Leaky Gut and Autoimmunity – Dr. J. Podcast #161
Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand dive into a discussion about the link between gut infections and autoimmunity. Gain knowledge about leaky gut, how it occurs in the body and it’s connection to Hashimoto’s.
Explore the different stressors which affect gut health and contribute to a weakened immune system. Learn about Dr. Justin’s 6-hour template, which includes his expert recommendation regarding healing, nutrient and supplements.
In this episode, we cover:
00:34 Leaky Gut and Autoimmunity Connection
04:05 GABA and the Blood Brain Barrier
06:48 Hashimoto’s and Gut Health
12:23 6-hour Template
22:40 Thyroid Health: T3, T4
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hello, ladies and germs! Dr. J in the house. Evan, how we doing, man? How was your Holidays? How’s your Thanksgiving?
Evan Brand: Holidays were great. Let’s dive in. I know we’ve got a short limited of time. But we’re doing this on the fly because this conversation of gut health and gut infections and autoimmunity is huge and hardly anyone is talking about this. Conventional doctors don’t have a clue about the link between gut infections and autoimmunity, so dude, let’s dive right in.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That sounds phenomenal. So we talked about in the show, kinda chatting about leaky gut and autoimmunity, which is really important because leaky gut is kind of like one of the primary mechanisms of autoimmunity kinda starting, which is kind of gastrointestinal permeability cells in the gut called the tight junctions. They start to unzip, kinda like you unzip your coat on a hot day and undigested food particles can get in there in this kind of creates this uhm— cascade of reactions call molecular mimicry, where certain food proteins— the surface proteins on these foods are similar to surface proteins of the thyroid or the brain or the pancreas, the beta—the beta cells of the pancreas, whatever. So you have this kind of immune system getting primed to similar proteins in foods which then prime the immune reaction for the immune system. It starts attacking these tissues in the body. So that’s kinda one of the first defenses is this autoimmunity leaky gut, molecular mimicry and that while they gut’s leaky, you have undigested bacterial compounds also getting in there, too. And then kinda just perpetuate and windup that immune system. And then also make it prime to—for other infections that kind of slip in there because the immune system now has weaken. Other infections can slip in. And typically, we’re gonna have a lower stomach acid environment so you’re gonna have less sterility in the stomach coz that low pH really prevents a lot of bacterial and critters from growing. But now that pH is like, you know, it’s like walking over to the dirty picnic tables and normally you spray it down with maybe some bleach. Or let’s say in a healthy version, maybe a really good antimicrobial essential oil. But now, we don’t have that because of the stress from the gut.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. Now, Hashimoto’s for example, is probably most common autoimmune condition that we’re going to see and deal with and that probably you guys listening are aware of. Leaky gut has to take place for Hashimoto’s to happen. That’s one of the dominoes that happens. So you’ve got the leaky gut situation. You possibly got the gluten in the diet. You got the immune stress, which could be internal or external. So bad boss, bad spouse, bad relationships, bad job— those are kind of the big dominoes we see. And when you all those up together, that’s how you get autoimmune disease. It’s really just that simple.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And then we have people on the live chat here. And again, this is a great reason why you should subscribe to our YouTube channel—justinhealth. Uhm because we have these podcast going live as well and we’ve also incorporated other technology in the background to get a higher quality audio versions. So if you want better audio, you can subscribe to Youtube, but also check out our podcast uhm—Evan Brand, notjustpaleo and then beyond wellness radio myself. So just keep that in the back of your head. And then your question was—I just missed it. We talked about—Oh, yeah! Leaky brain. Leaky brain is connected as well coz we have these live questions coming in. And so we are multitasking like it’s no tomorrow. So leaky brain’s important because we have these called astrocytes or the brain blood or the blood brain barrier which is kind of the interplay between systemic blood and then the passing over to the brain. And we have the cells called astrocytes. And again, same thing, when we have gut lining integrity, it tends to affect integrity of the lungs, integrity of the sinuses, integrity of you know, vaginal wall area, urinary tract. So you have people that have gut issues—gut integrity issues. It almost always can cause sinus issues, brain fog, brain issues, UTI issues, bladder issues, right? So you have all of that mucous membrane barrier, it’s gonna be compromised throughout the body not just the gut. But the guts kind of that first major domino that falls and then everything else tends to follow along with it.
Evan Brand: What you think about the GABA test for the blood brain barrier, where you take like a 500 mg GABA and if it works and you get relaxed, that says you have a leaky brain. Do you agree with that?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m not sure I buy that because I’ve seen people that do—that are really healthy and that do well with GABA.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And they, you know, symptomatically, they’re doing pretty good. They’re eating well. Again, certain supplement companies have kinda put that out where they have a GABA challenge. They say, “Hey, GABA is this really big amino acid compound and it shouldn’t go through that blood brain barrier; therefore if it does, that means your major blood brain barrier is permeable.” I’m not sure I buy that. I think it’s something to keep in mind, something to try. I have a lot of patient that have gut issues and they’re sick and that use GABA or will only give them GABA and they don’t notice much benefit either.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, you know, how do you sparse that? That’s hard.
Evan Brand: I know. Who knows, man. That’s a good question.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Everyone tries to be a little bit trendy and nuance in this functional medicine field.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Because they wanna make a name for themselves.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I get that from a marketing perspective, but just looking at the clinical application, I’m not sure there’s ton. But, heck, if you have GABA and you want to try it and you get uh—benefits, that’s great. I notice a little bit of improvement with GABA. Like when I take it, I feel little but relax. I also do that with Ashwagandha as well. I feel it with magnesium. Someone chimed in and asked if magnesium can be taken with Ashwagandha. Yeah, sure. I’ve no problem with that.
Evan Brand: Works great.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hope everyone’s listening had a great Thanksgiving, too.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Tesa wants to know, “Have you reversed your Hashimoto’s, Dr. J, by healing the gut?”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, so we have to be careful when we say reversed, right? So have we decrease the inflammation? Have we address underlying issues that made people susceptible to having autoimmune attack? And we—can we lessen those and decrease them to the point where we are no longer symptomatic because we have the inflammation down or quench enough? Yes. I’m just very careful because you know, eyes in the skies and people listening in they’re— they’re looking for that the cure the cure-all word, right? We just got to be careful. We don’t cure anything. We support the body’s ability to—we support the underlying stressors that cause the issue to begin with. And we support the underlying systems that weren’t functioning well. And then the body can start to get these symptoms under control because the symptoms are just a manifestation of the symptoms— the systems not working. Symptoms occur because systems aren’t working. Systems breakdown because of underlying stressors. As functional medicine doctors, we come in, we fixed the underlying stressors, we support the systems that aren’t working and then the body starts to heal itself, right? The body’s on autopilot. We just got to get the stressors in the systems work. If the system’s working, then get the stressors out of the way.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. So you had some— you had some gut bugs and things going on, do you care to talk about your story for a minute with the – Hashimoto’s?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I have—I have a low level of Hashimoto’s kinda in the background, I had elevation antibodies TPO and thyroglobulin antibodies and you know, I had some adrenal stress going on. And I just really worked on fixing the gut issues, which I had a handful parasites—Blasto, uhm— yeast, significant yeast overgrowth and H. pylori. Addressing those, fixing nutrient issues to help with the antibodies, fixing the digestion, fixing gut bacteria balance is of course working on stress reduction, sleep, all those important diet and lifestyle things. And again, the antibodies for me are just still slightly elevated, but there they’re in a range where you know, functionally my thyroid is not beaten up to the point where I need any thyroid hormone. My TSH is in a pretty good place and my T3 levels are pretty good. I actually have to go on for test real soon. So, yeah, I mean it’s possible to—to address the stressors and the system dysfunction to the point where you may not— you can call yourself cure. We just won’t call you cure for me, a functional medicine perspective.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Agreed. I need to get my thyroid panel run to. You’ve been pushing me to do it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You should.
Evan Brand: I need to do it. I mean you and I both have had these infections. I had H. pylori as well. I had a Crypto, Giardia and yeast and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. So, you know, that’s a fun thing about Justin and I. We both had all the things that we deal with in the clinic. So when you guys are looking to work with somebody, it’s— to me it’s a lot more honorable if you’ve had somebody that’s been in the trenches themselves, where we had to fix us to keep going to help other people. I think that’s always pretty cool. Uhm— what else I know we would have limited time, but what else should we mention here about kinda this autoimmunity piece, the gut piece. We mentioned the leaky gut, we mentioned some of the triggers just in a roundabout way. So Candida, bacterial infections, parasites, H. pylori, low stomach acid, gluten in the diet, dairy, possibly eggs, other food sensitivities. These could all contribute to that permeation of the gut barrier; therefore, causing the situation.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred Percent. So, let me just kind of answer some of the things that you’re talking about while injecting some of the live questions we get. That’s the reason why the show is so unique compared to other shows coz we are off-the-cuff. This is the real deal here. So some patients are talking about having a lot of mucusy stools, right? And uhm— wanting to know where they should go for help, right? Of course, I recommend coming to see either myself or Evan, but typically one, we want to make sure food allergens aren’t driving this, right? Number two, we want to make sure we have enough digestive support on board to help those foods be broken down enough. So if there’s fat maldigestion issues, of course, adding in more bile salts or more lipolytic enzyme, right? Lipase— things like that. Uh— protease—proteolytic enzymes, right? These are all really important. And then, of course, once we can have the deck kinda dialed in, if foods are still a problem even with that, we may make them more palatable. We may go with more crockpot kinda GAP specific carbohydrate kind of eating template, where the foods are just easy—more processed via cooking, they aren’t raw, they are peeled or mashed. We’re decreasing salicylates and phenols and potential gut irritants so those foods can be consumed better. And then, of course, we’re gonna look deeper at the hormones because hormones have a major effect on inflammation and energy. And a lot of people that have gut issues, their guts are inflamed, we have to support the inflammation of the gut lining. And then, the big one is getting rid of the infections.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that’s where you know, we’re probably go next.
Evan Brand: (laughs) Yes. You’re right. So uh—Cent50 here, who asked the question. Yeah, the loose, mushy stools, I mean that was me. I had Cryptosporidium, I had Giardia, I had H. Pylori, I had bacterial overgrowth. Until my gut issues were addressed, just FYI, I had IBS for 10 or 15 years of my life and conventional doctors had no solutions for my—my stools. And it wasn’t until actually cleared out the infections that my bowels and my stools became normal again. And so, yeah, you got to get yourself tested. Justin and I run several different companies. Uh—stool testing just depending on you know what—what we’re looking at. But, yeah, get a comprehensive stool test. Your conventional doctor may be able to order through your insurance, if you tell them you want diagnostic solutions Lab, it’s unlikely. You probably have a functional medicine guy like us to run it for you. But either way, once you get the diagnostic tool, you can fix this pretty quick.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s a lot of healing nutrients. So like, when we work with the patient, we kinda follow that 6-hour template— template that I’ve created over the last decade or so. There’s a lot of ones that are out there— three hours, four hours. In my opinion, a lot of them stink and they’re the wrong order. So the six that I’ve created and began to follow as well, in my opinion, is the exact clinical order which I follow things. So the first hour is removing the bad foods. And again, it’s not cookie-cutter because that maybe just getting someone from a standard American diet to a Paleo template. That may be taking someone from a Paleo template to an autoimmune template. Maybe someone on an autoimmune template and the Paleo template taking them to a GAPs or specific carbohydrate diet or low FODMAP template. I had patient last week who’s been Paleo for three or four years—chronic pain, chronic issues, chronic mood issues, chronic sleep issues. We took him from a Paleo template to an autoimmune-Paleo template and all of the symptoms went away in one week.
Evan Brand: That’s it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: This is someone that’s like already been on point for a long time and we just pulled out a few foods. So we have those— that kind of progression because you’d be surprised, the smallest things that we do have a huge effect. And it’s like, whoa! you would’ve thought I would have created the awesomeness protocol ever and found a you know, this hidden infection that everyone missed and got rid of it for that kind of improvement to happen. But sometimes it happens, we’re just removing some food. So, first, I remove the foods, second, I replace enzymes, acids, digestive support, bile salts, too. Third hour is gonna be repairing the gut lining. It could be also repairing the thyroid and adrenals and sex hormones, too. Fourth hour is removing infections. That’s where we go after— bacteria, parasites, uhm—fungal overgrowth. Those kinda things. We may even go after co-infections future podcast on that soon enough. Fifth hour, repopulating or reinoculating probotics. Some of these nice and beneficial bacteria. They’re transient. They only hang out for a month or so and pass on. So, getting some of that it in there periodically is helpful. Sixth hour is retest. We want to make sure infections are gone. And maybe even address family members too to make sure they are not being passed back and forth you know, playing hot potato.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. Riley asked a question about—he said, “Evan is your IBS completely healed now after addressing anything?” Uhmm—kind of a confusing question about addressing anything. Yeah, I don’t have IBS anymore. I’m infection free, no more H. pylori, no more parasites, no more bacterial overgrowth, no more yeast overgrowth and I feel good and feel completely normal, which was an amazing thing because after so long, you know, it took me to be so long to get here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And with your situation, right? Like if you start eating bad foods again and your immune system got compromised, you may have another critter or two that pops back. You may have some inflammation from the food and such. And then those symptoms, they start coming back, right? So it’s not like a cure, like, “Hey, you have scurvy. Here’s vitamin C.” And then as long as the vitamin C is there, you’re good forever, right? It’s like, “Hey, there may be other stressors that may cause the systems to weaken again and those IBS symptoms start to occur, right?”
