Getting To The Root Cause of Your Disc Herniations with Dr. Jeff Fisher | Podcast #381

In this video, Dr. Justin and Dr. Jeff Fisher discuss various types of disc issues, including bulging and herniations, and how they can be treated using chiropractic exercises and programs, as well as soft tissue and deep tissue therapy.

They also talked about using devices such as traction devices and decompression machines and the potential benefits of diet and supplements, including collagen.

Dr. Justin and Dr. Jeff Fisher also mention stem cell therapy and stem cell injections, hydrostatic pressure, and spinal canal herniations. They also cover signs and symptoms of when surgery may be necessary and natural anti-inflammatory options. Key takeaways from the video include the importance of exercise and therapy in managing disc issues and the potential benefits of supplements and alternative treatments.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

00:30 – Introduction to Dr. Jeff Fisher
06:25 – Chiropractic Exercises/Program
15:00 – Decompression and Traction Devices
19:17 – Diet and Supplements
23:00 – Stem Cell Therapy/Stem Cell Injection
26:00 – Spinal Canal Herniations
28:10 – Signs and Symptoms on Getting Surgery
30:20 – Natural Anti-Inflammatory

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to the show. I have doctor Jeff Fisher here on today’s podcast. I found doctor Jeff because I see lots of patients all over the world functional medicine wise and a lot have chronic pain and a lot of that pain can be disc degeneration, disc bulging, disc herniation and Doctor Fisher has some excellent advice and excellent products to kind of interventions to help work get to the root cause of some of these motion. So, we’re gonna have a topic. We’re gonna have a conversation on this topic and really dive in and look at all the different options. Doctor Jeff, welcome to the show. How are you doing today? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Great. Thanks for having me. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Appreciate it. Excellent. And we’ll put links down below to some of the things we’re talking about Doctor Jeff’s website, his practice and to get some traction support as well. So how did you come into this space obviously your chiropractor, we talk pre show that you’ve been doing this for over 30 years, but how did you get specifically into the distraction space? Did you see a gap in conventional chiropractic and you were trying to fill that need, how did that happen? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: So it’s kind of a sad story for me, but a great story for my patients. I was a horribly slow football player. I was a slow moving target on the football field back in my day. So I’ve had a couple of disc herniations in my neck. I’m not even sure you can see my scar here. I’ve had an anterior discectomy with fusion. So I’ve got the little titanium plate and the four screws. It’s C5 and C6. And I also had a disc removal with a said procedure. Uh, where they went. They went in with a probe, stuck it in, went all the way out the back of my disk, and they sucked out material at C5, C6 and C7 is where I have my fusion. So I was in an incredible agony and I have the large decompression tables in my office, but obviously I couldn’t bring those home with me at night, when I couldn’t sleep, I could barely eat. I was in an incredible amount of pain, so I just started experimenting with myself and rigging up different apparatuses on a railing on our stairs up upstairs and I had this aha moment like the mother or father of invention is a necessity. I started to create my own home traction unit and Ijust said, wow, you know, I really got something here. As a matter of fact, I was in so much pain, I couldn’t sleep. And one night when I had built this prototype, I slept. I was out cold. My wife came up and she looked at me. She was like, Oh my God, he’s snoring. So just laid a blanket over me and left me there for about three or four hours. I woke up. I woke up and I was like, Jesus, I actually slept. I got you know, I got something here. So then I brought that into my practice and I started to experiment with my patients. And over the years I developed different prototypes that just became more and more successful, easier and easier for me to use and my patience to use. And finally we evolved into my Fisher traction and I have, you know, primarily we had a cervical unit, but then my wife had a large disc herniation for low back, there’s like contagious in our family, these disc herniations. And so I built one for my wife and she got incredible results. We actually had before, during and after MRI’s on her lumbar spine and we could see the reduction of her lumbar, discrimination from 7 millimeters to 5 millimeters to three millimeters in a relatively short period of time. So at that point I thought, wow, you know what, there’s so much, you know, clinical value and therapeutic value to this that you know I got to do something with it. So. I gotta do something with it. You know, we ended up.  Building and creating my official traction as it is today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OK, very cool. So we’re kind of talking more today about disc bulging herniation.Um, the disk is essentially popping out. It’s either hitting Chipley, that intervertebral foramen where those nerves are going out. And so conventional chiropractic where we’re adjusting, we’re moving the bones, making sure we have movement in the spine, we’re addressing subluxations. Why isn’t that not enough sometimes to address these disc issues?

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Well, you know the disks are complex in some ways, but they’re actually very simple. And others, you know, are discs, the center of our discs, the nucleus. Functions on its hydrostatic pressure and because the gravity always pushing down, there’s that creation of the pressure pushing out and with our adjustments, you know obviously we’re working on enhancing the motion at the facet joint level and we are affecting the disk, but when you reverse that pull of gravity on the spine and you elongate it and you stretch it out, then you can create a negative intradiscal pressure. That actually sucks the disc back in and you can suck the herniation of the bulge back in through the annular fibers, which, you know, we can’t, we can’t quite do with an adjustment by itself. But you know, traction and adjustments, you know, especially in my practice, we do both. We don’t do just one or the other, we do both. And you can get incredible success when you combine both of those treatments together. Um.It’s a super fortunate situation for a lot of people with disc issues that you know when you combine chiropractic and traction together you can just get amazing results. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. So with the chiropractic we’re getting good movements, good alignment within that spine. Everything’s moving better, better alignment, especially if we have upper cervical issues. You’re probably applying some level of exercise, right? And I imagine really working on extension muscles, postural muscles, probably just that upper cross or lower cross syndrome issue with the tight hip flexors or the deep cervical flexors. What kind of postural awareness or exercises do you kind of build into your program when you’re addressing disk issues? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: So how do I allude to this in my practice because I’m a corrective care chiropractic so I’m looking at restoring normal curves. So if you I I tell my patients this if you think of me.I’m like an orthodontist putting braces on your teeth. So my job is to try and get your spine straight or restore the normal curves in your neck. So I’m like putting braces on your teeth. I’ve got, you know, physical therapy and traction, which is like brushing and flossing. And we use Pilates, which is like a retainer. So we’re helping to strengthen those core muscles. Stabilizing, you know, the muscles that support and control the spine so that they’re not 100% reliant solely upon adjustments or entire lives and doing both. They’re working on the outer part, while I work on the inner part. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If there was just one exercise like lower back disc or cervical disc, is there one thing that you could think of, one kind of movement pattern that will be essential and kind of your program? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Well, I would say, you know, extension exercises are hugely important like with you, which you touched on is Uppercross syndrome. Yeah, now in the tech world, it’s called tech neck. Yeah, people on the computers or on their smartphones, so we have that tendency to lose the normal curve. Not matter of fact, they, you know.When you’re a chiropractor, you always have different examples, you know. I’m not sure. Can you see this? So, you know, we have tech neck. You know, this is the tendency of the spine to move forward, which is the opposite of what God intended our neck to be, which is back more in extension or that represents more of a natural curve. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There should be a C curve. That C should be there.

Dr. Jeff Fisher:  Absolutely. Absolutely. So when you work on these extensor muscles to strengthen and condition them to make sure that they’re constantly trying to pull the neck back into its more normal curve. They’re essential. And this, you know, this obviously is, you know, the head up here. Here’s the occiput and here’s the cervical spine but this also applies the lumbar spine too Lumbar spine too, you know, they’re they’re very similar curves in the lumbar sliding it’s anywhere between 20 and 40 degrees is the natural lordosis that we’re supposed to have. And in the cervical spine, this natural lordosis, this is supposed to be more towards about 30 degrees. So anything that you can do to help strengthen the condition and enhance those curves going backwards is super, super important.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s good. So what kind of an exercise would you recommend out of the game? Like a pro Cobra or like something like a walling where you’re tucking that chin in? Any specific, one exercise you can think of that kind of sticks out? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher:  So we call them supermans. Have you ever heard of that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah you come on a Swiss ball sometimes or like yoga mat kind of 

Dr. Jeff Fisher:  yeah or just yeah you lay, you lay flat on the ground and you and you’re just trying to you know extend your body back contracting those muscles in the head and neck and and also a lumbar spine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. So you’re putting yourself in that really good extension with your back, an extension with your neck and where does soft tissue come into this? Do you ever do like active release technique or graston or any soft tissue to kind of get some of these muscles that may not be, they may be inhibited and you’re trying to facilitate them working again.

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Yeah, So what we do, my practice is we do a lot of neuromuscular reeducation and there there’s some incredible techniques that we use for our deep tissue therapist where they’re working on relaxing the trigger points, relaxing the muscles and typically what we do in my office is I have all my patients get that deep tissue neuromuscular reeducation work done first before I adjust them.So it’s like, it’s like marinating them before I go in and I, you know, give him a good strong adjustment to restore that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s very good. That’s excellent. Alright, so I want to just put up some visuals here just for some of the listeners. I think it may be helpful. If you’re listening to this on podcast, we’ll put the YouTube links below so you guys can see. This video was good. This was the one that I think you showed what an actual disc herniation looks like. I’m going to just play it here for the listeners and. Just a visual here.So we have the nerve right here and then here’s the disk and essentially overtime that disk is shortening and then we have a little bulge irritating. That nerve right there. So just kind of bringing it down here, this is a really good picture. Can you explain what’s happening here when you’re doing traction and what’s how that’s working?

Dr. Jeff Fisher: So what’s happening is. I’ve got a couple of my units here. I’m going to use this one because you might be able to see it a little bit better, but what my invention would I actually created is is a new form of traction and the actual engine or the mechanism of pole is these little discs here with these latex bungees in the middle and over our studies we calculated the amount of strength, the tensile elastic pull strength of the bungees where you see and pulling them apart, and this is our cervical unit. And the cervical unit can apply a maximum of 50 pounds of pull force, which supposedly that’s about the maximum of human neck can handle, although we’ve we’ve experimented on patients with with even a larger magnitude of pole force and they’ve been able to handle like big guys can handle a lot more but that pulling, you know, like this, it’s pulling in the opposite direction of what gravity does and the great thing about these latex bungees is that they have very similar characteristics to our muscles in that like when you’re on a big table and your neck is getting stretch, your body might fight with it and there’s not any sensory to relax the traction so your muscles can relax these bungees. What they’ll do is just naturally they’ll relax if your muscles pull and as your muscles relax. It pulls more uh, which is very good. They actually act like kind of in a symbiotic relationship. This is our standard low back unit and this guy. I uh, OK. I’m pulling as hard as I can as far as I can, that thing’s got like about 100 pounds of pull force. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s very cool. Well, when I saw these devices a couple things because I’ve been recommending various devices. Usually the lower cost ones tend to be more gravity based, whether it’s like a kneeling inversion or inversion boots. Obviously those tend to have problems where it just can be a pain in the butt to get into those. And if you’re really hot with your disk being inflamed can be a little difficult. And so, and then my concern with a lot of them was when I saw your device, there was an aha moment because what I really was needing from my patients was this ability to decompress and then relax. Decompress and relax. Think of that as you get a rag, you fill up with water, you ring it out and then you have the absorption to clean up the mess and then you bring to a water again and then you rinse it out again. That’s how your disk works. It’s like a sponge. Now the problem is, I’ll just, for the listeners, overtime the discs tend to shorten a little bit, cartilage tends to get weaker and essentially you’re disc gets hydrated with imbibition that’s essentially the pumping of that that disk and that movement of putting the pressure on letting it pull. Right. Expand the disk, create the negative pressure, suck it in and then relax. That for me created that Aha Mama. That’s the inhibition that the disk needed to kind of rehydrate and heal. Can you comment a little more on that? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Yeah, that’s really the critical component to decompression. Decompression by itself is the desired outcome and one of my proprietary components, Umm, I’m not sure if that’s in reverse there, but says crap, so release strap is engaged by the user to go through these periodic resting phases and if you think of the center of the disk, like the substances in baby diapers where the the proteoglycans, they can absorb, you know like 500 times their weight in water. But that lasting phase is critically important because once you draw the water it socks in. It needs to get absorbed in the matrix of those proteoglycans. And that resting phase allows that. So you’re literally, you’re rehydrating the discs, you’re giving the discs life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. That makes sense. And I didn’t. I haven’t seen a lot of other devices on the market that provide that pumping action. Unless you’re going into that, you know, unless you, you know they have the ones over the top with the weights or the blood pressure cup, but then it involves, it’s kind of a pain in the butt to kind of off on and off on. Are there any other competitors even close that has that release action? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Well, they can’t because yeah, I have the United States utility patent, so I invented a new form of traction. So it’s kind of funny. Matter of fact, we run on Amazon and we’ve taken down about 40 competitors that tried to steal my idea so that no one else can actually design or make a traction unit like mine, because I invented a new form of traction. It’s mine, it’s my baby. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So it’s cost effective too. So that’s great. And this is kind of what’s happening at the lumbar here, right? This is pulling this apart.This is essentially pulling the hips down. You’re anchored up here, so it’s creating that disk space versus having to do traction or having to move your body and then you can release it here. Do you have a good image on the website for the cervical spine? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: I do, I do if you well actually, you know what so you know you’re funny story. We just sold out right there. There it is right there. If you click on that, you will probably see it. But we literally just sold out of our cervical units. Yeah, it’s a positive problem. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s a good problem. That’s a quality problem. Yeah. Yeah. OK, that’s cool. Alright. Anything else? And with the cervical spine, obviously similar situation. Right. We’re just, we’re just grabbing, you know the, everything from the neck up versus you grabbing it from the hips down. Where’s that image that I just had? Let’s see, here where go. I’ll try to pull back up here had it was a good image of what was happening there. 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: While you’re looking for it. Another really important part about how my traction unit is different from most others is that there’s studies have been shown that if your spine is in extension in its more natural curve during traction you get better results, so that’s another reason why mine is supine. So when you lay down, your neck still maintains that natural curve. What they did was they designed it at an appropriate length so it maintains that 30 degree angle of pull force which enables you to reach over a larger number of disk spaces in the spine. If it’s too flat then you’re only affecting the upper cervicals, and if it’s too far forward where your neck is an extension one that causes damage to the discs the two, then you’re only reaching the lower vertebrae, but when you allow it to be in a 30 degree angle you can reach over almost the entire cervical spine all at once. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So this angle right here. 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Exactly, exactly. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then typically this is anchored over gonna be like a door jam. Typically, 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Yeah, yeah, you do both. The upper, yeah. Hook it on a doorknob and just you lay down. It’s really super easy to use. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. That’s excellent, very good. So outside of that, what else would you want to highlight with your programs like this is going to be a part of the program? What else do you see like nutritionally, diet wise, helping them move the needle, whether it’s reducing inflammation, kind of a Whole Foods kind of paleo template, certain food allergens, what kind of supplements as well would you want to add in to kind of help reconstitute that disk tissue? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Well, you know one of the most simple is water. Water, water, water, water and and and and so many of us, you know like I drink, I drink my coffee. You know like everybody else does but I myself I’m kind of like a test tube or a test.Things out on myself first before I implement my practice. But I’ve been consciously drinking more water over the last year and honestly, I’ve virtually only drink water. I drink my coffee and I just drink water.That’s it, and I can tell myself that.You know, that’s helped in the inflammatory effects. I still run, I still work out, and my knee problems are gone. My feet, my ankles.Uh, you know, along with I take glucosamine with chondroitin MSM. Umm. And uh, you know, nutrition is a huge, huge, you know, part of our health. And, you know, unfortunately, we don’t always get that in our diets. So if you’re not taking any vitamins, you should take at least a multivitamin to start. But there’s so many, as you know, like in functional medicine, there is such an incredible depth of nutrition that can be evaluated properly and you can add it into your life. And honest to God, nutrition can totally change your life. It really, really can. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so if you’re hydrating good clean filtered water, mineral water, you’re not, you’re not obviously doing a lot of the high fructose corn syrup junkets inflaming your body. What about for like tissue? Like what about collagen peptides or conjoin or any any building block stuff like what’s your experience with that? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: So you know that that’s a great question because we actually just started looking into that because, you know, as the disks themselves. Here’s my little. my little baby here. The outer fibers of our discs are made of type 1 collagen, and just a little bit deeper, they’re type 2 collagen. So you know, my wife is much smarter than I am. So she takes all these incredible supplements, but she’s been taking collagen. And she notices a difference in her skin, everything and and and I you know honestly I that’s not my area of expertise per se. You know more about that than I do but but I think you know collagen is able to maintain its same, you know, compounds even if it as it gets digested and you have extra collagen in your body then it can replace maybe old collagen I mean.That’s like a no brainer to me. Yeah, I think, yeah, you can pump that in you, you pump in the good and you pump out the old and your body stays healthier, stays younger. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean your your body tends to know where to lay down these these amino acids and proteins just by lifting weights your body creates the inflammation in the bicep by doing curls and you’re going to reconstitute protein there. So I imagine that same kind of response in that dish tissues and the trigger some of that building block and if you’re eating junky food or not digesting and absorbing a lot of nutrients, then that collagen will be helpful. Anything else that you would like, let’s say someone’s really hot, really inflamed, would you ever add in something like prolotherapy or PRP platelet rich plasma or stem cell injections. What’s your experience using an injectable in that area to kind of work alongside it? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: So you know, that’s actually a great question. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this, what’s happened with stem cell therapy most recently. You know the FDA has stopped us from being able to use that, but we used to do stem cell injections in my office and they were.Oh really? Oh yeah, yeah, incredibly successful. But now they’ve put a limitation on it because most stem cell injections i’s a mixture. And once you start, once you start mixing things, you’re creating new drugs. So of course, FDA shut that down.So, we’ve had to discontinue that in our office, but it was incredibly successful. So there’s something there. There’s definitely something there. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I always tell patients too, even if you were to do an injectable, whether it’s PRP or stem cell or prolotherapy. It’s still not the root cause and maybe accelerating the healing of that tissue, but you still have to fix the underlying mechanism of why that got beaten down. And you still want to bring that disc back in so that annular fibrosis, that outer ring, can heal. Because of that pulposus is still pushing through that ring. It’s just not going to heal. It’s like ripping a scab off all the time, right? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Exactly, exactly. And you know, again, that gets back to the rehydration. You know that disk lives on the hydrostatic pressure, so the greater the hydrostatic pressure inside the disc is so incredibly important and I’m not sure if you’re aware of this is something I just learned because I do all my continuing education courses every year. I always I’m always looking for disc related material and I came across this.Just most recently that we have these nerves that go into the disc. They surround the disk and they go into the disk OK and I can’t remember what the name of the nerves are, but the hydrostatic pressure prevents those nerves from getting deeper into the disc. And now they’re talking about discogenic pain. So the deeper those nerves are able to penetrate in, they’ll collide with an acid that the nucleus has and it causes pain. So as a disk dehydrates and loses its water those nerves can grow further in and then you have more pain. So maintaining that health of that nucleus by increasing that hydrostatic pressure by decompressing prevents those nerves from getting in, which prevents pain. So it’s hugely, hugely important.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So essentially you have that herniation, that video we showed where that disk kind of comes out, hits that IVF intervertebral foramen, those spinal nerves coming out. It’s not just that it could not even be hitting that, just there’s little nerves around the actual disc, just a little bit of pressure on that could be sending a signal, a pain signal, essentially. 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: 100 percent, 100%. Yeah, yeah. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now what about disc herniations into the spinal canal? I think most disc herniations are going to be more IVF just based on the anterior to posterior nature of that where the spinal canal is more interior. How often do you see spinal, spinal canal herniations and would this type of traction still help that? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: They would and you know this one of the reasons why because we have a, you know, all the way in the very back of our of our spine, we have the posterior longitudinal ligament, which is like like a thick piece of leather that goes all the way down our spine and that prevents that that direct posterior disc herniation. But I do a fair amount of injury cases, car accidents. Where, when? When? Instability. Where the bones were able to move forward and backward beyond their normal range of motion. Yeah, that can cause a little bit of elasticity or loosening of that posterior longitudinal ligament were it actually allows a posterior disc herniation to go backwards towards the spinal canal and it doesn’t happen that often, but it just depends on the magnitude of injury and force. But when there’s instability is going forward and backwards, which you can see on flexion extension films, then you have to look for that also, which you know an MRI of course could show you that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But you find, you still are able to recover patients like that?

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Yeah, we are, you know there’s such an incredible power to traction and it’s so simple. But the key is really the frequency and the consistency of use and like what we stress what we found is that.If you can use it for 21 consecutive days, 21 days. Use it before you go to bed or when you wake up in the morning, whatever is most convenient for you. But you know if after 21 days, you know, most of our patients are a lot better. If you’re not, then you better go check in with an orthopedist because you might be a surgical candidate. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And at what point do you need surgery? What are the signs or symptoms of what percent of people do you think you’re able to save from getting surgery? Do you think 90, 95% and you can avoid and what symptoms you have to look for when you’re like OK yeah you really need surgery and then maybe work on this later?

