How to Retrain Your Brain, Amygdala and Heal From Trauma – Ashok Gupta | Podcast #378

Hey, guys! In this video, Dr. J and Ashok Gupta talk about brain reach training and nutritional component to better well-being. The brain is a highly active and malleable learning machine. So, we can develop strategies to improve well-being, like engaging in new and challenging activities.

Therefore, we can influence our brain development in positive or negative directions. The more we engage and challenge our minds and body, the longer our brains function at a high level. There are also many other benefits to encouraging neuroplastic change.

Moreover, for the brain to function correctly, it needs specific nutrients, making the food we eat vital to brain function. To learn more about improving your brain function in areas such as memory, attention, focus, and sleep while eliminating symptoms of anxiety and depression, make sure to subscribe, check out other videos, and feel to reach out for more info & consults!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
2:17 – Amygdala
13:05 – Repetition and Self-Love
16:22 – Breathing patterns
21:33 – Techniques
24:24 – Nutritional component
29:17 – Program Transition
32:10 – CBT vs Brain Reach Training

https://youtube.com/live/yCbh580EZ7s

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys! It’s doctor Justin Marchegiani here. I’m really excited for today’s podcast. We’re going to be talking about how to retrain your brain, your amygdala, and heal from trauma with Ashok Gupta. Ashok, really great to have you today. How are you doing? Welcome to the show. 

Ashok Gupta: Hi, I’m very well. Thank you. Thank you for the invitation. Lovely to be here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Well, in the functional medicine world, dealing with a lot of chronically sick people that have hormone issues, gut issues, when you’re doing a really good history on someone, you see a commonality and that there’s a lot of underlying emotional trauma that usually can be a big stressor in that stress bucket, that’s holding back healing. And so I wanted to get you on the show because you’re an expert in this and you have a program that really works on getting to the root cause. So I wanted to just kind of first talk about kind of, you know, what you’re passionate about and kind of what your goal is with your program out of the gates.

Ashok Gupta: Uh, yeah, absolutely. So just to give a bit of background to myself, I actually suffered from a chronic illness many, many years ago when I was studying as an undergrad at Cambridge. So I actually suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome. And it was, you know, I was a young guy in my early 20s. My whole life had suddenly had this brick wall which is a chronic illness. And I’m seeing doctors and specialists and they’re telling me we don’t know what causes it. There’s no treatment for it. You may have this the rest of your life. Good luck. Essentially, you know, I remember my darkest moment thinking this is the worst thing ever. If I  can just get myself better. If I and thousands of others who suffering from this. And I said if I can just heal this one person, just even myself. I would dedicate the rest of my life to helping people with this condition. That’s how serious I was about it. And that spawned a lifelong quest to understand these conditions and really treat them. So I did a lot of research into brain neurology, understanding these conditions, and eventually I came up with a hypothesis. I got myself completely, 100% better using ad hoc parade brain retraining that I created and also the clinic to treat others and have published other papers as well. So that’s my journey, so my real passion and vision here is that I believe that brain reach training as we refine it better for these conditions could be the future to treat chronic illness and I want that to be embedded in primary care and that is my mission.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s excellent. Now I know you talked about with your Gupta program, we’ll put links down below to so you guys can access this. I know there’s some kind of introductory you know offers on the on the website where you can kind of take a look and kind of dip your toe in and see if you like if you talk about Neuroplasticity, which is obviously, you know, rewiring the brain in the sense so these neurons can’t connect in different ways, but you also talk about the amygdala, which is kind of the part of the brain, it’s like an almond size and it’s all about processing fear and threatening stimuli. And so when someone is chronically ill, is that part of the brain over active where where you’re seeing everything as a threat and it’s kind of always on talk a little bit more about the amygdala, how that plays in to these chronic health concerns. 

Ashok Gupta: Yeah, absolutely. So I always like to start this explanation with the biggest question of all. Why are we here? And I love that. Half an hour long conversation about the philosophy of that. But let’s say from a scientific perspective, we’re here because this brain, this body, this nervous system has been trained over millions of years to adapt to the environment, to survive and pass on the genes the next generation from. So from a Darwinian perspective, this system is designed to adapt, thrive, survive and pass on genes. And this has come from, you know, plants, single cell organisms, invertebrates, vertebrates, reptiles, mammals, human beings, all of that, that DNA. And that growth is all within our own DNA. And in fact, you know, we share around 50% of our DNA with a banana. Right. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:That’s crazy.

Ashok Gupta: Uh, you know, so our team actually contains a lot of the DNA of their animals as we’ve evolved to get to where we are so this system is designed to survive, so the number one priority of our bodies is not actually well-being or health.The number one priority is survival. If we take that as a starting point, the way that these illnesses start is that. Let’s take the example of COVID and long COVID, because we know millions are suffering from COVID and the after effect. So imagine we get collection normally, our bodies trigger the immune system, they’re able to fight off the virus, then the system resets, goes back to normal. We have our health back but in a small number of cases where actually 10 to 20% of cases. What happens is if our system is a little. Let’s say tired, fatigued or we are mentally, emotionally, physically overdoing it.Then the system is more vulnerable. So when the virus comes, our immune system thinks right. We’ve got to really fight hard because our systems would speak so it over response towards the virus and we know that for instance, people who passed away from COVID, they’re not passing away from the infection, they’re passing away from the cytokines storm or the over inflammation from the body itself and so what happens is in COVID we believe that the system over response we still managed to fight off the virus, but it’s left the legacy in the brain which is, let’s turn on the side of caution because maybe the virus is still here, so the brain continues to trigger immune system and the nervous system inappropriately. Creating this cascade of symptoms in the body. And we believe the culprits, as you’ve mentioned, are the amygdala and the insular. So the emitter that we believe is where the core conditioning lies in terms of triggering the nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system and then for the immune system. We know they’re from animals, this comes from the insular part of the brain, the insular part of the brain, is getting over triggered and overstimulated, so both these structures keep triggering this over different responses creating symptoms in the body. And the brain detects in a hypothetical way, all of these symptoms. The body which comes up to the brain, the brain says, Oh, maybe we’re still in danger. Yeah, just like in this diagram. Yeah, #9 we’re still in danger, then triggers at #4 and five. The chronic sympathetic arousal, the immune dysfunction HPA abnormalities, which then creates symptoms to #6 and then at #8, the brain because it’s hyper hypersensitive, magnifies these signals.They come back in the bank #9 and we are caught in this vicious cycle, and this is a vicious cycle of a lot of these different conditions and the only difference here which we certainly always are. Fibromyalgia is pain or chronic fatigue is immune oriented such as long COVID, but we also get sensitivity reactions to the external environment, so more disease, chemical sensitivities and muscle activation. This is where external triggers and food sensitivities. External triggers now create this cascade and this. Despite all this vicious cycle. And an analogy, I don’t know any doctor, you were a fan of Game of Thrones? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s a great show. Yep.

Ashok Gupta: So, let’s say an example of imagine you’re the the king of the castle, OK, and your Kingdom is suffering a drought and your army is the sympathetic nervous system and your Navy is immune system, so imagine the kingdoms you know weak because of the droughts and incoming army invading army with some dragons over the hill, right? So your immune system and nervous system your army and navy responds. They fight off this invading army. But because they’re weak, it takes them a lot longer to fight it off. Once they fought it off, they come to you as king of the castle and say, hey Doctor J, we only just managed to fight off that incoming invasion. We need all of the resources of the Kingdom, the castle now, channel us so all the wheat, all the corn, all the metal, everything comes to us, and you agree because it made sense. And so now all the sources of the body go to the Army and Navy. And then even if a child is walking over the hill. The Army, Navy respond as if it’s a full blown threat and trigger your machine using up all the resources and hence we get stuck in that alternative way being that lack of homeostasis? And so bring me training is saying actually, we need to persuade the general, the Army, Navy, that we are no longer in threat, no longer in danger to switch off these responses and get back to normal. So that, in a nutshell, is the hypothesis.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense. I mean, it’s good to have an amygdala that’s making connections, that’s a processing threat. It’s like if there was this woods over here and bears would come out and eat, eat a human, you know, you there’s probably be natural inclination to have some fear and anxiety about being close to that because we already know there’s a threat that could take your life, so it’s good to have this level of fear perception. The problem with a lot of trauma today is it’s firing off like it would take your life, but it’s really maybe not that serious anymore. And we kind of have to it there. We need to have this rational discussion with our amygdala and our brain hit, this isn’t maybe as much of a threat and so obviously may not be, may not be able to do that from a conscious ability where we can just have that conversation. So what type of modalities are you incorporating to make that connection? Hey this is, this shouldn’t be the threat that it is. My amygdala is hyper responding. It’s like having an allergy response to danger in the air like it’s a virus. Well we shouldn’t be responding that way. So what type of modalities are you using or techniques within your program to kind of get that response to be more appropriate and realistic. 

Ashok Gupta: Exactly. And as you say, traditionally these types of approaches have been applied to emotional reaction actions or trauma reactions, right? OK, so the emotional side, but how do we communicate with our immune system, right, it’s a very, very different approach and so what we’ve done over the last 20 years is develop a system and set of processes that actually communicate with these unconscious brain structures about physical health, yeah. And you might say, well, hang on this, you know, how on Earth can you do that? How can we kind of change our physiological responses? But, you know, as we know, the power of visualization is very, very powerful. So let’s take an example of a lemon. Right. So imagine I take a slice of lemon. And I placed it on your tongue. But you can’t bite into it yet. But it’s really it’s hanging really sour. Just on your tongue, you bite into that sour lemon. Just right. Imagine doing that. Imagine all the saliva starts coming up. Now imagine so you got saliva coming in your mouth, by the way? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah, that visualization. Yeah, for sure. 

Ashok Gupta: Yeah. So isn’t that incredible that we’ve been able to create a physiological response just through the power of imagination, even though you know it’s not real consciously. You can bypass the conscious processes and imagination, visualization is one aspect. OK, that’s one aspect of this brain retraining. But there’s plenty of other processes. So there’s a seven step process where we get people to recognize these unconscious data signals. So then process them and they actually create a safety response to the brain.  Say hey brain, we are safe. We are not in danger. You can switch off these. Uh.These immune responses and these defensive responses, and that uses a number of different techniques including self coaching, breathing, visualization and imagination and also you know, physical touch as well, so there’s a number of different processes and that supported through meditation and breathing as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s excellent. So, what’s the first step out of the gate? Right, we start out of the gate. What’s the first thing we’re going to do to kind of move the needle? Is it just breathing? Is it really just making sure we’re breathing to the nose? Uh, having a deeper breath. What’s the first step out of the gate? 

Ashok Gupta: So out of the gate before our brain is ready to be retrained. As you say it becomes. Alright, so it’s a bit like the idea of until we were able to accept something first and become, we can no longer give if the brain’s not so flexible if we are stressed and anxious. So give the example of, if the husband and wife come home after today’s work and have an argument because they’re both stressed, that’s the worst time for them to have an argument. If they calm down, relax, etcetera, then they’re more likely to have more conducive conversation. So in the same way we calm our brains first through breathing and meditation, so they are supportive techniques, and then, we look at the brain retraining. That’s the second R. So the first R is relaxing. The second R is retraining the brain, and that’s where I’ve talked about these unique processes. And the third is reengaging with joy. And this is something that is often neglected in mainstream medicine, which is that we know that actually when people are unable to connect with things that uplift their spirit that bring them joy and happiness. Their immune system is bolstered. They actually are able to heal from a wide range of different conditions, so we teach people to recognize what can boost their immune system and reset it. Use this idea of reengaging with joy, which is I think it’s a missing piece of medicine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. And then what type of I don’t like? NLP’s been out there for a while where they used a lot of visualizations and really focus on the pictures kind of in your brain, how much does visualization and just kind of the images that come within your brain, because a lot of times people have a fear. There’s almost always the image of that thing before that fear is felt. How do you start to change the images in that brain and maybe the self talk. A lot of times, most people wouldn’t be friends with the person if they’re self-talk was emanated from a friend in front of them. The amount of self-talk that’s so negative and so putting themselves down. If it was a friend then in real life they would never be friends with that person. How do you change the pictures and the voice inside the brain? 

Ashok Gupta: So this is a great question, and the core of this is repetition and self love. So it’s a bit like imagining that self-talk is a precocious 7 or 8 year old child, right? And we want to kind of get really anxious about something. If you tell them one time, hey, this is nothing to worry about. They’re not going to listen. But with that love and that compassion and that action and that repetition of look, hey, we’re safe. There’s nothing to worry about if you can calm down. Through that process, you’re able to gradually get the brain to recognize we’re no longer in danger, and a representation is absolutely key and imagination and visualization is part of it, but not the only part of it. Any change in life involves awareness. We have to be aware first of all of what is that negative self-talk is. What does it look like? Let’s write it down. Let’s be very clear. What is creating this vicious cycle, that’s the first step, is awareness. And from that point onwards, and that is acceptance. So a lot of people have these conditions but don’t accept that they have this condition. They’re constantly fighting it, pushing against it. That’s tensing up against it. Resisting it, which then creates more anxiety, more turmoil. So the first step is awareness and the second step is acceptance, then the first step is this process of repetitive retraining of the brain again and again and again. And so the brain gets the message that we aren’t in danger and switches off these responses and that’s the core of how do we get people well?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. So what’s the next step? So your program out of the gates, what, 28 days? 

Ashok Gupta: Yes. So we offer a 28 day free trial where people can access some of the videos, some of the audio. And get a flavor of the program and see if it’s right for them. So that’s the first starting point, we’d love people to experience the free stuff that we’ve got lots of videos and if they choose to take the full program then it is what we call a six month program. Now, why do we say six months? Because that seems like a long time. Actually many people retrain within weeks and months. But we don’t want people to become complacent because I’m still a doctor J. You’ve seen in your practice, as well that people get well from some kind of protocol, but then as soon as a new stress comes into their lives, wow, all the symptoms come back again. Yep. So we teach people not only to get well, but to stay well, to recognize our stress triggers, to recognize what brings back these symptoms and to control that and to you know, uh, recognize that for the rest of their lives when people stay well. We call it a six month program because we want people to get so deeply into retraining that it becomes part of their lives and so that they can maintain that health for the rest of their lives. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. And what do you find? I mean, obviously the goal was to try to activate some of the parasympathetic nervous system response, right? If that amygdala is overactive, then we’re in that sympathetic fight or flight that can shut down digestion enzymes, hydrochloric acid can cause cortisol and adrenaline fluctuations that can cause more stress, the more you dump out your electrolytes, your potassium, magnesium that causes the heart to go go faster so you can see this downward cycle with this sympathetic nervous system response with all the different hormonal systems, digestive system, what’s the when you talk, when you do breathing, right? What’s the type of breath pattern that you find to be the most effective that you incorporate?

Ashok Gupta: Right, so there are several. The first is deep diaphragmatic breathing during the 4-4-6-2 pattern. So that’s when people put their yeah, one hand on the stomach, one hand on the chest. Many of us are breathing very shallow from the chest, and we know that, parasympathetic breathing or from the belly, the belly is going out and in as we breathe. And so this is actually a technique that’s taught in the art of living cause, art  of living breathing, which is, if you’ve heard about it, a very powerful breathing technique. Yeah, part of their breathing technique is to actually breathe in for four. Hold for four. Breathe out for six and hold for two. All through the nose, all through the nose. So we know that it actually comes in and out through the nose. What that’s able to do is a combat nervous system has been used for millennia. And another technique is alternate nostril breathing as well. So you breathe it in through one nostril, breathe out through the other nostril, then in through that nostril out through the other one. So that’s another very well known breathing technique called alternate nostril breathing. In Sanskrit it’s called 90 shorthand. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And these are breathing in and out to the same and then switch in and out then switch. 

Ashok Gupta: Yeah. So. So now when you do that, you’re breathing in from through what? And breathing out through the other. Oh, okay, they’re breathing in through that one. And then breathing out through the other. And then breathing in through that. And then breathing out.Yeah, yeah.And what people find is gradually as they control the breathing, but not control in an anxious way, but just observe it great breathing becomes slower and deeper. Easing that process is balancing the left and right hemispheres of the brain. That’s one of the roles of alternate nostril breathing. And so that’s kind with regular meditation as the starting point. What that is able to do is to tell the brain, hey, just calm everything down at the generalized level and then we’ll be ready to retrain those specific neurons that have got caught in this vicious loop.To indicate that we’re in danger. And so that is the, you know, a very complementary approach. And I think what happens is in modern medicine we have this reductionist philosophy of OK, nothing to do is test breathing techniques over here and see what impact they have. And now going to test meditation techniques over here in a separate randomized controlled trial. That actually is the cumulative effect of all of these things together, which is able to persuade the brain to switch off these dangerous purposes. So, that is the most important thing is to have all of these things operating at the same time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s excellent. That’s very cool. So I like the breathing aspect, and the goal of that is to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. What should your brain be focusing on to just be focusing on the breath? When do you start to incorporate the trauma or whatever that memory is that’s triggering you? I don’t know. Let’s say you got in the car accident. Every time you jump in the car, you’re reliving that trauma. When do you start bringing those pictures or that experience into work? 

Ashok Gupta: So first of all the program is not necessarily a trauma relief program, yeah although people use it for that and they do find trauma, and as you say, the purpose of the way that we teach breathing and meditation is that yes, images will come up as you meditate. Some of them might be frightening. People sometimes spontaneously burst into tears as they’re experiencing these techniques. And the most important thing is not to get caught up in any imagery or any emotions, just to observe it. So we’re not pushing away any of it, and we’re also not trying to obsess about it. We are staying calm and centered as we observe with a curious mind the images and the negative things that may come up. And that is one way and one technique of releasing trauma is to simply observe with a neutral friendly mind. Allow it to just come up with that. Trying to pick it apart or try to analyze or understand it. And what we say is that actually people can heal from chronic illness without actually having to heal their trauma. This is so important because I think this is a missed thought sometimes. For most people, they had trauma in their lives, but they didn’t have chronic illness that layered on top. So the best thing is to remove that layer of chronic illness and then deal with the underlying trauma. At the same time, there’s no fixed up, you know, dogma here. Of course, if people want to address their underlying trauma at the same time, that’s absolutely fine. And some people do. Alternately, Uh, treating and healing the chronic illness first we find is most effective because if you have a chronic illness and you’re trying to overcome trauma at the same time, that’s a lot to actually process and and and deal with.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense. And so you get the breathing stuff going on. You’re really working on self love, right, that’s important. And do you incorporate any tapping or eye boob and stuff? I know there’s a lot of big techniques like EFT or EMDR or different things. Do you incorporate those modalities in your program?

Ashok Gupta: We have another technique called the accelerator process, which is something that we’ve created and that does not involve tapping necessarily. But a lot of our coaches trained in EFT and other modalities. So we give a core set of techniques to the patients and if they want tapping, if they want some of these other things and many of our coaches are trained in those modalities as well. So that’s if people need one-on-one support. So our program is an online program in which people can go through it at their own time at their own pace and there’s extra support from coaches as required.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. What other modalities? We’re going to put links down below, so if anyone listening wants to try the 28 day course, that’s going to be an option down below in the links as well as the whole 6 month program. If you feel like you’re getting success and you want to continue with that good consistency, we’ll put links down below. What’s another good thing for listeners at home to start to incorporate, to start improving their mental health and calm down that amygdala response, that fear response?

Ashok Gupta: So I think regular meditation first of all is incredibly important and then secondly, I missed the core point of retraining is just awareness of the noise. Yeah, to regularly check your stuff. And that’s a mindfulness technique, say, to think about what you’re thinking about. Ah, how interesting. I’m thinking about that. And to actually write these things down to have what we call a worry diary. Yeah, not that we want to reinforce it, but kind of getting stuff out of your head and onto this worry diary, almost like a journaling type process. So what kind of thoughts have I had today? Let me get it out of my head in general. OK, I’m worried about this. I’m thinking about this, I’m thinking about this. Just that process in of itself is amazingly therapeutic and healing because you’re no longer got this churning going on. You’ve exhausted it. Get out of your system. And with journaling then you recognize all of these patterns and then say what do I choose to substitute these patterns where this churning thoughts and emotions. What I choose to kind of say, what we call the love messages, what loving messages do I choose to give back to my unconscious, to oppose or heal these kinds of patterns that are going on? I think that’s something that we can all do in the general public and what we’re doing in brain retraining with a seven step process that we have.That’s more when the patterns are extreme. When we’ve got such an extreme, almost traumatic pattern that actually self-talk isn’t going to shift it, we actually need something really powerful to train the brain. Not just rethinking but training the brain out to these responses, and that is that deep work, that deep repetition of these neuroplasticity techniques.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s very good, excellent. Now when I work with patients, you know, I look at physical health, right, which could be structure of the body, injuries under exercise over exercise, the chemical help which is important, that plays a big role, diet, nutrition, sleep, hydration.Um, gut health. Of course. If your nutritional health is poor, your physical health is poor and you’re inflamed, you’re sore, your diet is junky, you’re not sleeping, that obviously spills into your emotional health. I mean, try dealing with your taxes after you haven’t slept for a night. Emotionally, you’re going to be a wreck. How much do you plug in the nutritional component or the chemical stressors, how much do you try to plug that in to also help the emotional health?

Ashok Gupta: Yeah, definitely. We’re a holistic approach, absolutely. So we kind of focus on the brain retraining but we say that as you say, if you have all of these things not working in your life then it’s not going to make the difference. So we have something called the anti-inflammatory diet, but we call it the 80% diet because some people go on this very strict diet and get even more stressed by having to stick to this very strict regime. And so we have the anti-inflammatory diet then we have natural anti inflammatories. So turmeric, ginger, all those,  Umm and so plenty of supplements. And then the things that generally are missing in diets where people have over stressed and so. So that’s things like vitamin D, that’s magnesium, that’s all of those types of natural supplements, the omegas, all of these things we know are generally good for our health. And then so this anti-inflammatory diet and supplements and there’s also the sleep hygiene. So getting the sleep hygiene right and when we’re overstimulated and over stressed then our sleep is one of the first things that gets compromised and regular meditation, regular breathing has been shown to improve our sleep rhythms. So that’s part of it. And then also, what we do in those last two or three.Hours before you go to sleep is incredibly important. And so we look at, you know, the things that people can do that have been shown to deep sleep and lengthen sleep as well, and then also the importance of getting out into nature. Nature is incredibly healing, and so walking in nature. And the importance actually of UV rays and the importance of being sunlight, especially during, you know, the summer months, it’s fine, but in the winter months, how difficult it is and how people feel worse during the winter months simply because two things, number one, you know, getting exposure to daylight at the right times. And then secondly, their physical body is not absorbing the UV rays and therefore not producing vitamin D but also all of the other aspects of sunlight that are incredibly important for our bodies. And so we look at how people can can, you know.Be the best during the summer, at the winter months as well. So those kinds of things are definitely incorporated. But ultimately what we find is when people have come to us, they’ve already been down these avenues. So they’ve been to a nutritionist, they’ve been to dietitians, they generally have been on top of their diet.They’re trying to sleep as well as they can, right? Peace. Their brain is overstimulated no matter what they do. How can they focus on that and retrain that and and sometimes we find people retrain their brains and then they’ve spent thousands on supplements. And they can just stop all the supplements and it makes no difference, right, because the supplements are there, important when our system is overstimulated, but once it’s reset itself and we’re calm.That actually, our bodies don’t need so much of this supplementation. It’s just very natural.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense. Well, anything else I Ashok you want to share with the listeners that you think would be powerful or something else they could be working on incorporating?

Ashok Gupta: Uh, yes. I think one of the most important pieces of advice that gives people is there can be very well meaning support groups and doctors and whatever who have kind of put it kind of negative approach, which is hey, there’s no cure for this, there’s nothing that they can help these conditions and you know you’re on your own and and don’t believe it that people get better. So, sometimes we have people getting better through brain retraining and they’ll go back on these forums. And people will say, oh, well, you didn’t have the condition in the first place. That’s the only way you guys got that. And the hope that I want to give to people is that whether it’s through our program or through other modalities, people do heal from these chronic conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, mold illness and long COVID. People do heal. People do get better. So never give up on the ability of your body to heal and the great news is I believe there is nothing actually fundamentally wrong with the body in that there’s not organic damage in the longer term. That’s what we’ve certainly noticed. It’s a functional issue whether the body and the brain itself is over stimulating its own systems, creating a vicious cycle, which is keeping the body in this altered state. But if you fix that, the body can actually go back to health. And that’s the hope that I want to give to people. Don’t think that my body is weak. It can never get better. Once you get the right key to the right and the right lock, you can unlock your health. Unlock the healing potential of your body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. I love that now. I mean it’s really interesting because you know, you see conventional psychiatry with a lot of people that have trauma, you know, for the most part they’re going to recommend some kind of an SSRI or antipsychotic or benzodiazepine, which is really just dampening or numbing.The body’s response to that, and a lot of times that brain response is there for a reason, and just numbing it out tends to over time, that problem tends to get worse because you’re just ignoring the reason why it’s there. How do you work with patients that are already on conventional medicines? That are just kind of dampening and covering up the issue versus getting to the root. How do you make that transition?

Ashok Gupta: It’s a huge scandal. First of all, you know, we have many people come to us, we’ve been on benzos and have benzo withdrawal, SSRI’s and it’s a huge scandal because these things even when they’re usually prescribed are supposed to be for a few weeks at a time. They’re not supposed to really. Yeah, long term dependency. And then when that dependency is there, when people try to come off these medications, they feel even worse than they did when they first started. So it’s kind of licensed drug dealing to an extent. Now of course if anyone’s listening, I don’t want anyone to stop the medications. Of course you do that in the auspices of your doctor or psychiatrist. But actually what we do is say keep your medication as safe at the moment, work with brain retraining, get your system calm and stronger. And only then very slowly come off the drugs in association with your doctor. That’s incredibly important because some people get super excited and then suddenly have cold Turkey withdrawal and it can actually cause more problems. So they need to come off these drugs very, very slowly. And so we actually have in benzo forums, you know, many people using our program to come off benzos, so they’re slowly coming off benzos. What’s using our program to calm the nervous system and retrain any negative patterns that are coming from it. And once again, this dampening that you’ve described, when the brain is dampened down, it over responds and says, hey, I’m trying to alert you to danger, but you’re dampening down. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, exactly.

Ashok Gupta: Responses from the immediate to keep warning you. So emotions are warnings that either an emotion hasn’t been resolved, or there’s an attitude that we’re taking to life which is non conducive, or a belief system which is non conducive. And the problem with modern psychiatry is that it’s following the same reductionist medical model of come to see me, you’ve got 10 minutes with me, let me figure out what’s going on, and let me prescribe you drugs. But that model is not even fit for purpose for modern medicine and medical conditions, never mind psychiatric and emotional conditions. You know, it’s even worse for that. And so actually, you know, recognizing that there’s nothing wrong here, when we experience those types of extreme emotions, it actually just requires a lot more talking therapies and neuroplasticity approaches to help us understand the deeper messages of these conditions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes a lot of sense. Now, what if we kind of take the, you know, connection with modern day psychology where it’s kind of cognitive behavioral techniques and talk therapy. Why is that not enough sometimes? People can be in therapy for years and years and years and it’s like they haven’t even gotten over it. Obviously it’s good to have communication and it’s good to have dialogue, it’s good to talk about the issues, but why is that not enough all the way?

Ashok Gupta: Now CBT is very effective at certain things such as mild to moderate depression. It’s shown to be effective, certainly anxiety. It can be useful, but the issue is the difference between CBT and brain retraining or neuroplasticity approaches. First of all, when people are going through CBT, they are rewiring their brains as well. So let’s be very clear. You know, any therapy that we’re taking ultimately is rewiring range change or shift that we’re making. But we often find that some, you know, CBT is like taking a fire extinguisher to a house fire, right? It can certainly help, but in certain instances if the house fire is very very powerful and huge. It actually requires, you know, the fire truck to turn up and actually deal with the blaze.Yeah. And so.The difference between CBT and some of these neuroplasticity brain retraining approaches is the intensity and the repetition of it. So, you know, imagine learning to drive a car, right? So learning to drive a car. Imagine on the first lesson, your first day CBT like thinking, OK, I’m now aware of my negative patterns about learning to drive, and I’m gonna be aware of them and shift some more positive belief systems. et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Let me see what’s blocking me. But that isn’t going to train your brain to learn how to drive. But neuroplasticity is saying, right? Let me practice pressing the gas using the gear stickers, you guys call it, you know, moving the steering wheel. And we’re training that into our nervous system through repetition again and again and again and again until it becomes automatic and our brain gets it right. I now know how to drive a car. Yeah. So that’s how it’s different to CBT. CBT could certainly do that, but it would take a lot longer. But this is about actually training the brain repeatedly, intensively to get the message.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s very good. And what kind of movement do you incorporate with your program? Is it just something simple like, hey, just get out and walk it, get out in nature, breathe, get some sun or  do you recommend any other specific types of movements like resistance or interval training, how does the exercise component work?

