Top 5 Warning Signs of Hormonal Imbalance

Let’s talk about hormones. I’m going to dive into a couple of clinical pearls that I see in my practice from working with hundreds of female patients and male patients which have a major effect on modulating and supporting hormonal balance.

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor if you want to learn more about hormonal imbalance.

 

These are my top 5 hormonal balancing strategies:

 

  1. One of the first things in regards to hormones that’s very important, and this may be common sense but I try to give a lot of knowledge guided by experience, is nutritional building blocks for your hormones. Healthy cholesterol from animal products are very essential. Fat soluble vitamins like A, D, K are very important. Lots of good protein are also very important. We have steroid-based hormones that are going to be more cholesterol-based and we have peptide-based hormones that will also be protein-based. So, a lot of these protein, fat-soluble vitamins, and cholesterol especially healthy animal cholesterol are very helpful for hormonal building blocks. If you have a vegan-vegetarian diet or if it’s very nutritionally poor or there’s a lot of processed food, that may set you up with a deficit out of the gates for just hormonal issues. Remember: Make sure the food is nutritionally dense, anti-inflammatory, and low in toxins. That’s vital.

  1. Now, if you’re having a lot of good nutrition in there, the next thing is we have to make sure we’re able to digest it and break it down. So, if we have a lot of chronic acid reflux, poor digestion, constipation, or bloating, we know we’re not quite breaking down our food and our nutritional building blocks. That could tell us that we may have hormonal issues because we’re not breaking that down. Therefore, those nutrients can’t get into our body or get in our bloodstream and be taken throughout the body to be used as building blocks. So, if we have a bottleneck in the nutritional side, that could be a big factor.

  1. Stress, whether it’s emotional or chemical stress. If we’re eating foods that are inflammatory or we’re nutritionally deficient and we have a lot of emotional stress, what tends to happen is our hormones kind of go on two sides. We have an anabolic side which are the growth hormones — testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone — that kind of help deal with growing. Then we have anti-inflammatory hormones which would be cortisol and are catabolic. I always put progesterone in that category because progesterone can be used to make more cortisol. So, we have our anti-inflammatory and then our anabolic. In some, they kind of cross over. Insulin, growth hormones, and testosterone are anabolic. The more inflamed we get, we could have high amounts of testosterone because of PCOS and because of inflammation. So, some of these hormones kind of interact and cross over. With men for instance, the more inflamed men get and the more stressed they get, that can actually cause an upregulation of aromatase and could increase their estrogen. So, see how these things kind of cross react. Your hormones are going to be either pro-building or anti-inflammatory to reduce stress. So, for chronically and stressed out state, cortisol is going to rip up your protein and kind of decrease your muscle mass. As a woman, you’ll see your progesterone level start to drop and that will start putting you into an estrogen-dominant state because if we normally got 20 to 25 times estrogen than progesterone, that ratio starts to drop. Even if you still have more progesterone than estrogen, that ratios is going to throw you off and that can create breast tenderness, cramping, mood issues, excessive bleeding/menorrhagia, infertility, a lot of mood issues, back pain, and fluid retention. All those are possible situations.

  1. Xenoestrogens from the environment and foreign estrogens. They can come from plastic components, pesticides, herbicides or rodenticides, mold toxins, and heavy metals. They are going to disrupt our hormones. The easiest thing is eat organic, avoid plastics, and avoid a lot of the chemicals in the water because a lot of times you can get pesticide runoff or hormone runoff in the water. So, clean water and clean food, and then make sure it’s organic avoid the plastics as well. That’s a big, big thing. Plastics are probably okay if they are in a refrigerator or in a cold environment but ideally if you’re heating stuff up or it’s going to get exposed to light, you want some kind of a Pyrex or a glass container. It’s much better and really important.

  1. Last but not the least would be just making sure our detoxification pathways are running well. So, if we have good hormonal balance but we can’t detoxify it, then a lot of times we can reabsorb it. So, if we don’t have good sulfur, good glutathione precursors, good B vitamins, good methylation, N-acetylation and glucuronidation, we may have a hard time eliminating. Hence, we are re-absorbing a lot of our hormones. So, being able to break down your proteins, break down your amino acid and your B vitamins is going to help with your body’s ability to eliminate a lot of these toxins.

Summary:

Blood sugar, digestion, stress, xenoestrogens, and toxicity are really big. Those are the big 5 across the board. Try to apply at least one of these things.

If you’re struggling with hormonal issues and you want to dive in deeper, feel free to schedule a consult with myself.

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.

 

4 Herbs That Give You The Upper Hand Against Viral Infections

Let’s talk about four herbs with antiviral properties. 

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor before taking herbal supplements!

Olive Leaf

As part of a Candida protocol, we’ll have a couple of herb combinations that will have olive leaf combined with monolaurin. Stack those two right on top of each other. Monolaurin is a lauric acid coconut extract.  It has been shown to be very, very potent as an antiviral.  With olive leaf, the main compound in it – oleuropein – and that actually prevents the virus from attaching to the cells. We kind of talk about mechanisms a lot and people ask why does that matter.  It is because some herbs may prevent the replication of viruses.  Things like olive actually prevent the virus from attaching to healthy cells. So if you have multiple herbs, you’ve got multiple mechanisms.  You’re just making yourself even more resilient.

Astragalus

They help with either immune modulation, natural killer cell, antibody modulation which is the infantry that comes in afterwards, or it is going to help with viral replication. Typically, it’s going to modulate the inflammation from the immune response.

Usually it is hitting things in about three to four different ways, and most are going to fall into that category. That is kind of the mechanism how they are working.

Cat’s Claws

We use Cat’s Claw or Samento a lot with biofilms.  They work really well.  These are protective shields, bacteria and critters use. We also use it with a lot of Lyme and various co-infections, but Cat’s Claws is great at the immune system, helping with viruses, and really enhancing the body’s ability to deal with infections. Again, everything we are talking about is not necessarily to treat anything.  A lot of the time it is just to support our own immune response to what’s happening, because our body is really the ultimate fighter in all of this.  Everything we are doing is just trying to give our body’s immune system an edge to address the issue to begin with.  The body has dealt and humankind has dealt with viruses since forever.

Echinacea

When we are doing a lot of these herbs, a lot of times we want to make sure the whole root is present. A lot of times with Echinacea, you will see a lot of flower present. I want the whole root.  I find that it has a lot more of the immune-modulating alkaloids that really have the immune benefit. It is excellent in how it reduces virus levels.  It inhibits the growth of bacteria. It inhibits the growth of viruses. It is also going to modulate with the inflammation caused by that immune response and caused by the cytokines and interleukins.

What can you do to try to gain the upper hand?

These things are just going to improve your resilience. It’s important to have the right mindset. A lot of people are selling like cures or solutions and that is not going to be the case, but it is really going to be our body to begin with.  Even antibiotics, when an infection gets cleared, it is still not the antibiotic.  It is the antibiotic lowering the level of the infection and then the immune system can kind of come in and play.  It is like if we are using a lifting analogy, it really gives a very helpful spot when you’re kind of low in that bench press, it really gives you that little spot to kind of get it up through that sticky point.

If you have any questions about herbs with antiviral properties, please reach out to a functional medicine doctor and learn more.

Symptoms and Dangers of Low Potassium

Symptoms and Dangers of Low Potassium

Do you know how much potassium you’re getting? I was looking at some recent research including a national survey which indicated that approximately 98% of Americans are not meeting the recommended potassium intake.

We all know the Standard American Diet is not good–but it’s not just the American diet that favors processed foods over whole plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. This is the standard European diet. This is the standard Australian diet. Most developed first-world countries are primarily consuming processed, potassium-devoid food.

Let’s tie that directly into the research I mentioned at the beginning. A study done by a Chinese hospital and Chinese medical university in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, China on hypokalemia and clinical implications in patients with coronavirus. The researchers found that people that had severe hypokalemia–the technical term for potassium deficiency–and took potassium supplements were inclined to recovery. While the study results don’t directy say a potassium deficiency means you’ll get sick, it does indicate that because of the ACE-2 enzyme and the whole relationship to the virus, that one contributing factor may be low potassium levels.  And if you already have low potassium to begin with, then you may have a higher risk of fatality.

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor to learn about the symptoms of potassium deficiency!

Sodium and Potassium Pump

Why Does Potassium Matter?

Potassium is a key part of the sodium-potassium pump. A cell has sodium inside the cell and potassium outside of the cell, and the sodium-potassium pump uses active transport to move molecules from a high concentration to a low concentration by moving sodium ions out of and potassium ions into the cell

The enzyme that’s involved in making this happen is an ATP enzyme. You can identify enzymes because of the suffix “-ase” at the end: ATPase. ATP is important because it is the energy generated by your mitochondria.

Side effects of a potassium deficiency include:

  • Muscle or nerve problems
  • Mood issues
  • Adrenal dysfunction
  • Energy issues
  • Digestive issues
  • Heart palpitations
  • Achy muscles, muscle breakdown
  • Feeling tired and stiff
  • Tingling and numbness issues

Symptoms and Dangers of Low Potassium

One of the big side effects of a potassium deficiency is muscle or nerve issues, because potassium and sodium are very important for the muscles and nerves to work

There is also a potential for mood issues because sodium and potassium play an intricate role with the adrenal glands. Part of the reason why people’s potassium gets low–outside of a poor diet–is going to be because of adrenal function. Typically with the adrenals, aldosterone starts to go low.  Aldosterone is a mineralocorticoid that exists in the cortex of the adrenals. As aldosterone starts going low, sodium can start to drop too. As your sodium drops, sometimes your potassium can look like it’s not too bad. It can look actually a little bit high, but you could still actually have potassium issues because of the fact that your adrenals are weak and you’re peeing out a lot of your minerals. 

