Autoimmune Disease and the Gut | Podcast #224

With conventional medical doctors, most solutions are geared to a pharmaceutical, surgical-based outcome protocol to fix autoimmune issues. With medical practitioners, it’s gonna be gut permeability, addressing the root cause, stress bucket. Watch the video and learn more!

In today’s podcast, Dr. J. and Evan Brand goes in depth with autoimmune gut disease, the root cause of most autoimmune conditions, how it tends to emanate in the gut, and many other conditions that will happen because of it: Hashimoto’s, type-1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and other types of autoimmune issues. Continue for more and don’t forget to share. Sharing is caring!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

00:27    Irritable Bile Disease

04:34    Conventional Doctors and Practitioners

13:55    Genetic Predisposition

20:33    Epigenetics and Stress Bucket

24:48    Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

26:58    The 6-R Approach

31:22    Getting Everyone Involved


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to the podcast. Today we’re gonna be doing a chat all about autoimmune gut disease, talking about the root cause of most autoimmune conditions, tends to emanate in the gut, and using other many other conditions that will happen because of it: Hashimoto’s, type-1 diabetes, uh multiple sclerosis, other types of autoimmune issues, even type-1 diabetes, so, let’s dive in. Evan, how we doing today man?

Evan Brand: Hey man, happy Monday to ya! I’ve got some statistics. So, why don’t we start out this podcast with some statistics from the Center for Disease Control. In 2015, that’s the latest research I can find, 3 million people are reported being diagnosed. Now here’s the important part: 3 million people are being reported diagnosed. So how many people are having these issues, and they are not diagnosed. But this was with irritable bile disease which would either be crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. We’re not even talking about all the different flavors of gut, we’re not talking just IBS that doesn’t have an official diagnosis, we’re talking literally crohn’s and ulcerative colitis which are not good, 3 million people. And so, uh, the- of course it says here that compared with adults without IBD, those with IBD are more likely to have chronic health conditions like cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer, arthritis, kidney disease, liver disease. So we know, ’cause we’ve talked about it all the time, once you get autoimmune disease, you’re- several times- depending on what study you look at, several to 5, to 10 times more like to get another autoimmune disease. So it’s very likely that if someone’s listening to this and they have let’s say Sjogren’s, or Hashimoto’s, or uh rheumatoid arthritis, they’re more prone to get IBD of some sort.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So, with irritable bile disease, you have your two main ones which are gonna be like crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. These are like inflammatory conditions where we see potential ulceration, like in crohn’s we see these various skip lesions in ulcerative colitis, it’s primarily in the colon, we see bleeding, right, ulcerations and blood in the stool. We may see high levels of calprotectin, we may see immune markers of the charts like either high IGA ’cause the immune reaction is acute and- or- or very low and depleted immune system because we have uhm, a chronic immune issue, and we also may see low ferritin and low iron levels because we’re not able to absorb and- and digest a lot of our iron, we may even see wasting issue, we’re not able to gain weight. May- may see lower protein markers too, like c- like uhm, creatinine and BUN, and just sort of proteins. So these may be other markers we see. Now there are other types of issues in the gut like microscopic colitis, those type of things that are like inflammation but they’re not irritable. They’re not- they’re not like inflammatory like you would see with ulcerative colitis. There- there’s issues with the gut, but they’re not at that uhm let’s just say full onboard inflammatory presentation.

Evan Brand: You made a good point. So like low ferritin, uh low iron, there’s-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -certain type of anemia, so in these people, they may be presenting with other symptoms like hair loss, fatigue, uh, you mentioned the- the muscle wasting-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -essentially, uh, so loss of muscle mass could be happening, and then uhm- did I say hair loss already ’cause hair loss is gonna be huge too ’cause-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, we’re not breaking down protein and minerals, right? We’re not gonna have the building blocks for hair.

Evan Brand: -Your nails, your skin, your-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -hair, all that could be affected, you may be short of breath because we see a lot of women, and when their ferritin levels are below 40, we start to see that they can’t catch their breath ’cause you don’t have enough oxygen in your body, because now you’re gonna be low on your red blood cells, too. So the whole thing can get nasty pretty quick and the conventional medical route is just not pretty with this whole IBD category. It’s just uh, basically biologic drugs, right, if something trying to modify the immune system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, you have your biologic drugs, you have your immunosuppressant medications, right? Uh, your methotrexate or even your- like your essen- essentially your chemotherapy. As usual, a lot of time for a lot of these irritable bile diseases, and then you have your high dose steroids, your prednisone. So kinda only have a couple of options, right? This thing is like lialda or mesalamine, which are kind of in that anti-inflammatory gut category. And then some of these things maybe acceptable for an acute period. The problem is, a lot of patients, they’re on these things for their life. So then, what do you do? ‘Cause there’s other side effects like high blood sugar and adrenal issues, and even uhm, bone loss, and other issues from these medications, obviously suppressing your immune system is in good- that could uh, allow you to be susceptible to other types of issues, maybe even cancers and such, right?

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, with a lot of problems that are happening because of the medications, and then maybe acceptable for an acute time frame but, they’re not addressing the root cause. And we always have to look at the root cause and not to mention, not really even talking about the standard American diet. I can’t tell you how many patients I’ve seen that have crohn’s or ulcerative colitis that I’ve helped get into our mission. And there- you know, their gastroenterologist just didn’t even- they didn’t even really cared to ask like- as like, lesions were here, healing and fistulas were healing, and inflammation is going down. There wasn’t even like sense of like, “Hey, what are you doing?”, “Hey, are you making diet change?”, ’cause there wasn’t really this sense of curiosity of like, “What are you doing?”, even though they were seeing objective improvements in the mucosa in their intestines, and their inflammatory markers, and also their B12 levels. B12 is another type of anemia, you have your macrocytic anemia where low B12 causes big uhm- big blood cells, and then you have your macrocytic anemia where low iron can cause really weak anemic, small, tiny blood cells. So B12, big blood cells, low iron, uh, small blood cells.

Evan Brand: When I had uh, Dr. Nasha Winters on my podcast, and we were talking about natural approaches to cancer, she said that she had worked with people using Mistletoe and several other herbs to address cancer. And the- and sometimes these cases of cancer would just spontaneously disappear and going to remission, tumors would shrink, tumors would disappear, people were off of chemotherapy, they no longer need the medication, and the oncologist had 0% interest in figuring out what these patients did, they just said, “Well, I don’t know what you did but you don’t have cancer anymore, you know, get out of my office”, and that was the end of it, it was just mind blowing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s tuff, I mean you gotta put yourself in the doctor’s position, right? You spent anywhere between a quarter to a half a million dollars over 10 to 12 years of your life studying something, and how could you not have been taught this? How is this missing from your curricula? So even if it is right, there has to be this intellectual open-mindedness to say, “Hey, I wasn’t taught all the most cutting edge is really important things in medical school or residency train”. There was this kinda come to Jesus moment where you’re like, “Man, did they-“, like, “-why didn’t I learn it?”, like, “I thought my s- my education was the best”, “I thought doctors and medical doctors know it all”, and it’s really hard because some people, they either have that moment, and a lot of times, in my opinion, the doctors really have the moment, are the ones that experience it personally, where they have a personal health challenge, and then they overcome it and they feel it themselves personally, or a very close loved one. It’s really hard for most doctors to wake up through their patients. It’s a little bit harder just ’cause you can- you’re a little more of attached, you can excuse things, you can say spontaneous remission, “yadi-yadi-yada”, but when it’s you or a really closed person that maybe you lived with and then you can see, then I think you’re a little bit more open-minded to it.

Evan Brand: Yeah that’s- I think that’s what makes us good practitioners, is that you and I both had our own journey of suffering, you know, I doubt with so many gut issues myself and mood issues through college and, you know-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I just had prescription drugs written for me like really high strength ibuprofen and anti-spasmatic drugs and acid blocking medications, and I didn’t take any of ’em.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And it’s tough because you gotta look at like your conventional medical doctor, right? A lot of conventional medical doctors, they may not be the best communicators from like a sales and marketing standpoint, so, if you’re going outside of the insurance or hospital model, you have to really be able to communicate with the public to be able to help people, to engage people and to get patients. It’s really easy to just sit there, you know, kinda in the handout line in the insurance model and having patients just drop off of your office. That’s really convenient and easy, and it’s hard to do that especially maybe if you don’t have the best skill set to go out there and communicate like we do to hundreds of thousands of people every week, so it’s tough.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If people get into this path or they may- their whole livelihood is invested, so it’s just really difficult situation that they’re in, so, uhm-

Evan Brand: A little bit of a tan [crosstalk]- a little bit of a tangent but a very important tangent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah, I think it’s important because number 1, why aren’t these doctors able to confront people that are getting better? That’s number 1. And then number 2, uhm, bet your doctor may not know at all and this is the reason why, it’s because of the education is geared to a pharmaceutical, surgical-based kinda outcome protocol, and everything we’re doing to fix autoimmune issues doesn’t exist in that realm. So, what’s the big mechanism that we’re seeing here with autoimmune issues, it’s gonna be gut permeability, right? Being able to separate the outside from the inside of the gut is- is very, very, very important. Uhm, and it’s- and it’s actually really important to think too, when you swallow something, and it’s in your intestinal tract, it’s actually still outside of your body. That’s kinda hard to wrap your head around, ’cause then it gets absorbed into the- to microvilli, into the bloodstream, now it’s inside of your body. So even though you swallowed it, it’s still technically outside of your gut tract or outside of your- your digestive system, outside of your body, but then it goes into your body through absorption. And that gut permeability is one of the big factors that can create autoimmune issues. So, if we have undigested food proteins, undigested bacteria and endotoxins that can get through the bloodstream and really exacerbate and flare up the immune response.

Evan Brand: So, get this, this is gonna blow your mind here. I’m looking at a study right now, which is about EMF and gut permeability. And it’s a- it’s a- it is a study uh from 2017 titled, “Evaluation of the Effect of Radio Frequency Radiation Emitted from WiFi Router and Mobile Phone Simulator” and it just talks about the 2.4GHz WiFi connection and the 900 uh MHz mobile phone connection, and how this can affect the gut barrier. So when we talk about diet, it’s a piece of the puzzle but then I think about all these women, you know, especially you and I, we work with a lot of teenagers too like I’ve had. You know, women that are 17, 18, 19 years old and they wear their yoga pants and then they’ve got their cell phone right on their hip of their- of their yoga pants, but they have a perfect diet, like they’re already on like a paleo diet or an autoimmune diet, we get the gut- the gut testing done, maybe they don’t have many infections but all the sudden they’ve got this major gut problem. I’m not gonna say all of it, it’s tied into EMF, but you can measure using a little portable EMF meter, I’ve got one called the Safe and Sound that I use, little RF meter, you can measure that. And so, I think RF radiation, if you’ve got your phone on your hip all day, or if you talk with our friend Jack Wolfson, you’ve got guys with the chest pocket on their shirt with the cellphone over their heart, and-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -this thing like atrial flutter and afib and all these other gut issues form EMF. So, I think if you’re trying to heal your gut, and you’ve got your smartphone on your stomach all day, that’s probably not a good thing to do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, you definitely don’t wanna near any sensitive neurological tissue in it. If it’s- if you’re at a desk all day, keep it on your desk, alright? I have it on a little tripod 5- you know, 3, 4 feet away from you at least all day.