Ashok Gupta: For many of our patients, they have to pace themselves very carefully because they’ve got intense amounts of fatigue. And so initially we’re asking them, some of them are bed bound, so we say initially, gentle stretching is enough, so that might be some Tai Chi and yoga. So as long as you’re moving and stretching the body, people can manage more than walking in nature. So that can be you know there’s two types shown to be effective. So forests and fields and countryside, Yep, or near the ocean they can be very therapeutic. So walking in nature and then as people can get more energy then it might be some gentle, very gentle cardio because what we’re aiming to do is use up the stress hormones that have been triggered, the cortisol and adrenaline or adrenalin. So and certainly resistance training is fine as well but it’s that gentle cardio, mild to moderate cardio which is using up the stress hormones and calming the whole system down. Which we find most effective. And then if people are back to full health, then certainly things like interval training, cardio, resistance training, all the good stuff that we know that people can do. That’s all great stuff to keep the nervous system calm and we know that with the brain as well physical exercise is brilliant at increasing resilience so mental and emotional resilience increases when we have physical resilience which is why all of these things are completely linked together. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you really made a good point about the stress hormones because people don’t realize but that stress hormone response is really about mobilizing glucose and energy reserves so you can fight and flee. The problem is, most people aren’t fighting and fleeing from something where they need that additional fuel for their muscles. So you have all this adrenaline and cortisol that’s mobilized all this glucose, but then you’re not using it and that glucose tends to start getting stored back away as fat a lot of times. That’s why the more stressed you get, the more you could start storing fat because it’s like you’re it’s like you’re eating a bunch of carbohydrate and sugar and you’re not using the fuel and so getting a little bit of walking or movement in there starts to take all that stress hormone and glucose and start to burn it up a little bit so you not storing it as fat. So that makes a lot of sense to me.

Ashok Gupta: Absolutely, and not only that. There’s the feedback loop between the body and the amygdala. The periodontal group, which is the brain, says I’m in danger, triggers these responses, but also gets feedback from the body as to whether we’re in danger. This is the kind of kinesthetic response. And so if the brain detects the muscles are tense, right? We’re physically feeling the effects of that anxiety, it interprets that as a reinforcement that we’re in danger and therefore creates more danger response, which is why when you physically feel anxious you get anxious about feeling anxious, you get stressed about feeling anxious and that’s that secondary loop that occurs. And in fact for us chronic anxiety is that is partly as a result of the anxiety about the anxiety we don’t like. We don’t like the sensations, the physical sensations and the emotional sensations of anxiety itself and therefore physical movement. Physical activity really stops the feedback loop and is able to calm the whole nervous system down and trigger also the parasympathetic nervous system. So we know that in physical exercise we’re triggering the sympathetic system to tighten up the muscles and get the muscles moving and then afterwards the system ratchets down and enjoys a period of parasympathetic response. And you know, people think I was, do I have to go to the gym and have to do a hard workout, brisk walking in nature, which I think most of us, if not all of us can do, has been shown to be highly therapeutic. So 30 to 40 minutes of brisk walking in your local park, in the forest is supposed to be the best, you know, near the ocean or in the ocean. That can be incredibly beneficial for your overall health. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it? Excellent, Ashok. I really appreciate you being on today’s show. We’ll put a link down below justinhealth.com/gupta. G-U-P-T- A. We’ll put it down below so you guys can access the 28 day course. By the way, what’s the time commitment to start the course? Is it 20 minutes an hour a day? What’s the initial commitment?

Ashok Gupta: So some of these videos are five or 10 minutes, so we don’t want to, right? So it’s like taking off 10 to 20 minutes a day watching your video. We give you a couple of free meditations that you can watch as well and that initial set of content is really for you to empathize in terms of does this really resonate with me? Is this my experience? And if so, then you can obviously go to the full program and then start the retraining process. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. A shock. Anything else you want to leave the listeners with?

Ashok Gupta: Uh, yeah. As I said, just believe in your, in the ability of your body to heal. It will heal, it can heal and we have that healing ability within us and also to recognize that whatever you’re experiencing, whatever physical assessments you’ve had in terms of someone saying you’ve got high viral titers or you know this particular enzyme is out of whack, those physical things are downstream. Yeah. And you will have those physical abnormalities in your body. But let’s go upstream, let’s go to the source. And we believe that a source of a lot of our conditions is actually in the brain. Even our gut health, I believe, is ultimately decided by our brain and the interaction between our gut and our brain. Fix this up here and all the downstream things will naturally take care of themselves. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. Very good. Yeah. When someone says your issues are incurable, that just means the cure is within. So I really appreciate that Ashok. I appreciate it. Thank you so much. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://justinhealth.com/gupta

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: Yeah. That makes sense. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any benzo 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: Bye-bye. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.  

 

 

Nutrients to Help Make Serotonin to Help Improve Mood and Sleep

In today’s blog, I am going to share with you the natural ways to boost your serotonin levels and other alternatives. Let’s talk about nutrients to help support serotonin levels.

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor to learn more about boosting serotonin levels.

Serotonin is a really important neurotransmitter. Its building block comes from protein and amino acids, particularly 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) but serotonin has a lot of important roles in regards to mood, well-being, sleep, stress reduction, and happiness. So, all these things play a major major role in helping you feel good. If we have inadequate serotonin levels, that’s going to create a whole bunch of things. Once you start having sleep issues, mood issues, or stress issues then stress starts to hitch a little more. You don’t quite sleep as well. You don’t adapt to or deal with stress, not quite as resilient as well, and then a lot of times you’re just not going to heal and recover well either because serotonin is a precursor to melatonin. Melatonin helps you sleep and it’s also a very powerful antioxidant. So, a lot of good benefits there.

Serotonin is made from tryptophan and/or 5-HTP which is 5-hydroxytryptophan. Now, I personally like using 5-HTP better because there is an enzyme that’s kind of a governor on tryptophan converting downstream into serotonin. The 5-HTP bypasses that enzyme, so you can therapeutically bump up serotonin a little bit better with 5-HTP. So, we use 5-HTP and B6 that can really significantly improve serotonin levels. Anywhere between 100 to 600 mg per day can be very helpful. There are important cofactors that will also add. B6 is an essential B vitamin that helps with the synthesis. You may also want to throw in B12 or methylcobalamin, ideally methylated because these neurotransmitters need to be methylated. B12 makes a huge difference.

In the podcast, we talk about a study where they used antidepressants, not that I’m a huge fan of those, but they found that an antidepressant plus a methylated B12 improves depression symptoms by 20%. So, we know B12 and that methylation process is very important for your neurotransmitters. Also, we can throw folate in there because folate works a lot like brother and sister with B12. So, B6, B12, and folate (or B9 for short for folate) are really important. Those are your key methyl groups in regards to your B vitamins. They have a lot to do with methylation.

Of course, vitamin C can be very important because the adrenals play a major role in serotonin and stress. In that sympathetic fight or flight nervous system response, the adrenals play a big role in making cortisol and/or adrenaline to help manage or deal with or adapt to that response. So, for chronically firing our adrenals, whether it’s cortisol and/or adrenaline, and we start have HPA access issues meaning brain-adrenal communication feedback issues, that can make it hard for us to kind of calm down from stress and/or even ramp up to deal with stress. So, it’s kind of like it being really cold out, you put your heater on and you can’t quite mount the heater or mount enough of a response to create heat and warm your house up or vice versa if it’s cold. You need to be able to adapt and modulate to our environment. So, we need healthy adrenal function. A lot of times, I’ll add in things like various adaptogens like Rhodiola, Ginseng, Ashwagandha, and Eleuthero. These are great adaptogenic herbs to help us modulate and deal with stress better.

And then, of course, a good healthy diet is essential because inflammatory foods, food allergens, processed junk, grains, and refined foods are going to stress out our body. The problem with refined processed foods like grains and sugar is they can, in the short run, increase our serotonin and allow us to feel good. So, people say, “Oh, I’m an emotional eater.” What are you doing? You are essentially trying to artificially boost your brain chemicals up with junk food. It’s like whipping a tired horse to perform better. It’s like trying to drink coffee at midnight to get work done. It’s going to just throw off your sleep and you’re going to be tired the next day.

So, of course, there are always what I call constructive vehicles versus destructive vehicles. Destructive vehicles provide a short-term gain and long-term destruction if they are habitual. Constructive vehicles are not quite as an impactful short-term gain but long-term restoration, long-term healing, and long-term performance enhancement. So, that’s good digestion, eating protein, balanced blood sugar, and we can utilize amino acids like 5-HTP, B6, folate, B12, vitamin C, and adaptogenic herbs. These are very helpful in modulating our stress response. They also modulate how we perceive stress. The more you can perceive stress better, you don’t mount as much of a cortisol or adrenaline response because your perception of it is much better.

Things like magnesium can also be very helpful as magnesium kinda plays into GABA. GABA has a major role in the inhibitory neurotransmitter. It’s the downshift or it helps hit the brake, so things like GABA by itself and things like L-theanine are excellent. Adaptogenic herbs like passionflower or Valerian can be very calming. Even things like Kava or CBD could also have a very calming effect. So, there’s a couple of different things that we can throw in there.

When I’m working with the patients, I’m always saying to myself, “What’s the root cause?” Let’s set the foundation and make sure the root cause is supported. Let’s make sure able to break down and digest and absorb all the nutrients and make sure there are no underlying bottlenecks in regards to low enzyme, low acid, and gut infections. Let’s make sure we’re managing our lifestyle stressors and we’re doing our best to sleep good. Food is good, food quality is good, and hydration is good. I make sure those foundations are solid and then we can kind of get in there with other supplements and nutrients to help support those pathways.

If we wanted testing for neurotransmitters, I’ll do things like organic acid-based tests. Then we’ll look at a lot of the metabolites for these neurotransmitters, whether it’s serotonin where we will use 5-hydroxyindoleacetate (5HIAA) or we will use Vanilmandelate which is a marker for adrenaline or Homovanillate which is a marker for dopamine. Again, dopamine is a precursor to adrenaline, so it’s phenylalanine, tyrosine, dopamine, L-dopa, and then it can go down to epinephrine/norepinephrine or adrenaline/noradrenaline. It’s the same thing. So, these are catecholamines and they can convert a lot of these upstream neurotransmitters down. There’s some overlap in dopamine and serotonin symptoms. A lot of people that think they have serotonin problems may actually have a dopamine problem. So, it’s good to get tested as well. It’s good to look at the symptoms, make sure the foundation is set, and then you can dive in deeper to look at a lot of these nutrients.

Now, in my supplement line, we use things like Brain Replete which has an excellent 10:1 ratio of tyrosine or dopamine to serotonin. That’s a good combo product. It has all the precursor nutrients, too. Also, I use a product called Serotonin Replete which is excellent with 5-HTP with B6. I have a product called Dopa Replete which is just a tyrosine product that is nice for lower dopamine issues and for higher dopamine, there is a product called Dopa Replete Plus and that helps bump up dopamine more. It has got Macuna pruriens in there plus a couple of other compounds that are very helpful. It has L-dopa, tyrosine, EGCG, and of course, B6.

If you’re overwhelmed with how to increase serotonin levels, then click this link where you can schedule a chat with me!

Detox with the Correct Binders | Podcast #324

Dealing with toxic substances can be an overwhelming experience. With that in mind, it helps when things are simplified and made into relatable terms. Intestinal binders are a crucial part of any detox protocol. When the liver processes toxins, they get excreted through bile and into the small intestine. If the toxins are not bound to anything, most of them will get reabsorbed in the gut.

It is important to note that certain health conditions may make binder types more or less desirable. Having a good practitioner help determine those choices for you is always advisable. Also, there are some circumstances, such as in autoimmune disease and infectious conditions, that require the use of precaution and targeted choices with binders. Proper sourcing is critical as with all supplements, as each of them can come with unnecessary risks if they are not high-grade/quality. 

Binders are like free hall passes! In using a binder, your body is spared the work required to process a toxin through the liver and gallbladder and is, instead, excrete from the body. Check out this podcast to know more about what suits you!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:18      How Binders Work

8:38      Binders’ Mechanism

15:11     Detoxifying

21:20    Different Kinds of Binders

29:44    Detox as a Side Effect

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan brand. Today we’re gonna be talking about using binders to help detoxify, exciting podcast because we are utilizing all the things that we are chatting about with our patients every week. And we’re excited to share with everyone else, some of our natural strategies, Evan, how you doing, man? 

Evan Brand: I’m doing really well excited to dive into this. This is something that you and I got into several years ago. And it’s been really helpful for our practice, because we’ve been able to take people that were not tolerating protocols, and then we were able to get them to tolerate the protocol. And so when you’re coming in and working on something like gut infections, whether it’s h pylori parasites, bacterial overgrowth, Candida, sometimes, if people have been sick for a really long time, they may not tolerate the protocol we’re giving them. And that doesn’t mean the protocol that we’re giving them is incorrect, or there’s something wrong with it, or there’s an herb reaction or I don’t know, like a, you know, a supplement, it’s not working well for them. That’s not usually the case. In fact, that’s extremely rare. But what rather is happening is that the process of killing off these toxins, I kind of use the analogy of like a bad breakup. And when you’re kicking out the girlfriend, she’s taking off the pictures off the wall, and she’s breaking them and there’s a bunch of glass shards in the hallway as you kick her out. It’s not a clean breakup. And so when you’re killing off these bugs, they don’t want to die, they don’t want to leave. And so they may release toxins that make you feel bad in an effort to get you to stop killing them. Hence, that’s where binders will come in, and they’re acting as the janitor, and they’re going to come sweep up the glass shards that the bugs left behind. interesting way of looking at it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I like it, like the analogy that I typically give is imagine you got a trash barrel right in your home, well, it may not be a big deal until you go buy a whole bunch of groceries. Now imagine you got a smaller trash barrel. Well, once you throw it away the egg carton and all the other trash from everything else it’s going to overflow. And that overflowing is where you start dealing with die off. And a lot of people, people that are more sick tend to have smaller trash baskets to begin with. And so essentially giving yourself a bigger trash basket or increasing the frequency that we take it out, right, empty it out, is going to help. So I think either analogy works. So in general, I think the first thing I want to highlight off the bat is well, I like to prepare patients to get there you know, to get killing done in the right way. So I’m always working on hormones and adrenals and diet and blood sugar indigestion first, I find that is the most important component to all this. So an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So before you go in and start having to do all this killing and and use binders, first, get yourself ready for it. And most people do not like that they want to go in there and Kill Kill, kill, kill, kill, but preparations and be really important. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and it sounds really attractive. And people, they get really excited when they find pathogens on a test. So we’re going to run a comprehensive stool panel, we’re going to run an organic acids test. And we’re going to be jumping on a call with someone to discuss the lab results. And then they’re going to say, Oh my god, I have to get this stuff out of me. I knew I had parasites. I knew I had this. I knew I had that. And then they’re ready. But we kind of have to pace people, you know, when we’ve done this thousand plus times between the both of us. So we know that, hey, based on their constitution, how do you pick up on that as a practitioner? Well, it all goes into stress management? What’s in their bucket of stress? Are they going through a divorce? Are they moving cross country? Are they a teacher? Are they working overtime? Are they a CEO? Are they not sleeping? Well? Are they doing too much alcohol? Those things are going to make us say, Hmm, well, you know what, we probably can’t go full strength with this person. Or if we do, we’re going to need to come in and bring in the binders. And the binders are these tools that they can be used in isolation. And we often use those in isolation. However, the majority of time we’re going to be using them as just part of a protocol, meaning maybe during the day, we’re going to be killing bugs. And then maybe at night, we’re going to be using binders or maybe first thing in the morning when they’re fasted and we know fasting increases the excretion of toxins, including mold and mycotoxins. Maybe we have someone do a binder first thing in the morning at six or 7am when they wake up, and they don’t eat until eight or nine when they take their killing or something like that. So there’s a lot of ways to work these into the protocol. And that kind of depends on the person. It depends on the Constitution. It depends on whether it’s a kid or an adult. But these are amazing tools. And we’ll break it down here in a minute.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, I like that. I think it makes a lot of sense. So one of the first things we can do to help it die off as decrease inflammation. We know agglutination happens or cells become really sticky when there’s a strong inflammatory environment. So like imagine walking in your kitchen and like the floor is really sticky. It’s like you’re like creeping around that icky feeling on your feet. That’s kind of what happens when you’re inflamed and you start doing detoxification, your body is just all inflamed, things aren’t moving, things are sticky. And we want to keep things loose and flowing and slippery. So the first thing kind of in preparation For all this is getting the inflammation down. So one of the things that I love doing for die off support, we talked about it before. One we’ve already worked on the diet, right inflammations down food allergens, our digestion is better. We’re working on sleep, we’re working on hydration. Getting your hydration up is super important, right? Every time you consume water, you’re diluting the amount of toxins in your body, alright significantly. And so solution to pollution is dilution, high quality, filtered water, reverse osmosis or some kind of really good filter spring water, maybe add some extra minerals in so that you’re getting some minerals to add in some ginger tea. Ginger is natural anti inflammatory, and it’s also a natural anticoagulant. So prevents things from sticking, you could do ginger tea, burdock teas also really good, that’s a good starting place. And then things are moving, your cells aren’t clumping up and sticking together. And then from there, that’s where it’s a good place to maybe add in some binders. So a good first binder would be a really good activated charcoal, especially ones that are kind of more coconut shell based at bedtime, two hours after food and supplements. So it’s kind of in your bloodstream, it’s kind of filtering things out. It’s not getting binding up to all your food and all the nutrients in your food, unless you want to because you’re eating some bad food. That’s a good first starting point to kind of get you moving. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, let’s break down charcoal just a little bit. So people understand what it is they hear it but they’re picturing maybe the charcoal, you know, petroleum based block that your dad used to put lighter fluid on and burn them down and put them in the grill. And then you cook some hot dogs as a kid or something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, totally. 

Evan Brand: That’s not the charcoal we’re talking about. So basically, what they’re going to do is they’re going to heat these coconut shells, that’s going to be the best. And that basically, they’re decomposed coconut shells. So they’re at a very, very, very high temperature. And then they’re going to combine it with oxygen to, quote, activate the charcoal. And then what happens is, if you were to look at it under a microscope, you’ve got millions and millions and millions of what they would call micro pores on the surface of the charcoal. And it’s when people say bind, it sounds like a magnet, but it’s really not, you know, it’s called an adsorbent agent. And so you’ve got just make sure you had it right. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So it’s not like a sponge. It’s more like a magnet. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, right. So it’s like you’ve got but it’s a weak magnet is my point about the magnet is, is it’s weak, meaning that you actually can create a hurts if you do too much charcoal, for example. So I did it personally, when I went really high dose like 810 capsules, several times a day of charcoal, I actually, I started to get just a little off like I was detoxing too much. And so I found Yes, it is kind of a magnet, but it’s a weak one. Meaning that if you picture like the lava rock, that’s probably the best example in in a big form that people can visualize as those lava rocks. Maybe you had though, that was like old school landscaping. I know as a kid, we had lava rocks in the front of our house. Yep. And so the lava rock, you saw these tiny little holes in it. And that’s kind of the charcoal but but at a bigger level. And so let’s say it’s mycotoxins or heavy metals or pesticide, whatever else is kind of in those little holes. But remember, you still have to move this microscopic lava rock with the, with the toxins on through the intestinal tract. And if you have a leaky gut, some of those things can kind of fall off the law of rock and then go back into the bloodstream, which is why you can hurt even from binders alone. And so this is a really important point I want people to know because more is not always better when it comes to binders. So sometimes you can only handle one cap of charcoal three times a day, some people can handle more than that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% so you kind of highlight a couple things. What’s the mechanism? Well, there’s gonna be an adsorbent mechanism thing absorbed more magnet absorbed more like a sponge, right? absorbent sponge adsorbent more magnet. Again, we want to take it after food and supplements. We don’t bind up nutrition. I like starting in a bedtime. So it’s working overnight because a lot of how we detoxify happens around one to 3am. So I like having it in the intestinal tract when the liver and gallbladder dump. That way, it’s there binding stuff up and we can excrete it better. Now, one of the big side effects of activated charcoal on binders is constipation. So I always tell my patients Make sure your bowel movements are regular before you go into killing and use any binders because if we’re adding things that could slow down the motility more well that’s that’s a problem. Now, it’ll at least help pull toxins in but it’s still going to be slowing down your body’s ability to get toxins out of your intestinal tract. So that’s not good. So if that’s the case, we’re going to be adding in things to help move our intestinal tract and make sure we’re passing all of our bowel movement out in 24 hours or less 18 to 24 hours. So we have that effective mechanism of elimination working. So first thing is first check is like hydration. Second check is making sure your bowel movements are working and then if they’re not, we’re going to be adding things in to make sure our intestinal intestinal tract is moving appropriately before we add in binders. And if we have Side effects of constipation with the binders, we’re going to be adding more support to keep the bowels moving. 

Evan Brand: And it’s honestly pretty easy. I mean, it’s a very common kind of gut reaction, oh my god, charcoal, constipation. But I’ll be honest with you, it’s rare that it’s something that requires special attention. Because a lot of times we’re doing extra vitamin C, because most people are low in that most people are deficient in magnesium. So we’re doing extra of that already. A lot of times the herb formulas that you are using for gut infections, those may have some extra bow moving support in those and just by clearing out infections you and I’ve talked about, in the past how bacterial overgrowth can create certain gases that will slow the transit time down, just by eradicating those infections, the bowels can return to normal. So yes, constipation can happen. But it’s usually not a huge wrench in the gears. And we can overcome it pretty easily with minor tweaks if needed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly. So it can go either way. Some people when they get inflamed, they’re pulling a whole bunch of water in to flush things out. If you’re more prone to be constipated, you just have to be mindful of it. That’s why when we’re adding in binders, we’re doing it like one capsule at a time. So there’s no big jump, where people get into trouble is they just kind of come in there with a higher dose or they jump too fast. And that’s where the problem comes in. And again, like Evan mentioned us some of the herbs that we give may have a really, you know, good laxative effects are really healthy intestinal migrating motor complex work well, if not, I’ll be using special special things like magnesium and things like that to keep the intestinal tract moving. Ginger is a really good pro kinetics. So we’ll be adding that in and really just helping to support the natural migrating motor complex of the intestinal tract while adding some binders now, once we start adding some binders at nighttime, we may do it sometime midday as well that way we kind of have coverage within a 12 hour timeframe. So we have some coverage at night, some coverage during the day. But I always start at night first, partly because that’s when we were dumping a lot of toxins at night. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, let me just address this concern real quick. And then we’ll move on to my next favorite binder, which is chlorella. So just like oh, charcoal, constipation, people go Oh, charcoal mineral depletion. I’ve talked with a guy named Neil Nathan, who wrote a great book called toxic. I often recommend people buy that to look into binders. He has worked alongside a guy named Dr. Michael gray, who’s a toxicologist, I believe he’s out of Arizona, he’s a guy who’s been working on treating mold. For decades, this guy has been using, I’ve heard insane numbers like 50 to 100 grams of charcoal per day, we’re talking literally 8090 100 capsules of charcoal a day for years. And there’s never been an issue of mineral depletion, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. So his kind of argument after I probed him on that question was, well, what about mineral depletion? He goes well, so what if you lose one or 2% of minerals? If you’re getting 98% of your nutrition and minerals, still, the the pros outweigh the cons in the sense that you’re removing toxins that are affecting hormones, the brain, the liver, the kidney, so he’s like, yeah, maybe you lose a couple percent. But it’s never been something that’s called like a heart attack. Because you’ve lost so much potassium or anything crazy like that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you’re just going to be taking it away, you’re going to be just taking it away from it. So that’s going to mitigate most of it. If you’re taking activated charcoal with your food all the time. Yeah, maybe you have a problem. But you’re going to be one you’re going to be kept getting a lot of minerals in your water and food throughout the day. And then you’re going to start by taking it at night when you’re not, like overly hydrating anyway, and to at least two hours after you eat and so it’s not that big of a deal. And so yeah, as long as you time it up, right. I just think that’s a moot point for sure. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. All right. So let’s let’s go into chlorella, because I really love chlorella, and I didn’t know too much about it. Besides that you’d see like little chlorella tablets, it always comes in these little green looks like a little Pez or something and they’re kind of hard to chew, but they’re a little awkward to swallow. And then Luckily, I found a couple companies that make micronized liquid chlorella, and that’s what I often use. chlorella is an algae. But it works amazing as a broad spectrum. So a lot of people kind of market it as a heavy metal detox because it has a really unique ability to bind on to heavy metals like mercury and lead and cadmium and arsenic and aluminum things that every modern human has, whether it’s from breathing and car exhaust, to having amalgam fillings in their mouth, but it’s awesome. And I’ve seen I could show you several case studies on pesticides, herbicides, and mold toxins, and chlorella being used to pull those out. We’ve got in fact before and after results of seeing even little kids, 234 year olds that I’ve worked with where they had major, major major pesticides. These were kids that were diagnosed autistic, are on the spectrum. We give them as high doses we can go with chlorella, we retest after three to six months and guess what the pesticides herbicides are gone. And oh my god. I mean, sometimes it just almost makes you cry because it’s like, wow, how is something like this so beneficial, but you’re not hearing about this on the nightly news?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. So the first thing we can do to detoxify I always tell patients is stop adding toxins in. So first stop adding toxins in so look at your pesticides right? Look at the food that you’re eating, make sure it’s organic, no GMOs, you know, make note, no added hormones, don’t consume foods and plastics. If you use plastic, you know, try to keep it in the fridge out of the sunlight out of heat out of the microwave. Excellent clean water, filtered water, clean water, if it’s aro, no big deal, add some minerals back in there, I see a lot of people complaining about our water, hey, I rather have my water cleaner, and then add minerals back in and have water that’s more toxic, because you can’t, you can’t add things into the water that make it more or less toxic. It’s either got to be filtered from toxins, and then you can add minerals back in on the flip side. And that’s totally okay. And then from there. And then from there, that’s going to kind of give you that the first foundation because your food’s good, your water is good. And then all your hygiene products make sure deodorants and skincare and soaps were free of toxins there. And that way when we add in binders, there’s going to be just less things that have to be binded. So our body can work on binding up more things that are released from our tissues that are more stored toxins versus toxins that are coming in every day from our environment. 

Evan Brand: That’s a great point. I even forgot to mention that which is duh. Why did people have to get into the situation where they need binders in the first place? Well, it’s they’ve been exposed to toxins. Now, some people they weren’t exposed to toxins on purpose, it was just they ate organic, but then they, you know, stayed a month in a moldy Airbnb or something and they got exposed that way. So it’s not always your fault. But you’re right, you got to empower people and say, hey, look, you can make a choice, you can either eat organic, and not get exposed, or you can eat conventional. But now you’ve got to do the cleanup work. And it’s much better to stop it before it gets in than having to remove it once it’s already in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Now, outside of that we can do things that help our livers function better, we can work on phase one detoxification support, which will take a lot of these fat soluble toxins and convert them into water soluble. Now these toxins are mobile. So the activated charcoal really works great when toxins are now mobilized, if they’re not mobilized, these binders aren’t going to really work well because everything’s kind of be in the tissue kind of stored up so to speak. So it’s gonna be hard to really grab it. So getting phase one detoxification support dialed in B vitamins, antioxidants, these are going to be key nutrients, maybe liver tona fine herbs like milk thistle, or dandelion or artichoke root. I have a supplement called liver supreme or antioxidant supreme are both my phase one detoxification support that gets things mobilized. Now if they’re mobilized now we can come in there with binders and we can soak it up a little bit. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, phase two is important to now a little involved, I would suppose with the with the binder conversation, because if phase two is not working, you know, phase one can be up regulated. But if phase two is not working, it’s like you’ve got a fire hose going into a garden hose and the backup can happen there. And I’ll tell you personally, and clinically, when I start to use nutrients to fuel phase to like some of the amino acids. I’ve taken it too far like with everything, you know, because I’m a guinea pig. But I’ve noticed massive, massive improvements just by helping out phase two. And then if I ramp up phase two too much, I’ll throw in binders and then the binders will kind of help mitigate the hurdles from up regulating phase two. So it’s a it can be a little bit of a seesaw sometimes. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. 

Evan Brand: All right, what else what else should we hit on? We should hit on the the Clay’s a little bit as well. You and I love clays that are awesome. You’ve got zeolite you’ve got bentonite clays, those are kind of your top big ones you’ve got like green clays and such clays are awesome. I find that they are really good at heavy metals and molds and will often use it in a blend. So we’ll use a little bit of clay a little bit of charcoal a little bit of chlorella all at once. And they’re well tolerated. I haven’t seen that many people who works from clay so I don’t have any, you know, evidence beyond clinical with this, but I would say that you seem to have less hurting with clays than you do like chlorella or charcoal. I find you can go too much with the others.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, yeah. So just to highlight a couple of things here regarding the sulfur. NAC. glutathione glutathione is a tri peptide anyway. So that’s made from glutamine, glycine, cysteine, right, taurine, MSM, alpha lipoic acid, just getting a lot of our sulfur nutrients on board is going to be huge. That’s going to help provide a lot of the building blocks for phase two. And that way we’re going to be able to, you know, and acetylation, glutathione, conjugation, methylation, right, these are going to involve a lot of our phase two nutrients and so Phase One, like methylation will evolve, like b 12. And full eight, right? So we want to make sure all those things are working if we need Now, some people, we’re not going to be pushing the toxification directly, we’re going to just be, it’s gonna be there more to help pick up the dead debris from things that are being killed in the gut. But if the activated charcoal still not enough, we may have to push more of those phase one and phase two, just to make sure those toxins are releasing, and then the binders will be there to catch things a little bit as well. So a little bit of a push catch, if necessary. If not, we’ll just be doing more of a catch and the push will be more from the killing side. So everyone’s a little bit different. And I tend to a lot of times this isn’t a problem when you have the foundation built in first. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, the funny thing is going into this podcast, I thought, oh, wow, this will be you know, pretty easy to explain. But the more we dive into it, the more this thing gets a little tricky. And so case specific because some people, they don’t tolerate up regulating phase two that much, and other people they have trouble with the binders. So we try to make this stuff as simple as we can. But keep in mind people this is not This podcast is not designed to replace one on one functional medicine care. So if you really want to get to the bottom of these issues, you need help you need us to help guide you through this because I don’t want you to go in and just pop in a bunch of charcoal and you feel bad. You don’t know why. And then you’re confused about what you’re going to do next. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% So let’s talk about some binders. So activated charcoal, you mentioned the heating like that the you know the which is going to really have a big binding effect. It’s also going to help with mold as well. We have things like bamboo, bamboo binders are excellent as well. We have things like citrus pectin, which are shown to be very helpful for lead. We have zeolite binders which are very helpful for mold. I think activated charcoal is also very helpful for mold. We have things like beetroot powder, which has some natural binding effects for mold as well. Obviously, we have the medication coolest I mean, which is a really good mole binder. There’s some side effects, though, which can lower your sex hormones fulvic minerals, which have some mold and some binding effects to any comments on the different kinds of binders having chlorella, more on the metal side more for Mercury, though more in the intestinal tract. Anything else?

