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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

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Audio Podcast:

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: Spell Cubbi. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yep. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great muscle relaxer

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: Sweet. So, regarding 

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: Take care. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended Products:

Magnesium Supreme

TruKeto Collagen

Trucollagen (Grassfed)

Enzyme Synergy

Organic Grassfed Meat

Audio Podcast:

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

The Top 7 Causes of Why You Are Bloated | Podcast #344

Stomach bloating happens when the GI tract is full of air or gas. Most people describe bloating as feeling full, tight, or swollen in the abdomen. Your abdomen may also swell (distended), be firm, and have pain. Bloating is often accompanied by pain, flatulence, constant burping, and abdominal rumbling.

In this video, however, Dr. J and Evan talk about the other causes of bloating that may be due to medical conditions. These include irritable bowel syndrome and disease, bacterial overgrowth, altered gut motility, aging and stress, and many more.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:41:  Bugs and gut infections

2:58:  Low Enzymes, acids, and bile salts

3:45:  Aging and stress

5:29:  Adrenal stress and food allergens

8:43:  Mold toxins

10:29: Low thyroid hormones

12:55:  Gut autoimmune disease

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

Evan Brand: I’m doing well. We’re ready to talk about like, the mainstream topic. Like, sometimes, you and I, and we go into some of these nuances, that unless you’re into functional medicine or natural medicine, you may just be like, what the heck are you talking about? But  every single human being, man, woman, baby, they can already relate to bloating. So, let’s dive in. You came up with the magic number of seven. So we’re going to riff on who knows, could be 7 or 17 different causes that we see clinically from bloating. Let me start off with number one. Gut infections which if open that can of worms, we can do five to twenty infections, and then get to that magic seven number right away. But I’m just gonna go ahead and say…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100 percent.

Evan Brand: Bacteria and Candida-those are probably like, two of my biggest smoking guns. I, I know parasites cause a lot of gut damage but I’ll say personally, when I had parasite infections, I don’t think I had much bloating. I think it was more of my dysbiosis, my candida problem driving the bloating than the parasites.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, when people have parasites, there’s a lot of issues happening so it’s really hard to know like, is the parasites alone the root cause why you’re having these issues. And it’s hard to know that. I mean, parasites can definitely do it because they can affect you body’s ability to generate stomach acid, and enzymes, the bile support. Obviously, they can eat a lot of these foods and they can be fermenting, and creating gases being released from them, you know, they’re pooping in their, you know, um, farting inside your intestines and creating gases and things, and obviously, they’re creating  information which then can affect digestion so parasites, we can just kind of lump bugs all the same bucket if you will. So we could say bugs, parasites, H.Pylori, fungal overgrowth-we can say small intestinal, bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, or candida overgrowth, or fungal overgrowth. All those things kind of go in the bucket worms kind of goes in that parasite bucket as well. Anything else you want to highlight there before we go number two?

Evan Brand: Yeah, how about, uh, you can call it SIFO too. We haven’t hit that term but, just, just in case people aren’t clear on it so when we talk about fungal overgrowth. You can literally have what’s called SIFO. So this means you can have SIBO but, you can also have SIFO, and as you mentioned, it’s rare to see these things in isolation. So we’re often going to be using broad spectrum herbs, or antimicrobials, anti-fungals, antiparasitics all at once to try to knock all these down.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100 percent. So regarding, um, bugs, SIBO, SIFO, and fungal overgrowth, or candida that are kind of all in the same bucket there. Uh, I would also say, diff kind of isn’t that bucket too, right?

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Um, you know. You can almost put some of the mold, um, the colonized mold, uh, fungal critters in there as well. Some of the aspergillus and things like that potentially, they may have different root cause of why they’re there but, that’s something that should be looked at. Next thing, is um, low enzymes, low acid, low bile salts. And again, some of these things are caught like they’re connected. So like yeah, HCL, enzymes, low bile salts if we are, aren’t able to break down those foods adequately, they can ferment, they can acidify, they can create gases; and of course, those bugs on step on can also create low stomach acid, low enzyme and bile salts. So everything is kind of connected in this web here. So I would say, the digestive secretions I think would be there. I’d also throw in, maybe some lifestyle things like not chewing your food enough, and maybe drinking too much water which shifts the pH in the stomach from a two-ish to closer to a seven which water is, and those would be the things I want to highlight. What do you think?

Evan Brand: Yeah, good call. And I’ll also point out just age and stress, not chewing some of this lifestyle measures you mentioned. That could be enough to create the bloating. As we know, the infections are going to drive some of this too. So kind of like, chicken or the egg, and it is possible that just age alone by the time you’re 40, 50, 60 beyond, you’re going to be making less stomach acid and Dr. Wright’s book. He had an amazing graph in their age and stomach acid levels. So if you’re one of the lucky few that are 40, 50, 60 with no gut infections, you simply just have an aged-induced low stomach acid. Well, that’s cool but, the low stomach acid will eventually drive some sort of infection, right? Now you’ve got this fermentation and purification of the food. So even if you’re like, somehow magically clear on stool or urine, and you just have low stomach acid, it won’t be that way forever. Eventually, stuff will pop up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110 percent. Now, everything’s connected right? So of course, if we have fungal overgrowth and bacterial overgrowth, well that can affect stomach acid but, now that also can affect motility, and so if we have slower motility, right? On the faster motility side, like diarrhea and such. You know, that can really cause a little bit of bloating but tends to be more on the slower stool side because, the stool is just sitting in your intestines longer, and maybe getting compacted. Maybe it’s taking you two to three days to kind of move that stool out. That may give you a sense that you’re feeling more bloated more as well. So I would say now that the slower motility, potentially caused by the bugs, caused by the HCL, could now start to increase that feeling of bloat.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So you’re saying like, you’re literally just full of poop as opposed to the infections or releasing gases which make you feel full but that’s a different type of bloat. So that’s a good, that’s kind of a good distinction there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It could just be a combination of everything, you got a little food baby inside of you, you know.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s possible. Next, I would say adrenal stress. And so adrenal stress, the adrenals are part of the stress handling system that helps your body manage stress. Whether it’s through making adrenaline to help your body like, get the spider senses going so you can deal with that stress, uh, it could be just chronic low-grade stress where you’re making a lot of cortisol, and or you’re chronically inflamed from foods and emotional, and maybe even physical stressors, where the adrenals are just really over romped up and that’s activating the sympathetic nervous system, and so you have that see-saw, right? And sympathetic is the fight-or-flight, that’s the go-go-go, that’s the gas pedal. The break is the parasympathetic, they’re on a see-saw. So it’s hard to like, double clutch you know, and have a hit the gas and the break at the same time, so usually the sympathetics are up, the para are down. If the parasympathetic’s up, the sympathetics down, and the parasympathetic is to rest and digest. That’s the vagus nerve, right? People are like, “Oh! Gargles, sing”, right? Well, those maybe palliative things but, how about just fix the stress in your food, in your emotional life, in your physical life, work on that first. Uh, that’s going to make a huge difference and of course, gluten and processed sugar, and inflammatory foods, and foods that are nutritionally deficient can drive that kind of stress as well.

