The Root Cause and Solution of Your Stomach Burning and Upper Left Quadrant Pain | Podcast #355
Pain in your upper left (UL) abdomen under your ribs can have a variety of causes. Several vital organs exist in this area, including the spleen, kidney, pancreas, stomach, colon, and lung. One of the most common origins of these issues is due to digestive problems. Heartburn typically happens when acid comes back up from the stomach into the esophagus. It can result in discomfort and a burning sensation in your chest. The pain can feel burning, sharp, or cause a tightening sensation.
Additionally, Gastroesophageal Bowel Disease, commonly called acid reflux, is a condition that occurs when you experience heartburn more than two times each week. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is also a chronic condition that involves a group of intestinal symptoms that usually occur together. The symptoms can differ in severity and duration from person to person. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) also includes any disorder that can cause inflammation in your gut; the most common of these conditions is Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Dr. J and Evan emphasized that having your daily food and environment checked. Possible modification is a basic essential thing to do to avoid gut issues that can compromise overall health.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:32 Stomach Burning and Irritation
8:48 Causes of Stomach Cancer, General Inflammation
19:26 Bacterial Overgrowth causing Stomach Problems
27:41 Mood, Stress, Depression and Anxiety Conditions
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan brand. Evan, how are we doing today, my friend?
Evan Brand: I’m doing great. You ready to dive in and talk about heartburn? One of the most common issues one of the trending issues that’s always trending because us as a modern society, we have a lot of issues with hypochlorhydria, which is the technical term for low stomach acid. And so you and I are going to break down some of the reasons some of the root causes some of the triggers, and then some of the solutions. So where do you want to start?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a great question. So out of the gates here, we’re chatting about what h pylori stomach burning stomach irritation, so there’s a lot of root causes here. I would say out of the gates here, let’s hit H. pylori first.
Evan Brand: Let’s do it. So I had H. pylori. So I’ll tell you from personal experience, and you and I clinically have seen many, many, many cases of H. pylori, let’s start with a conventional approach to it. So first of all, the testing for H pylori is not very good in the conventional world. And there’s an issue with false negatives. Luckily, the DNA stool test that we use is very effective, and we can find it very accurately. And conventional treatment is going to be what’s called triple therapy, or sometimes quadruple therapy, which is three or four antibiotics at the same time to try to kill this helicobacter infection, which if you look at the microscopic photo of it, it kind of looks like a jellyfish, it’s got this creepy little look to it with a creepy little tail. It’s not a pretty little bugger, but man, it causes damage to those parietal cells which secrete stomach acid. And this is something that was very controversial for many times until the researcher actually infected himself with H. pylori and gave himself an ulcer. Right? You and I talked about that story before.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that was Dr. Marshall. I think in the in the mid 80s. He couldn’t get funding for his research. So he’s like, hell, let me be the subject. And so he just infected himself with it. And h pylori, like you mentioned, is that he had a co shaped helix shaped kind of bacteria that kind of burrows into the gut lining. This it’s controversial because, well, I shouldn’t say it’s controversial, we know that it can cause ulcers and stomach inflammation, we know that it can affect acid secretion. Now, a lot of people complain that it’s an increase your acid levels, H. pylori tends to actually decrease acid levels. It creates an enzyme called urease, which takes the metabolite from urea protein metabolism, it turns it into co2, and then also ammonia and ammonia is got a pH of 11. So in the typical urea breath test for H pylori, they give you a bunch of urea. And the whole thought process is if you have h pylori, you’re going to have more of that urease. And that urease is going to convert that urea into ammonia and co2, then thus a positive co2 level is going to be give you the H pylori indicative for a breath test. Now that ammonia has got a pH of 11. So it will start to neutralize and start to move your stomach pH in the more alkaline direction. So kind of one to six is going to be your acidic scale, okay? One is going to be 10 times more acidic than two, two times 210 times more acidic than three, and then you get to seven, which is going to be neutral, that’s your water. And then everything above that base are alkaline, right? And so ammonia is that 11. So you’re taking that pH in your stomach that should be around one and a half to two and a half and you’re moving it more neutral. And so of course, that can affect a whole bunch of problems in your stomach from indigestion, dyspepsia, you’re not breaking down your proteins, you’re not activating your enzymes. And also H. pylori can thin out that gut lining. So part of the reason why people feel like it creates more acidity is because your gut lining gets thinner, your gut lining gets thinner that’s making you more sensitive to acid in your stomach. It’s kind of like if I got a sunburn, right? If I got a sunburn, and I went out the next day in the sun, did the sun get hotter? Well, it feels harder when I’m in the sun with a sunburn, right? Did the sun get hotter? No, it is your skin’s more sensitive. That’s when you’re out in the sun. It feels like it’s 150 degrees out but it’s not. It’s the same thing with your intestine you got a sunburn got that feels more irritated. Thus that acidity the acid that you’re putting in there may cause some irritation just like going out with a sunburn.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s great analogy check your microphone to it sounds like it may switch to your headset, make sure it’s on your USB and I’m going to riff on h pylori for a minute because my personal experience with it was not fun. I lost a lot of weight and I was kind of freaking out honestly like I lost so much weight and I couldn’t stop it and no was no shortage of calories. I was eating plenty of good meats and good fats and I just kept losing weight and I think h pylori is really one of those big stepping stones or maybe the better analogy is the domino effect. And once the age polarize there, as you mentioned, it kind of in activates your enzymatic process. So your pancreatic enzyme function, the release of the stored bile from the gallbladder is going to slow down or be reduced. So this is what I think leads to a lot of the SIBO or the bacterial overgrowth dysbiosis problems that you and I see clinically because when we find h pylori, we go down to page three of the stool tests and then boom, now we see Prevotella and klebsiella and Pseudomonas And all these other bacteria that are thriving so many people have heard of SIBO because it’s trendy, and they’ll come in and they’ll do SIBO protocols. But if they don’t get rid of the H pylori, I’m convinced that’s one of the smoking guns that allows the dysbiosis to take place. So, long story short, if you’re someone listening, if you’ve treated your gut before using antimicrobial herbs, or possibly even antibiotic therapy, and you didn’t get better, or maybe you got better and you relapsed, consider that you’ve missed one of two things mold toxin, which is weakening the immune system or number two h pylori, and it could be coming from your spouse. So if your spouse is not being treated, they could have reinfected you and that’s why you’re on the merry go round and you can’t get off.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So h pylori is one of the first things now, people say, well, a large percent of the population has h pylori, and that that is true. And so the question is, are you immunocompromised with that h pylori is an issue we’re not. There are a lot of people that can survive on four or five hours a night sleep. But once you become stressed, and your adrenals become dysfunctional, and your diets been poor for a while, that four or five hours of sleep may not be enough. So you have to look at the context of the person for sure.
Evan Brand: Yeah. It sounds decent. It could just be the bitrate or something I do believe you have it on your USB now. It just sounds like it’s a little grainy, but it I know on our local and it will be just fine. So it’s, it’s plenty good enough for today.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, excellent. All right. So out of the gates here, just kind of hitting all the right things that we’re chatting about. So we talked about the susceptibility for H. pylori, right. h pylori is going to be one of these things that may be a problem in people that have symptoms. So if you have symptoms, if you have issues, we want to look at that and the gates for sure. I think that’s gonna be a top priority. Anything else you want to highlight regarding other infections? I know SIBO was another one that could potentially affect digestibility and your stomach cebo is going to hit more of your small intestine, but some of that bacteria overgrowth can move its way and migrate to the stomach as well for the gastric area.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well, I think H pylori is probably the biggest smoking gun but like you’re not talked about many times, you can have permission to have multiple things wrong with you. Right? You said that so it’s funny because we’ll see Candida will see bacteria will see H Pylori, which is bacteria will see parasites will see worms. So the cool thing is when we come in with the testing, we’re often using full spectrum herbs. And what I mean by that is we’re going to try to knock out Candida bacterial overgrowth, the H pylori, the parasites, often we can do it in one fell swoop. And it’s really fun to do this in children or young adults, because they tend to get better faster. Like if I see a five to 15 year old kid and we’re working with them. It’s amazing how much faster they get better than like a 70 year old adult, for example. It’s something that I think shows the immune system being weak long term, this can be a bigger problem. So when you hear about stomach cancer, and the ulcers and esophageal problems, and GERD and some of these more scary diagnosis, these, these are likely more long term infections, or it could be the virulence factors, which are something that we test for if you look into the research, H. pylori by itself is not going to cause a ton of problem in the short term. But when it has these virulence factors that essentially strengthens the disease, the way I think about it is like the little whale shark, or actually, whale sharks are huge, but the whale shark with the little fish that kind of swim under its fins, to me, those are the virulence factors, they kind of strengthen the main host there, they’re allowing the H pylori to thrive, they’re allowing that shark to do what he needs to do, they’re helping to maybe eat parasites off of the shark, so they’re kind of helping him hang around. That’s how I think of these virulence factors. It doesn’t change the protocol much, but when we see a ton of inflammation or when we see a ton of gut damage, it’s good to be able to link that back to a stool test.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% here, the virulence factors are going to look at those cytotoxic proteins and it’s a genetic susceptibility of this H. pylori is going to produce more toxins that are going to increase your chance of ulceration increase your chance of stomach cancer, increase your chance of just overall general inflammation. So it’s nice to look at the virulence factors. Now we have a couple we have like Virdi, VagA, iSay, these different virulence factors, these are cytotoxic proteins. And so it’s good to look at that. Now one of the things we’ll also look at in regards to intestinal inflammation to kind of make correlations is we’ll look at calprotectin. Calprotectin is another systemic marker that’s excellent to look at, because it plays a major role with inflammation in the gut as well. And so that’s a really good one. So it’s like a C reactive protein for your gut. CRP is a basically an inflammatory marker for the body. C reactive protein. calprotectin is a protein produced by the white blood cells in the intestine. So when there’s more inflammation, more cytokines, more interleukins, nuclear factor, Kappa beta, all these inflammatory presence, it’s going to give you more of a window that that’s happening now. It doesn’t tell you what the cause of it is. So you need to do detective work and get to the bottom it’s going to be usually one to four or five things. Something of infection, some type of food allergy, some type of immune stressor, whether it’s exposure to mold or heavy metals, okay? It can also be gut permeability where things are getting into the bloodstream and you’re having this, I mean, a logical reaction, those would probably be the big four out of the gates. And then I think, also just if you’re eating a lot of junky inflammatory foods, omega six grains, a lot of pro inflammatory foods, those could also drive it too.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I would say there’s probably an autoimmune component to right if you’ve got Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis or something like that, that may elevate that. And I know some of the stuff we talked about, if you try to take our conversation and put it in front of your GI doctor, they may not follow us on some of this stuff. But they will follow us on the calprotectin. I mean, that’s a pretty common marker that it’s going to be tested in conventional gastroenterology. So if you’re trying to like educate your doctor, if they’re willing, enable cool, you know, send them this podcast, hopefully, they’re open to integrating some of these things into their practice. But often, we’ve had many people that have been the GI doctors, 5 10 15 doctors before they come to somebody like us. And unfortunately, they’ve had very poor testing, and they’ve had very poor treatment. That’s why they’re still needing help. And we’re usually at the end of the rope, which you would think puts a ton of pressure on us, but I think you and I are used to and I actually enjoy it. Because in contrast, what we do makes the other people look silly, and our success rate is so good that it’s really it’s a blessing to be able to have some of these tools on hand. And it’s really fun and inspiring to be able to give people hope. And some of these chronic gi issues like heartburn or reflux or GERD, or some of these esophageal problems like what they call like issues with the LES to lower esophageal sphincter that can become very traumatic. And people think that surgery or drug is the answer. But we don’t have to go there in the majority of cases.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And also, when you start to have you know, a lot of dyspepsia, that’s like the bloating, that’s the nausea, the burping the belching, when you start to have that, right, that lack of acidity in the intestines, if you have a lack of acidity, you also have a lack of enzymes more than likely because acidity is an important trigger for enzyme activation, right, because a lot of our enzymes are pH sensitive. So if you don’t have a nice low pH, they’re not going to activate and also that bacterial overgrowth, and you can look at bacterial overgrowth in the stomach usually be a glucose breath test. Now, the conventional breath test that we use for like SIBO is we’ll use a lactulose blood test, or lactulose breath test where you swallow a lactose solution. And then you’re gonna, you’re going to blow into a bag, and you’re going to get a baseline and then you’re going to swallow the lactose solution, and you’re going to blow every 20 minutes. And you can sometimes see an increase in gas that first 20 to 40 minutes, usually being reflective of the stomach area, usually in that first 120 minutes gives you more of the small intestine. And if you do a glucose breath test, that’s going to give you more of a window into what’s happening in the stomach. Now, typically, what we do is i’m doing more of a store test and I’m getting a global look at bacterial overgrowth in the intestinal tract as a whole. Obviously, when we’re testing stool, it’s all moving through the intestine. So you can’t say Oh, that bacteria is in that part of the intestine or that part of the colon or that part of the stomach, you can’t really do that because it’s all moving its way out and getting mixed up, right. So a breath test could be helpful for that. Now, for me, it doesn’t necessarily change a lot what I’m going to do, because if I see him does a lot of klebsiella or citrobacter, or I see some h pylori or I see a lot of organic acids showing him parade or fenzbenzoate right are two three phenolacetate, right different markers indican. And that tells me we got some problem especially indicate indicates one of those bacterial overgrowth markers that also has to do with more increased putrefy protein. So that’s going to be a good indication that there’s some stomach issue going on and dyspepsia issue going on. So if I see that that’s going to gear me in that direction to be focused on addressing the stomach. And when we do herbs, guess what you can’t just target one part of the intestine, when you give these herbs is going to move its way through. Some of these herbs are going to target things more specific to h pylori like mastic gum or bismuth. But obviously, some of those are still going to have general antimicrobial benefits that will move down the entire intestinal tract. And some even have anti parasitic benefits too. So it’s hard to just target things we do know there’s a history of herbs that tend to be more selective to certain things in the intestinal tract.
Evan Brand: Yeah, great, great, great segue to into the herbs. So let’s go into that now. And we’ll be providing some links, we’ll put them in the show notes. We’ll put them in your podcast app. So if you’re listening on your iPhone, you should be able to check if you’re on Justin’s podcast listening, you should see some links for his products. If you’re on mine, you should see mine we have custom formulas that we’ve created in partnership with professional healthcare company so we don’t use any kind of consumer manufacturing. Most supplement companies, they gather products from around the world and they just label them up in a warehouse and ship them out. But they’re not professional. So there’s typically not as much tests. If any testing at all purity potency, those kind of things are not well tracked, we’re very anal about what we do, because we have to get results clinically. And if we don’t, then people don’t get better, and they don’t come to us. So we have a legitimate reason we have to be of the utmost quality. This is stuff that you can’t get through consumer, like Whole Foods, places, or Amazon, these are professional so that that’s, you know, just a little bit about quality. But in terms of the stuff we’re using, as you mentioned, we have different blends. So sometimes we’re going to go with more of like a mastic gum, clove berberine, Wild Indigo blend, these are things that can be both anti inflammatory, anti microbial, anti antifungal, anti parasitic, and then we have some where we’ve got a little bit of gut healing nutrients, like we might throw in a little bit of some dgl into the blends. So now we’re doing two things at once, which is great, we’re killing but we’re also soothing the gut lining, which is probably so irritated, as you mentioned, this thing is thinned out from the infection itself. And then we go into more of the antifungals, too. So we may stack. If we see on the organic acids, you’ve got an anti fungal need, then we’ll throw that into on top of the anti microbial need. And that’s where the magic really happens. There’s a synergistic effect. So rarely Are we going to come in with just oregano oil or just garlic, we’re likely going to use a combination of possibly 510 or even more herbs. And then if you want to comment on that, and then let’s get into the the question of like, where do probiotics fit into this equation? What about digestive enzymes and increasing stomach acid? Where does that fit into this equation? So if you want to hit on the herbs at all, then let’s transition.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, so first off, I think people come in with stomach issues saying, Hey, I have an H. pylori issue. And that’s it. So I think, one you have the right to have more than one infection or gut imbalances happening at the same time. So it’s really important don’t get myopically focused on one infection, there’s probably multiple issues. You could have h pylori, you could have some level of bacterial overgrowth that involve other types of infections, like klebsiella, or Pseudomonas or citrobacter. You could have a fungal overgrowth, you could have a parasite infection, as well. So all those things can be present. And also, you’re probably going to have a lot of dyspepsia where you’re having bloating, nausea, indigestion because you’re not breaking down your foods adequately. So you’re going to need to follow my six R’s right and moving the bad foods and again, that could be different for everyone. Some people that could be a paleo template, others it could be an autoimmune, it could be a low fodmap template as well could be a low histamine could be a gassers SCD template. So there’s different templates we’re going to plug in, depending on how sick or how chronic this issue is. And then number two, we’re working on enzymes and acids to really work on digesting things better. And again, acids tend to be anti microbial. Also, bile acids, which are produced by your gallbladder are also anti microbial. So if you have biliary insufficiency, you’re not breaking down your fats, inadequate levels of bile salts will create a a more hospitable environment for bad bugs to grow. So that’s the second are placed enzymes, acids, bile salts, third are repairing the gut lining and supporting the adrenals and the hormones because the adrenals help really provide a good anti inflammatory environment. So if you have imbalances in your cortisol function, you may have a lot of inflammation that’s not being managed by your adrenals. And then of course, on the repair side, you kind of hit it earlier. Some of the repair nutrients that we’re going to use maybe glycine could be L glutamine, it could be zinc. Zinc is very helpful. A lot of studies showing that to be very helpful with gut permeability. I would say DGL licorice, aloe okra, vitamin A. These are really important nutrients that come down the gut lining early I also like ginger and manuka honey. Manuka is used in hospitals in burn units, because it’s very anti inflammatory. So I like a little bit of manuka honey, and my ginger juice tea recipe is wonderful. Any comments on that?