Dr. Jeff Fisher: So like for me, I’m a perfect example.I had an enormous discrimination in my neck and I was starting to get atrophy of my left tricep and part of my pack. So if you’re getting atrophy of muscles, you need to consult with the surgeon because that can be a permanent issue. But again if you have numbness and tingling, if you’re if your reflexes or sensation are affected when you go in to see you know any healthcare provider may evaluate you. And if those things are progressive, they’re getting worse or they just will not go away with any type of conservative treatment. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Even interaction as well. 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Even traction. I mean, I wish we could help everybody, we can’t, but you know our success rates are over 80% and most studies show that about 80% of people that that take on traction, they get better. But there is, you know, I don’t know the exact percentage of people that are just, you know, always going to be surgical candidates or not, but you know, in my office I have a great relationship with the orthopedist who actually did my surgery. So he’s incredibly conservative. He knows all about.Chiropractic traction, everything. If I get a really difficult case where my patients just are not progressing, I’ll send them over to Nitin N. Bhatia and he’ll look at them and many times he goes, you know what, go back to Fisher. Keep doing it. Let’s give it another month. Let’s give it another month after that 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That see how much you can retract that this back in and if you’re seeing improvement and imagine some people they probably still feel a little bit better on the traction if they have a disk issue. So if you see a little bit of improvement and you can inch away at that like 21 days you said, then you could probably get some momentum. I would assume.

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Exactly and that’s the key. It’s getting that therapeutic momentum of treatment over and over and over on a consistent basis. And you can draw it back.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any other natural anti inflammatories you would add in? Imagine just getting to the root cause, you’re going to be avoiding lots of these dangerous opiate medications that conventional medicines finally getting keen on and their addictive nature not really fixing anything, they’re just blocking perception of pain but any other natural anti inflammatories, you wanna add in or you see to be successful with their patients with disc issues? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: You know, I don’t know. Because, you know, I’m like a mechanic. You know, I’m, I’m restoring the motion and position of the spine and I tend to refer out. You know, there’s a big functional medicine facility that’s close to us. And uh, let those experts do what they do. I mean, you might, you know better than I do is, I mean what do you use, is there any? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean I think out of the gate, you know higher dose fish oil can be excellent. I think different herbs like frankincense or Boswellia or even some topical CBD can be great. I even find systemic enzymes taken away from food. Systemic enzymes that have like seropeptidase, they, they kind of get into the bloodstream and they start breaking up scar tissue, they break up inflammatory cytokines and interleukins and they can help provide more pliability to that tissue. So those are just a couple of things out of the gates I think can be helpful.

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Awesome. Well, you know what we need to collaborate then. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s great. That’s great. And then can you work with patients that have gone the conventional medicine wrote. Let’s say they went in and they got a cortisone injection. OK, the pain is better. Doc, can you still work with those patients while that cortisone takes six months to wear off. 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Absolutely. We do that all the time. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And how do you find their limitations? Because now they don’t have pain telling them, oh, don’t do this. How do you get them to be on top of their limitations when they really can’t perceive pain? 

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Well, you know, I X-ray everybody, Umm, I do. And unless somebody has films that are, you know, less than six months old, I X-ray, everybody. So I look at them from a structural standpoint where if I’m looking and seeing that they have subluxations, they have a lot of curve or scoliosis or whatever it is. I stay focused on that and I get them to focus on that because even if the pain is not there, their spine is not at their optimum level. So we’re always concentrating on the restoration of normal curves. So it helps the patient to get more focused on, hey, if you want to prevent this from coming back, you want to stay healthy, we have to get that curve back to normal. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. Excellent, doc. Well, any other last clinical pearls you wanna leave us with your 30 plus years of practice?

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Uh, well, I’d say, you know, I tell my patients this all the time. Motion is life and life is motion. So if you are constantly working towards the restoration of normal motion, your maximum motion, you’re gonna live a better life, a healthier life. You’re going to be able to experience all the things that you want to do.vacations grandchildren whatever it might be so motion is so key so whatever you can do to help increase your ranges and your functionality and your body. You got to do it, you got to invest the time and effort. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. We’ll put links down below guys to access some of Doctor Fisher’s patented technology fishertraction.com. We’ll put links below in the comments and also Doc sees patients in person over an Irvine CA fisherchiropractic inc.com. I’ll put both links if you’re in the California area and you want to get support. He’s there for you as well. Anything else though, you want to leave the listeners with any other coordinations or social media stuff you want to highlight?

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Well, you know.We actually were coming out with our new boxed units of my Fisher traction. Um, we’ve got a deal going on right now. You’ve probably heard of Meyer DC they’re one of the largest durable medical devices. So we’ve got a big deal going on with them. So, we’re trying to reach out more to practitioners.Uh, like yourself, where patients need it, you’re going to be able to purchase it and have it in your clinics readily, readily available so patients can try it right away. We’re going to do some training videos on how you guys can implement it in practices and help your patients with it. So you know we’re we go to fishertraction.com. We’re always trying to update things and I have my YouTube channel where I’ve got I don’t even know over 100 videos on Chiropractic on traction on, you know virtually anything for health. So uh, it’s kind of an exciting journey. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s very good. We’ll put links below. We talked about a promo code, maybe Dr. J will work. We’ll put it in the description below. We can get that set up after. All right, doc? Well, thanks so much. Amazing chatting with you. Appreciate the information and we’ll talk again soon. You take care.

Dr. Jeff Fisher: Alright, brother. Take care. Thanks. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.fishertraction.com/

Discount code for 10%: Drj10

Audio Podcast:

How to Deal with Stress and Feeling Overwhelmed – Functional Medicine Approach | Podcast #380

Let’s get real: there are times when you’re going to feel overwhelmed. Whether with work, school, social obligations or just life, we all feel anxious, overwhelmed, or stressed at some point. In this podcast, Dr. J and Evan discuss that giving yourself grace and patience when you have these feelings is essential as well as your gut health.

Different coping mechanisms work for each person. The following suggestions can help. If one doesn’t work for you, consider trying a different one. The most important thing is to check your diet since what you eat can significantly affect your overall function.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
2:28 – Foundational Physiology
12:51 – Mold and Fight and Flight Response
28:35 – Takeaways

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. I’m with Evan Brand today. We are so excited to be back at you with a live podcast. We’re going to be chatting about stress and overwhelm, and how to deal with it. What’s the functional medicine approach? Evan what’s cooking, man? How have you been? 

Evan Brand: Oh, really good man. The first thing. Let me make sure my camera looks good. The first thing is like people run to alcohol in modern society, it’s socially acceptable to run to the liquor store, even as a soccer mom, and go buy enough alcohol to just kill your whole family and nobody bats an eye. And that’s like our.Coping mechanism not just as Americans, but other societies too. So I’m hoping today everything people have been through. Overwhelm is huge, man. A lot of people are burned out. A lot of people are frazzled. The stress response is broken. Their fuses are short. They’re nervous systems are stuck in fight or flight. So I was like, man, let’s hit this as a topic because, let me tell you, the pharmaceutical route is nasty too. It’s Gabba like products, but it’s Xanax and lorazepam and all these benzos, which are benzos terrible. They’re addicting. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That could be hard to get off. You start at a, you know, 0.25 to 0.5 milligram dose, and then you keep on ratcheting up and then it’s hard to come off it once you start getting really high. 

Evan Brand: Now if you saw a VAT of adaptogenic herbs that you and I have consumed in the last decade between us it would be a large VAT of adaptogenic herbs, but that’s what allows us to work hard with sick people and raise children and keep up with animals and wives and houses and all of that. And so for me, that’s my first thing for someone. If I could take someone as a conventional American on the street going to drink alcohol tonight because they’re stressed or overwhelmed. I’m gonna say, hey, instead of reaching for that bottle, reach for the bottle of water or maybe some herbal tea like chamomile if you want. But then let’s hit some adaptogens. Let’s go for maybe some Relora. Let’s hit the passion flower. Let’s hit Rhodiola, let’s hit something that we can do to change the stress response. There’s tons of studies but today’s more free flowing conversation. But if you type in Rhodiola stress, there’s many, many studies done on this and how it literally alleviates the feeling of stress meaning, you and I can’t magically make the stress and overwhelm disappear from someone’s plate. But what we can do is provide their body nutrients so that their brain, their nervous system, doesn’t think that plate is as full as it really is. And that’s the cool thing about these. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So when I look at any type of stress, I always look at the foundational Physiology because if you take someone’s Physiology and you throw it off kilter like for instance the easiest stressor to put someone under acute is acutely is just don’t sleep for a night and then let me just kind of, you know, see you in the morning and list out all my problems and complaints and stressors that you have to then deal with. Well, you’re gonna have problems being able to take that information in and be able to execute. So we have to look at the foundational Physiology. So the first thing is sleep means if you can just get 8 to 10, eight hours of sleep and get to bed on the other side at midnight. That sets your Physiology up in regards to recycling your neurotransmitters having a good healthy cortisol awakening response. That circadian rhythm or cortisol is higher in the morning and lower at night. So then you have this inverse melatonin-Cortisol ratio. Where your cortisol drops at night, your melatonin goes up and then of course, you know, making sure the food is nutrient dense, good proteins as fascinate meal and we’re not overdoing the carbs, what our body needs and it’s anti-inflammatory and we’re stabilizing that blood sugar because people forget one of the biggest stressors on our hormones is that blood sugar fluctuation throughout the day the more this glycemia we have, the more our blood sugar goes up and down, like a roller coaster. We have to make stress hormones to bring it up and then insulin to bring it down, which then causes us to be in a fat storing mode. And so if we can manage your blood sugar, prevent these disc glycemic swings, we can make sure we have good proteins and fats. Stay away from the junkie process, fats, and we manage that blood sugar reading every maybe five hours or so and getting to bed on time. That sets the foundational Physiology and then we can come in there and biohack and add other nutrients and stuff as well. 

Evan Brand: Meaning if you’re a vegan, living on date bars and drinking yourself to sleep with wine. Yeah, you gotta stop. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. Yeah, yeah. I mean, again, like with alcohol, like every now and then is having a little bit of alcohol to kind of distress. Is it OK? Sure. Choose clean organic alcohol, do it after a meal, maybe have some activated charcoal or or some NAC. But that’s like at the end you really want to have the foundational food, the foundational nutrients. Again, if supplementally, the easiest things I’m going to add and I like to stick to nutrients first, so I’m gonna do magnesium. That’s a very kind of sedating, calming, supporting herb. I mean nutrients and minerals. It’s going to have 300 enzymatic roles in the body, anywhere from blood sugar to relaxation, to relaxation in the heart, to vasodilation, to sleep. Very anti-inflammatory in the brain so I love magnesium. You can even do it with a magnesium salt Epsom salt foot bath which is great too. If you have gut issues that help with the absorption you could be doing theanine which is an amino acid that helps upregulate and support healthy GABA levels you can even add-in pharma GABA, maybe a sublingual GABA tablet, that’s excellent as well. So a magnesium, GABA theanine, these are excellent things out of the gate from a nutrient standpoint. Anything else nutritionally you want to highlight? 

Evan Brand: Well, I told you, I was texting you over the weekend. I got hit with something luckily I’m back in action. But my resting heart rate was pretty fast, so my nervous system was just kind of boom, boom, pumping, responding to whatever type of sickness I had. And so that kept me up. So I took some motherwort as you know, motherwort is one of my favorite herbs, because it’s great for the heart. We use it for A-fib, we use it for atrial flutter or any kind of heart palpitation type symptoms. It’s amazing, it’s calming that, but it’s great it’s calming emotional stress too. So if you’re overwhelmed, if you’re frazzled, if you’re even getting to the point where you’re like.I’m going to have a mental breakdown. I’m gonna have a panic attack. Somebody put me on some kind of drug. A lot of times psychiatrists will prescribe antipsychotic medications, which are not the answer. They’re not the root cause at all, but motherwort can really calm you. So it’s an emotional support and it’s a heart nervous system support and it’s great if you wake up in the middle of the night and you can’t get back to sleep. Take a little squirt, go lay back down. It’s amazing. Doesn’t taste great, but it works amazing. So I would rate that as more potent than something like theanine. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And then also um ashwagandha I find to be very helpful as well. I’ll take that before bed if I need to, I’ll typically do a magnesium before bed. Ashwagandha can be really good, especially if you’re stressed because that’s going to help modulate the high cortisol, but also can help bring up any of the low cortisol as well, so ashwagandha is excellent. You can easily combine that with the Rhodiola. Two things like ginseng tend to be a little more stimulating so things like ashwagandha are going to be great and even phosphorylated serine. Serine can be very common. What serine does? It sensitizes the receptor sites on the hypothalamus to cortisol. So there’s this natural feedback loop of cortisol circulating in the body. It binds to receptor sites in the brain and the brain is like, whoa, this is a little bit high, let, let’s kind of calm down that cortisol secretion so it helps regulate that cortisol from getting too high, so phosphorylated serines are excellent. PhosphatidylSerine is kind of 1 electron. It’s one step in the enzymatic process backwards. So phosphorylated it’s better because it’s a little bit more activated and activated state. So that’s excellent.

Evan Brand: Man, I’ve been looking at some papers on mold toxicity and melatonin. So mold actually does a couple things. That’s crazy. If you type in mycotoxins, dopamine, you can find papers saying that mycotoxins damage the part of the brain that makes dopamine, so then you’re less likely to have energy and focus and concentration. So I’m sure that brain fog increases your stress and overwhelms you because you feel like you’re less capable of being a parent, being a boss, whatever you got to do at work. So, that’s one impact of mycotoxins and then also it’s reducing melatonin. So, I know when I was out of my house, we were staying in a hotel for like six weeks with the kids. It was crazy, but I didn’t sleep. I mean, it took me 3 different hotel rooms to find one where I could sleep and I just, I’m assuming now it was a mycotoxin issue, screwing up my sleep. I’m sure I was stressed from being out of my house. I mean that was years ago now. But I look back at that time and I go, Oh my God, anytime I’m exposed to mold, like in a hotel, I just don’t sleep. And then the research proves that. So my advice is if someone is dependent upon medication and herbs, a supplement for sleeping. If you are sleep deprived, the first thing you mentioned is the foundation. If you are sleep deprived and that’s creating stress, well, what’s your environment look like? Do you have good air purification? Do you have dehumidifiers? Do you have a mold problem? Do you have water leaks? Are you living in a moldy apt, a condo or townhome? It has water damage because if so even the most perfect supplement protocol can’t counteract us, so you may need to take steps to investigate your air quality, like some Petri dishes. And maybe there’s something there. Maybe when you get out of there, you sleep better. That’s a good clue that you’re onto something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. The problem is most people, they have issues and they take action, but they’re still kind of anxious about what’s going on. So it’s really important. Action should help with the anxiety. Like the reason why anxiety is there from an evolutionary standpoint is to get you to take action to avoid, I don’t know if there’s someone gotten that woods. Last month they got eaten by a bear. Well, yeah, when you get near that woods you should be anxious because your body’s hardwired and make you more alert so you don’t get eaten by that bear. So you have to understand where the anxiety is coming from and as long as you’re taking actions. And you’re closing the loop, so to speak, on what that anxiety is coming from. You should feel better about it. And so I always say whatever the anxieties are, just try to have one or two solutions for each one of those. Then your brain knows, hey, I’m doing something about it, I can turn down that stress response because action are already being taken. So think about that as well. And then also like you mentioned, hey, if I have, if I’m uncertain about my environment, let’s get that mole test. If the mold test is positive, let’s do at least one thing to make sure that the environment gets better. Are there active leaks? Do I see water stains on the ceiling? Is there a chronic high level of humidity? Let’s work on that.If not, we can always just get in some good air filtration. We can work on fog in that area, make sure there’s no active leaks coming in. Then we’re, you know, getting a dehumidifier in there. We’re taking active steps. So you shouldn’t feel as anxious about that environment because you’re starting to make it healthier. 

Evan Brand: And people say, what the heck are they talking about molds for on a podcast about stress and overwhelm? Well, here’s the mechanism. Your immune system responds to the mold as a threat, and it is a subconscious threat, meaning you Evan, or you Justin sitting here, you might think, OK, I’m not very stressed right now, like, I’m having a good time, this is great. But your nervous system subconsciously is running all these programs that are saying, hey, look, there’s actually a toxin in this room I’m responding to. And so you’re amygdala, your fighter flight system, part of your limbic system sends out an alert. Danger, danger, danger. And you may not even know it. So you could be sitting here on your couch, anxious for no reason. And it’s your limbic system. And many, many people report when they improve their air quality. They can settle down. So that’s the mechanism. I want people to understand when you think overwhelm you think just emotions in your head. But no, these external factors, these external toxins and variables can impact you. I mean, what about a bad neighbor? What about every time you see your neighbor’s car pull up, you’re like, Oh my God, there’s John again. And John stresses you out every time he pulls in the driveway because you guys got in an argument, so, you have to.Integrate some four of, I would say trauma release into all of this too. So you and I are big fans of tapping. So I would say if you’re catching yourself in these loops, you mentioned closing, closing the loop, which I think is smart but if you’re stuck in a loop well maybe you could integrate some tapping to pull you out of that. So tapping is basically acupuncture, but without the needles. You tap these points and then you say an affirmation. You know, I’ve done that many, many times here. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think it’s very good. Kind of helps calm down the nervous system response. There’s different programs out there. I’ll put some links down below like there’s DNRS or the Gupta program. These are excellent programs that involve visualization, maybe some aspects of NLP. You really work on controlling the thoughts and the images in your brain, whether you do tapping or eye movement like EM DRI movement, desensitization, response techniques, these things help calm down that fight or flight response and then you kind of allow you to be using more of your frontal brain because the data is when you’re in this chronic stressed out state, the amygdala right that. That forebrain or that hindbrain is kind of more active, that’s the prehistoric brain that is involved in fight flight and that fear response. And so most people are all working from this reptilian brain versus that frontal cortex that involves thinking and looking at your options and coming up with solutions and problem solving and predicting outcomes based on where you’re at, right. We need that frontal brain. But if we’re using our reptilian brain right, then that’s gonna be activated with a lot of these stressors. And so one study right here, I’m looking at, I’ll pull it up here and we can talk about it. I think that kind of supports what you’re saying regarding mold and this fight or flight response, being a big deal. So this one study here was looking at mold inhalation causes an innate immune activation, neural cognitive and emotional dysfunction. And they were talking about intranasally administering different, you know, this is black mold Stachybotrys. And they were looking at, you know, innate immune activation, toxic mold and how it affects your emotions. And of course it’s going to impact inflammation. It’s going to cause joint pain. It’s gonna cause sleep issues. You mentioned earlier, it also has a major effect on dopamine. Can you highlight that again? 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Dual control F is dopamine in that paper. It might be a different paper. See if you can find it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, here you go. So exposing drosophila to 0.5 mil part per million of this chemical causes significant loss of dopamine neurons. So decreased dopamine levels and initiated onset of Parkinson’s, suggesting that exposure to mold produces the chemical that may be another environmental risk factor for Parkinson’s disease. So dopamine is really important for feeling good, for focusing, for dealing with stress. It’s that neurotransmitter that gives you that kind of connection that makes you feel loved, so really, really important and it talks about long term inflammation following mold exposure and autoimmune changes in the brain. So that’s that’s powerful. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, this is huge. Uh, trying to get Dale Bredesen on the podcast, he wrote a book called the End of Alzheimer’s. And now he’s really hitting the mold angle as an Alzheimer’s link. I think it’s a huge piece of the puzzle. That and heavy metals but many people may hear this and they may just glaze over what we’re seeing. We’re literally saying that your environment could be contributing to a neurodegenerative disease where your neurologist is not going to have a clue. They’re not going to be testing you for this stuff. They’re not going to ask you about your water leak under your kitchen sink. They’re not going to be running mycotoxins in the urine, they’re not gonna look at the Great Plains or organic acids test. So in terms of. We’ll talk about testing in a second, but I think we should describe to people, how do you know if you’re in a state of overwhelm? Because many people are so used to living in fight or flight that they don’t really know how to downshift. So maybe we should go through symptoms, I will say inability to make decisions or analysis paralysis, like, if you’re struggling just to decide what to make for dinner, or you’re struggling just to decide what to do tomorrow, that’s that’s a huge problem. You can’t comprehend simple decision making, I would say loss of libido, loss of energy, motivation, sleep disturbance, maybe some sugar cravings, brain fog, anxiety, I would say distractibility or escapism, meaning you’re always jumping from like social media app to social media app. Like you just don’t want to live in your reality because you’re in a state of overwhelmed, that’s like escapism. What else would you add to the list? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Like, well, I would say it just depends where someone’s at, right? If someones going into an acute exposure or an acute stressor and they have a good foundation. That’s a good, that’s good because a good foundation you know allows you to deal with and adapt to stress. So I always look at it’s always good to model healthy people. So you work on the water, you work on the food, the blood sugar, the good fats, the good proteins, the sleep before midnight, getting enough movement so you feel energized but not tired. That’s a foundation. And then if the stressor comes into your world like mold, right? In this study, they talk about not just mold, but pesticide exposure, smoking. Right. So basically I’m looking at air and living quality. So the first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to just cross things off my list. I’m gonna get a mold test from my house, whether it’s a plate test or an army test. I’m going to make sure I have good quality air filtration because even at my home there is no mold. You’re going to still have some off gassing of some furniture or paint or carpet or hardwoods or professional grade vinyl. There’s something in your air that’s gonna be more stressful and so you want to make sure you have a good quality air filter. Whether it’s an Austin air or an air doctor, you’re going to want to make sure your water is filtered and clean, and then you want to make sure if you’re in a human environment, you know, get a dehumidifier for your home and keep the humidity below 50%. I think that’s really key out of the gate. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah. What other symptoms do you think somebody would experience if they were in a state of overwhelm? Well, it depends. I mean, chronic overwhelm can just happen by having a lot of open loops on someone’s plate, a lot of stressors that are in your environment, emotional stressors, and you’re not taking action on them and now you have 2, 3, 4, 5. And so your body is going to cause you to get really anxious, really stressed and really overwhelmed because you’re not closing the loops. And so I just look at what are the top three things that are stressing you out from an emotional stress thing you haven’t taken action on. Just pull out your phone or paper and just write down what they are and write down A&B options for each one. And then say OK, good, I got them down and I’m gonna execute it when the time’s right, but I can at least put that to bed. And so that’s a really important thing. It’s kind of like that. Just trying to think of one situation. We had a, you know, mold issue in my home and it was like, OK, took action on it, got the remediation person out, got the air filtration, did it the right way, did in a negative air containment. Make sure we test it like.I just, I took action. But, you know, when I knew this problem, this environmental stressor was there, it was stressing me out because of all the unknown, right? And so I just said, I’m going to take action. I’m going to handle it the best way possible. I’m going to make sure we test, I’m going to make sure we clean it out. And I felt a lot better about it. But the more you leave these things open, it just kind of gnaws at you quite a bit. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, this applies to the debt too, right? A bill here, a medical debt here, a debt here on the car and then the car is going back like, so those things, you got to try to chip away at those too, I mean, this is in the financial podcast, but I would tell people try to knock out your smallest debts. Because if you’ve got like this bill and this card and that card and that debt, like that really weighs you down emotionally. And I see it all the time with people. It’s a huge piece of the stress. So like if you’ve got a credit card. Let’s say you’ve got an Amazon or Target credit card with 500 bucks. Like knock that one out first and then go to your $5000. One, like you have to chip away at these things. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, I think biggest thing out of the gate, I mean you can look at some of the Dave Ramsey stuff on that, but if you use a credit card or not, like I use credit cards because they get 2% back on everything, right? So it’s like, OK, I’m gonna get paid 2% for using it. Sure, I’ll use it. The difference is I pay my credit card off every day. And the reason why I do that is running a business and doing all these things. There’s lots of expenses and one if I have hundreds of transactions at the end of the week.What if there’s fraud? What if there’s issues? At least I can see it every day and then I can also monitor it. I can have my pulse on what’s where money’s going in and out. And so it makes me feel on top of it. And I would say just from a stress standpoint, financially, you know, three to six months of living expenses, I think is a good one to have in savings at all times. So if any issues happen, you have that to lean back on too many people. I think you don’t have that three to six month buffer. I think that can be a big stressful thing. That’s just kind of in the background for sure.

