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

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. 

 

How to Get Your Energy Back Post-Infection | Podcast #365

When people start to feel better after an infection, it is often tempting to return to previous levels of work, leisure, and social activities. However, too soon, trying to do too much can often be counter-productive. It is easy to get caught up in a ‘boom and bust cycle of activity that can prolong your recovery.

Dr. J and Evan discuss that if fatigue and other symptoms persist, it’s important to remember to allow yourself time to recuperate by finding the right balance of rest, relaxation, and activity for your circumstances. It is essential to listen to your body and gradually build a physical and emotional recovery plan that can help you get back to your life and stay on track without experiencing too many setbacks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
5:11   – The essential vitamins to boost your immune system
10:12 – What is the goal of the Krebs Cycle?
14:06 – Mitochondria and microbiota dysfunction in viral pathogens;
17:12  – The role of mitochondria, oxidative stress, and the response to antioxidants in chronic fatigue
20:08 – The neurotransmitters from amino acids and tryptophan pathways in B6 deficiency

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: With Evan Brand, really excited today. We’re gonna have a nice conversation on how to get your energy back post-infection. This is the topic that we’ve been getting a lot from our patients and again a lot of our inspired podcasts and videos come from real life clinical work with patients. So, we’re excited to bring you the real-life actionable information here to improve your health. Evan, how you doing today man? What’s cooking?

Evan Brand: Hey. Doing pretty well, uh, cooked some bacon this morning and that was about it with some organic blueberries and so I’m feeling good. my brain is clear and I look forward to helping people on this energy conversation, you know, so many people have chronic fatigue post-infection and they’re not fully bouncing back and so, I think that there are some easy low hanging fruit strategies that we can talk about but I’m just gonna jump straight to the big smoking gun which is looking at your mitochondria. We’re seeing a lot of issues with mitochondrial dysfunction or mitochondrial damage. I’m also seeing issues with neurotransmitters. So, I think, if you are to pick one and only one functional medicine test to look at to investigate yourself after this infection and fatigue, it would be the organic acids because you can get a great window into not only your gut health. We know that with infections, it does damage the gut, we know that there are ACE2 receptors in the gut so people that are ending up with irritable bowel or diarrhea or other problems during and post infection, we can look at that. A stool might be smart too but if you had to start with only one thing maybe the window into your gut via urine organic acids would be good enough. But more importantly, I want to see what the heck is going on with mitochondria and what kind of damage do we have because once you have the data then you can put together a protocol to fix it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% agree. So, we know with chronic inflammation, especially like, post-viral inflammation. We know one of the biggest drivers is gonna be oxidative stress, right? So, oxidation is nothing more than your body losing electrons, right? And one of the big things that helps oxidation within any type of infection pre, ideally, we’re doing these things pre to mitigate al of the oxidative stress that’s happening at the mitochondrial level but simple low hanging fruit, out of the gates, is gonna be glutathione, vitamin C, these are really powerful antioxidants. Vitamin D even kind of fits in that category, right?  Your big antioxidants are ADEK, um, I’m sorry, no, those are your fat-soluble vitamins but E is gonna be an antioxidant A is gonna be an antioxidant, right? I would even say E and K would for sure but your B and C are gonna be your water-soluble kind of more antioxidants for sure but the big are gonna plug in, you know, post-viral oxidative stress and/or pre is glutathione and vitamin C, out of the gates. And we can also look at low-hanging fruit on the mitochondrial side, which plugs into the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain is gonna be B1, which is thiamine. I would say B vitamins as a whole was great but B1 has a major, major role and I’d even say B5, as well, pantothenic acid. So, you have thiamine, B1, right? You have Riboflavin, B2. You have niacin, B3; Pantothenic acid, B5; Pyridoxine, B6; biotin, B7; folate, B9; B12 is your methylcobalamin or hydroxyl or adenosine. And so, we’re talking B1 and B5 are gonna be big when it comes to post-viral fatigue. Those are really, really important nutrients that we can add in out of the gates and, why it’s all of this oxidative stress that’s happening when this infection is present. And so, the more you can do things like hydrate, keep inflammatory foods down like the excess Omega-6 fatty acids, um, keep the carbohydrate and the sugar in check, right? That’s gonna play a major, major role in not adding fuel to the fire if you will as well.  

Evan Brand: Yeah, and you can do oral glutathione. So, we have a combination product, which is an acetylated glutathione along with an acetylcysteine. So, you can give your body the nutrients to make more. You can give the precursors but then you can also take just straight glutathione. There are some liposomal versions. There’s reduced glutathione. There’s a nebulizer version that you can take so you can inhale glutathione if you feel that there was some lung involvement. You may consider doing both. I personally did both. I did oral and I continued to do oral glutathione daily and then, also, during the acute situation, nebulized glutathione with silver. And then, you mentioned B vitamins and you can measure all this, right? So that’s the important thing is, you know, you’re shouting out all these different names but people can look at this, right? We can look at this on organic acids. We can look at the various B6, B12. You can’t look at every single nutrient in the body but you can look at a ton of nutrients from one urine sample. So, it’s pretty awesome. And then, vitamin C, believe it or not, we’re seeing a lot of issues with viral infection and acute scurvy, which is pretty interesting. If you just put it some of this data and scurvy into the research, I guess, it’s due to the oxidative stress. It’s happening quickly and every single person I’m seeing post-infection is showing low vitamin C. So, we’re just keeping people on 2 to 3 grams every day. We’re doing a powdered version with a mixed ascorbate. So, you probably don’t want to do just straight ascorbic acid and you probably wanna do like a sodium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate, if you can get some citrus bioflavonoids in there too and just take it ongoing. Don’t wait until you’re sick. We, as a family, we just take vitamin C ongoing because we know it’s important for the health of your capillaries and all that. Can you speak on that for a minute? Like vitamin C and skin and collagen, I mean there’s a role in other things. People think vitamin C, immune, but there’s other benefits to see, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Vitamin C plugs into making collagen, which is all of the connective tissue for your skin, uh, hair, you know, cartilage, vitamin C is really important for that. Vitamin C is a very similar molecular structure as glucose, right? Don’t quote me but it’s similar to I think C6H12O6 or O8, it’s right in that molecular area, looks very similar. So, what does that mean?  That means, vitamin C has a docking site on the macrophage that actually goes and gobbles up bacteria and potential viruses and it’s gonna use that vitamin C that docks onto that macrophage to deal with the oxidation. So, I kind of think of it as like a firefighter going into a house and the vitamin C is like that fire fighter bringing that hose to squelch that fire, to squelch it, right? That’s kind of what I see vitamin C as, right? And, it’s almost like with the macrophage, it has a docking site and that glucose can actually come in there because it looks very molecularly similar to vitamin C and it can almost dock on that receptor site on that macrophage and take that vitamin C where to be used. It’s almost like giving the fire fighter a water hose, taking the water hose out and giving him a gas hose and he doesn’t even know. It’s almost like that and that’s why glucose and high levels of glucose and when it comes to a lot of these post-viral illnesses, you’re gonna see people that have very high levels of blood sugar, insulin resistance and even the extreme on the diabetes side are gonna have most of the side effects of most of the issues partly because of the oxidative stress, partly because of poor levels, you know, when you have insulin resistance that’s gonna affect oxygenation, right? Because, you’re not gonna have good blood flow and when you have poor blood flow and poor oxygenation, we need oxygen to plug into that mitochondria as well. It’s part of, you know, the key nutrients, right? We talked about B vitamins, B1, B5, very important to plug into the Krebs cycle. Well, guess what, when you have a high level of blood glucose and you’re on that pre-diabetic to diabetic side, right, 110 to 126mg/dl on the blood glucose side, your body has to process that and if you just go pull up, you know mitochondria, Krebs cycle and nutrients, right, you’re gonna see all the nutrients that are involved in that Krebs cycle to process that glucose because how it works in the Krebs cycle, everything gets funneled down to acetyl CoA, right? So, you have glucose comes to acetyl CoA, fatty acids come to acetyl CoA, they can also go this way into ketones and then you have protein coming down to acetyl CoA. Acetyl CoA pumps around the Krebs cycle twice and if you look, there’s gonna be nutrients that have to come in there to help that acetyl CoA to come around and a lot of those nutrients are gonna be B vitamins, magnesium, amino acids and so, if you’re coming in with lots of glucose and you’re not bringing in a lot of nutrients to funnel down to the acetyl CoA side, you’re gonna run that Krebs cycle twice and you’re gonna be using more B vitamins than you’re coming in. So, you can actually create a lot of nutrient deficiencies and oxidative stress when you consume a lot more glucose because it’s a transaction fee for your body to process energetically. 

Evan Brand: Nice. Nice. That’s a great way to put it. And, the truth is people are coming into this infection with nutrient deficiencies already due to bacterial overgrowth problems, Candida problems, maybe post-antibiotic therapy, you know, they have issues with the gut now and they’re not making enough of their nutrients in their gut. And so, a lot of people will just depend on diet and they’ll simply, well, can I just get enough on diet, can I just eat liver and grass-fed steak and all that and get enough nutrients from that and I’ll say, look I’ve tested and I know, you have too. Over a thousand people and many of those people were already dialed in with their diet for years before they got to us. Paleo, carnivore, autoimmune, paleo, we’ve had people that have been doing an incredibly job with nutrient density and they still show up with nutrient deficiencies and so I would love if everyone could just eat their way out of this situation but I just think with the modern stress that we’re under we’re dumping a lot of those Bs. You’re mentioning all these that are fueling this cycle. We’re so depleted and burned out emotionally, physically, chemically, we’re exposed to toxins. We’re just not living in Paleo time, so Paleo, you can’t just like paleo your way out of this and you know, that’s why I used to call my podcast years ago ‘Not just Paleo’ and then I got rid of it, just call it Evan Brand now but, um, that was my whole thought at the beginning. It was like, man, if everybody could just eat their way out this and get enough Bs in the diet then you and I wouldn’t be needed. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Let me just kind of break this down for people just so they can get a better understanding of what’s happening here. So, when we have oxidative stress, oxidative stresses, we’re losing electrons. What’s the whole goal of the Krebs Cycle? The whole goal of the Krebs cycle is essentially gathering up electrons. Okay, so, you have fats like I mentioned before, they’re all funneling down to Acetyl-CoA. Proteins all funneling down to acetyl-CoA, right? Then you can see on the carbohydrate side like I mentioned, look at a lot of the nutrients that are involved in funneling the carbohydrates down to acetyl-CoA, different B vitamins, okay?   

Evan Brand: Zoom in so, 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  B1, B2, B3, magnesium, all play really important roles and then look at the carbohydrates, look at the amino acids that are involved. Cysteine, that’s a major precursor of glutathione, serine, really important for stress. Glycine, that’s your major amino acid in collagen, right? This is why, when you’re stressed and you’re sick, it’s why your grandma tells you to have chicken soup, right, especially with the whole bone in there because you’re getting a lot of these amino acids in a liquid form. So, if your tummy doesn’t feel good and you’re nauseous, right, because the infections tend to really cause nausea because your energy is going to fight an infection versus digestion. So, it’s trying to shut that down. That’s why your grandma said chicken soup, right? Ideally, we keep the noodles out now. Now, look at the fats, right, look at where the fats can go so the fats go down to acetyl-CoA but it can also go and create these ketones, right. This is beta-hydroxybutyrate. This is a ketone, okay? Now, really important here. So, we have this acetyl-CoA, right, this is kind of our energy currency that everything gets converted from our three major macronutrients, fats, carbs and proteins. And again, if you’re listening at home, there’s a video version of this of me going through it. I know, it’s a little confusing but I’m going to try to make, break it down. Acetyl-CoA comes around this citric acid cycle or Krebs cycle. It’s the same thing. It goes around twice, okay? And you can see GSH that stands for glutathione. Fe stands for Iron. So, if you’re a female and you’re very low iron or you’re anemic or vegetarian vegan, that could be a problem. 

Evan Brand: So, let me pause there, really quick, because I want to point out something. You’re showing here on this cycle that you’ve got to have not only glutathione but you’ve got to have iron so you gave a shout out to the anemic women and what I want to point out is that the women that came into this infection, anemic, which is extremely common. Women have hormonal imbalances. It’s an epidemic problem so many women have heavy periods or maybe post childbirth, their period was screwed up and they’re having heavy menstruation. So, they’re coming into this anemic or they’re coming into this with low ferritin and then that’s compounded by maybe a mold exposure where now they have low glutathione levels. The way you’re showing this cycle here, if you come in with low iron and low glutathione, you’re in big trouble.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re in big trouble. And, women are more predisposed because if they have hormonal imbalances, guess what happens to their period, they get heavier. Heavier period, they’re just gonna lose that iron. Now, men on the other side, men have it, you know, they can have increased iron. They can cause oxidative stress because iron is like, you know can be like gasoline on the fire if it does get too high, right? But you can see glutathione, iron, you can see B vitamins, you can see magnesium, you can even see manganese here and you can see different B vitamins. And, what they do is you’re creating NAD and FADH and they’re grabbing hydrogen, they’re grabbing electrons, okay? So, typically comes around here twice and you get usually two NADHs and one FADH2 per cycle and then essentially all of these things will jump into the electron transport chain next. If I could find that section here, but the electron transport chain is the next big step for that kind of gathers nutrients but for really, for today’s talk, this is the really most important thing and then just kind of highlight, you can see some of these toxins over here that come in, right? You can see fluoride, Hg is Mercury, As is gonna be, uh, arsenic, Al is gonna be aluminum. So, you can see some of these toxins, how they can kind of come in there and sabotage some of these things. And, to kind of highlight one thing, this is an article we saw here. Mitochondria and Microbiota dysfunction with post-viral issues, you can see how the gut microbiome also plays a certain role and why is that? Well, I think, because 80% of the immune is in the gut so if you have a pathogenic or dysbiotic microbiome, it’s gonna affect toxins being produced, right? It’s gonna put you right here in a hyperinflammatory state, right? We already have a lot more cytokines being produced if we have an illness and so we have to be able to calm down our immune system’s inflammation to what’s happening from an immune stress standpoint. And so, the microbiome plays a big role, iron dysregulation, reactive oxygen species, right? Vitamin C plays a major role here. Vitamin, uh, glutathione plays a major role there as well.

