Why Do I Have Low Motivation – Functional Medicine Solutions | Podcast #358
Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. It is what causes you to act, whether getting a glass of water to reduce thirst or reading a book to gain knowledge.
In this video, Dr. J and Evan Brand talk about the physiological issues behind your decreasing motivation and the functional medicine strategies, hormones, and lifestyle changes you need to do to improve your mood and overall health function.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
1:41 What are the root causes of low motivation?
4:14 The physiological explanation of low motivation
8:39 Functional medicine strategies to improve motivation
10:53 The role of thyroid function to your body’s overall function
16:38 Lifestyle upgrade to boost your motivation
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are going to be talking about motivation. Really excited to have a nice podcast on this topic. Evan, how we doing today this morning?
Evan Brand: I’m doing really well. I’m feeling really motivated. Hence, this topic on motivation. You know, I look around on society and I just see the way that people carry themselves. You know, we’ve become so casual in terms of dress. I mean, when you see people that are just coming out at restaurants, they’re wearing Crocs and sweatpants and, you know, hoodies. People just don’t appear to take good care of themselves, in general. And maybe that’s different in other cities but even talking to people when I bought a sports coat. I talked to the guy at the suit store, and he agreed with me that over the last 20 years, people just become so casual. And with that casual dress, I think that changes people’s level of motivation. When I’m in sweatpants and a hoodie, I feel less motivated, and less ready to charge the world as opposed to when I have on even something like a polo. I think, maybe that’s part of it, but I know there’s a lot of chemical, neurotransmitter, and gut reactions, you know, better involved too. So, what do you think, I mean, am I, am I onto something with the clothing? Have you seen a change even in your lifetime with people?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I think people like, I talked to a lot of patients and friends and like, ‘oh you get to work at home and see patients all over the world. That’s awesome, that must be so easy to just kind of get up and get ready’. I’m like, well I still shower and kind of get ready like I’m going to the office anyway, I wanna look good, I wanna feel good, I wanna feel clean, I wanna feel fresh, plus I wanna be able to jump on a video or see a patient, I wanna have a higher level of professionalism on how I look. So, I do think there’s energy just like you said, in just that look in the park, dress in the park feeling good, right? I think that all helps. I think it moves the needle. That makes sense.
Evan Brand: Well, let’s see some of the root causes of that. I mean, low motivation, in general, the first thing that I think of and maybe your average listeners thinking of, they listen to us for a while, they’re gonna think of dopamine. And that certainly one potential cause and we can measure that using urine organic acids testing. So, we’ll look at the markers for dopamine on that test that we can see, and I would say that 90% of people I test are pretty low and the other 10% are people that have Clostridia bacterial overgrowth. You and I have talked about this before, we did a whole show of Clostridia, I believe, but the mechanism is that if you have Clostridia which is a certain type of bacteria in the gut that will actually inhibit the enzyme dopamine beta hydroxylase and then you have this build up of dopamine. So, you have some of these mood issues that’ll happen because of your gut. So, if you fix your gut, that high dopamine markers normalize. But otherwise, I see, generally, pretty low dopamine and maybe you and I can kind of break down why is that happening. I think chronic stress is a big one. But I wonder if there’s a role of like excess caffeine, have you seen anything look like too much coffee, your stimulants depleting dopamine, what about drugs like the Adderall drugs, that kind of stuff.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think we’ve, with motivation, it’s a couple things right. We have kind of the psychological kind of mindset aspect, I think that’s really important. So, I think number one, you gotta enjoy what you’re doing or you have at least kind of know what your talents or your skills that you’re at. So, you can work on doing things that one you enjoy and two you are actually good at. So, you can perform at a higher level, right? I think it’s a combination of those two things. And I think, also, there’s some people that what if you’re not good at things, right, so I think early on if you’re younger and you’re listening to this as you grow up, you really wanna look at developing talents. tacks and skills set. And you really wanna look at the marketplace and say, ‘where, um, where’s your gaps in the marketplace in regards to skill, whether on the health side or on the tacks side or on engineering. We really wanna look at where you kind of plug yourself into the marketplace, whether there are opportunities and then it’s also good to evaluate your kind of natural talents and skill sets. You kind of look at, you know, what people tell, I’ve always told you good at. There’s different tests out there whether it’s a Myers-Brigg personality test or, uh, I think another test out there called DISC, D-I-S-C test. There’s different tests out there that kind of help you understand, kind where your natural talents are at and then also just really observing and being aware of what you really enjoy doing. Usually, things that you enjoy doing, tend to be better at it because you don’t mind working harder at it. I think those are important, so then when you start doing things, you’ll really enjoy it. Now, on the physiological side, chronic stress well either acutely raises cortisol all over time. That cortisol can become lower which can affect energy and mood and cause your body to break down faster. And of course, that same level of adrenal stress can also lower dopamine, lower adrenaline which can then affect focus and motivation at a biochemical neurological level too. So, I think it’s good to look at both of those, so we can test the adrenal gland and know what’s happening at the adrenal level. We can also look at the neurotransmitters, the organic acid testing and look at various metabolites for Homovanillate, which is a metabolite for dopamine and then Vanilmandelate, which is a metabolite for adrenaline. We can get a window and into both of those metabolites and see how the brain is functioning on the inside.
Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s a great point. People that are just doing stuff that they don’t enjoy, I mean, how are you gonna be motivated for life if you make up, you don’t enjoy it. I talked to a guy who picks up our garbage and he loves it. He loves his job. He loves driving around with a big truck all day and he makes a great money doing it. He’s happy. So, some people are gonna look at that and say, ‘oh, this garbage man, what a terrible life’. And some people, they enjoy it. So, I do think ultimately as they say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I still love what I do but I still, I feel like it’s still work, I mean, I enjoy it but when I’m away for too long on vacation, I don’t enjoy this much. I rather be working, I really do. I love helping people. I’m really addicted to the hustle and grind of helping people feel better. There’s so many people suffering. For you and I, I think, we’re in a good spot-on loving what we do, but then on the brain chemistry side, I would say that I certainly struggle on. I had gut issues, I certainly struggled with low energy, and partly low motivation and low focus and for a period of time I had trouble reading certain books, like my brain, I just couldn’t process. I had to read, read certain phrases or if someone said a phone number to me, I couldn’t remember just a simple 7-digit phone number. So, I definitely had some brain fog associated with gut issues. And on paper, my endorphins and my dopamine were a bit low. So, I think looking at these mechanisms, I would say Candida, something we could mention too because we know Candida produces acetaldehyde, which is kind of similar to an alcohol molecule and so some people are a little bit drunk on their own Candida overgrowth. So, if somebody that has a lot of sugar cravings or if you have a white coated tongue or if you tested positive for Candida on urine, organic acid, stool testing, we gotta fix that Candida because that’s directly gonna impact your mood, your motivation and your focus.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Now, I work with patients, right? And I look at a lot of the physiological imbalances. So, let’s say there’s hormonal issues, let’s say it’s a female, it’s estrogen dominance, right, lower progesterone, estrogen out of whack, there’ll be a lot of PMS, mood issues, irritability issues. They’re poor energy because of chronic adrenal stress, they’re not digesting their food well. There’s a lot of mitochondrial imbalances, B-vitamins, CoQ10, L-carnitine. You know, it’s hard to be motivated when you have a lot of these physiological imbalances, because it takes fuel to run this system. So, when I look at patients, I get them motivated to fix these things. You know, it’s hard to get someone motivated to just fix their mitochondria or fix their adrenals. So, I always look at, hey what are these health challenges that you’re having right now. What is preventing you from being, doing, or having in your life right now? Like, what do you want to be doing, being you’re having in your life that you’re not able to because of your energy or because of your chronic digestion, because of your, um, mood issues? What is that? I try to get really clear what those things are because if I can figure out, hey, we’ll it’s affecting me for working out whole day, it’s affecting me, um, being able to spend quality time with my kids, then we can lean on, okay we are gonna make these diet changes, so we can help you get back to spending better time with your kids or so we can have you focusing and doing better at work at closing deal, whatever that is. So, if we figure out the why, then we can lean on that why to get people to make the right changes because it’s the really the why is the essence of it. And that really helps to get people motivated. So, there’s the mindset motivation and there’s the physiological biological biochemical side. So, we wanna work on both. So, when I tell people to make these diet changes, not just making these diet changes, we’re gonna do these so we can help move the needle in this area or that area. So, it’s kind of like using psychological tactics that help keep your patient motivated. It’s also important.