Evan Brand: Yeah, the colas. darmian is strong stuff. I used it. And, man, I tell you it works. But I do believe that it affected my gut negatively. I do believe that. Now I don’t know if I don’t know if that’s a direct influence, or is it a byproduct of dragging mycotoxins out of the system? I’m not too sure. But I would try to tell people don’t use the prescription binder unless you absolutely have to. And you’re just so miserable. You can’t get yourself out of the rabbit hole with it. Because for me necessary for most. Yeah, for me, I just I really struggled. And I was doing the natural binders for months. And I needed a little extra help. So I did it short term. But I would try to stray most people away the natural binders can be really good if you have enough patience and time to resolve the issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you’ve like for you it’s more of a mold thing. So we’re kind of talking for binders for most people is more in the killing side. Right. So for that you had no problems with it. Right? It was more on the mold side, correct? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah, that’s right. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then you find you fit on the mold binding side, you found that which is better for you when you had what more glutathione and more so for support in along with the binders? Was that true? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah, the glutathione definitely helped as long as I didn’t do too much. And then also helping the glucuronidation pathway that’s also part of this whole conversation. And so calcium D glucose rate did great things for me. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, calcium to glucose. It’s good. And that’s a estrogen binder as well as a mole binder. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah, it really helps with z, what’s called [inaudible], which is something we test for on the urine. So, you know, like we’ve talked about today, you can have a kind of a broad spectrum approach, but we really try to dial it in if we can, if we see specific mycotoxins, we’ll try to give a little more specific. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So I think that’s really important. Anything else you wanted to highlight on that?

Evan Brand: I think that’s it. I would just say the first step is really trying to get the data, right, because, you know, people hear the word detox and like, yep, I need some of that. And it’s kind of trendy, which is, I guess, good, but also bad because people just jump into detox not knowing why or what they’re doing or what they’re after. So my recommendation as always our philosophies test, don’t guess and figure out what do you have that you’re detoxing? Do you have a heavy metal burden? Let’s find out. Do you have a mycotoxin burden? Do you have pesticides and chemicals? Do you have all that? Okay, great. Now, let’s make a plan to go after these things. So, like I said, Don’t just run to Whole Foods, buy coconut charcoal and take it if you don’t know why you need it. I prefer people have a reason. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% I totally agree. So a couple things, right. So number one, people say toxification. Right? Well, number one, you’re always detoxifying. The question is, are you detoxifying at 100%? Are there enough toxins and stressors in the environment that are impairing your detoxification? where certain toxins are accumulating in your body more than are being eliminated. So number one, you’re always detoxify. Number two, it’s more optimizing your detox vacation systems. Also number three people that talk about cellular detox. That’s marketing garbage. Okay. detoxification is happening at a cellular level. It’s called their cytochrome p 450 oxidase pathways that’s happening biochemically at a cellular level. amino acids, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, these pathways are being upregulated all the time that’s happening at a cellular level. So when people talk about cellular detox, that’s just marketing hooey. Anything you do to help detoxification just drinking more water, guess what you’re enhancing, so detoxification just by you, decreasing inflammation. You having really good nutrition in your food, you’re enhancing the certification. Okay, so don’t get don’t get caught up with a lot of these marketing buzzwords. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, unfortunately, detox is probably the most what would you say? Maybe sleazy snake oily type part of functional medicine? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it is for sure. I think a lot of the time it is because people come at it from that’s the first step. So they’re taking people and they’re just trying to upregulate these pathways right out of the gates. And people have gut issues, and they’re being nutritionally deficient for a while. And there have a lot of toxins that they’re consuming food wise, or in their life. Yeah, they can really feel crappy and sick. So it’s probably the last thing I do out of the gates again, specifically, right, we’re always detoxifying. So if I see a patient and I don’t hit the toxification, specifically with those nutrients, but I get them drinking better, cleaner water, and get them going organic, and get them pooping every day. I am enhancing their detoxification, like, tenfold just doing that alone. Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s just funny, I guess, it gets a little-

Evan Brand: Cheesy, because that’s one of the few things that your average person who knows nothing about functional medicine knows about is the word detox. They probably heard it before their friend drinking detox tea or something silly like that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right? And then you have like the master cleanse detox, right, which is, hey, that’s cool. You’re giving your digestive system a break, and you’re not necessarily detoxifying. When you when you do that, I mean, you’re not enhancing nutrition, you’re enhancing fasting and autophagy. And, and that can help with stem cells. And that can help detoxify a little bit, because you’re, you’re fasting. So detoxification is a little bit higher there, but you’re not specifically pushing those pathways. Most of those benefits happen because you’re not consuming a whole bunch of food allergens. People feel better doing a Master Cleanse, it’s typically because their diet usually isn’t that great. So when they go on a Master Cleanse, they’re avoiding a lot of those foods that are inflaming them all the time. The more healthy Your food is, when you go to a cleanse, you’re kind of like, Oh, well, it isn’t that big of a deal, because your food’s already really high quality. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah. silica is on the list, too. There are small nutrients. I mean, there’s there’s boron, there’s trace minerals. Or you may be helpful. Yeah, molybdenum can be helpful. So I think we hit on a lot of the big ones, though, a lot of the big tools that you mentioned the pack, then I’ve done packed and I’ll be honest, I haven’t noticed much from it. I do use it in combination with some other binders. But I’ve never done just like a pectin trial by itself and notice any significant difference, meaning I haven’t taken it. And my head’s clear, like with charcoal, if I’m kind of fuzzy, I’ll take a little charcoal and then boom, you know, I’ll notice the clarity. I don’t know if it’s pectins different maybe it’s not binding on to the type of toxin that’s causing the head drunkenness in the first place. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s better for lead I think and Merc, okay, yeah, we’re for the heavy metals, but it’s still helpful, you know, ya know, if you’re gonna be detoxifying, it’s not gonna hurt having that in there. It just wouldn’t be the only thing you’d have in there.

Evan Brand: Right, right. Yeah. And so, and maybe heavy metals, they don’t have as much of a quick turnaround time on your symptoms, whereas mold does, like, I know, if I’ve taken a mold hit, it’s like, Whoa, it’s a pretty quick symptom reaction. Whereas, hey, I breathe in a little car exhaust, I’m probably not going to feel anything right away from that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. Exactly. Yeah, totally. So anything else you want to add? And I think we really went to town on all this stuff. I mean, I think the key thing I want to highlight for everyone listening, if you’re having a lot of issues or hormone issues of detoxification issues, you know, do the foundation’s out of the gates. But if you’re still struggling, you want to reach out to someone like myself, and Evan, so we can help you all out. We’re available worldwide, and Evan’s at EvanBrand com. I’m at JustinHealth.com, you can click on our schedule buttons, and we can support you and help you during the process. If you need that extra help. We’ve helped thousands of patients together. So we have a lot of experience. And a lot of people have other issues going on, like gut infections, like hormone imbalances, like inflammation issues like other thyroid or autoimmune issues that are part of the issue. And just supporting detoxification by itself won’t be the fix for that. It’s part of a bigger broader plan. Yeah, on the fence. Feel free to reach out guys. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, good point. And some of our mentors that said you really have to kind of market to people for what they think they need, but give them what they truly need. So a woman may say, Oh, I need detox. Okay, so I’m like, Okay, yeah, we can help with that. But hey, guess what, detox is not your number one priority based on these labs, we really need to do this. And as a side effect of working through this, yep, we’ll detox you as well. So, don’t always assume in your head, you’ve got it all figured out. Because there may be a different set or of priorities or a different order of operations. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s always interesting when patients come in, and they kind of have an idea what they want. But then the question is, I’m gonna try to give you what you need. And I’ll try to connect the dots. Because if your goal is to get better and address these issues, then we’re totally in alignment, you just may be, you may think this is what you have to do to get there. But as long as you’re open to guidance, then hey, we can adjust that for sure. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s always a fun process. So Justin mention the links I mentioned a moment of time, Dr. J at JustinHealth.com. available online. And me, EvanBrand.com. And that’s it. So we’ll be back next week. take great care. If you have questions, concerns, comments, you know, write us a review and tell us what kind of topics do you do you want us to cover we’re happy to dive into all of it. We live we eat, we breathe this stuff every day, all day. I mean, this is our life. So we’re very passionate and we would love to hear what you want to hear about. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And we’ll put a link down below under references for products that we specifically use and formulate to help support some of the pathways and the objectives that we chatted about in today’s podcast. So if you want to support the show, you can also purchase those products that which we believe in personally use for ourselves, patients and family. Awesome, everyone. You guys have a phenomenal day. It was great chatting with y’all. Take care now. Take care.

Evan Brand: Bye bye.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/detoxing-with-the-correct-binders-podcast-324

Fatigue, Tiredness, and Lethargy: Link to Gut Infection | Podcast #311

Tiredness is not a symptom that defines any one particular disease. Rather, tiredness can be a symptom of many different diseases and conditions. Causes of tiredness range from lack of sleep and over exercise to medical and surgical treatments. The lack of energy (lethargy) associated with tiredness can sometimes cause difficulty with normal daily activities, leading to attentiveness and concentration problems. 

Dr. J suggested considering to support protein breakdown by extra amino acids and enzymes. Dr. Evan also added that if you have issues, always reach your conventional Dr. or functional Dr., be tested, find the root cause and guide to fix possible infections that cause you to feel tired before you reach a crisis level.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:10      Mechanisms to Gut Infection

4:05      Where Gut Stressors Come From

12:12     Infections that causes Fatigue

17:41     Probiotics and Beneficial Bacteria

22:32     Supplements to Gut Infection

24:18     Immune Issues

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan brand. Today we’re going to be chatting about your gut infections may be making you tired. Many people don’t think about how their gut maybe having an impact on your energy, your mood, your emotions, but it’s totally true. Most people think, oh, if I have a gut issue, I’m just gonna have bloating or diarrhea or constipation or acid reflux. Oh contraire. We’re gonna dive into that today, Evan, how are we doing today, man? 

Evan Brand: Doing really well. How about should I just go straight into my story, then? I mean, I suffered with this thing firsthand, as you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Let’s do it. 

Evan Brand: So when I was down in Austin, I was losing weight. And I didn’t know why I was losing weight. And turns out and I was exhausted. That was that was the main thing. I mean, I was drained, like, it was really tough for me to get through the day. I mean, I was to the point where, at some point, it’s kind of embarrassing. I mean, I was like, okay, am I do I have enough energy to cook a meal at night, you know, for dinner, like, the workday just drained me. And so fortunately, after I got the gut infections resolved, I mean, the story is not much longer than that my energy came back online. So I mean, we can say clinically, and personally, that this is a big, big smoking gun for anybody who’s been dealing with chronic fatigue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally 100%. Now, let’s talk about some of the mechanisms why like, you could have constipation, you could have diarrhea, you could have all these digestive issues, that’s fine. And it makes sense why some of these issues may be causing problems. Because if you’re going to digest a lot of the nutrients that energize you, right, B vitamins, your amino acids, your essential fatty acids to burn them in the mitochondria for fuel, all of these things require optimal absorption, right? So if we don’t have adequate enzyme, or acid level or biliary level to break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, we’re going to have a problem with those nutrients getting into our bloodstream and making their way to ourselves and our mitochondria to be burned for fuel. So that’s one big mechanism. And the other big mechanism out of the gates, and we’ll kind of expound deeper into each one is the fact that your immune system sucks up lots and lots of resources. So think back to when you maybe got the flu or had some kind of illness. Were you energized? Are you tired? Most people were very tired. Now, why is that? It’s because your immune system allocates lots and lots of resources when it’s stressed. And it will make you tired, because it’ll pull some of those energy resources to put it towards fighting an infection. All right. So if your immune system is caught chronically in that state of trying to fight something, whether it’s a gut infection, cebo, or parasite, or just gut permeability issues that are upregulated, due to bad foods, and food allergens, you’re going to be really over stimulating and over allocating resources to deal with whatever’s happening with the immune system, aka the gut. Don’t forget 80% of your immune system is located in the gut, people forget that so important. So if you’re over stressing your immune system, you’re gonna have problems. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. And so for me, I was taking some immune support, but it was all just kind of a bandaid, right? Because I wasn’t focused on the underlying infection. So this time of the year, we’re, we’re talking in the fall here coming up on winter, you have a lot of people that will say, Well, you know, I really just want to strengthen my immune system. So they’ll go and do maybe some extra vitamin C, maybe some medicinal mushrooms, or maybe some other herbs, astragalus, things like that. But it doesn’t matter if you do all those if you don’t address the infection. So if someone’s like, tired and they feel weak, they feel depleted. They feel like they’re possibly immunocompromised. Sure, you could do some of the tools, like we talked about those herbs, but really, you got to test first of all, figure out what kind of infections you have. And then step two, is you come in and make a protocol to fix those infections. And not to mention, you know, like h pylori is super contagious. So, I mean, you and I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of cases where, you know, husband and wife have reinfected each other. And so we’re not doing this to try to make more money. We’re doing this to help the family when we say, Hey, what about your husband? What about your wife when we try to get them on board? It’s because we know about this potential, you know, cross contamination.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So we kind of look at the gut, and we’re like, Alright, where are the gut stressors coming from? So the first stressor we look at are food allergens, because if your immune system is kind of responding negatively to food, that could be a big a big issue, right? And what happens is, when food allergens kind of come in, whether it’s gluten or dairy, or just you know, processed grains, or sugars, or even things like nuts, or seeds, or just more allergenic foods, soy those kind of things. Your immune system is upregulated dealing with those foods, and that’s going to suck away resources. And also, these foods if you have an allergen to them, if your body’s hyper allergenic, meaning your immune system is over responsive. There may be some gut permeability. And gut permeability is like these little tight junctions in the epithelium in the small intestines. They’re like this. So imagine you’re putting your hands together like you’re saying a prayer now, start pulling your fingers apart a little bit, you see the little gaps that happen that’s happening at a microscopic level with the tight junction cells in the small intestine. So the more you’re stressing your gut lining, these tight junctions open up, like I mentioned, the fingers come further apart. And then food particular we call it antigens, right? These foods aren’t supposed to be in the bloodstream at the size they’re in. Now you start having these antigens go into the bloodstream at a larger level, and now the immune system’s going to start going after it with full force. And that’s gonna start sucking up a lot more of your resources. So the first thing when we’re working with patients worldwide, we’re trying to cut down the food allergenicity we’re trying to decrease the immune response by helping the foods not become so bad or stressful on the immune system. So some people coming in on a standard American diet, a paleo template, maybe enough. Some people that are really have an autoimmune issue or Irritable Bowel Disease, we have to go to a paleo template where we’re cutting out extra allergenic foods, some we have to even go to a carnivore or some kind of an STD low lower fodmap diet because the bacteria is overgrown, and it’s reacting to even fodmap foods like broccoli and onions and garlic like healthy foods, were reacting to it. And so it this whole thing becomes a little bit more nuanced with food, the more unhealthy you become, or the longer your conditions progress. So as a practitioner, right, we’re trying to meet people where they’re at some people come in at a really easy phase, they’re just diets crap. And we can just make a simple change with the Paleo some we have to get a lot more nuanced. 

Evan Brand: So let me ask you, you brought up garlic. I had a woman last week, actually. And she was complaining that garlic was a big issue for her. So we’ve already cleared out gut infections, and we’ve done a great job. We’ve retested we’ve confirmed that we got rid of all the gut infections, we are doing some leaky gut support, but she says every time I eat garlic, I get really bloated. What would you What would you do? What would you say to that garlic person? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, it could be a SIBO thing. So I’d want to test other fodmap foods. So if there’s some kind of a gut issue or like a bloat or a motility issue, or a diary or a constipation issue, we’re going to be cutting out fodmaps fermentable carbohydrates, fructose, oligo, disaccharide, mono and polyols. And we’re going to do that and then we’ll eventually do a reintroduction. And when we reintroduce foods, we’re going to start with moderate fodmaps first and then go to higher fodmaps. Last, so those foods are higher fodmap. So the question will be How did she do adding in the moderate ones? First, I want to know how she did incrementally adding things in.

Evan Brand: So like apples, she does fine, which was interesting, because to me, I’ve had a lot more people have issues with apples than I have with garlic. So I thought Hmm, you know, is it really a bacterial overgrowth thing? The stool test didn’t really show much in the in the bacterial category. So it’s kind of like, well-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: when people like that, I just want to see is it a one off? Is it just garlic? Or is it other foods like onions and broccoli and avocado, which is a moderate or sweet potato, which is a matar, I want to test more of the moderate fodmaps? Maybe add in some fermented foods like a kombucha or a sauerkraut? Did it happen with those two, if it’s just a one off, then it could be some die off, it could just be she’s having an issue with that food. So if it’s a one off, I don’t really worry about one offs, I look for patterns, like patterns or like part of being a good functional medicine doctor, it’s pattern recognition, you’re looking for patterns, like some patient that can be Well, last week I had this happen or that like, we got to look at bigger picture, we got to have enough data points. So we can look at patterns. Anything can happen one off due to stress or a poor night’s sleep, or you got exposure to some bad foods. And now your guts a little bit rocky for a few days. So we got to look at longer trends and really have a lot of good pattern recognition. Part of what we do, we’re kind of CSI detectives, and we got to look for things repeating itself, because anything can happen one off, we don’t want to change what we’re doing, or the programs that people are on, off of just a one off issue.

Evan Brand: And that’s what it was, it was a one off and it was kind of, you know, frustrating for me because I’m thinking well, crap, you know, everything else, she’s tolerating good and any other problematic foods, I’d kind of put in that same category that we thought would be a problem. They’re not a problem. So I’m sitting here thinking, Okay, well, what kind of explanation Can I give her? Because she wants some kind of good functional medicine answer for me, right? And so that’s what I told her. I’m like, well, this sounds like just Oh, to be honest, kind of like a food sensitivity, particularly to the garlic. You know, I don’t looking at the testing. I told her I didn’t really see anything that was compelling to indicate any other sort of issue and all the other foods were tolerated. So I kind of just gave it like a political answer. It was like, wow, hmm. You know. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, well, we’ll come it’s possible there could be just a, her immune response is just a little bit more sensitive to if we don’t see extra data points correlating to it, then I just tell patients, hey, let’s just we’ll come back. We’ll work on probiotics. We’ll work on good re inoculation of good healthy bacteria while adding some prebiotic fibers every month. We can try testing it again. But as long as there’s no yeah, as long as there’s no, let’s just say, family of other foods that are interacting like this, then we’re not going to really worry about it too much. But you can always retest, make sure that gut’s doing good, but it’s possible you have one off allergen issue that’s possible. But every month, we can always retest it and see.

Evan Brand: Yeah, good point, I did end up throwing in a high dose, multi strain probiotic. So we’re with a high amount of bifido. So we’re gonna see what happens. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and this person could tolerate fermentable carbohydrates, like sauerkraut and, and maybe a little bit of kombucha it’s probably not a fodmap issue, because those things are very, very high in fodmaps. It could be she’s killing some stuff off. It could just be she sensitive to garlic. It’s possible. Yeah. And so I mean, I just tell patients, hey, you know, that’s an artifact, we just kind of make a note on it. When we follow it down the road later on. If things kind of connect back to it down the road. That’s nice. But if not, things that are one offs. You don’t want to you don’t want to one off to derail your whole investigation. 

Evan Brand: Yes. Yes. That’s a great point. You know, it’s like you’re, you’re you’re like, you know, investigating a crime scene, and you have his weird piece of evidence. That does not make sense. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Right. Okay. Well, we’ll make a note on that. And we’ll come back to it if there’s any patterns that they point back to it down the road.

Evan Brand: Yep. Yep. Great. So so small tangent, but really helpful. I think it’s, it’s helpful for people to see how do you have to think when you’re approaching these issues, it’s not always black and white, you know, we try to refer back to clinical experience, we kind of sprinkle in some of the data sprinkled in some previous case studies that we’ve done with people. So it’s really fun. But back to the fatigue piece. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I just wanted to highlight one component, because while you’re on it, is when we are talking about these things, because we’re clinicians, and we see thousands of patients, we’re operating more off of clinical concepts than like rote memorization of like, a fax. And so when people listen to our podcasts, we really want them to understand the overarching concepts of health. If you understand a concept, you don’t really have to memorize it, if you’re trying to memorize random facts and randomness, and that becomes a little bit convoluted and a little bit stressful. So just try to get the overarching concepts that we’re talking about here. Once you get the concept, you never have to worry about memorizing, and it’s just there. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah, good. So I just wanted to go back to the to the fatigue piece, because for certain people, there may be multiple layers of infections that are causing your fatigue. So for me it was H. pylori, and then once I got rid of the H pylori, then it was the parasites that were still causing me to be tired. And once I got rid of that, then I did have some Candida that I had to address. So what I want people to know is that if you double down or triple down on something, you know, the guy tells you it’s parasites, or the girl tells you it’s this, and you pursue that, and you’re not better, it’s possible that you’ve, you’ve missed something. And so I just want people to wrap their head around you, like you say, you have permission to have multiple things wrong at the same time. So you could have a bacterial issue, a parasite issue, a Candida problem, all at the same time. And so you got to make sure you get all the data if you just run a stool test. Candida rarely shows up on the stool test, you and I’ve talked about this many times. So the urine test will often fill in the blank. So if you had one test done, or your doctor ran this or that, and you feel like you’re missing something you probably are so keep, keep digging. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You also there’s one study here just looking at h pylori and mitochondrial function, I’ll put it up on my screen. But this is important, right? And the reason why it’s important, I’m going to just I’m going to do a share here. So if you guys are listening to the podcast on YouTube, you’ll be able to watch the video. If you’re on iTunes, you know, you have to just click the YouTube link, and you’ll be able to see what we’re talking about. If not, I’ll try to describe it pretty well. But you can see my screen you see my screen. 

Evan Brand: Yep. h pylori affects the mitochondrial function. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So this is important right here. So mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cells. This is really important and the powerhouse of your cell generates ATP for energy. Now, if you look here at the bottom they talked about, they wanted to investigate whether there’s an increased mutational load and mitochondrial genome and what they found was there believe that the there’s a downregulation in the mitochondrial DNA repair pathway? What does that mean? It means how your mitochondria are repaired and regenerated. It’s going to be down regulated, so you’re not going to be able to repair your your mitochondria as fast. It’s believed to be involved in mitochondrial base excision repair. Our results suggest that these genes A p one and y b one, just know that their DNA is that are involved in mitochondrial DNA repair. They’re they’re demonstrated to be involved and they’re demonstrated to be down regulated when there’s an H pylori infection. So it just means that your body’s ability to generate ATP which has decreased respiration coupled aptr. So you’re not able to generate as much ATP and repair your mitochondria as well when you have an H pylori infection. And this is something that we think is there with a lot of gut infections. It affects your mitochondria. Your ability to repair it, which then affects your ATP synthesis. 

Evan Brand: That is pretty crazy. I mean, especially if we’re talking about an athlete who wants to perform right you’ll have all these big celebrity personal trainers and stuff and they’ll just get people on different diet changes or no, you need to do this exercise or this exercise and they missed the boat. They don’t have a clue about H. pylori being the root cause of the of the fatigue or the exercise performance. So yeah, it’s just crazy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then also, there’s a lot of right here, right here one study, I’ve already looked at it before, if people are having gut issues, and they go to their conventional gastroenterologist, what are they typically prescribing? Well, a lot of times they’re prescribing antibiotics, right, and there’s a lot of data, bacterial Seidel, antibiotics induce mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage. And so we know this is something that’s actually present, where there’s damage to the mitochondria with antibiotics. 

Evan Brand: Well, and and, and to be clear, for H pylori, it’s not just one antibiotic, it’s three or even four, they have what they call quadruple therapy now, which just the name of it scares me, it’s literally four antibiotics at the same time. And you and I have both seen patients that have had triple or quadruple therapy done and guess what we retest them, and unfortunately, due to antibiotic resistant bacteria, the infections are still there. So now we have to come in, repair all the mitochondria that were damaged, plus use herbs, which are much, much safer, and in my experience, just as if not more effective, and then we actually get rid of the bugs. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, she’s a summary of your mitochondria dysfunction and oxygen damage induced by bacterial Seidel antibiotics, which is interesting, because bacteria, all antibiotics are bacterial Seidel, so interesting. They use that description. It’s mammalian cells. I’m not sure which mammals they use. But they talked about that it’s alleviated by antioxidants. Well, guess what, when we use a lot of the clearing herbs that we use, guess what they’re rich in, I mean, tons of antioxidants, polyphenols. And that’s the benefit, a lot of the herbs that we use, they have a lot of antioxidants in them to help buffer the oxidative stress. Because remember, oxidative stress is part of what happens with the antibiotics. And we have a similar effect with herbs. But the herbs have a lot of antioxidants, which is helpful. Any comments on that? 

Evan Brand: Well, what you’re saying makes us look really good, because not only are we giving nutrients that can effectively get rid of the infections, but we’re also protecting the system or even replenishing antioxidants, because in general, and the oxidants are going to be reduced because of all the oxidative stress from the infection in the first place. So it’s literally like a win win, for us and for the person under the protocol. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And there’s lots of different studies here as well on probiotics and beneficial bacteria, correcting mitochondrial dysfunction with probiotics. There’s there’s definitely studies on this as well. And again, you know, these are things that we’ve seen in our practice, like when you see someone get better. So protection of hepatocyte mitochondrial function by blueberry juice probiotics. So there’s lots of studies on this, because when you see patients get better with certain beneficial bacteria, after you do an elimination, you’re like, why does that work? And so what happens is you see a clinical outcome, patient getting better when you do something. And then you’re like, Huh, what could the mechanism B and then you chase it down online? And you’re like, oh, maybe that’s it? You know, maybe it has to do with the fact that it’s helping the mitochondria and people’s feel better afterwards? Maybe that’s the mechanism. It’s possible, right? 

Evan Brand: Yeah. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We have to comment on that. 

Evan Brand: Well, it’s a lot of good things happening. And then you mentioned the probiotic piece. So that’s going to help even more. So after we get someone on a killing protocol, there’s going to be good benefits there, your energy is probably going to get better just based on doing that. And then when you go to the next phase, if we’re going to come into the gut healing phase, you’re going to get even better than so it’s it’s really fun for us to kind of paint the picture here of just how how is someone going up, up up up better, better, better? And you’ve just outlined how so pretty I talked about it right here. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They talked about a collusion the studies show this is BP stands for blueberry juice and probiotic exhibit a synergistic effect preventing the development of a and that’s non alcoholic fatty liver disease by protecting mitochondrial function, suppressing the damage of mitochondrial ultrastructure by reducing mitochondrial swelling, right. So mitochondrial damage by antibiotics, as well as we could do the same thing when we search, let’s say pesticides, or heavy metals or mold toxins, so we know that gut plays a big role and one helping to absorb those nutrients. But number two, also helping to have beneficial bacteria that modulate these, this inflammation and mitochondrial damage as well. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah. Well said. Excellent. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, it’s good that just a couple of studies. I mean, when we look at like we look at research a lot differently, so just kind of everyone there. We look at clinical outcomes in patients. And then we chase them back to what the literature says. The problem is a lot of people who are clinicians, they’ll look at the literature, and then they’ll try to then come up with a clinical like decision based on the literature. And that’s sometimes it’s really hard to do, because a lot of the PhDs and a lot of the research out there isn’t necessarily clinically driven, and maybe driven because someone has a PhD in this area. And they’re just they’re just studying that topic, because or maybe it’s an NIH funded study. Who knows, right? So we’re looking at things that are clinically driven, not research driven, because someone has decided to dedicate their life to this topic. And this is the study they’re choosing right? 