Evan Brand: Yeah so even some of I think it was Shaq or someone I saw it’s been some, I think it was Shaq or someone I saw recently an interview, some extremely high level millionaire was saying that every day they still look at the numbers, they still check their numbers, the bills, where the moneys going, where the credit is, where the debt is, they still look at it even though they could buy anything in the world, they still take a look. So if you’re just out of the loop on, that’s a big problem. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And with phone apps, you know you can jump on it and you can finalize it and look at it in about one or two minutes. The more you kind of have your pulse on things, the better. I think it’s really good and then you know you could talk about all the inflation that’s happening. That’s a whole different strategy in regards to investment and such like that that you know we do a lot of things on the investing side as well. But I think the biggest thing is to have about three to six months and just be on top of income coming in and expenses going out. So you have your pulse on it.That allows you to pivot and make changes. 

Evan Brand: Yep. So that’s the financial piece, to try to get that buffer. The environmental piece, try to have a good clean Oasis where you can properly sleep, your nervous system can calm down. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think a couple of good air filters. Couple of good air filters. Get your home tested. Even if you just get a couple of the plates and you just wait five or seven days and count the spores and make sure the spores are under five or so, that’s fine. You can avoid setting it to the lab that is more than five, then we definitely want to send it to the lab. Um, you know, take a look at your ceilings. Go walk around, make sure you don’t see any spots on your ceiling. You know, go hire someone to come out once a year and just do a roof inspection. Just make sure your roof looks good. Go take a peek in your attic right, get a moisture meter and just kind of test the walls out a little bit and make sure everything looks good there. You know, those are all good simple things you can do out of the gates. 

Evan Brand: Keep the exhaust fan on if you’re gonna take a hot shower. I’ve seen many, many people have issues with that just because of that hot steam of 2020 minutes or however long the shower you’re taking, all that steams.Gotta go somewhere. So if you’re not sucking it out with an exhaust vent, it’s gonna have to soak into that drywall so that paper backing on that drywall can get real moist. We see that as a huge problem area. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Or even just get a dehumidifier for your bath or even just a portable one. That’s a big one. If you don’t have an exhaust fan and you get a portable dehumidifier and just keep it on to at least pull that moisture out of the air and think that’s important. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, absolutely. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then I would say, I would say message. Get body work done, whether it’s chiropractic, that very coming on your nervous system, having your spine adjusted, that’s where your central nervous system flows from your brain down the spine, making sure your spine and your vertebrae are moving. Make sure soft tissue is doing well, those good pliability in that soft tissue. Making sure that fascia is being manipulated. Myofascial release different things to help that fashion that connective tissue stay soft and supple like a tenderloin versus harden and flame like beef jerky. Chiropractic, I think it’s powerful as well just to make sure all the joints in your hips are moving your upper cervical spine. Really important that that’s all kind of dialed in as well. All these are all really important things that can calm down that nervous system and inhibit the IML, the intermedial, I think it’s the intermedial cell column that kind of stimulates that fight or flight nervous system. 

Evan Brand: Turn your screen share off. That way I can see your figure. Yeah, the message is huge. I went to get a massage a couple weeks ago and the ladies like, yeah, we’re all fragrance free. And I went in there and my God, I left smelling like a dryer sheet. Like my wife is ready to kick me out of the car on the way home. She’s like, you reek. And so I guess they’re, they’re sheets at the massage studio just had driver seats on them or something. So that was a stressor for me because here I am going to do something good like call my system and then I leave smelling like a dryer sheet. So double check the head. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The best thing you can do, and I told you about it too, the best thing you can do is the cheapest thing is to get washed soda, which is basically baking soda for your washing machine. And then what you do is you do your wash and then you put like a 30 minute soak on there. Or one hour or soak you could do 30 minutes, right? Put a cup of the wash soda in there so you know it’ll sit for 30 minutes. The baking soda absorbs any smell, any stink. I had a little lemon shirt that was moldy. It was so bad because it got washed and then it sat there for a couple of days and it got moldy and the washer, I couldn’t get it out. I washed it like a dozen times. My mom comes into town, she’s like, oh, here, it’s just, it’s an Italian trick here and she will put the arm and hammer in there, do an hour soak, and it literally kills it. It felt brand new and I had washed it dozens of times wiith all these essential oils and anti mold uh, shampoos couldn’t touch the smell. So wash soda, especially if you’re sensitive. Use that to suck all the smell out of what’s in your detergent or anything else. And I’ll use just like the free and clear, no sense. I’m like Evan. I’m very, very sensitive to smell. Just really. It’s really ready to shop there for me, man. 

Evan Brand: It was my skin though. My skin ripped. I had to take like 2-3 showers. I still smell. Maybe I should, like, scrub myself with baking soda. It was nice. It was like impregnated into my skin, man. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I don’t know what it is, but there’s like a I think it’s like I’m not sure if it’s younger woman today, but it’s like it’s like my parents generation that group wore at least the females a lot of perfume. Like you could literally be 15 feet away from someone and you could smell their perfume, it’s definitely changed. Like my wife’s generation, right, women in their 30s and 40s, there’s a less perfume smell. I think people are using more essential oils and natural things, but it’s funny how generations change how much perfume to last more and but I’m super sensitive to perfumes. We try to keep zero in our home and if we do anything, it’s like an essential oil or like a lavender or like a little bit of cedar or kind of rose. Those kinds of things keep it simple. 

Evan Brand: We could hit the smells for a minute too. That is a stress to the system. It’s a big stressor, yeah, especially if you’re burning it. So, like candles, throw them away. If they’re not essential oil based, it’s just garbage. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Dryer sheets. Throw dryer sheets away. If you want to get the benefit of dryer sheets, you can get one of those static balls. Just put it in there.It’s like a little ball that knocks the static down. That’s the purpose of dryer sheets mostly, right? But then you don’t have all that scent and smell, so that’s a good way to kind of mitigate the stress from that.

Evan Brand: Yeah, we hit the blood sugar, the sleep, the environment, the smells, the finances, I mean, those are a lot of pieces of overwhelm, really. What else are we missing? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, I just think, you know, close those loops. Look at what’s on your plate for stressors, what’s bugging you out, what pops into your head. Be on top of that. Also monitor that self talk. Most people, if you look at how you talk to yourself, that inner voice. right? Behind your head that you hear. Most people would not be friends with a person that spoke the same way as their inner voice. So make sure you really upgrade the quality of your inner voice. Having that inner voice really gives you guidance, intuition. But also don’t beat yourself up. I think it’s super important. There was no Anthony Robbins quote that was really important as well. It’s like, you’re going to do so many things right in the day, so many things you’re gonna do right and well. And you gotta give yourself a pat on the back. Because if you’re not watching yourself succeeding and then giving yourself that congratulations to that PAT in the back and you’re looking for your kids or your spouse or your friend to do it all the time, they’re not going to see enough of it. So really make sure you’re catching yourself doing a lot of the good things and pat yourself on the back for it. And you know, take your wins whenever you can take your wins.

Evan Brand: Yeah, no, that’s great advice. The rumination, right this negative self-talk, ruminating about your problems, thinking about your past, the things you did wrong, living with regret. Those are big problems. So someone told me years ago, 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I want to hit that. It’s really important. So the rumination, I find serotonin and acetylcysteine plays major major role that sulfur and serotonin for me I used to be a little more OCD and ruminating and getting my NAC up and getting my serotonin levels up five HTP and B6 really help rumination. It allowed me to kind of like OK that that’s the issue and then allowed me to disconnect from it and and then just kind of focus on what the next thing is and not have to be playing the loop on repeat all the time, which is very stressful. 

Evan Brand: Oh yeah, it’s huge. So people don’t understand that. They think once again negative self-talk, they think rumination they think .We’re talking about these emotional things, but no, we’re actually talking biochemistry. We’re talking neurotransmitters also. So what I was going to say is someone told me years ago, if you want to get out of your head to get into your body. So that’s what I do a lot of. If the weather is decent enough, I’m out there on the mountain bike, I’m out in the woods, I’m hiking, I’m biking and moving among the water. I’m doing something to get out of the head by getting in my body. So do that, and then the testing. Let’s talk about that, because you brought up serotonin and then overwhelmed. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, go. Go ahead, go ahead. Hit that part. One more thing that you brought up, I wanna hit it too. 

Evan Brand: OK, don’t forget. So if you’re overwhelmed, I would say do the following. Get the urine test, urine done at home. You can order it through our office. If you need help, reach out to Doctor J at justinhealth.com or Evan Brand on evanbrand.com. Let us help you order these at home from the Functional Medicine Lab so we can investigate the cause of this overwhelmed because there could be internal toxins. There could be pesticides, mycotoxins, bacterial overgrowth, parasites, worms, H. pylori, gut inflammation, brain inflammation, low neurotransmitters, nutrient deficiencies, all combining to create these emotional issues. So get the oh, we may want to look at stool, we may want to look at chemicals. But reach out and then we can help you develop a plan to figure this out. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Really important one last thing I wanted to highlight too is appreciation. Because most of the time when you’re overwhelmed, you’re thinking about what’s missing in your life or you’re thinking about this problem that you have to address and you’re like, I don’t know what, do I have time to do this? So you’re thinking about this expense that you’re thinking about things that you’re you’re missing or things that you have to expand or you have to lose, but when you appreciate your focusing on all the things that you have and you’re really trying to create context for that and really feeling that sense of gratitude and appreciation and appreciate essentially like if your finances appreciated, if your investments appreciate, they get greater, they get bigger. So you’re taking everything in your life and you’re feeling that sense of gratitude, making everything bigger in your life in regards to how you feel about it and how appreciative you are and having a perspective of, you know, if you live in the United States like you’re, you’re a one percenter just living in the United States, right? I mean I think it’s if you make $19,000 a year, right, which is poverty in this country. You’re 1% in the world. It’s like, whoa. That’s like, that’s perspective, right? Perspective also gives you appreciation.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, I can have dark humor with my grandparents. Like my grandma called me the other day. Apparently my grandpa hit a curb and busted a tire. They were without their car, then the tires on backorder. Nobody has that size in stock. And I was like, well, it’s better than being dead and she’s like, you’re right, you’re right. I’m gonna enjoy this. This is fun. We’re gonna get a rental car. It’s no problem. And so I just tell her all the time, you know, if there’s a complaint, like, at least you’re not dead because, you know, her relatives have disappeared. And you know, she’s one of the last women standing elf, that generation, you know, from the 40s. So I’m like grandma, like, enjoy it, you’re alive. This is amazing. And usually it kind of snaps her out of the funk. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, appreciation is important, right? Because usually you’re just focused on all the things that are going wrong and you’re just flipping that switch. And if you look at NLP and kind of the work of Richard Bandler, he is a really interesting guy, but he would always take a look at successful people and he talked to them. He’d want to know what’s the image in your head when you’re in this peak state and you’re succeeding and you’re doing well, what are the images in your brain look like at the time? Meaning like, what are you thinking of? What’s the picture real in your brain look like when you’re achieving and doing these things? And almost always it’s in the positive, almost always it’s showing in visualizing the outcome and you’re already seeing it happen multiple times already before you actually do it. And versus it’s the negative, it’s the worst case scenario. So really be aware of the picture screen on your brain almost like go within, pretend like you’re in a movie theater and you’re literally seeing the picture screen, which is what you’re seeing through your eyes. And then you’re really changing that screen. Like you’re the director directing that movie screen while you’re seeing it in the movie theater through your eyes. Does that make sense? 

Evan Brand: It does. It does to me because I do it all the time. I’m always trying to visualize the outcome. This has already happened. The person I want to say yes, already said yes. What I needed? It’s already here. Even though I don’t have it yet, I’ve already got it. And that goes a long way. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then also pretend like if you’re there in that movie theater inside your brain, remember you have control over that. If it’s in a bad space and you’re just all negative and you’re just looking at everything the wrong way, you can just put a new movie in, right? You’re not a victim, you’re not sitting there chained down like Clockwork Orange, right where they peeled the guys eyes open, right? It’s like you have control over what you’re watching, so put a different film in there. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, the last thing I would say is just take a nap. Like if you’re just so overwhelmed the middle of the day hits, you’ve got fatigue that can also be overwhelming because you’re so tired. You have so many obligations you’re trying to do, but you’re so fatigued. Number one, get the labs run so we could figure out why you’re so damn tired on paper will, 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Your adrenals looked at, yeah. See how stressed out there do you have that chronic low DHEA? Are your neurotransmitters VMA, HVA, 5-hydroxy, indoleacetic? Are they all depleted and down? Because this could take a while to get this thing repleted. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. So if you’re feeling that, get the data then. If you gotta close your eyes for a minute, close your eyes, lay there and take a nap. If you can do it, if your lifestyle allows you to take a nap, escape from the kids, whatever you gotta do, do it. And hopefully you’ll come back a little more refreshed, a little more in control when you’re not so exhausted. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And when your neurochemistry is depleted, it’s really hard to willpower out, willpower that. And so sometimes, yeah, they get the food and the supplements on track and then it’s like then the willpower and then the energy and then the ability to now start doing the things you need to do is start to become easier, there’s less resistant to get this downhill kind of momentum, so that’s very important. And again, looking at the adrenals, looking at the neurotransmitters, looking at your DHEA sulfate, looking at your circadian rhythm, right, that circadian rhythm should should go up in the morning and down at night, and the more dysregulated that is if it’s reversed or flat, that tells me that stress feedback loop is disrupted and you’re probably using that amygdala in that brain stem. You’re operating more from that fight or flight state all the time. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that makes sense if you need help, reach out. You can reach Doctor J at justinhealth.com worldwide consult meaning labs can be sent to your door. Wherever you are. You get the results. Look at them, make a protocol, get yourself better. So justinhealth.com for Doctor J and myself Evan at evanbrand.com. We look forward to helping you guys, and hopefully this content was helpful. Share it with your friends, your family. If we can get somebody else out of the whole, that’s what we love. I mean, it just takes one person that could totally transform your life. This is your husband you’re trying to get out of, overwhelm your wife. Have them listen to this so we can help lift them up because it’s gonna make your life way better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, just pick one thing. If you’re overwhelmed already and you’re like, crap, he just said 15 things, just pick one, like what’s the easiest thing that you can do? And then once you get some momentum, then we’re gonna go to two and then we’re gonna go to three. So just start kind of stacking and get that momentum and then you get that downward momentum going. Then it starts to be easier to add new modalities to the mix.

Evan Brand: Yep, Amen. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Alright man, great chatting with you Evan and hope everyone listening enjoyed it. Feel free to share with friends or family. We’ll put a link down below where you can review us. We really appreciate a review on both our iTunes channels. Super helpful. It’s the word out there and you guys have a phenomenal day.Take care of y’all.

 

Addressing EMF, 5G and Improving Your Athleticism – Justin Frandson | Podcast #379

Exposure to artificial radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) has increased significantly in recent decades. Therefore, there is a growing scientific and social interest in its influence on health, even upon exposure significantly below the applicable standards.

In this video, Dr J and Justin Frandson discuss the possible harmful effects of EMF and 5G on our well-being and what the strategies are to keep our athleticism and overall health performance. To find out more, make sure to like, subscribe, and watch out for more evidence-based health tips!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
0:28 – Athleticism
4:57 – Concussions
16:03 – EMF
25:30 – Correlation vs causation

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here, really excited. I have Justin Fradson on today’s show. We’re gonna be talking about 5G, EMF, natural ways to help eliminate that, reduce it, neutralize it and also talk about improving athleticism as well. Justin, welcome to today’s show. How you doing, man? 

Justin Frandson: Really great. Thanks Dr. J for having me on. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, awesome. And you got a new book that’s out called athleticism, whole body, whole brain performance. Can you just kind of what inspired you to write this book and what are some of the key take home points you want to highlight out of the gates.

Justin Frandson: Oh yeah, I’m pretty stoked on this book, I  must say, this is my life journey just. Oh, and between those two hard back cover so, I mean, I started working with the athletes about 25 years ago. Started athleticism.com. I had a Scripps clinic in La Jolla and work with the amateur and professional athletes develop sensory, motor, nerve work for sports performance. We do whole body, brain training, ambidexterity, and I treat concussions and do a bunch of stuff. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OK, that’s very cool. So let’s talk about the, the, the ambidexterity training. What does that look like? What are some of the exercises? What are some of the therapies you run your athletes through to improve that? 

Justin Frandson: Well, we’re one of the only sports performance programs that actually has an ambidexterity program. And that’s great. The crust of it I think is, is to really get these bodies being a whole body and whole brain.Performer. So we do everything from juggling to washers to cup stacking. Uh, a lot of martial arts stuff as well. Stick training, just coordination with the hands and integrating with foot movements.Those are some of the ambidexterity stuff, just with the hands that people would think of. We also do the same things with the rhythms, with the feed and then everything’s nonlinear semi circles figure eights connecting to the infinite flow of the universe. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So is someone coming to you and saying, hey, I wanna be a better athlete? These are some of the skill sets that I need in my sport and then you kind of come in and recommend various kind of modalities within your clinic. Is that how it works? 