Evan Brand: Oh, yeah. Let me piggyback off that then. So you got the food-adrenal connection but how about just food connection in general? I mean, if you’ve got dairy in the system, you’ve got gluten in the system, you’re going to effect the tight junctions in the gut, so you’re going to maybe contribute to leaky gut but, also you may have some bloating from that. Now, there are enzymes, I know you and I, we manufacture some custom enzymes that things that can contain, what’s called dpp4, which is an enzyme that can help break down gluten. There’s also some allergy enzyme type formulas that we use where we can break down the occasional instance of all these types of proteins, dairy protein, and soy protein if people are getting exposed to it but, food allergies are big one, so I know you and I talk a lot about good quality meats, good quality fats, organic vegies and such but, if you haven’t got your diet boring before, I think I would go boring. I mean, look at me, I’ll do like a grass fed steak and a handful of blueberries for breakfast and I feel great. So, for me I would just recommend really, simplifying, trying to get your foods in isolation where you know, what you’re reacting to. For example, let me use my wife as a story. So, we were doing swapples which are awesome! It’s like a healthy waffle-it’s yuca, yuca-based, and she thought those were affecting her stomach but, she was also doing organic coffee, and she was doing eggs, and she was doing pastured sausage or bacon. I’m like okay, well, you got too many foods in here. We don’t know what it is. So we got down to elimination and then boom! We figured out it was the coffee affecting the gut. It wasn’t the food after all. Even the eggs which are common trigger were no problems. So I think you got to dial the food allergies, the food sensitivities, and just try to eat you food in isolation. Maybe do a food journal. Even on your phone, you could do an app, like I use Day Book a lot to take notes and you can just make a note like, :Hey! Eggs hurt my tummy today, or eggs got me bloated”, and then you can figure out what it is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely! So the food component, just the inflammatory nature of that food. I think is also going to be a big one. Um, like you mentioned, I would say next, mold toxins. I know mold, uh, can do different things, whether it’s, you know, we kind of talked about it as kind of being a bug thing, which I guess it could be connected but, the problem is you may live in a moldy home. You may have things in your environment, whether maybe it’s too humid, right? And there may be a different solution for that than fixing out your bugs, clearing out the bugs in your tummy, so we may have to go about that a different way. So I guess, the mold kind of connects with the bugs but, there’s also a different solution to it. So we’ll put mold as a separate entity on that list, and that could be just too humid of a home. It could a leak in the home that was never fully remediated properly, um, it could be lack of good quality air filtration. All of those things could play out and of course, mold also is a sympathetic nervous system stressors as well.

Evan Brand: Definitely and they’re two different categories because, you can have two different situations you can be colonized for mold, meaning you’re growing in your gut and sinuses. Or you could just be a mycotoxin reservoir and some people are lucky enough to where maybe, their immune system was able to not allow the colonization or maybe the exposure of the mold was not too long-term, therefore, they’re just reservoir of mycotoxins but they’re not growing it. That’s a better situation. It makes out job easier if that is a situation, and yeah for sure, I mean, mycotoxins for me definitely affected my gut, my brain, my stool, consistency, so binders really help. So if you are having bloating but you’re having more IBS type symptoms, you know, of course bringing in the binders; we’ve done podcast on that is going to be the next step. Let’s go back to hormones per minute because yeah, I would consider you one of the best experts in hormones, and you’ve taught me over the years about hormones, and I know that PMS for a lot of women. PMS is a big deal, not only is it mood changes but, it’s bloating. So can you full us in there? What’s the hormone connection outside of cortisol to bloating.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So I would say out of the gates, um, low thyroid has a string connection with affecting motility. So one of the side effects of low-thyroid hormone. Obviously, can be the conventional hair loss, cold hands, cold feet, eyebrow thinning of the outer third, maybe mood issues, maybe irritability, and obviously some of that overlaps with adrenal and female hormones and male hormones. But low-thyroid also affects motility, and so low thyroid hormone could easily affect motility. And if we slow down motility, that could easily allow more time for those foods, the ferment kind of create that food baby if you will. Just put more bulk in your tummy just make you feel a little bit more bloated and distended so it’s very possible could be playing a role in the whole situation.

Evan Brand: Okay. Well, we talked about thyroid and 90% of hypothyroid cases are hashimoto’s, so I mean, we could just say hanshimoto’s could be a cause. It’s a roundabout way. It’s a long, it’s along route to get from hanshimoto’s to bloating but, it does make sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep! Exactly. Um, so yeah, at this stage of the game, female hormones can plug in. Like if you have estrogen dominance, right? Lower progesterone, higher estrogen. Um, relatively speaking and just lower hormones. That can create potential things that could affect motility via stress, via sleep, and then if those things are compounded, that can create more adrenal stress. So you can kind of like, you know, it’s kind of like, it’s six degrees of bloating, right? It may not be a direct, direct indication but, it can easily, kind of dovetail two or three you know, weighs in and hit a couple of these different factors, that makes sense. So I would say some of the female hormones, um, obviously, some of the cortisol, and adrenaline, and of course the big one that we’re hitting now is the thyroid, the low-thyroid hormone. Evan Brand: Yep! Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is that number five or six?

Evan Brand: Two… I don’t know. I don’t know. I think we got, we got more of those. So how about just bowel obstruction? I mean, this is not going to be a common situation but, you know, if somebody hasn’t poop in a week, and they’re listening to this podcast, I mean, you have to consider the possibility of bowel obstruction. Unfortunately, this is pretty rare but it does happen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep! Yep. 100 percent. Um, so that can definitely happen. An again, all these things that we’re taking about would be contributing factors of that,right? So that makes a big difference on that front. Um, so we hit the enzymes, we hit the food allergens, we hit the bugs, we hit mold,

Evan Brand: That’s five.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We hit adrenal stress,

Evan Brand: That’s six.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We hit thyroid stress. That’s seven! I think we hit them all.

Evan Brand: All right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is there anything else you want to add as a bonus or value add for the listeners?

Evan Brand: Uh, yeah. So any kind of autoimmune gut stuff. So celiac, crohn’s, ulcerative colitis. Even diverticulitis in some cases could cause any and all of these issues we talked about in terms of bloating, and stomach pain, and all of that. So if you are seeing more than just bloating, you’re seeing blood in the stool, or you’re seeing  floating stool, maybe there’s fat malabsorption issue. We could go into gallbladder potential issues there as well; where we need to use some extra bile salts. So I would just say any kind autoimmune gut stuff is going to be a big one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, a hundred percent. Autoimmune is gonna just create more inflammation. It’s gonna inflame the tissue to make it more raw, the more inflammation in the tissue, and the more sensitive the intestines are, the more your adrenals, and you cortisol, and your fight or flight system will totally get activated. I think it’s a really good step out of the gates here. I think we really hit a lot of good things here. So, we have food, we have low enzyme, we have low acid, we have bugs, we have mold, we have adrenal stress, right? We talked about thyroid and then the last thing we talked about is just the bowel obstruction and or the autoimmune um, gut stuff. So I think we hit seven to eight there. So a little, a little extra. So guys, if you’re listening.. go ahead.

Evan Brand: Let me, let me do the outro for you today. So today’s shorter and we want your feedback because we’ve done, I, I, lost track, I know my podcast is over 400 episodes. I know you and I have done hundreds together. So we want feedback on this. Is, is this is coming up on 15 minutes. How do you enjoy a 15 minute podcast? Is this all you need? Do you enjoy the 30-45? What do you like, because I mean, we could always go deeper but, eventually It becomes um, maybe rants or tangents. Today is just like, boom boom boom. So please, uh, go on Justin. Look up maybe his Instagram page, just in health or Justine Marchegiani. Look him up there and look up me Evan Brand and send us a message, and let us know. ‘Cause sometimes, we forget to check the reviews but yeah, send us a message maybe on Instagram. That probably the best place. We don’t use the Facebook too much because of some of the censorship going on but anyway, check us out, send us a message. Let us know what you think! Is it shorter, and sweet, and boom boom boom episode, is that good enough for you or do you want deeper dive? Let us know, and if you need help clinically, you can reach out. Justin works around the world with tons of people, thousands of people over the years, and he can run all sorts of labs to investigate these issues. So to reach out to Dr. J, justinhealth.com and for me Evan Brand, evanbrand.com. We would love to help you, we offer intro calls too. So you can book a quick call to discuss your symptoms, your goals, see if you’re a good fit, and we can help you anywhere. So the beauty of these type of symptoms, there are root causes, it’s not a deficiency of some sort of gas x or other thing you’re going to get ate walgreens, you know, there are root causes here that you can investigate and you can reverse these symptoms.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100 percent. And then in regards to the solutions here, the solutions are addressing those root cause. We can go, we can do another podcast in the top six palliative kind of solutions, but out of the gates you know, fixing the bugs, fixing the stomach acid, look at what those adrenal stressors are, getting the food right. I think those would be the big kind of the root cause foundational things today. We’re not going to go too granular into extra protocols but, just kind of more big picture stuff and we’ll do another podcast in the future where we get more into the nitty-gritty in this.

