helpful kind of having an antibacterial effect. And just keeping that good water flowing, the solution to pollution is dilution so that can really kind of keeping things flushed down. Obviously, being very careful if you’re having antibiotics. Why did you have the antibiotics? Was it for routine preventative things? Was your diet off and your immune system’s weak and you got sick and you needed it? Why, right? So, you want to look at that and if you had chronic antibiotic use, you know, what does the bacteria in your gut look like because odds are, if your bacteria or yeast imbalances are present in the vaginal tract or the urinary tract, you probably, also have issues in the digestive tract. You may have SIBO, you may have bloating, you may have gas, you may have poor digestion, low enzymes, low acids, H. pylori, parasite infection, you may have to look deeper in the intestinal tract and actually work on knocking down some of those microbes fixing the gut and then really work on repopulating some of the good bacteria after the fact to really work on fixing the gut because you start to fix the gut pH and the gut bacterial milieu that does help improve IgA levels and that does help with the immune system in the vaginal area as well. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. So, if you’re coming in with the UTI, most of the time, there’s gonna be more than just a UTI present. There could be as you mentioned a number of, we have someone coming in and UTI or recurrent UTI is one of their complaints, I can tell you, you and I are gonna wanna run the stool panel and we’re gonna run organic acids because we’re gonna want to look at the whole microbiome and certain things may get missed on the stool and the urine should feel in the gaps like we might find Candida in the urine and it got missed in the stool. So, stool and urine, there are things that your typical doctor and your lab locally is not gonna run. They might run a urine panel but this is not the same urine panel as an organic acid, we’re talking something far more advanced, far more comprehensive whereas the urine panel, locally, is primarily just gonna look for bacteria or maybe leukocytes as you mentioned you might get a positive or a trace or something like that but it’s not a detailed description of what’s going on you mentioned several bacteria too, like Klebsiella and Prevotella, we can identify this on a stool panel. So, that’s why it’s so important to get the data and could we just throw a woman on an herbal UT formula, we could but you know, we want to do our due diligence, we want to do a good work-up on these people too to make sure that we’re not just cut straight to the chase and we skip something huge that we would find on these tests.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. I mean a lot of the antibiotics they’re gonna be using are gonna be like Bactrim or any of these kinds of, um, Mors, Augmentin’s a big one. Bactrim and Augmentin, those are a couple definitely be very wary of any of the fluoroquinolone families because they have significant side effects regarding tensing tendons and ligaments and mitochondria so be really careful of using fluoroquinolones. Of course, when we work these patients up, we’re doing a really good history so we understand how everything came to fruition regarding the UTI, yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. We’re trying to understand it, right? Obviously, with certain things like yeast infections, BV, like making sure things are dry in that area. If you’re in a very moist environment keeping things dry helps because yeast and mold love a very moist environment. So, keeping things dry tends to be very helpful. Soaping up some of those areas you’d be very helpful too that you can use a really nice, um, as long as the mucosa is not like really, um, irritable, you can really use a really nice sulfur soap especially in the outside air if there’s anything yeasty on the outside are, anything internally. There are definitely internal things that we can do. So, on the internal side, just getting water in there, maybe helpful using raw cranberry juice, not anything with added sugar but raw organic cranberries, you know, 4 ounces at a time diluted some water is pretty good. You can drink that. That’s gonna have a nice low pH in it, which helps prevent the bacteria from growing. It also helps with some D-mannose in the cranberries. Can also internally do things like different berberines, can be very helpful, that’s excellent boric acids, another excellent compound. You gotta be careful with these by, enlarged by itself because they can be a little bit irritating so you want some nice things that provide some moisture whether it’s aloe or shea butter. There’s different, like moisture compounds that can provide the moisture so you don’t dry out that tissue as well. 

Evan Brand: You know, how about some of the suppositories. Have you used those before? I’ve seen some of these like pH suppositories, those have been helpful, also I think it’s integrative, I know Aviva Romm did a talk or an article on it one time. There was a specific probiotic that we had used, I think, it was called pro-flora that we had used, uh, that was supposed to be inserted vaginally and that was like a game changer for BV and some other related issues. So, not only taking oral probiotics but vaginal probiotics as well. That has been a game changer for many women. It’s not something we have to go to a lot but it is a good tool if someone just in bad shape and the conventional strategies failed them or made them worse then something like these vaginal probiotics are helpful. So just to be clear, there’s some strains specifically for vaginal health that are taken orally but then there’s also other blends that you can insert vaginally and the women have reported great success with those. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You want to make sure the hydration is there, whether it’s aloe or beeswax or shea butter or coconut oil, some of those can be helpful. Again, the antimicrobials that we may use would be the boric acid, some of the neem, some of the different berberines. And again, we may want to also add probiotics in and around there that can be very helpful. In regards to, like yeast issues or, um, UTI issues, you got to be very careful because when you women menstruate, well more with yeast and more bacterial vaginosis because that’s affecting the vaginal canal more. When women menstruate, that blood is like 7.3, right? So, that’s very neutral to alkaline. So, when you’re menstruating, you’re taking that acidic pH in the vaginal tract and you’re moving it backup to a more neutral pH when you menstruate so that’s gonna actually make it easier for bacteria and potential yeast to grow and you could have a BV issue or yeast issue that can happen due to your menstruation. So, when you’re already more susceptible in that vaginal area, you know, you gotta, you may actually wanna do a suppository in and around your period too, because that pH is gonna move up and that can start to cause microbes to grow. Some women have to be more careful with that, you know, if they have a chronic yeast or bacterial issue just to make sure it doesn’t come back. 

Evan Brand: I want to hit a few more herbs and then I want you to riff on the birth control conversation because I think that’s huge. So, you mentioned berberine and some of the other related herbs. Also, we’ll use the antifungals at the same time. So, you and I have our own custom blends that we use and so we may use something like Pau D’arco, French tarragon, horse tail, olive leaf, things that have antifungal and antimicrobial properties. So, that’s the cool thing about what we do is as you mentioned Backstrom or some of these other conventional strategies. It’s just a big sledgehammer, right? It’s not a targeted tool. It’s one sledgehammer. We don’t know exactly what we’re gonna kill but it’s an antibiotic, were just gonna drop the nuclear bomb into your gut and we’re gonna disturb not only your gut microbiome, we’re gonna negatively affect the production of your nutrients in your gut. We’re gonna negatively affect your mitochondria. We may knock out the UTI but as you saw in the papers, 25% of those UTIs are gonna come back within 6 months to a year and so when we’re coming in with these antimicrobial herbs, also, throwing in antifungal herbs, that’s where the magic really happens because there could be a combination as we talked about. It’s rare to see just UTI, it could be a combination issue meaning there’s some Candida, there’s some bacterial problems, maybe there’s parasites in the gut too. Maybe there’s H. pylori like you mentioned. And so, that’s the fun part is when you take a blend and you’re working people through this protocol. You’re now knocking 4,5,6 issues out all at once in one fell swoop when they originally just came in with the complaint of UTI. When you do the labs, you wanna uncover so much more and that’s where the beauty is. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Here’s one study here looking at the perceptions using contraception birth control pills. So, usually this is like a synthetic estrogen mostly, right, an ethanol, estradiol. I’m looking at the influence on the vaginal microbiota and so really the take home here inside of the gate, the vaginal state was significantly modified hormone administration apparently corrected the alterations uh, but has the potential of being an accurate tool. Where is it? Right here, um, there it is, I’m sorry. Statistically significant association between, this is, um, this is contraception and normal microbiota was observed after three months when the vaginal microbiome was modified at 6 months inflammatory reaction was detected in almost half of the women. So, only seven women but you can, it created an inflammatory state in the vaginal microbiota and then also yeast colonization was increased and it created an inflammatory reaction in three out of seven women and it altered some of the beneficial bacteria in the vaginal area. Now, small study but you can see, you know, three out of seven, it affected this and this is what we see clinically with a lot of our female patients is some of these things can be affected because it’s affecting: one, it’s creation; two, it’s causing yeast to grow impacting some of the good bacteria and how does it do this, it does it mostly via LDH. If you alter someone’s digestive pH, right, let’s say you give them a proton pump inhibitor, you’re gonna have all kinds of digestive issues and maybe even nutrient deficiencies that can affect things long term. Obviously, with birth control pills, there’s other things they do, they can create issues with nutrient absorption or they can cause nutrient deficiencies in areas of B vitamins, folate and also calcium and magnesium. So, we see a lot of women that do birth control pills have a lot of those nutrient problems. So, if you’re on a birth control pill, ideally, it’s better to use something that’s more barrier based or if you want to set it and forget it method, you know, potentially looking at the ParaGard which is a copper IUD, you just have to make sure you can handle the copper. I find if you want to set it or forget that the copper tends to be better than the hormones but ideally, you know, a barrier method it’s not internal all the time. It’s probably better so that just kind of gives you a couple options there. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I’ve heard some stories, some horror stories about the copper ones too. So, like you said it cold be a problem but

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Not everyone has problems with it. I mean, women that like tend to cramp a lot, they could have, because that cramping, IUD being in that uterus sometimes that can cause pain but it just depends kind of where women are, you know. Some parents may be pushing kids to have a method because they don’t want their kid getting pregnant and maybe they feel like they aren’t responsible enough at maybe 18 or 19 and they set it and forget it method. If you want that, I would recommend doing the ParaGard before you go to a hormonal method. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, for sure. And, not to mention too we’re already in a society of so much estrogen dominance and you and I have done podcasts about the impact of gut imbalances in issues with the glucuronidation pathway which is then causing further issues. So, we could see this estrogen problem in a woman who’s not on birth control. You could still see that manifest in this way and so that’s why you’re getting off of the xenoestrogen, you’re cleaning up your makeup. You’re getting rid of plastics. You’re fixing your gut. You’re improving detoxification. All these other functional medicine strategies are directly impacting your ability to beat this situation. So, we know, we always want people to look at the big picture. Don’t just look for the magic, uh, like, berberine, Pau D’ Arco remedy. And there’s a question here in the chat, ‘how many Pau d’ Arco capsules is needed for someone who has Candida in their gut?’. I have no clue because we rarely use it in isolation. We’re always gonna use it in a blend. And I doubt you have just Candida. You’ve probably got other issues too. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Somewhere when they come in, they could have a combination of a little bit of a bacterial, a yeast issue, UTI thing. That could be a kind of combination of 2 or 3 different things happening. This one may be more predominant. So, we never wanna just go all in on one thing. Again, if someone’s having vaginal issues specifically, there’s gonna be things that we insert intravaginally like some of the boric acid, like some of the neem or the berberines and we’ll probably interchange in some probiotics because part of the big problem is you have to get the bacteria flora in the vaginal area, back up to where it should be because it’s the good bacteria that will help keep the other bad bugs in check through their natural acid and hydrogen peroxide production. 

Evan Brand: Well said. 

And so, the point I was making is that I don’t want people listening and going okay just give me the freaking remedy. What’s the natural urinary tract remedy? That’s what I’m here for. And we’ve talked about some of those, you know, the mannose, the cranberry, the berberines, the Pau d’ Arcos, the French Tarragon, this whole blend, you know, that may be the solution but what got you here is important. Have you fixed the other issues that have gotten you here. And so, I hope people see the big picture. Sometimes, you and I are happy to just go boom, hit the oregano oil and were happy to just throw out just this natural solution but like you said before we hit the record, you don’t want people skipping out on the low hanging fruit. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And so, it’s always good to do history. I find the big issue is antibiotics can be a big factor. I also find just some of the low-hanging fruit like the intercourse and hydration can also be a big factor as well. You’ll be surprised. And so, my wife comes to me, she’s like, ‘my friend has this issue, what should I recommend?’. Well, it’s hard, I can’t really recommend a lot of things because I don’t know much about them if eating like crap and they’re not hydrating and they’re drinking lots of soda and they’ve been on lots of antibiotics, you know, I may say, hey, all right, do this [24:34] but that’s gonna be palliative and not fix the whole lead up and how everything went down. And so, the lead up and I call it the timeline history of how we get to this point matters so much because, you know, if not, you were just becoming naturopathic doctors that are using nutrients and herbs like MDs use drugs. Now, again, I think that’s better because a lot of these things are natural, have less side effects but still we want to be holistic and still root cause. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said.  That’s the problem. There’s a difference between naturopathic approach to this issue and functional medicine approach to this issue. So, I think you made that clear, which is, you go to the naturopath, it’s hey, here’s the oversee, functional medicine is gonna come in and say, ‘okay, well, how did you get to the UTI?’. Oh, you took antibiotics, you’re on birth control for 20 years, you had a sexual partner who had extremely poor microbiome health, maybe there was some issue there, maybe you had multiple partners, maybe one of them had H. pylori. You have low stomach acid. You ended up with dysbiosis, then you got Candida overgrowth, then you drank too much alcohol, you loved to do wine in the evenings. You ate a little too much chocolate, you know, it’s like, that’s the more investigative route and that’s where people need to be thinking.  We’ve got friends that are naturopaths, good people, but you just got to go deeper most of the time.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and a lot of times too, if I’m, if someone has chronic issues, I wanna know more about their gut because the microbiome has such an impact especially with IgA and with the overall immune system. So, if there’s chronic issues in the vaginal area, you have to look up to the intestinal tract. Very important. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and you would say there’s gotta be some link between the low secretory IgA that you and I are seeing on the stool test and what’s going on with the vaginal microbiome too, right? You would assume that’s a system-wide defense shield that’s gonna be affected.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It’s part of the mucous membrane barrier. So, mucous membranes in the eyes, the mouth, the intestinal tract, the urinary tract, the vaginal canal. So, if we see low IgA issues in the intestinal tract, that barrier is a little bit weaker. Think of the force field, you know, you see star trek, they put, like their force field up, right, so they, so when the Klingons go to shoot them, it kind of bounces off, right? Think of the force field we have in our intestinal tract and our vaginal canal and our urinary canal that kind of protects and so probiotics can help, obviously getting rid of the dysbiotic microbes can help, avoiding a lot of things that create the imbalances to begin with, which would be a lot of the antibiotics or maybe pesticides or GMO foods that produce a lot of antimicrobial compounds too. All those help avoiding those things too. 

Evan Brand: You know, what’s happening even in the functional medicine world, is that everything’s becoming isolated. Are you noticing that? Like people are focusing on just the gut. So, it’s like this leaky gut formula, this leaky gut protocol and they’re ignoring the fact that you just mentioned this IgA, this mucosal barrier is kind of a system-wide problem. So, there could be oral, vaginal, gut all at the same time, all related to the same dysfunction of these force fields being down. I think it’s just marketing, right? People just want to market that they’re the gut guy, they’re the parasite guy, they’re the Candida guy. I think that’s just a marketing probe but hopefully people are seeing this and of course if they’ve been listening to us for months or years, they’re seeing that this is a system-wide problem, it’s just manifesting in this way. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. In the functional medicine world, a lot of people market to niche areas and symptoms which is fine because a lot of people when they get focused on something, they think they have these issues, they’re going into google or they’re typing that issue. So, for you to be relevant and for that person that has health issues to find you, you do kind of have to market to a symptom but then when you find that person and you talk to them, you wanna make sure that their approach is globally where they look at things holistically and you’re not seeing the gut person that only deals with the gut and they’re not looking at your thyroid or your anemia or your low glutathione. They’re not connecting the dots. So, you got to make sure they’re still able to connect the dots but multiple systems and they’re not just focused on one issue. So, it’s okay for doctors to market to that, you just have to make sure that their philosophy is a holistic philosophy that encompasses everything in there. 

Evan Brand: Yeah and holistic spelled w-h-o-l-e a wholistic, the whole thing, the whole body, the whole person, not just holistic as in natural, it’s gonna be the whole piece and I think that’s where I suffered for a long time because I focused on my gut for so long but I was ignoring toxicity issues, I was ignoring dental issues, I was ignoring tick bite infections. So now, oh crap, I see the whole picture and I would miss that if I just dialed in the gut so and that’s what you and I do. We’ve done this over with clients worldwide, we look at the whole picture. If you’re suffering, if you’ve been through the conventional rabbit hole or maybe you’ve been fortunate to avoid the conventional rabbit hole, you don’t want to go down it but you need help, feel free to reach out. Dr. J and I work with people around the world. We can send these labs that we’re talking about stool and urine. These are at home, these are non-invasive. It’s rare that we need to do invasive testing but most of the time it’s at home functional medicine tests can be sent to your door, you do them, you send them back to the lab. We get the results. We jump on a call. We run you through them. We interpret those. We make a protocol for you and get you better and get you off the merry-go-round. So, if you need help, feel free to reach out, Dr. J is at justinhealth.com and me, evanbrand.com and you can reach out, book a call with us, we’d love to talk with you, help you, find and fix the root causes if you just have UTIs and you think that’s all it is, maybe you’re right but maybe not, either way, we’re gonna help you get to the bottom of it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. Excellent. So, for women that are listening and kind of want to recap here, first thing, make sure your diet is right, keep in the process refined sugar, grains, flours out, makes a huge difference. Omega-6, seed oils, in general, should be reduced as well. Hydration, make sure hydration is good, clean and filtered water, um, you know, good mineral water, especially if you have more health issues, more minerals in there is gonna be better. Next thing out of the gate, you know, urinate after intercourse, those kinds of foundational things. If you have chronic gut issues, definitely, get your gut looked at. If you’re on hormone, if you’re on birth control pills, definitely get your hormones looked at and figure out why you’re on them. Most women aren’t even on hormone or birth control pills for birth prevention. They’re on it for off-label issues like acne or headaches or lots of PMS and so most women could totally get off it because they’re not even using birth control pills for the original intention. They’re for off-label use and so that would require looking deeper at the hormones. Next, you can get tested, you can do either a, um, a MONISTAT test to look for yeast, you can get those at the drugstore, you can do one of the strip tests to look for leukocyte esterase or I think it’s nitrites in the urine for more of the UTI issues and of  course, if you have a lot more of the odor-like, uh, issues, you can get a vaginal swab from your OB or your primary to rule out any of the BV issues as well, again, similar solutions, you know, some maybe more internal in regards to what we recommend, some maybe more internal like with swallowing pills so maybe internally, intravaginally and of course the more chronic the issue is, the more we have to really support the vaginal microbiome with the right beneficial bacteria getting in there internally as well. And then, of course, just keeping up with a lot of the menstruation because that can really affect a lot of the, um, the bacterial issues and yeast issues in the vaginal canal because it’s gonna shift that pH from very acidic to more neutral to alkaline at that time of the month when you menstruate. So, hopefully, that’s a good kind of crash course, out of the gates and kind of you guys understand kind of our spitball kind of philosophy and how we look at the whole history and really connect the dots and we have our little toolbox of all these things but we just got to make sure it’s catered to the history.  

Evan Brand: And alcohol too, I think, we briefly mentioned it but alcohols got to go. It’s just, it’s not gonna help you. It’s going to promote all sorts of issues. It’s gonna aggravate the immune system. It’s gonna affect your IgA levels. It may promote dysbiosis and it may promote more yeast problems and so I’ve heard many stories where a woman’s like, oh yeah we went to Napa Valley and we drank wine and ate chocolate and salami and cheese all weekend and now I had a flare up. It’s like, well, yeah, duh, I mean, that’s incredibly damaging. Everything that you’ve done, you binged on wine all weekend so I think wine kind of gets like this people think that they’re not drinking alcohol. Somehow, they think they’re getting off the hook. Oh, it’s just wine, like, it’s so socially cool, it’s like coffee. It’s like coffee and wine, like wine is so accepted into the culture but it can be a big problem, I tell you. Some of those California women, the ones in San Francisco, like, it’s part of the culture here. I had one woman argue with me that she didn’t want to get off alcohol. I said, well, what if it’s gonna help your gut. She’s like, well maybe I’ll consider it. So, sometimes as practitioners, we’re having to bargain with people and try to make trades and make healthy swaps, we’ll swap it for this and try this and what if you do a binder afterwards. So, sometimes, you gotta work with people, they’re not just in a vacuum. We got to work with them and help educate them so that they’re more dedicated to the lifestyle changes but I just want to mention alcohol because I think a lot of people, don’t even consider the impact it has on the gut but then on this flora.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. A couple things with alcohol, number one it’s diuretic so it will increase the frequent urination and kind of make you more dehydrated so good hydration helps prevent a lot of that bacteria from growing. Number two, out of the gates, you know, it may be necessary out of the gates for the first month so as you get things under wrap. There’re also healthier versions of alcohol. I mean, you can always get, like a Cosmo martini that has the fresh lime juice in there and cranberry juice. Just make sure it’s, like not the cranberry with sugar or the lime with sugar. Make sure, it’s fresh lime or actual juice cranberries with, like a nice Tito’s vodka, I mean, Tito’s vodka is, um, it is charcoal filter, right? So, it’s gonna be really clean and you can get some nice cranberry and lime in there that should be almost be beneficial in a way, obviously, you know, keep it, you know, a drink or two maybe once or twice a week max but once you better that maybe a good option to add things back in and just stay away from a lot of the sugary stuff and of course the glutinous drinks and you’ll be in a lot better position.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. It’s a funny thing you have to mention. There’s got to be real cranberries because most of the time you go to a bar, it’s like that. It’s garbage. The heart or it’s the high fructose corn syrup concentrate. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, worst case, you can always just do a fresh lime squeezed in there and see if they have anything that’s just a pure, you know, extract and that’s a much way to do it. Of course, dry or white wines and you know just a good Tito’s vodka is always great with just the lime in and of itself. That’s an easy way to do it and keep the sugar and junk down but also keep a nice acidic pH there which is helpful for the vaginal area. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. We’ll hope, as you mentioned, no I think we covered It so if you need help, we mentioned the links here Dr. J, that’s Justin at justinhealth.com. You can reach out for consult worldwide. Me at evanbrand.com, either way, we’re here to help you guys. We love what we do. We have a blast and it’s fun to educate people. It’s fun to empower people and take back your health and it’s possible. Whatever you’re dealing with it’s possible to make progress so just keep your head up. Stay motivated. Don’t always run straight to that antibiotic if there’s another way. You may try another solution. If you’ve been doing this for a decade now and you’re still battling it, you’re not out of the woods yet, it’s time to look deeper.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Great chat, Evan. Everyone, have an awesome week. We’ll talk soon. Take care of you all. 