Evan Brand: Yeah that’s what I’ve got. [Crosstalk]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then from walking around, I keep it on my- I keep it on the whole strobe on my hip, uhm, if I’m walking around. I don’t- I don’t keep it in my pocket. And again, the radiation is- is the highest to the first inch of the phone.

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So wherever that tissue is, within the first inch that’s gonna be the most important. So some girls, they’ll have it like right in- on clipped right on top of their breast tissue, be careful. A lot of guys will have it in their front pockets, I mean, I think having it in your back pockets probably is pretty safe just because there’s a lot of thick tissue, dense tissue there and is not really sensitive on the neurological side. So, but in general, like a good holster, uhm ideally if- if you can gonna line it with something, I put a EMF neutralizer on my phone. But, I think, you know, don’t put it up against your head, try to keep it away from your body. But in general, I think it’s one minor stressor in the stress bucket, and I think there’s a lot of other things that will come- be a- even be a higher priority above that. But, definitely don’t talk against it, get a headset and keep it out of your pockets for sure.

Evan Brand: I would still say if you have to pick and choose your battles, you know, it you had your diet dialed in and you use your phone, that’s- that’s okay like you still gotta use your phone. So like if you’re still a bunch of dairy, conventional dairy, you’re eating a lot of grains, especially non-organic grains that are sprayed, you know, people talk about the levels of glyphosate in grains, it’s insanely high. And we know that glyphosate kills off beneficial bacteria in the gut. So, when we’re trying to find mechanisms, you know, how did someone end up in this situation, you know, the gastro doctor doesn’t ask you how much percent of your diet, like, you could have a paleo diet that is not organic, and then you can have a paleo-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -diet that’s organic, and then you can have an autoimmune paleo diet that’s organic. And that’s gonna be like your highest tier, because if you eat a bunch of conventional meats, all those meats can have the chemicals from the grains. So if you’re doing like a straight corn-fed- GMO corn, 98% of corn-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Evan Brand: -in America is GMO, maybe 99%. All of it is contaminated with mycotoxins, just google it for yourself, corn, mycotoxins study, all corn in the U.S. has mycotoxins which are mold, uh basically the off-gassing of mold. That damages your gut barrier too. Just type in mycotoxin intestinal permeability. We know that mold exposure creates leaky gut too. So if you’re eating a corn-fed burger, that’s damaging your gut barrier, even if you think, “Hey, this is paleo, this is meat”. Not necessarily, there’s a caveat to that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, what’s- how does this work? So, there’s a genetic predisposition, right? When you may have a genetic predisposition, the genes that may predispose it but, a lot of times people are confusing genetic predisposition as genetic uh- [Crosstalk]- what’s that?

Evan Brand: I would call it genetic destiny.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. Genetic destiny. I mean when you have these genes, err- you’re destined for this. But it’s like, hey, you know, you may have- uhm let’s say your genes are like a variou- like various light switches. You may have all these various light switches, that if that light switches flipped on, you may develop cancer or some kind of autoimmune gut issue like we’re talking about. But you have the ability to not flip it on. And you do that by keeping inflammation down, by keeping nutrient density up, by keeping toxins down. And we know toxins play huge role in gut permeability. Uhm, that round up case down in L.A., I think Bayer boughts uh Monsanto and Roundup basically again, I think the appeal process went through- there’s another trial that went through saying that Roundup did cause cancer in this patient according to the jury trial, I think we’ve known this for a long time, there’s been a lot of studies over in Italy showing a lot of these tumor growth. But in general, what we know is that, Roundup, if you look at some of the studies where they look at the gut lining, they can really rip up the gut lining. I think S- Dr. Stephanie Seneff talks about this in MIT. So the gut component permeability component is really important. And then of course just the pesticides as well can disrupt the gut bacteria, and that can create more dysbiotic kind of overgrowth. So you can see more of this prevotella, citrobacter, klabsie- uh klebsiella, pseudomonas, a lot of these dysbiotic strains really start to go up. And of course, then- are beneficial probiotics strains are gonna start to go down. So we get this dysbiotic overgrowth that can really predispose a lot of issues as well. And that- there’s a lot of studies looking at these dysbiotic bacterias and correlating with the- with autoimmune conditions. So we know there’s with, you know, all these autoimmune conditions whether it’s RA, whether it’s rheumatoid- uhm- whether there’s ulcerative colitis, whether it’s type-1 diabetes or crohn’s, or celiac, there’s a- a big connection with a lot of these microbiome, dysbiotic overgrowths.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’m gonna restate- I’m gonna restate that in a different way just to make sure it gets through people’s head-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -’cause what’s your saying is very important for people to understand, and you’re not gonna hear this from your doctor. Pesticides, whether this is something you’re spraying on your yard, whether this is something that’s in your food because you’re eating non-organic food, whether this is- you live in farm country and you have people like, you’re in the valley California and you see this plains, at an Amon Farms, spraying overhead, they’re spraying the pesticides, that stuff kills good bacteria at the parts per billion level, ppb. So if you kill the good bacteria in your gut, these bad bacteria that Justin’s mentioned, your pseudomona, your klebsiella, your proteus, all your autoimmune bacteria, those autoimmune triggering bacteria thrive and flourish because the good guys got killed off-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Evan Brand: -due to pesticide, then you develop the leaky gut, and then the leaky gut leads to the autoimmune condition. So it can all be linked back to your environment. You living in farm country, and your neighbor spraying tons of glyphosate, or you use this crap which I have a picture of on my phone, this is uh, I went to home depot over the weekend which is a local, uh, not local but it’s a corporate store. People probably can’t see the picture on my camera but it’s Scott’s brand, Scotts turf builder, it’s called weed and feed. And oh, Justin, listen to how gentle it sounds, “Weed Grip Technology. It cleans-“, no, I’m sorry, “-it clears out dandelion and clover”. So it doesn’t kill ’em, by using toxic things that destroy your gut barrier and lead to autoimmune disease, no it doesn’t do that, it clears out the dandelion, and then you look at here at the active ingredients, 2,4-D is the active ingredient. And 2,4-D is the agent orange chemical that Justin and I test for on urine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: And this 2,4-D is, oh, “let’s just- let me just scoop this up on my hand, and let me put this in my little grass-eater and I’m just gonna have a smile on my face as I spread this crap all over my lawn. And then let my dog come play in the yard, and then I’m gonna let my children play in the grass”, and it’s covered in 2,4-D, and then the kid gets juvenile rheumatoid arthritis which is the new term that didn’t even used to exist, it used to just be rheumatoid arthritis, now they have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, it could all be linked back to this crap, you’re buying grass seed at home depot, with pesticide in. So pay attention. Just use regular grass seed, don’t be using this crap, dandelions are good for you, stop killing them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A hundred percent man. Yup, we gotta look at the root underlying mechanisms. So I think we hit the toxin mechanism, and then also, just forget the fact that a lot of the pesticides, especially the Roundups, they’re gonna hug away beneficial minerals. Part of the reason why they work is they kind of- they bind and they culate or they hug away all these beneficial minerals. So then, let’s say you’re growing or you’re buying food, growing in that soil, it’s gonna be significantly more nutrient deficient, so you’re gonna have less minerals, less manganese, magnesium, zinc, we know, if we’re low in certain minerals, those plants are also gonna express deficiencies in vitamins, right? We know like low manganese in the soil correlates with lower vitamin-C in that various plant. So, I mean, this, more than likely correlation with every mineral in the soil, correlating to lower vitamins in that plant. So that’s gonna mean lower minerals for you, and lower vitamins, as well in the plants, and then if you’re eating animals as well, and they’re eating that soil, then guess what, low vitamins and minerals and the animal protein too.

Evan Brand: Well, let’s take that a step further, okay. So now you’re saying we’re gonna be low in minerals, so then what’s gonna happen then? Well, we know if you’re gonna be low in magnesium, you may get heart palpitations, you may get anxiety, you may get restless legs syndrome where your lying in bed and you’re just tapping your little foot in your bed, you may have like a trimmer, or twitching, you may have shaking, uhm, you may have headaches because you’re deficient in minerals, you may have more neurological stuff like you could have forgetfulness, you could have brain fog, you could have chronic fatigue because now you don’t have minerals to fuel your energy cycles in the body. So I mean, if people, you know, people don’t just have one symptom like if they have a diagnosis like crohn’s disease, it’s not just gonna be their gut, it’s gonna be everything. They could be depressed, they could have anxiety, they could have bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and that could all traced back to this deficiency in minerals, you mentioned the whole zinc thing, you know, zinc deficiencies’ huge. You could have zinc-copper imbalance, so now you’ve got neurological problems and then the conventional doctor, what are they gonna do, with your neurological or anxiety complaints or depression complaint, they refer you out to the psychiatrist, and then what do they do? Well, butrin, zotroft, paxil, prozac, that’s their treatment, which is still not root cause.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And again, there’s been twin studies out there that look at various twins who have the exact, same, genetic code, right? Except, 50% of them don’t get the same condition, autoimmune disease as their twin counterparts. So this is not just a genetic issue, it’s the epigenetics that happen, kind of above the genes. Remember the initial, the analogy I gave up, flipping the switch on, so we look at it, what’s the underlying stressors, here’s our stress bucket, physical, chemical, emotional stressors all go in that bucket, emotional stressors being, you know, friends, family, relationships, work, all that stuff, the chem- the uh chemical stressors are gonna be gluten sensitivity, gut bacteria, parasites and infections. Infections are another component, we talked about bacterial overgrowth, this fungal overgrowth, and even parasitic infections which can increase autoimmunity as well, and then obviously heavy metals, pesticides, Roundup fits in that same category, and nutrient deficiencies, poor digestion, low stomach acid, low enzymes, food allergens. And of course-

Evan Brand: Yeah, this is why you need a practitioner.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And of course all of the other hormonal imbalances like low thyroid, low adrenals, uhm female hormone, estrogen dominance is a big one, that’s part of the reason why women tend to be 4, 5 times more likely to have an autoimmune condition, compared to men is because estrogen tends to upregulate the various CD4 cells, uhm, a little bit more than you see with men, so, estrogen dominance is a big driving factor. And then of course the physical stressors like I mentioned. Uhm, exercising too much, you’re not doing enough movement, and then of course just not getting good sleep. So these kinda fit into our stress bucket, these cause our body systems to break down, hormone, gut, digestion, infections or- or hormones- hormones essentially in system one, digestion, infection, system 2, detox and nutrients in system 3, these systems start to break down, and then we have symptoms downstream over here whether it’s blood in your stool, and p- pain in your gut, bloating, gas, constipation, most doctors here would say, “Okay you have a consolation of symptoms that may be ulcerative colitis, we’re gonna give you mesalamine, we’re gonna give you lialda, we’re gonna give you prednisone, we’re gonna give you immunosuppressants, we’re gonna give you all these things, but they’re not getting to the root cause in the systems, and they’re not looking at the underlying stressors that caused the whole issue and begin with. So we wanna- we really wanna be looking upstream and not myopically focus downstream.

