Allergies are issues caused by an immune system that is hyper-responsive. Stress in the stress bucket, antigens which are foreign compounds, are some of the big causes of the hyper-responsive immune system.
In this episode, learn the things to look at in the stress bucket such as food stress, emotional stress, exercise, too much, too little, infections, environmental antigens like cedar, dander, pollens and other things to help fix these issues in a functional medicine perspective. Answer why it tends to become a non-issue when one is healthy or when inflammation is under control. Also, learn why those little bits of antigens may be enough to tip one over when inflammation is already topped up and antigen or stress bucket is full.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
02:33 Hyper Responsive Immune System and Allergies
10:26 Nutritional Functional Medicine Options for Allergies
15:09 Fungal Infection Solutions
20:05 Quercetin for Mast Cells
28:13 Poor Breathing Solutions
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani, how you all doing today? Evan Brand, my man, what’s going on, how you doin’?
Evan Brand: Hey man, happy Monday to you. My pink office is gone, so that’s great.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great!
Evan Brand: I’ve now got grey office, and for anybody doing, uh, interior work, they need to just get a hold of you, you’re my interior designer now. You gave me the idea of this good grey color that I have.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s knitting needles grey. We just had my son’s playroom paint to that same color. I just love the greys like that because one, that room, like it’ll go when there’s a little more light or look a little more blue, and then look- look a little more slate or- or dark grey, and then it just kinda blends with everything, it’s- it’s surely Williams number one color of the year like three years ago, and I just- I just have it in a lot of my key rooms.
Evan Brand: Yeah. So, the paint brand I did is Romabio, R-O-M-A-B-I-O. So part of allergy is k- is your indoor environment, you know-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: -the NPA talks about how dirty indoor air quality is compared to outdoor air quality. So if you’re doing any remodeling, you’re doing any painting in your home, if you’re using garbage products, even some of the stuff labeled as low VOC, it still could contain toxic chemicals, the Romabio is all mineral-based, and so you literally smell nothing. And so, there’s no off gassing, you don’t have to open the windows, you’re not gonna get sick when you put it in especially if you’re chemical sensitive person or if you have allergies, you know, you’re gonna be just fine. And even if you’ve got a garbage paint that you wanna paint over, you can just paint right over with Romabio. So, that would be step 1 for today’s talk on allergies is, optimize your indoor air quality. Humans, we spend way too much time indoors, that’s just what we do now because of our society and we’re connected to computers all day. How could you put a desk outside, yeah, you could but then you might not be able to see the screen. So, I do try to work outside when the weather’s nice and sit in the shade under a covered patio, but most of the time we’re gonna be indoors. So back in the corner there, you see my Molekule Air Purifier, Justin’s got one in his office too. I’ve had great success with it so far. The air in here really does s- smell really fresh. It’s almost like you’re at the beach. It’s just a really, you know, fresh air uh sensation, it’s not an ionizer, you don’t want those, you don’t negative ions being created from your air purifier because what those do, is it actually sticks all the toxins and mold and pet dander, it sticks it to the walls like a magnet, so it- the ionizer takes it out of the air but it sticks it to your wall which you don’t want. And what we’re using is a technology called peco, P-E-C-O which actually destroys the- the pollutants, it destroys the dander, it destroys the mold spores. And that’s a far better situation, uh, in terms of your- your air purification.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, air is really important. So today’s podcast is on allergies as we allude it to. So, allergies are gonna be an issue when your immune system is hyper responsive, okay? And one of the big things that’s gonna make your immune system more hyper responsive, is gonna be stress in your stress bucket, or an allergy terminology, we call it, antigens. Antigens are like foreign outside compounds. So, anything that’s gonna drive up inflammation, whether it’s foods, like gluten or dairy, or sugar, or aspartame or MSG, uh, grains, these food- they just have more inflammation. Inflammation is gonna drive prostaglandins, right, these are like- these are cosanoid type of uh- co- ho- almost like hormone-like compounds, they can increase things like prostaglandin e2 which is more inflammatory, right? It’s gonna create more histamine, it’s gonna create more swelling and vasodilation, it’s gonna create more congestions, and of course a lot of foods also are very mucus forming too. So we have mucous, we have congestion, we have stagnant lymph, and we’re adding all these inflammation from our food, and then also stress will do it because cortisol is gonna be a- a stress hormone, it’s an anti-inflammatory hormone but it does- it’s very catabolic. So it’s gonna break tissue down. It’s gonna cause constriction. It could- it could- gonna create adrenaline which is gonna cause constriction that’s gonna decrease blood flow and a lot of waste too. And it’s going to- uhm, decrease your sex hormones, which is your ability to heal, repair, recover and be anabolic. So we look at everything, you know, from a functional medicine perspective, we’re looking at our stress bucket, and we’re doing a really good history evaluating food stress, emotional stress, exercise, too much, too little, infections, uhm, and then we’ll also look at environmental antigens like, in Austin, cedar is a big one. Dander, right, various grasses, right? These types of things, pollens, these can go into your stress bucket. Now, the more you’re healthy, the more your inflammation is under the control, the more it becomes a non-issue. But of your inflammation is already topped up, and your antigen/stress bucket is full, those little bit of antigens may be enough to tip you over.