Evan Brand: Now. It’s good that we can kind of pull out some studies to help backup what we’re saying. But it’s not like we go into PubMed to try to figure out exactly what we’re going to do the clinical stuff is really that’s where all the magic happens. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And some may say we have a confirmation bias and how we look for these things. But we’re not looking for out of the blue we’re looking for, because we’ve seen clinical outcomes support something is happening in that direction. And then we use the data, the research to say what could be if positive things are happening in this direction? A to B, what could be the mechanism of why that is? And so we kind of chase it backwards. versus the other way around? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah. And it’s just it’s a blast. It is fun for you to pull that stuff up. Right? Because, you know, we get we get used to our our methods, we get used to our results. But when you get to see in the literature like that antibiotics, causing mitochondrial damage is like, Oh, yeah, I forgot. That’s why we do this. It’s Yeah, we’re Exactly. We don’t want people to get damaged. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you get confident when you see things repeat itself. Clinically, you’re like, Okay, something’s happening here. Now what? So you’re going at it with a lot more confidence versus like, Hey, I think maybe, you know, I’ve heard this, it’s a hearsay kind of thing. No, you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it clinically? Well, here’s the confidence.

Evan Brand: Here’s the thing that’s always fun for me is when we’re on the topic of fatigue and gut infections. And so when you have a case where you do the follow up, and someone is reporting that they have significantly more energy, and you didn’t give them any energy supplements, you just fix their gut, you just gave them some liver, maybe some enzyme support, some gallbladder support, and then you killed the infections and all the sudden, boom, I’m 20% more energetic. I always smile and laugh simultaneously. Because it’s like, This is so fun. We have 20% more energy. And we did zero energy supplements. That’s just super cool. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s powerful. Now, if people start feeling a little bit worse, then we got to be very careful. So when people start feeling worse, I’m like, all right, we got to spend more time building up the adrenals, we got to make sure the diets clean, because if someone’s got his or, like, if you’re putting lots of bad foods in and you’re inflaming the gut, then your immune system and also your adrenals may be making more resources to deal with the inflammation in your gut. So we have to decrease the inflammation in our gut and support the adrenals by calming it down. Now, the adrenals have more resources. And of course, we always like supporting the adrenals ahead of time. So then you have natural, your more of your natural anti inflammatories, because conventional medicine when there’s serious gut issues, they’re going to give prednisone cortisol, well, let’s just support your body’s ability to make that naturally. And then when we go into a gut clearing phase, then we have more of those resources on board. And then patients are sensitive. I’m titrating the herbs in there slowly so we’re not overwhelming the system by killing more, you know bacterial toxins, LPs endotoxins, mycotoxins, we’re not overwhelming the lymphatic system that a toxification immune system. So we’re going to kind of really titrate things in a little bit slower if you’re more sensitive. And we may even add things like binders and glutathione too. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah, the glutathione is good for me. I had to take a break from it for a little while. It was just too strong. It does mobilize toxins to so this is all case by case basis. But yeah, I love glutathione when it works. But when you take too much, that’s no good. There’s always a right dose. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, if you’re slow, if you’re like more sensitive, always start low, work your way up. And then if you’re sensitive, you can always start with just a gentle binder first, as long as you’re not getting constipated. That’s a good first step on increasing things. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s great. So let’s see here. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Um, the other component, I would say is people that have got issues tend to also have immune issues. We already talked about why 80% of your immune systems in the Galt, that’s the gastric associated lymphoid tissue that’s in the stomach. And then also the model that’s the mucosal associated lymphoid tissue, lymphoid meaning like lymphocytes, white blood cells, and that’s in the small intestine. And so if you have a lot of gut permeability issues, if your guts over responding well, what’s the most common autoimmune condition that affects people and mostly women, five times more women is autoimmune thyroid. And so if you have an autoimmune thyroid, that could also be affecting your energy because you know your thyroid gland is being attacked and your body is ability to generate thyroid hormone may be decreased. And it’s possible that your conventional doctors overlook that. And so knowing that there’s an autoimmune thyroid could be affecting your energy too. And if you have an attack, you could feel hyper where you’re like anxious, can’t sleep irritable, sweating, right? first and then you go into a hypo where you’re like tired, fatigued, depressed, right? So you could easily be going hyper and hypo swings based on autoimmune tax of the thyroid. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and once again, the hashimotos could be a side effect of something else. So even if you go to the endocrinologist, let’s say they were a more advanced endocrinologist, for example, hopefully they’re running thyroid antibodies TPO, TG maybe TSI. And they’re looking at that and maybe they’re treating your thyroid giving you desiccated glandulars, or nature thyroid, or just Synthroid or side ml. Even then you see how people can fall between the cracks and not get better. Because yeah, you’ve kind of cranked up the thyroid that was hypo due to autoimmunity. But you still never got to the gut infection that started at all.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: BINGO, BINGO, BINGO, BINGO 100%. That’s what we got to look at always the root cause. So anything else you wanted to talk about here on the gut and fatigue I did, we hit the thyroid, of course, I alluded to the adrenals earlier, because they play a huge role in regulating inflammation. And we know acute gut issues, they may be, they may be given a corticosteroid to calm down the gut inflammation, that’s possible too. So we want to support your body’s ability to do it naturally. I would also say supporting protein breakdown. So with maybe adding in free form amino acids, because protein can be very hard on the body to break down. So of course, dialing in enzymes and acids and maybe giving extra free form amino acids. So it’s taking stress off the digestive system to be able to access those amino acids as well. 

Evan Brand: I think I think you’ve hit it all. I mean, I would just say, kind of where do you go next is you really have to get the data. I mean, we’ve talked about a lot, right. But if you don’t have the data, you don’t know what you’re up against. You don’t know what you’re doing. So, you know, I think the best advice I could give is if you’re dealing with these issues, test, don’t guess. And so, you know, feel free to reach out to Dr. J. Justin at JustinHealth.com. And he can run labs on you anywhere in the world and send them to your door and jump on a call and discuss it make a great protocol to help you to get better. Same thing for me my website, EvanBrand.com. And we’re available we love helping you all we’re grateful to be in this position. So you know, sure you know a lot of you listening or kind of do it yourselfers. That’s what led you to be smart and find a podcast anyway. Because you want to kind of educate yourself, but there’s a certain point where it’s okay to reach out. And I tried to fix myself for a long time. And you spend more money and you spend more time doing that. So you know, feel free to reach out and get a guide.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and then you’re available at EvanBrand.com worldwide. We’re available worldwide and we’re clinicians, we have our sleeves rolled up and we’re in the trenches every day, dealing with patients. Also, if you’re listening to this don’t just kind of glom on to one thing. So we see lots of people they’re like, they come in like Oh, I know what’s h pylori or I know it’s Candida or I know it SIBO keep an open mind on what’s happening because you have the right to have more than one issue going on at the same time. And for instance, Evans original story was Evan had not could have it wrong if you had h pylori, Giardia and crypto. That’s correct. Yeah, yeah, h pylori, giardia crypto, those are some serious infections. Any one of those infections is serious and could could have created the symptoms Evan was having yet he had all three at the same time. So if Evan was like, Oh, it’s only H. pylori, you know, he may have missed the fact that grd and crypto were involved too. So go into with an open mind and you have the right to have more than one infection happening at same time. Sad but true. But either way there are solutions to work on it and fix it. 

Evan Brand: I was tired. Man, I was tired. Now that was a that was a that was a level of exhaustion that just doesn’t even seem real. I mean, that’s how you know something’s wrong when you’re that tire. But you know, hopefully, with this education we’re providing people can reach out and work on this before it gets to that crisis level because it’s much easier to pull you out if you’re not that deep. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now Evan can you go to your conventional medical doctor or a gastroenterologist and typically get these infections picked up on? 

Evan Brand: No, definitely not the testing is just so outdated, you know, it’s not sensitive, like the DNA stuff we’re using. So that’s the downside is if you go to the gastro doc down the road, say, Hey, I think I’ve got Giardia, I heard these two guys on the internet talk about it. They’ll probably just laugh in your face and say, Well, you didn’t travel to any third world countries. So you don’t have it. But if you if you really want to Sally, I’ll test you on they’ll run the outdated test and then everything comes back negative and then we’ll say see, I told you it was all in your head, just, you know, take an acid blocker. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So yes, my opinion is very similar. So the more acute you are, especially with typical gastrointestinal symptoms, the greater chance they’ll pick you up, especially if you came back from like Mexico or some kind of a country like Bali where infections are probable, right? But now what do you do? If your infections aren’t really gut based symptoms, they’re the fatigue or the brain fog, well, then how does that get picked up, you’re typically never going to get picked up for that you’re more than likely to, to get a psych referral for an antidepressant, right, then to get a gut test, and Evan already alluded to some of the technology they have isn’t going to be as up to par. So we have a little bit you know, more access to the DNA technology a little bit more sensitive. And then also like H. pylori testing that they may run a breath test, right? Urea breath test and look for elevated levels of co2, it’s possible, but that may miss an infection. And if it’s more subclinical, you may need a more sensitive test to pick it up. So if you’re listening, and you’re like, Hey, I’m gonna go to my MD that may not be the solution, I may not get you the answers you want. And if you don’t have the typical gut symptoms, diarrhea, bloating, gas, a lot of stomach discomfort, and irritability, you may not even they may not even want to run a test, because those symptoms don’t match with what they think the problem could be. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah. And you know, it sounds like we’re like picking on him. Right? And we sort of are and that’s fine. I love picking on them, because they’re failing people. And it makes me sad. Because I was there I was sitting in the doctor’s office trying to get help. And I was told that I just needed an acid blocking medication. I told the doc, no, I feel better when I take it. enzymes that actually increased my stomach acid, I think you’re wrong. She said, That’s not possible. You’re gonna hurt yourself, you need to stop taking supplements stop all dietary supplement, the FDA, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And and that was it. And that’s when I signed off and said, No, I’m done. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I do recommend, and I think you’re in the same way, I do recommend patients that have chronic issues, or acute issues, at least go see your conventional medical doctor just to get checked off that there’s nothing glaring that’s going on. And that that way, if you work for someone like myself, for you, and then they’ve kind of already been looked at, and they’ve kind of already know, okay, conventional medicine is kind of done all they can do. And, you know, functional medicine is the next best option at that point. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’m not saying we’re the all knowing at all, if you’re bleeding out of your butt, you need to go confirm you don’t have some type of a bleeding ulcer or colon cancer or you have some type of a polyp issue or diverticulitis and you need colon surgery. I mean, there are certain things that we can’t help with. But for these more functional, non pathological issues, we’re definitely going to be able to help. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we can help with all those issues. Once they’re stable. If they’re unstable, though, conventional medicine does a really good job on stabilizing very sensitive issues. But once they’re stable, now what because for the most part, it’s going to be just symptom drug management for the rest of your life. Right? If you look at what they talked about, it’s, hey, we’re managing your gut issue versus let’s actually get to the root underlying issue. And sometimes management’s good when things are acute and flared. But now when they’re stable now what we want to go beyond just who wants to just manage their diarrhea for the rest of their life? That’s crazy, right? 

Evan Brand: Oh, God. Well, that happens every day, doesn’t it? It’s happening today while we’re doing this call somebody is in the doctor’s office right now about to get an antispasmodic drug for their diarrhea. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and that may be fine acutely, but then what’s next? So get your health issues under control from a you know, stable standpoint, and then work on the next step with a good functional medicine doctor. Well, everyone was excellent chatting with y’all anything you want to leave us with Evan? 

Evan Brand: No, that’s it. We’re just ranting at this point. So if you need help, please reach out. JustinHealth.com, EvanBrand.com. Take great care yourself. We’ll be back. Have a good one, y’all. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care. Bye now. 

Evan Brand: Bye.


References:

https://www.evanbrand.com/

https://justinhealth.com/

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/fatigue-tiredness-and-link-to-gut-infections-podcast-311

Activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System to Improve Recovery | Podcast #310

While often overlooked, the role of the nervous system in recovery is paramount. In this video, Dr. J and Jodi Cohen – a bestselling author, award-winning journalist, and founder of Vibrant Blue Oil. They highlight the key physical and mental/emotional factors that stress the nervous system, activate the parasympathetic nervous system for optimal recovery, and how it is connected to your vagus nerve, and how it can affect motility. 

We often hear meditation and massage are two potent techniques to help with physical recovery from exercise and lower the body’s mental stress response. Jodi here also introduce oils that are so stimulatory, most especially to your vagus nerve, which large divisions of this nerve extends to the digestive system. Also, the vagus nerve sends commands (when the body is not under stress)that slow heart and breathing rates and increases digestion. 

Check out this podcast and learn more on how you can apply this to your daily living!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:18     Parasympathetic

3:54     Vibrant and Blue Oils

7:38     Clove and Lime

20:08    Nutrients that Support the Oils

23:02    “Essential Oils to Boost the Brain and Heal the Body”

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Youtube-icon

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here really excited to have a awesome podcast guest today Jody Cohen is going to be talking about the parasympathetic summit, which is going to be all about how to promote parasympathetic nervous system, which is about helping your body heal and improve. Jody, welcome to the podcast.

Jodi Cohen: Oh, my God, so honored to be here. Thank you. And I feel like the timing is perfect. For people who don’t really know what parasympathetic is your nervous system, your autonomic nervous system, which controls your automatic functions like breathing, heart re digestion, immunity has kind of two gears, when your body thinks there’s danger and it has to survive, it presses the gas pedal, and kind of routes all of your blood flow and your oxygen to your arms and your legs so that you can either fight back or flee. And then the danger passes, and you hit the brakes, which is the parasympathetic, and everything returns to normal. And it’s kind of like cleaning up after the party, right? You can digest your food, blood flow routes back to your digestion. And what happens especially now when we’re so anxious, you know, anticipatory stress makes the body think it’s in danger, we kind of get stuck in the wrong gear. And so all of those maintenance cleanup health functions, kind of get put on the back burner. And if they stay on the back burner forever, your health kind of suffers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: People talk about the parasympathetic nervous system, a lot of times that’s connected to the vagus nerve, correct?

Jodi Cohen: Yes, exactly. Your Vegas nerve is really the gearshift between that fight or flight, sympathetic state and the rest and digest parasympathetic state.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and the Vegas that that terminology means the wanderer, so it’s the nerve that goes from the brainstem and kind of wanders down and it hits all of the, the organs like you talked about a lot of digestive impacts regarding the parasympathetic because we need good HCl and enzyme so like to be able to get access to all of those nutrients. And to break all your proteins and fats and antioxidants down, we need good digestive support and getting into the parasympathetics helps that.

Jodi Cohen: Yeah, I could actually the Vegas nerve wanders through every organ of digestion. So it triggers your mouth to release saliva, which helps start to break down those proteins so that they’re better absorbed and your stomach releases hydrochloric acid, it helps the pancreas release digestive enzymes, the gallbladder release bile. And then the most important thing that people don’t know is it kind of helps with the motility wave. Think of it as kind of like, you know, the moving walkway that goes through your system and make sure that things don’t stay too long in your gut and cause like cebo, or, you know, IBS or any problems, you know, and also make sure that you don’t get constipated, so that things leave, so that when you’re kind of stuck in fight or flight sympathetic dominance, all you know that the moving walkway doesn’t go and that’s when problems occur.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So anyone listening to this right now, if you’re liking what you’re hearing, make sure you click down below, we’re gonna put a link for the parasympathetic summit right down below, so make sure you subscribe. I was part of that summit along with a 30 other-

Jodi Cohen: I know, I know. I can’t. Well, you know what it is I am anxious. And so I started really early. And so I had almost everything done a month before the deadline. And then wonderful people like you who I’ve loved and admired said Oh, can I get on? I’m like, oh my god. Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. That’s Yeah, very cool. So I urge everyone listening to subscribe to get access to that awesome info. So you have a website vibrant and blue oils? Yeah, you use a lot of oils that kind of help people promote healing relaxation. Can you give me like a top three lists that you use to kind of get that parasympathetic nervous response activated? 

Jodi Cohen: Yeah. And I just want to back up the reason I found oils, um, I, my now ex has been attempted suicide and had to be hospitalized. And once I knew he was safe, and it wasn’t my job to keep him alive. I hit rock bottom, the kids were five and seven at the time, so it wasn’t super convenient to sleep all day. And I you know, I knew enough and it was my adrenals I kept trying to ingest remedies to help the adrenals and nothing was working. Um, a friend brought over oils, and I kind of made up a blend that I topically applied for the adrenals and it worked right away. And what I didn’t realize is chronic cortisol leads to inflammation of the gut. So my gut was so damaged, that nothing I was taking, like ingesting was really getting absorbed and assimilated. So that’s how I got into oils because I realized, oh, even if your gut is really messed up, you can still smell things you can still you know, we know that like nicotine patches or hormone creams go in through the skin. So that’s why I got started in oils. And then I started realizing because I’ve been in clinical practice. The blind spots, you know, if someone is deficient in vitamin D, that’s easy. You can supplement with vitamin B, if they’re stuck in parasympathetic or a second sympathetic, that was hard, you know, in a lot of the remedy is that, you know, you can teach people to breathe or meditate people, that’s hard. It’s not like an instant skill, you can say splash your face with freezing water, you know, which causes the blood flow to come to warm it up. People don’t like it either. It’s uncomfortable. They didn’t like gagging cells with a tongue depressor. But what I realized because the anatomy of the vagus nerve, as you said, it starts at the back of the head. And then it splits and whines around both sides. And it’s actually most accessible and the thickest, kind of right here. Like if you touch behind your earlobe, on your master bone. It’s like the width of a piano court there, you know, and it’s smaller and other places. So that’s why they actually do this kind of surgery, it’s a little bit like a pacemaker surgery. And they implant an electrical device here, and then a battery down below me, it’s pretty invasive. But you can use oils, oils are super stimulatory like clove, which has a million other benefits. And then lime has really small molecules, it’s kind of like, you know, when you combine colors, you can take blue and red, put them together and you get purple, which is different than you can add white and make it lavender. You know, you can combine oils, and it kind of draws the best from both of them. So I created this blend, parasympathetic, that’s clothing line. And what’s super cool is, you know, you might not be able to deep breathe, you might struggle with meditation and fall asleep, but you can dab a little thing right here, you can carry this in your purse, this is a really easy thing to comply with. And then you feel better. You’re like, Okay, I’m not constipated. Okay, my I don’t feel bloated. Okay, I feel a little bit like calmer and less anxious. You know, and, as you know, like the supplements that people know, help them, like they feel less tired. They’re really good at compliance. Once you figure out this is working for me, you’re all in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And it’s a good replacement. For some people, they’re they’re already used to like reaching for a medication, well, let’s try something a little bit more natural. That’s going to have a good benefit. It’s not going to have the side effects. And it’s the least you know, good step to other healthy things. I imagine. Yes. What you’re doing oils, you’re probably now thinking about the food you’re eating and other Yes, your habits too. So it kind of creates an awareness, I imagine as well.

Jodi Cohen: Yeah, and definitely that cascade. Yeah. You know, it’s like crawl before you walk, walk before you run. Yeah. Once you’re like, Okay, I did that, like I used to in yoga. You know, sometimes these teachers would be so sneaky and suddenly you’re doing like a handstand or headstand. And you’re like, had no idea I could do that. What else can I do?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right? That’s awesome. Very cool. Yeah, you have that parasympathetic lead, I think you say clove and lime. Is that true?

Jodi Cohen: Yeah. Yeah. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I would think like, you’d have maybe like a lavender or something like that. I’m just curious what your –

Jodi Cohen: Well, you know, originally, no, no, and a lot of people that’s a great question. Originally, I was thinking like, Oh, it’s parasympathetic. It should be sedated. You know, when oils like lavender Kammen meal. No, we know that they’re all relaxing, you know, frankincense, even the resins? Yeah, um, but I realized that what it is, is you need to stimulate it. It’s kind of like, if you think about, you know, the old cars, we actually have to manually shift gears is to do something active and energizing to kind of change lanes. So this stimulates the vagus nerve, and in stimulating it, it’s like, oh, you know, I’m switching gears. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you’re using that access point, with the nerves a little bit more superficial and more Yes, to get access to it.

Jodi Cohen: Exactly, exactly. And the other cool thing is, um, you know, there’s a researcher out of tufts Michael Vanek, or talks about the vagus nerve infection hypothesis. And basically, it’s this idea that the vagus nerve has such a broad depth and you know, it gets into your system everywhere. So any kind of small minor infection can basically the body can pick it up as you’re infected, and it goes into like cell danger response or sickness response. So you get tired so you don’t move chronic fatigue syndrome, you have pain so you don’t move fibromyalgia. A lot of these things can be traced to an infection in the Vegas nerve and the most likely one of the doctors on the summit, Marco Rubio, he did this extensive research where he was taking ultrasounds of people’s necks, and he was finding that often the Vegas nerve was infected there because, you know, we have all these toxins in our mouth that drain out and you know, and they’re exacerbated if you have like metal amalgams or any kind of cavitation you know, that has been compromised your root canal. So think about, you know, congestion point a bottleneck. You have toxins draining along the trigeminal nerve, they intersect with the Vegas nerve, you know, the neck has the structure of the limb, the blood vessels, the nerves, you know, any kind of compromise if you know as a chiropractor if things Aren’t flowing that can get congested. So the toxins accumulate here. clove actually has, it has this constituent called eugenol. And it’s been used in dentistry for years because it does two things. It numbs the pain and it actually helps to address the underlying toxins. So if there is a toxicity or an infection, that’s, you know, think of it like you’re on an airplane, right? If you’re in a row of seats, and you’re in the middle row, and the people on either side of you are not petite people, you’re not getting that armrest, you know, you’re really compressed and congested. So if the Vegas nerve is congested, it’s bumping into the vascular system, you’re not getting the blood flow, it’s bumping into the lymph, you’re not getting the drainage. So anything you can do and Dr. Russo actually walks you through step by step, how they started to, you know, topically apply remedies to cause less congestion in the lymph and all of a sudden the Vegas nerve. You can see it in the pictures. It’s kind of amazing. What kind of evidence was he doing his trials. He was using Christine sharpeners, he created their Sophia flow cream, which is a combination of essential oils and then other remedies. But what’s interesting is that most people don’t think about topically, you know, most people are kind of like have lymphie need to dry better shirt rebounder, you know that we don’t really have anything for that. But we do. It’s these topically applied remedies, we actually have a limp oil. It’s a lot of menten and things that kind of help open up vasculature and drainage. And she uses some oils in her product too. They’re both good, right? You know, it’s kinda like you get out there, right? Yeah, exactly. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s a lot of ways you can skin a cat so to speak. Did you choose those oils? Was it your own clinical experience? Was it research that you saw? How did that? 

Jodi Cohen: Yeah, that’s a good question. So the reason I got into nutrition was my own squirmy kid. You know, my first kid was super easy. I just assumed I was this great. Mom had another 120 minutes later.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve seen that having two kids now I know exactly what you’re talking about.

Jodi Cohen: Yeah. And he was just wild, a wild child. Like I really thought, like, you know, like, you have the parenting baby proof people come to your house. And they’re like, and here’s this oven lock, because some kids climb in the oven, you know, and with my first one is like, no, no kid, kid climbs in the oven. Oh, number two, you just like that, that I had that kid that did those things. And a friend noticed that he was being really well behaved. And then another mom handed out like a Ritz cracker and he Jekyll Hyde. And she said, You know, my brother was on Ritalin his whole life. And it turns out, he was just allergic to weird foods, you should check that out. I thought, I’ve done everything else, I can certainly do that. And we took them to nutritionist. She said he’s really sensitive to corn, soy and dairy. So we changed his diet. And we had a different kid the next day. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. And I was like, how did I not know this? So I went back and got a degree in nutrition was trying to work with other screaming kids. And I mean, you know, like, if they can’t, if they’re wiggling all over it, it’s really hard to like, assess them. So I learned this technique called muscle testing, that’s a really good way to kind of ask the body questions, and it’s what I was doing in my practice to help identify what remedies were good for kids. And so when I first got introduced to oils, I was really, I have never been at this kind of rock bottom, like just so mentally and physically exhausted, like literally getting up to do anything felt like a strain. So, you know, someone gave me this box, and I’m so drained, I’m like, all right, I can muscle test. So basically, it’s intuition I muscle test I, every we have a blueprint in the body, right? There’s a blueprint for what healthy adrenal tissue is supposed to look like. And sometimes you do things and you don’t really realize that’s what you’re doing. That’s what I’ve been doing my practice the whole time is kind of identifying what organisms stress, and then using supplements to help return that organ to balance so it would function well. And so that was kind of the lens that I was looking through when I was making these formulas. So I was like, Alright, what what combination, you know, we humans have a blueprint. And plants also have blueprints. And humans and plants are bio familiar. So we share similar blueprints. So kind of like you can combine different colors to you know, match a picture in a landscape, you can combine different oils to match the blueprint of a healthy organ. So I was using intuition to come up with the formulation, you know, for a start, kind of identify this needs to be in it. And then I would play with what you know, 10% of this 20% of this, the different variables and then I have a team of people that kind of help me test it, and they test and then they can kind of mentally say like you We increase, you know, the Roman kameel from, you know, 12% to 13. So we’re just constantly refining and tweaking it. And then I go and I research, you know, okay, why? Why does balsam of Peru, which is a resin that’s drawn from these plants in you know, the Amazon in Peru and Brazil seem to help with sleep? What chemical constituents are present in this plant? Why is it working? And I would every single time be like, Oh, that makes complete sense. Why this is helping. And so that’s, that’s my process. It’s a little bit nutty, but it always seems to work.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. And you know, I also, I’m just curious, though, with your son, what were the oils that really helped because one thing I like about oils with kids, is some kids don’t want to swallow stuff. And they may be something in reverse, right? So it’s hard to get them to do stuff. So you can kind of covertly put some on your fingers rub their behind their ears and kind of get it in their bloodstream. So I like that what oils that you found were the best on on Macs. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here really excited to have a awesome podcast guest today Jody Cohen is going to be talking about the parasympathetic summit, which is going to be all about how to promote parasympathetic nervous system, which is about helping your body heal and improve. Jody, welcome to the podcast.

Jodi Cohen: Oh, my God, so honored to be here. Thank you. And I feel like the timing is perfect. For people who don’t really know what parasympathetic is your nervous system, your autonomic nervous system, which controls your automatic functions like breathing, heart re digestion, immunity has kind of two gears, when your body thinks there’s danger and it has to survive, it presses the gas pedal, and kind of routes all of your blood flow and your oxygen to your arms and your legs so that you can either fight back or flee. And then the danger passes, and you hit the brakes, which is the parasympathetic, and everything returns to normal. And it’s kind of like cleaning up after the party, right? You can digest your food, blood flow routes back to your digestion. And what happens especially now when we’re so anxious, you know, anticipatory stress makes the body think it’s in danger, we kind of get stuck in the wrong gear. And so all of those maintenance cleanup health functions, kind of get put on the back burner. And if they stay on the back burner forever, your health kind of suffers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: People talk about the parasympathetic nervous system, a lot of times that’s connected to the vagus nerve, correct?

Jodi Cohen: Yes, exactly. Your Vegas nerve is really the gearshift between that fight or flight, sympathetic state and the rest and digest parasympathetic state.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and the Vegas that that terminology means the wanderer, so it’s the nerve that goes from the brainstem and kind of wanders down and it hits all of the, the organs like you talked about a lot of digestive impacts regarding the parasympathetic because we need good HCl and enzyme so like to be able to get access to all of those nutrients. And to break all your proteins and fats and antioxidants down, we need good digestive support and getting into the parasympathetics helps that.

Jodi Cohen: Yeah, I could actually the Vegas nerve wanders through every organ of digestion. So it triggers your mouth to release saliva, which helps start to break down those proteins so that they’re better absorbed and your stomach releases hydrochloric acid, it helps the pancreas release digestive enzymes, the gallbladder release bile. And then the most important thing that people don’t know is it kind of helps with the motility wave. Think of it as kind of like, you know, the moving walkway that goes through your system and make sure that things don’t stay too long in your gut and cause like cebo, or, you know, IBS or any problems, you know, and also make sure that you don’t get constipated, so that things leave, so that when you’re kind of stuck in fight or flight sympathetic dominance, all you know that the moving walkway doesn’t go and that’s when problems occur.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So anyone listening to this right now, if you’re liking what you’re hearing, make sure you click down below, we’re gonna put a link for the parasympathetic summit right down below, so make sure you subscribe. I was part of that summit along with a 30 other-

Jodi Cohen: I know, I know. I can’t. Well, you know what it is I am anxious. And so I started really early. And so I had almost everything done a month before the deadline. And then wonderful people like you who I’ve loved and admired said Oh, can I get on? I’m like, oh my god. Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. That’s Yeah, very cool. So I urge everyone listening to subscribe to get access to that awesome info. So you have a website vibrant and blue oils? Yeah, you use a lot of oils that kind of help people promote healing relaxation. Can you give me like a top three lists that you use to kind of get that parasympathetic nervous response activated? 