Evan Brand: Sounds good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome! And guys, if you want to leave us a review, evanbrand.com/itunes or justinhealth.com/itunes. We’ll put the review link below. We really appreciate that review, really appreciate your comments below. You guys have an awesome day. We’ll talk soon.

Evan Brand: Take care now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye!


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Audio Podcast:

Recommended products:

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What are the Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agents for Pain Relief

In general, we have our COX pathways. Now, Arachidonic acid can feed those pathways. A lot of excess, junky, refined Omega-6 from animal products can definitely feed those pathways. That sets the table like gas in the kitchen where a little spark can take it off.

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor for recommendations on natural pain relievers.

Where to find anti-inflammatory agents:

  1. Natural herbs like ginger can help with COX-1.

  2. Fish oil is excellent for COX-2 at high doses. If you do high doses of fish oil, you can increase what’s called lipid peroxidation because fish oil is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. It’s more unstable. It’s got more double bonds in it. Omega-3 means three double bonds. The more double bonds that are they are, the more unstable the fatty acid is to heat things like that and the more, let’s say it can be oxidized. So, having extra vitamin C or extra vitamin D on board when you’re taking extra fish oil just to make sure you don’t have oxidation is great, and we already talked about things like systemic enzymes.

  3. There is also curcumin but liposomal curcumin is better due to the absorption or something with black pepper in it helps with absorption, too.

  4. Frankincense or Boswellia.

  5. White willow bark which is kind of how aspirin is naturally made though aspirin works more on COX-1. So, aspirin can be your other natural source and you can do white willow bark which is the natural form of aspirin.

  6. There are things like Tylenol but Tylenol works more on the central nervous system perception. So, it decreases the nervous systems’ perception of pain. Note: We have to be careful of Tylenol as it can actually chronically reduce glutathione. So, if you’re taking Tylenol longer-term, you definitely want to take it with NAC and/or some glutathione, just to be on the safe side.

  7. At the extreme example, we have opiates which block pain receptors in the brain, the opiate perception of the brain. It’s not the best thing because you’re just decreasing perception of pain. Obviously, the opiates are way more addictive.

  8. We can block some of these natural pain perceptions with CBD oil. So, CBD is another great way to reduce the perception of pain.

In general, we want you to try to do more of the herbals and more of the natural stuff out of the gates because that really, really, really can help reduce inflammation.

If you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sports injury, or you’re just trying to heal maybe postoperation, these things may be something to implement and then obviously work in all the other root causes, too. You are not just what you eat. You are what you digest from what you eat.

So, if you’re doing all these good nutrients, but you’ve got some type of malabsorption issue in the gut, you’ve got ridges on your fingernails, you’ve got thinning hair or falling out here, you may need to look deeper at the gut and try to find some of these more root cause issues that led you to that amount of inflammation or slow recovery in the first place.

If you need to reach out to talk about your pain and inflammation issues, click this link to schedule a chat with me!

Collagen Diet: Collagen-Rich Foods for Healthy Joints, and Skin

We know collagen is going to help with the joints because we know half of your bones are protein. We need good building blocks for our cartilaginous tissue and ligamentous tissue. Frankly, most people get most of their protein from muscle meats. That’s a problem because they’re not getting the knuckles, the bones, and the cartilage, as we would from old-fashioned soups. So, if you’re doing a lot of soups and bone broth soups, that’s great. If not, we really want to add extra collagen.

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor for more information on a good collagen diet and supplements.

I do 20 g of collagen in my coffee every morning. I think it’s amazing. I do my true collagen with some MCT oil and grass-fed butter. I love it. I think it’s excellent for skin, hair, nails, and just for overall prevention of bone loss and cartilage loss. We know the wear and tear that most people experience in their joints throughout the year, especially if they do a lot of long-distance cardio. You really need more building blocks to help prevent and mitigate the wear and tear, so you don’t have knee and joint replacements later in life. Collagen can really help decrease some of that wear and tear.

How do you take collagen?

I like adding collagen in my coffee in the morning because it has a nice little kind of creamer-like effect. It gives that little bit of frothiness which is wonderful. I also do it before bed. Sometimes I’ll do a little bit of collagen (glycine), magnesium, and vitamin C because vitamin C is a really important building block for making collagen. I find magnesium has some very good calming effects as well where there are plugs in the GABA or it’s just a natural beta-blocker as well. It can calm the heart and bring the heart rate down a little bit. I think magnesium does work on some of those GABA pathways as well and, of course, magnesium helps with blood sugar. You’ll get deeper sleep and better REM sleep when you have good magnesium. So, I love combining collagen and magnesium at night.

Where can you get collagen from?

You can get collagen from food via bone broth. Chicken skin is super rich in glycine, roughly 3.3 g for 3-1/2 oz. If you make chicken soup, throw the whole chicken in there. Get a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods and or get the fattier cuts of the chicken at least with the bone and the skin, so that way you get the best of both worlds if you’re going to do it from a whole food source. Regarding seafood, wild salmon is going to be the best source of glycine.

If you want to learn more about the collagen diet and other good sources of collagen, click this link to schedule a chat with me!

Vitamin D Benefits You Should Know

Vitamin D has a couple of different benefits. Let’s go over some of the benefits. We’ve talked about the natural antibiotic that’s being produced by vitamin D, which is called cathelicidin, a kind of antibacterial enzyme. It is super helpful at being able to knock down bacteria. It also has antiviral mechanisms, as well as antimicrobial peptides and antiviral mechanisms.

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor to learn about proper Vitamin D supplementation.

Part of that is it stimulates and it can modulate the Th1 immune response in the Th1 immune system where you’re making a lot of your natural killer cells and your helper cells. Good helper cells can also help your antigen-presenting cell and it can help make antibodies more efficiently. So, you’re also going to have a better Th2 immune response. You’re going to make antibodies to whatever that infection is. Those tend to come a little bit later in the game, but good signaling to make your antibodies is super helpful as well.

There is a couple of other studies here that are talking about different things. We have a reduction in our MMP-9 concentrations. We have a reduction in bradykinin storms and reduction in our cytokine storm. So, basically we have a lot of inflammatory molecules that get produced such as bradykinin, cytokines, interleukins MMP-9. These are inflammatory types of chemical messengers. Vitamin D can help modulate that and prevent that from being overproduced. The more we overproduce those, the more our immune system responds. So, we can create more cytokine storm issues because our immune system will be on this positive feedback loop, responding and creating more issues with the cytokines. When there are less cytokines, there’s less chance of a cytokine storm, which is basically our immune system responding.

Imagine a fight between two people where one person yells out first and the other person yells back. Then they’re pushing, shoving, and hitting and the violence escalates. That’s what happens with the cytokine storm with your immune system and all the different cytokines and immune chemical signal. So, we can keep that modulated a bit which is very helpful. Vitamin D plays a really important role in that.

Recommendation

Get vitamin D supplementation from Thanksgiving to spring. At least, make that investment. If you want to come off the rest of the year, as long as you’re getting some sunlight, it’s fine. At least do that vitamin D supplementation to give you a good bump and the fat-soluble nutrients you’ll get over those four or five months will hang around months afterward because it takes a while for that vitamin D level to build up.

If you want to learn more about Vitamin D, click this link where you can schedule a chat with me!