Evan Brand: Yup. Yup. So, I mean, that’s the- that’s the crazy about this is you can’t- I mean you- so- so if you wanna be a good practitioner, you have to focus on symptoms, but you always gotta trace it back. So I’m glad you did that because I was like going on a rant there, and you- you did a great job of like reeling it back in. Okay, so, the symptom, you gotta trace that symptom back to a body system that’s dysfunctioning. Okay, so it’s a detoxification issue. Like, with estrogen dominance, it’s a detoxification problem. So the liver could be overburdened due to all these pesticides, so now the liver can’t do its process to get rid of excess estrogen. So, then the estrogen dominance problem grows because the liver has so much stress because you’re eating a bunch of corn fed meat that’s sprayed, or you’ve eaten a bunch of strawberries, or you’re doing uh sweet potatoes, everybody loves sweet potatoes but the average sweet potato that’s not organic has 20 pesticides on it, the average strawberry, according to the environmental working group, has 22 pesticides on it. So you put all that crap in that toxin bucket. And then you mentioned the emotional piece too, so let’s say, you know, you’ve got a bad boss, a bad spouse, a bad family member, I mean, that stuff is all part of our problem too. So, this stuff gets complicated but we do break it down into the body systems. So, this is why… you know, I get frustrated when people say, “Well I bought this probiotic and it didn’t helped me”, or “I bought this glutamine for my gut ’cause I heard glutamine can heal leaky gut”, or “I bought…” uhm, “…this gut healing mineral online ’cause I saw this guy did a podcast on it…”-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Evan Brand: -“…and he said this- this supplement is gonna c- clear up my gut” well, you can’t just pick one little tiny piece if this puzzle and expect that to fix you. You’ve really gotta get the systems tested, addressed, and then you retest. So if you’ll look at adrenals, maybe you have really high cortisol because you hate your boss, and your high cortisol all day at work is damaging your gut barrier. Maybe you ar organic with your diet but maybe it’s the cortisol, so we have to test it, right? So, this is why you can’t just go buy a random supplement in whole foods and expect to-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Evan Brand: -get your gut better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Now, off the bat, of course we can eat organic and definitely hormone-free. If we’re out of budget, let’s look at the dirty dozen, right, these are the foods that are gonna have the highest pesticides residue. Strawberry, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, celery, tomatoes, bell- bell peppers, I’ll put links in the progra- in the uh reference sheet, here for the notes on the podcast transcriptions, so look at it there, and [Crosstalk…]. Yup, and then we’ll the put the link and image in the podcast notes. And then the clean 15, these are the ones that have the lowest uh, pesticide residues. So, avocado, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, onions, sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangos, eggplants, honeydew, and then maybe one more- then there’s uhm, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower and broccoli. [Crosstalk]

Evan Brand: Here’s- here’s what’s crazy to me, that broccoli is on the clean 15, ’cause when I grow broccoli in my garden, you’ve got the leaves that come out of it and then you’ve got the broccoli head just sitting in the middle of it, it seems like how could that be clean 15 it seems like they would just spray it on top of the surface of the broccoli. I’m- I’m- I’m so grateful that it’s on the clean 15 ’cause if I go to restaurant and they have broccoli I’ll order it. But it seems like, how could broccoli be supposedly clean even though it’s so exposed to the open air, it always blows my mind.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I don’t want to say it, it could just be that it’s- it’s got a little bit more thicker of a fibrous coating, ’cause if you look at a lot of the uhm, dirty dozen, they tend to have a thinner coating, right? Strawberries, you could eat strawberries raw, you could eat spinach raw, nectarines raw, apples raw, pears raw, cherries raw, so it seems like it maybe just a thicker membrane on the- a lot of the other vegetables, right? So, clean 15, avocados, right, skin, uh pineapples skin, peas, there’s a pot over it, right, mangos, where you gotta peel it. So it seems like it’s more of a thicker fibrous kind of peel that maybe associated with the clean 15.

Evan Brand: That’s- that’s true. That’s true. Well, where- where should we go from here, I mean, I can just rant all day about pesticide-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -but you mentioned the stress piece, we talked about adrenals, so testing for adrenals, we talked about grains, pulling out grains, getting people on a- autoimmune diet, likely pulling out the dairy, uhm making sure the meats are grass fed and not GMO corn-fed meats, and- and-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -and then- and then we going to testing the gut because you mentioned the infections. You and I-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -see so many cases of parasites.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think number 1, that when you work with a good functional medicine practitioner, there’s a certain kind of protocol that you wanna work through so you don’t miss anything. And the problem is a lot of patients that come through doing one offs. And you just- just thing right or that thing right, and they haven’t done everything together, and that kind of makes them a little bit jaded to pull the trigger doing certain things in the future. So, when we work with patients, there’s a 6-R approach. We’re removing the bad foods, and again, that maybe a little bit different for everyone, like I mentioned, we may need to do more autoimmune, or specific carbohydrate or gaps or low fodmap templates, depending on how bad or damaged someone’s gut is, maybe even an elemental diet. We may even- number 2, we’re gonna be replacing enzymes and acids. If we have a hard time breaking that food down, we may have a problem. We may even have to do elemental diet if someone has severe crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, ’cause their gut is just bleeding on the inside. And then number 3, we’re gonna be repairing the hormones and we’re gonna be working on nutrients to help the gut lining. And we talked about some of the nutrients but in general, we may do things that have L-glutamine in it, uh, collagen, we may do things that have uhm, various probiotics in there, we may uhm colostrum, we may do other anti-inflammatory compounds, aloe, ginger, slippery elm, zinc carnosine, other really good healing nutrients. Then on the remove side, se- the second remove which are to remove the infections. And sometimes with ulcerative colitis and crohn’s and- and irritable bowel disease we have to wait longer because the gut is so ripped up and so shredded, coming in there and doing a whole bunch of killing could be very inflammatory. So if you’re listening to this, and you’re on that category, you wanna work with someone and you really wanna make sure those first 3 R’s get 100% dialed in before we progress to that 4th R. And then 5th R, we’ll work on repopulating and re-inoculating with a lot of good bacteria, and if you’re really sensitive to probiotics, maybe spore biotic or soil based strains we have to use instead. And then the 6th R, is retest. ‘Cause sometimes there’s a new infections-

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -and then you really- if you have a partner or spouse, you really have to make sure that person is addressed as well if there aren’t chronic infections ’cause you guys can hop potato and pass things back and forth, that’s really important.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I love the hop potato analogy-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: And we’ve seen that time and time again right, where we’ll fix a woman’s gut and then we retest her stool, and then all of the sudden, she’s got an H-Pylori infection again and I’m like, “Okay…”, like, “…how did you get rid of it…”, like, “…we got rid of this and how did you pick this up again, and then finally we get the stubborn husband onboard, maybe he’s not stubborn, maybe he’s awesome and he was too- too busy or he was out of town or whatever, but a lot of times the hubber- the husband is stubborn and says, “Well, I don’t have symptoms, why do I need to test my gut? My wife is the one complaining, I don’t have complaints, I don’t have skin issues like her, I’m not tired like she is, I don’t have autoimmune disease”, it’s like, well, you could be the vector. You could be the one passing her the infections, so we don’t care that you feel amazing, congratulations, but we still gotta make sure you’re not the problem and you’re not the one re-infecting your wife and making her sick because she’s susceptible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I- I tell patients sometimes, you know, talk to their spouse about it, it’s not an STD but sometimes we gotta treat it like an STD because people, well, treat the STD a little bit more respectfully, no one’s gonna say, “Well, just ’cause I’m the carrier of herpes and I don’t have it, like, whatever, it’s not a big deal, no!”, you gotta address it, same thing with any other STD. It’s not in that category but it can still be transmitted via intimacy, so we wanna make sure we address that, and it doesn’t go back and forth. And then of course, there’s even things like H-Pylori, which could even spread via saliva which may not even be- you know, obvi- obvious- that’s not even gonna be a sexual thing. You could just kissing your kid on the- on the cheek, or on the lips, uhm, or sharing cup. [Crosstalk] silverware, knives, those kinds of things, and ho- honestly, if someone’s not even washing their hands appropriately after to the bathroom, you know, you may be able to spread a parasite via that way too, that’s very common.

Evan Brand: We- I- I would say anything is possible, right? I mean, we’ve tested thousands of people, we see worms that the whole family can have. We’ve seen parasites that the whole family can have. That’s why I really love working with families because if we got mom and dad tested and then we get the kids tested too-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -we got to compare the gut, that is my favorite part of my- my job is- is- is, “Okay, mom has this, daughter has this, husband has this”. So we get to pin the pieces together, “Oh, daughter goes to a school, or daughter goes to a daycare, so she might have picked up that there, and then dad have this, and mom had that”, so they pass it to each other, it- it’s just- it’s fun to make the connections like that with the family.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh, 100%. Anything else you wanted to address here today? We have any questions you wanna dive into Evan?

