Addressing EMF, 5G and Improving Your Athleticism – Justin Frandson | Podcast #379
Exposure to artificial radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) has increased significantly in recent decades. Therefore, there is a growing scientific and social interest in its influence on health, even upon exposure significantly below the applicable standards.
In this video, Dr J and Justin Frandson discuss the possible harmful effects of EMF and 5G on our well-being and what the strategies are to keep our athleticism and overall health performance. To find out more, make sure to like, subscribe, and watch out for more evidence-based health tips!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
0:28 – Athleticism
4:57 – Concussions
16:03 – EMF
25:30 – Correlation vs causation
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here, really excited. I have Justin Fradson on today’s show. We’re gonna be talking about 5G, EMF, natural ways to help eliminate that, reduce it, neutralize it and also talk about improving athleticism as well. Justin, welcome to today’s show. How you doing, man?
Justin Frandson: Really great. Thanks Dr. J for having me on.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, awesome. And you got a new book that’s out called athleticism, whole body, whole brain performance. Can you just kind of what inspired you to write this book and what are some of the key take home points you want to highlight out of the gates.
Justin Frandson: Oh yeah, I’m pretty stoked on this book, I must say, this is my life journey just. Oh, and between those two hard back cover so, I mean, I started working with the athletes about 25 years ago. Started athleticism.com. I had a Scripps clinic in La Jolla and work with the amateur and professional athletes develop sensory, motor, nerve work for sports performance. We do whole body, brain training, ambidexterity, and I treat concussions and do a bunch of stuff.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OK, that’s very cool. So let’s talk about the, the, the ambidexterity training. What does that look like? What are some of the exercises? What are some of the therapies you run your athletes through to improve that?
Justin Frandson: Well, we’re one of the only sports performance programs that actually has an ambidexterity program. And that’s great. The crust of it I think is, is to really get these bodies being a whole body and whole brain.Performer. So we do everything from juggling to washers to cup stacking. Uh, a lot of martial arts stuff as well. Stick training, just coordination with the hands and integrating with foot movements.Those are some of the ambidexterity stuff, just with the hands that people would think of. We also do the same things with the rhythms, with the feed and then everything’s nonlinear semi circles figure eights connecting to the infinite flow of the universe.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So is someone coming to you and saying, hey, I wanna be a better athlete? These are some of the skill sets that I need in my sport and then you kind of come in and recommend various kind of modalities within your clinic. Is that how it works?
Justin Frandson: Yeah definitely and then or I get bridge training post PT guys Sir kind of fed up with PT and or their sessions have expired and they don’t know what to do. They’re kind of left high and dry. So we bridge that gap all the way to high level performance and then do a lot of treatments as well for injury recovery like a stretching therapy and brain and trainment, light, sound, frequency, vibration, those are all my go to.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. And so when you have people that come in from PT, what do you see some of the big shortcomings of PT that maybe prevent some of the people that see you? Like why they’re not healing all the way? There are certain modalities or shortcomings philosophically or modality wise that are missing in that? That you kind of bring delight, if you will.
Justin Frandson: Definitely. I really feel PT’s are some of the most gifted facilitators out there, but unfortunately a lot of them are held within the restrictions of billing and so they’re just going to ice, they’re just going to do 5 minutes of yeah, fascial work. They’re not able to do, use their gifts to the extent that they use them. So I think that one of the downfalls of the PT system is a really locked into the insurance space method and protocols most of our PT or excuse me post OP physical therapist so your session has expired. You certain point then you’re pretty much you’re done. I mean you then there are where do you go? And I have that same experience. I tore my ACL playing basketball while dunking on a guy and when I landed, he then bends his knee in the side of my knee and tore the ACL. And went through PT out of scripts clinic in La Hoya where I was officed out of. So the Orthos brought us in there and to work with the PT in them so they could have the system. So I’m like OK, I’m going to use this PT even though I got it three from a handful of other PT’s, well, he starts billing me. It was like $750 to ice my knee for the first visit. And then and three weeks, four weeks, four weeks in I had expired all my, my and I had like I had. I had like the best insurance he could have and I was done in like a month and so. And then he had built the just crap out of me. And so I’m going this is just a flawed system. And it ended up being my niche where I could take over that bridge, bridge that gap to where they really missed out on.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OK, got it. And so when you see people that have come in with concussions, what’s your first step to addressing that outside of the, you know, the conventional model, right? The conventional model a lot of times is like sunglasses go sit in the dark corner maybe? Don’t, don’t fall asleep for a little bit, right? Is there anything else you’re doing that’s kind of specifically improving healing? Anything nutritionally, anything neurological exercise wise, to kind of help facilitate that healing?
Justin Frandson: Well, the first thing I do is they go to a chiropractor. So the first thing I do? So go to Chiro, get everything adjusted. Make sure everything is structurally in place. I mean, that’s number one. When they come to see me, what I do is what I do. They work on sensory nerves so I level their horizon and get them connected to their center line, which is basically obviously their longitude latitude line. One thing I know where they are in space, everything will start to heal.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So how does that work? Is that upper cervical type of stuff? How do you do that?
Justin Frandson: No, through light therapy and muscle lights. OK, you are soggy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OK. And so what’s the input? You’re adding light or anything else to help that?
Justin Frandson: Light and I use essential oils and I use muscle testing and energy work to do it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. Excellent. And so someone comes in, they have these concussion issues, right? You’re using these different modalities and that’s you’re seeing that helps celebrate healing. Are you doing anything with a red light? Are you doing anything with nutrition at all?
Justin Frandson: Well yeah, I mean like red light is what we use, so I actually use GRT light most of the time Umm. And it’s red LED and infrared and it has different policies and mechanisms and then I’m actually using essential oils as well and nutrition is huge because your stomachs, your second brain. So, right. I had a guy who just had a client actually two days ago. Crazy. You bring this up, but he put a breath mint. He’s 14. Little kid got a concussion and I had seen him three times prior and I’m working on his nerves, on his REM patterns and he was, he held in the beginning of going right to left on his eye movements without moving his head, just moving his eyes.He put them in his mouth and I go to retest his eyes, and he goes weak. And guess what? Events are full of artificial… about his nervous system.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense. Nutrition plays a major role, whether it’s additional toxicity coming in through junkie sugars or artificial sweeteners or potential food allergens or junkie fats, right. All those things matter. And what kind of diet changes do you make, I mean, most people that I see that come to me and they’ve seen PT in the past, most very rarely even look at nutrition or anything in that realm or get extra nutrients to help build back connective tissue or joints or bones. It’s kind of ignored 100%. You see it also, already conventional medicine too. What kind of changes do you make out of the gates in those areas?
Justin Frandson: Well, the big thing is looking at all the different stressors of the body and you gotta look at what John rates like down regulates the nervous system. And so comically food, drink, air, EMF. So food is just basically eating real stuff like eating a real balanced intake. That’s a real food that’s not modified, that’s not real in pesticide, herbicide and also growing in the garage. That doesn’t come out of a bag and from an industrialized manufacturing plant. So some of the basic stuff on that. I love structured and structuring the water. Just get hydration down, have them start to own their power a little bit.More and then sleep is the other biggest thing which our grounding bags help with. So kind of normalizing a full spectrum of these athletes and you know that that’s where we’re really diving into.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any specific diet recommendations, are you making sure proteins are adequate? Or is there a certain amount of protein you want people to eat in relation to their weight? Half a gram per pound? One gram per pound of body weight? What does that look like for protein?
Justin Frandson: Yeah. I haven’t really gotten too granular with them on that. I just say balance it out. What I do look at is we have an MCT oil called Lean Oil. So it’s from the palm kernel, so it’s medium chain triglycerides.That’s right. So they’re the very fattest fuel. Uh. But you gotta kick in the oldest people valve, get some protein in the body. Yeah, first thing in the morning. I mean, these are some things that I like to do. Uh, and? That’s kind of where I go out and I’m not big on digitally quantifying like these specific ratios and it just feeds your body what you feel is right for you and does your food really well and dying, but enough fuel in your system too, so you’re not burning adrenaline. You’re burning fuel.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that makes sense.Absolutely.Yeah, I mean I thought protein is really important because if you’re athletic and you’re using your muscles, you’re creating this breakdown, your body trying to heal that back up. So proteins and it’d be really important. Also protein is going to be very blood sugar stabilizing, very satiating into preventing you from overeating, obviously good fats or super important because every cell in our body has a good healthy cell membrane and we need good healthy fats whether it’s coconut oil or good healthy grass fed pasture fed animal products. We want to really be avoiding a lot of the junkie more inflammatory process fats Omega 6 trans fat. So I think that’s, you know, important to have those components dialed in for sure. That makes a lot of sense. What’s next? So you see patients, they come in to you, your. What’s the next step the average person’s missing to make themselves more athletic? Like, if you could do one thing with the average person, what would it be outside of some of the things we’re already talking about now?
Justin Frandson: Well, the first thing I recommend to them is to start balancing more, so when you’re probably the number one thing I dressed in the book. If you don’t balance, you can’t do anything. So that’s the biggest thing. I think right behind that would be flexibility to have some range of motion and once they get established a functional range of motion. Then you go into the stability components, and then we start to develop a foundation that we build on for speed, power, coordination, and it is just a human disguise of limits. And it’s unilateral versus jumping off of both feet and you just take the athletes and our new dimension.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s why I always like unilateral work, because I find that you can really show weaknesses to people. A single like deadlift for unilateral kind of opposite arm pull. I feel like when you do things that are unilateral it really exposes a lot of weaknesses. and imbalances in the body so that that’s really good. Plus you don’t need a lot of weight, you don’t need a lot of load. When you’re rolling, you’re only using half of that foundational stable unit. So that’s cool. Yeah. What’s one thing?
Justin Frandson: Yeah. But the other thing real quick is I’ve been doing a lot of B3 bands. And which is blood flow restriction and, I found that’s really helpful for me because of limited time for workout. I’ll throw on the ban, it boosts my nitric oxide buildup and endothelial vascular growth factor. So I think more growth factors.That, you know what, I’m in my 50s, so, uh, I could use all that I could get right now naturally, and that’s been a fantastic way. And my strengths improve, my speeds improve. So for a quick workout, those B3 bands have been awesome for me.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. And the goal of those bands is like a rubber band, almost like what they do if they were to take your blood, they wrap it around there and that’s restricting blood flow. And then as a result, it’s what, increasing growth hormone, increasing NO2, essentially.
Justin Frandson: Yeah. The nitric oxide is oxide for it and what happens is, you develop these buffers and you just develop more growth factors from it. But B3 bands have Airways in that restriction, so you’re not starving the muscle of oxygen, you’re just constricting it. So my whole thing is like resistance. Resistance and the subtle resistance are vascular systems that just don’t have it until you put a ban on it. The two activities that restrict or provide resistance for your respiratory system are swimming because you’re exhaling into the water or playing a horn instrument as a musician. Other than that, we don’t develop that respiratory system with resistance. So there’s ways to look at fast resistance, respiratory system resistance versus just traditional strength training resistance and so that’s why we’re looking at all these components.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Excellent. And so you are also very passionate about EMF and you sent me a couple of goodies which I appreciate. You sent me some EMF kind of neutralizing crystals, a Faraday bag, a couple things and they have a website, EMF rocks. Let’s talk a little bit more about EMF and just kind of some of the negative impacts out of the gate that you see, for instance, with your athletes that you work with?
Justin Frandson: Ohhh, yeah doctor J. I mean, I saw an endurance athlete come through and this one.Higher arm when weak from wearing a smartwatch on his wrist. And so I’m like, oh wow, yeah, get that radiation off your wrist. His whole arm just got better. It got stronger again without me kind of radiation. Was it hooked up to Wi-Fi or was it just like a simple what kind of signal was it? Was it Bluetooth? Yeah. So it’s Bluetooth. They’re about 2.45 billion waves per second of one directional wave form. So let’s breakdown the.Difference of why that’s so challenging for our body. We’re built on scalar waves. Distributed equally in every direction. Man made stuff. Whether it’s electricity, dirty electricity or wireless, they’re all basically one directional wave forms or they don’t work. So when you put something on your wrist like Wi-Fi at 2.45 billion waves per second when our body optimizes that one to eight when we sleep and heal an 8 to 12 when we’re in the alpha state when we’re in the flow state, we’re competing. That’s where really close with the Schumann resonance of Earth, which is 7.83 Hertz so, when we add in 10 zero speed and it’s a one direction polarizing waveform, that’s localized radiation when someones weak or toxic or just has a sensitivity to it for some way shape or form even too young old. Their blood type is an RH negative.Those people will be more sensitive to EMF.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so what kind of EMF are we talking about? Like, are we talking like the Apple Watch? Would my small little Fitbit that’s charting my steps be enough to throw me off?
Justin Frandson: Oh yeah, that muscle tests weak with that fit. Now out of the gate, they’re having challenges. And they had to lower the signals kind of where Josh still made a documentary movie called Take Back Power on the smart meters. They were ramping up these smart meter signals. They had to notch it down because everyone was getting sick and couldn’t sleep. Same with fit that it’s still now enough where you’ll task a week with it. So I would never, I mean again, this is my whole deal, Doctor J is we gotta get back to listening to your body and how your body feels, not having something tell you how it feels. This meta universe is not OK. It’s not the direction that we want to go into.
Dr. Justin Frandson: So is there any technology you recommend if someone wants to kind of track their steps or make sure they’re doing enough activity during the day, what’s the best way to do that? Is there a certain way that you could adjust that so as a lower lower drain on you?
Justin Frandson: Yeah, I haven’t really dove into the lesser of the evils. What I would say is. You only test athletes. We’ve established a baseline, maybe in the midpoint and point, and the task we’re not doing day-to-day. So know your stuff the day, track them and then use that as your baseline to say, hey, yeah, I feel like I did a few less than I did, you know, or I did way more today. And you’ll know that your body will just feel it. You don’t need something to tell you how you slept or what you did. You have to.Look into yourself to start to feel again.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense. And so what’s the, what’s some of these wireless signals, what’s the mechanism? What’s actually happening? How is it disrupting us? You kind of went into it a little bit more. I want to make sure I understand. Like how is that actually happening at a biochemical level there?
Justin Frandson: OK, so when we introduce one-directional waveform. What happens is there’s an oration effect in our body, it’s just a secondary effect. Doctor Martin Paul talks about the voltage gated calcium channels opening up less. Yep, letting the positive team into a negative cell, in turn causing tremendous cell and DNA damage. Once that vibration secondary effect happens, what I’ve seen clinically as people’s eyes, their teeth, they’re large and they’re thymus and then they’re large intestine are the four primary areas that decharge EMF. We can use our grounding bags to tap on them and recharge those areas. I’ll go into that a little bit, but then the next level is what we see are cognitive, so focus, memory, behavior, anxiety, fatigue, stress, lack of sleep. They’re gonna be the first signs of EMF toxicity and challenges that people will feel especially.Actually.You know, athletes and they’re gonna make poor decisions, you know, when they’re competing. So this is a huge thing. So the other thing is, you’re going to see more non trauma concussion symptoms, so you’re gonna see basically headaches, more severe headaches, so, migraines. Uh, in the years. Muscle twitching, bloody noses, I mean, these are all the different things that you’re going to see. It’s going to be nausea, fatigue, tremor. Ears, bloody noses, and you go to Vancouver talked about this, the first attack of U.S. embassy workers on foreign soil with microwaves. You know, that was that’s a real deal. These guys are sick for months and then the hospital and they couldn’t get better because they were so toxic, then you go into the bigs, cancer, suicide, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular, and then, now after fertility and yeah, so I see a note here. Yes, today’s stress. Yes 245 ways per second destructores water. Yes, 60 gigahertz, which is a 5G level, changes what oxygen molecules are made out of as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so we have different kinds of Wi-Fi, right? You could have the EMF put it in that camp. We have EMF maybe on our wrist from our smartwatch. We can have our Wi-Fi signals in our House, right. And then we’re going to have cell phone towers, especially the 5G, those, those kinds of the big ones or is there anything else missing?
Justin Frandson: Yeah. So we categorize it into three different types? Yeah. Milligauss magnetic resonance would be one where you get a magnetic resonance where you get a milligauss meter. That is in the 50 to 60 waves per second spectrum. Then we do dirty electricity, which is a static in the line. It measures amps to volts. That would be 4000 to 100,000 waves for a second approximately. And then you have the acoustic meters, the radio frequency meters that measure for the wireless signals from 50 million to several billions per second. So there’s meters to actually quantify and those stressors and those levels of each of those singles. So wireless would be any wireless signal Alexis, NASA units computers that aren’t hardwired. Uh, you’re others smartest.Of the self driving mechanisms and cars, all that stuff off your it’s all wireless. The Dirty electricity would be static in the lines from bad wiring, grids crossing outside your home, rats heating lines, signals going in and out of a junction don’t meet.That would cost static transformers on LED lights inside these new homes will cause lots of jury electricity and then the the milligauss is all the electricity in your home.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So what do you actually do about it? Right, because these stressors are all around us. You’re not going to get rid of Wi-Fi. You won’t even get rid of cell phone towers. Obviously you could do your best to be far away from them or from, you know, at least not to have one right on top of your kids school right nearby. You do your best to kind of mitigate exposure, especially when you’re sleeping, you can control some of the Wi-Fi in your house hardline, or turn it off when you sleep. What can, what are the actual practical things outside of like don’t do it or don’t use it?
Justin Frandson: Practical for. Well, I want to dive into something else, too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Sure. Let’s go ahead. Let’s hit that first thing, and then we’ll come back to it.
Justin Frandson: OK. Yeah. So there’s a book I want everyone to read. It’s called the invisible rainbow by Arthur Firstenberg. Have you heard that one?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I Have. I heard of the author before.
Justin Frandson: Yeah, he’s one of the biggest names in EMF, and if you guys haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. He categorized as a history of electricity and life and correlates every major pandemic to spikes in the in the.Increased electrification of our atmosphere. So let’s do a little physics and biology lesson here. Our atmosphere is made of Ether and plasma, OK, these waveforms travel through these plasma waves and particles travel through because of that is our air. We’re connected. We are one with the universe, alright. This is how we are made off of scalar with. So everything has a residence that carries a frequency and on man made stuff is all one directional or one word, so if you’re standing up outside of it and you’re in the sunlight. You’re not in the sunlight in one spot and then out of it in another spot. It distributes equally in every direction or biofield of our body resonates. It doesn’t just go out like straight out of your right ear. It’s a residence all around you, the human residence of Earth, you’re not in the residence in one spot and then out of it in another. It’s up there. So that’s what these scalar waves are based on. And so this book, the invisible rainbow. Anything before 1918? Uh, well actually let me backup anything we’ve had since 1889 were solar flares, we’re cosmic shifts. That’s where people have got sick. So they called the flu the flu because it would fly in when there was a solar flare, a cosmic ship. People’s bodies would adapt and then, you know, they get better and then we move on to someone you know because their body just adapted when they needed to at the level they were capable.That’s what we saw before 1889 when we introduced electricity in the homes. So we got home with electricity got shoes on so we’re not grounding and 1918 winner introduced radio waves that was the that was the first the Hong Kong first excuse me that was that was, uh, 1980 Spanish flu and then satellites in the Van Allen belt where the Hong Kong flu, World War Two radar and then 5G for the last two years. So basically what these doctors are saying like Tom Cowan, Andrew Kaufman, Zac Bush, Kelly Brogan. I mean all these and they’re and MD’s, you know, not that MD’s other and they’ll say, well, I’m more of a Cairo guy myself, but this, these doctors that have been medically trained are out there saying that electricity stressors is an environmental toxin and a biotoxin, and what we’re doing is we’re adapting to these toxins and that’s what’s happening right now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OK. How do you distinguish correlation versus causation because at the same time the last 100 years you know we’re doing a lot of other stressors being introduced whether it’s toxicity and our food nutritional deficiencies, you know excess antibiotic usage as a lot of other things. So how do you make the correlation of these things happening, but is it really dry? Is it really the root cause or is it just another stressor that our bodies are having to deal with, among many others?
Justin Frandson: Well, that’s a great question. I mean you no one can argue that all these combinations of stressors don’t add up to be a stressor, but I think, when there’s a breaking point, like look, we can call and talk to someone across the globe instantly, I mean, right? So there’s no scratch in your head that you can broadcast something instantly. There’s no scratching your head that there’s a shift in the atmosphere.Yeah, that’s gonna mess up our REM patterns. So there’s too much there for me to go and do that EMF is not often the number one stressor right now. Zach Bush will say it’s glyphosate for the last 40 years of research.I’ll go back and say, hey, look at the invisible rainbow. The bibliography is 150 pages, so most reference books for reading and this is 1889 when it starts. So, there’s no scratch in your head. For me, I live in Newport Beach, California. Healthiest place on the planet. No one gets sick in June, so this year everyone was getting sent to everyone. But a lot of people were getting sick in June. That’s when they ratchet up and turn stuff up. People’s bodies will shift. There’s times where there’s going to be higher levels of certain stressors that are going to be that shift, and that’s what I feel are these triggers for. A lot of these major pandemics and Tom Cowan and a former MD turned in his license, but he’ll say when you pollute the ocean, you know the Dolphins will get sick. Yeah it’s not backed off and given that often a virus or hey let’s look at their genes you know and in 2020 all get sick now that would be stupid. So we’re looking at things like it’s all environmental toxins that are the challenge here and I feel the top two or you know, EMF, obviously the 5G and then glyphosate.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally makes sense. No, I think that’s a big one for sure. And So what can we do about it with the EMF, right? I mean, there’s different devices that you can plug into your outlets to kind of help clean up some of the dirty electricity you shot me over, different things. What we can do is like a Faraday bag and you can put your phone in that or turn your phone off, or definitely don’t sleep near it. Definitely don’t keep it right on your person, especially in your pockets next to your genitals or sensitive tissue. You mentioned crystals and different things like that or rounding math. Let’s kind of go over the top three to five things that the everyday person could do. That’s pretty easy and simple.
Justin Frandson: Yeah, well. First, I distinguished the difference in products out there. So if someone’s looking for a product to clear. Basically what we want to look at is, is it a GMO product or is it an organic product because we all want to get it, we all don’t want something that’s been modified. So for me, I look to the healing power to kick off her residence, to create a coherence with us. So we hand my crystals. The crystals have moisture, magnetic properties in it, you know, that’s where our money bags look like.The other man made devices are devices that are looking to over power another device like. That’s a futile effort, so that’s a genetically modified signal, that’s non-native, that’s looking to replicate what nature already does. So, my first thing is awareness and understanding of the different products that are out there, because if you’re going to look at a product.To solve this. You gotta look to nature to do it.There’s no one who is more intelligent and has those medicinal qualities like Mother Nature. So the first thing would be our grounding bags in your home and you not having bags in your home, you’re outside and you’re getting grounded outside so you’re getting barefoot your touching a tree, you’re gaining bodies of water. You’re doing your grounding protocols outside.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And the goal of grounding is what like you, the goal is you dispersing some kind of positive ion charge in the body. Is that what you’re doing?
Justin Frandson: Yeah, so one of my favorite books is called Electric body Electric Health by Eileen McKusick and she talks about your body being a body battery. You get a negative ionic charge from Earth, and we pull those electrons from it. You get a positive charge from the unpolarized light of the sun coming from above. And then breathe in the minerals and hopefully we get it from our food, but this is how our body battery recharges. And so we’re getting that, getting grounded by nature, being outside, so the sunlight will do it.Getting in those resonances, the negative charge we’ll deal with the bodies of water, touching trees barefoot, laying down on a picnic. Gardening, climbing rocks, all that good stuff like that’s gonna get you that grounding, that negative charge. So that’s how our body battery works.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s good. So you really happened and dispersed a lot of those positive ion charges which you’re going to accumulate when you’re around a lot of these wireless frequencies. Is that correct?
Justin Frandson: Yeah, definitely.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And how does the crystal work? How do the crystals work and do you have to keep them in the bag so they don’t get dehydrated? Can you take him out?
Justin Frandson: Yes, exactly. They have to stay in the bag and they’re sealed and you use it as is, so you keep it sealed. They come like this. And there’s about 1 pound of crystals in here. They work the same way nature does as they kick off a resonance to convert the one directional wave forms and then they feed us the electrons. So that’s the way Mother Nature works. That’s why it feels so good to go to the beach and get grounded and going? You’re recharging your body battery. Literally, scientifically, that’s the physics and the biology that’s occurring. So, as far as using these protocols, well, you can do is you can accelerate this product going to your body. You can hold it top on it. Cover your eyes. Cover your teeth. Cover your thymus. Cover your large intestine one at a time and that’ll accelerate the medicinal properties to recharge you. Because when people have layers of toxicity sucking their energy field and biofield. They’re going to be more sensitive to EMF. If they have toxicity internally they’re going to be a more sensitive EMF, so an internal flush would be protease, digestive enzyme and then apple cider vinegar. That will be a very subtle detox for internal stuck EMF. External, you’ve got your grounding protocols outside and you gotta do the tapping with the grounding bag inside.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OK, that’s cool. And with the crystals there are certain types of crystal people can look forward to. I mean obviously we, you know we’ll put your site below is a good resource but is there any specific kind of crystal that you find works better.
Justin Frandson: Well, yeah, they’re the average person won’t be able to find it, unfortunately. Amethyst Shanghai black tourmaline. They are known to have Tesla property or magnetic resonance. Well what happens is they’re getting overrun too quickly with all the access to EMF in our world. So we had to deploy a 1 pound bag of crystals of hand mine that would have moisture with the magnetic, so the combination of the moisture with that Mech properties is what allows them to be exponentially stronger for repelling EMF. So the average person is never going to find these colloid crystals anywhere. They’re hand mine, they’re over 85% of here. You’re not gonna find the purity and be able to bring that rest to your home like we have with fees.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. And so the average person can do what with the crystal just put it in, put it on the night stand when they sleep to help kind of provide a filtration of a lot of the EMF frequency. Can they just get a small one, put it on their person. How do you use it?
Justin Frandson: Yeah. So Doctor Justin, when you put it on your bed. At the head of the bed. And if it’s not on it, If it’s under it.Lean it against the leg of the bed, at the head, the back. They’ll sleep 30 to 50% better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. That’s good to test it. I mean, the whole idea crystals always seem a little out there for me, but. You know, I get it like we can’t see Wi-Fi, we can’t see all these things around us and we know everything does have a frequency to it. So the more you can kind of harmonize that or or or neutralize the negative impact of these frequencies, it makes sense. We know there’s a stress component, especially 5G. And so crystals are one big tool. What else? Anything else we can do that simple? You mentioned the internal stuff, you mentioned enzymes, apple cider vinegar, you mentioned some clays or binders, what else?
Justin Frandson: I mean those are some great things to do. People like carbon C64. I like doing methylation so I like to open up methylation pathways. So I need methylfolate, it is great. You gotta do magnesium. I like some calcium as well as magnesium. And it’s probably one of the biggest things that everyone really needs, like on a day-to-day basis. This is uh, uh, but for EMF protection, just keep hydrating yourself. Get some good distilled water with some minerals in it. That’ll be the most mineral dense water will do. And then structure it. That would be even better.So those are kind of the things that we’re looking at.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good, Justin. Well, we had a bunch of good things today. We’ll put the links down there below as good references for your site where they can get more information. Any other coordinates or information you want to leave to the listeners here?
Justin Frandson: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me on you got.I just really wanna encourage you to understand physics and biology and what health really is. And good health is really connecting above and getting grounded into nature and smiling and living and touching and hugging each other and being together and that’s that’s the answer. That’s the essence of living for life, having fun and smiling. A smile is the most contagious thing on the planet. So there’s bioenergetic resonances that naturally occur in nature that are stronger than anything. And I want people to stop living in fear and understand what true health is and that our viruses are just our adopted system at work. We’re dead proteins that we produce so there’s No Fear, there’s nothing flying around to kill anyone. We just smile and live for life and you guys the most important thing you can do right now for your health is to do all those and make sure you’re getting out in nature and getting grounded by nature and then when you’re inside use your grounding bags and then also establish pro, turn your Wi-Fi off, turn your electrical off in your bedrooms. Create your home into a really quiet resonance so it’s closer to as human residence, not these one directional, billions of waves per second when you’re trying to sleep and heal.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good, Justin. I appreciate it. What are your sights again? We have EMFrocks.com.
Justin Frandson: EMFrocks.com. We have clinics all around the country and then athleticism.com is where we have our curated health and performance products and that’s spelled athletic SM for those of you who have trouble spelling athleticism.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OK, perfect. I will put links down below. People can get access. Oh, by the way, Faraday bags. How, how do you use those by the way? And do you always keep your phone into a Faraday bag? Is it only at night when you’re kind of putting your phone away?
Justin Frandson: Yeah. So we have two sides of the Faraday bags. Thanks for asking, Doctor J.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How does it work, by the way? How does it even work? Like, what is it exactly?
Justin Frandson: Yeah. So people think of Faraday, they think of a very change where no frequencies going in and out of our static bags are 7 millimeters, so frequencies go in and out of them. So that’s the difference. But there’s a physics component that when you put a polarizing positive charge inside of it, it fairly back squash it to what bio initiative.org would consider safe levels and muscle testing. Applied kinesiology, would our body would feel safe levels that we can handle now what also happens so it dampens the signal strength of your cell phone to safe levels, your phone may or may not ring inside there, but what it also do is is it’s it does is it stops the data harvesting so it slows down the aggregation of all the information, they’re coming from you. That’s the drain on your battery. That’s why everyone’s battery dies so quickly because they are listening to everything. They’re aggregating every bit of your information every second of the day. They know all your biometrics now, if you’re giving him your retina scan, your voice, your face, your Palm imprint, I mean these. These are some of the most individual imprints of your body you don’t want to use for commerce so avoid using fingers, palm print, voice, Retina Face, imprint to get access to your phone, you don’t want that information. You don’t want to use it for commerce because they know your passcode, they know where you live, how fast you drive all this information. They’re just aggregating, sending it to AI to create this meta universe, so as much as I love technology is allowing us to connect where we probably one of because you’re more in Texas and I’m in California but this stuff is cool, we just have to develop proximity protocol with it and understand that it’s enhancing and certain times and then when you’re not using it and get it away from you. They’re already back. If you have to sleep with your phone on at night, make sure things inside the bag are tested and put in there, seal it. You’ll have the best night sleep, your phone will still ring and you won’t have the thing tapping on your shoulder all night long. Saying talk to me, talk to me. This is that it’s essentially, that’s what it does. It’s always looking for a signal.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is your phone safe if you put it on airplane mode and it’s on you? Is it safer? Is it still less signal?
Justin Frandson: Way better. Way better, because there’s not that wireless looking for that signal. So definitely get it. Get in airplane mode. The next step would be to save your battery because they’re still gonna aggregate through airplane mode. They’re always having these signals on these.Telecommunication companies, they want all your information. They’re beaconing stuff. So they’re always doing this called surveillance marketing. It’s why Apple’s a multibillion dollar company. It’s not an office selling devices. Yeah, they sell a lot of devices, but.It’s this marketing that they’re doing and listening to. They’re selling your information. That’s where they’re really making the substantial revenue from. So slow down this aggregation information actually on your biometrics and we’ll be able to stop this meta universe and really get back to connection with God and getting grounded by nature.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, with a lot of these tech companies you are the product, it’s good to keep your privacy and keep it yours. You know, have control over that. So I like having tools that put kind of these controls back in your hand. So Justin Fradson, really appreciate today’s podcast and we’ll put links down below for some of the some of the good products.That we talked about here today, and I’ll put links to the books that we chatted about in the show notes as well. Have a phenomenal day, Justin, great chatting with you.
Justin Frandson: Hey, thank you, Doctor J, man. Appreciate you.
How to Retrain Your Brain, Amygdala and Heal From Trauma – Ashok Gupta | Podcast #378
Hey, guys! In this video, Dr. J and Ashok Gupta talk about brain reach training and nutritional component to better well-being. The brain is a highly active and malleable learning machine. So, we can develop strategies to improve well-being, like engaging in new and challenging activities.
Therefore, we can influence our brain development in positive or negative directions. The more we engage and challenge our minds and body, the longer our brains function at a high level. There are also many other benefits to encouraging neuroplastic change.
Moreover, for the brain to function correctly, it needs specific nutrients, making the food we eat vital to brain function. To learn more about improving your brain function in areas such as memory, attention, focus, and sleep while eliminating symptoms of anxiety and depression, make sure to subscribe, check out other videos, and feel to reach out for more info & consults!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
2:17 – Amygdala
13:05 – Repetition and Self-Love
16:22 – Breathing patterns
21:33 – Techniques
24:24 – Nutritional component
29:17 – Program Transition
32:10 – CBT vs Brain Reach Training
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys! It’s doctor Justin Marchegiani here. I’m really excited for today’s podcast. We’re going to be talking about how to retrain your brain, your amygdala, and heal from trauma with Ashok Gupta. Ashok, really great to have you today. How are you doing? Welcome to the show.
Ashok Gupta: Hi, I’m very well. Thank you. Thank you for the invitation. Lovely to be here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Well, in the functional medicine world, dealing with a lot of chronically sick people that have hormone issues, gut issues, when you’re doing a really good history on someone, you see a commonality and that there’s a lot of underlying emotional trauma that usually can be a big stressor in that stress bucket, that’s holding back healing. And so I wanted to get you on the show because you’re an expert in this and you have a program that really works on getting to the root cause. So I wanted to just kind of first talk about kind of, you know, what you’re passionate about and kind of what your goal is with your program out of the gates.
Ashok Gupta: Uh, yeah, absolutely. So just to give a bit of background to myself, I actually suffered from a chronic illness many, many years ago when I was studying as an undergrad at Cambridge. So I actually suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome. And it was, you know, I was a young guy in my early 20s. My whole life had suddenly had this brick wall which is a chronic illness. And I’m seeing doctors and specialists and they’re telling me we don’t know what causes it. There’s no treatment for it. You may have this the rest of your life. Good luck. Essentially, you know, I remember my darkest moment thinking this is the worst thing ever. If I can just get myself better. If I and thousands of others who suffering from this. And I said if I can just heal this one person, just even myself. I would dedicate the rest of my life to helping people with this condition. That’s how serious I was about it. And that spawned a lifelong quest to understand these conditions and really treat them. So I did a lot of research into brain neurology, understanding these conditions, and eventually I came up with a hypothesis. I got myself completely, 100% better using ad hoc parade brain retraining that I created and also the clinic to treat others and have published other papers as well. So that’s my journey, so my real passion and vision here is that I believe that brain reach training as we refine it better for these conditions could be the future to treat chronic illness and I want that to be embedded in primary care and that is my mission.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s excellent. Now I know you talked about with your Gupta program, we’ll put links down below to so you guys can access this. I know there’s some kind of introductory you know offers on the on the website where you can kind of take a look and kind of dip your toe in and see if you like if you talk about Neuroplasticity, which is obviously, you know, rewiring the brain in the sense so these neurons can’t connect in different ways, but you also talk about the amygdala, which is kind of the part of the brain, it’s like an almond size and it’s all about processing fear and threatening stimuli. And so when someone is chronically ill, is that part of the brain over active where where you’re seeing everything as a threat and it’s kind of always on talk a little bit more about the amygdala, how that plays in to these chronic health concerns.