Jodi Cohen: Yeah. And I just want to back up the reason I found oils, um, I, my now ex has been attempted suicide and had to be hospitalized. And once I knew he was safe, and it wasn’t my job to keep him alive. I hit rock bottom, the kids were five and seven at the time, so it wasn’t super convenient to sleep all day. And I you know, I knew enough and it was my adrenals I kept trying to ingest remedies to help the adrenals and nothing was working. Um, a friend brought over oils, and I kind of made up a blend that I topically applied for the adrenals and it worked right away. And what I didn’t realize is chronic cortisol leads to inflammation of the gut. So my gut was so damaged, that nothing I was taking, like ingesting was really getting absorbed and assimilated. So that’s how I got into oils because I realized, oh, even if your gut is really messed up, you can still smell things you can still you know, we know that like nicotine patches or hormone creams go in through the skin. So that’s why I got started in oils. And then I started realizing because I’ve been in clinical practice The blind spots, you know, if someone’s deficient in vitamin D, that’s easy. You can supplement with vitamin B, if they’re stuck in parasympathetic or a second sympathetic, that was hard, you know, in a lot of the remedy is that, you know, you can teach people to breathe or meditate people, that’s hard. It’s not like an instant skill, you can say splash your face with freezing water, you know, which causes the blood flow to come to warm it up. People don’t like it either. It’s uncomfortable. They didn’t like gagging cells with a tongue depressor. But what I realized because the anatomy of the vagus nerve, as you said, it starts at the back of the head. And then it splits and whines around both sides. And it’s actually most accessible and the thickest, kind of right here. Like if you touch behind your earlobe, on your master bone. It’s like the width of a piano court there, you know, and it’s smaller and other places. So that’s why they actually do this kind of surgery, it’s a little bit like a pacemaker surgery. And they implant an electrical device here, and then a battery down below me, it’s pretty invasive. But you can use oils, oils are super stimulatory like clove, which has a million other benefits. And then lime has really small molecules, it’s kind of like, you know, when you combine colors, you can take blue and red, put them together and you get purple, which is different than you can add white and make it lavender. You know, you can combine oils, and it kind of draws the best from both of them. So I created this blend, parasympathetic, that’s clothing line. And what’s super cool is, you know, you might not be able to deep breathe, you might struggle with meditation and fall asleep, but you can dab a little thing right here, you can carry this in your purse, this is a really easy thing to comply with. And then you feel better. You’re like, Okay, I’m not constipated. Okay, my I don’t feel bloated. Okay, I feel a little bit like calmer and less anxious. You know, and, as you know, like the supplements that people know, help them, like they feel less tired. They’re really good at compliance. Once you figure out this is working for me, you’re all in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And it’s a good replacement. For some people, they’re they’re already used to like reaching for a medication, well, let’s try something a little bit more natural. That’s going to have a good benefit. It’s not going to have the side effects. And it’s the least you know, good step to other healthy things. I imagine. Yes. What you’re doing oils, you’re probably now thinking about the food you’re eating and other Yes, your habits too. So it kind of creates an awareness, I imagine as well.

Jodi Cohen: Yeah, and definitely that cascade. Yeah. You know, it’s like crawl before you walk, walk before you run. Yeah. Once you’re like, Okay, I did that, like I used to in yoga. You know, sometimes these teachers would be so sneaky and suddenly you’re doing like a handstand or headstand. And you’re like, had no idea I could do that. What else can I do?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right? That’s awesome. Very cool. Yeah, you have that parasympathetic lead, I think you say clove and lime. Is that true.

Jodi Cohen: Yeah. Yeah. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I would think like, you’d have maybe like a lavender or something like that. I’m just curious what your –

Jodi Cohen: Well, you know, originally, no, no, and a lot of people that’s a great question. Originally, I was thinking like, Oh, it’s parasympathetic. It should be sedated. You know, when oils like lavender Kammen meal. No, we know that they’re all relaxing, you know, frankincense, even the resins? Yeah, um, but I realized that what it is, is you need to stimulate it. It’s kind of like, if you think about, you know, the old cars, we actually have to manually shift gears is to do something active and energizing to kind of change lanes. So this stimulates the vagus nerve, and in stimulating it, it’s like, oh, you know, I’m switching gears. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you’re using that access point, with the nerves a little bit more superficial and more Yes, to get access to it.

Jodi Cohen: Exactly, exactly. And the other cool thing is, um, you know, there’s a researcher out of tufts Michael Vanek, or talks about the vagus nerve infection hypothesis. And basically, it’s this idea that the vagus nerve has such a broad depth and you know, it gets into your system everywhere. So any kind of small minor infection can basically the body can pick it up as you’re infected, and it goes into like cell danger response or sickness response. So you get tired so you don’t move chronic fatigue syndrome, you have pain so you don’t move fibromyalgia. A lot of these things can be traced to an infection in the Vegas nerve and the most likely one of the doctors on the summit, Marco Rubio, he did this extensive research where he was taking ultrasounds of people’s necks, and he was finding that often the Vegas nerve was infected there because, you know, we have all these toxins in our mouth that drain out and you know, and they’re exacerbated if you have like metal amalgams or any kind of cavitation you know, that has been compromised your root canal. So think about, you know, congestion point a bottleneck. You have toxins draining along the trigeminal nerve, they intersect with the Vegas nerve, you know, the neck has the structure of the limb, the blood vessels, the nerves, you know, any kind of compromise if you know as a chiropractor if things Aren’t flowing that can get congested. So the toxins accumulate here. clove actually has, it has this constituent called eugenol. And it’s been used in dentistry for years because it does two things. It numbs the pain and it actually helps to address the underlying toxins. So if there is a toxicity or an infection, that’s, you know, think of it like you’re on an airplane, right? If you’re in a row of seats, and you’re in the middle row, and the people on either side of you are not petite people, you’re not getting that armrest, you know, you’re really compressed and congested. So if the Vegas nerve is congested, it’s bumping into the vascular system, you’re not getting the blood flow, it’s bumping into the lymph, you’re not getting the drainage. So anything you can do and Dr. Russo actually walks you through step by step, how they started to, you know, topically apply remedies to cause less congestion in the lymph and all of a sudden the Vegas nerve. You can see it in the pictures. It’s kind of amazing. What kind of evidence was he doing his trials. He was using Christine sharpeners, he created their Sophia flow cream, which is a combination of essential oils and then other remedies. But what’s interesting is that most people don’t think about topically, you know, most people are kind of like have lymphie need to dry better shirt rebounder, you know that we don’t really have anything for that. But we do. It’s these topically applied remedies, we actually have a limp oil. It’s a lot of menten and things that kind of help open up vasculature and drainage. And she uses some oils in her product too. They’re both good, right? You know, it’s kinda like you get out there, right? Yeah, exactly. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s a lot of ways you can skin a cat so to speak. Did you choose those oils? Was it your own clinical experience? Was it research that you saw? How did that? 

Jodi Cohen: Yeah, that’s a good question. So the reason I got into nutrition was my own squirmy kid. You know, my first kid was super easy. I just assumed I was this great. Mom had another 120 minutes later.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve seen that having two kids now I know exactly what you’re talking about.

Jodi Cohen: Yeah. And he was just wild, a wild child. Like I really thought, like, you know, like, you have the parenting baby proof people come to your house. And they’re like, and here’s this oven lock, because some kids climb in the oven, you know, and with my first one is like, no, no kid, kid climbs in the oven. Oh, number two, you just like that, that I had that kid that did those things. And a friend noticed that he was being really well behaved. And then another mom handed out like a Ritz cracker and he Jekyll Hyde. And she said, You know, my brother was on Ritalin his whole life. And it turns out, he was just allergic to weird foods, you should check that out. I thought, I’ve done everything else, I can certainly do that. And we took them to nutritionist. She said he’s really sensitive to corn, soy and dairy. So we changed his diet. And we had a different kid the next day. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. And I was like, how did I not know this? So I went back and got a degree in nutrition was trying to work with other screaming kids. And I mean, you know, like, if they can’t, if they’re wiggling all over it, it’s really hard to like, assess them. So I learned this technique called muscle testing, that’s a really good way to kind of ask the body questions, and it’s what I was doing in my practice to help identify what remedies were good for kids. And so when I first got introduced to oils, I was really, I have never been at this kind of rock bottom, like just so mentally and physically exhausted, like literally getting up to do anything felt like a strain. So, you know, someone gave me this box, and I’m so drained, I’m like, all right, I can muscle test. So basically, it’s intuition I muscle test I, every we have a blueprint in the body, right? There’s a blueprint for what healthy adrenal tissue is supposed to look like. And sometimes you do things and you don’t really realize that’s what you’re doing. That’s what I’ve been doing my practice the whole time is kind of identifying what organisms stress, and then using supplements to help return that organ to balance so it would function well. And so that was kind of the lens that I was looking through when I was making these formulas. So I was like, Alright, what what combination, you know, we humans have a blueprint. And plants also have blueprints. And humans and plants are bio familiar. So we share similar blueprints. So kind of like you can combine different colors to you know, match a picture in a landscape, you can combine different oils to match the blueprint of a healthy organ. So I was using intuition to come up with the formulation, you know, for a start, kind of identify this needs to be in it. And then I would play with what you know, 10% of this 20% of this, the different variables and then I have a team of people that kind of help me test it, and they test and then they can kind of mentally say like you We increase, you know, the Roman kameel from, you know, 12% to 13. So we’re just constantly refining and tweaking it. And then I go and I research, you know, okay, why? Why does balsam of Peru, which is a resin that’s drawn from these plants in you know, the Amazon in Peru and Brazil seem to help with sleep? What chemical constituents are present in this plant? Why is it working? And I would every single time be like, Oh, that makes complete sense. Why this is helping. And so that’s, that’s my process. It’s a little bit nutty, but it always seems to work.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. And you know, I also, I’m just curious, though, with your son, what were the oils that really helped because one thing I like about oils with kids, is some kids don’t want to swallow stuff. And they may be something in reverse, right? So it’s hard to get them to do stuff. So you can kind of covertly put some on your fingers rub their behind their ears and kind of get it in their bloodstream. So I like that what oils that you found were the best on on Macs. 

Jodi Cohen: Yeah, so I definitely use parasympathetic. But you know, kids are so intuitive. Like, I think as we get older, we forget or we feel uncomfortable that you know, when the phone’s ringing, we somehow know it’s going to be our mother or, you know, we lose track of that. So with kids, I always kind of do a smell bar and I let them pick whatever they like best he loved orange. And orange is, you know, all of the citrus blends are really calming. And they also help with focus. And you know, a lot of them that are expensive, like Neroli and bergama. You know, those are kind of touted, but orange is super affordable, and kids love it. So he would like to smell that we’d have him do that before he did homework. You know, I give him a little foot rub before bed. But that was just I just let him pick it That was his favorite. But the ones that helped him the most. Definitely parasympathetic adrenal, because he’d get really wire you know, he was like a firecracker. He was always on. So just helping him to calm down. And then sometimes like liver because he, you know, he he inherited my ashkenazic liver, which is, you know, I think the reason that a lot of the traditional Jewish foods are like beets, borscht, chopped liver, you know, we eat all of the foods that we need so that our liver actually works because I think we have a little bit of a genetic detriment-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: When you use that adrenal and liver, what would those oils be to support those organs? 

Jodi Cohen: Yeah, I have it all listed out on my site. But and actually in the I have a book coming out in March of 2016, that I’m going to share the recipes because with COVID It breaks my heart, you know, you really can’t get anything into Australia these days. And it’s super hard to get things to Europe and I and India and I have these people that are like I think my, my poor husband could really benefit and I’m like, Oh my gosh, I’m just going to give out the recipe. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s March 2021. Right? 

Jodi Cohen: March 2021, March 16. It’s an essential oils to boost the brain and heal the body. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. That’s great. So what else can people do? We talked about parasympathetics. Right. We know the adrenal plays a major role and different things. Obviously, food nutrition can help with that. What are some things clinically they use? Yeah, clients or on the oil side that you see adrenals.

Jodi Cohen: So Titus, two, who’s a colleague and a functional neurologist, which means that he is looking at what part of the brain You know, it was cute. At one point, I took my son to a functional neurologist, and he had all these little personality things that I thought were him, you know, like he couldn’t walk a straight line to save his life. He would like what diagonal Walker, he would always spill stuff on himself, he had no spatial awareness. And it turns out, his left brain was much more dominant than his right hemisphere of the brain. So we have Dr. Robert millio, who really talks about using oils to kind of balance the hemispheres. And to kind of a quick parasympathetic trick Titus two talks about how anxiety and panic attacks is over activation of your right frontal lobe. And so to kind of calm and balance that you then activate the left frontal lobe, and that puts the two hemispheres in balance. And functional neurologists use essential oils a lot in their practice, because your your nose, your olfactory nerve, you know, number one goes directly to you know, sometimes in the body, the right brain controls the left body, your olfactory channels go directly to this frontal part. Yeah, exactly. So you can just smell something, you know, it can be anything you like, it can be lavender, it can be orange, it can be parasympathetic, you know, you can actually like dry breathing, plug one nostril, smell through the left nostril, that activates the left frontal lobe balances the brain, you feel less anxious. I anxiety is my thing. My daughter’s thing too. I have panic attacks, I have all these things and that always helps you I basically, even if I’m walking my dog, this is in my pocket in case I need it. So that is my favorite quick fix. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What about high levels of cortisol? Obviously, high levels of cortisol can cause anxiety, right? So you mentioned maybe that plays a big role. Anything you do to help with the high adrenaline or high cortisol state? Yeah, add any like nutrients in to kind of be supportive to those oils. 

Jodi Cohen: I mean, there are tons of nutrients that are helpful. And you know, if you’re able to digest like, there are a lot of adaptogenic herbs that I love, like ashwagandha rhodiola. But one thing that I’ve, I think that oils work like adaptogenic herbs, like one of the things, you know, I’ve done those 24 hour cortisol tests where you’re spitting in the tube. And what I found is that it’s not flatline. It’s not like my cortisol level is either too high all the time or too low all the time. You know, it’s too high at night when I’m trying to go to sleep and too low in the morning when I need energy. Exactly, exactly. Yeah. And you know, if you think about the nutrients that you can take the supplements, you kind of have to turn it right. You know, like, if you’re already too high, and you’re taking something that makes it higher, that’s not going to be such a positive experience. So with oils, we have two blends. One is the adrenal blend that just kind of evens you out. If you’re too high, it takes it down or too low brings you up, and then one for the hypothalamus. And this is something that most people don’t talk about, they just assume that all cortisol is related to the adrenals, not realizing that it’s a bit of a cascade, the hypothalamus, pituitary axis, your hypothalamus in your brain controls all your endocrine organs, it’s constantly reading the environment and signals in your body to figure out how do we return it to balance you know, like, when you’re driving, at one point, you might be a little too far to the left. So you just course correct, your hypothalamus is your course corrector. And it does that by sending chemical messages to kind of the COO, the one who executes your pituitary gland, which then sends message to your thyroid, your adrenals, all of your endocrine organs. So sometimes it’s called this negative feedback loop, the hypothalamus sends these messages out, then messages come back. And it kind of course, corrects, like, oh, we’re good on cortisol, we don’t need more. And if the, you know, the hypothalamus is kind of overwhelmed, you know, like, my friend likes to say you can’t move along when the house is on fire, you know, if there’s so much going on, it can be like your phone, and it just doesn’t get the right information and send things out. So we have a blend, it’s hard to get things into the brain. I mean, that’s the biggest challenge. And the biggest Aha, with oils, they’re super small and fat soluble. So they cross the blood brain barrier. So we have one, it contains pine, which has a lot of research on it, but you just put it right here. And it’s almost like it sends the right frequency, the right blueprint, whatever you want to call it, to return the hypothalamus to balance so that it’s then sending better messages to the adrenal so that you’re not so hyper cortisol or hyper cortisol.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s good. Excellent. Yeah. So you got your book coming out this March 16 2021, what’s the book gonna be called?

Jodi Cohen: It’s called “Essential Oils to Boost the Brain and Heal the Body.” And you can grab it on Amazon presale, Amazon pre sells anything, you know, you basically they match the best price ever. So if you if you’re a bargain shopper, and we’re actually going to have a gift card so that you can add a stocking stuffers so that if you want to buy the book, you know, we’ll send you a little coupon that you can put into the stocking with like a deal on getting an oil like parasympathetic to go with it. It’s great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and your favorite so far as what parasympathetic. 

Jodi Cohen: I love parasympathetic. And honestly, with everything that’s going on, we have a blend called circulation that has a lot of Cyprus, I’ve found and a lot of clinicians have found like, if you’re concerned about getting sick, Cyprus does a really wonderful job of kind of protecting the lung lining. So, you know, they talk about this current concern, it kind of happens in two phases, right? It either gets into the lungs and the lungs lining a solid and it doesn’t go any further and it was a minor cold, or it gets into your system and causes a cytokine storm. So you kind of want to make sure that that bouncer at the gate of your lungs is really working well. And so the circulation oil, I just put over my lungs and also helps if I need to, I’m on deadline and I have to get something done. I put a little bit at the base of my skull, because that improves oxygen flow in the blood and when you have more blood and more oxygen flow, it’s easier to focus. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love that. That’s awesome. Very cool. Well, any other clinical pearls so we have the parasympathetic summit, um, in that but other great speakers 50 Plus you said we’ll put the link down below so if you guys are loving it, click down below make sure you register. We also got the link for Jodi’s website, vibrantblueoils.com those are gonna be there for you as well. March 16 2021, we’ll get the book up there pre presale Amazon like anything else. Go you know, listen to the show. Listen with?

Jodi Cohen: You know what’s funny? Like we’re about to come into Thanksgiving, holiday gratitude. And the fastest way that you can shift yourself into parasympathetic is mindset and gratitude. So if you’re worried about what’s going on in the world, just focus on what you’re grateful for. It could be something as simple as the ability to move your body and to take a breath and to have you know, it’s a gorgeous day here in Seattle to have a sunny sky, you know? Yep. So, you know, I guess I would just like to leave on that. Note that how you choose to experience the world is in your control, and you can always be grateful for things.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I like it. Yeah. When you need the world to kind of conform to the things that you want, then you tend to be like, let down yeah. When you can basically put your focus on the things that you want to appreciate, right? Yeah, in the driver’s seat. So like, that’s definitely an empowering. 

Jodi Cohen: Yes. Yes. You always get to be you always are in control of how you feel and how you think. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, thanks so much, Jody, head over to vibrantblueoils.com, parasympathetic summit links down below. Hope you guys enjoyed today’s podcast. Have a good one. Jodi, great chatting with you.

Jodi Cohen: Yeah, so I definitely use parasympathetic. But you know, kids are so intuitive. Like, I think as we get older, we forget or we feel uncomfortable that you know, when the phone’s ringing, we somehow know it’s going to be our mother or, you know, we lose track of that. So with kids, I always kind of do a smell bar and I let them pick whatever they like best he loved orange. And orange is, you know, all of the citrus blends are really calming. And they also help with focus. And you know, a lot of them that are expensive, like Neroli and bergama. You know, those are kind of touted, but orange is super affordable, and kids love it. So he would like to smell that we’d have him do that before he did homework. You know, I give him a little foot rub before bed. But that was just I just let him pick it That was his favorite. But the ones that helped him the most. Definitely parasympathetic adrenal, because he’d get really wire you know, he was like a firecracker. He was always on. So just helping him to calm down. And then sometimes like liver because he, you know, he he inherited my ashkenazic liver, which is, you know, I think the reason that a lot of the traditional Jewish foods are like beets, borscht, chopped liver, you know, we eat all of the foods that we need so that our liver actually works because I think we have a little bit of a genetic detriment-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: When you use that adrenal and liver, what would those oils be to support those organs? 

Jodi Cohen: Yeah, I have it all listed out on my site. But and actually in the I have a book coming out in March of 2016, that I’m going to share the recipes because with COVID It breaks my heart, you know, you really can’t get anything into Australia these days. And it’s super hard to get things to Europe and I and India and I have these people that are like I think my, my poor husband could really benefit and I’m like, Oh my gosh, I’m just going to give out the recipe. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s March 2021. Right? 

Jodi Cohen: March 2021, March 16. It’s an essential oils to boost the brain and heal the body. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. That’s great. So what else can people do? We talked about parasympathetics. Right. We know the adrenal is play a major role and different things. Obviously, food nutrition can help with that. What are some things clinically they use? Yeah, clients or on the oil side that you see adrenals.

Jodi Cohen: So Titus, two, who’s a colleague and a functional neurologist, which means that he is looking at what part of the brain You know, it was cute. At one point, I took my son to a functional neurologist, and he had all these little personality things that I thought were him, you know, like he couldn’t walk a straight line to save his life. He would like what diagonal Walker, he would always spill stuff on himself, he had no spatial awareness. And it turns out, his left brain was much more dominant than his right hemisphere of the brain. So we have Dr. Robert millio, who really talks about using oils to kind of balance the hemispheres. And to kind of a quick parasympathetic trick Titus two talks about how anxiety and panic attacks is over activation of your right frontal lobe. And so to kind of calm and balance that you then activate the left frontal lobe, and that puts the two hemispheres in balance. And functional neurologists use essential oils a lot in their practice, because your your nose, your olfactory nerve, you know, number one goes directly to you know, sometimes in the body, the right brain controls the left body, your olfactory channels go directly to this frontal part. Yeah, exactly. So you can just smell something, you know, it can be anything you like, it can be lavender, it can be orange, it can be parasympathetic, you know, you can actually like dry breathing, plug one nostril, smell through the left nostril, that activates the left frontal lobe balances the brain, you feel less anxious. I anxiety is my thing. My daughter’s thing too. I have panic attacks, I have all these things and that always helps you I basically, even if I’m walking my dog, this is in my pocket in case I need it. So that is my favorite quick fix. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What about high levels of cortisol? Obviously, high levels of cortisol can cause anxiety, right? So you mentioned maybe that plays a big role. Anything you do to help with the high adrenaline or high cortisol state? Yeah, add any like nutrients in to kind of be supportive to those oils. 

Jodi Cohen: I mean, there are tons of nutrients that are helpful. And you know, if you’re able to digest like, there are a lot of adaptogenic herbs that I love, like ashwagandha rhodiola. But one thing that I’ve, I think that oils work like adaptogenic herbs, like one of the things, you know, I’ve done those 24 hour cortisol tests where you’re spitting in the tube. And what I found is that it’s not flatline. It’s not like my cortisol level is either too high all the time or too low all the time. You know, it’s too high at night when I’m trying to go to sleep and too low in the morning when I need energy. Exactly, exactly. Yeah. And you know, if you think about the nutrients that you can take the supplements, you kind of have to turn it right. You know, like, if you’re already too high, and you’re taking something that makes it higher, that’s not going to be such a positive experience. So with oils, we have two blends. One is the adrenal blend that just kind of evens you out. If you’re too high, it takes it down or too low brings you up, and then one for the hypothalamus. And this is something that most people don’t talk about, they just assume that all cortisol is related to the adrenals, not realizing that it’s a bit of a cascade, the hypothalamus, pituitary axis, your hypothalamus in your brain controls all your endocrine organs, it’s constantly reading the environment and signals in your body to figure out how do we return it to balance you know, like, when you’re driving, at one point, you might be a little too far to the left. So you just course correct, your hypothalamus is your course corrector. And it does that by sending chemical messages to kind of the COO, the one who executes your pituitary gland, which then sends message to your thyroid, your adrenals, all of your endocrine organs. So sometimes it’s called this negative feedback loop, the hypothalamus sends these messages out, then messages come back. And it kind of course, corrects, like, oh, we’re good on cortisol, we don’t need more. And if the, you know, the hypothalamus is kind of overwhelmed, you know, like, my friend likes to say you can’t move along when the house is on fire, you know, if there’s so much going on, it can be like your phone, and it just doesn’t get the right information and send things out. So we have a blend, it’s hard to get things into the brain. I mean, that’s the biggest challenge. And the biggest Aha, with oils, they’re super small and fat soluble. So they cross the blood brain barrier. So we have one, it contains pine, which has a lot of research on it, but you just put it right here. And it’s almost like it sends the right frequency, the right blueprint, whatever you want to call it, to return the hypothalamus to balance so that it’s then sending better messages to the adrenal so that you’re not so hyper cortisol or hyper cortisol.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s good. Excellent. Yeah. So you got your book coming out this March 16 2021, what’s the book gonna be called?

Jodi Cohen: It’s called “Essential Oils to Boost the Brain and Heal the Body.” And you can grab it on Amazon presale, Amazon pre sells anything, you know, you basically they match the best price ever. So if you if you’re a bargain shopper, and we’re actually going to have a gift card so that you can add a stocking stuffers so that if you want to buy the book, you know, we’ll send you a little coupon that you can put into the stocking with like a deal on getting an oil like parasympathetic to go with it. It’s great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and your favorite so far as what parasympathetic. 

Jodi Cohen: I love parasympathetic. And honestly, with everything that’s going on, we have a blend called circulation that has a lot of Cyprus, I’ve found and a lot of clinicians have found like, if you’re concerned about getting sick, Cyprus does a really wonderful job of kind of protecting the lung lining. So, you know, they talk about this current concern, it kind of happens in two phases, right? It either gets into the lungs and the lungs lining a solid and it doesn’t go any further and it was a minor cold, or it gets into your system and causes a cytokine storm. So you kind of want to make sure that that bouncer at the gate of your lungs is really working well. And so the circulation oil, I just put over my lungs and also helps if I need to, I’m on deadline and I have to get something done. I put a little bit at the base of my skull, because that improves oxygen flow in the blood and when you have more blood and more oxygen flow, it’s easier to focus. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love that. That’s awesome. Very cool. Well, any other clinical pearls so we have the parasympathetic summit, um, in that but other great speakers 50 Plus you said we’ll put the link down below so if you guys are loving it, click down below make sure you register. We also got the link for Jodi’s website, vibrantblueoils.com those are gonna be there for you as well. March 16 2021, we’ll get the book up there pre presale Amazon like anything else. Go you know, listen to the show. Listen with?

Jodi Cohen: You know what’s funny? Like we’re about to come into Thanksgiving, holiday gratitude. And the fastest way that you can shift yourself into parasympathetic is mindset and gratitude. So if you’re worried about what’s going on in the world, just focus on what you’re grateful for. It could be something as simple as the ability to move your body and to take a breath and to have you know, it’s a gorgeous day here in Seattle to have a sunny sky, you know? Yep. So, you know, I guess I would just like to leave on that. Note that how you choose to experience the world is in your control, and you can always be grateful for things.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I like it. Yeah. When you need the world to kind of conform to the things that you want, then you tend to be like, let down yeah. When you can basically put your focus on the things that you want to appreciate, right? Yeah, in the driver’s seat. So like, that’s definitely an empowering. 

Jodi Cohen: Yes. Yes. You always get to be you always are in control of how you feel and how you think. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, thanks so much, Jody, head over to vibrantblueoils.com, parasympathetic summit links down below. Hope you guys enjoyed today’s podcast. Have a good one. Jodi, great chatting with you.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://parasympatheticsummit.com

https://vibrantblueoils.com/

https://amzn.to/3lCizd9

Audio Podcast:

Tom Brady’s Performance Secrets | Podcast #306

Since we witnessed a great win and performance of Tom Brady in the NFL, we have Dr. J and Evan talking about the basics of food template and physical training to be an excellent athlete and fit in general. The Tom Brady Template, or TB12 Method, is a whole-foods-based diet that protects against diseases, may aid weight loss, and boost your sports performance and recovery. Still, it is very restrictive, not based on sound science, and likely difficult to maintain long term. 

It is important to note that everyone is unique, and well-known athletes are no exempted. It is still best to know what works for you. The bottom line is, if you want to perform excellently in your field (sports, fitness, etc.), it always encouraged to eat minimal processed, whole foods, etc. It is highly recommended to avoid inflammatory foods or acidic and hydration. It’s also good to have a fitness program that aims to achieve adequate energy levels, recovery, performance, and overall health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:47       Vegan, NFL Diet, Tom Brady’s Diet

7:23       Grains, Gluten, Paleo

10:44     How We Can Do The Same Diet

15:03     Psychology Side Visualization’s Importance

16:29     EMF Mitigation Strategy, Bedroom Temp Control

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Youtube-icon

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan brand. We’re coming off at amazing Super Bowl win just last night. I’m a big Tom Brady fan big Patriots fan growing up in the Boston area. So we have to kind of connect what’s happening with current events to health, right? We know Tom Brady oldest quarterback ever most successful, he’s the goat right greatest of all time. And there’s definitely some nutritional and health secrets and tips. I think we can parse from his experience, maybe we can apply to ourselves for optimal performance and function. What do you think Evan?

Evan Brand: Yeah, I think that he’s doing everything that we’re preaching all the time. So it’s great to be able to see that the proof is in the pudding. You’re not seeing any amazing performing vegan quarterbacks, maybe there’s some out there, but none that I know on mainstream television like this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, the problem with you know, you can look at Cam Newton was vegan a couple years back and he had a lot of big bone and foot injuries is part of the reason why is unless you’re doing tons of protein powders, it’s really hard to get a lot of the dense amino acids you need for rebuilding your muscles, your tendons, your ligaments, you’re also not getting a lot of that the collagen amino acids to turn over your cartilage and tendons and stuff. And then also really important fatty acids, you need fats to have cell healthy cell membranes, these fats are like a really important kind of building block for kind of buffering yourself helping yourself be more flexible, because fats are that outer cell membrane. And when you look at vegan vegetarian fats, a lot of them are going to be polyunsaturated fats, higher omega six, these fats tend to be a little bit more fragile, a little bit more heat sensitive, and a little bit more, let’s say oxidizable in the body, because there’s more omega bonds, right? So omega six fat means there’s four, six double bonds throughout that long chain fatty acid and double bonds, they’re not as resistant, they’re not as pliable, okay, they’re, they’re more fragile, and they can oxidize with heat and stress. And so the benefit of having animal fats is you have a lot more stability, because the fats are more saturated, you have a lot of fat soluble vitamins A D, and K in there. And then you don’t have the oxidizable nature. Anytime you oxidize a whole bunch of fats, you’re going to, you’re going to require a lot of antioxidants to help stabilize those cell membranes, because oxidation means those cells have lost electrons, and you need antioxidants that are willing to give up an electron to stabilize it. So good saturated fatty acids, again, fish oil, wonderful, right, but it’s an omega three, so it’s a little bit more heat sensitive. But if you’re doing some good omega threes with some saturated fats, and you’re keeping some good balance, omega threes are going to be wonderfully anti inflammatory. And they’re a plant based omega three, they just they don’t quite get converted to the active omega threes in DHA, EPA 80% go don’t get converted or kind of lost in that conversion be that delta five desaturase enzyme. So that’s the first thing on the fats. 