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s delicious. I’m a huge fan, too. And the good news is, depending on what’s going on, you could start soothing the gut a bit early. So as you mentioned, there is kind of an order of operations. But depending on the case, if someone’s in real bad shape, we may come in with some of those soothing nutrients early. Let’s talk about probiotics, too, because this is a confusing one for a lot of people. They just hear online, a podcast, a blog, a website, they’ll hear probiotics, probiotics, I think it’s time to just throw it in. And a lot of people have a bad reaction to that. I think we actually did a whole podcast on this, like when and why probiotics may make you feel worse, but why don’t you give us just some sparknotes on that, when and why and how do we integrate probiotics entities.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So people tend to have stomach issues in general because they have this bacterial overgrowth in the gut, that’s going to affect the esophageal sphincter from closing. They also have a lack of enzymes and acids. So the food’s rotting, it’s putrifying, and transfer defying and creating lots of different gases as a result. Now, people tend to have a lot of bad bacteria in their gut, they tend to be very sensitive to fodmaps fermentable carbohydrates, fructose, oligo, disaccharide, mono and polyols. And again, probiotics tend to have fodmaps in it because probiotics are inherently fermentable right fermentation breeds bacteria, good bacteria growth, they can also breathe bad bacteria growth, right? And so if you’re consuming a lot of probiotics and you have a lot of bad bugs, it can really create a feeding frenzy just like throwing chum in the water. When there’s sharks around. It creates a feeding frenzy. If you go to your local Lake, I go down to Lake Austin and start chumming the water, right? Well, there’s no sharks down there. So you’re not gonna see any sharks come in, right. And so think of probiotics and a lot of fermented bowls. They may be reasonably good and healthy for you. But if you have sharks in that water, and you chum the water, you just create a feeding frenzy.
Evan Brand: Wow. And that you’re saying, with probiotics, you’re not necessarily even talking about prebiotics?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Again, people that have more extreme fodmap and SIBO sensitivity. That’s where probiotics start to become more of an issue. You can still have some SIBO and fodmap sensitivity, and you may not get rise to the level where probiotics are problem, right? So people that are out there and having problems with their kombucha or their sauerkraut, you know, it could also be a histamine issue, because probiotics and fermentable are also high in histamine so they could dovetail and be a couple of different things happening at the same time. Either way, if that’s the case, we still have to work on fodmap restriction, because when we deal with gut bacterial issues, we starve on one side with diet changes. We kill on the other side with specific antimicrobials, and then we crowd out and overpopulate on the last component so we we starve kill and crowd.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s great. And then the saccharomyces comes into the equation too, right? Which is kind of marketed and sold as a probiotic, but technically is a beneficial yeast, I love saccharomyces it’s something-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It crowds out it crowds out so it has beneficial effects of crowding out and also is shown to be very anti cdiff. Anti h pylori, anti blasto and it has immunomodulating benefits increasing IGA levels too.
Evan Brand: Yeah, we love saccharomyces it helps them mycotoxins too. I’ve seen it in a lot of people. And when I talk with Dr. Nathan, who is a guy who treats a lot of mold patients, he talked about saccharomyces being great for specifically, I think it’s actually metabolizing, or changing the structure of the mycotoxins to make them more water soluble, but there may be sort of a crowding out effect with the mole too. So it’s just a great overall thing. So if you’re working on a gut healing protocol, and you haven’t used saccharomyces, that may be something to chat with your practitioner about, it may be something great to add in.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, I like it, that makes a lot of sense to me. So when we have that upper left quadrant pain, right, your stomach for the most part is going to be just right in usually this area here. So this is kind of your, this point right here is your HCl point. And this points more of your enzyme point. So like pancreas, small intestine is like really right here, stomach’s usually going to be right in this area here. And then you have the esophagus, going up here, obviously, right, and then this esophageal sphincter can stay open. When we don’t have enough acidity and we have bacterial overgrowth, then you can have a lot of that regurge of that reflux happening when we have inadequate levels of assets. So one thing if you kind of take your hand right here, and you follow the sternum down, right, we’re kind of tucks into the left, if you rub it a little bit, and it’s a little bit sensitive. That points normally sensitive anyway, but if it’s really heightened, is a chance there’s inadequate levels of HCl in the stomach. So that’s a good little kind of pressure point there.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and people listening that can’t see he’s showing this down right there at the sternum, and then you can follow the rib line down to the left, or you could follow it down to the right, and you could check both sides. That’s a really cool thing that you can do in person when you’re working with the practitioners, you can palpate these points. And I remember when I was in one of my schooling lessons, we were with the teacher, and we had a lady who lay down on the table and everybody was coming up and palpating and man, this lady about jumped off the table when we hit that HCl point. So of course, we didn’t have a stool test on her but man, I bet she had some infection going on.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and it’s good to rub that and then you can kind of rub a couple other spots to see if it really is heightened and then you can also start start treatment. Right, make diet changes, add in support, right? start addressing microbials down the road and see if that changes but again, the biggest thing I really want to highlight for people listening, we live in this antibiotic culture today, right you have an infection, antibiotics, antibiotics, antibiotics, and so what tends to happen as people are in kind of my six are step right the fourth are is moving the bugs right? replace the net or remove the bad foods replace the enzymes and acids and bile salts, repair the gut lining and the hormones remove the infections, repopulate good bacteria, pre probiotics, retest that fourth Rs a movie infections, people go to this first. We live in this like, antibiotic generation people are programmed Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, it’s the biggest mistake you can make. Some people can get away with it. If you’re really healthy and you don’t have an overabundance of inflammation, you can get away with it. Most can’t. And they end up creating a whole bunch of problems. And I tell my patients the first rule of functional medicine right the first rule of Fight Club is don’t make yourself more sick. It’s really important So that’s why that fourth R where that remove that second remove right the first removes the food. Right. The fourth R the second remove is removing the infections, we do it in that order, because we’re trying to calm down the immune system, trying to support our anti inflammatory system so they can deal with inflammation and stress better. We’re working on digesting and breaking down our food or working on motility that allows us set the table so we can come in there and wipe out the bad bucks.
Evan Brand: Yeah, he kind of alluded to it. But just to make it clear, you’re actually improving your immune system by clearing out these infections. And some of these herbs we’re using may have immune supportive benefits too. So that’s just the real joy of what we do is you’re boosting the immune system, you’re letting the gut heal by removing the infections. It’s just amazing. And when you get the spouse involved too, like if you’re seeing a rebound case where husband feels great and then the wife sick and back and forth, you know, they may be passing the H pylori between each other even children who I mean I was sharing water bottles with summer my daughter when she was two, I tested her when she was two she had real high H. pylori. So I’m convinced I may have given it to her, I don’t know. But luckily, we did herbs and she’s in good shape now. And when we retested her the H pylori is gone. So I’m glad that we’re able to get it resolved. But this is a problem that affects kids. So like when someone hears heartburn, they automatically picture old Betty sitting in the wheelchair with the gray hair and she’s got indigestion she’s got her santech in her hand. No, it’s not just her. I mean, this could be two years old, this could be 10 15 20 30 40 years old. So don’t discriminate. This bacteria does not care what you look like and how big or small your or anything. This is a bacteria that affects all people across the population. So if you have these issues, get tested, don’t guess. And if you need help clinically reach out we work on this issue all the time, it’s one of my favorite things to do is work on these gut infections. So if you need help clinically, we work around the world with people we send testing to your home, you do the labs, we get them back to the lab for reporting. And we jump on a call like we’re doing now and we talk about it and we help you make a protocol help you fix your issues once and for all. So if you want to reach out to Justin, you can have his website, JustinHealth.com. If you want to reach out to me, EvanBrand.com and like I mentioned, we’ve got some links, we’ve got some gut healing products and some things that we’re okay with you guessing on, there are a couple of things you could do out of the gate. But ultimately, you need to know what you’re up against. Because as we alluded to, you may not have just h pylori, you may have other infections. So coming in with the glutamine, the zinc carnosine, that lm that kind of stuff that kameel, the ginger, the Manuka, it’s awesome. But that may not be the right order of operations, it may help you by some time, but you got to clear the bugs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and there’s a lot of studies out there looking at H. pylori, for instance, with a lot of mood and stress and depression and anxiety related conditions. And they find that when a lot of the H pylori is addressed, some of these changes occur as well with these issues improve or they talk about antidepressant drugs working better now. Now, why is that happening? Now, I believe the reason why it’s happening is because when you address some of these bacterial overgrowth, you’re absorbing your nutrients better, you’re absorbing your protein, you’re absorbing your fat, and in some cases, probably absorbing their drugs better, so they work better because they’re in their system. Now, I personally believe if you’re not breaking down your proteins and your fats, these are functional building blocks for your neurotransmitters, that you’re going to have some issues in regards to your mood and your cognitive function and potentially energy because a lot of the nutrients and minerals and B vitamins have to get absorbed that way too. So if you have issues with your gut, don’t just think hey, this is just a gut issue. Therefore my only symptoms are dyspepsia bloating, gas, nausea, constipation, depression, diarrhea, you could have fatigue, you could have cognitive issues, you could have mood issues, depression, anxiety, sleep, right. So we have to get kind of outside of the we have to go into the extra intestinal world meaning symptoms outside of just your gut related symptoms. And so it’s possible if you’ve h pylori, you may only have fatigue and mood issues, and sleep and it’s very possible. So you don’t want to just get hung up on the digestive symptoms thinking I’m okay. You could have things outside of the gut area.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and you don’t even recognize it. And the psychiatrist is certainly not going to suggest that our anxiety and depression is an H pylori infection. And that was it for me. I mean, I had panic attacks and anxiety. I mean, I was a wreck when I had gut infections. I will tell you personally, and clinically, I’ve seen the link between mood issues and gut issues. And I had a lady that I had maybe the last two months, I did not give her any anti depressant herbs at all. All we did is work on her gut and within six weeks, she said her depression was 90% better. And she just said it kind of nonchalantly and I’m like you said you were depressed for 20 years during our initial call or you’re not realizing what we’ve done in six weeks just by working on your gut. We’ve as you self reported a 90% reduction in depression which you’ve had for 20 years. That is insane. That should be on the Billboard. That’s Beyond the headline news, but I think there’s just some ignorance about the link between gut and mood issues. So hopefully the psychiatric world and the gastroenterology world can start to get more integrated because right now they’re still very, very separate which is no good for the population.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, here’s an article in the get the Journal of gastroenterology research and practice. It’s called the rule of H. pylori, and regulating hormones and functional dyspepsia. So if you get right to it, it says H. pylori strains have been shown to affect the secretion of several hormones including five five hyphen ht or five HTP. That’s the serotonin melatonin precursor ghrelin which affects mood and appetite, dopamine gastrin, which affects HDL levels. So and then has, it might be the cause of psychological disorders of functional dyspepsia. So, essentially, there’s a strong connection with H. pylori hormones, and a lot of the neurotransmitters and appetite regulating compounds so really important, right, H. pylori, we have to go above and beyond just thinking this is a digestive issue. It can affect mood, energy, sleep, and of course, hormones as well.
Evan Brand: You and I talked about this kind of like we’re just like tying our shoes and cooking some breakfast. Would you have for breakfast today? Oh, I had some pastured eggs and bacon and sausage. What about you? Oh, yeah, handful of some avocado because, like we talked about it, like it’s just so nonchalant. But I mean, if this were to be the headline news, like you and I, this podcast we just ate if this were to be like, the trending thing of the week and 300 million people heard this. I mean, we could put a huge dent in the world, I think we’re doing a great job. We’ve got good numbers, but my God, if this was like the trending interview of the week, I mean, just imagine people would have so much more hope for their mental health, their physical health, their heartburn. This is empowering stuff here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And don’t expect your conventional medical doctor to know about this stuff unless they’ve gone through more integrative kind of nutritional, natural, functional type of continuing education. Most dermatologists don’t even understand that your skin has a direct connection with your diet, right? They still have pamphlets in the dermatologists office saying what you eat has nothing to do with your skin. Most people that have eaten crappy and change their diet to be much more healthy, they can tell you one of the benefits you see is your skin, right? We know inflammation, and oil secretions all have a major effect with inflammation, grains and six junky carbs. While Same thing with our gut, there’s that same level of disconnect all throughout medicine, because each, let’s say medical specialty only knows their thing. And you know, when you’re working 60 to 80 hours a week, you’re not going to have the time to really keep up with the literature and what’s happening. And, you know, if you’re relying on your medical school training, well, typically that information has to be around for 20 or 30 years before it gets into a medical school curriculum. So what you’re getting in medical schools, and they’ll be 20 to 30 years behind probably at least 20 years behind time. So don’t expect your doctor to be in the loop on this thing. So you got to really go outside of the box and, and educate.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, I’ve got a very close family member who has a nanny for a well respected neurologist, and the neurologist home is filled with frickin mold. And no wonder the kid has a lot of issues and no wonder the mom has gut issues and the dad has brain fog and everyone’s exhausted and they don’t sleep good and they have skin issues. It’s like your neurologist, those are mycotoxins. Those are killing your brain. Do you not know it? Nope. She doesn’t know. It’s crazy, man. So hopefully we can continue to do good work like we’re doing and spread this word because man. Yeah, we’re still in the stone age’s and a lot of aspects.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, no, I think we’re on top of it. Well, if you guys enjoy today’s podcast, we really appreciate it, head over to EvanBrand.com or JustinHealth.com. You can subscribe to our email list. You can become a patient we work with patients all over the world happy to help you. Especially in the day and age the last year how things have gotten more virtual. It’s great to have access to good clinicians and doctors, virtually so we can provide that for you. And if you enjoyed today’s podcast, write us a review. Click Below the link you’ll see a link for a review, write us a review. And also share this with friends and family. We appreciate it Sharing is caring. If you enjoyed it today, apply one thing, share it with one person that you love that could help them. Evan anything else?
Evan Brand: No, that’s it. You did a great job and we’ll be in touch next week. So take it easy and have a good one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have a good one y’all. Bye now.
Evan Brand: Bye bye.
Are You Sensitive to Antinutrients (Salicylates and Oxalates) in Plant Food? | Podcast #336
Food intolerance are very common problems that can be difficult to diagnose. In this video, Dr. J and Evan explain the causes and symptoms of salicylate oxalates sensitivity. Salicylates are compounds that you can find in foods, medications, and other products that can cause adverse reactions in intolerant ones. An intolerrance to these compounds is linked with a wide variety of symptoms, making it hard to identify. The most common symptoms involve the respiratory system. However, the skin and intestinal tract may also be affected.
Oxalates are often known as an anti-nutrient, as they tend to bind up some crucial nutrients in foods, which stops them from being fully absorbed. Intolerrance occurs in your body when the oxalates themselves are not detoxified from the body, allowing them to build up in the tissues. A low-oxalate diet is commonly advised for joint conditions including arthritis and gout and children on the spectrum.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:09 What are Antinutrients
4:15 Diet Templates
12:51 Carnivore based Diets
17:06 Root Causes on Inflammation
27:24 Magnesium Benefits
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s not the J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today we are going to be chatting about anti nutrients in food. Anti nutrients are one of these controversial topics because a lot of plants have a lot of nutrients in them, right blueberries, right? raspberries, a lot of these really good like spinach, spinach, things like that, right? But they have some of these things known as anti nutrients, whether it’s oxalates, or phytates, or salicylates, right, these are kind of under the overall umbrella of phenol, right polyphenols. And for people that are sensitive, and have gut issues and immune stress, this may be something that actually causes more harm than good. If you have good gut health, the nutrients in those food are going to be obviously beneficial. So it just depends kind of where you sit in that scale. But today, we’re gonna dive in and break it down. Evan, how are we doing today, man?
Evan Brand: I’m doing really well. And I’ll tell a quick story. And then we’ll dive into this thing. So I noticed that my daughter was complaining after I gave her blueberries we do some organic wild blueberries, I may give those to her just on a plate just as a snack or I may just put those in a smoothie and we’ll do like some grass fed beef peptides. And then I noticed she said, Daddy, my tummy hurts. And I thought, huh, that’s interesting. And I correlated it to the blueberries. And upon researching into salicylates, the quote, very high category of salicylate foods would be blueberries, cherries, blackberries, apricots, orange, pineapple, raisin, strawberries, tangerines, and then lower than that, like high but not very high. You got apples, you have avocados, you have Mandarin, nectarine, passion fruit, peach, and then like your very, very low. salicylates would be like pear or banana, or Papa, which we have here. A lot of pawpaw trees in Kentucky. That’s kind of a native fruit. They’re kind of weird. But some people really, really like them. That’s what Yeah, yeah, they’re cool. They’re cool tree. But it’s a pretty short tree, and they’ve got a pawpaw fruit on it. It’s kind of interesting thing. But anyhow. So long story short, I’ve determined there’s definitely a trigger. And totally, we’ve talked about this before, with like paleo and more carnivore type diets. The idea is that if you just go more meat based animal based diet, you’re really pulling a lot of these anti nutrients out. And that’s why people feel better. But that still doesn’t get to the root cause of why you’re having the intolerance in the first place. So I think that’s important, you and I eventually get to that, I think it’s good. We’re gonna give some backstory and education. But I think it’s important to point out early on here that if you have a sensitivity to these foods, it’s not to mean that you can’t or shouldn’t eat those foods. It’s you got to figure out why are you so sensitive, and there are some big root causes we’re going to dive into?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Now. I just I like to, I like to have a lot of common sense. Try to be like the mayor of Rio Ville here, right? So if you’re coming in, and you’re listening to this podcast, and you’re on like a standard American diets, so to speak, don’t worry about it. We’re just trying to get you to eat whole foods that are nutrient dense, anti inflammatory, and low toxin like that’s our first step out of the gates. This is all window dressing, right? So once you’ve been doing the right diet, doing the right thing, and you’re still having some gut issues, some immune issues, this is kind of where we’re going to come in and fine tune things after the fact. So if you’re coming in, and you’re like, Man, this is like killing me. I can’t eat blueberries, like everyone’s telling me blueberries are healthy, what the heck, right? I get it, that can be really overwhelming. So don’t worry about that out of the gates just really get a good nutrient dense anti inflammatory, low toxin. Get your carbs and check out of the gate. Start with that before you do any thing. Else. Any comments on that evidence?