Evan Brand: Nice. That’s really a good point. We have some part of our population, where there are just biohacker people who wanna see the numbers, right? They wanna see the numbers get better, and they’re happy enough to see succinic acid go from a 24 down to a 5. And we go okay, great we had major progress, the mitochondria look better on paper. Some of our people, they’re cool with just the numbers, but I agree with you, you gotta bring the emotional piece to. It’s not enough to say, ‘hey, I wanna get your dopamine higher because I want you to have enough energy to get out of bed, make your bed, get dressed, wear something nice, get to the office as you close the deal’. There’s a whole symphony of emotion and the neurotransmitter, the mitochondria, the adrenals, all firing together to make life nice and make life enjoyable. And I just see that the number one leading cause of disability in the U.S. is depression and so, I don’t know, I just feel like there’s so much on top potential, on top productivity out of the population, if we can just simply get the gut improve, get the mitochondria improve, get the neurotransmitter improve. I mean, we could totally transform the country.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I totally agree. I mean, I think simply, out of the gates, it starts with food. So, it starts with high quality food, organic, right, low toxin, eating good proteins, eating good fats. I think being more of a fat burner for most people is super important because we just tend, if you just look at micronutrient trends over the last 56 years, we just consuming more processed carbohydrates and of course the fats are shifted to more, kind of polyunsaturated omega-6 kind of vegetable oil. I think number one out of the gates is we switch to higher quality, better, more stable fats whether it’s on the grass-fed meat, high quality fish or if we do any plants it’s gonna be more on the mannose, right, olive oil, some avocados, those kinds of things. That’s important on the fat and then we try to restrict the lot of the refined grains, refined sugar and that’s some kind of first step and make sure that the quality there. in regards to organic, um, no added hormones, some things like that in the pot. That’s a good start for anyone right there. And then from there, we can look at the different hormonal systems. So, if we have chronically high cortisol, usually that’s more of an acute thing but that can cause anxiety, that can cause irritability. Usually, there’s a tire of wire that kind of thing there. And then of course as we have chronic stress, that adrenal pattern can move more to a lower cortisol stay, and that can cause energy low motivation low mood. So, we wanna really look at the adrenals. They’re part of that stress handling system. So, when we look at things that drive the adrenals its physical, chemical and emotional stress and so we wanna make sure there’s nothing on the emotional side that’s driving a problem, right? Marriage issues, kids issues, financial issues, whatever that is, we have to make sure, we’re at least addressing it and it’s in our forefront, we’re not just kind of putting your head on the sand. Physically we need to make sure we’re not overexercising or under so we’re getting some movement or we’re moving our muscles or we’re not overly sedentary, we’re not doing things that cause us pain, right? So, that’s important. Of the chronically in pain, we see a soft tissue person or a chiropractor to really get to the root of that. And of course, what we really focus on is the underlying hidden chemical stressors, that’s just the food sensitivities, the gut imbalances, the dysbiosis, the leaky gut, the hormonal imbalances, the low thyroid, the adrenal imbalances, the hormonal issues, um, the mitochondrial dysfunction, the toxicity, mold, heavy metals, right? So, this is where we, we come in there, we focus on the chemical stressors that play a major input on the adrenals and we chronically stress the adrenals, adrenaline is also produced by the adrenals to kind of get cortisol mobilize and chronic adrenaline stimulation will pull dopamine because adrenaline is a post cursor essentially to dopamine. So, it goes dopamine 🡪 adrenaline. It’s over chronically sti, in a stressed-out state. Your body will make adrenaline and will pull from dopamine to make adrenaline. And dopamine is important for that I love you feeling, it’s really important for focus, dealing with stress and staying motivated. So, we have to get that, the underlying reason why we pullin’ out that dopamine downstream, we have to get the adrenals fully supported.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. I’m glad you mentioned heavy metals too. I mean, people and their brain issues could simply be related to mercury toxicity. If you’re someone just walking around and you’ve got a mouthful of amalgam fillings, we know those are estimated 50-ish percent mercury give or take and we know that mercury directly affects dopamine. If you simply just type in, mercury and Parkinson’s or mercury and Alzheimer’s. There’s a lot of links to these toxins and brain neurodegenerative issues. So, if you’re somebody who’s just so poor motivation and it’s more on the extreme side, you might get this amount of amalgam out of your mouth. And for my grandfather, he’s pushing 80-years-old, believe it or not, the local, biological then said he’s already having memory issues, it’s too late. The issue of pulling out the mercury could create more problems. He just