Evan Brand: Let’s go through the list here. So they they’re calling it his NFL diet, which is kind of funny because like I said, this is the diet that you and I are pretty much prescribing for almost everyone. He’s saying here that of course, he’s got a private chef, of course, at that level of wealth, you’re gonna have private chef 80% of what he’s eating his vegetables. He’s getting the freshest vegetables. If they’re not organic, he doesn’t use it. And he will do some rice. He will do some quinoa and millet. He’s doing grass fed organic steak. He’s doing duck, he says every now and then he’ll do chicken. He’s doing wild salmon. He uses raw olive oil, but he doesn’t cook with it. He only cooks with coconut. And he uses Himalayan salt and never uses iodized salt and then no nightshades which you and I’ve done podcast on autoimmune protocol. And you’re going to pull out the Nightshade. So he’s saying here Nope, no tomatoes, peppers, mushroom, or eggplants. Tomatoes trickle in every now and then he said, but he said he’s very cautious about them. No coffee, no caffeine, no fungus, no dairy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So a couple of things to highlight there. So number one, just want to highlight a few things is Tom’s using saturated fats to cope with why we’ve already talked about that there are a lot more heat stable, they’re not going to oxidize, they’re not going to break down. Also Coconut oil is very good for your cell membranes. And if you’re kind of switching into a fat burner status, right, you kick off a lot of ketones, a lot of fatty acid metabolites called ketones from coconut which is very high and a medium chain triglycerides, right, this is c6, c8, c10, c12, right capric caprylic, caproic and lauric acid, these are your medium chain triglycerides. So very important for fat burning. Also, Tom does about 20% meat. So that’s good quality, organic, high quality grass fed meat, right? So he’s probably consuming with his body six for 230 pounds. So he’s probably consuming about at least three to 4000 calories a day if he’s really active and working out. So you can imagine he’s probably consuming about I’m in a gas between 160 to 250 grams of protein a day probably around that depending if he’s lifting or how story is. And also he’s cutting down a lot of the nightshades now nightshades may be okay, a lot My patient may be listening and saying, Well, you know that J started me off on an autoimmune diet, I could add back in some Nightshade, some tomato, some potatoes. And that may be great for you. But when your joints are under a lot of stress, and a lot of inflammation from big linebackers tackling you every Sunday, your joints may be a little bit predisposed to inflammation and those nightshades and that alpha solonian content, maybe just enough to flare it up. So depending on how active you are nightshades may be something you want to keep down. inflammation in your joints is the problem.

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah. And, you know, I think with the fruit thing, it’s interesting, too, he’s saying he’s not really doing fruits, occasionally. There’s something in a smoothie, maybe some berries or banana smoothie, but beyond that, he’s not really doing fruit. So, I mean, yeah, you would assume he probably is, you know, I wouldn’t say keto, because he does say he is doing some grains and rice and stuff. But I mean, in general, this is what you and I are doing everyday personally, every day clinically, he’s saying he does do nuts, or he’ll do a organic salad. And that could be roasted chicken with guacamole and mixed nuts. So what else here?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I also know Tom does a lot of protein and he’s his big protein his way. So he does whey protein. Whey Protein is an excellent protein because it’s very high in sulfur amino acids very high in cysteine. Very high in MSM or MSM mfine. So it’s high and a lot of the sulfur based amino acids, glutamine, glycine, cysteine taurine, so whey protein is really good to me, it’s 99% dairy free. So even though I think Tom doesn’t do dairy, they may do a little bit of butter in there. But it’s a good amino acid. Now, if you’re sensitive, you could always do pea protein or just collagen amino acids. If, if dairy, were the potential that even a tiny bit of dairy is a problem. Again, whey protein is 99% lactose and casein free. So most people that have dairy problems are with the lactose and the casein. So that’s one component. Tom also doesn’t do a lot of coffee. Now, I think coffee may be okay for Pete many people. I think Tom’s issue with coffee is the diuretic aspect. And the minerals. I know Tom talks about minerals a lot. Now, you could still do coffee, just keep it to once a day, you know, you know, do your one or two servings in the morning, take it with fat and amino acids. And just make sure you’re hydrating before and after. And you are supplementing extra electrolytes, your muscles and your cells need good levels of sodium and potassium. So that sodium potassium pump and that good cellular communication can happen. That’s very, very important.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So I mean, really, we should title this podcast, the Super Bowl diet or something or this how to win a Super Bowl diet. Now, in regards to the training, I don’t have any details on that. But I mean, I will say that in general, he’s he’s an athlete, obviously. So he’s probably going to benefit more. Some of the people may say, Well, what about the grains, you guys always talk like grains are a bad thing. I think in his case, he’s gonna need some more starch. I just feel like in general, if you were trying to perform at that level, and he were just like strict keto, like just meats and veggies, I don’t think he would perform as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So Tom does a lot more starches in the wintertime. And so his big starches are still going to be safe starches, grain free starches. So sweet potatoes are from what I understand are going to be a big source of a lot of the starch that he consumes in the winter and Tom when I have seen his grain free.

Evan Brand: I don’t know maybe he changed it. This one article said that he was doing rice, millet beans and quinoa.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’ve seen other articles. And again, that that may be that may be something that he does, but I’m pretty sure in during the season he is 100% grain free. I know he’s gluten free. And a couple articles talking about him getting more sweet potatoes and other safe starches. But again, it depends, right? A lot of those foods are pseudo grains, like the qinhuai is the beans if you have good digestion maybe right? So it depends kind of where you’re at on that. I’ve seen a lot of grain free but definitely gluten free, right? The problem with gluten free is you can consume rice and oat and still be gluten free. But they they’re still not grain free. So grain free I think is gonna be a big component. And then I think the other thing is I have seen in Tom’s locker room I have seen him with creating in his locker. So I do know creatine is a powerful thing as a fuel your muscle uses. So creatine and whey protein, and I think bcaas are something that he uses on a day in day out basis just for easy accessible fuel for his muscles out of the gates. hydrations a big component. Electrolytes are a big component, mostly a paleo paleo autoimmune kind of template, I think is a big one out of the gates there. And I know Tom’s trainer Alex career is a big kind of proponent of acid alkaline diet kind of stuff. I’m not a huge fan of that. But in general, if you’re consuming good quality meat and lots of vegetables, you’re pretty much gonna not be overly acidic anyway because of the alkalinity from the vegetables. And in regards to the pH that people forget right, meat may be acidic, but grains are actually 10 times more acidic than meat. So if someone is concerned about pH and their food, remember grains are going to be 10 times more acidic than me it’s a logarithmic scale. Meats like around a 5 ish. I think grains are in the four range. So each number is a 10 X, you know, interval from the previous number.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And people listening are like, Well, I’m not performing in any Super Bowls. So what do I do? I mean, honestly, you can benefit from the same thing. Like I said, we’re implementing this clinically, I do rice, I feel fine with it. I don’t have any issue. It’s not a staple. For me, it’s a treat. But you know, I think it depends on what’s going on with your gut with your blood sugar, with your sensitivity. I mean, it is possible you have some gluten cross reactivity. So you know, if you’re looking for advice I see in general, do what we’d mentioned. But you know, what the, with the grain piece, I don’t know, you really got to consult with us and look at your labs, because I think that’s how we could base it off.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% I mean, the big thing is, Hey, you know, you want to be active, you want to be able to play with your kids, you want to be able to do your hobbies, to your sports, be active well into your old age, and it’s all about yours, it’s about quality of yours, right? So it’s about being able to do your thing, right. And I say, the more you can participate in life and not notice the pain in your body, that’s the better the more you can be present with your kids and your family and your hobbies. The more you’re worried about your back and your elbow in your knee as you’re doing the activity, I think the less present you’re going to be and so I think one of the key things is just keep your body in a great place. So you can do all those things. Now, from a training standpoint, I know Tom Just so you know, I think what you said is perfect regarding like rice and such as long as you don’t have a serious activatable immune issue. You know, you could probably cheat on some of that stuff. As long as you don’t have a significant you know, symptoms afterwards. I think it’s probably okay as long as it isn’t that 80-20 80% of the time not 20% maybe Okay, I my birthday last weekend, we had some we had some crab fried rice and of course it was gluten free, but it just a little bit of it and I felt good afterwards. So you know, you always can mitigate that. From a training standpoint, though Tom really trains for playability. He doesn’t overly inflame his muscles with too much lifting because he wants to keep his muscles strong and active, and be able to contract turn on and off fast. But he also doesn’t want to overly inflame the muscle and cause it to become reflexively stiff. Think of it as like beef jerky, he wants a strong muscle, but not a muscle that’s going to be overly inflamed that won’t absorb for so it’s kind of like a soft, raw fillet steak versus beef jerky, right? Beef jerky is hard and stiff. And if you put a lot of force into it, it can kind of tear, right? Think of that soft tenderloin. It’s like a sponge, it can absorb force. So Tom’s kind of training modality is training for pliability training for force absorption. So not overly inflaming the muscles, so doing a lot of band work. And doing works that really not overly hypertrophy and cause the muscle to get more inflamed and bigger and stronger, but strong, but also smart, strong and not overly inflamed and hard and stiff. So the playability is important because he asked to absorb force. And he asked to put repetitive inflammation on it from throwing and doing certain movements. So he wants that force to be distributed throughout his muscles well and not rip that beef jerky every week, if you will.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and that’s probably a better approach for most people to have. I mean, you know, like you mentioned, maybe the people on the defensive side, the line, they’re gonna have a totally different strength training profile than him he wants to be lean, he wants to be flexible, nimble. So that’s what I want to be, I don’t want to be just just huge and strong like a rock, I want to be just nimble, I want to be flexible, but still have strength.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, some of the band works nice. I mean, you can get bands that provide a lot of force, like the x three bar band is one that I have, because you can provide hundreds of pounds of force and create a three to 400 pound deadlift to that band. It squats as well, push movements pull movement, so you can still create a lot of force. The thing I like about bands is just use some technical terms as most people, they hurt themselves in the eccentric motion of a lift. In other words, you’re going into a squat, right and you drop down at the bottom, maybe you go a little bit too fast, or you’re doing a deadlift at the bottom, you kind of bounce that bar up, or you’re doing some kind of a bench press and you’re really trying to push that thing back up and you come down too hard and, and stretch that muscle. The nice thing about a band, it’s more forgiving as you go into a eccentric motion as you elongate as you elongate the muscle, right? So in other words, you’re going deeper into a squat, or you’re letting the bar go deeper into your chest. The the elasticity in the band becomes less because the band’s becoming, it’s moving closer to its origin and insertion. So there’s less force, so where your muscles the most compromise. It’s putting the least amount of force on that muscle, so there’s less chance for you to injure it. And that’s helpful. So if you’re an athlete, that can be helpful. If you’re an everyday person, it just gives you that little bit more forgiveness so you don’t get hurt.

Evan Brand: Yeah, makes sense. Well, I think that’s all I really need to say about it. I mean, I think we could ramble on about how awesome it is that this is probably the one of the most successful athletes of all time and he’s doing what we’re telling people to do every day. I think it makes Look up. But beyond that, I don’t have anything else to add.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One other thing I would say sentiment wise amino acids, creatine bcaas. On the mind, psychology side visualization is very important. Anytime you go into an event like the Super Bowl, if you can go into into that place 1000s of times ahead of time. In your head, it gives your nervous system the ability to feel like it’s not a foreign environment, the more you can put your body in your mind into a place 1000s of times or hundreds of times ahead of time, once you go in there that fight or flight response is less likely to happen when there’s less fight or flight, you can use your frontal cortex better, right? frontal cortex allows you to think read the play, do all the things you got to do go through your reads as a quarterback, the more your fight or flight is happening, the more you’re going to react out of fear. And that may not give you the best opportunity. So I’d say that’s the big, I would say sleep is a big component, you kind of already highlighted that, you know, probably 10 hours a night. There’s other modalities that Tom’s using, he’s using certain clothing types that are infrared in regards to it to generate infrared heat, which helps decrease inflammation help a blood flow. I’ve heard things in regards to late potential laser stuff, infrared lights, hyperbaric oxygen, these are all other potential modalities that may be used may or may not be accessible to the average person. But when you’re making 10s of millions of dollars off your body, they help with reducing inflammation. And then other things may involve stem cell stuff, things like that outside of the season. Who knows. I mean, Tom looks amazing.

Evan Brand: Oh, one last thing. Yeah, one last thing. I did see that he’s like strictly no tech in the in the bedroom. So he luckily he’s not bringing the cell phone into the bedroom. So maybe he does have some kind of emf mitigation strategy in place to that would be smart.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s probably some EMF mitigation there, I think as well. And then also, I know Yeah, and that’s a big one. And he also is a big thing in regards to temperature control at bedtime. He really mitigates You know, he tries to dial in the optimal temp at bedtime for deeper sleep. I know that’s around 65 to 69 degrees Fahrenheit. On the bedtime side. Is there anything else I would say outside of that playability component, good training. Just think about all the right I think that’s really the big one. Oh, he has a big smoothie in the morning with some banana and some fruit and some whey protein. So I like I like smoothies in the morning. Because if your digestion isn’t great, or you have to get up and workout in a few hours, you don’t want a big solid food in your body, you want something easily accessible. So I think that’s great for anyone that’s being more active in the morning. I think we hit a lot of the major things. So if someone’s listening here, how do you become more like Tom Brady out of the gates, I think you kind of progress to a paleo template, see if nightshades are an issue for you or not right, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, look at adding in some bands to a little bit more of your workout to stimulate muscle growth. I think adding good sleep and hydration added minerals, you can always play around with amino acids to help enhance body. anabolic metabolism, healing and recovery. minerals, of course, I think is great. And mindsets always great, too. Anything else you want to add, Evan?

Evan Brand: Now there’s probably some other secret supplements we don’t know about. But yeah, I’d be interesting to know with adaptogens and all that. Or if he’s doing, you know, neurotransmitter support, maybe he if he’s doing bcaas, who knows maybe he’s doing some brain support too, right? Like some fossil title sarine or some acetyl l carnitine. A lot of that stuff in there too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s definitely some more stuff in there. I 100% agree. So hey, this gives everyone a good start kind of a little bit of an insight. I know Tom Brady is one of those guys either love him or hate him. But I mean, the fact that his longevity is there and his victories are hot, the highest ever, right? He’s the goat greatest of all time. So we got to at least be able to kind of put our emotions aside and learn from it and see if it’s a couple of things we can use to make our lives and our health better.

Evan Brand: Awesome, awesome. If people need help clinically to implement some of this stuff. Like I said, We do this every day with our clients. Tom Brady’s not our client, but you know, we would certainly be open to helping him run some labs on him. I’m sure where is he? Or is he? Maybe he might be happy to look at his mitochondria, see what’s going on there. Make sure he’s running on all cylinders. But if you need help, you can reach out to Dr. J at JustinHealth.com or me Evan at EvanBrand.com. And we look forward to talk with you all next week.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have a good one y’all. Take care. 

Evan Brand: Take care. Bye bye.


References:

https://www.evanbrand.com/

https://justinhealth.com/

Audio Podcast:

Natural Hacks to Improve Sleep | Podcast #303

Everyone experiences occasional sleeping problems, so how can you tell whether your difficulty is just a minor, passing annoyance or a sign of a more serious sleep disorder or underlying medical condition?

As humans transition from the waking state to drowsiness and into sleep, parasympathetic vagal tone (responsible for downshifting) increases, and sympathetic tone (the go, go, go!) decreases. Many of us experience trouble sleeping at one time or another. Usually, it’s due to stress, travel, illness, or other temporary interruptions to your normal routine. But if sleep problems are a regular occurrence and interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. Here are Dr. J and Evan taking us to another perspective of ways to help better our sleeping patterns.

Since electronics and the bulbs that we have to use artificial lights, some suggestions are the use of blue lights and dimmer lights. It helps lessen or prevent too much cortisol (steroid hormones formed in the adrenal glands) and assist our melatonin is kicking in and put as to sleep. Intake of magnesium, holy basil, and ashwagandha are also useful for bringing the body to a lower gear as well as regular exercise to keep our body in good shape. Watch the full podcast to know more ways to manage your sleep!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

 

In this episode, we cover:

2:31       Blue lights, Dimmer lights

09:15    Sleep Mechanism

18:04    Gut Inflammation

25:05    Sleeping Drugs

27:49    Supplements

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand, Evan, how are we doing today man? 

Evan Brand: I’m doing well. I’ve got an article here. We’re gonna start the show off. This is all about sleep today, issues that affect sleep. How do we mitigate the effect of stress on sleep and gut and all of it. But first, Pepsi, good old Pepsi Co. They’re launching its newest beverage, the de stressing and relaxation promoting drift. Well, this is just all about, what’s my point of this, that becoming healthier is becoming mainstream. So anyway, they’ve created a sugar free non carbonated water flavored with a hint of blackberry and lavender with 200 milligrams of L theanine, which you and I’ve talked about for years and years and years and years and years, DNA being an amino acid that helps to increase GABA comes from green tea. But you can also take it in supplement form. Here’s the thing I don’t like about this thing, though. Number one, it’s seven and a half ounces, I don’t really want to drink seven and a half ounces right before I go to sleep, if I’m going to take theming, I would much rather just take a capsule of 200 to 400 milligrams at the end and go to sleep. And then the second thing is there’s they’re wanting to sell this thing for $18 for a 10 pack that’s $1 at a dose basically, versus you and I if we’re gonna get a professional grade theanine, we’re probably getting what maybe 100 or 200 capsules for 20 bucks. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s definitely a little bit more on the expensive side, kind of per dose, but you’re definitely paying confer convenience. So like I’m all about if a company can create a product like this without the artificial sweeteners, dyes and colors, and it’s using a clean water, you know, reverse osmosis kind of water source, and it has some of these nutrients in there. And it makes it convenient, because it really comes down to can people do it right? If you don’t do it, if you don’t apply it, you don’t get the benefit. So that’s a really good first step in the right direction. I mean, I’ll still take the supplements, you know, from a raw material standpoint, like you mentioned, but if we can get some non healthy minded people to jump on board that train, that’s great.

Evan Brand: Oh, yeah, I mean, imagine if we could get people to switch over from, I don’t know, doing a nightly beer. You know, let’s say they do beer at night. But instead, they could just do this, you know, themed drink, that’d be a hell of a lot better for their gut and their brain. And you know, theanine has benefits for the brain to it’s not just the sleep, they’re kind of promoting it as a relaxation drink. But I take theanine daily, and it definitely helps to buffer stress. It’s just something that it’s not like a sedative. I mean, it’s not a chill pill. It’s not like a passionflower would do for your sleep. But it, it definitely just kind of settles the mind a little bit. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I agree. I mean, my nightly routine is typically some magnesium and some vitamin C. And then if I if I’m going to do any alcohol or any like cheating, kind of things, food wise, I’m going to be doing some load of iron ore and acetylcysteine and maybe some charcoal as well. And then if you have any issues ping before bed, just try to drink that an hour or two before bed. And that kind of sets in. And then you know, one of the nice thing people are doing today, a lot of the glasses have a blue light filter. So I have I upgraded my glasses that I typically use when I watch TV to a blue light filter. So nice blue light, really nice. And then, of course, one easy investment we all can make is just get dimmer switches on all your main lights that you’re going to have on at nighttime. Just kind of get those dimmers down 80% or so that’s going to help a ton. If you were reading glass or a glass for reading or TV, get a blue light filter in there, or just get like one of those nice blue light glasses that you can put over on anyway without a prescription on there. And that’s very helpful to kind of get your body in that parasympathetic state that we talked about so much. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I use Iris you can check it out, get Iris if you just search that you’ll find it. Iris tech is a company who their competitor to flux it’s better because it does have some supposedly has some anti flicker built in so it can help reduce the flicker rate of your screen. So smartphones, Windows computers, Macs, you can use Iris, I’ll leave it running 24 seven I have it on right now. So what I’m looking at Justin on the screen here, he’s a nice tan golden color to me, which looks good and it definitely reduces eye strain my eyes at the end of the day. You know, we’re looking at labs all day. So you know what we do is hard on the eyes and my eyes would just be exhausted. But once I run it at a more warm color, I definitely have less fatigue at the end of the day mentally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’ll put the link to some of the things that I do. I use the viewsonic monitors that have a low flicker and low blue light naturally in there. And you can still run an iris in the background as well but I highly recommend I noticed my prescription. The last year two is actually gotten better. It’s actually improved my stigmatism which is the shape of the eyes also shifted as well. And I talked about it with my optometrist and he said you know it’s possible that just you doing the blue light at night and you shifting over the monitors last year or two could have helped with that so I mean outside of nutrition being stable lutein all of the vitamin A precursors, I think shifting over the monitors if you’re someone that’s on a computer all day, invest in really good blue light protecting technology and or good blue light monitor. Yeah, well blue light, low flicker very important. 

Evan Brand: That’s good advice. Yeah. So nighttime we talked about that a little bit. You mentioned dimmer switches, blue light glasses, I’m using just salt lamps at night we have probably six or seven salt lamps. We have some that are just salt lamp night lights that are plugged into the bathrooms. That’s pretty convenient. Brush your teeth with just a salt lamp, it’s just a nice, pretty warm glow. I haven’t actually used a color, you know, like a color device to check if there’s blue light coming off of it, but it’s a pretty darn warm color. And it’s a little like couple watt incandescent bulb incandescence are going to have less blue in them naturally. So we like to use a lot of the Edison bulbs, a lot of the Edison bulbs now I’ve turned into LEDs though, they’ll look like Edison shape with the filament inside, but it’s led, which is so annoying. So make sure you’re actually getting the true Edison bulb, I use a company called Hudson, Hudson lighting, they make great Edison bulbs, and they’re going to be around 2700 Kelvin, which is a really nice amber color. When you get up to the 456 thousand Kelvin. Those are like your fancy car, ah ID headlights that are going to be really really blue kind of whitish, bluish color. That’s not what you want at nighttime. It’s amazing. You know, I’m rarely out at night. But if we’re out on the road, we’ll drive past someone’s home. And we’ll just see, like science lab lights on at nine o’clock at night. It’s like, No, those people aren’t sleeping good tonight. Some people will argue with me like even my grandparents, I tried to get them off of the TV in the evening or to wear blue blockers. And they’ll say, Oh, I sleep fine. And it’s like, Yeah, but what’s the quality of sleep? You’re saying you’re waking up three to four times a night to go pee. You’re not well rested in the morning when you wake up. So yeah, you may say, quote, you sleep fine. But what’s the quality? What’s your energy level? Like? What’s, you know, are you crashing out by 11am? Because that would tell me your sleep is not so good after all. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Yeah, I 100% agree. So I think it’s a good investment where if you wear glasses or contacts, look at getting a night per night glasses to have the blue light filter in there. And some brands don’t have a good blue light filter. So you know, you can get a blue light where it tests the actual wavelength going through. I’ve seen some of these glasses really only filter out the violet, which is interesting. So they’re kind of having a marketing ploy on it. So you’d want to go look at some of the reviews online, make sure you find a review where someone actually test those glasses, and sees if the blue light is blocked. But if you can get a significant amount of blue light blocked, you know, even if it’s 50% or so. And you get the dimmers on Well, that’s a good first step for sure.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And people listening may say, you know, any kind of skeptics listening, which most of those weed themselves out, so most people that listen to us love listening to us. But any skeptics may say, Well, why our ancestors, they didn’t have blue light blocking glasses. Yeah, but they didn’t have LED lights, they didn’t have electricity. In general, there was no artificial light at night. So when the sun goes down, and up, and the moon Yeah, when the sun goes down, and the sky is turning red and orange, the sun, the blue light can’t get through, when the sun’s at a low angle, the blue light doesn’t come through as much. And you naturally have a blue light filter, it’s the atmosphere. And so at nighttime, when you have a fire, which is the only source of light you would have had at night, look at a fire. I mean, you may have a tiny bit of blue if you’ve got a really, really hot fire, but it’s nothing. It’s it’s not going to impair melatonin production at all. And that’s the issue here is the artificial light at night is elevating cortisol, which is down regulating melatonin. And of course Melatonin is not just your sleep hormone. It’s very important as an antioxidant too, Melatonin is something that’s been shown in several studies to have some cancer protective benefits.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and I’ll put up I’ll put a couple of links in here for people that are listening. Regarding my favorite monitors, I use the eye care monitors, and I think those have really been super helpful for me. So I’ll put a link down below people can access that. Okay, that’s good. We talked about some of the blue light glasses, there’s the the Swanwick glasses, there’s the true dark glasses. Those are some good ones off the bat, you can jump on Amazon and look for some ones that have good reviews on there. I think those are great. There’s some blue light glasses that that go over glasses. So if you wear glasses, you can look for a pair of blue lights that go over that that’s on top of that. But if you want extra protection, you’ll have that there. That’s a good kind of first step in the right direction. Why don’t we talk about mechanism? I think this is important. So we talked about like the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system. This is important. So the sympathetic nervous system is kind of controlled by the adrenal gland. So the sympathetic is the gas. It’s the Go, go, go go go Stress, Stress, Stress, Stress, Stress, and the adrenals kind of are the gateway between the nervous system and the sympathetic response because of the cortisol response and the adrenaline response. So typically, when there’s some kind of a stress, adrenaline is the first thing that comes to the table. And then cortisol comes a little bit later. So think of think of adrenaline as the primary it Prime’s the pump and then once the engine is going, now cortisol is flooding the zone afterwards. And so when you have a lot of these stress hormones going, you’re number one going to be shunting blood flow to the arms and the legs to fight and flee, you’re going to be making less enzymes and acids and digestive juices so your digestion won’t be as good. So if you’re eating healthy, you’re more likely to get bloated and gassy and have indigestion. And you’re less likely to absorb a lot of those nutrients. So if you’re eating lots of good amino acids and minerals, you won’t be able to ionize them and absorb them properly. And so we want to do natural strategies that decrease that sympathetic nervous system response which is going to help modulate adrenaline and modulate cortisol. And part of how we do that is we have to stimulate the parasympathetic side. So for instance, this new Pepsi product you mentioned, we don’t I’m not supporting Pepsi, but I’m supporting the mechanism. l theanine is a good precursor that Evan mentioned to Gabba, gamma amino butyric acid, and that’s a inhibitory neurotransmitter, think of it as the brake, it’s the stop the slow down. So think of the sympathetic nervous system response is it’s the shifting gear going from first, a second, third to fourth, fourth to fifth, it’s going faster, faster, faster, the parasympathetics. And the inhibitory response is down shifting, it’s going from 5 to 442-332-2221. And then park in that car. And so things like GABA can be helpful. passionflower, magnesium are excellent things. There’s different adaptogens that we use, like holy basil and ashwagandha that really helped decrease and help down shift that stressed out engine and bring it to a lower gear where you can slow down and relax.