Evan Brand: Take care, now. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye now. Peace. 

Evan Brand: Bye-bye 

The Top 5 Causes of Bloating | Podcast #364

Abdominal bloating occurs when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with air or gas. Most people describe bloating as feeling full, tight, or swollen abdomen. Your abdomen may also be swollen (distended), hard, and painful.

Dr. J and Evan describe that gas is the most common cause of bloating, especially after eating. Gas builds up in the digestive tract when undigested food gets broken down or when you swallow air. Everyone swallows air when they eat or drink.

On the other hand, they also talk about different components of why you may be having to bloat that you may not notice. Plus, available testing and lifestyle modifications you need.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:57  – The role of acid-pH level in the digestive system
5:01  – The link of depression and anxiety to bloating
10:02 – The benefits of probiotics and effects of stress to digestive health
18:17 – Functional medicine strategies and testing to find the root cause of bloating


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Really excited to have a podcast today. We’re gonna be diving into a couple of different topics. The big one here is gonna be bloating – one of the big root causes of bloating. We’re gonna talk about it from a biochemical functional medicine perspective. Evan, how are you doing man? What’s going on brother? 

Evan Brand: Doing pretty well, excited to dive in and talk about gut infections. I think that’s probably the first place to start because you and I have run thousands of urinary organic acids and genetic stool tests over the years. And years ago, you know, we used to use a three-day stool test. Now, with technology improvements, we could do a one-day one sample stool test and we can uncover so much. So, I’ll just kind of riff on things. I know we like to title things just for marketing purposes and call it top five but we may go into 15 by the time we’re done because just right off the top of my head here, high gut inflammation like how calprotectin may be an issue, low pancreatic enzyme function, bacterial overgrowth, where we’re gonna measure the dysbiosis, H. pylori infections, parasites, worms, specifically Clostridia and Candida can cause a lot of issues with bloating. So, in general, I would just say any gut infection but we can break that down as much as you want to. It could be a huge cause of bloating. And, the problem is this, when you go to a conventional medical doctor or a gastroenterologist and you get some sort of bloating remedy or some sort of digestive aid, maybe an acid blocker, antispasmodic medication. Obviously, these are not addressing these infections. You could take acid blockers for the rest of your life and never clear the H. pylori that’s driving the low stomach acid which then drives the fermentation in the gut which then drives the bloating. So, I just want people to have in their heads a clear mindset of what are you taking, is it actually fixing the problem, are you just masking your symptoms. And in the case of an acid blocker, you’re actually putting yourself deeper in the hole because you’re taking low stomach acid that’s driving heartburn or an infection and you’re making it worse. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, you know, the first catalyst for good digestion is a nice low pH. That good acid pH, we need good hydrochloric acid to make that happen. So, we need essentially hydrogen ions to bind to chloride in our gut and so we need chloride from minerals. So, we need good minerals, good quality sea salt that helps make stomach acid on our own. Now, if we’re under a lot of stress and our adrenal glands are in stress overdrive, it could be cortisol high or low imbalances, as well as adrenaline issues, right? It could be high or low cortisol stress issues that could put us in a fight or flight state and that sympathetic nervous system stimulus is gonna negatively impact our body’s ability to start with making stomach acid and digestive secretions and of course that stomach acid is almost like an antimicrobial. Think of like using lemon or apple cider vinegar is a natural cleaner right. They recommend these online. You can make natural cleaners usually some kind of acid as the foundation of the formula because acids are antimicrobial and so think of acids in your intestinal tract as being antimicrobial. They also, some kind of help tighten the sphincter, the esophageal sphincter from the stomach into the esophagus. It gets tightened with good acidity and so part of the reason why we get bloating and a lot of these gases rise up to the esophagus is inadequate levels of acidity and that keeps the esophagus open and then what happens when that esophagus is open over time, the fermentation acids that occur can actually, eventually irritate the bottom of the esophagus because we didn’t have enough acids to trigger that good closure in the beginning. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. So, then you’ll get these, what are called silent reflux issues sometimes it’s called GERD. And once again, prescription drugs are what’s the common remedy but once again it’s not the root cause. It may reduce the symptoms because if you have that backwash it’s gonna help slow the backwash down but it’s not gonna fix the sphincter so we might come in with extra betaine hydrochloric acid or if you’re extremely inflamed which is that someone can’t tolerate a low dose of it but then we could do something like apple cider vinegar with a meal sometimes bitters. I personally don’t do bitters, I just do HCl and enzymes. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We can always test it with ginger. We can always test it with an acid like lemon, lime, or apple cider vinegar, start with a teaspoon of that and mix in a couple ounces of water and then kind of work our way up from there. So, acidity is a really important first step. Of course, if we have inefficient, um, inefficient acidity levels we can almost guarantee, we’re probably gonna have poor enzyme levels and probably gonna have poor bile acid levels, right? Bile acids are important because they help break down fat and bile acids are also slightly acidic, right, in the name of bile acid and it’s also antimicrobial. So, just like we talked about the acids having an antimicrobial benefit on the HCl side, also, bile acids have an antimicrobial benefit. We see in SIBO, a hallmark of SIBO is bile aids insufficiency and so with SIBO we don’t have enough acids there on the bile side so then we have a hard time breaking down fat and then a lot of times that fat will create indigestion, petrification because it’s not being broken down. Now, when we run certain stool tests, we’ll see increases in a metabolite called steatocrit, which is a breakdown of the fat that means it’s not being broken down in the stomach. It’s coming out at higher levels which means we’re not breaking it down. So, steatocrit is a big deal because steatocrit, if we don’t have good fat digestion, we probably have some protein digestion issues, we probably have some enzyme and acid issues and we probably have, um, some gas issues, bloating issues because these things require good digestion and if they’re not being broken down well, we’re probably getting some methane or hydrogen gases kind of rising up from that.

Evan Brand: And you know, we’re taking on the subject of bloating but it’s very common that someone with these issues you’re describing, they’re also gonna have issues with energy and probably mood like anxiety and depression because you’re mentioning this issue with fat digestion, protein digestion. Now, you’re not gonna get the aminos that you need to fuel your neurotransmitter so it’s very rare that somebody’s gonna come to us and say, hey I’m just bloated and I have nothing else. Usually, along with that bloating, you’re gonna have these tangential symptoms too like anxiety, depression, fatigue, and so I encourage people, you can focus on one smoking gun like bloating as your big thing you’re coming in for but you gonna make sure you understand there’s a bigger, deeper connection to your mood issues too. So, this is the person who’s on break, uh, someone just commented about severe brain fog. We could hit that too, uh, but somebody might come in and say, hey I’m bloated and then you tease apart their case and you go, oh so you’re actually anxious too. You’re on antidepressant and an acid blocker and this happens every day, all day. So, just to clarify, number one, we hit a low stomach or we hit infections first. Number 2, low stomach acidity, you mentioned low bile in the gallbladder. Also, let’s give a shout out to people that don’t have a gallbladder, what about these poor people, they’re gonna need a lot of supplemental help for the rest of their life. And so, unfortunately, this is a very very common procedure done in the U.S., where the gallbladders are removed and so these people are gonna need some purified bile salts forever in my opinion. Well, what’s your…?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely! They’re definitely gonna need bile salts and some extra enzymes like lipase but again, you gotta get to the reason why that gallbladder issue even happened. Now, most people, it’s women in their 40s who have an overweight issue and so what tends to be driving, that is usually food allergens whether it’s grains or inflammatory foods but also estrogen dominance. So, if you have an imbalance in estrogen, estrogen is gonna help promote more fat storage so you obviously have more estrogen more fat storage. A lot of times you’re gonna have PMS issues too so you may be moody, irritable, um, sleep issues, uh, you could have fibrocystic issues, uh, tenderness, a lot of pain around PMS time. So, you gotta get to the root cause of that as well. So, we started out with just bloating but you can see how then this estrogen issue can affect bile levels and good bile flow because estrogen causes everything to get really stagnant and not flow well and then you’ll start having mood issues and PMS issues and maybe even fertility issues. So, you can see how you start at one point which is bloating, which is the topic of the video but then it can spiral down this other kind of tangential pathway.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. Not to mention two, let’s just say it started out with heartburn, I just want people to kind of visualize this. So, let’s say it starts out with heartburn. You go to the target and you buy Prilosec, which is over the counter acid blocker medication, you reduce your stomach acid even more but you feel some relief from the heartburn and let’s say your spouse had H. pylori, you guys pass that between each other, so now you’ve got even more reduction of stomach acid levels, you’re on the acid blocking medication. Now, you’re anxious, you’re starting to get depressed, you’re getting a bit of fatigue. As you mentioned, now, you’re getting some hormonal issues, some hormonal issues like breast tenderness or PMS or ill ability, you’ve got this dysbiosis growing in your gut so you have this bacterial infection. It could be multiple things, Strep, Staph, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, Bordetella. And now, you’ve got beta-glucuronidase issues. Now, you’re recirculating all this estrogen. You’re creating more problems with the gallbladder. Maybe, you get the gallbladder removed. Now, you’re in really big trouble then that leads to the diet so then you read some guy on the internet who says, you need to be doing 70 – 80% vegetables. So now, you’re doing all these veggies and you’re even more bloated and you’re even more gassy and you don’t know why. So, you’re eating broccoli, you’re trying to force all these leafy greens down, a lot of vegetables. Maybe, you’re doing a lot of avocados, these higher FODMAP foods that are fermenting in the gut. This is the case where you’ve got a really, to me, the best, most beneficial thing I’ve seen for these cases, get the diet very simple, focus on good quality animal proteins and for a time being minimize your vegetables so that you can let the gut rest. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Absolutely. From a solution standpoint, yeah, good proteins, good fats and then if we’re gonna do vegetables, make sure they’re cooked steamed, sauteed, maybe use an instant pot and try to make sure they’re on the lower fermentable side. Now, that being said, next, what’s another driving factor of bloating? increase in fermentable vegetables. Now, people are hearing all kinds of things about probiotics being helpful. Well, they are. There’s a lot of good benefits to probiotics and the microbiome and the endogenous nutrients they produce. They, um, whether it’s vitamin K2, whether it’s different B vitamins, really helpful. It also produces acidity which helps keep a lot of bugs and bacteria from growing in the gut, totally helpful. Now, if you already have a lot of bacterial overgrowth and bad bugs growing, sometimes, these extra good bacteria can actually cause more bloating, more gas. And then, of course, because they’re fermentable they can also create histamine too. So, the histamine may create more brain fog or headaches, more destruction there. So, you may have more histamine symptoms, you may have motility issues because they’re producing hydrogen methane gases maybe and that may cause either diarrhea on one side or maybe more constipation on the other side, definitely possible. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. Good call on the histamine. And so, some of these bacteria on your gut, they’re gonna be releasing histamine too. So, if you’re combining high histamine foods, you’re doing leftovers, let’s say, last night, you made a steak, you’re cooking that leftover protein. That’s gonna be higher in histamine. Combined with the histamine being produced from this bacterial overgrowth problem, yeah, you mentioned brain fog, skin flushing, rashes. So, once again, here we are talking about bloating but we’re trying to elucidate this big spider web of other symptoms that may be going on.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.

Evan Brand: Um, also, what about a stress component meaning someone just simply not chewing enough, they’re rushing through their meals. I think this from a mechanical perspective. If you look at your average person, I mean I saw somebody on the highway the other day, I don’t know if it was a donut, a piece of pizza, it was some kind of junk. I couldn’t tell exactly what it was but either way there’s still people trying to do makeup, scrolling on their smartphone, eating a piece of pizza, all while driving on the highway at the same time and we wonder why they have digestive problems. So, maybe we talk about the impact of not being settled when you are eating and this sort of like, this parasympathetic process that digestion is supposed to be our ancestors, they didn’t have that level of stimulation while they were trying to eat. I mean, maybe there was a wolf trying to come, get their bison killed but beyond that there wasn’t this big sympathetic stress underneath all of our meal times.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We kind of started out the video talking about the parasympathetic-sympathetic balance and how important that is because the parasympathetic is part of that rest and digest that gets the digestive secretion going. It stimulates all the blood flow into the organs, the intestines. So, of course, setting really good boundaries for your meal, you know, I recommend kind of kind of go into a meal five times or ten minutes, just kind of relax, do some deep breathing, have some appreciate, appreciation about your day, the food in front of you, you know, just whatever blessings you have in your life, just try to really get to that parasympathetic state with just good breathing in the nose, right, four to five nasal breaths in and out. Focus on whatever’s good in your life, appreciation. Whatever you have to do, whatever kind of resonating prayer to put you in that state when you just feel better and then go into that meal keep it quiet or if you want to listen to something that kind of allows you to feel good and feel rested or relaxed, that’s fine. And then, go into that meal and make sure you chew your food really well. Try to avoid a lot of hydration with the food, you know, a couple of ounces of water for swallowing some pills or digestive support is fine but try to get into that meal, like, I just had to have a good routine. Get some good hydration ahead of time, try to go into some kind of meditation or prayer for five or ten minutes ahead of time to really get that parasympathetics going and then go into your meal and really just try to chew things up pretty well too, you know, about 30 chews per bite of food on the average, kind of get your food chewed up to about an oatmeal like consistency so it’s really broken down well that’s allow the enzymes and the acids to work a lot better too. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. You know, what’s interesting is a lot of people are kind of pressure into these business meetings like with their boss or with their co-workers, there’s this like work-meeting-lunch deal where people are going out with people they probably wouldn’t associate with outside of the workplace and they’re going and eating with those people. And so, I would just tell you, if you don’t like it and that’s not your vibe, don’t do it. If you feel more comfortable, more relaxed eating by yourself, don’t do it. I mean, I remember, l had some stressful conversations over lunch and dinner tables before with people over the years and I leave feeling like I didn’t eat anything and that my mind was so focused on even if it wasn’t a negative conversation. If it was on some sort of business deal or the state of the world or something and then I’m eating. I would get up from the table. I’m like, oh crap, did I eat and I didn’t process that and it would sound maybe like unnecessary advice but I think a lot of people need to be picky of what they talk about it at the dinner table.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think anything that’s gonna keep you in that parasympathetic state is great, you know, save the more stressful things before or after and I think, also, just have good boundaries. Try to make sure you get at least 20 minutes for a meal, um, to yourself, you know, I mean, if you don’t have 20, if you can’t put 20 minutes in your schedule for you to consume some good food and put yourself in that parasympathetic state then you got some boundary issues and you got to really work on roping in your schedule and getting some control over it, at least so you have that 15-20 minute to yourself and you can really process that food well. And again, I’m not saying there won’t be some exceptions or some stressful days here or there but on average try to make sure 80 to 90% of the time, you really have control over your schedule to that degree. 

Evan Brand: One of my favorite things to do even in the wintertime here, if I’ve got blue skies. I’m taking my shirt off, I’m going to sit on my front porch where I’ve got a nice comfy front porch patio chair and that chai is warmed up by the sun so I just take my shirt off sit there barefoot and in the chair and eat my bison burger for lunch and the sunlight is a mast cell stabilizer so I noticed the sun helps me if I have any kind of food reactions, the sun will stabilize that, obviously there’s nitric oxide benefits. There’s likely some nervous system benefits circadian rhythm benefits. So, for me, if you can get fresh air on your lunch that’s great and what the heck does sunshine have to do with bloating, well, I mean there’s even some studies on sunlight improving the diversity of your gut and we’re outside all the time now. So, if you just type in like sunlight microbiome, you can read the papers on this, it’s in a microbiology journal about how exposure to the UV rays can improve the gut diversity so it’s no surprise that all these people in offices buildings all day, they got poor diversity. Obviously from other things but lack of sunshine is a negative factor for your gut health. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, also, there’s other bugs that are out there I think we already kind of talked about H. pylori because that can affect the stomach and that can decrease, um, acid production and thus when acid production is down, we know enzyme production is also down and then that can also affect biliary function, biofunction, so we know H. pylori is a big thing. Other bugs can be problematic, right? We already mentioned SIBO, which could be a whole bunch of different bacteria that are overgrown in the small intestine that could be Citrobacter, Prevotella, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, Morganella, right? It doesn’t really matter the actual bugs but if there’s an overgrowth there, they can definitely disrupt digestion creating different gases on the methane and hydrogen side and that can create obviously more bloat. Other parasites can cause problems too. So, we see things like Blasto, Blastocystis hominis, right? E. histo, D. fragilis, Giardia, Cryptosporidia, these are all other bugs that could be problematic. Then even things like fungal overgrowth like Candida overgrowth, whether it’s a Rhodotorula species, Albican species, these types of imbalances can cause problems. So, it’s good to test and really make sure that we look at the whole microbiome and see what’s out of balance or not and then from there food wise, I mean, of course, general refined sugar, refined grains, right? These processed foods, excess fiber, lots of raw vegetables, uh, fermentable carbohydrates, right? These things are gonna be on the list, as well. And so, we’ll kind of add those. There are a lot of different things that we have to look at so I kind of gave you the top five or six on this list. Anything else, um, Evan, you wanna add to it?

Evan Brand: Well, I would just say that if you’re coming into this conversation, you’re listening, maybe you don’t have much background and listening to people like you and I talk about functional medicine strategy. Some of this may just go right over your head. You may just tune out because you’re hearing these things which sound exotic and they sound rare, like H. pylori. I don’t have that. Giardia, what the heck is that? Blasto, though I don’t have that. You know, I just have bloating. The reality is these are very common things. The problem is the testing that’s used in the conventional gastroenterology world is very outdated and very insensitive, meaning there’s a lot of infections that go missed and even if these infections are tested for, it’s not likely that you’re gonna find an accurate result. And so, what we’re talking about, these are not rare situations, you and I, between us both, we’ve seen several thousand clients and patients across the world over the last decade and we can tell you that these issues are something we see every day, all day. So much so that in fact when I see a whole big list of infections on the stool test, I don’t get shocked by it. Yep. Uh-huh. That’s it. That’s what we’ve got. So, if you’re listening to this, you’re like, ‘man, that’s not me. I’m just bloated and tired.’ Well, there’s a reason for that. And so, I highly recommend you get tested, figure out what the heck you got, going on because if you’re not testing, you’re guessing and if you’re going and taking probiotics or random enzymes and you don’t feel better or you’re confused about what you should actually taking and not taking and you’re building up a supplement graveyard. It’s time for you to get tested and figure out what the heck you’re up against. And so, if you need help, you can reach out clinically, Dr. J is at justinhealth.com. you can reach out and do consults worldwide. So, we jump on a video call just like we’re doing here, Zoom, facetime, skype, we can look at your labs that you run at home and we can figure out what’s going on and make you – a game plan to get better. And if you need help for me, it’s Evan, evanbrand.com and either one of us, Dr. J, justinhealth.com, evanbrand.com, we’re here to help you and the cool thing is you can reverse these issues and you can get to a point where you don’t even recognize your gut health. I mean, if I look back at myself even 10 years ago, I had such severe IBS. I did every diet under the sun and I made some progress but it wasn’t until I looked at my gut that I really made the magic happen. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And so, just to kind of highlight a couple of things out of the gates, um, we’ll put some links below as well to some of the lab tests that we recommend, whether it’s the stool testing, whether it’s the organic acid testing which does look at bacterial and yeast metabolites. I love the organic acid because it’s very good at picking up Candida and yeast overgrowth, where a lot of times those tool testing will miss that and of course the, um, breath test will not touch any yeast overgrowth. So, it’s nice to have whether it’s stool test, whether it’s the GI map, whether it’s an organic acid, whether it’s a conventional lactulose, breath test, these are all good tests. We’ll put links down below. So, if you guys want to look at getting some of those to start out at the gates, you feel free, you can. Also, I like to compare and contrast like what we do versus the conventional gastroenterologist. So, most gastro docs, they’re just trying to rule out significant pathology, significant disease and so they may cross off the list by doing some kind of an endoscopy, which is camera down the mouth to look at inflammation in the stomach or esophagus and if they see esophagitis or gastritis, you know, what they’re going to do, they’re gonna recommend some type of PPI or Gaviscon or some type of a coding agent to kind of help reduce the inflammation but they’re not gonna really fix the root cause. Most of the time, they pull you off acids, which may be helpful in the short run but it’s forever altering your ability to break down protein or fat and it also can shift your bugs in a negative direction because now you don’t have the good acidity to keep the microbes down. You need the acidity to activate enzymes, you need the acidity to activate your bile salts. So, someone’s jumping in on the questions here saying that hey they feel better on keto but now they’re feeling more constipated. Yeah, super common because what’s happening is you’re cutting out a lot of the foods that are causing problems but you haven’t fixed your digestion, you don’t have enough acidity, enzymes, bile, there may be some bugs that are still impacting digestion and this is why being on good proteins and fats can be helpful but they also reveal weak links in your digestive chain if you’re not breaking down food well. So, just kind of getting back on the gastro doc kind of bandwagon, they’re gonna be looking at pathology inflammation in the stomach, you know, ruling out the big things like blood, um, in the ulceration in the stomach, you know, usually you’re gonna know that because you’re coughing it up but you’re seeing it in your stool. If you have irritable bowel disease symptoms like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, usually, you’re gonna have significant inflammation in the stomach, usually significant diarrhea, blood in the stool, they’re gonna rule that out and then what and then for the most part, once the big pathology things, ulcerations, cancer, massive amounts of inflammation are ruled out, they’re gonna typically give you like IBS diagnosis, whether it’s IBS-D for diarrhea or IBS-C for constipation and they’re gonna just manage whatever symptoms whether those symptoms are with different drugs. So, if it’s constipation, they’ll use laxatives. If it’s diarrhea, they’ll use things like Imodium or Pepto Bismol or anti-inflammatories. They’ll just modulate the symptoms with drugs and that’s it and they’re not gonna really get to the root cause. They’re gonna just try to spot the treat and then that’s where people come to us because overtime, those drugs will become less and less effective, you have more and more side effects, you’re not fixing digestion, you’re creating more nutritional deficiencies, maybe more gut permeability issues, maybe more autoimmune stuff and so these patients then come to us because they’re just tired of putting band-aids over band-aids. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. I forgot to mention the endoscopic procedure that is super common, uh, they wanted to do that on me, years ago, when I had IBS and I denied that because I even back then I had read about these infections that people were acquiring from getting scoped meaning the last person that they put the tube down, they didn’t properly clean or sanitize that so then they stick it down your throat and then you leave the hospital just to investigate and as you said, the only thing that’s gonna come out to that is they may say gastritis which is super generic. It doesn’t tell you anything about these infections and they’re not gonna give you an herbal protocol to address the infection causing the gastritis. But now, you’ve left the hospital with Clostridia or some other possibly antibiotic resistant infection that’s involved to evade the sterilizing and cleaning procedures. So, I’m all about non-invasive, accurate, functional medicine testing and that’s why we love what we do because there’s a very rare, maybe one every five years, yeah, is there a case where I’m like yeah, you need an endoscopy because there’s something crazy here.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Usually, with an endoscopy or colonoscopy which is gonna be going up the rectum to look in the colon. Usually, there’s gonna be blood in the stool, some type of significant inflammation, whether it’s excessive diarrhea, excessive inflammation, excessive blood in the stool, excessive weight loss. It has to be at the extreme ends for that to make sense. Most people just have inflammation and a lot of times the tests won’t kind of tell you enough about the root cause, they’re just gonna put you on medications to manage the symptoms and that’s where you’re kind of stuck in between. Now, a lot of my ulcerative colitis, IBD patients, they’ve already done that. Yeah, so then, it’s like all right, they’ve kind of already crossed that off their list any weird cancers, ulcers, it’s already done, they know, they’re just being managed with Lialda, Prednisone, a biologic and then it’s like, now what, right? And so, we still have to get to the root cause of that and get the immune system chilled out and figure out what stressors are there so we can get on top of that too.     