Role of Functional Medicine in Mental Health | Podcast #326

As an adult, maybe you’re struggling with some of these symptoms yourself, things like anxiety, perhaps depression or mood issues, those types of things. Or many of you have kids with these types of mental health symptoms and problems. Functional Medicine is a form of integrative medicine that focuses on addressing the root causes of a person’s symptoms rather than merely treating the symptoms themselves and, in this case, manage stress. Here are Dr. J and Evan Brand sharing their insights about different approaches for stress reduction. 

Dr. J suggested to pay attention to nutrients first and some natural herbs such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, holy basil, etc. Watch the whole video to know interesting details about functional medicine in mental health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:22      Foundation of Functional Medicine Needs

8:27      Emotional Stress

14:50    How to deal with Stress

19:08    Alcohol as Stress Reliever

30:43    Importance of Exercise

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

Evan Brand: Doing well, the sky is blue, the weather is amazing. I looked at your forecast for this week too, it’s going to be like 75 and sunny all day, every day. So that’s going to be amazing. We’re inside though, maybe we need to do like outside recordings, maybe need to go like, sit out back in a hammock and record with me. So we don’t miss this weather because then it’s going to be cold. And we’re going to be complaining. But no, but long story short, we were talking pre show about just how everything this year has been kind of crazy. And a lot of people are expressing issues with their mental health, their physical health, their emotional health, it’s affecting our clients, it’s affecting potential clients, people that are reaching out to us that have had businesses closed down or potential job losses and a lot of economic issues that have caused a lot of, you know, mental emotional problems for people. So the idea today was, well, let’s try to cover kind of a, a broad stroke, if you will, of how we could use functional medicine to improve mental health. So let’s dive in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. So off the bat, like we kind of go back to like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, right? That’s kind of like the first thing. So I always tell patients off the bat, there’s kind of a foundation of functional medicine needs, that’s going to be clean water, sleep, and then clean food. And now we can kind of get in the middle of it in the weeds with the food and kind of getting your macros dialed in and getting all that kind of dialed in. But clean water, clean food and good sleep. And so I always tell patients, the more stressed you are, the more you need to be rested, fed and watered. And the more those things are kind of stable, and that’s like your foundation, the better adaptable you will be at the dealing with stress, adapting to stress. So the health, health and stress adaptation are intimately connected. So the more stressed you are, if you start going towards alcohol, and processed food, and staying up too late and watching too much news, it’s going to get that fear cycle going, you’re not going to have enough rest to recharge your parasympathetic nervous system, you’ll be too much sympathetic dominant, you’ll be leaning on your adrenals leaning more on cortisol leaning more on adrenaline, and it’s going to be harder for you to digest. You’ll be just kind of on the edge every time with your emotions, the smallest thing will set you off, and you won’t have a good solid foundation.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I I think people should really just get rid of the social media apps on their phone. I mean, that was something that I did. I just noticed that if I have the social media apps off my phone, and I have to go to a web browser to check them. It’s much much more inconvenient to do it. So I must I’m much less likely to do it. And also, for me, you have the option of being up speaking to that you hear his little notification sound. Oh, social media-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: – has turned it off right now. Airplane mode, maybe. 

Evan Brand: It’ll, it will, it’s it’s it, you know, there’s been like trials done on how long it takes you to get focused again. And so what I’ve tried to do is to limit my distractions, I think the world now has become a world full of distractions, mainly because people are trying to solve all the world’s problems on their own meaning, you know, I care about the trees getting cut down in the Amazon. So I’m going to go read about this, and then I care about this, I’m going to go read about that. And then you’re so scatterbrained that you kind of lost your own productivity. So I’m not saying that you need to just, you know, put your head in a hole and turn the world’s problems off in your head like they don’t exist. No, I think it’s just a fine line. And I think most people have lost the line of productivity, because they’re so focused on the issues. And a lot of the day to day decisions you make aren’t going to change the world that much like there’s nothing I could do necessarily right this very second, besides maybe donating some money to some organization to stop cutting trees in the Amazon like it sucks. I don’t like to see, you know, you got all this illegal deforestation going on. But there’s only so much you can do. So you got to find a way to to find a healthy way to absorb the media. And most media is negative. So social media, media news. And a lot of it’s not serving you. That’s the only point I have to make.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I do think number one, social media is a big one, you kind of have to like, use it, don’t let it use you. Right. So turn off the notifications. Don’t let it kind of be there something that you always go to write, I think deleting it from your phone, or at least maybe on the weekends or periodically, deleting it can be helpful because you’re not going to access it as much on the web browser. I think also people forget that most people use social media as their highlight reel. So they only post great things about their life. People feel bad about it. So I’m very aware about that. And I don’t overly post the highlight reel of my life on there because those things are between me and my family and I don’t need to share it with the whole world every now and then. I’ll get people A glimpse, but it doesn’t need to be there all the time. A lot of people overdo that. And people forget that they’re seeing someone else’s highlight reel and they make it makes their life feel a little bit less than or more inferior. And you got to remember that right? You can’t forget it. That gives you kind of a good perspective and a grounding and and it really just comes back to appreciation. Right, the more you’re grounded in appreciation for what you have that that really shifts that that stress and that sympathetic kind of response of just inadequacy and, and, and, and feeling like your life’s not enough.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And there’s people with it, we know that are incredibly successful in business and wealth and all of that. And these people will go publicly bring up their anxiety and depression. So when you look at someone’s life, and you see all they have it so good, I’m so jealous of this or that car, this house or whatever, a lot of people listening may just shut it down immediately. And they say, Oh, no, I don’t care. I’m not comparing myself. But it’s kind of a subconscious thing. You’re not even really aware that it’s happening. Just look up type in, like Instagram depression, there’s some studies done that it was the most depressing social media. So I don’t want to make it the whole anti social media podcast, but you, you hit on gratitude. And I think that’s really the key. So what I tried to do was like a walking gratitude. It’s very, very helpful. So I’ll just, I’ll take the kids outside, and they’ll just walk, whether it’s in the backyard, whether it’s down the driveway, whether it’s in the you know, by the garage, I’ll just find a place to just walk, walk, walk. And I’m just focusing on the motions of the body just shaking up and down, dude. And I’m just thinking, Man, I’m grateful. I’m so grateful. Look at this beautiful day, look at the sun, look at the blue clouds, or the white clouds with the blue sky. Look at the the contrast, look at the green on the trees. Oh, we’ve got a little bit of yellow coming in on these maples over here. This is gorgeous, Oh, look at that red tree over there. And it’ll really take you out of the fear, it’ll take you out of the worry those repetitive, repetitive thoughts, you know, there’s, and this is not talking to one or two people here on my intake form, which thousands of people have submitted, you and I use a couple different form creation tools. I’ve looked at how many submissions we have. And it’s literally like 95% of people out of these thousands have reported? Yes, they beat themselves up with negative self talk. That’s a question on the intake form. Do you beat yourself up with negative self talk? 95%? Say yes. Now is that because you and I have a population who has symptoms and they want to get better? Or is that indicative of the general population to I would say the general population would be the same?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I always kind of I heard someone say this a couple of years ago, they said, Imagine, you know all the inner thoughts about yourself, kind of write that down. Okay. And imagine if someone else said those things to you? Would you be friends with that person? Probably not. Right? So it’s, it’s amazing how hard people are regarding the inner dialogue. And I always just kind of inner dialogue comes through your brain, ask yourself, would you be friends with that person? If someone else said that to you? Probably not. So I always just try to say to people, you know, make sure you would be friends with the person that would be saying, the inner thoughts that you’re actually thinking.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s a good call, that’s a really good call, well, you can be your best friend or you can be your worst enemy. And I think it’s easy to become your worst enemy. Because I don’t know you, you’re the one who has to look in the mirror. Right? So you’re always going to be the one to blame yourself. But.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And if that happens, what do you do? Right? I mean, I think if you have that inner dialogue that kind of shifts overtly negative to yourself, what do you do in NLP world, you go and you visualize the stop sign, right? You don’t beat yourself up over it, you visualize the stop sign, and then you then you shift into appreciation. Or some folks will have the elastic band on the wrist and they’ll pull it tight, right to create that negative neuro Association, whether it’s a physical, elastic snap, or whether it’s a stop sign coming in, that’s that’s visually cueing you to stop, however you want to do it, and then just kind of refocus your energy in a non shameful way to, to the things that you have that are great, right? Because that stuff needs to be you need to it’s like weeds grow automatically negative thoughts grow automatically. It takes no effort to be a cynic. In today’s world takes no effort. It really takes a lot of effort to be an appreciator and to focus on the things that you have. So just kind of use some of those cues to stop the negative thought and then shift over into the positive thought. Now I always find too, if you’re some people, it just kind of feels good to be negative a little bit where you’re kind of venting over something. And if you feel that way, just do it while tapping on some meridian points, some of the EFT meridian points because I find at least if you’re going to be negative, this at least decreases that sympathetic tone. And then what happens is as that that nervous system kind of calms down a little bit, it’s easier to shift back into that positive perspective. So you can do some of the EFT points chin under the nose. under the eye doubletap, I find it’s more efficient for me.