Justin Frandson: Yeah definitely and then or I get bridge training post PT guys Sir kind of fed up with PT and or their sessions have expired and they don’t know what to do. They’re kind of left high and dry. So we bridge that gap all the way to high level performance and then do a lot of treatments as well for injury recovery like a stretching therapy and brain and trainment, light, sound, frequency, vibration, those are all my go to. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. And so when you have people that come in from PT, what do you see some of the big shortcomings of PT that maybe prevent some of the people that see you? Like why they’re not healing all the way? There are certain modalities or shortcomings philosophically or modality wise that are missing in that? That you kind of bring delight, if you will. 

Justin Frandson: Definitely. I really feel PT’s are some of the most gifted facilitators out there, but unfortunately a lot of them are held within the restrictions of billing and so they’re just going to ice, they’re just going to do 5 minutes of yeah, fascial work. They’re not able to do, use their gifts to the extent that they use them. So I think that one of the downfalls of the PT system is a really locked into the insurance space method and protocols most of our PT or excuse me post OP physical therapist so your session has expired. You certain point then you’re pretty much you’re done. I mean you then there are where do you go? And I have that same experience. I tore my ACL playing basketball while dunking on a guy and when I landed, he then bends his knee in the side of my knee and tore the ACL. And went through PT out of scripts clinic in La Hoya where I was officed out of. So the Orthos brought us in there and to work with the PT in them so they could have the system. So I’m like OK, I’m going to use this PT even though I got it three from a handful of other PT’s, well, he starts billing me. It was like $750 to ice my knee for the first visit. And then and three weeks, four weeks, four weeks in I had expired all my, my and I had like I had. I had like the best insurance he could have and I was done in like a month and so. And then he had built the just crap out of me. And so I’m going this is just a flawed system. And it ended up being my niche where I could take over that bridge, bridge that gap to where they really missed out on. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OK, got it. And so when you see people that have come in with concussions, what’s your first step to addressing that outside of the, you know, the conventional model, right? The conventional model a lot of times is like sunglasses go sit in the dark corner maybe? Don’t, don’t fall asleep for a little bit, right? Is there anything else you’re doing that’s kind of specifically improving healing? Anything nutritionally, anything neurological exercise wise, to kind of help facilitate that healing? 

Justin Frandson: Well, the first thing I do is they go to a chiropractor. So the first thing I do? So go to Chiro, get everything adjusted. Make sure everything is structurally in place. I mean, that’s number one. When they come to see me, what I do is what I do. They work on sensory nerves so I level their horizon and get them connected to their center line, which is basically obviously their longitude latitude line. One thing I know where they are in space, everything will start to heal. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So how does that work? Is that upper cervical type of stuff? How do you do that? 

Justin Frandson: No, through light therapy and muscle lights. OK, you are soggy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OK. And so what’s the input? You’re adding light or anything else to help that? 

Justin Frandson: Light and I use essential oils and I use muscle testing and energy work to do it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. Excellent. And so someone comes in, they have these concussion issues, right? You’re using these different modalities and that’s you’re seeing that helps celebrate healing. Are you doing anything with a red light? Are you doing anything with nutrition at all?

Justin Frandson: Well yeah, I mean like red light is what we use, so I actually use GRT light most of the time Umm. And it’s red LED and infrared and it has different policies and mechanisms and then I’m actually using essential oils as well and nutrition is huge because your stomachs, your second brain. So, right. I had a guy who just had a client actually two days ago. Crazy. You bring this up, but he put a breath mint. He’s 14. Little kid got a concussion and I had seen him three times prior and I’m working on his nerves, on his REM patterns and he was, he held in the beginning of going right to left on his eye movements without moving his head, just moving his eyes.He put them in his mouth and I go to retest his eyes, and he goes weak. And guess what? Events are full of artificial… about his nervous system. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense. Nutrition plays a major role, whether it’s additional toxicity coming in through junkie sugars or artificial sweeteners or potential food allergens or junkie fats, right. All those things matter. And what kind of diet changes do you make, I mean, most people that I see that come to me and they’ve seen PT in the past, most very rarely even look at nutrition or anything in that realm or get extra nutrients to help build back connective tissue or joints or bones. It’s kind of ignored 100%. You see it also, already conventional medicine too. What kind of changes do you make out of the gates in those areas? 

Justin Frandson: Well, the big thing is looking at all the different stressors of the body and you gotta look at what John rates like down regulates the nervous system. And so comically food, drink, air, EMF. So food is just basically eating real stuff like eating a real balanced intake. That’s a real food that’s not modified, that’s not real in pesticide, herbicide and also growing in the garage. That doesn’t come out of a bag and from an industrialized manufacturing plant. So some of the basic stuff on that. I love structured and structuring the water. Just get hydration down, have them start to own their power a little bit.More and then sleep is the other biggest thing which our grounding bags help with. So kind of normalizing a full spectrum of these athletes and you know that that’s where we’re really diving into. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any specific diet recommendations, are you making sure proteins are adequate? Or is there a certain amount of protein you want people to eat in relation to their weight? Half a gram per pound? One gram per pound of body weight? What does that look like for protein?

Justin Frandson: Yeah. I haven’t really gotten too granular with them on that. I just say balance it out. What I do look at is we have an MCT oil called Lean Oil. So it’s from the palm kernel, so it’s medium chain triglycerides.That’s right. So they’re the very fattest fuel. Uh. But you gotta kick in the oldest people valve, get some protein in the body. Yeah, first thing in the morning. I mean, these are some things that I like to do. Uh, and? That’s kind of where I go out and I’m not big on digitally quantifying like these specific ratios and it just feeds your body what you feel is right for you and does your food really well and dying, but enough fuel in your system too, so you’re not burning adrenaline. You’re burning fuel. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that makes sense.Absolutely.Yeah, I mean I thought protein is really important because if you’re athletic and you’re using your muscles, you’re creating this breakdown, your body trying to heal that back up. So proteins and it’d be really important. Also protein is going to be very blood sugar stabilizing, very satiating into preventing you from overeating, obviously good fats or super important because every cell in our body has a good healthy cell membrane and we need good healthy fats whether it’s coconut oil or good healthy grass fed pasture fed animal products. We want to really be avoiding a lot of the junkie more inflammatory process fats Omega 6 trans fat. So I think that’s, you know, important to have those components dialed in for sure. That makes a lot of sense. What’s next? So you see patients, they come in to you, your. What’s the next step the average person’s missing to make themselves more athletic? Like, if you could do one thing with the average person, what would it be outside of some of the things we’re already talking about now? 

Justin Frandson: Well, the first thing I recommend to them is to start balancing more, so when you’re probably the number one thing I dressed in the book. If you don’t balance, you can’t do anything. So that’s the biggest thing. I think right behind that would be flexibility to have some range of motion and once they get established a functional range of motion. Then you go into the stability components, and then we start to develop a foundation that we build on for speed, power, coordination, and it is just a human disguise of limits. And it’s unilateral versus jumping off of both feet and you just take the athletes and our new dimension. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s why I always like unilateral work, because I find that you can really show weaknesses to people. A single like deadlift for unilateral kind of opposite arm pull. I feel like when you do things that are unilateral it really exposes a lot of weaknesses. and imbalances in the body so that that’s really good. Plus you don’t need a lot of weight, you don’t need a lot of load. When you’re rolling, you’re only using half of that foundational stable unit. So that’s cool. Yeah. What’s one thing? 

Justin Frandson: Yeah. But the other thing real quick is I’ve been doing a lot of B3 bands. And which is blood flow restriction and, I found that’s really helpful for me because of limited time for workout. I’ll throw on the ban, it boosts my nitric oxide buildup and endothelial vascular growth factor. So I think more growth factors.That, you know what, I’m in my 50s, so, uh, I could use all that I could get right now naturally, and that’s been a fantastic way. And my strengths improve, my speeds improve. So for a quick workout, those B3 bands have been awesome for me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. And the goal of those bands is like a rubber band, almost like what they do if they were to take your blood, they wrap it around there and that’s restricting blood flow. And then as a result, it’s what, increasing growth hormone, increasing NO2, essentially. 

Justin Frandson: Yeah. The nitric oxide is oxide for it and what happens is, you develop these buffers and you just develop more growth factors from it. But B3 bands have Airways in that restriction, so you’re not starving the muscle of oxygen, you’re just constricting it. So my whole thing is like resistance. Resistance and the subtle resistance are vascular systems that just don’t have it until you put a ban on it. The two activities that restrict or provide resistance for your respiratory system are swimming because you’re exhaling into the water or playing a horn instrument as a musician. Other than that, we don’t develop that respiratory system with resistance. So there’s ways to look at fast resistance, respiratory system resistance versus just traditional strength training resistance and so that’s why we’re looking at all these components.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Excellent. And so you are also very passionate about EMF and you sent me a couple of goodies which I appreciate. You sent me some EMF kind of neutralizing crystals, a Faraday bag, a couple things and they have a website, EMF rocks. Let’s talk a little bit more about EMF and just kind of some of the negative impacts out of the gate that you see, for instance, with your athletes that you work with? 

Justin Frandson: Ohhh, yeah doctor J. I mean, I saw an endurance athlete come through and this one.Higher arm when weak from wearing a smartwatch on his wrist. And so I’m like, oh wow, yeah, get that radiation off your wrist. His whole arm just got better. It got stronger again without me kind of radiation. Was it hooked up to Wi-Fi or was it just like a simple what kind of signal was it? Was it Bluetooth? Yeah. So it’s Bluetooth. They’re about 2.45 billion waves per second of one directional wave form. So let’s breakdown the.Difference of why that’s so challenging for our body. We’re built on scalar waves. Distributed equally in every direction. Man made stuff. Whether it’s electricity, dirty electricity or wireless, they’re all basically one directional wave forms or they don’t work. So when you put something on your wrist like Wi-Fi at 2.45 billion waves per second when our body optimizes that one to eight when we sleep and heal an 8 to 12 when we’re in the alpha state when we’re in the flow state, we’re competing. That’s where really close with the Schumann resonance of Earth, which is 7.83 Hertz so, when we add in 10 zero speed and it’s a one direction polarizing waveform, that’s localized radiation when someones weak or toxic or just has a sensitivity to it for some way shape or form even too young old. Their blood type is an RH negative.Those people will be more sensitive to EMF. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so what kind of EMF are we talking about? Like, are we talking like the Apple Watch? Would my small little Fitbit that’s charting my steps be enough to throw me off? 

Justin Frandson: Oh yeah, that muscle tests weak with that fit. Now out of the gate, they’re having challenges. And they had to lower the signals kind of where Josh still made a documentary movie called Take Back Power on the smart meters. They were ramping up these smart meter signals. They had to notch it down because everyone was getting sick and couldn’t sleep. Same with fit that it’s still now enough where you’ll task a week with it. So I would never, I mean again, this is my whole deal, Doctor J is we gotta get back to listening to your body and how your body feels, not having something tell you how it feels. This meta universe is not OK. It’s not the direction that we want to go into. 

Dr. Justin Frandson: So is there any technology you recommend if someone wants to kind of track their steps or make sure they’re doing enough activity during the day, what’s the best way to do that? Is there a certain way that you could adjust that so as a lower lower drain on you? 

Justin Frandson: Yeah, I haven’t really dove into the lesser of the evils. What I would say is. You only test athletes. We’ve established a baseline, maybe in the midpoint and point, and the task we’re not doing day-to-day. So know your stuff the day, track them and then use that as your baseline to say, hey, yeah, I feel like I did a few less than I did, you know, or I did way more today. And you’ll know that your body will just feel it. You don’t need something to tell you how you slept or what you did. You have to.Look into yourself to start to feel again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense. And so what’s the, what’s some of these wireless signals, what’s the mechanism? What’s actually happening? How is it disrupting us? You kind of went into it a little bit more. I want to make sure I understand. Like how is that actually happening at a biochemical level there? 

Justin Frandson: OK, so when we introduce one-directional waveform. What happens is there’s an oration effect in our body, it’s just a secondary effect. Doctor Martin Paul talks about the voltage gated calcium channels opening up less. Yep, letting the positive team into a negative cell, in turn causing tremendous cell and DNA damage. Once that vibration secondary effect happens, what I’ve seen clinically as people’s eyes, their teeth, they’re large and they’re thymus and then they’re large intestine are the four primary areas that decharge EMF. We can use our grounding bags to tap on them and recharge those areas. I’ll go into that a little bit, but then the next level is what we see are cognitive, so focus, memory, behavior, anxiety, fatigue, stress, lack of sleep. They’re gonna be the first signs of EMF toxicity and challenges that people will feel especially.Actually.You know, athletes and they’re gonna make poor decisions, you know, when they’re competing. So this is a huge thing. So the other thing is, you’re going to see more non trauma concussion symptoms, so you’re gonna see basically headaches, more severe headaches, so, migraines. Uh, in the years. Muscle twitching, bloody noses, I mean, these are all the different things that you’re going to see. It’s going to be nausea, fatigue, tremor. Ears, bloody noses, and you go to Vancouver talked about this, the first attack of U.S. embassy workers on foreign soil with microwaves. You know, that was that’s a real deal. These guys are sick for months and then the hospital and they couldn’t get better because they were so toxic, then you go into the bigs, cancer, suicide, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular, and then, now after fertility and yeah, so I see a note here. Yes, today’s stress. Yes 245 ways per second destructores water. Yes, 60 gigahertz, which is a 5G level, changes what oxygen molecules are made out of as well. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so we have different kinds of Wi-Fi, right? You could have the EMF put it in that camp. We have EMF maybe on our wrist from our smartwatch. We can have our Wi-Fi signals in our House, right. And then we’re going to have cell phone towers, especially the 5G, those, those kinds of the big ones or is there anything else missing?

Justin Frandson: Yeah. So we categorize it into three different types? Yeah. Milligauss magnetic resonance would be one where you get a magnetic resonance where you get a milligauss meter. That is in the 50 to 60 waves per second spectrum. Then we do dirty electricity, which is a static in the line. It measures amps to volts. That would be 4000 to 100,000 waves for a second approximately. And then you have the acoustic meters, the radio frequency meters that measure for the wireless signals from 50 million to several billions per second. So there’s meters to actually quantify and those stressors and those levels of each of those singles. So wireless would be any wireless signal Alexis, NASA units computers that aren’t hardwired. Uh, you’re others smartest.Of the self driving mechanisms and cars, all that stuff off your it’s all wireless. The Dirty electricity would be static in the lines from bad wiring, grids crossing outside your home, rats heating lines, signals going in and out of a junction don’t meet.That would cost static transformers on LED lights inside these new homes will cause lots of jury electricity and then the the milligauss is all the electricity in your home.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So what do you actually do about it? Right, because these stressors are all around us. You’re not going to get rid of Wi-Fi. You won’t even get rid of cell phone towers. Obviously you could do your best to be far away from them or from, you know, at least not to have one right on top of your kids school right nearby. You do your best to kind of mitigate exposure, especially when you’re sleeping, you can control some of the Wi-Fi in your house hardline, or turn it off when you sleep. What can, what are the actual practical things outside of like don’t do it or don’t use it? 

Justin Frandson: Practical for. Well, I want to dive into something else, too. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Sure. Let’s go ahead. Let’s hit that first thing, and then we’ll come back to it. 

Justin Frandson: OK. Yeah. So there’s a book I want everyone to read. It’s called the invisible rainbow by Arthur Firstenberg. Have you heard that one? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I Have. I heard of the author before. 

Justin Frandson: Yeah, he’s one of the biggest names in EMF, and if you guys haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. He categorized as a history of electricity and life and correlates every major pandemic to spikes in the in the.Increased electrification of our atmosphere. So let’s do a little physics and biology lesson here. Our atmosphere is made of Ether and plasma, OK, these waveforms travel through these plasma waves and particles travel through because of that is our air. We’re connected. We are one with the universe, alright. This is how we are made off of scalar with. So everything has a residence that carries a frequency and on man made stuff is all one directional or one word, so if you’re standing up outside of it and you’re in the sunlight. You’re not in the sunlight in one spot and then out of it in another spot. It distributes equally in every direction or biofield of our body resonates. It doesn’t just go out like straight out of your right ear. It’s a residence all around you, the human residence of Earth, you’re not in the residence in one spot and then out of it in another. It’s up there. So that’s what these scalar waves are based on. And so this book, the invisible rainbow. Anything before 1918? Uh, well actually let me backup anything we’ve had since 1889 were solar flares, we’re cosmic shifts. That’s where people have got sick. So they called the flu the flu because it would fly in when there was a solar flare, a cosmic ship. People’s bodies would adapt and then, you know, they get better and then we move on to someone you know because their body just adapted when they needed to at the level they were capable.That’s what we saw before 1889 when we introduced electricity in the homes. So we got home with electricity got shoes on so we’re not grounding and 1918 winner introduced radio waves that was the that was the first the Hong Kong first excuse me that was that was, uh, 1980 Spanish flu and then satellites in the Van Allen belt where the Hong Kong flu, World War Two radar and then 5G for the last two years. So basically what these doctors are saying like Tom Cowan, Andrew Kaufman, Zac Bush, Kelly Brogan. I mean all these and they’re and MD’s, you know, not that MD’s other and they’ll say, well, I’m more of a Cairo guy myself, but this, these doctors that have been medically trained are out there saying that electricity stressors is an environmental toxin and a biotoxin, and what we’re doing is we’re adapting to these toxins and that’s what’s happening right now. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OK. How do you distinguish correlation versus causation because at the same time the last 100 years you know we’re doing a lot of other stressors being introduced whether it’s toxicity and our food nutritional deficiencies, you know excess antibiotic usage as a lot of other things. So how do you make the correlation of these things happening, but is it really dry? Is it really the root cause or is it just another stressor that our bodies are having to deal with, among many others? 

Justin Frandson: Well, that’s a great question. I mean you no one can argue that all these combinations of stressors don’t add up to be a stressor, but I think, when there’s a breaking point, like look, we can call and talk to someone across the globe instantly, I mean, right? So there’s no scratch in your head that you can broadcast something instantly. There’s no scratching your head that there’s a shift in the atmosphere.Yeah, that’s gonna mess up our REM patterns. So there’s too much there for me to go and do that EMF is not often the number one stressor right now. Zach Bush will say it’s glyphosate for the last 40 years of research.I’ll go back and say, hey, look at the invisible rainbow. The bibliography is 150 pages, so most reference books for reading and this is 1889 when it starts. So, there’s no scratch in your head. For me, I live in Newport Beach, California. Healthiest place on the planet. No one gets sick in June, so this year everyone was getting sent to everyone. But a lot of people were getting sick in June. That’s when they ratchet up and turn stuff up. People’s bodies will shift. There’s times where there’s going to be higher levels of certain stressors that are going to be that shift, and that’s what I feel are these triggers for. A lot of these major pandemics and Tom Cowan and a former MD turned in his license, but he’ll say when you pollute the ocean, you know the Dolphins will get sick. Yeah it’s not backed off and given  that often a virus or hey let’s look at their genes you know and in 2020 all get sick now that would be stupid. So we’re looking at things like it’s all environmental toxins that are the challenge here and I feel the top two or you know, EMF, obviously the 5G and then glyphosate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally makes sense. No, I think that’s a big one for sure. And So what can we do about it with the EMF, right? I mean, there’s different devices that you can plug into your outlets to kind of help clean up some of the dirty electricity you shot me over, different things. What we can do is like a Faraday bag and you can put your phone in that or turn your phone off, or definitely don’t sleep near it. Definitely don’t keep it right on your person, especially in your pockets next to your genitals or sensitive tissue. You mentioned crystals and different things like that or rounding math. Let’s kind of go over the top three to five things that the everyday person could do. That’s pretty easy and simple.

Justin Frandson: Yeah, well. First, I distinguished the difference in products out there. So if someone’s looking for a product to clear. Basically what we want to look at is, is it a GMO product or is it an organic product because we all want to get it, we all don’t want something that’s been modified. So for me, I look to the healing power to kick off her residence, to create a coherence with us. So we hand my crystals. The crystals have moisture, magnetic properties in it, you know, that’s where our money bags look like.The other man made devices are devices that are looking to over power another device like. That’s a futile effort, so that’s a genetically modified signal, that’s non-native, that’s looking to replicate what nature already does. So, my first thing is awareness and understanding of the different products that are out there, because if you’re going to look at a product.To solve this. You gotta look to nature to do it.There’s no one who is more intelligent and has those medicinal qualities like Mother Nature. So the first thing would be our grounding bags in your home and you not having bags in your home, you’re outside and you’re getting grounded outside so you’re getting barefoot your touching a tree, you’re gaining bodies of water. You’re doing your grounding protocols outside. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And the goal of grounding is what like you, the goal is you dispersing some kind of positive ion charge in the body. Is that what you’re doing? 