Evan Brand: Oh, Totally! Yeah. I mean I could go— I could go out to a restaurant and get some type of contaminated food and all the sudden creates a leaky gut situation. Maybe I pick up a gut bug, maybe I was eating while stressed during a week and I didn’t chew my food good. And then I picked up a parasite and have to start all over again. So, yeah, definitely, you know, you could always backtrack. You’re—you’re never permanently in a good place.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And again, one thing I see out there on Facebook, and I see it marketed, and it’s– I have to call—I’m not gonna call anyone out directly—
Evan Brand: No, come on. Do it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ll call out the concept. But lots of people, they’re like, “You gotta heal leaky gut. Here’s a gut healing program.”
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And if you look at it, a lot of times, you know, it’s bone broth or just a lot of healing nutrients and a lot of probiotics, right? And maybe a little diet change. But if we go look at the six hours, what are they really doing? They’re doing the third hour, maybe a little bit of the first, maybe a little bit of the second, maybe a little bit of the fifth, right? They’re kinda skipping around. They don’t have a system and how it’s being integrated a lot of times. And I would say 99% of the time, it ignores going after and getting the infections fixed. Totally ignores it. Because you know, these people are recommending a general program to like thousand people at once in a huge kind of a webinar kind of style, right? Well, how do you get all the types of testing and customize everything in that format? You can’t. So it’s a very general kinda overview approach. And in my opinion, it’s going help some people, which I think is great. It’s admirable. But it’s also gonna a miss a lot of people and those people that don’t get help may lose faith in functional medicine or say, “This is not for me.” So I’m just kinda calling that out because think about it, right? If the root cause of what’s going on is an infection component and you’re doing let’s say the first, second, third, fifth alright but you’re not getting rid of the infection. Well that’s like me giving you this healing aloe, right? You get a sunburn, you come back from the beach, I give you this aloe, right? The underlying cause of the sunburn is the— is the sun. And then you go back out the next day and you get sunburned again and I just give you more aloe. That’s the equivalent of what a lot of these people are doing. Well, just have some more bone broth, have some more of glutamine, have some more of this healing compound for your gut lining. So we got to get to the root cause. A lot of people are just being very general out there. And you know, the listeners of our show will get it and say, “Hey, I see that the missing piece there.” And that’s why we have those six hours that way coz then you can look at it and you can say, “Hey, this is a really specific way we go about addressing things here.”
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said, man. And that’s the food is medicine, people. And we love the food as medicine people, but that’s why you know, we pursued functional medicine because the food is just the first step, right? It’s just one pillar of the house. It’s not gonna hold the house by itself as a single column. And also, I want to mention the order—the order of operations. If somebody just go straight to bone broth and probiotics and L-glutamine, that’s the wrong order. And sometimes people get worse. They’ll come to us and say, “Oh, Justin and Evan—“
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: “I took XYZ probiotics coz I heard it on a podcast or a blog and I felt terrible and I had a flare up of my condition. Can you explain what happened?” Yes, if things are just terrible in the gut,. sometimes you have to hit the reset button. You can’t immediately just add in all these probiotics and expect it to work. Sometimes we have to fix the balance first and eradicate the bad guys before the good guys can come back in. So that’s why the order of operation is just a second when Justin said it’s so important. And this may explain why you’re spinning your wheels even though you’re all—you’re doing everything about the Paleo gurus are saying to do.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We just want to make sure everyone’s educated. I mean, we have some people out here, they’re chiming about, “Hey, I really want a functional medicine doctor but I don’t have the—the money for it.” Well, guess what? The best thing that you can do right now is be listening to our podcast coz all this information is free.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’re providing tens and thousands of dollars for free information off of people and I get messages all the time. “Hey, made a couple of these changes or recommendations and my autoimmune condition for 10 years is gone.” Right? I didn’t cure him. I promise. I didn’t cure him, right? The body just heals itself, right? We got to say that as our disclaimer. But that’s you know, what’s that worth. When someone is you know, seeing a rheumatologist for 20 years on lots of expensive medication that’s tearing up their gut and their body and creating more symptoms than they’re actually helping. What’s that worth? So just utilize the pickup as much of the free intel as much as possible. And then you know, allocate some savings or HSA or flex spending. So if you want to dig in deeper, that’s an option. But utilize as much of the free stuff as possible because the diet is the foundation.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 50% is gonna be the diet so work on that first. Once you max that out, and you’re seeing some decent results, then you’d want to go in deeper. You can reach out, for sure.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And you can contact likely so. You can contact your conventional doc and try to get some stuff run through insurance. But it’s likely that they don’t have accounts with these functional labs and they likely just aren’t going to do it. Fut if you’re really lucky, you’ve got a really good M.D., you may be able to push push push push at least get the lab so you have the data. Now what you do with the data? Well then maybe that’s where you come to a functional medicine guy that can help in terms of creating a protocol. But getting the data should not be impossible.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And a lot of functional medicine docs that do a podcast or websites, I find that they take information, they wrap it up and they try to make people feel so confused where they walk away from the podcast or the video, being like, “What the hell just happened? What I do now ?” And they walk away feeling less certain. I want to make sure no one walks away from any podcast or video I do, gaining more certainty. And at least walking away with one action item that they can add into the repertoire of whether it’s a lifestyle or a supplement or just a different perspective on the6 hoir healing so they get better and they feel more confident.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I watch a couple of functional medicine videos like over the weekend and they were like hour-long videos I made it through 10 minutes. And I thought, “This is not gonna help me at all.” So I decided to turn it off. So let’s do it, let’s do our action steps and summary here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So of course, we have our six hours, right? So everyone listening kind of our general feedback is gonna be a Paleo autoimmune template to start. And again, depending on where you’re at, that maybe really a lot of— really overwhelming for you, cutting out grains, legumes, dairy and primarily having healthy fats, proteins, uhm more veggies and fruit instead of starch. And having healthy fats like you know, if we’re doing a Paleo, maybe a little butter or ghee. If we’re going fully AIP, no nuts, no seeds, no dairy. Just coconut, Olive oil, may be avocado oil, some healthy animal fats. And that will be a good starting point for people. And then again, an AIP or an SCD or autoimmune diet, again, I’m just kinda laying out the Paleo template to start coz that’s probably the easiest buy in without pre qualifying anyone. I would say that after that, at least getting some digestive support going there. And again, you know, the ones that we formulated, we recommend the most coz we’ve put our stamp of approval. High-quality HCl or enzymes. In my line, it’s HCl supreme or enzyme synergy or I’ll add in the liver supreme for extra bile support for digest energy. And Evans line—Evan has a similar products as well. Uhm— so that’s a good starting point there. And then seeing where you’re at, I think is the next step coz there may be infections, there may be other testing that has to go in deeper. So I think if you can get that, that’s number one. And then I think if you can just make sure the hydration component and the sleep component is dialed in next, that’s a good second step. And that gives most people of really good you know, path to go down and if people are listening, they’ve already done that and they’re like, “what’s next?” well, that’s where I think you’d want to reach out and do a little bit more testing because that’s what I think the infection component and/or the hormone component and/or the nutriend malabsorption component from the infection could be the next vector we’d really have to put up in our sites, so to speak.
Evan Brand: I’m gonna address one comment here and then I’ll bring up a question then we could uh—we could wrap it up. Leslie mentioned the diet’s the foundation which kinda sucks no more pigging out in the middle of the night. The good thing is that could be related to infections. I mean for me, for example, when I had parasites, I would get these food cravings that just didn’t make sense and it wasn’t me. It’s these bugs. They are stealing your nutrients, they want food so they’re cannibalizing your muscle tissue and when you’re eating, they’re messing up your ability to digest especially coz I had H. pylori. My stomach acid levels were lower. I was basically hungry all the time and I was losing weight. Getting to like a scary point of weight loss. So really, the diet is not too hard once you just address your gut bugs, that— the whole like binging type thing on food, it really doesn’t happen once your gut is healed, once your adrenals and your thyroid are helped out and your blood sugar’s more stable. It’s not an issue. I mean you could fasted for a long time and feel stable. You shouldn’t have to get hungry or go on a crisis stage. Justin, a question for you. Uh—some doctors say T3 doesn’t matter; they don’t test it on Thyroid labs. The person’s taking T3 now slowly increasing. Would you be lowering T4 when adding this?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I would typically be adding more than likely a T4, T3 put together so there’s gonna be a combination of both. Most doctors don’t care about uhm—T3 because the major pharmaceutical companies, Abbott’s the big one, that has a patent on Synthroid is a synthetic T4. It’s easier to monitor uhm— giving a T4 the half-life’s five days, so it’s really easy. It’s not like a T3, which could potentially have more side effects. Uhm—and it’s patentable, right? It’s the basically tetraiodothyronine with the sodium salt on it. So that’s how they get the patent to it. Uhm—again, they don’t m__ it because that’s just not what they do. They give you the T4, they get the TSH back in range. All your thyroid symptoms could still be present. Cold hands, cold feet, anxiety, mood issues, hair thinning, you know, gut here fitting things you know, gut stuff, constipation all could still be there, but if the TSH is in range, they’re happy. They checked off the list, you’re gone. So that’s where you got a dig in deeper. You got a look at the T4, T3 conversion. You got to look at the autoimmunity. You got a look at the nutrients. You gotta look at the adrenal conversion, the gut conversion connection and the liver detox conversion connection, too.
Evan Brand: Yup. Yup. Should you ignore TSH? No. It’s definitely worth factoring TSH in. You just don’t want to use that as the end-all be-all only marker. But you— but when you have the free T3 and the reverse T3, the TPO, the TG antibodies kinda all the stuff we run, the TSH makes a lot more sense when you got a full picture.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We like to keep TSH in the equation and look at sometimes people come in with the TSH that’s perfect, but their T4 T3 conversion sucks. And then what do you do? You know when you’re treating the TSH or are you treating the actual patient? So we’ll try to increase thyroid hormones, see if symptoms change and we’ll try to support HPT access communication with specific herbs. And of course, stress modulation and getting infections— getting rid of infections coz that can really mess up the HPT access, the Hypothalamus Pituitary Thyroid connection.
Evan Brand: Yup. For sure. Uh—Leslie and a couple other comments about you know, where to go next? Well, I mean, you know, if people may say, “Oh, we’re biased.” But the answer is get tested. Our philosophy is “Test, don’t guess.” So if you’re confused, you’ve got symptoms that don’t make sense, get tested. That’s the first step. You can look at adrenals, thyroid, gut, get all the puzzle pieces laid on the table. That way you’re not just buying random supplements that you might not actually need. We’ve seen so many people with 20 and 30 supplements that they’re taking and they still feel terrible. And we cut that down to five supplements because it’s based on labs and all of a sudden people get better. So you know, save up your money for that. Maybe you don’t go buy the next newest supplement you hear about. Maybe you— you focus on investing into some testing first.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Evan Brand: And you can check it out on Justin’s site. It’s Justinhealth.com You can look at the supplements, the labs on there. Same thing on my site, Evanbrand.com and we’re happy to help. So, feel free to reach out.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And also, couple of people asked about Dr. Gundry’s The Low Lectin Protocol. I think it’s the plant paradox. Again, my thing is if you’re just going to a Paleo template, you’re gonna cut a lot of those lectins out. If you actually cook some of the plants, some of the starches, some of the vegetables and lower the lectins even more, if you still have a lot of gut issues, upgrading it to an autoimmune protocol, you decrease lectins more. If we still have issues and we can move to a specific carbohydrate or GAPS protocol and we decrease lectins even more. So it just depends on where you’re at cooking knocks a great chunk of that out and just going to a Paleo template, where we’re cutting out grains, legumes, dairy and focusing more on non-starchy veg, uhm— lower glycemic, low sugar fruits and safe starches that aren’t grain-based, you’re gonna have a huge effect and grains, where most of the lectins and irritants come from. So again, that— my opinion matches people making things a little bit more complicated than they have to be.
Evan Brand: Marketing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: I mean, he’s done a good job that book is spread.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It has gone viral. Everyone asked me about it all the time. I can’t get a go of a— one day without a patient asking me about it. So I have to follow it. I think I found it on fast reads on Amazon. So I got a—like uhm—abridged version of it that I’m siphoning through.
Evan Brand: Nice.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve got a couple of services where they do these summaries. And it’a great. I mean I get 90% of the information.
Evan Brand: Exactly.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Suck it up in a half hour and I’m like, “Oop, got it!” That’s it. On to the next one. Well, any other questions you wanted to answer here, Evan?
Evan Brand: I think that’s everything. I think that’s all we can—we can chat on today and we’re gonna do a podcast soon on co-infections. We’re gonna talk about Lyme, Bartonella and Babesia Uh—Justin and I, I mean, we’ve literally got the books like right here that we’re—we’re diving into. We wanna make sure we’re the most educated and current up-to-date with our information before we broadcast to you guys. So make sure you hit subscribe on Justin’s YouTube channel while you’re at, hit subscribe. And uh—we’ll be back again soon.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And one last thing. Patient asked here—person asked here on the chat list, uhm—“How do you—how do you choose your functional medicine doctor? How do you trust them?” He said, “I can’t trust them. How do I choose them?” Well, number one, I think they should have some kind of content out there whether its video, audio and/or blog post where you resonate with their information. Like their philosophy, their information, you should resonate. I find most patients are the biggest reason why they don’t get better is because, number one, compliance, and number two, they’ve been burnt and the past or they failed in the past and therefore they’re kind of priming their subconscious to fail again. So they don’t follow through and they’re off to the next one other, you know, they’re making a 180 move in can’t see someone else because some little thing happened. They’re not following through enough. So I think keeping—one, making sure you choose someone based on their philosophy and the information and making sure you resonate at an emotional level and just a logical level. Here’s the plan, generally speaking, right? And then number two, making sure you’ve given enough time and then follow through uh—for it to work.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. I’ll address— address this last question, then we’ll roll here. Uh—Is it common to have to go through a few rounds of infection killing protocols? Yes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It can.