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. And if you’re coming in, and you’re new to the diet game, nutrition game, really just organic as much as possible. And paleo is going to be a great starting place for you. We don’t want you to be afraid of certain foods or certain food categories. This is more of like a nutrition 301 nutrition 401 level courses is like a college level nutrition course. Because if you come in, and now like you said, You’re afraid of blueberries, you’re going to be too stressed. So these are this is more designed for people that are maybe working with us clinically, or they’re working with another, you know, functional medicine practitioner, and they’re maybe still teasing apart some things that are irritating them. This is going to be for you guys.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So 90% of people are going to go on some kind of a paleo or autoimmune template, and that’s going to be enough, right? Others are going to have to do things like cooking the food can decrease some of these anti nutrients, it can decrease some of the oxalates some of the salicylates some of the fight dates, right? We know things like knots are very high in fight dates. For instance, you know, soaking those can be helpful. Obviously, going on an autoimmune diet, we’re going to restrict knots, right. So kind of going autoimmune. We’re going to be restricting a lot of these foods just in general, going paleo you kind of restrict a lot of them because there’s a lot of anti nutrients in grains. So grains are going to be a big anti nutrient one beans and lentils are going to be a big anti nutrient one. So just by kind of getting on board of a paleo template where we’re cutting out grains, legumes and dairy. Maybe we have some meats and Vegetables and Fruits and safe starches, safe searches or grain free searches. And maybe some fats, including some dairy, that’s great, we may have to go one level up where we restrict even butter and dairy, and of course, even nuts and seeds, right. And then of course, after that, we may have to be doing extra things like restricting fodmaps, because of the fermentable carbohydrates that are in some of these healthy foods like broccoli and brussel sprouts. And again, the reason why these foods have to be restricted is not because the foods themselves are bad, but because it’s more of the gut, your micro biomes interaction with those foods that are the problem. So if we have bacterial overgrowth, right, and you’re interacting with these foods, then you’re going to be creating lots of gases in your intestinal tract like methane and hydrogen that are going to throw off your your motility that are going to make it harder to digest your food to absorb your food to break down protein to break down fat. So it can really throw off a lot of these different things. So I always tell patients out of the gate, the goal is to eat the right foods that allow you to feel as good as possible, not add more stress on your body. And ideally, your body can break them down because healthy foods not broken down. They ferment they are instead of phi. They putrefy and they basically rot inside your tummy and that’s not good. So we have to have those kind of things lined up and some people with autoimmune stuff, we have to go and restrict the salicylates or the oxalates. And again, for instance, I see a lot of chronic eczema patients. Sometimes we really have to go low salicylates. On XM. I see that a lot with eczema. salicylates are a big one. So I have a handout that I use a patient’s pull it up here in a second, where we kind of work on restricting a lot of the salicylates and potentially some of the oxalates. If we see a lot of vulvodynia, like just random, like joint pain, tissue pain, a lot of times those oxalate crystals can get into that tissue and really create inflammation. And we can assess that with a specific organic acid test and Opus oxalates there. And we can also look at a lot of the underlying skin stuff that we see there’s a lot of chronic eczema that’s not getting better with an autoimmune diet, we may look at going low solicited as well. So there’s a lot of different tools we have in our tool bag. But all of it comes back to the gut, we have to work on the six hours and moving the bad foods, we may have to go deeper, like I mentioned with the other foods with cooking the foods really well. Nothing wrong, really working on enzymes and acids and bile support really working on gut healing support, anti inflammatory support, that’s gonna be the foundation before we go in and address gut killing, because gut killing can be stressful on the gut, and you have to have those first two to three hours lined up to mitigate damage.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and you brought up the organic acids test we’ve seen to clinically the correlation between candida overgrowth and oxalates being high. So interestingly enough, when we come in and we use a protocol, like you’re mentioning, will come in and address gut infections, whether it’s parasites, worms, H. pylori, fungal overgrowth, we’ll see those oxalate markers come down quite a bit. So in a lot of cases where people are sensitive to these food groups, finding the gut infections, and then fixing those gut infections can reduce the sensitivity. So this is the problem I have with people that are just strictly nutritionist is they can avoid going deep enough. And you could just keep tweaking the diet and Someone may say yeah, I feel better with low salicylate low oxalate, and then they think that’s just their life sentence. But that’s really boring over time. And I think there are beneficial antioxidants in the foods that you will miss out on. So I think it is important to be able to have a very diet. I’m a huge fan of animal based diet, but I’m still wanting to do some nuts and seeds and blueberries and maybe some starch here and there. Here’s one interesting thing I wanted to read, which is that excess salicylates work similarly in the body as oxalates that they both can lead to inflammation. And what they’re going to do is they’re going to create the overproduction of leukotrienes. And these are inflammatory mediators that can increase the risk of health issues like asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. And you also mentioned skin issues. So I’m sure the histamine connection is is definitely part of it, too. And that’s why we see benefit with things like course attend or natural anti histamines with these type of people, they tend to do better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. Because what you’re having, we’re having a major effect on modulating the immune system. So that makes a big difference, right. And then of course, making sure we’re able to break down our foods using things like an instant pot to help break down the foods. Be careful of things like crock pots just because the longer cooking can increase histamine. A lot of people who are sensitive to these females or salicylates or oxalates, or fight dates, they also tend to be histamine sensitive. So it’s kind of it’s overwhelming for people out of the gates that have a lot of immune imbalances because they really have to restrict a lot of stuff. And so, you know, some have to go to carnivore, they need fresher meats, they need to cook it up in a more fast way. And we did not have a lot of leftovers hanging around for days later because of the histamine accumulation. So those are the things you got to be very, very careful of. Also people feel better fasting, that’s also a good sign. When you’re fasting, you’re not eating any food. So you’re also not eating the things that are making you sick either. And so a lot of times, part of the reason why fasting is great for a lot of people isn’t just necessarily because of the cellular autophagy and the insulin resistance and all those mtorr pathways, you know, being reduced. It’s, you’re just not eating things that are making you sick, even if they’re healthy things, you know, like blueberries and your daughter, for instance, no one will be like, Oh, that’s like, that’s like junk food, of course that make her sick. No, that wouldn’t go on most people’s radar screens, but we know that there’s some anti nutrients that could be a driving factor in that.
Evan Brand: It’s interesting how berries, if you think of the just amazing evolution of fruit, and you think of the most vulnerable, most soft, easily ruined fruit, you’re going to think of the berries. I mean, you think of raspberries, I mean, I’ve seen countless times where I pick them up at the store at a farmers market. And man those things in less than a week those things are going moldy, they’re getting soft and gooey. So make sense why salicylates are so high in the berries, because essentially what it is, is a natural pesticide, and it’s an antifungal. So the goal is, the plant is trying to protect itself so that it can get to the proper stage and development that it wants to. So what does it do? Well, it doesn’t have teeth to bite the offender. So it has to create some sort of mechanism. And that mechanism is salicylates to protect it versus something like an avocado. It’s got that nice outer shell protecting it. So it doesn’t have to be as high in salicylates because it’s already protected. So that’s just a really cool thing to think about how nature works.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then animals don’t have any of that, because animals have teeth and the ability to you know, fight back from a certain bit. So you have less anti nutrients on the animal side. And that’s why you see a lot of these carnivore groups pop up that are like, Oh my gosh, like look at all the my autoimmunity is reversed. Why? Well, it’s because animals don’t have the need for anti nutrients because they have claws or hooves or can run and and can fight so to speak, right. And so you have less anti nutrients and a lot of these animal products. So when you see a lot of people reversing significant autoimmune condition with carnivore or semi carnivore diets. And again, a carnivore diet is an autoimmune diet. It’s an it’s a low fodmap diet to it’s also those lists laid, so it’s low anti nutrient as well. But you see these stories, and the question is why? And most people, they’re very dogmatic about it. It’s like, Oh, no, it’s this diet. This is what did it and they don’t really understand the mechanism mechanism of what’s actually happening. biochemically and physiologically, they just kind of a look at it more like a religion than it is. But let’s just break down the science, right? Let’s look at reason, logic and evidence. And so the reason logic and evidence is reducing these anti nutrients. And then also we chatted about our show, a lot of times the salicylates and females and anti nutrients become more of a problem is when we have low sulfur a low glutathione to run a lot of our detoxification pathways. And a lot of times these sulfur nutrients have a major effect on modulating our immune system too.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well, here’s the interesting thing. You’ve got these people that are going on the diet, so I need to look them up. George St. Pierre, he’s a pretty- he’s a fighter, an MMA fighter. Yeah, yeah, he’s, uh, I don’t know if he still is, or if he’s retired, or what his deal is. But anyway, I’ve seen him posting that he’s gone to carnivore diet. He was doing like a 30 day carnivore challenge talking about how much better he feels. And he’s posting all these pictures of his, his steaks. And so like you said, it does become kind of religion, like, okay, it’s the vegan versus the meat group. But I think it’s more important to highlight, okay, he’s probably got something going on in his gut that’s driving his autoimmune issue, or whatever his issues were, that led him to more meat based diet. And you could do meat, meat, meat and remove all the anti nutrients, sure, but what did you not address and that’s the problem that I have is when people are gonna go and just eat a grass fed steak twice a day. And that’s it for their diet, or maybe a handful of this or that they’re still missing, the deeper thing. So let’s talk about that. Let’s dive into more of these bigger things. Because people are not going to investigate it, they’re just going to do the diet, they’re going to feel better and that’s as far as it goes, they’re never going to talk about what you and I are hitting on which is you mentioned.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ll just hit one more thread one more thread real fast people that would go on like let’s say a meat only diet or carnivore based diet, and they feel worse. Why is that right? They’re gonna just think oh, it’s the animal products is it it’s like no animal products are very taxing on your digestive system. So if you have an adequate C’s and HCl or enzymes or even bile salts, that weakness will be exposed by eating the meat cuz you may not have enough acid or enzyme or bile to break down that protein and fat. Therefore that foods going to feel like a brick in your stomach. You’re going to feel indigestion you’re going to feel bloated, you’re going to feel motility issues, and so that could throw you off too. So if you are going to go carnivore and make changes in these diets, low hanging fruit always is going to be how we cook the food, even if it’s plants, right because just steaming and putting our plants in some kind of a stew or soup, or just even roasting it way better than raw and then of course, enzymes and acids in between. By all of our stool is not being broken down. Well, if it’s floating, right, those are all signs of not breaking down fat. And so we have to really make sure those foundational pieces are addr essed.
Evan Brand: Oh yeah, that’s a great call. Because you’re going to have, you’re going to have a large percentage of the people that that do great. But then you’re going to have these people say, Oh, I tried carnivore, and I felt terrible on meats. It’s not the meats you’re pointing out, it’s not that I just want to say in a different way, it’s not necessarily the meats. That’s the problem. It’s your system can’t handle it. Everyone system can and should be able to handle meats. This is what we evolved to eat. But it’s it’s the matter of the underlying infection. So like the H. pylori, reducing the stomach acid, now you’ve got low HCl, you’re going to try to do meats, meats, meats, you’re probably going to be having tons of gas, you might have diarrhea, because you just simply can’t break down the the fat in the protein and you and I are going to measure this right? We’re not going to just say, hey, try this diet, or try that we’re going to do the testing to investigate and what we may see on the stool, we might see high, stouter crit, which is a fecal fat marker, we may see low pancreatic elastase, we may see high calprotectin. There’s gut inflammation, and then we may see these root causes which I want to transition into the bacterial overgrowth, the parasites, the worms, all these infections, which are disrupting the gut, creating the leaky gut, which is then allowing the histamines the oxalates the salicylates to become a problem. So let’s dive into one thing, which is mold toxin. We know that mold toxin is definitely going to affect detox ability and it can create a mast cell problem and I’ve dealt with mast cell problems myself I’m slowly but surely getting better and better and better by doing two things. Number one, eliminating the mold toxin using binders. And then number two stabilizing the mast cells using things like coarse attend, and other mast cell nutrients nettle can be helpful vitamin C to help degrade histamine do with food to help digest the histamine you’re putting in the diet. So I think toxins in general, maybe not just mold, but I think we could say toxins, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, anything that’s disrupting the gut is going to be important to to look for with testing and then to treat.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Yeah, especially if you can get to the root cause, right? If you’re in a moldy home right now, we got to look at that we got to address it. If you have high levels of mold out of the bat, but you’re not in a moldy home, it may be less important to jump on board with detoxification if you already have a lot of crappy digestion issues going on. Because we know a lot of molds going to be eliminated via the hepatobiliary system. So a lot of times we got a time up isn’t the appropriate time to really push and lean on detoxification. That’s an important thing. We live in a generation where we know if we have some kind of a toxin exposure or some kind of a gut, Bob, we want to go after that right now. And sometimes we got to set the table for it get the foundation moving, so we can manage that better.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. So let’s chat on the solver piece. You brought up sulfur. So what are things we can do to boost sulfur? Because this is going to help with the solicita a problem. And then also, you know, I know, you know, boosting sulfur is going to help with detox. Right? And it’s going to help boost glutathione production too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great question. Let me share my screen here. So you guys can see some stuff. Alright, so this is one of the eating plans that I made, you know, over the years, I’m changing it all the time for my patients to kind of help them give them good feedback. But the key thing is we got to have healthy levels of protein in every meal. All right. And so typically, I’m doing a palm to a fist to a full hand of protein. Now if I have someone coming in with really crappy digestion, and there may be a previous vegan, they may only be able to handle like one bite of like salmon or something, right. So this is like a general template, but it may not work for everyone. Depending on how bad your digestion is. I always tell patients, the worse your digestion is we lean to like gentle stews, and soups where it’s just easier on the body easy to handle. And I try to you know, eat enough. So someone can last about four to five hours. But sometimes if their digestion stinks, they may only be able to eat enough for two to three hours because a smaller amount of food less food in your tummy. And then you just come back more frequently, right? It’s not ideal in the you know, intermittent fasting insulin sensitivity world, right, because you want to have more time between meals and not be grazing all the time. But from a digestive health standpoint, that may be what’s necessary. And then in general, just to look at my eating plan here, healthy proteins, healthy carbs, right, and you can see some of the carbs that are going to be higher in fodmaps. Right, you can see some of the autoimmune foods that are in red, right. So we want to avoid the red the autoimmune foods, we want to be doing more of our non starchy vegetables without the F’s next to them, ideally cooked steamed sauteed and then avoiding some of the five maps right now, for my patients. I have an expandable fodmap handout here. So it’s just it’s more in depth right? You’ll see this come up in a second. This is helpful here is also a great app that I use for things that may be more nuanced called fodmap. A to Z that’s a great one. And then we use some of these oxalates like we’ll look at some of the like I try not to overthink it with the oxalates I just try to look at and say like what are the top three to five things that you’re doing? Maybe on the oxalate side or on the silver This late side, if they’re really sensitive, right, we may just jump onto a carnivore diet and automatically eliminate these, we may just look at these more specifically. And let’s just let’s highlight the ones that are the Most High. Right, and this is one given out by University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. But you can see, we just try to look at the high ones and try to just replace them with a low one. If we’re seeing someone like let’s say, consume a lot of teas, right? or seeing someone do a lot of nuts, right. And again, if you do like an autoimmune paleo template, guess what happens, you’re already cutting out all majority cutting out nuts, you’re already cutting out soy, right? So a lot of times we get a reduction, doing some of like, you know, the the templates that I talked about here, my meal map, just naturally, okay. And then of course, if we have a lot of eczema issues, we may also be looking at this as well and trying to look at some of the higher salicylate foods here. And again, it gets overwhelming. So if you’re, like I mentioned earlier, if you’re coming into this with a standard American diet, and you’re not that great to begin with, don’t worry about this, like, forget about it, just get a good foundation, once the foundation solid, and you’re not quite moving the needle. This is where you work with a practitioner to get to the next level. So I just don’t want anyone coming in that doesn’t have a great day and looks at this. And it’s like holy crap, like, forget this. This is too confusing. Don’t worry about that. Push that aside. This is for people that are already kind of flatlined on that and there are options.
Evan Brand: Agreed. Yeah, well, you mentioned AIP is going to be eliminating a lot of this stuff anyway. So really, we’re talking about just other terms, other names for diets that have tons of overlap. That’s the key thing that’s coming out of this is like whether it’s animal based, whether it’s full carnivore, whether it’s autoimmune. There’s so many overlapping things that are happening, you’re reducing toxins, you’re reducing anti nutrients, overall, you’re going organic as much as possible. So I think it’s important for people not to get caught up on the name or the term of what, quote, diet you’re eating, we just want you to focus on what is going to make you feel the best. And in general, that’s going to be organic pastured meats. And like you mentioned, if you’re coming as a vegetarian, vegan, maybe you can only do a bite of a grass fed burger at first, then we uncover you have all these gut infections. Now we fix the gut infections boost up acid and enzymes. Now you could do a whole grass fed burger and you feel better than ever, compared to your 20 years of being vegetarian, for example. 100%. Let’s go back to the sulfur though, those handouts were helpful. Let’s go back to sulfur for a minute though, things that we can do we know like foods, for example. So like onions, garlic, which these may be fodmap foods, right? So then we’re going to coach you through this if we’re working with you, but we want to go higher sulfur, so eggs are going to be good if you tolerate those, if you’re on AIP, obviously, you’re not so eggs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So out of the out of the gate here, like your proteins are going to be excellent for sulfur, right? They’re going to be very high in cysteine. And a lot of the sulfur based amino acids, so any of your fish eggs, if we can do it, darker cut meats are going to be higher, better in a lot of the sulfur amino acids, some of the vegetables that are going to be more sulfur rich, they also may be higher and fodmap. So you have to look at that collard greens, kale, they may be good, but they may also have some of these extra salicylates in there. So we have to look at the vegetable component. And we have to look at the meat component. So the easiest thing out of the gate with silver is just meat if we’re sensitive, because we’re not going to get the anti nutrients on the meat slash protein side. And the key thing is if we have digestive issues, we really have to lean on enzymes and acids, and maybe bile if our stools floating or it’s taking excessive wipes to kind of clean yourself after number two. So we got to look at those things right got to make sure we’re breaking everything down out of the gates there. And then outside of that, just making sure motility is good. If you start eating more protein it like start moving in the carnivore side, you may not have passed as much stool just because a lot of this is going to be reabsorbed and not necessarily come out via fiber in your stool. So stool kind of motility may drop a little bit and that may be on the normal side. Anything else you want to highlight here Evan?