Ashok Gupta: Yeah, absolutely. So I always like to start this explanation with the biggest question of all. Why are we here? And I love that. Half an hour long conversation about the philosophy of that. But let’s say from a scientific perspective, we’re here because this brain, this body, this nervous system has been trained over millions of years to adapt to the environment, to survive and pass on the genes the next generation from. So from a Darwinian perspective, this system is designed to adapt, thrive, survive and pass on genes. And this has come from, you know, plants, single cell organisms, invertebrates, vertebrates, reptiles, mammals, human beings, all of that, that DNA. And that growth is all within our own DNA. And in fact, you know, we share around 50% of our DNA with a banana. Right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani:That’s crazy.
Ashok Gupta: Uh, you know, so our team actually contains a lot of the DNA of their animals as we’ve evolved to get to where we are so this system is designed to survive, so the number one priority of our bodies is not actually well-being or health.The number one priority is survival. If we take that as a starting point, the way that these illnesses start is that. Let’s take the example of COVID and long COVID, because we know millions are suffering from COVID and the after effect. So imagine we get collection normally, our bodies trigger the immune system, they’re able to fight off the virus, then the system resets, goes back to normal. We have our health back but in a small number of cases where actually 10 to 20% of cases. What happens is if our system is a little. Let’s say tired, fatigued or we are mentally, emotionally, physically overdoing it.Then the system is more vulnerable. So when the virus comes, our immune system thinks right. We’ve got to really fight hard because our systems would speak so it over response towards the virus and we know that for instance, people who passed away from COVID, they’re not passing away from the infection, they’re passing away from the cytokines storm or the over inflammation from the body itself and so what happens is in COVID we believe that the system over response we still managed to fight off the virus, but it’s left the legacy in the brain which is, let’s turn on the side of caution because maybe the virus is still here, so the brain continues to trigger immune system and the nervous system inappropriately. Creating this cascade of symptoms in the body. And we believe the culprits, as you’ve mentioned, are the amygdala and the insular. So the emitter that we believe is where the core conditioning lies in terms of triggering the nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system and then for the immune system. We know they’re from animals, this comes from the insular part of the brain, the insular part of the brain, is getting over triggered and overstimulated, so both these structures keep triggering this over different responses creating symptoms in the body. And the brain detects in a hypothetical way, all of these symptoms. The body which comes up to the brain, the brain says, Oh, maybe we’re still in danger. Yeah, just like in this diagram. Yeah, #9 we’re still in danger, then triggers at #4 and five. The chronic sympathetic arousal, the immune dysfunction HPA abnormalities, which then creates symptoms to #6 and then at #8, the brain because it’s hyper hypersensitive, magnifies these signals.They come back in the bank #9 and we are caught in this vicious cycle, and this is a vicious cycle of a lot of these different conditions and the only difference here which we certainly always are. Fibromyalgia is pain or chronic fatigue is immune oriented such as long COVID, but we also get sensitivity reactions to the external environment, so more disease, chemical sensitivities and muscle activation. This is where external triggers and food sensitivities. External triggers now create this cascade and this. Despite all this vicious cycle. And an analogy, I don’t know any doctor, you were a fan of Game of Thrones?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s a great show. Yep.
Ashok Gupta: So, let’s say an example of imagine you’re the the king of the castle, OK, and your Kingdom is suffering a drought and your army is the sympathetic nervous system and your Navy is immune system, so imagine the kingdoms you know weak because of the droughts and incoming army invading army with some dragons over the hill, right? So your immune system and nervous system your army and navy responds. They fight off this invading army. But because they’re weak, it takes them a lot longer to fight it off. Once they fought it off, they come to you as king of the castle and say, hey Doctor J, we only just managed to fight off that incoming invasion. We need all of the resources of the Kingdom, the castle now, channel us so all the wheat, all the corn, all the metal, everything comes to us, and you agree because it made sense. And so now all the sources of the body go to the Army and Navy. And then even if a child is walking over the hill. The Army, Navy respond as if it’s a full blown threat and trigger your machine using up all the resources and hence we get stuck in that alternative way being that lack of homeostasis? And so bring me training is saying actually, we need to persuade the general, the Army, Navy, that we are no longer in threat, no longer in danger to switch off these responses and get back to normal. So that, in a nutshell, is the hypothesis.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense. I mean, it’s good to have an amygdala that’s making connections, that’s a processing threat. It’s like if there was this woods over here and bears would come out and eat, eat a human, you know, you there’s probably be natural inclination to have some fear and anxiety about being close to that because we already know there’s a threat that could take your life, so it’s good to have this level of fear perception. The problem with a lot of trauma today is it’s firing off like it would take your life, but it’s really maybe not that serious anymore. And we kind of have to it there. We need to have this rational discussion with our amygdala and our brain hit, this isn’t maybe as much of a threat and so obviously may not be, may not be able to do that from a conscious ability where we can just have that conversation. So what type of modalities are you incorporating to make that connection? Hey this is, this shouldn’t be the threat that it is. My amygdala is hyper responding. It’s like having an allergy response to danger in the air like it’s a virus. Well we shouldn’t be responding that way. So what type of modalities are you using or techniques within your program to kind of get that response to be more appropriate and realistic.
Ashok Gupta: Exactly. And as you say, traditionally these types of approaches have been applied to emotional reaction actions or trauma reactions, right? OK, so the emotional side, but how do we communicate with our immune system, right, it’s a very, very different approach and so what we’ve done over the last 20 years is develop a system and set of processes that actually communicate with these unconscious brain structures about physical health, yeah. And you might say, well, hang on this, you know, how on Earth can you do that? How can we kind of change our physiological responses? But, you know, as we know, the power of visualization is very, very powerful. So let’s take an example of a lemon. Right. So imagine I take a slice of lemon. And I placed it on your tongue. But you can’t bite into it yet. But it’s really it’s hanging really sour. Just on your tongue, you bite into that sour lemon. Just right. Imagine doing that. Imagine all the saliva starts coming up. Now imagine so you got saliva coming in your mouth, by the way?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah, that visualization. Yeah, for sure.
Ashok Gupta: Yeah. So isn’t that incredible that we’ve been able to create a physiological response just through the power of imagination, even though you know it’s not real consciously. You can bypass the conscious processes and imagination, visualization is one aspect. OK, that’s one aspect of this brain retraining. But there’s plenty of other processes. So there’s a seven step process where we get people to recognize these unconscious data signals. So then process them and they actually create a safety response to the brain. Say hey brain, we are safe. We are not in danger. You can switch off these. Uh.These immune responses and these defensive responses, and that uses a number of different techniques including self coaching, breathing, visualization and imagination and also you know, physical touch as well, so there’s a number of different processes and that supported through meditation and breathing as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s excellent. So, what’s the first step out of the gate? Right, we start out of the gate. What’s the first thing we’re going to do to kind of move the needle? Is it just breathing? Is it really just making sure we’re breathing to the nose? Uh, having a deeper breath. What’s the first step out of the gate?
Ashok Gupta: So out of the gate before our brain is ready to be retrained. As you say it becomes. Alright, so it’s a bit like the idea of until we were able to accept something first and become, we can no longer give if the brain’s not so flexible if we are stressed and anxious. So give the example of, if the husband and wife come home after today’s work and have an argument because they’re both stressed, that’s the worst time for them to have an argument. If they calm down, relax, etcetera, then they’re more likely to have more conducive conversation. So in the same way we calm our brains first through breathing and meditation, so they are supportive techniques, and then, we look at the brain retraining. That’s the second R. So the first R is relaxing. The second R is retraining the brain, and that’s where I’ve talked about these unique processes. And the third is reengaging with joy. And this is something that is often neglected in mainstream medicine, which is that we know that actually when people are unable to connect with things that uplift their spirit that bring them joy and happiness. Their immune system is bolstered. They actually are able to heal from a wide range of different conditions, so we teach people to recognize what can boost their immune system and reset it. Use this idea of reengaging with joy, which is I think it’s a missing piece of medicine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. And then what type of I don’t like? NLP’s been out there for a while where they used a lot of visualizations and really focus on the pictures kind of in your brain, how much does visualization and just kind of the images that come within your brain, because a lot of times people have a fear. There’s almost always the image of that thing before that fear is felt. How do you start to change the images in that brain and maybe the self talk. A lot of times, most people wouldn’t be friends with the person if they’re self-talk was emanated from a friend in front of them. The amount of self-talk that’s so negative and so putting themselves down. If it was a friend then in real life they would never be friends with that person. How do you change the pictures and the voice inside the brain?
Ashok Gupta: So this is a great question, and the core of this is repetition and self love. So it’s a bit like imagining that self-talk is a precocious 7 or 8 year old child, right? And we want to kind of get really anxious about something. If you tell them one time, hey, this is nothing to worry about. They’re not going to listen. But with that love and that compassion and that action and that repetition of look, hey, we’re safe. There’s nothing to worry about if you can calm down. Through that process, you’re able to gradually get the brain to recognize we’re no longer in danger, and a representation is absolutely key and imagination and visualization is part of it, but not the only part of it. Any change in life involves awareness. We have to be aware first of all of what is that negative self-talk is. What does it look like? Let’s write it down. Let’s be very clear. What is creating this vicious cycle, that’s the first step, is awareness. And from that point onwards, and that is acceptance. So a lot of people have these conditions but don’t accept that they have this condition. They’re constantly fighting it, pushing against it. That’s tensing up against it. Resisting it, which then creates more anxiety, more turmoil. So the first step is awareness and the second step is acceptance, then the first step is this process of repetitive retraining of the brain again and again and again. And so the brain gets the message that we aren’t in danger and switches off these responses and that’s the core of how do we get people well?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. So what’s the next step? So your program out of the gates, what, 28 days?
Ashok Gupta: Yes. So we offer a 28 day free trial where people can access some of the videos, some of the audio. And get a flavor of the program and see if it’s right for them. So that’s the first starting point, we’d love people to experience the free stuff that we’ve got lots of videos and if they choose to take the full program then it is what we call a six month program. Now, why do we say six months? Because that seems like a long time. Actually many people retrain within weeks and months. But we don’t want people to become complacent because I’m still a doctor J. You’ve seen in your practice, as well that people get well from some kind of protocol, but then as soon as a new stress comes into their lives, wow, all the symptoms come back again. Yep. So we teach people not only to get well, but to stay well, to recognize our stress triggers, to recognize what brings back these symptoms and to control that and to you know, uh, recognize that for the rest of their lives when people stay well. We call it a six month program because we want people to get so deeply into retraining that it becomes part of their lives and so that they can maintain that health for the rest of their lives.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. And what do you find? I mean, obviously the goal was to try to activate some of the parasympathetic nervous system response, right? If that amygdala is overactive, then we’re in that sympathetic fight or flight that can shut down digestion enzymes, hydrochloric acid can cause cortisol and adrenaline fluctuations that can cause more stress, the more you dump out your electrolytes, your potassium, magnesium that causes the heart to go go faster so you can see this downward cycle with this sympathetic nervous system response with all the different hormonal systems, digestive system, what’s the when you talk, when you do breathing, right? What’s the type of breath pattern that you find to be the most effective that you incorporate?
Ashok Gupta: Right, so there are several. The first is deep diaphragmatic breathing during the 4-4-6-2 pattern. So that’s when people put their yeah, one hand on the stomach, one hand on the chest. Many of us are breathing very shallow from the chest, and we know that, parasympathetic breathing or from the belly, the belly is going out and in as we breathe. And so this is actually a technique that’s taught in the art of living cause, art of living breathing, which is, if you’ve heard about it, a very powerful breathing technique. Yeah, part of their breathing technique is to actually breathe in for four. Hold for four. Breathe out for six and hold for two. All through the nose, all through the nose. So we know that it actually comes in and out through the nose. What that’s able to do is a combat nervous system has been used for millennia. And another technique is alternate nostril breathing as well. So you breathe it in through one nostril, breathe out through the other nostril, then in through that nostril out through the other one. So that’s another very well known breathing technique called alternate nostril breathing. In Sanskrit it’s called 90 shorthand.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And these are breathing in and out to the same and then switch in and out then switch.
Ashok Gupta: Yeah. So. So now when you do that, you’re breathing in from through what? And breathing out through the other. Oh, okay, they’re breathing in through that one. And then breathing out through the other. And then breathing in through that. And then breathing out.Yeah, yeah.And what people find is gradually as they control the breathing, but not control in an anxious way, but just observe it great breathing becomes slower and deeper. Easing that process is balancing the left and right hemispheres of the brain. That’s one of the roles of alternate nostril breathing. And so that’s kind with regular meditation as the starting point. What that is able to do is to tell the brain, hey, just calm everything down at the generalized level and then we’ll be ready to retrain those specific neurons that have got caught in this vicious loop.To indicate that we’re in danger. And so that is the, you know, a very complementary approach. And I think what happens is in modern medicine we have this reductionist philosophy of OK, nothing to do is test breathing techniques over here and see what impact they have. And now going to test meditation techniques over here in a separate randomized controlled trial. That actually is the cumulative effect of all of these things together, which is able to persuade the brain to switch off these dangerous purposes. So, that is the most important thing is to have all of these things operating at the same time.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s excellent. That’s very cool. So I like the breathing aspect, and the goal of that is to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. What should your brain be focusing on to just be focusing on the breath? When do you start to incorporate the trauma or whatever that memory is that’s triggering you? I don’t know. Let’s say you got in the car accident. Every time you jump in the car, you’re reliving that trauma. When do you start bringing those pictures or that experience into work?
Ashok Gupta: So first of all the program is not necessarily a trauma relief program, yeah although people use it for that and they do find trauma, and as you say, the purpose of the way that we teach breathing and meditation is that yes, images will come up as you meditate. Some of them might be frightening. People sometimes spontaneously burst into tears as they’re experiencing these techniques. And the most important thing is not to get caught up in any imagery or any emotions, just to observe it. So we’re not pushing away any of it, and we’re also not trying to obsess about it. We are staying calm and centered as we observe with a curious mind the images and the negative things that may come up. And that is one way and one technique of releasing trauma is to simply observe with a neutral friendly mind. Allow it to just come up with that. Trying to pick it apart or try to analyze or understand it. And what we say is that actually people can heal from chronic illness without actually having to heal their trauma. This is so important because I think this is a missed thought sometimes. For most people, they had trauma in their lives, but they didn’t have chronic illness that layered on top. So the best thing is to remove that layer of chronic illness and then deal with the underlying trauma. At the same time, there’s no fixed up, you know, dogma here. Of course, if people want to address their underlying trauma at the same time, that’s absolutely fine. And some people do. Alternately, Uh, treating and healing the chronic illness first we find is most effective because if you have a chronic illness and you’re trying to overcome trauma at the same time, that’s a lot to actually process and and and deal with.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense. And so you get the breathing stuff going on. You’re really working on self love, right, that’s important. And do you incorporate any tapping or eye boob and stuff? I know there’s a lot of big techniques like EFT or EMDR or different things. Do you incorporate those modalities in your program?
Ashok Gupta: We have another technique called the accelerator process, which is something that we’ve created and that does not involve tapping necessarily. But a lot of our coaches trained in EFT and other modalities. So we give a core set of techniques to the patients and if they want tapping, if they want some of these other things and many of our coaches are trained in those modalities as well. So that’s if people need one-on-one support. So our program is an online program in which people can go through it at their own time at their own pace and there’s extra support from coaches as required.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. What other modalities? We’re going to put links down below, so if anyone listening wants to try the 28 day course, that’s going to be an option down below in the links as well as the whole 6 month program. If you feel like you’re getting success and you want to continue with that good consistency, we’ll put links down below. What’s another good thing for listeners at home to start to incorporate, to start improving their mental health and calm down that amygdala response, that fear response?
Ashok Gupta: So I think regular meditation first of all is incredibly important and then secondly, I missed the core point of retraining is just awareness of the noise. Yeah, to regularly check your stuff. And that’s a mindfulness technique, say, to think about what you’re thinking about. Ah, how interesting. I’m thinking about that. And to actually write these things down to have what we call a worry diary. Yeah, not that we want to reinforce it, but kind of getting stuff out of your head and onto this worry diary, almost like a journaling type process. So what kind of thoughts have I had today? Let me get it out of my head in general. OK, I’m worried about this. I’m thinking about this, I’m thinking about this. Just that process in of itself is amazingly therapeutic and healing because you’re no longer got this churning going on. You’ve exhausted it. Get out of your system. And with journaling then you recognize all of these patterns and then say what do I choose to substitute these patterns where this churning thoughts and emotions. What I choose to kind of say, what we call the love messages, what loving messages do I choose to give back to my unconscious, to oppose or heal these kinds of patterns that are going on? I think that’s something that we can all do in the general public and what we’re doing in brain retraining with a seven step process that we have.That’s more when the patterns are extreme. When we’ve got such an extreme, almost traumatic pattern that actually self-talk isn’t going to shift it, we actually need something really powerful to train the brain. Not just rethinking but training the brain out to these responses, and that is that deep work, that deep repetition of these neuroplasticity techniques.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s very good, excellent. Now when I work with patients, you know, I look at physical health, right, which could be structure of the body, injuries under exercise over exercise, the chemical help which is important, that plays a big role, diet, nutrition, sleep, hydration.Um, gut health. Of course. If your nutritional health is poor, your physical health is poor and you’re inflamed, you’re sore, your diet is junky, you’re not sleeping, that obviously spills into your emotional health. I mean, try dealing with your taxes after you haven’t slept for a night. Emotionally, you’re going to be a wreck. How much do you plug in the nutritional component or the chemical stressors, how much do you try to plug that in to also help the emotional health?
Ashok Gupta: Yeah, definitely. We’re a holistic approach, absolutely. So we kind of focus on the brain retraining but we say that as you say, if you have all of these things not working in your life then it’s not going to make the difference. So we have something called the anti-inflammatory diet, but we call it the 80% diet because some people go on this very strict diet and get even more stressed by having to stick to this very strict regime. And so we have the anti-inflammatory diet then we have natural anti inflammatories. So turmeric, ginger, all those, Umm and so plenty of supplements. And then the things that generally are missing in diets where people have over stressed and so. So that’s things like vitamin D, that’s magnesium, that’s all of those types of natural supplements, the omegas, all of these things we know are generally good for our health. And then so this anti-inflammatory diet and supplements and there’s also the sleep hygiene. So getting the sleep hygiene right and when we’re overstimulated and over stressed then our sleep is one of the first things that gets compromised and regular meditation, regular breathing has been shown to improve our sleep rhythms. So that’s part of it. And then also, what we do in those last two or three.Hours before you go to sleep is incredibly important. And so we look at, you know, the things that people can do that have been shown to deep sleep and lengthen sleep as well, and then also the importance of getting out into nature. Nature is incredibly healing, and so walking in nature. And the importance actually of UV rays and the importance of being sunlight, especially during, you know, the summer months, it’s fine, but in the winter months, how difficult it is and how people feel worse during the winter months simply because two things, number one, you know, getting exposure to daylight at the right times. And then secondly, their physical body is not absorbing the UV rays and therefore not producing vitamin D but also all of the other aspects of sunlight that are incredibly important for our bodies. And so we look at how people can can, you know.Be the best during the summer, at the winter months as well. So those kinds of things are definitely incorporated. But ultimately what we find is when people have come to us, they’ve already been down these avenues. So they’ve been to a nutritionist, they’ve been to dietitians, they generally have been on top of their diet.They’re trying to sleep as well as they can, right? Peace. Their brain is overstimulated no matter what they do. How can they focus on that and retrain that and and sometimes we find people retrain their brains and then they’ve spent thousands on supplements. And they can just stop all the supplements and it makes no difference, right, because the supplements are there, important when our system is overstimulated, but once it’s reset itself and we’re calm.That actually, our bodies don’t need so much of this supplementation. It’s just very natural.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense. Well, anything else I Ashok you want to share with the listeners that you think would be powerful or something else they could be working on incorporating?
Ashok Gupta: Uh, yes. I think one of the most important pieces of advice that gives people is there can be very well meaning support groups and doctors and whatever who have kind of put it kind of negative approach, which is hey, there’s no cure for this, there’s nothing that they can help these conditions and you know you’re on your own and and don’t believe it that people get better. So, sometimes we have people getting better through brain retraining and they’ll go back on these forums. And people will say, oh, well, you didn’t have the condition in the first place. That’s the only way you guys got that. And the hope that I want to give to people is that whether it’s through our program or through other modalities, people do heal from these chronic conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, mold illness and long COVID. People do heal. People do get better. So never give up on the ability of your body to heal and the great news is I believe there is nothing actually fundamentally wrong with the body in that there’s not organic damage in the longer term. That’s what we’ve certainly noticed. It’s a functional issue whether the body and the brain itself is over stimulating its own systems, creating a vicious cycle, which is keeping the body in this altered state. But if you fix that, the body can actually go back to health. And that’s the hope that I want to give to people. Don’t think that my body is weak. It can never get better. Once you get the right key to the right and the right lock, you can unlock your health. Unlock the healing potential of your body.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. I love that now. I mean it’s really interesting because you know, you see conventional psychiatry with a lot of people that have trauma, you know, for the most part they’re going to recommend some kind of an SSRI or antipsychotic or benzodiazepine, which is really just dampening or numbing.The body’s response to that, and a lot of times that brain response is there for a reason, and just numbing it out tends to over time, that problem tends to get worse because you’re just ignoring the reason why it’s there. How do you work with patients that are already on conventional medicines? That are just kind of dampening and covering up the issue versus getting to the root. How do you make that transition?
Ashok Gupta: It’s a huge scandal. First of all, you know, we have many people come to us, we’ve been on benzos and have benzo withdrawal, SSRI’s and it’s a huge scandal because these things even when they’re usually prescribed are supposed to be for a few weeks at a time. They’re not supposed to really. Yeah, long term dependency. And then when that dependency is there, when people try to come off these medications, they feel even worse than they did when they first started. So it’s kind of licensed drug dealing to an extent. Now of course if anyone’s listening, I don’t want anyone to stop the medications. Of course you do that in the auspices of your doctor or psychiatrist. But actually what we do is say keep your medication as safe at the moment, work with brain retraining, get your system calm and stronger. And only then very slowly come off the drugs in association with your doctor. That’s incredibly important because some people get super excited and then suddenly have cold Turkey withdrawal and it can actually cause more problems. So they need to come off these drugs very, very slowly. And so we actually have in benzo forums, you know, many people using our program to come off benzos, so they’re slowly coming off benzos. What’s using our program to calm the nervous system and retrain any negative patterns that are coming from it. And once again, this dampening that you’ve described, when the brain is dampened down, it over responds and says, hey, I’m trying to alert you to danger, but you’re dampening down.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, exactly.
Ashok Gupta: Responses from the immediate to keep warning you. So emotions are warnings that either an emotion hasn’t been resolved, or there’s an attitude that we’re taking to life which is non conducive, or a belief system which is non conducive. And the problem with modern psychiatry is that it’s following the same reductionist medical model of come to see me, you’ve got 10 minutes with me, let me figure out what’s going on, and let me prescribe you drugs. But that model is not even fit for purpose for modern medicine and medical conditions, never mind psychiatric and emotional conditions. You know, it’s even worse for that. And so actually, you know, recognizing that there’s nothing wrong here, when we experience those types of extreme emotions, it actually just requires a lot more talking therapies and neuroplasticity approaches to help us understand the deeper messages of these conditions.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes a lot of sense. Now, what if we kind of take the, you know, connection with modern day psychology where it’s kind of cognitive behavioral techniques and talk therapy. Why is that not enough sometimes? People can be in therapy for years and years and years and it’s like they haven’t even gotten over it. Obviously it’s good to have communication and it’s good to have dialogue, it’s good to talk about the issues, but why is that not enough all the way?
Ashok Gupta: Now CBT is very effective at certain things such as mild to moderate depression. It’s shown to be effective, certainly anxiety. It can be useful, but the issue is the difference between CBT and brain retraining or neuroplasticity approaches. First of all, when people are going through CBT, they are rewiring their brains as well. So let’s be very clear. You know, any therapy that we’re taking ultimately is rewiring range change or shift that we’re making. But we often find that some, you know, CBT is like taking a fire extinguisher to a house fire, right? It can certainly help, but in certain instances if the house fire is very very powerful and huge. It actually requires, you know, the fire truck to turn up and actually deal with the blaze.Yeah. And so.The difference between CBT and some of these neuroplasticity brain retraining approaches is the intensity and the repetition of it. So, you know, imagine learning to drive a car, right? So learning to drive a car. Imagine on the first lesson, your first day CBT like thinking, OK, I’m now aware of my negative patterns about learning to drive, and I’m gonna be aware of them and shift some more positive belief systems. et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Let me see what’s blocking me. But that isn’t going to train your brain to learn how to drive. But neuroplasticity is saying, right? Let me practice pressing the gas using the gear stickers, you guys call it, you know, moving the steering wheel. And we’re training that into our nervous system through repetition again and again and again and again until it becomes automatic and our brain gets it right. I now know how to drive a car. Yeah. So that’s how it’s different to CBT. CBT could certainly do that, but it would take a lot longer. But this is about actually training the brain repeatedly, intensively to get the message.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s very good. And what kind of movement do you incorporate with your program? Is it just something simple like, hey, just get out and walk it, get out in nature, breathe, get some sun or do you recommend any other specific types of movements like resistance or interval training, how does the exercise component work?
Ashok Gupta: For many of our patients, they have to pace themselves very carefully because they’ve got intense amounts of fatigue. And so initially we’re asking them, some of them are bed bound, so we say initially, gentle stretching is enough, so that might be some Tai Chi and yoga. So as long as you’re moving and stretching the body, people can manage more than walking in nature. So that can be you know there’s two types shown to be effective. So forests and fields and countryside, Yep, or near the ocean they can be very therapeutic. So walking in nature and then as people can get more energy then it might be some gentle, very gentle cardio because what we’re aiming to do is use up the stress hormones that have been triggered, the cortisol and adrenaline or adrenalin. So and certainly resistance training is fine as well but it’s that gentle cardio, mild to moderate cardio which is using up the stress hormones and calming the whole system down. Which we find most effective. And then if people are back to full health, then certainly things like interval training, cardio, resistance training, all the good stuff that we know that people can do. That’s all great stuff to keep the nervous system calm and we know that with the brain as well physical exercise is brilliant at increasing resilience so mental and emotional resilience increases when we have physical resilience which is why all of these things are completely linked together.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you really made a good point about the stress hormones because people don’t realize but that stress hormone response is really about mobilizing glucose and energy reserves so you can fight and flee. The problem is, most people aren’t fighting and fleeing from something where they need that additional fuel for their muscles. So you have all this adrenaline and cortisol that’s mobilized all this glucose, but then you’re not using it and that glucose tends to start getting stored back away as fat a lot of times. That’s why the more stressed you get, the more you could start storing fat because it’s like you’re it’s like you’re eating a bunch of carbohydrate and sugar and you’re not using the fuel and so getting a little bit of walking or movement in there starts to take all that stress hormone and glucose and start to burn it up a little bit so you not storing it as fat. So that makes a lot of sense to me.
Ashok Gupta: Absolutely, and not only that. There’s the feedback loop between the body and the amygdala. The periodontal group, which is the brain, says I’m in danger, triggers these responses, but also gets feedback from the body as to whether we’re in danger. This is the kind of kinesthetic response. And so if the brain detects the muscles are tense, right? We’re physically feeling the effects of that anxiety, it interprets that as a reinforcement that we’re in danger and therefore creates more danger response, which is why when you physically feel anxious you get anxious about feeling anxious, you get stressed about feeling anxious and that’s that secondary loop that occurs. And in fact for us chronic anxiety is that is partly as a result of the anxiety about the anxiety we don’t like. We don’t like the sensations, the physical sensations and the emotional sensations of anxiety itself and therefore physical movement. Physical activity really stops the feedback loop and is able to calm the whole nervous system down and trigger also the parasympathetic nervous system. So we know that in physical exercise we’re triggering the sympathetic system to tighten up the muscles and get the muscles moving and then afterwards the system ratchets down and enjoys a period of parasympathetic response. And you know, people think I was, do I have to go to the gym and have to do a hard workout, brisk walking in nature, which I think most of us, if not all of us can do, has been shown to be highly therapeutic. So 30 to 40 minutes of brisk walking in your local park, in the forest is supposed to be the best, you know, near the ocean or in the ocean. That can be incredibly beneficial for your overall health.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it? Excellent, Ashok. I really appreciate you being on today’s show. We’ll put a link down below justinhealth.com/gupta. G-U-P-T- A. We’ll put it down below so you guys can access the 28 day course. By the way, what’s the time commitment to start the course? Is it 20 minutes an hour a day? What’s the initial commitment?
Ashok Gupta: So some of these videos are five or 10 minutes, so we don’t want to, right? So it’s like taking off 10 to 20 minutes a day watching your video. We give you a couple of free meditations that you can watch as well and that initial set of content is really for you to empathize in terms of does this really resonate with me? Is this my experience? And if so, then you can obviously go to the full program and then start the retraining process.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. A shock. Anything else you want to leave the listeners with?
Ashok Gupta: Uh, yeah. As I said, just believe in your, in the ability of your body to heal. It will heal, it can heal and we have that healing ability within us and also to recognize that whatever you’re experiencing, whatever physical assessments you’ve had in terms of someone saying you’ve got high viral titers or you know this particular enzyme is out of whack, those physical things are downstream. Yeah. And you will have those physical abnormalities in your body. But let’s go upstream, let’s go to the source. And we believe that a source of a lot of our conditions is actually in the brain. Even our gut health, I believe, is ultimately decided by our brain and the interaction between our gut and our brain. Fix this up here and all the downstream things will naturally take care of themselves.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. Very good. Yeah. When someone says your issues are incurable, that just means the cure is within. So I really appreciate that Ashok. I appreciate it. Thank you so much.
How to Deal With Stress and Feeling Overwhelmed? | Podcast #376
Connections between the brain and gut abound, which can be seen in the dysfunctions that often unite them. Many neurological and mood disorders often have enteric manifestations, GI disorders may present with neurological and psychiatric symptoms, and psychological stress may adversely impact microbiome balance and GI function.
Dr. J and Evan Brand discuss that consideration of the bidirectional relationship of the gut-brain axis will inform individual treatment strategies. Managing external stress-related factors while optimizing gut health may jointly address some chronic health conditions. Specifically, personalized therapeutic strategies that combine stress transformation approaches with gut health interventions, such as functional testing, nutrition, and natural supplements, may help to optimize gut function and bolster related body systems. Learn more about supporting the microbiome and its effect on overall health when you subscribe to this channel!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
0:46 – Stress
6:41 – Brain Chemistry
7:51 – Water Filtration and Organic Foods
13:56 – Cortisol Patterns
23:13 – Stress and Hormones
30:00 – Testing and Functional Strategies
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s doctor J here in the house with Evan Brand. Really excited. We are back doing our live podcast. Really excited to be back in the saddle. Evan, how we doing, man? What’s going on?
Evan Brand: Oh, doing really well. I’m excited to talk about stress. My wife, she woke up this morning.Which is like my jaws tight was like grinding my teeth last night and maybe you need to talk about that today. So I thought, OK, everyone is stressed, there’s a lot on everyone’s plate, but it’s really how you respond to it that really determines whether it makes you and you become someone and something and you get success out of your stress. Or do you just get frazzled and burned out and you resort to alcohol and tobacco and other addictions, chocolate and wine and whatever else to cope with that? And I think there’s a lot healthier coping mechanisms or stress for burnout, for feelings of overwhelm. And you and I have done this for years clinically. We’ve helped people through the toughest of cases. You and I have taken the huge load on our shoulders of, you know, trying to be the helper, be the healer with someone that’s struggling. And that’s a lot, that’s a heavy toll on us. So there’s things that you and I do personally. And then there’s things that you and I do clinically and then we’ve got some studies to kind of verify you know, what we’re seeing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% So when I look at stress.You have the actual stress issue, like whatever that stress issue is, right? And so feeling anxious or feeling stressed about an issue is a good thing, right? Part of the reason that is there is to get you motivated to get off your butt to solve the problem. So I always look at the issue and I’m like. Right. Why do I feel stressed? Usually there’s you haven’t closed the loop yet. I call it closing the loops. Problem, right? You take action to resolve the problem, the problem goes away. That’s the closed loop, right? And so you have a lot of people with open loops. Meaning they have a problem out there and they just haven’t even figured out the solution. So when it comes to being healthy and having good neurotransmitters, good adrenal function, good healthy diet and lifestyle habits, good anti-inflammatory type of environment, nutrient dense foods coming in. Good nutrition, your ability to process one that stressor when it hits you, it’s not gonna hit you as hard. It’s not gonna knock you off your pedestal to you’re going to be able to adapt and you’re going to be able to think clearly and troubleshoot whatever the issue is. And so I always look at a problem. I said OK, got it, how do I close the loop on that, what’s the action item to execute? That so I always just kind of get clear, have a list. What are the things I can do and set in motion to resolve the issue. I think it’s really important if you just dust it away. The healthiest adrenal glands eventually is gonna eat away at you because you haven’t closed the loop. So always think about closing the loop on your issues #2 get healthier so these things don’t bug you as much, right? If you have good levels of B6, good levels of magnesium, you’re sleeping adequately, you have good blood sugar stability, Good amino acids. It’s gonna allow you to be able to process it. You’re not gonna activate that fight or flight part of your nervous system. That shuts down the frontal cortex and activates the reptilian brain stem part of the brain that’s all about fight or flee, fight or flee, fight or flee. And so the more you can keep this kind of reptilian brain from being activated, and then you can use that frontal cortex, you’ll be able to sit back, become troubleshoot the issue and close the loop.
Evan Brand: And this is hard if you’ve got toxins, if you’ve got lyme, different infections. I mean we’ve seen in the literature that certain infections and toxins. Basically, decrease the blood flow to that front part of the brain. So you become a monkey. You do become primitive as you mentioned. This reptile brain kicks in and you can’t make good decisions and you certainly can’t comprehend the future. You get stuck living in the day, the hour, the minute with that stress and when you say close the loop, I think that resonates for a lot of people, but many people are afraid to close the loop because this means that they have to end a friendship that’s toxic. They have to end a marriage that’s failing. They have to, you know, fire someone that they don’t like. They have to quit their job because they have a bad boss. So.You know, closing the loop sounds so simple, but this could be a huge roadblock. You know, for people, and I’ve seen it, where you’ve got a woman eating perfectly. She’s doing amazing with her supplements. But for example, here’s the case study. She’s in an open relationship and she’s miserable and she hates it. And she’s jealous and her husband’s with these other women and she doesn’t want him to be. And so there’s issues there. I don’t freaking care how much ashwagandha this lady pops. She’s not going to supplement out of this situation. That’s intense. And there is a place for closing the loop. And you can’t supplement your way out of a situation like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. In relationship, it’s always good to have healthy boundaries, right? It’s like good fences make good neighbors, right? Having good emotional boundaries and how were relationship operates, right? If your families asking 10 times of you, then, then you, then ten times of you, then they help you on the backside, right, this kind of Arctic give and take that. So you always have to have clear boundaries. I think that’s a really, really important one. There’s an awesome book out there. Um, by Henry Cloud called boundaries. That’s a really good woman. I see patients in relationships. They may not even be a relationship with their spouse. It could be a relationship with family or friends where they’re just kind of a parasitic element of people asking many multiples from that person. Then that person’s providing back and there should always be a give and take. Right. I always tell patients like when you play catch, I throw the ball, you throw the ball, right. Emotionally, there’s a give and a take and it’s back and forth and it’s equal. When I start throwing the ball, you don’t throw it back. I run back over, get the ball, come back, throw it again, that, that, that’s, that’s you know very depleting, right? You missed the give and take, and so you gotta make sure your good, healthy boundaries are there. Also, with relationships, it’s always better to try to restructure. Kind of reboundify the relationship, then just exit. I think exiting a lot of relationships is just, uh, it’s an easy way out. It’s, you know, you just go somewhere and end your and go on to your life. I think it’s always better to see if you can repair or give people an opportunity to repair and get on the same page and see what happens from there. But either way, right, you have all these emotional issues. Get healthy. If you’re afraid to deal with these issues right now, put them on the back burner. No, you have to deal with them. Adjust your expectations of healing and try to get healthier so then you have better energy, better focused, better calmness to address whatever the problem is.