Evan Brand: Uh, while- while you’re looking at questions, I’ll just say that, you know, since I brought up the whole family thing, it’s much easier to do this as a family. So if you are someone struggling, and you have a husband who’s not onboard with your diet. So, here you are eating your grass fed steak and broccoli and he wants to eat pizza, or, you know, the- or you are divorced family and you’re taking care of a child that’s sick with an autoimmune disease or a gut disease, and- and the kid eats really good at your house but then you send them over to dad’s house, or you send them over to grandma’s house, and then they get sick because they’re eating foods over there, that- that’s a huge thing. So make sure that you have the whole family onboard, because, err- when you get to this level of gut problems, there is not any room for cheating. So, your kid can’t eat autoimmune paleo 5 days a week, and then the kid goes somewhere else on the weekend and go eats pizza and like cheese sticks and waffles on the weekend, and then they come back to you and then they’re recovering, and they get sent- sent back again, right? So, you can’t be- you can’t just be picking and choosing when you wanna be healthy, this has to become a lifestyle change for the whole family. And if your family members are not onboard, uh, babysitters, nannies, grandmas, grandpas, dads, cousins, whoever, taking care of your children, or you if you’ve got friends or family that are saying, “Hey, Justin, eat this piece of cake, I promise, it’s just a little bit of gluten, it’s not gonna hurt you”, no! You gotta say “No”, if you’re not gonna support me, you gotta get away, you can’t be pushing this crap on to me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and of course, we draw a line, right? If you have autoimmune issues, there- there’s a zero tolerance, maybe if you- if you don’t have an autoimmune issue, there’s a little bit more flexibility. I always tell patients, always try to go gluten-grain-free when you have an opportunity, but if there’s something really special occasion, fine, uhm, you know, just do your best on that. So we- we really gotta draw that line though. But for sure, when there’s- when there’s no autoimmune issues, 100%

Evan Brand: Yeah. Oh, somebody said they love my rants. Did you see that one?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I saw it, that’s great. That’s excellent, really cool. And then also, someone says, “Opinion on methotrexate for 13-year-old with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis”. So, yeah, I mean, number 1, you gotta work with someone that’s talking about all the things that we’re talking about. So, feel free and check out Evan or my site an- and dive in, but yeah, you do not want that to be the long-term solution to address this issue, okay? I know-

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -that’s gonna be the conventional standard of care, uhm, and that may be fine acutely but, not in the long run for sure. It’s just not addressing the root cause. That’s-

Evan Brand: No, it’s not. And- and there was a second part of the question, “How do you feel about red-light therapy to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis?”, well, red light therapy would be considered a –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Palliative.

Evan Brand: -uh, palliative care-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -maybe it will help, uh far better than a drug, but it’s still not root cause. That kid needs to get a stool test, figure out what kind of infections are going on, make sure the diet is dialed in, start looking at mineral deficiencies and all the stuff Justin hit on earlier.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup, 100%. And then someone asked a question about… I think a certain about iron here, let me see if I can find that question.

Evan Brand: Yeah I saw- I saw a question, there was a couple questions about iron.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so they talked about, well, how to test your iron. So, first thing is, we’re looking at iron serum, that’s gonna kinda give you a window of what’s in the engine, ‘kay? Then we’ll look at ferritin, that’s the equivalent of what’s in the gas tank. And then we’ll look at TIBC and UIC, which give us a window into uhm, essentially, the receptor sites, the binding proteins. The- the higher they are, it’s like, you know, for instance, the hungrier I am, the more I’m- I’m grabbing, right, the more I’m grabbing. So think of it, the more I’m grabbing, the more fingers, the more hands reaching, that’s like the binding proteins being higher, it’s gonna grab more of that iron, and then or course we have the iron saturation, think of that as like the- the uhm gasoline in the carburetor – is it fully saturated, is it- is it- all the way up in there? So we look at all those markers to get a window unto what’s going on.

Evan Brand: Yeah, blood testing can be good for these types of problems. Blood testing from a functional perspective, is- is helpful, but, if someone’s not where they already have a full-blown diagnosis, we may not need blood work right away on someone, we may go straight to the stool testing, organic acids testing, look at that first and if we need further information. And at least how that’s a- how- uh- how that’s I approach. I don’t know Justin of you do blood right in the beginning, but sometimes I don’t. I’ll go stool, urine first and then do blood later if we feel like we’re missing the piece.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it depends. If someone- if I see IBD, irritable bile disease, I’ll definitely do some blood work just to see where they’re at with the iron and the ferritin and all that.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then we’ll definitely run organic acids to see how the methylmalonic acid looks, so we can see how the B Vitamins and B12 looks. So that’s- we definitely wanna get a window on those if we see those kinds of problems.

Evan Brand: Yeah, but if they’re not in gut disease level, there just some complaints about gut, you may not go straight into blood right away.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve had to have some history that- that would screen that for me.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right? And then a lot of patients, they come in with a lot of blood to begin with. So, true, you know, I can- maybe see like, “Hey, maybe the RBC is in the very low 4’s”, maybe that hematocrit and hemoglobin are- are creeping into the, you know, in the mid-11’s for hemoglobin or hematocrit like the upper 30. So, depending on what comes back, I may- I may wanna run more tests than what I see from their previous labs.

Evan Brand: Yeah. There was someone who said, uhm, a future topics suggestion, interpreting the O-test, your doctor ordered the test for you, but then doesn’t know how to interpret it. That’s so funny, I’m sorry. There’s a lot of doctors out there that run testing because they hear about it from people like us and then they don’t know what to do with the test. So then you have this like 75 marker information which is just a pot of gold for Justin and I, but then other practitioners don’t know what to do about it, I would say hang tight, eventually, Justin and I both will have a training course, all about organic acid testing. That’s like our bread and butter, we love it. Uh, but in terms of a podcast on interpreting the O, that’s- that’s not really a good podcast thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve done a couple of videos on it. So if you go and just google “Dr. Justin, organic acids”, you’ll find a couple of things where I really got a little bit more in-depth on that.

Evan Brand: I’ve done a few videos too about like looking at candida overgrowth and bacterial overgrowth so some interpretation, but I’m hesitant to say “Hey, if you see these problems and you need this herb, because it’s not ever black and white like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, yup. And then tbone writes in, “What’s your take on doing elemental formula the first half of the day?”, I love that. I do that with lot of my gut inflamed patients where- there’s that first 6 hours of the day, maybe even 8 hours, we’ll have ’em on elemental formula with some good like Odo’s oil or good fat in there. And they just sip it throughout the day and it just kind of gives their gut a break while they still get good anti-inflammatory nutrients in their body, too.

Evan Brand: Yeah, Matt White uh left a comment, “There is an interpretation guide by Organix”. Yeah, so like Genova Great Plains, these companies do produce like an- an interpretation guide of some of the markers, and but once again, that doesn’t always lead you in the direction of what you do ’cause they’re- they’re, uh, recommendations are very cookie cutter. You may look at one particular marker, and they- and they’ll say, it may be carnitine deficiency. So you may supplement carnitine, but it could be 20 other causes too. So-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. And like you’ll see with, I think picolinate will be like, “Oh, you need more omega-3s”, but it- it’s a sign of inflammation. So then you gotta say, where is the inflammation coming from, right?

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They’re coming from the gut, so you gotta look- you gotta know, “Okay, what does that mean, what’s the next thing I gotta pivot to?”.

Evan Brand: Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [Clears throat] Exactly. And Lambros came in, “Dr. J., I just got back from my new thyroid labs, TSH, Free T4 , Free T3, should I further adjust the dose?”. Yeah, I mean, I would say your T3 is in the bottom- it’s- it’s in the bottom 5% of the reference range. So, looking where you’re at, I would definitely adjust your dose based on, you know, one equivalent based on your protocol sheet.

Evan Brand: Yeah, there’s person here, they- they uh, so people listening, they’re going back, well, what’s Justin talking about, this person put their free T3 as a 2.1, uh, that’s too low. We want free T3 closer to 3.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup. Exactly. 100%. Anything else you wanted to address here? Uh, one- one of the person talked about the uhm, carnivore diet. And I find with some patients that really do have ulcerative colitis or crohn’s, a carnivore template can be really helpful just ’cause you’re cutting out all of these anti-nutrients in plants. And Dr. uhm, Gundry has talked about this in the book the plant paradox, where he’s talked about some of the- some of these anti nutrients, and lectins and mineral blockers, and protein blockers, and sometimes they can really be a disrupting factor. And believe me, I get some hate email from vegetarians and vegans, they’re like, “How dare you recommend meats, it’s so bad”, I’m like, “Hey, I don’t have a dog in the fight”. And then says, you know, if- unless you’re a clinician and you’ve seen people do- do- you know, do things and improve and be successful, just be quiet. Because you don’t have any clinical experience to speak from, you’re talking like it’s a religion, this is not, this is science, and I’ve seen many patients with ulcerative colitis issues and they have s- they’ve serious resolution, I mean, feel free and just google Michaela Peterson, and she’d had serious autoimmune issues that destroyed her bones, and a carnivore template was huge for her healing. Check out my podcast with uhm Caitlin Weeks, I’ve had handful of uh patients that really have done amazing with carnivore templates that have severe, more autoimmune issues. But some, don’t, and some an autoimmune paleo templates, fine. So, that’s why you need a customized approach, you need to be non-dogmatic. It’s like if I have a whole two belt full of tools, and I gotta- is a nail on that wall? I’m not gonna use my monkey wrench to whack in that nail, no matter how much I love this monkey wrench, I’m gonna pull out the right tool for it, called the hammer, right? Same thing as a clinician, with recommending diets. I don’t care, I just want the right tool do- do the right job.

Evan Brand: Yup. At the end of the day, if you get better, that’s what we want. It doesn’t matter the path to get you there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nutrition though has become like politics. People have a really hard time-

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -talking about it, it’s a very emotional issue, and it’s not, it’s very scientific for me, and uhm, you know, a course that I think there are common things like you shouldn’t have sugar, you know, organic, hormone-free, that those things I think are foundational no matter what template on the spectrum you- you’re adjusting your diet to, of course, right? All foods don’t cost new disease, and it gets a good starting point and then you can adjust from there. And obviously looking at the inflammatory value of a lot of these foods too. And, if we didn’t highlight enough, gluten-sensitivity, gluten is a big issue with autoimmune guys, even if you’re not- you’re not silly-ack, there’s still a lot of research by Dr. Alessio Fasano at Harvard that gluten- even if you’re not reacting can increase gut permeability, which increases things getting into the bloodstream that can exacerbate the immune system and attack other tissue that may be an innocent bystander.

Evan Brand: Absolutely. We can go on a whole rant about that. Maybe we’ll do a show on non uh silly-ack gluten sensitivity, that’d be cool to give Fasano on here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’d be really good. Uh, the problem with these research guys, they’re- you know, I wanna- I wanna keep it actionable and down to earth-

Evan Brand: That is true.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’ll just take the research and we’ll just summarize it but yeah, I think that’d be great, that’d be really cool.

Evan Brand: That does make it more fun. Yeah, the research it does get- it does get dry.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It- it gets boring. You can take a 5 hours study and you could summarize it in 2 minutes.

Evan Brand: That’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm, but yeah, I- I appreciate it, I think it’s great feedback. Anything else Evan you wanna address?

Evan Brand: Uh, no, let’s wrap this up for today. Uh, well we could- I mean we can do a part 2, part 3, part 4-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: -you can never talk enough about stress and how the different mechanisms of stress affect gut barrier function and all that. But for now, let’s wrap it up. If people wanna reach out to Justin or myself, we can work with you around the world. So go to Justin’s website, justinhealth-, and you can reach out, schedule a call with him or his staff. Me, it’s evanbrand- And we’ll be back next week.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks guys. Put your comments below, I want your feedback of new topics, thumbs up and share. You guys have a phenomenal day and we’ll talk soon.

Evan Brand: Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care Evan. Bye.