Evan Brand: You can. It took me a couple of rounds to go through, some herbs to knockout things coz I have multiple infections. When you’re trying to kill five or six or seven things at once, yeah. I can’t take multiple rounds. Why is that? Depends on the person’s immune system health or stress levels, how long they’ve had infections, the amount of damage that’s there, how much inflammation is there, are they sleeping well, do they have a good diet. You know, there’s million factors to answer why that— why that could be. Hope that helps.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great.
Evan Brand: Andrea is asking a question about his father’s prostate cancer. PSA levels are rising rapidly. Can we cast opinions or advice?
Evan Brand: I can’t. Justin?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s about thyroid, it’s about uhm— prostate issues?
Evan Brand: Yeah. Prostate. Prostate cancer this drug—Enzalutamide had been recommended for father’s prostate cancer PSA levels are rising rapidly. Can you cast opinions or advice?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, let me describe– I have one formula here that’s been helpful. Yeah. I have one compound here that I’ve been using here, just I had a couple of supplement companies reach out and I’m using it. It’s the pomegranate extract, and the flower pollen extract and its cranberry extract. So cranberry, pomegranate and flower pollen. This is an excellent support. Lot of research behind those extracts as well. Lycopene is phenomenal, getting adequate levels of selenium 200 mics a day is phenomenal, enough zinc as well is phenomenal saw palmetto’s great. These are excellent compounds that help. Lycopene is phenomenal as well. Again, the diet has to be in place. You want to get the lifestyle things going and again, these things don’t grow overnight. They probably taken decades to kind of move. So coffee and Coffee enemas may also be helpful to kind of early push detox in a faster more acute kind of way. But some couple of compounds that I mentioned are phenomenal and wouldn’t hurt getting them on board in the meantime.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And look at my podcast I did with the lady named Dr. Nasha Winters.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: She did a book that’s called, “The Metabolic Approach to Cancer” She— she had cancer herself and she’s been holistically supporting people with cancer for about 20 years. So uh— look up Nasha Winters and uh look up her book and you could implement some strategies there hopefully.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also, get the insulin levels under control. Make sure fasting insulin is five or below at least. That’s important because insulin is gonna cause a lot of cells to grow and then also making sure xenoestrogen exposure is mitigated, right? Don’t drink out of plastic bottles, avoid pesticides and GMO’s and glyphosate and Roundup. These are chemicals that you’re gonna get from conventional foods. Obviously, eat organic, right? Pasteur-fed meats. Again, these things— I shouldn’t have to repeat them, but I just can’t assume that everyone knows these stuff.
Evan Brand: They don’t. Not everyone does. So, yeah, keep repeating it and keep preaching. And I think that’s all the questions. So we did— we did really good. That was fun.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I heard a quote back. It’s a quote from the 1940s, where Joe DiMaggio was interviewed and they said that Joe said, “We noticed that you sprint on and off the field every single time at full speed no matter what.” And he said, “Well, there may be someone coming out to see me for the first time ever that seeing me play the way I’m playing and I wanna play at 100% every time.” And then maybe some people that are coming out for the first time seeing us play here, and we want to make sure that they get that information that we may assume that other people uh— may have, right? The equivalent will be like us jogging on the field, so to speak, if we just assume that.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. Well, reach out if you need help. Justinhealth.com You can schedule with Justin. Evanbrand.com if you’d like to schedule consults with us. We should have some availability in the next 3 to 6 weeks or so. So just take a look and we’re happy to help you soon as we can.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, by the way, I’m adding in the Mimosa Pudica as well. So I’ll be reporting back on that in the next couple weeks. I think you as well Evan. So we’ll chat about that. Again, I just got that in stock. That’s the Para-1 in my store. I think you have it in your store as well. So, we’ll put that in the show links, too. So that’s a cool new herb that we’re working on. We have a couple other herbal compounds in the mix that we’re using for different types of co-infections that we’re researching uhm—in the background, too.
Evan Brand: Awesome.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, Evan, great chatting with you, man. You have an awesome day. We’ll chat soon.
Evan Brand: You too. Take care
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.
Evan Brand: Bye.
Fibromyalgia Natural Solutions – Dr. J Podcast #159
Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand discuss about Fibromyalgia including its cause and symptoms. Learn how some of the symptoms connected to it such as anxiety, depression, IBS, memory problems are also seen in other health conditions.
Listen as they talk about some of the viruses, infections, gut health, heavy metals, thyroid and adrenal imbalances as possible contributing factors or underlying issues leading to unfavorable health symptoms. Gain some valuable information regarding natural solutions and lifestyle changes that you can do to combat these symptoms.
In this episode, we cover:
02:15 Fibromyalgia Symptoms
03:48 Viruses and Infections
07:20 Gut Health
10:31 Adrenal Issues
13:19 Heavy Metals
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s Dr. J here in the house. Evan, how we doing today? Happy Monday!
Evan Brand: Hey, man! Happy Monday to you. Life is good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We had a little technical difficulty here. But we are rolling. The show must go on. So, any any updates for me here that you want to bring to my attention before we dig in and get dirty?
Evan Brand: Well, I’m just excited. I’m excited to talk with you about fibromyalgia. This is one of those things in that category like IBS where the conventional doctors—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand:.. give people diagnosis and then they just end up with drugs in their pockets and they don’t have any real success. And people struggle for years and years and years, they end up with these other symptoms that come along with fibromyalgia like anxiety or depression or IBS. And once again, conventional Docs, they just don’t really have a high success rate with this issue.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A hundred percent agree. And fibromyalgia is one of these interesting types of diagnoses. Basically you have to have uh—central allodynia pain, which is kind of like this uh— pain that may be true like 11 different random spots of the body. So they look for these different pain, tender spots, shoulders, chest, hips, back. And they are looking for like at least 11 out of the 17 or so spots. And if you have it, great, you have fibromyalgia, right? Coz basically what is a central allodynia? That means your nervous system is so hypersensitive that it’s dectecting, you know, you rubbing like this, just things that shouldn’t cause pain. It’s sensing that it’s pain. And that’s the biggest issue coz the nervous system is so upregulated, it’s like having an antenna that’s so hypersensitive that it’s picking up stations uhm— that shouldn’t be picking up. And it’s the same kinda thing. Your nervous system is an antenna that’s picking up all these nociception or pain sensation where it shouldn’t be. So we want to get to the root cause of why that is. Go ahead.
Evan Brand: Yeah. There is uh—conventional drug that a lot of people end up on. The Lyrica, which I’m sure you’ve heard of.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: Huge pricing commercials for it. And I’ve had people taking that and they just don’t notice much and then sometimes the side effects, maybe not without drug, buy any of the drugs, can be worse than the actual thing that you’re trying to fix into the first place. So that’s just— it’s scary because when you want to get a root cause answered, you’re not gonna get it unless you start running some of these functional medicine testing that we’re talking about. So I just have a list of symptoms I wanted to read that could come along with the fibromyalgia. So that could be anxiety, that could be concentration and memory problems, depression, fatigue, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome. Now, that sounds like a lot of other things that we need to talk about.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And here’s the thing, right? A lot of people may have gluten sensitivity or hypothyroidism or heavy metal issues or gut microbial imbalances, the issue is that some people may manifest with Hashimoto’s. Some may manifest with fibromyalgia symptoms who have a lot of the central allodynia pain. So it is interesting because some people, they can have the exact same core underlying issue, but have a totally different diagnosis. And all of diagnoses is a constellation of symptoms that are typically put into one category, right? The chronic pain symptoms—that’s gonna be in the fibromyalgia category. Memory symptoms—that’s gonna be in the category. Fatigue symptoms— that could be in the thyroid or adrenal category. Gut issues— depending on where that inflammation is located, that could be in the Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis or there’s no inflammation in the tissues that can be in the IBS category like you. So this is where it’s tough because all conventional medicine is tyring to categorize known symptoms in the categories call the “disease”. We are trying to trace it upstream. And the hard part about functional medicine is certain people can have the exact same imbalances and manifest with totally separate diseases. That’s the hardest part people to wrap their heads around.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Let’s go into the viruses. My wife when she had joint pain several years ago, you said, “Evan, the first thing you need to look into is going to be some of the viruses.” And so we got a blood test run on her. She did not show up with Lyme, fortunately, but she did show up with the cytomegalovirus and then also the mycoplasma. Can— so can you speak about those a bit? And how that could be causing joint pain that could get misdiagnosed?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A hundred percent. So there are certain infections like mycoplasma is one of them they can manifest in the joint tissue, for sure. So that’s one of those conditions that an infection can really be driving a lot of that joint pain. And we know certain infections and certain imbalances can manifest with certain symptoms. Like we know that hypothyroid issues, low thyroid function can manifest having low thyroid hormone in joint pain. We also know like infections like mycoplasma can also cause or call the lower thyroid function and then potentially manifest in joint pain. We also know it could potentially manifest in the joints and you know certain antibiotics like Minocycline to help knock it out. We prefer to use some of the herbs coz it tends to be safer on the gut microbiome in the long run, number one. And then with your wife symptoms, we notice that she already had a pretty good diet. And there was a tick bite involved in your wife’s last issues. Is that correct?
Evan Brand: That’s right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so because of that, you know, we were leaning towards, “Hey, let’s just to after the infection and see what happens.” And when we knocked out the infection, everything got a lot better. So that was good to see that.
Evan Brand: Yeah. It was so— it was so it was so easy, too. So simple. Just modify the immune system, all of a sudden things are better. So, if you have fibromyalgia or you have joint pain and general pain stiffness, you gotta make sure you roll those in. So go to your doctor if you’ve got a natural path or functional medicine practitioner, that’s even better. Try to get them to test you for the Lyme, plus the co-infection. So coz like I said she had a negative result for Lyme, but she was positive for these other things, Cytomegalo and the Mycoplasma. So you gotta go look for them.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. So, again, any issue any like disease issue, like if you’re someone and we’re focusing on fibromyalgia today because that’s got a certain bit of symptoms that manifest in pain. So if you resonate with that, great. This is going to help you. If you don’t resonate with fibromyalgia symptoms, but you have something else, this podcast is still gonna be helpful because we always trace it back to the underlying imbalances, which can manifest itself in different symptoms. But one thing that’s gonna be uniform across the board is looking at the gut. The gut is really important coz that’s where a lot of your immune system is. 70 to 80% that’s where your body digests and breaks down nutrients, that’s where uhm—your— essentially you digest and break down all the food you’re eating. So if we’ve a bottleneck in the breakdown of our nutrition, we’ve a bottleneck in how our immune system functions, if we have a leaky gut and your immune system’s being overreactive, or if we have an infection there, that can create a lot of underlying stress that may manifest itself in different symptoms. And again, kinda linking it back to fibromyalgia, if you have these chronic pain issues, those 11 kind of places a central allodynia pain to touch, right? Your diagnosed 11 places of pain on your body, at least. And you have the fibromyalgia, the diagnosis, then we definitely have to rule out the gut. And again, here’s a thing that really throws people for a loop is that you can have gut issues and not have gut symptoms – that’s the really hard thing. You may not have the bloating, the gas, the diarrhea, the constipation, the acid reflux, and you may still have a gut issue.