Evan Brand: Yeah, right there, look at that one, the mitochondrial, the heightened inflammatory oxidative state may lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and so this is what we’re seeing on paper. We’re seeing this in the stool test. We’re seeing this in the organic acid test, this issue with the gut with the mitochondria. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It talks about platelet damage too which is important because what do platelets do, those are your clotting factors. And so, if we can have increased coagulation cascades, that means more clotting, right? And, you can see more clotting events, more thrombosis is that’s a blood clot, right? And so, you can see furthermore, mitochondrial oxidative just make, may contribute to microbiota dysbiosis altering coagulation and fueling inflammatory oxidative response leading to vicious cycles of events. So, this is really important and so things that we can do to be on top of the fatigue is gonna be the same things that we can do to help mitigate a lot of the inflammation. That’s gonna be keeping blood sugar in check, adding in some of these additional B vitamins, um, adding in anti-inflammatory anticoagulants. What do those look like? That could be ginger. That could be curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and anticoagulation effects. That could be adding some extra Cod liver oil that has more vitamin A in it, which is a really powerful antioxidant but it also has natural blood thinning aspects because of the extra omega-3s in there. So, there’s different things we can do to really help reduce a lot of that inflammation. Any comments on that, Evan?  

Evan Brand: Yeah. On the more intense side of supporting hypercoagulability, lumbrokinase is gonna be your most powerful. That’s your earthworm-based enzyme, which is just a cool, cool thing. Natto, there’s also serratiopeptidase, so there are other enzymes that you can use and I personally take those. I take lumbrokinase, one per day just ongoing and it’s been very helpful. I also did a podcast with Dr. Thomas Levy, all about vitamin C IV and he’s got some dark field microscopy photos of people that we’re having blood clotting issues and the vitamin C along with ozone and IV was like a game changer and vitamin C can help energy too, so I don’t want to get too deep in the rabbit hole of blood clots but we’ll just say that the vitamin C is helpful for energy also. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. I want to show you guys one other journal article here, role of mitochondrial oxidative stress and antioxidants when it comes to chronic fatigue and so one kind of thing here, it talks about the known role of oxidative stress and how it can relate to essentially fatigue, as well as, potential, uh, specific therapeutic treatments for the mitochondria so that’s really powerful. And, you know, here are some of the big things, they’re gonna talk about vitamin C, talk about B vitamins, talk about glutathione and then also some of the more natural anti-inflammatory things but you know, each study is going to find out focus on a couple of their major things but, people in the literature are looking at these things. It is real and, um, we’re seeing it in our patients and we’re trying to apply some of these things to get people’s health back.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. So, the way you look at this is what you can do to protect against oxidative stress, we covered that glutathione. What can we do to help support the Krebs cycle? We talked about B vitamins. You’ve also got just things that are gonna help the mitochondria in general, like CoQ10 and then also you can do things like PQQ and there’s other nutrients that actually create what’s called mitochondrial biogenesis where you can literally make new mitochondria. And so, I don’t think it’s in that paper, it does mention CoQ10 there but 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right here in the mitochondria, there are enzymes and coenzymes such as vitamin E, CoQ10 to remove ROS, that’s reactive oxygen species to prevent DNA damage. So, these are really powerful things that we can add in. For example, low CoQ10, they’ll see an increase in damage, so Coq10, PQQ, you know pyro quinolone, right? Vitamin E, and then, you know, we try to give Coq10 with vitamin E together for that same reason to prevent a lot of the oxidative stress while fueling the mitochondria. Any comments on that? 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Look at the next part there too, talking about exercise. People that come in with chronic fatigue and how they’re having an increased oxidative stress after exercise and that’s a problem that we’re seeing a lot too is people that now are having, uh, post-exertional fatigue, people that are crashing. Even athletes that were really high performing people that now their performance is just in the tank and a lot of that is just this ongoing oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage that’s not, that’s not been supported and you can’t just exercise your way out of this and I get kind of annoyed when I see like those motivational videos of people that are really sweaty like you just nee to suck it up, you know, pain is weakness leaving the body. It’s like, no, you’re wrong, you got to fix the mitochondrial damage. I hate those like raw-raw videos because it’s ignoring all the nutrients. That video really needs to be talking about, hey get your glutathione up, get your ribose up, get your CoQ10 up, come on people, like that’s what he used to say.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And this is a similar marker that we use on the organic acid test, the one that we use 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine, this is very, very similar to that. But this is a marker for oxidative stress so we’ll actually use the same marker on a, um, on a mitochondrial test on the organic acid. So, we’ll look at some of these things to get a window of how stress these pathways are so that’s very powerful. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Ribose is amazing. Carnitine is amazing. Acetyl-L-carnitine is amazing. Also, you know, let’s hit the, let’s go up a little bit like that picture there was a like a neurotransmitter picture there that you had. Maybe, we should talk about that a little bit because it’s not directly gonna be a mitochondrial support, yeah, right there, but I think, that’s cool to point out too, which is that, if we’re coming in with nutrients like phenylalanine or tyrosine, eventually some of that may convert over to your neurotransmitters but then also your adrenal hormones like epinephrine and I think a lot of people and I know you see this too, a lot of people are showing up with just low brain chemistry across the board. And so, I’m thinking out loud with you that like, the real magic remedy is the mitochondrial support plus throwing in some of these neurotransmitter supports as well. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, that’s why we talked about B vitamins and I kind of went to the gamut, look how important B6 is in regarding the synthesis of tryptophan to serotonin, really important so you can see how B6 deficiency is really important in this process to convert this inflammatory product here, quinolinic acid, uh, back to tryptophan, it needs B6 or to avoid that whole thing it needs B6 so that’s really important. So, B6 is really important in the synthesis of amino acid tryptophan to serotonin, very important.   

Evan Brand: And so, vegetarians, vegans, obviously, you’re gonna be at increased risk of issues and your recovery is not gonna be as good as someone who’s getting these good animal proteins because you’re gonna be getting adequate tryptophan and other nutrients from your animal-based products. So, even if we could get these people on eggs, if we could get these people on organ capsules, if we could get these people on even like a protein like, I’ve got one we call carnivore collagen, which is a like a beef peptide, I mean something you gotta supplement at some level if you’re not eating those foods. So, please, if you’re a vegetarian vegan and you’re exhausted then look at some of this and hopefully we can convince you to change and improve your diet a bit. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. No, I totally agree. I think that’s really important. I want to see if there’s anything else here, I want to highlight now because that’s enough, that’s powerful enough. Anything else, you wanted to highlight there?

Evan Brand: Well, we hit the urine, we hit the stool. Looking at the gut, you showed the study about the gut changing, we’ve seen that, I mean, you and I were talking about that march of 2020, I mean that was 2 years ago. We were talking about being affected. And so, obviously, our message is the same that it’s always been is get your stool looked at so we can see what kind of dysbiosis do you have going on because if you’re taking all these supplements, you’re doing all these foods but you’ve got malabsorption or you’ve got gut inflammation. You’re not gonna, you know, people say you are what you eat but you really what you digest from what you eat. So, if you have all these other issues in your gut, the grass-fed steak is not gonna be as valuable to you. Now, I’m not saying stop eating it, I’m saying still eat it but we’ve got to improve the digestion and assimilation of that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110%. And one thing here, I just want to highlight here, just to kind of this article, it’s talking about mitochondrial function in infections in the gut because we’re trying to talk about mitochondrial and energy post-illness, that could be a viral illness, it could also be a gut illness, right? Because, it’s talking right here, even virus dedicated virulence factors and talks about downstream of an infection. It’s fascinating that a plethora of immune responses but, uh, be it against viruses, bacteria or LPS. LPS is lipopolysaccharides or endotoxin, this can come from H. pylori, this can come from SIBO, or dysbiotic bacteria and they strongly impact tht mitochondria which is really, really important because they’re toxic, they kind of throw a monkey wrench in how the FADH and the NAD is kind of moving around the Krebs cycle, collecting hydrogens and then bringing into electron transport chain. It talks about, um, governed by the mitochondria can be translated into active therapeutics to boost immunity against pathogens to over immune responses under control in the case of inflammatory disorders. So, essentially, the more you have these infections there, the more inflammation your immune system creates that can actually impact your mitochondria. Again, when you have a lot of these illnesses, it’s not just the stress from the illness, it’s the immune response from your own immune system that creates inflammation that can actually disrupt your energy pathway. So, sometimes, you’re just fighting against yourself. And so, using nutrients to help modulate the immune response i.e., glutathione, Vitamin D, vitamin C, right, really important nutrients there. I’d also say, you can do things like curcumin, or resveratrol as well. You can have immune modulating effects. These are powerful. So, it’s good to kind of get your immune system in check. Most people that are having longer term, we call it kind of long haulers type issue. It’s typically their immune system has over responded and it’s just creating so much inflammation. So here, this illness, they’re no longer testing positive for whatever this illness is and they’re prolonged 2 to 3 months out and they’re feeling like crap still, it’s because they really didn’t get their immune system’s inflammatory cascade in check afterwards.    

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. So, a couple comments. Number one, you can improve your energy by simply fixing your gut and that’s exactly what that data is showing and that’s exactly what you and I have seen and done clinically, hundreds and hundreds of times. People that were exhausted coming in, we give them a gut protocol, sometimes, not even giving them energy supplements because on paper they look good and all of a sudden, their energy level doubles and all we did is fix their gut so that’s the number one comment. And then number two comment is that, people need to stop waiting for some illness like this to take them down before they take this stuff serious. I mean, you and I are all about preventative approaches meaning getting your mitochondria, you gut, your brain chemistry getting all that stuff optimized now so that you’re a warrior on a daily basis so that when you do come across something like this and there probably will be more things like this that you do to get exposed to, you’re ready and you’re able to handle it and you’re not coming in so sick and looking for this emergency therapy at the end stage, it’s, in some cases, it’s too late. I think, a lot of times you can turn it around but you should have been working on your health years ago before you got this stage.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And a lot of it is, you know, anytime you have some type of illness coming up, the more you can be on top of a lot of these key immune modulating anti-inflammatory nutrients ahead of time and or during versus coming in at the end when the inflammation is super high. It’s like coming in when the fire is a little baby fire and knocking it out versus having a full five alarm and trying to stop it, right? That’s kind of the analogy. So, I always recommend telling people have a couple of nutrients. You may not be taking it everyday but they may in your medicine cabinet is kind of like a, um, you know, last ditch kind of effort to kind of come in there if you start to feel a little bit ill so on my line, we have Immune Supreme, which is nice because you have some green tea in there, you have some echinacea, you have some medicinal mushrooms, you have some antioxidants and some immune modulators, that’s kind of cool. Have that in your medicine cabinet. You start to feel the tiniest thing, start taking that to get that immune system, obviously, you can ratchet up, vitamin D, vitamin C. These are easy first line things, if you have any NAC or glutathione, we can ratchet that up. These are easy things that we can do to kind of take charge of our health and prevent our immune system from throwing us off.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. And, if you need help clinically, we do offer one-on-one consults around the world with people so we’re very blessed to be able to help so many people by getting the proper testing done, making the proper protocol to get you better. So, if you don’t test, you guess, you got to see what you’re up against first, look at your Bs, look at your gut, you know, once we get the data, we can help you more accurately and you’re gonna save a lot more money, a lot more time and a lot more suffering and you’re gonna get out of the dumps out of the trenches, out of the depths of hell, depression, whatever you’re dealing with. You’re gonna get out of that faster if you’re using clinical data and you have a tour guide to your body. So, if you need help clinically, you can reach out to Dr. J at justinhealth.com for consults worldwide or me, Evan Brand at evanbrand.com and we’re here for you guys. So, we look forward to helping you out.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. I appreciate it. Yeah. Anyone that wants to reach out, Evan already gave you the links, really appreciate it. Comments down below, I really appreciate your feedback on that and also, we’ll put links down below with some products that we chatted about. We have different ones that we recommend in our line. Just wherever you go, make sure you get them from a professional grade company because raw material does matter in the supplement world. You can buy, you know, the equivalent of the grass-fed steak from the local farmer or you can get it from McDonald’s, right? And so, we want to get the high-quality raw material that’s tested to make sure there’s no impurities and just building blocks are excellent. Evan, excellent chatting with you man, really appreciate it. Guys, um, have an awesome week and we’ll talk soon. Take care you all. 

Evan Brand: Take care, now. Bye-Bye. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye. 

 

The Top 5 Causes of Bloating | Podcast #364

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: You too, take it easy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care. Bye. 

Evan Brand: See you. Bye-bye. 

 

 

Post Viral Immune Support To Improve Energy | Podcast #363

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Cool.

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: oh, you totally did. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It was that melatonin?

Evan Brand: Melatonin. Yes. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: Take it easy. Bye-bye

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye you all. 

 

Recovering From The Holidays | Podcast #362

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, I totally agree. So, what we kind of did is we had, um, squash pie from a true food kitchen, we bought one or two of those and we used that as kind of our dessert so it’s kind of a gluten-free, grain-free dessert option. So, we had that true food kitchen’s great. Their desserts are amazing. We also had some bacon-wrapped dates which were awesome, I mean you get the sweets and savory there and then we also got some poblano peppers, we put some cream cheese in it, again, cream cheese is a little bit better than regular cheese, a little more lactose casein, um, lowering that at least but a little bit of dairy and we wrap bacon around that. So, those were kind of our two [2:49] I got the grill fired up. Got some atria buys just cut them really, really thin. Put some toothpicks in them and just had a lot of finger food like that and that was nice, really simple, really easy, um, so we try to, you know, try to mitigate a lot of the destruction by choosing healthier, less inflammatory options but also things that allow us to feel pretty satiated and pretty full and not have these blood sugar swings that people get when they don’t have enough protein or fat with their meal either.    

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: See ya. 