If you have sodium-potassium pump issues, you probably have energy issues too. Healthy mitochondrial function is needed to make ATP for the sodium-potassium pump to work.

Cramping is another potential side effect of being potassium-deficient, because the muscles need the fluid wiring, sodium and potassium, and minerals.

Your bowel movements and your motility starts becoming slower when your potassium drops. We need healthy levels of potassium so we have good bowel movements; otherwise there can be digestive and elimination problems.

Heart palpitations are another potential effect of low potassium, since we need potassium and magnesium for our heart to pump. Our heart is a muscle as well. So if your heart is skipping beats or beating harder or faster, that’s a sign of palpitations, which could be from low potassium.

And other symptoms include tingling, numbness, achy muscles, muscle breakdown, feeling tired and stiff. The breakdown of muscle is known as rhabdomyolysis and that breakdown is going to be very much helped with good potassium levels. You’re going to have less muscle breakdown with potassium levels being adequate.

If you have any symptoms of a potassium deficiency, please reach out to a qualified professional to test your levels and determine your next steps.

Gut Irritation & GI Testing

What are the contributing factors to the gut inflammation we’re seeing and what are the contributing factors to the secretory IgA being low? Why does this happen?

So first things first is we have to do an adequate history.  How did we get here?  That’s like the first question that everyone needs to be asking themselves and their functional medicine doctor needs to be kind of reviewing with them.  So a lot of people there’s usually a history portion that reveals this.  So when I come in and I do a history, I do a timeline history.  I try to figure out how the person got here.

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor to learn more about gut irritation and GI testing!

So there’s 2 scenarios.  There’s either the person got this position where they’re sick and not feeling well acutely, i.e. I was in Mexico.  I ate some bad food and now I’m sick.  Or most of the time, there is a chronic insidious bit to it where there has been some stress—emotional stress, physical stress, chemical stress, bad foods, poor digestion, and then the kind of stress has been going in a downward pattern, health symptoms have been getting worse over time and then boom! They get sick acutely but it’s not really acutely.  There has been a downhill, kinda spiral the whole time. So number one, there is totally acute, feeling great, now they’re not.  Number two, it’s this chronic downward decline.  Boom! They get sick!  And I’d say number three is it’s just chronic and there’s no timeline.  There is no event at all.  It is just a gentle downward slope.  So 3 ways that kind of health symptoms unfold.  One, very acute.  Two, a downward decline, followed by an acute episode and it could be a couple of acute episodes by the way.  It may not be one and a lot of times there could be autoimmune flare involved in there and number three, it’s just a gentle downward decline with no acute episode.

So those are the big three scenarios.  So we have to really look at, “Hey, when was the last time you remember yourself feeling good?  Walk me to the timeline over the last 10, 15 years, when did things start to go sideways?  Was it when you were eating some bad foods, some gluten?  Was it when your diet was poor?  Was it when stress or sleep was poor?  Was it when you started going through menopause of having some hormonal issues?  Was it when you had a thyroid flare?  What was going on when all these stuff happened?  And those are the important questions because we have to connect the dots to the root cause so when we ask questions about symptoms that are downstream, we are actually looking upstream to the root cause that cause these symptoms to manifest.  So there’s a different mindset most clinicians and doctors are looking at.  “Hey, what medication can we do to cover up that symptom or even what supplement or nutrient or herb can we use to cover up that symptom?”  But we’re actually—we may be looking at that, too, but we’re also looking upstream as well.

A couple other triggering factors.  Divorce is huge.  So any issues with marriage, whether someone just had a bad marriage and needs the divorce but they haven’t yet.  They did get a divorce like I had a woman last week who developed Hashimoto’s.  She developed thyroid antibodies after her divorce.  She had bloodwork done before.  She had no antibodies.  She went through crazy stressful divorce, fighting over who gets the kids and all that and then boom! You look at the labs and then there are the antibodies that showed up.  It’s sort of a response to the major stress.  Ideally, when you deal with marital stress, ideally you are on top of it and you’re seeing a counselor to help because it’s always easier to mend it than to walk away.  In some situations you can, some you can’t but we always recommend getting some kinda counselor there to help on that side of the fence.  And then of course, you know, death of a loved one is gonna be a big one.  Even things like moving and a lot of times, moving may be tied to a promotion or a good thing but believe me, it’s very stressful.  We look at what’s called a social adjustment questionnaire.  Moving, death of a loved one, death of child is even more, you know, affairs, divorce, anything on the relationship side is really big.  So those are gonna be important things you wanna look at from an emotional stress standpoint because those can be a big thing and they put stress on the adrenal glands.

So, hey, we just wanna make sure that we’re addressing it.  We’re processing it.  We’re seeing a counselor or seeing therapist, someone to work on it.  Maybe there’s subconscious stress.  Maybe we’re working on EFT or NLP or EMDR techniques to deal with the PTSD from that trauma.  So we have things like that, right?  And then of course, like in your timeline history, we’re also gonna be looking at was there a leak in your house?  Was there any mold exposure?  Things like that because that’s a big environment pull.  Hey, do you feel better when you leave your house for a week, you know?  Barring the fact that you may be on vacation and stress is lower, if you just leave your house for a week, do you feel better?  So we like to have those kind of timelines because that can set you up for a whole bunch of gut issues.

So when we talk about gut testing, it’s never just the gut myopathy.  We’re trying to connect the gut to underlying stressors that have been accumulating for years if not decades that got you to this position to begin with.

If you have gut issues and would like to know more about GI testing, click here to schedule an appointment

Histamine Intolerance and Root Causes | Podcast #289

Hey, guys! We have a new podcast today with Dr. J and Evan Brand talking about histamine intolerance and possible root causes. We start with symptoms of histamine intolerance. While mostly linked to allergic reactions, they can be IBS, cramping, anxiety, dizziness/vertigo, fatigue, flushing, hives, brain fog, and more. Often, you’ll see these overlap as symptoms of hypothyroid, adrenal issues, or Hashimotos. So, what next?

Nutrients important to helping break down histamine are DOA enzymes, Vitamin C, Copper, and B6 (very important to neurotransmitters). We know that gut permeability and absorbing the nutrients you need can be difficult in itself when mixed with gut irritation, stress, and/or certain symptoms and this becomes a triple-edged sword. You need the nutrients to break down the histamine but your body can’t break them down because it’s stressed, overwhelmed, or not working as it should and you don’t want to eat certain foods you used to be able to consume because the histamine’s memory is messed up and you’re exhibiting more food allergies. It can be overwhelming, so then what?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani shares common foods that increase the histamine response, palliative solutions for relief, and the reality behind finding the root cause.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:00 Symptoms of histamine intolerance

10:57 How to metabolize histamine

12:59 Testing for histamine, histamine markers and root cause

19:03 Histamine medications

24:06 Hormonal link

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, guys! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here.  I hope you guys are having a fabulous week.  We are gonna be diving in to histamine intolerances and functional medicine solutions and what we do in our clinics.  Evan, welcome to the show, man.  How are we doing brother?

Evan Brand:  Hey, I’m glad to be here and glad to talk about this subject.  Something that I used to look at and I was confused by.  I would look at these histamine issues and I would say, “This just doesn’t make sense.”  Why does Jane Doe over here, why is she able to eat XYZ food and then you’ve got the other lady over here, and she can’t eat leftovers and she can’t eat mushrooms, and she can’t eat smoked meats, and she can’t eat ketchup, and she can’t do dried fruit without having problems?  And I was like, “Okay, what the heck is going on?”  Why, why, why.  I didn’t understand it and now that you and I have worked on this issue a thousand plus times, we start to find some connections.  And so, let’s first talk about some of the symptoms of histamine intolerance.  Many of these are similar to allergic reactions and allergic reactions can create histamine.  It could be anything from gut symptoms like IBS could be related to histamine, so abdominal cramping.  Anxiety could be part of it.  Dizziness, believe it or not, dizziness, vertigo could be part it.  Fatigue could be related.  Flushing, so when you rash out like on your skin or it could be your face from certain foods, like when you see people rashing out from alcohol, like red-faced from alcohol that could be histamine.  Alcohol is high in histamine and then it’s also gonna reduce DAO, right?  It’s gonna block the enzyme that helps metabolize histamine.  I believe that’s true.  Is that right that alcohol is high histamine?  I know it messes with DAO but is it high histamine as well?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Um, alcohol—what alcohol does, it’s also a histamine blocker.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It also blocks the metabolism of histamine and it just depends because a lot of alcohol, there’s fermentation in the alcohol.  So of course, the fermentation will create histamine as well.  So it’s a combination of the two.  I’m pretty sure there’s gonna be histamine in it due to fermentation, right?  Like wine will be, you know, fermented or beer, and then of course, if there’s gluten in there, the inflammation could create more histamine and then you have the effects of blocking histamine as well.

Evan Brand:  Yeah that, it is a double whammy.  Yeah, here it is right here.  It talks about how like for example, red wine has up to 24 mg per liter of histamine while champagne has 670 mg of histamine per liter.  So of course, heart rate, flushing, those type of symptoms from drinking alcohol is no good.  But the problem is you’re depleting DAO.  DAO is what’s gonna help you—diamine oxidase.  It’s gonna help you to break down histamine that you ingest and so if you’re putting in histamine and reducing the ability to metabolize it.  You get in bad shape.  I got a few more symptoms and we can go on and on and one.  I mean, any list online you look at may have 50 different symptoms.  So blood pressure issues or blood pressure changes, itching—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  So like the back of legs, you could just have itching.  I mean, for lack of a better word, it’s not necessarily a rash there but you could just be itching.  Nasal issues, sinus problems, nausea, and then swelling.  So like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Tissue swelling.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.  I mean you see a lot of it with Asians and alcohol.  For instance, Asians typically will get flushed when they drink alcohol because they’re missing genetically some enzymes to be able to handle it and they take a lot of Pepcid AC which is like an H2 blocker.  So a lot of times you’ll see that with alcohol and you’ll see it in certain ethnicities.  They’ll miss certain enzymes to be able to metabolize it.  I’d be curious how someone of that ethnicity would do with like extra DAO.  I wonder if the DAO would work over just a—over a histamine blocker so to speak.  Because we know the side effects in some of those medications, you know, can be drowsiness, brain fog, you know, not so good symptoms either and a lot of times you’re just trading one symptom for another.  Hope—

Evan Brand:   I bet it would—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Side effects or less.