Evan Brand: This is great advice and it’s uncomfortable and there are situations that are going to be intense, but I would encourage you just to go face first with those now if you have trouble making eye contact with these people. Some of that’s related to brain chemistry too. I see a lot of people that when they get in a stressful situation.They just shut down. They look down, they look away. They can’t face the person and therefore they can’t fully express themselves. That’s usually tied into low GABA, and so we can’t measure GABA on the organic acids. But we can measure serotonin, we can measure dopamine, we can measure endorphins. So before you and I go into a few of these studies and solutions, you know, let’s just give a little back story on some of this. And so, you know, when I had gut infections down in Texas, I had tons of anxiety. It wasn’t me, it was not my personality. It was the gut bugs. And when we looked in my brain chemistry, my serotonin was low. My dopamine was low. I had issues to fully get myself motivated. I still push through, but I didn’t wake up necessarily with that spark like I wanted, and so I know personally and you and I have seen it 1000 plus times clinically the low brain chemistry problem, it’s epidemic and it’s only gotten worse even in the last 10 years. You and I have been looking at these labs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And so again, there are some people that have been on board here with us for years listening and they’re super advanced. And so just kind of out of the gate, we’re going to just give a brief overview of foundational things. OK. So first thing out of the gate is an appointment my phone because I just changed my whole house water filtration here, and Evan and I were talking about it earlier today. So check this out. I’m gonna hold up my phone. So you can see here.The clean one on the left, that’s a brand new filter. And that all the way up to the webcam.
Evan Brand: We can hardly see. Go closer. Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So the one on the left, right, the white one. That’s the new one.That’s the one that was in there for the last three months. I mean that is just nasty, dirty and gross that again that sense. That’s a post filter. So it went through a massive pre filter, went through the huge carbon based filter and then went through that afterwards. And it was dirty. It is nasty. I actually have it over on my on my bar countertop over there. So pretty pretty freaking gross. So, what does that mean? It means, prioritize good clean filtered water. If you don’t have a high water filter water filter system, we’ll put some links down below to the ones that we personally use, but in general, at least get a good quality glass water Topo Chico, Cheryl Steiner, a Perrier, a mountain valley one out of a good glass model was gonna be excellent during the day and then I definitely recommend getting a whole house water filter once you’re in a in a place where you can do it. Some people may be in an apartment, then maybe a temporary housing. You can always get an under the counter filter. There are even some temporary ones that actually go on top but still filter water out pretty well. But that’s pretty nasty. And so 70% of your body’s water in regards to all the liquids. So you need good clean filtered water without all the junky chemicals. Maybe drugs, maybe pesticide runoff? Bull run off, who knows. So the first thing is kind of get your water right. Comments there, Evan?
Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, this is important because when you’re stressed, you’re gonna be dehydrated. You’re burning through everything. You’re burning through hydration, you’re burning through B vitamins. You and are looking at papers on B vitamins and magnesium for helping with stress. So we know that when you’re burning the candle, and most people in the modern world are.You need good water and the tap water. You can look up EWG and put in your zip code. It’s scary. I mean, almost every single city has insane high levels of trihalomethanes which are carcinogenic as you mentioned pesticide residue, pharmaceutical drugs like heart medications, beta blockers, anti anxiety, antidepressant medications. You know what’s scary? There are studies now being done on bays, some of these inland bodies of water. And there was one down, I think it was in Florida near Miami. Biscayne Bay is one of these most famous bays. They have an issue now where all of the fish. I’ll see if I can pull it up.They now have drugs in them. And it’s because of the runoff from people. So let me pull this up because this is.This is pretty crazy. This was, this actually came out over the summer this year. And I think it’s pretty shocking and most people don’t have a clue.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, there was that famous study on atrazine up at UC Berkeley showing the frogs were essentially having reproductive organ issues like a major. I think they were almost becoming like asexual and their sex organs were like switching some kind of weird dynamic what’s happening. Based on the hormone, like disrupting compounds in these pesticides. And that was atrazine.
Evan Brand: Did you, did this pull up my screen here? Oh yeah, the screen share, I’m going to share with you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Go ahead.
Evan Brand: Alright, yeah. So here it is. Pharmaceutical drugs showing up in fish from South Florida waters. Yeah, so it’s Biscayne Bay and I know you’ve got 2.5 million Miami residents and a lot of those people are on pharmaceutical drugs and then they’re peeing that out and then some of that runoff is ending up in the water supply and then that runs off into the Bay and then the fish then accumulate those drugs. So they did a three-year study.They found the Valium. They found antibiotics. They found blood pressure medication in the blood and tissue of bone fish. One fish showed 17 different drugs. So here you are thinking you’re getting your fish clean. I’m gonna eat fresh fish. It’s like well. You know you’re looking at antidepressant treatment, medication, narcotics, pain relievers. That’s insane. Now they’re saying good news is that this is a catch and release species. But, what about the other fish that people are eating? So move. I don’t know. Just tuna fish.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So I mean, getting your water clean, getting your food quality clean, organic food. Here’s the atrazine study. And they were talking about it here at UC Berkeley Press release back in 2002. But it was April 16th in the National Academy of Sciences, UC Berkeley, essentially what happened here, the frogs were developing, they were becoming hermaphrodite. They were heading both sex organs. So you could see testes here, ovaries, ovaries, and you could see abnormal gonads and male exposure to this type of frog.The frogs have become hermaphrodites. Both male and female due to the hormonal exposure. So you can see because the atrazine environment basically an uncontrolled experiment this would be no atrazine free environment talking about because herbicides been used for 40 years of 80 countries. It’s effect on sexual development and male frogs could be one of many factors in the global decline of amphibians. So crazy, right? Now we’re talking about lowest levels of 0.1 part per billion. So this is real. So that’s why I’m saying out of the gate, easiest thing out of the gate. Clean water, good water filter, organic food, organic food. And then outside of that, right then we could talk about blood sugar, stability, at least a pound worth of protein at every meal. I think it’s a really good making sure you have good fats that aren’t all pufa-based fats. Seed, nut oil based fats, refined vegetable oils, you know keeping it good healthy saturated fats, coconut oil, avocado, olive, you know cold press. You know most of your good quality fats coming from more stable.Had accelerated fat sources. This is great. And then after that you just adjust the carbs for your activity level and kind of your metabolic type, meaning do you need to lose weight? Are you kind of a skinnier person? Are you really active right? The more active and the more at an optimal weight you are, the more carbohydrates you can handle. So you got to adjust it. It’s not a one-size-fits-all on that.
Evan Brand: Let’s transition. Talk about cortisol. Yeah. This is important for stress. When people think stress, most people think cortisol and you and I’ve run so many of these, probably more than anybody, I pulled up my screen. If you want to pull it up. This is a Dutch panel. That you and I run on almost everyone in regards to hormonal health and what you’re looking for is really the health of the cortisol pattern. So you can see here this particular female, she was absolutely exhausted. You could see for people on audio, you’re missing out, but you could go back to. Uh Justin Health YouTube channel and you can watch this video if you’re listening on the audio and you want to see the the the some of the screen shares. But you want to basically charge your smartphone battery first thing in the morning, get a full charge and that full charge last throughout the day, but in this case this woman, her cortisol pattern was completely shut. She was below range the entire day except for night time. She perked up just a little bit, and that could have been like maybe she was on her phone, she was watching a horror movie or a scary TV show or something an artificially boosted her cortisol. But this is the real issues. So no matter how clean your water is, if your cortisol pattern looks like this, you’re gonna be absolutely exhausted and you were gonna deal with stress terribly. You’re not going to deal with stress. How many people are you seeing like this now versus maybe 5 Years ago, do you feel like it’s becoming more common or no?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean it’s, it’s always tough because we’re, I’m seeing a large percent of the population that are have chronic health issues, right. So I’m always gonna get that, that slice that’s going to be significant. But yeah this type of pattern is, is a big deal, right, because not only is this a sign of you being chronically stressed and depleted, but this is a reverse cortisol rhythm, so you’re gonna be tired during the day and it’s gonna be harder for you to relax at night and recharge. So it makes it really difficult to get that good regenerative sleep wake cycle going. And so these are the people that have.Hard time sleeping at night and getting and reestablishing those good healthy lifestyle patterns that should be in place. That’s what makes it really tough. One thing if you’re just tired, but you can work on getting sleep and and recharging if we can’t. And then also this person, I guarantee you there’s there’s stress handling capacities gonna be at Max, so they’re just gonna like flip out on their kids, flip out on their friends at the simplest thing, or they’ll just be an overwhelmed and they’ll just be in flight constantly ignoring and sweeping all their problems under the rug because they jerked their capacity so low.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and I know this particular female here was incredibly histamine intolerant. Someone in the comments said, let’s talk about histamine. So there is a component to that. And in her case, she was sensitive to everything, chemicals, fragrances, EMF food. So this was a, you know a pretty sick middle-aged woman, but I mean everything was completely crashed here and so you and I wanted to talk about some of the herbs. Now if we jump right into one of these papers on. What’s called Magnolia and Phellodendron? This is a blend, actually. And it’s usually under the patented name Relora. Some of the professional products you and I use contain Relora. Now. This is a good option for reducing stress and anxiety, but the problem is you really don’t just want to start taking supplements without the clinical data because if you look back at that woman and the cortisol pattern is completely crashed, if we were to go to something like Relora, I would say this is not an appropriate thing to use because if you look at the results of the study of supplementing Relora for four weeks, the salivary cortisol was18% lower in the Relora group. So what that means is they saw less stress, less tension, less depression, way less anger, less fatigue, less confusion, and a higher mood. But would you say in her case that’s not appropriate because she was so crashed already. We don’t want an 18% reduction in cortisol.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now the question is what type of people were in that group, because a lot of these adaptogens, if someones low like ashwagandha for instance. There’s studies on Ashwagandha on helping to lower cortisol as well as increased cortisol. So I would say that the adaptogens are probably not like a drug where they’re gonna suppress. If someone’s already low, they’re probably gonna more help that HPA access kind of adapt. Now there are certain adaptogens like ginseng or licorice that may be more stimulatory even if someone’s high, it may still over stimulate. So you gotta be careful with over stimulating ones, but usually ones.like holy basil Holy basil, Magnolia, Ashwagandha tend to be more adaptogenic, so I’d be curious about that. What that sample size was? Were they kind of higher cortisol people? If they were higher cortisol people, then that would totally make sense that the herb was working to kind of bring things back into balance. Does it say it all in that study?
Evan Brand: We assess salivary cortisol and psychological mood in 56 subjects, 35 women, 25 or 35 men, 20 21 women. They were screened for moderate stress, so that would have been interesting if they would have came in and did a cortisol panel on all these people and showed the before and after, but that’s OK because you and I have seen this a lot clinically and as you described, we’d like to just give the nutrients to let the body do what it needs to do. Meaning we’re not coming in with Cortef necessarily and cranking her up. We’re giving HPA access support and the body can figure this out on its own in many many cases.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And the fact that a lot of these symptoms improved. It’s probably not a low cortisol person making their cortisol lower because that those symptoms would get worse, right? They would actually, you know, they wouldn’t be improving, right. So the fact that they’re coming down, there’s probably an improvement. So imagine these people had higher cortisol patterns.To begin with. And that would make sense. But that’s why we don’t even go all in on just any herb, right? Or making these diet changes. We’re getting the inflammation down. We’re increasing nutrient density. We’re also providing all the cofactors to help your adrenals function better, whether it’s vitamin C, whether it’s pantothenic acid B5, whether it’s B6, I have one study in here talking about B6 and Magnesium actually works better than magnesium alone. And part of that is unique cofactors for these nutrients to work better. And a lot of your brain chemicals actually have cofactors for a lot of these conversions of serotonin and Dopamine and norepinephrine to happen, you need a lot of cofactors. And then we can kind of go more into the category of like, well, if your diets crummy and you’re eating a lot of sugar or inflammatory foods, you can actually deplete those pull factors more. Or if you have mold exposure, you may deplete, you may be depleting your B vitamins in your in your in your folate and your B12 and your B6 for methylation purposes. Because that mold exposure is revving up those methylation pathways, you may be utilizing more of your acetylation and glucuronidation pathways for glutathione and acetyl cysteine right. You’re sulfur aminos may be depleted as well and also chronic stress does deplete sulfur because you need sulfur to actually activate dopamine to norepinephrine. And so when you look at those pathways, the more stressed you get, you will actually deplete sulfur and when you don’t have enough sulfur if you have mold exposure coming in.You see how you have a toxin on this side and then you have stress over here and you’re kind of burning that candle at both ends.
Evan Brand: Yeah.Let’s hit Ashwagandha. And then I like B vitamin magnesium when it’s pretty interesting. So ashwagandha, we hear a lot about it. I’d say it’s probably the most popular adaptogenic herb. I mean, you see it in grocery stores now at the checkout counter, I’ve seen Ashwagandha gummies and Ashwagandha pills, which I think in general is good, I have seen at the high dose and I have seen chronic usage in some people. It gives them a little bit of flatness where they just don’t have as much emotions. I’ve just seen, if you look on Reddit, there’s several threads if you type in like ashwagandha at Hedonia, this is basically just the loss of pleasure in life. So there’s some people that are reporting either high dose or long term use of ashwagandha. They just sort of become numb. So I think you need to watch out for that. But in general, you and I are cycling on and off of these things and we’re rotating. Now out of protocols and not necessarily, always in isolation. Just for a couple months, if they have excessive fatigue, maybe we’re adding in some rhodiola, so we’ll look at that in a minute too. But the Long story short is many, many papers on Ashwagandha. This is just one. But you’re always gonna see an anti anxiety activity and you’re always gonna see anti stress. It’s going to improve symptoms of depression and insomnia and it’s going to help primarily by modulating the HPA access and also the sympathetic adrenal medullary axis, as well as GABAnergic and serotonergic pathways, meaning that it may help boost GABA, which calms you down. It may help boost serotonin, which helps you become less irritable, less anxious, and you may sleep better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. I just swallow some Gabba and some glycine right now, some amino acids that also help with stress. Love, Mike.
Evan Brand: I took some right before. Yeah, right before we jumped on. I told you about those gummies and my wife. And so I had a couple. It was like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola I think it might have been some Maca too, but, so that was good. So here’s another paper on ashwagandha. This was a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled, which is the best, the best type that you want. And they said, compared to placebo, significant reduction in what they’re calling the Hamilton Anxiety rating scale. So significant reduction in that. In a near significant reduction and the depression, anxiety and stress scale. Also reductions in morning cortisol testosterone levels increased in males. So you and I didn’t mention that but. Stress.Those surprise stress is going to negatively affect your hormones too. Stress is going to reduce testosterone. That’s going to affect your sex drive. So when you see that Viagra is being passed out like candy, now you wonder what all’s going into the stress is a big component.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, we just saw a major study come out last month looking at the effectiveness of antidepressants. And they’re showed to be, you know, no long term benefit with a lot of these antidepressants. I think that was a Lancet study out of the UK and so we kind of look at a lot of the antidepressants, we look at the mechanism that’s happening there. You know, we know there’s data on things like tryptophan and five HTP and B6 helping. So there’s definitely like, there definitely is like a depletion theory where people are chronically stressed and then as they are stressed, they do deplete their serotonin, they deplete their dopamine. We see that in organic acid test. But the medications for that are blocking these reuptake ports, trying to accumulate more serotonin in between the synapses may not be the right school of thought. And there are a lot of doctors and people and pharmacologists looking in the direction of just brain inflammation. And so everything we do in functional medicine is about reducing inflammation. So when we give this nutrient with this herb we’re doing so many things in the background, diet and lifestyle wise to reduce inflammation. There’s so many variables we’re moving so it’s so hard in functional medicine world to do a double-blind placebo control trial because in those trials you have to typically control a variable or two at once. If you control 10 variables at once, 12 variables, there’s just too many things moving in one Direction to know which one was the deal breaker and like in this one, study over here. I’ll show you. Where they look at tyrosine supplementation. And or stress for cognitive demands. I’m going to pull this trial up here. So this is interesting right here. And this is kind of why we like to test and not guess, right, assessing over guessing. So they looked at dopamine, tyrosine which is a building block for dopamine, right. It goes, it goes phenylalanine and tyrosine and then it goes L DOPA dopamine and then under stressed dopamine can get converted to norepinephrine.Then you actually use a lot of sulfur. From dopamine to norepinephrine. But they talked over here that the potential of using TYR supplementation to treat clinical disorder seems limited and benefits. But then it talks about down here tyrosine does seem to effectively enhance cognitive performance particularly in short term stressful and/or cognitively demanding situations, we conclude tyrosine is an effective enhancer of cognitive function, but only when neurotransmitter function is intact and dopamine or norepinephrine is temporary or depleted. So if we have some functional deficiencies and we may see that based on a stress profile or you know functionally, we may see it on a cortisol rhythm test and we may see it with an organic acid panel, looking at vanilmandelate, looking at Homovanillate and we may see some of these markers either go overly high or overly low, which shows that there’s some significant depletion going on here. And so you can see that this the nutrient tyrosine tend to work better when people actually had a depletion.
Evan Brand: Well, you made me think of something and we’ve probably talked about this before, but how crazy is it to think about trying to do a proper, supposedly double-blind placebo-controlled study? Because, think of Sally who woke up and had a GMO Gluten bagel with vegetable oil. Instead of real butter for breakfast, she takes the antidepressant. Or she takes the herb and they’ve got Johnny over here who had a grass fed rib eye for breakfast and he took the same medication. They’re going to get totally freaking different results. So you and I were talking about this before we hit record, but it’s so hard to actually look at and appreciate a study that’s going to give you that outcome because like what time do they go to bed? Are they all going to bed at 10:00 PM or Sally staying up till 2:00 AM? No wonder she didn’t get relief from the antidepressant or the antidepressant herb or whatever. So it’s like, my God, when you really break apart using the functional medicine lens, you break apart the sleep, the stress, the diet, the family relationships, like how many of those people are going through a divorce during the study? Those are the seven people that didn’t get relief from depression, right? So it’s very difficult. And I think that’s why you and I can look at these studies and there’s other people that will talk about studies on podcast, but the reality is when you have the clinical experience that would, that’s what makes the difference because we’re coaching people through some of the lifestyle measures, the sleep, the nutrition, the water, we’re not just throwing the herb and saying good luck. It’s just not going to be that effective.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And also like we just mentioned earlier. We got a test, right? We don’t wanna guess, we want to assess. And This is why someone may have, you know, no experience with this supplement and say it’s it’s joke it’s it’s snake oil and someone’s like no i had a really great experience because there’s one you may Had a really great experience because there’s one you may not need that nutrient as much if you need something more than someone else, right? Then you may have a better benefit, but also a lot of nutrients work synergistically, right? So this one study looks at magnesium with B6 and they found that this study that, right here, many civilizations regard subjects with severe extreme stress study provides clinical support for the greater benefit of magnesium combined with B6. So both groups did well. They had a magnesium group and a magnesium with B6 and they found the magnesium with B6 actually did better and so a lot of nutrients are synergistic. I mean, I think anyone, most people will benefit from magnesium just because a large percent of the population are depleted in it. Our food supply becomes less and less on it. It’s one of those core nutrients it’s hard to get enough of. So I think it can’t hurt to ever take some of these core nutrients, but a lot of these nutrients are synergistic and so magnesium is very important for stress and relaxation. But B6 also helps with, it’s an important cofactor for all of your brain chemicals to work. Very important cofactor and it helps a lot of your neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA and dopamine and adrenaline all work and convert in the brain. So it’s important that you can’t just ever rely on one nutrient, you got to look at the whole thing and it’s always better to assess versus guests too.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and when you click on the podcast and it says helping with stress or feeling overwhelmed, you may think of us talking about meditation and float tanks and scheduling massages and getting manicures and pedicures.And take it a vacation and taking Fridays off and hugging your kids more and having more sex. All those things are great too. But we’re really trying to get geeky here with you guys, because most people that come to us, as you mentioned, they’ve already been to 5 10-15 20. They done the massage and they’ve been through the talk therapy and they’ve been to so many other practitioners. They need the nitty gritty granular stuff like this. It’s really going to get them better. So if you guys are listening for the lifestyle stuff, we try to integrate that and that is important, but ultimately most people are doing a lot of that, and they’ve tried and they’re still suffering. Let me pull something up on Rhodiola. This is pretty cool. I told you years ago how Rhodiola changed my life. And this is a paper that just concludes that Rhodiola is a very effective potent herb for treating mild to moderate depression. And we’re talking in six weeks. So this is not a long thing. Like people think it’s gonna take years and years and years.I’m not saying that if you’ve got mold, you won’t still be depressed. If you’ve got Lyme, you’re still going to be depressed like that. That can happen. But what if I can just give you a tool, which is gonna boost you. Let’s say it reduces your depression by 30%, enough for you to get back into the gym. And now you’re exercising. Now you get the natural endorphin boost, and then you feel more confidence. Now you go on a date with this woman you’ve been wanting to go on a date with, and now you have more fun and oxytocin cause your bonding. But at this this whole snowball effect happened all because I just gave you this herb to pull you out of a dark place. So that’s really what we’re trying to do.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So we talked about some of the Earth, some of the nutrients, some of our big favorite ones. Of course, movement is going to be helpful. Again, you got to figure out where your level is. If you’re chronically inflamed, movement maybe too much, too stressful and puts you in a more catabolic place because you’re breaking down tissue. Figure out where you’re at if you’re at a good place.You can lift some weights, do a little bit of interval sprinting, whether it’s a walks, walk, run, walk, Sprint, you can do a rower. We like rowers because of, you know, the extension and also there’s less impact on the joint. So if you’re already inflamed, you’re not going to create more inflammation. You can start with some bands or some gentle lifting of weights to kinda you know find that 8 to 12 you know rep 8 to 12 you know, Rep movement, that’s going to give you a good muscle breakdown, give you a little soreness. That’s good. You know, getting 10,000 steps today, these are all simple strategies. Strategies. We don’t have to overthink it. You don’t need to super crazy customized plan out of the gates. Just get some good movement. Make sure you’re, you have good form. If you’re not sure, you can always start with walking or yoga or something more gentle and you can always check out some YouTube videos and do some band work or some cable work or I like the new tonal that’s another good at home device for lifting is really good so you know just get get enough movement in there to get your muscles a little bit sore.
Evan Brand: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve got my roll machine right here. I just try to put it on this heavy of a setting as I feel confident with it’s not gonna injure me where I can still go. And I almost use it like a sprinting device. I don’t necessarily just go slow and steady, I try to just kind of sharp relatively fast. Kind of like a Sprint row movement and I tell you it, it can be depleting, but man, I’ve heard many people talk about this, like when you want to get out of your mind with your ruminating, if you’re worried, if you’re thinking negative, you’re going through all these bad things in your life and bad symptoms and all. I’m so, you do these pity parties for yourself when you’re exercising physically. It almost shuts that brain off completely to where you could just focus on like how hard this exercise, how hard this movement is.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% great 100% now outside of the gates here right? There could be some hidden issues that were not addressing and you have to see a good functional medicine provider over there could be you may need to look at your adrenals. Your adrenals could be more depleted like that patient Evan just show where they have significant kind of reverse cortisol pattern. It’s good to know your adrenal pattern because if you have chronic issues, you want to know, hey, this is where I’m at one it gives you a timeline of how long it may take to heal that person may look at look like a 6 to 12 month journey on that. Also it gives you the ability to have, you know, realistic expectations, good timeline, also something like that. We’d probably wanna do a retest on someone that’s that out of balance to make sure they’re back in balance, but also want to look at hidden stressors that could be behind that, whether it’s mold, whether it’s pests, whether it’s, you know, toxicity issues that aren’t being addressed. Whether it’s gut issues we talked about, a lot of these nutrients have to get eaten, so for our diets poor there’s a problem. But also what if it’s good now but we’re not breaking down and absorbing it? That’s where we’d have to do deeper testing on the functional medicine side to see how you’re doing digestive wise with HCL and enzymes. See if there’s any gut bug issues.And then we can also do other intracellular nutrient tasks for their organic acids or nutrients, look at other kind of intercellular nutrients. So there could be some other hidden stressors going on there. I always say just kind of start from the ground and work your way up, start with the low hanging fruit. Keep it simple because that provides a good foundation anyway, but you know if you have chronic issues, you definitely want to reach out to someone like Evan evanbrand.com or someone like myself,Doctor J justinhealth.com for the deeper issues and we’ll put links down below so y’all can reach out. Evan, anything else you want to add before we wrap things up?
Evan Brand: Yeah, I think for people that are, in a short term, acute stress, they have to travel for a wedding. They’re maybe going on a honeymoon. Sounds fun, could be stressful. Travel, new food, new water supply, their new parents. They’ve got small children, those are situations where you may come in, not small children cause those are long term stress, you and I can attest to that but you know, honeymoon, you know, new marriage, whatever. So, so those acute stressors, you could probably do some of these formulas whether it’s Tongkat or Magnolia or Ashwagandha,Rhodiola, holy Basil, there’s many, many options. Extra magnesium, B6, GABA, taurine and acetone. These things are great, but if you have been stressed and feeling overwhelmed for 1,2,3,5,10,20,25 years and beyond, you really don’t just want to go try to get rhodiola and get your way out of it. It’s not going to happen. I’ve tried. I took so many supplements when I was sick and it helped me to stay alive and it helped me to continue to work and be up on my feet but.I knew that ultimately I was missing something, and it wasn’t until I really cleared the parasite, cleared the H pylori, my energy started to come up like I was on Rhodiola while I had parasites.I was still tired. I was less tired, but I was still tired. And I think the problem is like naturopathic medicine. So naturopaths specifically, they may come in and instead of, you know, quartet for cortisol, they give you licorice and ashwagandha, which is great, but then it stops there. So you really have to ask the question why? Why did I get myself into this? How did I get into this? Was this the bad relationship? The moldy apartment? The college dorm? That got me sick? And I think people need to just ask why a few more times. So, like, I’m tired. OK, here’s rhodiola. But it could be. Hey, I’m tired. Well, why are you tired? Well, because I’m stressed. Why are you stressed? Because I’m in a bad relationship. OK? So we need to work on that. And if people keep asking why, usually you’re going to uncover some stuff. And I just encourage people, don’t be afraid, to look in those dark spots. Don’t, don’t be afraid to look in those corners where there’s some cobwebs of things that you’ve been emotionally shoving away, as you mentioned, dusting in a way or putting it under the carpet. Yeah, eventually those things are going to weigh you down.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, someone in the chat talked about a Epstein barr virus kind of plummeting their energy recently. Well, when it comes to Epstein Barr and some of these viruses like Epstein-barr said cytomegalovirus, it’s very rarely the virus just comes out of blue, comes out of the blue and just knocks you on your pot, right. Usually there’s some level of depletion going on and it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back and so. There’s different supports we can do to address viral issues, whether it’s silver or Monolaurin or Rishi, right? Different herbs and nutrients cats claw. But you’ve got to look at how did your body, how did your immune system become so compromised and susceptible to it. And you tend to have to work backwards and fix all of those issues that led up to this point. It’s very rarely something just coming out of the blue and doing all of it. It’s usually a level of susceptibility that you incurred and then this virus came in. So you have to really address everything, never just one thing.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I’ve seen that too, and I’ve seen it with a lot of things that are probably still controversial on YouTube, but we’ve seen things that people put in their bodies that all of a sudden reactivate Epstein Barr and other problems. We’ve seen this in celebrities, we’ve seen this in clients. So yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. But guys, we want to give you actionable information. A lot of people out there, it’s just like sales, sales, sales, market, market leave you kind of hanging. I want everyone to kind of listen and be like, all right, here’s some foundational things. When we’re talking and doing a long podcast, it’s super easy to get overwhelmed. So just pick one or two things, execute, execute, execute action, action, action. And then if you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed that you want to take next steps, you have Evan and I for resources. It’s all about educating. It’s all about empowerment. So we’ll put links down below where you guys can reach out and work on taking the next steps. But worst case, just continue to take action. We’re here to help.
Evan Brand: Absolutely. So go take a bath, do your lavender, your Epsom salt and all that. Get your mind right. But then ultimately you gotta figure out what’s under the hood.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Very good. Evan, wait. Great chatting with you man. Glad we’re back in the saddle.
Evan Brand: You too. Take it easy. Talk to you soon, brother. Take care everyone. Bye now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye y’all.
Natural Ways to Reduce Pain, Break Spasms, Improve Motion & Disc Issues Garrett Salpeter | Podcast #374
Pain from injury, accident, or illness can happen to anyone at any time. You can do several things at home to feel better. So, in this video, Dr. J and Garrett Salpeter discuss natural ways to improve motion and reduce pain through physical medicine and Neubie Method.
The primary goal of physical medicine is to help people overcome issues that prevent them from being more active via various techniques. Since increasing exercise and activity can benefit many physical and mental health conditions and reduce overall mortality.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
0:59 – What is Neurobiolectric (Neubie)?
5:58 – Stretching
14:10 – Muscle Testing
16:23 – Neubie Equipment
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here with Garrett Salpeter. Really excited to have Garrett back on the show. Garrett’s a regular here. Again, Garrett’s in Austin, Texas and he has his clinic called NeuFit. He has a bioelectric biohacking device called the Neubie uh something that I’ve used in my clinic for years. Very passionate about it because it helps accelerate uh inflammation reduction healing, human performance and we’re gonna just talk about injuries, performance uh range of motion just the whole nine yards because Garrett is an expert in Physical Medicine so really excited to have Garrett on the show. Garrett, what’s up man? How have you been?
Garrett Salpeter: Thank you so much for having me on. It’s great to be back on here to catch up with you and uh excited to dive in.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome man. Well, you’re always doing a lot of research. You’re on the cutting edge of what you do because you’re producing technological devices, you’re continuing education; you’re doing research so you’re always kind of have your finger to the win. What’s working best, what’s happening kind in your clinic with some of the research on, with using the Neubie, which is a biologic device and why don’t we just give people a little summary of what it is and just talk about what you’re seeing in your practice.
Garrett Salpeter: Absolutely. So, the Neubie stands for neuro bioelectric and it’s a direct current stimulation device so if people have experience with electrical devices, you know, virtually all of them are alternating current. This is direct current and that’s important for a couple of reasons, the first is that the direct current electric field actually creates this electric gradient that can help orient or align and accelerate the function of the cells that control healing of bone, muscle, connective tissue, so if we have a physical injury, direct current can actually speed up the healing process and sometimes even more interestingly the second part, the second benefit of direct current is the effect that it has on the nervous system because we often have people who will come into our office you know in pain or with limited range of motion and in one session they’ll notice tangible significant improvements and there you know in the span of one session you might be doing only 10 minutes of actual treatment and it’s obviously far too short of a period of time for any meaningful tissue healing to happen right, ligaments aren’t regenerating in 10 minutes, right? it takes time to heal so when we see these changes they’re more functional, more neurological working more on the software of the body instead of just focusing on the hardware and when we see those changes that the nervous system is the software you know of the body and that’s what controls pain, strength, range of motion, movement and also thoughts and hormones and digestion, all these things right? So, the nervous system is so important but when we see these changes when people have pain or spasms or limited range of motion being able to make these functional changes in the nervous system are super important and direct current allow us to bypass a lot of the protective muscle contractions and speak more powerfully and more precisely to the nervous system so we can make these changes more quickly and lead to longer more significant changes in the long term over time.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. So, in summary, you have hardware which is like bone, connective tissue, ligaments, tendons, you know, some of those that regenerate faster like muscles some like tendons, ligaments, cartilage take longer, right? Either way with some of the electrical healing modalities, you can still increase blood flow, drive better circulation and then of course decrease inflammation so that does accelerate healing on one side of the fence and then we kind of have the software upgrade where you’re really helping the nervous system to recruit other muscles around that area which then now can buffer the impact and force and then also were talking about before the show, I had a spasm from a deadlift like a month and a half ago and my body, I just could not get rid, I had to use a little bit of aspirin because it would just kind of buckled me over 45 degrees and I just walking around like I’m bent over and I took my Neubie and I just kind of got it into that area and I just did five minutes of exercising and loosening and it broke the spasm like that and it stayed for days, I did another movement pattern the next day and I was good so it’s just crazy that even though this is what I do, you forget how impactful just something like a few minutes can be when you’re in that much pain.
Garrett Salpeter: Yeah. And the thing about that and why it’s so beneficial is that you’re really getting to the root cause of the problem there which in that case you know it’s very common for people you know quote and unquote throw their back out, you know, you bend down to pick up a pen or something and something seemingly innocuous can cause this reaction where the back you know just is incredibly painful gets into spasm and people think you know oh my gosh there must be some sort of structural issue but in most of those cases there is a minor irritation of the spinal cord or a nerve root and then what really causes the pain is the body’s reaction too. It’s not so much about what happens to us as it is about how we respond.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s guarding.
Garrett Salpeter: And yeah, so the body creates this hypersensitive spasm, guarding state and really tries to lock down that area to make sure you don’t irritate that nerve again and it’s the spasm, it’s the reaction that actually ends up creating the worst of the pain and the limitation and so with the device and this use of direct current and having this effect on the nervous system were able to go map around on the body to identify where that hypersensitivity or that protective mechanism is being imposed on the body neurologically speaking being imposed on the body and then by stimulating that area it essentially creates a lot of feedback to the brain in a way that teaches the brain that It’s okay to actually move that area. Again, it allows the brain to break or you know down regulate or decrease that protective spasm. It’s like if you have a child who’s screaming and you can soothe them either by you know, holding them or giving them a you know a treat or a pacifier or something like sort of like that sort of thing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, because I have my wife literally doing my precursor on me. I had her doing some soft tissue, I saw my message person I couldn’t even do Chiropractic outside of blocking because the spasm was just too tight but just five minutes on that was enough to kind of reset that software and so when you’re like dealing with someone like that where would stretching come in because I felt like stretching was actually making this extra problem actually worse. How would you incorporate that into someone’s program or like someone’s injured, how would that kind of come factored in?