Evan Brand: And as you’re doing this, and as you’re doing this, you’re you’re kind of talking about the negative thoughts, it could be, oh, I just thought about irritable, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just just talk about whatever it is, I always like to go into it, assigning it a number. So out of 10, 10 being the worst intensity, where, yeah, you had a five or six or seven. And I try to go into it, taking whatever that number is, I want to cut it in half. So if I’m at a seven, I’m going to cut it down to three, or four, if I’m at a six, I want to cut it down to a three, if I’m at a 10 and want to cut it down below five, I just try to go into it, and have that conversation with myself about whatever that thing is that pissed me off, whatever it is that hey, that difficult patient that that really stressful bill, whatever it is, right. And I just kind of go into it, kind of do a little audit of where you’re at, and then try to get that down until it’s at least half below where it’s at, that kind of puts you back in the driver’s seat. And then it gives you the ability to shift to being positive, because you can’t be positive, it’s harder to be positive when you have that emotional staying at a higher level on that on that object subjective scale I gave you. So if you can cut it in half, that gives you the ability now to downshift from negative into positive to enable just want to make that shift. while they’re at a high level of negative it’s too difficult. That’s Oh, man, doing the EFT can be helpful because one, it gives you permission to be negative, but two, you’re giving your your nervous system, a little bit of a bump to be able to neutralize it.

Evan Brand: That is the the best point you’ve made about the emotional stress piece because this is like taking somebody who’s in the middle of a full blown panic attack and saying, Just chill out. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just chill out, like just relax, like, be be positive, no, can’t do that. Can’t do that. So this is where like the EMDR. And then you can kind of scatter your eyes around while you do it too. Right. So you can go look at like a clock face and go to 1936. Or you can tap while you’re pretending like you’re looking at different clock numbers with your eyes. And because when you move your eyes that uses different cranial nerves, which uses different parts of the brain, and that kind of the whole goal is you’re kind of scattering that signal. Number one, you’re interrupting the pattern. Number two, it’s kind of like if you’re talking about something you ever had it where someone interrupted you and you’re like, What the hell are they talking about? Right? ever have that? That’s kind of what you’re doing a little bit to your brain and in some of the negative thinking you’re trying to scatter that pattern and make it a little bit harder for your brain to go back to and then you’re like, what, what was I mad about? Oh, yeah, that. And then it makes it easier than shift into positive.

Evan Brand: I just tried to go outside to like, for some reason. Well, duh, I mean, humans were meant to be outside. We’re not meant to be in boxes all day. But you know, if you have a thought that is intrusive, you can just go out, and I’ll take a pair of binoculars, and I’ll just go outside and I’ll just watch the birds. Or I’ll go fill up the bird feeder, put it like a sewage feeder. So it’s like a big chunky like fatty CD type feed. I like to go put that out, watch the woodpeckers come in. And if I’m looking at them, and I’m not thinking about anything, yeah, that’s a that’s a great point. So let’s tie the functional medicine piece into what you said because I think what you said is a really good place to pivot which is you can’t take someone because someone listening who’s just so stressed out right now they’re going to they’re going to listen to you talk about tapping or if they’re watching the video on YouTube. So you tap into right What is this guy doing? He’s friggin tapping his forehead. I’m so pissed. I don’t care what what is this gonna do? That person’s a 10. He can’t he can’t even comprehend getting down to a five right now. So So on the maybe you would call it the herbalist functional medicine side, maybe we come in and give that guy or gal a shot of passionflower. Or maybe we give them a couple hundred milligrams of some pharma gabbeh or maybe a little bit of mother wort or maybe some ashwagandha maybe some Holy basil. Maybe we come in with some B vitamins because you and I know based on looking at thousands and thousands of people on organic acids testing that if you’re really really stressed, you’re going to burn out your bees as in Bravo, your B vitamins are going to be toast we know that. Based on looking at these labs, your neurotransmitters are going to be affected. So you may have low dopamine, you may have low serotonin, which is causing more anxiety, but then the low dopamine is causing a lack of energy and lack of drive. So let’s dive into some of these more functional pieces now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so we talked about the mindset stuff. We talked about tools to kind of decrease that sympathetic output and it’s just tapping on meridian points, right acupressure acupuncture points, kind of how energy and nervous energy Nervous System energy flows to the body. It’s just helping that energy flow better whether you call it ci or whether you call it action potential or, or nervous system, nerve flow, whatever you want to say, right? blood flow. It’s all connected, right? It’s all connected, right? So off the bat, we were talking about functional stuff. So when you’re stressed What are important things? Well, blood sugar stability is really important because most people get on a rollercoaster of blood sugar. When they get stressed meaning they’re going they’re overly gravitating towards alcohol, or overly gravitating towards refined sugar, their blood sugar goes up and then crashes down. And then it creates more nervous system stimulation via adrenaline and epinephrine being stimulated. And cortisol being stimulated to bring your blood sugar back up. So I find just keep it really simple, really easy with your meals, you may be more nauseous when you’re overly stressed because stress hormone does cause you to feel nauseous. So this is where you may want to do a soup or a simple smoothie, something really easy where there’s not a lot of digestion, but you’re still getting some proteins and fat in there. Whether it’s some collagen and some coconut milk or just sipping on some bone broth, right, something like that is going to have some good fat protein and it won’t be hard to digest. So if you feel nauseous just still no you should probably be eating but just try to make it something very easy on your tummy. And then think what are some of the nutrients your nervous systems in need when you’re more stressed, so low hanging fruit, B vitamins B complex is going to be very essential. Magnesium is going to be excellent gabbeh l-theanine these are good things that are going to help you relax and wind down having kind of mentioned valerian root or passionflower which are all connected to gabbeh and that kind of inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps you just relax a little bit kind of kind of puts the clutch in gear disengages the the gearbox so you can kind of downshift so to speak.

Evan Brand: Did you ever do Kava when you were down in Austin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I mean, I’ve done I’ve done Kava still. 

Evan Brand: Did you go to the bars though? There’s like a cot. There’s like a cup. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, no, I’ve never I’ve never done it at a bar, but I’ve done it. Um, someone brought it over my house. They got it from Fiji. Before I did, it was relaxing. I like Kava that does a lot of gabbeh too, right?

Evan Brand: Yeah, does I felt weird my throat. I felt like well, am I having a reaction to this? Like it numbs your throat so much. It was a bizarre feeling. Yeah, I’m not recommending it. I’m not recommending it as a as a tool. But it could be it could be a good tool. I just thought I’d bring it up. Because when you mentioned like, Valerian I thought, Man, I remember that one time I drink Kava. I was. It was a weird, almost like an out of body relaxation. And I didn’t feel very grounded. It was kind of like whoa, I’m floating in the room. Kind of kind of interesting. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, like I always go to nutrients first. And then I go to my favorite adaptogenic herbs second, so ashwagandha is one of my favorites. Right? ashwagandha rhodiola. Excellent. Excellent x, Holy basil those are kind of like my favorite kind of very relaxed, defying, relaxing tonifying kind of herbs, if you will.