Evan Brand:  I bet it would work great.  I mean, I’ve done some experimentation with DAO.  If I have certain foods that will irritate me, like a big spice blend of you know, curry and cayenne and chili powder and cinnamon and those type of things.  Those can all irritate things, so I’ll take some DAO if I’m gonna do something with like a mixed spice blend and I feel fine with it.  I don’t really have any issue with dried fruit.  I know that’s an issue for some people but I’ll do like some freeze-dried blueberries just to see what happens and I feel fine.  So I think some of this stuff is there’s gonna be a spectrum of sensitivity with this.  Some people are gonna be extremely histamine-intolerant and then some people are gonna be totally fine.  So we’re trying to cater to all of those people.  If you’re somebody who—you can’t do fish, for example.  If it’s fresh-caught and freshly eaten or fresh-caught and flash-frozen for example.  That should be okay but if you’ve had, you know, fish that’s kinda sitting out at the market, open-air, you know that may be a bigger problem than if it were flash-frozen like on the ship,  I know there’s a couple of companies out there like Vital that they’ll freeze the fish as soon as they catch it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  And those are supposed to be well-tolerated.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%.  So you kinda went over like some of the symptoms, right?  The common ones, the flushing, the wheels or the urticaria, kinda hives on the skin, brain fog stuff, headache stuff.  It could just be allergy stuff like itching or sneezing or eye wateriness.  It could be fatigue.  It could be breathing issues.  It could be just swelling or inflammation or heart rate.  It’s just pounding, kind of the abnormal heart rate beating.  Now the problem is a lot of these symptoms can overlap with hypothyroid.  A lot of these symptoms can overlap with Hashimoto’s and adrenal issues.  This is the problem.  It’s this big overlap so that you get people that are like the histamine person or the adrenal person and you’re like, “But what’s the issue?  Is it an adrenal issue?  Is it a histamine issue?”  And this is where it gets really tough because you’re trying to seek out whose that person that can help me with this issue and the problem is everything overlaps.  So imagine like a venn diagram and then you have all these different issues, adrenal or thyroid, or histamine or gut, and then they all overlap in the middle and a lot of times that’s where people’s health issues, you know, really sit and you need a very good generalist to kinda parse these out because sometimes when we have these issues we don’t really focus on histamine, we focus on other things.  Like when you just magically reduce inflammation in the body through diet, lifestyle, supplement strategies, magically histamine can drop.  And we actually do need some histamine because histamine is a big stimulator of hydrochloric acid.  So it’s like, well, if you don’t have no histamine then we’re not gonna have good HCl stimulation and we know HCl is so important for digestion.  So it’s this, you know, it’s not like one of these things where we wanna just knock histamine down to nothing, right?  But we wanna modulate and prevent the, you know, the abnormal highs of it which tends to be driving a lot of the symptoms.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, that’s a great point and many people don’t hit that if you talk about the word histamine.  It’s sort of like a bad bacteria.  It’s just kill, kill, kill, kill, knock it down, knock it down, knock it down, knock it down but yeah, you’re right.  I mean, it’s a neurotransmitter and it does affect the immune system, too.  So it’s not something that you want zero off.  I know—I don’t know the exact mechanism but I know histamine has some role on energy like your sleep-wake cycle is somehow related to histamine.  Appetite, I know is involved with histamine.  So there’s a lot of things that people just, they skip out on and then they get on these H1, H2 blockers and then who knows what’s happening downstream?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I mean histamine is part of the stress or inflammation response.  I mean, it can cause clots.  It can cause cells to get more sticky.  It can cause your lungs to constrict a little bit more.  It can cause more swelling and fluid retention.  It can open up the blood vessels partly because imagine if you bang your elbow, right?  What happens?  Does it get more swollen or less swollen?  It gets more swollen.  Why?  Because of the inflammatory response.  It’s driving vasodilation, meaning it’s opening up the blood vessels.  Why?  Well, to help bring the immune cells there to help kind of bring the inflammation and recovery process under control.  So the problem is a lot of these mechanisms, they’re acute punctuated mechanisms.  They’re on then they’re off.  With chronic inflammation in the system through gut or other hormonal imbalances, it’s on and then it stays on and then now that it’s on, certain foods that may have been—may have not been a problem before, now perpetuate the problem.  Does that make sense?

Evan Brand:  Yes, it does.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So it becomes this vicious cycle where like, yeah, you may be fine.  You should be able to have some kombucha and some bacon, but now because of the inflammation.  Now that bacon’s a trigger, now the kombucha is a trigger, now the citrus fruits are a trigger, now the good avocados are a trigger, and it’s like people are pulling their hair.  They’re like, “What is going on?  I don’t get it.  These are good foods.  What’s happening?”  And they have to look deeper at of course, you know, when we look at the symptoms, the first thing I do is I say, “Okay, let’s try cutting some of these histamines out of our diet food-wise, do we feel better?  Yes or no?”  That tells me something and if that helps, then we look at, okay, let’s work on better digesting our foods, number two.  Let’s work at gut infections because we know the microbiome, if out of balance, can really create these abnormal histamine responses and we know how the microbiome is so important with gut permeability and that increases autoimmune issues, hence, thyroid, hence adrenal, hence gut issues, irritable bowel disease, so everything can just really spiral out of control if the microbiome is not there, if the food is not there, and of course, if stress is there, we know what the sympathetic nervous system response does in regards to burning up our B vitamins and decreasing HCl and enzymes and decreasing dopamine and adrenaline over the time and then we also know that certain nutrients are gonna be vital for histamine—for making the enzymes to break down histamine, right?  We know certain enzymes, the DAO enzymes are really important and we know vitamin C.  We know copper.  We know B6.  B6 gets burnt down so much during stress, it’s very important for our neurotransmitters, and we also know that if we have low stomach acid levels and we’re stressed, we’ll be burning them up at a much higher level and we know that when our gut microbiome is out of balance, we have more bad stuff than good stuff.  We know that the bad microbes will be eating those nutrients versus making it and we know those bad microbes will be actually making more histamine byproducts as well.  So it’s this double-edged sword, when the gut’s out of balance, we eat the nutrients we need to break down histamine, the bad bacteria makes more of the histamine and then we don’t get a lot of those nutrients absorbed that help us make the enzymes to degrade histamine.  It’s a triple-edged sword.

Evan Brand:  Yeah and then think about, too, you need vitamin C to help reduce or sort of metabolize histamine for lack of a better word and a lot of people are gonna be pulling out citrus, even like lime-lemon.  Those are kinda demonized in the histamine world, if you are reacting to it.  So now, you don’t have enough vitamin C.  So I’ll try to supplement vitamin C personally and clinically and see if it helps and in many cases, it does.  So we’ll have people do quercetin which is in the vitamin C family to help stabilize mast cells that way we can prevent the release of histamine.  At least in theory, if we take a, you know, a shot of 500 mg of quercetin before—when I say a shot, I mean a powder, put in a shot glass with a shot of water and I’ll shoot it down like a 500 mg quercetin before a meal and then mix a little vitamin C with it and that tends to help reduce some of the reactions and then also the DAO before meals.  Let’s go in, just real quick list and then we’ll keep talking because you hit on something that I think people miss the boat on which is that and this is something you and I talked about before we hit record, which is that histamine intolerance or histamine issues are in effect.  What is the cause?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct.

Evan Brand:  So if histamine issues—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct.