Evan Brand: Yup, well said. And there’s other things that can add into that bucket too. So like bacterial overgrowth which is something that we’re always testing for via stool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: Uh, we’re looking for signs of leaky gut, so we’re look-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: -for inflammation in the gut, we’ll look for your secretory IgA level on your stool test-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: -uh, we could even see like some microscopic bleeding, you know, there’s a marker called a colt blood that we look at, and that could be related to major inflammatory issues, or even some type of autoimmune gut condition. So if you’re looking at this and then you combine the diet, if someone is eating a high histamine diet, this is gonna be like alcohol, you know, your wine, your beer, uh, a lot of fermented foods people go crazy with now like sauerkraut and soy sauce and kombucha, those are all gonna be higher histamine. Cured meat, so, a lot of people doing bacon in the paleo community, that’s cool, but if it’s cured, those cured meats could be a problem, and then of course like dried fruit, I see tons of people eating like dried mango slices, that’s real high histamine. So you take your environmental allergies like you’ve got your cedar fever, plus maybe you’ve got some gluten in dairy in there, and then you’re snackin’ on dried mango slices, you probably gonna have some issues.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So we always wanna look at what- what’s the root underlying issue? We have a hypersensitive immune system, we do a really good audit as a functional medicine doc to figure out all the foods that could be driving it. Okay. I see significant reduction in allergies when we just get the inflammatory foods out. Dairy is a big mucus one, grains are a big one, and then also the hidden inflammation like in the sauces and those kind of things. Now, once we kinda have that looked at and supported, getting the hormones and the cortisol under control is huge. Because the more our cortisol is increased, that can affect our immune system, right? Typically, that can create a hyper responsive immune system and even a- a decreased immune response. But typically, with allergies, we’re seeing a higher immune response especially the TH2 part of the immune- so that- that’s like, we have our TH1 part of our immune system, that’s our cytotoxic immune system, that’s our like our natural killer cells, our helper cells. Think of that as a special forces of our immune system, right? It’s the navy seals, it’s the delta force, it’s the army rangers, it’s the first line of defense in attack. Then we have TH2 part of our immune system, that’s like our humoral, or antibody-based immune response. And these are like the infantry that comes in like a week later. This is the same kind of immune response that when you get a vaccination, you’re trying to stimulate these antibodies on the humoral side, to go and create memory cells, and these memory cells kinda linger in the background and they can go attack things. Now when you have a lot of allergies, a lot of times you can have this hyper TH2, that’s hyper antibody response, and that’s- that’s a big one. So, typically, you know, when you vaccinate, you’re gonna jack that immune response up. So there is some data with, I know the DPT vaccine that one of the side effects is increased allergenicity later on in life, and I think part of it is, just winding up that TH2 part of the immune system. So, we’d look at the foods, we’d look at the stress, we’d look at sleep, right, and then there are additional supplements that we can use to kind of curtail and kind of bump that immune response down. Now, low hanging fruit clinically, I find high levels of allergens, also seems to correlate with low stomach acids. So, I find not being able to digest your food, food sitting in your gut, putrefying and a lot of that because of low HCL, low hydrochloric acid, and low enzymes ’cause HCL and enzymes are brother and sister. We need good acidity; we need good nice high levels of acidity to stimulate our pancreas to make enzymes. So we need HCL, that creates enzyme activity, right? Then we- we make our proteolytic enzymes, our lipolytic enzymes and then we also have bile salt production. And our bile does pull out a lot of junk too. So, we need good bile to bind up a lot of that crap that may be from our environment too. So we have HCL, enzymes, proteolytic – protein digesting, lipolytic – fat digesting, and then our bile salts which helps with fat as well, and does some other junk in there that we wanna release out our stool.