Evan Brand: Yeah. I mean, I know you and I have seen countless emails being sent to us with pictures of colons and you know different things from these scopes like hey there’s my scope results, you know, what do you have to say about it and the answer is always the same. Okay, there’s something there, let’s work on the infections. And so, uh, yeah, someone in the chat, uh, shelly said, yes that they all recommended me, every time, I go to the doctor. So, yeah, that, I mean that’s all they’ve got, they don’t have the stuff that we’re using maybe in 20 years from now you can go right down the street and get done what we’re talking about but for now you’ve got to seek out somebody like us that’s gonna be able to help you, uh, there’s one person in the chat too asking about a viral impact on the gut, it’s real. I did a whole section of that in my better belly course about that virus in the gut and so it’s definitely a big factor.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and just to kind of, uh, speak, kind of on the line here, so, um, we can, we don’t get censored, there’s certain viruses that are out there, right? There’s an ACE2 receptor site that gets impacted in these different viruses and the ACE2 receptor site, there are a lot of them in the gut and these receptor sites are really important for absorbing amino acids and so if you have any of these maybe chronic viral issues, one of the good things that you can do is actually extra free form amino acids to allow these receptor sites to absorb these amino acids easier, right? I think the free-form amino acids are already broken down. So, if you have this chronic immune stress and you’re having a hard time recovering from the immune stress adding in some additional free form amino acids can be very, very helpful on the healing side.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. I’ve seen a lot and there’s papers on this too but I’ve seen it clinically too. People post viruses that will look at their stool, there’s gut inflammation, there’s low secretory IgA, so we can see there’s been some damage and so we have been able to resolve it. So, yeah, we’ll wrap this thing up but if you al need help, please reach out clinically, we mention the websites one more time, Dr. J, that’s justinhealth.com, me evanbrand.com and we’re here to help you guys, so you can reach out and we’ll get to the bottom of this. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And sometimes, we’ll even use some kind of an elemental diet with people that have chronic digestive issues just  because it can be hard, breaking protein and fat down and these are really good, important nutrients but sometimes we just got to break it down for them and using some kind of an elemental or a modified elemental, where maybe you make the first four to six hours of the day, really easy to process in some kind of smoothie or shake that has most of the amino acids in free form, maybe the fats more easy to process like in an MCT oil or something like that and then we use a lot of the vitamins and minerals all broken down. That could be very helpful and give the digestive system a chance to rest and some people they notice this because they just feel really good when they fast and so if you fast and you feel really good that’s excellent but you’re still not fixing the problem of getting nutrients in the system so that’s where using some kind of an elemental type of shake can be really helpful. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. Well, I’m done. I feel like we’ve covered a lot of good stuff here. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Yeah. I mean someone asked one question about flour substitutes. It just depends on where someone’s at, so flour, it’s a processed food so out of the gates, if someone wants, um, like a starch, um, I recommend maybe a greener banana, maybe yucca, cassava, maybe a Kabocha, spaghetti squash. Just look at some of the fibers, uh, non-starch, I should say, more starchy carbohydrates that are gonna be grain-free, see how you do with that. And then, if you want an actual flour, you can look at it like an arrowroot or you can look at it like a cassava is pretty good because it’s still grain-free but it’s still gonna be on the processed side. So, ideally, try to keep it grain-free so you don’t have extra gluten sensitivity connection with those.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. Definitely. That’s what I was gonna say too. Potatoes, rice, a lot of these things can still create problems for people. I’ve had many people feel like crap on some of these gluten-free breads. So, yeah, it’s still processed garbage in my opinion. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And then, someone wrote in about the, um, the onions there. Onions are very high in FODMAPs and that can be a problem and so if you head, your gut feeling a lot better and you can come back in and you’re noticing FODMAPs are creeping into your diet and causing a lot more bleeding definitely kind of, you know, rain that back in and see how much that back in and see how much that kind of brings you back to homeostasis. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. This person told, uh, they said that they’ve had similar issues with cabbage, brussels sprouts, and other similar veggies. So, yeah, I mean I would go more animal-based. See how you feel with just some meat and some berries for a little while. Maybe if you tolerate a little bit of some organic pecans, if you want to do a little bit of nuts but do like a bison burger and a handful of blueberries for lunch and see if you feel better. I suspect you will. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. At least, just try, you know, cutting out the higher FODMAP foods because when you address microbes, right? You starve it on one side with restricting certain foods that can feed it, you can kill it with certain herbals and then you crowd it out with probiotics. And so, sometimes, we have to go back to the killing side and kill the microbes out a little bit more but I always just see how much the starving kind of works. Get the starving going again and then if you have to kind of return to a protocol, where we knock down the microbes with herbs, we can always do that too. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and we’ve made these protocols a lot. It’s really fun to combine and mix and match and get the synergistic effect of this herb plus that herb. I mean, that’s where the magic really happens and there is an art to this too like you said when to cycle things on when to cycle them off, so there’s not just this one cookie cutter thing that you have to do. You really got to just work with the person. Certain herbs are used for certain parasites, certain ones we use for bacteria, certain ones we use for fungus. It depends on what you got, most of the time it’s a combination of all these bugs. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Hey, Evan, great podcast today. Hope everyone at home listening enjoyed it. Feel free to share with friends or family. Put your comments down below. Let me know what things that you guys have tried at home that have worked well or haven’t. Really appreciate the conversation. Evan, have an awesome day man. 

Evan Brand: You too, take it easy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care. Bye. 

Evan Brand: See you. Bye-bye. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended Products:

Enzyme Synergy

Probio Flora

Genova ION Profile

Genova Organix Dysbiosis

Genova SIBO Breath Test

Genova Organix® Comprehensive Profile

International DSL GI MAP Genetic Stool Test

DSL GI-MAP Genetic Stool Test

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/the-top-5-causes-of-bloating-podcast-364

Post Viral Immune Support To Improve Energy | Podcast #363

What you eat after a viral infection, when symptoms of fatigue persist, can have a marked impact on your speed of recovery. Dr. J and Evan discuss that specific foods need to be avoided or included in your diet to improve your immune system. So what are the truth and the evidence about diet and post-viral immune support?

The good news is that most people will benefit from some considerations when recovering from illness or infection. Having post-viral fatigue means that you will not have your usual energy to think, shop, prepare or eat as before. Be very practical and kind to yourself. Dr. J and Evan added that diet modification is vital in your recovery.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
1:57   – The role of acid-pH level in the digestive system
5:01  – The link of depression and anxiety to bloating
10:02 – The benefits of probiotics and effects of stress to digestive health
18:17 – Functional medicine strategies and testing to find the root cause of bloating


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J in the house with Evan Brand. Evan, how you doing man? How are your holidays? How’s everything going brother?

Evan Brand: Everything’s going pretty good. I’m trying to start 2022 off with a bang. I suspect it’s gonna be a better year than 2021. People are becoming smarter. They’re becoming more educated. They’re becoming more resourceful. People are waking up. There’s a lot of, we’re in the great awakening and so I think, this is an important time to be alive and an important time if you’re a parent, if you’re a husband, a wife, if you’ve got kids, if you’re a teacher. It’s important time to keep your eyes open and keep your ears to the ground because stuff changes quickly and you got to be like a little speedboot. You got to be able to take turns quick, you don’t want to be the titanic right now, you don’t wanna be slow in taking big turns, you gotta be nimble in these times and so what I’m alluding to is just you got to be able to navigate the world of health which is quickly evolving and that’s true. What we’re trying to talk about today is post viral fatigue and really that’s just the title but this really could apply to bacterial infections and parasites and mold exposure but we just wanted to try to zoom in a little bit specifically on post viral fatigue and things like Epstein Barr virus, many people are familiar with and there’s a lot of people that report their chronic fatigue, picking up after something like EBV, we’ve seen it a lot with the virus going around now which would probably get flagged and censored so we won’t say it but you know what it is and there’s a lot of post, uh, viral fatigue going on from that and so you and I have dealt with some of that, you’re still going through the thick of it right now but I think you’re coming through pretty well, you’re still working and obviously you’re on your feet right now literally standing so that’s exciting and yeah.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: For the listeners, I had COVID last week, actually symptoms started on Wednesday. Really two hard days of symptoms, I was able to work the whole time though, I mean I think that the symptoms for my COVID that were, um, tough was I would say achiness and then like sensitivity to cold like it was like 45 degrees out and it felt like it was minus 10. So, I would say sensitivity to cold and then also getting really hot at some points, getting out where I would sweat through my shirt. So hot and cold, achiness/ headaches and then like easily out of breath but I mean for me I mean, it was still fine where I could work and still do the things I had to do. So it wasn’t that bad, I mean, I had a flu in 2013 where I was literally laid up for over two days and I couldn’t do anything so I know laid up feels like it wasn’t even close to the flu of 2013 for me, that was really hard. So, definitely, um, not as bad, I actually was my own worst enemy because on Friday I was feeling like really good like 80-90% better and did like 2-3 hours of housework like cleaning my house like doing all this different stuff because it was a beautiful day and I’m like all right let me get on top of some work, work 3 hours probably walk like 15,000 steps and that next day there was a major relapse in how I felt. It was probably like I went backwards 30-40%. Here I was at 80% probably going backwards to 50. I was like whoa what happened and so then I just kind of got in the straight and narrow and just said okay I gotta really make sure I kind of make sure I kind of keep it easy until I get back to 100% because, you know, um, it just you didn’t realize how much, uh, things could go backwards so fast so you really gotta wait till you get a 100% on things and so overall I mean the only thing lingering for me right now is a slight bit of um out of breathiness and, uh, this little lingering deep tickle cough like right now you can feel it like someone’s tickling the back of your throat with your finger and you want to cough to scratch it, kind of like that and so that’s where I’m at now. That’s like kind of makes it feel like I scratch it right there, right. So, I’m doing some ginger tea, I’m doing with the Manuka honey that soothes it like that helps with the irritation. It’s not knocking the cough down. Doing some, Elderberry, um, doing some thieves, uh, natural cough drops with essential oils, um, also doing some nebulizer so I’m doing some glutathione nebulization so those are couple of things I’m doing and then obviously sinus flushes, the amount of mucus that is coming out of me is out of control so sinus flushes are really, really important because if you do not flush your sinuses, the amount of stuff that stays inside of you, oh my God. So, flushing my sinuses out 3-4 times a day, you know, really good saline reverse osmosis with a little bit of silver in there to kind of keep things flushed out is helping a lot. So, that’s kind of where I’m at but honestly feeling pretty good, um, the whole family got it purposefully, my wife had it and I’m like come over here honey gave her a big kiss and then I kissed all my kids, I’m like we’re done. We’re gonna get this thing all together, be done with it all that way we’re not, you know, I get it next month and then I’m isolating for two weeks and then my kids get no we’re gonna get it all at the same time and surprisingly my kids’ symptoms were 80% less than the adults, super, super minor.  I couldn’t believe how minor it was for the kids, so very interesting. So, that was kind of my experience with, uh, with the big C, uh, so to speak. And also, the big correlation I was listening to someone talk about this, the, a lot of the post C symptoms that we see after, right, people that have dysglycemia, and blood sugar issues tend to be a big driving factor of a lot of these post viral symptoms afterwards. Talking about post-viral fatigue, one of the big things is make sure you manage your glycemia, meaning you’re having good protein, you’re having good fats, you’re not eating a bunch of refined sugar, grains, those kinds of things. Make sure you put good metaphorical logs on the fire, good proteins, good fats to really work on blood sugar stability. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. We’ll I’m glad that you’re coming through it. Regarding the shortness of breath, I would kind of put that in the same category as the post viral fatigue because that shortness of breath can create fatigue and the best thing that’s helped me and has helped many clients is doing the color oxygen. So, ChlorOxygen, you can get that on amazon, it’s readily available. And it’s just a, it’s a liquid chlorophyll extract. So, when you do that within probably 5-10 minutes, you can feel a difference, so it’s like C-h-l-o-r-Oxygen, ChlorOxygen. I would probably do 10-20 drops up to 3 times per day. That thing is absolutely incredible. You can go as high as one tablespoon in 20 ounces of water and just sip on that throughout the day. I had one guy in New York, major, major issues with shortness of breath in the acute and the long term and that ChlorOxygen literally just turned his situation around. So, I’d get some of that stuff. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, it’s C-h-l-o-r Oxygen?

Evan Brand: Yeah, ChlorOxygen. Yeah, and it comes in a little bottle tincture and it’s incredible. Also, something I’ve used personally, I’ve used with several clients too is Ailanthus. Ailanthus is three of heaven which is an invasive tree. I see a lot of it in Kentucky but you can buy Ailanthus tincture and that one is also really, really good. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. Is this the one, right here, Is the ChlorOxygen? 

Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s the one. Yep. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Cool.

Evan Brand: Get you some of that but should help because that’s the problem is, you know, the shortness of breath was pretty bad for me and I felt better, you know, I got infected a long time ago. It was like August 2020 and then six months later that’s when I started to have some shortness of breath which I was like, holy crap and so luckily, I was able to knock it out, uh, with Demectin and uh, yeah, Demectin really helped me and then the nebulizer and the ChlorOxygen, I would say that combination was an absolute game changer, luckily, I haven’t had any issues since then. But what we are seeing is that the mitochondria have a role in this and some of this post-viral fatigue we’re seeing is due to mitochondrial damage so I’ve been fortunate enough to see a few dozen people now. And in terms of organic acids testing after the virus, and we are seeing that the mitochondria definitely showed dysfunction. You and I talked about this many times on other podcast about the mitochondria. We can measure the dysfunction and so what we’re doing is we’re coming in with mitochondrial support nutrients so CoQ10, we’re coming in with carnitine, ribose, a lot of these amino acids and B vitamins like riboflavin which can help fuel the krebs cycle and then also we can use things like PQQ to help get the mitochondrial biogenesis going, meaning we’re literally making new mitochondria so we can measure this on paper. So, if you guys are suffering, you know, one of us can reach out or you reach out to us rather and then we can get the urine looked at because we can measure this. You don’t have to guess where is this fatigue coming from. If it’s a mitochondrial induced problem, we can measure that. Now, you have permission to have multiple things wrong with you so there could be a dopamine problem, there could be a mitochondrial problem, there could be toxin problem. So, rarely is there one issue causing this fatigue but the goal is for us to try to get as many puzzle pieces laid out in front of us and then make an appropriate protocol.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. I’d say, the worst thing about COVID for me right now, coffee tastes bitter like it tastes bitter, almost a little bit sour, does not taste like coffee. I’ve almost been like I’m not even gonna drink it right now until this thing gets better because it does not taste that good but for me I’m just alright, I got, you know, 20 grams of collagen in there, I got some good fats, I kind of look at it as like a meal replacement for me. So, that’s probably the worst thing the whole time. For me, it kind of felt like a cold. I’d say a mild, mild to middle of the road cold. The only thing that really surprised me was that, that back swing where I was like 80% better and then went backwards that was the hardest thing. 

Evan Brand: And, it could have been you overdoing it for sure, I mean, 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: oh, you totally did. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I mean I did have a little bit of that too where I kind of felt like I was better, overdid it and then I heard it again, so. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. 100%. So, excuse me, anything else you wanted to highlight on that so far? I would say post-viral stuff, the things that I’m doing right now and I recommend people do, in general, are gonna be Adaptogens and I like medicinal mushrooms. So, Shiitake, Maitake, Reishi. Reishi is great. I love it because it does deactivate viruses. It does build up and support the natural killer immune cells so I do like that, uh, any type of ginseng, Ashwagandha, these are things that help support energy production, support the adrenals, help buffer the HPA excess. So, any of these types of things are gonna be, uh, helpful too.  

Evan Brand: You need to get on some Lion’s Mane too for your taste because what I’m finding is that the nerves are damaged and that’s affecting the sinus. So, the sense of smell, sense of taste, some of that is related to nerve damage. So, I would probably hit Lion’s Mane, maybe like two caps twice a day. That’s been helpful to restore the sense of smell and taste in some people. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s probably not damaged. It’s probably just more inflammation, right? 

Evan Brand: Well, the long-term stuff, I’m talking to people just long-term. I’m talking to people that you know 6-8 months later say, I still can’t taste or smell. Bringing in Lion’s Mane, like 2 caps twice a day. It takes a few months but you know it does increase nerve growth factor and so I think that’s the mechanism. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s interesting. Yeah. I do have some Lion’s Mane. I’ll definitely add that in. I mean, I think medicinal mushrooms are gonna be really good to, um, be on top of, uh, just supporting your immune system and like helping with, um, the body regenerate and heal better. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Gabe was asking a question in the live chat on YouTube. How did you guys catch it? I don’t know, I mean I work from home. You know, I’ve got a home office, uh, Justin has a home office as well, you know, I do go out, uh. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Personally, it’s the new variant. The new variant has an R-naught of seven, which is that’s equal to, uh, measles so the delta variant had an R-naught of 2 or 3 so that means for every one person that gets it, it can be passed to 2-3 on average, right. The new omicron variant, it’s seven, so you can literally pass it to seven people so I think my wife was in a yoga class with three people and they were like spread out across that broom like they were like way you know spaced apart, you know, for just all the safety reasons and it was still able to get it so my whole take on omicron, it’s very, um, I think the symptoms are milder than delta for sure. That’s what everything’s been reported but, um, it’s way more contagious. Everyone’s gonna get it at this point, you just gotta have your plan and, um, be ready ahead of time, right? People don’t have a plan and then when they get it then they get stuck and they feel like they have to go to the hospital and you don’t have as many options there so try to have a, um, outpatient plan ready to rock and roll but yeah, you’re gonna get it because the, um, our knot on this thing, right, is that seven which is at a level close to measles so it’s right there. So, if you haven’t got it yet, you will. Anything else you wanna highlight on the immune side, on the post-viral stuff obviously I’m a big fan of ginger, I think ginger is nice because it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, uh, helps with lymphatic. So, if your kind of like have a lot of like stagnant lymph in the chest area or in the neck I really keeps the lymph moving all that’s very helpful. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. There was, uh, one person that commented if you’ve had delta you should have some memory T cells that will help if you get infected. Yes supposedly. Supposedly, um.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You definitely should have memory T cells as well as memory B cells, right? So, even if you were to get sick again, um, you’re gonna be able to recruit antibodies way faster, right? Normally when you get sick if you’re first time getting exposed to an infection it takes about a week or so to really get those antibodies ramped up and so even if you were to get sick twice, you’re gonna be able to make those antibodies inside of, you know, 24 hours or so. So, you’re gonna be able to bring those antibodies to the table a lot faster and so that’s, um, that’s pretty cool. That’s pretty helpful. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Other strategies, uh, post-viral fatigue hyperbaric oxygen has been helpful. I’ve seen several clients that luckily have lived in a city where they’ve had access to do hyperbaric oxygen. Essentially, what it is, is it’s replicating being under water under water about 10 to 12 feet so that pressure is helping to get oxygen deeper inside of you. So, some of these tissues may have been starved of oxygen. This sort of mild hypoxia or hypoxemia, you know, you can basically reverse that by getting the hyperbaric oxygen. There are some people that can do there’s oxygen cans, little portable oxygen shots, if you will but it’s nothing compared to an oxygen concentrator with the hyperbaric oxygen so that’s good ongoing, I mean, I’ve had clients with Lyme that have done hyperbaric we know that’s incredible for traumatic brain injuries and concussions and that sort of thing. So, even if this is just a long-term fatigue problem, not related to viral issues at all, you know, hyperbaric is another good tool, you’re looking at probably around 100 a session but, you know, what, what’s your health? What is your health worth? So. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. One thing I did was very helpful was use my infrared sauna the last couple of days. That was helpful, just getting a really good sweat in felt very good, you know, raising that body temperature up can be very helpful just at um at your body knocking down viruses. That’s part of the reason why you get, um, chill while you get the nutshells but, uh, why you get a fever right. It’s part of the reason your immune system is actually knocking down some of that bacteria and or viruses by doing it that way so using an infrared sauna can be helpful too. 