Evan Brand:  Are in effect, what is the cause?  So let’s rant on that more in a minute but we hit the alcohol, fermented foods, cheeses, smoked foods, shellfish—many people that say they have a shellfish allergy, we suspect it’s a histamine issue—beans, nuts—my voice cracked, I said nuts, almonds, nuts.  I don’t know why but certain nuts get moldier than others, so for example like macadamias, for some reason, those and cashews tend to be more intolerable versus I find a lot of people do well with almonds.  Chocolate, vinegar, tomatoes, citrus.  So those are kinda like the histamine triggers but let’s go back to the gut because what you were saying is that the gut bacteria are gonna be doing several things.  They’re gonna messing up the gut barrier.  They’re gonna be producing histamine.  So regarding testing, if someone says, “Hey, how are you gonna test me for histamine?”  Let’s dive into that because the answer is we’re not directly gonna test you for histamine, correct?  We’re gonna be—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Looking deeper.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct.  I mean, there’s the markers like the, you can do the tryptase marker.  It’s a tryptase enzyme marker that you can do.  When you break down histamine.  DAO is one of these enzymes that helps break it down and there’s also histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT).  I think you can also test some of those enzymes.  But for me, I just—I make clinical changes with the diet and I also give specific supplements and I let those symptoms kinda dictate.  But we also understand that that’s not root cause and this is where it’s very important where a lot of functional medicine people.  I see it a lot with naturopaths where they’ll kinda come in there and they’ll use supplements to just treat symptoms and they’re not getting to the root cause.  So we always have—I always draw a line with patients.  What’s gonna be palliative changes to allow you to feel better in the meantime and then number two is what’s gonna be more root cause.  Because sometimes root cause stuff’s a little bit slow and that’s not good if you need relief now.  So we need to figure out a way to get relief now, like you mentioned some of the natural antihistamines—stinging nettle, quercetin, NAC, bromelain, kidney tissue that has the DAO enzyme, maybe B6, copper, zinc, good quality multi.  So we’ll do those things.  We’ll make the diet changes.  We’ll look deeper at the gut and the adrenals because we know steroids also are part of what’s given to address some of these issues, right?  From a symptomatic standpoint.  We know steroids, like the big medication we know are the H1 receptors and H2 receptors are the big ones, right?  We know the H1s like your Benadryl and your Claritin, these are the H1 histamine receptor blockers.  The Benadryl, the Claritin, right?  And then the H2 ones are gonna be like your Peptid AC, right?  H1 is gonna be more the histamines in the muscles, where H2 histamine is gonna be more in the intestines in the abdomen and that’s gonna be affect the heart.  So H1, H2, so keep that in mind.  Those are the big ones.  There’s actually H1 through H4, but the big meds are H1, H2 and we know that the medications can be helpful but they have a lot of side effects and we have to be very careful with that.  And we also know that the gut and all these nutrients play a huge role and when we look at the nutrients, we have to one, get a good quality multivitamin there that’s gonna have a lot of these nutrients that are gonna be bio-available so we can absorb it easily and number two, we have to get our digestion under control and number three, we have to look at other issues deeper.  That could be a mold issue or it could even be a Lyme or a co-infection issue.  I always table Lyme stuff unless there’s a strong history of tick bites, I always table it and deal with the gut first and the adrenals and hormones even before that and then personally after that I’ll—I typically will deal with mold—Evan and I may differ on this.  I’ll typically look at and test mold right away if there’s a strong history, water damage in the home, history of visible mold or if we’re on the fence, we do a plate test or a urinary mold test or hey, do you feel better when you leave your house for a week, right?  If those symptoms are there, we’ll look a little bit deeper and we’ll test.  I typically don’t go after and address mold right away because a lot of how the mold is removed is via the hepatobiliary system so that’s liver, gallbladder, gut, and the stools.  So if we don’t have great gut issues, a lot of times we can re-absorb stuff.  A lot of the binders that we may give to help pull out mold can actually cause constipation, so I always fix the gut, fix the gut motility, fix digestion before going after mold but we can at least test in the person, the patient.  Test it in the house and we can at least start making house changes right away.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I go after it straight away regarding testing but yeah, you’re right.  You gotta get people pooping before you go and do binders.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  And a lot of times like some of the binders you and I are using have folic acid so constipation is really an issue and if you’re bumping up magnesium and vitamin C and that kinda stuff, generally it’s no big deal but how I approach it is that way you mentioned, plus what will make me go after it more beyond just history is just looking at the mold symptoms.  So in my intake form now, I’ve got like 25 different symptoms and if they check off more than a handful, we’re like, “Huh, this doesn’t look good.”  So we’ll look into it and a lot of times, I mean, it’s showing positive.  One thing I wanted to mention on the drug piece, you did a great job talking about like all the over-the-counter stuff that people get into on their own now.  So the Zantac and the Pepcid and the Benadryl and the Zyrtec and the Allegra that kinda stuff, those antihistamines may work in the short term but we’re gonna downregulate DAO and you get for lack of a better word, you get stuck on it because now you don’t have enough DAO so, therefore, histamine rises more than it did before.  And then one other thing, too, is that—and there’s a lot of people talking in forums about this on antidepressants and I don’t know exactly the mechanism.  Maybe it’s depleting DAO, maybe it’s increasing histamine.  I don’t have the mechanism and the study right in front me but if you just look at histamine intolerance Zoloft or histamine intolerance Cymbalta, Effexor, these really, really extremely in fact common prescribed and commonly dosed antidepressants—those cause histamine problems.  So how many people out there, in fact, there was a lady who had a big website dedicate to this which was histamine intolerance after discontinuing Zoloft, and so I don’t even know if the science is clear on it but a lot of people are talking about this.  So if you have been doing an antidepressant and now you’re reacting to more foods that may be something to look into.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah and also, so we talked about some of the big medications, right?  A lot of the Allegra, the Zyrtec, the Benadryl, a lot of the H2, 1 blockers, right?  Here’s the rub here and this is where it gets really, really, really, really confusing is that we talked about how histamine is actually needed to make hydrochloric acid.  So guess what happens with this histamine medications.  They also reduce acid levels and guess what happens when you reduce your acid levels.  Now your digestion goes down south.  What happens when your digestion goes down south?  Now you start to have more SIBO and bacterial overgrowth.  Guess what SIBO and bacterial overgrowth does.  It produces more histamine metabolism.  So it’s this unbelievable vicious cycle people get on and it’s—

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very, very frustrating.  Not to mention that okay, there’s the other class of medications that help with histamine, guess what.  They’re corticosteroid-based.  You see it with Singulair, right?  Or a lot of these steroid-based medications, well, maybe our adrenals are so weak, we don’t have enough of our natural cortisol, corticosteroids, so we’re not—we have to fix the adrenals with it as well because the adrenals help make that that corticosteroid called cortisol which helps with our natural inflammation and if we can’t put the fire of inflammation in our body out every day that fire is gonna run rampant and create more inflammation and that inflammation is gonna drive more histamine issues and like we talked about before, all of those histamine medications, they deplete the DAO enzyme so then the histamine that’s made, it hangs out way, way longer so it’s not just about making histamine.  It’s about now you can’t break it down so now it stays at the party.  It’s like it’s the guy at the party that just lingers way too long.  It’s like you should be out of here, dude, right?  Closing time.  But that’s what’s happening with histamine in our body.

Evan Brand:  Oh, man.  Well, it’s not to say that we’re saying, “Hey, don’t do those drugs.”  But man, it would be a lot of better if before you get to the point where you get put on a daily Zyrtec or a daily Allegra or something like that or a Zantac or a Pepcid, it would be so much better if we could just stop those people and just say, “Hang on, hang in there.  I know you’re symptomatic.  I know you need relief.  Hang on.  Let’s try some of these herbal antihistamines.  Let’s give you some extra Vitamin C, maybe some extra DAO.  Let’s get you on maybe some leaky gut support.  Let’s get you on low histamine diet for now.  Let’s run a stool test.  Let’s run organic acids.  Figure out what’s going on.  Let’s test your environment.  Hang tight.”  And then if we could do that, it’s just such a deep rabbit hole.  It seems like every time you and I do a conversation on a different health aspect, there’s always a drug that’s involved in terms of being palliative but it seems like there’s always a double-edged sword to that.  No matter what the topic is.  Isn’t it funny how you and I always end up here?  It’s like crap.  The drug helped but now it actually put us in a bigger hole and now we gotta get them out of this hole because now they are downregulated of DAO even more than they were before.  It’s like, ugh!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  This is the problem, right?  And so, in general we gotta look at the adrenals, gotta look at the inflammation because if you’re taking steroids, we need to have our natural anti-inflammatories going.  We have to be very careful of the medication.  If we’re using the medication, fine, use it sparingly, but just know it’s gonna create more dependency in the long run.  Also, I’d say a big thing is environmental allergens.  Environmental allergens can dry histamine.  So imagine like we have this big stress bucket, right?  And I’ve given this analogy a lot over the years.  We put our stress balls in this bucket.  When that bucket fills up and overflows, this is where symptoms happen.  So, some people they come in genetically with a big bucket.  They can handle a lot.  They can deal with more stress and they have more adaptability.  Some come in with a small bucket and that bucket is already half full because they are exposed to mold, right?  Or heavy metals or they’re not eating organic.  So that now they’re bucket’s already at the very top and then you add in a little bit of gut dysbiosis or you add in some environmental allergens—BOOM! Histamine symptoms are going crazy now.  So we have to look at that.  So one of the first things is get the stressors out of that bucket and a lot of times so those stressors could be things unrelated to histamine, right?

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So that could be just eating organic, clean water.  The other component is environmental allergens can be a big deal.  If you’re out in Austin.  Cedar is big this time of the year.  You’re breathing in cedar and that hangs out in your sinuses all day and you don’t have a good air filter at home at night then you’re in this stressed-out state because that cedar’s up in your nose causing problems.  So my protocol with patients is we have a really good sinus irrigation system to flush thing’s out.  We clean it out with saline and Xly or Xylitol to knock out any biofilm.  We do it twice a day especially once we come in for the day, we are flushing our sinuses out so it’s clean for the day and we have really good air filtration so then when we are resting at night we are not in this fight or flight state because all the cedar is up in our frontal sinuses creating inflammation all night.  We flush it out once we come inside.  We flush it out when we start the day.  We may even do it midday if we’re really bad just to keep our immune system from overreacting and then we gotta have that clear air filtration at night so when we come home our immune system can relax.  Because if these environmental things are just keeping us in a fight or flight state, it’s gonna be hard to feel better.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so you’re basically saying, “Let’s try to get some of the things in the bucket, the external histamine bucket down, that way potentially you could tolerate that food and then we’re working behind the scenes to work on the gut and reduce some of the bacteria making histamine there.”  Now here’s one thing we didn’t hit upon yet which is the hormonal link and so I have had many women say that they’re symptoms are worse right before their period starts and I’ve heard of many women who are postmenopausal who are now doing like estrogen replacement and other hormones and estrogen decreases the breakdown of histamine because it actually messes up with DAO, too.  Estrogen can lower DAO.  So if you think about all these women that were doing birth control pills or hormones or anything to mess up estrogen or you just think about the thousands of ways we’re exposed to the xenoestrogens in the environment like reheating our food in plastic and drinking from single-use water bottles that got exposed to sun and things like that.  The whole estrogen-histamine link is big and maybe that’s why we see so many more women than men, you know, I would say it’s a vast majority.  We see a lot more women deal with histamine problems than men.  I think it’s probably due to the hormonal changes and so like if we’re looking at that stool, you hit upon the gut bugs.  When we’re looking at the stool, we’re also gonna look at that glucuronidation pathway and if we see that that’s messed up, and if they’re taking hormones or if they just have estrogen dominance as a history, that’s gonna mess them up more.  So we have to address that as well.  So if you go to the gut guy and he hits on your gut and gives you some herbs there and you don’t get better, the hormonal piece and I guess that would factor in to your adrenals, too, because the adrenal test that we’re looking at, you know, that’s gonna look at hormones, too.  So we’d probably kill 2 birds with 1 stone there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Exactly and also I would say, so you’re—what you’re proposing as a mechanism is that estrogen helps break down histamine?