Evan Brand: Yeah, makes sense. Well, people say, “Oh, when I was younger, I didn’t have allergies, but now that I hit age 40, or age 50 or age 60, I have allergies”. We know that as you age, you make less and less stomach acid every year. So sounds like if you wanna battle this, supplementing with enzymes, and then you mentioned the putrefying in the gut, there- there is exactly what we’re talking about with a bacterial overgrowth or a candida overgrowth, or potentially a parasitic infections is that, those infections including H-Pylori are gonna reduce the stomach acid level even more. So, if you just go out, “Okay, Dr. J said enzyme and acids”, you make around buy digestive enzymes and acids and you don’t get better, and that’s because there’s still another layer. There’s still another root cause that hasn’t been addressed that could be the infection piece, or as you mentioned, cortisol, it could be the cortisol, pulling apart the tight junctions in the gut barrier, then that allowed bacterial overgrowth. So if you fix the gut bugs but then you still don’t go upstream to fix cortisol, you’re still gonna end up in the same situation with allergies again. This is not, by the way, a deficiency of antihistamine drugs. You’ve noticed we’ve not talked about drugs. Maybe we should spend just a couple minutes talking about the conventional treatment for allergies, you know, what the ENT doctor is going to do for you in this situation, “Oh, doc, I have allergies”, the- the things they have to offer are- they’re not-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: -root cause.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, let’s just go over one more thing before we dive into the pharmaceutical option, and I think you can learn a lot when we contrast nutritional functional medicine options for allergies and then we can contrast it on the conventional allopathic medicine. You can really see philosophically which path are going down, like this is- there’s a big divide in the road, right? One is, we’re trying to reduce inflammation, modulate the immune system, help with drainage, help with inflammation, help with the gut microbiome, and then the other is, hey let’s- let’s give antihistamines, let’s give corticosteroids, right, let’s give uhm, things that are going to suppress the immune system, versus support, heal, nourish, and drain out. Does that make sense?
Evan Brand: Absolutely, yeah. The decongestants, those things too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, yeah, the e- essentially anti-histamines, right?
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, one of the big things with the gut is the microbiomes. We talked about the hyper responsive immune system; probiotics have a huge effect at modulating the immune system. So when we have commensal bacterial overgrowth or dysbiotic bacterial overgrowth or infections or H-Pylori, typically we start to see a lot of collateral, not so good bugs starting to accumulate, right? ‘Cause you know, bad people tend to hang together, it’s very rare you just have a solo bad person by themselves, and then can create an immune response that puts us in let’s say not so good direction. So, getting some of the bad guys to dysbiotic, you know not so good stuffs or the infections under control is very helpful, and then also bringing up the beneficial bacteria, lactobacillus, bifidobacter-type of bacteria, if we’re sensitive to that, we may even use more spore biotics, like bacillus, strains, we may avoid a lot of the lactobacillus, K-CI strains, the higher histamine strains if you’re sensitive. So we may look at lower histamine strains, look at, you know, we’d avoid the para-k-ci, the k-ci we may give more spore biotic strains with the bacillus coagulans, ___[12:22] to support the microbiome which does have a modulating effect on the immune system.
Evan Brand: I’ve seen some of the lower histamine probiotics on the market, I think it’s usually unnecessary to have to do some of that specific if you just fix the gut. I’ve rarely had somebody have a problem. With you and I, I mean, we use professional healthcare companies to manufacture our products. And so, the quality is so insanely high, it’s very rare. Maybe like 1 out of a hundred or 1 out of several hundred clients who can’t tolerate our normal, high dose regular probiotic. And that’s because we usually have fixed before we come in and fertilize and add all these probiotics, you and I have already tested, and we’ve already identified and fixed any infections that would potentially be releasing histamine. You know, these different bacteria could be releasing toxins that short of- shooting at the immune system. We’ve already cleared all that out. So, the probiotics are usually tolerated versus, the maybe if you just heard this, and you thought,” Hey, just said enzymes and probiotics, I’m just gonna go buy those two things and think I’m gonna get better”, you might not ’cause you still haven’t gone to the correct order of operations.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. So, I would say maybe 1 to 5 percent of my more inflammatory, very- lot of inflammation, lot of the immune dysregulation patients fall into that category, number 1. But like we’d use that, I do find a lot of people that really are reacting to probiotics, they’re throwing a whole bunch of probiotics into a tummy or a microbiome full of dysbiotic, not so good bacteria or even lots of infections. And that’s where you can get a lot of that kind of response. You know, my- my analogy, it’s just like throwing a whole bunch of seeds down, and a weed- oh, and a garden full of weeds, it’s like taking your car to a car wash, and getting it waxed before you get it washed, right?