Evan Brand: So, look at your mitochondria, get your organic acids test done, we can measure that and look at mitochondrial function come in with specific support whether it’s B vitamins, adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola, you mentioned, Siberian ginseng or Eleuthero. There’s medicinal mushrooms like cordyceps which there is some benefits. There are some papers on cordyceps and athletes and improving blood flow. There may be some level of oxygenation that happens with cordyceps too. So, cordyceps, reishi mushroom, I think the Lion’s mane for the brain and for the nerves would be beneficial, the ChlorOxygen for any of the shortness of breath along with the fatigue, rest, I mean just getting good quality sleep, making sure you got to do whatever you can to get good quality sleep. So, all the same sleep hygiene habits we’ve talked about for a decade together apply in regards to candling down at night if you need some passion flower. Even melatonin, there’s some really cool studies on melatonin. We know, it’s a very powerful antioxidant and we are seeing higher doses of melatonin be beneficial. So, in general, somewhere around 5 milligrams but there are some papers going wat up 30 – 40 – 50 milligrams and beyond. I don’t know a ton about the high dose so I’ll just tell you that the regular dose standard dosing is better than nothing. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It was that melatonin?

Evan Brand: Melatonin. Yes. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Usually, it’s like the higher dose is like 10 milligrams and that’s gonna help with the oxygenation and then 30 – 500 milligrams for the arginine that’s to really increase the oxygenation. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. The arginine for like nitric oxide production. Beet powder, you know, beet powder would be good too. So, anything you could do to create some vasodilation is gonna be smart. 

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

Evan Brand: I think that’s it. If you need help, reach out, get tested, hopefully you get back on the full mend here so, keep, keep rolling. You’re doing a great job and hope everybody is doing well and we’ll be in touch next week. If you need help clinically, please reach out. You can reach out to Dr. J at justinhealth.com or me, Evan Brand, at evanbrand.com. We’re happy to help you guys. Keep your head up. keep moving forward.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think the big thing out of the gates is to make sure you have time to sleep, rest. Don’t overdo it. Just know your body still needs more time even when you, when you’ve gotten through the whole thing to recover. Don’t overdo it. That’s really important. Keep the foundational nutrients dialed in so that would be like zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, you know, you can keep those things in there. You may not have to use them at such a high level that you did with the infection but keep some of those nutrients. Don’t go from something to nothing. Keep something in there the whole time, find a medicinal mushroom that you like, find an adaptogen that you like. Maybe keep a little bit of ginger tea going. Something that has some antiviral support and um, you know, try to get a little bit of movement but if it’s making you feel winded then just try to do just enough where you can feel like you’re doing something but not where it’s overly taxing you. I think it’s really important to kind of meet that right in the middle. 

Evan Brand: Last thing, two last things, a low histamine diet is generally pretty helpful because there are a lot of issues with mast cell activation being triggered from this. So, a lower histamine diet, fresh meat, and no leftovers is very important. And then, histamine support. I’ve got a product called histamine support but essentially it’s quercetin plus some other nutrients so anything, you can do to stabilize your mast cells that’s gonna be helpful because muscle activation can cause fatigue, meaning, after the viral issue was over, the immune system can sort of have PTSD for lack of a better terminology and the immune system will go into this crazy state where it will shut you down so that fatigue trying to rebuild that energy back up is re-regulating the immune system so like the quercetin, other mast cell stabilizers are very helpful. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Love it. Love it. Makes total sense and again not everyone’s gonna have that issue but you know, it’s kind of good to know if you fit into that camp. Those are a couple of strategies out of the gates. Anything else, Evan?

Evan Brand: No, that’s it. Take it easy. If people need help, reach out justinhealth.com and evanbrand.com will be available. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We’re here to help you guys. I’ll probably be back later on today here. So, keep a lookout, comments down below. Let us know your thoughts on the topic, we appreciate a review. We appreciate shares to friends and family. Really helps us get the word out. You guys have a phenomenal day. We’ll talk soon. 

Evan Brand: Take it easy. Bye-bye

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye you all. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended Products:

Xlear Sinus Rinse Kit

Xlear Sinus Rinse Packets

NeilMed Sinus Rinse Complete Kit

Chloroxygen Chlorophyll

Genova Organix® Comprehensive Profile

Genova Organix® Dysbiosis Profile

Genova NutrEval® FMV

Immuno Supreme

Histamine Support

TruKeto Collagen

TRUCOLLAGEN (Grassfed)

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/post-viral-immune-support-to-improve-energy-podcast-363

 

Recovering From The Holidays | Podcast #362

The holiday season is meant to be a joyous occasion that brings family and friends together. But even amid all the excitement, there are often moments of stress and anxiety. If you are recovering from health issues, this broad spectrum of holiday emotions can challenge even your best intentions for recovery.

Dr. J and Evan Brand talk about these issues and handle them. Though the risk of relapse runs high during the holidays, it is not inevitable. If you are in recovery from any health issues, you can take steps to stay healthy and safe. Becoming aware of potentially triggering situations and knowing how to prepare for them can help minimize your risk of relapse and allow you to enjoy your holiday season truly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction;
3:15 – The link of EMF to overall health
8:43 – Helpful enzymes, foods, and tests for health recovery


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand, our post-holiday show. Today’s gonna be just a quick podcast on how to recover from holidays, uh, case you don’t know, my whole family has COVID right now, so we are dealing with that and doing all kinds of natural immune support, all the things that I talked about with my patients and talk about on the past to help improve and boost your immune system, so overall feeling actually pretty good, feeling pretty good, my family’s actually doing pretty descent so we are plowing through it, feeling great. Evan, how you doing man? How are the holidays for you?

Evan Brand: Doing really well and yeah like I told you before we hit record, sorry to hear that but also, it’s good to get it over with. We know that natural immunity is the best immunity far better than any other immunity that other people might like to convince you and that it is free and the best and most robust immunity. So, it’s amazing because paying attention to the media, you would think that you should be like laying out right now but here you are standing up at your standing desk, you’re doing your normal thing and you’re here on a podcast so I love to just blow through the narrative of the and blast through the fear. So, beyond that we’re doing great over here man, we’re ready to dive into the holiday talk and this time of year is where you get like 50-50. Like half the people are like, okay I’m gonna go haywire, I’m gonna eat whatever the hell I want and I don’t care and then the other people like, no way I gotta get dialed in, new year’s coming and for some reason January 1st is this symbolic day where people feel like they want to get stuff together. I encourage you to do it now, don’t wait until January to try to get yourself better and so this idea of like cheat days or the holidays are here so I’m gonna go off the rails, I personally don’t do that at all. I stay completely dialed in just because I know it’s gonna affect my brain it’s gonna affect my gut, I don’t wanna have that bad poop, I don’t wanna have bad sleep, I don’t wanna have skin outbreaks, so for me, personally, I do the same thing I always do. If I want like good treat and I want to feel like I’m getting something good, I might go for like a Siete cookie and it’s like maybe one gram of sugar per cookie max but I’m not just gonna go eat a bunch of gluten and rolls and dairy and all that just because it’s the holiday so I personally think like this idea of like a cheat day or a cheat weekend, I just think, it’s crap because you and I’ve talked about this before but like gluten antibodies, they can go up for months after eating gluten so for me, I’m not just gonna go do that and set off the immune system for potentially that long.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, I totally agree. So, what we kind of did is we had, um, squash pie from a true food kitchen, we bought one or two of those and we used that as kind of our dessert so it’s kind of a gluten-free, grain-free dessert option. So, we had that true food kitchen’s great. Their desserts are amazing. We also had some bacon-wrapped dates which were awesome, I mean you get the sweets and savory there and then we also got some poblano peppers, we put some cream cheese in it, again, cream cheese is a little bit better than regular cheese, a little more lactose casein, um, lowering that at least but a little bit of dairy and we wrap bacon around that. So, those were kind of our two I got the grill fired up. Got some atria buys just cut them really, really thin. Put some toothpicks in them and just had a lot of finger food like that and that was nice, really simple, really easy, um, so we try to, you know, try to mitigate a lot of the destruction by choosing healthier, less inflammatory options but also things that allow us to feel pretty satiated and pretty full and not have these blood sugar swings that people get when they don’t have enough protein or fat with their meal either.    

Evan Brand: Yeah. If you want a crazy book, we had a question coming on the live chat about detoxing from EMF coming back to work with headaches and this does pertain to the holidays too. I’ve been reading this over the past weekend. It’s a book called, “The invisible rainbow”, it’ll blow your mind so if you want to read that book it’s all the scientific studies organized into one place about EMF exposure and how we’ve known since the 1800s when the telegram and the telegram wires first came out, people were having reactions to electromagnetic fields and this certainly does affect you. So, all the people just got new, uh, apple air pods, and apple watches and all these, uh, cell towers that they keep on their wrists and in their pocket, you know, I think it is smart to try to mitigate some of that going into the new year. There’s some studies in that book too about EMF and blood sugar and how even people that were dialed in with their diet had elevations and fasting glucose simply by being exposed to radio frequencies so all you with your new tech toys that you got over the holidays, I would encourage you, I think seeing is believing, not everyone is sensitive, meaning they’re not going to feel it but at a biological level there probably is something going on so you could get an rf meter, there’s one out of Canada called Safe and Sound, that’s what I used and I’ve measured, I stood face to face with the cell phone tower and that was about 10,000 microwatts per  square meter, an apple watch that a friend of ours had was 2 million microwatts per square meter so people freak out about cell towers but they’ve got. I can’t even do the math, a 100x the radiation of a cell tower on their wrist all day so on the EMF subject, I would not use or recommend those devices.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, what I do is I have a little tripod here. I take my phone and I put it on a tripod and I put it in front of me and I’ll just use siri to kind of call my patients like that so I’ll put it away from me which is nice. That way it’s not on my person and then I use, um, just little holster like this and I tuck my phone in like this and a couple of things you can do so you can actually, I don’t do this personally but you can slit the side here and you can put some aluminum foil in and that will create a protective barrier with the phone going into your skin so that’s an option if you’re really sensitive. I put it on my back right hip so there’s a lot of tissue there. There’s a lot of bone, a lot of meat, a lot of glute muscle, um, and the cell phone. It really is exponential, it has a logarithmic intensity so the first inch is the most intense and that it logarithmically drops off. Now, if you put the, your phone in your front pocket and it’s right over your ovaries or uh, genitals, that’s a problem, right? Because that’s gonna negatively, now your like inside a couple of inches of that tissue and it’s more sensitive tissue and you don’t have a lot of meat i.e., thick muscle like the glute or a lot of bone in the way, right, that tissue’s kind of much more dense and so ideally, you know, if you’re a female, keep it in your back pocket, don’t put it over tissue like that. That’s bad. Don’t put it in your front pocket female or male, keep it in your back pocket or get a holster like I do, put it right in the back part of your hip and if you’re more sensitive just a little slit in and put some aluminum foil right up against it and that’ll give a protective barrier. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. A lot of times, they sell like silver fabric too, like, I got, I’ve got a shirt that’s like a silver lined shirt, I’ve tested it. it literally, I mean I had a cell phone right in front of me, it was like a million microwatts per square meter, throw in the meter just haywire and I put the shirt on put the meter inside my shirt and it was nothing it was in the green so a lot of these are lined with silver. These fabrics that are really cool so I have had some sensitive clients in the UK who, we’ve got them some of that EMF protective clothing and it has been helpful like you said distance is your friend so getting away from that is key and then I do all my calls just on my computer so I use google voice or I’ll use skype and so I’m just on a hardware connection so I’m using, I’m making zero, uh, radioactive calls during the day or like you and I know we do a lot of zoom calls with our clients too, so zoom, facetime those are good options if you guys are having to do a lot of calls for work and mitigate your risk, you can do facetime on the computer which is what I do and it’s a zero RF way of talking to people and then were hardwired, I’m hardware, I know you go, like wireless headset but I go hardwired on everything.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And I use this headset right here so then the signal, the receiver’s here versus so there’s about an inch or so of tissue, uh, you know, fabric here because the phone really is the first inch is the most and where it’s really concerning is when you have those I, uh, with the little pods in the ear, they go right deep in the ear and everything the receiver is right in there and so there’s not a lot of tissue between you and your external auditory meatus and going into your brain. Something like this where it’s denser and it’s actually more outside or I use these on purpose because it’s the signal is in here and it’s farther away from the head. But in general, um, Bluetooth is pretty weak though, in general, like, Bluetooth only can travel like 30 or 40 feet so I’m not really worried about that. I’m not worried about the 5g signals that are traveling miles upon miles upon miles. A 30-foot signal isn’t as big of a deal as one that can go miles and miles so, I think, if you can plug in, that’s great or use a speakerphone or you have the talk on your phone at least an inch or two away because even apple in their handbook when I understand fact, check me or not, it says you wanna hold your phone at least an inch away from their head, your head. So, that’s really important. 

Evan Brand: I think there was something in the fine print about that about the emissions that come from it. Yeah. On the topic of more, you know, back of back, back to like diet and food exposure and that kind of thing I know you and I both sell professional enzymes that we use clinically with people so I think that’d be a good strategy if you do feel like for some reason, you’re off the rails or maybe you’re not dialed back in yet. I do recommend, like, a broad-spectrum enzyme. Just because you can start to break down dairy and gluten molecules using enzymes so I’m not telling you to eat those things but people got to live and people are not always gonna be dialed in. So, I think a good broad-spectrum enzyme would be a smart thing to do and then first thing of the year that I know you would recommend as well as me is I would get some labs done, I would look at your stool, I would look at your urine and start your year with some data so that you’re not coming into the year blindly. You’re coming into the year with some information about your mitochondria, how they are performing. What do your neurotransmitters look like? How’s your dopamine and serotonin levels? What about your nutrients? How’s your vitamin C? How’s your B vitamins? What’s your glutathione status? Do you have bacterial overgrowth? Do you have Candida? Do you have parasites? Do you have gut inflammation? Do you have gluten antibodies? And your immune system is pissed off right now, I think it’d be a great strategy to start off the year with getting data. So, if you need help clinically, you can reach out to us, we can run these labs on you, we send them to your home, you do an at-home stool and at-home urine, we’ve done this literally thousands of times, you can get over a hundred pieces of data just with one stool and one urine sample so I’d highly recommend that, I think that’s the best thing you can do. I think, it’s great to get all the foundational pieces in order but when you really want to tease things apart and figure out what you’re up against, you’ve got a test not guess and so if you go buy some random energy supplement or some random fat burning supplement or some random, you know pre-workout formula, you don’t really know what you’re doing. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, just kind of foundational things out of the gate, you’re through the holidays, try to mitigate the damage by choosing foods that are gonna be less inflammatory still give you the feeling of your enjoying life right, you’re cheating a little bit but it’s mitigating the damage like Evan said, higher quality broad-spectrum enzymes and acids especially when you’re eating those food. There’s a lot of foods that you’re more intolerant to. You have a hard time breaking it down and the lack of breakdown of that food can create more bloating and gas and constipation. So, we’ll put our recommended digestive supports below in the links below so you can see them. We have different HCl, enzymes and bile support products and then we have different binders or detoxification support with glutathione or sulfur or aminos, down below. Also, the immune support I’m using right now, just to give you kind of top five things I’m taking right now, of course vitamin D, of course an acetylcysteine, really important, um, vitamin C, quercetin, and I would say reishi mushroom is an excellent thing, these are all things that I’m doing right now, of course, a couple other things that I’m doing, uh, preventively are going to be sinus flushes where I rotate between either a sinus flush with saline between iodine, silver and hydrogen peroxide, all diluted and I’ve been doing a little bit of nebulizing hydrogen peroxide. Now, I’ve been just taking the 5mL saline blister packs and doing about 3 to 4 drops of hydrogen peroxide in there which brings the amount to about point one percent and that works really good just trying to keep, um, kind of disinfecting that upper respiratory tract airway. That’s where the virus tends to replicate and grow and if we can knock that down with flushing or nebulizing that prevents the viral load from going up which that’s what creates all the inflammation right so if you keep the viral load down, keep some good natural anti-inflammatory going, keep your immune system supported of course, sugar suppresses your immune system get 12 hours of sleep at night all these are foundational things out of the gates. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. And your lungs believe it or not make hydrogen peroxide so when people, there’s you know, the internet supposed fact checkers which in the court of law now Facebook admitted that their fact checkers are simply opinions and they’re not truly fact checkers so that’s important for people to know but there’s been some stuff online about hydrogen peroxide telling people this is dangerous and all that. We make hydrogen peroxide in our bodies, so you’re taking it at a diluted rate. I took it straight, I did this straight three percent to see how it was, it burned a little bit in my nose but other than that it was fine, I did a whole podcast with doctor Thomas Levy on this. He’s a cardiologist, who’s been speaking, I think, he did, uh, a talk with Dr. Pergola about the topic so if you wanna listen to it, it’s Thomas Levy, we talked all about the hydrogen peroxide nebulization and the IV vitamin C which he’s using for the rouleaux formation from people that are getting the injection, uh, he’s using IV vitamin C to help break up the blood so really, really cool resource. Thomas Levy, he’s a genius. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Yeah. So, you want to bring it down to about point one percent so it’s more gentle. If you go a little too much, you know, it’ll just give you a little burning and such and make sure it’s saline that you’re using. I use blister pack saline. I’ll put the link down for that as well. You want one that’s specific for a nebulizer just so you don’t irritate your respiratory tract. You wanna make sure it’s good, clean, and sterile saline with just the right amount of minerals to be in harmony with that, um, mucosal tissue. Well, anything else here, Evan, you wanna highlight? We’ll keep it really quick today. 

Evan Brand: I’m happy you’re doing good and you’re doing all the right thing so definitely all the things that should be headline news, the things that are very safe and effective and as Dr. Levy made the point to me, you’re talking pennies or less than pennies per dose and some of the supplements and nutrients that you’re taking so just in regards to cost this is almost free, the protocol you are using, this is very safe at-home early treatment protocol so I’m just really proud you’re doing that and spreading the word and hopefully we can help more people. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely, Evan. Really appreciate it and guys listening if you wanna get your 2022 off the right start and you have some health issues you wanna dive into feel free to head over to evanbrand.com to reach out to Evan or myself, Dr. J in justinhealth.com, we are here to support your natural health kind of root health needs. We’re here for you, we’ll put our recommended products and things that we chatted about in the description notes below and if you guys enjoyed, shared with your friends and family and write us a review, we’ll all the links down below, you guys have a phenomenal holiday season and I hope your Christmas and holidays are great.

Evan Brand: Yep. We’ll see you all soon. Take it easy, stay strong, keep your head up, and stay motivated. Don’t give in to fear, everything’s gonna be okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care you all. Bye now. 

Evan Brand: See ya. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended Products:

TRUCOLLAGEN (Grassfed)

TruKeto Collagen

Enzyme Synergy

Vitamin C Synergy

Emulsi D Supreme

Magnesium Supreme

Betaine HCL Supreme

Nasal Wash Bottle

Xlear Rescue Nasal Spray with Xylitol

Navage Nasal Irrigation

Nasaline Nasal Rinsing System

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/recovering-from-the-holidays-cheat-meals-podcast-362

 

Natural Solutions to Address Eczema | Podcast #361

If you live with eczema, you know what it’s like to search for relief from red, itchy skin. You’ve probably already tried a variety of products. Unfortunately, some items can leave your skin feeling drier and even more irritated.

Dr. J and Evan emphasize not giving up hope yet! In addition to medications, there are many options you can try at home to help with your symptoms. They talk about drugs and natural remedies that may help replenish moisture and protect your skin’s natural barrier.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
4:29 – What is Eczema and Its Signs and Symptoms?
6:51 – The Comparison between Eczema from Rosacea
10:38 – What to eat and not to eat when you have eczema
16:20 – Helpful products that can help avoid and or alleviate Eczema
19:25 – The link of glutathione in skin conditions


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: In the house with Evan. Today, we’re gonna be talking about natural solutions to address eczema at the root cause level. Really excited to chat about this topic here today. Evan, how we doing my friend?

Evan Brand: Hey, doing better. I was super stiff over the weekend so I thought, my God maybe we’ll do a whole, like stiff neck podcast but for now I’m mobile and I’m on my feet so that’s good and excellent. We’re recording this in December and winter is usually a time when people start coming of the woodwork with more skin issues and I think a lot of it is because they’re indoors more than in spring, summer, fall and so if they’re indoors and they don’t have good indoor air quality, they’re gonna be exposed to more dust, mites, molds and other toxins which may aggravate or irritate the skin. Also, in general, when you start to kick on the heater, you’re gonna be drying out your home and so generally your humidity level in your home may be like in our house it’s give or take 10% lower than it is in the summer so with the whole house dehumidifiers, I keep our house at 40% in the summer but in the winter with the heater on, man, we’re down into the mid20s, 25, 28% humidity. That’s pretty dang dry so sometimes it could just simply be an environmental change like that but I think some of it is also related to the toxins that people are getting exposed to. And now instead of playing outside with their kids, now they’re inside all day with their kids and their skin is reacting to those toxins so you’re really got to get your air quality dialed in and the winter to me just exposes the poor air quality that people have. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, 100%. I mean especially this time of the year, we have our humidifiers on, it has a tiny bit of moisture into, um, the ventilation system because it’s like, you know, in the upper teens, low 20s so just adds a little bit in there just to take the edge off, I mean that can be helpful to add a little more moisture to the air obviously, you can do more moisturizer on the skin. Remember that is gonna be your internal moisturizer. So high quality coconut oil, grass-fed butter if we can tolerate those things. That’s gonna be the best way to do it but obviously we can add more moisture directly onto the skin but we wanna always internally moisturize with good fat and again hydration as well that’s the carrier for that moisture to the skin so that’s a really important thing. I remember in college, just having chronically dry like my legs were really dry all the time and I realized, you know, at that time I was trying to be a little bit lower fat because I thought that was healthier and I started kind of understanding okay more coconut oil, more saturated fats, I’m like all right and then I noticed the dryness really improved and went away so fat consumption is really important thing for natural moisture to skin. 