Justin Frandson: Yeah, so one of my favorite books is called Electric body Electric Health by Eileen McKusick and she talks about your body being a body battery. You get a negative ionic charge from Earth, and we pull those electrons from it. You get a positive charge from the unpolarized light of the sun coming from above. And then breathe in the minerals and hopefully we get it from our food, but this is how our body battery recharges. And so we’re getting that, getting grounded by nature, being outside, so the sunlight will do it.Getting in those resonances, the negative charge we’ll deal with the bodies of water, touching trees barefoot, laying down on a picnic. Gardening, climbing rocks, all that good stuff like that’s gonna get you that grounding, that negative charge. So that’s how our body battery works.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s good. So you really happened and dispersed a lot of those positive ion charges which you’re going to accumulate when you’re around a lot of these wireless frequencies. Is that correct? 

Justin Frandson: Yeah, definitely. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And how does the crystal work? How do the crystals work and do you have to keep them in the bag so they don’t get dehydrated? Can you take him out? 

Justin Frandson: Yes, exactly. They have to stay in the bag and they’re sealed and you use it as is, so you keep it sealed. They come like this. And there’s about 1 pound of crystals in here. They work the same way nature does as they kick off a resonance to convert the one directional wave forms and then they feed us the electrons. So that’s the way Mother Nature works. That’s why it feels so good to go to the beach and get grounded and going? You’re recharging your body battery. Literally, scientifically, that’s the physics and the biology that’s occurring. So, as far as using these protocols, well, you can do is you can accelerate this product going to your body. You can hold it top on it. Cover your eyes. Cover your teeth. Cover your thymus. Cover your large intestine one at a time and that’ll accelerate the medicinal properties to recharge you. Because when people have layers of toxicity sucking their energy field and biofield. They’re going to be more sensitive to EMF. If they have toxicity internally they’re going to be a more sensitive EMF, so an internal flush would be protease, digestive enzyme and then apple cider vinegar. That will be a very subtle detox for internal stuck EMF. External, you’ve got your grounding protocols outside and you gotta do the tapping with the grounding bag inside.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OK, that’s cool. And with the crystals there are certain types of crystal people can look forward to. I mean obviously we, you know we’ll put your site below is a good resource but is there any specific kind of crystal that you find works better. 

Justin Frandson: Well, yeah, they’re the average person won’t be able to find it, unfortunately. Amethyst Shanghai black tourmaline. They are known to have Tesla property or magnetic resonance. Well what happens is they’re getting overrun too quickly with all the access to EMF in our world. So we had to deploy a 1 pound bag of crystals of hand mine that would have moisture with the magnetic, so the combination of the moisture with that Mech properties is what allows them to be exponentially stronger for repelling EMF. So the average person is never going to find these colloid crystals anywhere. They’re hand mine, they’re over 85% of here. You’re not gonna find the purity and be able to bring that rest to your home like we have with fees.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. And so the average person can do what with the crystal just put it in, put it on the night stand when they sleep to help kind of provide a filtration of a lot of the EMF frequency. Can they just get a small one, put it on their person. How do you use it? 

Justin Frandson: Yeah. So Doctor Justin, when you put it on your bed. At the head of the bed. And if it’s not on it,  If it’s under it.Lean it against the leg of the bed, at the head, the back. They’ll sleep 30 to 50% better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. That’s good to test it. I mean, the whole idea crystals always seem a little out there for me, but. You know, I get it like we can’t see Wi-Fi, we can’t see all these things around us and we know everything does have a frequency to it. So the more you can kind of harmonize that or or or neutralize the negative impact of these frequencies, it makes sense. We know there’s a stress component, especially 5G. And so crystals are one big tool. What else? Anything else we can do that simple? You mentioned the internal stuff, you mentioned enzymes, apple cider vinegar, you mentioned some clays or binders, what else? 

Justin Frandson: I mean those are some great things to do. People like carbon C64. I like doing methylation so I like to open up methylation pathways. So I need methylfolate, it is great. You gotta do magnesium. I like some calcium as well as magnesium. And it’s probably one of the biggest things that everyone really needs, like on a day-to-day basis. This is uh, uh, but for EMF protection, just keep hydrating yourself. Get some good distilled water with some minerals in it. That’ll be the most mineral dense water will do. And then structure it. That would be even better.So those are kind of the things that we’re looking at.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good, Justin. Well, we had a bunch of good things today. We’ll put the links down there below as good references for your site where they can get more information. Any other coordinates or information you want to leave to the listeners here?

Justin Frandson: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me on you got.I just really wanna encourage you to understand physics and biology and what health really is. And good health is really connecting above and getting grounded into nature and smiling and living and touching and hugging each other and being together and that’s that’s the answer. That’s the essence of living for life, having fun and smiling. A smile is the most contagious thing on the planet. So there’s bioenergetic resonances that naturally occur in nature that are stronger than anything. And I want people to stop living in fear and understand what true health is and that our viruses are just our adopted system at work. We’re dead proteins that we produce so there’s No Fear, there’s nothing flying around to kill anyone. We just smile and live for life and you guys the most important thing you can do right now for your health is to do all those and make sure you’re getting out in nature and getting grounded by nature and then when you’re inside use your  grounding bags and then also establish pro, turn your Wi-Fi off, turn your electrical off in your bedrooms. Create your home into a really quiet resonance so it’s closer to as human residence, not these one directional, billions of waves per second when you’re trying to sleep and heal. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good, Justin. I appreciate it. What are your sights again? We have EMFrocks.com. 

Justin Frandson: EMFrocks.com. We have clinics all around the country and then athleticism.com is where we have our curated health and performance products and that’s spelled athletic SM for those of you who have trouble spelling athleticism. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OK, perfect. I will put links down below. People can get access. Oh, by the way, Faraday bags. How, how do you use those by the way? And do you always keep your phone into a Faraday bag? Is it only at night when you’re kind of putting your phone away? 

Justin Frandson: Yeah. So we have two sides of the Faraday bags. Thanks for asking, Doctor J.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How does it work, by the way? How does it even work? Like, what is it exactly? 

Justin Frandson: Yeah. So people think of Faraday, they think of a very change where no frequencies going in and out of our static bags are 7 millimeters, so frequencies go in and out of them. So that’s the difference. But there’s a physics component that when you put a polarizing positive charge inside of it, it fairly back squash it to what bio initiative.org would consider safe levels and muscle testing. Applied kinesiology, would our body would feel safe levels that we can handle now what also happens so it dampens the signal strength of your cell phone to safe levels, your phone may or may not ring inside there, but what it also do is is it’s it does is it stops the data harvesting so it slows down the aggregation of all the information, they’re coming from you. That’s the drain on your battery. That’s why everyone’s battery dies so quickly because they are listening to everything. They’re aggregating every bit of your information every second of the day. They know all your biometrics now, if you’re giving him your retina scan, your voice, your face, your Palm imprint, I mean these. These are some of the most individual imprints of your body you don’t want to use for commerce so avoid using fingers, palm print, voice, Retina Face, imprint to get access to your phone, you don’t want that information. You don’t want to use it for commerce because they know your passcode, they know where you live, how fast you drive all this information. They’re just aggregating, sending it to AI to create this meta universe, so as much as I love technology is allowing us to connect where we probably one of because you’re more in Texas and I’m in California but this stuff is cool, we just have to develop proximity protocol with it and understand that it’s enhancing and certain times and then when you’re not using it and get it away from you. They’re already back. If you have to sleep with your phone on at night, make sure things inside the bag are tested and put in there, seal it. You’ll have the best night sleep, your phone will still ring and you won’t have the thing tapping on your shoulder all night long. Saying talk to me, talk to me. This is that it’s essentially, that’s what it does. It’s always looking for a signal. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is your phone safe if you put it on airplane mode and it’s on you? Is it safer? Is it still less signal? 

Justin Frandson: Way better. Way better, because there’s not that wireless looking for that signal. So definitely get it. Get in airplane mode. The next step would be to save your battery because they’re still gonna aggregate through airplane mode. They’re always having these signals on these.Telecommunication companies, they want all your information. They’re beaconing stuff. So they’re always doing this called surveillance marketing. It’s why Apple’s a multibillion dollar company. It’s not an office selling devices. Yeah, they sell a lot of devices, but.It’s this marketing that they’re doing and listening to. They’re selling your information. That’s where they’re really making the substantial revenue from. So slow down this aggregation information actually on your biometrics and we’ll be able to stop this meta universe and really get back to connection with God and getting grounded by nature. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, with a lot of these tech companies you are the product, it’s good to keep your privacy and keep it yours. You know, have control over that. So I like having tools that put kind of these controls back in your hand. So Justin Fradson, really appreciate today’s podcast and we’ll put links down below for some of the some of the good products.That we talked about here today, and I’ll put links to the books that we chatted about in the show notes as well. Have a phenomenal day, Justin, great chatting with you.

Justin Frandson: Hey, thank you, Doctor J, man. Appreciate you.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.EMFrocks.com

Recommended products:

https://amzn.to/3B6wHnX

https://amzn.to/3gYtKis

https://amzn.to/3iv69WU

 

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

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

How to Deal With Stress and Feeling Overwhelmed? | Podcast #376

Connections between the brain and gut abound, which can be seen in the dysfunctions that often unite them. Many neurological and mood disorders often have enteric manifestations, GI disorders may present with neurological and psychiatric symptoms, and psychological stress may adversely impact microbiome balance and GI function.

Dr. J and Evan Brand discuss that consideration of the bidirectional relationship of the gut-brain axis will inform individual treatment strategies. Managing external stress-related factors while optimizing gut health may jointly address some chronic health conditions. Specifically, personalized therapeutic strategies that combine stress transformation approaches with gut health interventions, such as functional testing, nutrition, and natural supplements, may help to optimize gut function and bolster related body systems. Learn more about supporting the microbiome and its effect on overall health when you subscribe to this channel!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
0:46 – Stress
6:41 – Brain Chemistry
7:51 – Water Filtration and Organic Foods
13:56 – Cortisol Patterns
23:13 – Stress and Hormones
30:00 – Testing and Functional Strategies

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s doctor J here in the house with Evan Brand. Really excited. We are back doing our live podcast. Really excited to be back in the saddle. Evan, how we doing, man? What’s going on? 

Evan Brand: Oh, doing really well. I’m excited to talk about stress. My wife, she woke up this morning.Which is like my jaws tight was like grinding my teeth last night and maybe you need to talk about that today. So I thought, OK, everyone is stressed, there’s a lot on everyone’s plate, but it’s really how you respond to it that really determines whether it makes you and you become someone and something and you get success out of your stress. Or do you just get frazzled and burned out and you resort to alcohol and tobacco and other addictions, chocolate and wine and whatever else to cope with that? And I think there’s a lot healthier coping mechanisms or stress for burnout, for feelings of overwhelm. And you and I have done this for years clinically. We’ve helped people through the toughest of cases. You and I have taken the huge load on our shoulders of, you know, trying to be the helper, be the healer with someone that’s struggling. And that’s a lot, that’s a heavy toll on us. So there’s things that you and I do personally. And then there’s things that you and I do clinically and then we’ve got some studies to kind of verify you know, what we’re seeing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% So when I look at stress.You have the actual stress issue, like whatever that stress issue is, right? And so feeling anxious or feeling stressed about an issue is a good thing, right? Part of the reason that is there is to get you motivated to get off your butt to solve the problem. So I always look at the issue and I’m like. Right. Why do I feel stressed? Usually there’s you haven’t closed the loop yet. I call it closing the loops. Problem, right? You take action to resolve the problem, the problem goes away. That’s the closed loop, right? And so you have a lot of people with open loops. Meaning they have a problem out there and they just haven’t even figured out the solution. So when it comes to being healthy and having good neurotransmitters, good adrenal function, good healthy diet and lifestyle habits, good anti-inflammatory type of environment, nutrient dense foods coming in. Good nutrition, your ability to process one that stressor when it hits you, it’s not gonna hit you as hard. It’s not gonna knock you off your pedestal to you’re going to be able to adapt and you’re going to be able to think clearly and troubleshoot whatever the issue is. And so I always look at a problem. I said OK, got it, how do I close the loop on that, what’s the action item to execute? That so I always just kind of get clear, have a list. What are the things I can do and set in motion to resolve the issue. I think it’s really important if you just dust it away. The healthiest adrenal glands eventually is gonna eat away at you because you haven’t closed the loop. So always think about closing the loop on your issues #2 get healthier so these things don’t bug you as much, right? If you have good levels of B6, good levels of magnesium, you’re sleeping adequately, you have good blood sugar stability, Good amino acids. It’s gonna allow you to be able to process it. You’re not gonna activate that fight or flight part of your nervous system. That shuts down the frontal cortex and activates the reptilian brain stem part of the brain that’s all about fight or flee, fight or flee, fight or flee. And so the more you can keep this kind of reptilian brain from being activated, and then you can use that frontal cortex, you’ll be able to sit back, become troubleshoot the issue and close the loop.

Evan Brand: And this is hard if you’ve got toxins, if you’ve got lyme, different infections. I mean we’ve seen in the literature that certain infections and toxins. Basically, decrease the blood flow to that front part of the brain. So you become a monkey. You do become primitive as you mentioned. This reptile brain kicks in and you can’t make good decisions and you certainly can’t comprehend the future. You get stuck living in the day, the hour, the minute with that stress and when you say close the loop, I think that resonates for a lot of people, but many people are afraid to close the loop because this means that they have to end a friendship that’s toxic. They have to end a marriage that’s failing. They have to, you know, fire someone that they don’t like. They have to quit their job because they have a bad boss. So.You know, closing the loop sounds so simple, but this could be a huge roadblock. You know, for people, and I’ve seen it, where you’ve got a woman eating perfectly. She’s doing amazing with her supplements. But for example, here’s the case study. She’s in an open relationship and she’s miserable and she hates it. And she’s jealous and her husband’s with these other women and she doesn’t want him to be. And so there’s issues there. I don’t freaking care how much ashwagandha this lady pops. She’s not going to supplement out of this situation. That’s intense. And there is a place for closing the loop. And you can’t supplement your way out of a situation like that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. In relationship, it’s always good to have healthy boundaries, right? It’s like good fences make good neighbors, right? Having good emotional boundaries and how were relationship operates, right? If your families asking 10 times of you, then, then you, then ten times of you, then they help you on the backside, right, this kind of Arctic give and take that. So you always have to have clear boundaries. I think that’s a really, really important one. There’s an awesome book out there. Um, by Henry Cloud called boundaries. That’s a really good woman. I see patients in relationships. They may not even be a relationship with their spouse. It could be a relationship with family or friends where they’re just kind of a parasitic element of people asking many multiples from that person. Then that person’s providing back and there should always be a give and take. Right. I always tell patients like when you play catch, I throw the ball, you throw the ball, right. Emotionally, there’s a give and a take and it’s back and forth and it’s equal. When I start throwing the ball, you don’t throw it back. I run back over, get the ball, come back, throw it again, that, that, that’s, that’s you know very depleting, right? You missed the give and take, and so you gotta make sure your good, healthy boundaries are there. Also, with relationships, it’s always better to try to restructure. Kind of reboundify the relationship, then just exit. I think exiting a lot of relationships is just, uh, it’s an easy way out. It’s, you know, you just go somewhere and end your and go on to your life. I think it’s always better to see if you can repair or give people an opportunity to repair and get on the same page and see what happens from there. But either way, right, you have all these emotional issues. Get healthy. If you’re afraid to deal with these issues right now, put them on the back burner. No, you have to deal with them. Adjust your expectations of healing and try to get healthier so then you have better energy, better focused, better calmness to address whatever the problem is. 

Evan Brand: This is great advice and it’s uncomfortable and there are situations that are going to be intense, but I would encourage you just to go face first with those now if you have trouble making eye contact with these people. Some of that’s related to brain chemistry too. I see a lot of people that when they get in a stressful situation.They just shut down. They look down, they look away. They can’t face the person and therefore they can’t fully express themselves. That’s usually tied into low GABA, and so we can’t measure GABA on the organic acids. But we can measure serotonin, we can measure dopamine, we can measure endorphins. So before you and I go into a few of these studies and solutions, you know, let’s just give a little back story on some of this. And so, you know, when I had gut infections down in Texas, I had tons of anxiety. It wasn’t me, it was not my personality. It was the gut bugs. And when we looked in my brain chemistry, my serotonin was low. My dopamine was low. I had issues to fully get myself motivated. I still push through, but I didn’t wake up necessarily with that spark like I wanted, and so I know personally and you and I have seen it 1000 plus times clinically the low brain chemistry problem, it’s epidemic and it’s only gotten worse even in the last 10 years. You and I have been looking at these labs. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And so again, there are some people that have been on board here with us for years listening and they’re super advanced. And so just kind of out of the gate, we’re going to just give a brief overview of foundational things. OK. So first thing out of the gate is an appointment my phone because I just changed my whole house water filtration here, and Evan and I were talking about it earlier today. So check this out. I’m gonna hold up my phone. So you can see here.The clean one on the left, that’s a brand new filter. And that all the way up to the webcam. 

Evan Brand: We can hardly see. Go closer. Yeah. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So the one on the left, right, the white one. That’s the new one.That’s the one that was in there for the last three months. I mean that is just nasty, dirty and gross that again that sense. That’s a post filter. So it went through a massive pre filter, went through the huge carbon based filter and then went through that afterwards. And it was dirty. It is nasty. I actually have it over on my on my bar countertop over there. So pretty pretty freaking gross. So, what does that mean? It means, prioritize good clean filtered water. If you don’t have a high water filter water filter system, we’ll put some links down below to the ones that we personally use, but in general, at least get a good quality glass water Topo Chico, Cheryl Steiner, a Perrier, a mountain valley one out of a good glass model was gonna be excellent during the day and then I definitely recommend getting a whole house water filter once you’re in a in a place where you can do it. Some people may be in an apartment, then maybe a temporary housing. You can always get an under the counter filter. There are even some temporary ones that actually go on top but still filter water out pretty well. But that’s pretty nasty. And so 70% of your body’s water in regards to all the liquids. So you need good clean filtered water without all the junky chemicals. Maybe drugs, maybe pesticide runoff? Bull run off, who knows. So the first thing is kind of get your water right. Comments there, Evan?

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, this is important because when you’re stressed, you’re gonna be dehydrated. You’re burning through everything. You’re burning through hydration, you’re burning through B vitamins. You and are looking at papers on B vitamins and magnesium for helping with stress. So we know that when you’re burning the candle, and most people in the modern world are.You need good water and the tap water. You can look up EWG and put in your zip code. It’s scary. I mean, almost every single city has insane high levels of trihalomethanes which are carcinogenic as you mentioned pesticide residue, pharmaceutical drugs like heart medications, beta blockers, anti anxiety, antidepressant medications. You know what’s scary? There are studies now being done on bays, some of these inland bodies of water. And there was one down, I think it was in Florida near Miami. Biscayne Bay is one of these most famous bays. They have an issue now where all of the fish. I’ll see if I can pull it up.They now have drugs in them. And it’s because of the runoff from people. So let me pull this up because this is.This is pretty crazy. This was, this actually came out over the summer this year. And I think it’s pretty shocking and most people don’t have a clue. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, there was that famous study on atrazine up at UC Berkeley showing the frogs were essentially having reproductive organ issues like a major. I think they were almost becoming like asexual and their sex organs were like switching some kind of weird dynamic what’s happening. Based on the hormone, like disrupting compounds in these pesticides. And that was atrazine. 

Evan Brand: Did you, did this pull up my screen here? Oh yeah, the screen share, I’m going to share with you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Go ahead. 

Evan Brand: Alright, yeah. So here it is. Pharmaceutical drugs showing up in fish from South Florida waters. Yeah, so it’s Biscayne Bay and I know you’ve got 2.5 million Miami residents and a lot of those people are on pharmaceutical drugs and then they’re peeing that out and then some of that runoff is ending up in the water supply and then that runs off into the Bay and then the fish then accumulate those drugs. So they did a three-year study.They found the Valium. They found antibiotics. They found blood pressure medication in the blood and tissue of bone fish. One fish showed 17 different drugs. So here you are thinking you’re getting your fish clean. I’m gonna eat fresh fish. It’s like well. You know you’re looking at antidepressant treatment, medication, narcotics, pain relievers. That’s insane. Now they’re saying good news is that this is a catch and release species. But, what about the other fish that people are eating? So move. I don’t know. Just tuna fish. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So I mean, getting your water clean, getting your food quality clean, organic food. Here’s the atrazine study. And they were talking about it here at UC Berkeley Press release back in 2002. But it was April 16th in the National Academy of Sciences, UC Berkeley, essentially what happened here, the frogs were developing, they were becoming hermaphrodite. They were heading both sex organs. So you could see testes here, ovaries, ovaries, and you could see abnormal gonads and male exposure to this type of frog.The frogs have become hermaphrodites. Both male and female due to the hormonal exposure. So you can see because the atrazine environment basically an uncontrolled experiment this would be no atrazine free environment talking about because herbicides been used for 40 years of 80 countries. It’s effect on sexual development and male frogs could be one of many factors in the global decline of amphibians. So crazy, right? Now we’re talking about lowest levels of 0.1 part per billion. So this is real. So that’s why I’m saying out of the gate, easiest thing out of the gate. Clean water, good water filter, organic food, organic food. And then outside of that, right then we could talk about blood sugar, stability, at least a pound worth of protein at every meal. I think it’s a really good making sure you have good fats that aren’t all pufa-based fats. Seed, nut oil based fats, refined vegetable oils, you know keeping it good healthy saturated fats, coconut oil, avocado, olive, you know cold press. You know most of your good quality fats coming from more stable.Had accelerated fat sources. This is great. And then after that you just adjust the carbs for your activity level and kind of your metabolic type, meaning do you need to lose weight? Are you kind of a skinnier person? Are you really active right? The more active and the more at an optimal weight you are, the more carbohydrates you can handle. So you got to adjust it. It’s not a one-size-fits-all on that. 