Evan Brand:  No, so estrogen depletes DAO.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, so when you’re estrogen’s too high, you’re depleting DAO.

Evan Brand:  That’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, so if you’re estrogen-dominant, you’re gonna be depleting DAO.

Evan Brand:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I would also say that when a woman goes through PMS, what’s happening in PMS, right? PMS is premenstrual syndrome, so right before menstruation that’s right at the heart of the luteal phase, if progesterone drops out early, that’s a lot of times what’s driving PMS.  That one, that enhances the estrogen dominance, right?  So high levels of estrogen deplete DAO, that supports and kind of, you know, backs up your mechanism there.  The other thing is progesterone is an anti-inflammatory.  Progesterone is a precursor to steroids like cortisol.  What do you get when you take Singulair?  You’re increasing cortisol.  If your progesterone is dropping out too soon?  What does that mean?  Less anti-inflammatory building block, right?  So all of this makes sense.  We’re trying to be the bridge to connect these hormonal issues to the deeper histamine but also connect the gut issues because it’s all connected, you know, in the interwebs of functional medicine.  So progesterone, estrogen dominance, all makes sense.  Progesterone anti-inflammatory.  Progesterone drops out too soon, that’s the PMS symptomatology there and that’s what driving the inability to regulate inflammation and then also estrogen dominance, right?  Estrogen higher in relation to the progesterone will deplete DAO which is the enzyme that cleans us histamine.  So all of this makes so much sense.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and there’s a couple of papers on this, too, about the estrogen effects and allergy and asthma, and there are these papers kinda talking about women that are doing supplemental hormones and all of a sudden they’ve got new-onset asthma when they’ve never had it before and it started after they were doing hormones, and so that talks about how boosting up the hormones is affected the mast cells too much and then that’s creating more of an inflammatory chemical-release of histamine and probably other mediators, too.  So this is interesting and I think this is probably the answer.  I didn’t really know this but until I looked at it but it makes sense why we see so many more women than men suffering.  What you say clinically, I mean, women as a whole more in general but with this specific issue, would you say what you’ve seen is more women than men?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Women’s hormones are much more of a symphony that happens throughout the month and it’s very easy for a symphony to turn into noise, right?  If the strings aren’t in there with the percussion instruments, you’re gonna get noise.  So when you start to have hormones a little bit out of balance, it’s gonna affect women in their ability to deal with stress and part of those stressors could be histamine.  So that’s really important and with stress in our environment, we are going to knock down progesterone and with a lot of the estrogens being in our environment, in plastics, pesticides, various chemicals, water, it just only drives more estrogen dominance, right?  It just drives more of these histamine issues.  So it totally makes sense but we have solutions and functional medicine is gonna be the best thing because we know just throwing birth control pills in there, guess what?  That depletes DAO further because that’s just heightening estrogen dominance, right?  And then just throwing in there antihistamines, well, guess what?  That creates more low stomach acid situations.  That’s gonna make digestion harder, breaking down proteins and fats harder, and that’s gonna perpetuate more SIBO, right?  Because if we don’t have good digestion, bacteria proliferate and an environment where there’s not good digestion.

Evan Brand:  Humans always have to complicate things, don’t they?  Will all the drugs, it’s like, “Darn it!”  I mean, without the drugs, I know drugs save lives, drugs save people, antidepressants prevent people from committing suicide and you know, heart drugs help stabilize the heart rhythm and blood pressure drugs help get the blood pressure down so they don’t have stroke.  I mean, I know drugs are needed, but man, every time we uncover some of these connections between the medications and these deeper issues, it’s just like ahhh.  I wish—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know.

Evan Brand:  We could save people from getting on them.  Yeah, if people just wanna look up, you just put in like estrogen DAO or you put in like sex hormone DAO, you’ll find some papers on this stuff.  It’s just—it’s pretty crazy how connected this stuff is and so.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It is.

Evan Brand:  We’re trying to cover it all.  It’s tough to do what we’re doing in half an hour but we’re trying to make sure you address hormones, you address gut, you address adrenals, you address the sleep, you address the diet, you have to hit all of these pieces if you fully wanna beat this issue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  Well, to get more info on this, guys, head on to evanbrand.com to reach out to Evan and schedule with him.  You can also head over to Dr. J, myself, at justinhealth.com.  We’re here to help you guys.  We’re available worldwide via Skype, Facetime, phone, video consultation.  We’re here to help.  Just make sure you guys take one piece of intel from this conversation today.  Apply it to your health and life.  We hope that you guys understand some of the deeper mechanisms and why some of the medications may help acutely but long term may set you up for more problems.  I hope you guys enjoyed it.  Sharing is caring.  Give us a share.  Put your comments down below.  If you’re suffering from histamine, let us know.  We’re curious about it.  We wanna engage in a deeper conversation and hope you guys enjoyed the podcast.  Evan, anything else?

Evan Brand:  No, that’s it.  Y’all take care.  Have a great day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Take care, guys.  Bye y’all.

Evan Brand:  Bye.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

Audio Podcast:

Low Potassium, Adrenal Dysfunction Your Immune System | Podcast #288

For today’s live podcast, Dr. Justin and Evan Brand talk about Potassium and our immune system. Among other minerals, Potassium also acts great especially in our body, energy, mood, blood pressure and a lot more. Let’s dive into why potassium is important for our immune health. Check this podcast’s transcript. Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

2:18 All about Potassium

9:11 Oral Supplementation

18:32 Glucose

20:57 Foods with Potassium

27:11 Vertigo and Dizziness

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani, we are doing a live podcast here on potassium and your immune system. Potassium is an essential mineral. And it has major effects on the sodium potassium pump, how your cells function, energy, mood, blood pressure has a huge effect on the adrenal glands. I’m excited to dive in here with Evan Brand, Evan, how you doing today man? doing really well.

Evan Brand: So we were looking at some papers on this thing. And turns out a national survey found that approximately 98% not nine not 8, 98% of Americans are not meeting the recommended potassium intake. A Western diet is to blame as it favors processed foods over a whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. Everybody knows that the American diet is crap. And it’s not just the American diet. Right? This is the standard European diet. This is the standard Australian diet you know, kind of most developed first world Countries they’re doing too much. Too much potassium devoid food. And let’s tie that directly into what we were also looking at which is this paper this based on the names of these doctors. And yeah, actually it shows it right here. When Zhu Zi Yong ha, Province, China, so yeah, so this is a Chinese hospital and Chinese medical universities to study that came out of hyperkalemia and clinical implications and patients with Coronavirus and long story short people that had potassium deficiencies. They had severe hypokalemia, which is the technical term for potassium deficiency. And it said here that the patients responded well to potassium supplements. And they were inclined to recovery so they don’t say directly Hey, low potassium means you’re going to get the virus or low potassium means you’re going to be really sick, but they just talk about how, because of this whole Ace to enzyme thing that you and I’ve covered many times, and the whole relationship to the virus that one of the side effects of the issue can be low potassium, and if you’re already low potassium to begin with, then you can end up in potentially fatal shape, which is not good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% in potassium is very important because our sodium potassium pump is requires potassium. So what happens is, you have your cell, and then you have sodium inside the cell and you have potassium outside of the cell. And they do a little switcheroo ski, right. This is called the sodium potassium pump. The enzyme that’s involved in making that happen is ATP. And then you know, it’s an enzyme because of the word Ace next to an ATP ace. So ATP is important because ATP is generated from your mitochondria, right? We have glycolysis outside of the cell in the cytoplasm, and then we have our Krebs cycle, right? And we have our electron transport chain within the cell we generate 36 to 38 or so ATP from that that eight TP part of that ATP runs their sodium potassium pumps that ATP takes that sodium that’s in the cell and that potassium outside of the cell, they do a dance, they switch. So it’s three coming out to come in, right? Boom, just like that. And the cell needs that healthy fluid fluidity to work and to communicate. And if we don’t have that healthy fluidity, we’re going to have side effects. So one of the big side effects is we’re going to have muscle or nerve issues because potassium and sodium are very important for the muscles slash nerves to work, right nerves help control muscles, so very, very important there. You’re also going to see it with you’re going to see it with potential mood issues as well because sodium and potassium play an intricate role with the adrenal glands and part of the reason why people’s potassium gets low outside of a poor diet is going to be because of adrenal function. Now, typically with adrenals. Your dosterone starts to go low, which is a mineral corticoid that exists in The cortex to the adrenals. And what happens is as your dosterone starts going low, your sodium can start to drop. And as your sodium drops, sometimes your potassium can look like it’s not too bad, it can look actually a little bit high, but you could still actually have potassium issues because of the fact that you are your adrenals are weak and you’re pulling out a lot of your minerals. So muscle and cramps are going to be a big deal, weakness and fatigue because your nerves need that. Also, if you don’t have good sodium potassium pump issues, you probably have energy issues because the mitochondria healthy mitochondrial function for ATP is needed for that sodium potassium pump to work so potassium works better when there’s the ATP so that whole sodium potassium pump works. We talked about cramping as well because of the the muscles needing the wiring the fluid wiring sodium and potassium and minerals. So cramping is gonna be a big deal. We’re also going to have potentially digestive issues right? your bowel movements and your motility starts to Coming slower when your potassium drops, so we need healthy levels of potassium. So we have good bowel movements. Also heart palpitations, we need potassium and magnesium. So our heart could pump right our hearts a muscle as well. So if your heart skipping beats or beating harder or faster, that’s a sign of palpitations, which could be from that. And also just achy muscles, muscle breakdown, feeling tired and stiff, right? the breakdown of muscle was known as rhabdo. My license or my analysis, right? And that breakdown is going to be very much helped with good potassium levels, right, you’re gonna have less muscle breakdown, with potassium levels being adequate, of course, tingling and numbness issues are going to be a big one difficulty, you know, using your lung muscles mood stuff because of the adrenals as well. I’ll pause and give you a chance to comment.