Evan Brand: Uh-hmm. H. pylori we see it every week in the clinic. So if you’ve got H.Pylori, you’ve got that bacterial infection, that’s suppressing HCl production, therefore you’re not digesting your food. So if you’re seen floating stools or you’re seeing undigested food particles in your stool, that could all be adding up to this whole picture of the depression, the anxiety, the fatigue. Maybe even skin issues, too. So maybe you don’t have the fibromyalgia diagnoses, but you’ve got fatigue, depression, anxiety maybe some sleep problems maybe some skin issues. That could all be tied into leaky gut— that intestinal permeability. It could be something as simple as H. pylori or like Dr. Justin Marchegianientioned, it could be H. pylori plus Mycoplasma plus maybe some bacterial overgrowth like the SIBO case or plus parasites, which is something we often talk about, plus fungus. You know, typically it’s not just one thing. Most of the time, by the time people get to us, they’ve been suffering for quite a long time and therefore, there’s usually a handful of things that we’ve got to address. Now on the thyroid, is the pain going away just a side effect of you fixing your thyroid? Like all the sudden thyroid function improves and the pain just goes away. Could it be that simple if that were your biggest root cause?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well 100%. So you can see it quite frequently that just getting someone on some T3, some thyroid hormone can really help because they may be on thyroid hormone, T4, but they’re not able to convert and activate it. So there’s TSH, right? The pituitary hormone that most conventional docs measure to look at thyroid function may look nice and pretty but they’re not making that conversion from T4 to T3. So their T3 levels may be low, and if you come in there with some activated T3, you may start to put some of their thyroid symptoms on remission. Now, we have to understand, from a functional medicine perspective, what’s palliative and what’s root cause. So we have to make sure we actually fix the underlying conversion issues, if it’s nutrient or if it’s inflammationm if it’s gut, if it’s immune. And we also had to fix the underlying nutrient absorption issues, the infections, the autoimmunity, right? So whatever those issues are. So, we kinda understand that there are certain natural medicine things we can do. There are palliative, which are great. And there are certain things like, I think you mentioned earlier about the uhm—your child has a little bit of eczema and you know, putting a little bit of coconut oil in there helps. But you recognize, that’s palliative not root cause. So we try to get to the underlying foods that may be causing it. Same thing in this analogy with thyroid. And thyroid, low thyroid hormone can express itself in about 70 different symptoms—hair loss, fatigue, uhm— brain fog, anxiety, right? All these different symptoms. Also, the pain symptom is one of the.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. And if it’s Hashimoto’s, if it’s an autoimmune thyroid condition, that T3 could help symptoms improve. In this case, you could get more energy, could help reduce pain. But if you haven’t stop that autoimmune attack by addressing infection, supporting the adrenal glands, making sure the diet is dialled in, and you don’t have any foods that are creating antibodies against the thyroid. You know, those are some of the big three needlemovers you got to have on board to fix this thing at the root and not just be stuck on T4 or T3 or combination for the rest your life.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. So we also know that adrenal issues— adrenal imbalance is not necessarily adrenal fatigue, of course, you know, most people in the conventional medical world will hear adrenal fatigue and think adrenal failure like Addison’s disease, okay? Which is valid but we also know that there can be imbalances in cortisol that may not be a full disease failure kind of situation. It may be just lower adrenal cortisol issues, lower DHEA because of HPA axis dysfunction. And if that’s the case, we want to make sure we support that because adrenal, zero adrenal glands produce cortisol, which is your natural anti-inflammatory hormone. And again, people that have chronic pain issues, a lot of times, we put on like COX 2 inhibitors, things like that. Severe pain, of course, Opioids is an Oxycontin, which is a another big issue in itself. But also, Prednisone and Corticosteroid drugs that basically have the ability to knock down inflammation, the problem is, why aren’t your own glands working enough to cover up that inflammation, too? So, if we get the adrenals working better, we can kinda make some of our own homemade Prednisone on our own—our own homemade Corticosteroids to help cut that inflammation down.
Evan Brand: So talk about what happens. Let’s say somebody is on the steroids long-term, that’s also going to affect the adrenals as we’ve seen on some lab results.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It will throw off some of the feedback loop, so will disrupt the HPA axis, that’s the brain talking to the adrenals. That’s that nice feedback loop or that kind of internal thermostat that our body has. So we do have that there that we have to work on because that can affect that thermostat. Uhm—number two, it can really throw off your blood sugar. So taking a lot of synthetic steroids that when we create protocols for a patient, we may use small amounts of precursor hormones like Pregnenolone or DHEA. And these are gonna throw things off in the same way that a drug would. Because these drugs are very, very powerful. They can mess up the feedback loops. But if you’re using a corticosteroid, it can really mess up your blood sugar and in the long run, it can even create osteoporotic situations. It can really thin out the bones. It can really weaken the gut lining because these steroids break things down,right? They’re anti-inflammatory but they are also very catabolic. So it’s great in the short run, right? When we get back on track, but not good in the long run coz it can really mess up our glandular physiology. How that—how our hormonal systems work. And the feedback loops that kinda keep them connected.
Evan Brand: I think it’s worth mentioning heavy metals, too. I don’t think it’s good to be
necessarily the number one cause for most people, but we notice that if there is a gut issue, let’s say somebody does have these gut bugs, they could have a detox problems, too. Just coz their body, their liver is just so overburden. Let’s talk about metals a bit. So could be just amalgam fillings or could be occupational exposure or could be too much of a lower quality or too big of a fish like a tuna that’s causing issues. Let’s talk about that for a minute.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So we can definitely have toxicity issues like Mercury which can be very inflammatory. Mercury also is similar to the halide group so it could fit into the receptor site where Iodine would typically bind in. Fluoride and bromine can also pinch-hit there as well. So that can create a lot of issues regarding that. Mercury can also jam up the mitochondria. I mean feel free and go to PubMed and just type in “Mercury and mitochondrial function” and you’ll see increase in heavy metals can decrease mitochondrial function. And again, as—as glycolysis and our Krebs cycle turns and we have betaoxidation on the flipside, we generate about 36 ATP’s per pump and those ATP’s work is kind of the cellular currency for energy, right? It’s how our body kind of you know, creates energy and you know, has aerobic metabolism to create ATP, which is our body functions and that’s kinda the byproduct of having a healthy metabolism.
But if we go in there and all these gears are moving spitting out all these ATP, which is basically cellular energy, and we messed that up, we throw kind of a monkey wrench into the gearbox, that’s gonna prevent optimal ATP function, which is gonna throw off our energy and our body ability—our body’s ability to function, right? Lower energy is gonna create symptoms. Anytime you have lower energy, you tend to start having brain fog issues, mood issues, fatigue issues, pain issues, sleep issues because energy is the byproduct of a healthy metabolism. So when energy goes, metabolism is going down. And when that’s starts to go, other symptoms tend to manifest as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I’ve gotta say two things. One is glyphosate. If you’re not 100% organic, make your goal to be a 100% organic as close as you possibly can. I love that people are honest. I had a guy who on his intake form, I asked the question, “What percentage or diet is organic?” He said 0%. I’m like, “Man, you’re getting glyphosate.” We can measure it. We can prove it on a piece paper, but just know if something is not labeled organic, especially your fruits and veggies, assume it’s contaminated with glyphosate. Just like Justin mentioned about Mercury, antibiotics, glyphosate. Those are all mitochondrial killers and so there’s nothing worse that you could possibly do than have glyphosate in your system. Now, fortunately, you can detox it by using the sauna. There’s other methods that we talked about but just make it a goal. Throw out the—you know, go donate or throw out the non-organic stuff. Swap it out. Pay the extra buck. Pay the extra 2 bucks. It’s gonna be much, much more valuable in the long-term and much cheaper in the long term because you’re gonna prevent yourself from having health issues associated with glyphosate toxicity.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. Hundred percent. I had a conversation with someone recently that say, “Hey, you you realize organic food doesn’t have any more nutrients than conventional food.” And I said back to them,”Well, it depends.” There are some studies that do say organic food does have more nutrients. I mean there are some people that say that’s there are some studies by Temple University that shows a much higher level in nutrition with organic food than conventional food. I just think it depends on what kind of organic we’re talking about factory farm, you know, big corporations have started labeling things organic. And again, are they gonna have the same high level as a local farm regarding fertilization, you know, rotating the crops. I mean, if you just have an organic farm without pesticides, but you just continue to heat that crop season after season, don’t let it rest, don’t switch spots, and don’t you know, add synergy to the land, right? Some synergy is like, for instance, when the cows pass on their— basically have their manure, their bowel movements, you’re bringing the chickens afterwards to kind of help uh knock out all the grubs, right? Which prevents other animals from coming in. So you can add synergy to the land that helps, number one, increase uhm— fertility to the soil, right? Increases that top soil. But number two, it helps other past and creatures from growing, which can create havoc down the line. And so, in other words, uhmm—some people can really hit that soil hard and decrease the nutrient densities of the organic food. It has less nutrients, anyway. But anyway, so let’s just pretend this person is right. They told me organic food has the same nutrition as conventional food. Alright. Fine. We do know the research is quite conclusive that organic food has less pesticide residue. Of course, coz to be organic, you can’t have pesticides on it. So just the fact that— let’s the nutrient’s density is the same from organic food. While I’m definitely not getting the pesticide exposure, which Evan mentioned earlier with Glyphosate or Roundup. It’s so important. coz there are so many studies on that coming out that it’s very toxic on the body, on the liver, on the gut. And essentially many other places.
Evan Brand: You know, the European Union, they’re successfully banning it. I’ve been trying to keep up with this is much as I can. It looks like glyphosate is seeing the end of the rope in the European Union. I hope something is to follow in the US, but I just don’t think it’s gonna be anytime soon here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I agree.
Evan Brand: One of the thing I wanted to mention is on the CDC’s website about fibromyalgia, they say that much much much higher rates of ankylosing spondylitis occur with fibromyalgia and Justin and I mentioned this on a mini podcast. That’s an autoimmune condition. And so it sounds like what they’re saying without saying it because maybe they’re not noticing the link, is that this whole thing is likely just a autoimmune issue. The IBS, like you mentioned, the Crohn’s or the Colitis, the Hashimoto’s, like this could all just be autoimmunity at the root. And we’ve just got to go through all of our causes and fix the autoimmune issue and then all of a sudden you can reverse the symptoms.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. And again, there’s like over a 180 autoimmune conditions. So my analogy is anytime you have a physical chemical or emotional stress, or you know, imagine having this fancy pearl necklace, every time you put tight, that’s a physical chemical or emotional stressor in your life. And let’s just say every little spot where that pearl connects to the necklace, they’re not all the same strength. There maybe some part to that chain that are little bit weaker. Think of that as genetic predisposition at work. You’re gonna have certain genetic links in the chain that are going to be a little bit weaker. Now what does that mean to you, as that stress comes on, that part of the chain may be more likely to break than another part. Let’s say Pearl 33 is more likely to break them Pearl three or Pearl four, right? Now, Pearl 33 may be ankylosing spondylitis. And that stressor may be Roundup or could be Hashimoto’s or let’s say Pearl 4 is Hashimoto’s for someone else, right? So think of every little link in that chain as a different disease that could manifest if that link is broken. And where that link you for you, is gonna be based on your genetic predisposition. What we have control over is not pulling that damn chain type. Let it go. Let it relax, right? How do we do that? All of the diet and lifestyle things. Just cutting the Round up out. Eating organic. That pulls the stress off. And getting that good sleep, having good thoughts, fixing your gut, fixing infections, making sure you can digest and break down all that really good food that you’re eating. Get your hormones under control if there’s imbalances there. Does that make sense, Evan?
Evan Brand: Oh, it sure does. I mean, just like you picture a big wall think of like a submarine. You’ve got a 1000 switches in all these red switches are flipped on. We’re just gonna go down the list and just flip all those red switches off, and all of a sudden you turn off, you’ve not pulled the trigger. You’ve got the loaded gun, but we’re just gonna decide not to pull the trigger. People think that like genetic testing is the end-all be-all and “Oh, my gosh! I’m genetically predisposed to X.” It’s like that doesn’t change the protocol at all. That just means you need to be even more diligent. If your family had a history of this condition or other conditions, you just have to be more diligent. That doesn’t mean you’re toast. That doesn’t mean you’re definitely going to get XYZ disease or condition. That just mean you got pay attention. You’ve gotta make sure you’ve got all the pieces going in your favor.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And I pretty much work with the genetic stuff. I don’t get so hyper fixated on it. I just assume the worst for everyone. And that way, we’re making the changes in hydration, with sleep, with water, with toxicity, with gut. We’re not gonna give synthetic folic acid. We’re gonna give super high quality methylated B vitamins. We’re just making that assumption for everyone because I can’t be hurt by making that assumption in that direction. If I make it the opposite direction and say, “Hey, it’s okay. You probably don’t have a folate issue. I’m gonna save some money and put some crappy synthetic folic acid in my multivitamin instead of high-quality activated folate. Then I can go wrong, right? I may save a little bit of money but because we’re interfacing with our patients daily and weekly, we know that we’re better off rolling the dice in favor of there being an issue with that. So we always have the higher quality nutrients in there to cover our butts.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And I had a a woman who emailed me this morning she said, “Evan, I had a reaction to gluten. Do you think it’s time that I go get tested for celiac?” And I told her, “It’s better cheaper and likely safer just to assume that you’ve got a massive allergy to gluten,” Then you just need to stay way because really, going to the gastroenterology process where they make you eat— what is it two slices of bread for like a week or two and then they cut out a piece of your intestine to try to see if all those cilia where destroyed or flattened. And then a lot of times, there’s even false negatives there. So you could do all that work. Destroy your body, create inflammation and then say, “Oh, it says negative.” It’s like just stay away and be more diligent. Don’t tell people that it’s a preference. Just tell it— tell people at a restaurant it’s a gluten allergy. Make they change their gloves. And you’re gonna be much safer as opposed to waiting for that diagnosis. So that’s kinda what my message is. If you have these symptoms, maybe you’re not been officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but you’ve got these symptoms, you’ve got pain and the sleep and fatigue. Just go ahead and think, “Okay, maybe I’ve got XYZ but now I’ve just gotta start working on all these big pieces we talked about.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. And someone’s chiming in here on the YouTube live here, chat saying that uhm—their local farmer told him it’s certified organic, allows them to spray toxic pesticides two times a year. Not sure what kind of certification that is. Typically, the USDA certification’s pretty good. The fied has to be—the land has to be for three years without pesticides to even get that certification. So I’m not sure if we’re talking about the same USDA certification, number one. And a lot of farmers they’ll use other compounds that tend to be a little less toxic to help with spring. So like for instance we have our property done which had to use probiotic spray and we tend to use essential oils. And again, there may be chemicals in there, of course, but they may be harmonious and have less toxic burden. I’m more worried about the toxicity of the pesticides. And let’s say you bought an organic food that was, you know, in one of these farms that was spray twice a year, well, isn’t that gonna be better than a farm that’s sprayed weekly?