Evan Brand: Yeah, well, here’s something interesting the point that we kind of have this convergence of diets and it really just shows how sick and symptomatic the population is because AIP used to be good enough. And now people are taking it to what I would consider almost more extreme level where they’re literally just doing meats. And of course hopefully a lot of those people can do more animal based which is what I would say my diet is animal based but then I have other foods. But man if everyone is having to go from us to AIP used to clear everybody up now we got to go carnivore to clear people up that just goes to show just how sick as a population we really are, it’s really quite alarming.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It is absolutely is and people need to remember like animal products are nutrient dense. So if we’re just relying on muscle meat, that’s okay, if you’re going more carnivore, try to lean into some bone broth if you can try to do a little bit of work in meat or at least some origami capsules. And you really got to be careful with getting extra enough magnesium and potassium because a lot of times those are going to be more in your green vegetables and plant in plant foods. So if you’re going to be decreasing some of those things, you just got to make sure supplemental You have a good magnesium potassium support. You’re putting a lot of sea salt in your water and or on your meat when you’re seasoning. And so just got to be careful with those electrolyte things which can be easily missed.
Evan Brand: Yeah. So how do you boost sulfur to help the salicylate problem we hit on the proteins, we hit on some of the other foods like maybe some garlic, baby, some onion, some broccoli, things that are going to give m-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and those are going to be high in fodmaps. So again, we have to dovetail that this is where having a clinician than a help adding an HCl adding an enzymes being able to break down those foods, adding in collagen, amino acids or bone broth, which is very high in glycine, which is very sulfur, we may need to add in some things like n acetylcysteine. Again, it may not be great out of the gates, NAC is also a biofilm buster. So a lot of the high sulfur stuff can also knock down biofilms for the bacteria. So it just depends kind of where people are out of the gate. So what I tend to do is add in some gentle collagen, amino acids, or some freeform amino acids in a capsule form, maybe some bone broth, you know, as long as there’s no histamine issues, and really lean on digestive support, I’m going to do that out of the gate. And then maybe when it’s time to do gut killing, maybe we’ll add in some extra and acetylcysteine or sulfur amino acids, whether it’s just straight NAC or I have a product called detox amino that has calcium digluconate in there, which is great for beta glucuronidation mold detoxification too, and has a lot of all the other glutathione and NAC and methionine and cysteine and taurine, all those good things. So it just depends out of the gates, maybe we’re just focusing on food, supplemental freeform amino acids, collagen, and really working on digestion.
Evan Brand: Yep. And if you’ve got a kid too, and you’re trying to work stuff into their system, and maybe a little harder Epsom salt bath could go a really long way. And then life is almost Bluetooth ion in a liquid form. So there are some really good like syrups and some things that you and I use clinically, which can be helpful. So it’s not mandatory that you go to the Bluetooth ion level. But that is a really good way to help a lot of different mechanisms because you’re going to be mobilizing and pushing toxins out and protecting them too. It’s a really powerful antioxidant. So we really like gluta fine for kids. And typically we’re going to go like a quarter of an adult dose depending on the weight of the kid. So if it’s a young kid we’re working with, you know, if a normal dose is a teaspoon, we may come in quarter teaspoon instead, or maybe we go half a teaspoon. And then also you mentioned magnesium, so we could do magnesium oil. You could do magnesium lotion, you could do magnesium drinks. If you could get your kid to drink some magnesium. There’s some good options there too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, magnesium is very helpful for brain inflammation. Right. Russell Blaylock, retired neurosurgeons talked about the fact that when he would give his patients magnesium post brain surgery, they healed exponentially faster compared to people, patients he didn’t give it to. So we know magnesium, very, very powerful brain inflammation. Obviously, if you have gut issues, doing Epsom salt bath absorbs it trans dermally, right. flotator flotation tanks, same thing, very helpful. And again, if you’re a mom or dad, and you’re listening to this, and you’re just trying to get your kids eat blueberries away from the crackers that do that first, right, do that first. I mean, he does a lot of studies on eating blueberries and some of these low sugar fruits and being incredibly anti inflammatory to the brain. Go there first. If you’re having a reaction, then we step it up into gear. So my son was born, I think it was it was last year, he was six months old. And he was having a lot of eczema issues. And we had to really work on going AIP and lo salicylates to get the eczema down. Now, once we worked on gut and digestion and good bacteria balance, we were able to add these foods back in, and it wasn’t as big of a deal. And when you’re younger, at that age, there’s some immune issues that tend to happen in that first year life until we were able to get through that point. And it was excellent. And it really never came back unless we eat certain foods that we know are not on his plan. But out of the gates, we had to be more restrictive with salicylates, and then we were able to pull back on that down the road.
Evan Brand: Well, the guts more leaky as a young baby like that anyway, right. So I think it’s somewhat normal to have to be a little bit more restricted with young kids because their guts are forming so they can really absorb all the breast milk. So I think you did a good job. And I think this is important to remind people that all these different tweaks, these are really just tools, but really, you got to get to the big thing here, which is a mast cell problem, generally a mast cell activation that’s causing you to be so darn sensitive, whether it’s chemical sensitivity you deal with, which could also be common. So if you have if you notice, you’re having salicylate oxalate problems, histamine problems, you could have maybe chemical sensitivity or other reactions as well. And you got to get to the root of it. For me, the root of it was tick bites and mold. And I’m slowly chipping away at those things. So I think you just got to keep dig digging deeper. Don’t just stop at the die and get the diet dialed in enough to have you stable. And then once you’re stable, you’re going to investigate these other things. Don’t just do diet and think that’s the end of the road for me. I’ll just never eat blueberries again. That’s not a way to live.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No. And again, those foods are relatively healthy and they’re very nutrient dense. There’s a lot of good phytonutrients in there. So if we can have it in and plus, you know, I’d much rather have my kids eat blueberries and crackers or any other sweets, that’s always better. So, yeah, so we got to, you know, we got to make sure we’re seeing the forest to the trees. You So we have a big picture where right we’re focused on what our what our goal is now but then what’s the big picture in the long run?
Yeah, so just to wrap up last, last thing on the testing front, we’re going to look at an organic acids on your we’re going to look at Candida, we’re going to measure oxalates. We’re going to look at bacterial overgrowth, we’re going to look at stool for any type of infections gut inflammation. We’re going to look at any type of pancreatic enzyme deficiencies we’re going to look at fat digestion problems, so just was stolen urine To be honest, I think you could get a ton of information.
100% man, why anyone listening and you guys enjoy the content. Please feel free and share it with family and friends. Give us a share on your social we really appreciate it. Put your comments below let us know what you’ve done that’s been helpful for you in the past. Also, if you want to reach out and get support from Evan and I we are available worldwide love to be able to help you. We’ll put links down below EvanBrand.com. Reach out to Evan. JustInHealth.com and reach out to Dr. J myself. We are here to help you ready to serve. You guys have a phenomenal weekend and we’ll be in touch. Take care now.
Evan Brand: Take care. Bye
What are the Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agents for Pain Relief
In general, we have our COX pathways. Now, Arachidonic acid can feed those pathways. A lot of excess, junky, refined Omega-6 from animal products can definitely feed those pathways. That sets the table like gas in the kitchen where a little spark can take it off.
Where to find anti-inflammatory agents:
- Natural herbs like ginger can help with COX-1.
- Fish oil is excellent for COX-2 at high doses. If you do high doses of fish oil, you can increase what’s called lipid peroxidation because fish oil is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. It’s more unstable. It’s got more double bonds in it. Omega-3 means three double bonds. The more double bonds that are they are, the more unstable the fatty acid is to heat things like that and the more, let’s say it can be oxidized. So, having extra vitamin C or extra vitamin D on board when you’re taking extra fish oil just to make sure you don’t have oxidation is great, and we already talked about things like systemic enzymes.
- There is also curcumin but liposomal curcumin is better due to the absorption or something with black pepper in it helps with absorption, too.
- Frankincense or Boswellia.
- White willow bark which is kind of how aspirin is naturally made though aspirin works more on COX-1. So, aspirin can be your other natural source and you can do white willow bark which is the natural form of aspirin.
- There are things like Tylenol but Tylenol works more on the central nervous system perception. So, it decreases the nervous systems’ perception of pain. Note: We have to be careful of Tylenol as it can actually chronically reduce glutathione. So, if you’re taking Tylenol longer-term, you definitely want to take it with NAC and/or some glutathione, just to be on the safe side.
- At the extreme example, we have opiates which block pain receptors in the brain, the opiate perception of the brain. It’s not the best thing because you’re just decreasing perception of pain. Obviously, the opiates are way more addictive.
- We can block some of these natural pain perceptions with CBD oil. So, CBD is another great way to reduce the perception of pain.
In general, we want you to try to do more of the herbals and more of the natural stuff out of the gates because that really, really, really can help reduce inflammation.
If you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sports injury, or you’re just trying to heal maybe postoperation, these things may be something to implement and then obviously work in all the other root causes, too. You are not just what you eat. You are what you digest from what you eat.
So, if you’re doing all these good nutrients, but you’ve got some type of malabsorption issue in the gut, you’ve got ridges on your fingernails, you’ve got thinning hair or falling out here, you may need to look deeper at the gut and try to find some of these more root cause issues that led you to that amount of inflammation or slow recovery in the first place.
Collagen Diet: Collagen-Rich Foods for Healthy Joints, and Skin
We know collagen is going to help with the joints because we know half of your bones are protein. We need good building blocks for our cartilaginous tissue and ligamentous tissue. Frankly, most people get most of their protein from muscle meats. That’s a problem because they’re not getting the knuckles, the bones, and the cartilage, as we would from old-fashioned soups. So, if you’re doing a lot of soups and bone broth soups, that’s great. If not, we really want to add extra collagen.
I do 20 g of collagen in my coffee every morning. I think it’s amazing. I do my true collagen with some MCT oil and grass-fed butter. I love it. I think it’s excellent for skin, hair, nails, and just for overall prevention of bone loss and cartilage loss. We know the wear and tear that most people experience in their joints throughout the year, especially if they do a lot of long-distance cardio. You really need more building blocks to help prevent and mitigate the wear and tear, so you don’t have knee and joint replacements later in life. Collagen can really help decrease some of that wear and tear.
How do you take collagen?
I like adding collagen in my coffee in the morning because it has a nice little kind of creamer-like effect. It gives that little bit of frothiness which is wonderful. I also do it before bed. Sometimes I’ll do a little bit of collagen (glycine), magnesium, and vitamin C because vitamin C is a really important building block for making collagen. I find magnesium has some very good calming effects as well where there are plugs in the GABA or it’s just a natural beta-blocker as well. It can calm the heart and bring the heart rate down a little bit. I think magnesium does work on some of those GABA pathways as well and, of course, magnesium helps with blood sugar. You’ll get deeper sleep and better REM sleep when you have good magnesium. So, I love combining collagen and magnesium at night.
Where can you get collagen from?
You can get collagen from food via bone broth. Chicken skin is super rich in glycine, roughly 3.3 g for 3-1/2 oz. If you make chicken soup, throw the whole chicken in there. Get a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods and or get the fattier cuts of the chicken at least with the bone and the skin, so that way you get the best of both worlds if you’re going to do it from a whole food source. Regarding seafood, wild salmon is going to be the best source of glycine.
Effective Ways to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels
Back in the 1980s, a guy named Edgar Hope-Simpson proposed that a seasonal stimulus was intimately associated with seasonal epidemic influenza. Long story short, winter comes and then all of the sudden viruses become more of a prevalent issue. There was this whole interventional study that showed vitamin D is reducing the incidence of respiratory infections in children. So, this was specifically talking about kids but there are countless of these for adults.
What’s happening when the vitamin D levels are sufficient are a multitude of things but in particular, it’s helping to reduce Interleukin 6 (IL-6), which is one of those inflammatory cytokines that get people in trouble. So, if you can reduce your cytokines, that’s going to be beneficial. Also, another cool benefit is not only a sort of an antiviral but there’s some antimicrobial benefit. It can actually activate your immune cells to produce some antimicrobial like a natural antibiotic if you will by upping vitamin D concentration.
How do you take Vitamin D?
Is it just an ongoing thing? If you think you’re getting into trouble with illness, do you go high dose of it? It depends on what your levels are.
So, get a baseline first. I would say the lighter or more fair your skin is, probably the more efficient you are gonna be in converting vitamin D from the sun. The darker your skin is, the more melanin you have. You’ve got different spectrums and for example, a full-on African-American has the highest amount of melanin.
What is Melanin?
Melanin is like your natural UV block and it helps block your skin from the sun’s rays. So, due to evolution and where we evolved, there are people who live closer to the equator and there’s more UV light based on the angle of the sun hitting it. These people naturally evolve with more melanin in the skin. People that evolve further away from the equator get less direct UV light, so there’s less melanin in the skin because it’s all about making vitamin D.
So, the more efficient you are at making vitamin D, you probably will be able to get away with not supplementing as much or as frequently. The more melanin in your skin, the more you have to be on top of your vitamin D because unless you’re going to be outside 6 to 8 hours a day and you’re at a mid to low 30 latitude, you’re probably just not going to be able to ever make enough vitamin D. Therefore, you really have to be on top of everything in your testing.
Vitamin D Dosage, Testing, and Recommendation
For lighter skin, in general, a good rule of thumb is 1000 IUs per 25 pounds of body weight, especially in the fall and winter months. If you want to take a break in the summer, that’s fine. Just make sure you get a test here there to confirm it. The darker your skin is, you may even want to double that in the winter months. Then you may want to follow-up and retest in the early spring to see and to monitor where you’re at. If you’re someone who works outside, you have to make that adjustment. If you’re an office person and you’re inside all day, you also have to make that adjustment, too. So, in general, 1000 IUs per 25 pounds of body weight.
If you have darker skin, you may want to double that for the winter months, and then it’s always good to confirm some time in the winter and some time coming off the winter or early spring-summer to see where you’re at. We can always adjust accordingly and if there is any risk of autoimmunity or cancer, we probably want to be testing just a little bit more frequently. Once you know where you’re at, you can guess based on how well you’re doing.
The Top 5 Reasons Why Your Estrogen Levels are High – Men & Women!
Let’s talk about the top 5 reasons why your estrogen levels are high. We’re going to break them down today.
WHAT ARE ESTROGENS?
First, let’s look at the 3 major kinds of estrogens: E1 or estrone, E2 or estradiol, and E3 or estriol. In a woman’s regular cycle, it’s usually estradiol we’re talking about. When you start shifting to more menopausal and the ovary stops working, you start getting more estriol. The adrenals help in kick in a lot of DHEA and you make more estriol. Estradiol is more of the growth factor type of estrogen and estriol is a weaker estrogen.
WHERE CAN WE FIND ESTROGENS?
- PLASTICS. You’ll get it when the plastic is warm like in a microwave or out of a plastic water bottle especially if it’s in the car and the sun is hitting it or it’s outside. That’s why you want a good stainless steel or glass water bottle if you’re going to go outside or leaving it in the sun. The microwave heat and the radiation is going to cause a big release of plastic chemicals there, the xenoestrogens. One of the big ones are the phthalates but also BPA. There are other types of BPAs that are new which are supposedly safe but there are still estrogen-like compounds there as well. These plastics can affect women and men as well. Men are actually going to be more affected by them because men aren’t used to having estrogen in their environment and getting a whole bunch is going to be a problem.
- PESTICIDES. These tend to have an estrogenic quality to them and if you’re eating foods that are not organic, you’re definitely going to be getting organochlorines and various pesticides in your environment.
- PHYTOESTROGENS. These are found in soy. For example, I had a vegan-vegetarian patient. We ran a Dutch sex hormone panel on her and her estradiol was through the roof and really high. Phytoestrogens can be a big one, so soy may be a problem. With vegan-vegetarian, there’s a lot of phony protein consumption like fake meat kind of stuff such as the Beyond burger where there are a lot of soy and estrogen-like compounds in there. There are also hormones in meat. You have to make sure you get antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and ideally organic and pasture-fed or if you’re on the Whole Foods scale, step 4 or step 5 is ideal. Step 2 is at least pretty good. Organic means no pesticides, no hormones, and also the food they’re eating has no pesticides or hormones, too.
- HIGH LEVELS OF INSULIN. Too much carbs drive high levels of insulin because insulin responds to a high level of blood sugar. The blood sugars in your bloodstream go up and your pancreas comes in. The beta cells make a bunch of insulin to bring it down and bring it into the cellar and converted to fat. So, high levels of insulin upregulate an enzyme in men called aromatase that converts testosterone, the male hormones, to estrogen which becomes a problem. Now, in women, a similar thing happens but it’s the exact opposite or the big switch. Their estrogen is converted to testosterone. So, women can actually get more androgen-like issues which results in weight gain, acne, hair growth, and sometimes you can see some libido enhancements on that. So, that’s the difference between men and women.
- POOR GUT HEALTH. In the gut, we make healthy good bacteria in our gut that help us absorb a lot of nutrients. A good healthy gut function helps us break down protein for good HDL levels and good enzyme levels. We need these to break down protein into amino acids which are really important for helping us to detoxify. So, detoxification helps us to excrete estrogens that we’re getting exposed to in our environments such as the pesticides, plastic, or something that you don’t even know you’re getting exposed to. Good healthy detoxification will help your body eliminate that, so that’s a good backup plan.Also, if we have a lot of dysbiosis, SIBO and bacterial overgrowth, we can make a lot of what’s called beta-glucuronidase. This is an enzyme that’s made by bad bacteria and it makes it harder to detoxify estrogen. The beta-glucuronidase takes conjugated estrogens and binds it to a protein that helps us excrete it out the body. It takes that protein and it pulls it apart. It takes the handcuffs off that protein, so that allows that estrogen that’s been deconjugated to go back into the body in the general circulation. So, if we have gut issues, that could be a major concern.