Evan Brand: Let’s transition. Talk about cortisol. Yeah. This is important for stress. When people think stress, most people think cortisol and you and I’ve run so many of these, probably more than anybody, I pulled up my screen. If you want to pull it up. This is a Dutch panel. That you and I run on almost everyone in regards to hormonal health and what you’re looking for is really the health of the cortisol pattern. So you can see here this particular female, she was absolutely exhausted. You could see for people on audio, you’re missing out, but you could go back to. Uh Justin Health YouTube channel and you can watch this video if you’re listening on the audio and you want to see the the the some of the screen shares. But you want to basically charge your smartphone battery first thing in the morning, get a full charge and that full charge last throughout the day, but in this case this woman, her cortisol pattern was completely shut. She was below range the entire day except for night time. She perked up just a little bit, and that could have been like maybe she was on her phone, she was watching a horror movie or a scary TV show or something an artificially boosted her cortisol. But this is the real issues. So no matter how clean your water is, if your cortisol pattern looks like this, you’re gonna be absolutely exhausted and you were gonna deal with stress terribly. You’re not going to deal with stress. How many people are you seeing like this now versus maybe 5 Years ago, do you feel like it’s becoming more common or no? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean it’s, it’s always tough because we’re, I’m seeing a large percent of the population that are have chronic health issues, right. So I’m always gonna get that, that slice that’s going to be significant. But yeah this type of pattern is, is a big deal, right, because not only is this a sign of you being chronically stressed and depleted, but this is a reverse cortisol rhythm, so you’re gonna be tired during the day and it’s gonna be harder for you to relax at night and recharge. So it makes it really difficult to get that good regenerative sleep wake cycle going. And so these are the people that have.Hard time sleeping at night and getting and reestablishing those good healthy lifestyle patterns that should be in place. That’s what makes it really tough. One thing if you’re just tired, but you can work on getting sleep and and recharging if we can’t. And then also this person, I guarantee you there’s there’s stress handling capacities gonna be at Max, so they’re just gonna like flip out on their kids, flip out on their friends at the simplest thing, or they’ll just be an overwhelmed and they’ll just be in flight constantly ignoring and sweeping all their problems under the rug because they jerked their capacity so low. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and I know this particular female here was incredibly histamine intolerant. Someone in the comments said, let’s talk about histamine. So there is a component to that. And in her case, she was sensitive to everything, chemicals, fragrances, EMF food. So this was a, you know a pretty sick middle-aged woman, but I mean everything was completely crashed here and so you and I wanted to talk about some of the herbs. Now if we jump right into one of these papers on. What’s called Magnolia and Phellodendron? This is a blend, actually. And it’s usually under the patented name Relora. Some of the professional products you and I use contain Relora. Now. This is a good option for reducing stress and anxiety, but the problem is you really don’t just want to start taking supplements without the clinical data because if you look back at that woman and the cortisol pattern is completely crashed, if we were to go to something like Relora, I would say this is not an appropriate thing to use because if you look at the results of the study of supplementing Relora for four weeks, the salivary cortisol was18% lower in the Relora group. So what that means is they saw less stress, less tension, less depression, way less anger, less fatigue, less confusion, and a higher mood. But would you say in her case that’s not appropriate because she was so crashed already. We don’t want an 18% reduction in cortisol. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now the question is what type of people were in that group, because a lot of these adaptogens, if someones low like ashwagandha for instance. There’s studies on Ashwagandha on helping to lower cortisol as well as increased cortisol. So I would say that the adaptogens are probably not like a drug where they’re gonna suppress. If someone’s already low, they’re probably gonna more help that HPA access kind of adapt. Now there are certain adaptogens like ginseng or licorice that may be more stimulatory even if someone’s high, it may still over stimulate. So you gotta be careful with over stimulating ones, but usually ones.like holy basil Holy basil, Magnolia, Ashwagandha tend to be more adaptogenic, so I’d be curious about that. What that sample size was? Were they kind of higher cortisol people? If they were higher cortisol people, then that would totally make sense that the herb was working to kind of bring things back into balance. Does it say it all in that study? 

Evan Brand: We assess salivary cortisol and psychological mood in 56 subjects, 35 women, 25 or 35 men, 20 21 women. They were screened for moderate stress, so that would have been interesting if they would have came in and did a cortisol panel on all these people and showed the before and after, but that’s OK because you and I have seen this a lot clinically and as you described, we’d like to just give the nutrients to let the body do what it needs to do. Meaning we’re not coming in with Cortef necessarily and cranking her up. We’re giving HPA access support and the body can figure this out on its own in many many cases. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And the fact that a lot of these symptoms improved. It’s probably not a low cortisol person making their cortisol lower because that those symptoms would get worse, right? They would actually, you know, they wouldn’t be improving, right. So the fact that they’re coming down, there’s probably an improvement. So imagine these people had higher cortisol patterns.To begin with. And that would make sense. But that’s why we don’t even go all in on just any herb, right? Or making these diet changes. We’re getting the inflammation down. We’re increasing nutrient density. We’re also providing all the cofactors to help your adrenals function better, whether it’s vitamin C, whether it’s pantothenic acid B5, whether it’s B6, I have one study in here talking about B6 and Magnesium actually works better than magnesium alone. And part of that is unique cofactors for these nutrients to work better. And a lot of your brain chemicals actually have cofactors for a lot of these conversions of serotonin and Dopamine and norepinephrine to happen, you need a lot of cofactors. And then we can kind of go more into the category of like, well, if your diets crummy and you’re eating a lot of sugar or inflammatory foods, you can actually deplete those pull factors more. Or if you have mold exposure, you may deplete, you may be depleting your B vitamins in your in your in your folate and your B12 and your B6 for methylation purposes. Because that mold exposure is revving up those methylation pathways, you may be utilizing more of your acetylation and glucuronidation pathways for glutathione and acetyl cysteine right. You’re sulfur aminos may be depleted as well and also chronic stress does deplete sulfur because you need sulfur to actually activate dopamine to norepinephrine. And so when you look at those pathways, the more stressed you get, you will actually deplete sulfur and when you don’t have enough sulfur if you have mold exposure coming in.You see how you have a toxin on this side and then you have stress over here and you’re kind of burning that candle at both ends.

Evan Brand: Yeah.Let’s hit Ashwagandha. And then I like B vitamin magnesium when it’s pretty interesting. So ashwagandha, we hear a lot about it. I’d say it’s probably the most popular adaptogenic herb. I mean, you see it in grocery stores now at the checkout counter, I’ve seen Ashwagandha gummies and Ashwagandha pills, which I think in general is good, I have seen at the high dose and I have seen chronic usage in some people. It gives them a little bit of flatness where they just don’t have as much emotions. I’ve just seen, if you look on Reddit, there’s several threads if you type in like ashwagandha at Hedonia, this is basically just the loss of pleasure in life. So there’s some people that are reporting either high dose or long term use of ashwagandha. They just sort of become numb. So I think you need to watch out for that. But in general, you and I are cycling on and off of these things and we’re rotating. Now out of protocols and not necessarily, always in isolation. Just for a couple months, if they have excessive fatigue, maybe we’re adding in some rhodiola, so we’ll look at that in a minute too. But the Long story short is many, many papers on Ashwagandha. This is just one. But you’re always gonna see an anti anxiety activity and you’re always gonna see anti stress. It’s going to improve symptoms of depression and insomnia and it’s going to help primarily by modulating the HPA access and also the sympathetic adrenal medullary axis, as well as GABAnergic and serotonergic pathways, meaning that it may help boost GABA, which calms you down. It may help boost serotonin, which helps you become less irritable, less anxious, and you may sleep better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. I just swallow some Gabba and some glycine right now, some amino acids that also help with stress. Love, Mike. 

Evan Brand: I took some right before. Yeah, right before we jumped on. I told you about those gummies and my wife. And so I had a couple. It was like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola I think it might have been some Maca too, but, so that was good. So here’s another paper on ashwagandha. This was a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled, which is the best, the best type that you want. And they said, compared to placebo, significant reduction in what they’re calling the Hamilton Anxiety rating scale. So significant reduction in that. In a near significant reduction and the depression, anxiety and stress scale. Also reductions in morning cortisol testosterone levels increased in males. So you and I didn’t mention that but. Stress.Those surprise stress is going to negatively affect your hormones too. Stress is going to reduce testosterone. That’s going to affect your sex drive. So when you see that Viagra is being passed out like candy, now you wonder what all’s going into the stress is a big component.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, we just saw a major study come out last month looking at the effectiveness of antidepressants. And they’re showed to be, you know, no long term benefit with a lot of these antidepressants. I think that was a Lancet study out of the UK and so we kind of look at a lot of the antidepressants, we look at the mechanism that’s happening there. You know, we know there’s data on things like tryptophan and five HTP and B6 helping. So there’s definitely like, there definitely is like a depletion theory where people are chronically stressed and then as they are stressed, they do deplete their serotonin, they deplete their dopamine. We see that in organic acid test. But the medications for that are blocking these reuptake ports, trying to accumulate more serotonin in between the synapses may not be the right school of thought. And there are a lot of doctors and people and pharmacologists looking in the direction of just brain inflammation. And so everything we do in functional medicine is about reducing inflammation. So when we give this nutrient with this herb we’re doing so many things in the background, diet and lifestyle wise to reduce inflammation. There’s so many variables we’re moving so it’s so hard in functional medicine world to do a double-blind placebo control trial because in those trials you have to typically control a variable or two at once. If you control 10 variables at once, 12 variables, there’s just too many things moving in one Direction to know which one was the deal breaker and like in this one, study over here. I’ll show you. Where they look at tyrosine supplementation. And or stress for cognitive demands. I’m going to pull this trial up here. So this is interesting right here. And this is kind of why we like to test and not guess, right, assessing over guessing. So they looked at dopamine, tyrosine which is a building block for dopamine, right. It goes, it goes phenylalanine and tyrosine and then it goes L DOPA dopamine and then under stressed dopamine can get converted to norepinephrine.Then you actually use a lot of sulfur. From dopamine to norepinephrine. But they talked over here that the potential of using TYR supplementation to treat clinical disorder seems limited and benefits. But then it talks about down here tyrosine does seem to effectively enhance cognitive performance particularly in short term stressful and/or cognitively demanding situations, we conclude tyrosine is an effective enhancer of cognitive function, but only when neurotransmitter function is intact and dopamine or norepinephrine is temporary or depleted. So if we have some functional deficiencies and we may see that based on a stress profile or you know functionally, we may see it on a cortisol rhythm test and we may see it with an organic acid panel, looking at vanilmandelate, looking at Homovanillate and we may see some of these markers either go overly high or overly low, which shows that there’s some significant depletion going on here. And so you can see that this the nutrient tyrosine tend to work better when people actually had a depletion. 

Evan Brand: Well, you made me think of something and we’ve probably talked about this before, but how crazy is it to think about trying to do a proper, supposedly double-blind placebo-controlled study? Because, think of Sally who woke up and had a GMO Gluten bagel with vegetable oil. Instead of real butter for breakfast, she takes the antidepressant. Or she takes the herb and they’ve got Johnny over here who had a grass fed rib eye for breakfast and he took the same medication. They’re going to get totally freaking different results. So you and I were talking about this before we hit record, but it’s so hard to actually look at and appreciate a study that’s going to give you that outcome because like what time do they go to bed? Are they all going to bed at 10:00 PM or Sally staying up till 2:00 AM? No wonder she didn’t get relief from the antidepressant or the antidepressant herb or whatever. So it’s like, my God, when you really break apart using the functional medicine lens, you break apart the sleep, the stress, the diet, the family relationships, like how many of those people are going through a divorce during the study? Those are the seven people that didn’t get relief from depression, right? So it’s very difficult. And I think that’s why you and I can look at these studies and there’s other people that will talk about studies on podcast, but the reality is when you have the clinical experience that would, that’s what makes the difference because we’re coaching people through some of the lifestyle measures, the sleep, the nutrition, the water, we’re not just throwing the herb and saying good luck. It’s just not going to be that effective. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And also like we just mentioned earlier. We got a test, right? We don’t wanna guess, we want to assess. And This is why someone may have, you know, no experience with this supplement and say it’s it’s joke it’s it’s snake oil and someone’s like no i had a really great experience because there’s one you may Had a really great experience because there’s one you may not need that nutrient as much if you need something more than someone else, right? Then you may have a better benefit, but also a lot of nutrients work synergistically, right? So this one study looks at magnesium with B6 and they found that this study that, right here, many civilizations regard subjects with severe extreme stress study provides clinical support for the greater benefit of magnesium combined with B6. So both groups did well. They had a magnesium group and a magnesium with B6 and they found the magnesium with B6 actually did better and so a lot of nutrients are synergistic. I mean, I think anyone, most people will benefit from magnesium just because a large percent of the population are depleted in it. Our food supply becomes less and less on it. It’s one of those core nutrients it’s hard to get enough of. So I think it can’t hurt to ever take some of these core nutrients, but a lot of these nutrients are synergistic and so magnesium is very important for stress and relaxation. But B6 also helps with, it’s an important cofactor for all of your brain chemicals to work. Very important cofactor and it helps a lot of your neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA and dopamine and adrenaline all work and convert in the brain. So it’s important that you can’t just ever rely on one nutrient, you got to look at the whole thing and it’s always better to assess versus guests too.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and when you click on the podcast and it says helping with stress or feeling overwhelmed, you may think of us talking about meditation and float tanks and scheduling massages and getting manicures and pedicures.And take it a vacation and taking Fridays off and hugging your kids more and having more sex. All those things are great too. But we’re really trying to get geeky here with you guys, because most people that come to us, as you mentioned, they’ve already been to 5 10-15 20. They done the massage and they’ve been through the talk therapy and they’ve been to so many other practitioners. They need the nitty gritty granular stuff like this. It’s really going to get them better. So if you guys are listening for the lifestyle stuff, we try to integrate that and that is important, but ultimately most people are doing a lot of that, and they’ve tried and they’re still suffering. Let me pull something up on Rhodiola. This is pretty cool. I told you years ago how Rhodiola changed my life. And this is a paper that just concludes that Rhodiola is a very effective potent herb for treating mild to moderate depression. And we’re talking in six weeks. So this is not a long thing. Like people think it’s gonna take years and years and years.I’m not saying that if you’ve got mold, you won’t still be depressed. If you’ve got Lyme, you’re still going to be depressed like that. That can happen. But what if I can just give you a tool, which is gonna boost you. Let’s say it reduces your depression by 30%, enough for you to get back into the gym. And now you’re exercising. Now you get the natural endorphin boost, and then you feel more confidence. Now you go on a date with this woman you’ve been wanting to go on a date with, and now you have more fun and oxytocin cause your bonding. But at this this whole snowball effect happened all because I just gave you this herb to pull you out of a dark place. So that’s really what we’re trying to do.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So we talked about some of the Earth, some of the nutrients, some of our big favorite ones. Of course, movement is going to be helpful. Again, you got to figure out where your level is. If you’re chronically inflamed, movement maybe too much, too stressful and puts you in a more catabolic place because you’re breaking down tissue. Figure out where you’re at if you’re at a good place.You can lift some weights, do a little bit of interval sprinting, whether it’s a walks, walk, run, walk, Sprint, you can do a rower. We like rowers because of, you know, the extension and also there’s less impact on the joint. So if you’re already inflamed, you’re not going to create more inflammation. You can start with some bands or some gentle lifting of weights to kinda you know find that 8 to 12 you know rep 8 to 12 you know, Rep movement, that’s going to give you a good muscle breakdown, give you a little soreness. That’s good. You know, getting 10,000 steps today, these are all simple strategies. Strategies. We don’t have to overthink it. You don’t need to super crazy customized plan out of the gates. Just get some good movement. Make sure you’re, you have good form. If you’re not sure, you can always start with walking or yoga or something more gentle and you can always check out some YouTube videos and do some band work or some cable work or I like the new tonal that’s another good at home device for lifting is really good so you know just get get enough movement in there to get your muscles a little bit sore.

Evan Brand: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve got my roll machine right here. I just try to put it on this heavy of a setting as I feel confident with it’s not gonna injure me where I can still go. And I almost use it like a sprinting device. I don’t necessarily just go slow and steady, I try to just kind of sharp relatively fast. Kind of like a Sprint row movement and I tell you it, it can be depleting, but man, I’ve heard many people talk about this, like when you want to get out of your mind with your ruminating, if you’re worried, if you’re thinking negative, you’re going through all these bad things in your life and bad symptoms and all. I’m so, you do these pity parties for yourself when you’re exercising physically. It almost shuts that brain off completely to where you could just focus on like how hard this exercise, how hard this movement is. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% great 100% now outside of the gates here right? There could be some hidden issues that were not addressing and you have to see a good functional medicine provider over there could be you may need to look at your adrenals. Your adrenals could be more depleted like that patient Evan just show where they have significant kind of reverse cortisol pattern. It’s good to know your adrenal pattern because if you have chronic issues, you want to know, hey, this is where I’m at one it gives you a timeline of how long it may take to heal that person may look at look like a 6 to 12 month journey on that. Also it gives you the ability to have, you know, realistic expectations, good timeline, also something like that. We’d probably wanna do a retest on someone that’s that out of balance to make sure they’re back in balance, but also want to look at hidden stressors that could be behind that, whether it’s mold, whether it’s pests, whether it’s, you know, toxicity issues that aren’t being addressed. Whether it’s gut issues we talked about, a lot of these nutrients have to get eaten, so for our diets poor there’s a problem. But also what if it’s good now but we’re not breaking down and absorbing it? That’s where we’d have to do deeper testing on the functional medicine side to see how you’re doing digestive wise with HCL and enzymes. See if there’s any gut bug issues.And then we can also do other intracellular nutrient tasks for their organic acids or nutrients, look at other kind of intercellular nutrients. So there could be some other hidden stressors going on there. I always say just kind of start from the ground and work your way up, start with the low hanging fruit. Keep it simple because that provides a good foundation anyway, but you know if you have chronic issues, you definitely want to reach out to someone like Evan evanbrand.com or someone like myself,Doctor J justinhealth.com for the deeper issues and we’ll put links down below so y’all can reach out. Evan, anything else you want to add before we wrap things up?