Evan Brand: I like it too relaxefying, Do you get any sort of change in your outlook with holy basil? Because for me, that’s the one that’s most significant. Like I feel like I could take on the world when I get like a, I don’t know five 600 milligram a holy basil. It’s kind of like I am ready for the challenge. It’s a weird because it’s I’m calm. But I’m also energized at the same time. Do you get anything like that? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It hasn’t been on my stack for a while. So right now my big stacks on my desk is going to be ashwagandha I do have some some gabbeh chewables and gabbeh sublingual. I mean, I think if you just took people’s works and took, you know, in their, in their place of work, whatever. And you took away all the candy and you just put like magnesium, and you put gabbeh like Lawson jers. Right. Think about how much of a stress reduction had been people’s works. Right. So much better. Maybe some B vitamins.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, if you and I had brick and mortar places what I would do instead of a little you know how old school like front desk, you’ve got a little glass of like lifesavers and peppermints. And a bunch of garbage. I’d have like pre packaged chewable pharma gabbeh sitting there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. chewable pharma gabbeh, sublingual magnesium, maybe some l-theanine shots, right? keep it really simple. I remember in doctor at school before. For finals, we would like make drinks of like ginseng and holy basil. And we like create these like shot glasses all lined up with herbs where we take it. It was fine. I mean, those are some fun times. But um, yeah, so we just got to think a little bit differently and how you deal with stress, just a different mindset change.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I want to go back to what you said how people get into the alcohol and to the sugar and all of that and the carbohydrates and the blood sugar rollercoaster. I think people don’t understand why that happens. So I just want to give people a brief education of why that’s happening from a, you know, neurotransmitter perspective, that way you feel a little more confident that you can change this and you’re not just a victim to the food. So when we look at urine and you measure these neurotransmitter metabolites, we can see that after a period of stress, especially if somebody has been working with us for several years, we can see that Oh, they went through a divorce. Look what happened to their endorphins, for example, the endorphins got burned out. And with the help of Julia Ross, she has an amazing amino acid therapy chart in her books. You can see that the symptoms of low endorphins start to pop up. So these are the people that cry at the drop of the hat. These are the people that hard on the sleeve real emotionally sensitive. If they crave dark chocolate, they’re going for food to comfort themselves or reward themselves. Those are low endorphin signs, we’ll match up those symptoms to the neurotransmitter report on the oat. And then we’ll come in with a therapeutic nutrient like dl phenylalanine, to rebuild the endorphins. And then within four to six weeks, you can have it the 60% difference in symptoms were these people that were running to the cookie because they were stressed or running to the alcohol at night to relax, they no longer need that now, they may still do it. But they literally don’t have the physiological need to do that. Some people say, I just can’t relax until I have that glass of wine. Once you rebuild the brain chemistry, they literally don’t need it anymore.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, if you’re having a stressful day, I mean alcohol Don’t get me wrong is that is a wonderful downer. I mean, it really does help relax people. Now obviously, if you’re going to engage in alcohol, keep it to like a drier champagne, a drier white wine, keep it to a clean alcohol and try to do it after you’ve eaten. So you’re not creating a blood sugar swing, because alcohol can actually lower your blood sugar. And then that creates more cravings and more cravings for junky food, right? So if you’re going to have a glass of alcohol, right, don’t want don’t get drunk. But if you’re going to have a glass, make sure it’s a healthy version, then just try to have some good protein before you have it like so if you go out, for instance, have some oysters, maybe a little bit of seafood, maybe a shrimp cocktail and have a glass of champagne or two or a cabo or Prosecco or something clean, clean, clean alcohol. There’s nothing wrong with that, you know, especially if it’s only if it’s not an everyday kind of thing. I think it’s totally fine. And you know, make sure you’re utilizing some of the nutrients we talked about. So you’re supporting the neurotransmitters as well.

Evan Brand: Yeah, check out our podcast, we did a whole one on the whole biohacking alcohol thing. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s how-

Evan Brand: So, Sunshine, sunshine is huge. I mean, granted, when you’re in certain parts of the country, you really lose the sun, you really lose it because you get clouds. And, you know, if you’re really high northern latitude, it’s really tough to get sun, I’ve got a lot of clients in Canada, and they just get major, major seasonal depression. And so for those people, like a light therapy box can be helpful. I already know for me personally, it’s affected me like when it gets dark at five 6pm. I mean, I just mentally, I just don’t like it. And so the light therapy box can be very good. A lot of times, you’re going to see those at around 10,000. Lux, that’s a pretty bright, pretty bright light. Of course, nothing is going to beat the sunshine. But if it’s like you’re in Alaska, you literally or, you know, hours of sun per day, whereas before it was 12 hours, and now you’re three hours of sunlight. That’s really tough mentally, so sun can be helpful. I wish tanning beds weren’t so controversial. because years ago, I had a friend who worked at a gym who had a level, I think they called it a level three or level four tanning bed, which was not something that closed on you. It wasn’t like magnetic field balanced. Like I measured it, there was no EMF coming from it. But it was almost like the stage lights, almost like a like a theatrical performance, like a red light up at the top. And you could get a tan, I mean, literally in a couple of sessions. But I did it for mental health. And we know that sunlight in general can really help act as almost like morphine, it can really help modulate these opiate receptors in the brain. I remember coming out of a six or seven minute session, and I was just high on life. I felt so good after that. And I thought, wow, I wish this didn’t have to be so controversial. Because if someone could get access to something like this, if we knew that it wasn’t going to increase risk of skin cancers and such, man, what could it do for all the depressed people out there that have Seasonal Affective issues in the winter?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think it just comes down to when you’re dealing with sun, it’s just don’t burn, you know, just just don’t get a burn and you’ll be fine. And that’s different for every single person. And so of course, you know, natural sunlight is going to be ideal. I think it’s gonna be excellent. So that’s a good first step for sure. We talked about some of the B vitamins and things and it gets really essential. I think also, you know, just from a financial standpoint, I think it’s really, really good. People talk about it, just having that six month emergency fund, right, try to have, you know, six months of being able to take care of your family, whether it’s food, living mortgage, just try to really make sure at least three to six months if people had that during COVID. I think there’d be way way, way less financial stress for people. I know, it’s a tough thing to do. But I think it’s something to strive for in regards to financial health is just really look for that six months, three to six month emergency fund. I think you’re smart.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And try to get rid of things that you don’t truly need. I mean, I had several people who say oh, you know this or that about budget, but they’ve got the hundred and $40 a month cable bill and they’ve got the the you know, the subscription to this or that that adds up to hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month. So I think with the reducing subscriptions where you can the emergency fund is smarter than from the food security perspective. Two, I remember months ago, you and I were talking about this it was there was talk about some of these meat processing plants and stuff shutting down and I had literally some of my clients freaking out thinking that they were going to run out of meat and not be able to feed their family. I mean, they were probably just watching too much news about the subject. But that’s why I always recommend everyone have a good chest freezer, you can get him for $100 and go on local harvest or eat wild, or just Google local farms around you, we have a farm that I pay him a little bit extra, but they’ll deliver to the house. And we’ll have literally an entire chest freezer full of amazing grass fed meat at anywhere from six to $10 a pound depending on the cut. And we don’t have to worry about going to Whole Foods where we’re going to get shamed if we don’t want to wear a mask, and then we’re buying their overpriced stuff sitting in the fridge. I’ve got my local farm, you know, bringing pastured meats at a fraction of the cost to my door, throw in the chest freezer, I sleep great at night knowing that if something were to happen to the food supply, my children and my wife and I will be well fed. And then of course well what if the electrical grid? Well, I don’t know. That’s that’s, that’s pretty slim chance. I know, people in California worried about that earlier this year, because of the fires, people were thinking, well, what if I have the chest freezer full of meat? And then the electrical grid goes off? Because California turns off my power generator? You know, hopefully, it’s not a long term thing. But you just got a problem solution problem solution, you can’t just get paralyzed by the problems.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I always talk about it, you got to close the loop, right? You know, you have a problem. When you don’t close the loop. And you think about the solution, and you keep these loops, I call them keeping these loops open. That’s where stress happens when you close the loop. That’s where you feel a lot better, because it’s our problem solution. Problem solution, you’re constantly opening and closing loops all day long. That’s kind of how you want to think about it. So you have maximal you know, stress reduction. So we talked about physiology, right? That’s the foundation because remember, that’s like the this is the vehicle This is a suit, the biochemical suit we have to walk through every day and not everyone’s suit is the same and how we can deal with stress. So if you’re looking coming into this, you know, 20 minutes late, you’re like, Well, what do I focus on, focus on the physiological biochemical suit, because that gives you the ability to adapt. And then from there, you can try to grab one or two things that work best for you. mindsets, really important, dealing with some of these stress can be helpful. Talking about some of the supplements can be helpful. Making sure you’re in a good kind of financial situation can be helpful as well. You know, those are all good kind of strategies out of the gates. Anything else you want to talk about functional medicine wise. So we talked about some of the organic acid testing and looking at neurotransmitters that can be helpful, because I find people that are, you know, let’s say long term stressed out people, we’re going to see a lot of neurotransmitter patterns that are pretty depleted regarding amino acids and dopamine and adrenaline and serotonin. And that may be a longer thing you have to work on replacing with amino acids. So that may not be just a supplement you want to dunk on, they may take a while to work on depleting that, especially, you know, the faster it happens when you work on all the sleep stuff and the diet stuff that gets better, but that the bucket that may need some effort to work on depleting.