HOW DO WE ADDRESS THE PROBLEM?
We need things like cysteine, glycine, glutamine, sulfur amino acids, and things that help us methylate like B12, B6, and folate. So, these nutrients we have to get them in our diet via a good diet. We need to be able to break down and absorb those nutrients, so we need good digestion to get those things in there.
So, in general, we’ve got to make sure we have a good gut bacteria balance. Even fungal overgrowth can cause problems and H. pylori that can lower stomach acid and make it harder to break down nutrition on one side and then it can create this bacterial overgrowth enzyme that makes it hard to detoxify estrogen. These are really important components. If you have any issues with estrogen, you’ve got to look there.
Now, we may want to do things to help detoxify like make lifestyle changes, food changes, pesticide changes, make the changes in regards to plastics, and make in in regards to your diet, your glycemic load, and your gut. That’s a good first step to get to the bottom. There are also different things we may do to help upregulate detoxification to help get that estrogen. It may be activated charcoal or various soluble fibers. It could be things like bentonite clay. We could use things like DIM or Calcium D-Glucarate or glutathione, sulfur amino acids, and vitamin C. They’re all helpful in different situations. We would recommend them based on what’s happening but at least make the diet and lifestyle changes out of the gates.
Top 5 Warning Signs of Hormonal Imbalance
Let’s talk about hormones. I’m going to dive into a couple of clinical pearls that I see in my practice from working with hundreds of female patients and male patients which have a major effect on modulating and supporting hormonal balance.
These are my top 5 hormonal balancing strategies:
- One of the first things in regards to hormones that’s very important, and this may be common sense but I try to give a lot of knowledge guided by experience, is nutritional building blocks for your hormones. Healthy cholesterol from animal products are very essential. Fat soluble vitamins like A, D, K are very important. Lots of good protein are also very important. We have steroid-based hormones that are going to be more cholesterol-based and we have peptide-based hormones that will also be protein-based. So, a lot of these protein, fat-soluble vitamins, and cholesterol especially healthy animal cholesterol are very helpful for hormonal building blocks. If you have a vegan-vegetarian diet or if it’s very nutritionally poor or there’s a lot of processed food, that may set you up with a deficit out of the gates for just hormonal issues. Remember: Make sure the food is nutritionally dense, anti-inflammatory, and low in toxins. That’s vital.
- Now, if you’re having a lot of good nutrition in there, the next thing is we have to make sure we’re able to digest it and break it down. So, if we have a lot of chronic acid reflux, poor digestion, constipation, or bloating, we know we’re not quite breaking down our food and our nutritional building blocks. That could tell us that we may have hormonal issues because we’re not breaking that down. Therefore, those nutrients can’t get into our body or get in our bloodstream and be taken throughout the body to be used as building blocks. So, if we have a bottleneck in the nutritional side, that could be a big factor.
- Stress, whether it’s emotional or chemical stress. If we’re eating foods that are inflammatory or we’re nutritionally deficient and we have a lot of emotional stress, what tends to happen is our hormones kind of go on two sides. We have an anabolic side which are the growth hormones — testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone — that kind of help deal with growing. Then we have anti-inflammatory hormones which would be cortisol and are catabolic. I always put progesterone in that category because progesterone can be used to make more cortisol. So, we have our anti-inflammatory and then our anabolic. In some, they kind of cross over. Insulin, growth hormones, and testosterone are anabolic. The more inflamed we get, we could have high amounts of testosterone because of PCOS and because of inflammation. So, some of these hormones kind of interact and cross over. With men for instance, the more inflamed men get and the more stressed they get, that can actually cause an upregulation of aromatase and could increase their estrogen. So, see how these things kind of cross react. Your hormones are going to be either pro-building or anti-inflammatory to reduce stress. So, for chronically and stressed out state, cortisol is going to rip up your protein and kind of decrease your muscle mass. As a woman, you’ll see your progesterone level start to drop and that will start putting you into an estrogen-dominant state because if we normally got 20 to 25 times estrogen than progesterone, that ratio starts to drop. Even if you still have more progesterone than estrogen, that ratios is going to throw you off and that can create breast tenderness, cramping, mood issues, excessive bleeding/menorrhagia, infertility, a lot of mood issues, back pain, and fluid retention. All those are possible situations.
- Xenoestrogens from the environment and foreign estrogens. They can come from plastic components, pesticides, herbicides or rodenticides, mold toxins, and heavy metals. They are going to disrupt our hormones. The easiest thing is eat organic, avoid plastics, and avoid a lot of the chemicals in the water because a lot of times you can get pesticide runoff or hormone runoff in the water. So, clean water and clean food, and then make sure it’s organic avoid the plastics as well. That’s a big, big thing. Plastics are probably okay if they are in a refrigerator or in a cold environment but ideally if you’re heating stuff up or it’s going to get exposed to light, you want some kind of a Pyrex or a glass container. It’s much better and really important.
- Last but not the least would be just making sure our detoxification pathways are running well. So, if we have good hormonal balance but we can’t detoxify it, then a lot of times we can reabsorb it. So, if we don’t have good sulfur, good glutathione precursors, good B vitamins, good methylation, N-acetylation and glucuronidation, we may have a hard time eliminating. Hence, we are re-absorbing a lot of our hormones. So, being able to break down your proteins, break down your amino acid and your B vitamins is going to help with your body’s ability to eliminate a lot of these toxins.
Blood sugar, digestion, stress, xenoestrogens, and toxicity are really big. Those are the big 5 across the board. Try to apply at least one of these things.
The Root Causes of Constipation & Slow Motility | Podcast #331
Wouldn’t it be easy if you could blame your constipation on one thing? While that typically isn’t the case, your irregularity could be pointing to either one or multiple causes. Let’s watch and listen to Dr. J and Evan here, helping you learn what your gut may be trying to tell you, and what you can do about it.
Dr. J and Evan emphasized to make a few changes to your lifestyle and see if they result in any positive bowel changes. Such as more high-fiber foods in your meals: fruits, vegetables, whole grains. These steps will help you observe health changes – what works and what’s not via tests results as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
1:56 Slow Motility, Bowel Motility
15:57 Food for Detox
22:00 Vegan Honeymoon
27:40 System Approach, Solutions
30:51 Conventional Side
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today we are going to be having a podcast all about constipation and bowel motility issues. This is a topic that we deal with all the time with our patients, especially when we’re dealing with and addressing potential infections. This can be a common side effects. So we’re going to dive into the underlying mechanisms and what you can do what we do about it with patients. Evan, what’s going on, man? How we doing?
Evan Brand: Doing really well. If someone listening is still embarrassed to talk about their poop, then I would encourage you to shed that shit shed the shame or embarrassment. We talk about poop all day. We love it, we enjoy it. This is part of being a human number one being a healthy human number two, because if you’re not pooping, you’re reabsorbing toxins, whether that’s xeno estrogens from environmental exposure or pesticide and herbicide or mold toxins, I mean, how we get rid of our toxic waste and chemicals and things we’re making internally and that we’re exposed to is peeing and pooping. And so when you look at someone who feels bad, they have dark circles under their eyes, they have skin issues, they’re irritable, they’re fatigued, they have headaches, a lot of times constipation is one of the underlying issues with those people. And if we can just get them pooping properly good amount in good shape, good size, good consistency, good frequency, we can really increase their productivity, their energy, their mental cognition, we can get rid of sugar cravings. I mean, there’s a lot that can happen when you just regulate the bowels. So we’re going to dive in today on some of the big root causes root triggers, I’m going to go straight to number one for me, which is going to be gut infections. Now, you and I were just talking before we hit record about different gut bugs and how some people with IBS, they’ll end up IBS constipation, others end up IBS D diarrhea. And so depending on what type of infections you have, your bowels may become dysregulated.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And so, when you have different gut stressors, slow motility can easily be a result. So you can easily see on the on the fast side, motility is too fast. Our body doesn’t have the ability to reabsorb water and electrolytes in time, because usually electrolytes and water kind of follow each other. So as the colon kind of pulls out the electrolytes, usually the water comes out with it. And so when we have slower bowel movements, right, they’re usually harder, more compact kind of stools. So if we look at like, for instance, the Bristol stool chart, I’ll pull that up on screen. So anyone that’s watching the podcast can take a look at it. The Bristol stool chart, the chart that’s used by gastroenterologist and such, but it’s just a way of kind of assessing where you’re still fit. So the typical number four is like the poopy policeman. And that’s like just a really good solid looking snake, like not overly hard not overly soft stool. That’s number one. If you go to the actual number one on the Bristol stool chart that’s like kind of the rabbit poop, right, the rabbit pellets really hard, hard to move. And then number seven is just pure liquid. So four is kind of right in the middle, and in between. So let me just show you what I’m talking about here. So you guys can visualize if you’re watching the podcast video along with it. So here is the Bristol stool charts that you guys can see. Okay, so number one, right separate heart clubs, nuts hard to pass. This is like the rabbit poop, right? That’s type one. And then it gently progresses back to two and three, right? where it starts to get more sausage shaped like it says except it gets more smoother, and that as it goes to three. And then step type four is the perfect poopy policeman kind of more of a sausage like more smooth, not overly cracked or not overly soft. And then you can see as you go to five and six, it becomes more liquid and then seven and just entirely liquid watery, no solid. And so that gives us a pretty good window. And so we usually when we have when the guts really inflamed, and we have usually a lot of toxicity in the gut, we can usually see it go to number seven where it’s pure liquid. And that’s because the body is just trying to flush things out. And when things go a little bit slower, you could still have inflammation and have type one right so you could have h pylori, that’s lowering stomach acid, you could have a lot of cebo that is meth that’s producing a lot of methane based back gases. And how do you know it’s methane is you have a lot of foul smelling gas or flatulence that’s a sign that there’s a lot of methane present. And methane can easily screw up that migrating motor complex and make the bowels go more on the slow side. But you can have the same level of infections like h pylori, or maybe histo or Giardia. And that could also cause it to go on the diarrhea side. So it just kind of depends. Everyone’s a little bit different. But we always you could have cebo you could have h pylori, you could have low enzyme and low acid levels that can easily be causing type one. But for someone else, those same infections could easily be driving steps type seven, right where it’s pure liquid. So you got to look at everyone as an individual on that. And really, you know, come up with the right plan.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and it can Alternate to write. I mean, that was my situation when I first had gut issues and I was losing weight uncontrollably when I had H. pylori and parasites and bacterial overgrowth and Candida the whole nine yards. You know, there’d be some days the gut was good. And most days the gut was not good. Luckily, I’m over that now. But man, I’ll tell you, I have a lot of empathy for people that, you know, you never know what you’re going to get, you kind of wake up and it’s like, Is today a good day or not a good day. And now that I’ve learned so much, you and I, both over the past few years about mold toxicity, that’s a big trigger for gut issues, too. So I’m get constipated, but a lot of diarrhea. And I think that’s the body’s way of trying to get rid of the toxin, but also the gut is so irritated. And you can have leaky gut from mycotoxin exposure, that that can be a factor too. So eventually, we’ll get into the gut healing phase of our conversation. I think that’s critical to healing constipation.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And so on the constipation side, there could be issues with obviously, the bowel motility has to be slow. So what’s constipation. So if you’re not having a BM, you’re not passing about 12 inches of stool in about a 24 hour period. That’s typically constipation. And there are millions of people in this country that aren’t able to have a BM every day. Now, once you start going 2 3 4 5 6 7, I see some patients that go up to seven days about a BM, that’s a problem because half of your stool is going to be bacteria. The other half is going to be you know, fiber and such. And within that stool, some of that bacteria and toxins needs to leave your body. If you’re not having that pass through your intestinal tract into the toilet, your chance of reabsorbing a lot of those toxins goes up really high. That’s definitely not good. Because those toxins get reabsorbed into your body. There could be xeno estrogens, there could be mold toxins, there could be a whole bunch of junk in there that you could be reabsorbing, and that could be really stressing out your body. So the first thing we talked about with detoxification is people talk about Detox Detox Detox, right? Well, if you’re not pooping every day, and that’s because of a gut infection or not chewing your food well enough or having insufficient hydrochloric acid or enzyme levels, or having some kind of a h pylori or SIBO issue. All of those things can easily affect your detoxification people are really focused on detox. Just by getting your digestion and your motility better. That makes a huge difference on your liver, and all your detoxification pathways, your lymphatics, your immune everything.
Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s funny, you’ll see women on Instagram, they’re all done up their hair and their makeup and their lipstick, and they’re like marketing, hashtag add hashtag detox hashtag tea. And they’ve got these like, I don’t know, you know how it is like, these ridiculous products that they’re marketing and they’re not talking about poop. To me, that’s the best way to detox is get poop out. I’m not going to buy detox tea, maybe like a little bit of dandelion or some who knows milk thistle, blend it in. Yeah, I mean that that’s part of it. But unfortunately, detox has kind of gotten co opted by the marketing industry. And so most people don’t even focus on that, though. You know, they’ll poop once a week, but then they take a detox tea and they think they’re doing it correctly.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, my whole take on detoxification out of the gates is very simple. Okay, first, get enough good clean water in your system, to make sure you’re digesting your amino acids and all your nutrients. Well, remember, sulfur based amino acids run the majority of your detoxification pathways, along with B vitamins, right. So we need good B vitamins, good antioxidants, good sulfur amino acids. So if we’re breaking down those nutrients, well, there’s not a bottleneck with HDL levels or enzyme levels. We’re getting enough good clean water. And we’re not overly stressing our sympathetic nervous system because remember, the more we overly overly stress the adrenals the sympathetic nervous system decreases that migrating motor complex, which are the wave like contractions that move stool through your intestinal tract just like you kind of roll up the to pace roll at night, I get that toupees moving through to get your toothpaste out to brush your teeth. your intestines do the same thing. So if you can do those top three things, right, you’re on the right track. Now there may be extra things where we need extra sulfur or extra antioxidants or compounds or binders to help with mold or heavy metals. That’s true and that that would be addressed down the road but a lot of toxic patients detoxification happens hepatobiliary liver gallbladder back into the intestines and then out the intestinal tract. So we need to have really good motility and really good absorption of nutrients and a lot of good clean water to help fuel that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, good point. Good point. Yeah, so we both manufacture our own custom blends of supplements that are professional grade, and we both have a liver support that has some gallbladder nutrients built into it. That can be really helpful because, as you mentioned, with sluggish bowels, a lot of times there’s also sluggish bile production. So just helping to thin the bile, whether it’s using supplemental ox bile or muthoni, taurine, beet powder, whatever else we could do to increase bile flow that’s going to be helping and then why don’t we hit on the diet piece. I mean, I think this is the low hanging fruit that you’re having. American is still really really blowing it on, which is just the fact that they’re not doing enough good meats, good fats, good veggies, you know, your average, American might wake up and I don’t know, do a piece of toast and maybe in 2020, or 2021, it’s an avocado toast. But still, you know, that’s not the optimal thing for good poops.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, so inflammation in the diet can easily mess up the intestinal tract, inflammation in the diet can easily create inflammation in the gut. And that could either move the body more to diarrhea or more constipation. Now, for the sake of this podcast, if we start moving more to constipation, not good. And of course, you know, these foods can stress out the intestinal tract. And then when we start creating inflammation in the intestinal tract, and then we already have indigestion, and we don’t have adequate enzymes and acids, so we’re kind of burping a lot after our meals, food sits longer in our tummy, right, and we’re not in a lot of gases are produced because the foods are not being broken down properly, that’s a problem. So we got to really make sure we’re masticating and chewing our food very, very, very well, we got to make sure that increases surface area for enzymes and acids to work, we also have to make sure we’re not overly hydrating with our meals. So hydrate 10 minutes or more before meal. And then if you’re consuming a little bit of liquid with a meal, just do it to kind of help with swallowing pills, don’t do it for hydration purposes. Because water has got a pH of seven, your intestinal tracts a pH of 1.5, or two. So if you start adding a whole bunch of seven, Ph to a to a pH of two, you’re going to move that pH more in the alkaline direction away from the acid at direction. And we need good acidity to help activate our enzymes and our acid levels very important. So that’s low hanging fruit is chew your food up well. Second, is make sure you’re not overly hydrating with the food do all your hydration two minutes before.