Evan Brand: Right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I’m kinda like good-better-best. Hey, if I’m gonna cheat or if I have a choice option between something that was spray weekly versus twice a year, I’m still gonna go with twice a year because that toxicity burns is gonna be good. Also, we can just utilize the Clean 15 and the dirty dozen. Great, if we’re gonna buy a food that’s conventional or somewhat conventional with pesticides. Let’s look at the Clean 15 and see the foods that have less pesticide residue and avoid the dirty dozen and/or just get a really good uhm— vegetable or fruit wash that you can wash off some of the external pesticides at least.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And some of the regulations under the USDA, there’s a difference between 100% organic and just certified organic. So, obviously, the best thing to do which is contact a local farmer, which is what I do. I buy some bison meat and other products locally. And I know that they don’t ever use chemicals ever and if they do have to use chemicals, they’ll tell you. And they’ll say, why, what happened how much, what did they actually use. So if you just look up local harvest and go look up type in your ZIP Code, your location, go find some local people and just talk with them. That way, you don’t have to guess anymore whether something’s actually legit from the grocery store. I still go to the grocery, but I try to source other things outside where I can check the person’s hand. It’s just a lot more viable experience that way.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And again, we just have to do your best, right? Sometimes we don’t have the best options you know, when we’re traveling or we’re going out to eat. But if we can control the 80 to 90% when we’re home and we’re in our house and the foods that we choose in our area, that’s gonna be the most important thing. Also, when you’re healthy, you get a little bit more wiggle room; when you’re chronically sick, you don’t. So if you’re chronically sick, then you really got to be careful and make the best decision possible and uhm— if you’re not, then 10 to 20%, I’m totally okay with. And if you’re going to get exposed to things, activated charcoal is a great option uhm— taking some extra detox support may be helpful, too. So all that’s really good if you know you’re gonna be getting exposed to not so good things.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Take in your enzymes, too. Take in your acids, your enzymes. You and I both use enzymes that are gonna contain special ones that helps. So if you do get to it. exposed to gluten, that can help reduce the flareup. If you are sensitive, you are react to it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And then James here, talks about uhm— his fatigue still lingers daily, can’t shake it. Thyroid tested good with me, uhm—Modafinil works great and gets me to the day. And Modafinil or Provigil aspirin is a big fan of it. Not a huge fan long term. I mean I think it’s not fixing any of the underlying issues. So the diet helps I mean I would look more at the adrenals, I’d look more at the mitochondria. I forget your specific case, James, I know you’re doing good for a while. So if you just had a backward slide recently, we’d wanna chat and figure out what underlying stressors have creeped up or make sure the infections are gone, or make sure the mitochondria are functioning as optimal as possible. So I wanna look a little bit deeper. I’m fine, though, using Modafinil Provigil punctuated time frames, you know, a work deadline comes up, major stressors you know, you have to induce some extra stuff on the weekend with your family or work stuff, then fine. Take that to really upregulate your body but just keep in mind there’s something deeper we got a look at. And just you know, things like sleep and things like hydration and people forget those all the time.
Evan Brand: Yup. Very simple but sometimes the most simple stuff moves the needle.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean Daniel talks about here, uh— talks about what can cause jellylike lumps in the semen sometimes painful to pass. Well first off, I would do like a urine analysis first, just to make sure there’s nothing, no UTI your uhm—you know, nothing that’s kidney or bladder base. Make sure there’s no infections in the piping, so to speak. Uh—again, I would also rule out epididymitis. Make sure there’s no infections in the epididymis. There could be a bacterial issue that’s just causing these uh— the semen to kinda agglutinate or stick together. And also, even just run a sperm analysis. Just to make sure this— the semen are actually alive and it’s not a whole bunch of dead semen uh— in there as well. So, I would look there first. If the diet’s good, if everything else is good, I would just make sure any type of infections and that urinary area are also clear too. E. coli, those kinda things.
Evan Brand: Awesome. Well, we gotta wrap up. Both of us gotta get back to our calls, but we hope you guys enjoy the show and leave us questions. You can leave us questions in the future. So if you didn’t catch this live, go to Justin’s YouTube channel. Go on his video, write in your questions, we’ll try to answer as many as we can or will save those for future show. And then same thing for topics. If you have topics that you want us to address, please put them on there. And if we need to reach out for a consult, check out Justin’s site. It’s Justinhealth.com You can schedule a consult. If you wanna schedule a consult with me, check out my site EvanBrand.com and we are happy and willing to help you. So please reach out if you’re suffering around the world, just phone in and Skype consults make it easy for us to help you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And check us out on our podcast channels, too. We’re trying to do our videos here on YouTube, but we’re also trying to record everything in higher-quality audio. So, if you want to hear us in some higher quality audio, check out our podcast channels. Again, if you go to Evan’s site, EvanBrand.com or my site, Justinhealth.com click on the podcast and you can subscribe to get updated, audio as well. Anything else you wanted to add, Evan?
Evan Brand: I think that’s it. Awesome and Ross, yeah, Mastic Gum is great for H. Pylori. Awesome show today, Evan. Great as always. Appreciate your energy and your insights and let’s chat real soon.
Evan Brand: Likewise, man. Take care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take Care. Bye now.
Evan Brand: See you.
Hacking the Holiday – Dr. J Podcast #160
Dr. Justin Marchegiani discusses different options, substitutions and modifications that can be made during the holiday season. Learn about what ingredients to use in some of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes including the turkey, stuffing and gravy that can help to still improve your health.
Gain insight on the different modifications and options that you can use for some of your desserts so you can still indulge without having to feel guilty afterwards. Also, learn about some other cool options including meal timing, fasting, exercise and alcohol intake for a healthier you during this holiday season.
In this episode, we cover:
01:49 Grain-free holiday meal
03:01 Enzyme Support
05:55 Desserts Options
10:36 Timing Recommendations and Alcohol
Evan Brand: I am and I’ve got blue skies here which is very unusual for this time of year. We’ve got sunny every single day this week. So I’m super grateful for that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Yeah, it’s a great time of the year. It’s uh— important year, time of the year to be really grateful and to be extra uh— particular in all the things that we have to be thankful for. Coz there’s a lot of things but it’s easy to be so focused on everything it’s not there. So we got to really focus on all the things that are there. So couple that is just how about, just some really good Intel that we can use to hack our holidays. Meaning we can still indulge in feel good and connect with our family members but not go into a food coma and feel like absolute crap. What do you think about that?
Evan Brand: Agreed. Yeah. A lot of our clients recommend we do this subject because they feel deprived if they’re doing AIP or some type of dietary approach. They feel like that we’re the bad guys and we’re making their holidays not as fun. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So, couple of things if you look at Thanksgiving, it can totally be Paleo, right? We have like basically the centerpiece in the Thanksgiving Day meal is the turkey, right? Awesome. Especially if we can go after the darker meat. That’s gonna be excellent. Good fats, right? Try to buy an organic or at least a Pasteur-fed turkey. It costs a little bit more but the nutrients are to be much higher, right? So you get good fats and proteins there. That’s the kind of a starting point. And then after that, you control your sides. So most people want mashed potatoes and maybe squash which you know, I’m okay doing a little bit more starch in the holidays. I’m okay with that. It’s better than doing, let’s say a grain-based stuffing, that’s number one. Number two, we try to substitute for the things that we typically have grains. What’s gonna have grains? Well, typically, your gravy is gonna be thickened with flour so we do a gravy that’s gonna be a carrot and celery based and we thicken it with coconut flour if we do it. And we use the actual uhm— turkey stock from the actual turkeys. That’s a huge way to get to the stuffing, I mean the gravy going. And then the stuffing there’s typically some good stuffing recipes out there where we do a celery and carrot-based stuffing and it’s totally grain-free and it taste phenomenal. So, off the bat, you can have your starches. I’m okay with that. Number two, you have the gravy. Because the gravy kinda goes on everything. So if your gravy isn’t too good, you can really mess everything up coz you just basically coating everything with thickened uh—turkey giblets and flour. And then uhm—then after that, you have I mentioned your starches and then after that you can do cranberry sauce, really, you know, super Paleo. You can do like, I’ll do green beans and I’ll cut up some bacon, I’ll layer that on there, too. Uhm—those are kinda my big things off the bat and of course, a really good turkey. We’re gonna smoke our turkey this year. We typically use our smoker this time of the year. Any other thoughts, Evan, off the bat for your? Just with the Thanksgiving Day meal?
Evan Brand: Well, my thoughts are you got me hungry but besides that—<laughs>
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: <laughs>
Evan Brand: But besides that, the enzyme piece.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: You and want to talk about enzyme.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: So let’s go into that. So one’s that you and I were talking about off-air was one from designs for health. It’s called allerGzyme. And this is more specific to people that if they’re just going to go off the rails, they are going to do or get it possibly get exposed maybe a cross-reactive issue with dairy or egg or soy or gluten or casein peanuts, things like that. You can take the specific enzymes. They’ve got like a patented version they call it what, Glutalytic in there.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: It is supposed to be pretty helpful. And they’ve got bromelain. Way but it’s a very, very super high dose bromelain which is a pineapple enzyme. It’s a really good enzyme. So there’s that. And then you and I both have our own custom digestive enzyme formulas that I say those are the best nutritional insurance policies that you can bring with you like a little glass jar or something.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Especially the fact that people forget that I uhm— having a meal like that is gonna be stressful not necessarily because it’s bad because obviously we’re gonna try to make the substitutes. We’re not gonna focus on eliminating. We’re gonna focus on substituting. So we have the most healthiest options possible but because we’re probably gonna eat such a ton of food, it’s going to be a lot for our digestive system to handle. So we’re gonna really utilize more enzymes and more HCl and maybe even some bile salts to really optimize our ability to actually break it down.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I love it. I’ve got a small little old honey jar that my wife just keeps in her personnel and so if we go out to restaurant or if we got to family member, I’m just gonna pull out those enzymes and popp them down. So that’s can be my strategy and I think everybody who is dealing with bloating, gas, indigestion, a lot of these common symptoms heartburn, you’ve got that excessive heaviness feeling.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you already got those symptoms and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, then you’re a person who needs extra care when it comes to using enzymes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So we talked about the meal. We talked about maybe the potatoes and/or the sweet potatoes or the squash. I’ll typically put some extra cinnamon on my squash, too, which is great for blood sugar. And the blood sugar and the insulin kina receptor sites that which is good. I talked about the green beans. I talked about how to maximize the gravy because the gravy is one of those things that’s gonna be layered on everything. So if you can fix the gravy component— and we’ll have in the show notes some Paleo uhm— gravy recipes so we’ll make sure we get some Paleo recipes in the notes. Uh—we’ll make sure we get some stuffing recipes. Coz those are gonna be the the big— the big things—the gravy and the stuffing. Almost everything else, you can dial it in. The turkey’s pretty good. You can do really good cranberry sauce, you can do uhm— squash, you can do sweet potatoes, you can do regular potatoes or any other sides that we’re missing.
Evan Brand: Yeah. You hit the green beans.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Sometimes peas, sometimes carrots you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: I think honestly, if you’re eating real food and you just always think, “Am I eating real food?” you’re gonna be just fine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Then a couple of things—let’s go to desserts pretty fast. So we’re just kinda laying out the meal options or the meal substitutes, I should say, and then we’ll talk about little hacks that you can incorporate, too. So, off the, my Paleo Apple Crisp is something that I utilize a lot. I actually have it made once a week and it’s basically just a combination of the crust, which is gonna be coconut shreds, pecans and walnuts, kinda crushed up. And it’s gonna be kinda layered over some Granny Smith apples that are cut up. And the Granny Smith apples are basically mixed with butter. And they’re also gonna have a little bit of cinnamon on them and then we also have a little bit—
Evan Brand: I need this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: .. a little bit of organic palm cane sugar. And we like the organic palm cane coconut sugar because it’s got a glycemic index of 15. So it goes into your bloodstream a little bit slower and we try to use the least amount possible. So what I recommend is put the smallest amount whether it’s like uhm an eight of a cup or something in there. And just kinda glaze it and then mix it up. And then try a couple before you know, layer all the nuts and cook it. And then just see if it’s at the sweetness you want. So I don’t need a lot. I just put a very, very small amount. Once I have it, you know, typically, an eighth of the cup or sixteenth of a cup, a very—typically, I just glaze it. I don’t even h measure it. I just gently glaze it over so very small amount. And then once I have it to taste, then I pretty much put uhm—then it’s mixed with butter, of course, right? And then I put that topping right on top and there and then 350 for 30 to 45 minutes till the apples are nice and soft. And then you’re pretty much good to go.
Evan Brand: That sounds delicious. Did you invent that recipe or is that something you found?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, I invented that one. That’s a good one. And then if you want mix it up, too, you want to make it more like a cake, you can do uhm—a tapioca and arrowroot flower and then typically you just add the arrowroot flour in with the apples, typically, half a cup to cup each. And then that kind of gives that more of a thickened flavor. And then you can just bake it not use the nuts. And then it comes more like a cake. And that’s a really good option. We have that Apple cake option on there, too. So, apple cake and/or uhm— the Paleo Apple Crisp. Apple crisp I think is a little bit more healthy coz you don’t’ have any flours in there. They’re all just a good healthy nuts and fats.