Evan Brand: Yeah, the only other functional medicine piece we’re going to be looking into for these like super stress, people’s looking into the gut, we’re going to be looking at gut inflammation. We’re going to be looking at parasites, bacterial overgrowth, all the stuff we normally talk about Candida, because there could be some more functional reasons why someone is going into the cookies, for example, or the alcohol, maybe on a neurotransmitter test, they look okay, but in regards to their gut, maybe they have all these bacterial pathogens are parasitic pathogens that are kind of like begging for some sort of quick burning glucose, right? So we may come in. And I noticed personally just using some Mimosa, I was doing some experiments with not not the orange juice cocktail thing, but actual most of the seed most a tree seed in capsule form. That’s very beneficial for calming down my gut. And I noticed mentally I was calm, just by calming down my gut. So don’t forget about the gut brain access, there is a connection there. And so if you’re having digestive problems now, whether that’s due to stress, or whether it’s due to infections, if you’re having diarrhea or constipation, or stomach cramping or food intolerances, you got to try to address those because it does signal and alert Danger, danger to the brain, meaning if you’re going and eating this allergenic food, irritating the gut that can then irritate your brain and cause issues. So I’ve had some people that have gotten anxious after certain foods, and we know that histamine is a neurotransmitter as well. So if you’re having histamine reactions, even just something like a low histamine diet may be useful to help calm the brain down because of some of the reactions there with histamine. So people think it’s just histamine allergies. No, but it can also affect your brain chemistry. And so you got to focus on that maybe herbal anti histamines or something we would use or some enzymes to help to reduce some of the effectiveness of the histamine on the brain. So I think that’s probably my last piece.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and those are all valid points. For sure. You know, you talked about histamine, you talked about inflammation, and inflamed brains not going to focus and not going to do as well. So again, inflammation, whether it’s food allergens or deeper gut issues is a big one. Also medical palsy women, you know, lower hormone issues can affect the brain. So try to make sure your hormones are at least at a good stable place because that’s going to help with brain inflammation that’s gonna help with cognitive stuff as well. So everyone’s coming at this from a different place from from a different foundational weakness. So just try to figure out where you’re at and take at least one or two steps, you know, Ford on that. Also exercise can be helpful. So just try to find a couple of movements, simple movements that you can do 510 minutes, that’s going to help really decrease a bunch of stress. So whether it’s a push movement, a pull movement, a set or squat, a bender, a pole, whatever that movement pattern is just try to engage in some of these simple movements, it’s going to really help your mood, it’s going to take a lot of that mental energy and allow you to kind of put it out into that physical movement pattern.

Evan Brand: Oh, 100% Yeah, exercise is key. I should have mentioned it earlier. I mean, I feel amazing after I just do some dumbbells or roll machine or hike in the woods, hike in the field, you know, whatever I could do to move. I mean, that’s in its free, right, it’s free, so and you don’t need any permission to do that. So obviously, if you’re going into a gym and you’re doing the whole mass thing in a gym, maybe that’s not as fun so get outside go somewhere where you know, you have your own space and you don’t have people you know, breathing down your neck, so to speak. But I think with the gut piece, the neurotransmitter piece, the aminos here’s kind of the the summary of today and what’s been going on in the world. A lot of people are just like, hey, things are crazy, I give up. But this is actually the time where you really want to dial things in even more. This is a time where you want to focus even more to keep your body keep your mind keep your your sleep patterns healthy. This is not a time where screw it I’m going to go off the rails and just drink a case of beer. It This isn’t the time to do that a lot of people they’re so stressed they have no other coping mechanism. But I would argue everything you and I’ve been talking and doing and preaching and clinically doing for people. This is kind of like the showdown This is like okay, what did all that work we put in actually do did we were we the last man standing, meaning everyone else got burned out and ended up on you know, anti anxiety medication. And we stayed calm and cool through the whole thing. I think this is the time where you can see all the hard work paying off.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% I think you’re totally kind of dialed in. Also, one thing I’ve been doing a little bit is a little more meditation and just keep it really simple with breathing. Just focus on breath, you can do kind of a biofeedback device like the Muse that I’ve talked about, we’ll put a link down below for that. That’s one thing I’m experimenting more with. It just kind of gives you that little bit of a thumbs up from a biofeedback standpoint that you’re you’re you’re putting your brain in a pretty good place when you’re meditating. I think it gives people confidence. They’re doing it right. The problem I find with meditation, people are like, Am I doing this right? And there’s just insecurity and what the heck they’re doing. And then that prevents them from being compliant with it. So I think having a extra kind of pat on the back yet you’re doing the right You’re doing good with a some kind of a device that helps whether it’s whether it’s HRV, or the Muse or M wave type of technology, these kind of things I think are helpful to give you the confidence that you’re doing something right.

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah, the floatation tank is awesome. So doing doing a float would be good. deep tissue massage would be great. calming essential oils would be great Epsom salt baths would be great is anything you can do to downshift. We talked about the shifting phenomenon quite a bit, but-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s a lot, there’s a lot of options for sure.

Evan Brand: Okay, cool. Well, let’s wrap this thing up. So if people need help, we’re here for you. We always have been and we intend to be kind of on the front lines, helping people with all this stuff. So if you need to reach out to Dr. J. JustinHealth.com is the website. If you need to reach out to me, EvanBrand.com is the website and we’re here for you. So don’t give up. Don’t give in. You got to keep pushing forward every day, you still got to put your pants on, you still got to do the thing, whether it’s take care of your kids take care of your wife, your husband take care of career, you still got to move forward. So I know it’s easy to get kind of stuck and like you mentioned I like the idea of the open loops closing the loops. I didn’t get stuck in these open loops, but you got to close the doors. Try to simplify try to you know, minimize decision making focus on the big things and you’re going to be just fine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. Excellent and Well, great podcast today EvanBrand.com to reach out to Evan, JustinHealth.com to reach out to me we’re available worldwide. If you want to dive in, look deeper at your physiology, biochemistry, neurotransmitters, gut whatever the root issue is. We’re here to help you guys have a phenomenal day. Click down below for all the important links, guys. Take care. Bye.