Garrett Salpeter: So, when we talk about stretching, I think it’s really important to look through the lens of this software versus hardware conversation because when we stretch a lot of times, we think that we can literally, like, pull our muscles apart and make them physically longer, right? What we really want to do like that you know based on the image that a lot of us have of how the body works that sounds promising but what we, you can lengthen connective tissue over time but that takes a long time to remodel but what we really wanna do to increase flexibility is relax the muscles to change the tone or tension and that is 100% controlled neurologically so what we really need, want to do if we’re talking about stretching to increase muscle, you know length or increased range of motion, what we really wanna do is change nervous system signal or tone to relax that muscle so that it can go it can accommodate greater ranges of motion and there because it’s a neurological skill, you really need a neurological input so using a Neubie or using other techniques where you are instead of just kind of stretching and relaxing there. If you’re adding in if you’re adding in some breathing and you’re waiting long enough for the nervous system to relax you know there can be some benefits there or if you’re contracting the opposing muscles some of that is you know some of that can make it can make an impact but in terms of uh in terms of sorry there’s a lot alarm going off over there. No worries uh, I think it’s a smoke alarm from someone making my wife making breakfast uh so the um the uh the nervos system signal really is paramount and so finding ways to finding ways to address that are so important and that’s one of the benefits we noticed using the Neubie is that we often can help people not only break that spasm and guarding to reduce pain but also see increases in range of motion pretty quickly because we can send that signal there to teach the brain and nervous system that can allow that muscle to relax allow it to go through greater ranges of motion and open that up and then there’s an interesting question of okay if you open up this new range of motion then can you can control it because if you go into a new range of motion you know if you could only get your arm up to here and now it’s getting up to here but you don’t have any control up here you’re then at risk of injury also there so then you have to be able to create strength and motor control and coordination in those range of motion and again those are neurological skills and so using a toll like the Neubie can be very beneficial there as can isometrics at the extreme joint angle where you really get to focus on muscle recruitment over a period of time and you know strength training through complete range of motion can be helpful. Some of these more traditional approaches as long as you apply them in the right way and it really helps to keep this software and hardware framework in mind but that’s the main thing is that we only think about stretching more from the hardware side.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I always found that foam rolling was really helpful and just doing a full range of motion of whatever that was whatever it was a squat of a lunge whatever that was so a lunge for instance to work on my hip flexor just doing into that for a couple of seconds and coming out I felt like doing something more dynamic was always helpful because in life you’re typically not holding a move for 20 or 30 seconds. I also found that with the Neubie on my hip flexor and lower back and then going into that lunge for a couple of seconds I felt like just kind of getting it up to the first sensation was very effective as well from a stretching standpoint.
Garrett Salpeter: I would agree with that and from my perspective at least I think a lot of people in stretching are kind of in this no man’s land you know they do like a 20-second stretch where you’re better off doing late like you did either of the extremes so like you did you know go into it in and out in and out like doing movements where you’re just holding maybe a couple of seconds of that end range right shorter time but more repetitions or longer being in a stretch for you know for two to three minutes so that you give the brain time to understand okay it’s not as threatening, you’re safe enough here to be able to let go and reduce tension so a lot of people are in that kind of no man’s land middle range where it’s not as effective as either the shorter ones or the much longer ones.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great and then so when you have people that have pain because a disc is bulging out or herniating out and hitting that nerve at the IVF or at the disc level what are you doing kind of with your techniques to kind of help reduce that disc pain because conventional medicine, I mean, outside of doing surgery I mean maybe you do some kind of decompression or you hang upside down or there’s some different like decompression techniques or tables that chiropractors use. What do you typically do in your clinic when you see a disc patient?
Garrett Salpeter: So, one of the first things that we want to start with is actually education start to start about with talking about some of these really fascinating studies that show for example patients who have herniated discs and back pain you know if they there’s one group that has surgery another group that uses physical therapy or Chiropractic or more conservative care and after 12 months they end up virtually the same so there’s really very little long-term benefit and not to say that there are cases where surgeries you know not required or something like that you know I think it’s overprescribed and overdone but there certainly are cases where it’s the right move and it’s worth doing um the other thing that we like to share with people in this kind of educational process is that there are really fascinating imaging studies that show something like 30% of people in their 30s 50% of people in there 50s and even higher the older you ger have people who don’t have any pain at all you know half or more of them will still have some disc bulges or you know some herniations or different things show up on an MRI okay that you know normally you think oh that would cause pain and yet they don’t have any pain so the question is why why can someone else have the same thing you do and have no pain and yet you are coming here to see us in pain. There’s more to it than just the structural issues so a lot of it has to do with that same protective spasm that you had when you were talking about you’re dead lifted and then you got that you know that thousand mill backs a lot of it has to do with that kind of pattern you know the individual getting stuck in that pattern over time and not being able to break that cycle of spasm and pain neurologically so the first thing that we want to do is go through that same mapping process and identify where the guarding and protection is happening neurologically and do that same process and sometimes we notice people make significant progress even though again you know in one session their disk has structure hasn’t changed, the disc hasn’t healed or significantly moved back into you know back into place or anything like that but a lot of times someone will feel better even in that first visit because you’ve reduced that they’ve reduced that spasm and then we also want overtime to help better balance the structure, get the right muscles working so they’re no longer collapsing into that part of the spine and causing the pressure on the disc that’s gonna make it balls or herniate so we also want to even if someone’s feeling a little bit better right away we want to make sure that we continue to work on proper muscle activation, improve biomechanics so that they can then you know do more and more activity. They can increase the load on their body be more active and have the resilience to be able to do that without slipping back into that you know that kind of painful spasm guarding protective state.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think that’s solid because when you have an injury right you talked about a kind of the study on the x-rays where they looked at x-rays or MRIs and they saw 50% of people that had bulge or issues that should cause pain, had no pain, right? So, there’s something functionally at play here where you look at the structure objectively obviously flip a coin someone could be in pain or not but then functionally something else is going on here and you kind of alluded to it earlier with the shoulder increasing range of motion at the shoulder you may have higher range of motion here but you may not have the stability within your supraspinatus your Pec major your Pec minor, your subscap to be able to stabilize that muscle up here so even if you were to injure, let’s say your AC joint right, acromioclavicular joint right the reason why would you injure that joint right it’s because typically there’s the muscles around that joint aren’t stable and so how are you looking at these joints and assessing is this joint fully stable, how are we assessing the muscles all around it?
Garrett Salpeter: So, I like to do manual muscle testing and we teach a version of muscle testing for that just to kind of check at a high level can this you know this patient can this individual actually turn their muscles on in the first place can they actually get signal there or is there so much inhibition or you know the you know shut down is the muscle shut down or weak because of that habits or previous injuries um so we like to do like to do manual muscle testing just to see if there are any weak links in the areas where they can’t turn on and we like to do the scanning and mapping process with the Neubie were talking about and that lets us know where they’re again where’s that guarding and protection is present which also can mean inhibition or shutting down signal.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How does that work; you mind taking the machine and just you don’t have to put it on how would you scan that?
Garrett Salpeter: Yeah. So, I don’t think you can see that in my frame.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m gonna have you go full screen. I’m gonna make you go big. Let me see if I can make you big here. Just me a second. See, if I can get you bigger on this here. All right. Well, let me see if I can do it. Well, I’ll have you keep on hold on. Let me turn it off.
Garrett Salpeter: Oh, there we go, okay so this is the device right here, the Neubie, and what we would do is take one of the pads and scan around on the body like this so we’re scanning around what we’re doing is actually sending the signal as if that area of the body is being loaded so when it’s on the bicep, it’s as if you’re you know doing bicep curls or using that muscle there and wherever the muscles are working well, the brain sees that and says oh yeah that’s just you know that muscle doing it’s thing normally there’s nothing threatening about that but if we stimulate an area that hasn’t been working well recently because it’s been weak or you have bad habits where you haven’t been using that area or have adjusted around it because of old injuries if we stimulate an area like that or where the brain is guarding and protecting in that area then we have a situation where we send that signal and the brain sees that and says that’s threatening that’s different that’s novel or new and so it’ll protect against that and so most areas that are working well feels kind of pleasant and then when we get that greater reactivity where we pick up on that hypersensitivity and some of those neurobiological issues that we were talking about the body reacts more and that helps us understand where we need to where we need to stimulate and then we stimulate those areas and we teach the brain to take off the breaks so to speak if it’s guarding and protecting it’s sort of like you’re driving a car hitting the throttle and the brake pedal at the same time which of course is inefficient and waste of energy and so we teach not necessarily teach you to like get stronger or put more force down on the throttle but we teach you to be more skillful neurologically and take the other foot off the brake and that’s what this does, this helps us find the reactivity where those breaks are being imposed and then lift them off to an appropriate level you know we have protective mechanisms to prevent ourselves from getting hurt and this just allows us to reset them back to the normal level not to any place that’s going to you know have us in a compromised position.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense and then when you find, you kind of scan, you find some issues some disturbance some may manifest as pain then you anchor one pad and then you search on the, through the other pad right and so when you’re doing that are you trying to cross the joint, are you like, what’s your philosophy when you scan? Is it just kind of looking at the next best area or are you trying to go across the joint where maybe stability or anchoring? What happened? How does that next step work?
Garrett Salpeter: So, I’m trying to find the first domino or the area of greatest impact so when we find, if we have a spot here uh you know on the pectoral muscle for example and then what we would do is yeah we figure out where to put the other pad where you know the grounding pad of the source pad or whatever you wanna call it and we would then find the area that’s gonna typically that’s gonna kind of maximize the impact here sometimes that spot itself might also be a hot spot or an area of greatest or greater need and we don’t necessarily need to go across the joint or more proximal and distal or you know higher up and further down, it’s more about finding the area of greatest need for that person neurologically where they have the greatest amount of protection or inhibition or dysfunction and working on that so sometimes the pads will be, I find another one here I show you something, they’ll be like right next to each other. Let’s imagine this is a pad sometimes they’d be right next to each other sometimes they’ll be across the joint like that and then sometimes they’ll be you know oriented along you know one lower down on the arm so they can be in different orientations, there’s not necessarily a set mechanism of, yeah, we’re trying to go across the joint and have them both longitudinally along the same muscle. It’s more about trying to find what is the area of greatest need for that individual person.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And how many outputs or pads would you put on that joint, obviously, with the Neubie, the cool thing is you have up to eight, I mean, something as a shoulder, would you kind of keep it at two or three uh bigger joints you’d go more like what’s your philosophy on how many outputs, how many you know pads would you put on a joint in a given area?
Garrett Salpeter: It depends on where we are in the process. In the beginning, we are we’re doing that mapping process, we’re finding these hot spots or areas of interest or dysfunctions or trigger points, you know, sometimes we refer them with different words but we essentially want to let the patient’s body be our guide in the beginning and work on however many hot spots show up and so far some people it’s two pad you know it was one spot and we need a grounding pad or a source pad to stimulate that so far some people it’s just two pads and then for some they have you know eight or more hot spots so we might be using all eight pads even on a smaller joint you know or smaller area of the body so it’s more about that more about showing up what that patient is representing with and what their body’s telling us in the beginning and then as we progress once we get out of the acute stage where we’ve worked through those hot spots and those kind of more immediate more acute dysfunction then we want to talk about improving mechanics about strengthening about increasing muscle recruitment or relaxing muscles for greater range of motion and then we can use uh you know all eight pads depending on what we want to do so one of my favorites you know examples of this is to talk about the hip if we want to increase hip extension, we can actually use a couple of the leads on the front side of the hip you know on the hip flexors quads adductors on a setting that’s going to help them relax more and more and then on the back side of the hip so on the glute specifically we’re thinking there um to drive hip extension we can actually change the setting on the device to create more contraction in those muscles and so contraction on one side on the back side and relaxation of the front can help lead to greater hip extension range of motion so it depends a little bit on where we’re going definitely in the beginning we want to not necessarily work on a predetermined number of spots or pads but let that patient’s body be our guide.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, when you work up a patient right and you, kind of like map out these hot spots let’s say someone comes in with their shoulder area let’s say you find some hot spots here and, in the back, and then down here on the tricep are those kinds of your spots you’re going to hit for the next couple of weeks or are you trying to reinvent the wheel every time and then you’re scanning every single appointment and seeing if they change. How often do you keep the original spots going for that first assessment?
Garrett Salpeter: So, that’s a great question most of the time the you know fortunate answer for a clinician is that you typically don’t have to rescan because typically these patterns that people have that are contributing to injuries are fairly deep-seated or deep rooted patterns that are gonna take a little while take several sessions to fully you know we should see progress each visit and yet we should likely need a few visits to really make more lasting even more significant and meaningful changes so typically once we find those spots especially if they’re standing out clearly and there’s not a lot of them typically we’d continue to work those some ones uh. If there’s a lot of spots and we’re having to prioritize we may want to recheck those just to see you know sometimes if when A or B improve then we want to work on C, D and E. Maybe those become the next kind of highest priority areas to work on so um it depends a little bit on the circumstances but generally you know you’re not gonna see significant change in terms of what shows up when we’re doing that mapping, session over session unless someone you know, we definitely want to do it if someone isn’t making the progress that we wish to see or if there’s a new presentation a new symptom or you know they went out and played in a basketball game or tennis match and have some sort of new symptom or problem yeah we’d want to rescan then but generally speaking you’re picking up these patterns that are more than just like oh I slept wrong or more than just oh that’s because my you know my hamstring are sore from the work that I did the other day. It’s usually more uh, usually a layer deeper than that and so when it shows up we can work on it for, you know. at least several sessions.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think that’s great. I mean someone has worked in the physical medicine space for quite a while, I think this is an awesome tool to have. We’ll put links down below so if people on the patient level want to reach out to you Garrett and your stuff there’ll be a link down below that you can reach out. If you’re a practitioner and you or just someone who wants to access this technology at home for better health um kind of biohacking yourself more on a daily basis, we’ll put some information down below for that. Anything else you wanna leave the listeners with it that’s going in your clinics, anything new or cool that you wanna highlight?
Garrett Salpeter: One piece of news is that we just in the last couple of months published our first peer-reviewed scientific journal article on the new bible and it shows that we’re basically using the Neubie to uh without any weight without any external load at all and comparing that to the gold standard of exercise which is lifting weights with about 75 or 80% of one rep max so one rep max would be like the amount of weight that’s so heavy you can only lift it once 75 or 80% of that is you know a weight that you can lift maybe you know eight to ten to eight times or something like that so that’s yeah that’s essentially the gold standard of resistance training and we’re seeing that with the Neubie and no external load, you can get a very similar effects on muscle as using heavier resistance and more traditional exercise so that is something that is really cool because it opens up opportunities for people who can’t lift heavy because they have a joint injury or some other pain or issue they’re trying to work around or they’re in the middle of a professional sports season and this can help them get you know get training while better managing fatigue and stresses of the season also for older people who or people who have mobility problems or various neurological diseases and dysfunction that can’t really do traditional gym exercise weightlifting this can allow them to get metabolic hormonal muscle building benefits and gosh muscle I mean one of the most interesting bodies of research I think is shows the beneficial effects of muscle mass on longevity and how having more muscle helps with so many factors hormonally metabolically overall health wise that you maintaining muscle mass as we age is one of the key one of the biggest factors in all-cause mortality and extending life and health span.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% agree. I think that’s awesome. Guys reach out to the NeuFit N-E-U dot Fit. We’ll put links down below where you guys can reach out. We have some other content with Garrett, we’ll put some old podcast links down below as well. Garrett, thank you so much for coming on the show. Really appreciate it.
Garrett Salpeter: Thank you. It was a blast. I loved it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: All right. Thanks. Take care.
The Top 7 Root Causes of Inflammation with Dr. Jockers | Podcast #372
When your body activates your immune system, it sends out inflammatory cells. These cells attack bacteria or heal damaged tissue. If your body sends out inflammatory cells when you are not sick or injured, you may have chronic inflammation or other underlying issues.
Dr. J and Dr. Jockers suggest checking in with your healthcare provider if you experience a problematic injury or health issues. Also, talk with your functional doctor if you have ongoing pain, swelling, stiffness, or other symptoms. They can narrow down the cause and find ways to help you feel better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
0:36 – Inflammation
4:41 – Acute Inflammation
5:21 – Root Causes
10:30 – Food Recommendations
18:22 – Herbs and Compounds
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys! Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. Today, we have an awesome podcast in the queue, the top seven root causes of inflammation. I am here with Dr. David Jockers. Really excited to have him today to chat with David. How are we doing man?
Dr. David Jockers: I’m doing great, Justin. Always great to connect with you. You’re one of the leading minds in functional health, functional medicine and so always great to collaborate and discuss really important topics that are affecting so many people around the world.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh. Excellent man. I’m really excited to chat with you. I mean, you could just pull up one of your blog posts and just have the infographic run the whole entire podcast, right? So, uh, I’m really stoked to chat about it. So, first off out of the gate, I think we should just kind of define inflammation for listeners. How would you define it pretty simply?
Dr. David Jockers: Inflammation is an immune response that’s actually designed to help protect your body. See our body is hardwired to protect us from dying from an infection so you know our ancestors when you know they would go out hunting or let’s say they were in war or something like that, it would be attacked, they would have some sort of a flesh wound and then bacteria could get into that flesh mood into their bloodstream and then spread throughout their body and get into their lungs cause pneumonia, get into their nervous system cause meningitis and kill them. This is really the leading cause of death throughout the history of mankind. Even when people were in war, they really, they tended not to die like it was they were more commonly were dying from an infection they got from a wound than the actual wound itself and so the body is adapted to create this inflammatory response whenever you have an injury, right, and when we think about injuries we think about, okay, a sprained ankle. Let’s say what happens? You end up with a lot of inflammation in that joint and that inflammation is there to help protect against any pathogens getting in. It also helps break down damaged, uh, ligaments, tendons, different structures that are in there that are involved and it’s all part of the healing and remodeling process and so inflammation itself is actually very therapeutic, very healing and it’s designed to keep you alive. The problem is that most people in our society now are dealing with chronic inflammation because their main injury is actually in their gut. It’s in their digestive system. So, the gut when that becomes damaged, the body responds just like if we sprained an ankle or if we got a cut or a burn it creates this inflammatory response. You just don’t see it. So, you don’t actually see it and oftentimes, you don’t even feel it at least not in your gut like a lot of people are not feeling gut pain or even you know just like a stabbing pain even though the gut is damaged but when that happens when the gut becomes damaged, now proteins are seeping into the bloodstream and the body says okay these are abnormal proteins, abnormal bacteria in here. Let’s turn up inflammation throughout the body so that person may experience eczema or some sort of skin inflammation, acne, rashes. Another person may experience joint pain so when they have a leaky gut and their body’s ramping up inflammation, they notice it in their joints. Different joints are hurting. Another person may have a lot of brain fog and fatigue so it can impact us in different ways but in our society today, the inflammation is less so coming from like a physical injury and more so coming from injury in the gut.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, kind of my simple kind of metaphor to understand inflammation is you have breakdown and build up catabolic anabolic. Anabolic builds you up. Catabolic breaks you down. Things that are responsible for the breakdown like cortisol, stress hormone, interleukin, cytokines, right? Inflammation, in general, is a good thing. When you go to the exit, when you go to the gym and you lift weights and you do push-ups, you’re creating an inflammatory response in the pec area but then you have this anabolic build up of remodeling proteins so your chest gets stronger and bigger but there’s a healthy balance, right? And so, what we’re talking about here is the inflammation causing a little bit more of a breakdown than you’re able to build up and so over time, whether it’s your brain, connective tissue, joints, cartilage, gut lining, all of this inflammation is causing the body to break down and depending on where that tissue breaks down is where the symptoms occur if it breaks down on the cartilage, arthritis. It breaks down on the blood brain barrier, brain fog, mood issues. If it breaks down the gut, you can have more autoimmune issues, you can have digestive issues, it breaks down, let’s just say in other tissues in the body it could be MS or type 1 diabetes. And so, yeah, so, depending on where the tissue is, is where conventional medicine puts that ICD-10 code but we’re looking deeper under the hood and we’re trying to get to the underlying mechanism. So, first off, we kind of define terms and then now we can go into, you know, other, um, other root causes and root palliatives to kind of support it. Any thoughts?
Dr. David Jockers: Yeah. For sure. And you have, you know, that acute inflammation which again is very therapeutic and healing and then you’ve got chronic inflammation. The big difference there is, the body when it’s in this breakdown, build up cycle. That is normal and healthy but when that never gets turned off and the body is continuously in this sort of healing cycle and it never gets turned off, that’s when we end up causing a lot of long-term problems that are happening in our society.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Inflammation is a good thing because of the remodeling that takes place. It’s the out-of-control chronic-ness and especially when we look deeper at the hormones like cortisol, adrenalines if that’s kind of chronically high or even chronically depleted that’s where we’re gonna start to have big symptoms. What would you say are the next big root causes?
Dr. David Jockers: Yeah. So, you know, at the root a leaky gut is a huge factor with all of this, right? Because, again, if the gut is damaged now we’ve got proteins, we’ve got bacteria, yeast, different things like that seeping into that bloodstream and that tells the body, okay wow we need to signal the alarm because these things, we shouldn’t have abnormal proteins or bacteria going around in our bloodstream that puts at risk for pneumonia, for meningitis for something like that so we’ve gotta turn up and ramp up inflammation and the body kind of has this threshold level for how much abnormal protein and bacteria should be in the bloodstream and once we get over that threshold, it’s like a massive alarm throughout the whole body and then we’re releasing a lot of cortisol, right? We’re releasing a lot of hormones that are associated with fight-or-flight and that suppresses the hormones that have to do with healing and repairing, sexual reproduction, you know, our anabolic, our testosterone, our estrogen, our progesterone because we’re putting all of our energy into fight or flight cortisol and epinephrine and this is why leaky gut can cause issues with sleep for example. A lot of times people have insomnia. It’s really related to leaky gut and damage in their gut. So, that’s always the first thing that I look at and then kind of building off of that is just we have to look at their diet, right? Inflammatory foods are one of the main triggers for leaky gut.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. So, of course, like the big, you talked about proteins, right? So, the big proteins I think, you agree, would be your glutinous proteins from grains and it could even be gluten free grains too. Sometimes rice can be a problem, corn can be a problem, especially if there’s GMO residue on that, right? Like, uh, the pesticides that are used, right? Round-up, etc. and then of course high fructose corn syrup can have a lot of different corn residue as well. Casein and a lot of dairies especially if it’s more conventional based dairy with a lot of the hormones and things in there. So, all those things can be a problem and then of course, the more our digestion is optimal. So, if you don’t have enough acid and enzyme and bile salts, we got to break these proteins down into smaller units called peptides and amino acids when these globules are just too big, that can create more food allergies because our bodies have these big proteins, they’re seeing in the bloodstream and that can create more stress so we got to break things down and if that fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous system is going, those enzymes and acids and bile salts may be really um, and at non-optimal levels and we have these bigger food globules in our intestines.
Dr. David Jockers: For sure we weren’t meant to eat on the go, right? So, we really need to be in a more relaxed state. Take a few deep breaths, you know, always pray before we eat, right? That puts us in a state of gratitude, activates that parasympathetic nervous system, the vagus nerve which travels from your brain down into the stomach into the gut and activates the production of those key digestive juices so you can really break down the foods effectively. So, yeah, we definitely need to eat with the you know we have to have mindful eating habits and eat foods that are nutrient dense and not foods that are higher on the inflammatory spectrum like you talked about. So, yeah. That’s huge. And then, we got numbers, you know, the third big thing is keeping our blood sugar stable, right? So, blood sugar stability is super important. So like, if you’re eating breakfast and your breakfast consists of let’s say, you know an apple or a banana or something like that and you’re only eating let’s say fruit even though it’s a healthier you know, more nutrient dense food basically all it is is sugar and so what happens then your blood sugar goes up, insulin comes out, brings that sugar down and now your blood sugar is down and now your body says okay blood sugar’s down and if you’re not metabolically flexible, your body’s not very good at burning fat for fuel that becomes, you know, again, the alarm gets signaled because it says okay wow we don’t have enough sugar to fuel the brain so we’re hypoglycemic now. So now, we need to pump out more cortisol, more epinephrine to get the blood sugar up because cortisol is a glucocorticoid meaning that it activates, uh, blood sugar released from the liver from the muscles into the bloodstream to get the sugar back up but with that we also kind of get this effect on our brain, this high cortisol, epinephrine, where it can cause us to have cravings, it can cause us to have mood swings, irritability, anxiety a lot of different issues like that and that just drives up inflammation in our body as well. For sure we weren’t meant to eat on the go, right? So, we really need to be in a more relaxed state. Take a few deep breaths, you know, always pray before we eat, right? That puts us in a state of gratitude, activates that parasympathetic nervous system, the vagus nerve which travels from your brain down into the stomach into the gut and activates the production of those key digestive juices so you can really break down the foods effectively. So, yeah, we definitely need to eat with the you know we have to have mindful eating habits and eat foods that are nutrient dense and not foods that are higher on the inflammatory spectrum like you talked about. So, yeah. That’s huge. And then, we got numbers, you know, the third big thing is keeping our blood sugar stable, right? So, blood sugar stability is super important. So like, if you’re eating breakfast and your breakfast consists of let’s say, you know an apple or a banana or something like that and you’re only eating let’s say fruit even though it’s a healthier you know, more nutrient dense food basically all it is is sugar and so what happens then your blood sugar goes up, insulin comes out, brings that sugar down and now your blood sugar is down and now your body says okay blood sugar’s down and if you’re not metabolically flexible, your body’s not very good at burning fat for fuel that becomes, you know, again, the alarm gets signaled because it says okay wow we don’t have enough sugar to fuel the brain so we’re hypoglycemic now. So now, we need to pump out more cortisol, more epinephrine to get the blood sugar up because cortisol is a glucocorticoid meaning that it activates, uh, blood sugar released from the liver from the muscles into the bloodstream to get the sugar back up but with that we also kind of get this effect on our brain, this high cortisol, epinephrine, where it can cause us to have cravings, it can cause us to have mood swings, irritability, anxiety a lot of different issues like that and that just drives up inflammation in our body as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. And also, just having blood sugar go up and down, up and down, if you’re relying on lots of glucose to be your fuel source unless you’re doing lots of exercise and burning it up and you kind of have that ectomorph body type. These are the people that are kind of your basketball players, your marathon runners. These are the ones that when they eat a bunch of carbs, they just have to go right around the block because their glucose just triggers their bodies. They need to move. If you’re not, you know keto adapted, right? Glucose is a dirty fuel in your body, and tends to cause a lot of oxidative stress. This is why diabetics with high blood sugar that kind of oxidation is gonna create problems with the eyes the vasculature, peripheral nerves and so it’s good especially if you’re not super active to be doing a lot more to be more keto adapted and to kind of really switch your fuel source to be more kind of fat based which creates less oxidative stress.
Dr. David Jockers: Yeah. So, you really wanna build your diet around protein and healthy fats, right? I recommend typically when you eat, you want to eat roughly about 30 maybe 40 grams of protein if you’re trying to put on muscle mass, let’s say your weight lifting or something like that, you may even need more but when you sit down and eat a meal you should be looking at somewhere around 30 to 40 grams of protein in there. You know, roughly around 30 grams or so of fat in there, um, somewhere in that range is usually a good range depends you know can obviously range a little bit depending on the individuals body size or gender their activity level but somewhere in that range where you’re getting the fat, you’re getting the protein and then you know, you might have a little bit of carbs and some vegetables or maybe some berries, some low glycemic fruit but you know, you don’t want a tremendous amount, you don’t, you really want to minimize the amount of starch that you’re consuming throughout the day. Starch and sugars and just get them from real foods after you have your protein and your fat levels, your macros right on your protein and fat.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And kind of my philosophy is anywhere between a palm to a full hand of protein, that’s usually three to six ounces again if you’re bigger and may go higher to eight ounces, if you’re done doing a lot of lifting of weights, you know, you may be able to shift that and then usually carbohydrate-wise, I kind of say between two fish the two full hands and I would say mostly vegetables is pretty good. And if you’re gonna throw some starch in there, you know, there are some theories, I tend to go later in the day because of the carb backloading theory of just being more insulin sensitive later in the day and I try to stack in the fast at night with really lower carb throughout lunch to really tap into more being able to utilize ketones and fat for fuel. What’s your thoughts on that?
Dr. David Jockers: I completely agree about that. In fact, that’s what I talked about in my book keto metabolic breakthrough when I talked about carb cycling and even getting keto adapted in the beginning is really trying to push those carbs into the later in the day. Even a lot of people say well then you’re gonna store them as fat it’s not necessarily true because if you go low carb throughout the day, your body’s actually gonna burn up all your sugar stores in your liver and your muscles and so now you’re gonna have this wide open available storage for those carbs when you consume them to put it right back into the liver, right back into the muscle in the form of glycogen so you’re not just gonna turn it right into fat and I think that’s a much much better strategy and what I’ve noticed is that when people go lower carbs throughout the day. They have less cravings throughout the day. The earlier you eat more carbs earlier in the day, cravings go up and your overall, the amount of calories and the amount of carbs that you’re gonna consume throughout the day goes up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So yeah. A part of the big reason why exercise, especially lifting or interval training is so beneficial is one it makes your muscles a little bit bigger and then muscles are like a sponge for glucose and so one you’re wringing out the sponge when you exercise so you’re burning the glucose but then you’re also hypertrophy in the muscle making it bigger so it’s like taking a big sponge and cleaning up that messy table I had a patient just do this as an experiment, he tested his blood sugar after meal, it was 140, 140, right, mg/dL and I tell patients, if you, you know, make a mistake with your carbohydrate or just too much junk after meal just do a five or ten minute walk. Well, he did an elliptical, a ten-minute kind of like interval on the elliptical that measured his blood sugar. 10 minutes later it went from 140 to 85.
Dr. David Jockers: He was activating that skeletal muscle. And another quick tip there too is you could even just do, if you know, you’re gonna have a higher carb meal, do 50 air squats right or 20 air squats or whatever you’re able to do, just do that. Get yourself kind of in a state where you’re breathing heavily. Give yourself a few minutes just kind of calm down, take some deep breaths and then eat your meal. Now, you’ve activated the Glut-4 receptor, right? So, the Glut-4 receptor, right? So, the Glut4 transporter protein that actually acts like insulin to pull the sugar into the cell and again you gotta get that sugar out of that cell because the sugar will create more oxidation and will create a process called glycation or browning inside of your body. If it’s stuck in the bloodstream at a high level like that 140 like your client there. So, we want to pull that out and we don’t wanna do it with a lot of insulin, right? So, we want to be able to get the sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells with the least amount of insulin production and that’s what the exercise will help with.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and that’s why I recommend like during the day I have a stand desk here so I have a treadmill over here that I can control with the remote so I’ll move my desk over there like yesterday on my fitbit here, I walked 18 to 19000 steps yesterday. So, I moved it over my treadmill. I’m working with patients and then I have my little Cubii stepper over here so I lower my desk and now I’m able to pedal so I’ll go from pedaling to just standing and then doing actual walking at three to four miles per hour. I can go one or two miles per hour if I want. If I’m really focused, I don’t want to put a lot of energy out and put more brain energy. So, it’s good if you’re in those work environments. Start with just the Cubii where you just get the little pedals, put them onto your desk and just try to get an extra 5000 steps a day with just that alone. That makes a huge difference.
Dr. David Jockers: Yeah. That’s great. And I can tell, you know, from the last time I talked to you, you actually look more muscular and trimmer as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah. Thanks. Appreciate it.
Dr. David Jockers: It’s working.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You got it. You got it. Uh, What’s number four?
Dr. David Jockers: Yeah. So, number four is gonna be infections. So sometimes, you can eat a great diet, right? You can really try to put your body in the right mindset, right, and in parasympathetic mode so you’re able to produce the right amount of digestive juices but you’ve got infections particularly gut infections that are driving up inflammation in your gut, driving up inflammation, driving up cortisol levels and these bad gut microbes which could be Candida, right, or some sort of a yeast or fungal overgrowth. It could be bacteria like Klebsiella for example, it could be parasites, it could be worms, it could be, um, you know, Blastocystis hominis and different Amoeba and different things like that. These things are gonna eat the nutrients that you’re consuming. They’re going to poop out toxins, right? Toxins are gonna drive up inflammation in your system. So, sometimes, we need to use some herbs and different compounds to help remove these infections and follow specific protocols, uh, to get rid of these infections. That’s really the next thing that we got to focus on there.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. So, first off, just being in a really healthy parasympathetic state with good acid and enzyme and bio levels. Those actually provide like almost like natural bleach for like the dirty picnic table so it makes it harder for microbes to grow when there’s good acids there, a good bile, these things have a natural antimicrobial effect, number one and then typically good beneficial bacteria in the gut it’s also gonna produce some level of acids whether it’s glucuronic acid or different acids that are very helpful for keeping bugs in check but then when you’ve eaten too much sugar or been exposed to antibiotics or your sympathetic fight-or-flight’s off, these microbes start to overgrow and then you’re in this then it starts to shift the whole milieu so then you kind of have to fix everything. You have to fix the digestion, fix the diet, use the herbs to knock down whatever microbes are going on. There can be different microbes and sometimes when those microbes are in there, you can’t just go back to doing lifestyle things changing your diet and digestion that may not be enough and sometimes the herbs are really necessary to kind of knock things down.
Dr. David Jockers: Yeah. Absolutely. So, just like you said, I mean, naturally if you’re producing enough stomach acid, bile, stomach acid really helps to sterilize the stomach and then bile is very alkaline, stomach acid is very acidic, bile goes in, really helps clean out the small intestine, you know, a lot of people are developing bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. Sometimes, these are good bacteria but they’ve translocated from the large intestine into the small intestine and now they’re fermenting foods, you know, they’re eating foods before they should be creating a lot of extra gas causing poor nutrient absorption and this is oftentimes related to poor stomach acid, poor bile flow, not really creating the right environment and now these bacteria are translocating up there. So, yeah, these are all things that we need to get rid of. We need to really optimize stomach acid bile flow. So that’s key. And then sometimes, some different herbs, different compounds can be really helpful. Things like garlic, um, let’s see Berberine, can really, really be helpful here. Olive leaves can be a great one. Black walnut, right? What are some of your other favorite antimicrobials?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’d say, the oil of Oregano’s wonderful. Ginger, um, silver, I like wormwood a lot too. These are all excellent compounds that are very helpful. And then, typically, when we do a lot of killing, we may even throw some biofilm boosters in there whether it’s ginger or silver or an acetylcysteine can work wonderfully to help the herbs work even better, kind of disarm the bug so to speak.
Dr. David Jockers: Yeah. Super important. And I know we’re running low on time so the next two I’m gonna put together. Chronic stress and poor sleep habits. So, these kind of go hand in hand, obviously, if you’re under a lot og stress, it’s gonna cause higher cortisol levels, higher epinephrine levels, which is gonna cause more laxity in that gut so when you have high cortisol, the tight junctions that keep the gut, uh, connected and with a lot of integrity become loose also high cortisol will cause a reduction in the mucous membrane which is kind of like the first line of defense in your gut before you get to the gut lining so you’ll have less mucus production, lower levels of secretory IgA which is your key immune component that helps protect your gut lining, it helps protect against pathogen buildup in your gut and then the gut junction will become more leaky or more loose and will tear more easily so it predisposes you to leaky gut and of course we know chronic stress will also impact your sleep quality and then if you’re not sleeping well that also is gonna cause more issues with stress with higher cortisol, higher adrenaline and you know, obviously, that’s gonna compound your gut health and your ability to just heal and repair and produce the right amount of anabolic sex hormones in order to repair and really thrive.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. We talked about anabolic building up and catabolic breaking down. Well, cortisol, our stress hormone, the glucocorticosteroid, you mentioned, is on a circadian cycle so it’s higher in the morning and lower at night. Now, the problem is it goes down at night which allows melatonin, the sleep to come up but the problem is when we start to have overstimulation sympathetic nervous system stress, that rhythm can start to almost, it can actually pick up at night which then throws off our ability to make melatonin which throws off the parasympathetic restoration that happens when you sleep and growth hormone going up and all of your neurotransmitter turning over so like you kind of mentioned that sleep, it’s so important because when that throws off that prevents the healing and recovering and so it’s almost like a double whammy so to speak.