Evan Brand: You know, what is interesting now that you mentioned that, I mean, years ago, like my wife and I first got together, I mean, we were eating grass-fed beef but I wasn’t really prioritizing the fats, I wasn’t necessarily seeking them out, I was just maybe cooking with a little bit of butter but I wasn’t intentionally going for good fats and I remember in the wintertime having to put lotion on, man, I don’t use lotion at all anymore. I literally don’t need it, my hands are perfectly dry, they’re not itchy, they’re not patchy like it’s a miracle and you kind of forget where you’ve come from. Once things start to improve, you forget that that used to be a problem where I used to have to put a lotion on. Imagine how much of a hit to the lotion industry you could create if you could simply get everyone optimizing the strategies we’re talking about today, I bet we could reduce the need for lotion by 80%.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally, 100%. 

Evan Brand: And to mention conventional lotions are actually one of the big triggers of eczema because when you look at conventional lotions and some of these products that are advertised, you’re getting into propylene glycol, you’re getting into artificial fragrances, you’re getting into many, many synthetic toxic chemicals that people are lathering on their skin just to supposedly fix their skin but they’re actually making their skin worse so you mentioned like topical coconut oil. There’s many good, like, organic shea butter type lotions out there, like Dr. Bronner’s, they make a really good lotion, um, the everyone brand, I know they make a good soap, I believe they make a good lotion too. Trader Joe’s, they had a pretty good quality, low priced lotion that was really clean ingredients so that’s the problem is like people are trying to do things to fix their skin but they’re actually making it worse with these topical toxins. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Now, when it comes to eczema, eczema does have an autoimmune component, right? So, eczema is a type of dermatitis, just to be 100% clear. So, think of, you know, dermatitis, think of, like skin inflammation, essentially dermatitis, the derma, that’s the second layer of the skin, epidermis first. Derma, um, dermis is the second layer and then essentially, um, titis is inflammation and so you have different types of dermatitis. Okay, so you have atopic which is kind of the one that eczema, uh, falls into. Atopic is the major one that you’re going to see there. There’s other kind you’ll see contact dermatitis which is kind of what poison ivy kind of falls into. There’s this dyshidrotic eczema, where you get more blisters. There’s hand eczema, there’s neurodermatitis, which is another one as well. Uh, there’s nummular eczema as well and then there’s one last one called stasis dermatitis. Those are the big ones. So, atopic is gonna be where eczema falls under and there’s an autoimmune component, there’s all kinds of studies showing that people that has celiac, Crohn’s, irritable bowel disease issues, lots of different autoimmune issues, there’s an increased risk of eczema, so there’s an autoimmune component there and if you look at a lot of the medications that are used to address eczema, you’re gonna typically have like your anti-inflammatory steroids like cortisone which are gonna be topically rubbed on that area. The problem with that is, it tends to not actually fix it. It just calms it down but it can also thin out that skin and make it more prone to have a flare-up later on so it can be helpful in the short run but you’re kind of robbing Peter to pay Paul, right? And then you have other medications like, um, Eucrisa or Elidel that are, like, kind of more on the calcineurin inhibitors. They’re kind of an immunosuppressant so there’s definitely like an autoimmune component there because you’re coming down the immune response to kind of like chill out, um, the eczema and it can be helpful, those kind of medications could be helpful if you’re working on fixing the underlying root cause, the problem is most people don’t address the root cause and they just rub these medications on and then the problems continue to stay at the root level and so over time it’s gonna come back and get worse and worse and worse because you can’t just suppress the immune system in the long run and expect for a lasting solution. So, these medications may be okay if you’re working with someone to really get to the root cause so that’s pretty much what conventional medicine has for options. It’s gonna have those things. Now, just kind of highlight, um, you have eczema, you have Rosacea and psoriasis, they kind of have an overlap, all right, there’s like an overlap with these three conditions and I want to just kind of show a comparison guide for this because it’s really important. I want to just highlight this really quickly. Um, okay, here’s what I want you guys to see. All right, perfect. So, out of the gates, right, all of these skin issues are gonna have redness with all of them right, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, they’re both gonna itch so there’s gonna be similar out of the gates the big thing with psoriasis, you’re gonna see a lot of the silver and white scales. That’s gonna be psoriasis and the difference with rosacea, you’re gonna see a lot more flushing across the skin, all right. Both are gonna have dry skin, both can have raised bumps. Psoriasis sometimes raised here says none. But the big issue is rosacea, more of a flushness with the redness. Psoriasis, more of the silver, um, scaliness. That’s the big difference. Just so, if someone’s like, what do I have, right, um, that’s kind of the big thing out of the gates there. Hope that makes sense. And there’s a couple of things I wanted to highlight with eczema is food components make a huge difference so autoimmunity, autoimmune diet plays a big role, really reducing inflammation makes a big role. Trying to cut out a lot of the scents and fragrances can play a huge role so of course like free and clear types of, um, laundry detergent, you can do all has a free and clear, Seventh Generation has a free and clear. There’s all kind of different brands that have a free and clear, um, all’s recommended by the, um, eczema dermatology association. So, you really wanna cut out all scent’s fragrances, dryer sheets that play a huge role out of the gates. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s a big, big stressor and it’s a big stressor for people like me that have to smell it, people don’t wanna smell that crap anyway but you’re poisoning yourself, you’re poisoning your children too, you’re sending them off with those synthetic fragrances and those are irritating to the skin but also those can affect the hormones too, I mean, synthetic fragrances, in general, can have some xenoestrogen type compounds to them, meaning that you’re gonna be increasing the estrogen. We’re in a highly estrogenized society and that creates a big problem. Hormonal changes, hormonal imbalances, they are a big factor in skin issues and we see that with a lot of women that have irregular menstrual cycles or maybe heavy bleeding or something that happened especially after childbirth. A lot of times, they’ll be skin issues that would pop out and we fix it in a roundabout way and I want to go back to one thing you said earlier which was the fact that people that have eczema, they may be linked or more common in people to have issues like celiac and that of course takes you to the big gatekeeper of these skin issues which is the gut and so you and I found with hundreds and hundreds, now we’re into the thousands of clients between us that the major way to fix the skin is to obviously do some of the easy low hanging fruit like you said get rid of scented detergents and all that but it’s really focusing on the gut because if you have gut infections, I mean, if you even look at like some of my very, very old earliest YouTube videos, when I have H. pylori and other gut infections, my skin was nowhere to where it is now in terms of my skin health. My skin health in the last seven years has gotten way better and honestly, it’s just been by working on the gut, my diet was already dialed in back then so I just wanna address one thing with people which is that if you’ve already gone polio or autoimmune or keto or carnivore, you’re eating good quality food and you’re still struggle with your skin, you’ve got to dig deeper, it’s time to look in and see if you’ve got these gut infections, bacterial overgrowth, candida, all these things inside your gut are gonna be making toxins disrupting your gut barrier. So, I don’t care how much bone broth you drink, you’re not gonna fix your skin if you don’t fix these infections.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely! I mean there’s two categories, right? Infants and kiddos, right, in the first year of life, they’re gonna be a lot more sensitive because of their immune system, so, I mean, of course, the big thing you have to look at is high quality breast milk and really got to look at what the mom’s consuming. The mom’s consuming a lot of potential food allergens. I recommend an autoimmune diet out of the gates. Sometimes, we even have to look at potentially pulling out salicylates. Salicylates can be anti-nutrients in vegetables. Here’s a couple things out of the gates, right. Salicylates are natural chemicals found in many fruits and vegetables, they’re really good things and so out of the gate, I wanna pull these foods out as a means of calming down and chilling out the immune system. Uh, this is really important so you can see, kind of the negligible, the low, the moderate, the high and the very high. I just try to tell patients to, like focus on the 80-20 because there’s so many foods that are, like, really good for you that are high in salicylates and a lot of times it’s not about being perfect, it’s about calming down, you know, kind of the 80-20. So, what are the 20 of things that you eat the most frequently that are the most high and we’ll try to sub that and put that in the negligible to low category that can be really helpful as well. So, you can see the different vegetables, you can see the different nuts and seeds, you can see the different, obviously, meats tend to be on the lower side unless you’re doing a lot of processed stuff, that’s where you get into trouble there. 

Evan Brand: That’s why so many people do so well with carnivore-ish diets. That’s kind of what I say I’m eating carnivore-ish because I still do berries, I still do rice and I feel okay with that, um, I still do on occasion, I’ll do some organic pecans as kind of a treat and those are delicious and those don’t appear to affect my gut or my skin. So, in general, if you’re going for more animal based good-quality fats, you’re knocking out as you mentioned, you’re knocking out salicylates, um, you’re knocking down lectins, you’re knocking down oxalates, you’re knocking down all these things.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Here’s my oxalate guy. We may wanna look at oxalates as well. There’s kind of a members area for my patients here. If you’re a patient, you have access to this area, top right-hand corner of my website. And you can see I have a low oxalate handout as well and again I don’t recommend going crazy out of the gates. I just try to look at what’s the 20% of food that you eat the most and let’s try to cut out the high stuff out, right, and then sub that with the lower one out of the gates. That can make a big difference especially if you have a baby who has a lot of eczema issues. If we can really get a good autoimmune diet, kind of get the oxalates and the salicylates down, that could make a big difference. But, like Evan said, we have to look at gut microbiome stuff, we have to look at things you may be getting in contact with in regards to detergents, even essential oils on the skin. Some of these things can be stressful on the body, so we really got to calm all of these things down. Got to look at good bacteria, maybe have to address bacterial imbalances. Again, if you’re not a baby, you’re an adult, we have to look at the hormones because of times if you’re chronically stressed hormonally with the adrenals or you have estrogen dominant issues as a woman that can affect your immune system and that can make you prone to having some immune imbalances and your immune system is kind of hyper responding and overly sensitive and of course we definitely test the gut because we have SIBO, bacterial overgrowth, dysbiosis, H. pylori, fungal overgrowth, right, fungus and candida can actually produce oxalates too so you can have endogenous oxalate production via candida. These things can stress out your body thus stressing out your immune system. So, really looking at the adrenals, looking at cortisol, looking at the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone dominance, really looking at the gut are you able to digest and break things down, are the anti-nutrients in vegetables a problem. Again, I hate cutting out the anti-nutrients in vegetables, if we don’t have to because there’s a lot of good food there. So, cooking these foods down can help but it’ll lower it a notch. It won’t take a high food to make it a low food. It may not make a high food, maybe like a medium food. So, cooking obviously, avoiding a lot of the raw salad steaming sauteing can help a little bit and kind of lessen that load for sure. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. Detox is important and detox can get screwed up by your gut infections. We’ve talked about this before but there’s a pathway called glucuronidation in the body and this gets impaired due to bacterial overgrowth. So, sometimes we’re coming in and fixing the gut but then we’re also trying to upregulate these detox pathways so that could include specific support for the liver that may include binders that may include liver gallbladder combinations, maybe there’s some acid and enzymes that we throw in. You know, when you look at someone’s face or just their skin in general, to me, it’s really the window into their gut, into their immune system. So, if you see somebody with just major, major issues with their face generally, there’s a gut problem, I had a woman, she was young when she first started with me, I think she was around 20, 21, and we got on facetime together and my God, her face was so terrible, she hardly wanted to be seen on facetime but she said, I think, it’s important for you to see me, to see how bad this is, I’m like, yeah, I appreciate you showing me this, and man by the time we got through working through some of the tests and the gut protocols her skin was flawless and I even had to ask her like do you have make-up on, I just want to clarify and confirm do you have makeup. No, I don’t. so, it’s amazing to see what you can do and timeline wise, I mean, we’re talking maybe a few months but within a couple of years, I would say you could completely reverse many of the skin issues that people are suffering with and that’s actually a really short timeline, I mean, we’ve seen people that have had skin issues for decades and as you mentioned they’ve been on these topical steroids or other medications for a very long time and not once has the dermatologist ever said, hey maybe you need to go animal-based with your diet and see how that goes. I’ve never heard that conversation, if you’re a dermatologist out there practicing like that let us know maybe we can chat with you, but in general, that conversation is not happening at all. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I’m in a lot of eczema groups online, on Facebook and it’s amazing how resistant parents are and I just, people are, in general, to change in their diet when it comes to eczema. It’s unbelievable. They’re like oh, I’m gonna go get this food allergy test from there, like, dermatologist and like most of the time that’s just like an IgE kind of skin prick test and then again IgE stuffs, you know, it’s okay, but it’s, that’s kind of more on the anaphylactic side that tends to not be the massive driver of course, you know, if you have any IgE stuff like environmentally like dander and cedar in Austin, obviously we can get a really good high quality HEPA filter with a activated charcoal filter as well to kind of filter a lot of this stuff out to keep the indoor environment good. I’ll put, we’ll put some links down below for the recommended air filters that we use with our patients. Cutting out all of the scents and fragrances in detergents in laundry, everything, no dryer sheets, all that stuff makes a big difference. Keeping the skin moist does help because if the skin’s already dry, you’re more prone to itching, if you itch it, you increase the inflammation, it’s this vicious cycle and the problem is if you’re kind of naturally oriented a lot of the things that may have like an essential oil or something in there that may be more natural that you may think is helpful because the immune system is already hypersensitive that may actually  flare it up and make it worse and so one of the things that we’ll use, it’s just a really clean super hypoallergenic moisturizer. I’ll put a couple in the links down below that I found to be successful, there’s a couple off the back of my head, I could think of, um, uh, Vanicream makes one called Vaniply, that’s a really excellent one. There’s one by a La Roche-Posay, it’s a Lipikar Baume, that’s another really good hypoallergenic one. Aveeno makes one that’s decent with a little bit of oatmeal in there, the colloid and the oatmeal can be helpful but keeping that skin moist can be helpful so you’re not scratching. It won’t fix it though, right, there’s no magic solution but it will at least help to calm it down and then I find like if you’re a mom and you’re breastfeeding your kid, you have to change the foods that you’re eating because that is going to get passed down to your child and can stimulate their immune system and so typically for a good month or so and then we do a very methodical reintroduction, I know with my wife, eggs were a big trigger for a while and now she can do eggs and like my kiddos can do eggs but for a while, they couldn’t and so we had to keep that really under control for a bit and probiotics did help as well and really helping to support good bacteria help but we had to really do everything kind of full cycle and we did use a little bit of that Elidel calcineurin inhibitor, just a little bit to calm it down but it’d be like foa a day or two and then we would do all the other things and salicylates were a little bit problematic as well so we did try to cut some of those things down and it’s like the, imagine the immune system’s all wound up and we’re just trying to calm it down, calm it down and once you have it below a threshold so to speak, you kind of have a little bit more wiggle room but until you calm it down to that level, you don’t quite have that ability to move. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. Well said. There was one other paper too we were looking at on glutathione and this was just a, it was a quite old study but still very, very timely in terms of like glutathione. We have it in our conversations all the time and depressed glutathione levels were observed in patients with psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and other skin issues and so we know that glutathione is gonna be depleted when you’re exposed to toxins whether it’s chemical whether it’s mold toxins or other things, we often see glutathione levels depleted and this is one of your master antioxidants and so you may need to work into the detox protocol, sometimes that can aggravate people so you just gotta work with the practitioner on this because I’ve taken too much glutathione and reacted poorly to it before so you got to go slow  and steady with it, sometimes it’s gonna flare people up if they’ve got a big toxic load and it starts mobilizing things that may overwhelm your system and you may feel worse or have some sort of like a die off or what feels like a Horkheimer reaction. What about zinc too? Do you want hit on like some nutrients for skin too?   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, I think, out of the gates, like probiotics are really helpful. Omega-3 plays a really great role in anti-inflammatory. Vitamin D plays a good role in modulating the immune system. If you’re doing glutathione and you’re breastfeeding mom, be careful because you don’t wanna overly mobilize toxins out of the breastmilk, so you may wanna go really gentle on that or maybe a little bit of NAC and just kind of naturally, you know, increase that very slowly as long as you don’t have any die off, you’re probably okay. I would say zinc is also gonna be excellent as well, it’s gonna be a good building block for the skin, really good building block for the immune system so is selenium, so some of these may just get in a really good multivitamin, uh, some you may get from eating high quality grass-fed meat, fish, some green vegetables, seafood. So, a lot of these may come from whole foods sources, as well as, supplement sources as well. And then, you know, we have some really good anti-inflammatory things that we can do whether it’s curcumin, resveratrol, these are kind of plant-based antioxidants that are very powerful, also, there could be a histamine connection as well. And so, histamine from the environment, from allergens, you know, good air filtration is excellent and then we can do things to help modulate the immune system, like quercetin, like stinging Nettle. These can be very helpful and very calming on the immune system in regards to the histamine response. Anything else you wanna highlight there?

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. I think it’s a good start olive lead, we use a lot too and some of the gut protocols and that may help some of the skin issues too. So, it really just depends. I don’t want people to just go out and buy everything we just mentioned and assume it’s gonna fix their issues, I think it’s really important to try to get a good work-up and figure out where your issues are coming from, I think it’s great to be able to look into some of the topical stuff, get rid of your conventional shampoos and conditioners, go high quality organic products with your skin care but beyond that you really need to get some investigation done and figure out what the heck is going on because for years I was doing good clean products topically but I still have skin issues and it was all because of my gut. So, I really encourage people to reach out if you need help. Dr. J and I work with people around the world so we can get at home lab testing done to where we can investigate the root cause of your skin issues and often, we’re gonna be using urine and stool. Those are probably the two most common things you’re gonna be looking at and these are far more effective than what you’re gonna get run from a conventional doctor. We’re gonna be able to tell you what the heck is going on. Your dermatologist is not running stool tests but they should because the issues they’re seeing in their clinic would certainly be improved if they could fix the issues that we’re finding on these stool panels so I think it’s really important to test not guess, figure out what the heck we’re dealing with because you could take probiotics for your whole life and never fix these infections.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Yeah. I agree. And again, if you go to the dermatologist, it’s pretty typical, right? They may recommend like oatmeal bath or a diluted bleach bath or Eucrisa or a corticosteroid or Elidel. They may recommend these things but that’s not gonna be the solution. Again, some kids naturally grow out of it because their immune system evolves, gets better, their gut becomes less leaky naturally, um, maybe they start making healthier food choices as their parents become more aware of what’s going on, right? There’s a lot of different things that can shift and things can just, kids can grow out of it, and if you’re an adult that probably may not be that way. It’s a little bit different there. So, you’re really gonna have to make changes and you really have to look at the root cause and not just get hyper obsessed with just something topically that’s gonna fix it and that’ll be it, probably not the case. And so, you really have to look at the gut, you really have to look at stress, you have to look at how digesting and breaking down your foods, you have to look at the nutrients that modulate your immune system like zinc and selenium and vitamin D and glutathione, you have to look at gut bugs that can have a negative effect on your immune system and also beneficial bacterial balance. These play a massive role and again you may have to get stricter with the diet, like some people, a paleo template may be enough. Some have to go to way more extremes like autoimmune, cutting out salicylates or at least being salicylate and oxalate conscious that may have to happen as well.   

Evan Brand: Yeah, and the good news is this stuff is in general pretty reversible, I mean, like I said, we’ve seen amazing before and after, working with people, and it’s just a wonderful thing because there’s so much of your confidence level that comes from having good skin, I mean, in regards to seeking new jobs getting a raise, finding a date, finding a spouse, I mean, your kids, wanting your kids to not have any, uh, self-confidence issues so I mean, I just tell you just the impact of skin, it could change your income if you don’t feel attractive enough, may be you’re not gonna seek that higher paying job or maybe you’re not gonna seek that raise, If you have self-confidence issues because of your skin or maybe you feel like you can never leave the house without making makeup, I mean skin is one of those things that really is important to address so sometimes it seems like a vanity-based thing but that vanity really does turn into success and so I think it’s really important for people not to feel self-conscious and just you know that you can fix this thing so no matter how down in the dumps you are you gotta keep digging.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And skin can be a really good sign if you’re healthy or not and it’s  a lot of times, it’s gonna tell you if you have gut issues, gut, uh, food allergy issues, microbial imbalances, also, consuming good fats, good collagen, good proteins, this is the building block of your skin, so you really wanna make sure you have good dietary, nutritional foundations and we chill out a lot of the food that’s gonna throw off our gut bacteria. Now, topically, there’s a couple of things you can do topically, I mentioned some of the moisturizer that can be helpful to provide moisture relief which then helps decrease the itching, which then decreases that perpetual inflammatory cycle, there’s some soap that you can do that are descent, um, I find just a 10% sulfur soap can be excellent. It’s been used in dermatology for decades but just 10% sulfur soap unscented works wonderfully. Usually, the sulfur comes from like volcano ash or some type of, uh, soil that’s very high in sulfur but sulfur has an anti-inflammatory quality to it. It can have some anti-fungal, anti-bacterial quality so that it can be calming. You don’t wanna lather it on too long because it can be very drying to your skin. But sulfur is good and again, it’s just one part of the equation. There’s no magic solution, magic soap, magic potion, that’s gonna fix it but it can be very helpful as long as you’re plugging in all the other things to the big equation.

Evan Brand: I wonder if that’s because it’s helping with detox support on the skin or something, I mean, if you think about glutathione and the sulfur connection there. I’m mentioning topical sulfur that’s pretty interesting. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Topical sulfur, I mean it’s a lot of different data on it being very helpful for acne, I mean with that it can be very cleansing for the pores, cleaning out the sebum, there’s also the anti-inflammatory effects to it, very helpful with like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, so I think it has some anti-inflammatory qualities, um, to it, I mean it’s been used in dermatology for decades so it’s natural so I kind of like it. 

Evan Brand: Very cool. Well, I think we’ve covered everything I wanted to cover. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean I think a lot of it too, with the sulfur is. There could be a fungal, bacterial imbalance issue, right? And I do think sulfur does have antibacterial, anti-fungal, it also helps break down a lot of the keratin, excess in your skin, so like if you have, um, a keratosis pilaris (KP), where you kind of feel like the bumps in the back of your arm, it can kind of help break down those excess keratins that form in the pore so the back of your arms don’t feel as bumpy, so that’s really good too. I know, a lot of women have that. Of course, you know, getting your omega-3s up can also help that too, omega-3s and zinc. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I was gonna say, my kids had a little bit of that early on. We just bumped up the omegas and then boom, we knocked out the keratosis pretty easily so that’s, that’s probably one of the easier things to address. Sometimes, this thing gets tricky, like you mentioned, there’s no magic bullet or potion, a lot of times it’s a combination of us getting small gains and different categories of the body. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s nice. Just get a nice 10% sulfur soap and you know lather that up, put it on your kids for like 30 seconds, rinse them off, it can be a very helpful kind of cleanse out that keratin, keeps the pores really healthy and it’s totally natural. So, I’ll put some links to the ones that I like, uh, down below on the ones that I personally use. 