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s an order of operations and how things kind of our, you know, for best practices so to speak, and it- when we incorporate a functional medicine program, that best practices and that kind of system approach is already built into the logic of what we’re doing.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, it’s kinda like if you just go down the reign of supplement, I only start like pick and choose range of things, like, this is immune, I’m gonna throw it at it, and hope that it sticks, I mean, you might get some limited success with that, you know, people could go out and buy an herb like stinging nettle for example, and they could take stinging nettle, maybe they get some progress, but it still may not be root cause. You wanna talk about that now, maybe some herbs we do use?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think we can go there. Is there anything else you wanna highlight on the physiology or the biochems ’cause I- I really want our listeners to understand what’s happening in their body from a physiological biochem perspective, so they get the root, ’cause then when they understand what’s happening, then we have this puzzle piece whether it’s a supplement, or a drug, or a diet, or lifestyle modification, they can see how it plugs in. ‘Cause that way, people get the root cause perspective, versus the palliative, you know, paint over the rust so to speak? Is there anything else you wanna highlight on the biochem or physiology part?
Evan Brand: Yeah, now that you mentioned it, I would just say uhm, fungal infections, of the sinuses could be another problem that most people miss, and especially the ent doctors miss. So people that have lived in an environment where they’ve had high moisture and potentially mold, they may have some type of uh, fungal infection up in the sinus cavity where you can do a- a- a blend of citrus oils, in essential oil format that we put into a sinus irrigator that’s battery powered and you can pump this up into your sinus cavity and don’t actually kill off the colonization that’s happen because, your sinuses are so close to the brain. So if you’ve got a fungal infection up in here, that’s so close to your blood brain barrier. You could be releasing mycotoxins into your sinus cavity up into your brain causing allergic response even if your gut checks out okay. So I would just say make sure you’re addressing both sinus and gut at the same time.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I agree. And sometimes, some of these critters, they can hang out in the gut. Now one of the things that I do, especially with my son, ’cause he’s not quite at the age where he can blow his nose really well to get all that, you know, mucus that’s way up here in his frontal cavity out. So, we use the device called the nasaline, and then we use the neti Xlear packets which have xylitol and also so many uh- minerals and sodium bicarbon there. And we’ll suck up about, you know, couple of ounces of that in the nasaline. We’ll mix it up in the- in the solution, then we’ll suck up a couple of ounces, and then we’ll- we’ll inject it in one nostril, then a second or two, a flow coming from the other side where it drains, and then we’ll go to the other side and we’ll push- and I’m not talking the spray, we’re not doing the xylitol spray, we’re actually doing a syringe and nasaline pump, that’s like a big turkey baster, and we’re-
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -we’re injecting fluid up, and it’s literally flowing out of the other nose for 1 to 2 seconds. When I kinda ring out his nose, and then we do the other side, and have it flow for another second or 2, and that’s going all the way up in the frontal cavities, and may even go down the back of the throat. So if you’re having an annoying post nasal drip, that could be something hanging out way in the back posterior part of the sinus cavity that needs to get flushed out. And the xylitol is great ’cause it will kill some bacteria and potentially even some fungus and then just- and also restoring that good pH up there. So it makes it harder for some of the not so nice stuff to grow, it’s very helpful for sinuses in- or for allergies in the sinus cavity.
Evan Brand: That’s beautiful, and does he tolerate that, is he allow you to do that or is it a pain?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, here’s the deal. We used to use the bottle, like the Neal med spray bottle or the- or the uhm netty Xlear bottle, but err- one- if you- if you had it at an angle little bit, it- you wouldn’t get optimal pressure-
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -so the nasaline allows you to get optimal pressure from any angle ’cause it’s- it’s kind of, you know, in an injection fashion. And then number 2, is you get more flow, you get better pressure. So sometimes with the bottle, there’d be mucus, and we- there wasn’t enough pressure to break it up. So with the nasaline, you can get like 2 to 3 times more pressure, so it breaks it right up and then you can see it fully on the other side and it’s- you get that like sense of like, “Oh my God, that was like way up in your sinus”, and then he can breathe so much better and helps, ’cause, he’s only had one ear infection, and it happened because we couldn’t get snot mucus from up here out. And again, that’ll change as he can blow his nose, right? But when your kids are younger, it helps and if you have sinus issues, it’s awesome too! Totally great. And you may not need the nasaline, you may just be able to do the regular s- you know, regular spray ball that comes with them, but that’s helpful.
Evan Brand: And this is nasaline like N-A-S-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A-L-I-N-E. If you go to justinhealth.com/shop, and click on recommended products, we have the links there, I’ll have my staff put the links below in the comments section, so if you’re listening to the podcast, or the YouTube video later, you can go and look for those links and we’ll have ’em there for y’all.