Evan Brand: I’m glad you mentioned magnesium too, because, uh huh. You and I were kind of looking with a microscope today, right? We’re kind of spot picking right? One thing to talk about, but all these people that are deficient in potassium, I’m sure they’re going to be deficient in magnesium as well. I mean, we know how hard it is to get it from the food, even if it’s organic, because the soil is so depleted. So it’s a really common problem. And then on that whole mood changes, I just wanted to talk about that real quick. There was one study, and this wasn’t a necessarily a causation, but just a correlation study that we were looking at here. 20% of patients with mental disorders that came into this psychiatric ward 20% of them had potassium deficiency. So it’s not saying directly, the potassium deficiency caused the mood issue, there could very well be other things going on you and I’ve covered hundreds of times about gut infections, which could lead to mineral and electrolyte imbalances you hit on the adrenals. So, of course, as we know, when we hear something like that, we say, Okay, well, if you just give these people potassium, are they not going to have mood issues anymore? And the answer is, they could still have mood issues, even if they supplement Potassium, but it’s interesting and it’s something that often gets skipped. This is really low hanging fruit. Somebody could go to something very nuanced as this particular herb for this retrovirus or this bug, but the person’s just simply dehydrated and they’re not getting enough electrolytes, it could be something very, very simple like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and low potassium is so common, just like low magnesium is common. I think you said what 98% are going to have some kind of an issue.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and I think this idea that yeah, I think this study I was referencing was probably just a survey where they looked at diet and figured out whether people were even getting the the the recommended daily amount, and 98% of people are not getting the recommended daily amount are already on the recommended daily intake. So I guarantee magnesium is in the same boat, probably 90 plus percent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, 100%. I agree. And then also there are medications that are going to affect potassium, right. We know a lot of the blood pressure medications as well as things that like water pills or diuretics. So if you’re on a BP medication, right, there’s a good chance some of that’s going to be actually driving further potassium deficiency. So low potassium levels are super common because of that. Also, we’re going to have problems with potassium if we consume too much alcohol, right, alcohols gonna cause us to pee a lot more potassium out because things like diuretics are going to cause you to lose more minerals, right? diuretics basically activate a hormone that causes you to kind of continue to pee. And the more you pee with a diuretic in your system, whether it’s, you know, excess coffee, or even access alcohol, you’re going to pee out a lot of those minerals. So that’s kind of like vitally important, right?

Evan Brand: And even Yeah, and even tea, I mean, even tea could be to blame. I think herbal teas can be great, but there is somewhat of a diuretic effect of certainties as well. So if you’re just like sipping on tea all day and not drinking enough just straight water or our preference water with a pinch of salt or water with some electrolytes, actually to it, you know, this can happen easily. And this is not just a problem in athletes, people hear the word electrolyte and they think you only need that if you’re in the NFL No, you need electrolytes just to function.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, the problem with a lot of people with their potassium is, it’s hard to get too much if you’re taking it orally, right? Obviously, you go back to like the lethal injection people are actually you know, in the lethal injection in the prison system, people are actually being killed by potassium IV right or injection. Now, it’s hard to get too much potassium orally because some of the vomiting and from some of the vomiting and diarrhea side effects and the nausea side effects that you get from have actually having too low potassium. Well guess what, you actually have similar side effects when you go too high. So usually you get so nauseous, and you’ll either throw off or you’ll get diarrhea. So it’s very difficult. The only way to really do it orally is going to be with an oral supplementation. And you’d have to do a lot of it and all those symptoms would come into place. It’d be really high. The only way you You can get your potassium levels to the point where you’re going to be too high is going to be on an IV. And what they do actually on an IV to reverse potassium overdose is they do a bicarbonate infusion, bicarbonate actually neutralizes that high level of potassium. But some of the major causes are going to be diarrhea, right? So if you have a parasite infection or a gut infection that’s causing chronic loose stools, guess what? You may be having low potassium because of your gut. I have some patients that need five or six or seven grams a day of potassium supplementation, whether it’s because of a stress or a malabsorption issue, but all of their low potassium symptoms go away when they hit that level, meaning like the cramping, the twitching, the heart, the mood stuff all go away when they hit that higher level. So I mean, the goal is let’s fix the stress. So you’re not dumping the minerals as much let’s fix the gut. So we’re absorbing but, you know, I don’t typically don’t recommend doing more than one to two grams of potassium supplementally and we’ll do a good high quality keylight whether it’s a discoloration A or A potassium bicarb or we’ll do a potassium citrate like a new salt, which is a cheap source, and then we’ll try to plug in the recipe of the diet but if we have to go above, you know, we’ll do it incrementally and we’ll start looking for those low potassium symptoms to go away but alcohol is gonna be a big one, chronic kidney issues. uncontrolled Type One Diabetes will do it diarrhea, like we mentioned. So gut issues, diuretics is a big one. So if you’re on a diuretic on a blood pressure meds side, that could be a problem. sweating a lot. So if you’re sweating a lot, yeah, you’re gonna need a lot more minerals. Again how Gatorade was figured out I think it was the 1968 late 60s I want to say was the Orange Bowl one of these big bowl games the Florida Gators were actually playing halftime I think one of the exercise physiologist or PT people, trainers said hey, let’s get these electrolytes in and they had a kick butt second half and they just they killed it and won the game. And part of it was the electrolytes they put it and now we have all these things. Gatorade substitutes, but the real they were called Gator lights, right? Gator lights, not Gatorade. They tasted like absolute crap. So what you have now are a whole bunch of minerals with a whole bunch of sugar and dyes. Back then they just had the minerals and it tasted awful. But from a performance standpoint, they did really well because the other team didn’t have it. So they their muscles were functioning better. So sweating, not having enough full later B vitamins, having high amounts of aldosterone, whether it’s a tumor, or just our adrenals being overstimulated. Some antibiotics can actually have problems as well. And then vomiting vomiting too much can create low potassium too. And then obviously, just that junk food diet, we’ll talk about what it takes to have enough potassium in a minute.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and one thing too, that people miss out on a lot of these new companies, they’re doing a good job because they’re getting away from the corn syrup and the fake sugar and all that stuff, but you still do need based on some of the stuff we’ve looked at. I believe you need a little bit of glucose to help get potassium And your other minerals and electrolytes into the cell. So you’ll see if you look at they call it o RS oral rehydrating solution. This is like the military grade electrolytes. There has to be a little bit of sugar there has to be a little bit of a blood sugar spike, I believe it somehow opens the channel to let the electrolytes in. I’m not sure the exact you know, molecular level stuff that’s going on. But I’ve read into formulas that are just stevia or just monk fruit, some of these natural sweeteners that if they don’t affect blood sugar, you don’t actually get the benefit. So when you look at legit like military grade, electrolytes, they have a little bit of glucose spike associated with it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and the glucose is better, right? The problem is a lot of these places they have fructose, the fructose doesn’t target the muscles the same way as glucose does. So if you’re looking for an electrolyte formula, you you really want you can get the electrolytes by itself but then if you want if you’re doing a lot of sweating or a lot of glycogen depleting activity, whether it’s football or some kind of a sport that requires a lot of sprinting or running, then you’d want a formula that’s going to have more glucose in it for the sugar source, not fructose. fructose is a problem because it hits the liver more than the muscles. Glucose hits the muscles more than the liver. And like you mentioned, that helps open up that cell with the insulin and helps deplete the glycogen levels and helps that sodium potassium pump work better if you’re using a lot of glucose or if you’re sweating a lot, but if you’re not, and you’re just the average everyday person, probably getting the minerals in without the extra glucose is probably okay.

Evan Brand: Yeah, we talked about mold and detox and sauna and all of that, but I’m really shocked at how many people are doing sauna 234 or five times a week and they’re just drinking water. I’m like, Are you nuts? You gotta be doing electrolytes that is a critical component of detox in my opinion, is you have to make sure you’re replenishing and rehydrating because you’re losing a lot of minerals. You’re not just magically sweating out heavy metals and mold toxin, you’re sweating out minerals and electrolytes. You have to replenish those and you You were drinking a green juice earlier, I think you said your green juice had like 1200 milligrams per bottle or something crazy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, this is a great brand right here. It’s called evolution. They sell them in Austin and Selma, even in target now, which is kind of cool. Like, I like the fact that a lot of these healthier things are coming into kind of more mainstream box stores. But organic greens, I’ll typically drink the celery juice, but I’ve been doing the essential greens, they have the celery is the first ingredient so it’s still great. I love celery because of the minerals in there the electrolytes and then potassium is really high in celery, but it’s got cucumber, spinach, romaine kale, lime and parsley. And then they have a green devotion instead of lime. It’s got lemon, so they go back and forth, but there’s no actual fruit outside of the lemon or lime which is pretty low sugar. And this has got just alone It’s got I’m almost about 1200 milligrams of potassium. So I got about 25 to 30% all my potassium right here. So that’s pretty cool. So I just kill that after I have my really nice good breakfast with collagen and then I’m already a you know, a quarter of the Through my potassium needs for the day, which is great.