Evan Brand: Sounds good. Well, if people need help, they can reach out, we work with people online so wherever you are in the world with skin issues, we’re happy to help. You could reach out to Dr. J at justinhealth.com or me, Evan Brand at evanbrand.com, and we’re happy to work with you, help you run labs, figure out what we need to do to get you feeling better, more importantly get your skin looking better. If you have issues, don’t give up, uh, it’s okay, we’re gonna get you taken care of.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And to be a great functional medicine practitioner to really solve a lot of these things, you have to be a master general practitioner, you really have to understand the gut hormones, diet, skin. You really have to kind of connect everything together. If you’re like a master skin person and but you don’t have the diet or anything else to kind of interweave and connect to it then you’re not gonna be able to help your patients 100% so, it’s really important that you, if you’re working with someone, you find a master generalist that really understands how all the systems connect and you don’t want to just work with the hormone person or the gut person, you wanna work with someone that really understands the connection so that’s really important that people are interviewing their practitioners, really try to make sure they have a full 360 kind of perspective on it and if you wanna reach out, evanbrand.com for Evan, they’re be link there for Evan. And for myself, Dr. J. at justinhealth.com. We are available worldwide to help you all out and we’ll put links down below for some of the recommended products that we talked about today, things that we actually use with our family and patients. Outside of that, Evan, phenomenal chat with you man, you have an awesome week, and everyone listening appreciates your support, comments down below and share with our friends and family. 

Evan Brand: Take good care. See you next week. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks. Bye you all. 

Evan Brand: Bye-bye. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

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Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/natural-solutions-to-address-eczema-podcast-361

 

How to Reduce Inflammation and Improve Joint Mobility | Podcast #359

When you think of joint mobility issues, you’re probably thinking of inflammation. Inflammation is a process in which your body’s white blood cells and immune proteins help protect you from infection and things like bacteria and viruses.

In this video, Dr. J and Evan Brand discuss that your immune system triggers an inflammatory response when there isn’t anything to fight off in some diseases. With these diseases, called autoimmune diseases, your body’s immune system damages its tissues. Your body responds as if normal tissues need to be fought off. These are all linked to diet modification and testing that needs to be done to make you health better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 –  The benefits of movements to joint mobility
5:23 –  The benefits of ergonomic chairs and tables for your back
18:56 – The vital role of proper diet for better joint mobility of reduction of inflammation
30:04 – The anti-inflammatory benefits of ginger for joint health


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: With Evan Brand, we’re gonna be going into reducing inflammation in the joints and how to improve joint mobility. We’re gonna be talking about it more from a biochemical kind of metabolic inflammation standpoint. So excited to dive in on that topic. Evan, how are we doing today man? What’s cooking? 

Evan Brand: I’m doing pretty good. I was telling you about my shoulder. I was lifting some heavy things over the weekend and my shoulder got a little tight on me. I thought, oh oh. So, uh, that spurred the idea of this conversation and I hit some arnica homeopathic 30c which worked very well. It’s not necessarily the root cause but it has been helpful and you know I wasn’t trained on homeopathy so this is something you and I have kind of dove into in our personal lives with our kids and such and it’s been a game changer. So, I mean, out of the gate, I think that’s something to have on hand even if you don’t know biochemically your root cause, what’s going on, at least you could remedy your situation, feel a little bit better well and buy some time while you’re investigating. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% So, when I look at joint issues right, you have physical inflammation that’s being caused by physical things, right? The most common things are going to be either over exercising too much, probably less common on that and the other one is just very poor posture, right? So, the easiest thing out of the gates is you’re either sitting in a really poor chair that has very poor lumbar support, right, lower back curve support or cervical curve support. So, the easiest thing is just getting a really high good quality rated ergonomic chair especially if you’re sitting a lot, right, that has cervical support and lumbar support, that’s super helpful. In that way that part of the spine is supported. Ideally, being able to stand a portion of your day. I mean, right now, I’m standing. I don’t think you are. So, I stand at least half of my day. I have a treadmill that I’ll slide it under there. I have a Cubbi stepper. So, I’m always trying to keep some movement in there. I get about 15,000 steps a day so it’s very helpful to be able to move, get some steps. That’s helpful for the joints. The disc in the joint get hydration through inhibition. So, the joint has to pump and move to get hydration into the joints. So, movement through the joint is super helpful. So, being able to stand for a portion of the day, sit a little bit with good support, getting some movement, super helpful. And then depending on the kind of where you’re at, if you have inflammation, if you have pain, I mean, you can do some simple core kind of postural functional movements to strengthen that area. I mean, one of the things I like, uh, is a book by Eric Goodman called Foundation Training, where he just does some simple posterior chain work like a standing prone cobra with the chin pull back, right, that activates the deep cervical flexors here. I mean, you can bend down to a 45-degree angle like this for 30 seconds. You can also bring it up like this and get the whole posterior chain activated and then you can also reach down and then create traction with the spine so go look at Eric Goodman’s work. He is a, just that these three or four movements called the founder that, those are really good movements to get the posterior chain like this, like this. Simple stuff out of the gates. And so, I like that to get the posterior chain, good stability with your chain, investing good money on your desk chair. Get sine ability like a stand desk to be able to stand up throughout the day even if you’re just kind of moving going back and forth. These are super easy ways to kind of get simple movement through your spine during this, you’re not sitting all day. And if you’re sitting all day, at least invest in a really good chair and try to get some of the stand desk where you can go up and down.

Evan Brand: I do this little bar stool too and that way I could just lean my butt on it. So, I’ll just put my butt on that but I’m still standing. I’m just kind of leaning back on it. I know there was some really expensive thing, I can’t remember the name of it, a few years, I think Marxism was promoting it but it had like rocks. It has this thing that he learned. It was almost like a pogo stick with a seat and so it was like this imbalanced chair. You’re sitting but you’re standing but there’s some like rocks on the floor and so he’d put his bare foot on the rocks. I don’t remember what it was but this is kind of my homemade version of it, this little bar stool that It’ll just kind of leave off kilter. In that way my butt’s just taking a little bit of load off because if I just try to stand all day, my back hurts. So, standing all day just doesn’t work for me but with a little bit of lean, it helps.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. They have these, um, these little, they’re called like wobble board chairs. There’s one called the Luna standing desk tool. It’s kind of like that, it’s kind like a pogo stick, right, but it’s got a flat surface, that’s kind of oblong so then you’re kind of sitting on that. You kind of have balance so then it activates the core but then you can kind of move around, kind of get some movement in your hips which is good for your spine. You can also just get like a Swiss ball, right? Just sit on one of those in that way, you can get some movement. And you won’t have so much support in the back so you really have to activate your core, activate your back so you can sit up there straight. That’s good, nothing wrong with that so that’s helpful. You probably wouldn’t want to do it all day because you’d be really keeping these muscles active all day but it’s nice if you’re at a desk, you can at least bring that in and bring the wobble board stool type of chair in there. These are a couple options, you know, minimal cost to bring in some good core activation. And when I say core, core is everything. It’s like the whole core thing is your back, it’s multifidus, it’s your iliocostalis muscles, right? It’s your longissimus muscles, it’s obviously your TVA, it’s your rectus abdominis, it’s your oblique, transverse, external, internal oblique, right? It’s everything around your back and front abdominal area. 

Evan Brand: People may be listening and go ‘God, why does that be so complex, I gotta get to this fancy chair or this or that’. Because, we didn’t really evolve if we were sitting like this all day staring at a screen. I mean, we’re just not really built for this, so it’s no surprise that we see so many people with mobility problems. I mean, I’ve been to several different physical therapy people over the years, just for random injuries and aches and pains and they all tell me that in their careers, these are people that have worked 20, 30, 40 years. They’ve seen just the rise of younger and younger people having worse mobility because they’re just sitting at a desk all day and how it’s shortening the muscles. I think it’s the hamstrings, right? It’s shortening the hamstrings when you sit all day?   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I would say it’s probably shortening the hip flexor muscles, right? Because the hip flexors, right, when you flex the hip, you’re shortening that muscle so you’re creating that muscle shortens and that muscle, its insertion is on the lesser trochanter in the hip flexor in the femur muscle, in the femur, uh, bone so the lesser greater trochanter muscle, the top part of the femur but then it inserts, no, that’s where it inserts. Its origin is I think from L1 to L5 on the spine. And so, when you have tighter hip flexors, it pulls super tight on the origin which is going to be L1 to L5, I think, transverse process, and even the ribs.  So, it’ll pull really really hard on that back and so a lot of times, your chronic lower back pain is gonna be from the shearing force from really tight hip flexors, that’s part of how lower crossed syndrome happens, right? Lower crossed syndrome is nothing more than super tight hip flexors on one side and on the other side weaker glutes and weaker lower abdominal muscles. Weaker abdominal muscles, weaker glutes because you’re not using glutes to step up or squat or lodge and then you’re getting these shorter, tighter hip flexor muscles and that’s the lower crossed syndrome, right? One cross is weak and loose or weak and tight, that’s your hip flexors, the other one is, um, weaker, that’s the glutes and that is the lower abdominals. And so, this is common and so people talk about investing a lot of money in beds, right? I have a nice Tempur-Pedic bed, that’s pretty expensive. I know you have a nice bed as well but we spend just as much time in bed as we do sitting in our chairs all day, so I think, you should, people should have, you know, enough money invested in a really good chair that has good postural support. You can go to like different ergonomic stores. There’s one in Austin called Human Solution on Anderson Lane. They have a lot of great options. I got my stand desk from them. They have some really good ergonomically certified chairs that are excellent, that have the cervical support as well as the lumbar support. These are really good options to kind of start out of the gates. So, kind of my thing is start with like, you know, the easiest buy-in, right? The easiest buy-in out of the gates is upgrade your chair, maybe get some swiss ball that you can sit on, maybe get your desk, get your stand desk so you can go up and down throughout. These are just some simple, easy investments. And if you already have these things and you wanna get more kind of biohackerish-like we are, I have a Cubbi, little pedals here so I can pedal. I have my little, um, I actually got a new treadmill desk that’s under my desk that’s lighter and it goes four and a half miles per hour and I have a remote, I can just hit it. 

Evan Brand: Spell Cubbi. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: C-u-b-b-i. And then my other treadmill, hold on, let me go look at real fast. And my new treadmill desk is Rhythm Fun. I’ll put the links down for Amazon below. Take a peek at. But the cool thing is the remote because you can just kill it, turn it off, turn it on. Without having to go touch it. 

Evan Brand: Now, if you don’t sit at a desk all day, congratulations. Hopefully, you’re out working in the field or something like that, you know, years ago, I was working in the woods and building hiking trails and restoring different natural, you know, natural areas, nature parks and stuff but man, it killed my back. I mean, it was a lot of work, a lot of labor and not much pay at all, could raise a family on that wage. So, if you are out and you’re physically great, that’s awesome or if maybe you’re just doing that in your free time, maybe that’s counteracting your desk work. I mean, that’s what I try to do, it’s even in the middle of the day for lunch, I’ll just try to go out and walk around even if I just like hiking up and down my driveway. Just something simple, just to break it up. And I forgot what her name was, it was, uh, Joan Vernikos. I had her on my podcast probably almost like 10 years ago. I think she worked with NASA or for NASA, but anyway, she talked about the importance of just standing up and sitting down and just the change in posture was more important than anything. She said, it wasn’t necessarily the actual exercise, it was just breaking up you’re sitting. So, if you’re sitting for 20 minutes and then you can stand for 10 seconds, that was enough she said to, you know, positively impact your mobility.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, adding another 90 degrees of extension onto my hip flexors, right? If your hip flexors right at your leg to your hip you’re at 90 if you’re sitting. Well, if you’re standing you go to about 180, 160 – 180 right? So, I create more length to my hip flexor which means it’s less likely to get tighter and shorter and create lower back pain. And so, that’s the easiest thing, so there’s a lot of different buy-ins, right, so like we’re not trying to give a one-size-fits-all, we’re trying to say okay if you already have a good desk or already have a really good ergonomically supported chair, maybe upgrade into a stand desk or just get a simple physio ball. Ideally going from sitting to standing is ideal. So, I would say good chair, then go to a good desk and then if you wanna add a physio ball or a wobble chair, that’s great. And then, if you wanna go to the next level and get a treadmill that slides underneath, I think mine was 500 bucks which is great though. My other one was a Rebel Desk treadmill that I used for five years, I just got rid of it because of the belt, just like almost I wore though and I’m like doing the math. I’m like all right it’s about the same cost to repair it as to get a new one. That goes a little bit faster and I get the remote. So, that’s kind of where I’m at. So, there’s a lot of different buy-ins. Now, that’s kind of like the lifestyle exercise movement standpoint and remember, I’m not saying crazy exercise. I think the more you can get movement throughout the day that’s non structured is better. Meaning, if you can get 10, 15 thousand steps throughout the day where it’s non-structured throughout a 10-hour, 12-hour a day that’s good because if you just exercise for 30 minutes and you sit on your butt for 10 hours, is that really that good? You’re still sitting down not moving for 10 hours, that’s still not great. So, if you can get a little bit of movement in and you can also have a lot of unstructured movement, that’s even better, I think overall. 

Evan Brand: I would say so, I mean, I certainly can tell you the days that I exercise and then sit for too long, I’m just as stiff as if I did an exercise compared to times where I’m moving around throughout the day. So, yeah, I think throughout the day is better. Let’s get into some of the chemical stuff too, some of the infection stuff, I mean, I’ll tell you personally with some of the stuff I’ve had from tick bites. whether it’s Lyme, Bartonella, Babesia different things that create inflammation and affect blood flow, I would tell you that there are some waxing and waning periods like where hands, feet, knees, hips, that kind of thing can get tight and so I think, ultimately, you gotta test not test. So, you and I have talked about this before. Not all testing is a hundred percent accurate but we do feel that the DNA connections report does give us a pretty good read for different types of Borrelia that we can look into Lyme then some of the co-infections which the name co-infection kind of sounds like it always comes with Lyme, I do believe some people just have Bartonella or Babesia. And those things can really affect people in terms of mobility so for me, things like Japanese knotweed are very helpful and I take a tincture of Japanese Knotweed and of course we’ll mix that into some of the other stuff we’re gonna dive into but you have to investigate this. So, if you’ve got mobility stuff or if you sit for a while and you get stiff or if you’re having issues just making a full fist, you can’t fully get those fingers in, make a full fist, there’s probably something there, infection-wise.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, anytime you create chemical, so I kind of look at like, all right, we have structural inflammation and we kind of just talked about postural things like things that you’re gonna be doing sitting, standing kind of lifestyle habits, so not like going to the gym like, right? That’s kid of like our physical but you know more lifestyle. Now, we have our chemical and the more inflammation we put in our body, the more it decreases blood flow to tissues, the more it exacerbates prostaglandin 2 and arachidonic acid which are more pro-inflammatory. It’s gonna decrease inflammation, decrease blood flow and then we, when we, sorry, increase inflammation and decrease blood flow, decrease oxygen, so when we do that, the tissue starts to become less pliable, right? So, think of like beef jerky, very like not pliable, like you have to rip and tear it. The more inflamed you become, the lack of blood flow that you have, right, the lack of nutrition to the muscles, the more your muscles become less pliable, less like a nice raw beef tenderloin and more like beef jerky. That’s not good. So, when you do movements, you’re more likely to tear and injure tissue. And obviously, if you tear muscle, that’s more vascular tissue, it has good blood flow so it can heal better. But as soon as you start affecting cartilage and tendons and ligaments, that tissue is very avascular, very poor blood flow so it’s gonna be very difficult for that to heal. So, big things that we can do is, you know, more vegetables less fruit and carbs so keep your carbs in check. Again, if you’re more active, you can do more carbs, be very careful of your Omega-6 vegetable oils, ideally, you know, two to one on your high-quality saturated fats, really important and then you can do on your vegetable side, you’re better off doing your mannose, right? Avocado, olive oil, be very careful of your nut and seed-based oil and your omega-6 like sunflower, corn, soy, canola, very inflammatory and of course things like gluten, processed dairy, processed grains, sugar, these things are gonna drive more inflammation, they’re gonna decrease blood flow and just when the more inflamed you are, it just, it can create a lot of inflammatory molecules going through the body and they just make your body more stiff, more inflamed. The more stiff you are, you can’t get full range of motion, your tissues start becoming less pliable and easy to tear and injure and you feel just more stiff throughout your movements. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. And then on the conversation of Lyme, for example, I mean, we know that Borrelia, in general, likes to eat up your collagen, I mean, it’ll really try to hid out in joints and such, so I think, collagen supplementation may be helpful too, just trying to replenish some of what’s eating up. But then, you just got to clear some of the infections, I mean, I’ll tell you, if I’m doing some of the anti-Borrelia formulations whether personally or clinically, people can move better. So, if you’ve had tick bites if you grew up anywhere, almost anywhere in the U.S. except for maybe Nevada or New Mexico, supposedly there’s not many ticks there. But beyond that, if you have tick bites from childhood, I mean that could be a factor to look into. This could be a dormant infection that’s left you alone for 30 years and then all of a sudden, you got exposed to mold or you had a death or a divorce or a move or a major job stress or even just the pandemic that’s been going on. And some of that stress people out of the sudden, boom, they have these major joint problems so who knows, there could be a trigger but like you said, it could just be, over time lack of blood, inflammation together. So, what about, like..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: All these things modulate the immune system, right? And so, like, what you’re gonna see is you’re gonna see an increase in arachidonic acid, which a lot of these things are come from meat, so it’s not bad to have too much arachidonic acid but if we increase prostaglandin 2, that’s a more proinflammatory pathway. So, vegetable seed oils, omega-6, too much arachidonic acid but if you balance it with omega-3, high quality grass-fed meat which is very high in GLA. It’s not necessarily the fact that you’re getting it, it’s more of the ratio of where you at with the others and so that’s why, really what’s gonna tip you over is the processed sugar, the hydrogenated oils, the trans fats, the soy, the canola, the sunflower, too much nuts, too much seeds, that’s gonna tip you over and put you into a more proinflammatory state. And then the more sugar you eat, the more grains you eat, the more your tissue starts to become less pliable. Now, I have a history, like, doing applied kinesiology work and using percussion work, and um, chiropractic work. I remember working on a patient and they literally, their tissues literally felt like a bag of cement and this person, like, couldn’t like, so we would use a percussor, we’d do some soft tissue but we, I noticed that when we got gluten out of that person’s diet and grains out of that person’s diet and sugar out, the tissue quality totally changed and it’s like if you’re inflamed and you have such poor movement, you’re not gonna want to move but then if you don’t move the tissue gets tighter and if it gets tighter then now you restrict your range of motion and you’re, it’s a vicious cycle, right? So, you kind of have to get some movement in there, you have to loosen up the tissue, you have to make the diet changes so you get better blood flow but you got to work into it because if someone’s coming in, really inflamed and they go too over the top, they may create so much inflammation that they have a paradoxical reaction to feel worse, so you really wanna ease into it. And so, if you’re not used to walking, just walk a little but try to exercise just enough where you repeat it. That next day, you may feel a little bit sore but you can still function, you can still do all the things you do. If you feel too sore the next day, where you can’t do what you have to do, you probably did too much. So, just enough to feel it and know you did something but not enough where it affects your you being able to function.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. I got a few physical therapists clients and they tell me straight up that they know they’re never fully gonna get their patients better because of their diets and these people are coming in, you know, they’re eating like a subway sandwiches as they walk into the physical therapy office, so the physical therapist doing the best they can but they know just listening to us that they’re never fully gonna get them better without the diet changes and then they’re like well that’s out of my scope of practice. I can’t, you know, educate them much on diet so I’ll try to hint at it but yeah. It’s sad because you see billions and billions of dollars being spent per year on physical therapy, occupational therapy, physical rehab, that kind of stuff, people maybe had car injuries, for example, where there was a traumatic event that led to this mobility problem but then they never fully recover because they go right back eating the RB sandwich, you know, the roast beef and the bread and the ketchup and they never fully get better. So, I think, there’s a place, hopefully, people pick up on this, you pass this information onto maybe a physical therapist, get people off of grains, get people off of dairy, at least temporarily of dairy. I think butter, there’s maybe a place for that in most people’s diets. But I will tell you personally, I’ve seen the changes in my own family members if we can get them off gluten or off grains even for a month, we see improvement and so it’s just this doesn’t make money for people, I mean, there’s so many pharmaceuticals that people are taking instead, right? What’s the conventional approach for these issues like Aspirin, Tylenol, maybe Aleve and maybe some anti-inflammatory steroid drugs, right, I would say in severe cases, those are being useful. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, you have your, like NSAIDs, which are gonna be like your Ibuprofen, your Advil, your Aleve, right, I think your Aleve’s kind of your time-release Ibuprofen, right. These are gonna help with the prostaglandin 2. And then acutely, you know, for a couple of days, if something happened that may not be a bad idea. The problem is if you’re chronically needing these medications that’s the problem. And then you have your acetylsalicylic acid, that’s your aspirin and then you have your acetaminophen, which is Tylenol, again Tylenol blocks the pain receptors so it’s not an anti-inflammatory. Aspirin is a mild anti-inflammatory. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory. And then you keep on going up into the steroids where you actually get an injection, the problem with that is after one or two injections, your anesthesiologist or your pain doctor will tell you, yeah, we’re gonna start to break down tissues and cartilage and tendons, that’s not good either. And so, I tell patients, you know, one, you don’t wanna jump on injections right away because you want there to be some pain signal to tell you you’re doing too much when you’re rehabbing. So, it’s good to have some pain signals that will tell you, ‘hey I’m doing too much because the problem with this medication is it covers up the pain and then you may be doing things in your life movement wise, it’s actually creating more pain but you can’t feel it right. So, then of course, you go up the ladder and you’ll eventually be on opiates and that’s the problem and that opiates are very addicting, it’s just basically telling it’s blocking the brain’s ability to perceive pain and then essentially the longer your on an opiate, um, you know Suboxone, of course, you have the incredible, your morphine post-surgery, you have Fentanyl which is like incredibly higher version above your oxytocin which is like time-released opiate, it rewires the brain and you start to need more of it to then block that pain signal and then that creates more addiction right. So, you really wanna not be on these pain medications. Now, my problem with physical therapy and chiropractors is that a lot of times they can apply therapy that does not fix the underlying issue. So, chiropractors are very notorious for just, you know, adjusting a segment of the spine and creating some movement on that spine and calling it a day, right? But, if the person’s inflamed from their diet and lifestyle, that’s not helping it and also the soft tissue component should be addressed. So, when I was a chiropractor doing these kind of work, we would do like, percussion, I’d have a percussion instrument, just a couple of minutes to get the tissue warmed up and that way when I would adjust, I wasn’t having to adjust through all this soft tissue that was so hard, the soft tissue was more loose and I could move that segment and I’d always talk about how we get some better movement in the spine with exercise too because you wanna, you don’t want only movement in that spine to be through adjustment right? And so, getting these soft tissues under control using some active release techniques to help lengthen the muscle, help break up fascial adhesions, super, super helpful and so physical therapy, they’re notorious, oh I have knee pain, let’s just focus on that knee, maybe they do like an anti-inflammatory you know, uh, Russian stim or microcurrent or ultrasound, that’s good from an anti-inflammatory standpoint but physical therapy is common, we just only exercise that joint, we only stretch that joint, that’s it. They don’t look at the instability above and below the joints. Joints are very rarely just become unstable at that joint unless it’s an acute injury, someone took out your knee, it’s usually there’s instability either above and below so a good chiropractor, PT person will make sure the joint above and below is doing well. If I see knee issues, I’m gonna make sure there’s good glute activation, I’m gonna make sure that the hip flexors are facilitated, they’re not overly tight, I’m gonna make sure glute mi, glute max, all the adductor muscles in the middle are doing good. I’m gonna make sure the tip fib joint at the ankle has good stability. I’m gonna look at everything above because if there’s instability above and below that knee can compensate and have to work harder. So, I’m gonna make sure all the muscles around the knee, the glutes that stabilize the hips, the hamstrings that go to the glute that go up to the hips and also help stabilize the knee, the sartorius, the gracilis, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus, make sure everything is stabilized. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. You and I have coached many different, uh practitioners, a lot of them chiropractors and so many of them tell me, I’m just straight up sick of cracking backs for a  living because they know they’re gonna have to come back every week, they’re gonna crack the back again and then they’re gonna send the patient on their patient on their way and they’re never gonna get better and when I was working out of that brick and mortar practice and I started doing functional medicine consults, doing lab testing, getting all of the existing patients in the clinic, simply to make diet changes, it was funny but I guess not so funny for his bottom line, the chiropractor I was working for because, now instead of Betty needing to come in every week, she’s like no I’m fine doctor, I’m gonna come in in two weeks or three weeks or four weeks and it’s because the underlying inflammation was improving based on me fixing the gut, getting the diet improved. So, it’s kind of funny because people got in this routine of like, I’ll see you next Friday. It’s like, she shouldn’t need to be cracked again next Friday, you’re cracking her today, like what the heck.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It just depends how acute. If it’s an acute episode, you know, you’re gonna need to do it more frequently the first couple of weeks but if it’s more of a chronic thing, yeah you gotta get the soft tissue under control, or you gotta get the systemic inflammation in the body to the diet under control. And if you’re a chiropractor, you definitely wanna look at upper cervical, right, C1, C2, malalignments can create a lot of problems so that you definitely want to make sure that’s kind of crossed off your list because that can really cause a lot of issues and that could be a root cause as well but most people, it’s like poor posture, poor sitting, not enough movement, crappy diet, lots of inflammation and then of course, you know, muscles can also pull joints out of alignment too and cause them to feel sticky too. So like, I find the best chiropractor are like the applied kinesiology chiropractors because they would like use a percussion instrument even just for a minute or two is huge or they would do like origin insertion work, they would do like SOT technique, which uses blocks to get the hip alignment better I found those techniques were really helpful for chronic back issues and then when you have disc issues too, like you need to pump that back whether it’s a flexion distraction technique to help open up that disc, whether it’s an inversion table or whether it’s an inversion table or an inversion device for the neck that goes over the door or cuff to kind of create that negative pressure to pull that disc in off the nerve roots can be super helpful but then you got to get the muscles train down the road so a good PT or a good postural program like you can start with Eric Goodman’s foundation training. There are a couple of really good PTs online that are excellent, Bob and Brad, they go, they do a lot of nice postural videos at home stuff that are very helpful to people that are in pain. So, those are good guys, I’ll give them a, you know, a hot tip. Anything else you wanna highlight on the structural stuff we can go talk about the supplements next. I think that’s a good kind of ending point. Anything else, Evan? 