Evan Brand: Perfect. Well, I think we talked about a bunch. So, are you ready, do you wanna hit some- some nutrients? Things that can help-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I wish to. One more thing here, I know, I’m- I’m a little long-winded, so we have our 5 major immune, uhm cells, right? 5 major immune cells, we have- in- in school they’ll teach ya, Never Let Monkeys Eat Bananas – Neutrophils, Lymphocytes, Monocytes, Eosinophils, Basophils. Okay. Basophils are the big ones we’re worried about with allergies ’cause basophils, outside of the blood, when they go into the tissue, they turn into mast cells, and mast cells produce histamine, and histamine has that vasodilating kind of mucus forming allergy-like effect. And a lot of the medications like Pepcid ac, these 5H2, 5HT2 blockers is antihistamine meds, lot of times they’re working on that response. So, we’re trying to really get that immune system to relax and to chill out into also not over stimulated with stress, and food and poor diet and lifestyle.
Evan Brand: Yup. I think that is important to bring up mast cells, ’cause, yeah, I mean, when you talk about people with mast cell problems, I mean, they’re allergic to anything. Some of those people have to even travel with uh, EpiPens, because if they have some huge mast cell explosion.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, yup. Totally. So, I’ll let you go through everything here Evan.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well, I was gonna say which I was calling like a silly yet, I was calling it coricidin, but it’s really quercetin. Justin’s like, “Dude, it’s quercetin”. So, quercetin, uh it just [crosstalk] but anyway, so, this is- this is a bioflavonoid, and this is very helpful to stabilize mast cells. So, actually, uh, Neil Nathan had a good book on mast cells. And he was talking about how- the number 1 thing he found from a natural nutritional perspective to stabilize mast cells, meaning, if you have a mast cell activation problem where someone is just overreacting to everything like they breathe in cologne, and get a headache, that’s likely a mast cell problem that’s creating a lot of excess histamine in dumping that into the system. So in his book, he discussed using quercetin, and how some people can’t even tolerate a low-dose like 40 milligrams was too much for some people, that’s gonna be a very sensitive person. And most of the time, we can go up to 2, 3, 4, 5 hundred milligrams of quercetin, and then usually there’s other uh bioflavonoids like rutin, R-U-T-I-N that come with it. So, that’s what you and I use a lot. And I would say that’s probably 1 of the top 5 nutrients that you can use, but, don’t just go to Walmart and buy some there. You wanna get a professional quality version because, just ’cause it says, it’s “XYZ” on the label, that doesn’t mean it’s the quality in purity and, if it’s garbage and you bought it at Walgreens pharmacy, it could have a bunch of extra fillers, corn and gluten and who knows what else. It could be in a tablet versus a capsule, versus a powder, so then the absorption in the gut is not as good, ’cause you have low stomach acids. So, you can’t just assume because it’s on the label that it’s gonna work for. So I have to give that a little disclaimer.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Yeah, one thing I wanna highlight, is uhm, reishi mushroom or Ganoderma lucidum is excellent. Rishi is known- I’d one article right here called the suppression of inflammatory and allergic responses by a pharmacologically potent fungus and Ganoderma lucidum or reishi mushroom. And essentially, rishi really helps modulate the immune system but it also helps push up that TH1 immune system. Now, why does that matter? ‘Cause people that may have a lot of allergenic issues, they may have this really high bit of TH2 going on, right? It’s on a see-saw. So it TH2 is high, guess where TH1 sits? So, by- it’s- it’s low, right? Just like with one end of the see-saw, is up, the other end has to be down. So think of the side that’s down is TH1, think of the uhm, which is the side that rishi supports, and think of the allergenic side is over here, on the TH2. So if you bump up this TH1 and guess what you’re doing to that TH2 allergenic immune response? You can kind of bring it back in to benefit.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I’m gonna call on the- I call it rishi, maybe call it rishi [crosstalk]-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So- you- we’re pronouncing quercetin differently, and rishi differently. I love it man. [Crosstalk]
Evan Brand: I love it, I mean, I take it almost every day. There’s a couple different-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah.
Evan Brand: -supplements I take that does have mushrooms in it, so, I- I’m a huge fan and there has been- I mean, they call it the mushroom of immortality, so, I mean, this is something been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years before Americans picked up on it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So let me just read you part of the abstract here. I talk about here, “A number of herbal drugs have been identified in the past that can target inflammatory, cytokines among these Ganoderma lucidum aka rishi, a powerful medicinal mushroom has been found to possess immune-modulating and immune potentiating capabilities, and has been characterized as a wonder herb”. And this article right here, I will put- put the link here below, link here below is this review will focus is on the molecular mechanism and the inflammatory and anti-allergenic reaction this mushroom has especially with allergies. So we’ll put the link below you’re not gonna see the whole thing because a lot of these things are stuck behind paywalls but it just- we- you know I’m just putting it out there because I want people to know there’s a lot of research on some of these compounds and how they can help modulate the immune response. Now I haven’t read the whole article because it’s behind a paywall but I’m gonna guess part of that mechanism and how it’s helping allergies is to that t1 th2 seesaw analogy I just gave y’all.