 

Natural Solutions to Address Eczema | Podcast #361

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks. Bye you all. 

Evan Brand: Bye-bye. 

 

 

Functional Medicine Strategies to Help Improve Your Sleep | Podcast #360

Hey, guys! In this video, Dr. J and Evan discuss several functional medicine strategies to better your sleep. Achieving better sleep can lead to many health improvements. Here we’ve provided a list of suggestions from a functional medicine perspective for better sleep. Please note, this list is not meant to be implemented in its entirety. Instead, pick 3–4 changes to implement to improve sleep quality.

Some suggestions are to avoid alcohol (wine, beer, and hard liquor) within 3 hours of bedtime; avoid anxiety-provoking activities close to bedtime. As much as possible, go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day because it will help train your biological clock. Also, decrease the light in your bedroom by using a dimmer or reading light with a dimmer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – The importance of light exposure in your overall functional capacity
7:30 – The effect of Vitamin Deficiency in sleep-wake cycle
11:58 – The benefits of water filtration in pineal gland function
13: 59 – Fluoride exposure affecting sleep patterns;
16:53 – The The nutrients that play a big role in the quality of sleep


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan, how are you doing today man?  

Evan Brand: Hey, I’m doing really well, I’m refreshed and rested and I think it’s due to some of the supplementation of nutrients that we’ll probably dive into today which is on the topic of functional medicine strategies for sleep issues which are epidemic in modern society. By the way, in Amish society, I was actually doing some slides this morning in a fatigue course that I’m working on before you and I jump on here together and then researching what’s called the old order Amish. These are like the super old school. There’s like a different level of Amish like some will have indoor plumbing, some don’t, some will use a smartphone but they only use it for phone calls that kind of thing but the old order, those are like no phones, no electricity, nothing. Anyway, they have less than 1% of depression, they report virtually zero insomnia and they have 10x, 10-fold the light exposure variation of the general population and they were found to have virtually zero prevalence of seasonal affective disorder which is like a seasonal depression. So, when you look at the Amish, they’re doing a lot of things right that we’re doing wrong in regards to our light exposure which then creates not only mood issues for us, more supposed advanced humans that use technology but also with our sleep and the real mechanism is because we’re not fully charging our batteries in the day. So, this study on the Amish and their light exposure, what they did is they put a light meter almost like a watch on their wrist and they track these Amish people for a couple of weeks and then they compare them to your modern person working in an office environment an indoor environment and because in an office environment, you’re getting such low intensity of bright light, you’re not really fully charging that cortisol in the morning, you’re not getting that initial spike whereas the Amish, they’re working outside, they’re getting that natural sunlight exposure. Even in the winter months, they still had 10x the light exposure of modern, you know, I guess you’d call them civilized people, uh, city people and so that’s a cool like free thing to do which is something honestly, I didn’t realize until I looked into this research. I’m much, much less like mopey in the winter than I used to be. I mean we’re almost in December when you and I are recording these years ago, maybe a decade ago when I had gut issues and all sorts of problems, the winter was so depressing for me. It doesn’t really bother me anymore. I kind of embrace it and I think honestly, it’s because even in the middle of the day at 12’ or 1’oclock, I’ll go outside and just get natural sunlight if I sit on my front porch the way our house is structured there’s not much wind. So, even on a day where it’s 15 or 20 degrees. I could sit out there with no shirt on and get that sunlight exposure. I always feel better, my mood is lifted, my circulation, my blood flow and my sleep is way better on those days as opposed to days where I don’t get out and get that bright light.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. That totally makes sense. That vitamin D is very, very important, also just getting that good sunlight in the morning kind of gets, it resets that circadian rhythm. So, circadian rhythm is light and cortisol driven as cortisol drops, melatonin increases, this kind of inverse relationship of cortisol to melatonin, so the light kind of helps rest that so you get on the right schedule there as light stimulates cortisol, it hits your pineal gland, it kind of helps charge up the pineal gland as well, very important for melatonin synthesis at night time because as cortisol drops, we have this natural circadian rhythm, cortisol’s highest in the morning, drops throughout the day as it drops, melatonin can increase at night and that light really kind of help reset things so that’s very important. Also, very important as well, melatonin it’s kind of like a hormone kind of neurotransmitter made from the pineal gland, right this area here in the brain and it’s made from amino acids to 5htp or tryptophan, L-tryptophan, it’s an amino acid that’s a building block for melatonin and important cofactor for it as well was B6, as well, an important B vitamin, very important cofactor. So, if we’re eating nutritionally deficient foods, lots of processed carbs, not getting good quality B vitamins, not digesting our protein well, you could see poor digestion and poor nutrient density in the food could easily affect sleep quality.   

Evan Brand: You know what, this is interesting too and sorry I knocked over my water bottle, I was trying to grab my phone to pull up at the D-minder app to look at when you can actually synthesize vitamin D because that’s only at certain times of the day especially when you’re in a more northern latitude. So, anywhere south of I think it’s the 37th latitude, there’s a vitamin D winter and so today believe it or not, it says right here in the app, today which we’re recording is November 29th, it says today is the last day of the year where I can get Vitamin D and I can only get it today from 12:13  to 12:49, so there’s literally barely 30minutes today is the final day to synthesize vitamin D and then that’s gonna last this quote vitamin D winter, meaning that the angle of the sun is gonna be to low in the sky to synthesize vitamin D that will last until I want to say it’s about February, I can’t remember right off top of my head but it’s usually December give or take to January or February. There’s almost a month or two where you can’t make any vitamin D, so I will be supplementing a little more and there’s actually a 20 20 paper on this that was called Vitamin D and sleep regulation and long story short, vitamin D supplementation improves sleep disturbances. It says that vitamin D is involved in the pathways of production of melatonin. So, I didn’t know that, I thought that it was primarily a cortisol, melatonin you and I talked about the seesaw of high cortisol in the morning and at night cortisol drops, melatonin rises bit apparently, the vitamin D receptors and the enzymes that control their activation and degradation interplay with melatonin, so there you go you learn something new every day. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, it’s working on what device, so vitamin D is working on melatonin receptor sites? 

Evan Brand: That’s what it sounds like. Yeah, it’s working on synthesis of melatonin. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, synthesis, so you have part of the, that’s what I think I mentioned like charging the pineal gland. I think charging the pineal gland to get in that good light that’s I think you need that good UV light to stimulate melatonin production and then you also need the raw material, right? You need the 5htp tryptophan amino acids, you need the B6, those are all really important cofactors and the light kind of, is an important stimulator to help make it, as well as, time it up too, right, it really times up that rhythm, uh, one of the best things when you have time zone issues. Is get up in the morning to watch that sunrise, you can even do a little bit of caffeine as well to stimulate the cortisol, so you get the cortisol increase while you’re seeing the light. The pineal gland sees that ultraviolet light coming in, it syncs up your rhythm and you do a little bit of melatonin at night and that kind of gets your rhythm right back on track. So, anyone’s traveling time zones, it’s one of the best ways to get back on track, see the sunrise in the morning with a little bit of caffeine and then sunset at night with some melatonin, that gets the cycle all dialed in.  

Evan Brand: So, here’s another paper in the neurology publication and it just said that low vitamin D levels are significantly associated with longer time to fall asleep. Excessive daytime sleepiness and underlying conditions and sleep restricted individuals. So that’s interesting because I know years ago, I was vitamin D deficient and my sleep was worse. Now, granted I had other issues too, I want to make sure, you and I talked about the gut a bit but years ago, it’s interesting to think that my low vitamin D could have been a contributing factor to my sleep problems. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, it’s definitely, you know, a variable, there’s a lot of other issues too. I mean the first thing we’re gonna look at is we’re gonna look at circadian rhythm. So, we’re gonna test cortisol levels and rhythm. We’re gonna see it all throughout the day because one biggest thing that happens, the more stressed and inflamed you get, is you get either a flattening of the cortisol or you can get a flattening with an increase at night and that can make it really hard to relax, really hard to settle down, obviously the flattening throughout the day can cause lower energy the first half of the day as well as a flat mood, right? Because cortisol is a glucocorticosteroid, gluco meaning pertains to energy and stress, corticosteroid meaning inflammation, so it’s a natural anti-inflammatory. So, yeah, we don’t have that arch cortisol in the morning, energy can below and that nice drop at night really helps us relax so that’s one of the first tests we’re gonna look at and then of course, we know melatonin is made from protein. It’s nice to see what’s happening with the protein side of the fence because if we don’t have good just stupid things like, hey I’m vegan vegetarian, I’m not eating enough protein, or I don’t have enough hydrochloric acid or enzymes or I have chronic gut issues like SIBO, IBS, H. pylori, gut bugs, and that’s maybe creating a bottleneck and also creating an inflammation in the gut which is then moving through the tight junctions into the bloodstream, moving it’s way to the brain that could affect the brain, brain inflammation, HPA-axis function, that’s brain talking to the adrenal glands and that could affect everything for sure. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I mean, when I had gut infections, my sleep was disturbed sometimes just because of pain in my gut, I mean so how many people have IBS that also have sleep problems, I can tell you it’s quite a lot, we work with that all the time and another thing too is the parasites, I mean, some argue that the parasites are more active at night. Some people report crawling and other weird sensations of parasites and I will tell you with stealth infections like Babesia, for example, which is an intracellular parasite. Babesia causes major problems with sleep in particular it’ll cause night sweats so some women think of it as hot flashes but it could be Babesia and unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of tick bites over the years and I can tell you with personal experience with Babesia that it would cause me to wake up at about an hour to after I went to bed. So, if I went to bed at nine I would be up by 11, sometimes sweating, sometimes no, but I would just be wide awake it was almost this infection was driving some sort of cortisol response, so after treating these type of infections usually the sleep problems go away and then as you mentioned we could supplement amino acids in the meantime especially because if someone has gut issues, we know they’re not gonna be synthesizing enough serotonin from their gut because the vast majority is made in the intestine. So, if you’ve got gut bugs and you don’t sleep well, you gotta fix the gut bugs if you wanna sleep well. Can you supplement melatonin and 5htp? Yes, and those are very nice natural things but they’re still band-aids, they’re not the root cause. So, like you said a stool test is something that could be an order, a urine test to look at the brain chemistry too because we could see dopamine and serotonin levels and then you mentioned cortisol which we could do via saliva or urine and we could see those inverse patterns. So, another thing I wanna mention is like, Relora. Relora is like a patented version of two different barks. There was one paper on it that it reduced cortisol levels by about 18% in four weeks. Now, I don’t recommend if you have sleep issues, just to go take this, you wanna test not guess. So, I don’t think it’s wise and I’m sure you would agree for people just to go take things that affect cortisol without knowing what your up against. I think it’ll be better for you to try to get some data first. So, don’t assume that because your sleep sucks that you have a cortisol problem because sometimes, we’ll test people that are wired at night and surprisingly they have low cortisol. Maybe it’s just emotional stress or something else but it’s not a cortisol problem and then sometimes people feel okay but at night their cortisol levels triple, where it shouldn’t be and then that’s where the nutrients come in to help to move it in the right direction. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. There also some things out there talking about pineal gland, that’s the gland that makes melatonin could, uh, get calcification and some of the calcification could be connected to fluoride and so may want to think about a high-quality water filtration system at least an under-counter RO system reverse   osmosis that filters out a lot of the fluoride. Just because that’s gonna be essentially it’s a prescription drug in the water and you’re getting an uncontrollable amount, so it’s really good to have a good water filtration system so I have a whole house carbon-based system, as well as, a under the counter reverse osmosis system. So, I’ll highly recommend having both but at least have one for your drinking water in that way you can get a lot of the crap out of the water. So, we’ll put a couple of links of water filtration products that we personally use and recommend ourselves throughout with our family as well as patients. And so that will help at least improve the water quality because that could have a connection with, uh, pineal gland calcification. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, you know, I got into fluoride years ago, just fluoride research and the toxicity of it and how even places, most major cities they add fluoride to the water, you know, so you’ll have like in Kentucky relatively decent water but then at the end they add fluoride to it which is just really criminal based on all the research we know about fluoride lowering the IQ and things like that and so when I was working out of a brick and mortar at a chiropractor’s office, we actually had a few x-rays where people had neck injuries from car wrecks and this might sound crazy but we were able to actually see the calcification on the x-ray, you know, if we were doing like a more of a head type x-ray for some of these neck and head injuries, you could literally see almost like this little darker spot or might have been bright white, I can’t remember, depending on the x-ray machine but you could see it and I was asking the chiropractor like what is that and he’s like well that’s the pineal gland. He’s like maybe this calcification thing is real because you’ll read that online, some people labeled it a conspiracy but I think there’s totally something to it and I have seen images of that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s one study right here, I’m looking at right now, it’s 2018 study, they’re looking at fluoride exposure and sleep patterns among adults and they’re talking about essentially, you know, looking at that level and they’re looking at fluoride exposure affecting sleep patterns. I’ll put the study here in the links but one of the conclusions here reached at the very end, let me kind of scroll down to it said chronic low level fluoride exposure may contribute to changes in sleep cycle and regulation and sleep behavior among older adolescents, U.S. additional prescriptive studies are warranted to examine the effects of fluoride on sleep patterns and determine the critical window of vulnerability for patients and so essentially they’re saying chronic low-level exposure, right. What about higher-level exposure, right? What about the extra fluoride in your toothpaste too, right? These are all some extra things that, you know, it’s just something you want to make sure that you have clean water and one benefit of clean water is keeping the fluoride out which could affect your sleep, also other stuff in the water such as potential parasites and bacteria that may not get hit by your typical chlorine and as well as potential pharmaceutical drugs. So, good health, uh, filtratration is gonna be wonderful. We’ll put the recommended links for the products that we use down below. 