Evaluation of the Effect of Radio Frequency Radiation Emitted from WiFi Router and Mobile Phone Simulator Study

The Plant Paradox by Dr. Gundry

Torea Rodriguez – Toxins, infections and autoimmune disease – Podcast #112

Dr. Justin Marchegiani interviews autoimmune specialist, Torea Rodriguez, in this episode where they talk about autoimmune diseases and how these can be exacerbated by toxins and infections in the body. Find out how one thing leads to another and what types of lab tests are vital in helping to get to the root cause of issues. 

Torea Rodriguez Discover what supplements can aid in fighting autoimmune conditions. Learn how important it is to deal with stress or avoid it completely to be healthy along with making diet and lifestyle changes, as well as find out about healing pathways that worked for some people which may just work for you, too.

In this episode, topics include:

13:55   Infections

16:35   Stress

24:42   Biofilms

30:58   Supplements and Herbs

36:26   Toxins







Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, there, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to Beyond Wellness Radio. Today we have a functional medicine practitioner. Her name is Torea Rodriguez and she’s right out of Santa Cruz. Right, Torea?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, Santa Cruz is it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome! And you’re an autoimmune specialist, correct?

Torea Rodriguez:  I am. I do functional—err—functional medicine specializing in autoimmune. That’s how I got started. I got sick with autoimmune Hashimoto’s and it’s what I’m most comfortable with and it’s what I understand the most. So that’s what I focus on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  What an epidemic autoimmune conditions are today, huh?

Torea Rodriguez:  Absolutely. I was reading in the Autoimmune Fix, Tom O’Bryan’s new book.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And he was explaining that, you know, most autoimmune diseases, what we know now is that it’s more of an autoimmune spectrum–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  As opposed to a specific disease, and so while there’s—I don’t know—there’s over 135 classified autoimmune diseases, it’s probably even more now and that all of those are just what’s known to us right now. Like there could be so many other ones and so it’s really the spectrum effect that happens, and yeah, it’s really prevalent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, it’s really interesting because with autoimmune conditions. If you really look at what the conventional medical establishment has to offer, I mean, it’s not too much. I mean, they have your immunosuppressive medications, corticosteroids like prednisone. I mean, there’s not really even a diet shift or diet modality when it comes to autoimmune conditions, even though we know the research and the literature’s so, you know, rich with that type of information and also the idea of leaky gut really isn’t even talked about. What’s your take on the conventional medicine approach medicine offers—mainstream medicine for autoimmunity?

Torea Rodriguez:  I think that they are in a very unfortunate situation to be honest. They’re behind in terms of research. There’s not one doctor that I know, you tell me if I’m wrong–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  But there’s not one doctor that I know that has the time in between their 15-minute consults to also go and read the PubMed and the medical literature to stay up on what’s going on, so I think they’re in a very unfortunate situation. And then the other part about the traditional medical establishment is that they’re focused on special areas. So we’ve got the cardiologist for the heart health and we’ve got the endocrinologist for, you know, the endocrine system and the different hormone systems and all of those different things–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez:  And they’re looking at it from a very specific point of view from that organ if you will, when really autoimmunity needs to be that 30,000-ft view, big picture view because it’s the entire immune system. It’s the entire body that is having a problem. So yeah, I think that it’s just they’re in an unfortunate situation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. I mean, I see that every day. It’ s like unless you have a clinical framework in which you operate in, I mean, you could skim through articles but it may not mean much to you because where do you plug that clinical piece of information into how you treat patients because typically it’s 3- to 5-minute consult, right? With the pat–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  With the patient. You have a prescription pad. For the most part you’re looking for a diagnostic code that justifies, you know, you to make money off the patient because they are—they are business and then typically that involves a prescription, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Or some type of procedure for the most part and that’s it. I mean, that’s—it’s really about managing that condition and the whole idea about addressing it or fixing a root causal issue really isn’t even there. I mean, it’s—it’s amazing that people can go to physicians where their goal really is just how can we prevent the symptoms from getting worse down the road versus let’s fix this.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It—totally different mindset.

Torea Rodriguez: Yeah. Complete different mindset and that was my exact experience when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s back in 2009 and I started working with an endocrinologist because that’s where people go who have thyroid issues. They go to an endocrinologist and start working with them and you know, he prescribed me medication after medication and it’s not working and I can’t get my labs stable and it’s still not working, so we’d switch it or we’d double the dose or, you know, we kinda got to a point where I challenged him because at that the time I needed to pass an aviation medical and I challenged him and I’m like, “Look, I need to pass this exam in a month. We’ve got a month. What do you got for me? Like we gotta do this, otherwise I have to stop flying for a living.” And he just kind of put his hands up and he was kinda like, “Well, you know, the next thing I know to do is to radiate the thyroid and cut out the rest of the tissue.” And I was just like, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Brakes on full.” Like that’s not the path that I wanna go down.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez: And that was the real foray for me to start looking into functional medicine and to start looking at alternative solutions because I knew that it—there was something else going on. It wasn’t just the thyroid. I mean, there’s countless people out there with thyroid issues and they feel fine. So what is going on? And I wanted different answers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. This is a great segway into kind of let the listeners know a little bit more about you. And most people, they kinda walk that, most practitioners are physicians—they walk the journey of the wounded healer. Right? They have some type of health–

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ailment themselves, they bump their head against a wall a few times—that wall being conventional medicine, and then was able to find a path that actually worked that—that really was focused on root causal health information.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So why don’t you share your story—I know you mentioned you were a pilot. I think you also have a biochemistry background, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah. Yeah, my undergrad degree is in Biochemistry–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, great.

Torea Rodriguez:  And you know—and I worked in the technology industry so I’ve kinda bounced around and cruised a little, but at the time I was a professional pilot, I wasn’t feeling good. I mean, I knew something was wrong and when it came time to really decide, “Am I gonna go under the knife to try and fix this? Or am I gonna try and find alternative solutions?” I really knew in my heart of hearts that I needed to find an alternative solution.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  By under the knife, you mean getting your thyroid removed, right?

Torea Rodriguez: Yeah. I mean–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  He wanted to give me a radiated thy–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Iodine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  And then cut out the rest of the tissue and I did not wanna have surgery to be honest.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So–

Torea Rodriguez: I just did not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. So it sounds like you were diagnosed with Graves’? Is that what happened?

Torea Rodriguez:  No.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Or was it something else?

Torea Rodriguez:  Hashimoto’s.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So this was Hashi—yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  This was Hashimoto’s.  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Torea Rodriguez: And most, for our listeners who don’t know, usually you take out the thyroid when it’s Graves’ which is the opposite, the hyperthyroid situation, and he just didn’t—he didn’t know where else to turn. These were the tools that he had and that’s why–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  I had so much compassion for them. It’s that they—they have the tools that are in their toolbox and they’re not necessarily applicable to the types of diseases that we are seeing right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It totally makes sense and that makes sense, too, because Hashimoto’s in the early stages can seem like Graves’ because the antibodies are different. They’re not the same kind of antibodies once thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin and TA—TSH receptor antibodies, the one for Hashi’s is TPO and thyroglobulin. So different effect–

Torea Rodriguez:  Correct.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But in the early—in the early inflammation response, thyroid hormone spills out and can create that hyper kinda symptoms, so that makes sense.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I started searching for anybody that knew anything about thyroid and natural healing and I had stumbled across Chris Kresser’s writings–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm, yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  And this was back early in the day when he was just writing about stuff and he said something that really clicked with me–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Which was that we’re dealing with autoimmunity and we’re dealing with a disease of the immune system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Not a disease of the thyroid, not a disease of–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez:  The myelin sheath of your nerves. It’s a disease of the immune system and that we need to really focus on the immune system itself, and that just lit a lightbulb. It was an epiphany moment. It’s like, “Of course! That makes total sense.” So let’s go down that path. So I pretty much didn’t know where he was, didn’t care, was gonna get on any plane to go see him, begged myself into his clinic and he took me on as a client, and that’s when I really started to understand the multiple layers that had come into play to cause me to get sick and the work that I needed to do to start healing. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool. So with your working with Chris, I mean, he’s kind of a—a Paleo template guy. I’m a big fan of a Paleo template, right? Where we kinda can adjust the macronutrients and—and dial things in according to what works best for you, the patient. Just curious, if you could lay out just you and your experience as the patient, what worked best for you. What are those top 3 things that really were game changers in your case?

Torea Rodriguez:  I think the very first game changer was taking a different perspective on my diet. I had always felt that I was healthy and that I was eating very healthfully and to stay healthy on the road I was keeping to a vegetarian diet and with a lot of healthy whole grains, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Right? And so taking a different perspective and really taking a look at what it was that I was eating and what more importantly what I was missing in the diet. There were a lot of nutrients in my diet that were missing from that and so switching to a whole food Paleo type template was exactly what my body needed at the time and I would say that that in itself gave me a huge boost and huge stair step of healing right away.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So you were eating a lot of grains back then or were you eating any meat as well?

Torea Rodriguez:  I was not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Torea Rodriguez:  I was trying to stay healthy on the road.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Torea Rodriguez:  So I was staying vegetarian because of course, we were eating out all the time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Torea Rodriguez:  So yeah, so I was just like, “Oh, I’ll just stay vegetarian. That’ll keep me healthy.” And then you know, in hindsight, looking back the other time I experimented with being vegetarian was in college and I got very, very sick in college. And I know now–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  That for me and my body type, I—I need to include animal proteins in there. That’s the only way I feel really great. So yeah, so I would say food was the other thing and then rest. Not really rest—how should I say this? I had to take a very serious look at my Type A hyper-overachiever lifestyle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, right.

Torea Rodriguez:  And that was really, really hard to do as a pilot. You are used to achieving every 6 months and passing check rides and switching to the next airplane and all of those things, and that was something that was really driving my nervous system into sympathetic fight or flight all the time.  And I had pretty much activated it all the time and I really had to take a serious look at that. So that was one of the other things that was really, really key in healing but expressly difficult to adjust to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So you sound like you had some adrenal dysfunction there, too?

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, yeah. They were–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Pretty much—the way Chris put it—and I don’t know if he was trying to scare me or not, but he basically said that you are one step away from Addison’s disease. You need to do something different.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And were those initial tests that you ran for adrenals, were those on—on the BioHealth 201 adrenal panel?

Torea Rodriguez:  Correct.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, cool.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Do you remember what your total–

Torea Rodriguez:  That was my first panel.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cortisol was?

Torea Rodriguez:  I think it was like 12.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow, that’s so low!

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How about your DHEA?