Evan Brand: Don’t you feel more like your thirst is quenched to like when I drink regular water compared to something like that. It’s just not as quenching to me as the good stuff, the green juices, they’re more thirst quenching. I’ll do like a little bit of electrolyte through a pinch in, like with some beet powder and stuff like that. And I feel great if I’m just doing filtered water and I’m not using aro I’m using like a carbon system even then though I water just doesn’t cut it for me. I like a little extra bang.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I think a lot of people what they’re really craving is they’re craving some water, but they’re also craving minerals, right? And so because they’re craving minerals, if there’s no minerals in there, yeah, you’re going to feel like you’re missing out on something, right? So that’s definitely a big part of what’s happening is your body’s craving the minerals, and if they’re not there, that’s a problem. Also, I’m pretty sure Cushing’s is going to be another potassium issue, right? Cushing’s and potassium is going to be a big problem as well. So now what does that mean? So the kidneys excrete large amounts of potassium when you make a lot of cortisol. So what does that mean? So If you have Cushing’s that’s kind of more tumor induced where the cortisol is so high probably because of some kind of a tumor. But what if you’re in between? Right? What if your your adrenals are just overstimulated, you’re not on the adrenal, you’re not on the Cushing’s disease side but you’re just making a lot of cortisol because of chronic stress. So it’s possible your chronic adrenal stress could be causing you to dump a whole bunch of potassium out. So that’s where when you’re getting stress, under stress, physical chemical emotional, maybe that gluten is causing the stress, right? You’re gonna probably need more potassium, more minerals. potassium and magnesium are the most common ones. It’s so hard to get them most people get enough sodium and chloride because of just it’s in their natural junk food. I don’t get they don’t get the good quality from like a good high quality sea salt or Redmond Real Salt, but they’re getting some it’s really the magnesium and potassium I’m seeing as the big big missing pieces and today we’re really focusing on potassium.

Evan Brand: Yeah, makes sense. I mean, think about what happens when you’re dealing with somebody that’s really stressed right? They may have issues with constipation, they may have issues with Sleep, they may have issues with their blood pressure, they may have issues with anxiety as you hit on earlier, potentially Heart, heart pumps. So all of that, to me sounds like stress induced mineral depletion, which then causes other symptoms and you’re stressed about your blood pressure being elevated. So then that cortisol dump and adrenaline dumps more minerals, and then it become more mineral deficient. So you see how this thing can get out of control. And it sounds really cliche and corny to say, well, stress did it but it really does. And it’s not just the emotional, it’s the gut stress. It’s all of it that we always hit on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Also people are talking about in the messaging. Well, what about if I’m in ketosis and I don’t have glucose to open the cell? Well, I mean, we’re just talking about with x with extra exercise, right extra exercise, extra sweating. If you’re doing a lot of glycogen depleting kind of movement or exercise, you’re probably going to want to do some type of a glucose kind of refeed the night before the movement. And a lot of athletes who do keto still have a punctuated kind of glide And reefy the night before just other tapping their muscles out, because your muscles can hold anywhere between 250 to three to 400 milligrams or grams of glucose or glycogen, right? glucose in the muscles is glycogen, it’s stored, right? That’s the storage form of glucose in the muscles. So a lot of people, they’ll be in ketosis most of the time, they’ll do a refeed the night before, that way they have access to that glucose The next day, and again, depending on how depleting or how long you’re exercising, you probably want a nice little bit of a glucose, electrolyte drink. And again, that’s not most of the time, that’s going to be just more timed up according to exercise and kind of what your metabolic needs are. But for most people, you know, a good natural Gatorade source, guess what coconut water, got a little bit of glucose, a little bit of sugar in there, and it has a lot of potassium, so that can kind of be mother’s nature’s natural kind of Gatorade. It just depends on what you’re doing. If your kids playing football and sweating a ton, they may need a little bit more than that. You’re going to have to just feel it out. See what works. Test it on your own when your practice To sing and playing and see how you feel with that you may not need pure coconut water, maybe just diluted half and a half with a really good clean mineral water. And then you have a little bit of glucose, a little bit of extra potassium plus the other minerals working for you.

Evan Brand: Yep, you want to hit a little bit of the diet piece. Yes, you and I were kind of looking at some of this before you pointed out. Interestingly, and we’ve probably talked about this in previous but if you look at 100 grams of food as a measurement, the potassium per 100 gram of avocado is higher significantly than bananas. If you look at a full avocado, versus a full cup of banana, which maybe is a full banana, you’ve got almost double in the avocado. So you know as a kid, I remember thinking potassium banana, and that’s just kind of this thing you grow up with. But in reality, there’s things that are much much higher like beet greens takes the cake with number one here. 1300 milligram per cup of potassium that is insanity. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. So most people don’t get it. So if you’re sitting Get in there. And you’re on keto, right? Well, what are the biggest easiest things you can do? Well, beet greens is number one. Okay? What’s number two salmon, high quality fish that’s per hundred grams. So what’s 100 grams? 100 grams is about 3.3 ounces ish. Let me just double check that hundred grams and ounces. I’m pretty sure that’s what it

Evan Brand:  sounds about, right? Because it says here, potassium per six ounce filet of salmon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So 3.5. So what does that mean? So Alright, so if you’re keto, right, and you want to really be on top of this, or you’re keeping your carbs down, what does that mean? That means Okay, if I eat seven ounces of meat, seven ounces of fish, I’m at 1300 milligrams of potassium, boom, you’re right there. And then you throw in some beet greens with it right? That’s three ounces worth right hundred grams. You’re at another one gram almost. And then guess what? You cut up an avocado with that. Right big avocados. Another 500 I’m sorry, another per avocado. You’re about one gram per full avocado you’re set. Right?

Evan Brand: I want to look up cassava because I love cassava. And what if you like did some guacamole with like cassava chips? I wonder if we’re getting any?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yeah, so we could do like Yuka in potassium because Yuka in protect you guys same thing as cassava. Yeah. So one cup of cassava is 558 milligrams, boom. 

Evan Brand:  So because our chips and I mean now, some would argue, well, you know, the, the baking process and whatever of the chips, okay, whatever, but it’s still better than zero.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, but a lot of times if you don’t bake it or cook it, you’re not going to be able to get the nutrients anyway. Like, if you look at broccoli, raw versus broccoli steamed, you’re going to see the nutritional value in the content goes up once you cook it, because then the fiber is broken down so you can actually access some of those nutrients.

Evan Brand:  Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So cooking a lot of times can make certain nutrients more bioavailable, too. It’s not Oh, cooking bad all the time. 

Evan Brand:  No, I’m just thinking. I’m just thinking of the one devil’s advocate out there saying oh well you’re eating. you’re advocating Eating, you know, chips fried and avocado oil. It’s like Yeah, I am. I think it’d be great. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think it’s okay. I think it’s fine. I mean, don’t make it a staple. But I mean, I think it’s if you’re gonna have something like that it’s all about not going to the place in your head about like, Hey, what do you have to cut out versus Hey, what can I substitute? When you have a substitution mindset versus the cutting out mindset? One, you feel a lot more free and you feel like you’re not missing out on stuff because there’s always a good healthy stuff the tuition option that works. So let’s let’s kind of just create a simple day like what does a day of potassium look like? So off the bat, you know, on the vegetable side, one cup of you know, your typical vegetable greens will be anywhere between 500 milligrams to about 800 milligrams depending on the vegetables, right? Like one avocados gonna be about a gram, right? One cup of Swiss chard is gonna be about a gram. So you’re really at the top with those. One cup of spinach is about 840 milligrams, and then you have on the lower side, which would be like broccoli and brussel sprouts are closest 500 milligrams. So just to kind of give you a sample day here, let’s say we start out with a full avocado, boom, you got one gram of potassium so that now you’re like you’re like really on the way there. If you do a serving of fish like a good six ounce serving of fish, now what? Well now another gram is added, right? No problem. All right, and then now you’re at about now you’re at about two grams. And then if you throw in a green juice like this, you’re over three. And then if you have a serving of squash, or even white potato, or sweet potato, well now you’re at another 500 to 800 milligrams. Okay, now you’re at 35 to 3800 milligrams. And then you just need about four more servings of vegetables. And most people when they have veggies, they’re probably going to have two servings at a time, right? They’ll probably have close to a gram anyway. So you need about, I would say about four to six servings of a good quality green vegetable, you’re probably going to need one full avocado, and then one full serving of a good quality fish. And then you’ll get right about there and then you can always add in an extra avocado, you could always add in a little bit more fish, you could always add in a little bit more beet greens or green vegetables to get you the rest of the way there which is about 4500 to 4700. And then if you’re doing a lot more sweating, you could always throw in some coconut water. So I would say about six servings of green vegetables one full avocado, a good serving of fish and then you can always plug and play coconut water or banana according to what your metabolic needs are. What do you think?

Evan Brand: Yeah, and yeah, very good. And you didn’t mention any nuts which is another easy low hanging fruit so if you can get away with doing like pumpkin seeds, you can get a ton there if you do almonds or almond butter or you put a scoop of almond butter in a smoothie, you can get some there pistachios are super high and then I was looking on this other foods like-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  potatoes potatoes are huge so it means depending white potatoes if you’re trying to keep low carb or autoimmune find Nick’s that go to a squash or a potato but potatoes are very, very high in potassium. He will forget that.

Evan Brand:  Yep, yep. I was looking on this nutrient density chart. Whey Protein is number four 100 grams away, you’re getting over two grams 2200 milligram potassium 400 grams away. So if you can tolerate a good high quality Grass Fed Whey protein, that’d be easy. Think about if you made a smoothie with some greens, some whey protein in there, he threw some pumpkin seeds and a scoop on the butter, man, you’re set.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How many milligrams in the way?

Evan Brand: 2200 for 100 grams of, you know substance 2200 potassium.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: okay, I put 400 grams in the whey protein. Okay, so your typical servings probably like 25. So how many again, per 120 200? Okay, so if you’re doing maybe 25 or 30 grams of protein, which is what most people do in a scoop, I mean, you’re probably about what 500 milligrams.