Evan Brand: Speaking of drugs, why don’t we mention drugs. People that are doing different pharmaceuticals for fatigue or for mood issues or for ADD or ADHD, I mean people that are doing stimulants, you know methamphetamine derivatives, a lot of these people depending on the half-life, depending on the metabolism of the drug, depending on people’s digestion, depending on maybe that with caffeine or other stimulants, I mean that’s a huge problem and we are an addicted society to stimulants, I mean caffeine is probably the number one stimulant used worldwide but certainly I have tons of clients even teenagers unfortunately 14,15, 16-year-old, they are taking pharmaceuticals like Vyvanse or other really, really stimulating things to supposedly help them focus better but then they can’t sleep at night so then they’re on social media at night, they’re looking at their blue light screen which is gonna be suppressing melatonin production all night. Now, they’re laying in bed, scrolling on TikTok while they supposed to be sleeping and so there’s no wonder, we have so many teenagers that have depression and anxiety issues too because good sleep is really important for good mood and I tell you, if I don’t sleep as well, mood’s not as good and that’s just common sense because the glymphatic system, ‘G’ like Gary, the glymphatic system works when you’re sleeping and this is almost like a, think of it like a brain detox and with not enough sleep or quality sleep, that system doesn’t work and then our brain, we just can’t think clearly, we make worse decisions, we have less ability to react like in terms of driving and reaction time and speed, I mean, the brain really takes a hit when we don’t have sleep, you know, good quality sleep. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Well, let’s talk about some other nutrients that are very important. So, obviously, things like magnesium, very important, magnesium plugs into the mitochondria Krebs cycle supposedly at a minimum 300 to a thousand enzymatic roles in the body. So, it plays a large role in what’s going on with our health and with relaxation. Also, I like to combine a little bit of magnesium and some collagen which is very high in glycine. So, glycine and magnesium are super, superchargers for relaxation and really getting the parasympathetic nervous system up, very relaxing, very calming as well. So, I like that as just kind of a nice diet and lifestyle strategy and again if you make up a lot to go a pee, you may wanna give yourself an hour or two before the bed, before sleep, before you have that, at least an hour so you can kind of pee and get all that extra water out of your bladder. So, a good hour or two, very helpful, very relaxing, very calming. Of course, general lifestyle strategies like wearing good blue blocking glasses, um, just kind of mitigating a lot of the light stuff at the end, putting a lot of your lights on dimmer switches where you can at least not knock down a lot of the intensity down 80% or so, so that’s not stimulating cortisol and lowering melatonin. So, the light at night hits that pineal gland, it’s gonna raise your cortisol and lower melatonin because cortisol and melatonin are in an inverse relationship. Cortisol up, melatonin down so that’s very helpful.  

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, humans we’re so smart that we’re stupid and we brought the sunlight indoors whereas compared to the Amish, guess what, guess how much nighttime light exposure they have, virtually nothing. Number one, they don’t have electricity so if they want light it’s gonna be a candle and the intensity of a candle, number one the candle is gonna be amber red, there’s gonna be very, very minimal blue light coming from the candle and the intensity of it is a fraction of a single light bulb so, you know, you really screwed up by bringing lights indoors, I mean, they’re awesome but I try not use them so at night we’ll just use like a salt lamp at night, just salt lamps scattered around the home and those are relatively, uh, orange color and then relatively low intensity and then also, you mentioned the glycine. The glycine is awesome, I take glycine almost every day, it’s about, give or take 3 grams, just for a scoop of it and interestingly when my wife went in for a, to get, she had one mercury amalgams which are heavy metal that can affect sleep too, so we’ll talk about detox support, I think we should at least mention it. But when she went in to get her, uh, one silver removed, they actually gave her a glycine mouth rinse which I thought pretty interesting and she said it killed her out, like they had her almost like sit around and then swallow and she said it just chilled her out right before the procedure so it’s kind of like a natural, you know anti-anxiety formula that they were using in the dentist office so that was net. But let’s talk on detox support because I think we’ve talked about this before or at least I’ve mentioned in various podcasts but like histamine can be a problem with sleep so you know sometimes people need to go on like lower histamine diets and then if people have mold or other issues affecting their histamine then maybe like quercetin like a natural antihistamine would be helpful for sleep and or binders so like clays like zeolite clay can actually bind to histamine unlike charcoal. I don’t believe charcoal can but I have seen some stuff on clay binding to histamine so I will take a combination binder of some clay charcoal silica blends before bed and that does help my sleep and you know my wife, she definitely reports that she sleep better if she does charcoal before bed so the mechanism is probably that it’s binding up any nutrient or any toxin rather that’s gonna be stimulating a stress response, some people might benefit better with sleep remedies before bed and some might benefit better with detox remedies maybe you do both but maybe separate them by half an hour or so.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes a lot of sense. I’d also say, be careful of fasting too much, some people, they do really well with intermittent fasting and it can be helpful, some need to have some protein and some fat and a little bit of carbs before bed because their blood sugar may go low while they’re sleeping. So, if you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, you know, one of the best strategies is to have a little bit of a mini protein shake whether it’s collagen, magnesium kind of a coconut milk, maybe a little bit of berries in there just a little bit of protein a little bit of fat maybe a little bit of carbs, see if that kind of stabilizes your blood sugar. The goal is if your blood sugar gets too low, your body can utilize cortisol and adrenaline to pick that blood sugar back up, the problem is cortisol and adrenaline as it picks that blood sugar back up, it also wakes you up because it stimulates you, right? And then, you can fall out of sleep and that’s a big concern so managing blood sugar before bed and or if you wake up can be very helpful and I will also do some sublingual formulas if people wake up just to kind of help get back to sleep. Again, the problem with it is if you’re like an hour or two away from when you’re supposed to get up that can be problematic because maybe you’re a little bit drowsy going into the morning but if it’s the middle of the night and you got like three hours or so then you can definitely take that and that’ll help you get back to sleep but, you know, good diet lifestyle strategy is super important and then we have, you know, we have to look at the circadian rhythm and the cortisol levels at night and in the morning because, you know, we’ll look at these, we’ll test these with our patients and that’ll give us a good insight and one of the big things is just trying a little bit of food and or shake in the middle of the night and if that helps you get back to sleep or a little bit before you go to bed, if that helps you from waking up and there’s probably a blood sugar connection.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. If you’re listening to this and your head is spinning, uh, we do consultations and so this is how we tease things apart so you’re just getting an insight into our brains so you’re just kind of tuning into Justin and I riffing, we didn’t plan this, we didn’t schedule this talk in terms of like how are we gonna dive into this, this is us riffing and so I hope you guys enjoy this flow because this is how we think, we’re approaching a situation with a client who comes to us and says, hey I’ve got sleep problems, we’re running through this is in our head almost instantly, the cortisol, the blood sugar, the stress, the emotions, the gut, I mean we’re just kind of filtering this in our head, we’re processing it, we’re listening to your symptoms we’re matching up gut symptoms with skin issues, with mood issues, with sleep issues and then we’re creating almost this mental map in our head, we’re creating this like spider web of what part of the web is disrupted in this person, where do we need to go, what part of the web do we need to reconstruct to get this whole symphony working together because sleep is really a complex thing. There’s a lot of things to be going good, to have good sleep, I mean, it’s no surprise wherein an epidemic of people taking sleeping medications because as you’ve listened if you’ve been somewhat paying attention through this podcast, you’re hearing there’s a hormonal component, there’s a neurotransmitter component, a gut component, an infection component, a blood sugar possibly a blood pressure component, a heavy metals and other toxins components so this thing can get really complex and so if you just go to the doctor and you get ambient or a sleeping medication, all you’ve done is put yourself in somewhat of a drug coma, you’ve done nothing to fix any of these root causes and if you have toxins or other issues creating the sleep problem, you’re just getting farther and farther away and it’s really sad to see how commonly the sleep medications are passed out like candy because what they don’t tell you it’s very difficult to get off of those drugs especially if it’s in the benzodiazepines category where it’s like an anti-anxiety and sleep remedy like lorazepam, those things are incredibly addictive, incredibly powerful drugs that are very hard to get off so we just prefer you guys, think root cause. It doesn’t have to be revolutionary but I guess it is because the conventional medicine approach of this stuff is garbage and then, uh, that was a little mini rant. One other thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yep. 100% right though Evan. 

Evan Brand: So, one of the things CBD can be helpful so there, you know, there’s so many states now that have medicinal cannabis to where you can get a tiny bit of THC. I’m not saying that people need to get high to sleep but I have found that clients in these legal states where they can get like a three to one or a five to one ratio so what that means is like say five parts CBD to one part THC, some of these sublinguals or topicals or sprays or edibles or gummies or flowers concentrates, whatever they like that can be enough to help regulate the nervous system. I think the mechanism is probably tamping down inflammation but there’s probably some nervous system component to it as well and so if you’re in a state where you can’t do THC, you could at least do CBD or try to get some organically grown plants and you could do give or take 10 to 20 milligrams is what I’ll do in tincture form put in under the tongue and it’s not like a sedative, it’s not gonna patch you out in the middle of the day but it will help you be a little more rested so sometimes I’ll do a combination of like the GABA chewables that I’ve got, a couple of motherwort tincture which is like a heart calming herb and then a little bit of CBD, something like that triple combos is pretty awesome. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you know, I do like that a lot. That makes a lot of sense. So, deeper right kind of root cause stuff, we’re always looking at diet, we’re always looking at blood sugar, we’re always looking at inflammation, we’re always looking at circadian rhythm and adrenal function, of course females if we have estrogen dominance and low progesterone is very important for calming and activating the parasympathetic. We want to look at the hormonal imbalances that could be driving things, um, also chronically low thyroid low T3 levels, you can see associated with insomnia and sleep issues, got to look at the insulin, got to look at the thyroid connection there as well, got to make sure we’re digesting and breaking things down, uh, very important. The hard part is anything can cause everything, that’s the hard part so we have to look at the underlying root cause mechanisms, we have to look at the person as an individual we have to look at their diet and lifestyle habits, we have to kind of timeline their history out so we can understand all things that happened, as they either got better or worse in their condition that tells me a lot and of course we go to test, we got to make sure that we’re not guessing but assessing what the root causes are, that’s very important. 

Evan Brand: Oh yeah. Well said, bringing up the thyroid there in the final hour, that’s very important and tons of people with Hashimoto’s right, autoimmune thyroid, they may have this attack on their thyroid where all of a sudden they’re leaking out thyroid hormone and then boom they’re anxious and wired in the middle of the night so great call on that and sometimes like thyroid calming herbs may need to be used and I believe technically in some of these thyroid calming blends we’ve used, I think motherwort is in there, I know Bugleweed is in there but I think motherwort might be in there too. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, also Melissa or lemon balms, another calming one too. Yeah. So, they’re a very common kind of relaxing. Some of them really work on getting GABA really upregulated and, uh, and going so that’s super helpful. So, people if you’re listening here and you wanna dive in deeper at you know what the potential root causes could be with your sleep or health issues, you know, feel free to head to evanbrand.com, all right, Evan works with patients all over the world and or myself Dr. J here at justinhealth.com, we are available worldwide, they’ll be info where you guys can click, you guys can connect with us and our staff and we’re more than willing to help you, we do specific lab testing, we look at diet lifestyle strategies, we’ll look at potential toxins because sometimes mold or other toxicities can play a role. We’ll really get to the root cause so we can, not just kind of get you sleeping better, we get you healing and feeling better overall, that’s really the key. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Last thing here, sleep issues are really just the tip of the iceberg. It’s very rare to find someone with just sleep issues typically there is a like I mentioned a mood component maybe anxiety, depression, uh, generally it’s lumped into fatigue as well, maybe joint issues, gut issues, skin issues, I mean, so if you find somebody with just sleep issues, cool, maybe that’s an easier case for us to fix but many times fatigue is in the list and sleep, they often go hand in and obviously. So, this is not just important for you to get good rest, this is important for you to have more energy during the day so you can be more productive at your job, be a more productive parent, a business owner, entrepreneur or whatever you’re doing in your busy life. It’s really important that you get this thing dialed in. So, take your sleep issues seriously, please reach out if you need help. Dr. J at justinhealth.com or Evan at evanbrand.com and we’d love to help you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. I’ll put on some of the studies on fluoride as well than below and we’ll put some of the recommended products that we use for water filtration as well. All right Evan, good chat with you man. Hey everyone, have a phenomenal week and we’ll be back. Take care, you all. Take it easy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan, how are you doing today man?  

Evan Brand: Hey, I’m doing really well, I’m refreshed and rested and I think it’s due to some of the supplementation of nutrients that we’ll probably dive into today which is on the topic of functional medicine strategies for sleep issues which are epidemic in modern society. By the way, in Amish society, I was actually doing some slides this morning in a fatigue course that I’m working on before you and I jump on here together and then researching what’s called the old order Amish. These are like the super old school. There’s like a different level of Amish like some will have indoor plumbing, some don’t, some will use a smartphone but they only use it for phone calls that kind of thing but the old order, those are like no phones, no electricity, nothing. Anyway, they have less than 1% of depression, they report virtually zero insomnia and they have 10x, 10-fold the light exposure variation of the general population and they were found to have virtually zero prevalence of seasonal affective disorder which is like a seasonal depression. So, when you look at the Amish, they’re doing a lot of things right that we’re doing wrong in regards to our light exposure which then creates not only mood issues for us, more supposed advanced humans that use technology but also with our sleep and the real mechanism is because we’re not fully charging our batteries in the day. So, this study on the Amish and their light exposure, what they did is they put a light meter almost like a watch on their wrist and they track these Amish people for a couple of weeks and then they compare them to your modern person working in an office environment an indoor environment and because in an office environment, you’re getting such low intensity of bright light, you’re not really fully charging that cortisol in the morning, you’re not getting that initial spike whereas the Amish, they’re working outside, they’re getting that natural sunlight exposure. Even in the winter months, they still had 10x the light exposure of modern, you know, I guess you’d call them civilized people, uh, city people and so that’s a cool like free thing to do which is something honestly, I didn’t realize until I looked into this research. I’m much, much less like mopey in the winter than I used to be. I mean we’re almost in December when you and I are recording these years ago, maybe a decade ago when I had gut issues and all sorts of problems, the winter was so depressing for me. It doesn’t really bother me anymore. I kind of embrace it and I think honestly, it’s because even in the middle of the day at 12’ or 1’oclock, I’ll go outside and just get natural sunlight if I sit on my front porch the way our house is structured there’s not much wind. So, even on a day where it’s 15 or 20 degrees. I could sit out there with no shirt on and get that sunlight exposure. I always feel better, my mood is lifted, my circulation, my blood flow and my sleep is way better on those days as opposed to days where I don’t get out and get that bright light.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. That totally makes sense. That vitamin D is very, very important, also just getting that good sunlight in the morning kind of gets, it resets that circadian rhythm. So, circadian rhythm is light and cortisol driven as cortisol drops, melatonin increases, this kind of inverse relationship of cortisol to melatonin, so the light kind of helps rest that so you get on the right schedule there as light stimulates cortisol, it hits your pineal gland, it kind of helps charge up the pineal gland as well, very important for melatonin synthesis at night time because as cortisol drops, we have this natural circadian rhythm, cortisol’s highest in the morning, drops throughout the day as it drops, melatonin can increase at night and that light really kind of help reset things so that’s very important. Also, very important as well, melatonin it’s kind of like a hormone kind of neurotransmitter made from the pineal gland, right this area here in the brain and it’s made from amino acids to 5htp or tryptophan, L-tryptophan, it’s an amino acid that’s a building block for melatonin and important cofactor for it as well was B6, as well, an important B vitamin, very important cofactor. So, if we’re eating nutritionally deficient foods, lots of processed carbs, not getting good quality B vitamins, not digesting our protein well, you could see poor digestion and poor nutrient density in the food could easily affect sleep quality.   