Dr. David Jockers: Yeah. You really can’t recover if you’re not sleeping well. That’s actually, it’s one of the most foundational things. I know I can help somebody if we can get them sleeping well. The faster we get them sleeping well, the faster their body is gonna heal.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You can get like, um, like a fitbit where they have an HRV function or like the whoop or the aura ring and you can test kind of your HRV and your sleep depth and I’ll do different things, I’ll like take extra GABA or Athenian or Magnesium or avoiding alcohol like I’ll just have one like night alcoholic drink like two to three hours for bed and my HRV score will be way lower that next morning so get a device where you kind of test and see the different inputs and outputs in regards to healthy supplements and lifestyle strategy and see how that moves the needle. You may see it with blue blocking glasses or prayer or meditation or breathing or cold showers. These are all important inputs and then you can see how your body responds as a result.
Dr. David Jockers: Yeah. Totally. Totally. And the last thing is just environmental toxins. So, we’re being exposed to pesticides, herbicides, mold, you may have mold in your home that you’re being exposed to or in your office or something along those lines. Heavy metals, let’s say you’ve got Amalgam fillings in your mouth, um, you know, you can obviously get, get, get toxins from that, um, lead, let’s say you’re in an old home and there’s lead paint or something along those lines or you’re using conventional lipstick which actually has lead and you’re putting that on every single day. So, there’s a lot of different exposures to environmental toxins that you know may be causing you not to be able to heal effectively and drive up inflammation in your body. So, we gotta do the best we can so I always recommend trying to go as organic as possible with food at least trying to get non-GMO for sure and organic as possible with your food. That eliminates one of the major causes of you know toxicity and just a build up of toxins in your body. It’s like, we all have this bucket of toxins we can handle, we have a certain threshold that we can handle and our body will eliminate those things. And so, when we build it up though once that bucket gets to the point where it’s overflowing, that’s when we start to have the major symptoms. All our systems start to shut down so the more that we can reduce the amount that we are going into this bucket the better off we’re gonna be at eliminating them and so you know just trying to reduce exposure is key. Get natural household cleaning products. You know, try to get outside a lot, breathe fresh air as much as you can and uh and exercise, right? So, trying to exercise, you can obviously get in a sauna and try to sweat, try to open up all the drainage pathways and try to minimize your exposure to these toxins. That’s really the key.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And, each one of those seven could be a podcast in and of itself and of course we got lots of recommended supplements as well. We’ll put maybe a link below and you can put some of your favorite products and uh below. So listeners that are wanting to understand. Hey, what can I do to sleep? What can I do for inflammation? Like, I will put our favorite ones below and you guys can take a look at that, um, and then also feel free to reach to Dr. Jockers. J-o-c-k-e-r-s dot com. David’s got all kinds of supplements and tools and great information there and I’m Dr. J, justinhealth.com, you can reach out to podcast videos and functional medicine consult worldwide there. Dr. David, anything else you want to add?
Dr. David Jockers: You know, I just want to inspire you guys to know that you can heal if we can find the root causes and move those right and eliminate and reduce those. Your body has this natural built-in mechanism to heal, right? It’s the innate intelligence that runs you that God designed you with. And, you can heal and you can repair and can get inflammation under control. Inflammation is there to support you, you’ve got to just find out what’s causing it to be chronic, what’s causing it to be turned on all the time, start reducing that and now your body is going to be back into a mode where it can heal repair and you can really thrive in life even if you’ve tried these things we’ve talked about and you’re not getting results, reach out somebody like Dr. J here or my health coaching team. You’re gonna need a professional to help, walk you through the process, put you on protocol and get you the results that you want.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it and there’s a lot of foundational information out of the gates. People can kind of take and turn with and then kind of get that extra, you know, uh, that extra guide or that Sherpa helps that kind of get to the top of the mountain so to speak. So, Dr. Jockers, I really appreciate today’s podcast. Great intel, great information. Awesome man, you have a great day. Good chatting with you.
Dr. David Jockers: Awesome. You too Dr. J. You’re blessed.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks Doc.
The Mold Gut Connection – How Your Digestive Issue Maybe Caused by Mold Toxins | Podcast #371
If you’ve encountered mold from a water-damaged building or contaminated foods, you’ve likely encountered mycotoxins—toxic byproducts of mold. They’re common environmental toxins, and they have adverse effects on many body systems, including the gastrointestinal tract.
While you’ve probably heard about other symptoms that can follow mold exposure, Dr. J and Evan discuss that mycotoxins can also cause severe problems for your gut. They also talk about how mycotoxins impact gut health and the microbiota and what you can do to help restore your gut health once you are exposed to mold.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
1:57 – Mycotoxins
10:16 – Functional Medicine Approach
13:54 – Dopamine Mechanis
15:20 – Mold Inhalation Effects
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live, It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today’s topic is gonna be wonderful for the podcast. We’re gonna be talking about the mold-gut connection and how your digestive issues may be exacerbated by mold toxins, so great topic here Evan, personally been affected by himself and we see lots of patients all the time with these issues so let’s dive in. Evan, how are we doing today man?
Evan Brand: Yeah man, doing really well, and a lot of people have been to naturopaths, they’ve been the functional medicine people they’ve been a conventional doctor, they’ve been treated for SIBO and SIFO, whether it’s Rifaximin or natural SIBO protocols, maybe they’ve done SIBO diets or some of these rotational food diets and that sort of things, maybe they’ve tried berberine, oregano, garlic, and maybe they’ve made some progress, but then they’re still stick, they’re still suck, I’m gonna mix up my words, they’re stuck and sick so that’s a bad combination of essays and this is likely due to a mold toxin problem because I’ve seen it too many times and I suffered on my own and even the labs now tell us they give us a cookie-cutter report but that cookie-cutter report nonetheless is still valuable because even the lab has painted the connection between mycotoxins which are essentially mold farts that you breathe in, in a water damage building and the connection to certain bacterial overgrowth, specifically Clostridia but also Candida and the mechanism of why this is so damaging especially to young children is because we know that Clostridia bacteria screw up the organic acid levels called HPHPA and this affects levels of neurotransmitters, so when you get these children, they have behavioral issues, they may be diagnosed with something like PANS, which is a Pediatric Acute Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. These kids usually have sensory problems, food sensitivity, skin issues, histamine problems, allergies, maybe they’re biting children, maybe they’re angry or irritable, this can all be traced back due to this toxicity.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: 100%. So that’s quite interesting, now you talked about mycotoxins essentially being mold fart, so essentially the mold off-gasses, right? And, your different kinds of mold, right? It could be Penicillium, it could be Aspergillus, right? It could be the black mold, Stachybotrys, these types of things and then they produce various mycotoxins and when we do different tests, like plate testing on homes, supposedly each mold or so can produce about 300 different mycotoxins, whether it’s Ochratoxins, or aluminum is that correct?
Evan Brand: Yeah, which is crazy because we can only test for a very, very small amount on the urine so really, we’re trying to just look for some evidence of this bonfire, we’re looking for the ashes, Oh my god, there must have been a fire here, this big mold exposure, we’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg so yeah, you’re right. Our testing is good but it’s still very primitive compared to the amounts of mycotoxins that are being produced.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah. And the type of organic acid testing that we’re doing is on the great plains. We’ll look at some of the organic acid compounds that correlate with, like Aspergillus or different mold toxins. Is that correct? What are those big mycotox? What are the big organic acids again?
Evan Brand: So, it’s all on paper.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Membranes
Evan Brand: Yeah. So, you’ll see oxoglutaric. You’ll see citric acid can be high in a fungal overgrowth too so it’s all page 1. Oxaglutaric, you got hydroxybenzoic which is related to bacteria. I could pull up an O but in general it’s just page one. It’s typically numbers 1 through 18. If you see any big red flags on that either a combination of a bacterial overgrowth specifically a clustering problem and or Candida or fungal colonization and the lab indicates that so tartaric acid would also be on there, carboxy citric acid is also on there. So, in parenthesis, you’ll see under these organic acids now which is great because this has improved over the years that you and I’ve been running these labs. It now says Aspergillus so on number 6, which is tartaric acid under number six, it’ll now say Aspergillus. And you’ll know if that’s elevated, you’re colonized for Aspergillus which means that you’ve now been exposed to a couple situations could have happened either you had a large enough amount of mold, you were exposed to mold, long enough or your immune system was weak enough where now you become a mold factory. So, you can be a mold reservoir, more specifically a mycotoxin reservoir where you just have this exposure at the moldy hotel in Mexico and then you come back home and you’re sick or if you were weak enough, now you’re growing mold. Even if you move to the desert to avoid mold, you stay sick because you’ve got that colonization so with
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Ionization, that’s happening.
Evan Brand: Yeah. So, you can prove that which is very important because now that would justify the use of herbal antifungals to try to remedy this situation.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: That makes sense. Let me go pull up one of my old tests. Let me see if I can find it. Hold on.
Evan Brand: Now, the conventional treatment is typically antifungal medications that are gonna knock this out. But, as you and I with our functional practice, we don’t like to use that. So, number 4 would be classified as the fungal, the ferran-2,5-tricarboxylic, you’ve that Ferran carbonyl glycine. Yeah. So, number six. Yeah. So, this is old enough where they didn’t have the molds but on the new ones in parentheses
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Let me say Aspergillus. It is primarily Aspergillus for all three of these.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and the number nine tricarboxylic is Fusarium.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Fusarium. Yep. And then Arabinose and Tartaric are also correlated with yeast overgrowth. This test here for instance, I did a great plane and a Genova test at the same time and this one actually came back much higher on the Arabino side than the great plains. then the Genova tested. So, it’s interesting you know different samples and such. But yeah, this one Arabinose is strongly correlated with Candida but then
Evan Brand: I just ran my own, I’ve got Candida right now too so I’m on a protocol, right? Now, I just run. Yeah. I showed up with Candida and I want people to know because you were a speaker on the event. It was called the Candida summit which I ran like five years ago and you know we had like 30 people talking about it and I could look back but I tell you I don’t think anybody had made the connection here which was the mold Candida connection back then and now what I’m finding is basically you’re just playing whack-a-mole with Candida until the mold’s gone meaning you may rotate through various rounds of antifungals but out the back door, you’ve got to be using the appropriate binders to pull out the mycotoxins so if you’re just beating Candida down and it keeps coming back. It’s probably the mold, not the Candida that you need to be after.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah. And, that’s where it’s good to run a test like this. Also, maybe a urinary mycotoxin test or just make sure your environment’s good because I always tell patients if the environment’s not good and you’re having reoccurring issues then you’re just not getting to the root cause. So, the first thing is to isolate the environment. Make sure the environment, your home, your apartment wherever you’re living run a high-quality mold plate test on there. We’ll put links down below where you guys can access the plate testing. Isolate that, right? Make sure there’s no water damage or if there’s been leaks. Make sure it’s been addressed and dealt with. Make sure that’s dialed then the second thing is you can run a test like an organic acid test with your functional medicine provider. See if there’s any colonization. And, it that’s chronic, yo can get to the root on that and then you can always run urinary mold where you’re looking at mycotoxins coming out in the urine that can also be helpful but typically if this is good and there’s nothing at the home then you’re probably in pretty good shape and it’s probably more of an acute kind of dysbiosis thing probably from poor diet, poor digestion other bugs, other infections, etc.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And the cool thing is that you can kill two birds with one stone or even three birds with one stone and what I mean by that is let’s say you run that oh and you showed the elevated Arabinose, you know, there’s a Candida problem but if we see tartaric above that’s high and then down below, we see some of the bacterial overgrowth markers, the blends that you and I formulate and have, we might be able to kill bacterial overgrowth, fungal overgrowth and a Candida problem. All in one fell swoop and that’s incredible and you know your gastroenterologist or even your mold doctor is likely not gonna be able to do that. They may come in specifically with itraconazole or fluconazole or nystatin. But as you know, we’re facing this big problem of antifungal resistance just like we’re finding with antibiotic resistance and so now, you’ve got these very virulent strains which are difficult to kill with conventional medications. You and I have talked about this before but the long story short of it is all the different alkaloids and terpenes and beneficial nutrients in the plants, those don’t have this resistance problem. And if you’re mixing this herb and that herb, it’s not one plus one equals two, it’s one plus one equals ten. You get the synergistic effect.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah. You see the same thing with addressing bacteria and other bigger bugs and berberines and Artemisia Wormwoods have synergistic effects. Also, the fact that you get a lot of antioxidants in a lot of these herbs. And so, especially if they’re high-quality, you get a lot of antioxidant support because when you start killing bugs, it’s a lot of oxidative stress that’s happening. And then, when you provide like an antifungal like Diflucan or an Amphotericin or a nystatin or a ketoconazole, obviously, there’s no antioxidants in those drugs and so you’re gonna have a lot of oxidative stress so it’s nice to have a blend different herb in there. One, to prevent the resistance. And then, also, people have yeast issues and a lot of times they have bacterial bugs as well and efflux pumps are a big thing that a lot of bacteria and bugs use to kind of protect themselves. So, I cannot say, like bacteria is like a sinking canoe, right? and essentially, you poke holes in that canoe with a lot of the herbals and think of the efflux pumps as the person in the canoe, baling water, right? So, they try to keep on bailing water, bailing water, so they don’t sink, right? And so, think of the herbals when you inhibit the efflux pumps whether it’s a ginger or different antimicrobials, it’s like taking the buckets away from the bacteria that’s bailing water and allows then to sink that allows them to effectively be destroyed that along with addressing biofilms too.
Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s awesome and the cool part too is you can minimize the die off if you’re doing this right. You know a lot of people when they hear these conversations, they get afraid. They go oh my God, Candida, mold, bacteria, parasites, worms like oh my God, this is a lot of stuff in me. I want it out of me but now I’m afraid. Am I going to feel worse before I feel better and the answer is if you do it properly that should be minimal to a nonexistent problem? I think you and I have refined our protocol so much over the years now that we have these tools and these other therapies in place that are standalone products but we often add those in or if we see that we hit a roadblock or a big bump in the road like a die off, we can change dosing. We can rotate. We can add in other support. We’re always talking about liver and gallbladder and binders and hydration and biofilms. These other pieces, these other variables, these are the make-or-break things for some people.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: 100%. And when people kind of want to go after the gut, we live in an antibiotic like kill, kill, kill generation so people tend to, when they find out they have an issue, they want to go kill, kill, kill and that can be very stressful in the body so it’s always very important to calm down the inflammation, get the immune system stronger, get the hormones that help with anabolic metabolism which is healing, recovering, anti-inflammatory support that kind of sets the table because the more stressed and inflamed you are, your lymphatic system, your detoxification system, your immune system won’t work as good and plus people forget your detoxification system, right? The cytochrome p450 oxidized pathways, especially the phase two pathways, they’re gonna run off of a lot of sulfur-based amino acids and so if we don’t have great digestion and we’re not eating you know good healthy animal protein or good healthy plant cruciferous vegetables. If we can’t tolerate them, we can’t break them down. May not have a lot of those sulfur building blocks to run those phase two pathways and so that’s why kind of getting the deck set so to speak so we can really hit phase two better just not with support but just getting digestion working better and a good diet working better sets the table and allows us to effectively kill so much better.
Evan Brand: Yeah and I know we’ve talked about a lot in a short amount of time, we’ve gone fast so listen back as needed but I want people to understand the connection because of the title of this episode, I want people to understand the mold-gut connection. So, the connection is the following: the mycotoxins weaken the immune system and allow the opportunistic bacterial overgrowth to thrive along with the Candida. So, if you’re working upstream at the SIBO-SIFO situation but you’ve got an underlying mycotoxin problem, you’ve got to address that if you fully wanna get better. The other mechanism of the mycotoxins is a couple. Number one is they damage the microbiome so we know specifically that mycotoxins do the same thing as, like food allergens, they disrupt the gut barrier and create intestinal permeability. So, that’s another reason you want to pull those out of the circulation by using specific binders based on your labs. And then the other mechanism too is we know mycotoxins affect the brain chemistry and specifically lower dopamine so when you get into pain signaling, you get into motivation and mood and just your overall vitality. If your brain chemistry is affected, we can also measure that but it could be directly attributed to the toxin for example in like rat studies when they inject them with mycotoxins or expose them to mold toxin, the dopamine levels crash. So now, all of a sudden, you’ve got this brain chemistry piece to address too, now people have heightened pain sensitivity, they’re depressed. They may be just more flat with their life. Once again, they go to their psychiatrist. They’re not gonna bring up mold toxicity, they’re putting them on an antidepressant medication. They’re never gonna say, “hey, oh your basement is flooded, that’s why you’re depressed and anxious and you have diarrhea”. So, the connection of the gut symptoms too, the diarrhea, any type of bloating, burping, digestive pain especially in children. Children don’t use the same language as adults. So, if your child is complaining about stomach pain that could be one clue that there’s something related. That was my issue for my daughter, Summer. She was complaining of tummy aches so we did run stool on her. She did have H. pylori when she was two. We tested real high. Maybe I gave it to her by sharing water bottles or something but either way, we took care of that and then stomach pain was continuing that was when we had got exposed to mold. Luckily, I got her on binders. Now, she’s in a better place. So, I’ve seen it unfortunately with my own kids and it’s stressful to see your kids suffer but it’s a good lesson. It’s a good learning lesson that your children are not crazy and if your kids are complaining of a chronic issue like this with pain, you know, consider this as a possibility especially if you as the mother are toxic because the toxins go through the placenta and they also go through breastmilk. So, if you have your own digestive skin, whatever problems, mood problems in your kid, has similar issues as you, well, it could be the generational passing of toxins.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: So, let’s go over that mechanism one more time with dopamine. So, obviously dopamine is a neurotransmitter and when we’re chronically stressed, physical, chemical or emotional, dopamine can go downstream and get converted into adrenaline which kind of helps manage the acute stress response. Is it just a fact that the mold is inflammatory and creating a stress response and activating the sympathetic nervous system that the dopamine is being taken and depleted downstream or is there something else? I want to make sure I get that mechanism hammered down.
Evan Brand: I don’t know. Type in rat dopamine, mold or rat dopamine, mycotoxin. See if you can find it. There were several papers on this. I don’t know if they discussed the mechanism in it or not. My assumption would be that it’s multifactorial. I think the big mechanism would be that the mycotoxins affecting the gut barrier then affecting nutrient absorption then there’s likely less amino acid conversion to dopamine. So, I’m thinking, it’s more of a malabsorption problem but also we know that ochratoxin for example damages
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Like malabsorption, like it’s affecting the absorption of protein in the gut?
Evan Brand: Yeah. I think that’s one mechanism. I think the other mechanism would be direct brain damage. We know that okra toxin for example damages the cerebellum. We know that the Verrucarin and the Stachybotrys mycotoxins affect the brain and the prefrontal cortex which impairs, like your ability to think clearly. So, I think it’s both. I think it’s the gut damage and I think it’s the direct brain damage too. I am going to pull it up here. Can you see it on screen?
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yep.
Evan Brand: Let me make it bigger on my side here.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah. So many mycotoxins, trichothecenes. We test that in some of the mycotoxin tests. Yeah. Induced neuronal cell apoptosis so some of that could be you’re just causing the cells in the brain and especially in the substantia nigra of the midbrain. That’s where dopamine cells are being produced. Some of it could be apoptosis that means programmed cell death and or inflammation in the olfactory epithelium.
Evan Brand: Interesting.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: So, it seems to be a neurodegenerative and then look it says it caught ochratoxin A causes acute depletion of dopamine and its metabolites.
Evan Brand: Look at that.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: So, I wonder if that’s a, it sounds like it’s possibly a stress response, right? Because dopamine can, tends to go downstream to adrenaline. It could be almost like an autoimmune response because you’re having apoptosis. This is neuronal cell death, program cell death. This is part of the reason why apoptosis is important, right? Because if you don’t have good immune function, this is how cancer forms, right? Your immune system helps program cells to die when they need to die. This is apoptosis but if you can’t do that then cells can overgrow hence you have a tumor, right? And so, this is actually happening to unhealthy or the very healthy tissue that you need to be functionally healthy that produces dopamine in the midbrain. So very interesting.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Talking about the hippocampus too, we know that hippocampus, I’ve got two of them. Remember, that’s why a lot of people have brain fog problems and also I would say that short-term to long-term conversion is impaired.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Can you see this one here? The mold inhalation one
Evan Brand: I’m just seeing that you’re highlighted on the hippocampus word for now.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Let me switch back to the other one here. This is mold inhalation. This is interesting. Let’s go pull this up. All tight. Mold inhalation causes innate immune activation, neural cognitive and emotional dysfunction.
Evan Brand: So, this is pretty new. July 2020 paper here so relative.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah. So, the ability of mold to cause such symptoms is controversial since no published research has examined the effects of controlled mold exposure on the brain. Patient symptoms following mold exposure are indistinguishable from those caused by innate immune activation by bacterial or viral exposure. Interesting. So, in this study here they added in. See here. Toxic and nontoxic mold stimuli would cause innate immune activation with concomitant neural effects and cognitive and emotional behaviors. We internationally administered intact stachybotrys. This is black mold extracted non-toxic stachybotrys spores and a saline vehicle to mice.
Evan Brand: You don’t want to be that mouse.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Wow. No. As predicted, intact spores increase interleukin 1 beta, immune reactivity in the hippocampus both spore types decrease neurogenesis. This is forming new neurons in the brain and causing striking contextual memory deficits in young mice while decreasing pain thresholds. So, this is another word saying, causing more pain in the body. So, if you have mold exposure, joint pain could happen, right? And enhancing auditory acute memory in older mice. Nontoxic anxiety. Yeah. Also increase anxiety like behavior. Levels of hippocampal immune function correlated with decreased neurogenesis that’s creating new neurons in the brain. Contextual memory deficits, right? Obviously, less memory and or enhance auditory cued feared memory. I wonder what that means. Maybe it’s just like, uh, you’re more sensitive to external stimuli.
Evan Brand: I read that. Yeah. I read that as sound sensitivity which is yeah part of the toxin and light sensitivity too so people will often have to wear sunglasses even when it’s not very bright. You and I talked about that in the context of adrenals years ago but that’s also a mold toxin thing.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yep. And an immune activation may explain how both toxic mold and nontoxic mold, skeletal elements cause cognitive and emotional decline. So, it’s really important. We don’t wanna be in an area where there’s a bunch of mold toxins and we can do a whole other podcast on how to mitigate mold toxins as a whole. I mean, of course, get your home tested. That’s the first thing. If you have water damage, make sure it’s mitigated by a professional right away because mold starts to form when sitting water in as little as two days. Got to make sure that’s under control and then if you’re on the fence, get yourself tested, right? We’ll run an organic acid test. Maybe run a urinary mycotoxin test and see what your actual load is but again one of the big telltale cue signs is you know, get your home. If there’s mold there and you start feeling significantly better and you go back, you notice an increase and definitely get your internal mold tested as well via urine.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well. I know we got to wrap this thing up. We got calls to get to but I hope this is helpful for people. We can always get geekier and dive deeper and go longer but I think you guys get the gesture, the connection of the brain toxicity, the gut damage. There’s a mitochondrial element with the chronic fatigue piece. So, if you are suffering from any chronic issue whether it’s mood like depression, anxiety, energy problems like chronic fatigue, low libido, poor erectile function, cold hands, cold feet, increased light sensitivity, blurry vision could be other things but this is a big smoking gun and all of us are inside way too much. We’re not outside like the Amish are all day. They might have moldy homes but they’re not breathing it in the majority of time. They’re outside in fresh air where the toxins are diluted. So, us with our indoor lifestyle as modern humans, we’re at more risk of this stuff and our buckets are already full due to pesticides and other toxicity in the environment so this is a really, it’s an epidemic problem, maybe the biggest one.
Dr. Justine Marchegiani: And not everyone is as genetically sensitive, right? Some people, they go into a moldy area. They get brain fog, right away. Some people do fine. Either way, it’s definitely a stressor in the stress bucket and if you know it’s there, you definitely wanna pull it out because it’s gonna help give you more resiliency and more adaptability. Great podcast today Evan. Everyone listening on the audio version, we pulled up some studies and some lab tests on the video version. We’ll put the link down below so you can see the video version. We’ll put some links to some of the labs and the products that we talked about today so you guys can take a look at those. Evan, great chatting with you. Head over to evandbrand.com to reach out to Evan via functional medicine nutritional support worldwide as well as justinhealth.com, Dr. J myself at justinhealth.com for me myself. We are here to help and support you guys wherever you are. Have a phenomenal day everyone.
Evan Brand: Take it easy. Bye-bye.
The Root Causes of Anxiety – A Functional Medicine Approach | Podcast #370
Conventional medicine labels anxiety as a neurotransmitter imbalance and relies on pharmaceutical drugs to dampen the symptoms. Although, prescription medications can be a helpful and even necessary tool in periods of overwhelming anxiety. But we have so many more tools at our disposal than just medications!
Dr. J and Evan explain that they recognize that anxiety is often the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” in functional medicine. It’s the clear and present warning that something is going on below the surface that needs our attention. Our current circumstances may have been the breaking point, but the anxiety manifests in underlying issues. That’s why rectifying these issues is necessary to make anxiety more manageable or even eliminate it!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
2:06 – Acute and Chronic Stress
4:06 – Amino Acids and Herbs
11:24 – Gut Issues
16:26 – Functional Medicine Approach
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today, we’re gonna be talking about the root causes of anxiety, a functional medicine approach, and how to get to the root cause. Really excited about this topic. We see many functional medicine patients with these exact issues and we always want to get to the root cause of why that is so. Evan, how are we doing man?
Evan Brand: I’m doing good. You know the anxiety story for you and I talking about anxiety goes back literally eight years. It would have been late 2014 when I was in my luxury apartment in Austin and I was calling you and I was saying, “dude, I can’t stop this”. My heart is pounding. I’m freaking out. What the heck is going on and you said, “man, if you go to the emergency room, all they’re gonna do is they’re gonna give you some sort of anxiety medication. So why don’t you go and take about a gram of magnesium and see what happens.” And so, that’s what I did. I think I might have had some pharma GABA or some other tools on hand, maybe some passion flower and luckily, I calmed it down but little did I know back then that I had some of the big root causes of anxiety that were unresolved which included mold toxicity, Lyme, Bartonella, some of these tick-borne infections that drive up the nervous system, unfortunately. Now, knock on wood, anxiety’s been a minimal to non-existent part of my life and It’s incredibly freeing because anxiety can be so debilitating that people become housebound or they become afraid to travel, they become afraid to go on planes. They become afraid to seek the raise at their job. They just want to live in this little cocoon because they’re so afraid and anxiety is also very debilitating for children too. It affects their confidence and their self-esteem and their motivation for school and how they get bullied and so, I mean, we could do an hour on this but think just to open this thing up with a bang, I would say that infections are a big driver of anxiety so whatever that is a tick-borne infection like a Bartonella, Babesia, Lyme situation or gut infections like we’ve talked about a thousand times in the last 10 years together which is parasites, bacterial overgrowth, worms, Candida, anything that’s gonna release a toxin or aggravate the immune system.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. 100%. So anytime you look at anxiety, you always have to get to the root cause, right? Obviously, if it’s unresolved emotional stress, your body is designed to create anxiety for a certain situation, like if you, I don’t know, if you have lived in a forest across the street and there are bears, there should be a healthy amount of anxiety so you know, don’t leave food out and you’re just a little bit more careful with your habits so you don’t get attacked by a bear, right? There’s a healthy bit of anxiety there which is good to kind of keep you on edge so you are alert and you make good decisions. We’re talking about things that are, you know, unhealthy amounts of anxiety where you don’t have those types of emotional stressors, right? Obviously, if those emotional stressors are there, kind of take inventory of them and figure out what that corrective action is you need to kind of close the anxiety loop. I always say close the anxiety loop. What is that action? You have to take that allows you to feel confident that you are not ignoring the reason why there is anxiety there. If you did that, great, awesome. Check that off your list. The next thing is like you mentioned, obviously, any type of chronic stress or acute stress can create anxiety, right? And so, chronic and acute stressors do different things to your body. They’re going to cause B vitamins to get recycled and used up at a higher rate. They’re gonna cause magnesium to get used up at a higher rate. They’re gonna put you in a fight or flight position, where your body goes into fight or flight and then that’s gonna cause increases of cortisol, increases of adrenaline and it’s gonna cause your brain to get hyperactive and obviously at the same time it’s gonna affect digestion too when you’re in fight or flight. It’s gonna decrease your body’s ability to make stomach acid and enzymes and it makes it harder for you to break down your food. And so, and then of course, the more stressed you are, now you’re gonna start craving more processed foods that increase dopamine and increase a lot of those, uh, feel-good brain chemicals to buffer that but so, I always look at like what’s the constructive vehicle to fix this, what’s the destructive vehicle. Destructive vehicle feels good at the moment but creates problems down the road. Constructive helps at the moment. May not, maybe not quite as fast but then actually gets to the root cause over time. And so, some of our constructive vehicles like you already mentioned, magnesium, right? Theanine, right? B6, B5, right? And I always look at nutrients first, like nutrients are in the hierarchy before herbs so nutrients first and then, in the hierarchy coming down would be herbs, Ashwagandha, passion flower, Valerian. Those things are nice herbs that kind of activate and stimulate GABA. So, GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. So, it’s the brake pedal on the nervous system. So, think of the gas pedal as adrenaline, as cortisol. That’s the fight or flight nervous system response and the gas pedal is gonna be GABA and the things that are gonna help with GABA are gonna be Taurine, Theanine, GABA in and of itself. And then on the herbal side, things like Ashwagandha have multi-adaptogenic effects. They can increase cortisol and increase stimulation when things are too low but they can also tamp it down when it’s too high. I like my wife. She was really stressed the other day. We are getting our kids out for an easter party and she’s like, “you have something to give me? I am so stressed.” And I’m like, “here you go”. And I gave her a bunch of GABA, Taurine, and Theanine and magnesium, some B5 and vitamin C and some Ashwagandha and she looked at me like two hours later, she’s like, “what the heck did you give me. I’m on cloud 9.” I’m like, yeah, you know that, the better living through chemistry right there.
Evan Brand: That’s great. Yeah, and motherwort. I love motherwort too. It’s great for the anxiety when you’re having, like, heart palpitations, blood pressure type issues as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hyperthyroid too. They use it on hyperthyroid, as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah. That makes sense.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Too high thyroid, it can also be. It can help dampen that down, as well, which is nice.
Evan Brand: It’s great for grief too so like the cool thing about certain herbs is they can be an emotionally calming tool but they can be a nervous system calming tool too. So, like, as you mentioned, there could be an emotional thing like a bad boss, a bad spouse, a bully. You know that type of emotional anxiety driver but it could be a chemical driver too, meaning like a toxin driving the nervous system to be ramped up. Also, we should talk about blood sugar. I know we’ve done podcasts on this before but you know there’s a big impact on issues with blood sugar. Thank the Lord, my blood sugar is so good now, I could eat dinner at five and not eat till 1pm the next day and I’m stable, like, I can fast for extended periods of time as needed and I don’t have any issue but however when my gut was a wreck which I want people to pay special attention to, if your digestive system is compromised, you’re not gonna be tolerating fasting that well because you’re already so likely nutrient deprived because of the malabsorption due to the infection. So, years ago when I tried doing this type of fast, I would have major anxiety and that’s low hanging fruit so do what you got to do but you got to get your gut tested and then fix the infection first.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, just kind of looking at a bunch of different things. So, on the emotional side, right? If it’s unresolved emotional trauma that’s creating anxiety, you know, someone wrote about DNRS, that’s great. You know, this NLP, where you kind of visualize a stop sign or something to kind of do a pattern interrupt. That’s excellent. EFT, EMDR with eye movement or different tapping on meridian points to kind of dampen down that sympathetic nervous system response. And again, these are gonna be good, you know, uh, more chronic issues. Yeah. If it is an acute issue, you know, a lot of times, just get to the root underlying issue where that issue is acute.
Evan Brand: I was on a plane one time and the turbulence was so bad and I started tapping on the plane. That really helped. I’m like okay. Even though it feels like this plane is about to crash, I love and accept myself and I’m like okay that’s fine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Especially things like that. You don’t have control, right? There’s nothing you can do outside of just sitting there and getting through it. And so, it’s better when those things are kind of the case but you know, it’s kind of like, I’m just trying to think of you know an example, it’s kind of like, you go upstairs and don’t turn the alarm on for the house or like maybe did I leave the front door unlocked, right? And so, there’s a natural bit of anxiety. You start going down to bed and that little bit of anxiety kind of creeps in, you’re like, I’m not gonna be able to get to sleep fast if I don’t at least just check on the front door, right? So, let me make, oh good, it’s locked. Oh good, the alarm is on. Good. Now, that anxiety can go down because it’s there for a reason, right? So, if there’s a root cause, act on it, right? If there’s isn’t a root cause, right, but it’s more emotional, you can do some of the tapping and you can work with a practitioner to get to the root cause on that and then of course having better biochemistry will get will make every bit of anxiety better because you’ll be able to adapt to it and deal with it better. And so, of course, like we already talked about with cortisol, chronically high levels of cortisol and adrenaline are gonna be big so you have to get to the reason, the root cause why. And again, foods could be a reason why like gluten, too much processed sugar that can drive up that anxiety. Again, you already mentioned blood sugar fluctuations. If you’re on this reactive hypoglycemia roller coaster ride where blood sugar goes up because you ate too much processed carbohydrate, refined foods, junkie, vegetable oil, omega-6 fats. Blood sugars up and then it can crash right back down. The crashing is where you tend to get a lot of adrenaline cortisol stimulation and on the way up, you get lots of insulin so you get this insulin-cortisol-adrenaline kind of tug of war happening and that can be very stressful on the body. And then, of course, if your blood sugar is chronically high and you’re making tons of insulin that can also be a problem too. High levels of insulin can cause all kinds of problems with hormones, especially in women, it can cause issues with ovarian cysts and testosterone problems. And then, high levels of blood sugar deplete a lot of your B vitamins and magnesium. And so, if we have poor levels of B vitamin and B6 and B5 and B1 and B2 and B3 and folate and B12 and magnesium is depleted, that’s gonna cause more stress and more cortisol issues and it’ll be harder for you to deal with and adapt to that.
Evan Brand: And I would say, if you have anxiety longer than the week, I would almost consider that chronic. I mean, it’s crazy to me, how many people you have and I’ve talked to over the years who’ve had anxiety for a decade or longer and sometimes as one person commented that anxiety and OCD together is terrible. A lot of times OCD does come hand in hand with anxiety. We’ve done podcasts specifically about amino acid therapy and we use amino acid therapy in our clinics but if you have OCD, anxiety, low self-esteem, worry, negativity, depression, disturbed sleep, those are all symptoms of low serotonin. So, what you need to do is to get an organic acid test so we can measure this and look at the brain chemistry because if you’re not testing, you’re guessing. So, when you’re listening to this conversation about anxiety, I swear to you, you’re never gonna find a psychiatrist that’s gonna say, “hey, maybe we need to run an organic acids test, maybe you have low brain chemistry because you have bacterial overgrowth. So, we’re also gonna run a stool test. If they’re out there, send them our way, we’ll do a podcast with them but I doubt your psychiatrist is ever gonna consider running functional medicine testing on you to investigate this. I don’t care if you do lorazepam or the klonopin or whatever. It’s not the root cause and it’s gonna dig you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any benzo
Evan Brand: Yeah. Any benzo is gonna dig you further in the hole because now you’ve got this dependency issue and now you’ve got his issue of withdrawal and I don’t know if you’ve read some of the stories on this but my God if people try to acutely stop those benzodiazepines, there’s major major major side effects. So, it’s just not around
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Especially, if you’re on doses, you know, above one milligram or so on a benzo, it can be harder to get off and sometimes the taper can be, you know, six months to a year coming off of it. If you’ve been on it for a while or been on a higher dose. Yeah, you need to kind of do a slower type of taper for sure.