Evan Brand: I’m going to look up I’m going to see what the serving size is because you and I use a couple professional grass fed powders. Let me see what the what it looks like. Yeah, so so one scoop Typically is 30 grams. So exactly, exactly, yeah, so you could almost call it you could almost call it one third then so you know 2200 divided by 600

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: ish 656 50 ish. Okay, that’s cool. Someone else also asked about the vertigo and dizziness Yeah, low potassium can cause that vertigo and dizziness kind of feeling. So we kind of gave the general recommendation of 45 to 4700 milligrams of what you need per day on the potassium side. Most people aren’t hitting it, you’re getting six to eight servings of green vegetables, a high quality serving a good fish and some potassium and maybe I’m sorry, potassium from a full avocado or a green drink or some extra say starch, squash or sweet potato or white potato, you’re gonna be there at about 45 to 4700 milligrams. Most people may need more if they’re sweating, or if they’re under a lot of adrenal stress. So you may want to think about supplementing, if you’re still doing a great job on your food and you’re not there. You may want to fill in the gap, or you may want to just try it out. Add in a couple more of these nutrient dense foods that Evan and I just hit, and see if that fixes the issue. So, a lot of times people have these low potassium symptoms and they see it go away the BR and all I see is you’re going to see a lot of heart stuff, and a lot of muscle cramping stuff, those are going to be big things. So if you see the heart start to get better or the cramping get better. That’s an easy sign that you’re on the right track.

Evan Brand: What do you think, Kevin? Well, I think this is fun, and it’s something that can’t be ignored. So please address this, work on this, tweak it and see how you feel, I definitely feel better. I feel in a better mood. I feel more energetic when I’m staying regular with getting enough electrolytes as a whole. So I think he could be a game changer. And we can run some of these analyses on your body. You and I kind of talked before we hit record about how the blood really doesn’t change much. So looking at serum potassium may not be the best. So there are some other panels that we can look at, but as a whole, when we’re looking at organic acids testing and stool testing and we’re looking at gut infections a lot of times We can infer just based on observation symptoms, and what else is going on that you probably got a new issue. So the good news is, you can fix this, it’s relatively cheap to free to fix it outside of just tweaking the diet a bit at the grocery or farmers markets, but you can make it happen and make a big difference.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Now, someone else chimed in about the evolution drinks and the plastic. I’m not too worried about the plastic with these, these are all cold pressed. Alright, so they’re cold pressed so that the juice that’s put in here is cold and these are refrigerated right away. So you’re gonna have leaching of plastics more when it hits UV light and or higher heat. So not now not that concerned about plastic plus, these things have a short shelf life. So it’s not like the the juice is sitting in there for like a year. It’s just sitting in there a very short amount of time it’s not being exposed to UV light or high temperatures going to being refrigerated, right. So you got to keep all that in mind. So I think if someone’s worried about the plastic, I think the extra extra nutrients that’s in there, it overlays any risk from the planet. Plus you’re not getting the heat you’re not getting warm substances and you’re not getting the UV light so I think the plastic is isn’t as big of a deal versus like a dishonor water that sits in there for a year or two and who knows if it’s going to be exposed to light when it sits out back the the the convenience store or the supermarket thought- 

Evan Brand: That’s what I’m thinking when you go to the gas station. You see the guy taking a smoke break you got the palette of dishonor water sitting there getting blasted by the sun on 100 degree day and then he goes and puts the water in the shelf at the gas station. So yeah, I think you got to choose your battles, right so I mean, the other argument would be well, if you were too busy this morning, you’re working with the kids you got to jump on here with me you got to go into clinic after this. You might not have got that green juice and you would have had zero minerals and zero potassium and zero greens because you didn’t know plastic because you would have tried to go for a blender instead. So you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly plus the higher quality grocery stores like Whole Foods for instance, they got a big dock the truck just goes right up to its full containment and some of the stores refrigerating it. If you’re going to a gas station and you’re kind of limited, some gas stations have the Pellegrino so you could always go by glass at the gas station. That’s probably a safer way but I’m not necessarily worried about the plastic with that but in general, a lot of sulfur in here anyway which will help you to toxify any lingering estrogen. So if you have the option I think it’s worth it.

Evan Brand: All right, well, let’s wrap this thing up. I think we covered a lot if you want to reach out clinically, Dr. Jay and I we work around the world with people we’re very grateful we’re very blessed for the opportunity to help you guys so thank you so much for not only commenting on these live videos, but of course just being there clinically because you help us learn we learned so much from working with people one on one way more than you learn in any book or any study is seeing how do people feel Hey, when you recommended this or that my energy went up 20% we love stuff like that it’s addicting for us. So we’re very very grateful and if you do want to reach out clinically, please check out Dr. Justin at Justin Health. JustinHealth.com and me, Evan brand at EvanBrand.com and we’ll be back next week to talk more. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent chatting with you guys. And if you enjoyed the content put your comments down below really want to know what you guys think. And if you have any future podcast recommendation topics we’d love to see it as well and sharing is caring. Get this to your families and friends and people that can use this information to help take control of their health. Alright guys, enjoy the fabulous holiday weekend. Take care y’all. See you later. Bye

Evan Brand: Bye.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/low-potassium-adrenal-dysfunction-your-immune-system-podcast-288

The Many Faces of Stress | Part 1

The Many Faces of Stress | Part 1

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

When I say we’re going to talk about stress today, you are probably thinking of emotional or mental stress. Struggling to pay the bills, difficulty in your relationship and the death of a loved one are all very real examples of emotional and mental types of stress. These stressors definitely take a toll on you, and it is my goal to make sure you are equipped with as many tools as possible to turn stress into speed bump rather than a roadblock.

However, there are other hidden stressors that we don’t talk much about, ones that we will be focusing on today: physiological stressors.

 

Stress can be simplified into three categories:

Triad of Health

You can see that stress is more than just mental/emotional, it can also be physical/structural (like a broken bone), and physiological- nutritional/biochemical (which we will be focusing on today).

Click here to find out how you can reduce stress.

Physiological Stress:  This type of stress commonly comes from 3 areas.

  1.  Food: Nutrient density, blood sugar stability, and food allergens.
  • Eating high quality nutrient dense foods is very helpful in providing the raw materials your body needs to recover from daily stress.  Our bodies are in a constant balance of building up and breaking down; as long as we build up faster than we break down, we can stay in a state of “healthy aging” rather than “accelerated aging.”

Remember: The human brain is roughly 60% fat!  I find many people today are fat-phobic and are worried about fat causing heart disease.  Because of this misinformation, many patients are deficient in important building blocks and are walking around with brains that aren’t functioning optimally.

  • If Parkinson’s, Alzheimer, Multiple Sclerosis, or any other neurological condition runs in your family it’s really important that you avoid common food allergens. Scientific literature and research studies repeatedly find gluten, grains, and other common food to affect and accelerate the breakdown of certain parts of your brain.  

Thankfully we now have tests that can actually predict up to a decade in advance if this is happening to you, which gives us the time to make the changes to help reverse these conditions from progressing.  Removing all grains is a good start, and if anyone interested in running these new state of the art lab tests, please contact the clinic.

  • When your blood sugar fluctuates up and down, we typically will see your energy or mood fluctuate in the same pattern.  Fueling your body with with protein and fat every 3-5 hours helps blunt these blood sugar and mood swings and lowers the amount of stress hormone our body produces.  Many patients I see live their lives on a blood sugar roller coaster and don’t know how to get off this dangerous ride.
  1.  Toxins:  Heavy metals, pesticides, xenoestrogens, molds, radiation etc.
  • Did you know that about 2 billion pounds of chemicals are dumped into our environment every year?  Most of these chemicals are hormone mimickers, commonly “xenoestrogens,” meaning they are very similar to the estrogen hormones in our body.

The environmental exposure to these xenoestrogens throws our body into a state of estrogen dominance, which makes it easy to develop weight gain, hormonal imbalances, and PMS to name just a few.

  • Heavy metals like mercury, which are common in silver filling that your typical dentist would use to fill a cavity, are known to have a negative effect on thyroid function and can cause low energy and weight gain.
  • Since we are constantly exposed to these widespread damaging compounds, it’s smart to do an integrative detox program to help get these chemicals out of our body. Check out the detoxification portion of this blog post to get started.
  1.  Infections:  Parasites, fungus, bacteria and viruses.
  • As our immune system becomes weakened due to the stressors above, parasites, fungus, bacteria, and viruses see an opportunity to infect you.  It’s usually during stressful times in our life that we are most susceptible. It’s important to note that about 50% of people that develop a parasitic infections don’t even experience gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • Travelers abroad have an increased risk of infection.  Having high quality digestive enzymes, drinking bottled water, and avoiding any local places that may look a little suspicious can also help.
  • It is a good prevention tactic to check about once per year to make sure you don’t have any of these critters lingering inside.  Any time you are experiencing excessive gas or bloating, even with a healthy diet and lifestyle, it is wise to get checked.

Great Ways to Improve Recovery and Decrease Stress:

Great Ways To Improve Recovery and Decrease Stress

  • Chamomile tea before bed.
  • 800mg of magnesium before bed.
  • Get your adrenal-cortisol rhythm checked (this looks at your stress hormones through the day and how they fluctuate).
  • Stool test for GI infections.
  • Keep “Bach Flower Essence” by your desk and anytime someone drives you crazy, take 4 sprays.
  • Chiropractic treatment and/or a massage can help decrease the body’s flight or fight response, and help it to relax and repair.
  • Heart Math Em-Wave2, more on this in posts to come.  I just bought one and I really enjoy it!

Stay tuned for the next post in this series on stress, which will focus on the “Physical/Structural” side of the stress triangle.

Click here for help eliminating physiological stressors.


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.