Evan Brand: You know what, this is interesting too and sorry I knocked over my water bottle, I was trying to grab my phone to pull up at the D-minder app to look at when you can actually synthesize vitamin D because that’s only at certain times of the day especially when you’re in a more northern latitude. So, anywhere south of I think it’s the 37th latitude, there’s a vitamin D winter and so today believe it or not, it says right here in the app, today which we’re recording is November 29th, it says today is the last day of the year where I can get Vitamin D and I can only get it today from 12:13  to 12:49, so there’s literally barely 30minutes today is the final day to synthesize vitamin D and then that’s gonna last this quote vitamin D winter, meaning that the angle of the sun is gonna be to low in the sky to synthesize vitamin D that will last until I want to say it’s about February, I can’t remember right off top of my head but it’s usually December give or take to January or February. There’s almost a month or two where you can’t make any vitamin D, so I will be supplementing a little more and there’s actually a 20 20 paper on this that was called Vitamin D and sleep regulation and long story short, vitamin D supplementation improves sleep disturbances. It says that vitamin D is involved in the pathways of production of melatonin. So, I didn’t know that, I thought that it was primarily a cortisol, melatonin you and I talked about the seesaw of high cortisol in the morning and at night cortisol drops, melatonin rises bit apparently, the vitamin D receptors and the enzymes that control their activation and degradation interplay with melatonin, so there you go you learn something new every day. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, it’s working on what device, so vitamin D is working on melatonin receptor sites? 

Evan Brand: That’s what it sounds like. Yeah, it’s working on synthesis of melatonin. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, synthesis, so you have part of the, that’s what I think I mentioned like charging the pineal gland. I think charging the pineal gland to get in that good light that’s I think you need that good UV light to stimulate melatonin production and then you also need the raw material, right? You need the 5htp tryptophan amino acids, you need the B6, those are all really important cofactors and the light kind of, is an important stimulator to help make it, as well as, time it up too, right, it really times up that rhythm, uh, one of the best things when you have time zone issues. Is get up in the morning to watch that sunrise, you can even do a little bit of caffeine as well to stimulate the cortisol, so you get the cortisol increase while you’re seeing the light. The pineal gland sees that ultraviolet light coming in, it syncs up your rhythm and you do a little bit of melatonin at night and that kind of gets your rhythm right back on track. So, anyone’s traveling time zones, it’s one of the best ways to get back on track, see the sunrise in the morning with a little bit of caffeine and then sunset at night with some melatonin, that gets the cycle all dialed in.  

Evan Brand: So, here’s another paper in the neurology publication and it just said that low vitamin D levels are significantly associated with longer time to fall asleep. Excessive daytime sleepiness and underlying conditions and sleep restricted individuals. So that’s interesting because I know years ago, I was vitamin D deficient and my sleep was worse. Now, granted I had other issues too, I want to make sure, you and I talked about the gut a bit but years ago, it’s interesting to think that my low vitamin D could have been a contributing factor to my sleep problems. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, it’s definitely, you know, a variable, there’s a lot of other issues too. I mean the first thing we’re gonna look at is we’re gonna look at circadian rhythm. So, we’re gonna test cortisol levels and rhythm. We’re gonna see it all throughout the day because one biggest thing that happens, the more stressed and inflamed you get, is you get either a flattening of the cortisol or you can get a flattening with an increase at night and that can make it really hard to relax, really hard to settle down, obviously the flattening throughout the day can cause lower energy the first half of the day as well as a flat mood, right? Because cortisol is a glucocorticosteroid, gluco meaning pertains to energy and stress, corticosteroid meaning inflammation, so it’s a natural anti-inflammatory. So, yeah, we don’t have that arch cortisol in the morning, energy can below and that nice drop at night really helps us relax so that’s one of the first tests we’re gonna look at and then of course, we know melatonin is made from protein. It’s nice to see what’s happening with the protein side of the fence because if we don’t have good just stupid things like, hey I’m vegan vegetarian, I’m not eating enough protein, or I don’t have enough hydrochloric acid or enzymes or I have chronic gut issues like SIBO, IBS, H. pylori, gut bugs, and that’s maybe creating a bottleneck and also creating an inflammation in the gut which is then moving through the tight junctions into the bloodstream, moving it’s way to the brain that could affect the brain, brain inflammation, HPA-axis function, that’s brain talking to the adrenal glands and that could affect everything for sure. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I mean, when I had gut infections, my sleep was disturbed sometimes just because of pain in my gut, I mean so how many people have IBS that also have sleep problems, I can tell you it’s quite a lot, we work with that all the time and another thing too is the parasites, I mean, some argue that the parasites are more active at night. Some people report crawling and other weird sensations of parasites and I will tell you with stealth infections like Babesia, for example, which is an intracellular parasite. Babesia causes major problems with sleep in particular it’ll cause night sweats so some women think of it as hot flashes but it could be Babesia and unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of tick bites over the years and I can tell you with personal experience with Babesia that it would cause me to wake up at about an hour to after I went to bed. So, if I went to bed at nine I would be up by 11, sometimes sweating, sometimes no, but I would just be wide awake it was almost this infection was driving some sort of cortisol response, so after treating these type of infections usually the sleep problems go away and then as you mentioned we could supplement amino acids in the meantime especially because if someone has gut issues, we know they’re not gonna be synthesizing enough serotonin from their gut because the vast majority is made in the intestine. So, if you’ve got gut bugs and you don’t sleep well, you gotta fix the gut bugs if you wanna sleep well. Can you supplement melatonin and 5htp? Yes, and those are very nice natural things but they’re still band-aids, they’re not the root cause. So, like you said a stool test is something that could be an order, a urine test to look at the brain chemistry too because we could see dopamine and serotonin levels and then you mentioned cortisol which we could do via saliva or urine and we could see those inverse patterns. So, another thing I wanna mention is like, Relora. Relora is like a patented version of two different barks. There was one paper on it that it reduced cortisol levels by about 18% in four weeks. Now, I don’t recommend if you have sleep issues, just to go take this, you wanna test not guess. So, I don’t think it’s wise and I’m sure you would agree for people just to go take things that affect cortisol without knowing what your up against. I think it’ll be better for you to try to get some data first. So, don’t assume that because your sleep sucks that you have a cortisol problem because sometimes, we’ll test people that are wired at night and surprisingly they have low cortisol. Maybe it’s just emotional stress or something else but it’s not a cortisol problem and then sometimes people feel okay but at night their cortisol levels triple, where it shouldn’t be and then that’s where the nutrients come in to help to move it in the right direction. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. There also some things out there talking about pineal gland, that’s the gland that makes melatonin could, uh, get calcification and some of the calcification could be connected to fluoride and so may want to think about a high-quality water filtration system at least an under-counter RO system reverse   osmosis that filters out a lot of the fluoride. Just because that’s gonna be essentially it’s a prescription drug in the water and you’re getting an uncontrollable amount, so it’s really good to have a good water filtration system so I have a whole house carbon-based system, as well as, a under the counter reverse osmosis system. So, I’ll highly recommend having both but at least have one for your drinking water in that way you can get a lot of the crap out of the water. So, we’ll put a couple of links of water filtration products that we personally use and recommend ourselves throughout with our family as well as patients. And so that will help at least improve the water quality because that could have a connection with, uh, pineal gland calcification. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, you know, I got into fluoride years ago, just fluoride research and the toxicity of it and how even places, most major cities they add fluoride to the water, you know, so you’ll have like in Kentucky relatively decent water but then at the end they add fluoride to it which is just really criminal based on all the research we know about fluoride lowering the IQ and things like that and so when I was working out of a brick and mortar at a chiropractor’s office, we actually had a few x-rays where people had neck injuries from car wrecks and this might sound crazy but we were able to actually see the calcification on the x-ray, you know, if we were doing like a more of a head type x-ray for some of these neck and head injuries, you could literally see almost like this little darker spot or might have been bright white, I can’t remember, depending on the x-ray machine but you could see it and I was asking the chiropractor like what is that and he’s like well that’s the pineal gland. He’s like maybe this calcification thing is real because you’ll read that online, some people labeled it a conspiracy but I think there’s totally something to it and I have seen images of that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s one study right here, I’m looking at right now, it’s 2018 study, they’re looking at fluoride exposure and sleep patterns among adults and they’re talking about essentially, you know, looking at that level and they’re looking at fluoride exposure affecting sleep patterns. I’ll put the study here in the links but one of the conclusions here reached at the very end, let me kind of scroll down to it said chronic low level fluoride exposure may contribute to changes in sleep cycle and regulation and sleep behavior among older adolescents, U.S. additional prescriptive studies are warranted to examine the effects of fluoride on sleep patterns and determine the critical window of vulnerability for patients and so essentially they’re saying chronic low-level exposure, right. What about higher-level exposure, right? What about the extra fluoride in your toothpaste too, right? These are all some extra things that, you know, it’s just something you want to make sure that you have clean water and one benefit of clean water is keeping the fluoride out which could affect your sleep, also other stuff in the water such as potential parasites and bacteria that may not get hit by your typical chlorine and as well as potential pharmaceutical drugs. So, good health, uh, filtratration is gonna be wonderful. We’ll put the recommended links for the products that we use down below. 

Evan Brand: Speaking of drugs, why don’t we mention drugs. People that are doing different pharmaceuticals for fatigue or for mood issues or for ADD or ADHD, I mean people that are doing stimulants, you know methamphetamine derivatives, a lot of these people depending on the half-life, depending on the metabolism of the drug, depending on people’s digestion, depending on maybe that with caffeine or other stimulants, I mean that’s a huge problem and we are an addicted society to stimulants, I mean caffeine is probably the number one stimulant used worldwide but certainly I have tons of clients even teenagers unfortunately 14,15, 16-year-old, they are taking pharmaceuticals like Vyvanse or other really, really stimulating things to supposedly help them focus better but then they can’t sleep at night so then they’re on social media at night, they’re looking at their blue light screen which is gonna be suppressing melatonin production all night. Now, they’re laying in bed, scrolling on TikTok while they supposed to be sleeping and so there’s no wonder, we have so many teenagers that have depression and anxiety issues too because good sleep is really important for good mood and I tell you, if I don’t sleep as well, mood’s not as good and that’s just common sense because the glymphatic system, ‘G’ like Gary, the glymphatic system works when you’re sleeping and this is almost like a, think of it like a brain detox and with not enough sleep or quality sleep, that system doesn’t work and then our brain, we just can’t think clearly, we make worse decisions, we have less ability to react like in terms of driving and reaction time and speed, I mean, the brain really takes a hit when we don’t have sleep, you know, good quality sleep. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Well, let’s talk about some other nutrients that are very important. So, obviously, things like magnesium, very important, magnesium plugs into the mitochondria Krebs cycle supposedly at a minimum 300 to a thousand enzymatic roles in the body. So, it plays a large role in what’s going on with our health and with relaxation. Also, I like to combine a little bit of magnesium and some collagen which is very high in glycine. So, glycine and magnesium are super, superchargers for relaxation and really getting the parasympathetic nervous system up, very relaxing, very calming as well. So, I like that as just kind of a nice diet and lifestyle strategy and again if you make up a lot to go a pee, you may wanna give yourself an hour or two before the bed, before sleep, before you have that, at least an hour so you can kind of pee and get all that extra water out of your bladder. So, a good hour or two, very helpful, very relaxing, very calming. Of course, general lifestyle strategies like wearing good blue blocking glasses, um, just kind of mitigating a lot of the light stuff at the end, putting a lot of your lights on dimmer switches where you can at least not knock down a lot of the intensity down 80% or so, so that’s not stimulating cortisol and lowering melatonin. So, the light at night hits that pineal gland, it’s gonna raise your cortisol and lower melatonin because cortisol and melatonin are in an inverse relationship. Cortisol up, melatonin down so that’s very helpful.  