Evan Brand: And there’s so much, I mean, just think of how many millions. I didn’t look at the numbers here but how many millions of people are on prescription anxiety medication and they never ever get to the root cause. It’s so sad to think about someone that’s been on like a Lorazepam or another benzo for 20 years and they’ve never once asked about the gut. The question came in, how does dysbiosis cause anxiety. What are the mechanisms? Well, I think, one, right out of the gates is gut inflammation. Number two would be nutrient malabsorption because as you mentioned, a lot of these B vitamins are necessary for many processes in the body including energy production so sometimes you have anxiety and chronic fatigue and that sucks too because now you’re too tired but you’re anxious so that’s not a fun recipe either. What else would you say about the gut anxiety connection?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, so anytime you have chronic gut inflammation whether it’s from food, whether it’s antibiotics. Antibiotics are creating rebound yeast or bacterial overgrowth. We could put H. pylori in that category, and other infections, as well. That’s a one you and I already mentioned, creates malabsorption just from indigestion, right? Not enough enzymes, not enough acids, not absorbing things well. Two, you’re gonna have exogenous production of lipopolysaccharides which in and of itself are a toxin, right? They’re produced, they’re part of the gram-negative bacteria in the gut and they’re stressful on the liver and there’s also can go to the blood-brain barrier. And when they’re in the brain, they can create mood and anxiety issues as well. So yeah, lipopolysaccharides, you could have acetaldehyde and mycotoxins from fungus. You could have issues with the parasites producing their own type of internal toxins for sure. Of course, your body also produces through healthy gut bacteria, a fermentation process to make its own B vitamins, vitamin K. Those kinds of things. So, if we have dysbiosis, we typically are gonna have low levels of beneficial bacteria so we don’t have that good endogenous production behind it. And then, of course, that’s gonna over activate our immune system. So now, we have all these toxins kind of slipping through our bloodstream. We have undigested food particles, getting through our bloodstream. Now, our immune system starts becoming hyperactive and that can suck up energy. That can suck up resources. So, there’s studies on for instance H. pylori creating mental health issues, mental, emotional issues, depression and anxiety partly because of the lipopolysaccharides and endotoxins are the same thing by the way. LPS or endotoxins and obviously nutrient absorption problems too.
Evan Brand: Man, when I had H. pylori, I was super anxious. I don’t know if I was depressed as much but I was definitely anxious and you remember how skinny I got, I mean, I lost so much weight too. So, a lot of people, you know, they look at anxiety on the surface right. And everyone looks anxiety is just like this mental thing and you just need to watch some hoorah motivational video and just get over your fears and that I was like no anxiety goes way deeper than that. You just eloquently illustrated this, the aldehydes from the yeast and the fungus toxins and the bacterial toxins and the parasitic toxins and the mycotoxins. You guys, this anxiety is not in your freaking head. It’s not. It may manifest in your head but the root cause is not in your head unless you’re describing like, this toxin getting across the blood-brain-barrier but beyond that, the gut I would say is the biggest driver of anxiety. I’d say, if I had to pick one place to look, it would be the gut.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, when we look at this, what’s kind of the hierarchy of addressing this? So, of course, you fix the foods, right? Because the foods are one. You’re gonna decrease inflammation from the foods. And the inflammation in the foods is gonna cause gut permeability so you cut out the gluten, the dairy, the processed refined sugars and flours, the junky omega-6. You focus on good high-quality animal-based fats, good healthy proteins, you know, more carbohydrate from fruit and starch, especially if there’s blood sugar issues and then from there, then you work on digesting it. So, make sure enzymes and acids and good digestion are there. Get your gut looked at especially if there’s any type of chronic bloating or motility issues or indigestion, unadjusted food in your stool, diarrhea, then you get your gut looked at and of course if this issue is more chronic, you want to look at your stress handling system so the interplay sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system in your body and your nervous system is your adrenals and so you can get your adrenals looked at cortisol rhythm wise, you can do a cortisol panel. Look at your cortisol in the morning and throughout the day. Make sure it’s not too high or it’s reversed. On a good organic acid test, we can look at neurotransmitters like Vanilmandelate which looks at adrenaline. We can get Homovanillate which looks at dopamine, right? We can get the DOPA which looks at dopamine. We could also get 5-hydroxyindoleacytate to look at serotonin and then of course we can look at B6 like a kind of urenate or xanthurenate, right? We can look at brain inflammation markers like picolinate and quinolinate so there’s inflammation in the brain that gives us more indications. We can look at oxidative stress markers like 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine. There are good markers out there to look at these different things to give us a window of what’s happening so you know, we work on the food, work on the lifestyle, sleep. Make sure we’re digesting and breaking things down. Look at the nutrient deficiencies, look at the gut, look at the infection, look at the digestion and then of course, you know, we can always branch out and look at mold or mycotoxins or heavy metals or more toxic burdens down the road. That’s the foundation first and then I would say on top of that, if there’s any type of chronic pattern where there’s an emotional trauma involved that’s more unresolved definitely bring in a good practitioner, you know with some tools in their tool bag of NLP or EFT or EMDR or hypnosis. Anything that you want techniques to get into the subconscious but again the healthier you are the better the emotional stuff is to resolve so if you’re doing EMDR and EFT and NLP and you’re eating processed food and crap, it can still work, but it’s gonna be better when your brain chemistry is healthier.
Evan Brand: Oh, yeah. Amen. Well, think about all the people that are in talk therapy and then they go and they go eat a subway sandwich for lunch, thinking that they’re doing themselves a good favor by eating turkey on wheat bread with processed cheese and then they get mayonnaise or sweet and sour sauce on it or whatever the heck they’re doing and then they feel like crap, I mean.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I’m not a big fan of talk therapy in the long term. I think, talk therapy is good did you kind of just consciously process something like how did this happen maybe you’re learning some tools to enter into your life from a habit standpoint to fix whatever that issue was but then most of that trauma sits in the subconscious area of the brain which is where 90% of all your thoughts are subconscious and so that’s where you want some of these techniques like we talked about but I think talk therapy is good to acutely process what you’ve observed whatever your experiences are and then talk about, hey what can you do, you know, as a person today as an adult today, um, you know, from a habit standpoint to address it but then after that then you gotta, you know, if you’re in talk therapy months and months later and you’re still just ruminating over the same thing then it’s a subconscious thing you got to work on next.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and look, don’t let me talk people out of doing it. I’m not trying to do that but what I’m saying is I’ve had people that said, “oh yeah, I’ve been with this therapist for 3 years and I meet with them every week or every other week”. And I’m like, “okay and what do you do with this therapist?” “We talked.”, “Okay and what else do you do?” That’s it. It’s talk therapy and I go, okay, you’ve been doing talk therapy every week or every two weeks for 3 years and you still have anxiety that’s this bad. We got to dig deeper. So, like I said, there’s a role for that but it’s not gonna get you out of the woods. The person who commented about the dysbiosis and anxiety question, they also commented in here said they did have a stool test that showed H. pylori. They have extremely high Morganella which is one of those bacteria we’ve talked about and calprotectin which is gut inflammation over a thousand. Fatigue and anxiety were the main symptoms. We see this everyday all day.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Exactly. I’m familiar with that case for sure. And inflammation in the gut can definitely create those types of issues and get to the root cause of it too. And then, someone writes in, about Accutane too, I mean, this is super common if you get into the dermatology world. I mean, dermatologists, they either cut something. They burn it off with a laser. They freeze it off or they use some type of antibiotic, topical or internal or they use some kind of like, synthetic vitamin A. That’s it. That’s the dermatology world you know in a nutshell and they tend to not get to the root, you know, we’re talking like more chronic acne, chronic skin stuff. They tend to not ever get to the root cause of how or why that’s even there. Diet, sugars, junky, omega-6, poor digestion, poor fats, poor proteins. They don’t really get to the root cause of what that is and so, they recommend synthetic vitamin A, which is Accutane, which again, will decrease the amount of oil produced by your sebaceous glands which can be helpful in the short run if they’re producing too much oil but they can create chronic skin and eye dryness in the long term and they’re not even getting to the reason why your skin’s producing too much oil to begin with. Usually, it’s too much insulin. Insulin is a huge driving factor of excess oil and then of course, you have different food allergens, gluten, dairy, too much sugar. That can also cause a lot of problems with the skin cells.
Evan Brand: And not to mention, the connection between people that have anxiety and acne. Guess what, they’re both linked to the gut. So, if you have acne and anxiety, you gotta investigate your gut. Please. Please. Please.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. And again, you know, outside of that, you know, we look at different toxins down the road. If we look at heavy metals, there’s different tests. We can look at, to do a challenge test on your metals with a DMPS or some kind of a challenge agent. We can definitely look at mold if there’s mold in the environment that’s important to look at. And again, if you’re in an environment where you feel better leaving that environment then there could be some mold in there, especially, if a history of water damage that was unresolved, definitely want to get your mold looked at or just your home looked at too, especially if it’s something that the whole family is dealing with just get the home looked at to start. It’s usually cheaper and more effective out of the gates.
Evan Brand: Yeah. well said. And, heavy metals too. I’m glad you brought that up. You know, mercury and other heavy metals that can stimulate the nervous system and cause issues. So, if you have a bunch of silver fillings in your mouth, you’ve got to consider that. May not be your number one smoking gun, sometimes it is but heavy metals are a big problem and even detox too can make people feel too sick. I mean, you and I have seen this many times. Other practitioners that have handled people before they come to us or they’ve done something too aggressively with chelation or other detox methods and then they’ve ended up worse. So, there’s like a tight rope and that’s where the art of medicine comes in. Everything is not just like cookie cutters. So, too much is a problem. Too little is a problem and that depends on gut and detox and beta glucuronidase and liver and all of it. So, like if your friend got better and you tried what your friend did and you didn’t do well, that might not be your right protocol.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Exactly. And then, just to kind of highlight the nutrients in, compared to talk therapy, Julia Ross is out there. She’s like a family therapist person but she’s done a lot of books on amino acids and diet and she had different clients that she used to use talk therapy for years and years and years and said, “hey, let me just try adding in some amino acid therapy to their protocol and let’s see how they do with their talk therapy when we add in the amino acids”. She started to do that and then these patients would come the next week and they’d be like, “Yeah, just, I’m just good. I just don’t even feel the need to talk about it. I’m over it”. And it’s like wow so it’s like it gives people the equipment to kind of, like, process these issues and again I think talk therapy acutely may be fine. It’s just when you’re talking about the same thing for years and years and years, you’re probably not getting to the root cause, right? This is probably just covering up something else, you know. Now, I think it’s better than being on a drug, right? So, if it’s helpful and you don’t need a drug that’s great but, in the end, you know, if you can do some of these nutritional things along with it, you may find that you can just deal with the issues better you know I, the analogy I get patients is, try dealing with difficult problems around the home and not having slept for a couple nights. You’re gonna lose your patience with your wife with your kids. You’re not gonna be able to think right, you’ll be foggy, get some good night sleep and then wake up and deal with the problem. It’s like you’re gonna be way more equipped to deal with it. I think that’s kind of how brain chemistry works when you’re dealing with these stressors.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Absolutely. Well, I remember in that book too, talking about how, like, amino acids were administered, right? At the beginning of a session and then the people would just immediately like, smile or loosen up or relax and so it’s amazing no matter how much you talk. Long story short, I know we’ve beat the drum on this for a minute but last thing, no matter how much you talk. It’s never gonna change your levels of serotonin just by talking it out. If you have a gut problem that’s affecting your nutrient absorption which is affecting the tryptophan and the conversion with the B6 over to 5HTP and then over to serotonin and then to melatonin so sleep issues too. So skin, sleep, anxiety, they’re all connected depression. We’ve already talked about that. This person here’s putting a bunch of question marks like they’re mad at us. What is the connection between Accutane and depression?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s just a side effect. It’s a side effect of the drug.
Evan Brand: It could be a side effect. Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Just the side effects of the drug. That’s all it is. Yeah. So certain drugs, you know, are gonna have side effects. Ibuprofen can cause ulcers and liver issues, right? Just a drug side effect.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well, we got to wrap this thing up. But if you need help clinically, you can feel free to reach out. We work with people around the world. We send these functional medicine labs to your door. We have an incredible logistical team on both sides where it’s incredible. We can help people in literally every part of the globe where people like us don’t exist or maybe they do but we’re better. So, if you need help, you can reach out directly to Dr. J, that’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani at justinhealth.com for consults or me, Evan Brand at evanbrand.com. We’re happy to help. You guys, don’t give up. We’ve been through it. We are warriors ourselves and we’ve worked on our health for years and we love what we do and we love helping people and there’s so much possibility when you can beat an issue like anxiety. So, like I said in the beginning, whether it’s seeking that raise, that new promotion, that new job, that new spouse, you know, that partner, that relationship that you want to grow but you can’t because you’re held back by anxiety. This is a huge huge problem and you can overcome this. So please don’t give up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. If you guys enjoyed it too, look down below, you’ll see a little link where you can write us a review. We appreciate the review and if, also, it’s benefiting you, feel free to share with family and friends and there’ll be links where you can reach out to us directly to get that extra bit of help. All right guys, have a phenomenal day. Take care. Bye everyone.
Evan Brand: Bye-bye.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.
How to Address Sinus Infections Naturally | Podcast #368
A sinus infection, also called sinusitis, is a common problem that causes your sinuses to swell up. The sinuses become inflamed and cause symptoms similar to the common cold. Many people can contract a sinus infection after having a cold or the flu. A bacterial infection usually causes sinus infections, but viruses or fungi can also cause them. These infections can either be acute or chronic.
Dr. J and Evan discuss nasal flushing, which can help clear the mucus out of your sinuses. It is one of the most effective home treatments for a sinus infection. They also emphasized the importance of rest, filtered air system, and other nutrients to boost the immune system.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
2:17 – Nasal flushing products
10:03 – Mucus and nebulizer
16:54 – Sinus anatomy
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: For today’s podcast, we’re gonna be talking about how to address sinus infections naturally with Evan today. Really excited. Good topic here. It’s a common topic that people are experiencing especially in the winter season so we’re gonna go through it. What we gotta do to heal fast from sinus infections naturally. Evan, how are we doing today?
Evan Brand: Hey, doing really well. Why don’t we start with the conventional approach? What is that? If you go to your ENT with a sinus infection, what are they doing?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, it depends, I mean, some are gonna be more antibiotic hesitant and say well you know it could be a viral infection, right? You know, almost a quarter of all antibiotics are actually prescribed for sinus infections. You know that? It’s crazy. So, most of the time, they’ll wait and see how bad it is. See if you have a fever, uh, usually like you have that punch in the face kind of feeling where your teeth are really starting to hurt, chronic headache and then you’re having a fever usually they’re waiting seven to ten days or if it’s gotten better and then gotten worse again and it’s usually seven to ten days out with a fever then they’ll start to, you know, typically prescribe antibiotics. Again, most sinus infections are viral so you know, you have to get to the root cause of that so a lot of times antibiotics won’t work. The problem with antibiotics is you’re swallowing it, it’s going 2 or 3 feet away from the actual issue so you’re basically dropping a systemic bomb to instead of hitting a localized area. Now, there are some more, I would say functional based medical doctors that may do some kind of an antibiotic in a compounded powder like an amoxicillin, something like that in a suspended solution or powder and they put it in a sinus rinse bottle like this and then you can flush your nose with that. Better, right? At least it’s more localized. We’ll talk about some strategies using saline flushes and different things that I recommend to help get that under control, naturally and not have to destroy your microflora in the gut. So, that’s a big thing out of the gates which can be very helpful. I got a sinus infection last week from a viral infection that my kids brought home. I never have been exposed to so many bugs since I have two young kids, 2- and 4-year-old boys that go to an outdoor wilderness school and they bring stuff back home from all their classmates and so I’m getting inoculated every single day and so we’ll talk about some of the strategies that I take so I can recover fast.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I still hear a little bit of you. So, what are you doing? You mentioned you got some kind of tools on your desk there.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, couple of things out of the gate, you know, to irrigate or flush that area out can be very very helpful. One, to flushing the viral particulate out. Two, we may add in some components to actually help kill what’s up in the nose as well. So, we have our saline, so you can either do NeilMed saline, which is really good. We’ll put links down below. The Neti Xlear is really great. I’ll kind of go back and forth between those. I have both. And so, we’ll take this and you’ll add eight ounces of water in one of these types of bottles. This is actually the best bottles. It’s made by Xlear. It’s Xlear’s bottle. It’s the best because of the plastic isn’t cheap so when you press it, it recoils really fast so when you’re doing good flushes, sometimes you’re pressing and then you’re having to let it reload so to speak and it’s just a really good plastic. Some of the plastics are weak so then, it kind of just stays sunken in so I also have a NeoMed bottle, definitely a cheaper plastic. And there’s another bottle by Walgreens. It’s even cheaper. So, this one is okay, you know, they give it away with like 60, 70 packets of saline so it’s pretty cheap. It’s a nice bottle. I have like three or four of them lined up in my office sink so when I’m in between patients, I’ll just give it a good flush. And so, we’ll take the saline packet. We’ll mix 8 ounces of water; we’ll add it to it and then I’ll take either food grade hydrogen peroxide. You could do regular hydrogen peroxide from the drug store. It’s not as big of a deal if you’re nebulizing it. Again, it you’re flushing it, if you’re nebulizing it, you probably wanna go more food grade just to make sure any stabilizers are out. And then, I typically just fill it up just enough to cover the bottom part of the cap. That’s it. Just about that.
Evan Brand: That’s like a dash. I mean just a tiny amount.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And you know, you went too much if you put it into the water and then I would just pour it into the saline, my finger over and just shake it up and then you know you did too much if you feel any kind of irritation or burn. You can so you can always start less and kind of work your way up and then if you do too much you can just add a little bit more water to it and back off so that’s a good option right there. Another option I have is I’ll do like my GI clear 3 silver and I’ll add a cap full of that to it. You can do that. You can add just straight up betadine iodide. I’ve stopped doing that because of the orange color. It just stains. It’s really annoying so I’ll go to, like, a clear simple potassium iodine which is good. Those are a couple good options out of the gates and so we’ll basically irrigate 2 to 3 seconds of flow, clear everything out and blow your nose in between. 2 to 3 seconds of flow below your nose. That’s a good way to do it out of the gate. Now, there’s a couple of other strategies that you can do, so some of my sinus sprays that I’ll use and so I have 3 big sprays so here’s extra rescue which is really a good one because it has six different herbs in there. It has, like pau d’arco, parsley, eucalyptus, oil of oregano, tea tree, right, so it’s really good. Six different herbs and so what I’ll typically do out of the gates if you’re new to using the product. I’ll do it, about 2 sprays in each nose, about ten minutes before a sinus flush. What I find is, it starts to, like, agitate and release all the mucus. That’s kind of stuck to the inside of the sinus cavity and so like five to ten minutes before spray it, wait, and then do a sinus flush. I find that it releases things a lot better. So, that’s really good there. And once you’re better with it and you feel more comfortable, you can do it after as well. Just see how you feel. If you’re really, really inflamed too, there’s another product called Xlear max, which is a good one.
Evan Brand: I’ve never tried that one. I’m scared of that one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Well, the rescue one, I think, is like the strongest form, like a killing perspective. The Xlear max is more, like anti-inflammatory. So, the big difference is, this, the last one was grapefruit by the way and the Rescue.
Evan Brand: Okay.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so in the max, the difference is it still has the same saline, still has the same xylitol. So, this has xylitol plus six herbs, okay, saline. This says xylitol saline, the difference is it has aloe so it’s a little bit more soothing, all right, for the sinus. It has the grapefruit as well, which, so it still has some killing effects in it and it has some capsicum which is like a homeopathic anti-inflammatory. So, this is like, if you’re like the tissue is really inflamed, really raw, this is a better one. This one’s really good for killing because of the different herbs that are in there. And then, there’s a regular one out there. I have it upstairs, as well, which is the regular Xlear and that’s more like people that have chronic sinus issues, you can use that more every day and it’s a little bit more gentle where it’s just the xylitol and the grapefruit extract and it has the saline and again the benefit of that, the xylitol, it really kind of knocks down some of the bacteria that could be there. It prevents biofilms from adhesions so biofilms are like the protective shields that a lot of the bacteria used to protect against the bugs. So, that’s very helpful. And so, the nice thing is if you do the saline, right? Oh, by the way, the water reverse osmosis or distilled, make sure it’s high quality filtered water. Do not use your general tap water, very bad, so make sure it’s really good. Don’t even use, like, river water, it’s gotta be really good clean filtered water. Like even now and then, I’ll use the water out of my faucet because I have a whole house activated charcoal system so it’s still good but I also have a RO system where my countertop is, so that’s where we cook in and drink out of that water so I use that 99% of the time. So, I’ll use that, I’ll add the packet, fill it up to 8 ounces, pack it and then I’ll add either hydrogen peroxide or silver. It’s good to have a couple that you rotate through just in case there’s some resistance which is, you know, meaning like there’s some bacteria or viral resistance. It’s going to have a couple of things there and then I also have just a straight grapefruit and saline solution as well. This one is okay. It’s gentle and so those are good ways to do it. I recommend, start to do it before you flush like 5-10 minutes before because a lot of times it just releases a lot of mucus and then it allows the flush to do really well and then depending on how you feel afterwards, you can also try it after a flush and then give it a sprayer. So, once everything’s really clean and see how you do afterwards. So that’s a good start out of the gates. Of course things like N-acetylcysteine are wonderful. NAC is great. That helps with the inflammation. Really helps drying up the sinuses. I’ll do glutathione, as well. I’ll do high-dose vitamin C. We’ll add in some different nutrients, zinc, those kinds of things as well. All the good immune nutrients, vitamin D decrease all the sugar consumption. A lot of that is very very helpful. I also have a red light in the office and so I’ll kind of go up against it and let the red light get in there because that’s very anti-inflammatory as well.
Evan Brand: Man, I should have paid better attention to the label on that Max. I was afraid of that one because I thought that one was more intense than the rescue. I’ve done the Rescue forever. I kind of like the berm. You will get a little burn with that Rescue one but the way you talk that Max is actually more soothing than the Rescue. The Rescue is more hardcore so I need to try the Max, I’ve never experimented with it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think the big thing in the Max is just people are already, like more inflamed because there’s less killers in there, it’s grapefruit. It’s got the same sodium chloride, it’s got the aloe which is soothing and that has the Capsicum. I’ll do that right now actually.
Evan Brand: That’s very cool and the question came in about colloidal silver so in some of the rinses you could do a little bit of silver. We, also, have talked about it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I already talked about that so I said you can do the hydrogen peroxide, add it or like I’ll do my nano silver like my GI Clear 3 or some kind of a silver so you’d add like a dropper or 2 worth of silver in there which is what I have for there. So, you can do silver, you can do hydrogen peroxide and you can also do some iodine. Those are your three good ones that you could do. You could also throw in like someone in the chat wrote about like oil of oregano or tea tree or something of that. Maybe overkill if you’re already using the Rescue afterwards or before because you’re already adding that to it.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And so, we could do that in a nebulizer protocol too, so if we’re doing a hydrogen peroxide or a glutathione or a silver nebulizer that could be another sinus support.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. The problem with the nebulizer, I find it’s just, it’s deeper, it’s better for, like lower respiratory stuff. The problem with, like the mucus that comes out of the nose, it’s very tarry. It’s very sticky, right? And so, what is the mucus? Well, you have one just mucus which is clear which is like your body trying to flush bacteria or virus out and then you have the immune system interacting with the infection and then the dead soldiers, right, of that fight, that battle are essentially all the green and yellow and so the more dead soldiers, right, the more battle we go from like light yellow to yellow to darker yellow to green, right? So, the darker, right, and the, the more chunky the mucus is, the more there’s an immune fight happening up there and so what happens is, you have, you know not that, this is the best analogy I can think of is you have all these dead soldiers from the immune reaction just like sitting up there and sticking all to the sinus cavity preventing breathing oxygen exchange and also some of that can eventually go down the eustachian tubes which connects to the back which can go to your ears then you can start to get an ear infection and all that dead debris can also become like fertilizer for like a bacterial infection down the road. So, you got to get it out. So the problem with nebulizer, it’s in a vapor form so it doesn’t have the ability to push the junk out and so with a nice bottle like this pressurized, you can come in there and you can really pull all that stuff out and push it out where you’re not gonna get that with a nebulizer so your nebulizer is gonna be, you can still do it, I still did it daily but it’s gonna be better for lower respiratory issues and this have all the same stuff in it a nebulizer will, the difference you’ll have the pressurized force behind it to really get it out. Push it out. That’s the difference. And there’s some like I mean there’s sometimes, I mean I won’t get graphic but like I’ll blow my nose I’m good right? I’m good, go flush it out and then there’s twice the amount of junk left behind after the flush that was that what I couldn’t get out through blowing and so you get a much deeper cleanse of the sinus cavity with this because a lot of times you’re getting stuff out literally in this upper forehead area in here and so you’re just getting a lot better release.
Evan Brand: Yeah, you mentioned NAC already, which NAC got banned from amazon so if you need access to it, Justin seems on your store, I believe I’ve got a glutathione NAC combo. I do not have an NAC by itself. What do you do, do you have something to offer there?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We have different products like in my line have a detox amino product that has more other stuff in it. I just have a straight NAC here. I’ll go, there’s a couple of brands that I’ll go back to before, in between 90% are out so a lot of times I just have to get brands right now. That I typically wouldn’t get if we had a better supply chain with NAC right now but yeah we’ll put a link down below anyone needs NAC, they can reach out to the office but to highlight back on what you’re saying there, NAC is super helpful and then also there’s a Nasaline you can get which is like a pressurized syringe which is great. So, you suck up the saline from the bottle, it’s like a syringe, you put it up against your nose and you press it, that’s helpful. Also, I find too if things are really stuck, sometimes you need to go like pulsations so you need to like squeeze hard, relax, squeeze hard, relax, squeeze hard, relax because I find that the pulsation sometimes will free up some of these mucus that’s really tarry and sticky so that can be very very helpful.
Evan Brand: Knock on wood, I never ever get sinus infections.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I don’t either. It’s my first time.
Evan Brand: I don’t know what to, what to attribute them to like you said is it an exposure, is it a weak immune system, is there a gut connection to it?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s just part of the viral infection so viruses tend to go in two major areas. They go upper respiratory or lower respiratory, right? So, a viral infection that goes too deep can eventually become pneumonia. A viral infection here can become a major sinus infection and so by being on top of this, you have your tools, your sinus flush is your best for your upper respiratory, your nebulizer is best for your lower respiratory and so you can prevent those things once you have viral infection, it’s replicating it creating inflammation. You could prevent these things from going too far with those tools.
Evan Brand: Well, that’s a great point you just made which is the possibility of it turning into pneumonia so people listening are like well why should I care, why should I try to do this and speed the process up, why should I try to intervene? Well, because you don’t want to create more systemic inflammation or lead to something more serious especially in a person who’s 80 years old or above, you know, that could create much more problems if they didn’t treat it while it was just up here and it went further south.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah and if someone’s sick and they’re trying to prevent it, I think two to three flushes a day is good for, like, prevention especially while you’re sick. I think it can’t hurt just doing straight saline rinse once a day in general. I wouldn’t add any killers or anything to it. Just a straight saline. I think it is fine, just to kind of keep your nose clean at the end of the day. You wanna do that, I think it’s fine. If you’re sick, I’m going like every hour or two, I’m flushing my nose out just because at one it feels really good. It’s really clean and just as long as you’re not irritating the mucus, you know, its isotonic solution, so you have like the sodium, the chloride, it has the bicarbonate in here. Those are the two major compounds, right? Like sodium chloride is basically your sea salt, right? And then, you have your bicarbonate in there. So those are the two major ingredients and then of course this is like USP grade so it’s just really really clean.
Evan Brand: And what do you mean by that? For people listening, what you’re saying is that pH balance so it’s not gonna irritate your sinus cavity.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You can’t just take regular, like, clean water and put it in your nose. If you will absolutely burn it and irritate it. It would feel like someone punched you in the face because the mucous membranes need a certain pH and a certain level of sensitivity so it’s kind of like using eye drops, right? Same thing. You need to have, like, saline-based eye drops. This is, you’re using sodium chloride. Pharmaceutical grade plus the bicarbonate which is baking soda. That’s everything nice and balanced for the tissues. So, when you flush it, it shouldn’t irritate the sinuses and it should have allow it too feel nice and smooth and gentle afterwards and then if you have some kind of infection brewing even preventative for a bug just add a little bit of silver or hydrogen peroxide in there or a couple of drops, you know, some iodine that’ll give you enough killing capacity to knock down any bugs that could be multiplying but I’m going every hour or two, for me it just feels really good very soothing. It feels like plus if you blow your nose too much, you just keep your nose all raw around the side so it’s nice to have a nice clean flush. I kind of call it like, it’s like a bidet for your nose. It’s kind of how I look at it.
Evan Brand: That’s hilarious. You know, this would be a good strategy for travel too. So, if you need something portable like the excellent Rescue. If you’re on a plane or after you get off a plane it’d be a good idea to boom boom do a couple of sprays that’ll be great.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, also, amazing for kids. Kids cannot honk their nose, blow their nose or the damn right. They just cannot get a good blow in there and you get these things on the market like a nose Frida which you know we have one you get like that deep in the cavity. We’ll do the whole nose Frida for you to think about the nose and then we’ll do this with my kids, flush it out and you’ll see so much junk come out. This is how kids get ear infections right? If you look at sinus anatomy, once you go up this far, there’s this canal, right here that goes straight to the ears and it’s called the eustachian tube and with kids it’s a little bit flatter a delta kind of angles up a little bit so it’s harder to get things uphill with kids because it’s a little bit flatter so it’s easy for the mucus and the junk to go into the ear and then you have an ear infection and of course like if your kids are getting ear issues to the food, sugar and of course high dairy products are gonna create more mucus, more mucus in the sinus cavity can make their way and so if your kids are more mucusy, one make the diet changes but two get their nose cleaned out as well so it doesn’t travel to the ear and this is why you want the mucus cleared up because if you let all the mucus and all this coagulation of all the immune soldiers so to speak, stay up there, it can make its way to the nose and now you have an ear infection.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Good point about the diet. I know we got to run here in a minute or two but that’s a good point about the diet if you are looking for like preventative maintenance strategies, I mean obviously you can’t just live in a bubble and not get exposed to things but you wanna have the good foundation of your diet to reduce inflammation, I mean so many people come in and say they have quote sinus problems, really it appears that they’re food allergies because once they clean up their diet, they get rid of gluten, they get rid of dairy all of a sudden their sinus is clear.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And people have, like, allergies to the environment. One, have a really good high quality air filter. We recommend the Austin air because it has the activated charcoal, the Zeolite plus the Hepa. Hepa is, like, usually standard in most if you’re on a budget. You know, go with the Hepa to start but definitely get one that has an activated charcoal, Zeolite, the Austin air, the filter lasts five years per replacement so you don’t have to spend as much money replacing it every six months and the activated charcoal and the zeolite filters out more toxins but I’ll tell patients like you know, do a flush you know in the morning when you get up, do one after you’re outside working and then do one before bed. Just the saline’s fine. You could do a little bit of spray, you know, before or after. Try before that’s helpful but just try to get the allergen out especially before bed because if you have all these allergens way up here and they’re creating inflammation that could be a stress response during sleep that’s preventing you from deeper restorative sleep and so the sinus can be flush really helpful along with some of the uh some of the remedies that we have here.
Evan Brand: It’s a good call. Well, if people need help, they can reach out. You can book a consultation with Dr. J at justinhealth.com. So, if you have sinus issues or other health symptoms, you wanna talk, see what’s going on, see if we can help that would be justinhealth.com for Dr. J, or if you need help from me, that’s Evan, evanbrand.com. We’re available worldwide. So, most of these products we can get and we can ship to you. I know a lot of people internationally have trouble getting some of this stuff, silver and NAC. Some countries are just weird and it’s hard to import stuff but usually we have. Our team is great with logistics. So, I think it’s good to just have a stash of this stuff if you don’t already, don’t wait till you get the sinus infection then try to order, get it. Get it now. Get it, get prepped.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They have a bottle of it there. Someone said, can you do too much of it. I would say it depends, right. I would say, if you have an active infection, I think you’re gonna be fine just make sure the water is clean, RO high quality water. Make sure you’re using a good quality sodium bicarb, I think if the killers are making you more sensitive, right? You could always do your spray or killers before and then do the just the saline without anything in it after so then everything’s clean and flushed out so then you don’t have anything overly abrasive in your sinus after the fact, that’s a good way to do it and if that’s still a problem you could even, you could even just do a saline flush and not anything else after that. It’s still better than nothing just to get everything out of the sinus cavity but worst case do your spray before and then afterwards just the flush. And they have spray that are just silver too, so you have, I have a silver spray too. You can just do that, I’ll do that for my kids sometimes because they’ll complain about it like just the feeling it’s a tiny tinge of a burn for like 10 seconds and so I’ll do the silver sometimes with them. Oh by the way, my kid had a pink eye issue, used to silver spray, opened his eye up, I just like this, I went, gone in two days. So, silver is excellent for some of the pink eye stuff, I would never do it with this. That would burn but the silver is good. I hope that makes sense. Any other questions about that so far?
Evan Brand: I think we got most of the questions answered here, there was one question about getting mucus after food and these were things like yogurts, ice cream, soy sauce, wheat products, well yeah, I mean it sounds like food allergy so obviously I would clean up your diet. I don’t recommend any of those foods, maybe if it’s like a coconut cream ice cream with low sugar maybe but beyond that all of those foods to me sound like potential irritants.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Sugar and inflammatory foods, especially excess sugar and inflammatory foods will cause mucus, that’s part of the inflammatory response, that’s just part of it. Yep. That’s part of the reason why people have sinus infections outside of just getting upper respiratory tract viral issues.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Absolutely. How many people are going to the ENT and getting a paleo diet prescription, probably not many.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, and there just gonna recommend steroids, Flonase, steroids, antihistamine, they’re not really ever get to the root cause that’s the problem and so It’s really good that people are bringing these things to the light, you know, this guy Dr. Mehta, I think it’s Dr. the NeilMed guy, he’s really been on top of it, which is great. I mean this is an MD that’s talking about using really good options to clean out your nose and then you know having more of these sprays together is really good and having things that can add to them, I mean, just amazing and a lot of these viruses live in your nose so preventatively we can be on top of it, you’re out with a bunch of people, you know, instead of being overly worried about washing your hands which you know, that’s fine, wash your hands but flush your nose, easiest thing, flush your nose.
Evan Brand: Totally more valuable in my opinion for sure.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So guys, to reach out to Evan, evanbrand.com. Evan is available worldwide for health consultation support. I am as well, Dr. J, justinhealth.com, we are here to help you out. We’ll put some links here. Give us a little bit of time. I’ll put the links down below very soon so you can see some of the products that we use. Also, we’ll put some of the products that we recommend from our own store so you guys can get an idea of what we like. All right, any questions feel free to put them in the chat. We appreciate it. Share with family and friends, they could benefit and have a phenomenal day. Take care.