Evan Brand: Yeah I would say the same thing with the astragalus, you know I love astragalus, I think it’s time of the year we’ve already started to see a couple of ticks on our dog so we’re back in two tick season already and if you do get bit supposedly if you get bit, uh by a tick, and you have astragalus in your system, that may help to prevent the transmission of the Borrelia burgdorferi that causes lyme disease. So, I basically stay on astragalus starting in the spring throughout the rest of the year. But I think that would be a good TH1, TH2 balancer as well for allergy season.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So we wanna make sure we draw line here, right? The line is, these herbs and nutrients can be used palliatively in the same category that drugs- the drugs are, right? But, if we’re actually fixing the root underlying issues that may create the environment for allergies to form like pet danders in house, mold in the house, poor diet, inflammation, low- you know, not enough stomach acid, poor adrenals. If we don’t fix that, then these issues may not have a root cause supporting benefit. So we draw the line, these are nutrients but they can still be used palliatively as well as to support the root cause. So our goal is to always support the root cause, by addressing these issues we already highlighted, but they can also be used uh, without addressing the root cause as well but they’re always way more effective than synergistic when we- when we’re fixing the diet, the lifestyle, stress that are causing everything to dysfunction to begin with. So I like to draw that line, ’cause most people, they use allergy medications today, without any focus on the root cause. We always wanna delineate and draw that clear line for y’all.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I was pulling up a study here that was talking about prenatal, perinatal, and childhood vitamin D exposure, and their association with childhood allergies, and basically, this uh study discusses, they were measuring vitamin D levels, through different ages of kids. And the lower the vitamin D level throughout pregnancy or through childhood, increases risk of allergies later on. So, long story short, if your pregnant mom listening, make sure your vitamin D levels are up, you know, preferably like 60 to 80, uh, we like to see it, it’s typically in the U.S., it’s gonna be NG over DL. That’s gonna be the uh, the unit. But if you look at your reference range, you wanna be on the higher end of your reference range of vitamin D, that’s an easy one to fix.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A hundred percent, yup. So let’s go to the list here, we mentioned vitamin D, and how that modulates the immune system. We talked about medicinal mushrooms, Ganoderma lucum- lucidum or rishi is our favorite herb. If we’re Evan, it’s- how do you say it?
Evan Brand: I say rishi.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Rishi, rishi, potato, patata. Probiotics, quercetin is excellent especially with a lot of the- the bioflavonoids, I think you mentioned the histidine, the rutin. Uh, bromelain, which is an enzyme found on pineapple which is great for helping with allergies, stinging nettle is an excellent one. In my line, I’ve a product called aller clear which has a lot of these compounds in it, it has a stinging nettle, it has some of the vitamins C, the bioflavonoid, it has some potassium bicarbonate, these are really good kind of, I say first line natural medicine, functional medicine type of compounds. Anything you wanna add to that Evan?
Evan Brand: Yeah, I would just say make sure you’re working back towards the root cause, so, someone can go buy those supplements, great job, but still make sure you’re looking at your gut, make sure you’re looking at your home environment, do you have new carpet that’s off-gassing toxic chemicals, do you have new paint, did you move into a new apartment, a new condo, a new town home that has all their pollutants in the air that are messing up your sleep at night. So maybe you need to have a high-quality air purifier in your bedroom while you’re sleeping, maybe that’s gonna reduce the stress in your bucket, but you can still do these other things. Just make sure you’re- you’re checking everything else off the list, I don’t want people just taking quercetin and thinking they- they’re gonna be cured.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, 100%. Alright, so let’s continue to roll through some of our other things on our list here. My list, let me pull back up here. Alright, good. So we talked about the medicinal mushrooms, really-really important, we talked about the stinging metal. Uhm, couple other things I wanna highlight, is just poor breathing. A lot of people could have like a deviated septum, and that could require surgery. Some people, it may be more functional based where you can do a specific chiropractic technique called nasal-specific, where they can go up there, and they could put a balloon up and they can- they can kind of balance out those little bones that could be misaligned. So I always recommend the nasal specific chiropractic technique first because that’s- doesn’t require anesthesia, medications, or invasive surgery. So, that’s always better first. And then just making sure you have good posture, right? Making sure your external auditory meatus sits right above your top of your shoulder there, good posture, and then making sure you- the- bones in your neck are moving properly. Soon as you start to go forward head posture, one of the things that starts to happen is your airway starts to close down a bit, okay? The more your airway starts to close down, you start recruiting as you start going more forward, you start recruiting from these intercostal muscles to breathe. So now you’re here, and your breathing from this- your chest muscles, right? So we take a deep breath, if you put a hand on your tummy, and a hand on your chest, you want the bottom hand to be the one primarily moving your chest shouldn’t be. So, you should- when you breathe, [inhales], by chest breath, this is the hand that moves first. No go. If we’re belly breathing/diaphragmatic breathing, [inhales], this is the one that you should be breathing with. A lot of people, they don’t naturally wanna do that ’cause it- make sure tummy look a little bit bigger and everyone wants to have those- that- that beach body. So you see guys walking around like this, that means they’re automatically breathing through their chest which is activating that sympathetic nervous system response, which then will throw off the immune system too if it’s done chronically.