Evan Brand: Yeah, I think for people that are, in a short term, acute stress, they have to travel for a wedding. They’re maybe going on a honeymoon. Sounds fun, could be stressful. Travel, new food, new water supply, their new parents. They’ve got small children, those are situations where you may come in, not small children cause those are long term stress, you and I can attest to that but you know, honeymoon, you know, new marriage, whatever. So, so those acute stressors, you could probably do some of these formulas whether it’s Tongkat or Magnolia or Ashwagandha,Rhodiola, holy Basil, there’s many, many options. Extra magnesium, B6, GABA, taurine and acetone. These things are great, but if you have been stressed and feeling overwhelmed for 1,2,3,5,10,20,25 years and beyond, you really don’t just want to go try to get rhodiola and get your way out of it. It’s not going to happen. I’ve tried. I took so many supplements when I was sick and it helped me to stay alive and it helped me to continue to work and be up on my feet but.I knew that ultimately I was missing something, and it wasn’t until I really cleared the parasite, cleared the H pylori, my energy started to come up like I was on Rhodiola while I had parasites.I was still tired. I was less tired, but I was still tired. And I think the problem is like naturopathic medicine. So naturopaths specifically, they may come in and instead of, you know, quartet for cortisol, they give you licorice and ashwagandha, which is great, but then it stops there. So you really have to ask the question why? Why did I get myself into this? How did I get into this? Was this the bad relationship? The moldy apartment? The college dorm? That got me sick? And I think people need to just ask why a few more times. So, like, I’m tired. OK, here’s rhodiola. But it could be.  Hey, I’m tired. Well, why are you tired? Well, because I’m stressed. Why are you stressed? Because I’m in a bad relationship. OK? So we need to work on that. And if people keep asking why, usually you’re going to uncover some stuff. And I just encourage people, don’t be afraid, to look in those dark spots. Don’t, don’t be afraid to look in those corners where there’s some cobwebs of things that you’ve been emotionally shoving away, as you mentioned, dusting in a way or putting it under the carpet. Yeah, eventually those things are going to weigh you down. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, someone in the chat talked about a Epstein barr virus kind of plummeting their energy recently. Well, when it comes to Epstein Barr and some of these viruses like Epstein-barr said cytomegalovirus, it’s very rarely the virus just comes out of blue, comes out of the blue and just knocks you on your pot, right. Usually there’s some level of depletion going on and it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back and so. There’s different supports we can do to address viral issues, whether it’s silver or Monolaurin or Rishi, right? Different herbs and nutrients cats claw. But you’ve got to look at how did your body, how did your immune system become so compromised and susceptible to it. And you tend to have to work backwards and fix all of those issues that led up to this point. It’s very rarely something just coming out of the blue and doing all of it. It’s usually a level of susceptibility that you incurred and then this virus came in. So you have to really address everything, never just one thing.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’ve seen that too, and I’ve seen it with a lot of things that are probably still controversial on YouTube, but we’ve seen things that people put in their bodies that all of a sudden reactivate Epstein Barr and other problems. We’ve seen this in celebrities, we’ve seen this in clients. So yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. But guys, we want to give you actionable information. A lot of people out there, it’s just like sales, sales, sales, market, market leave you kind of hanging. I want everyone to kind of listen and be like, all right, here’s some foundational things. When we’re talking and doing a long podcast, it’s super easy to get overwhelmed. So just pick one or two things, execute, execute, execute action, action, action. And then if you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed that you want to take next steps, you have Evan and I for resources. It’s all about educating. It’s all about empowerment. So we’ll put links down below where you guys can reach out and work on taking the next steps. But worst case, just continue to take action. We’re here to help.

Evan Brand: Absolutely. So go take a bath, do your lavender, your Epsom salt and all that. Get your mind right. But then ultimately you gotta figure out what’s under the hood.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Very good. Evan, wait. Great chatting with you man. Glad we’re back in the saddle.

Evan Brand: You too. Take it easy. Talk to you soon, brother. Take care everyone. Bye now. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye y’all.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://drjabanmoore.com/

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Hiking is great.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand:  See you. Bye-bye. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.

Evan Brand: Bye. 

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: Well said. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: Take care, now. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye now. Peace. 

Evan Brand: Bye-bye 

How to Investigate The Root Cause of Your Gut Issues | Podcast #366

In functional medicine, it has long been familiar that gut health is paramount to the rest of the body. We didn’t fully understand why for years, although we knew the gut was the seat of the chronic inflammation and immune system. With the gut microbiome renaissance, we also need to understand how integral gut bacteria are to our health.

Dr. J and Evan discuss that screening for more serious underlying issues is essential. These may include gastric ulcers from an h.pylori infection, leaky gut, and other digestive system problems. Finding out whether these conditions are an issue also impacts how you manage gut health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
3:34 – The Signs and symptoms of digestive disorders
7:35 – What tests are effective to find the root cause of gut issues
13:58 – The downside of ordering lab tests on your own
26:21 – Food template modifications that will fit for your gut health


Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Here, Dr. J, with Evan Brand. Really excited to have an excellent podcast today. We’re gonna be chatting about how to investigate the root cause of your gut issues. We see lots of patients come in and they’ve gone to see the SIBO doc or the Candida doc or the parasite doc or the thyroid doc and whatever the symptoms that they’re dealing with, magically that issue, that doc only focuses on is the problem, how coincidental right? And so, we want to talk today about having a holistic mindset not being necessarily attached to what the diagnosis or what we think is the root issue but really be focused on the outcome and the different tools we use and have to investigate and support healing. Evan, how you doing man?  

Evan Brand: Doing good. And not to mention too, the conventional approaches, right, maybe they get to the SIBO guy or to the parasite guy or to the worm guy, maybe they went to the endocrinologist first for their hormone symptoms and then they got referred to the gastro doc and then the gastro doc did an endoscopy or a colonoscopy or a barium x-ray scan like you did to me and then they say oh you’ve got gastritis and that’s the only thing they can pull out of you is hey there’s some inflammation and then it ends there so whether you’re coming, listening from the conventional approach whether you have tried to go more natural holistic approach. As you and I’ve talked many times, people over-specialize and that’s the problem. You and I are what I would consider very good specialists but we also have a generalist undertone to us, meaning, we’re not gonna get caught up in just the SIBO, we’re not gonna get caught up in just the parasite, it’s rarely that simple. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. It’s like, imagine, like you hired a handyman to come over and fix something in your home and the handyman just takes this Phillips flat head screwdriver and it’s like, or, I’m sorry, not, but let’s say a regular Philipps screwdriver and just say hey I’m gonna use this Philipps screwdriver even if it requires a nail, even if it requires a wrench or a drill, I’m married or attached to this Philipps head screwdriver and we don’t want to be attached to the tool, we want to go in, know that we have a myriad of tools in our tool belt and pick the right tool for the right job. There’s a nail, I’m going to pick a hammer. Hey, there’s a, you know, a wrench, you know, we’re gonna use something that is good for a wrench etc. So, we’re picking the right tool for the job and we are focused on the outcome, getting the results and we’re not focused on how we get that outcome, right? The vegan diet people, they’re gonna make it so everything is solved by a vegan diet and that’s it, right? And so, we are independent of the tools that we use to get the success that we need. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a great point and a lot of this comes from just experience but also our own personal journey too, I mean, you know, my story, you helped me through my story of having digestive issues and skin issues for decades of my life and we looked at the H. pylori, worked on that then it was parasites then it was bacterial overgrowth then it was Candida then it was mold, I mean, so, I went through the ringer personally and I think personal suffering but of course clinical experience really gives you the non-biased approach and I think that’s what you need because if you’re trying to just sell book or you’re just trying to just get clients in from a book you wrote on SIBO, as you said, everything’s gonna be SIBO and if somebody is not in that box, you’re gonna still give them the same treatment, you’re not gonna get them better and then they’re gonna move on and the average person who comes to us has already been to 5, sometimes 10 or 15 practitioners, so it’s not surprising when we look what they’ve done and they’ve still missed some of the pieces. So, why don’t we talk now about some of the pieces, like when we’re looking at someone with gut issues, what are the pieces we’re trying to lay out on the table in front of us to gather enough information to find what’s truly going on and then of course how to fix it.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, the first thing that I think is essential is you got to do a good history, you have to understand how everything unwound, right? And so, when you look at most people’s history, a lot of times there’s poor diet, there’s usually some stress issues, a lot of inflammation compounded by junky fats, um, poor digestion, in general, not being able to break down proteins and fats, lots of refined sugar usually processed grains, excess omega-6 or trans fats and these things just continue to put the body in a pro-inflammatory state and what that means is, when you become overall inflamed at a higher level, your body starts to break down faster than it can heal and so the goal of being anti-inflammatory, right, is restricting a lot of the foods that drive inflammation, so your body can heal faster than you break down. So, there’s always this net buildup versus net breakdown and so when you’re breaking down over time what starts to happen is just as you know from a joint standpoint, you’re starting to feel a little bit inflamed, stiff from a mood standpoint, you may have anxiety, depression, obviously fatigue starting to creep in. Because, the more inflamed you are, your body’s having to deal and allocate adrenal resources to deal with the inflammation, to deal with the stress where normally those adrenal resources would help with energy and good mood and good circadian rhythm and so of course then that starts putting stress on the thyroid then you start having mood issues, temperature, hair loose and then of course the more stressed you are, the more that starts to suppress your body’s ability to digest optimally. So, HCl levels, enzymes levels, maybe bile salt levels start dropping. You start to have a harder time breaking down protein, breaking down fat. You may start getting burpee or gassy or more flatulence, now, your motility starts to go south typically more on the constipated side but you can still have more diarrhea too. And then, your absorption starts to go south and when that starts to go south, now you start to have, um, a bottleneck and all the nutrients, whether it’s B vitamins, flat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, K, whether it’s minerals or amino acids to help your brain chemicals or cholesterol to help your hormones. Those building blocks start dropping and then those pathways start getting shorted and they don’t have the resources to run optimally. And, when we don’t have the resources, more symptoms start to happen. And of course, this kind of compound in this whole journey is the immune system starts to drop and then when the immune system starts to get weaker, now, bugs start coming into the situation, whether it’s parasites or yeast overgrowth or SIBO or bacterial overgrowth or H. pylori. And again, we don’t have to be married to which one or which system is the one, right? But we have to look at things objectively and, um, I think it was Dr. Kaler said this to me over a decade ago, it was kind of a good line, he said, ‘patients have the right to have more than one issue, more than one infection, more than one hormonal imbalance going on at the same time, so don’t get married to one thing because you have the right to have lots of things going on.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. And you illustrated beautifully, just the constellation of symptoms that can happen. So, if someone is coming in with gut symptoms that’s usually the tip of the iceberg. Underneath that iceberg, just like your poster, you got right there. If we put the tip of the iceberg is gut under the water there, it could be the anxiety, the depression, the fatigue, the low sex drive, the cold hands the cold feet, the brain fog, the concentration issues, the memory problems, the skin issues. And so, once you do a good history, you’re also gonna be talking about pharmaceuticals too, what kind of like proton pump inhibitors were you on. That’s a big thing, like were you on acid blocking medications, were you on other things disrupting your gut. So, of course, figuring out, if you’re still on those medications, you’re not fully gonna get better, if you have a ton of drugs that are causing these side effects and then you get into the testing. Now, this is where you and I differ from other people. Some people, they’re married to the SIBO test and I don’t want to speak for you, I’ll ask you about this but me personally, I think a SIBO test is a waste of time because when we look at a GI map stool test, we’re gonna see a more detailed breakdown of specific pathogens like Strep and Staph and Pseudomonas. And the way I look at it is your mouth to your but is one long tube, so, if there’s dysbiosis in there identified on the stool or the urine organic acids, we can assume it’s probably in the small intestine but the protocol, the herbs that you’re gonna use, are gonna treat the whole thing. So, to me, I want to hear your thoughts on this too, but to me, if I see positive hydrogen or methane, all I’m going to go and do and say is gonna to be, ‘yep that makes sense’, but beyond that those breath tests are not really that helpful.     

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, a SIBO breath test is just looking, it’s an indirect measurement, looking at the gas created by the bugs, so methane or hydrogen gases that are created. So, if we can find bugs that typically produce those gases or an imbalance in but bugs that shouldn’t be there, then we know more than likely, there’s something going on in that SIBO realm. It doesn’t change the treatment that much because a lot of the herbs we use to knock down those bugs that they’re gonna be similar if not the same on the SIBO side. Now, my philosophy may be a tiny bit different than yours but I find anyone with these type of bug issues we’re running a comprehensive stool test and usually an organic acid test and on one or two of these tests, we’re gonna see either the bugs, the bacteria imbalances, whether it’s Citrobacter, Prevotella, Morganella, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, or H. pylori or parasites. We’ll see these bugs elevated if we don’t almost always, we catch it on the organic acid side when we’re looking at 2,3 phenol acetate or benzoate or Hippurate or D’arabinitol for yeast, usually we’ll catch it there. If I don’t catch it on any of those tests on the stool test or the organic acid test then I’ll pull out a lactulose breath test but I’d say 99% of the time we never have to go that far.  

Evan Brand: Okay. Okay. Good point. Maybe it’s a 1% of the time test for you and I guess what I would do if let’s say we missed it, we felt like we missed it on stool and urine, I might just come in or if sometimes if someone just has no budget to do anything, we may just look at symptoms scan history and just come in with some herbs and see how they do. And, a lot times, a lot of these antimicrobials, antifungals, anti-parasitic herbs, a lot of times it clears up the issue anyway so we don’t like to come in blind but in a few rare cases we have come in blind and we’ve still had good benefits. A lady just chimed in on the live chat here, my gut is not happy, chronic constipation after using pain meds for pain and recovery from five back surgeries. Yeah, that’s a common issue with the opiates, right? Because that’s gonna slow everything down so yeah, I guess the answer is eventually this person’s gonna have to try to get off those opiates, right? But there are some, maybe some brain-gut motility activators we can use, right?  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Of course, you know, if you’re on those opiates, you probably had some surgeries and surgeries man, meaning typically anesthesia, maybe a lot of antibiotics along the way so that’s probably really screwed up the gut microflora. So, first off, you have to get to the root cause of the pain. Second thing is you have to have a good, uh, doctor to work with to taper you off those medications while providing anti-inflammatory support because you need whether it’s systemic enzymes or anti-inflammatory herbs plus that brain takes time to get rewired from the opiates because you’re processing pain totally differently. Remember, opiates don’t have an anti-inflammatory mechanism, they just block pain at the brain level which isn’t good because pain is a good indication like if I have pain in my ankle and it’s there then I can know okay I shouldn’t walk on it because I’m causing more damage, right? So, even if I were to take Ibuprofen and my pain went away, I would still want to be very careful, I don’t do too much on it because I’m gonna cause damage, right? So, most people that are chronically inflamed by these opiates, they’re just causing more and more damage because just because they can’t perceive the pain, they’re still causing this inflammatory breakdown.  

Evan Brand: Yep. That’s true. Someone else has chimed in, my gut has been destroyed by many rounds of antibiotics. And, that’s super common, I mean how many times have you and I see that where someone comes in after a round of antibiotics, I mean that’s probably one of the top five things we see, right?  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%

Evan Brand: They said they’re dealing with IBS-D so that would be diarrhea and eating a limited vegan diet. So, my first thought is, uh, oh vegan diet, raw leafy greens, if you’re dealing with diarrhea, vegetables are gonna irritate the gut, I would push you more towards getting some good animal proteins in even if you could only handle like a carnivore collagen like a beef peptide protein powder or you know collagen shake maybe with some organic berries that’ll be my first thought. How would you think about this one? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, you could definitely look at reducing some of the fermentable carbohydrates and really look at cooking and steaming a lot of those things so it’s easier to break down but you really got to reach out to a good functional medicine doctor that can kind of help navigate you through it because if you don’t have all the digestive enzymes and acids there, it may be hard to break these things down. Also, someone chimed in, what about Vagus nerve issues. So, this is kind of a classic area in functional medicine where people try to talk about things differently in a nuanced way and they’re just talking about the same thing in a different way but people think it’s a new thing, right? So, when we talked about like inflammation and adrenal stress, when the more stressed you are and the more you activate the sympathetic and the more inflamed you are, right? Guess what happens when inflammation goes up and the sympathetic nervous system goes up, the vagus nerve or the parasympathetic nervous system always goes down, does that make sense? So, when we talk about these things it’s implied that the vagus nerve or the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system that would helps with healing and recovery is always going to be impaired and so people talk about things kind of as a way to nuance themselves make them seem different kind of market themselves in a different way which is fine but, you know, the average person may get a little confused about it and so just know that, that’s kind of under same umbrella that we’re talking about. We talk about the vagus nerve or the parasympathetic, it’s being factored into this whole adrenal stress inflammation umbrella, I think, yeah, inflammation is the bigger umbrella then you can put adrenals and parasympathetic and sympathetic all under that umbrella. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Very true. Very well said. Teri chimed in, I’ve been experiencing constant belching, a new symptom for me. So, once again, you got to get the labs run, I want to look at your organic acid, see what’s going on there. Get a GI map stool test run. Are you on proton pump inhibitors? Are you taking supplemental acids and enzymes? How old are you? If you’re above the age 40, you probably have low acid, low enzymes, maybe gut infections too. So, with stool, urine sample and good workup, you could probably resolve belching. I mean, that’s a pretty easy one.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And, I strongly recommend, do not get these labs on your own because, just because you get a lab, you’re not gonna have any ability to know what to do next and that’s everything, right? You gotta know what the plan is next, uh, and then typically you wanna look at like when I order a lab, it’s in conjunction with we’ve done a b c d e f and then not the lab is gonna plug in at g. Does that make sense? So, it’s never just this is a or this is it. There’s a whole bunch of, sequence of things that we’re doing before we get to all the data from the lab. And so, when you work with someone, most people are gonna have that plug in at some level in the clinical chain downstream. So, most people think, oh this is just it, this is a, this is the whole piece of the puzzle and it’s not. So, just kind of keep that in the back of your head. I know that can be a little bit confusing when you’re a lay person coming in there but it’s important information. I think, just start off with a lot of the foundational things first, just kind of wrap your head around it. Don’t get kind of myopic in this tunnel vision. Oh, it has to be Candida, it has to be this, be very open minded that it could be many different stressors and just have that really good differential kind of diagnosis list of all the things that we’re gonna go and hit and not get overly focused on one thing. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Good point. I’ll also say too, I’m not saying go to your doctor who’s failed here for the last 10 years and try to ask them for organic acids test or stool test because even if they were able to run it which most of the time, they don’t have accounts set-up with the lab so they’re not going to. But even if they were able to and they run it, they’re not gonna know how to interpret it, they’re not gonna know how to make a protocol based on it. So, this is a shameless plug for you and I and what we do as functional medicine practitioners, we work clinically around the world with people. So, uh, Teri’s asking where she can get the labs from. It depends, uh, we use a couple different companies. It depends on where you live and what you got.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’ll do this, we’ll put some links on the videos below so for you and on your site and mine. So, if you want to get it from us, I recommend getting it from us and then work with Evan or work with myself. We’re here to help you. We’ll put the links below or you can go to evanbrand.com for Evan or Dr. J here, justinhealth.com for me. And then, just to kind of highlight what you’re saying, I see so many people that have some of these tests sometimes and the first question is walk me through what your doctor ordered this test, said about it. Did they give you a real thorough review? How much time, oh, hey they just spent a minute, they just said x y z and it really was, I’m like wow, you know, you have all this information here and yet it really isn’t thoroughly addressed, I would say 90 plus percent of the time. So, it’s really important when you get these tests ordered. You really want to come through it thoroughly, so you can extract as much actionable information as possible. And, if your doctor doesn’t have that level of, uh, skill set of information on it, that’s fine, just find someone else. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. You make a great point. I mean, so many times, I know, you and I have a section on our intake form where you can, like attach previous labs. I’ll see 5, 10, 15, 20 labs and I’ll be from a medical doctor or a chiropractic or some other type of practitioner. I’m like wow, they did a really good work-up on you. Like, how did this go, why are you coming to me, what was the protocol? Oh, they didn’t have a protocol. Like, well, why’d they run the labs? ‘Because I wanted them to’. Okay, then what did they say about the labs? ‘Oh, well, that was not bad but I could use a little improvement and so they gave me an enzyme’. And it’s like, they give you an enzyme, you’ve got 20 pathogens, you’ve got parasites, you’ve got H. pylori, you’ve got major gut inflammation and the sequencing of this is important too. So, even if they read a cookie cutter protocol where it says like take oregano oil, you might not be a good candidate for that if you’ve got a bunch of inflammation. Your gut’s irritated, you go throw a, you know, a nuclear bomb in there, you’re gonna irritate your gut more. So, the sequencing is important. So, I guess, just to highlight here what we’re talking about, it’s the sequencing. As you mentioned, when does the lab come in? That’s not just the end all BL tool, there’s other strategies you’ve implemented up until that point. And then, when you work in the killers, is it right out of the gate? Do you got to settle the gut first? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It’s never. The problem is people have done, the patients come in and they’ve done a lot of different things. So, like maybe, they’ve tweaked their diet and so they think, okay I’ve made these diet changes, right, whether it’s enough or not is besides the point but they think, okay I’ve done these diet changes, check. Diet isn’t part of the equation, so in their mind they kind of check that off. So, when they see another practitioner, they kind of have this list of things in their mind they’ve checked off. And then, they’re like okay, I’ve already worked on the diet stuff. Yep, I’ve already done some digestive support. So when I lay out my plan, there’s kind of like, we’ll I’m not gonna do this because I’ve already done some of this or I’m not gonna do that. No. it’s like, if I give you a safe and the combination is 6 or 7 numbers. You don’t say we’ll spin number 33 on my other state therefore I don’t have to do it this time around. The combination has to be done in sequence together. The other analogy is cooking. If you want to crack the eggs after you bake the flour, well that cake’s gonna be pretty nasty, okay. So, it’s kind of the same thing as a sequence and just because someone has done something before in the past. One, it may not have been all the way there but we still have to plug that sequence back into the overall flow of things. Does that make sense?    

Evan Brand: Yeah. It does. And I know

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re smiling, so it sounds like that’s something that you deal with and hear a lot. 