Torea Rodriguez:  I don’t even remember. I’d have to go take a look. But yeah, I mean, it was pretty much tapped out. I mean, I was—I was tapped out. This was—I was sleeping 14 hours a night and feeling like I was–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Torea Rodriguez:  Hit by a Mack truck the next morning. Like I was not feeling rested ever.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And so recapping, you were eating a vegetarian diet. So I typically hear that. I think low protein, I think ex—probably excessive carbohydrate, probably lots of anti-nutrients.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, it was all carbohydrate. Because in addition to flying–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Torea Rodriguez:  The other thing that I loved to do was long distance cycling.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Running–oh yeah, there you go. So that your–

Torea Rodriguez: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You’re carb-loading, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Pretty much sugar all day long, every day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How about fat consumption? Were you doing pretty low fat consumption? Were you doing a lot of nuts back then?

Torea Rodriguez:  Probably.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, nuts and you know, a little bit of olive oil here and there–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  But butter wasn’t in the profile at all. You know, so I was very fatphobic at that point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we had blood sugar issues, we had nutrient density issues, you probably had a lot of anti-nutrient issues, adrenal dysfunction–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then autoimmunity which probably was exacerbated by all of the—the grains that you were consuming, too.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Torea Rodriguez:  Most definitely, and there was pretty extreme iron anemia–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, wow.

Torea Rodriguez: That we discovered and which explained a lot of the issues that I was having. I was getting hypoxic at very low altitudes at work and hypoxy is the term for when you are lacking oxygen at altitude and usually you’ll feel hypoxic anywhere between 8,000 and 12,000 feet. Everybody’s a little bit different.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  But I was feeling very hypoxic at 5,000.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Torea Rodriguez:  And the cabins are pressurized at 8,000 so I was even more fatigued at the end of my shift because I was constantly “at altitude” all day long and getting really sick from it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And so you were an airline–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Pilot where you like flying major airlines or–

Torea Rodriguez:  No, I flew charter and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Charter.

Torea Rodriguez:  Corporate aviation. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. Now I’ve heard that—I’m not sure if this is true—but I’ve heard that pilots aren’t able to fly while consuming aspartame, is that true?

Torea Rodriguez:  I would have to double check what the regulations are with the FAA–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez:  But at the time when I was flying–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez: Aspartame was fine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It was fine. Okay, I wondered if that’s something new.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, it wasn’t a regulated substance, but I’d have to check. That’s curious.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, alright, very cool.  And then let’s dive in. There’s one piece of your autoimmune puzzle that I think may have been an issue but you didn’t allude to it yet. You didn’t mention anything about infections. Were infections a piece of the puzzle for you getting your thyroid and your autoimmune situation under control?

Torea Rodriguez:  They were definitely a piece of the puzzle but they came later.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ahh.

Torea Rodriguez:  Like we really started with diet, lifestyle stuff first.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Started focusing on healing the gut a little bit–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  And then also the adrenals, like I was just–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  So tapped out, right? Getting some–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally.

Torea Rodriguez:  Support there, but later on we started to find the GI pathogens for sure and I tested positive for H. pylori and then later on tested positive for a—another one that I can’t even remember the name of it and you know, as we started to treat those and heal those, you know, we’ve kinda talked about lingering symptoms like what’s left, what else is going on?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Torea Rodriguez: You know, and—and sure enough we found Giardia but it took–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow!

Torea Rodriguez:  A number of tests and a number of passes at that for it to finally reveal itself and that Giardia had gotten—I’ve had it for so long that it had left the intestinal tract and actually had gone into the gallbladder.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  And so I had all these crazy gallbladder attacks that I couldn’t explain and ultrasounds to make sure it’s not stones, like it was kind of a little bit of a crazy path but we finally found the Giardia and treated myself for Giardia and that was another huge stair step is to finally get rid of that pathogen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So 3 major parasitic infections—H. pylori, something in between was a Blasto? Blastocystis hominis or Crypto?

Torea Rodriguez:  No, it wasn’t Blasto. My husband’s had Blasto. It was Crypto.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Crypto. Okay.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup, yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow. That’s—that is nasty. Yeah, that’s a Blasty-Cryp—I call that the Three Amigos by the way.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, definitely felt like the Three Amigos were having a party, that’s for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? Now when you went to go attack the Giardia, did you have to do a gallbladder flush to get the gall—to get the Giardia flushed out?

Torea Rodriguez:  I didn’t. Actually–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Torea Rodriguez:  I was pretty lucky with the anti–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez: Pathogens that we used.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Torea Rodriguez:  Actually it turned out to be fine. But yeah–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. So we have adrenal issues and that—you know, in your situation, it’s kinda unique in how it unfolds and what stressors happen in your life but how things break down is pretty consistent, right? There’s some level of–

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Dietary stress and that’s unique for person, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Whether it’s vegetarian side, whether it’s the standard American diet and lots of conventional meat and grains. You have the adrenal stressors, right? You have imbalanced amount of macronutrients, so I call that blood sugar stressors. You have infections and then you had the autoimmune—the whole immune system all revved up–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because of everything else, because all of the—the things I already mentioned.  I see that

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I see that with most patients.

Torea Rodriguez:  There’s—there’s another thing in there that kinda added to the whole perfect storm which is what I now call acute stress events.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  There was a period of time between 2008 and 2009 when I was being diagnosed where I had lost a parent suddenly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Torea Rodriguez:  I had gotten into a cycling accident and pretty severe physical injuries and I had an emergency at altitude and was the only pilot on board to deal with that emergency, so there was a huge amount adrenalin that got pumped out that day when I was dealing with that—that actual emergency, and those 3 things all happened within months of each other.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Torea Rodriguez: And that pretty much a perfect storm on the stress side of things to completely cause additional leaky gut and cause additional food sensitivities and everything else that just kinda added to the whole picture.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, you really—you really hit a point there that I wanna emphasize. You talked about the leaky gut and the food sensitivities and I think a lot of people at home, they—they hear stress but they don’t really think about how stress really impacts our digestion or impacts our gut lining.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because the biggest thing that really revs up this autoimmune cycle is stress and what it does to the gut lining and then what that does to undigested food particles and then what that does to the immune system as they slip through the tight junctions to get into the bloodstream.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, absolutely. And you know people hear stress, stress, stress, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez: I get it, but what they don’t understand is that in the lab and I think this was Dr. Fasano’s work–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Is that in the lab one of the ways that they would introduce leaky gut is hitting these poor rats over the head and causing head trauma.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And that’s a physical injury that you know, resulted in leaky gut. So when we have a lot of stress whether it’s physical injury or not, that will cause leaky gut.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And is that mechanism through the head trauma is after decreased activation of the—the vagal nerve?

Torea Rodriguez: That’s my guess.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that’s what I think, too.

Torea Rodriguez:  That is definitely my guess. Yeah, vagal nerve is so huge in recovery and, you know, stimulating the parasympathetic side of the immune system and nervous system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I was reading an interesting study just last week on petting animals and it stimulating the vagal nerve.

Torea Rodriguez:  Really? I definitely need a dog again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I—you think—I know. I practice next to my dog, Butter, all day so I, you know, pet her. I’m like, “Yeah, I’m getting my vagus nerve going.” You know, I’m—I’m practicing what I preach here.

Torea Rodriguez:  Excellent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So nice little fun fact there.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, I look for all sorts of different ways to simulate vagus nerve when trying to heal autoimmunity because so many of us get kinda stuck in the cycle of the sympathetic side of the nervous system and it’s very hard to start to retrain the body to start activating the parasympathetic side. So I’m always looking for tips like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that’s good. And now because you’ve had this history you’ve been able to effectively treat it, which is great, what are you seeing in your patients? Are you seeing similar type of events kind of cascading or what kind of infections are you seeing, too?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, so lots of GI pathogens.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  I’ve seen the gamut of them. I’m also seeing patients who are attributing some of their getting sick like how I had that perfect storm of stress events to receiving tetanus vac—vaccination—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez:  Vaccines, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  Vaccinations.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  Or you know, some other kind of trauma.  Usually it’s a trauma that can start the whole ball of wax to unravel, and so I see that quite a bit, so I pretty much apply the same technique is to let’s get an understanding of what’s going on. Let’s look for some of those co-infections and start dealing with those, so that I pretty much equate it to the immune system as pretty much over—overloaded at this point. It can’t really deal with these things effectively. So we have to help it to get rid of those things so it can become stronger to be able to keep this things at bay. So it’s, yeah–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I totally see that as well, where like the immune system is compromised. It can’t quite get rid of the infection on its own and it needs just a little bit more help with whether a specific protocol that you create to help kind of knock that infection out, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then you went—you said something about five minutes ago. I wanna kinda come back to it because I think, just through the lens of the patient right now, from a patient talking to you. The biggest thing I see patients that have chronic health issues is when they have multiple infections layered up and they—they get their stool test back or their infectious panel back and they find there is one or two infections. We treat those infections. They come back negative, but a new one comes back. And that’s a really frustrating thing that I let my patients know that there is probably a 20% chance that may happen. And we call it you know, I refer to it as crypt hyperplasia where the infection burrows deeper into the gut lining and it makes its way out as we kinda clean through all the crud if you will. What’s your take on it? How do you explain that or educate your patients about that?

Torea Rodriguez: There’s a couple different analogies that I use for that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  One is that, you know, we are basically going after the bad guys that we see in the beginning of the forest–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  But not the ones that are deeper in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Deeper in, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  And so you have to kinda keep retesting for that and then of course, I’ll get a little technical with them and talk to them about biofilms and how biofilms –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Can get you know, resistant to things like oil of oregano and you know, that kind of thing, so you kind of have–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  To play around with some of these agents that we use to get rid of the stuff to actually get after it, and then you know, the other part, too, is that if—if they’ve done a lot of antibiotics, traditional antibiotics, or they’ve done a lot of use of these herbal antibiotics, often times what doesn’t come into play is the re-population of the gut and so basically we leave this like five-star resort open with neon signs that says, “Bad guys, move in here.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  And then they’re easy to pick up on something else. So sometimes they pick up something else–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Through their travels or whatever but sometimes it’s just really just uncovering it and exploring deeper in that forest.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And this is helpful because I think a lot of people that expect you know, let’s say they have a couple of infections, they expect that once those infections are gone that they’re gonna feel 100% better. And in your situation what percent better were you after those two infections, the H. pylori and the Crypto?

Torea Rodriguez:  At that point, you know we had done a lot of the diet-lifestyle stuff–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  So I would say 60% but getting rid of those only got me about another 10%.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then so it was the last one?

Torea Rodriguez:  Then it wasn’t until–yeah, it wasn’t until we found the—the Giardia–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  And start treating the Giardia that things really started to fall into place and then looking at my final lingering symptoms, those are all Epstein-Barr related.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And so now that’s my focus personally and like I still work on the stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  I’ve been working on this since 2009, you know, so it’s—some of my clients are like, “When does it ever stop?” And it could stop now but I refuse to accept mediocrity and you know, I wanna feel good all the time so I will always pursue it, but some people choose to stop when they feel 80-90% better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right and I guess it depends, right? Because everyone, you know, when do you stop eating healthy? When do you stop exercising? When do you stop going—getting good sleep, right? It just—people, it’s very easy to get addicted to feeling great and then the potential of “Can I feel 5% better this year? What do you think? Is it possible?”