Evan Brand: Yeah, for people who are listening audio, they didn’t see Justin, he was showing the kind a turtle head basically when you’re standing and, if everybody is looking down at their smartphones these days, everybody has that kind of turtle head, head launch forward kinda down and forward, he was saying, that’s gonna be recruiting some of those muscles there in the front of your neck and then he was kind of hunch over at the same time at his shoulders. So he was showing what you want. ‘Cause you wanna be basically your head, you want on top of your shoulders, you don’t want your head in front of your shoulders, he’s saying that’s what’s leading to the more chest breathing, and not the belly breathing. So that’s important, I mean, I’ve noticed, just watching my daughter, that, you know, young children, they’re naturally belly breathers. And as we age and become stressed, we become chest breathers. And chest breathing causes anxiety. You don’t wanna be a chest breather. If you look at somebody having the panic attack, they’re not breathing in their belly, their breathing in their chest.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think a lot of people, number 1, they- they don’t wanna look like they’re 5 or 6 months pregnant ’cause they’d really do a deep belly breath. You know, basically, all your organs, all your intestines are going down as your diaphragm is pushing out. Then- and so, make sure you should look a little bit bigger in the tummy but it’s just, you know, it’s just your body trying to get a- a good diaphragmatic breathing, it’s just moving those organs around, that’s all.
Evan Brand: Yeah, who cares? You gotta- you still care what people think, then, you gotta get over that first.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. Alright, anything else you wanna add on the breathing postural side?
Evan Brand: I think you did good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, cool. Now we already talked about, you know, what these various things could be, right? Pollen, danders, animal dust, mites, right? Uh, things in your fur, right, these kind of things, you know, could be topical things like latex or eating gluten, or anaphylactic things like peanuts, of course, right? And a good air filter will help with some of these ones that are more environmentally based. Now, I- I have one, justinhealth.com/air, there’s a good one there that I like. There’s 2 or 3 brands that I like as well. If you go to justinhealth.com/shop, you’ll see couple the ones that I like and then I personally have about all 3 in my house. I know Evan talked about the uhm, uh, what was the one that you have Evan?
Evan Brand: The molekule?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The molekule, and I have the molekule as well. Molekule I think is great. One thing I like about the molekule, it’s- looks nice, doesn’t it?
Evan Brand: It does look good. Yeah, I don’t know if you- I don’t know if you have a coupon code. Do you have a coupon for people ’cause if you don’t, I do.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Good. Why don’t you put your- let’s do this. If you’re listening here, Evan will put all the- the links and stuff below, if you’re listening to his, and then vice versa for mine. So we’ll put that in the show notes here too.
Evan Brand: Okay. We can save you lot of money. Air purifiers are not the cheapest thing in the world, but they are priceless, I mean, it’s one thing that I would not live in a house, eat, no matter how clean the building materials, I would not live in a house without air purification because-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%.