Evan Brand: Take care. See you next week.
The Gut Connection With Urinary Tract infections (UTI) and Yeast Infections | Podcast #367
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common medical problem affecting millions of people worldwide. The primary source for UTIs is presumed to be the gut. That’s why in this video, Dr. J and Evan talk about how gut bacteria can contaminate the urethral opening, eventually propagate themselves in the bladder, and cause symptoms of a UTI and possible yeast infection.
They also added that women are significantly more likely to get UTIs than men. It is due to anatomical differences that make it easier for disease-causing bacteria to travel to the urinary bladder after accidental transfer from the bowels. They also discuss the other clinical and evidence-based factors with helpful tests to find the root cause of these issues.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
1:53 – Urinary System
10:54 – Antimicrobials and probiotics
18:55 – UTI and Yeast Infection
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excited to be here with Evan Brand. Today, we are gonna be chatting all about the gut connection with urinary tract issues, UTIs and yeast infections. Really excited to dive into this topic. This is the common female topic that we deal with. I mean, men deal with UTIs as well but men have a longer urethra area so it’s harder for men to have UTIs with them. Women have a much shorter urethra so bacteria can make its way up to the urinary tract and blood much faster and easier and so probably more of a female issue but we’re gonna dive in. The physiology is similar between the two so men listening will still get something of it as well. Evan, how are we doing today?
Evan Brand: Hey, doing really well. And so, looks like about 90% of infection in the bladder, 90% of these cases of these infections of bladder, urethra and kidneys, it’s all related to E. coli, which of course E. coli are in your poop and can generally just take route up that way and they can migrate and populate within the urinary tract and so women obviously know these symptoms if they’ve had it but it’s you have to urinate more frequently, it’s painful urination. It could be pressure in the pubic area. It could be fatigue. It could go more severe into kidney injury but most women are usually so miserable before they get to that point that they end up doing some sort of conventional treatment. So, why don’t we just talk about the conventional approach because I think it’s great to highlight what people are doing and then what we’re doing differently that we may argue is a far more sustainable solution without the side effects. Antibiotics are gonna be huge and we’ve got some statistics on this. Antibiotics are prescribed for 33% of women to combat a UTI before the age of 24 but of course these synthetic antimicrobials are not without short- and long-term consequences.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m gonna just share one thing here on screen just so everyone can see. So, you can see the female anatomy, right here is the urethra, here’s the bladder so you can see a very short distance from the urethra to the bladder. You can see here in the male anatomy, right at a much longer distance to get up here. Obviously in the urinary tract, you’re just typically with the UTI, it’s the bacteria that’s making its way up here, okay, into the urinary tract that’s causing the infection like Evan already mentioned that’s mostly gonna be bacteria, right? Usually on the UTI side, it’s gonna be E. coli there, can be some Pseudomonas, it’s mostly E. coli. And so, it’s really easy for women to get bladder infection because you can see it goes up faster. Again, things like birth control pills we’ll talk about and antibiotics really shift the urinary pH and the intestinal pH which has a major effect on the bladder and the urinary tract and it makes it easier for bacteria to grow that tends to be why women are a little bit more susceptible than that for bladder infection obviously but in general you’re gonna see that with birth control pills because how estrogen affects the pH and then also women when they menstruate, right, just that whole vaginal area right there, sloughing off that endometrial lining. All that blood flow does shift that whole entire are to be way more alkaline because bloods around 7.3 pH so it does shift that whole vaginal tract to be more pH higher on the pH side which can increase other bacterial infections more on the vaginal side but hopefully that helps. Any comments on that, Evan?
Evan Brand: Yeah. It’s totally interesting and this is stuff that maybe you didn’t pay attention to in school and biology class but now in adulthood it’s a lot more important and I think people just don’t even understand the anatomy of it and this is something that according to the research here, 25% of people treated for UTI, they will experience a recurrence 6 – 12 months later. So, I mean, that’s a quarter of these people that now have another UTI and they just go on this merry-go-round. And of course, every time you go on these antibiotics, you’re damaging the mitochondria, you’re damaging your gut microbiome in total, so it’s not just this one thing that you’re doing, it’s the sum to your system and it can really add up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, when we deal with urinary tract issues, I kind of look at, okay, you have yeast issues over here. They’re kind of, they intermingle right and how the different things happen. You have bacterial issues over here, right? So, your UTI issues are primarily bacterial, right, affecting the urinary tract. You can have BV, bacterial vaginosis, that’s another bacterial issue. Usually, Gardnerella bacteria is one that’s affecting the vaginal canal. So, a little bit different, right? Different, you know, same general area, different anatomy per se. You’re gonna have similar sequelae of tissues affecting it, right? The big difference with the BV issue is you’re gonna get the potassium hydroxide odor which is, that’s kind of the fish smell. That’s what the bacteria in the vaginal canal does, it creates that potassium hydroxide that’s the fish odor. You’re not gonna quite get the odor with the UTI but you will have the burning during peeing. So, that’s gonna be the big differentiating factor. Sometimes, more odor on the BV but sometimes you can have none and then of course more pain during urination on the urinary tract issue and then if that continues to be left up that bacteria will eventually continue to go north and eventually hit the bladder as you can see that anatomy pretty short on video here. But, one of the big common issues is I would say like the big three, anytime I look at this problem, they tend to be the same. It’s gonna be a combination of antibiotic use so we’re wiping out a lot of the good flora in our intestinal tract which also affects the vaginal or urinary microbiome and then that affects the beneficial probiotics that actually make hydrogen peroxide like probiotics usually make hydrogen peroxide which is antibacterial. They’ll make different acids, glucuronic acid, they’ll make acidic acid. Different acid acids that actually help keep the microbes in check. They make hydrogen peroxide H202 and it keeps a lot of the bad bugs down. So, the first thing is we have a wiping out of the beneficial flora that also drive yeast overgrowth too so the same thing where it wipes out the good stuff, the beneficial probioflora, the probiotics the Bifidobacter, the Lactobacillus. The different species within the Bifidobacter and Lactobacillus, right? There’s Rudaea, casei, plantarum, lactis, these are all beneficial species, okay, that keeps the bacteria in check but also when you knock down a lot of the good stuff that can also causes this rebound overgrowth and yeast and that’s a lot of doctors today even on the conventional side tend to give an antifungal after an antibiotic in a lot of these female patients because they see a lot of these symptoms happen frequently.
Evan Brand: Wow. And, you’re mentioning the antibiotic that starts this whole cascade and that’s not necessarily the antibiotic to treat an existing UTI and then we’re talking about these recurring UTIs. We’re talking antibiotics for something simple like, I’ve heard of some women going in for a dental cleaning or something just that seems benign and then boom the antibiotic just really had forced them to take another fork in the road with their gut health and of course the vaginal health is affected.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Now, with urinary tract issues, I mean they’re simple things, right? Sometimes, just after intercourse, after sex, just not peeing. Sometimes that sperm and the semen being up there can kind of create some issues with bacteria so urinating after sex can be very helpful. You’ll see it with younger kids just wiping the wrong direction, right, essentially wiping back to front bringing some of the bacteria in the stool into that urinary vaginal area can be a problem. Sometimes different contraceptive methods like that involve, like a spermicidal intravaginally can sometimes mess up the milieu of flora in the vaginal tract. Having bladder stones or kidney issues can sometimes have problems, going in for a surgical procedure where they put in some of a catheter, you know, those are, you know, gonna be way unlikely but you know just kind of given the gamut of those across the board. And then of course, you know, the antibiotic exposure and I would even say just too much sugar, too much carbohydrate, a lot of bacteria like acellular easy to digest refined processed carbs. So, more carbohydrates, more sugar, more grains, more flours are definitely gonna work, you know, increase those microbes’ kind of having a feeding frenzy if you will.
Evan Brand: And, how can you find this out? Well, there’s an easy to do at home test that you can buy for less than 10 bucks. You can do these test strips at home. These urinary test strips and if generally, you see a dark purple, you’ve got a big issue and so it’s something that people should have on hand if you’ve suffered for a while. I know a lot of women; they just hate having to go to the doctor’s office and get tested and then they leave with another antibiotic and then they’re on this merry-go-round. So, we talked about the conventional approach, they really as far as it goes antibiotics
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, with the test strips, I think most of them are primarily looking at either immune cell in the urinary tract. I think, a lot of times with yeast or bacteria. They’re looking for, like leukocytes or leukocyte esterase, they’re looking for bacteria or I’m sorry immune cells in there. I know, some of the yeast ones are looking at pH so they’re looking at a more alkaline type of pH. The more alkaline the pH moves from six to seven to neutral, right, neutral is around 7. Into the 7-ish range, that tends to say that okay we have more yeast issues or we’re starting to move back in the direction of bacteria if we’re starting to see some of these leukocytes moving into the urinary tract.
Evan Brand: Yes. It’s kind of an indirect marker, right? You’re looking at those leukocytes and that’s what you would be seeing in terms of like, the light purple, dark purple, extreme purple on the test strips.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, they’re looking at the immune system starting to come in there and obviously with a BV issue, bacterial vaginosis. They probably need a swab to see what’s going on there, see if it’s like a Gardnerella or a Pseudomonas or Klebsiella, you know, what the bacterial species is. Now, typically with yeast issues in the urinary tract, I’m sorry with, uh, yeast infections primarily gonna be Candida or Candida subspecies. With BV, it’s primarily Gardnerella and with UTI’s it’s gonna be E. coli, typically.
Evan Brand: Now here is the cool part. Are you ready to talk about some of the transitions you hit on the diet piece of a bit of sugar process things? Maybe we should hit this first and then we’ll talk about, like, the functional strategies that kind of thing. You and I were talking about this before we hit the record that so many people, they want the solution to an issue like this but they haven’t even got the foundation styled in, in regards to their sleep, in regards to stress, proper hydration, nutrient density, lack of antibiotics if possible. Just those foundational pieces, a lot of times, are gonna keep women in a place where they’re not gonna end up with this problem so if you’re just tuning in, somehow you found us and you’ve not been listening for a while and you’re just now hearing us and you’re looking for this magic remedy, you got to make sure you get the foundations in order first because in theory, this should not happen if you’ve got the foundation style then.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct and so first thing out of the gates is just foundational things like hydrating enough because if you have a UTI issue just having constant good water flow and also you know with some electrolytes in the water that can be very helpful kind of having an antibacterial effect. And just keeping that good water flowing, the solution to pollution is dilution so that can really kind of keeping things flushed down. Obviously, being very careful if you’re having antibiotics. Why did you have the antibiotics? Was it for routine preventative things? Was your diet off and your immune system’s weak and you got sick and you needed it? Why, right? So, you want to look at that and if you had chronic antibiotic use, you know, what does the bacteria in your gut look like because odds are, if your bacteria or yeast imbalances are present in the vaginal tract or the urinary tract, you probably, also have issues in the digestive tract. You may have SIBO, you may have bloating, you may have gas, you may have poor digestion, low enzymes, low acids, H. pylori, parasite infection, you may have to look deeper in the intestinal tract and actually work on knocking down some of those microbes fixing the gut and then really work on repopulating some of the good bacteria after the fact to really work on fixing the gut because you start to fix the gut pH and the gut bacterial milieu that does help improve IgA levels and that does help with the immune system in the vaginal area as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. So, if you’re coming in with the UTI, most of the time, there’s gonna be more than just a UTI present. There could be as you mentioned a number of, we have someone coming in and UTI or recurrent UTI is one of their complaints, I can tell you, you and I are gonna wanna run the stool panel and we’re gonna run organic acids because we’re gonna want to look at the whole microbiome and certain things may get missed on the stool and the urine should feel in the gaps like we might find Candida in the urine and it got missed in the stool. So, stool and urine, there are things that your typical doctor and your lab locally is not gonna run. They might run a urine panel but this is not the same urine panel as an organic acid, we’re talking something far more advanced, far more comprehensive whereas the urine panel, locally, is primarily just gonna look for bacteria or maybe leukocytes as you mentioned you might get a positive or a trace or something like that but it’s not a detailed description of what’s going on you mentioned several bacteria too, like Klebsiella and Prevotella, we can identify this on a stool panel. So, that’s why it’s so important to get the data and could we just throw a woman on an herbal UT formula, we could but you know, we want to do our due diligence, we want to do a good work-up on these people too to make sure that we’re not just cut straight to the chase and we skip something huge that we would find on these tests.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. I mean a lot of the antibiotics they’re gonna be using are gonna be like Bactrim or any of these kinds of, um, Mors, Augmentin’s a big one. Bactrim and Augmentin, those are a couple definitely be very wary of any of the fluoroquinolone families because they have significant side effects regarding tensing tendons and ligaments and mitochondria so be really careful of using fluoroquinolones. Of course, when we work these patients up, we’re doing a really good history so we understand how everything came to fruition regarding the UTI, yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. We’re trying to understand it, right? Obviously, with certain things like yeast infections, BV, like making sure things are dry in that area. If you’re in a very moist environment keeping things dry helps because yeast and mold love a very moist environment. So, keeping things dry tends to be very helpful. Soaping up some of those areas you’d be very helpful too that you can use a really nice, um, as long as the mucosa is not like really, um, irritable, you can really use a really nice sulfur soap especially in the outside air if there’s anything yeasty on the outside are, anything internally. There are definitely internal things that we can do. So, on the internal side, just getting water in there, maybe helpful using raw cranberry juice, not anything with added sugar but raw organic cranberries, you know, 4 ounces at a time diluted some water is pretty good. You can drink that. That’s gonna have a nice low pH in it, which helps prevent the bacteria from growing. It also helps with some D-mannose in the cranberries. Can also internally do things like different berberines, can be very helpful, that’s excellent boric acids, another excellent compound. You gotta be careful with these by, enlarged by itself because they can be a little bit irritating so you want some nice things that provide some moisture whether it’s aloe or shea butter. There’s different, like moisture compounds that can provide the moisture so you don’t dry out that tissue as well.
Evan Brand: You know, how about some of the suppositories. Have you used those before? I’ve seen some of these like pH suppositories, those have been helpful, also I think it’s integrative, I know Aviva Romm did a talk or an article on it one time. There was a specific probiotic that we had used, I think, it was called pro-flora that we had used, uh, that was supposed to be inserted vaginally and that was like a game changer for BV and some other related issues. So, not only taking oral probiotics but vaginal probiotics as well. That has been a game changer for many women. It’s not something we have to go to a lot but it is a good tool if someone just in bad shape and the conventional strategies failed them or made them worse then something like these vaginal probiotics are helpful. So just to be clear, there’s some strains specifically for vaginal health that are taken orally but then there’s also other blends that you can insert vaginally and the women have reported great success with those.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You want to make sure the hydration is there, whether it’s aloe or beeswax or shea butter or coconut oil, some of those can be helpful. Again, the antimicrobials that we may use would be the boric acid, some of the neem, some of the different berberines. And again, we may want to also add probiotics in and around there that can be very helpful. In regards to, like yeast issues or, um, UTI issues, you got to be very careful because when you women menstruate, well more with yeast and more bacterial vaginosis because that’s affecting the vaginal canal more. When women menstruate, that blood is like 7.3, right? So, that’s very neutral to alkaline. So, when you’re menstruating, you’re taking that acidic pH in the vaginal tract and you’re moving it backup to a more neutral pH when you menstruate so that’s gonna actually make it easier for bacteria and potential yeast to grow and you could have a BV issue or yeast issue that can happen due to your menstruation. So, when you’re already more susceptible in that vaginal area, you know, you gotta, you may actually wanna do a suppository in and around your period too, because that pH is gonna move up and that can start to cause microbes to grow. Some women have to be more careful with that, you know, if they have a chronic yeast or bacterial issue just to make sure it doesn’t come back.
Evan Brand: I want to hit a few more herbs and then I want you to riff on the birth control conversation because I think that’s huge. So, you mentioned berberine and some of the other related herbs. Also, we’ll use the antifungals at the same time. So, you and I have our own custom blends that we use and so we may use something like Pau D’arco, French tarragon, horse tail, olive leaf, things that have antifungal and antimicrobial properties. So, that’s the cool thing about what we do is as you mentioned Backstrom or some of these other conventional strategies. It’s just a big sledgehammer, right? It’s not a targeted tool. It’s one sledgehammer. We don’t know exactly what we’re gonna kill but it’s an antibiotic, were just gonna drop the nuclear bomb into your gut and we’re gonna disturb not only your gut microbiome, we’re gonna negatively affect the production of your nutrients in your gut. We’re gonna negatively affect your mitochondria. We may knock out the UTI but as you saw in the papers, 25% of those UTIs are gonna come back within 6 months to a year and so when we’re coming in with these antimicrobial herbs, also, throwing in antifungal herbs, that’s where the magic really happens because there could be a combination as we talked about. It’s rare to see just UTI, it could be a combination issue meaning there’s some Candida, there’s some bacterial problems, maybe there’s parasites in the gut too. Maybe there’s H. pylori like you mentioned. And so, that’s the fun part is when you take a blend and you’re working people through this protocol. You’re now knocking 4,5,6 issues out all at once in one fell swoop when they originally just came in with the complaint of UTI. When you do the labs, you wanna uncover so much more and that’s where the beauty is.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Here’s one study here looking at the perceptions using contraception birth control pills. So, usually this is like a synthetic estrogen mostly, right, an ethanol, estradiol. I’m looking at the influence on the vaginal microbiota and so really the take home here inside of the gate, the vaginal state was significantly modified hormone administration apparently corrected the alterations uh, but has the potential of being an accurate tool. Where is it? Right here, um, there it is, I’m sorry. Statistically significant association between, this is, um, this is contraception and normal microbiota was observed after three months when the vaginal microbiome was modified at 6 months inflammatory reaction was detected in almost half of the women. So, only seven women but you can, it created an inflammatory state in the vaginal microbiota and then also yeast colonization was increased and it created an inflammatory reaction in three out of seven women and it altered some of the beneficial bacteria in the vaginal area. Now, small study but you can see, you know, three out of seven, it affected this and this is what we see clinically with a lot of our female patients is some of these things can be affected because it’s affecting: one, it’s creation; two, it’s causing yeast to grow impacting some of the good bacteria and how does it do this, it does it mostly via LDH. If you alter someone’s digestive pH, right, let’s say you give them a proton pump inhibitor, you’re gonna have all kinds of digestive issues and maybe even nutrient deficiencies that can affect things long term. Obviously, with birth control pills, there’s other things they do, they can create issues with nutrient absorption or they can cause nutrient deficiencies in areas of B vitamins, folate and also calcium and magnesium. So, we see a lot of women that do birth control pills have a lot of those nutrient problems. So, if you’re on a birth control pill, ideally, it’s better to use something that’s more barrier based or if you want to set it and forget it method, you know, potentially looking at the ParaGard which is a copper IUD, you just have to make sure you can handle the copper. I find if you want to set it or forget that the copper tends to be better than the hormones but ideally, you know, a barrier method it’s not internal all the time. It’s probably better so that just kind of gives you a couple options there.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I’ve heard some stories, some horror stories about the copper ones too. So, like you said it cold be a problem but
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Not everyone has problems with it. I mean, women that like tend to cramp a lot, they could have, because that cramping, IUD being in that uterus sometimes that can cause pain but it just depends kind of where women are, you know. Some parents may be pushing kids to have a method because they don’t want their kid getting pregnant and maybe they feel like they aren’t responsible enough at maybe 18 or 19 and they set it and forget it method. If you want that, I would recommend doing the ParaGard before you go to a hormonal method.
Evan Brand: Yeah, for sure. And, not to mention too we’re already in a society of so much estrogen dominance and you and I have done podcasts about the impact of gut imbalances in issues with the glucuronidation pathway which is then causing further issues. So, we could see this estrogen problem in a woman who’s not on birth control. You could still see that manifest in this way and so that’s why you’re getting off of the xenoestrogen, you’re cleaning up your makeup. You’re getting rid of plastics. You’re fixing your gut. You’re improving detoxification. All these other functional medicine strategies are directly impacting your ability to beat this situation. So, we know, we always want people to look at the big picture. Don’t just look for the magic, uh, like, berberine, Pau D’ Arco remedy. And there’s a question here in the chat, ‘how many Pau d’ Arco capsules is needed for someone who has Candida in their gut?’. I have no clue because we rarely use it in isolation. We’re always gonna use it in a blend. And I doubt you have just Candida. You’ve probably got other issues too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Somewhere when they come in, they could have a combination of a little bit of a bacterial, a yeast issue, UTI thing. That could be a kind of combination of 2 or 3 different things happening. This one may be more predominant. So, we never wanna just go all in on one thing. Again, if someone’s having vaginal issues specifically, there’s gonna be things that we insert intravaginally like some of the boric acid, like some of the neem or the berberines and we’ll probably interchange in some probiotics because part of the big problem is you have to get the bacteria flora in the vaginal area, back up to where it should be because it’s the good bacteria that will help keep the other bad bugs in check through their natural acid and hydrogen peroxide production.
Evan Brand: Well said.
And so, the point I was making is that I don’t want people listening and going okay just give me the freaking remedy. What’s the natural urinary tract remedy? That’s what I’m here for. And we’ve talked about some of those, you know, the mannose, the cranberry, the berberines, the Pau d’ Arcos, the French Tarragon, this whole blend, you know, that may be the solution but what got you here is important. Have you fixed the other issues that have gotten you here. And so, I hope people see the big picture. Sometimes, you and I are happy to just go boom, hit the oregano oil and were happy to just throw out just this natural solution but like you said before we hit the record, you don’t want people skipping out on the low hanging fruit.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And so, it’s always good to do history. I find the big issue is antibiotics can be a big factor. I also find just some of the low-hanging fruit like the intercourse and hydration can also be a big factor as well. You’ll be surprised. And so, my wife comes to me, she’s like, ‘my friend has this issue, what should I recommend?’. Well, it’s hard, I can’t really recommend a lot of things because I don’t know much about them if eating like crap and they’re not hydrating and they’re drinking lots of soda and they’ve been on lots of antibiotics, you know, I may say, hey, all right, do this [24:34] but that’s gonna be palliative and not fix the whole lead up and how everything went down. And so, the lead up and I call it the timeline history of how we get to this point matters so much because, you know, if not, you were just becoming naturopathic doctors that are using nutrients and herbs like MDs use drugs. Now, again, I think that’s better because a lot of these things are natural, have less side effects but still we want to be holistic and still root cause.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. That’s the problem. There’s a difference between naturopathic approach to this issue and functional medicine approach to this issue. So, I think you made that clear, which is, you go to the naturopath, it’s hey, here’s the oversee, functional medicine is gonna come in and say, ‘okay, well, how did you get to the UTI?’. Oh, you took antibiotics, you’re on birth control for 20 years, you had a sexual partner who had extremely poor microbiome health, maybe there was some issue there, maybe you had multiple partners, maybe one of them had H. pylori. You have low stomach acid. You ended up with dysbiosis, then you got Candida overgrowth, then you drank too much alcohol, you loved to do wine in the evenings. You ate a little too much chocolate, you know, it’s like, that’s the more investigative route and that’s where people need to be thinking. We’ve got friends that are naturopaths, good people, but you just got to go deeper most of the time.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and a lot of times too, if I’m, if someone has chronic issues, I wanna know more about their gut because the microbiome has such an impact especially with IgA and with the overall immune system. So, if there’s chronic issues in the vaginal area, you have to look up to the intestinal tract. Very important.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and you would say there’s gotta be some link between the low secretory IgA that you and I are seeing on the stool test and what’s going on with the vaginal microbiome too, right? You would assume that’s a system-wide defense shield that’s gonna be affected.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It’s part of the mucous membrane barrier. So, mucous membranes in the eyes, the mouth, the intestinal tract, the urinary tract, the vaginal canal. So, if we see low IgA issues in the intestinal tract, that barrier is a little bit weaker. Think of the force field, you know, you see star trek, they put, like their force field up, right, so they, so when the Klingons go to shoot them, it kind of bounces off, right? Think of the force field we have in our intestinal tract and our vaginal canal and our urinary canal that kind of protects and so probiotics can help, obviously getting rid of the dysbiotic microbes can help, avoiding a lot of things that create the imbalances to begin with, which would be a lot of the antibiotics or maybe pesticides or GMO foods that produce a lot of antimicrobial compounds too. All those help avoiding those things too.
Evan Brand: You know, what’s happening even in the functional medicine world, is that everything’s becoming isolated. Are you noticing that? Like people are focusing on just the gut. So, it’s like this leaky gut formula, this leaky gut protocol and they’re ignoring the fact that you just mentioned this IgA, this mucosal barrier is kind of a system-wide problem. So, there could be oral, vaginal, gut all at the same time, all related to the same dysfunction of these force fields being down. I think it’s just marketing, right? People just want to market that they’re the gut guy, they’re the parasite guy, they’re the Candida guy. I think that’s just a marketing probe but hopefully people are seeing this and of course if they’ve been listening to us for months or years, they’re seeing that this is a system-wide problem, it’s just manifesting in this way.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. In the functional medicine world, a lot of people market to niche areas and symptoms which is fine because a lot of people when they get focused on something, they think they have these issues, they’re going into google or they’re typing that issue. So, for you to be relevant and for that person that has health issues to find you, you do kind of have to market to a symptom but then when you find that person and you talk to them, you wanna make sure that their approach is globally where they look at things holistically and you’re not seeing the gut person that only deals with the gut and they’re not looking at your thyroid or your anemia or your low glutathione. They’re not connecting the dots. So, you got to make sure they’re still able to connect the dots but multiple systems and they’re not just focused on one issue. So, it’s okay for doctors to market to that, you just have to make sure that their philosophy is a holistic philosophy that encompasses everything in there.
Evan Brand: Yeah and holistic spelled w-h-o-l-e a wholistic, the whole thing, the whole body, the whole person, not just holistic as in natural, it’s gonna be the whole piece and I think that’s where I suffered for a long time because I focused on my gut for so long but I was ignoring toxicity issues, I was ignoring dental issues, I was ignoring tick bite infections. So now, oh crap, I see the whole picture and I would miss that if I just dialed in the gut so and that’s what you and I do. We’ve done this over with clients worldwide, we look at the whole picture. If you’re suffering, if you’ve been through the conventional rabbit hole or maybe you’ve been fortunate to avoid the conventional rabbit hole, you don’t want to go down it but you need help, feel free to reach out. Dr. J and I work with people around the world. We can send these labs that we’re talking about stool and urine. These are at home, these are non-invasive. It’s rare that we need to do invasive testing but most of the time it’s at home functional medicine tests can be sent to your door, you do them, you send them back to the lab. We get the results. We jump on a call. We run you through them. We interpret those. We make a protocol for you and get you better and get you off the merry-go-round. So, if you need help, feel free to reach out, Dr. J is at justinhealth.com and me, evanbrand.com and you can reach out, book a call with us, we’d love to talk with you, help you, find and fix the root causes if you just have UTIs and you think that’s all it is, maybe you’re right but maybe not, either way, we’re gonna help you get to the bottom of it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. Excellent. So, for women that are listening and kind of want to recap here, first thing, make sure your diet is right, keep in the process refined sugar, grains, flours out, makes a huge difference. Omega-6, seed oils, in general, should be reduced as well. Hydration, make sure hydration is good, clean and filtered water, um, you know, good mineral water, especially if you have more health issues, more minerals in there is gonna be better. Next thing out of the gate, you know, urinate after intercourse, those kinds of foundational things. If you have chronic gut issues, definitely, get your gut looked at. If you’re on hormone, if you’re on birth control pills, definitely get your hormones looked at and figure out why you’re on them. Most women aren’t even on hormone or birth control pills for birth prevention. They’re on it for off-label issues like acne or headaches or lots of PMS and so most women could totally get off it because they’re not even using birth control pills for the original intention. They’re for off-label use and so that would require looking deeper at the hormones. Next, you can get tested, you can do either a, um, a MONISTAT test to look for yeast, you can get those at the drugstore, you can do one of the strip tests to look for leukocyte esterase or I think it’s nitrites in the urine for more of the UTI issues and of course, if you have a lot more of the odor-like, uh, issues, you can get a vaginal swab from your OB or your primary to rule out any of the BV issues as well, again, similar solutions, you know, some maybe more internal in regards to what we recommend, some maybe more internal like with swallowing pills so maybe internally, intravaginally and of course the more chronic the issue is, the more we have to really support the vaginal microbiome with the right beneficial bacteria getting in there internally as well. And then, of course, just keeping up with a lot of the menstruation because that can really affect a lot of the, um, the bacterial issues and yeast issues in the vaginal canal because it’s gonna shift that pH from very acidic to more neutral to alkaline at that time of the month when you menstruate. So, hopefully, that’s a good kind of crash course, out of the gates and kind of you guys understand kind of our spitball kind of philosophy and how we look at the whole history and really connect the dots and we have our little toolbox of all these things but we just got to make sure it’s catered to the history.
Evan Brand: And alcohol too, I think, we briefly mentioned it but alcohols got to go. It’s just, it’s not gonna help you. It’s going to promote all sorts of issues. It’s gonna aggravate the immune system. It’s gonna affect your IgA levels. It may promote dysbiosis and it may promote more yeast problems and so I’ve heard many stories where a woman’s like, oh yeah we went to Napa Valley and we drank wine and ate chocolate and salami and cheese all weekend and now I had a flare up. It’s like, well, yeah, duh, I mean, that’s incredibly damaging. Everything that you’ve done, you binged on wine all weekend so I think wine kind of gets like this people think that they’re not drinking alcohol. Somehow, they think they’re getting off the hook. Oh, it’s just wine, like, it’s so socially cool, it’s like coffee. It’s like coffee and wine, like wine is so accepted into the culture but it can be a big problem, I tell you. Some of those California women, the ones in San Francisco, like, it’s part of the culture here. I had one woman argue with me that she didn’t want to get off alcohol. I said, well, what if it’s gonna help your gut. She’s like, well maybe I’ll consider it. So, sometimes as practitioners, we’re having to bargain with people and try to make trades and make healthy swaps, we’ll swap it for this and try this and what if you do a binder afterwards. So, sometimes, you gotta work with people, they’re not just in a vacuum. We got to work with them and help educate them so that they’re more dedicated to the lifestyle changes but I just want to mention alcohol because I think a lot of people, don’t even consider the impact it has on the gut but then on this flora.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. A couple things with alcohol, number one it’s diuretic so it will increase the frequent urination and kind of make you more dehydrated so good hydration helps prevent a lot of that bacteria from growing. Number two, out of the gates, you know, it may be necessary out of the gates for the first month so as you get things under wrap. There’re also healthier versions of alcohol. I mean, you can always get, like a Cosmo martini that has the fresh lime juice in there and cranberry juice. Just make sure it’s, like not the cranberry with sugar or the lime with sugar. Make sure, it’s fresh lime or actual juice cranberries with, like a nice Tito’s vodka, I mean, Tito’s vodka is, um, it is charcoal filter, right? So, it’s gonna be really clean and you can get some nice cranberry and lime in there that should be almost be beneficial in a way, obviously, you know, keep it, you know, a drink or two maybe once or twice a week max but once you better that maybe a good option to add things back in and just stay away from a lot of the sugary stuff and of course the glutinous drinks and you’ll be in a lot better position.
Evan Brand: Yeah. It’s a funny thing you have to mention. There’s got to be real cranberries because most of the time you go to a bar, it’s like that. It’s garbage. The heart or it’s the high fructose corn syrup concentrate.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, worst case, you can always just do a fresh lime squeezed in there and see if they have anything that’s just a pure, you know, extract and that’s a much way to do it. Of course, dry or white wines and you know just a good Tito’s vodka is always great with just the lime in and of itself. That’s an easy way to do it and keep the sugar and junk down but also keep a nice acidic pH there which is helpful for the vaginal area.
Evan Brand: Yeah. We’ll hope, as you mentioned, no I think we covered It so if you need help, we mentioned the links here Dr. J, that’s Justin at justinhealth.com. You can reach out for consult worldwide. Me at evanbrand.com, either way, we’re here to help you guys. We love what we do. We have a blast and it’s fun to educate people. It’s fun to empower people and take back your health and it’s possible. Whatever you’re dealing with it’s possible to make progress so just keep your head up. Stay motivated. Don’t always run straight to that antibiotic if there’s another way. You may try another solution. If you’ve been doing this for a decade now and you’re still battling it, you’re not out of the woods yet, it’s time to look deeper.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Great chat, Evan. Everyone, have an awesome week. We’ll talk soon. Take care of you all.
Evan Brand: Take care, now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye now. Peace.
Evan Brand: Bye-bye
How to Investigate The Root Cause of Your Gut Issues | Podcast #366
In functional medicine, it has long been familiar that gut health is paramount to the rest of the body. We didn’t fully understand why for years, although we knew the gut was the seat of the chronic inflammation and immune system. With the gut microbiome renaissance, we also need to understand how integral gut bacteria are to our health.
Dr. J and Evan discuss that screening for more serious underlying issues is essential. These may include gastric ulcers from an h.pylori infection, leaky gut, and other digestive system problems. Finding out whether these conditions are an issue also impacts how you manage gut health.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
3:34 – The Signs and symptoms of digestive disorders
7:35 – What tests are effective to find the root cause of gut issues
13:58 – The downside of ordering lab tests on your own
26:21 – Food template modifications that will fit for your gut health
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Here, Dr. J, with Evan Brand. Really excited to have an excellent podcast today. We’re gonna be chatting about how to investigate the root cause of your gut issues. We see lots of patients come in and they’ve gone to see the SIBO doc or the Candida doc or the parasite doc or the thyroid doc and whatever the symptoms that they’re dealing with, magically that issue, that doc only focuses on is the problem, how coincidental right? And so, we want to talk today about having a holistic mindset not being necessarily attached to what the diagnosis or what we think is the root issue but really be focused on the outcome and the different tools we use and have to investigate and support healing. Evan, how you doing man?