Torea Rodriguez:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So it can gets exciting, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  It totally gets exciting and you know, the thing is that that things will change. You’ll start to feel better and then you’ll decide that you wanna go travel to Nicaragua and you get a really nasty bout–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Of food poisoning. Well, guess what?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  You probably just picked up something that you should test for and see if it’s still hanging out in your gut after you get back. So, I mean, we pick up stuff like this all the time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And what are you doing right now for biofilms? You brought that up earlier with antibiotic resistance, people taking in the past. What are you doing for that with your patients?

Torea Rodriguez:  Biofilms, I mean, you can use several different agents–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  I like to use interface. There’s a couple other things–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  That I’ve used in the past. Not BiotaGen, that is a prebiotic powder.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Biotic, yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  It’s the Bio-Botanical Industries, do you know which one I’m talking about?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, there’s a couple out there–

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, shoot.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The big ones that I know for my biofilms are—are ginger–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Silver and cat’s claw or Samento. Those are my–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  My favorites to use for the biofilms. Ginger tea is like mandatory for all patients to sip on, you know, for the first few weeks because ginger—there’s a lot of studies on it on helping biofilm reduction.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, that’s fantastic! Yeah. Biocidin–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, Biocidin.

Torea Rodriguez:  It’s the other one that I’ve used.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup. And that seems to do a really good job with people who have been on the Interface for too long and then all of a sudden you’ve got something that’s resistant to that—but ginger is new for me. That’s really fascinating. I’d love to see those papers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. I mean, you just go ginger and biofilms. There is just dozens of them.

Torea Rodriguez:  Excellent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There—there was one cool paper where it showed like a Petri dish of like all this resistant bacteria or biofilms, and then like they introduced a small bit of ginger to it and it was like gone. So a big fan of juicing–

Torea Rodriguez:  Fantastic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I’m a big fan of juicing it though, like fresh juiced ginger, like just kinda throw it in your Vitamix or Magic Bullet if you don’t like the pulp–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Which I don’t like the pulp. I strain it through a French press, and–

Torea Rodriguez:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There you go. Add a teaspoon of honey especially if you don’t have any fungal issues, you could do it. A quarter of a lime and you’re good to go, and it really helps reduce those biofilms.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, ginger is amazing stuff because not only do you have biofilm disruptor, but you’ve got some really great probiotics that are on the ginger root itself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  So yeah, pretty amazing stuff. I like it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Also anti-inflammatory and anticoagulants. So keeps the crud that gets you know–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Stuck or sludgy moving along, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup. Absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cool. So with the patient’s right now, would you say the most common autoimmune condition you’re seeing is Hashimoto’s or thyroid autoimmune disease?

Torea Rodriguez:  You know, honestly I don’t see a lot of Hashimoto’s clients–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  I just see autoimmune diseases.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  In general.

Torea Rodriguez:  They’re all over the place. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  What—what are the big five for you?

Torea Rodriguez:  Rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  Hashimoto’s is definitely in there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  But then I’ve gotten some really strange ones that, you know, that are skin-related.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, scleroderma or–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, that sclerodermas and those kinds of things.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Psoriasis.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup, psoriasis for sure. Those are the big majors really.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  I don’t see a lot of people with MS and I don’t see a lot of people with Crohn’s. I thought I would. I had one client with Crohn’s, but that was it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Are you seeing a lot of multi-glandular autoimmune syndromes like more than one autoimmune condition with the same patient?

Torea Rodriguez:  Almost everybody–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  I’ve known that’s been diagnosed with our immune has been diagnosed with two if not more.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  I—I’ve two that I know about. I’ve had psoriasis in the past–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  That’s been healed and I know that’s autoimmune. It was never diagnosed by a medical professional but I also have Raynaud’s in the hands–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  That’s fun. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I see that exact same pattern. Raynaud’s, Hashi’s, and some type of either eczema or psoriatic skin condition is like super common.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, yeah, very common for them to go together.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And for listeners, Raynaud’s is just a condition where you get these vasospasms in the—typically in the extremity tips that can cut off blood flow in circulation and create that cold kind of feeling.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, it’s pretty freaky when you look at your hands and your entire fingers are white.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  From the base of the fingers to the tips. The first day that happened to me I kinda freaked out. I was on the bike and couldn’t figure out how to get the blood flowing in the fingers again. It was kind of scary.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I totally hear you. And then talk about the Epstein-Barr in the—I wanna say mono or chronic fatigue that tends to happen from that. How are you diagnosing? What are you looking on lab work to pick up EBV?

Torea Rodriguez:  So I’m a big proponent of the Immunoscience’s panel. They’ve got a viral panel and if you want we can link to it in the show notes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  But they’ve got a really great comprehensive viral panel that you can run or you can ask your doctor to run the markers for you if you want, which will take a look at whether or not you’ve got past exposure or current exposure. Most people who are dealing with chronic EBV have had a past exposure, and my theory is that our immune system is just not as strong as keeping it at bay as somebody else. I mean EBV is so common that we think that nearly 95 to 98% of the population has been—been exposed. It’s just most of them can keep it at bay. So a lot of those types of symptoms are fatigue, feeling like you’re getting the flu but never really coming down with the flu, light sensitivity in the eyes, tinnitus in the ears, pain in the lymph nodes underneath the ears, those kinds of things, maybe a mild fever but hardly ever fever associated with it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that is super common and the three major things I looked that—I just pulled up the Immunoscience panel and that’s exactly what I run, Viral Capsid Antigen, Nuclear Antigen and Early Antigen.

Torea Rodriguez:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  IgM and IgGs. Any IgM, that’s a sign of more of an acute or—potential active or reactive infection. And any IgG for the Early Antigen–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Is a sign of a potential reactivation. Is that kind of what you go by, too?

Torea Rodriguez:  Exactly. Yeah and you know, when I was first starting to look at this at myself I did this with my naturopathic doctor and we ran the whole lab, and while I didn’t have any IgM for active–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Infection, I have had in her opinion the highest titer she has ever seen for IgGs so I—I got the Gold Star award for that. So it definitely tells me that that’s something that my body has been dealing with for a very long time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and what are you doing right now from a supplement or herbal standpoint with Epstein-Barr?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, so I am making sure that I stay as far away from sugar as I–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Possibly can because sugar will break down the L-lysine in the body and L-lysine–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Is the amino acid that we need to keep viruses at bay–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  At the most, which ironically now that I know that information is why after I eat a bunch of sugar I feel like crap for three days afterwards.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Torea Rodriguez:  And I take L-lysine as a supplement. I’ve also been experimenting on myself doing an n=1 experiment with using supplemental BHT.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And some people don’t like that approach. Some people love that approach. And that seems to be helping with the constant symptoms that I was having, and not as often anymore. Whether or not it is the BHT or the L-lysine, I don’t know because I’m testing two variables are once. But those are the two things that I’ve been doing and then just making sure that I don’t have a lot of stress, because stress will set me back faster than anything,

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love how foundational things are right at the forefront. That’s I think so important. I think a lot of people miss that.

Torea Rodrigue:  I think—I think we want to throw them in the back corner to be honest –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Right? It’s like we want the easy button sometimes, and sometimes the easy button is just making sure that you’re consistent with the foundations.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I see so many people that come in or have seen me before other doctors and they come in, we have a whole bunch of infections, and the doctors they previously were with just threw a whole bunch of things at them–

Torea Rodriguez:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Didn’t really get lifestyle changes dialed in. Didn’t really get the diet. Didn’t really get blood sugar. Didn’t really get the adrenals or any thyroid or hormone stuff. And they just went after the infections right away and they just shut down.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I think echoing on what you said the lifestyle piece and the diet piece, and even the hormonal—hormone piece before that is so important as a foundation so you can go after these infections and not create a healing crisis.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, absolutely. Like I see this quite often. Of course, everybody wants to end the pain, like I get it. I totally get it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  And you know, we want those results right away but I have seen clients do the same approach with other practitioners and you know, they get thrown a whole bunch of antimicrobials for example. Yeah, that practitioner didn’t look at the liver function and didn’t realize that there are liver wasn’t ready to process all those toxins that are created when we go after the microbes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  And yeah, and they completely shut down so that’s why I do a bunch of labs upfront so that I can see like what’s the status of the liver, what’s the status of the neurotransmitters, like let’s look everywhere and then figure out a strategy, and it does take time for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you mentioned earlier, the butylated hydroxytoluene, the BHT.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Can you talk more about that?

Torea Rodriguez:  So yeah, so butylated hydroxytoluene which is a mouthful–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  BHT—that is the same BHT that used to be in breakfast cereal when you and I were young.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, is that–

Torea Rodriguez:  Like it’s the same stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, it’s the preservatives. So there are–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It keeps it crunchy when it sits in the milk for a while, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  That’s right. Totally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, I noticed.

Torea Rodriguez:  Capt N Crunch, in fact.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Torea Rodriguez:  So it—there’s research out there that says that it’s a neurotoxin. There’s research out there that says it’s not a neurotoxin. And as you know when you read PubMed research you are always gonna find both sides of the picture.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez:  But what they have found is that with lipid encapsulated viruses, so the herpes style-type viruses of which EBV is one. It’s actually herpes simplex virus IV. That it has a really good ability to disrupt that lipid bilayer of the viral body and help keep the actual attack of that virus down. And so you know, there—there’s a lot of research out there. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there that it works which is why I decided to do an n=1 experiment on myself and it seems to be definitely helping; whether or not I wanna do it long term, I’m not certain yet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I will.

Torea Rodriguez:  If I wanna do it long term. But that’s the only—the only negative of it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I will put a link to the show notes. So if anyone that wants to get more intel on that they will have that at their fingertips. That’s great.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah. I’ll also send you a link to include in the show notes. There is a PDF or an eBook out there called the—the BHT book I think is what it’s called, and it was written by a biochemist by the name of Stephen Faulks and he put together a bunch of the research on its effect on lipid encapsulated viruses.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know Steve. He wrote the book on smart drugs, right?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, okay.

Torea Rodriguez:  He is also known for a—what is it? Aspartame, no, not aspartame. Araspid—araspertam?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yes. Yeah, the—the various racetams. Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yes, those. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup. Big—yeah, he’s a big fan of those. Very cool, awesome.

Torea Rodriguez:  Brilliant biochemist though and he really knows his stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I met Steve over at the—I think it’s Smart Life forum down in Silicon Valley over at Palo Alto.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, he’s a big guy over there. He gives a lot of informative talks.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup, yup, really nice guy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool. Now you’ve kind of alluded to something earlier. I’m gonna go back to it.