Evan Brand: I’ve got my grandfather so many times till this drink liquid with almost every bite of his food, held his Drink, drink drink, like take a bite of food and wash it down with liquid. I’m like no, like you’re literally just pouring water on your digestive fire don’t do that. So yeah, it’s it’s easy. And it actually does make a difference. I mean, you know, I’ve probably talked about that before. But it does make a difference. Like if I, I’ve got a mason jar here, my goal, if I sit at the dinner table, I will try to not have it more than like two ounces of liquid. You know, if I have a full cup, I’m more I’m liable to drink it. If I’ve just got a little bit I know, hey, this is the only liquid I have if I need a little help with the meal. Otherwise it just food, no liquid with the meal.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, for me, as soon as I know, like a meal is coming, I’m gonna go just maybe take two mason jars, add some sea salt to it, I’m going to down them and then I’m good. And then you know, 510 minutes later, I can start the eating process and I chew my food out very well. So then that gets the digestive juices rolling as well. So on top of that another low hanging fruit is let’s say you eat good quality proteins or fats, and that makes you constipated. That’s almost a surefire sign. You’re not making enough enzymes or acids. So some people they really do poor with enzymes, and acids, and it reveals itself through animal products. Now, a lot of people when that happens, guess what their natural tendency is, unfortunately, either going to go vegetarian or yeah, oh, it’s the meat that’s so bad for my gods, the meat that’s in my intestinal tract for days and days. It’s rotting in there, you know, yeah, documentaries, I have to cut out the animal products. Well, it’s just a sign that your enzymes and your acids are really poor. And the meat is revealing that now what’s the solution? Now in the meantime, you may want to drop down some of the meat that you’re doing, or some of the protein or fat you’re doing, just to kind of lessen some of the stress off the intestinal tract. But the first thing we’ll do before that is we’ll add in some HCl and some enzymes, maybe even some bile salts, we’ll see how much that starts to correct it. And then if we need then we can drop the animal protein and fat down a little bit if we need. Now, if your intestinal tracts really messed up, you may have to do an elemental or a bone broth faster, or something more liquid based to make it easier on your intestine. So everyone’s a little bit different. And we have a lot of clinical experience about being able to meet someone where they’re at so we can get optimal results.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and it’s sad that the meat gets the blame, you know, and like you said, all these documentaries that will pop up on Netflix, they’re all like, majority, you know, anti meat vegetarian vegan documentaries, and then you kind of have to help clients because sometimes we’ll get clients that have not listened to enough of us where the we haven’t convinced them to get back on me actually had a vegan or ex vegan client come to me last week. She said she was vegan for six years. And she got back on me with the help of listening to our podcasts. And she says she feels better than she ever has, which is amazing. She was able to transition back onto me without necessarily a bunch of supplemental enzymes, but in most cases, yeah, we’re going to come in due to and people may say why why do I need the supplement? Well, we don’t live in a world where you’re sitting on the edge of a cliff overlooking a river valley with no stress. And you know, hunter gatherer average work 18 hours a week. We’re not doing that anymore. We’re working 40 60 hour work weeks. We’ve got kids, we’ve got technology we’ve got Got smartphones taking our attention away, we’re scrolling in Bowling at chipotle looking at our phone while we’re eating, or we’re stressed from bills and mortgages and obligations and whatever and age, by the time you’re age 40 50 60, you’re not making hardly any enzymes and acids compared to when you were younger. So all those factors add up that is the answer of why why do you need enzymes to support you? And how do enzymes help you poop? Well, because when that food is digesting better, your body’s going to be able to get rid of what it doesn’t need. And if you have a lot of malabsorption problems, you know, you may see on digested food in the stool. And over time, I’ve noticed people just adding in a handful of berries a day was all we needed to really clear up their their issues. Once we got all the gut infections enzymes in, you know, infections resolved, enzymes put in if they still needed help, we’ll go into a couple other things you want to get into. But handful of blueberries, I mean, that does a lot.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So it just kind of going back to some of the the vegan stuff. So I always tell my patients will in general, ie more non starchy vegetables, most paleo people eat more non starchy vegetables than vegans do. Most vegans I find have lots of processed carbohydrate, they have lots of grains, lots of lentils, or legumes and they don’t typically eat tons of non starchy vegetables, it’s it’s difficult. On the vegan side, most don’t do it right now, if you’re going to be a vegan, you need to do lots of good fats from avocado and coconuts. And you probably need some kind of an amino acid supplement from rice or pea protein or some kind of some kind of an algae kind of protein source because most aren’t doing it right if you’re going to do it that way. But number two is sometimes the vegetables can jack you up to especially if they’re raw, because a lot of that fiber or if the vegetables are higher in fermentable, carbohydrates, some can be like garlic and onions and, and broccoli and asparagus, they can be higher and fodmaps. And fodmaps can be fertilizer for a lot of the SIBO base bacteria. So if you have a lot of bad bacteria that’s producing maybe more methane, and some of those vegetables start to feed some of that methane producing bacteria that may make you more constipated too. So I’ve seen some patients do better more with the meats than with a lot of the plants. So I’ve seen it go both ways. And you know, it’s hard because if you’re let’s say you’re one person, and you had an experience where you went vegan, and you felt great, well guess what, you only have your experience, I see patients that have gone carnivore and felt great. And so because we have this perspective, where we’ve seen dozens of people do great from different things, that allows us to form a unbiased clinical recommendation on what we think is best for the patient, because we’ve seen successes work from both sides. And the question is, we don’t have a dogmatic belief in Oh, well, this is what does it well, this is why it would do it for this person. And this is maybe why it doesn’t for you. And we’re going to we’re going to move the levers around because the goal isn’t to do this thing is to get you the result. So it’s really important that if you’re working with someone, you know, kind of talking to patients that are out there, you want someone you want to work with someone that’s results driven, not process driven, meaning, hey, this, you have to do this diet, this is the most important thing, this should get you the results versus Hey, no, I want to get you these results, we’re going to try pulling some of these levers and see what happens as a result. And then we’ll we’ll go backwards from there. So just really important. You want to make sure you’re working with someone that’s results driven, not necessarily, you know, dogma driven, if you will.
Evan Brand: That’s another great soundbite. You’re just rolling out these things. I love it. This is exactly the point that we needed to hit on. Because in this day and age, unfortunately, everything is kind of a soundbite. So you go to the lectin guy, you’re going to get the lectin diet, you go to the carnivore guy, you get the carnivore diet, you go to the vegan guy, you get the vegan, and you and I don’t really have any labels for us, we’d like you said we were results driven. And so we’re able to be more flexible. I love that we’re not in a box, like these people, because once you write the carnivore book or the lectin book, you’re kind of that guy, and then you’re stuck in that box. And it’s like, oh, wait a second, I’ve got all these other people doing really good with some cooked lightly steamed veggies and blueberries over here. But you told me I need to be carnivore. So what the heck, and then it just blows your credibility. So I yeah, I don’t want to be in a box.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now I tend to lean more on the Paleo template, but I use the word template, not diet, so I can have flexibility. And there’s some patients that I’ve seen that haven’t been able to tolerate any meat, we’ve had to just lean on free form amino acids, with some good vegetables or starches that are easy to handle. And I’ve had to go to that extreme with some patients. And if my dogma was no, you must eat animal products all the time. While I may not have been able to help that Paris person so we try to have the levers that we work with. We kind of have like a foundational bias, but it’s a bias that is flexible and that we can adjust according to the patient.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And eventually I would argue that that person you’re referring to could probably get back in and they may have been able to get back here forever later.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Not the case, not a forever thing. It’s kind of a starting point where, hey, you break your ankle, you probably may have to be in a wheelchair out of the gates. And then we progress you to, you know, some crutches and they put you on a boot and then you just maybe Walk slowly, you don’t run and now you start jogging and majesty, right, there’s a progression and how you how certain things heal? Well, it’s the same thing, the four year digestive system that’s not quite as outward, it’s inward, right and how it looks and performs. But you can feel it just the same as an outward injury to your foot or hand.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I’m gonna keep this thing going a little more philosophical than action based for a minute, just to to further this conversation, which is that let’s say someone goes to the bookstore. It’s funny, everything’s changing with society, isn’t it now it’s the Amazon bookstore, the Kindle bookstore, it used to be the real physical brick and mortar, there’s still a need that exists out there. I know there are some. So you go into the store, right, and you go to the diet section, and then someone picks up like, the, like I said, the Paleo book, The lectin book, The carnivore book, they do that, and then they get different or weird results. And then they kind of just give up, and that’s why they get so opposed to the word diet, or they get so opposed to the idea of changing the way they eat to change their symptoms. But the problem is, all these people writing these books are missing all the other root causes. So just because Jane didn’t do well, with a lot of meats, she might give up on meats, like you said, or she saw the documentary and give up on meats, but she never worked with somebody like us. So when we have these clinical tools that we have, where we’re going to be measuring the stool measuring the urine and looking at different infections. If we could just resolve those for Jane, get some of the enzymes back in clear the infections, guess what now she does great with the meat. So it’s sad, because there’s so many people that may have tried stuff like this, but they got so turned off with the non amazing results that they thought it was the diet to blame. But it wasn’t it was just the root causes. And like you said, the indicator is it sort of for us, it’s a clue Oh, that happens when you do meets, that doesn’t mean give it up. That means let’s figure out why. And the H Pylori could be the big one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s true. And I call it the vegetarian or vegan honeymoon. A lot of people that do go vegan, they can feel great their first year, it all depends where they’ve come from if they ate a lot of processed food or crappy food. And they’re eating lots of organic vegetables, and maybe some good healthy or plant fats like olives, or avocado or coconut oil. And they’re just getting a lot of organic food in their system, they may feel a lot better now over time is essential fatty acids and amino acids start moving more in the deficient side. And a lot of those fat soluble vitamins like a d k start moving downward, they’ll start having more problems over time. And that’s kind of I call it the vegan honeymoon where they’re kind of chasing that honeymoon. They’re like, I don’t feel as good as I did last year. And they kind of get stuck. And usually it’s a protein, fatty acid kind of issue, or maybe even a carbohydrate issue too much carbs. And then you got to look deeper. So getting back to the constipation part right, we have the six hours that I used to work with my patients. And we kind of start with that as a framework, removing the bad foods, or placing the enzymes and acids to the first two hours. And we adjust the diet accordingly. So it could be cutting out cutting down a lot of the fiber or a lot more cooking or going lower fodmap. or cutting out salicylates or females or going on to a moon, it could be a combination of all of that could be an elemental diet, of course, adding in enzymes and acids. And bio, especially if the stools are floating more, that’s a sign that we’re not breaking down fat, so we may adjust those first two hours. And if we’re having bowel movement issues, I may add in things like ginger, or bitters or D lime any, we may have to even add in some natural things like trifle or magnesium to really get the bowels moving. It just depends. I don’t like to add in bow movers unless I really can’t move the bowels with those first two hours, right. If I can’t move the bowels with those first two hours changing the diet and changing enzymes, acids and bile support, then we may lean on things to kind of get the ball moving. But I always want to see how the body responds before we have to add those things in first.
Evan Brand: Well, you make a great point. And even clinically, the things you would recommend to be used directly for moving the bowels those things are still a hell of a lot safer and more effective than some of the conventional stuff you’re going to get. So I mean, if you go to your conventional doc and they refer you to the GI doc and you’re diagnosed with let’s say IBS, C constipation, IBS type issue, there’s going to be some type of a pharmaceutical involved and there’s likely going to be side effects with that. And once again, it’s not the root cause so in your case like you mentioned clinically, you may not go straight to the magnesium hydroxide to help move the bowels by adding water to the bowels However, there’s so many people deficient in magnesium anyway that you could be actually fixing simultaneously fixing an underlying mineral deficiency plus helping to move the bowels. So the cool thing about what we do, is there a positive side effect so we can kill multiple birds with the same stone?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, I’d much rather use a nutrient than like an abrasive herb like Cena or Cascara Sagrada, right? No one has a deficiency of that, but they may have some deficiencies in some of these magnesium so that can be helpful. Now if I get bowels moving out of the gates, usually one or two months in, I’m going to try pulling back on some of these compounds to see if the bowels can move on its own. So it just depends, right? We’re getting the body hydrated, we’re chewing better. We’re working on eating and a non stressful environment, we’re getting enzymes and acids better. We’re cutting out the inflammation. And we may be changing some of the format, the building and the food. So all of those things are moving so many levers. So when I work with patients, patients are like, want to know like, what’s the solution for this? What’s the solution for that? It’s like, I don’t know, I’m going to just give you what I’ve seen to work. And we’re going to do eight or nine or 10 things out of the gates. And we’re going to see what works. But in general, to know exactly which one it is, it’s really hard because you’d have to like make one change, wait a couple of weeks, make one change, wait a couple of weeks. And it would take patients years to get better versus weeks and months. And so we make a whole bunch of changes at once. And then we monitor and we check in on those changes.
Evan Brand: Yeah, good point. So just to give a little more clarity, somebody who’s listening, like what does that even mean? Eight or nine changes. Oh, my God, that’s overwhelming. No, I mean, it could be Hey, look, we’re going to give a little more enzymes and acids, we’re going to pull this food out, we’re going to get you to do a little bit more water and a cleaner water source, we may throw in a little bit of this extra mineral, or maybe a little extra vitamin C, you’re going to do a handful extra of some blueberries, you’re going to make sure you’re getting enough adequate movement because you’re a sedentary job. So we’re going to get you a standing desk. And now you can stand up and move around, we’re going to get you to do a 10 minute walk a day, we’re going to get you to you know, take a couple deep breaths, we’re going to get you to chew your food better, we’re going to make sure that you’re not sitting in, I don’t know a crazy loud restaurant with like, you know, speakers blasting, you know, techno music in the background, we want you to just settle down, we want you to go to bed on time. I mean, yeah, those things give you 5 10 15%. And then by the time you add it all up, you’ve got really good success.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you’re not chewing your food. I’m sorry, you’re not hydrating when you’re eating right? All these things matter. And maybe getting a little bit more sunlight, right? All these things matter. And so that’s why it’s so hard to be like, well, what’s the solution? for this? It’s like, well, there’s a lot of things that can be a contributing factor, it could be 10%, for this 5% for that 20%. For that it’s very rare that this one thing is at 90 100%. Sometimes you get big, like you just make one simple change. And you the next week you check in with the patient. They’re like, well, I’m 80 or 90% better, it’s like whoa, that’s a home run, that can happen too. But we don’t count on it. And that’s why we do things kind of in a systematic fashion of what’s going to be the low hanging fruit and then we kind of move up from there, right? You got to build up the foundation of the house once the foundation solid, now you can you can build up, the foundation is not solid, then you have a whole bunch of problems that have happened with with the building of the house as you start going up.
Evan Brand: Good point. Good point. And this is the whole reason that we do a workup and we run people through a sort of a system. You call it a system approach. Because if you come in and you go to the doc, hey, I’ve got constipation. Pharmaceutical laxative, see you later. If you come to us constipation, it’s like, Huh, Interesting. Interesting. Okay, let’s figure out why. And if you ask why enough and you do the proper testing, you’re going to get to that why. So I just want to make sure we’re always comparing and contrasting because you ask, you know, Bobby, who hasn’t pooped all week what he’s going to do for his constipation, he might go to Walgreens, he’s going to go to the laxative section. Oh, I found this laxative. This one looks good. Let me drink some of this stuff. Oh, yeah, I poked Problem solved. It’s like, huh, yeah, you solve the constipation problem, but you didn’t solve why that’s happening in the first place. So I just, it shouldn’t have to be revolutionary to think root cause, but it still is not the mainstream. So until it’s the mainstream, our job is not done.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And so when for most conventional, like gastro people, for instance, they’re just like, hey, motility support, here you go laxative support, here you go. It’s very rare, you may get one that say, hey, let’s do a Siebel breath test, maybe that, and then what after that, maybe they’re gonna just recommend, hey, you know, do this quick little diet thing, because a lot of the conventional fodmap diet still have a lot of grains and other crap in there. So you may not change the inflammation. And they may throw some Rifaximin or neomycin at you, boom. And then now maybe you have a fungal overgrowth or something on the backside, because they don’t do or address the gut bacteria, right? And then that can create other rebound overgrowth down the road. So let’s say you have a very progressive kind of forward thinking gastro Doc, maybe that’s what happens that I just mentioned, but most that’s going to be hey, here’s your motility enhancer. And you know, you got to just learn to relax and meditate and hey, maybe taking antidepressant a lot of time. That’s it. So you’re kind of stuck. And that’s just the insurance space model. When you have three to five minutes with a doc, that’s typically all they’re going to recommend for you. They don’t have enough time to really dive in deeper. And that model doesn’t give them the ability to dive in deeper. So you really need to see a functional medicine doctor to really have the ability to go deeper and get to the root cause.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I get so frustrated with that term, integrative it just makes me angry because I’ve had so many people and I know you have to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of clients and patients that have said I’ve worked with this angle. Right of guy, Mike Oh, integrative What did he do? And you know, they kind of market it as it’s like so forward thinking, but like you said, it may be the Rifaximin at most. And then guess what a lot of these people they have antibiotic resistant infection. So we’ll test them and guess what the SIBO situation is still going on. Maybe they have parasites or like you said, there’s a fungal overgrowth component to it as well, their guts leaky, their guts inflamed. Now they’ve got all sorts of other problems as a side effect of hitting this Rifaximin. In some cases, it can help maybe play whack a mole a little, it may knock some things down, but they still have enough problem when they come to us that we need further work. So I get frustrated with this integrative idea. Because and I know there’s good intention behind it. But as you mentioned, with that model, the way the model exists, it doesn’t doesn’t allow enough time and there’s not enough advanced testing, like we’re doing to to fully get to the bottom of it
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. And once you kind of talk to your conventional medical doctor, and you say, hey, walk me through your thinking on what you think the root cause of this could be. Usually it kind of reveals their that they really don’t know. Because if you’re just providing a drug to treat the symptoms, well, obviously, they’re not worried about the root cause because it’s Band Aid down below, right? So we kind of look at everything in my line, kind of as the SSS approach, right? You have the underlying stressors here, could be physical stress, chemical stress, emotional stress, food allergies, bacterial overgrowth, sibo, right, all of these stressors, increase our stress bucket, and then the body systems start to dysfunction, hormones, digestion, immune detoxification, as the system starts to dysfunction, then you have all this, the symptoms happen down below. And so conventional medicine just band aids, these symptoms down below, they don’t ever go upstream. So you got to have conversations with your doctors that talk more about the upstream issues. And so we try to nullify all of the underlying stressors, make sure foods good chewings, good, hydrations. Good. And then we’re going to do tests that look at the function of the systems. So it’s a lot different of approach. So if you’re working with someone, you know, you want to be able to ask the right questions, what do you think the underlying root causes are, and as a patient, make sure you walk into it with an open mind that there’s probably not one underlying issue, it’s probably a bunch of things that are spread out, that are part of the underlying cause, from a stress standpoint, and the body system standpoint that are emanating the symptoms downstream?