Evan Brand: Right. Yeah. I have a female client last week. She said she’s going to make a like a pumpkin pie but she’s going to do coconut flour and I think she said coconut flour and Coke and cashews maybe. So I know that there’s options out there. I just don’t eat too much dessert anyway, you know, besides a good piece of chocolate. But if you’re somebody who you’re going to go to one of these events and you think, “You know what I don’t want to miss out” Well then you just make it. You know, let everybody else bring the meat and veggies. You just bring a healthy dessert. That way, you know that you’re gonna be safe and you’re not gonna cause yourself a flare-up or new problems.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. For the most part, your turkey’s gonna be good, right? If you’re gonna do your mashed potatoes, fine. If you do cranberry sauce, if you’re gonna do squash, if you’re gonna do green beans or will do like uhm— Brussels sprouts with bacon, that’s typically gonna be good. You’re gonna mess it up with the excess uhm—gravy. So do the gravy right way and you do a healthy stuffing options. So I recommend is if you’re going somewhere, maybe you bring some gravy, or if you don’t bring the gravy, maybe you just uhm— bring the stuffing. And people won’t even know. We bring some of these healthy Paleo options we go places to get invited. People wouldn’t even know the difference a lot of times.
Evan Brand: Exactly.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The big thing is for me it’s about, it’s not about, “Oh, Dr. J, you’re being, you know, such uh—so tight about this. You know, why can’t you roll?” Well, the reason why is I wanna feel freaking good afterwards.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I wanna eat a lot and I want to feel good. And there are great options and I don’t notice a difference in flavor. I can make my option and it will taste just as good. So those are some good options. Anything else you want—Oh, also dessert. Just, you know, if you’re doing a pumpkin pie, you can just leave out the crust are there some really good gluten-free, crust options or you can do coconut uhm— crust option. That’s fine. And you can just do your pumpkin pie without you know, just the lower amount of sugar. That’s totally good right there. Uhm— is or anything else you want to mention for desserts outside of the Apple Crisp?
Evan Brand: I think you covered it. I mean you could bring along a piece of dark chocolate if you’re just super scared and you don’t want to go for any of the more processed things. Bring a cup— bring a bar of dark chocolate with there on the fridge when you get to your family’s house.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And again, you could do Pecan Pie a little bit higher in sugar. You just have to make sure the crust is gluten-free. That’s totally fine, too. And obviously, just some really good maybe some coconut ice cream, coconut vanilla ice cream’s totally cool. And then what about supplement options? So we talked about, number one, the enzymes, HCL and digestive support. Number two, you could always add in some activated charcoal.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Activated charcoal. Number three, you could always throw in some probiotics later just to kinda help soothe and relax the tummy. Number four, well how about the approach like when do we eat the meals? So, number one, I recommend intermittent fasting and adding in some exercise in the morning. Even if it’s just a quick Tabata, or just a quick little weightlifting circuit where you kinda do upper-lower, upper-lower and just kind of a simple circuit for 15-20 minutes. Just something in the morning to really get the metabolism revved up. You may fast a little bit more. You may hold that fast a little bit longer than normal because you know that your gonna feast at the end of the day and all those calories will be coming in there to make up for that deficiency. Most aren’t gonna be working out on Thanksgiving. They’re gonna be relaxing and so it’s not as big of a deal.
Evan Brand: How about alcohol? You mentioned that off-air. You said we need to make sure we talk about that. So you’re recommending after meals instead of before meals saving?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, yeah, I recommend just have a little bit. Well, number one, there’s a couple of strategy. So I may do one glass just to kinda get that buzz in my system fast. It’s like, “Ooh, I could feel it.” And then I’ll throw maybe a couple of things, a charcoal in, and then maybe there will be like a shrimp cocktail out and have a couple of little shrimps just to kinda get the protein, fat in there which kinda stabilizes my blood sugar level a little bit more so I’m not gonna go wonky. And then I typically just go with like a dry champagne or a dry Prosseco. So it’s very dry kind of a demi-sack, not a lot of sugar white and I like the sparkling. The sparkling has been shown to increase alcohol absorption. There was a—one study out of a bunch of college students. Can you imagine that? I would love to have been in the study in college where they gave them shots of vodka and then the other group got shots of vodka with carbonated water or like soda water. And they measured their blood-alcohol content and they found that the group that had the bubbles with their vodka had a much higher blood alcohol content for the same amount of alcohol. So, go figure. So what’s the moral of the story? You get— your alcohol goes for little bit longer of array when there’s little bit of carbonation or, bubbles in there. And James is saying, “What about Cheetos?” Yeah. So I would do Cheetos with my ginger Kombucha and a little bit of lime. The lime provides extra vitamin C, which is great for glutathione. The Kombucha has extra B vitamins and antioxidants and EGCG in there and uhm—probiotics. So it actually helps detoxify and help your gut microbes while you get a little tipsy.
Evan Brand: See that almost makes me wanna drink alcohol but every time I drink alcohol, I feel like I can’t comprehend simple things, like I like to I like to always have my brain going going going.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Evan Brand: And for me to shut off with the alcohol, it’s almost stressful. It’s almost like, “Nope, my brain is slowing down.” I don’t like this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, we should make sure the demand on our brain is less.
Evan Brand: Right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: When the time—we’re not gonna be like opening up the champagne bottles when we’re seeing patients, right?
Evan Brand: Right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We wanna make sure our patients get a 100% of our brain capacity. But when it’s the holidays and we’re just watching some football, and our brain is like 80% off, maybe it’s not that big of a deal.
Evan Brand: <laughs> For sure.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. But, yeah, we have the activated charcoal. We just have really good quality alcohol. Uhm— again, why does it matter? Coz I don’t want a headache. I don’t wanna feel crappy. I don’t want a ton of breakouts the next day. So we’ll choose uh—and typically, I’ll just get $15 bottle of really good dry Prosseco from Whole Foods. And I try to, you know, if I can go organic or you know, typically, the dryer ones are not gonna have as much sugar. It’s the sugar that’s gonna really throw you off. Uhm—you can also do the dry Creek wines. They have some decent stuff. Again, they don’t have a lot of bubbles like a lot of spike, Prosecco, I do that because number one, it helps with alcohol absorption. Number two, I just like the bubbles. They don’t have a lot of options with that. So I will check out some of the whole foods or local stores, they have a very low sugar like as for a brewed or a Demi-Sec uhm—Prosecco option.
Evan Brand: The holidays are fun.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They are. Absolutely!
Evan Brand: I think our next month of episodes is probably be silly. It’s coz that’s the that the holiday vibe. It’s relaxing. It’s like, you know what, the summer time things have cooled off. It’s time to relax, time to rekindle, time to cuddle up, snuggle under your wool blanket next to a fireplace. This is a good time of the year.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I got a fireplace in my office so it’s actually nice coz I actually get to use it this time of the year, so—
Evan Brand: That’s awesome.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So my dog just like—it’s basically a magnet for my dog. She just kinda—next to it all day. But, yeah, totally. And then uhm—you mentioned a couple things there. We talked about the alco—so yeah, really getting the exercise component going. Coz that really is gonna wring out a lot of the glycogen in your muscles. So think of glycogen as stored carbohydrate in your muscles and imagine you wringing that muscle out. You’re wringing that sponge out so all of that water in the sponge, all that glucose stored in the muscle now gets used up doing the exercise. Now what does that do? It’s like, well, it’s the equivalent of going and having a nice dry sponge to sop up a whole bunch of liquid drink that your kid knocked over, right? So you can just— that sponge is gonna work a lot better and be more absorbent. Think of your muscles as being more absorbent. So when you get extra carbohydrates into your uhm— body from your meal in your celebration that you’ll have a bigger sponge to soak it up.
Evan Brand: That’s a good idea. I don’t know if many people act on it but if they do, they’re gonna see a really good result. Here’s a question for Mike. He says, “It’s crazy. My Oura ring consistently shows my sleeping heart rate 5 to 15 bpm higher even after having just two drinks like red wine. I feel it the next morning. Any suggestions?” Justin, I know what you’re gonna say. Go ahead.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, alcohol can drop blood pressure. So it could be your blood pressure is lower than your heart has to be a little bit faster the compensate for that drop in blood pressure. That’s probably what it is.
Evan Brand: So you’re thinking maybe you don’t need suggestions. So I thought you might say, “Oh, just are you doing charcoal? Make sure you do charcoal.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Of course, right? Like of course, extra charcoal. We can always throw some vitamin C in there, add in L cysteine. And we could even throw in, yeah like in our lines, we can throw in some detox aminos which is kind like your sulfur base, kinda NAC with a whole bunch of other sulfur amino acid in there. That— that’d be fine. I mean, I would do that. You can also throw a little bit of magnesium in there to uhm— to help with the with that component. But uhm—yeah, I would just look at potentially that just being the alcohol and just do all the things that help detoxify.
Evan Brand: Okay. Cool. Awesome. I think that’s everything we’ve hit. I don’t know if there’s any other piece to the holidays you wanted to go over.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I would try to time off like for me, I notice if I have felt any alcohol in my system when I go to sleep, I do not sleep nearly as good so I tried to give myself like a good three-hour washout period before bed. So I don’t have you know a lot of alcohol in my system. I just don’t sleep as good. I literally have more nightmares, I’m more active, I move around the bed a lot more. I had a glass of champagne before bed like a week or two ago and I like literally woke up at a right angle. So I was like laying across the whole head. I’m just way more active. Normally, I don’t move much at all. So again, if I I had that like at seven and I went to bed at like 10, it wouldn’t be a problem. But if I’m having it right up against bedtime, sometimes it could be the__ plus you know, I’m— I don’t know what the alcohol is when I go out if I order it. I try to order, you know, a nice low sugar kind but you have the bottle in front you look at it, so you just try to go off the waiter’s suggestions.
Evan Brand: Exactly. Yeah. I think it’s all good advice the liver-gallbladder support. I mean, that’s always helpful, too. So if it’s milk thistle or if it’s your Cordyceps mushroom. I mean there’s a lot of different products we use for for liver gallbladder support. One of the thing I was gonna mention, too, make sure that you check in with your practitioner if it’s Justin or myself. If you’re taking anti-parasitic herbs, some of these herbs can get intensified with alcohol. So one glass of wine may feel like four. You may not be able to make it home. See—take a look and see what you’re actually using. I know some of these can create that sensitivity up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Any other suggestions just like meal wise or anything that you guys are doing with your family for the holidays?
Evan Brand: I’m gonna bring some snacks just in case. I mean we don’t know the full spread coz we’re gonna go to like three or four different events.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s tough.
Evan Brand: ..this week and we don’t know exactly what people are cooking, what people are bringing. So just in case, I’m just gonna go ahead and bring uh—I’ve got a couple of some jerky like some jerky strips like some grass-fed steak strips that I’ve got and then I’ve also got a handful of macadamia’s of customer cons would also have coconut chips so I’m just gonna bring some snacks just have that in my wife’s purse just in case just in case we get somewhere and it’s just— I have been to a couple events where it was literally like a casserole, it was covered in cheese and that was the only—that was like the main entrée. There’s no way I could do this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Evan Brand: Like you know, with enzymes, I’d be destroyed so uh—that’s— that’s about it. Just be prepared boy scout. Act like I was going to place that had no food.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And again, there are some people out there where they may be really happy with her health right now. They’re just like, “Hey, this is a once a year thing and I’m just gonna cheat and really enjoy it. And that’s fine, too. But you know, still you can utilize some of the supplements and strategies we recommended so you at least doesn’t hit you as hard. And if you want to wreck if you want to apply some of the substitutes that Evan and I apply, and I’ve done it for years that in my opinion allow me to continue to feel good. I just— for me, it’s not just feeling good that day. I got four days off work. I don’t take a lot of time off. I wanna feel good for those four days and I also don’t want to get sick either.
Evan Brand: Yup. Exactly.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, any other thoughts, Evan?
Evan Brand: I think that’s it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So any other plans for you this week? Are you taking some time off from patients or—?
Evan Brand: Yeah. So Thursday, Thursday- Friday I’ll be taking some time off. My wife she’s can go out and participate in the consumer holiday on Friday. And I think that’s about it. I’m gonna try to spend some time out in the woods. I may— I may go out and and go for a deer hunt again. I want to get my own dear this year. 99% of it is just sitting out in nature listening to the birds but may be .01% of the time an animal walks by.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Evan Brand: Really, it’s just my excuse to go do some forest bathing. I may try to do that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What’s the Japanese term for that?
Evan Brand: Shinrin Yoku.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Shinrin Yoku. I love that, man. That is crazy. Cool. And we also add another herb to our parasite killing line, too. The mimosa Pudica. So I know will be adding that to our stores in the next week or two. It’s one of those things that we are kind of experimenting with. We’re helping to kill bugs and some of the wormies. So it’s something out there that if your patient and you want to inquire about that, we can chat about that very soon.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Stay tuned. I’ve gotten many, many pictures in my inbox of worms that people are pooping out from using this Mimosa Pudica. I was just a guest on the parasite summit, which is how I learned about this formula. And tons of people are taking it now and everybody’s saying, “Oh my God! My stool test showed up negative but I took this stuff anyway. And here’s what I pooped out. Surprise!” And it’s pretty nasty stuff. So Justin and I are talking off like, “Are you going to try some of the stuff?” I’m guessing we’re gonna have to because we’ve been guinea pigs for everything else. So, who knows if we’ve got some hidden—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. Well, what a great call today here, Evan. Happy holidays and Happy Thanksgiving for you and your family. And we’ll talk next week.
Evan Brand: Take care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You, too.
Evan Brand: Likewise. Bye.
You’ll Never Guess Who Has a Parasite Infection? – Podcast #86
Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand reveal to us today about a health issue that Evan is experiencing currently with regard to the parasites discovered in his stool tests. Listen as they share with us the things that can be done to get rid of these parasites via conventional medicine approach versus the functional medicine methods.