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, humans we’re so smart that we’re stupid and we brought the sunlight indoors whereas compared to the Amish, guess what, guess how much nighttime light exposure they have, virtually nothing. Number one, they don’t have electricity so if they want light it’s gonna be a candle and the intensity of a candle, number one the candle is gonna be amber red, there’s gonna be very, very minimal blue light coming from the candle and the intensity of it is a fraction of a single light bulb so, you know, you really screwed up by bringing lights indoors, I mean, they’re awesome but I try not use them so at night we’ll just use like a salt lamp at night, just salt lamps scattered around the home and those are relatively, uh, orange color and then relatively low intensity and then also, you mentioned the glycine. The glycine is awesome, I take glycine almost every day, it’s about, give or take 3 grams, just for a scoop of it and interestingly when my wife went in for a, to get, she had one mercury amalgams which are heavy metal that can affect sleep too, so we’ll talk about detox support, I think we should at least mention it. But when she went in to get her, uh, one silver removed, they actually gave her a glycine mouth rinse which I thought pretty interesting and she said it killed her out, like they had her almost like sit around and then swallow and she said it just chilled her out right before the procedure so it’s kind of like a natural, you know anti-anxiety formula that they were using in the dentist office so that was net. But let’s talk on detox support because I think we’ve talked about this before or at least I’ve mentioned in various podcasts but like histamine can be a problem with sleep so you know sometimes people need to go on like lower histamine diets and then if people have mold or other issues affecting their histamine then maybe like quercetin like a natural antihistamine would be helpful for sleep and or binders so like clays like zeolite clay can actually bind to histamine unlike charcoal. I don’t believe charcoal can but I have seen some stuff on clay binding to histamine so I will take a combination binder of some clay charcoal silica blends before bed and that does help my sleep and you know my wife, she definitely reports that she sleep better if she does charcoal before bed so the mechanism is probably that it’s binding up any nutrient or any toxin rather that’s gonna be stimulating a stress response, some people might benefit better with sleep remedies before bed and some might benefit better with detox remedies maybe you do both but maybe separate them by half an hour or so.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes a lot of sense. I’d also say, be careful of fasting too much, some people, they do really well with intermittent fasting and it can be helpful, some need to have some protein and some fat and a little bit of carbs before bed because their blood sugar may go low while they’re sleeping. So, if you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, you know, one of the best strategies is to have a little bit of a mini protein shake whether it’s collagen, magnesium kind of a coconut milk, maybe a little bit of berries in there just a little bit of protein a little bit of fat maybe a little bit of carbs, see if that kind of stabilizes your blood sugar. The goal is if your blood sugar gets too low, your body can utilize cortisol and adrenaline to pick that blood sugar back up, the problem is cortisol and adrenaline as it picks that blood sugar back up, it also wakes you up because it stimulates you, right? And then, you can fall out of sleep and that’s a big concern so managing blood sugar before bed and or if you wake up can be very helpful and I will also do some sublingual formulas if people wake up just to kind of help get back to sleep. Again, the problem with it is if you’re like an hour or two away from when you’re supposed to get up that can be problematic because maybe you’re a little bit drowsy going into the morning but if it’s the middle of the night and you got like three hours or so then you can definitely take that and that’ll help you get back to sleep but, you know, good diet lifestyle strategy is super important and then we have, you know, we have to look at the circadian rhythm and the cortisol levels at night and in the morning because, you know, we’ll look at these, we’ll test these with our patients and that’ll give us a good insight and one of the big things is just trying a little bit of food and or shake in the middle of the night and if that helps you get back to sleep or a little bit before you go to bed, if that helps you from waking up and there’s probably a blood sugar connection.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. If you’re listening to this and your head is spinning, uh, we do consultations and so this is how we tease things apart so you’re just getting an insight into our brains so you’re just kind of tuning into Justin and I riffing, we didn’t plan this, we didn’t schedule this talk in terms of like how are we gonna dive into this, this is us riffing and so I hope you guys enjoy this flow because this is how we think, we’re approaching a situation with a client who comes to us and says, hey I’ve got sleep problems, we’re running through this is in our head almost instantly, the cortisol, the blood sugar, the stress, the emotions, the gut, I mean we’re just kind of filtering this in our head, we’re processing it, we’re listening to your symptoms we’re matching up gut symptoms with skin issues, with mood issues, with sleep issues and then we’re creating almost this mental map in our head, we’re creating this like spider web of what part of the web is disrupted in this person, where do we need to go, what part of the web do we need to reconstruct to get this whole symphony working together because sleep is really a complex thing. There’s a lot of things to be going good, to have good sleep, I mean, it’s no surprise wherein an epidemic of people taking sleeping medications because as you’ve listened if you’ve been somewhat paying attention through this podcast, you’re hearing there’s a hormonal component, there’s a neurotransmitter component, a gut component, an infection component, a blood sugar possibly a blood pressure component, a heavy metals and other toxins components so this thing can get really complex and so if you just go to the doctor and you get ambient or a sleeping medication, all you’ve done is put yourself in somewhat of a drug coma, you’ve done nothing to fix any of these root causes and if you have toxins or other issues creating the sleep problem, you’re just getting farther and farther away and it’s really sad to see how commonly the sleep medications are passed out like candy because what they don’t tell you it’s very difficult to get off of those drugs especially if it’s in the benzodiazepines category where it’s like an anti-anxiety and sleep remedy like lorazepam, those things are incredibly addictive, incredibly powerful drugs that are very hard to get off so we just prefer you guys, think root cause. It doesn’t have to be revolutionary but I guess it is because the conventional medicine approach of this stuff is garbage and then, uh, that was a little mini rant. One other thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yep. 100% right though Evan. 

Evan Brand: So, one of the things CBD can be helpful so there, you know, there’s so many states now that have medicinal cannabis to where you can get a tiny bit of THC. I’m not saying that people need to get high to sleep but I have found that clients in these legal states where they can get like a three to one or a five to one ratio so what that means is like say five parts CBD to one part THC, some of these sublinguals or topicals or sprays or edibles or gummies or flowers concentrates, whatever they like that can be enough to help regulate the nervous system. I think the mechanism is probably tamping down inflammation but there’s probably some nervous system component to it as well and so if you’re in a state where you can’t do THC, you could at least do CBD or try to get some organically grown plants and you could do give or take 10 to 20 milligrams is what I’ll do in tincture form put in under the tongue and it’s not like a sedative, it’s not gonna patch you out in the middle of the day but it will help you be a little more rested so sometimes I’ll do a combination of like the GABA chewables that I’ve got, a couple of motherwort tincture which is like a heart calming herb and then a little bit of CBD, something like that triple combos is pretty awesome. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you know, I do like that a lot. That makes a lot of sense. So, deeper right kind of root cause stuff, we’re always looking at diet, we’re always looking at blood sugar, we’re always looking at inflammation, we’re always looking at circadian rhythm and adrenal function, of course females if we have estrogen dominance and low progesterone is very important for calming and activating the parasympathetic. We want to look at the hormonal imbalances that could be driving things, um, also chronically low thyroid low T3 levels, you can see associated with insomnia and sleep issues, got to look at the insulin, got to look at the thyroid connection there as well, got to make sure we’re digesting and breaking things down, uh, very important. The hard part is anything can cause everything, that’s the hard part so we have to look at the underlying root cause mechanisms, we have to look at the person as an individual we have to look at their diet and lifestyle habits, we have to kind of timeline their history out so we can understand all things that happened, as they either got better or worse in their condition that tells me a lot and of course we go to test, we got to make sure that we’re not guessing but assessing what the root causes are, that’s very important. 

Evan Brand: Oh yeah. Well said, bringing up the thyroid there in the final hour, that’s very important and tons of people with Hashimoto’s right, autoimmune thyroid, they may have this attack on their thyroid where all of a sudden they’re leaking out thyroid hormone and then boom they’re anxious and wired in the middle of the night so great call on that and sometimes like thyroid calming herbs may need to be used and I believe technically in some of these thyroid calming blends we’ve used, I think motherwort is in there, I know Bugleweed is in there but I think motherwort might be in there too. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, also Melissa or lemon balms, another calming one too. Yeah. So, they’re a very common kind of relaxing. Some of them really work on getting GABA really upregulated and, uh, and going so that’s super helpful. So, people if you’re listening here and you wanna dive in deeper at you know what the potential root causes could be with your sleep or health issues, you know, feel free to head to evanbrand.com, all right, Evan works with patients all over the world and or myself Dr. J here at justinhealth.com, we are available worldwide, they’ll be info where you guys can click, you guys can connect with us and our staff and we’re more than willing to help you, we do specific lab testing, we look at diet lifestyle strategies, we’ll look at potential toxins because sometimes mold or other toxicities can play a role. We’ll really get to the root cause so we can, not just kind of get you sleeping better, we get you healing and feeling better overall, that’s really the key. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Last thing here, sleep issues are really just the tip of the iceberg. It’s very rare to find someone with just sleep issues typically there is a like I mentioned a mood component maybe anxiety, depression, uh, generally it’s lumped into fatigue as well, maybe joint issues, gut issues, skin issues, I mean, so if you find somebody with just sleep issues, cool, maybe that’s an easier case for us to fix but many times fatigue is in the list and sleep, they often go hand in and obviously. So, this is not just important for you to get good rest, this is important for you to have more energy during the day so you can be more productive at your job, be a more productive parent, a business owner, entrepreneur or whatever you’re doing in your busy life. It’s really important that you get this thing dialed in. So, take your sleep issues seriously, please reach out if you need help. Dr. J at justinhealth.com or Evan at evanbrand.com and we’d love to help you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. I’ll put on some of the studies on fluoride as well than below and we’ll put some of the recommended products that we use for water filtration as well. All right Evan, good chat with you man. Hey everyone, have a phenomenal week and we’ll be back. Take care, you all. Take it easy. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

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Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/functional-medicine-strategies-to-help-improve-your-sleep-podcast-360

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: Spell Cubbi. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yep. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great muscle relaxer

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: Sweet. So, regarding 

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: Take care. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended Products:

Magnesium Supreme

TruKeto Collagen

Trucollagen (Grassfed)

Enzyme Synergy

Organic Grassfed Meat

Audio Podcast:

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: You too man. Take care. 

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

Evan Brand: Bye-bye. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended products:

Dopa Replete Plus

Dopa Replete

Iodine Synergy

Thyro Replete

Adrenal Revive

Adrenal Boost

JIH Thyroid Advantage Panel

Dutch Adrenal Test

Heavy Metal Clear

Heavy Metal Test

Audio Podcast:

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

 

Why You Can’t Put On Muscle – Functional Medicine Solutions to Avoid Being Flabby | Podcast #357

For most people, Dr. J and Evan state that most of the end goal is to build muscle and tone up. While you may have done your research and watched plenty of workout videos online, many still make a variety of common mistakes that can lead to hampering gains and slowing down their progress.

It would help if you also had protein which contains amino acids, the compounds that help build and repair muscle tissue. While cardio is essential, too much of it can also harm you and possible lack of sleep. Moreover, Dr. J and Evan emphasize that monitoring your diet or food template is vital in the entire process.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction

1:53 – The role of protein and diet in building muscles

5:31 – Helpful exercises to stimulate muscle building

12:12 – The gut connection of a flabby body

18:04 – The effect of too much sugar and carbohydrates in muscle growth

30:56 – Helpful strategies and lifestyle modifications to boost muscle growth


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Today, we’re gonna be talking about putting on muscle mass, how to avoid being flabby. We’re gonna be talk about digestion, exercise, being able to absorb and break down protein, also you can work on helping to be, you know, strong, functionally strong, lean, etc. we’re really excited to dive into today’s topic here. Evan, how you doing man?

Evan Brand: Yeah, doing really well and you guys asked for this. We didn’t just come up with this how not to be flabby topic. You guys said this during many so much consultation that Dr. J and I had done personally with people that’s what women say. So, were gonna address that. They say, “I’m flabby and I don’t want to be and what do I do about it?” And if you were to ask like a conventional weight trainer, bodybuilder type person, they’re gonna tell you to probably eat more calories and just work out more harder. And most of the people that have come to us, they’ve already been down that rabbit hole and they’re far more symptomatic and sicker than at the level of where they can just try to hit the gym harder and that’s really to me not the answer because I’m lean. I stay lean. Now, granted I’m not a 50- to 60-year-old woman that has this particular issue, but I don’t have any sort of issue to where I feel like I need to eat less. I don’t count. I don’t measure. I don’t think any of the women and men even listening or watching this, I don’t think you need to count, or measure or weigh. I mean this food obsession. Our ancestors didn’t do this. They’re not out in the past year in, you know, native American times looking at the bison and saying, “oh no, that’s my two ounces of beef, I gotta stop” or “my bison, I can’t go beyond that four-ounce portion that’s too much”. There’s deeper root causes like estrogenic compounds in the environment and mycotoxins that effect your leptin receptors and create this fat storage mode so there is some more modern toxin issues that hopefully we can dive into today.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. So, first thing out of the gates, we need to make sure we’re consuming enough protein. That’s really important. So, protein is essentially the building blocks to help out put on muscle and to keep our body strong and so what’s kind of the general sliding scale. Again, it depends upon how much you’re wanting to exercise, what your goals are right. So, as a female, you’re not gonna just be able to hit some lifting and then get overly bulky, it’s just not gonna happen. But, kind of general scale is about half a gram to one gram per pound of body weight is a pretty good rule of thumb so if you’re a guy like I’m six to 215 pounds, I would probably if I wanna really get bigger, I need to be doing at least 200, 230, you know, grams of protein per day, right? Typically, I’m at about .6 to like three quarters a gram per pound of body weight, so like maybe around 150 grams. I’m usually about 5 – 6 ounces of proteins per meal and so that’s kind of where I need to beat at one protein is very satiating, I’m making sure, I’m consuming fat with it, so, then it’s stabilizing blood sugar. It’s providing a lot of amino acids which are, you know, important for brain chemistry, blood sugar stability, mood. Also, adding fat with it which one fat tends to have good high-quality cholesterol from animal products, so, that provide building blocks for hormones, fat soluble vitamins, really good nutrients. And from there, your carbs are going to be dialed in based on your activity levels, that’s where more starch, if you’re more active, if you are pretty lean, you could probably handle more starch. If you’re carrying extra weight, you want to mitigate the starch, go lower on the starch and focus more on non-starchy vegetables, maybe a little bit of low sugar fruit and kind of time that up. The next thing is stimulus. You’re gonna need to more your muscles ideally and it’s not have to be a crazy amount. It depends on your goals are. If you’re just a woman then you wanna have your muscles just feel solid, that could be something like Pelatis, where you’re doing body weight or cable movements, you know, typically finding a movement where you could do about 12 to 15, as a female, reps, um, with maybe 1 – 2 reps the tank. And I like, 1 – 2 reps in the tank, just because it makes it so you’re probably gonna hurt yourself. The more skilled you are, the more you can go right to failure, that’s better. The less skilled you are with the movement, if you don’t have a good trainer watching you, you know, probably leaving one to two reps in the tank will help prevent you getting injured. But, just recommend starting with push-ups with good full-range push-ups. I like having a borrowed push-up because I can go deeper which is great, my face won’t hit the ground, right, so I can go deeper, go all the way down and then go all the way up, so full range. Here, you can get a TRX which is a suspension trainer, put it in the door jam, I have one over here in my gym and you can do a full range pull so you’re working in the push, pull, and of course you can also do, uh, Lat pulldowns like this, or hands facing to you, so pull up, chin ups in the face, do more of the Lats, yeah, chin ups, more Lats, pull up is gonna be more biceps. So, you’re working, trying to work every single range that comes at you and ideally with the pull up you could get some elastic bands that hook around your bar and that go around your knee that gives you that little extra push. So, the key is just to find simple movements that you can do to failure plus or minus 1 or 2 reps in the tank. That’s a really good stimulus out of the gates and the next thing is really dialing in the protein, so we talked about amounts there and then we can go other things like digestion and other gut issues that could be impairing that protein absorption later on. 