Evan Brand: Oh yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s just, you know, once 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s so much easier dealing with patients that have done nothing that have no, um, no predisposition to like what’s next, they’re like a blank state because then you can kind of come in and there’s zero resistance and you can work through your flow. When people have done a lot of things and they think they’ve done everything in that area, it’s always hard, you kind of have to convince them to redo these things over again. That could be tough. 

Evan Brand: Now, well, I’m just smiling because of the safe analogy, you know, you always kill it with the analogies and I’m also smiling because I don’t know if it was your kids or my kids screaming, I’m like, I’m pulling my headphone out like is that my kids is that Justin’s kids. And, one of the things that I hope you guys love and appreciate about us is that we’re dads, we’re family men at the end of the day. And so, we’re working, we’re hustling, we’re grinding with our clients but we’re implementing this stuff into our family we’re helping kids, our own personal kids, we’re working with kids clinically. I’ve got kids that are 1 year old, 6 months old, 3 years old that are clinically working with us to get help. And so, we’re practicing what we’re preaching with our family too and I just want to highlight that because there’s so many people out there, so many practitioners that they were so focused on medical school or their practice that they never have the chance to even start a family, you’ve got these mid 40s late 40s upper 50s practitioners out there. They have no family experience and I think that’s where you and I are different because we know when you’re working on a gut protocol. Let’s talk about that for a minute. When you’re working on a gut protocol with a kid and you’re like okay, we’ve got terrible tasting tinctures that we can try, we’ve got some capsules that maybe mom or dad can open up and put into apple sauce. You know, you and I have personally and clinically dealt with the logistics of implementing this stuff so even if you’re gonna get this perfect gut protocol put together, the logistics of following it and getting your kids to take it, 3-year-old Johnny who doesn’t want to take the Artemisia, you know, it’s like, well how do you get that in. That’s the important thing because the proper labs is a step, the proper nutrition is a proper step, the protocol is a step, but the implementation of it and then what do you do after step one and then you if they react to that herb, how do you go to step 2, this is where the hand-holding is necessary. So, you know, when we talk about labs, I think, it kind of devalues the art of medicine a little bit because you and I have so much artist, you know, artistry to what we do and it’s hard to translate that just with a lab test because, you know, anybody could start running labs and like you said we’ve seen 5, 10, 15 labs come in from previous practitioners but they did nothing with it. So, the real art is when you take the protocol, you take it with, you and I are injecting confidence and we’re injecting motivation. I talked with the client this morning who said that she came to me because she was so afraid of her gut symptoms and she came out of fear but now we have basically transformed that fear into empowerment and education and the labs were a tool to help change that. So, don’t put all your eggs in this lab basket, they’re still amazing, you and I still run them on everyone but there’s other stuff that’s injected into that lab that really makes the magic happen.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. 100%. I think, the hardest part too is you work on dealing with the stressors, with patients. You fix their stress. You get your digestion better. You fix a lot of the microbiome. You knock down a lot of the bugs. Again, in the realm of Candida or dysbiotic bacteria, it’s still going to be there. You’re never ever gonna knock it out 100%. So, there’ll always be a small residual bit, maybe lingering in the background, way beneath threshold but if the stress starts to come back or if people start to add too much of food that’s questionable into their diet, sometimes these things can come back and the amount of flexibility, some kind of can follow the 80-20 principle. If they’re right 80% of the time on things 20% they have a little bit of flexibility. Some got to do 95.5 or some got to be 100 but just really try to make sure if they cheat, they still keep grain free anti-inflammatory etc., like last night, I went to True Food Kitchen for my birthday, and I had some of the, um, their chocolate cookies which inside the cookie, it’s like cassava and banana based. So, that’s great. If I’m gonna cheat, I’m gonna try to do it in a way that’s not gonna cause me to get bloated or gassy or have any skin issues or you know, digestive problems. 

Evan Brand: Uh, a lady commented and Dr. J seems super energetic today. Yeah. He’s a birthday boy. That’s why he’s feeling better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. No problem there. 

Evan Brand: So that’s good. Another comment here, I wonder which lab test should I run, uh. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I would say just here, out of the gates, regarding labs, I don’t wanna name specific companies on these videos because if we change it in the future and someone just watches the video, um, that they may just go to the old one. So, we’ll put links down below. That way, if we decide to change things in the future then you could just go look at the links down below and so my staff typically will update this in the next 12 hours or so. Just check back at the end of the day or tomorrow, we’ll have everything in there so just keep an eye on that. In that way, if something changes, um, it’ll be reflected in the description below. 

Evan Brand: But here’s what we can say, we’re still gonna run a stool sample, now, maybe that type or whatever. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cutting edges, some kind of stool testing is gonna be great, right? Organic acid is gonna be excellent. I love that because of the, I mean, every now and then I’ll get a stool test coming back and the gut issues look pretty good like not too bad nothing crazy but then you’ll see a lot of yeast because sometimes you miss the yeast on the stool test, that’s common or you’ll see 3 or 4 markers like Hippurate, benzoate or 2,3-phenylacetate right or D-lactate really hides. Okay, good, I’m glad I had this extra net to catch it because the stool test missed it. 

Evan Brand: I had that last week actually. You know, I had a lady and I kind of got freaked out at first, you know, I was looking at the stool and I’m like, oh my God, this lady has every gut symptom in the book and normally on page 3, page 4 you’ll start to see some crazy stuff going on. In this lady, it was clean, oh man, like, is she crazy, I didn’t really think that but you know partly it is like, uh-oh, where’s it coming from, is this really her stool test. Then we get to the organic acids and holy smokes, as you mentioned, oxoglutarate, D-arabinose, tartaric acid, tricarbolic acid, everything was off the charts and I go, oh, thank you Jesus we have the answers on the organic acid. So, that’s why we love to run both urine and stool because certain things get missed and it’s the synergy of the information from the labs. You may find a parasite on stool and then you may find the Candida on urine then you really go, oh holy crap, that’s where it’s coming from. So, um, let’s hit this other one here. There was a person

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I want to hit one of the questions. Anthony wrote to me there, thanks Anthony for the great feedback, and again guys, we’re trying to interact with you guys live and I want to answer questions live, so this is like I call it, uh, functional medicine improv, right? You know, you get your comedy shows, this is our functional medicine show so I appreciate that. Thanks for the feedback Anthony. Isabella writes in waking up distended, right in the morning. So, with that, a lot of times, you got to calm down a lot of the fermentables in the diet. If you’re waking up distended in the morning, almost always there’s a lot of fermentation happening in the gut and these gases are being produced. Now, there’s a couple of variables that you can do to help that. One, you starve it out by reducing all the foods that feed that. Two, you have to be able to break down your food because even if it’s good food, if you’re not breaking it down well, it’s gonna essentially have the ability to rot and rancidify and putrefy. So, you got to make sure enzymes, acids, and potential bile salts are addressed because HCl, hydrochloric acid, and bile salts, if you have low levels of that, those things in and off themselves are actually antimicrobial. They have a mild antimicrobial effect, not like oil of Oregano, but they have a mild antimicrobial effect. So, if you have, like, digestive distress and you have poor levels of these things, guess what, these bugs are more likely to grow and of course we have to come in there and do some killing, you know, making assumptions that like if you have a lot of distention like there’s no fiber, there’s no raw vegetables even though you read all these things have this big salad, you know, you could steam some of these things, you may want to look at low fermentable things that’s great. You may want to make sure your stress is good and you’re chewing your food up really well and you’re you know avoiding hydrating outside of an ounce or two of, you know, water to swallow and some supplements so that’s kind of your starting point. And if you wanna reach out, Isabella, you feel free to use the link down below, you can reach to Evan and I. 

Evan Brand: Let’s read the rest of her comment here because I think it’s helpful for people. So, she said that she tested negative for SIBO, I’m guessing that might have been a breath test and she said she’s 21 years old and it affects her daily life. So, when I hear 21-year-old female, a lot of bloating as you mentioned, I think the veggies, I think cutting out leafy greens, no salads, maybe or 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you do it, keep them low FODMAP and steam it or sauté it like I’m pretty sure Bok Choy and Kale. That’s low FODMAP, if you sauteed that in some coconut oil or some ghee or some kind of good animal fat, you’d probably be okay but test it, right. I’m all about testing not guessing. 

Evan Brand: True. True. So, I think about hormones, I think okay, she’s 21, right? This is a healthy fertility age. Is there some sort of issue with hormone imbalances? Are there estrogen dominance type issues as well? What about breast tenderness? What about PMS, irritability? Are there mood issues as well or is it just an extremely distended belly? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now, in the history that’s gonna come out with a good history because you’re gonna see it cyclically happen typically premenstrual or typically ovulation. So, a good history will fret that out. Let’s assume it’s every day, hormones are probably not the root cause but of course we know we’ve already talked about it, chronic digestive issues will eventually cause hormone problems because of the inability to digest the nutrients to make the hormones overtime. 

Evan Brand: Good point. And, the bacterial overgrowth which will crank up beta glucuronidase. That creates the recirculation of toxins. So maybe that. What about birth control too? Is that in the equation? I start thinking about that so 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Birth control pill will, it definitely has an effect on, um, alkalizing some of that tissue in the intestinal tract and the vaginal tract. That’s why one of the big effects that you see with, like birth control pills is yeast infections, right? Because it’s shifting the pH. It’s also creating a lot of nutrient deficiencies. So, if you have birth control pill issues, they can definitely put you in that microbiome, um, area where it kind of goes the wrong way there. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. So, hopefully that helps and as you mentioned if you wanna reach out, you can. Dr. J at justinhealth.com and me at evanbrand.com. With a stool and a urine and a good workout, we could probably get to the bottom of that. I would say that digestive issues are something you and I have the most experience of out of anybody that I know because all the people that have failed others then they come to us. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. The hardest part too is once you kind of get on that straight and narrow, finding out how much latitude you have, right? Some people, they may not be able to do dairy afterwards. Some may still have to be grain free, they can’t even do rice or, um, oatmeal, right? So, some people they got to be a little bit tighter on their diet. Some can be a little bit looser. And it’s hard. The hardest thing I think is with kids because kids, I mean, I have two, a two- and four-year-old boys, right? And most kids in their age eat like crap. It is just like absolutely mortifying to see how most kids eat. And, normal and typical are two different things, right? So, people say, I wanna be a normal kid, I wanna eat like a normal kid. It’s like no, you wanna eat like a typical kid, like normal 60 years ago was a totally different diet than normal today, right? 60 years ago, everything was mostly organic. Kids ate relatively, you know, whole foods and there wasn’t all the GMOs and all the crap and all the excess omega-6 fats and trans fats and people were eating good proteins in every meal and we had actually home-cooked meals and home-cooked dinners. That’s totally different today, right? And so, typical and normal are two different things. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Not many seed oils or non-existent seed oils or go back a little further, go back 5000, 15-20000 years in United States, even just a few hundred, you read the native American stories, I mean those kids were eating Bison, breakfast, lunch, dinner, you know, what were having, they were having Bison. If it was a time where they maybe didn’t get a kill, they had pemmican which is gonna be like a dried meat product, maybe some tribes, they would integrate berries into it. But if your food has a brand to it, now there are some exceptions like there are some really good companies that make Bison meat and all that but in general

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The jerky, yeah, there’s some good stuff, there’s some decent paleo granola. If you can handle nuts and seeds then that stuff’s okay as well. 

Evan Brand: But in general, my point is if your food has a brand to it, it probably has some level of processed. Now, if you say a farm, like a farm name, I don’t consider that a brand. I’m talking about, like Kellogg, that’s a brand. If your food has a brand to it, it’s probably not something good. I’m not looking at the brand of my wild blueberries, I guess technically they have a name or a store but they’re blueberries. So, you just got to think simply and as you mentioned long term, there may be dietary changes but overall, I think a lot of people can get back to foods that they previously avoided or were previously afraid of, not to mention, people that are afraid of meat, so many people are afraid of red meat. We interview people all the time and they say, oh, I eat red meat a couple times a month, I eat red meat every day, like why, and oh well you know, my cholesterol or my heart or my doctor said this and so there’s still so much programming. I think you and I forget, now, I know you have TVs and you probably have some exposure to this but in general I don’t have any exposure to pharmaceutical ads and so I forget just how much indoctrination and programming of dietary information people have and so part of the art of what we’re doing too is just removing any of the historical programming, they’ve had about certain foods. I think some people freak themselves out so much, they’ve been told a certain food is so bad for them, they go into it, thinking if I eat this steak, I’m gonna have problems and they literally will put so much stress and emotion into the worry of food. That then drives further symptoms.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I always start with you gotta have a framework on how you analyze any data or any concept, right? So, my first framework that I look at anything with is old foods don’t cause new diseases, right? When you look at most of the diseases we have today, the regular there routinely Neolithic, right? They weren’t at the same level that we saw a hundred years ago, right? Obviously, we had different problems back then because we didn’t have the same level of water sanitation, indoor plumbing, antibiotics which you know for like, you get a major cut, you had an infection, you don’t have antibiotics, you could die, right? So, we have that, that’s different. So, Neolithic foods cause most diseases. And so, when you look at good proteins and animal fats and these kinds of things, they have been eaten for as long as you can go back. So, those typically aren’t going to be the problem, right? It’s mostly gonna be the processed foods, the excess omega-6. And also, you know, the whole vegan bent that’s something that’s not really supported by anthropological data. You look at the works of western price so you look at people that studied indigenous societies, almost always meat was consumed when it was available. The only societies that typically didn’t consume meat were societies that didn’t have access to it. And if you look at the works of Western price when meat was accessible, it was typically consumed. It wasn’t like, oh let’s just not consume it. It’s typically, they didn’t have access to it and when they did eat it. And so, people that tend to do really good on a non-vegan diet are your ectomorphs, these are people that can handle lots of carbohydrates. It’s impossible to do a vegan vegetarian diet for the most part and not be very, very high carbohydrate and also, typically, you also got to plug in a lot of protein powders to do it well, whether it’s free form amino acids, whether it’s collagen or pea protein or rice protein or hemp protein, mostly having to plug in a lot of amino acids to get enough especially if they’re trying to put on muscle and be, you know, on the fit side.  

Evan Brand: It’s hard to be Vegan, it’s easy to be an animal-based person, I’ll tell you that. There’s just a lot of hacking, have to do. So, Isabella chimed back in, she was a little bit behind on the live stream so she chimed in here. So, here we go, we got some more evidence guys. I hope you’re having as much fun as we are because this is like a, you know, on the fly functional medicine, uh, workup here. So, she said, loss of period for six months as well, mood issues like anxiety and racing heart upon waking irritability which is what I was thinking some kind of hormone stuff. I’m a bit behind wanted to input that so.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The problem with a lot of those symptoms, it requires me having to ask a very important question, I won’t ask that question but we’ll just say the meat of that question begins with a letter v and we’ll just let people linger on that and Isabelle, if you want to reach out feel free. I think we chatted in the part, so feel free to reach out, I’m happy to help you.    

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a very, very good point and would make perfect sense especially with the timeline here. I would be wanting to look at some blood work. You know, actually, I had a woman last week, 33 years old, loss of period, other issues, we ran her blood, elevated D-dimer that indicates breakdown of clotting so we’ll leave it at that for today but mid-30s women should not be having elevated D-dimer. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and we’re speaking kind of like we are in a very, uh, discrete type of manner because we want to keep this information flowing to you, okay, so people out there hopefully you most, you mostly get that and you want to continue to see us on the air. That’s our goal. 

Evan Brand: Here’s another question then you and I can wrap this up here in a minute. So, can gut health issues cause high resting pulse and arrhythmias. Let me tell you my personal experience and maybe we could chime in on the clinical side too but when I had gut issues when I had H. pylori, I was anxious, I had issues with my blood pressure. I had heart palpitations. I had panic attacks. I had all sorts of mood issues. I had heart issues. I had sleep issues. I had skin issues. So, 100%, gut issues can cause this.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. The bugs in and of themselves definitely can cause anxiety so you can go type in their scientific studies, type SIBO or H. pylori and anxiety, there’s definitely mental health association, connection with the two. Also, if you have digestive issues, you tend to have hydrochloric acid issues. When you have hydrochloric acid issues, you tend to not ionize minerals and absorb minerals optimally. The two big minerals that are intimately connected with your heart and heart rate and heart rhythm are potassium and magnesium and a lot of times people aren’t getting sodium and chloride as well. So, the electrolytes have to be looked at and potassium and magnesium have to be looked at and most don’t get enough, you need 4 7 00 of potassium a day, most get half that and so I have a product called potassium synergy that does about 13 00 per 150 in magnesium or so side by side. It’s really hard to get enough. Most supplements for potassium stink, they’re like 50 or 100 milligram capsules so you got to take like 15 or 20 capsules a day so sometimes, you need to plug in a supplement if you’re having issues, I mean you can go look at the most potassium-rich foods, salmon, avocadoes, sweet potato. Those are really good options of course, um, some animal products as well, are going to be right up there as well. And again, avocados have twice the amount of potassium as bananas, I know we’re kind of o a carb-centric society. If I say potassium, you’re gonna say bananas, right? But avocados have twice the amount.  

Evan Brand: Yep. Good call. Good call. So, long story short, gut issues definitely cause other issues, mood issues are very common. Fatigue is also very common and so that’s gonna affect neurotransmitters so we would be looking at all that. We’d be looking at neurotransmitters, gut inflammation, um, secretory IgA. You can look at fecal fat. There’s a lot of stuff that goes into that, that may affect the high resting pulse. Also, seeing a lot of things right now with viruses and high resting pulse rate. So, if there was a current infection, previous infection, pulse rate could be there. You mentioned potassium. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hydration, sodium chloride and then your potassium, magnesium. Those are gonna be your big ones out of the gates. And then also, blood sugar, you know, some people, they really get into a stressed-out state if they wait more than an hour or so to eat. And if you have digestions, a little wonky, you may want to start with something really simple like some gentle ginger tea or some collagen amino acids or something really light and simple in the morning and some electrolytes even before that. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. Good call. Sometimes, you know, herbals, I might come in with like motherwort or passion flower, valerian, some kind of like calming ginger.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I was looking at the nutrients first because the nutrients could be actually root cause and the herbals will never be root cause but they are a palliative supporting mechanism, right? You know, it’s like, you can do passion flower or lemon balm or you can do a benzo on the pharmaceutical side. It’s like obviously the herbs are better and then even before the herbs the actual nutrients that may be deficient that are driving it. 

Evan Brand: Very good at all. I’m ready to wrap this up, if you are

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Herbs aren’t going to have the, you know, the side effects so I’m always down with supporting something palliatively if they aren’t going to have the side effects or you know any of the negative consequences like some of the meds may. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. Are you ready to wrap this up? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Great chat with everyone here today. I’m glad everyone’s on the chat interacting. We really appreciate it. Functional medicine improv is our flow here, uh, you guys wanna reach out to evanbrand.com for Evan, Dr. J here, myself at justinhealth.com. We’ll put links down below. If you’re seeing it on youtube, you know, great, excellent. If you’re listening to this on itunes or any of the podcast places, there will be a video link below. If you wanna see us interacting as well, there’s that as well. And phenomenal chatting. Anything else, Evan? 

Evan Brand: Yeah. If people wanna chime in and they want to watch, if you guys are listening or if they’re on my podcast because we’ll upload these on my show as well. If you want to check us out here on video, give or take somewhere around 11 to 12 eastern on Mondays on Dr. J, justinhealth YouTube channel. So, if you wanna look for us, join the party. Look up Justin on YouTube justinhealth, Justin Marchegiani, Dr. J something like that. You’ll find him on there and, uh, we’ll put the link in the show notes too. So, if you wanna join the YouTube community, you can. There’s what 60 something thousand on there. So, that’s pretty

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also on Rumble, also on Betshoot, also on a couple other places. So, we’ll put the links on the websites so you can get the banners, get the links but Rumble’s our new one that we’re going to just get more exposure, people. 

Evan Brand: And you’re reuploading the YouTube videos too there, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. You got it. 

Evan Brand: No live function on there or anything yet? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Not yet. Not yet. 

Evan Brand: Okay. Okay. All right, well, you guys take it easy, we look forward to helping you get your gut health back, just stay patient and don’t give up. And so, we’ll see you next week. 

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

 

Recovering From The Holidays | Podcast #362

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: See ya. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended Products:

TRUCOLLAGEN (Grassfed)

TruKeto Collagen

Enzyme Synergy

Vitamin C Synergy

Emulsi D Supreme

Magnesium Supreme

Betaine HCL Supreme

Nasal Wash Bottle

Xlear Rescue Nasal Spray with Xylitol

Navage Nasal Irrigation

Nasaline Nasal Rinsing System

Audio Podcast:

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

 

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


References:

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Audio Podcast:

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


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