Evan Brand: Doing good. And not to mention too, the conventional approaches, right, maybe they get to the SIBO guy or to the parasite guy or to the worm guy, maybe they went to the endocrinologist first for their hormone symptoms and then they got referred to the gastro doc and then the gastro doc did an endoscopy or a colonoscopy or a barium x-ray scan like you did to me and then they say oh you’ve got gastritis and that’s the only thing they can pull out of you is hey there’s some inflammation and then it ends there so whether you’re coming, listening from the conventional approach whether you have tried to go more natural holistic approach. As you and I’ve talked many times, people over-specialize and that’s the problem. You and I are what I would consider very good specialists but we also have a generalist undertone to us, meaning, we’re not gonna get caught up in just the SIBO, we’re not gonna get caught up in just the parasite, it’s rarely that simple.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. It’s like, imagine, like you hired a handyman to come over and fix something in your home and the handyman just takes this Phillips flat head screwdriver and it’s like, or, I’m sorry, not, but let’s say a regular Philipps screwdriver and just say hey I’m gonna use this Philipps screwdriver even if it requires a nail, even if it requires a wrench or a drill, I’m married or attached to this Philipps head screwdriver and we don’t want to be attached to the tool, we want to go in, know that we have a myriad of tools in our tool belt and pick the right tool for the right job. There’s a nail, I’m going to pick a hammer. Hey, there’s a, you know, a wrench, you know, we’re gonna use something that is good for a wrench etc. So, we’re picking the right tool for the job and we are focused on the outcome, getting the results and we’re not focused on how we get that outcome, right? The vegan diet people, they’re gonna make it so everything is solved by a vegan diet and that’s it, right? And so, we are independent of the tools that we use to get the success that we need.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a great point and a lot of this comes from just experience but also our own personal journey too, I mean, you know, my story, you helped me through my story of having digestive issues and skin issues for decades of my life and we looked at the H. pylori, worked on that then it was parasites then it was bacterial overgrowth then it was Candida then it was mold, I mean, so, I went through the ringer personally and I think personal suffering but of course clinical experience really gives you the non-biased approach and I think that’s what you need because if you’re trying to just sell book or you’re just trying to just get clients in from a book you wrote on SIBO, as you said, everything’s gonna be SIBO and if somebody is not in that box, you’re gonna still give them the same treatment, you’re not gonna get them better and then they’re gonna move on and the average person who comes to us has already been to 5, sometimes 10 or 15 practitioners, so it’s not surprising when we look what they’ve done and they’ve still missed some of the pieces. So, why don’t we talk now about some of the pieces, like when we’re looking at someone with gut issues, what are the pieces we’re trying to lay out on the table in front of us to gather enough information to find what’s truly going on and then of course how to fix it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, the first thing that I think is essential is you got to do a good history, you have to understand how everything unwound, right? And so, when you look at most people’s history, a lot of times there’s poor diet, there’s usually some stress issues, a lot of inflammation compounded by junky fats, um, poor digestion, in general, not being able to break down proteins and fats, lots of refined sugar usually processed grains, excess omega-6 or trans fats and these things just continue to put the body in a pro-inflammatory state and what that means is, when you become overall inflamed at a higher level, your body starts to break down faster than it can heal and so the goal of being anti-inflammatory, right, is restricting a lot of the foods that drive inflammation, so your body can heal faster than you break down. So, there’s always this net buildup versus net breakdown and so when you’re breaking down over time what starts to happen is just as you know from a joint standpoint, you’re starting to feel a little bit inflamed, stiff from a mood standpoint, you may have anxiety, depression, obviously fatigue starting to creep in. Because, the more inflamed you are, your body’s having to deal and allocate adrenal resources to deal with the inflammation, to deal with the stress where normally those adrenal resources would help with energy and good mood and good circadian rhythm and so of course then that starts putting stress on the thyroid then you start having mood issues, temperature, hair loose and then of course the more stressed you are, the more that starts to suppress your body’s ability to digest optimally. So, HCl levels, enzymes levels, maybe bile salt levels start dropping. You start to have a harder time breaking down protein, breaking down fat. You may start getting burpee or gassy or more flatulence, now, your motility starts to go south typically more on the constipated side but you can still have more diarrhea too. And then, your absorption starts to go south and when that starts to go south, now you start to have, um, a bottleneck and all the nutrients, whether it’s B vitamins, flat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, K, whether it’s minerals or amino acids to help your brain chemicals or cholesterol to help your hormones. Those building blocks start dropping and then those pathways start getting shorted and they don’t have the resources to run optimally. And, when we don’t have the resources, more symptoms start to happen. And of course, this kind of compound in this whole journey is the immune system starts to drop and then when the immune system starts to get weaker, now, bugs start coming into the situation, whether it’s parasites or yeast overgrowth or SIBO or bacterial overgrowth or H. pylori. And again, we don’t have to be married to which one or which system is the one, right? But we have to look at things objectively and, um, I think it was Dr. Kaler said this to me over a decade ago, it was kind of a good line, he said, ‘patients have the right to have more than one issue, more than one infection, more than one hormonal imbalance going on at the same time, so don’t get married to one thing because you have the right to have lots of things going on.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. And you illustrated beautifully, just the constellation of symptoms that can happen. So, if someone is coming in with gut symptoms that’s usually the tip of the iceberg. Underneath that iceberg, just like your poster, you got right there. If we put the tip of the iceberg is gut under the water there, it could be the anxiety, the depression, the fatigue, the low sex drive, the cold hands the cold feet, the brain fog, the concentration issues, the memory problems, the skin issues. And so, once you do a good history, you’re also gonna be talking about pharmaceuticals too, what kind of like proton pump inhibitors were you on. That’s a big thing, like were you on acid blocking medications, were you on other things disrupting your gut. So, of course, figuring out, if you’re still on those medications, you’re not fully gonna get better, if you have a ton of drugs that are causing these side effects and then you get into the testing. Now, this is where you and I differ from other people. Some people, they’re married to the SIBO test and I don’t want to speak for you, I’ll ask you about this but me personally, I think a SIBO test is a waste of time because when we look at a GI map stool test, we’re gonna see a more detailed breakdown of specific pathogens like Strep and Staph and Pseudomonas. And the way I look at it is your mouth to your but is one long tube, so, if there’s dysbiosis in there identified on the stool or the urine organic acids, we can assume it’s probably in the small intestine but the protocol, the herbs that you’re gonna use, are gonna treat the whole thing. So, to me, I want to hear your thoughts on this too, but to me, if I see positive hydrogen or methane, all I’m going to go and do and say is gonna to be, ‘yep that makes sense’, but beyond that those breath tests are not really that helpful.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, a SIBO breath test is just looking, it’s an indirect measurement, looking at the gas created by the bugs, so methane or hydrogen gases that are created. So, if we can find bugs that typically produce those gases or an imbalance in but bugs that shouldn’t be there, then we know more than likely, there’s something going on in that SIBO realm. It doesn’t change the treatment that much because a lot of the herbs we use to knock down those bugs that they’re gonna be similar if not the same on the SIBO side. Now, my philosophy may be a tiny bit different than yours but I find anyone with these type of bug issues we’re running a comprehensive stool test and usually an organic acid test and on one or two of these tests, we’re gonna see either the bugs, the bacteria imbalances, whether it’s Citrobacter, Prevotella, Morganella, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, or H. pylori or parasites. We’ll see these bugs elevated if we don’t almost always, we catch it on the organic acid side when we’re looking at 2,3 phenol acetate or benzoate or Hippurate or D’arabinitol for yeast, usually we’ll catch it there. If I don’t catch it on any of those tests on the stool test or the organic acid test then I’ll pull out a lactulose breath test but I’d say 99% of the time we never have to go that far.
Evan Brand: Okay. Okay. Good point. Maybe it’s a 1% of the time test for you and I guess what I would do if let’s say we missed it, we felt like we missed it on stool and urine, I might just come in or if sometimes if someone just has no budget to do anything, we may just look at symptoms scan history and just come in with some herbs and see how they do. And, a lot times, a lot of these antimicrobials, antifungals, anti-parasitic herbs, a lot of times it clears up the issue anyway so we don’t like to come in blind but in a few rare cases we have come in blind and we’ve still had good benefits. A lady just chimed in on the live chat here, my gut is not happy, chronic constipation after using pain meds for pain and recovery from five back surgeries. Yeah, that’s a common issue with the opiates, right? Because that’s gonna slow everything down so yeah, I guess the answer is eventually this person’s gonna have to try to get off those opiates, right? But there are some, maybe some brain-gut motility activators we can use, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Of course, you know, if you’re on those opiates, you probably had some surgeries and surgeries man, meaning typically anesthesia, maybe a lot of antibiotics along the way so that’s probably really screwed up the gut microflora. So, first off, you have to get to the root cause of the pain. Second thing is you have to have a good, uh, doctor to work with to taper you off those medications while providing anti-inflammatory support because you need whether it’s systemic enzymes or anti-inflammatory herbs plus that brain takes time to get rewired from the opiates because you’re processing pain totally differently. Remember, opiates don’t have an anti-inflammatory mechanism, they just block pain at the brain level which isn’t good because pain is a good indication like if I have pain in my ankle and it’s there then I can know okay I shouldn’t walk on it because I’m causing more damage, right? So, even if I were to take Ibuprofen and my pain went away, I would still want to be very careful, I don’t do too much on it because I’m gonna cause damage, right? So, most people that are chronically inflamed by these opiates, they’re just causing more and more damage because just because they can’t perceive the pain, they’re still causing this inflammatory breakdown.
Evan Brand: Yep. That’s true. Someone else has chimed in, my gut has been destroyed by many rounds of antibiotics. And, that’s super common, I mean how many times have you and I see that where someone comes in after a round of antibiotics, I mean that’s probably one of the top five things we see, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%
Evan Brand: They said they’re dealing with IBS-D so that would be diarrhea and eating a limited vegan diet. So, my first thought is, uh, oh vegan diet, raw leafy greens, if you’re dealing with diarrhea, vegetables are gonna irritate the gut, I would push you more towards getting some good animal proteins in even if you could only handle like a carnivore collagen like a beef peptide protein powder or you know collagen shake maybe with some organic berries that’ll be my first thought. How would you think about this one?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, you could definitely look at reducing some of the fermentable carbohydrates and really look at cooking and steaming a lot of those things so it’s easier to break down but you really got to reach out to a good functional medicine doctor that can kind of help navigate you through it because if you don’t have all the digestive enzymes and acids there, it may be hard to break these things down. Also, someone chimed in, what about Vagus nerve issues. So, this is kind of a classic area in functional medicine where people try to talk about things differently in a nuanced way and they’re just talking about the same thing in a different way but people think it’s a new thing, right? So, when we talked about like inflammation and adrenal stress, when the more stressed you are and the more you activate the sympathetic and the more inflamed you are, right? Guess what happens when inflammation goes up and the sympathetic nervous system goes up, the vagus nerve or the parasympathetic nervous system always goes down, does that make sense? So, when we talk about these things it’s implied that the vagus nerve or the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system that would helps with healing and recovery is always going to be impaired and so people talk about things kind of as a way to nuance themselves make them seem different kind of market themselves in a different way which is fine but, you know, the average person may get a little confused about it and so just know that, that’s kind of under same umbrella that we’re talking about. We talk about the vagus nerve or the parasympathetic, it’s being factored into this whole adrenal stress inflammation umbrella, I think, yeah, inflammation is the bigger umbrella then you can put adrenals and parasympathetic and sympathetic all under that umbrella.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Very true. Very well said. Teri chimed in, I’ve been experiencing constant belching, a new symptom for me. So, once again, you got to get the labs run, I want to look at your organic acid, see what’s going on there. Get a GI map stool test run. Are you on proton pump inhibitors? Are you taking supplemental acids and enzymes? How old are you? If you’re above the age 40, you probably have low acid, low enzymes, maybe gut infections too. So, with stool, urine sample and good workup, you could probably resolve belching. I mean, that’s a pretty easy one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And, I strongly recommend, do not get these labs on your own because, just because you get a lab, you’re not gonna have any ability to know what to do next and that’s everything, right? You gotta know what the plan is next, uh, and then typically you wanna look at like when I order a lab, it’s in conjunction with we’ve done a b c d e f and then not the lab is gonna plug in at g. Does that make sense? So, it’s never just this is a or this is it. There’s a whole bunch of, sequence of things that we’re doing before we get to all the data from the lab. And so, when you work with someone, most people are gonna have that plug in at some level in the clinical chain downstream. So, most people think, oh this is just it, this is a, this is the whole piece of the puzzle and it’s not. So, just kind of keep that in the back of your head. I know that can be a little bit confusing when you’re a lay person coming in there but it’s important information. I think, just start off with a lot of the foundational things first, just kind of wrap your head around it. Don’t get kind of myopic in this tunnel vision. Oh, it has to be Candida, it has to be this, be very open minded that it could be many different stressors and just have that really good differential kind of diagnosis list of all the things that we’re gonna go and hit and not get overly focused on one thing.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Good point. I’ll also say too, I’m not saying go to your doctor who’s failed here for the last 10 years and try to ask them for organic acids test or stool test because even if they were able to run it which most of the time, they don’t have accounts set-up with the lab so they’re not going to. But even if they were able to and they run it, they’re not gonna know how to interpret it, they’re not gonna know how to make a protocol based on it. So, this is a shameless plug for you and I and what we do as functional medicine practitioners, we work clinically around the world with people. So, uh, Teri’s asking where she can get the labs from. It depends, uh, we use a couple different companies. It depends on where you live and what you got.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’ll do this, we’ll put some links on the videos below so for you and on your site and mine. So, if you want to get it from us, I recommend getting it from us and then work with Evan or work with myself. We’re here to help you. We’ll put the links below or you can go to evanbrand.com for Evan or Dr. J here, justinhealth.com for me. And then, just to kind of highlight what you’re saying, I see so many people that have some of these tests sometimes and the first question is walk me through what your doctor ordered this test, said about it. Did they give you a real thorough review? How much time, oh, hey they just spent a minute, they just said x y z and it really was, I’m like wow, you know, you have all this information here and yet it really isn’t thoroughly addressed, I would say 90 plus percent of the time. So, it’s really important when you get these tests ordered. You really want to come through it thoroughly, so you can extract as much actionable information as possible. And, if your doctor doesn’t have that level of, uh, skill set of information on it, that’s fine, just find someone else.
Evan Brand: Yeah. You make a great point. I mean, so many times, I know, you and I have a section on our intake form where you can, like attach previous labs. I’ll see 5, 10, 15, 20 labs and I’ll be from a medical doctor or a chiropractic or some other type of practitioner. I’m like wow, they did a really good work-up on you. Like, how did this go, why are you coming to me, what was the protocol? Oh, they didn’t have a protocol. Like, well, why’d they run the labs? ‘Because I wanted them to’. Okay, then what did they say about the labs? ‘Oh, well, that was not bad but I could use a little improvement and so they gave me an enzyme’. And it’s like, they give you an enzyme, you’ve got 20 pathogens, you’ve got parasites, you’ve got H. pylori, you’ve got major gut inflammation and the sequencing of this is important too. So, even if they read a cookie cutter protocol where it says like take oregano oil, you might not be a good candidate for that if you’ve got a bunch of inflammation. Your gut’s irritated, you go throw a, you know, a nuclear bomb in there, you’re gonna irritate your gut more. So, the sequencing is important. So, I guess, just to highlight here what we’re talking about, it’s the sequencing. As you mentioned, when does the lab come in? That’s not just the end all BL tool, there’s other strategies you’ve implemented up until that point. And then, when you work in the killers, is it right out of the gate? Do you got to settle the gut first?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It’s never. The problem is people have done, the patients come in and they’ve done a lot of different things. So, like maybe, they’ve tweaked their diet and so they think, okay I’ve made these diet changes, right, whether it’s enough or not is besides the point but they think, okay I’ve done these diet changes, check. Diet isn’t part of the equation, so in their mind they kind of check that off. So, when they see another practitioner, they kind of have this list of things in their mind they’ve checked off. And then, they’re like okay, I’ve already worked on the diet stuff. Yep, I’ve already done some digestive support. So when I lay out my plan, there’s kind of like, we’ll I’m not gonna do this because I’ve already done some of this or I’m not gonna do that. No. it’s like, if I give you a safe and the combination is 6 or 7 numbers. You don’t say we’ll spin number 33 on my other state therefore I don’t have to do it this time around. The combination has to be done in sequence together. The other analogy is cooking. If you want to crack the eggs after you bake the flour, well that cake’s gonna be pretty nasty, okay. So, it’s kind of the same thing as a sequence and just because someone has done something before in the past. One, it may not have been all the way there but we still have to plug that sequence back into the overall flow of things. Does that make sense?
Evan Brand: Yeah. It does. And I know
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re smiling, so it sounds like that’s something that you deal with and hear a lot.
Evan Brand: Oh yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s just, you know, once
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s so much easier dealing with patients that have done nothing that have no, um, no predisposition to like what’s next, they’re like a blank state because then you can kind of come in and there’s zero resistance and you can work through your flow. When people have done a lot of things and they think they’ve done everything in that area, it’s always hard, you kind of have to convince them to redo these things over again. That could be tough.
Evan Brand: Now, well, I’m just smiling because of the safe analogy, you know, you always kill it with the analogies and I’m also smiling because I don’t know if it was your kids or my kids screaming, I’m like, I’m pulling my headphone out like is that my kids is that Justin’s kids. And, one of the things that I hope you guys love and appreciate about us is that we’re dads, we’re family men at the end of the day. And so, we’re working, we’re hustling, we’re grinding with our clients but we’re implementing this stuff into our family we’re helping kids, our own personal kids, we’re working with kids clinically. I’ve got kids that are 1 year old, 6 months old, 3 years old that are clinically working with us to get help. And so, we’re practicing what we’re preaching with our family too and I just want to highlight that because there’s so many people out there, so many practitioners that they were so focused on medical school or their practice that they never have the chance to even start a family, you’ve got these mid 40s late 40s upper 50s practitioners out there. They have no family experience and I think that’s where you and I are different because we know when you’re working on a gut protocol. Let’s talk about that for a minute. When you’re working on a gut protocol with a kid and you’re like okay, we’ve got terrible tasting tinctures that we can try, we’ve got some capsules that maybe mom or dad can open up and put into apple sauce. You know, you and I have personally and clinically dealt with the logistics of implementing this stuff so even if you’re gonna get this perfect gut protocol put together, the logistics of following it and getting your kids to take it, 3-year-old Johnny who doesn’t want to take the Artemisia, you know, it’s like, well how do you get that in. That’s the important thing because the proper labs is a step, the proper nutrition is a proper step, the protocol is a step, but the implementation of it and then what do you do after step one and then you if they react to that herb, how do you go to step 2, this is where the hand-holding is necessary. So, you know, when we talk about labs, I think, it kind of devalues the art of medicine a little bit because you and I have so much artist, you know, artistry to what we do and it’s hard to translate that just with a lab test because, you know, anybody could start running labs and like you said we’ve seen 5, 10, 15 labs come in from previous practitioners but they did nothing with it. So, the real art is when you take the protocol, you take it with, you and I are injecting confidence and we’re injecting motivation. I talked with the client this morning who said that she came to me because she was so afraid of her gut symptoms and she came out of fear but now we have basically transformed that fear into empowerment and education and the labs were a tool to help change that. So, don’t put all your eggs in this lab basket, they’re still amazing, you and I still run them on everyone but there’s other stuff that’s injected into that lab that really makes the magic happen.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. 100%. I think, the hardest part too is you work on dealing with the stressors, with patients. You fix their stress. You get your digestion better. You fix a lot of the microbiome. You knock down a lot of the bugs. Again, in the realm of Candida or dysbiotic bacteria, it’s still going to be there. You’re never ever gonna knock it out 100%. So, there’ll always be a small residual bit, maybe lingering in the background, way beneath threshold but if the stress starts to come back or if people start to add too much of food that’s questionable into their diet, sometimes these things can come back and the amount of flexibility, some kind of can follow the 80-20 principle. If they’re right 80% of the time on things 20% they have a little bit of flexibility. Some got to do 95.5 or some got to be 100 but just really try to make sure if they cheat, they still keep grain free anti-inflammatory etc., like last night, I went to True Food Kitchen for my birthday, and I had some of the, um, their chocolate cookies which inside the cookie, it’s like cassava and banana based. So, that’s great. If I’m gonna cheat, I’m gonna try to do it in a way that’s not gonna cause me to get bloated or gassy or have any skin issues or you know, digestive problems.
Evan Brand: Uh, a lady commented and Dr. J seems super energetic today. Yeah. He’s a birthday boy. That’s why he’s feeling better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. No problem there.
Evan Brand: So that’s good. Another comment here, I wonder which lab test should I run, uh.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I would say just here, out of the gates, regarding labs, I don’t wanna name specific companies on these videos because if we change it in the future and someone just watches the video, um, that they may just go to the old one. So, we’ll put links down below. That way, if we decide to change things in the future then you could just go look at the links down below and so my staff typically will update this in the next 12 hours or so. Just check back at the end of the day or tomorrow, we’ll have everything in there so just keep an eye on that. In that way, if something changes, um, it’ll be reflected in the description below.
Evan Brand: But here’s what we can say, we’re still gonna run a stool sample, now, maybe that type or whatever.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cutting edges, some kind of stool testing is gonna be great, right? Organic acid is gonna be excellent. I love that because of the, I mean, every now and then I’ll get a stool test coming back and the gut issues look pretty good like not too bad nothing crazy but then you’ll see a lot of yeast because sometimes you miss the yeast on the stool test, that’s common or you’ll see 3 or 4 markers like Hippurate, benzoate or 2,3-phenylacetate right or D-lactate really hides. Okay, good, I’m glad I had this extra net to catch it because the stool test missed it.
Evan Brand: I had that last week actually. You know, I had a lady and I kind of got freaked out at first, you know, I was looking at the stool and I’m like, oh my God, this lady has every gut symptom in the book and normally on page 3, page 4 you’ll start to see some crazy stuff going on. In this lady, it was clean, oh man, like, is she crazy, I didn’t really think that but you know partly it is like, uh-oh, where’s it coming from, is this really her stool test. Then we get to the organic acids and holy smokes, as you mentioned, oxoglutarate, D-arabinose, tartaric acid, tricarbolic acid, everything was off the charts and I go, oh, thank you Jesus we have the answers on the organic acid. So, that’s why we love to run both urine and stool because certain things get missed and it’s the synergy of the information from the labs. You may find a parasite on stool and then you may find the Candida on urine then you really go, oh holy crap, that’s where it’s coming from. So, um, let’s hit this other one here. There was a person
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I want to hit one of the questions. Anthony wrote to me there, thanks Anthony for the great feedback, and again guys, we’re trying to interact with you guys live and I want to answer questions live, so this is like I call it, uh, functional medicine improv, right? You know, you get your comedy shows, this is our functional medicine show so I appreciate that. Thanks for the feedback Anthony. Isabella writes in waking up distended, right in the morning. So, with that, a lot of times, you got to calm down a lot of the fermentables in the diet. If you’re waking up distended in the morning, almost always there’s a lot of fermentation happening in the gut and these gases are being produced. Now, there’s a couple of variables that you can do to help that. One, you starve it out by reducing all the foods that feed that. Two, you have to be able to break down your food because even if it’s good food, if you’re not breaking it down well, it’s gonna essentially have the ability to rot and rancidify and putrefy. So, you got to make sure enzymes, acids, and potential bile salts are addressed because HCl, hydrochloric acid, and bile salts, if you have low levels of that, those things in and off themselves are actually antimicrobial. They have a mild antimicrobial effect, not like oil of Oregano, but they have a mild antimicrobial effect. So, if you have, like, digestive distress and you have poor levels of these things, guess what, these bugs are more likely to grow and of course we have to come in there and do some killing, you know, making assumptions that like if you have a lot of distention like there’s no fiber, there’s no raw vegetables even though you read all these things have this big salad, you know, you could steam some of these things, you may want to look at low fermentable things that’s great. You may want to make sure your stress is good and you’re chewing your food up really well and you’re you know avoiding hydrating outside of an ounce or two of, you know, water to swallow and some supplements so that’s kind of your starting point. And if you wanna reach out, Isabella, you feel free to use the link down below, you can reach to Evan and I.
Evan Brand: Let’s read the rest of her comment here because I think it’s helpful for people. So, she said that she tested negative for SIBO, I’m guessing that might have been a breath test and she said she’s 21 years old and it affects her daily life. So, when I hear 21-year-old female, a lot of bloating as you mentioned, I think the veggies, I think cutting out leafy greens, no salads, maybe or
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you do it, keep them low FODMAP and steam it or sauté it like I’m pretty sure Bok Choy and Kale. That’s low FODMAP, if you sauteed that in some coconut oil or some ghee or some kind of good animal fat, you’d probably be okay but test it, right. I’m all about testing not guessing.
Evan Brand: True. True. So, I think about hormones, I think okay, she’s 21, right? This is a healthy fertility age. Is there some sort of issue with hormone imbalances? Are there estrogen dominance type issues as well? What about breast tenderness? What about PMS, irritability? Are there mood issues as well or is it just an extremely distended belly?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now, in the history that’s gonna come out with a good history because you’re gonna see it cyclically happen typically premenstrual or typically ovulation. So, a good history will fret that out. Let’s assume it’s every day, hormones are probably not the root cause but of course we know we’ve already talked about it, chronic digestive issues will eventually cause hormone problems because of the inability to digest the nutrients to make the hormones overtime.
Evan Brand: Good point. And, the bacterial overgrowth which will crank up beta glucuronidase. That creates the recirculation of toxins. So maybe that. What about birth control too? Is that in the equation? I start thinking about that so
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Birth control pill will, it definitely has an effect on, um, alkalizing some of that tissue in the intestinal tract and the vaginal tract. That’s why one of the big effects that you see with, like birth control pills is yeast infections, right? Because it’s shifting the pH. It’s also creating a lot of nutrient deficiencies. So, if you have birth control pill issues, they can definitely put you in that microbiome, um, area where it kind of goes the wrong way there.
Evan Brand: Yeah. So, hopefully that helps and as you mentioned if you wanna reach out, you can. Dr. J at justinhealth.com and me at evanbrand.com. With a stool and a urine and a good workout, we could probably get to the bottom of that. I would say that digestive issues are something you and I have the most experience of out of anybody that I know because all the people that have failed others then they come to us.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. The hardest part too is once you kind of get on that straight and narrow, finding out how much latitude you have, right? Some people, they may not be able to do dairy afterwards. Some may still have to be grain free, they can’t even do rice or, um, oatmeal, right? So, some people they got to be a little bit tighter on their diet. Some can be a little bit looser. And it’s hard. The hardest thing I think is with kids because kids, I mean, I have two, a two- and four-year-old boys, right? And most kids in their age eat like crap. It is just like absolutely mortifying to see how most kids eat. And, normal and typical are two different things, right? So, people say, I wanna be a normal kid, I wanna eat like a normal kid. It’s like no, you wanna eat like a typical kid, like normal 60 years ago was a totally different diet than normal today, right? 60 years ago, everything was mostly organic. Kids ate relatively, you know, whole foods and there wasn’t all the GMOs and all the crap and all the excess omega-6 fats and trans fats and people were eating good proteins in every meal and we had actually home-cooked meals and home-cooked dinners. That’s totally different today, right? And so, typical and normal are two different things.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Not many seed oils or non-existent seed oils or go back a little further, go back 5000, 15-20000 years in United States, even just a few hundred, you read the native American stories, I mean those kids were eating Bison, breakfast, lunch, dinner, you know, what were having, they were having Bison. If it was a time where they maybe didn’t get a kill, they had pemmican which is gonna be like a dried meat product, maybe some tribes, they would integrate berries into it. But if your food has a brand to it, now there are some exceptions like there are some really good companies that make Bison meat and all that but in general
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The jerky, yeah, there’s some good stuff, there’s some decent paleo granola. If you can handle nuts and seeds then that stuff’s okay as well.
Evan Brand: But in general, my point is if your food has a brand to it, it probably has some level of processed. Now, if you say a farm, like a farm name, I don’t consider that a brand. I’m talking about, like Kellogg, that’s a brand. If your food has a brand to it, it’s probably not something good. I’m not looking at the brand of my wild blueberries, I guess technically they have a name or a store but they’re blueberries. So, you just got to think simply and as you mentioned long term, there may be dietary changes but overall, I think a lot of people can get back to foods that they previously avoided or were previously afraid of, not to mention, people that are afraid of meat, so many people are afraid of red meat. We interview people all the time and they say, oh, I eat red meat a couple times a month, I eat red meat every day, like why, and oh well you know, my cholesterol or my heart or my doctor said this and so there’s still so much programming. I think you and I forget, now, I know you have TVs and you probably have some exposure to this but in general I don’t have any exposure to pharmaceutical ads and so I forget just how much indoctrination and programming of dietary information people have and so part of the art of what we’re doing too is just removing any of the historical programming, they’ve had about certain foods. I think some people freak themselves out so much, they’ve been told a certain food is so bad for them, they go into it, thinking if I eat this steak, I’m gonna have problems and they literally will put so much stress and emotion into the worry of food. That then drives further symptoms.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I always start with you gotta have a framework on how you analyze any data or any concept, right? So, my first framework that I look at anything with is old foods don’t cause new diseases, right? When you look at most of the diseases we have today, the regular there routinely Neolithic, right? They weren’t at the same level that we saw a hundred years ago, right? Obviously, we had different problems back then because we didn’t have the same level of water sanitation, indoor plumbing, antibiotics which you know for like, you get a major cut, you had an infection, you don’t have antibiotics, you could die, right? So, we have that, that’s different. So, Neolithic foods cause most diseases. And so, when you look at good proteins and animal fats and these kinds of things, they have been eaten for as long as you can go back. So, those typically aren’t going to be the problem, right? It’s mostly gonna be the processed foods, the excess omega-6. And also, you know, the whole vegan bent that’s something that’s not really supported by anthropological data. You look at the works of western price so you look at people that studied indigenous societies, almost always meat was consumed when it was available. The only societies that typically didn’t consume meat were societies that didn’t have access to it. And if you look at the works of Western price when meat was accessible, it was typically consumed. It wasn’t like, oh let’s just not consume it. It’s typically, they didn’t have access to it and when they did eat it. And so, people that tend to do really good on a non-vegan diet are your ectomorphs, these are people that can handle lots of carbohydrates. It’s impossible to do a vegan vegetarian diet for the most part and not be very, very high carbohydrate and also, typically, you also got to plug in a lot of protein powders to do it well, whether it’s free form amino acids, whether it’s collagen or pea protein or rice protein or hemp protein, mostly having to plug in a lot of amino acids to get enough especially if they’re trying to put on muscle and be, you know, on the fit side.
Evan Brand: It’s hard to be Vegan, it’s easy to be an animal-based person, I’ll tell you that. There’s just a lot of hacking, have to do. So, Isabella chimed back in, she was a little bit behind on the live stream so she chimed in here. So, here we go, we got some more evidence guys. I hope you’re having as much fun as we are because this is like a, you know, on the fly functional medicine, uh, workup here. So, she said, loss of period for six months as well, mood issues like anxiety and racing heart upon waking irritability which is what I was thinking some kind of hormone stuff. I’m a bit behind wanted to input that so.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The problem with a lot of those symptoms, it requires me having to ask a very important question, I won’t ask that question but we’ll just say the meat of that question begins with a letter v and we’ll just let people linger on that and Isabelle, if you want to reach out feel free. I think we chatted in the part, so feel free to reach out, I’m happy to help you.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a very, very good point and would make perfect sense especially with the timeline here. I would be wanting to look at some blood work. You know, actually, I had a woman last week, 33 years old, loss of period, other issues, we ran her blood, elevated D-dimer that indicates breakdown of clotting so we’ll leave it at that for today but mid-30s women should not be having elevated D-dimer.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and we’re speaking kind of like we are in a very, uh, discrete type of manner because we want to keep this information flowing to you, okay, so people out there hopefully you most, you mostly get that and you want to continue to see us on the air. That’s our goal.
Evan Brand: Here’s another question then you and I can wrap this up here in a minute. So, can gut health issues cause high resting pulse and arrhythmias. Let me tell you my personal experience and maybe we could chime in on the clinical side too but when I had gut issues when I had H. pylori, I was anxious, I had issues with my blood pressure. I had heart palpitations. I had panic attacks. I had all sorts of mood issues. I had heart issues. I had sleep issues. I had skin issues. So, 100%, gut issues can cause this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. The bugs in and of themselves definitely can cause anxiety so you can go type in their scientific studies, type SIBO or H. pylori and anxiety, there’s definitely mental health association, connection with the two. Also, if you have digestive issues, you tend to have hydrochloric acid issues. When you have hydrochloric acid issues, you tend to not ionize minerals and absorb minerals optimally. The two big minerals that are intimately connected with your heart and heart rate and heart rhythm are potassium and magnesium and a lot of times people aren’t getting sodium and chloride as well. So, the electrolytes have to be looked at and potassium and magnesium have to be looked at and most don’t get enough, you need 4 7 00 of potassium a day, most get half that and so I have a product called potassium synergy that does about 13 00 per 150 in magnesium or so side by side. It’s really hard to get enough. Most supplements for potassium stink, they’re like 50 or 100 milligram capsules so you got to take like 15 or 20 capsules a day so sometimes, you need to plug in a supplement if you’re having issues, I mean you can go look at the most potassium-rich foods, salmon, avocadoes, sweet potato. Those are really good options of course, um, some animal products as well, are going to be right up there as well. And again, avocados have twice the amount of potassium as bananas, I know we’re kind of o a carb-centric society. If I say potassium, you’re gonna say bananas, right? But avocados have twice the amount.
Evan Brand: Yep. Good call. Good call. So, long story short, gut issues definitely cause other issues, mood issues are very common. Fatigue is also very common and so that’s gonna affect neurotransmitters so we would be looking at all that. We’d be looking at neurotransmitters, gut inflammation, um, secretory IgA. You can look at fecal fat. There’s a lot of stuff that goes into that, that may affect the high resting pulse. Also, seeing a lot of things right now with viruses and high resting pulse rate. So, if there was a current infection, previous infection, pulse rate could be there. You mentioned potassium.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hydration, sodium chloride and then your potassium, magnesium. Those are gonna be your big ones out of the gates. And then also, blood sugar, you know, some people, they really get into a stressed-out state if they wait more than an hour or so to eat. And if you have digestions, a little wonky, you may want to start with something really simple like some gentle ginger tea or some collagen amino acids or something really light and simple in the morning and some electrolytes even before that.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. Good call. Sometimes, you know, herbals, I might come in with like motherwort or passion flower, valerian, some kind of like calming ginger.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I was looking at the nutrients first because the nutrients could be actually root cause and the herbals will never be root cause but they are a palliative supporting mechanism, right? You know, it’s like, you can do passion flower or lemon balm or you can do a benzo on the pharmaceutical side. It’s like obviously the herbs are better and then even before the herbs the actual nutrients that may be deficient that are driving it.
Evan Brand: Very good at all. I’m ready to wrap this up, if you are
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Herbs aren’t going to have the, you know, the side effects so I’m always down with supporting something palliatively if they aren’t going to have the side effects or you know any of the negative consequences like some of the meds may.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. Are you ready to wrap this up?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Great chat with everyone here today. I’m glad everyone’s on the chat interacting. We really appreciate it. Functional medicine improv is our flow here, uh, you guys wanna reach out to evanbrand.com for Evan, Dr. J here, myself at justinhealth.com. We’ll put links down below. If you’re seeing it on youtube, you know, great, excellent. If you’re listening to this on itunes or any of the podcast places, there will be a video link below. If you wanna see us interacting as well, there’s that as well. And phenomenal chatting. Anything else, Evan?
Evan Brand: Yeah. If people wanna chime in and they want to watch, if you guys are listening or if they’re on my podcast because we’ll upload these on my show as well. If you want to check us out here on video, give or take somewhere around 11 to 12 eastern on Mondays on Dr. J, justinhealth YouTube channel. So, if you wanna look for us, join the party. Look up Justin on YouTube justinhealth, Justin Marchegiani, Dr. J something like that. You’ll find him on there and, uh, we’ll put the link in the show notes too. So, if you wanna join the YouTube community, you can. There’s what 60 something thousand on there. So, that’s pretty
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also on Rumble, also on Betshoot, also on a couple other places. So, we’ll put the links on the websites so you can get the banners, get the links but Rumble’s our new one that we’re going to just get more exposure, people.
Evan Brand: And you’re reuploading the YouTube videos too there, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. You got it.
Evan Brand: No live function on there or anything yet?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Not yet. Not yet.
Evan Brand: Okay. Okay. All right, well, you guys take it easy, we look forward to helping you get your gut health back, just stay patient and don’t give up. And so, we’ll see you next week.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care of you all. Bye now.