Evan Brand: -it’s just- it’s too important especially if you got your kids like Justin and I do.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup. Sup- super important. So now, we talked about some of the- you know, the causes there, we talked about the biochemistry and the physiology, we talked about some of the conventional things, right? It’s gonna be potential antibiotics, it’s gonna be antihistamines, it’s gonna be uh, immune suppressants, it could even be corticosteroids, or even prednisone if it’s really high, could even be to that degree. [crosstalk]
Evan Brand: Your ENT is not gonna discuss gluten, they’re likely not gonna discuss dairy. I’m sure there’s some out there that may but there probably few and far between. I’m guessing the guy right down the street’s probably not gonna say that to you. And it’s unfortunate, hopefully with podcasts like this, we can turn the tide around. And when you go into an ENT, the first thing you’re gonna say is, what’s your diet, do you eat dairy, uh how often do you eat grains, how much sleep do you have, uhm, do you have brand new carpet that’s off gassing formaldehyde, uh, do you have an air purifier in your bedroom, like, err- you know, hopefully the ENT visits will start to become like this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And it’s really hard to do that in the conventional insurance model for sure. [crosstalk]
Evan Brand: …6 minutes or something for an appointment?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know, totally. And we talked about some of the natural compounds that we use, the quercetin, uhm, HCl, or some kind of acidifying agent like apple cider vinegar. We also like a lot of the beneficial probiotics which may be depending upon how sensitive you are as well. And we already talked about- one of the things I like is kidney glandular. Kidney glandular or kidney tissue has an enzyme called DAO, which actually helps metabolize histamine. So, that’s really good. We may do higher dose kidney glandular, get the DAO which will come in there and metabolize the histamine. If you’re sensitive, you may even talk about cutting histamines out, could be citrus, it could be grains, it could be aged meats like Evan talked about, it could even be teasing coffee as well ’cause those- those block the DAO enzyme from working. And we may just add in extra DAO enzyme to help metabolize the histamine as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I find low histamine diet help some people but once again, it’s gonna be and maybe the 10% or less-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup. Hmm-hmm, for sure. Yup. And that’s the thing, when we deal with patients through a functional medicine, you know, we have a lot of experience. So there’s a spectrum in which more patients fall than others, and it’s hard ’cause when people find stuff online, they don’t really have a contact to where they may fit into that category ’cause there an N equals 1. So it’s really important, we wanna plug it in based on our clinical experience which gets us a huge head start.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I think we hit everything really good. I think we did really concise job, I think probably one of the more pod- the more concise podcast that’s out there on these topics. ‘Cause we want to make sure you understand the root biochemistry and understand the physiology. That way, you understand concepts, you’re not memorizing random facts.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Root cause information to stick.
Evan Brand: One last story and then we’ll wrap it up. So, I’ve had a major issue with histamine regarding avocados, I was eating avocados like every day, I start to get migraine and headaches from avocados, so I cut them out for 6 weeks while I was working on a gut protocol, and as soon as I fixed my gut, I added avocados back in, and I had no problem.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: So, go to the nutritionist, then they’ll tell you, “Well, Justin, or Evan, it’s this food, it’s that food. These are the devil. Don’t ever eat avocado”. No, that wasn’t the root cause, the avocado wasn’t the problem, it was my body, I had too many gut infections and other problems creating excess histamine. The avocado just put me over the edge and caused the symptom. So I temporarily removed it, fixed the root cause and then I could add it back in and had no problems. So, you know, these people, they get stuck on a diet because they just went to a nutritionist who put them on like a low histamine diet, but then there’s no other follow-up, there’s nothing after that. It’s just here’s this very restrictive diet, you’re stuck with this forever, the end. And that’s not the way it should be.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Well, hey man, today was a great podcast, if you guys are enjoying it, we’re- we got it on Facebook as well, make sure you subscribe, hit the bell as well. Put comments below, wanna know what you think, wanna get some really good future podcasts ideas from y’all, and I’ll be back personally from my live YouTube Q&A’s later this week, so make sure you’re part of my channel, so you can access that phenomenal content, and make sure you head over to evanbrand.com. Evan sees patients all over the country as well, he has lots of phenomenal content even outside of the ones that Evan and I produced together. So make sure you subscribe to Evan’s podcast and YouTube channel as well. Evan, anything else you wanna say?
Evan Brand: Thanks for the plug man, and uh, check out justinhealth- justin, and then health, justinhealth.com, that’s where you could reach out to him if you wanna do consults, and he has another doc on staff too. So if his availability is crazy, you need to be seen, we can get you in. So, just check out the site, you can find all the resources there.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I look forward to having my book come out, and my thyroid masterclass comin’ out really soon. It’s so hard ’cause my first love to seeing patients and I have to kinda clear my schedule from some- for some patients during certain blocks to get this content out. So, I’m in this little pickle here, just try to finish it up, but it- it’s hard ’cause my first love is seeing patients. So, uhm, doing my best ya’ll, so keep an eye out for the thyroid reset book that’s coming your way along with the masterclass.
Evan Brand: Good job. Keep up the good work.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, thanks Evan, you have a great day. We’ll talk soon everyone.
Evan Brand: Take care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye now.
Evan Brand: Bye.
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