Evan Brand: Now, let’s move into the supplements, I had already mentioned like some of the enzymes, so I mean, we’ll use some of those and we often use these in combination, I mean sometimes people are taking so serratiopeptidase or I’m even personally doing lumbrokinase, I do a lot of lumbrokinase too because that’s like way more potent than serratiopeptidase and so we use that for blood flow problems with some sort of coagulation issue so whether it is an infection or mold toxin, Lumbrokinase, it’s a game changer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But I want to hit that one. I wanna just hammer that one spot for a second. If you have poor blood flow which diet and infection can drive poor blood flow, if we can’t get the blood flow improve, we’re not gonna get the inflammation out and nutrition and oxygen in so ginger, the enzymes getting your diet under control, one of the biggest things that helps coagulation, if we decrease coagulation, we improve blood flow, we improve blood flow, we improve oxygen, we improve nutrition, we work on pulling inflammation out, that’s like a foundational mechanism to getting pain under control.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. And there’s a lot of issues we’re seeing with post-viral coagulation issues or even acute coagulation issues, so make sure if you get some viral stuff going on, you gotta be knocking some if that too and we’ve seen people that are having chronic issues months and months later. So, to be honest in the time that we’re under I am personally staying on and recommending a lot of clients stay on some sort of enzyme just as an ongoing coagulation support, I think it’s a very, very smart insurance policy.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. And when we talked about these enzymes, for people that are listening at home, these are enzymes you take with food, we’re talking about enzymes we take an hour away from food on an empty stomach, you know, some of the best ones are gonna be the Lumbrokinase the nattokinase, the serratiopeptidase. Some are really good at taking them, um, enterically coated so they break down in the small intestine away from food so they get into the bloodstream. These enzymes can one break up scar tissue, they improve blood flow and they also can decrease a lot of interleukins and cytokines that are flowing in the bloodstream. So, if you’re chronically inflamed and you have a lot of these cytokines and interleukins in the bloodstream, these chemical messengers from inflammation, it can actually start to break them down a little bit, which is good. So, that starts to relieve pain. Now, if you get to the root cause, where you’re getting some movement, you’re working on your posture, you’re working on sleep and diet. This is powerful because now that starts to accelerate healing even better faster.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. And these are proteolytics so when you’re like researching these proteolytic enzymes as opposed you said the ones you’re taking with food are digestive, so they’re still called enzymes. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Two different things and they cost a lot more too than digestive enzymes. They’re not the same price. 

Evan Brand: Right. Yeah. Like Lumbrokinase, I mean a bottle of it, retail on the one we use which is the Bolouke from Canada RNA. It’s like the best one, as far as I know right now. It’s like 98 bucks a bottle retail. So, it is pricey but man it’s incredible stuff, I mean in terms of hands and feet, my blood flow is incredible. That plus beet powder, which is maybe another thing I’ll go ahead and mention now increasing blood flow, I do like beet powder and I will use some of that supplementally. Yeah. Arginine, citrulline, I’ll take some those in liquid form and I’ll mix those together and drink it all down. Those can be very, very helpful. You mentioned ginger too, let’s talk about ginger because you’ve talked a lot about ginger for like nausea and digestive benefits but you and I were looking at some of the papers on it and it does have a lot of really anti-inflammatory benefits too. So, that’s kind of cool, we’re saying that it’s a digestive aid but also a systemic inflammatory aid, correct?   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I try to add things into protocols that just have a wide net so I love ginger because (1) it’s a natural bitter, so it will stimulate digestive juices, (2) it’s an anti-inflammatory so it’s very calming, (3) it’s a prokinetic so it helps the digestive tract empty because if your have like some kind of chronic inflammation or gastroparesis, food and acis can sit in there too long and create burning, (4) it helps with coagulability so it helps with coagulation so it decreases it, so there’s less clotting so you improve the blood flow, it also helps with blood pressure as well. So, a lot of and then also it’s an antibiofilm, so if we’re using ginger, um, to help with like, you know, killing it, it can actually help strip the biofilm, which are the protective shields that bacteria use to prevent themselves from being killed so it helps with the biofilms which allows the herbs we use to be even better and again the enzymes we use also help with biofilms too. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. A cool study here was just saying that in rat models of liver cancer, ginger extract counteracted oxidative stress and inflammatory damage and it restored levels of superoxide dismutase catalase glutathione and prevented an increase in COX2, which is one of those pathways you and I were talking about that like some of the natural NSAIDs work on, ginger is basically a natural COX inhibitor. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It modulates, right? The problem with a lot of the COX inhibitor drugs of the early 2000s like Vioxx COX is called cyclooxygenase enzyme 2. That enzyme is also very important for repairing the gut lining and repairing the heart. So, if you block that all together like Vioxx did, you can destroy the heart and the gut lining, so with herbs it tends to more modulate not overdo it but bring it down in a modulatory kind of gentle way, kind of like an adaptogen works for adrenals and cortisol and stress. Shut it down but it pushes it in the right direction. 

Evan Brand: That’s an awesome way to think about it. So, ginger is an anti-inflammatory adaptogen? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yep. 

Evan Brand: Pretty cool. Okay. Let’s hit the others too because there’s others we use in blends, how about some of the polyphenols like the quercetin, the rutin, the resveratrol, the rosemary. I talked about Japanese Knotweed earlier, the main benefit of the knotweed is because of the resveratrol in it.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s Japanese knotweed. That’s very helpful. Yep. 

Evan Brand: It’s amazing for like rheumatoid arthritis, like I said Lyme type of arthritis, which a lot of RA probably is Lyme but it’s been not properly diagnosed. So, I love those. I personally take some sort of that all the time. You know, quercetin, I love too, it’s in the vitamin C family. I love it because it’s a great mast cell stabilizer. So, if you are dealing with mast cell activation in the case of mold toxin or Lyme or Bartonella, Babesia, Borrelia, Mycoplasma, any of these things, even viruses that are triggering mast cell problems and you have all this histamine out in your system, the quercetin is really gonna calm that down so that’s why I love it. And you can do too much of the good thing but in general something like 250 to 500 milligrams 3 times a day of course for me is a game changer. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% I would say next, we could do curcumin much better off to take it liposomally that’s very important. So, liposomal curcumin also, you know, make sure you cut out nitrates, nitrates and of course grains and refined sugar can create joint issues, so you’d be surprised how many people that have many chronic issues just making those changes help. So, liposomal curcumin for better absorption. 

Evan Brand: Why the nitrates? Will you riff on that for a minute because nitrates..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The alpha-Solanines, their compounds, their anti-nutrients in the nitrate family, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, these alpha-Solanine can get into the joints and they can kind of create a lot of inflammation similarly with people that have oxalate problems. Oxalates can get into the joints. These oxalate crystals and create a lot of pain issues in the joint tissues, in the muscle belly too. Now, again, I don’t go into oxalate restriction out of the gates because there’s a lot of healthy foods that have oxalates in them. Spinach and green vegetables. So, if someone’s coming off of a processed food diet, the last thing I want them to do is not to be worried about oxalate because that restricts a lot of vegetables. So, I don’t worry about oxalates out of the gates if someone’s diet’s crappy. So, I would just, I would work on their diet very clean and then potentially in some organic acid test that we do, we could see if oxalates are really high. If do they have a history of kidney stone problems, those kinds of things are helpful.  

Evan Brand: Well, yeah, don’t forget to mention too, Candida, I mean we’ll see oxalate. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A ton from a kid’s problem. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. So, I’ve seen people on like a low oxalate diet for years, they still show up off the charts and they’re having these joint pain issues, we simply just fix the yeast overgrowth or the fungal problems and then the oxalate markers go down and their joints are better. So, make sure that when you’re doing a work-up on these type of issues whether it’s mobility or pain or otherwise, make sure you’re looking for these fungal colonization markers, you’re looking at the Candida, you’re looking at some of the bacterial overgrowth because all of these things are gonna act as we’ll just say toxin in the bucket and if you get this infection plus that infection plus yeast then you really have much, much higher chance of having these problems and you go take the ibuprofen, you’re not knocking any of that stuff out. The yeast is still there.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110%. So, the oxalates, maybe more of a yeast issue, not necessarily an oxalate problem. So, something we add to our list, we can use, uh, things like Boswellia or Frankincense, very, very helpful, very good. Again, these things, how they’re working is they’re primarily modulating interleukins, they’re primarily working on cytokines, reducing some of these inflammatory compounds they may be working on the COX enzyme C-O-X-2, they may be working on nuclear factor beta, right? These are different inflammatory signals or chemical messengers, uh, may be working on prostaglandin E2, so they may be helping a lot of these things. So, we have to make sure if we use supplements though we’re not just covering it up like a band-aid, we’re actually trying to get to the root cause. So again, herbs tend to be better than like an ibuprofen long term because these things kill tens of thousands of people a year, not in the right way. Go look at Wolf et. al., 1998. New England Journal of Medicine Ibuprofen kills 19,000 people a year taken incorrectly. So, using these medications like Ibuprofen or NSAIDs in the short term may be fine, it’s the long-term use because you’re not getting to the root underlying issue. The nice thing is if you use the herbs and the natural things, long-term, there’s virtually no negative impact using those but again we’re not still getting to the root so use the herbs and the natural stuff long term to get to the root, get to diet things, that’s your best kind of foundational things. We can also add in some CBD oil, which is very anti-inflammatory. Anything else you wanted to highlight supplement-wise?  

Evan Brand: I would say magnesium would probably be one other one that’s located.. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great muscle relaxer

Evan Brand: How about, also, some of the herbal muscle relaxers too, I mean like Valerian and Passion flower, there’s some benefit from these. There is kind of a dual purpose, right? You could use it for sleep. Yeah, poppy would be good too. You could blend all those as kind of a sleep but also like a pain remedy and then I like topical magnesium also I love the Epsom salt bath. I like it more in a float tank though. I mean, Epsom salt bath, you’re like what a couple of pounds at most whereas a float tank, you’re getting 800 pounds, so just not eating.. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I still absorb a ton though; I just do my fit. Just like a scoop or two but I still feel a huge difference but I agree if you can do the float tank, great, but if not that’s still a good in-between at home. Try it out for sure. 

Evan Brand: If I was like super stiff and I’m like my God, I can’t move, I’m going in a float tank because, I tell you I’m so flexible in there like when I first get in that so folks listening, this is basically like a large bathtub with 800 pounds of salt give or take. Super filtered water, it’s warm, it’s your body’s temperature, you take a shower, it’s usually at a spa setting, you get in there, you float on the surface of the water, you have your own little private float tank or float room usually and you’re just floating there and you’re there for an hour and your nervous system relaxes, they’ve used it for trauma and PTSD, so in terms of mental benefits, there’s incredible anti-anxiety benefits from it, but for physical too also, I tell you man, when I’m in there I fell, I mean, I feel like I’m made of jelly like, I mean I can just move so much better. One of my things. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I would say, that, you know, from a nutrient standpoint amazing, a good myofascial release massage person, a good active release chiropractor, some kind of soft tissue technique, even if you’re doing, um, you know, foam rolling or get one of the hypervibe percussive tools at home. Just something to improve pliability, add in some of these nutrients that we mentioned CBD, curcumin, resveratrol, anti-inflammatory, I think also incredibly underrated collagen, I mean I do my true collagen 20-40 grams a day, um, collagen is a building block of your connective tissue that we don’t get a lot of because we’re not getting the knuckles and the bones unless you’re doing lots of soups with the whole carcass in there, we’re not getting these nutrients. So, adding extra collagen is essential for good building blocks or your joints and connective tissue.  

Evan Brand: I would agree. I mean, a forgotten nutrient that we just don’t eat in our diet, you can’t get that at a steakhouse, I mean, you’re just getting lean muscle. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Unless, you’re getting bone marrow, unless they cut the long bone and they have all the marrow for you and eat that, that’s the only way you get it. Work in soup but most people aren’t getting it and so we’re getting more muscle meat, so that’s a good step out of the gates. I mean, I had my little coffee here, I had 30 grams of collagen this morning. People aren’t getting it. 

Evan Brand: Sweet. So, regarding 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A lot of anecdotes of patients, a lot of anticipations of just getting more collagen and changing their diet, huge chronic joint pain just shifting. 

Evan Brand: Oh, yeah. And yeah the diets used. So, yeah, I mean, labs, I mean we’re gonna look at stool, we could look at urine, we could look at blood too but you know but this is part of a work-up that we do, so if you need help please reach out. I’m sure we could get to something that hasn’t been found, I mean, even the Prevotella infection we look for in the stool like 75% of cases of Rheumatoid Arthritis are linked to in certain studies this Prevotella infection, which is the bacterial we test for. So, you’ve gotta look for the microbiome type issue, you gotta look for the deeper stealth infection issues, intracellular parasite type issues. There’s a lot of stuff too but we just have an approach to it, you know, we kind of peel back the layers here and we get to the root of it so if you need help, you can reach out. We both work worldwide with people via video and phone calls so you can reach out to Dr. J, it’s Justin at justinhealth.com or me, Evan Brand, evanbrand.com and like I said we work online so we’re very blessed to be able to help people in every nook and cranny of the globe and it’s a wonderful thing to be able to help people find things that they never found in 20 years of suffering and we just love to provide that, I don’t know, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I suppose. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and you just mentioned some bacteria issues and different joint issues we know ankylosing spondylitis, which is an autoimmune issue that affects the lower back, your Klebsiella is a common bacterial imbalance, we’ll see affecting the lower back and causing AS that’s another issue, we kind of add to the list so very powerful. So, yeah, again evanbrand.com, justinhealth,com for me, we’ll put the list of recommended products and different herbs that we use in our practice clinically if you wanna support, uh, the podcast and support us, feel free click down below, look under the references and you can get all these things that we recommend for our patients and ourselves right down there. Anything else, put your comments below, we really appreciate you interacting, sharing with family and friends and most people that we interact with, we don’t even get a chance to see and they get benefit so we love to hear your stories and your success. Evan, anything else man? 

Evan Brand: Yeah. If you’re on apple either on Justin’s podcast or mine since we will publish these episodes on each other, make sure you give us a review, we would really love it on the apple podcast, it helps to keep us up in the top of the charts of health and fitness so we can provide real root cause functional medicine strategies, there’s millions of people out there suffering and maybe a fraction are gonna get to hear this so please sharing is caring. Leave us a review, tell us what you think the show deserves and we’ll love you forever. 

 Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks guys. Have an awesome one. Take care. Bye. 

Evan Brand: Take care. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended Products:

Magnesium Supreme

TruKeto Collagen

Trucollagen (Grassfed)

Enzyme Synergy

Organic Grassfed Meat

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/how-to-reduce-inflammation-and-improve-joint-mobility-podcast-359

Why Do I Have Low Motivation – Functional Medicine Solutions | Podcast #358

Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. It is what causes you to act, whether getting a glass of water to reduce thirst or reading a book to gain knowledge.

In this video, Dr. J and Evan Brand talk about the physiological issues behind your decreasing motivation and the functional medicine strategies, hormones, and lifestyle changes you need to do to improve your mood and overall health function.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00  Introduction
1:41  What are the root causes of low motivation?
4:14  The physiological explanation of low motivation
8:39  Functional medicine strategies to improve motivation
10:53 The role of thyroid function to your body’s overall function
16:38 Lifestyle upgrade to boost your motivation


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are going to be talking about motivation. Really excited to have a nice podcast on this topic. Evan, how we doing today this morning? 

Evan Brand: I’m doing really well. I’m feeling really motivated. Hence, this topic on motivation. You know, I look around on society and I just see the way that people carry themselves. You know, we’ve become so casual in terms of dress. I mean, when you see people that are just coming out at restaurants, they’re wearing Crocs and sweatpants and, you know, hoodies. People just don’t appear to take good care of themselves, in general. And maybe that’s different in other cities but even talking to people when I bought a sports coat. I talked to the guy at the suit store, and he agreed with me that over the last 20 years, people just become so casual. And with that casual dress, I think that changes people’s level of motivation. When I’m in sweatpants and a hoodie, I feel less motivated, and less ready to charge the world as opposed to when I have on even something like a polo. I think, maybe that’s part of it, but I know there’s a lot of chemical, neurotransmitter, and gut reactions, you know, better involved too. So, what do you think, I mean, am I, am I onto something with the clothing? Have you seen a change even in your lifetime with people? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I think people like, I talked to a lot of patients and friends and like, ‘oh you get to work at home and see patients all over the world. That’s awesome, that must be so easy to just kind of get up and get ready’. I’m like, well I still shower and kind of get ready like I’m going to the office anyway, I wanna look good, I wanna feel good, I wanna feel clean, I wanna feel fresh, plus I wanna be able to jump on a video or see a patient, I wanna have a higher level of professionalism on how I look. So, I do think there’s energy just like you said, in just that look in the park, dress in the park feeling good, right? I think that all helps. I think it moves the needle. That makes sense.  