Discover what the common parasites are and what the conventional symptoms are that people typically experience when they have an infection. Learn the various ways and supplementation to help treat parasite infections as well as the laboratory tests you can take to confirm such infections.
In this episode, topics include:
00:44 Evan’s parasite story and symptoms
5:03 Lab testing
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan Brand, how you doing this morning? It’s Friday.
Evan Brand: It is Friday. Hey, I’m great. We’re in the trenches again on ourselves today. So this is fun.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, today’s gonna be a different kind of podcast. I think we are pushing the envelope regarding functional medicine and functional health podcasting, because we’re doing tests on ourselves. So today we’re gonna be talking about some stool test that came in for yourself. And we already talked about them earlier this week and we’re just excited to share them with the general public because we know your story and my story will be able to help hopefully tens of thousands of potential patients and people out there.
Evan Brand: Absolutely so to give a little of history here about why we suspected something was going on is when I first moved to Texas. I was about 160 lbs and I quickly after moving there, I quickly began to lose weight without changing much of the diet. Paleo was pretty much my diet template. I was still exercising but not as much and I began to slowly lose weight and I bottomed out at like 138 lbs. So we’re talking about 22 lbs lost in about a year, maybe a year and some change, and when I—I remember the first I came over to your house, you were like, “Dude, Evan, you got a parasite. That’s not normal like you’re getting skinny, man. Like your muscle’s disappearing.” And I had just attributed it to adrenal fatigue because I ran a cortisol rhythm test on myself, too, and showed pretty low cortisol even though I had good DHEA. And so that kinda made sense but it wouldn’t explain that significant weight loss. So you even said, you know, over 6 months ago, “You better run a test for a parasite and see what’s going on.” And so I finally got around to it and turns out I popped up positive for cryptosporidium and also Giardia which are 2 different parasites that can be found or that you can get exposure to in different water sources. And so when I was talking to Dr. Kurt yesterday, he said, “Evan,” he goes, “Did you swim in any sources of water that were a little bit lower than normal like a drought-stricken place?” And I was like, “Oh my God, Lake Austin, Lake Travis–”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Barton Springs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Barton Springs.
Evan Brand: Krause Springs, like everywhere I went in Austin on the weekend was some sort of water source that–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: Could have potentially exposed me to it. And so the light bulb really went off and I’m glad that we found these things because now we’re gonna get into the treatment stuff.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And one of the interesting things about this infection as well—well, first off, I saw pictures of you in the past before I knew you and you just looked bigger, more—more fuller in your—in your facial structure, and then when I met you in person a year or two later, I—I asked, I said, “Evan, you know, have you changed your diet at all recently?” Because I know you’re a big Paleo guy, so I–imagine you weren’t eating much sugar or carbs back then. You went, “No, I’m just losing weight and my diet’s pretty much the same.” And we did a diet review and you were like, exactly what you said, I’m like, “You have infection. There’s no way you’re losing this kind of weight without some kind of internal malabsorption.” And then we saw your fingernails, too, and we saw these vertical ridging and we’re like, I’m just, “There’s some kind of protein or fat malnutrition.” I know you kinda sat on it and then over time you were telling me some of the—you know, your cold hands, cold feet, you have it, every now and then you mentioned you’d have some kind of blood sugar or panic attacks explaining that we were connecting to some adrenal stress, and then we were saying, “Well, how is this adrenal stress happening because you’re so many good things right? And then we finally got this testing done and we were able to quantify that this is more than likely the driving factor and anyone of these infections by themselves is a pretty big deal, whether it’s Giardia or crypto by themselves. You have them together, so it’s like, you know, with—with the—all these forces combining it’s really an exponential issue. It’s gonna be far worse than having this one at a time.
Evan Brand: A double whammy. Yeah, and so I had a—a slide here that was from the Institute of Functional Medicine’s Intestinal Permeability Lecture and it was saying “a recent study revealed a 23.5% of clinical samples tested positive for at least one parasite”. So just go ahead and round that up to 25% of people that were getting tested had at least one parasite, and so we’re talking 1 in 4 basically. For me, it seems to be 1 in 3. And Blastocystis hominis was the number one at 12.5% and then you have Dientamoeba fragilis–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: And they had Entamoeba and then you had blah, blah, blah, and then Giardia’s at the bottom, 0.7%. So apparently Giardia’s pretty rare to even show up or to even have. So for me to have that and the crypto, you and I and Dr. Kurt, too, was also like, “Wow! This is rare to have.” And Kalish same thing, I’ve looked up a couple of his lectures and he said he had only seen it like once before of having the double whammy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and here’s the real important thing, too, is well, most conventional laboratories especially in a hospital setting aren’t gonna pick up the infection. Again, I think you said it to me, we did a 401H on you, they—where it came up and I don’t think it came up on every single sample because there’s 4 or 5 samples on that 401H test by BioHealth. We’ll give them a plug because they’re a really good lab testing company. How many samples do you—are you aware of that it came up on?
Evan Brand: I’m not aware of the number but it was, yeah, 5 or 6 samples over a 3-day period. So if we missed it on day 1, which if you’re doing the conventional stool test—actually, I had a—a female client last week that she actually had some really weird type of stools and so she ended up going to the hospital and getting a stool test there. It showed up negative for everything. So I’m waiting on her results for the same tests that I ran on myself. I’ll be so thrilled if we find something just to prove that those conventional ones fail once again.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I’m finding even BioHealth, I’m teaming up with some other labs that are doing the PCR/DNA stool testing because it’s about 2 to 3,000 times more sensitive.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now sometimes BioHealth will pick certain things up that other labs don’t. So I’m gonna be really curious to get your DNA testing back either from DRG or GI-MAP because I think we’ll find maybe even something else there as well and here’s the real important take home, is you didn’t have a lot of the major conventional symptoms for Giardia. So like a lot of the conventional symptoms for Giardia are gonna be like lots of diarrhea, lots of gas, lots of bloating, right? You didn’t have a lot of those major, major symptoms. We did see, you know, we did see the malabsorption. I saw that more on the outside, but again a typical individual won’t make that connection because they’re not looking at your diet and how good it is. They—they’re not gonna be able to appreciate a conventional—a conventional physician won’t be able to appreciate a Paleo diet especially with the massive changes in weight you have. So I was able to notice that but you didn’t have a lot of those conventional Giardia symptoms and that’s why I just think it’s so important where if you have any health issues that you can’t quite put your finger on, and you’re going to a conventional doctor to think that they’re gonna be able to pick this up. A lot of times they’re not because most people—you didn’t have violent diarrhea. You didn’t have massive abdominal cramping. You didn’t have excessive gas or upset stomach or massive nausea, right?
Evan Brand: No, not really, I mean–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Not really.
Evan Brand: That—that one day of food poisoning or whatever—whatever that was, we talked about it on a previous episode but that was the only real episode where I thought, “Wow!” Something was up with my gut and so it’s crazy. I didn’t wanna read in which I kind of alluded to already where you could pick this up, but you know, the Mayo Clinic, they write about how people become infected with Giardia and that’s after swallowing contaminated water that could—you know, where the Giardia parasite is found in lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, municipal water supplies, cisterns, swimming pools, water parks, and spas. And so I almost thought about we should title this episode like the downsides of being primal or something, because I go barefoot a lot of the time–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: Which I read that you can get exposed to somebody’s parasites via soil, and maybe I’m not soaping myself enough, you know, I will use from Dr. Bronner`s organic soap you know on the important areas.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: And maybe—maybe sometimes I wasn’t cleaning myself enough and I was taking it too far with the whole dirt is good for you, you know, going barefoot, putting my hands in the dirt, in the mud in the backyard all the time. I could have picked something up that way, too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely and the big issue, too, is with these—with these different infections, they can be spread fecal-oral, but Giardia and crypto can also be spread via water. So I do a lot of water skiing in Lake Austin every week so I’m—I’m gonna make sure I’m tested, you know, a couple times a year because you’re gonna get these infections two kinds of ways. You’re gonna get it, number one, where you’re chronically stressed whether it’s physical, chemical, emotional stress accumulating and the chemical could be food allergens, gluten. It could be blood sugar swings, skipping meals, not eating—not eating nutrient-dense foods. It could be toxicity issues. It could be a whole bunch of things, low stomach acid and enzymes and then that chronic stressor opens you up so when you get exposed to something, it’s able to set up shop and create basically a niche in your gut and start to proliferate more cysts and spores for other offspring. And that’s kinda like one, where you—the chronically ill person gets exposure. And then there’s people like you that are just—they’re healthier but they just get exposed to a large bolus of it over a period of time, maybe just all at once or maybe at multiple times throughout the week like you mentioned, like your symptoms are perfect, right? It’s a perfect script for it, and then—boom—now it sets up shop and then you’ve been gone from Austin for over a year and you’re not quite doing that same type of thing you were in Austin but look, you got two infections now. So more than likely the water issue was a–a big driving factor and you know, I’m gonna get myself tested like we talked about again because I do it yearly with a couple of different tests all at once and we’ll do a podcast analyzing my test results soon as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so looking back on what I think was definitely some of the factors that—that led me to this. I mean, I was still working at the supplement company, directly for the CEO, super–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: High position, super high stress position, and then I was also running my clinic on the side at the time. And this is when you and I were being able to—we got to hang out locally and I was just seeing clients, you know, outside of my basically 8 to 5 hours during the workday at the office and then coming home and spending more hours looking at research, looking at labs, talking with people, that low adrenal function, I had to burn myself through. I had to burn through stage 1. I probably had high cortisol, gave some leaky gut condition, maybe made myself more susceptible to all this stuff, made the perform storm of stressors, and maybe even lack of sleep from the stress that set me up. Now quickly which is kinda crazy actually, even though I still tested positive for these two parasites, I was still able to put on—I’ve put on about 6 lbs since I’ve moved back. I’ve got back in the gym, my strength’s coming back, my injury where I thought I had a hernia has healed. And so it’s amazing to see the progress that I’ve already made just by reducing the stress and being able to have more social interaction, being back in a—a place that I call home that makes me feel comfortable.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: So I’m excited to see what happens once we get these things knocked out, how my progress especially with my strength and my weight coming back will—will be.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely and also there are over 40 different kinds of Giardia. The main one that we get exposure to as humans is Giardia lamblia and that’s the—the so-called Beaver Fever that you can get exposed to in the water. It can also be spread fecal-orally so at some point, we’ll have to get your wife tested as well and make sure she’s treated because don’t want—we wanna make sure that vector isn’t being passed back and forth as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I looked at her fingernails. She’s got some vertical ridges, too. But you and I talked about off air, even if we were to get a positive results on her with the baby growing in her tummy, we can’t treat her right now anyway.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: So we’ll just have to wait until after the baby’s coming and—and look at it then.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely and also a big vector for Giardia, I’m gonna say it now because it just happened last month with a patient, is gonna be your pets especially dogs because dogs love to lick and there’s you know, a big article over at Petsandparasites.org, right? Dog owners and Giardia that’s a big one, but I had a patient come in and we had diagnosed her with Giardia the month before, the next month she came in and said, “By the way, my dog was having some issues, we brought him to the vet, and the vet said he had Giardia.” And she kinda felt bad because she thought maybe that she gave the dog Giardia and I said, “Other way around, he vectored that Giardia to you.” So for all these pet owners out there, be very careful of playing kissy-face with your—with your dogs because you know, they’re licking something else, if you know what I mean, and they’re going home and licking you and licking your face or licking your hands. So if they’re licking your face, that’s a no-no, and if they’re licking your hands, make sure you wash it off because they can vector these parasites, and I’ve seen many people that have worked with pets and with dogs and with animals, trainers and veterinarians, and they almost always come back with Giardia and multiple other infections.