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said Well said, that’s a great, great visualization, and you have permission to have 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 things going on.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s the key, that’s that that’s the missing assumption, you could have a lot of different things. And then as you walk through with the clinician, and you’re making changes, you need to not go into it as Oh, I made this diet change and the supplement, I don’t feel better yet. It’s okay. There’s always a plan B, a Plan C, a plan D, a plan E. And if the answers down here, and E and F and you, you quit and get discouraged that B and C, then you never get a chance to kind of go deeper. So just as patients are listening here, always make sure you have that ability to kind of just like, have a good attitude and keep on progressing down the line.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and you can’t blame them on me. This is the way that people have been conditioned over decades and decades of conventional medicine, but it still does frustrate me when someone will approach us whether it’s a friend or a family member or something and they’ll say, Hey, you know, I’ve got autoimmune. I’ve got sjogrens or I’ve got alopecia or I’ve got, you know, diabetes type two. What’s wrong with me? Like, why did this happen? Where did this come from? It’s like, Where do I even start? You stay up till 1am? You posted a picture the other day on your Facebook page? Have you eating an ice cream Sunday? Yeah, never get exercise. I know what you do. You sit all day, you don’t get outside and you’ve never had a tan in your life. So you’re afraid of the sun. If you do go outside, you lather yourself in sunscreen chemicals. You don’t eat organic, you’re super stressed. I mean, you know, so when people ask, well, what’s wrong? Why is this happening? It’s almost like, Oh, are you ready for this? Because I’m about to open up Pandora’s box here. And I’m going to tell you 20 things of what’s happening, I’m gonna tell you 30 things of why this has happened to you. So it’s just a reeducation really, of telling people look, it’s there’s not a one smoking gun, rarely to you and I find one smoking gun.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, I 100% agree. It’s nice every now and then where you kind of get a home run and functional medicine, when you kind of make a couple of changes. And it’s like boom, and you blast it out of the park. It’s always a good luck little ego check. Because you know, you work with a lot of difficult patients over over time. And so it’s nice to get a couple of home runs every now and then. But if you work with a good clinician that has the right algorithm and kind of goes through the things goes to the options that give you the greatest chance of success out of the gates, and then work to the things that give you the less success at the end, then you have the greatest chance of success as a patient early on. And you set the foundation for greater healing over time. So I think that’s really the most important mindset is clinically go with the high percenter options.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and I’m not being a bully here. And I’m not making First of these people, I’m just saying, we really need to re education. You know, you you people eventually come out of the woodwork at at you when you and I do what we do and they’re not ready for the red pill. They’re not you know, they’ll ask what’s wrong me? Why do I have diabetes? Or why do I have this headache? It’s like, ah, are you ready? Are you ready? Because there’s there’s a lot to uncover. There’s a lot to unpack.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think most people once they’ve kind of gone through the conventional medicine model, and they’ve kind of said, Hey, all right, well, I just don’t want to be relying on laxatives or enemas my whole life. What’s next? Usually, once there’s, they kind of have this level of like, okay, these are the only options I have from conventional medicine. There’s a level of openness that occurs from that, where they’re like, Alright, what’s next? What’s next? I’d see functional medicine and nutrition is helping people all the time, what’s next outside of this because they just kind of have this yearning that there’s got to be something more. And I think that’s creates a level of openness and readiness to.
Evan Brand: Good point. Good point. Yeah. I often say people have to hit rock bottom or they have to be miserable enough to listen, I mean, you and I’ve heard countless stories of husbands and wives that are stubborn and they want to eat the pizza while the other spouse has to eat the grass fed steak and sweet potato that grass fed steak sweet potato tastes better anyway. So I don’t know what they’re doing. But But anyway, they’ve got to have their own issue right? And then finally, once the other person once they get miserable enough, then finally they’re they’re willing and you don’t have to drag them into this whole thing as much.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, I totally agree. Well, if you guys are listening, and you enjoy the podcast here, put your comments down below. Really appreciate the thumbs up and a share. We also reviews are great JustinHealth.com/iTunes, EvanBrand.com/iTunes. It’s great. If you feel free to head over to EvanBrand.com you can schedule an appointment with Evan anywhere in the world. Vice versa with myself Dr. J at JustinHealth.com. We’re here to help y’all. And I appreciate you guys listening and just feel free to share this content with some friends or family that can benefit. Again, we’re clinicians that have had 10s of thousands of patients experience kind of combined, and we want to provide actionable information with y’all so you can take action and get your health back in your hands. So we really appreciate you guys being listeners and attending.
Evan Brand: Take great care yourself. We’ll be back next week.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks.
Methods To Encourage Good Bowel Movement
You see women on Instagram. They’re all done up with their hair and makeup, and they’re marketing #ad #detox #tea. They have these ridiculous products that they’re remarketing and they’re not talking about poop. The best way to detox is getting poop out. I’m not going to buy detox tea. I’ll get a bit of dandelion or some milk thistle blended in and that’s part of it but unfortunately, detox is co-opted by the marketing industry. Most people don’t even focus on that. They’ll poop once a week but then they take a detox tea and they think they’re doing it correctly.
My whole take on detoxification out of the gates is very simple.
- Get enough good clean water in your system.
- Make sure you’re digesting your amino acids and all your nutrients well.
Remember: Sulfur-based amino acids run the majority of your detoxification pathways, along with B vitamins. We need good B vitamins, good antioxidants, and good sulfur amino acids. For breaking down those nutrients well, there’s not a bottleneck with ACL levels or enzyme levels. We’re getting enough to clean water.
- Not overly stressing our sympathetic nervous system.
Remember: The more we overly stress the adrenals, the sympathetic nervous system decreases that migrating motor complex which are the wavelike contractions that move stool through your intestinal tract, just like you roll up the toothpaste roll at night to get that toothpaste moving through to get your toothpaste out to brush your teeth. Your intestines are the same things.
If you can do those top three things right, you’re on the right track. There may be extra things where we need extra sulfur or extra antioxidants or compounds or binders to help with mold or heavy metal. That’s true and that would be addressed down the road but a lot of detoxification happens hepatobiliary, liver, gallbladder, back into the intestines, and then out the intestinal tract. So, we need to have really good motility and really good absorption of nutrients, and a lot of good clean water to help fuel.
Use one for liver support that has some gallbladder nutrients built into it. That can be really helpful because with sluggish bowels because a lot of times there’s also sluggish bile production. So, just helping thin the bile whether it’s using supplemental ox bile or methionine, taurine, B powder, whatever else we can do to increase bile flow. That’s going to be helping.
Detox and Diet
This is a low-hanging fruit that your average American is still really, really blowing it on which is just the fact that they’re not doing enough good meats, good fats, and good veggies. Your average American might wake up and do a piece of toast and maybe in 2020 or 2021, it’s an avocado toast but still that’s not the optimal thing for good poop.
Inflammation in the diet can easily mess up the intestinal tract and can easily create inflammation in the gut. That could either move the body more to diarrhea or more to constipation. If we start moving more to constipation, that’s not good. Of course, these foods can stress out the intestinal tract and then when we start creating inflammation in the intestinal tract, then we already have indigestion meaning we don’t have adequate enzymes and acids. So, we’re burping a lot after our meals, food sits longer in our tummy, and a lot of gases are produced because the foods are not being broken down properly. That’s a problem.
We’ve got to really make sure we’re masticating and chewing our food very, very, very well. We’ve got to make sure to increase the surface area for enzymes and acids to work. We also have to make sure not overly hydrating with our meals. So, hydrate 10 minutes or more before meal, and then if you’re consuming a little bit of liquid with a meal, just do it to help with swallowing pills. Don’t do it for hydration purposes. Because water has a pH of 7 and your intestinal tract has a pH of 1.5 to 2. So, if you start adding a whole bunch of pH 7 to up to a pH of 2, you’re going to move that pH more in the alkaline direction away from the acid direction. We need good acidity to help activate her enzymes in our acid levels. That’s very important.
- Chew your food up well.
- Make sure you’re not overly hydrating with the food. Do all your hydration 2 minutes before.
Can Functional Medicine Manage Headaches? | Podcast #301
In this podcast, together with Evan Brand, we’re going to be talking about functional solutions to headaches. We’ll be looking deeper into what we can do to headache issues.
Our diet can be the first one to consider and ergonomics to keep our body structures relaxed and align, therefore, maintaining our good posture. But how can these factors connected to headaches? Since many people are experiencing headaches, let’s talk about the things we can work on before we go straight to taking medications.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
On this episode, we cover:
0:59 Why Headaches Occur
4:27 Diets and Supplements
13:11 Possible Root Causes
18:52 Food Allergies
24:55 On Nutrition and Blood Sugar, Dehydration
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. I am with Evan brand. Today we’re going to be talking about functional medicine solutions for headaches. Evan, what’s happening, man? How you doing?
Evan Brand: I’m doing really well, we were looking through some little papers here on headaches is a big problem. I remember when I was actually working out of a chiropractor’s office, which feels like a long time ago, and it was a pretty long time ago, there were so many people that would come in there, and they’d have headaches, and the chiropractor would lay the patient down on the table, and he’d do the adjustment and they’d say, Oh, my God, I feel better. But then guess what, they came back next week for the same adjustment for the same headache. And this guy never got to the root cause and then when I started bringing just simple nutritional strategies into the clinic, all of a sudden the people that need the adjustment every week for the headache anymore, and of course, that quickly affected his his bottom line, and he’s like, Hey, stop getting my people off gluten. You’re fixing their headaches, and I thought, Well, isn’t that the goal of what we’re doing here? So now funny little backstory on headaches for me.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It totally I mean, there’s definitely a mechanical structural aspect to headaches. So if the joints in the spine aren’t moving properly, if there’s a subluxation, or a fixation, they’re just not good movement. That can be a problem, right? Especially like if the, the Atlas that c one and C two aren’t moving properly, because your head sits on top of that, that can create a lot of neurological imbalances and muscular imbalances, of course, and then just people sitting all day, right, what does that do, that’s going to just create this forward head posture, and that takes these muscles here and makes them really tight. And then you have a lot of these muscles, they can create trigger point pain referral, up the side of the neck, so like trigger points in the SEM, this muscle here, the sternocleidomastoid, or the upper trapezius, or the give us plenty of capitas muscles in the back that go up and that hit right in the back of the occiput there. These muscles get tight or they have trigger points they can cause referral into the face so you have subluxation joint issues, and then those can cause neurological disturbances. And blood flow issues. And then of course all the trigger point referral from the muscle. So good chiropractic care can be helpful on the structural side. Ideally, you want a chiropractor that one can either do some kind of myofascial release or active release therapy, some kind of a soft tissue or refer out for it. And then also taking a look at the postural stuff like you mentioned, like making sure like I’m at a stand right now so I can stand half my day. I have a really good chair that has really good lumbar and cervical support. So you want to make sure postural is good. You can do good exercises like the foundation training. Eric Goodman does that he does a lot of these the founder exercises like this, I love-
Evan Brand: Cobra training is a game changer for the back. People that are on audio that they’re not seeing him the founder pose is pretty cool. You basically put your arms up like you’re praying to the sun Gods above your head and then you end up bending over and then you open your chest up and then you kind of stand up. It’s a very, very good. Oh, it feels great.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, basically, it’s just putting stress on that whole posterior chain and working that whole post. exterior side together in unity. So, some structural standpoint soft tissue, make sure joints are moving properly. And then of course, look at the trigger point referral, the adhesions. The problem with chronic muscle pain is you have poor movement, poor movement in the joints means poor communication to the brain. You have lots of postural disturbances and people sitting all day. And if you sit, invest in a good desk, a good good desk as well as a good chair, spend a couple hundred bucks, get a really good chair that has cervical and lumbar support. That’s huge. Don’t don’t get a cheap thing like that. And then also soft tissue chiropractic, and then good exercise support to really make sure that whole posterior chain is working well.
Evan Brand: So you’re saying the the experience I was witnessing where the chiropractor was adjusting someone that could have been legit in terms of the therapy meaning if someone was sitting on a terrible chair all week, every week they come in Friday for their headache adjustment. The headache goes away for the weekend, and they’re back next week for the headache you’re saying yeah, look Gently that could have been a structural postural thing that he was addressing. But then at the end of the day, maybe it was the the diet piece. Like I mentioned, even just simply getting a lot of these patients off gluten, they noticed that they only had to come in every two weeks or every three weeks. So is it would you then say that the the food allergens were contributing to increased inflammation, maybe triggering these nerves to be more sensitive? Or what do you think the diet? How would that link into the structural components?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so the diet is two things right? The diet one increases an environment of inflammation, the more inflamed you get the the the the least amount of blood flow, less blood flow, you get to the muscles, less blood flow, you get to the nerve, so there’s going to be less communication, right? It’s like, it’s like you’re on a microphone and you start to get in your static, right and you start getting static. It’s kind of like that. So if we have a lot of inflammation, what starts to happen is the muscles start becoming more less pliable, more like beef jerky, versus soft and supple. And then that affects the nerves as well because the more inflammation there is that’s going to affect nerve communication. And then of course, the more inflammation there is. And if we have bad posture we don’t move, then the joints can become a little bit stuck, and maybe out of a line or subluxated. So it can aid to the inflammation, which then makes it harder for the muscles to work, thus harder for the joints to work and the nerves to work. That’s number one. And then number two things like gluten have shown to actually decrease blood flow to the brain to the frontal cortex. So you have blood flow up the garden hoses on the side of your neck called the carotid artery. And there’s studies on this talking about gluten decreasing blood flow and and creating inflammation in the brain. So one, it’s going to do it via structural mechanisms of the nerves and muscles and joints. From an inflammation standpoint, structural to it’s going to affect blood flow, and drive up inflammation to the brain which then can create more neurological activation, immune activation in the brain, which can create symptoms. Have head pain there too.
Evan Brand: So if you want to be smarter and make better decisions, make sure you’re not eating gluten. That sounds pretty convincing to me. Also, let’s get into the nutrient deficiency piece. If you’re eating a meal, let’s say you’re eating pasta and chicken, you’re probably not going to be getting much magnesium. And you’re probably not going to be getting many B vitamins that are going to be essential. Magnesium is probably the most famous mineral for headaches and muscle cramps and things like that. And we could pull it up, but it’s very easy to find in the literature, the link between magnesium deficiency and headaches and of course, the muscle cramping too. So, I mean, that’s an easy one to from the diet perspective. It’s not just the inflammation piece, it’s the absence of the nutrition that you need to help, you know, fuel these these pathways and then also what about like fatty acids? So you know, I remember several people were all we did is give them a high dose omega three couple grams a day and their headaches were gone, just based on adding in some omegas.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so there’s a couple other components with headaches, right? So of course, like you’re just highlighting nutrients like your brain needs certain nutrients to run and function. So if you look at a lot of these migraine, these natural migraine supplements, you’ll see a couple of common things. You’ll see like B vitamins, especially like nice and in there, you’ll see things like magnesium in there, you’ll see B six in there, these are really important things. Also koku 10s very important for headaches and migraines. So just from a nutrient standpoint, the more nutrient dense anti inflammatory low toxin your foods are, the more these nutrients are going to be present. Okay. And the other component is, the more refined and processed your foods are usually there’s gonna be okay and then also the fat start fats are also anti inflammatory. So remember, inflammation affects the muscles, the nerves, the joints, and the more of an anti inflammatory environment you create with good fats like you just highlighted, that’s going to help. And the other component is blood sugar. So the more poor diet is, usually there’s more processed food, you’re lacking those nutrients but you’re also typically eating more processed refined carbohydrates and junky fats, which causes your blood sugar to go up and down. And these ebbs and flows of blood sugar, especially on the way down, can really create headache issues. So this reactive hypoglycemia kind of blood sugar issue response can create surges of adrenaline and cortisol and those things can definitely create headaches too.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and that could be it could be shakiness, right. It could be irritability, there could be some mood changes, there could be possibly fuzzy thinking, you know, from a cognitive perspective, too. So people may not connect the dots like oh, I had oatmeal and a banana for breakfast. And now here it is. 10am Three hours later. My blood sugar’s crashing. Not only am I irritable and anxious, but all of a sudden I’m getting a headache. What is it? Is it the fluorescent lights in my cubicle at the office? Which Yes, it could be fluorescent lighting is a big trigger for headaches. So it could be some environmental cause too. Is it the moldy office building you’re sitting in is causing the headache maybe? Or is it simply just a blood sugar crashing and it could be all of it. So that’s the thing that you and I do really a good job at is we try to look at all the variables because if you go to like a conventional doc for a headache, maybe they give you an ibuprofen recommendation, or if it’s bad enough, they’ll give you some type of prescription medication, if it’s to the migraine level, like a topamax or something like that. And then you get stuck on these medications. There’s not really any sort of root cause game plan. But if they referred you out to possibly an allergist, if they thought that your headaches were from an allergy problem, the allergist is likely going to recommend some over the counter anti histamine or some type of drug like that or possibly a prescription. And once again, they’re not addressing any of the root cause stuff and you could have gone to several practitioners and no one brought up magnesium deficiency. No one brought up vitamin D, which is critical. No one brought up getting off gluten, getting off grains, getting rid of potentially nuts and seeds if you have histamine type issues. So it’s just amazing how far you could go down the conventional rabbit hole with this issue and still not even get close to the root cause.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s the hard part. Like any Functional Medicine world everything’s like three dimensional right? So you have medications that are like anti inflammatory you have SSRI medications that are affecting serotonin or dopamine or adrenaline. I’ve had really great success using amino acids for headaches too. Now, why are there amino acid deficiencies? Usually it’s a combination of stress burning up serotonin, and dopamine, or it’s a combination of not breaking down and digesting good amino acids, right? So you can see amino acids play a very powerful role. I think you also see it with DLP as well. And headaches. These are all amino acids and if we have poor digestion, and we have poor nutrition to begin with, we got one deficiency coming in, but we also have a deficiency on being able to digest assimilate and utilize these nutrients as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so you’re typically going to be using like a complex right, you’re probably not going to spot tree where you’re going to come in with like just the LPA by itself. You may come in with like a, maybe a good quality protein or like collagen or some type of amino acid blend. When you’re talking about amino is correct?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, it depends. So if I have organic acid testing showing serotonin and dopamine is off, we may spot those with specific amino acids. And then of course, you got to have B six there with that and those other nutrients in the background. So, of course, we’re going to be doing a good quality multi, and then we’ll be hitting those amino acids up for sure, especially if we have lab data on it. But we’ll be like, we’re never going to go all in on one thing, right? We’re going to do a good history. And then we’re going to make recommendations. Maybe there’s some structural stuff we got to look at, maybe there’s some diet stuff we got to look at, maybe there’s some supplement stuff we have to look at. And we will kind of get a plan for all three of those things going at once. If we see those issues could be active.