Torea Rodriguez:  Great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  My—my brain thinks. It kinda scatters a little bit, but I—it’ll all make sense at the end here. You talked about toxins and being able to check liver functions. So are we talking about just like in an ALT, AST liver enzymes on a blood test, or were you talking about organic acid testing for the liver?

Torea Rodriguez:  I use both.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  I wanted to take a look at both. So when I take on a client we do a full blood chemistry workup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And an organic acids, and a look at both. I wanna make sure that both phase 1 and phase 2 processes are functioning properly. If they’re not, then I probably won’t go after microbials or pathogens or environmental toxins right away because we want to make sure that the body has a—an appropriate way of clearing this stuff. We don’t want to just add a whole bunch of extra burden to the liver if we can help it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And what you’re cut off for the ALT and AST on your lab test?

Torea Rodriguez:  Umm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Less than 20?

Torea Rodriguez:  Pretty much, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, I wanna make sure that, you know, it’s—it’s not too high. We want to make sure that it’s working efficiently. So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   That’s exactly what I do. Now let’s pivot here. You mentioned in our pre-interview, you talked all about the organic acids. You talked about, and I love the organic acid test, I know there’s—I do the Genova testing in my office. I know you mentioned you do the—the GPL, the Great Plains Lab testing–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And he also mentioned about their tox screen, which I’ve—doing more and more frequently. I’m actually gonna be doing a panel of myself as well as the one for the Roundup, the—the glyphosate, too.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, yeah, yeah, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So—so let’s pivot there. Talk to me more about the organics and how you’re using it with your patients and then kinda stack on how you’re interchangeably using the toxic screen, too.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, sure. So organic acids, I was taught by another practitioner how to interpret organic acids, and I’ve—I’ve used the Genova as well as the Great Plains and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  The thing that I love about the organic acids is we’re looking at metabolites of various different biochemical processes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Torea Rodriguez:  And when there’s a problem with one chemical changing form to another chemical in that cycle–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  It will kinda spill over, just like if we had dammed up a reservoir; it kind of spills over and it gets into the urine and this is how we can see where there are problems in those functions in the body. And I think I love it so much because it’s one, simple collection for the client–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  And there are so many markers that look at so many different areas, so we can see bacterial overgrowth in the body pretty easily. It’s super, super sensitive for yeast. Whereas in any kind of stool test, like if you find yeast then you know you’ve got a raging yeast infection.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah. So I like that it’s super sensitive for yeast. You can look at neurotransmitter balance. You can look at–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Torea Rodriguez:  You can look at methylation, nutritional deficiencies, like there is so much information in the organic acids that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mitochondria.

Torea Rodriguez:  It’s just really—yeah. Mitochondrial function which is huge–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  For people without immunity like of course, you’re feeling fatigued because your mitochondria–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huge.

Torea Rodriguez:  Are not generating energy the way that they should and they are the energy powerhouses of the cell. So you know, knowing that allows me to be able to fine tune somebody’s wellness plan so that they can start feeling better sooner in looking at those kinds of things. So I love the organic acids for that reason.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  What major areas of the organic acid test are you seeing out of balance in your patients right now?

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, gosh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Just myself, I see them all–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But there are certain ones I see more frequently. I’m just curious just kind of like your intuitive guess.

Torea Rodriguez:  In the—yeah, in the last year there’s been a lot–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oxalate and yeast issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  I’ve seen not so much neurotransmitter imbalance but definitely mitochondrial malfunction.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Torea Rodriguez: And then the rest is the bacterial overgrowth.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah is really nice because it gives you that extra net to pick up gut issues outside of what you may miss on a stool test.

Torea Rodriguez:  Exactly, which is, you know, we were talking about that forest, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  And trying to find the bad guys in the forest, this gives us another way to do that with a different method which makes it a much better sweep of that forest.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally. And what about the tox screen? What kind of toxins are you seeing? How much Roundup, how much benzene, toluene? Whatever else you’re seeing there–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, I really like it. I mean, there’s 172 markers on the—the labs. So it’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Unreal.

Torea Rodriguez:  It’s pretty comprehensive but, you know, that is allowing us to not only look at what somebody is biologically infected with like a co-infection but the environmental toxins from everywhere. So if you are getting exposed to lots of gasoline or gasoline exhaust fumes for example, maybe your work is—maybe you’re the person that holds the construction sign on the highway, you know, and you’re breathing in fumes all day long, or you’re a dental hygienist in Europe being put in the face of chemicals all day long, like we get to see those things but more importantly we are seeing pesticides that are used either in the yard or in the garden. We’re seeing the chemicals that are used for cleaning in the house or you know, the insecticides, right? In the house and cosmetics. I have to say it–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  Cosmetics and you know, self-care products, the shampoos, and the soaps, and all of that stuff that we put our skin shows up in this test. So I really love it because it—this is what hammers down the lifestyle piece of it, right? Making those changes to make sure that you’re not getting exposed to plastics for example.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and what are the top three toxins you’re seeing come back on that screening?

Torea Rodriguez:  Honestly, they’re all over the map. I’ve just started running it–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And it seems to be a little bit different for everybody.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  So I haven’t seen something that’s very common. Now the glyphosate that you had mentioned–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. The Roundup. Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, so that’s pretty much coming back on almost everybody.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know. It’s scary. It really is scary.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup. And that one, you know, not only is it Roundup but that’s—you know, people hear about GMO versus organic food—GMO, 9 times out of 10 is a plant that has been modified to be able to be a Roundup-ready or Roundup resistant.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Torea Rodriguez:  Right. So they’re spraying it, like this is the whole deal with GMOs, is like there is spraying it with pesticides, folks, and you’re eating it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Tons.

Torea Rodriguez:  Like that’s what’s happening. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Like billions of pounds a year. I just got my—my whole lawn in my yard here in Austin replaced. We put down sod, and before they were saying, “Oh, typically the protocol is you know, we’re going to throw down a whole bunch of Roundup.” I said, “Nope. You’re just gonna—you’re gonna, you know, go and scalp it. You know use the bulldozer, whatever, do what you gonna do. No Roundup.” They say, “Oh, everyone does it. It’s innocuous. You know, turns into a sod, goes away.” But I’m seeing exactly what you’re seeing, lots of glyphosate or Roundup is found in people’s urine. So it’s obviously getting extracted or it’s coming out but the question is, I mean, “I’m not eating or—you know, pesticides and things like that. How are we getting exposed to it?” So it’s—it’s gotta be ubiquitous in the environment.

Torea Rodriguez:  It is pretty ubiquitous and I’ve talked to the folks at Great Plains and they’re seeing it in almost 100% of samples.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Scary.

Torea Rodriguez:  I mean, it’s—it is really scary.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  And thank you for putting in sod and not turf.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. You got it.

Torea Rodriguez:  Thank you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You got it.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Try to be–

Torea Rodriguez:  Because I can only imagine the amount of plastic chemicals that I’m gonna find in somebody’s tox screen, then they tell me that they have a turf lawn.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know and I called up the people over down here at—at Chem-free Lawns in Austin and I was talking to them about chemical-free fertilizers. They use a lot of probiotics or they’ll use–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Natural herbs. They’ll even use various Helminths or worms to kill various infections.

Torea Rodriguez:  Oh, cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And—and we were chatting about that for a bit and they were talking to me about the demand to switch away from these more carcinogenic conventional pesticides to these more natural ones, how it’s just the demand is out of this world, and I think people are catching on, you know, if you follow The Truth About Cancer series that was out again this last month, a lot of these chemicals are associated with various lymphomas and leukemias and cancers that are carcinogenic and hormone disruptors. So I think it’s great that people are—by and large are starting to get exposed to this information.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And it—you know, it’s one of those things that can—can contribute to autoimmunity.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huge.

Torea Rodriguez:  Because, yeah, it’s huge. So super important.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, was there anything you wanna just kind of leave us with here? I’m gonna go onto my last question that I ask every guest, but is there anything else you wanted to share with the listeners that you find just really impactful or you’re just really passionate about right now that you wanna share?

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, you know, I think one of the things that I found in my practice that has been extremely powerful is not only is it diet, lifestyle factors, looking at the functional medicine piece of it, but it’s also really taking a look at your life and what’s important, and sorting through what matters the most, and once you identify what matters the most, like get rid of everything else that doesn’t because it’s just added stress, and we don’t need it, right? So really kinda coming—becoming clear with that, and I think a lot of times people feel like they are expected to have this career, do the—be the perfect wife, you know, all of those things and it’s—it’s really fascinating to determine that sometimes I end up counselling people through career changes–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Torea Rodriguez:  And relationship changes like those are really key parts of health so don’t ignore the emotional side either. That’s my point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think that’s really important. Where can our listeners find out more about you?

Torea Rodriguez:  So they can go to my website which is We’ll include that in the show notes because that’s a handful to spell out.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s only one R. T-O-R-E-A We’ll put the link–

Torea Rodriguez:  Correct.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  For it below. Anywhere else? Do you have a YouTube channel? Do you have a podcast? Do you have anything else going on?

Torea Rodriguez:  If they subscribe to my newsletter and blog, I do a video blog every week, so they’ll be able to get that in the newsletter, and then the other thing that I’m working on right now is the five-week course that’s gonna launch in January. That’s an environmental toxin course, so it’s five weeks to help clean out the home and the body without getting overwhelmed, and that’s gonna include that environmental tox screen that we talked about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. I’m doing that more and more–

Torea Rodriguez:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I got one on my test, sitting on my desk here that I gotta get done soon on myself, so I’m excited.

Torea Rodriguez:  Excellent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So last question. If you are stuck on a desert island and you only could bring one supplement with you, what would it be?

Torea Rodriguez:  Supplement.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It could be like an herb. It could be like coconut oil. It could be like anything. Just supplement or compound or tincture or whatever you want.

Torea Rodriguez:  Well, the first thing that came to mind is what I’m gonna go with. I’m gonna say an avocado tree.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  An avocado tree, there you go.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, so essential fatty acids essentially.

Torea Rodriguez:  Essential fatty acids, lots of fiber, it’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Torea Rodriguez:  You know, it’s awesome. So I love avocado. That would definitely be it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. Getting our monosaccharide fats going. Very cool.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And also fun fact about an avocado. Avocados have more potassium than bananas. Everyone thinks, “Oh, you know, potassium. Leg cramps, right? Grab a banana.”  Well, actually avocados have more and less sugar.

Torea Rodriguez:  Avocados, awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool. Awesome, Torea. Great chatting with you and well, look forward to have you back on the show soon.

Torea Rodriguez:  Yeah, thank you so much. Super fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks.  Take care.

Detox course:
December’s Webinar on the course (06 Dec):
BHT Book:

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.