Evan Brand: So, I can hear a woman saying, “you’re nuts, I’m not gonna do a pull-up, there’s no way I can do a push up, I’m not anywhere close to that fitness level”. And I would say, if you’re not, if you do have access to a gym, if you’re into a gym, I’m not anymore, I used to have a gym membership, I don’t need it anymore, I’ve got a good setup at home, so I feel like I’m great without it. But if you were to have access to a gym even for 10 bucks a month. There’s a lot of good ones like planet fitness that are out there now to where you can do some of these assisted like, uh, type exercises where they have assisted pull-ups or they have like assisted, uh, dips where you have weight that literally pushes you. It like, if you weigh 200 you add 50 pounds that it’ll make you feel like you weigh 150 and you can start there. So, you’re really starting with like a negative weight of your true weight. So those machines are available if you could feel like you’re just so out of shape, you can’t even do one push-up or one pull. And you can just go on your knees too, I mean you could start out push-ups on your knees as needed. You gotta find people, where they’re at. So, if you’re like, ‘man I’m too discouraged, I can’t do a freaking pull-up, I give up, I’m not doing anything’, you don’t have that attitude about it and if you could have one piece of equipment, I mean, I gotta say I love the row machine, I’m glad you got one too. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The roller is lovely machine.   

Evan Brand: It works your legs, it works your arms, it works your backs, works your arms, your traps. I mean if I could take one thing to an island, some are gonna argue with kettlebell, which probably is more functional, but in terms of enjoyment, I gotta say, I really enjoy and love the rower and I still think, there’s a place for kettlebells and dumbbells, I mean those are awesome, universal things. But for women, that and, and I just know this based on personal experience. Maybe younger females are not gonna be turned away. But I can tell you, if I try to take a kettlebell to a 70-year-old woman, she’s not gonna be interested in swinging that thing around. She’s gonna be worried about hurting her back or swinging the wrong way and it’s a lot more intimidating than sitting down and just simply rowing. So, this is hard to give one universal prescription because there’s different people listening, but I would say rower is very easy, low impact on your joints and not intimidating at all.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and then what’s the name of the rower that we have? 

Evan Brand: It’s called a concept 2. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Concept 2. Yeah. I think I have the D. You have the D as well? 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I think, yeah. I think the D is, there’s a little different but yeah concept 2-D, it’s a rower. It’s vey very sturdy. You get what you paid for. So, it’s around a thousand bucks but it’s worth it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s worth it, you could stand it up, so it saves a lot of space too. Yeah, I like that more for my interval stuff, so I’ll do a 30 sec on, 20 sec off, I’ll do eight sets of that. That’s gonna be more of like high intensity, just really good cardio interval stuff. I like that, just for keeping metabolism up, keeping the body a little bit leaner and more functional. I like the fact that you’re doing something that’s on the cardio side that’s putting you more into extension like this and you’re using your hamstrings to pull yourself as you slide right back and forward, you’re using a lot of your hamstrings and then a lot of the back where a lot of cardio stuff like, you know, whether it’s a bike or you’re on Peloton or you’re on elliptical, you kind of hunched over in this flexion position. I love the fact that you’re opening things up and extension. So, I like that. That’s good. That’s definitely on the cardio side. Now, like Evan talked about earlier like, easiest thing out of the gates a TRX suspension trainer is great because you can just change the angle in which you’re at so like, if here’s the suspension trainer hanging, and if I’m like at this position, this is going to be, meaning I’m flat with the ground, I’m like a 90 degrees angle from that suspension trainer, that’s gonna be the hardest. So, you can always just change it so you’re at 45 degrees or less. It’s like the equivalent of like kneeling or doing a wall push up, right, the angle is less, um, less perpendicular, therefore you’re gonna have less force, so you can always just do a TRX trainer and just change the angle so that push up or pull up is gonna be less and then in between you can also even do cables, whether you have cables at a gym or you can get some flexible bands that either wrap around like, um, like let’s say, I have a big, um, squat bar, so I’d wrap it around that and so it would be behind me like this and I would do pushes like this where I could do pulls like that, that’s great. Just, if you’re wearing, if you’re doing cables, if it’s not fully secure, I do recommend wearing safety class. People have gotten those things that have snapped and hit you in the eye, you can get some safety ones that like have like a little protective, I wanna say, like a wrapper around the cable. So, if it does break, the wrapper prevents it from whacking you in the eye. Does that make sense? So protective band or really kind of a safety-based cable that’s not gonna break, um, if it does it won’t whack you. So those are good options for you out of the gates for stimulus, because you need to have the stimulus, right? Push, pull, right, pull in the vertical motion, you can even do a row in that motion, uh, you can do hip extension movement which is the easiest thing there is gonna be like a kettlebell swing, that’s gonna be easy or some type of a deadlift, right, it’s gonna be really an easy one there out of the gates. Anything else you wanna say about just the lifting? I recommend just, kind of, keep it simple. Do primal movements that are just gonna one put resistance in that plane of motion and just work within that, plus or minus, you know, 1 – 2 reps of failure. So, you’re not gonna hurt yourself but you also feel a little bit fatigued the next day. 

Evan Brand: Well, just simply moving throughout the day, I mean a lot of people are listening right now, they’re sitting at an office chair, they’re sitting in their car, you and I are both standing up, right now and we both do stand and sit. Sometimes, I’ll put my desk on the very lowest setting to where I’ll just literally be on one knee, like proposing and I will work on one knee for a little while. So, you and I are doing something very unnatural and many people are listening, we’re looking at screens and we’re, um, in a box working on a computer and so that’s very unnatural. So, I try to counteract that as best as I can by trying to either do the row machine on my lunch break and go from sitting to standing to kneeling and just try to do these positions. So, people listening, I’m not saying you gotta stand all day, I did that for a while, they hurt my back, so I think too much of one thing is not good either and if you’re a woman you’re in an office and you’ve got high heels shoes on, you’re trying to do it, obviously take your shoes off, try to go barefoot, you can get a really good like silicone, like rubber mat that they use for like washing dishes at the same time. Yeah, like an anti-fatigue mat, I mean, I would do something like that. These are the simple strategies. Now, would it be more optimal to be out in the sunshine all day, mostly skin exposed grounded, walking the beach 2miles a day and eating grass-fed meat all day and you know having, you know, handsome men, like wave banana leaves and keep you cool. That’d be awesome but people still have to work so I think you’ve got to work in some of these functional strategies with your normal real life. And then let’s go into the more, I guess you would call it nuance but really more of the deeper root causes because I’ve had people lose 50 to 75 pounds by changing nothing in regards to diet and nothing in regards to fitness. These were people that were relatively active. These were people that already had their diet dialed in, they were mostly animal based good quality meats, doing fine on the protein and the fats but they had these other root cause issues and I’d say that the first place would be to go is the gut and you and I have talked about this in other aspects but in other podcasts too but the gut can really be a big place where you gonna become flabby and this is really due to the recirculation of toxins, when you have bacterial growth in your gut, which is an extremely common thing, this is not rare. When you have a bacterial overgrowth, in general, that can create an elevation of what’s called Beta-glucuronidase, which is an enzyme that’s gonna cause you to recirculate hormones and so, you have this personal trainer beating you up and you’re not making progress. If you don’t look at this marker and you don’t fix the gut, you’re likely not gonna have many results and the personal trainer is gonna take it personal. They’re gonna try to hit you harder, they’re gonna try to kill you and I’ve heard this before when women are literally dropping out of fitness classes because the instructor’s just beating, beating, beating and it’s like that’s the definition of insanity. So, you got to get this root causes. If you’ve got this recirculation of these hormones and or toxins like mycotoxins, I don’t care how hard you hit the CrossFit, you’re not gonna get the results that you want. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And also, just if the fats over that muscle, you’re gonna feel a little bit flabby even though the muscle underneath is getting a little bit stronger. So, you know, I always recommend getting your micronutrients dialed in, getting your carbohydrates in check so you’re not overdoing it, uh, because the more carbohydrates you make, the more insulin, the more you’re gonna be storing your fuel as fat. And again, the more your metabolism is higher, you’re more ectomorphic, you’re leaner naturally, you can handle more carbohydrates, right? The goal is that we individualize things for each person because, you know, we talk about low carb or keto, some people don’t need to do that and some people can be keto and much higher levels of carbohydrates. Some people can be ketogenic at 100 grams, for 200 grams of carbohydrates a day based on their activity and their metabolism. Some needs to be like minus 20 or 30 net. So, everyone’s a little bit different, I think that’s the important. There’s some individuality there. I would say the next thing is we, um, if you’re a female, it’s really important, menopause can really throw women’s metabolism off. If there’s low thyroid or Hashimoto’s that can really throw metabolism off. So, if you’re struggling, you’re having a hard time, we have to look at your thyroid function, look at your T3, your thyroid levels, look at antibodies, make sure that’s under control. If progesterone and estrogen is very low especially estriol and progesterone that can affect muscle building. Progesterone is really important for collagen and elasticity formation. It’s part of the reason why women get a lot of varicose veins is low progesterone, which has a major effect on the elasticity of the veins. So very important there. And then I would also say, um, toxin exposure, right? If you have lots of estrogen, if your estrogen dominant from birth control pills or estrogen from meats or milks or soy, that can put you in more of a fat storing mode because these hormones produce more fat and then guess what your fat also has an exocrine function in regards to producing estrogen. The fatter you get then the more fat you get and the more estrogen your fat cells produce. It’s just like downward spiral that just kind of, is a positive feedback loops that gets worse and worse as you go along. So, you really have to look at toxins in meat, pesticides which are all hormone-based, drugs that are gonna have estrogens in it, birth control pills, etc., milks, plastics, eating your foods out of plastic especially plastics that you’re warming things up on or you’re letting UV light hit, definitely not a good thing out of the gates.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said on the thyroid too and your personal trainer is likely not testing your thyroid, so obviously, that’s were gonna be doing. And then also you know, we have a lot of experience with fitness. So, we try to educate people and give fitness plans and advice where we can there. And, I think the big people are skipping the foundational pieces. I mean, it’s fine if you just want to sign up for a class and try to get active but really, I would say, get some of these labs run first. Get your gut looked at so we can see what type of bacterial overgrowth you have, as I mentioned this is an epidemic problem. This is not a rare situation and the gut can be one of the big wrenches in your gears. That’s not allowing you to lose the weight properly and like I said, have people literally lose 75 pounds, just by fixing some of these strategies like fixing digestion. Now, for some people it could go to the other way. Some of these issues with females, it’ll cause weight loss and they’re having issues with getting muscle back, you know, building it back. And so, it depends on where you’re at. Some, they lose muscle and they still have body fat but they’re thin they’re like a skinny fat, they call it, you know, you could have a woman who’s five foot two and she’s 140lbs. And then all of a sudden, she gets sick, loses weight, now she’s 120 but she still looks flabby. That could just be because she lost that muscle due to malabsorption due to these infections like H. pylori. You and I’ve talked about the story of me where I lost 25 pounds without trying, I didn’t really have much weight to lose, but I got super skinny due to my gut infections and so it took me literally several years to build the muscle back but the first step to building back was to get rid of the gut infections and then still working on detox. I had a ton of mold toxin issues and that really screwed up my metabolism to where I was very hungry like 2 – 3 hours, I’d have to eat and no matter if it was a grass-fed steak or what. And now, I could literally go from 7am to 1pm without food and I feel like perfectly fine. I feel satiated, my brain works better, I have more mental clarity, so a lot of it’s the as you mentioned. It’s the blood sugar involvement too so you have to fix that.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% So like the big checklist out of the gates is don’t do too much carbohydrates. Too much carbohydrate, too much sugar will make you a little bit flabby whether it’s through cortisol, whether it’s through inflammation, oxidative stress. Of course, if you’re eating a lot more carbs, right, you’re not really getting enough protein typically, right? Unless, you are someone who’s higher metabolism and really making sure proteins and carbs are dialed in and you’re doing a lot of activity. Most people, they do too much carbs too much sugar, they tend to not be getting enough protein. So, half of your body weight in grams is usually pretty decent out of the gates and then you can go up to one gram per pound of body weight depending on how active you are. So, some are gonna be good, most women are gonna be good, somewhere between a half to maybe two-thirds to three-quarters. And a lot of male people that wanna get really big, they may want to be one gram per pound of body weight. That’s kind of a good sliding scale. 