Evan Brand: Yeah, what we do is so fun. It’s not just fun. It’s very effective, because as you mentioned, we’re going to be looking at organic acids testing to try to investigate this issue. We may be looking at stool testing, too, because I know you and I both seen countless times where we’ll see gut inflammation, and that may manifest in terms of headaches too. So gut inflammation is not just Hey, my gut feeling inflamed or irritated? It could be the whole system. You could have headaches, you could have increased fatigue, you could have increased joint pain, and depending on what kind of infections you have, whether it’s I know when I had parasites and H. pylori, I had headaches. Now, what was the mechanism? Well, hard to say. But I would say one mechanism was my digestion was terrible. I had diarrhea, I, you know, you could diagnose me with IBS. That’s what the conventional doctor actually said was, Hey, this is just IBS. Of course, that doesn’t address the infection. So I think that’s one other thing that we should bring up is that if the diet style then we’ve got someone listening saying, hey, look, I’m doing paleo or autoimmune paleo or I’m doing magnesium supplements. My vitamin D is good. I’m off gluten. Why do I still have headaches? Well, you know, then I would look at the gut and then I would look at some of these environmental causes as well because we do know the toxins of various types whether it’s mercury, cadmium, aluminum, any kind of heavy metals, those can affect the brain. Those can affect headaches, mold, toxin, mycotoxins lines. co-infections them opening up a lot of can of worms here, but this is what we do, we try to get all of the potential puzzle pieces and then arrange those in the right order to get you feeling better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally, totally 100% agree. So you got to look at everything kind of get to the roots. The root cause for sure. So very important. So in regards to different headaches, of course, we have like cluster headaches, we have regular headaches, which kind of you know, cause pain in the head, upper neck. Of course we have migraines, which are more going to be extremely painful headaches, right? Usually there’s gonna be more intense, there’s gonna be kind of that open book kind of sensation, maybe you’ll have a little bit of an aura, there’ll be some eye issues more intense. Obviously with women this can be a big issue when there’s ebbs and flows and estrogen in your cycle. Or you can see it premenstrual Lee, especially when there’s a big premature drop and progesterone or inadequate levels of progesterone. You can see it hormonally. So when you have headaches too, if you’re a female listening, make sure you see if you time it up in your cycle if it’s happening at around simulation, we’re at a specific time. Your cycle. Typically it’s gonna be preventively right before you bleed or right at around menstruation there’s probably ebbs and flows with the hormone. So, you know, we may use herbs to help modulate the upstream signaling from the brain to the ovaries. And we may use some specific hormones that kind of buffer out the ebbs and flows. And then of course, we’re trying to get the adrenals and the HPA g t access all better. So those symptoms are going to be less prevalent.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and you’re saying this could be related to the progesterone dropping too much or prematurely that would also then assume that that’s an estrogen dominant situation going on too, right. So maybe something like calcium D glucerate, which we use, not only for mycotoxins and other things that could also help with the hormonal piece and therefore potentially help with headaches.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, that’s correct.
Evan Brand: Glutathione’s have been very helpful for me. I don’t want to divert too quickly away from the hormonal thing because I think you brought up a big smoking gun for a lot of women. But you know, Glutathione did a lot of good for me when I first was dealing with headaches and it related to toxicity, just two to 300 milligrams a day, and it would significantly help However, if you do too much I know you remember that night I called you I’m like, Hey, I took a double dose of glutathione My head is frickin killing me remember that? Yeah, I was just experimenting and and I messed up and I mobilized too many toxins. So that could be something to talk with your practitioner about as well as, Hey, are you doing binders? Are you doing some type of collation? Are you doing Glutathione because if you’re pushing too much out, that can also overwhelm this detox system, and it’ll result as a headache.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. I don’t love like classifying a lot of these headaches because, okay, whether it’s a cluster headache or attention, headache or a migraine headache, it doesn’t really tell me a lot about the root cause, right? Like someone could have a hormonal issue and could have just a general tension headache while someone else could have like kind of a migraine headache, right. And so it doesn’t tell you like a whole bunch about the root cause. So like, I just kind of when I deal with patients I kind of make a note of what’s going on, I try to connect it to things that are happening day in, day out, like meaning if we see it happen like right after a meal, we may think blood sugar. If we see it happen at things throughout the cycle, it could be if we it could be more hormonally base. If it’s just kind of random. Then I’m going to be asking about physical what’s physical stress look like in regards to posture in regards to muscle tone in regards to seeing a chiropractor in regards to what your office life like is like, when you’re sitting in a chair, like, I’ll try to connect the dots with those things. But the kind of headache you have, for me, doesn’t matter as much, but try to connect it to the onset. For me, that tends to matter a little bit. But even if we can’t really get a big connection there, I just still do all these things that I mentioned and I still get amazing results.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s the fun thing is we kind of fix stuff by accident sometimes meaning we’re going to run you through our protocols and procedures to get a good workup on you and then oh Hey, by the way, look at these major deficiencies and B vitamins. Oh hey, look at these neurotransmitter imbalances. Oh hey, look at the hormones. Oh, hey, look at the gut infections. We need to fix all this and then boom, guess what? The headaches went away. Now I agree with your comment about we don’t really care about where or what the category or classification of the headache is. I would agree except for the occipital, the back of the head headaches because for me that definitely is 100% linked to bartonella which is a type of infection that you can get from fleas. So if you have cats, if you have dogs, if you’re not keeping up with their flea preventatives, and you get a flea on you, they do transmit bartonella mosquitoes, there is some talk about mosquitoes transmitting bartonella. And then, of course, most infamous, are ticks transmitting bartonella. And I can tell you on the back of the head, man, it gets really tender. Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of issues of bartonella. And I will notice just it’s it’s tender back there and I haven’t really linked it to to anything else. No, maybe it’s structural. Maybe I’m talking to you, right Now and I’m kind of turtle heading forward by accident to make sure I’m talking into the microphone. But I think, I think part nail is definitely a big back of the head.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s good to know, it’s good to know that’s good to have that history. I mean, you could have back of the head issues, though just from, you know, forehead posture, and then these muscles, these capitas muscles that connect in the back could also get overly tight as well, just from poor posture. So it’s good, it’s good to kind of look at everything right? And then who knows, right? It’s kind of like with gluten, when you have an infection like that it can drive more inflammation, when there’s more inflammation, you’re going to have less blood flow to the muscles, the muscles are going to be less pliable, and they’re more easy to get, you know, taut and tender fibers and develop trigger points because of the inflammation. So everything’s connected, but I think it’s good. You know, it’s something that you add to like kind of your differential diagnosis as a clinician. Okay, good back of the habit. We’ll keep an eye out for co infections. We’ll keep an eye out for these underlying issues as well. I get smart.
Evan Brand: Do you want to talk about any of the other food allergies I mean, we’ve seen people with like Nightshade issues where peppers tomatoes could cause some issues, potentially headaches. What about dairy? Do you want to talk on those at all?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, I see dairy, I see potential nuts and seeds. I see all those things as as a potential driver. It’s unbelievable. Because like having done you know, this job for over a decade and seeing thousands of patients, you have common things that are just like the most common like gluten and dairy right? And blood sugar issues been there. Sometimes there’s just weird things like, okay, eggs, eggs cause a problem. While eggs are a really awesome kind of Paleo Food. You know, it’s sucks that you can’t eat eggs. But eggs are a great food. And that’s crazy that that’s causing your headache. Wow. Okay, so we’ll just keep an eye on that. That’s why, you know, we have a pretty strict elimination diet that we follow in the beginning just to rule out those variables. Because even things that I want that patient to be able to consume, and I’m like, and I wish I could have eggs, but sometimes they can’t. And that can get better over time as we heal the gut. And as the immune system gets better, and the gut gets better, so even that can still be healed over time for sure.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know if you remember you and I talking about this, but For a while I was doing avocados like every single day. And then all of a sudden I just had major pressure in my temples. I mean, it was like my head was being squeezed in a vise I thought, oh my god, what is this? So I just went through the diet and started tracking things and discovered it was avocado. So I think I was just doing too much histamine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you have you’ve tired mean stuffing is like chocolates and wines and cheese, right? The tire mean kind of amino acid compound can drive headaches in some people as well. Right? And so that’s where it’s nice to do that kind of investigation. Hey, is it connected to avocados? Is that a food allergy thing? Is it a histamine thing? Right? Could it be a histamine, right? We know headaches. You would think there’s a lot of constriction in the brain vessels, right? with headaches. It’s actually the opposite. There’s a lot of vezo dilation in the brain vessels and things like histamine actually Dr. Faisal dilation that’s why like when you bump your elbow, right, well, there’s a histamine immune response happening Well, does your elbow become more swelled or less well when you bump it or more swelling or Why is that? Because histamine is actually a strong vezo dilator. It opens things up to help get those immune cells in there to go after the inflammation. So, you know, if we see things like histamine being a driving factor, we’ll keep an eye on that. I mean that that’s important to look at. Anything else you want to add about there?
Evan Brand: Yeah, let me comment on that. So that would explain why. Back in the day when my wife and I first got together, she had major, major headaches, you know, and we were trying to track it through the diet. And at the time, she was using the excedrin which was that pain medication with the caffeine?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, that cause constriction.
Evan Brand: And that was the only thing that helped her with the headache. And then Luckily, she finally listened to me and we got her off gluten and got her diet dialed in and got her got taken care of and cleaned up all of her personal care products and Hooray, no more headaches. So.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. So that’s a big thing. So if you’re doing caffeine and you have a headache, could it help? Yes, definitely could help may not be your root cause and it may be A palliative thing, right? But definitely can help.
Evan Brand: On withdrawals too right caffeine withdrawals if you were on a bunch and then tried to get off caffeine that would also cause kind of a rebound headache as well. And then what about blood pressure? For a while, you know, I was noticing blood pressure spikes, and that was directly linked to headaches. I mean, that’s an easy one. If you’re walking around with 145 over 95 or higher as your as your blood pressure and you’re in kind of a stage one or stage two hypertension, that’s a big, big thing. And that’s easy, low hanging fruit to address as long as you can find the root cause of it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Yep. So that’s really important to look at. Also, um, just minerals like hydration and minerals are a big thing. I did a big long fast I fasted for two days, and when I was about 36 hours into it, I really had a strong headache like really bad headache. I was doing minerals, I was doing hydration. I was even testing my blood sugar like my blood sugar was around 80 By the way, but I personally Believe I felt an inner tremble and inner bit of jitteriness, so I believe my blood sugar was lifted to 80 by adrenaline and cortisol. So that’s the thing like fasting could create a blood sugar issue may not show on it like I got my keto Mojo, like meter right here. So I was like testing my blood sugar and I’m sitting around at like, that’s not like 60 or 50 like, and I even tested my ketones. My ketones were like around point five to one millimoles so that-
Evan Brand: -was that was that where you would expect to be or the ketones lower indicating that the body with the stress response kind of kick you out or prevented you from being in a deeper?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think it kicked me out a little bit because I’m typically at about point five anyway without fasting. So and I tested you know, I tested every now and then I was at point 5.7 last week. Now I keep a very low carb high fat breakfast, right? And I’m typically around point five 2.7 and I was over a day in and I was around point five 2.7 I didn’t see a huge Drop. Now, in two days, I dropped six pounds of weight just from water and not having any anything on my body. So I was losing a lot of weight on that side of the fence. But in general, fasting could potentially be a blood sugar stressor, even if it doesn’t show up on the meter. Because you could have other hormones picking it up. Yes, and adrenaline and then that could potentially cause more issues. neurologically,
Evan Brand: That’s a super, super good point that 99% of people don’t know. Hey, wait a second. I don’t have a blood sugar problem. But you didn’t see it. You didn’t see that on paper unless you had like a continuous monitor. Right? And then it crashed and then you saw the spike later. That would have been interesting.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And I broke my fast with bacon and eggs and within one to two hours, headache gone.
Evan Brand: Cool. So what do you think I will what what was the magic remedy and the bacon and eggs that cured the headache?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I mean, it’s gonna be nutrition and blood sugar. Yeah. I mean, it’s just stress response if your body isn’t getting nutrition for two days, like actual nutrients, your body’s gonna be like what’s going on here. So there’s gonna be a stress response there, especially when I’m used to having a nutrient dense diet. So just getting lots of good fats, lots of good proteins in there. Just stabilize things out. So that’s why if you’re going too fast, you know, if you’re going to do a fast also, I worked for two days when I fast it. So I generally recommend keeping your fast on non stressful days where you can relax and chill out. That way, you’re not under as much stress. And you’re not because the fast is already a stressor. So you don’t want to add more stress to that. And so ideally, finding days where they aren’t that stressful if you’re going to do a 24 or 36 or 48 hour fast, if not intermittent fast, are probably the best because then you can still get all your nutrients in like a six hour window and still have a lot of that those fasting benefits, which is probably better. It’s more it’s easier to do.
Evan Brand: Yep. And it would be nice if we could get everyone to somewhat of a stable level. have health because since fasting has become kind of a popular, I guess you’d call it a trend. I hate to call it a trend, but I guess it is. You’ve got so many people doing it as a starting place. Like they’ll go from a conventional diet and then they’ll just start doing fasting. It’s like, Ah, you’re already nutrient deprived, you really need to get like healthy with your diet first and then do it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, this is 100%. Like, let’s say the average person is eating this many calories, right? And the nutrient levels are here. So I’m kind of making hand gestures, high amount of calories, low amount of nutrients. What’s the easiest first step here is let’s just increase the nutrients right and balance the macros. Like why are we going to cut all the calories, aka nutrients down? If they already have a lot of calories, and they don’t have a lot of nutrients, but doesn’t make sense. It’s not the low hanging fruit. Right? It’s like taking someone who has an exercise in a while and just throwing them into a CrossFit class, but gonna be overly sore, overly achy, and they’re gonna have an aversion to it in the future.
Evan Brand: That the aversion is key because then they’ll say, Oh, my God, fasting was terrible. It’s like damn, Well, how do you? That’s kind of you got to you got to break that down for me. What do you mean? What were you eating before then? What were your stress levels? Like you said, were you working? Was this on the weekend when you weren’t stressed? What was your blood sugar? Did you did you write before you fasted? Did you do a reset cup? You’re like, I’m gonna have one last piece of cake. And then I’m going to do a three day fast. I mean, what was it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, I mean, like, my favorite kind of fast day in day out is I’ll have like a simple something kind of fat in the morning and then I won’t eat till like five or 6pm that night. And I’ll just do a little bit of bone broth at night or I in the afternoon. I like just something simple like that kind of rest my tummy for eight to 10 hours have a nice bigger dinner. So if I’m going to go out to eat, I’ll do a lot of that sometimes just so I can get my appetite up. And if I consume a little bit of extra calories at night, it’s okay because I’ll have a little more metabolic flexibility to handle it.
Evan Brand: We’ll do a all about fasting podcast soon. If you have questions, specific concerns, experiences you want to share about those. Please if you’re watching on Doctor Justin’s YouTube channel, let us know. But we should do a whole thing on that because I think there are good ways and bad ways to do it. I think we have before but it’s always good to do to do updates on those.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% totally agree. So blood sugar stuff. nutrients, right B6, B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, thionine, herbs, ginger, feverfew, we already talked about magnesium, I think. And then of course, things like five HTP and tyrosine can be really helpful, but again, not for everyone. Those are really good things out of the gates, kokyu 10s, and other important nutrient keeping the inflammation down via some of the bad foods. We chatted about gluten and dairy and refined sugar out of the gates and then look at some of the structural components, you know, is the structural component a root cause thing, or is it or is it an association with other inflammation stuff happening hormonally or in your diet, so you got to connect the two and sometimes you may have two issues you have to address at the same time. You may need to see the chiropractor or the massage or the soft tissue or make the postural changes while you change your diet and do other things. Sometimes you have to do both. So it’s never just like a one off kind of thing. It’s always good to do both, especially if you want results faster.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah, well said just a couple quick things, dehydration, I mean for all my clients out there listening that are doing binders, charcoal and seal lights and clays, whatever else. I mean, when you’re pulling out toxins, we you and I’ve said this a million times we’ll say it a million in one today the solution to pollution is dilution. So aka drink more clean, good filtered water, whether it’s a Berkey or ro with minerals, whatever you can do to get good filtered water, you got to drink, drink, drink, drink, drink, most people are chronically dehydrated. If you and I look at blood work, we’ll see this all the time. And then peppermint lavender essential oils, those are easy, low hanging fruits. I’m not one of those people that thinks the essential oils are going to cure everything. However, there were times in my life where I had miserable headaches and I would do a couple drops of lavender essential oil on my temples and it would help or I would do a little bit on the wrist and breathe it in and that would help or if it was a tummy ache and headache I would do a little topically on the stomach with the peppermint and that reduce the headache. So those things can be helpful too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Yeah, totally appreciate that. So anyone listening to this, try to you know, grab hold of some of the simple actionable information that we kind of outlined off the bat. If this issue has been going on for a while, feel free to reach out to Evan, EvanBrand.com or Justin, got myself, Dr. J. at JustinHealth.com you’ll see scheduled links where you can reach out to both of us we are available worldwide to provide your functional medicine natural health needs. Also, if you guys enjoyed it, share it with friends and family put down below in the comments, your own experiences with headaches and what’s worked and what hasn’t worked, what things that really move the needle for you. And we really appreciate a review and iTunes review from y’all. So EvanBrand.com/iTunes, JustinHealth.com/iTunes for review. That’d be amazing. And anything else you want to leave us with?
Evan Brand: No, that’s it. You did a great job. Thanks for the conversation. It’s always a blast and we’ll be back next week.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent chat. Give a good one. Take care. Bye.