Evan Brand: I wouldn’t doubt it if I got it from our Shih Tzu because if I’m playing with her and she’s slobbering all over the toy, I may not go and wash my hands right after I play with the toy and then I could touch my face and maybe even touch my mouth by accident.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: So who knows? You know, Lucy, our Shih Tzu, she may have Giardia as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s very possible. I would say one, we could get her tested, but al lot of times the conventional vet tests don’t work a bit, they aren’t awesome, but it’s worth a try, or you can just do a human-based test and see what happens on that. But number two, it may even be worth just treating your—your dog with the conventional antibiotics for that infection. So for the Giardia, that would be like Flagyl or metronidazole. Again, I typically don’t recommend the antibiotics for most people. You can do it. Some people will do it like the Flagyl or the metronidazole or Alinia or like the—the go-to antibiotics for the infections. I like the herbs better just because of the fact that the side-effects with the antibiotics can be very, very severe and a lot of times you get the better exposure with the herbs over a longer period of time. Because with the Giardia and other infections, the Giardia may be there but there may be a massive imbalance of other bad stuff and the herbs can kind of help knock that back down without all the side-effects. If someone wants to go the antibiotics route, then we’ll typically do antibiotics and then follow-up with herbs as well. The only issue with dogs—it just depends. If you can do herbs with your pet, that’s great. A lot of times it’s difficult to do that especially every single day. It’s easier just to do it with an antibiotic, you know knock down the vector and then come in with some good probiotics afterwards. But again herbs for humans are gonna be my number one—number one go-to with that, and I’ve knocked out hundreds in the past.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so let’s talk about the protocol that we’re gonna start with because antibiotics are the conventional option, the go-to thing for these types of infection, but you and I talked about it and we’re like, “Let’s—let’s go herbal route.” So we don’t have to go specifically over every single ingredient but wormwood and some of these other natural antiparasitic, antimicrobials, oil of oregano and then a—a few other supplements is gonna be the treatment protocol that I’m gonna be starting on. Everything’s ordered, I should have everything to my door in a few days and I’m gonna be started ASAP and then for the timeline–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I just wanna touch upon just one thing–
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Real quick.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We—we didn’t quite highlight crypto yet, but crypto is another waterborne parasite but it can also be, you know, fecal-oral spread meaning some type of fecal material from whether it’s intercourse or whether it’s from poor preparations or not cleaning hands, that’s another vector these things can be spread by, but crypto is that other major parasite and again, like in the mid-90s I think it was Milwaukee, they had a major outbreak in the water supply where I think 500,000 people were infected with crypto. I think even 4 died.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So crypto is another big one. We’ve been giving Giardia a lot of love here, but crypto is another one that can be basically hide in the crypts. The crypts of Lieberkühn in the intestinal tract in between the microvilli buried deep out—deep down into the intestinal wall and that’s another infection that we’re dealing with here, that typically we have to kind of separate how we treat both of them because Giardia can move and get into the bile ducts and affect fat digestion and crypto can bury deep into the intestinal tract and in between those crypts where the microvilli are close by. So different infections, a lot of times will call for different treatments and both can be spread via water, fecal-oral, and a lot of the side-effects and symptoms may be the same, and again immuno-compromised people tend to have that, like a lot of your AIDS patients and such, but you know, you’re not in that camp, and you may just been stressed and got exposed to it, so it’s not just the super immuno-compromised that the conventional medicine people say. It could be someone like Evan who—who is super healthy and productive, and has a lot of energy—a lot of energy, too.
Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s amazing how much I’ve got done. You and I were kinda laughing like how productive I’ve been despite having these two type of infections simultaneously. So I can’t wait to see what happens as we kind of work through this protocol which the timeline that you and I have kinda discussed is about 2 months that we’re hoping we can knock these things out and retest and see what see what happens and then something on hand that I have for die-off, just some activated charcoal I ordered some of that just in case, and then I’ll be using a probiotic at night, too, just to try to help out with inflammation and then obviously I’m gonna stick with the probiotic, too. Once I’m done through this protocol and try to just focus a little bit more on gut healing and try to repair any type of damage that’s been done.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And even with the cryptosporidium it’s known that cryptosporidium causes zinc issues, zinc malabsorption. Well, let’s think about that, right? If we have low zinc, we need zinc to make hydrochloric acid. We need zinc to make our—especially testosterone, our hormones, it’s a really important building block for hormonal health. So if we have that, if we have low stomach acid now because we have now low zinc, we need zinc for our immune system, right? The zinc fingers are really important epigenetic factor for our DNA, and then we need stomach acid, we need our sex hormones, so you can see what happens here when you get an infection, the sequelae of how you tend to get sicker or symptoms get worse overtime because of malabsorption, lack of ability to break down food, low nutrients compromised immune system, compromised sex hormones, compromised ability to make more digestive secretions to break things down, different infections can hide in the bile ducts like Giardia and then create inability to shoot out bile so now we have an inability break down fat soluble nutrients, well, there goes vitamin A, D, E, K, all your EPA, DHA fats, cholesterol, and now we have this kind of bottleneck and then we miss all of these buildings blocks to make our hormones and be really healthy.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and I would like to add one other thing to it, too. We ran an organics and looked over that, and we were just talking about that together, too, which showed high arabinose; therefore, meaning that I have some candida issues going on on top of all of this. So kind of a triple whammy and it’s funny because I haven’t felt that bad and now thinking back a little bit though when I went, I guess this was a couple of years ago when I was kind of geeking out on the whole pyroluria topic.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: And I ran the kryptopyrrole test which showed very, very high issues where I was gonna be lacking in the zinc and the B6.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ah, see!
Evan Brand: Yeah, so I’m wondering if it were—what, you know, chicken or egg here. Was it the kryptopyrrole issue first or was it the infection that led to the problems with zinc which elevated py—you know, the pyrroles.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: I mean, what do you think? That’s—that’s a hard—hard thing to try to figure out.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, again I’m partial to these infections causing a whole host of issues.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And the big thing I wanna hammer home is you didn’t have a lot of the conventional symptoms so anyone that’s listening to this and think, “Well, I don’t have the main conventional symptoms. My conventional doctor said it couldn’t be this.” Think again. Evan is a perfect example right now and Evan is a super healthy guy and—and look what’s happening here. We saw symptoms in and around different areas and because of the fact that, I know you mentioned like maybe some—some anxiety at—at times, it’s very possible because of the protein and stuff. We looked on your organics, we’ll do a separate podcast on this. We saw some lower neurotransmitters.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think in—in the dopamine and catecholamines side of the fence and we need hydrochloric acid and we need healthy digestion to break down protein to convert those proteins to your brain chemicals. So it’s very possible this was driving some of the underlying, you know, slight anxiety under the surface as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and I’ve told you this, and I’ve told the listeners probably a dozen times, I’m not an anxious person–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: By nature. And so that was really odd for me to have some of these feelings of panic and anxiety overwhelming me where I literally had to leave the movie theater one time.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: Because I was having a panic episode and I tell people this all the time, it’s not you necessarily. Like it’s not you as a person, that’s anxious. It’s your biochemistry. It’s your neurotransmitters. It’s the imbalance. It’s the overgrowth of bad guys in the gut. It’s—these are creating a toxic situation where it doesn’t matter who you are as a person, you can get overwhelmed and that’s what happened to me is that, sort of a good guy versus the bad guy, the light versus dark, the dark started to win on me a little bit so–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Really looking forward to get going with this thing and I—I can’t wait to see what you have. I mean, because you’re in—you’re in the water probably more now than I was, so–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s true. It’s true.
Evan Brand: I can’t wait to see what’s up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know, I’ll be really curious, you know, healthier IgA, healthier hydrochloric acid can help because it’s like a disinfectant. You got a dirty table, the hydrochloric acid and/or IgA can come in there and clean that table off. In my real world analogy, that’s like using bleach, right? You–
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Pour on the bleach out or using your—your Seven Generation natural cleaner for all everyone here that’s more naturally oriented. We’ll use that stuff, get it clean and then—boom—you got a nice table that you can eat off of, that’s kinda like your intestinal tract where you have IgA and hydrochloric acid that can basically pinch hit for that bleach in our real world analogy.
Evan Brand: Right. So just to finish off, I’m sure–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: People are curious. A couple other pieces to the puzzle that I’m still keeping support nutritionally, obviously keeping the diet dialed in, keeping the sleep dialed in, I—I can’t imagine if someone didn’t have all the things that I have dialed in. How awful they would feel to have two infections at the same time?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, my God.
Evan Brand: And so I really think, and you probably agree that this is the only way that I’ve been able to stay so productive is having the lifestyle and nutrition and the stress and the adrenals and all that in check, because otherwise I’d probably be a wreck. I don’t know. I don’t even wanna know really.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right, right.
Evan Brand: But I’m—I’m doing the fish oil, you know, I’m doing, you know, high potency. I’m trying to get at least a gram per day and then also doing some enzymes, doing some HCl, a little bit of oxbow, because thinking back and I don’t think I mentioned this to you before, when I first tried to start MCT oil, I was in such severe pain. I was rolling on the floor, you know–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.
Evan Brand: Grabbing my stomach from literally one teaspoon of MCT, and so this infection is making me—this makes me think that I was unable to digest fats because my gallbladder was impaired like you were mentioning. So this is—it’s kinda crazy now that I’m gathering all of these pieces that I didn’t think anything of when they happened in such isolated fashion.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, well, let’s just—I know you only got a few more minutes left here, Evan. Let’s just go into treatment real quick. I already alluded with the Giardia, the conventional is gonna be your Flagyl or metronidazole, your typical conventional. Some of the more functional medicine MDs or—or even people like myself sometimes we’ll use an antibiotics called Alinia, and we’ll use that as well. But you gotta be careful, there can be a lot of side-effects and I’ve seen many people already gone through antibiotics and still have the infection. I’ve seen it dozens and dozens and dozens of times just this week. So the—the moral of that story is don’t think because you get the antibiotics that it’s a slam dunk and it’s gone. Just don’t have that assumption and if you do the antibiotic route, you still wanna follow up with the herbs anyway because there’s a whole bunch of gastrointestinal imbalance that’s gonna be there and you wanna clean everything up.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so to be clear, we have both kind of talked about this and we’re not going antibiotic route. Yes, technically, we’re doing some natural antiparasitic, natural antimicrobials but not the conventional antibiotics, and we’re gonna be this for about 2 months and then we’re gonna re-test and see what happens after we use some of these remedies and see what type of results we get and then hopefully when we re-test we’ll see that it’s gone and we’ve wiped it out successfully and that’ll be another one for the books.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and we’ll just kinda list off a couple of things that we’re doing but we’re doing higher dose oil of oregano, higher dose wormwood, higher dose berberines and black walnut and grapefruit seed extract. We’re gonna be adding in neem. We’re gonna be adding in bittermelon, barberry, and other different families of berberines. We may even talk about adding in some silver, and then there’s a couple of other herbal blends that we’ll do because we have to open up the crypts so we can get good exposure to these antimicrobials for the cryptosporidium, so we’re kind of doing two infections at the same time which is harder but I know you’re healthy enough to handle it but these are a whole bunch of families of herbs we’re using and you gotta be careful, too, because higher doses of wormwood can be very effective but they can also raise liver enzymes so we may have to add in binding support and liver support. So you really wanna make sure you’re working with someone that has experience. So one, you make sure you get a therapeutic dose, and two, you have the die-off binder support so if you start having too much of these biotoxins from these infections accumulation, you could have support there and maybe even have someone monitor your liver enzymes if needed as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, definitely. So obviously, we’re a little bit biased here. But without a doubt, for your health and for your overall wellness, even if you don’t have any symptoms at all which my own symptoms were really the nails and the cold hands and the cold feet, get tested, you know, reach out to one of us. Get tested. Run yourself through just for general wellness. You don’t have to be one of those people that wait—wait until you get sick or wait until you have 30 symptoms and you’re on 5 pharmaceuticals and then you get tested. Take the proactive approach like we’ve done. I could have been just fine. I could have just said, “Well, it’s winter time. It’s 20 degrees outside, hmm, I have cold hands and feet. No big deal.” I lost some weight, whatever, it was stress, and I could have just ignored this stuff. But just trying to be a little bit more proactive can really save your health and really save you from, I mean, not to bring up the—the big C word but I mean from cancer and other–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Chronic illnesses that could happen. If I were to—what if I were to keep this infection for 20 or 30 years?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: And then finally get discovered. I mean, oh, my Lord.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: My God. And the big thing, too, is—oh, I think one other thing we’ll—we’ll add in. We’ll put links so people if people wanna get access to some of the stool tests then they can at least click below, but you wanna make sure you get interpretation either someone like myself or Evan or a good functional medicine doctor that’s trained in—in what the next steps are because the big thing that you’re doing here, that we haven’t emphasized you—you mentioned it briefly, is you’re doing all the diet and lifestyle and adrenal stuff and we’re even getting you on some brain stuff as well, which is you know gonna help you go through this whole protocol without the side-effects and keep you functioning at an optimal level so you can help, you know, all the patients that you’re helping.
Evan Brand: Right, and luckily I have a little bit more of a relaxed lifestyle where I’m at home so if I need to take it easy on myself and block out some more time then I’ll be able to do that, but the goal is to maintain productivity and a lot of people they don’t have time to—to be sick and be laid out. So we’re trying to craft this protocol here to where I’m still being able to be on hustle mode and still work through this thing, so excited to get going and I’m really happy that we—that we could share this with you all today.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I am, too, and this is such a clinically relevant podcast so please refer to all of your potential, you know, candidates or friends or family, anyone listening that could resonate with this, please share it out there because it’s so clinical and I think people that hear it and resonate are gonna actually be able to take direct action from this podcast and that may help bring some closure to some of the underlying chronic symptoms that may be there.
Evan Brand: Absolutely and just to hit—hit that drum a little bit harder one more time. This is not a theory podcast where our goal, which I did this for a hundred episodes successfully. We’ve hit 4 million downloads on iTunes, etc. you know, what I started with NotJustPaleo podcast was very successful and very enjoyable but it hit a certain point, and especially, you know, in our careers where we’re realizing, look we don’t have to have some random new name on the podcast every single week because what we have going with our clinics and what we’re actually doing in the trenches to me is becoming more important than having some new voice or new perspective on every week. So I’m glad that you guys—we’re still seeing the numbers of the downloads go up significantly when Dr. J and I are doing these episodes together, so thanks for your support and thanks for really digging deep with us and not just looking for the next piece of brain candy. We’re actually sharing the things that may get a little bit repetitive but every single person is different and for this type of scenario, for me, the practitioner to have a two parasites myself, it’s like wow! This stuff can happen to anyone so–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely, and then Evan, do I have your permission to post up your—your lab work for this test online so people can actually see that this is the real deal.
Evan Brand: Yeah, of course.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great, and I know, we’re both running late, we both have patients because we’re in the trenches. We’re doing it. We’re rolling up our sleeves trying to help people get their health back, so Evan, thanks for this awesome show. Super inspired today with your story and I know that we’re just gonna help so many more.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well, take care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks, Evan. You, too.
Evan Brand: Bye.