Evan Brand: Now, in the beginning, I was saying I don’t think people need to count, measure, weigh and then now you’re giving numbers so I just want to clarify kind of where I am with it. I think you can and should, to get a ballpark of where you’re at based on your meals but you should not be obsessing about it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I keep it really simple, right? And so, what is, um, what is about four ounces of protein is gonna be about 25 – 30 grams of protein, right?  And so, for most women, that’s gonna be about a palm to a fist size. And so, when you looking at, picking up, you know, you’re serving yourself a meal, it’s very simple, you know, there’s no weighing or measuring, you’re just kind of like what is about a palm to a fist size in regards to my hand, in regards to that serving of protein on the plate and you just scoop yourself up that amount anyway and that’s your amount. So, there’s no real crazy amount of weighing or measuring, it’s just kind of eyeballing kind of your own anatomy comparatively to what’s on the plate, and that’s usually a pretty good rule of thumb. And you know you did pretty, pretty good it’s because you’re gonna feel satiated after that meal, you’re going to eat about 10 minutes after you finished eating. The goal is we want to feel satiated enough where we can go 4 – 5 hours to the next meal. So, that’s kind of give you enough. We’re not pulling on a scale. We’re not having to measure but you got to know that like in the end, if you’re eating enough, well, what does that really mean? You ate some size amount. What is that size? It’s probably gonna be between 3 and 5 ounces of protein on average and then you can just use your hand as a good frame of reference when you’re serving yourself up. Keep it simple. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Thanks for clarifying that because I said a lot of people, they’re just so brainwashed from conventional dieting and stuff and they get freaked out about food. They have like a PTSD of food portioning and all that and they think they have to do that. And you don’t and once you get clued in with your satiety signals. It’s so easy, you don’t need to think about it and. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a good frame of reference, right? Because in the end, you’ve gotta serve yourself up something. How do you know to serve yourself up this much versus this much, right? You know, usually, you know, 3 – 6 ounces, 3 – 5 ounces would be pretty good. So, like for a guy, right, I’m 6 – 10-ish, right? I have bigger hands to like I may serve protein amounts the size of my hound. So, go between a palm to a palm, to a fist to a full hand is usually that frame of reference. The more active you are, the more stressed you are, the more act, you know, the more you’re doing exercise, move to a protein amount the size of your full hand. The less active you are, you can go to that palm size. And if you just starting out like you’re coming on board like being like a vegan vegetarian where there’s not a lot of protein. Start with a quarter palm then kind of work your way up. And again, if you have problems with your protein, it typically means you have low hydrochloric acid, low enzymes and you have to really work with a good functional medicine person to get your HCl and enzymes up and you may have H. pylori and SIBO and other bacterial imbalances that are impending your digestion so you have to look deeper if those symptoms come up. It’s not the protein, it’s the fact that your digestive system is weaker and cannot tolerate the protein. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. A lot of people blame the meat, ‘oh, I feel bad when I eat meat, so I’m not gonna eat meat’. It’s like, no. That’s, you’re supposed to be doing that. Like, I have a client the other day that was in South Dakota, super strict vegan. And I’m like, ‘okey how dedicated are you to being vegan?’. Like, well, they’re totally like, ‘I’m total dedicated’. Like, okay, so if let’s just role play, I was like, ‘okay, if there were no planes, no trains, no buses, no semi-tracks and it’s the middle of February and there’s a foot of snow on the ground in South Dakota, are you gonna be able to stick to your diet?’ The answer is ‘no way’. I’m like, ‘what would you be eating that’s in the landscape?’ Animals. So, we don’t have to turn into that podcast but I just want people to know, how important these things are. They really do help stabilize blood sugar. Could you make vegetarian vegan diets work? Maybe, if you try really, really hard. But that’s a whole other podcast. Let’s go back to the mycotoxin piece for a minute because something we’re seeing is something called Zearalenone, which is highly, highly estrogenic mycotoxin and it comes from a mold Fusarium which grows in water damaged buildings. Now, you will get exposed to some of this from moldy contaminated grains but I would say that vast majority, 90% of it, I would estimate is probably from buildings meaning whether your mother had mold and passed it in utero and if you are breastfed, if you went to moldy daycare as a kid, moldy elementary, middle, high school, moldy homeschool, moldy college, moldy dorm, moldy office building. I mean this is an epidemic problem. I see it literally every single day, all day and Zearalenone really screws up your estrogen, actually far more than soy. It’s way more estrogenic than soy. So, we do talk about, you know, the pitfalls of doing like soy protein and that kind of thing. But man, Zearalenone will screw you up way more than soy protein. And this is something you have to use binders to pull it out of the system. So, if you’re struggling with weight loss, you are having these estrogen dominant symptoms. Maybe, you’ve worked on the hormone piece, but you’re still struggling. Maybe you’ve implemented something like calcium D-Glucarate to work on that glucuronidation pathway but you’re still suffering, you may need to look into this and we measure this via urine. So, this is where, like you mentioned, a good work-up comes in handy. We’re gonna do urine, we’re gonna do stool as needed. We can look into these different body systems and find the dysfunction but this is the real root cause, functional medicine strategy to have lean muscle mass and lose body fat. And unfortunately, this is a very, very not talked about discussion. You and I talked before we hit record, there’s a lot of talking heads on the internet. People that will say this study says that and this study says that but none of them are actually doing the clinical work and we wouldn’t be able to do what we do if we didn’t get results. And we get results because we’re running the right labs, we’re doing the right root cause strategy which is getting these toxins out of the system. And I’ve seen it in children as young as five, I’ve seen it in two, three, four-year-old. I’ve seen it in my own kids, we tested their urine and see mycotoxins. So, this is a problem that it does affect kids. Now, you know, obesity in children usually there is diet issues but I have seen in some cases, I have a lady in New York, her 8-year-old was basically eating paleo but she was obese and she had extremely high levels of Zearalenone. Luckily for this little girl, we were able to do binders, she was able to swallow pills which was great because it made it easier and boom this kid lost weight, she didn’t change anything with diet. She just detoxed. So, honestly with so much toxins that we’re up against, I would say detox support for life is really how I approach the conversational people. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So, if you’re in a moldy home, you know definitely get your home tested. If you have a lot of mold toxins out of the gate, you know, it depends on kind of where you’re at. If there’s an active mold stress in the environment, I typically recommend work on getting your digestion, your diet, your inflammation dialed in. If there’s no active mold in your environment and then work on dealing with mold detoxification once you have more stability with all your other organ systems and immune function. So, it just depends upon where you’re coming from. If you have like active mold in your environment, that’s the easiest way to detoxify out of the gates is to get the environment kind of more dialed in and we have a podcast on that topic that we can put in the links down below. Evan, anything else you want to highlight for the listeners? So, I mean digestion is really important, HCl, enzymes, bacterial overgrowth, poor digestion, we talked about getting enough protein and again we thought you kind of talked about measuring not measuring but just kind of using your own anatomy as frame of reference because you have to serve yourself anyway in regards to what you’re eating. So, it just gives you a good frame of reference that you know how much to give and then ideally enough so you feel full and that you’ll last about 4 to 5 hours. Now, if you’re working with trainers out of the gates, do enough where you feel sore not overly sore, the next day or two make sure you walk out of the gym feeling more energized than when you started. Make sure you can emotionally repeat what you are doing, you’re not emotionally exasperated and then also that next day or that later on that day. If it’s a morning workout, make sure you don’t feel run over by a bus, make sure you’re doing just enough where your body can adapt to. It’s all about adaptation, can you adapt to it, from it, can you feel better then afterwards. And again, if you’re doing a brand-new movement, you may feel a little bit sore and it’s a new movement so just, you know, try to keep that in the back of your head too.  

Evan Brand: And, if you can’t recover then there’s probably some level of mitochondrial dysfunction. We’re also gonna look at that, if we look at chemical profile testing, there’s a marker there. If we look at organic acids, we can look at mitochondria there. So, for me, after I got exposed to mold, I would tell you, my performance and my recovery was terrible. I mean, I used to recover in like a day or two. It was like 3 days, I was still sore, I was like, man, this is not right. Once I got the mitochondria working better, retested, look at it, I confirmed, hey, that was directly correlated. And we’ve talked about this I think briefly before but the issue of bacterial overgrowth and that producing high levels of lactic acid so you could have a high baseline level of lactic acid which creates this soreness even just from the overgrowth in your gut. So, we’ll have a woman that’ll say, ‘oh my God. I’m sore and I haven’t done anything, all I done was go in the garden, why am I so damn sore’. Their bucket was already so full due to the gut infection. So, fix that, test it, and fix it. The last thing I was gonna say was on the environment, which is that you can’t get well in a sick environment. So, whether that’s bad lighting, LED lighting, try to use incandescent bulbs, like half natural lights, like I’m surrounded by a bunch of windows. Getting that bright light exposure to help regulate your cortisol rhythm, making sure you’re using twilight or some other app at night on your phone, if you’re doing blue light at night, because we know that blue light can make you fat through various mechanisms affecting glucose and cortisol making sure your detoxing making sure you’re not wearing synthetic fragrance, I mean there’s so many people we asked this on the intake form. Do you use scented products? I will tell you, I’m very surprised how many people are seeking out natural functional medicine and they still use scented laundry detergent, dryer sheets. All these synthetic fragrances, they can affect your hormones and they’re not good. They are bad toxins. They’re endocrine disruptors. So, go free and clear. It’s not expensive, every mainstream brand has a free and clear unscented version. So, implement that easily. You don’t want to be wearing endocrine disruptors on your clothes all day, you’re already exposed to those. If you go out, even to Chipotle, which I think is one of the best places you could go if you have to eat out. Even their bowls have those non-stick chemicals in there. So, you’re getting exposed to toxins even if you’re not trying, the last thing you want to do is wear those and put your husband or your kids in those clothes. So, go fragrance free please. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And also, by the way, you know, if you show up to the store like my wife got Thai the other day. I went and picked it up for and they like scooped it and put it in like, like this hot coconut, you know, curry in a plastic container. So, I recommend, if you can, you know, keep a Pyrex container in your car, so if you go out to these places, literally bring your own glass Pyrex. Hey, can you please put it in this. 

Evan Brand: They might. They might comply. Yeah. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve done it before. I’ve done it with Thai a lot of times because it’s so hot so I’ll just bring it but like hey can you please have the cook put it in this place. 

Evan Brand: That’s awesome. I travel with my own. We travel with our own, you know water bottles, we’ll bring our own stainless-steel cups everywhere we go. So, we’re not drinking water that’s gonna be contaminated with small amounts of pesticide and herbicide and pharmaceutical drugs. You can look up the environmental working group. For people listening, type in, EWG water report. You can put in your zip code. Here in Kentucky, where I am, we have certain chemicals in the water hundreds of times higher than the safe levels that are all highly carcinogenic and endocrine disruptors. So, this is not just, we’re being picky, no, the water in tap water is toxic. So, you need to travel with filtered water and you’re saving your gut. We know that parts per billion of glyphosate damages good bacteria which creates bacterial overgrowth. So, unfortunately it has become more complicated to become healthy. Have you seen those memes, I’m sure you have of like a bunch of skinny people at the beach in the 1960s and all the obese people in the 2020s at the beach and it’s like ‘what happened? ‘. And there was a lot less of that toxic exposure back then than now.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, there was also carbohydrates too, I mean there was no trans fat back then. If you look at carbohydrates, if you look at, like, the macronutrients per decade, proteins relatively flat, you’ll see fat drop and you’ll see carb increase. So really, it’s a lot more carbs, a lot less good fat. So, of course, good healthy saturated fats, I mean up until 1988, McDonalds have beef tallow, up until the uh, I think it’s the CSPA whatever one of these vegan groups came in and wanted soybean oil which just disastrous, I mean if you had reasonably non-GMO free, um, potatoes in some beef tallow that’s amazing, that’s actually not even that bad. Um, but they changed it to soy in ’88 so you have a lot more processed vegetable oils, omega-6 that just really damaged, uh, that gets into your cell membrane and really toxifies your cell membrane, and it takes years to come out. So, make sure, you’re consuming really good high quality animal saturated fats and if you’re doing, you know, monounsaturated to keep it like avocado, keep it to high quality cold pressed olive oil and try to get at least half of your fats from high quality saturated fats. That’s important. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. The oils are, men, we can do, let’s do a whole like oil special but in general the seed oils and all that are no good. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you guys enjoyed today’s podcast, let us know. Put it in the notes. Put it in the description, please give us a share with your friends or family, also give us a like and a thumbs up that helps the search algorithm. And if you wanna reach out to Evan, head over to evanbrand.com. There’ll be a link where you can click and work with Evan. Head over to my site, justinhealth.com. I’m Dr. J, we’ll put links down below. If you’re gonna work with us, we are available worldwide. We work with a wide variety of patients from the young, from the old, females, men, etc. A lot of hormone issues, a lot of gut issues, a lot of toxicity issues that’s our specialty. We’re here to help you out and if you want to support us, we’ll put down the links below to different products that we recommend in regards to today’s podcast. Evan, anything else?

Evan Brand: Yeah. Last thing I would say, so many people have already tried everything and been to everybody and seen many, many people before they come to us, so I’m not bragging about that but it just happens to be that you and I are the people who are working with people generally somewhere close to the end of their rope and that puts a lot of pressure on us clinically to make sure that we get good results and we come through with that and you can read hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of 5 star of our clinic reviews, not just the podcast reviews but the clinic reviews too. So, I encourage people that if you’re like, ‘oh God could these guys really help, I don’t know I’ve already seen this person and that person. I’ve seen a lot of people do what was called functional and was not functional like, ‘oh I went to this integrative doctor’ and she ran one blood test for the hormones and that was it, like that’s not a functional protocol. I’m sorry. You didn’t get anywhere close to the functional workup that they’re claiming. So, functional is becoming this marketing term but there’s so many people that are not truly doing that. And I want to just encourage you and give you inspiration that we’re doing the real deal here. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Really appreciate it. All right guys, if you enjoy it, thumbs up comments below. We’re here to help. Have a good one you all. We will be back again. Take care. 

Evan Brand: See you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye-bye 

Evan Brand: Bye. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended Products:

TruePaleo Protein Chocolate

TuePaleo Protein Vanilla

TruePea Protein

Genova NutrEval FMV

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/why-you-cant-put-on-muscle-functional-medicine-solutions-to-avoid-being-flabby-podcast-357


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