Evan Brand: Oh, speaking of ashwagandha This is funny to man, a lot of the things we’ve been talking about for a very long time are becoming more mainstream. I never have the radio on because I’ve got streaming radio in the car, so we never have the real radio on. And so the this advertisement comes on, and it’s you know, the typical radio announcer voice, it’s this lady. And it’s this. It’s just talking about sleep and stress and all that and the lady’s like introducing ashwagandha gummies, an Ayurvedic herb that’s been used for thousands of years, it can really help you relax, and I thought, wow, a radio commercial for ashwagandha. This is hilarious times are changing. So it’s funny. This is something that you and I use all the time clinically And personally, and it really does help you can take ashwagandha during the day to help blunt stress but you can also use it in the evening, take a dose before bed, Stephen buehner, the herbalist I really love because of his books online, he talks about ashwagandha being very, very helpful in terms of calming down like brain inflammation, which can impair sleep associated with Lyme, so people that have that sleep, or if you’re waking up at two or 3am and you’re kind of bolting awake or having nightmares. You know, ashwagandha may be something to help. I’m a big fan of Magnolia Magnolia is a bark that can be very helpful. You and I’ve talked about relora. In the past relora is actually a blend of two different plants. I believe it’s two barks that are combined to create the patented relora. That’s something clinically shown to help modulate cortisol at night. You mentioned the passion flower, I like to mix passion flower with motherwort, especially if it’s a monkey brain situation. motherwort can really help calm the the racing thoughts, the racing mind motherwort, something that Rosemary gladstar and many other famous herbalist, they recommend keeping it in your first aid kit or in the car. So if you get in a car wreck, or if you have a traumatic experience, you could take a dose and mother would never really settle you down, you know, with all the shutdowns and a lot of our clients that are running small businesses and other things that I’ve had massive amount of reports of stress issues happening over the last six months. And so I really think the time that you and I are putting this out is important. It’s always important, but it’s more important now. Because once your sleep quality goes out the window, what happens then well, you have a shorter fuse, you are going to be more irritable, you could be more anxious, you could be more depressed, you may have cognitive issues. So you may not be making good decisions as a parent or as a boss or as a CEO. So I mean, this affects every aspect of your life, you really cannot ignore this and just go pound the coffee. First thing in the morning, you can do the coffee, but you’ve got to be making sure you’re doing all the nighttime strategies as well. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% I love it really, really good points off the bat. Also a couple other strategies I want to highlight is exercising too close to bed. So exercise, it’s a stress it does activate the sympathetic nervous system because that’s how you get blood flow to the arms and legs into the extremities. And then of course cortisol and immobilize glucose in the muscles and such. And so that is part of the stress response. So you got to make sure the more your parasympathetics are stressed right your rest digest part of the nervous system. The less strenuous the less sympathetic stimulating exercise you should be doing. And of course, you need to allow more buffer time to transition back into the parasympathetics at bedtime. So if you’re working out like at six or seven o’clock and then you’re trying to wind down At nine or 10, asleep by 11, that may not be enough time. So the more stressed you are you want to look at doing exercise first thing in the morning, and you always want to answer my three questions appropriately. Alright, you want to answer positively to these three things? Number one is do I feel better after the workout than when I started? Number two is, can I emotionally repeat the workout? Do you feel so depleted afterwards? Where you just you couldn’t emotionally do it, like, you may like have that high where you’re like, Oh, I feel good. And then like, you catch your breath, like 10 minutes, and you’re like, Oh, thank God, that’s done. You want to feel that sense of like, no, I could do that. Again, like I could do it again, you want to feel that kind of a sense of accomplishment. And then number three is you want to feel not excessively sore or beaten up afterwards. So that next morning, you wake up, you know, barring the fact that you slept good and all that’s okay, you didn’t drink alcohol, you want to feel not excessively sore with the exception. If you throw in maybe a new exercise you haven’t done in a while maybe some lunges or a deadlift, outside of something that’s a full body movement, you shouldn’t feel overly beaten up. 

Evan Brand: Yep, good points, good points. And it’s possible, you could use some of those herbs to try to calm down that response. Right? If your work schedule just doesn’t allow it and you have to do a six 7pm workout. Like you said, maybe it’s not too intense. So you still could settle down, but maybe you, you do take a dose of some type of an adrenal cocktail, after the after the workout, I think that could be really smart. And then let’s go into a couple other mechanisms.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just to highlight one thing before we move on topic. So if that’s the case, that’s the only window there’s three major levers with exercise frequency, intensity, duration. So frequency is how often you work out. Is it every day, you taking a day off in between Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday kind of thing. And then of course, that’s frequency intensity is how hard Are you working out as well as the rest in between? So like, a compound lift like a a deadlift or a front squat, right? Isn’t it be a lot harder than like a bicep curl or military press right, the more you activate, the more joints you activate, the harder it is. So you could shift away from multi joint stuff. Or you do multi joint stuff with less weight, okay, and provide more rest time between sets. And then duration, of course, is going to be how long the workout is right? Instead of a 45 minute workout, you go to a 30 or a 20. So you just keep on frequency, adjust the frequency, how many days intensity kind of workout lifts, you’re doing the weight as well as the rest time. And then the duration is the overall length of the workout cutting that down so you can move the lever on those. And I always recommend the easiest first thing is allowing a day off in between to recover. And then keeping the workout shorter, right, Charles poliquin did research on this finding that the cortisol response starts to significantly elevate once you go longer than 45 minutes. So keeping the workout under 45 minutes. And if you’re really stressed probably 20 to 30. And just rely on more circuit type of workouts to get the exercise done. So do three movements in a row, upper lower upper or front back front, however you want to pair it. That way you can get a lot more volume and and exercise accomplished in a shorter amount of time. 

Evan Brand: Yep, that’s good advice. I wanted to talk about the gut. And we could probably mention blood sugar, too. I know that when I had gut infections, my sleep was terrible. Now the mechanism of it. I mean, that’s debatable, you and I could try to tease this apart together. I think ultimately the answer is getting rid of gut infections is going to improve sleep in many ways. But I think one of the mechanisms is probably some of the gut bugs possibly affecting blood sugar because the gut bugs are eating and they’re feeding on your nutrition. So I definitely had more hypoglycemia issues. And hypoglycemia, if that blood sugar’s crashing, blood sugar gets too low, you and I’ve talked about this, the adrenals have to pinch hit, basically, and try to help out to get that glucose regulated. So if blood sugar is crashing, maybe you’re not eating enough with meals, maybe you didn’t have enough fat or protein with dinner, or maybe you ate too early. If you ate at five and you’re going to bed at 10 that’s already five hours and the blood sugar may be dropping to a level that’s too low. And then if you compound that with having gut infections, then you really could get into trouble. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and like you mentioned earlier, the stress and the inflammation from a gut infection. We see it when we do adrenal cortisol rhythm testing, is we’ll start to see a premature elevation of cortisol in the morning. Now what does that mean for you? Well, we have this natural cortisol rather than people watching on video, I’m going to do some demonstrations. But cortisol comes up in the morning, and then it comes up in the morning but it really increases that first hour of waking isn’t a double from when you woke up to one hour later. So it starts to here’s waking, here’s one hour later and then it gently curves, here’s bedtime and then as you sleep it’s kind of flat and then gently starts to go up like this. So when you have gut infections and inflammation in the gut, and a lot of most infections are on an opposite sleep and wake cycle then we are so the more active they are means more inflammation. More inflammation means Is what more of a cortisol response so that cortisol prematurely starts to rise in the middle of the night. And then that can start to take you out of deeper sleep and cause you to wake up earlier. So, by addressing gut infections, you’re naturally supporting that healthy circadian rhythm. And of course, if we can support natural and influence, natural anti inflammatory support, that also takes stress off the adrenals because the adrenals are one of your number one, anti inflammatory mechanisms, right? cortisol, aka cortisone, and then pharmaceutical, prednisone, are all anti inflammatory mediums that conventional medicine uses for topical skin or asthma inhaled are injections in the joints, right for inflammation. So we have our natural anti inflammatories that we want to work on supporting and utilizing.

Evan Brand: Yep, and we’ve mentioned this, but just to repeat, so the cortisol is downregulating melatonin, that’s the mechanism. So people that just go take melatonin, that may help but I would argue that it’s not necessarily root cause. And so that’s why we’re going to be running these panels to look at the hormones, we’re going to be running testing to look at the stool, we’re going to be running panels to look at the urine and try to confirm what’s going on. Just to be clear for people listening or that are not aware, we’re clinicians, we deal with this stuff every day all day clinically. And so we have thousands and thousands of, you know, case studies that we can report back from and tell you what’s worked and what hasn’t worked. If you go to your conventional doctor in you talk about sleep issues, just to quickly compare and contrast. It’s going to be something like possibly a Lorazepam if it’s an anxiety based sleep issue,

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -like a benzodiazepine that works on gaba.

Evan Brand: Yeah, exactly. So you’re going to get a benzo which are highly, highly addictive and habit forming, or possibly, you’re going to get something like an Ambien, which in terms of pharmaceuticals, I will tell you some of the hardest drugs for people to get off of are the benzos and the Ambien, which I don’t even know what category Ambien is in, but man, people really, really struggle to get off of that one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% so you’re going to have Ambien, right, you’re going to have Lunesta, you’re going to have your benzos They may even be using some SSRIs to increase serotonin, which then increases melatonin. There’s, I think it’s rozerem rwhich is a gaba kind of in that gaba benzo family. So rozerem. You mentioned I mentioned Lunesta, and Ambien, what else is there, I think there’s trazadone is another one that I think is used sometimes for sleep as well. So those are a lot of the common sleep medications. And they don’t really address a root cause. And that’s the problem. And a lot of the sleep medications, like we mentioned, the Ambien or Lunesta, they don’t allow deeper restoration of sleep. So you kind of have like your four phases of sleep, right phase one, phase two, phase three, phase four. And then you go from phase four to three, two ones. This is like once, one cycle is 1234, phase 24321. And you don’t really get to go into these deeper three and four levels, where REM sleep and deep restoration happen. So we want to avoid medications that prevent us from getting into deep sleep. So that being said, we want to make sure we sleep. So we want to utilize every natural mechanism possible. So with sleep 10pm to 2am is that deep physical restoration, where you have good physiological repair, and that’s where growth hormone increases. That’s where we repair structural tissue, and such and bones and joints and ligaments, Hair, Skin nails. And then we have the psychological emotional repair, typically between two and 6am, where a lot of our neurotransmitters and hormones kind of turnover that help us with mood and energy and emotional stuff. And supposedly, a lot of our dreams are us processing a lot of our emotional stress throughout the day, right? So we want to make sure we get to sleep on time, that’s really important, right, the hours before midnight are really important. And we want to make sure that we’re getting the good time of sleep, we want to make sure that we’re decreasing light exposure, which it takes away from our melatonin. And then we want to make sure that we are just having good nutrients on board. So when we’re sleeping, we have the raw materials, amino acids and fatty acids to provide the building blocks to assist in the repair process. Yeah, vegetarians, vegans, they have a lot of sleep issues historically. And I would argue it’s due to the lack of these amino acids that you need to really help fuel some of these neurotransmitters. So back to the I want to just hit that because you hit something really important. And then when vegetarians and vegans get a lot of the amino acids, they’re not really bioavailable. So if you go look at the bioavailability of amino acids in vegetarian vegan foods, they’re not very bioavailable. Now, vegans and vegetarians can get by with free form amino acid supplementation, a high quality pea protein, maybe a rice protein, so they can get by with amino acid supplements, but it’s very hard from a raw standpoint, meaning you’re just relying on Whole Foods to get those amino acids and when you typically do combine them appropriately. You get a ton of carbohydrates. So if you’re more insulin sent or resistant or more Carbohydrates sensitive if you don’t do well with carbs that could cause more blood sugar issues and more sleep issues with that. 

Evan Brand: Yep, yep. So back to the drug. The drug name is zolpidem sold under the brand name Ambien anyway, we talked about alcohol A while ago, we talked about like, some of the date rape drugs and some of the bad stuff that people do. Apparently this GOP. Yeah, apparently this drug actually was used or has been used as a date rape drug as well. And so it is a non benzodiazepine. But guess what, it’s a GABA receptor agonist. So it works by increasing GABA binds to the same location as benzos. So tricky little varmints. It’s a non bidco but it binds to the same GABA receptor as a benzo. So to me, it’s a frickin benzo, you know, not not technically but in terms of the addiction potential and the withdrawal and the adverse effects and the dependency it’s it’s no good. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So yeah, same thing with Lunesta here, I’m looking at some of the the mechanism of action on the nessa same kind of thing. It has a coupling interaction with the GABA receptor sites. So kind of it’s coupled with like a benzo. So it’s kind of very similar to a benzo and then the rozerem. It works on some of the m two receptor sites, I think some of the same receptor sites that work on melatonin, so I’m pretty sure it’s like a melatonin kind of agonist, if you will. And yeah, right here. rosarium is a highly selective melatonin receptor site type one type two agonist. So what does that mean? agonist means it helps the melatonin in those synapses to be it increases it stimulates it with a little bit and kind of gets a little bit more into gear, if you will. Now, my whole I’d much rather be using melatonin as a whole as I rather just provide more of that building block or more of that raw material to help right and gets more natural than just being an agonist and upregulating the receptor sites to it. And of course, even before that, I’d much rather use a lot more of the amino acids like five HTP, and B six, and providing more of the building blocks. So we don’t disrupt too many feedback loops, or the herbs just to help regulate the adrenals. And then you stay away from this crap completely. But why is how bad it is. So we kind of always start low and then work our way up. So there’s always kind of like a, an algorithm and how we are applying things and even natural we want to do the least invasive to the most invasive if we need it. But of course sleeps is such a huge tenant in our body’s ability to heal. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. And why is this not on the nightly news? Well, I mean, Big Pharma is highly involved in the media companies, right? So they’re, they’re not interested in melatonin, which is what maybe a quarter or maybe 50 cents per dose, they want pharmaceuticals, because there’s a lot more money involved. And you can’t patent it, you and I’ve discussed this patent issue many, many times. So they can’t patent anything. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: When you just look at the mechanisms, right, like, look what they’re doing, like with rozerem, it’s just it’s an agonist on the receptor site. So what they do is they kind of skate the surf, they kind of tiptoe around it and try to figure out, Okay, this is this mechanism is important, how can we monkey around with the receptor site and adjust that and make it better or over, you know, stimulate the receptor site to be more sensitive. So they’re kind of looking at what the the actual mechanism is, and then they try to just skirt the the periphery on it to make it work better, right, which a lot of times have side effects, because that’s what typical drugs, do they have side effects? That’s right. That’s right. So I mentioned the I got into the nutrition piece a little bit talked about kind of the the fat and then just one thing, sorry. And they have to do that. So people thinking, well, I don’t understand like, what’s the point of that? Well, you can’t patent a natural compounds. So when you have things like melatonin or natural amino acid compounds, you can’t patent it. So they know these mechanisms are already helpful. So you hire a whole bunch of chemists to go in there and biochem people to go in there and figure out okay, this is the mechanism, what can we do to create a synthetic compound, maybe we just create like an isomer, or something that looks very similar, that buffers or adjusts receptor sites, but is synthetic enough where they can patent it. So that’s why they they can’t patent natural things. That’s why they they look at already known mechanisms, and they try to adjust it and author it just a little bit. So they can patent it. And it never works as good as the natural stuff. And never will because of the fact that you can’t. You can’t improve upon Mother Nature. You just can’t. 

Evan Brand: Yep, I know. I love the herbs. I love them. So I hit on the whole, like, not enough fat and protein piece. And I see that a lot. Like I mentioned the vegetarian vegans. I mean, typically these people are depressed, they’re anxious and their sleep is crap. Now, the one happy vegan listening, good for you, but talk to me in five years, and I’ll be curious to see what happens. But back to the blood sugar piece. So there are some things that you may need to do to help with the blood sugar. That could just be something as simple as eating like a little fat bomb before you go to bed. I mean, it could be like a little piece of some coconut oil or some coconut butter or maybe grass fed butter or maybe I don’t know a couple macadamias are pecans are something that can help just kind of throw a little bit of fat on the fire before you go to bed. Now it can do a huge, huge thing. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Some also do better do really good with a little bit of fat and maybe a tiny bit of carbohydrate, whether it’s a handful of berries, or a little bit of like, honey. And sometimes that can be helpful because the little bit of glucose can help those with the amino acids cross the blood brain barrier. So if you go so low carb at night, sometimes those amino acids can’t cross. And so I kind of go both ways. Try with less sugar. And if you need a little bit of sugar with a little bit of fat and protein, and you can always add a little bit of sugar just to help the amino acids cross that blood brain barrier. 

Evan Brand: That’s smart. You know, I’ve tried that like doing a chamomile tea, which is another easy good strategy. I’ve tried chamomile just by itself, and then chamomile with honey. And I will report with a little bit of honey, delicious, but it does help a little bit with the sleep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and just kind of just try it on both sides. Because too much sugar can also create blood sugar swings and cortisol spikes when your blood sugar drops. And that can cause problems. So it’s all about finding that right balance. So I always recommend start with none. And then add just a little bit in incrementally. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and we through a lot of people. So where do you start with all this? Well, I think the blue light, the lifestyle stuff, not exercising too close or too intensely before bed. I think all those things are great, getting your bowels regulated, making sure that you’re testing yourself for gut infections and getting those things addressed. And then reaching out to a practitioner like Dr. Justin or myself, because we deal with this stuff. Personally, we deal with this stuff clinically. We’ve done it countless times. And it’s incredibly rewarding what we do, because we’re showing you on paper, where is this issue coming from? You know, some people blame it on their genetics, like oh, my mother, she never slept good. Or my dad Oh, he had terrible insomnia. He’s on antidepressants that are okay, genetics are not your destiny. So I don’t care how your parents sleep or not sleep. That is not your destiny. There are root causes that we can identify. And we can address these we can get them on paper, and we can retest and show you look, your basics is back up great because you needed that because you were also low in serotonin, which you needed more of because both of those ingredients, boom, make melatonin, you didn’t have that recipe. And now on paper, you’re reporting improve sleep, hooray. But look at the labs, we can confirm you fix the mechanism of these neurotransmitter issues and these nutrient deficiencies. And that is just why we do what we do. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. The other thing I would say is going to be female hormones. female hormones play a big role, especially progesterone, because progesterone is a natural gaba chloride channel opener opens those gaba chloride helps flood gaba into the zone, which helps you relax. So female hormone issues, especially for menopausal women can be a big ones, we got to look at estrogen, estradiol and progesterone that’s really important. I would also they’re also kind of like their modulating supplements that can be helpful that may not plug into the root cause. So when I’m with the patient, I’m working them up. I’m trying to figure out what’s the underlying mechanism? Or is it multiple systems meaning is there poor digestion, indigestion, poor gut issues, and then autoimmune stuff with adrenals and thyroid, and maybe some detoxification issues, we try to focus on each of those systems, work on the diet like nutrient dense anti inflammatory, low toxin, get digestion, good, stabilize blood sugar, flood nutrients into the zone. And then we’re going to run organic acids and we’re going to see neurotransmitters, we’re going to see be six amino acid status, we’re going to look at serotonin and dopamine, adrenaline, that can help on the amino acid side. We mentioned things like melatonin, that’s always a later stage always want to do the amino acids first. But then there are things like California Poppy, or like you mentioned lemon balm, or Valerian or CBD as other like natural compounds that are out there that can be helpful, that may help either kind of attenuate that sympathetic response, and may help just kind of upregulate GABA a little bit. It may just have a very kind of sedative kind of relaxing effect, usually working as a natural kind of benzo right and flooding with gaba. So if you plug one of these natural things in, don’t just think that that’s it. Always try to trace it back to the mechanism that drove the issue. To begin with. You really always want to think root cause and then expand out. And if you find a supplement that helps try to always trace it back to what the original mechanism was. Does that make sense? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, does man you just like opened up a whole new can of words here. So I’m going to take a few minutes on packet. You mentioned thyroid you mentioned autoimmunity. So hashimotos it’s really common to have sleep issues, because if that immune system is attacking the thyroid, all of a sudden you’ve got some of this hormone leaking out into the bloodstream. So some of the things that you and I will do, yes, we can use the herbs. But one could argue that even the herbs are not root cause because if the antibodies are attacking the thyroid, yeah, it’s great to go and use mother work to calm the heart down. But the tachycardia that’s causing the insomnia is coming from the thyroid and this person is eating gluten. They’re doing sandwiches for lunch, so We got to work backwards on getting those thyroid antibodies down. So that- not so. So that’s my comment there. But then you opened up a whole nother can of worms, make sure I circle back to mold and Lyme and co infections real quick, but go ahead. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So just to highlight one thing, when we’re working with patients, we’re always thinking that way, we’re always thinking, Okay, we’re going to try this, try this, we’re going to connect it back to the mechanism of action. But I know a lot of people are going to be listening, they’ll be like, Oh, I’m going to try this supplement or that and they’re writing their list down and what things are going to try, that’s cool. But just you know, if you don’t have that clinicians mindset, you may ignore the root cause. So if you have an issue where you’re trying a couple of things, and you’re not quite getting the results, or it’s a steady issue that’s continuing to happen over the years, make sure you reach out to a good functional medicine doctor, like myself, or Evan, the we can kind of work you through that. But at least try a couple things on your own. But don’t ignore that root issue and get a good functional medicine person to help you. If that issue is more chronic. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, because it’s not a deficiency of passionflower. Right, right. So it’s not just like we joke on drugs, it’s not a deficiency of those either. Now, let’s just briefly open up a whole nother can of worms here Lyme mold, co infections, mast cell issues, these things very, very, very much affected my sleep. And so Lyme really affects sleep. So make sure if you have a history of tick bites, or if your partner has it, because it can be sexually transmitted, that you address it, you either test for it, or you just try to go after it using herbs and see if you have a positive or negative reaction. I can tell you with confidence just using Japanese knotweed, for me improves my sleep quality. What’s the mechanism? Well, Japanese knotweed is anti inflammatory because of the resveratrol, but it does help to kill the spire Riki borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme. So so that’s that, and then mold. Mold really, really affects the nervous system. And it will down regulate melatonin, Dr. Shoemaker. He’s kind of like the main medical doc that’s talked about mold for many years, he discusses all the hormones that get affected, your testosterone can go low, you can have issues with Msh. So then you start to burn easily and you can’t get a good tan, and you can get your antidiuretic hormone is messed up. So now you’re up in the middle of the night to go pee three, four or five times a night and people report Well, I sleep fine. But if I didn’t have to pee, I’d sleep better. It’s like, well, what’s the mechanism of the peeing? Is it a prostate? Is it a mold thing? Is it a toxin thing? metals? Yeah, adrenals heavy metal dosterone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You can’t hold on to your fluids. So you’re dumping your minerals all the time. 

Evan Brand: So if you’re supporting adrenals, and aldosterone can come back up, right? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s Yeah, it’s very possible. So supporting the minerals will help because you’re just not going to have the loss of the minerals. So the minerals are really important for your cells to work well, sodium, potassium, and for your electrolytes and for your heart. So those are really important things to kind of keep in, keep in mind, for sure. 

Evan Brand: Babesia bartonella, co infections, any can any kind of CO infection, those can affect it. Chronic pain, of course can affect sleep. So if you’ve got some type of an issue like mycoplasma that’s affecting the joints, or maybe you’ve got prepatellar, some kind of bacterial infection attacking the joints that causes pain that causes sleep issues, this is why you need help. You can’t just go by passionflower and assume all your problems are going to go away. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, a couple other questions are coming in here live on the chat as we go. Yes, low thyroid hormone can cause sleep issues I’ve seen reports of and some patients who have low thyroid will even add one of their thyroid doses a little bit before bed. And that can help as well. So it just depends if you actually have low tea, you want to take it during the day, but then also sometimes at night, it can be helpful, sometimes just supporting it during the day is enough to spill into night and help asleep. And yeah, things like pregnenolone right before bed can be a little bit stimulating. So anyone that has sleep issues will try to do their last dose of pregnenolone like around 3pm da ga less stimulating, but if you’re on the fence, you know, always do it really early, just to rule that variable out and see if that’s a problem or not. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s good. Yeah, progesterone, I experimented with a little bit of that before bed. Wow. You can tell it hits the GABA receptors. I mean, well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Progesterone is great, like a lot of my female patients that need it will do that, you know, an hour or two before bed, and it really opens up the gaba. And if we need we can throw in some extra l theanine along with it, or some gaba itself. And that can be very helpful and really promote a lot of relaxation. 

Evan Brand: Yep. So the toxic thing is just the toxin piece. You know, I think it’s something that we didn’t get into much till the end here. But it is something that would be in our standard workup where we’d be looking for these these kind of hidden, more nuanced root causes. And, you know, just to restate, you could go from referral to referral in the conventional medical world, and you’re never even going to get close to the conversations or information that we just provided you today. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, I mean, it’s hard. The conventional medical model is a three to five minute visit. They’re just trying to collect just enough symptoms to figure out what drug they’re going to prescribe whether it’s a rosarium or a benzo or an SSRI or what whatever other kind of mini me new drugs that are out there many meaning it’s very similar to an old drug, just the new name, new Patent so they can re up that seven year patents. And that’s kind of how a lot of conventional medicine works. They’re not really diving in deep, they’re not even really thinking about deep root cause mechanisms. They’re just trying to get you to sleep. And it’s sad, but it’s system that we’re in. And I’m glad that we have information like this. It’s out there at your fingertips so you guys can be more informed and take some action to get to the root cause.

Evan Brand: Yeah absolutely. If you need any help please reach out to Justin or myself, his website is JustinHealth.com, my website, EvanBrand.com. And we love that you guys are here with us so more to come.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And put your comments down below. We really appreciate you guys listening, and I want to get some interaction about what you think works for you. I read the comments. So when I get feedback, like oh, this worked or that work, it really helps me because, you know, when you see thousands of patients like myself and Evan have, that’s really how you get good. Like when you start off in this field, you get a really good base of physiology and biochem and nutrition, you apply it with yourself and your family and then patients around you. And then you grow as you get more patients and you get more data points. So it’s very helpful. And then if you enjoyed today’s podcast, please leave us a review, we’ll put a link down below where you can click and you can leave us a review on iTunes, we really, really appreciate it. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, share this with all your friends and family on sleep drugs, we can’t legally tell them to get off of it, but we’ll show them a different path. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and if you’re on benzos really important, that’s a very, very, very slow taper. So if your doctor decides to take them off fast, be very careful. Sometimes these things have to be tapered over the course of a year. So just be very careful. If you’re on drugs and very dependent. You want to do it responsibly and very slowly with the prescriber as you kind of taper down and as you fix the root underlying issues. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said I mean you’ll listen to this podcast you’d be like well screw those drugs I’m stopping! Bad idea don’t do that same thing with like hypertension medications. I mean, we’ve done podcasts on naturally regulating you know blood pressure and some people, Oh my god, these drugs are terrible. I’m getting off of them. You can you could get rebound hypertension Same thing with the sleep drugs, you know, you can have a lot of issues with the GABA receptor I mean being so saturated with the drug and then you just going cold turkey, these are not cold turkey drugs. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, my general recommendation is get a good foundation, diet, lifestyle, sleep, movement hydration, get that there. Before you go in and ask that prescribed or start dropping the dose slow. So get the foundation right before you make any changes. 

Evan Brand: Yeah I mean look, we want people to be healthy, we want them to be drug-free, if possible. And if that’s our goal ang long term plan, we love it but there’s a time and a place. So just hang in there, i know it sucks, people get so mad. I dont wanna be on this drug! They say that so often but they have to. That’s okay, i’m not judging you, it’s okay if you need it know. Let’s get you healthy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Every now and then I find 1% of people having a hard time getting off of it or just can’t get their sleep right, but I would say 99% people are gonna be able to address significantly and improve their sleep. So stick at it, you have a really high percent, so keep it up and goodluck for everyone listening.

Evan Brand: Yep, absolutely. Well let’s wrap this up. JustinHealth.com for consults around the world, and EvanBrand.com. We look forward to helping you. Take care we’ll talk to you later.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have a good one ya’ll. Bye.


References:

https://www.evanbrand.com/

https://justinhealth.com/

Audio Podcast:  

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/natural-hacks-to-improve-sleep-podcast-303

Can Functional Medicine Manage Headaches? | Podcast #301

In this podcast, together with Evan Brand, we’re going to be talking about functional solutions to headaches. We’ll be looking deeper into what we can do to headache issues. 

Our diet can be the first one to consider and ergonomics to keep our body structures relaxed and align, therefore, maintaining our good posture. But how can these factors connected to headaches? Since many people are experiencing headaches, let’s talk about the things we can work on before we go straight to taking medications. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

On this episode, we cover:

0:59      Why Headaches Occur

4:27      Diets and Supplements

13:11    Possible Root Causes

18:52    Food Allergies

24:55    On Nutrition and Blood Sugar, Dehydration   

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. I am with Evan brand. Today we’re going to be talking about functional medicine solutions for headaches. Evan, what’s happening, man? How you doing?

Evan Brand: I’m doing really well, we were looking through some little papers here on headaches is a big problem. I remember when I was actually working out of a chiropractor’s office, which feels like a long time ago, and it was a pretty long time ago, there were so many people that would come in there, and they’d have headaches, and the chiropractor would lay the patient down on the table, and he’d do the adjustment and they’d say, Oh, my God, I feel better. But then guess what, they came back next week for the same adjustment for the same headache. And this guy never got to the root cause and then when I started bringing just simple nutritional strategies into the clinic, all of a sudden the people that need the adjustment every week for the headache anymore, and of course, that quickly affected his his bottom line, and he’s like, Hey, stop getting my people off gluten. You’re fixing their headaches, and I thought, Well, isn’t that the goal of what we’re doing here? So now funny little backstory on headaches for me. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It totally I mean, there’s definitely a mechanical structural aspect to headaches. So if the joints in the spine aren’t moving properly, if there’s a subluxation, or a fixation, they’re just not good movement. That can be a problem, right? Especially like if the, the Atlas that c one and C two aren’t moving properly, because your head sits on top of that, that can create a lot of neurological imbalances and muscular imbalances, of course, and then just people sitting all day, right, what does that do, that’s going to just create this forward head posture, and that takes these muscles here and makes them really tight. And then you have a lot of these muscles, they can create trigger point pain referral, up the side of the neck, so like trigger points in the SEM, this muscle here, the sternocleidomastoid, or the upper trapezius, or the give us plenty of capitas muscles in the back that go up and that hit right in the back of the occiput there. These muscles get tight or they have trigger points they can cause referral into the face so you have subluxation joint issues, and then those can cause neurological disturbances. And blood flow issues. And then of course all the trigger point referral from the muscle. So good chiropractic care can be helpful on the structural side. Ideally, you want a chiropractor that one can either do some kind of myofascial release or active release therapy, some kind of a soft tissue or refer out for it. And then also taking a look at the postural stuff like you mentioned, like making sure like I’m at a stand right now so I can stand half my day. I have a really good chair that has really good lumbar and cervical support. So you want to make sure postural is good. You can do good exercises like the foundation training. Eric Goodman does that he does a lot of these the founder exercises like this, I love-

Evan Brand: Cobra training is a game changer for the back. People that are on audio that they’re not seeing him the founder pose is pretty cool. You basically put your arms up like you’re praying to the sun Gods above your head and then you end up bending over and then you open your chest up and then you kind of stand up. It’s a very, very good. Oh, it feels great. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, basically, it’s just putting stress on that whole posterior chain and working that whole post. exterior side together in unity. So, some structural standpoint soft tissue, make sure joints are moving properly. And then of course, look at the trigger point referral, the adhesions. The problem with chronic muscle pain is you have poor movement, poor movement in the joints means poor communication to the brain. You have lots of postural disturbances and people sitting all day. And if you sit, invest in a good desk, a good good desk as well as a good chair, spend a couple hundred bucks, get a really good chair that has cervical and lumbar support. That’s huge. Don’t don’t get a cheap thing like that. And then also soft tissue chiropractic, and then good exercise support to really make sure that whole posterior chain is working well. 