Evan Brand: Take care now. Bye bye.


References:

https://www.evanbrand.com/

https://justinhealth.com/

Audio Podcast:

Methods To Encourage Good Bowel Movement

You see women on Instagram. They’re all done up with their hair and makeup, and they’re marketing #ad #detox #tea. They have these ridiculous products that they’re remarketing and they’re not talking about poop. The best way to detox is getting poop out. I’m not going to buy detox tea. I’ll get a bit of dandelion or some milk thistle blended in and that’s part of it but unfortunately, detox is co-opted by the marketing industry. Most people don’t even focus on that. They’ll poop once a week but then they take a detox tea and they think they’re doing it correctly.

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor if you want to learn how to detox properly!

My whole take on detoxification out of the gates is very simple.

    1. Get enough good clean water in your system.
    2. Make sure you’re digesting your amino acids and all your nutrients well.
      Remember: Sulfur-based amino acids run the majority of your detoxification pathways, along with B vitamins. We need good B vitamins, good antioxidants, and good sulfur amino acids. For breaking down those nutrients well, there’s not a bottleneck with ACL levels or enzyme levels. We’re getting enough to clean water.
    3. Not overly stressing our sympathetic nervous system.
      Remember: The more we overly stress the adrenals, the sympathetic nervous system decreases that migrating motor complex which are the wavelike contractions that move stool through your intestinal tract, just like you roll up the toothpaste roll at night to get that toothpaste moving through to get your toothpaste out to brush your teeth. Your intestines are the same things.

    If you can do those top three things right, you’re on the right track. There may be extra things where we need extra sulfur or extra antioxidants or compounds or binders to help with mold or heavy metal. That’s true and that would be addressed down the road but a lot of detoxification happens hepatobiliary, liver, gallbladder, back into the intestines, and then out the intestinal tract. So, we need to have really good motility and really good absorption of nutrients, and a lot of good clean water to help fuel.


    Supplement Suggestion:

    Use one for liver support that has some gallbladder nutrients built into it. That can be really helpful because with sluggish bowels because a lot of times there’s also sluggish bile production. So, just helping thin the bile whether it’s using supplemental ox bile or methionine, taurine, B powder, whatever else we can do to increase bile flow. That’s going to be helping.

    Detox and Diet

    This is a low-hanging fruit that your average American is still really, really blowing it on which is just the fact that they’re not doing enough good meats, good fats, and good veggies. Your average American might wake up and do a piece of toast and maybe in 2020 or 2021, it’s an avocado toast but still that’s not the optimal thing for good poop.

    Inflammation in the diet can easily mess up the intestinal tract and can easily create inflammation in the gut. That could either move the body more to diarrhea or more to constipation. If we start moving more to constipation, that’s not good. Of course, these foods can stress out the intestinal tract and then when we start creating inflammation in the intestinal tract, then we already have indigestion meaning we don’t have adequate enzymes and acids. So, we’re burping a lot after our meals, food sits longer in our tummy, and a lot of gases are produced because the foods are not being broken down properly. That’s a problem.

    We’ve got to really make sure we’re masticating and chewing our food very, very, very well. We’ve got to make sure to increase the surface area for enzymes and acids to work. We also have to make sure not overly hydrating with our meals. So, hydrate 10 minutes or more before meal, and then if you’re consuming a little bit of liquid with a meal, just do it to help with swallowing pills. Don’t do it for hydration purposes. Because water has a pH of 7 and your intestinal tract has a pH of 1.5 to 2. So, if you start adding a whole bunch of pH 7 to up to a pH of 2, you’re going to move that pH more in the alkaline direction away from the acid direction. We need good acidity to help activate her enzymes in our acid levels. That’s very important.

    If you have any issues with detoxification, please reach out to a functional medicine doctor.

    Remember:

        1. Chew your food up well.
        2. Make sure you’re not overly hydrating with the food. Do all your hydration 2 minutes before.

     

The Top 5 Causes of Chronic Headaches

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

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

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

1. Food Allergens

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

2. Food Additives.

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

3. Blood Sugar Fluctuation.

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

4. Gut Infections.

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

5. Hormonal Issue.

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

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

Oils That Cause Gut Inflammation

There are various top-causes for gut inflammation but a big one is an oil. The oil you use to cook or bake into foods could be a major culprit to your very uncomfortable gut inflammation. Let’s look at the good and stable oils vs. the unhealthy oils. 

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor if you have questions about what oils to use for cooking!

If you look at the standard American diet, just even a hundred years ago, your grandparents or your great grandparents, they did not have access to these type of oils. They were cooking with traditional fats. They did a lot of lard and maybe some beef tallow.

If I asked my grandfather, “What did your grandmother cook you and what did she cook it with?” She was not using soybean oil. She was not using corn oils. She was not using rapeseed oil, which is canola.  She was not using peanut oil. If they did something fried, it was going to be fried in possibly bacon fat, which came from the pig in the backyard of the farm or it was going to be cooked in some type of like a beef tallow, where the cows were on the back part of the farm.

When it comes down to fats, most plant fats are not going to be the best unless they are cold extracted or unless they are minimally processed to extract the fats. Partly because of the processes of extracting, it tends to damage the fats because the heat and the extraction process also makes the fats rancid and taste bad. There’s a lot of like deodorizing and filtration and different processes to make it more palatable that you would never be able to have at a natural state.

So the best plant fats are:

  1. Coconut oil because it’s a saturated fat and it’s more temperature-stable.
  2. Cold-press olive oil and good-quality avocado oil, which is primarily a monosaturated fat.
  3. Palm oil, which is more in a kind of saturated state.

There are some nut-based and some seed-based oils, but then you start ramping up the Omega-6 and those may not be the best.  There are some supplemental oils that are more GLA-based that I’ll give supplementally, like black currant seed oil but we’ll give it supplementally and that’s coming from great sources that are going to be in capsules that won’t be oxidized and such.

Bad fats are going to create a lot of oxidative stress and they are going to deplete a lot of your antioxidant reserves because if those fats are oxidized, your body is going to need a lot of vitamin C and vitamin E to help with the oxidative stress that those fats may cause your body.

Now what it you find a good fish with gluten-free breading so it’s not covered in wheat with some type of non-gluten containing flour, but then you’ve got canola oil. Do you think you’re still going to be net positive in terms of nutrition because you’ve still got the good fish, but yet you’ve got the inflammatory oils or would you say, just get you some grilled fish and then if you want to bread it, you bread it yourself?

There’s a product that we like of sweet potato fries that my wife will do for my son because it’s really easy, but they have a little bit of canola oil in there. So you have this kind of convenience factor where ideally if you could you always would want to put your own fat on there if you could and my easy saturated fat or my easy fat for cooking that’s plant-based would be avocado. I like avocado because it tastes a little bit more neutral. I do not like olive oil as much. Olive oil is better for dressings, but I’ll do avocado for cooking. If you have control over it, you always choose the better fat over the junky fat if you can.

So the interesting thing is like coconut oil and avocado they’ve become kind of trendy and I would say avocado is not going to be a traditional fat meaning, meaning like traditional people were probably not doing it because you’ve got to have some heavy-duty equipment to extract the oil, but coconut oil would be super traditional.  I mean, this would be something that has historical use.

Your big fats that are going to be plant-based would probably be primarily coconut. But your biggest ones that I think are going to be used more long-term from generation to generation will be your tallows, your bacon fat, your duck fat, and those kinds of things because saturated fats don’t go bad. They stay good for a long time because the carbon is saturated with 4 hydrogen bonds between them, which makes the fat really, really, really temperature-stable.

Take note of oils are that bad for your gut because they cause inflammation and oxidative stress.

If you have any questions about what the best oils to use for cooking, please reach out to a functional medicine doctor to learn more.

 


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