Evan Brand: Well, let’s see some of the root causes of that. I mean, low motivation, in general, the first thing that I think of and maybe your average listeners thinking of, they listen to us for a while, they’re gonna think of dopamine. And that certainly one potential cause and we can measure that using urine organic acids testing. So, we’ll look at the markers for dopamine on that test that we can see, and I would say that 90% of people I test are pretty low and the other 10% are people that have Clostridia bacterial overgrowth. You and I have talked about this before, we did a whole show of Clostridia, I believe, but the mechanism is that if you have Clostridia which is a certain type of bacteria in the gut that will actually inhibit the enzyme dopamine beta hydroxylase and then you have this build up of dopamine. So, you have some of these mood issues that’ll happen because of your gut. So, if you fix your gut, that high dopamine markers normalize. But otherwise, I see, generally, pretty low dopamine and maybe you and I can kind of break down why is that happening. I think chronic stress is a big one. But I wonder if there’s a role of like excess caffeine, have you seen anything look like too much coffee, your stimulants depleting dopamine, what about drugs like the Adderall drugs, that kind of stuff.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think we’ve, with motivation, it’s a couple things right. We have kind of the psychological kind of mindset aspect, I think that’s really important. So, I think number one, you gotta enjoy what you’re doing or you have at least kind of know what your talents or your skills that you’re at. So, you can work on doing things that one you enjoy and two you are actually good at. So, you can perform at a higher level, right? I think it’s a combination of those two things. And I think, also, there’s some people that what if you’re not good at things, right, so I think early on if you’re younger and you’re listening to this as you grow up, you really wanna look at developing talents. tacks and skills set. And you really wanna look at the marketplace and say, ‘where, um, where’s your gaps in the marketplace in regards to skill, whether on the health side or on the tacks side or on engineering. We really wanna look at where you kind of plug yourself into the marketplace, whether there are opportunities and then it’s also good to evaluate your kind of natural talents and skill sets. You kind of look at, you know, what people tell, I’ve always told you good at. There’s different tests out there whether it’s a Myers-Brigg personality test or, uh, I think another test out there called DISC, D-I-S-C test. There’s different tests out there that kind of help you understand, kind where your natural talents are at and then also just really observing and being aware of what you really enjoy doing. Usually, things that you enjoy doing, tend to be better at it because you don’t mind working harder at it. I think those are important, so then when you start doing things, you’ll really enjoy it. Now, on the physiological side, chronic stress well either acutely raises cortisol all over time. That cortisol can become lower which can affect energy and mood and cause your body to break down faster. And of course, that same level of adrenal stress can also lower dopamine, lower adrenaline which can then affect focus and motivation at a biochemical neurological level too. So, I think it’s good to look at both of those, so we can test the adrenal gland and know what’s happening at the adrenal level. We can also look at the neurotransmitters, the organic acid testing and look at various metabolites for Homovanillate, which is a metabolite for dopamine and then Vanilmandelate, which is a metabolite for adrenaline. We can get a window and into both of those metabolites and see how the brain is functioning on the inside.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s a great point. People that are just doing stuff that they don’t enjoy, I mean, how are you gonna be motivated for life if you make up, you don’t enjoy it. I talked to a guy who picks up our garbage and he loves it. He loves his job. He loves driving around with a big truck all day and he makes a great money doing it. He’s happy. So, some people are gonna look at that and say, ‘oh, this garbage man, what a terrible life’. And some people, they enjoy it. So, I do think ultimately as they say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I still love what I do but I still, I feel like it’s still work, I mean, I enjoy it but when I’m away for too long on vacation, I don’t enjoy this much. I rather be working, I really do. I love helping people. I’m really addicted to the hustle and grind of helping people feel better. There’s so many people suffering. For you and I, I think, we’re in a good spot-on loving what we do, but then on the brain chemistry side, I would say that I certainly struggle on. I had gut issues, I certainly struggled with low energy, and partly low motivation and low focus and for a period of time I had trouble reading certain books, like my brain, I just couldn’t process. I had to read, read certain phrases or if someone said a phone number to me, I couldn’t remember just a simple 7-digit phone number. So, I definitely had some brain fog associated with gut issues. And on paper, my endorphins and my dopamine were a bit low. So, I think looking at these mechanisms, I would say Candida, something we could mention too because we know Candida produces acetaldehyde, which is kind of similar to an alcohol molecule and so some people are a little bit drunk on their own Candida overgrowth. So, if somebody that has a lot of sugar cravings or if you have a white coated tongue or if you tested positive for Candida on urine, organic acid, stool testing, we gotta fix that Candida because that’s directly gonna impact your mood, your motivation and your focus. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Now, I work with patients, right? And I look at a lot of the physiological imbalances. So, let’s say there’s hormonal issues, let’s say it’s a female, it’s estrogen dominance, right, lower progesterone, estrogen out of whack, there’ll be a lot of PMS, mood issues, irritability issues. They’re poor energy because of chronic adrenal stress, they’re not digesting their food well. There’s a lot of mitochondrial imbalances, B-vitamins, CoQ10, L-carnitine. You know, it’s hard to be motivated when you have a lot of these physiological imbalances, because it takes fuel to run this system. So, when I look at patients, I get them motivated to fix these things. You know, it’s hard to get someone motivated to just fix their mitochondria or fix their adrenals. So, I always look at, hey what are these health challenges that you’re having right now. What is preventing you from being, doing, or having in your life right now? Like, what do you want to be doing, being you’re having in your life that you’re not able to because of your energy or because of your chronic digestion, because of your, um, mood issues? What is that? I try to get really clear what those things are because if I can figure out, hey, we’ll it’s affecting me for working out whole day, it’s affecting me, um, being able to spend quality time with my kids, then we can lean on, okay we are gonna make these diet changes, so we can help you get back to spending better time with your kids or so we can have you focusing and doing better at work at closing deal, whatever that is. So, if we figure out the why, then we can lean on that why to get people to make the right changes because it’s the really the why is the essence of it. And that really helps to get people motivated. So, there’s the mindset motivation and there’s the physiological biological biochemical side. So, we wanna work on both. So, when I tell people to make these diet changes, not just making these diet changes, we’re gonna do these so we can help move the needle in this area or that area. So, it’s kind of like using psychological tactics that help keep your patient motivated. It’s also important.   

Evan Brand: Nice. That’s really a good point.  We have some part of our population, where there are just biohacker people who wanna see the numbers, right? They wanna see the numbers get better, and they’re happy enough to see succinic acid go from a 24 down to a 5. And we go okay, great we had major progress, the mitochondria look better on paper. Some of our people, they’re cool with just the numbers, but I agree with you, you gotta bring the emotional piece to. It’s not enough to say, ‘hey, I wanna get your dopamine higher because I want you to have enough energy to get out of bed, make your bed, get dressed, wear something nice, get to the office as you close the deal’. There’s a whole symphony of emotion and the neurotransmitter, the mitochondria, the adrenals, all firing together to make life nice and make life enjoyable. And I just see that the number one leading cause of disability in the U.S. is depression and so, I don’t know, I just feel like there’s so much on top potential, on top productivity out of the population, if we can just simply get the gut improve, get the mitochondria improve, get the neurotransmitter improve. I mean, we could totally transform the country. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I totally agree. I mean, I think simply, out of the gates, it starts with food. So, it starts with high quality food, organic, right, low toxin, eating good proteins, eating good fats. I think being more of a fat burner for most people is super important because we just tend, if you just look at micronutrient trends over the last 56 years, we just consuming more processed carbohydrates and of course the fats are shifted to more, kind of polyunsaturated omega-6 kind of vegetable oil. I think number one out of the gates is we switch to higher quality, better, more stable fats whether it’s on the grass-fed meat, high quality fish or if we do any plants it’s gonna be more on the mannose, right, olive oil, some avocados, those kinds of things. That’s important on the fat and then we try to restrict the lot of the refined grains, refined sugar and that’s some kind of first step and make sure that the quality there. in regards to organic, um, no added hormones, some things like that in the pot. That’s a good start for anyone right there. And then from there, we can look at the different hormonal systems. So, if we have chronically high cortisol, usually that’s more of an acute thing but that can cause anxiety, that can cause irritability. Usually, there’s a tire of wire that kind of thing there. And then of course as we have chronic stress, that adrenal pattern can move more to a lower cortisol stay, and that can cause energy low motivation low mood. So, we wanna really look at the adrenals. They’re part of that stress handling system. So, when we look at things that drive the adrenals its physical, chemical and emotional stress and so we wanna make sure there’s nothing on the emotional side that’s driving a problem, right? Marriage issues, kids issues, financial issues, whatever that is, we have to make sure, we’re at least addressing it and it’s in our forefront, we’re not just kind of putting your head on the sand. Physically we need to make sure we’re not overexercising or under so we’re getting some movement or we’re moving our muscles or we’re not overly sedentary, we’re not doing things that cause us pain, right? So, that’s important. Of the chronically in pain, we see a soft tissue person or a chiropractor to really get to the root of that. And of course, what we really focus on is the underlying hidden chemical stressors, that’s just the food sensitivities, the gut imbalances, the dysbiosis, the leaky gut, the hormonal imbalances, the low thyroid, the adrenal imbalances, the hormonal issues, um, the mitochondrial dysfunction, the toxicity, mold, heavy metals, right? So, this is where we, we come in there, we focus on the chemical stressors that play a major input on the adrenals and we chronically stress the adrenals, adrenaline is also produced by the adrenals to kind of get cortisol mobilize and chronic adrenaline stimulation will pull dopamine because adrenaline is a post cursor essentially to dopamine. So, it goes dopamine 🡪 adrenaline. It’s over chronically sti, in a stressed-out state. Your body will make adrenaline and will pull from dopamine to make adrenaline. And dopamine is important for that I love you feeling, it’s really important for focus, dealing with stress and staying motivated. So, we have to get that, the underlying reason why we pullin’ out that dopamine downstream, we have to get the adrenals fully supported.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. I’m glad you mentioned heavy metals too. I mean, people and their brain issues could simply be related to mercury toxicity. If you’re someone just walking around and you’ve got a mouthful of amalgam fillings, we know those are estimated 50-ish percent mercury give or take and we know that mercury directly affects dopamine. If you simply just type in, mercury and Parkinson’s or mercury and Alzheimer’s. There’s a lot of links to these toxins and brain neurodegenerative issues. So, if you’re somebody who’s just so poor motivation and it’s more on the extreme side, you might get this amount of amalgam out of your mouth. And for my grandfather, he’s pushing 80-years-old, believe it or not, the local, biological then said he’s already having memory issues, it’s too late. The issue of pulling out the mercury could create more problems. He just said, leave it alone. But if you’re 40, 50, 60, 70 maybe you’re still at that age where you can start working at heavy metal detox, maybe you’re using some sort of binder for the meantime but ultimately, you’ve got to remove the source. So, I mean, if you got heavy metal in your mouth, no matter how much chlorella, charcoal, or clay you take, you’ll still get metal on your mouth. So, that could be a huge issue for your motivation and you gotta resolve it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% out of the gates. Also, low thyroid can be a thing. Low thyroid can affect mitochondrial function. It can affect mood. It can affect energy. Obviously, thyroid hormones play a major role in your overall metabolism. And if your metabolism is low and slow or more than likely your motivation would be low. So, it’s really good to look at thyroid function. Now, if you go to your conventional doctor that just gonna look at TSH typically and again if your TSH is overly high, let’s say greater than three and a half four. You know, that’s probably be pretty good sign. There’s probably thyroid issues downstream happening with T4 being on the lower side or T3 being, let’s say, below that 3.0 marker in the United States metric. Um, but again, TSH may still be adequate, let’s say below three and you may still have problems with thyroid hormones downstream, with T4, with T3. Maybe there’s an elevated antibodies because there’s some autoimmunity. It’s kind of like smoldering there. So, you really wanna look at running a full thyroid panel and your conventional medical doctor would typically not do it. So, you gotta reach out to kind of more natural, functional medicine first to do it. So, if you guys want to get that kind of testing done, Evan and I, we all do that testing. So, evanbrand.com, justinhealth.com. There’s links there where you can work with us if you want that type of in-depth testing. But low thyroid can be a deal breaker and it can, in most thyroid issues are autoimmune. So, you have to fix the gut. You have to fix the food. You have to fix all of the digestive issues to really get that usually under control. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Good point bringing up thyroid. So, I’ll bring up another kind of related one which could be anemias, right? If you got low ferritin, for example, you’re gonna be so exhausted if you have some type of anemia that that’s gonna really affect your motivation as well. So, I get kind of annoyed, to be honest with you, when I see people posting these motivational tracks. It is usually some super fit dude, possibly he’s on steroids, he’s flipping a tire and then yelling over the microphone, and it’s like, ‘you gotta get up and you gotta just do it’. And it’s like, you can’t just do it, like, I love that you’re, you know, 28 years old or maybe you’re on growth hormone and you’re flipping this tire and you’re motivated. But that type of talk goes only so far. And from our functional medicine mindset, like I said, I kind of get annoyed, because then you have this woman, maybe 50, 55 and she looks at herself in the mirror and she’s not happy on what she sees. She got insulin resistant, the diet is not dialed in, the guts affected, the neurotransmitters are low, but mitochondria are damaged because she got exposed to, uh, tick bites and molds. This motivational dud ranting over the microphone, he does not have a friggin’ clue about any of these functional strategies. And so, people then think that motivation is just this simple thing that you could just turn on or turn off. If I could just give motivated, I could do this or that. And it’s like, look, it’s way deeper than that, it’s way deeper than this dude just giving you some hoorah jumping the CrossFit class. And that’s why, that’s all this day. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I’m not a big fan of RAW, RAW stuff because it ignores physiology. I mean, I think there’s the RAW, RAW stuff can be helpful if it shifts your mindset. But mindset cannot be overcome physiology in the long run. It’s like people gonna, uh, an Anthony Robbins, I think Tony Robbins is great, he has a lot of strategy mindset stuff but you come out of this event so motivated. And it’s like, now what, right? It’s kind of like you’re driving your car, right, your old, used car, nothing’s wrong with it but your own E. Some guy comes up next to you and in like a Ferrari and it’s like, ‘man, you just got hit the back gas pillar, go’. And it’s like he hits the gas pillar, he’s out of sight and you’re like, ‘yeah, I don’t have fuel in my car and I kind of force cylinder under horsepower car, yeah I can’t do it. So, the first thing you gotta do metaphorically is you have to fill your tank of a gas. Get the car, get the gas in the tanks if you have fuel. And overtime, upgrade your car, upgrade your health, right? And we start with food quality, we start with good fats and proteins, we start with addressing glycemic issues, not overdoing or removing the processed sugar and the grain, dialing in the carbs on what you need, sleeping better. That’s like trading in your car at the car dealership, right? Literally, just by doing that, you’re starting to upgrade internally and of course from there we can always go down the functional medicine path and look at these hormone systems, adrenals, thyroid, gut function, mitochondrial issues. But we can at least upgrade the car and the fuel by making these simple lifestyle choices that are free and then from that, that gives you more motivation, now you have more energy, now your brain is clearer, so now you can, you know, be clearer on what your goals are. You can get very motivated, you can set timelines to your goals, right. What’s the difference between a goal and a dream? A goal has essentially a dream with an endpoint, a timeline on it, right. I’m gonna achieve this point, right? Take your dreams, make it your goal by putting an aid on it and some action items to go on it. And that takes energy and focus. And if your brain is foggy and overly tired, that’s gonna be problematic. So, I think, just work on those simple things and then once you get a little more motivation there then what’s next. And so, the things that I looked at when people are stressed and depleted, brain inflammation plays a major role with low motivation, so if we can cut out the foods, if we can add in B-vitamins, B6, magnesium, good health omega-3 fatty acids, that’s gonna help with the brain inflammation. That’s gonna help with the neurotransmitters. And then from there, we’re gonna look deeper at the box. This could be SIBO, bacterial overgrowth, H. pylori, parasites and getting the gut really cleaned out is gonna help shell out a lot of the brain inflammation because inflammation is bidirectional. Inflammation in the body can make its way to the gut and create a problem. Inflammation in the gut can make its way out of the gut into the bloodstream by leaky gut permeability causing inflammation in the brain. 

 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. We could start to bring in some of those vitamins, like the omegas, we can bring in some phosphatidylserine or phosphatidylcholine, we can bring as you mentioned the B-vitamins, maybe some Ginkgo, possibly nootropics like the racetam family, pretty common phenylpiracetam or others oxiracetam. A lot of nootropics out there that you could use, but there’s so many people like in the that they’re taking these different nootropics but they’re not addressing anything in regards to their gut or anything, whether hormones. So, I think it’s… 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I have a product in my line could, Dopa Replete Plus which has tyrosine and will have an actual pure L-dopa. That’s a good one. Or someone’s coming out of the gates, I would just even just be using pure tyrosine, pure L-tyrosine with some high-quality B-vitamins can be really helpful because you need the B-vitamins as a cofactor to really help convert to some of these neurotransmitters, some of these amino acids to become the actual neurotransmitters. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. You can feel it pretty quick. I mean, that’s the cool thing about amino acids, is that you mentioned. A lot of times, you know, when we pitch people our services, we’re like hey, sign up, you know, give us a call evanbrand.com, justinhealth.com. People haven’t, they haven’t enough motivation to be miserable to do that. Sometimes, I don’t even think about people, they know they want to help but I think they haven’t enough motivation to even call us and reach out to us. So, if you’re one of those people, we’re here but, in the meantime, yeah, maybe you use a little bit of tyrosine. It gets you motivated enough to even reach out to get further health because I think a lot of people get overwhelmed at what’s gonna entail in regards to diet changes. Like, oh, that’s overwhelming, you’re gonna make me cut this out, lifestyle changes, you’re gonna make me cut that out, like oh my God or now I gotta go to bed at 9’oclock, you know, that’s too hard. So, we used this little tool, this functional medicine tool to help motivate people to get them through the protocol. Because you and I could design a perfect protocol, mitochondrial support. We’ve got the gut dialed in. We’ve got the detox, the binders. We got the liver, the gallbladder, the adrenals. It’s all taken care of. But, it’s only if somebody follows through so then you get to the part of compliance which we could do part 2 on that of you want. Like, how do you stay on track but making the plan and getting the labs is the first step and getting the people to follow through is the second one. I think progress ultimately gets people going, because they’ll feel how much better they are but somehow, so, what we’ll use somebody’s brain nutrients just to get them off to get through and follow through.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. From a mindset perspective, it’s kind of like if you have pushed a car before right. You push the car. The hardest thing we’re pushing a car is overcoming the initial inertia of the car, from not moving to moving, right? That’s the hardest part. And so, when we’re dealing with people’s health inertia, it is just getting a couple of habits of moving in the direction that allows the car to start moving. Now, the amount of energy you need to put into that car to keep it moving is far less, right? It’s far less because you overcome the initial inertia of it being stock to moving. That’s kind of health is. You kind of make like a couple of small changes now’s the ball’s rolling and then now you can add, you know, you just can sleep for a little bit, add a little movement in there, and a couple of supplements and now we have a lot more now it becomes even easier to keep that going. And then of course, the key is now, okay, all the energy going into it was moving to the four steps of learning right. It’s unconscious incompetence, you don’t know what you don’t know. Now, you’re consciously incompetence, you know what you don’t know, you’re at least aware of these things. And then you go from step 2 to step 3 you’re consciously competent, someone’s helping you but there’s a lot of energy to keep doing the right things and then ideally you start to move into the level of unconscious competence where it’s automatic, right? It’s like someone who drives a standard transmission, everyone who’s done that they know, like, they’re starting on doing clutch, shift, what, their heads going down looking at the gearbox to stir up. It’s tough, right? But then eventually it’s like, clutch, shift, 1,2, 3, right? It’s easy, downshifting no problem. You don’t have to worry about it, it’s like you’re in automatic transmission because you get the whole thing. So, that’s kind of, well, where habits are, you just start with the ones that really bears the most fruit and then you go up from there. So, that’s kind of kind of look at out of the gates.     

Evan Brand: Well, look, you just did a live on camera because you’re like oh, we’re talking about in that booby. Whip up a capsule, and then boom you pop your aminos just like that. That’s kind of how I am too with protocol, I mean I’ll just feel how I am; I need a little bit of this, a little bit of that. And I’m just consciously making these micro calculations throughout the day. Oh, little low heat, op stressful day, hit the adrenals a little harder.  We’re constantly making these twigs, it’s just a really good place to be. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. I’m gonna go hit some push-ups and some kettlebells, wings, and a little bit of rowing here in a minute. And I’m gonna, um, you know, use some. So, I just try, you know, surround myself with good tools that I could plug into throughout the day to keep that momentum going and then, you know, foundational things, food, water, sleep. So just make sure you, and then of course you can plug in some movement along there right. Those are your three to four big check marks that you gotta hit during the day. And as you start getting that, you can build up from there and that gets you that foundation you need.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. Sleep is huge. So, we’d done a podcast on that but we’re always happy to do more. So, we’re wrapping out for now though. People can reach out if they need. We work around the world via facetime, uh, zoom, skype, you know, phone. We can do. We send labs everywhere and you can reach out to Dr. J at justinhealth.com and you can reach out to me, evanbrand.com and we’re happy to help. And we’ll look at some of these things and we’ll help investigate what could be going on, why’re you struggling. We know that you wanna get that dream business that dream goal, but you gotta make that a reality by optimizing these systems. So, that’s exactly what we do on ourselves on a day-to-day basis. Just literally just boost these neurotransmitters as we’re talking here. So, once you get these tools and place, you’re just gonna be driving, you can take over the world if that’s what you want.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% evanbrand.com, justinhealth.com. We’ll put links and recommendations for different things that we talked about product wise in the description of the video. Evan, awesome chat with you as always, my friend. We’ll talk soon.

Evan Brand: You too man. Take care. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan and I, we’ll go now. Bye-bye.

Evan Brand: Bye-bye. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended products:

Dopa Replete Plus

Dopa Replete

Iodine Synergy

Thyro Replete

Adrenal Revive

Adrenal Boost

JIH Thyroid Advantage Panel

Dutch Adrenal Test

Heavy Metal Clear

Heavy Metal Test

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/why-do-i-have-low-motivation-functional-medicine-solutions-podcast-358

 


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