Evan Brand: So you’re saying the the experience I was witnessing where the chiropractor was adjusting someone that could have been legit in terms of the therapy meaning if someone was sitting on a terrible chair all week, every week they come in Friday for their headache adjustment. The headache goes away for the weekend, and they’re back next week for the headache you’re saying yeah, look Gently that could have been a structural postural thing that he was addressing. But then at the end of the day, maybe it was the the diet piece. Like I mentioned, even just simply getting a lot of these patients off gluten, they noticed that they only had to come in every two weeks or every three weeks. So is it would you then say that the the food allergens were contributing to increased inflammation, maybe triggering these nerves to be more sensitive? Or what do you think the diet? How would that link into the structural components? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so the diet is two things right? The diet one increases an environment of inflammation, the more inflamed you get the the the the least amount of blood flow, less blood flow, you get to the muscles, less blood flow, you get to the nerve, so there’s going to be less communication, right? It’s like, it’s like you’re on a microphone and you start to get in your static, right and you start getting static. It’s kind of like that. So if we have a lot of inflammation, what starts to happen is the muscles start becoming more less pliable, more like beef jerky, versus soft and supple. And then that affects the nerves as well because the more inflammation there is that’s going to affect nerve communication. And then of course, the more inflammation there is. And if we have bad posture we don’t move, then the joints can become a little bit stuck, and maybe out of a line or subluxated. So it can aid to the inflammation, which then makes it harder for the muscles to work, thus harder for the joints to work and the nerves to work. That’s number one. And then number two things like gluten have shown to actually decrease blood flow to the brain to the frontal cortex. So you have blood flow up the garden hoses on the side of your neck called the carotid artery. And there’s studies on this talking about gluten decreasing blood flow and and creating inflammation in the brain. So one, it’s going to do it via structural mechanisms of the nerves and muscles and joints. From an inflammation standpoint, structural to it’s going to affect blood flow, and drive up inflammation to the brain which then can create more neurological activation, immune activation in the brain, which can create symptoms. Have head pain there too. 

Evan Brand: So if you want to be smarter and make better decisions, make sure you’re not eating gluten. That sounds pretty convincing to me. Also, let’s get into the nutrient deficiency piece. If you’re eating a meal, let’s say you’re eating pasta and chicken, you’re probably not going to be getting much magnesium. And you’re probably not going to be getting many B vitamins that are going to be essential. Magnesium is probably the most famous mineral for headaches and muscle cramps and things like that. And we could pull it up, but it’s very easy to find in the literature, the link between magnesium deficiency and headaches and of course, the muscle cramping too. So, I mean, that’s an easy one to from the diet perspective. It’s not just the inflammation piece, it’s the absence of the nutrition that you need to help, you know, fuel these these pathways and then also what about like fatty acids? So you know, I remember several people were all we did is give them a high dose omega three couple grams a day and their headaches were gone, just based on adding in some omegas. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so there’s a couple other components with headaches, right? So of course, like you’re just highlighting nutrients like your brain needs certain nutrients to run and function. So if you look at a lot of these migraine, these natural migraine supplements, you’ll see a couple of common things. You’ll see like B vitamins, especially like nice and in there, you’ll see things like magnesium in there, you’ll see B six in there, these are really important things. Also koku 10s very important for headaches and migraines. So just from a nutrient standpoint, the more nutrient dense anti inflammatory low toxin your foods are, the more these nutrients are going to be present. Okay. And the other component is, the more refined and processed your foods are usually there’s gonna be okay and then also the fat start fats are also anti inflammatory. So remember, inflammation affects the muscles, the nerves, the joints, and the more of an anti inflammatory environment you create with good fats like you just highlighted, that’s going to help. And the other component is blood sugar. So the more poor diet is, usually there’s more processed food, you’re lacking those nutrients but you’re also typically eating more processed refined carbohydrates and junky fats, which causes your blood sugar to go up and down. And these ebbs and flows of blood sugar, especially on the way down, can really create headache issues. So this reactive hypoglycemia kind of blood sugar issue response can create surges of adrenaline and cortisol and those things can definitely create headaches too.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and that could be it could be shakiness, right. It could be irritability, there could be some mood changes, there could be possibly fuzzy thinking, you know, from a cognitive perspective, too. So people may not connect the dots like oh, I had oatmeal and a banana for breakfast. And now here it is. 10am Three hours later. My blood sugar’s crashing. Not only am I irritable and anxious, but all of a sudden I’m getting a headache. What is it? Is it the fluorescent lights in my cubicle at the office? Which Yes, it could be fluorescent lighting is a big trigger for headaches. So it could be some environmental cause too. Is it the moldy office building you’re sitting in is causing the headache maybe? Or is it simply just a blood sugar crashing and it could be all of it. So that’s the thing that you and I do really a good job at is we try to look at all the variables because if you go to like a conventional doc for a headache, maybe they give you an ibuprofen recommendation, or if it’s bad enough, they’ll give you some type of prescription medication, if it’s to the migraine level, like a topamax or something like that. And then you get stuck on these medications. There’s not really any sort of root cause game plan. But if they referred you out to possibly an allergist, if they thought that your headaches were from an allergy problem, the allergist is likely going to recommend some over the counter anti histamine or some type of drug like that or possibly a prescription. And once again, they’re not addressing any of the root cause stuff and you could have gone to several practitioners and no one brought up magnesium deficiency. No one brought up vitamin D, which is critical. No one brought up getting off gluten, getting off grains, getting rid of potentially nuts and seeds if you have histamine type issues. So it’s just amazing how far you could go down the conventional rabbit hole with this issue and still not even get close to the root cause. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s the hard part. Like any Functional Medicine world everything’s like three dimensional right? So you have medications that are like anti inflammatory you have SSRI medications that are affecting serotonin or dopamine or adrenaline. I’ve had really great success using amino acids for headaches too. Now, why are there amino acid deficiencies? Usually it’s a combination of stress burning up serotonin, and dopamine, or it’s a combination of not breaking down and digesting good amino acids, right? So you can see amino acids play a very powerful role. I think you also see it with DLP as well. And headaches. These are all amino acids and if we have poor digestion, and we have poor nutrition to begin with, we got one deficiency coming in, but we also have a deficiency on being able to digest assimilate and utilize these nutrients as well. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, so you’re typically going to be using like a complex right, you’re probably not going to spot tree where you’re going to come in with like just the LPA by itself. You may come in with like a, maybe a good quality protein or like collagen or some type of amino acid blend. When you’re talking about amino is correct? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, it depends. So if I have organic acid testing showing serotonin and dopamine is off, we may spot those with specific amino acids. And then of course, you got to have B six there with that and those other nutrients in the background. So, of course, we’re going to be doing a good quality multi, and then we’ll be hitting those amino acids up for sure, especially if we have lab data on it. But we’ll be like, we’re never going to go all in on one thing, right? We’re going to do a good history. And then we’re going to make recommendations. Maybe there’s some structural stuff we got to look at, maybe there’s some diet stuff we got to look at, maybe there’s some supplement stuff we have to look at. And we will kind of get a plan for all three of those things going at once. If we see those issues could be active. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, what we do is so fun. It’s not just fun. It’s very effective, because as you mentioned, we’re going to be looking at organic acids testing to try to investigate this issue. We may be looking at stool testing, too, because I know you and I both seen countless times where we’ll see gut inflammation, and that may manifest in terms of headaches too. So gut inflammation is not just Hey, my gut feeling inflamed or irritated? It could be the whole system. You could have headaches, you could have increased fatigue, you could have increased joint pain, and depending on what kind of infections you have, whether it’s I know when I had parasites and H. pylori, I had headaches. Now, what was the mechanism? Well, hard to say. But I would say one mechanism was my digestion was terrible. I had diarrhea, I, you know, you could diagnose me with IBS. That’s what the conventional doctor actually said was, Hey, this is just IBS. Of course, that doesn’t address the infection. So I think that’s one other thing that we should bring up is that if the diet style then we’ve got someone listening saying, hey, look, I’m doing paleo or autoimmune paleo or I’m doing magnesium supplements. My vitamin D is good. I’m off gluten. Why do I still have headaches? Well, you know, then I would look at the gut and then I would look at some of these environmental causes as well because we do know the toxins of various types whether it’s mercury, cadmium, aluminum, any kind of heavy metals, those can affect the brain. Those can affect headaches, mold, toxin, mycotoxins lines. co-infections them opening up a lot of can of worms here, but this is what we do, we try to get all of the potential puzzle pieces and then arrange those in the right order to get you feeling better. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally, totally 100% agree. So you got to look at everything kind of get to the roots. The root cause for sure. So very important. So in regards to different headaches, of course, we have like cluster headaches, we have regular headaches, which kind of you know, cause pain in the head, upper neck. Of course we have migraines, which are more going to be extremely painful headaches, right? Usually there’s gonna be more intense, there’s gonna be kind of that open book kind of sensation, maybe you’ll have a little bit of an aura, there’ll be some eye issues more intense. Obviously with women this can be a big issue when there’s ebbs and flows and estrogen in your cycle. Or you can see it premenstrual Lee, especially when there’s a big premature drop and progesterone or inadequate levels of progesterone. You can see it hormonally. So when you have headaches too, if you’re a female listening, make sure you see if you time it up in your cycle if it’s happening at around simulation, we’re at a specific time. Your cycle. Typically it’s gonna be preventively right before you bleed or right at around menstruation there’s probably ebbs and flows with the hormone. So, you know, we may use herbs to help modulate the upstream signaling from the brain to the ovaries. And we may use some specific hormones that kind of buffer out the ebbs and flows. And then of course, we’re trying to get the adrenals and the HPA g t access all better. So those symptoms are going to be less prevalent.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and you’re saying this could be related to the progesterone dropping too much or prematurely that would also then assume that that’s an estrogen dominant situation going on too, right. So maybe something like calcium D glucerate, which we use, not only for mycotoxins and other things that could also help with the hormonal piece and therefore potentially help with headaches. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, that’s correct. 

Evan Brand: Glutathione’s have been very helpful for me. I don’t want to divert too quickly away from the hormonal thing because I think you brought up a big smoking gun for a lot of women. But you know, Glutathione did a lot of good for me when I first was dealing with headaches and it related to toxicity, just two to 300 milligrams a day, and it would significantly help However, if you do too much I know you remember that night I called you I’m like, Hey, I took a double dose of glutathione My head is frickin killing me remember that? Yeah, I was just experimenting and and I messed up and I mobilized too many toxins. So that could be something to talk with your practitioner about as well as, Hey, are you doing binders? Are you doing some type of collation? Are you doing Glutathione because if you’re pushing too much out, that can also overwhelm this detox system, and it’ll result as a headache.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. I don’t love like classifying a lot of these headaches because, okay, whether it’s a cluster headache or attention, headache or a migraine headache, it doesn’t really tell me a lot about the root cause, right? Like someone could have a hormonal issue and could have just a general tension headache while someone else could have like kind of a migraine headache, right. And so it doesn’t tell you like a whole bunch about the root cause. So like, I just kind of when I deal with patients I kind of make a note of what’s going on, I try to connect it to things that are happening day in, day out, like meaning if we see it happen like right after a meal, we may think blood sugar. If we see it happen at things throughout the cycle, it could be if we it could be more hormonally base. If it’s just kind of random. Then I’m going to be asking about physical what’s physical stress look like in regards to posture in regards to muscle tone in regards to seeing a chiropractor in regards to what your office life like is like, when you’re sitting in a chair, like, I’ll try to connect the dots with those things. But the kind of headache you have, for me, doesn’t matter as much, but try to connect it to the onset. For me, that tends to matter a little bit. But even if we can’t really get a big connection there, I just still do all these things that I mentioned and I still get amazing results. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s the fun thing is we kind of fix stuff by accident sometimes meaning we’re going to run you through our protocols and procedures to get a good workup on you and then oh Hey, by the way, look at these major deficiencies and B vitamins. Oh hey, look at these neurotransmitter imbalances. Oh hey, look at the hormones. Oh, hey, look at the gut infections. We need to fix all this and then boom, guess what? The headaches went away. Now I agree with your comment about we don’t really care about where or what the category or classification of the headache is. I would agree except for the occipital, the back of the head headaches because for me that definitely is 100% linked to bartonella which is a type of infection that you can get from fleas. So if you have cats, if you have dogs, if you’re not keeping up with their flea preventatives, and you get a flea on you, they do transmit bartonella mosquitoes, there is some talk about mosquitoes transmitting bartonella. And then, of course, most infamous, are ticks transmitting bartonella. And I can tell you on the back of the head, man, it gets really tender. Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of issues of bartonella. And I will notice just it’s it’s tender back there and I haven’t really linked it to to anything else. No, maybe it’s structural. Maybe I’m talking to you, right Now and I’m kind of turtle heading forward by accident to make sure I’m talking into the microphone. But I think, I think part nail is definitely a big back of the head. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s good to know, it’s good to know that’s good to have that history. I mean, you could have back of the head issues, though just from, you know, forehead posture, and then these muscles, these capitas muscles that connect in the back could also get overly tight as well, just from poor posture. So it’s good, it’s good to kind of look at everything right? And then who knows, right? It’s kind of like with gluten, when you have an infection like that it can drive more inflammation, when there’s more inflammation, you’re going to have less blood flow to the muscles, the muscles are going to be less pliable, and they’re more easy to get, you know, taut and tender fibers and develop trigger points because of the inflammation. So everything’s connected, but I think it’s good. You know, it’s something that you add to like kind of your differential diagnosis as a clinician. Okay, good back of the habit. We’ll keep an eye out for co infections. We’ll keep an eye out for these underlying issues as well. I get smart. 

Evan Brand: Do you want to talk about any of the other food allergies I mean, we’ve seen people with like Nightshade issues where peppers tomatoes could cause some issues, potentially headaches. What about dairy? Do you want to talk on those at all? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, I see dairy, I see potential nuts and seeds. I see all those things as as a potential driver. It’s unbelievable. Because like having done you know, this job for over a decade and seeing thousands of patients, you have common things that are just like the most common like gluten and dairy right? And blood sugar issues been there. Sometimes there’s just weird things like, okay, eggs, eggs cause a problem. While eggs are a really awesome kind of Paleo Food. You know, it’s sucks that you can’t eat eggs. But eggs are a great food. And that’s crazy that that’s causing your headache. Wow. Okay, so we’ll just keep an eye on that. That’s why, you know, we have a pretty strict elimination diet that we follow in the beginning just to rule out those variables. Because even things that I want that patient to be able to consume, and I’m like, and I wish I could have eggs, but sometimes they can’t. And that can get better over time as we heal the gut. And as the immune system gets better, and the gut gets better, so even that can still be healed over time for sure. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know if you remember you and I talking about this, but For a while I was doing avocados like every single day. And then all of a sudden I just had major pressure in my temples. I mean, it was like my head was being squeezed in a vise I thought, oh my god, what is this? So I just went through the diet and started tracking things and discovered it was avocado. So I think I was just doing too much histamine. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you have you’ve tired mean stuffing is like chocolates and wines and cheese, right? The tire mean kind of amino acid compound can drive headaches in some people as well. Right? And so that’s where it’s nice to do that kind of investigation. Hey, is it connected to avocados? Is that a food allergy thing? Is it a histamine thing? Right? Could it be a histamine, right? We know headaches. You would think there’s a lot of constriction in the brain vessels, right? with headaches. It’s actually the opposite. There’s a lot of vezo dilation in the brain vessels and things like histamine actually Dr. Faisal dilation that’s why like when you bump your elbow, right, well, there’s a histamine immune response happening Well, does your elbow become more swelled or less well when you bump it or more swelling or Why is that? Because histamine is actually a strong vezo dilator. It opens things up to help get those immune cells in there to go after the inflammation. So, you know, if we see things like histamine being a driving factor, we’ll keep an eye on that. I mean that that’s important to look at. Anything else you want to add about there? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, let me comment on that. So that would explain why. Back in the day when my wife and I first got together, she had major, major headaches, you know, and we were trying to track it through the diet. And at the time, she was using the excedrin which was that pain medication with the caffeine? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, that cause constriction. 

Evan Brand: And that was the only thing that helped her with the headache. And then Luckily, she finally listened to me and we got her off gluten and got her diet dialed in and got her got taken care of and cleaned up all of her personal care products and Hooray, no more headaches. So.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. So that’s a big thing. So if you’re doing caffeine and you have a headache, could it help? Yes, definitely could help may not be your root cause and it may be A palliative thing, right? But definitely can help.

Evan Brand: On withdrawals too right caffeine withdrawals if you were on a bunch and then tried to get off caffeine that would also cause kind of a rebound headache as well. And then what about blood pressure? For a while, you know, I was noticing blood pressure spikes, and that was directly linked to headaches. I mean, that’s an easy one. If you’re walking around with 145 over 95 or higher as your as your blood pressure and you’re in kind of a stage one or stage two hypertension, that’s a big, big thing. And that’s easy, low hanging fruit to address as long as you can find the root cause of it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Yep. So that’s really important to look at. Also, um, just minerals like hydration and minerals are a big thing. I did a big long fast I fasted for two days, and when I was about 36 hours into it, I really had a strong headache like really bad headache. I was doing minerals, I was doing hydration. I was even testing my blood sugar like my blood sugar was around 80 By the way, but I personally Believe I felt an inner tremble and inner bit of jitteriness, so I believe my blood sugar was lifted to 80 by adrenaline and cortisol. So that’s the thing like fasting could create a blood sugar issue may not show on it like I got my keto Mojo, like meter right here. So I was like testing my blood sugar and I’m sitting around at like, that’s not like 60 or 50 like, and I even tested my ketones. My ketones were like around point five to one millimoles so that- 

Evan Brand: -was that was that where you would expect to be or the ketones lower indicating that the body with the stress response kind of kick you out or prevented you from being in a deeper? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think it kicked me out a little bit because I’m typically at about point five anyway without fasting. So and I tested you know, I tested every now and then I was at point 5.7 last week. Now I keep a very low carb high fat breakfast, right? And I’m typically around point five 2.7 and I was over a day in and I was around point five 2.7 I didn’t see a huge Drop. Now, in two days, I dropped six pounds of weight just from water and not having any anything on my body. So I was losing a lot of weight on that side of the fence. But in general, fasting could potentially be a blood sugar stressor, even if it doesn’t show up on the meter. Because you could have other hormones picking it up. Yes, and adrenaline and then that could potentially cause more issues. neurologically, 

Evan Brand: That’s a super, super good point that 99% of people don’t know. Hey, wait a second. I don’t have a blood sugar problem. But you didn’t see it. You didn’t see that on paper unless you had like a continuous monitor. Right? And then it crashed and then you saw the spike later. That would have been interesting. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And I broke my fast with bacon and eggs and within one to two hours, headache gone. 

Evan Brand: Cool. So what do you think I will what what was the magic remedy and the bacon and eggs that cured the headache?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I mean, it’s gonna be nutrition and blood sugar. Yeah. I mean, it’s just stress response if your body isn’t getting nutrition for two days, like actual nutrients, your body’s gonna be like what’s going on here. So there’s gonna be a stress response there, especially when I’m used to having a nutrient dense diet. So just getting lots of good fats, lots of good proteins in there. Just stabilize things out. So that’s why if you’re going too fast, you know, if you’re going to do a fast also, I worked for two days when I fast it. So I generally recommend keeping your fast on non stressful days where you can relax and chill out. That way, you’re not under as much stress. And you’re not because the fast is already a stressor. So you don’t want to add more stress to that. And so ideally, finding days where they aren’t that stressful if you’re going to do a 24 or 36 or 48 hour fast, if not intermittent fast, are probably the best because then you can still get all your nutrients in like a six hour window and still have a lot of that those fasting benefits, which is probably better. It’s more it’s easier to do.

Evan Brand: Yep. And it would be nice if we could get everyone to somewhat of a stable level. have health because since fasting has become kind of a popular, I guess you’d call it a trend. I hate to call it a trend, but I guess it is. You’ve got so many people doing it as a starting place. Like they’ll go from a conventional diet and then they’ll just start doing fasting. It’s like, Ah, you’re already nutrient deprived, you really need to get like healthy with your diet first and then do it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, this is 100%. Like, let’s say the average person is eating this many calories, right? And the nutrient levels are here. So I’m kind of making hand gestures, high amount of calories, low amount of nutrients. What’s the easiest first step here is let’s just increase the nutrients right and balance the macros. Like why are we going to cut all the calories, aka nutrients down? If they already have a lot of calories, and they don’t have a lot of nutrients, but doesn’t make sense. It’s not the low hanging fruit. Right? It’s like taking someone who has an exercise in a while and just throwing them into a CrossFit class, but gonna be overly sore, overly achy, and they’re gonna have an aversion to it in the future. 

Evan Brand: That the aversion is key because then they’ll say, Oh, my God, fasting was terrible. It’s like damn, Well, how do you? That’s kind of you got to you got to break that down for me. What do you mean? What were you eating before then? What were your stress levels? Like you said, were you working? Was this on the weekend when you weren’t stressed? What was your blood sugar? Did you did you write before you fasted? Did you do a reset cup? You’re like, I’m gonna have one last piece of cake. And then I’m going to do a three day fast. I mean, what was it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, I mean, like, my favorite kind of fast day in day out is I’ll have like a simple something kind of fat in the morning and then I won’t eat till like five or 6pm that night. And I’ll just do a little bit of bone broth at night or I in the afternoon. I like just something simple like that kind of rest my tummy for eight to 10 hours have a nice bigger dinner. So if I’m going to go out to eat, I’ll do a lot of that sometimes just so I can get my appetite up. And if I consume a little bit of extra calories at night, it’s okay because I’ll have a little more metabolic flexibility to handle it. 

Evan Brand: We’ll do a all about fasting podcast soon. If you have questions, specific concerns, experiences you want to share about those. Please if you’re watching on Doctor Justin’s YouTube channel, let us know. But we should do a whole thing on that because I think there are good ways and bad ways to do it. I think we have before but it’s always good to do to do updates on those.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% totally agree. So blood sugar stuff. nutrients, right B6, B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, thionine, herbs, ginger, feverfew, we already talked about magnesium, I think. And then of course, things like five HTP and tyrosine can be really helpful, but again, not for everyone. Those are really good things out of the gates, kokyu 10s, and other important nutrient keeping the inflammation down via some of the bad foods. We chatted about gluten and dairy and refined sugar out of the gates and then look at some of the structural components, you know, is the structural component a root cause thing, or is it or is it an association with other inflammation stuff happening hormonally or in your diet, so you got to connect the two and sometimes you may have two issues you have to address at the same time. You may need to see the chiropractor or the massage or the soft tissue or make the postural changes while you change your diet and do other things. Sometimes you have to do both. So it’s never just like a one off kind of thing. It’s always good to do both, especially if you want results faster.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah, well said just a couple quick things, dehydration, I mean for all my clients out there listening that are doing binders, charcoal and seal lights and clays, whatever else. I mean, when you’re pulling out toxins, we you and I’ve said this a million times we’ll say it a million in one today the solution to pollution is dilution. So aka drink more clean, good filtered water, whether it’s a Berkey or ro with minerals, whatever you can do to get good filtered water, you got to drink, drink, drink, drink, drink, most people are chronically dehydrated. If you and I look at blood work, we’ll see this all the time. And then peppermint lavender essential oils, those are easy, low hanging fruits. I’m not one of those people that thinks the essential oils are going to cure everything. However, there were times in my life where I had miserable headaches and I would do a couple drops of lavender essential oil on my temples and it would help or I would do a little bit on the wrist and breathe it in and that would help or if it was a tummy ache and headache I would do a little topically on the stomach with the peppermint and that reduce the headache. So those things can be helpful too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Yeah, totally appreciate that. So anyone listening to this, try to you know, grab hold of some of the simple actionable information that we kind of outlined off the bat. If this issue has been going on for a while, feel free to reach out to Evan, EvanBrand.com or Justin, got myself, Dr. J. at JustinHealth.com you’ll see scheduled links where you can reach out to both of us we are available worldwide to provide your functional medicine natural health needs. Also, if you guys enjoyed it, share it with friends and family put down below in the comments, your own experiences with headaches and what’s worked and what hasn’t worked, what things that really move the needle for you. And we really appreciate a review and iTunes review from y’all. So EvanBrand.com/iTunes, JustinHealth.com/iTunes for review. That’d be amazing. And anything else you want to leave us with? 

Evan Brand: No, that’s it. You did a great job. Thanks for the conversation. It’s always a blast and we’ll be back next week. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent chat. Give a good one. Take care. Bye.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/can-functional-medicine-manage-headaches-podcast-301

The Top 5 Causes of Chronic Headaches

Today we are going to be talking about the top underlying reasons why you may be having a chronic headache. I had a patient come in today who had headaches for 25 years, monthly and chronically, and we were able to get to the root cause and there are many different root causes for every person. Let me lay out the common ones that I find to be a major vector of my patients.

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor if you are experiencing chronic headaches!

So we have headaches and head pain or migraines where you kind of have that aura and sound sensitivity. There are a couple of different major reasons why headaches may happen.

1. Food Allergens

Most common food allergy is gluten and dairy. There are some studies on gluten affecting blood flow up to the brain. We have these garden hoses on the side of our neck called our carotid arteries. When we have inflammation especially caused by gluten that can decrease blood flow and blood profusion to the frontal cortex, and when you have less blood, you’re going to have decreased performance of the brain. You can see that manifesting in a headache. People don’t know but headaches are actually an issue with vasodilation in the brain.  Caffeine can help as caffeine actually causes constriction and brain’s typical headache signal is caused by vasodilation.

2. Food Additives.

These could be things like MSG, aspartame, Splenda or various artificial colors and dyes.

3. Blood Sugar Fluctuation.

We want to have healthy proteins and healthy fats with every meal. If we skip meals or we eat foods that are too high in carbohydrates and refined “crapohydrates” and sugar, and not enough fats and proteins, our blood sugar can go up and then drop. This is called reactive hypoglycemia. We react by putting a whole bunch of sugar in our bloodstream because all of these carbohydrate sources break down into sugar — processed sugar, grains, flours and acellular carbohydrates. These type of flours and refined processed carbs get converted to glucose in our bloodstream. When glucose goes up, our pancreas goes, “Holy smokes! We got a lot of glucose there. We got to pull it into the cell.” It spits out a whole bunch of insulin and pulls that glucose right down, and we have his blood sugar going up with a lot of insulin driving that blood sugar back down. When that blood sugar goes back down, this is where we have cravings.  This is where we have addictions, mood issues, energy issues, jitteriness, and cognitive issues. Our body makes adrenaline and cortisol to bring that blood sugar back up. Most people literally live on this high insulin where they are making fat, storing fat and engaging in lipogenesis which makes us tired. Then blood sugar crashes which makes people jittery, anxious, and moody. Most people live on this reactive hypoglycemia rollercoaster and that can drive headaches.

4. Gut Infections.

Patients with a lot of gut inflammation, gut permeability, and infections whether it’s H. pylori, SIBO (small intestinal, bacterial overgrowth) or fungal overgrowth have gut stressors can create inflammation in the gut. When we have inflammation in the gut, we have gut permeability. So our tight junctions in our intestines start to open up and undigested bacteria, lipopolysaccharides, food particles can slip through and create an immune response. You can see histamine along with that immune response and histamine can create headache issues.

5. Hormonal Issue.

A woman’s cycle is about 28 days and in the middle is ovulation. Some women have it during ovulation and most have it right at the end just before they menstruate. This is called premenstrual syndrome that is right before menstruation. A lot of women may also have it during menstruation, too. What happens is progesterone can drop out early and that drop in progesterone can actually cause headache manifestations and also the aberrations in estrogen can also cause headaches as well. We may also see it with excessive bleeding too. So if you’re bleeding a lot or too much, what may happen is you may lose iron and that low iron may cause oxygenation issues.  That low level of oxygen may also cause some headache issues as well.  Because if you can’t carry oxygen, that is going to be a stressed-out situation for your mitochondria and your metabolism. For menopausal women who have chronically low hormones and they’re not in an optimal place, that can create issues. Progesterone and estrogen can be very anti-inflammatory. So if there is inflammation in the brain, progesterone is a powerful anti-inflammatory and that can really help a lot of inflammation in the brain.

If you have any questions about headaches, please reach out to a functional medicine doctor to find a way to fix your issue.


The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Justin Marchegiani unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Justin and his community. Dr. Justin encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Marchegiani’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any products.