said, leave it alone. But if you’re 40, 50, 60, 70 maybe you’re still at that age where you can start working at heavy metal detox, maybe you’re using some sort of binder for the meantime but ultimately, you’ve got to remove the source. So, I mean, if you got heavy metal in your mouth, no matter how much chlorella, charcoal, or clay you take, you’ll still get metal on your mouth. So, that could be a huge issue for your motivation and you gotta resolve it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% out of the gates. Also, low thyroid can be a thing. Low thyroid can affect mitochondrial function. It can affect mood. It can affect energy. Obviously, thyroid hormones play a major role in your overall metabolism. And if your metabolism is low and slow or more than likely your motivation would be low. So, it’s really good to look at thyroid function. Now, if you go to your conventional doctor that just gonna look at TSH typically and again if your TSH is overly high, let’s say greater than three and a half four. You know, that’s probably be pretty good sign. There’s probably thyroid issues downstream happening with T4 being on the lower side or T3 being, let’s say, below that 3.0 marker in the United States metric. Um, but again, TSH may still be adequate, let’s say below three and you may still have problems with thyroid hormones downstream, with T4, with T3. Maybe there’s an elevated antibodies because there’s some autoimmunity. It’s kind of like smoldering there. So, you really wanna look at running a full thyroid panel and your conventional medical doctor would typically not do it. So, you gotta reach out to kind of more natural, functional medicine first to do it. So, if you guys want to get that kind of testing done, Evan and I, we all do that testing. So, evanbrand.com, justinhealth.com. There’s links there where you can work with us if you want that type of in-depth testing. But low thyroid can be a deal breaker and it can, in most thyroid issues are autoimmune. So, you have to fix the gut. You have to fix the food. You have to fix all of the digestive issues to really get that usually under control.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Good point bringing up thyroid. So, I’ll bring up another kind of related one which could be anemias, right? If you got low ferritin, for example, you’re gonna be so exhausted if you have some type of anemia that that’s gonna really affect your motivation as well. So, I get kind of annoyed, to be honest with you, when I see people posting these motivational tracks. It is usually some super fit dude, possibly he’s on steroids, he’s flipping a tire and then yelling over the microphone, and it’s like, ‘you gotta get up and you gotta just do it’. And it’s like, you can’t just do it, like, I love that you’re, you know, 28 years old or maybe you’re on growth hormone and you’re flipping this tire and you’re motivated. But that type of talk goes only so far. And from our functional medicine mindset, like I said, I kind of get annoyed, because then you have this woman, maybe 50, 55 and she looks at herself in the mirror and she’s not happy on what she sees. She got insulin resistant, the diet is not dialed in, the guts affected, the neurotransmitters are low, but mitochondria are damaged because she got exposed to, uh, tick bites and molds. This motivational dud ranting over the microphone, he does not have a friggin’ clue about any of these functional strategies. And so, people then think that motivation is just this simple thing that you could just turn on or turn off. If I could just give motivated, I could do this or that. And it’s like, look, it’s way deeper than that, it’s way deeper than this dude just giving you some hoorah jumping the CrossFit class. And that’s why, that’s all this day.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I’m not a big fan of RAW, RAW stuff because it ignores physiology. I mean, I think there’s the RAW, RAW stuff can be helpful if it shifts your mindset. But mindset cannot be overcome physiology in the long run. It’s like people gonna, uh, an Anthony Robbins, I think Tony Robbins is great, he has a lot of strategy mindset stuff but you come out of this event so motivated. And it’s like, now what, right? It’s kind of like you’re driving your car, right, your old, used car, nothing’s wrong with it but your own E. Some guy comes up next to you and in like a Ferrari and it’s like, ‘man, you just got hit the back gas pillar, go’. And it’s like he hits the gas pillar, he’s out of sight and you’re like, ‘yeah, I don’t have fuel in my car and I kind of force cylinder under horsepower car, yeah I can’t do it. So, the first thing you gotta do metaphorically is you have to fill your tank of a gas. Get the car, get the gas in the tanks if you have fuel. And overtime, upgrade your car, upgrade your health, right? And we start with food quality, we start with good fats and proteins, we start with addressing glycemic issues, not overdoing or removing the processed sugar and the grain, dialing in the carbs on what you need, sleeping better. That’s like trading in your car at the car dealership, right? Literally, just by doing that, you’re starting to upgrade internally and of course from there we can always go down the functional medicine path and look at these hormone systems, adrenals, thyroid, gut function, mitochondrial issues. But we can at least upgrade the car and the fuel by making these simple lifestyle choices that are free and then from that, that gives you more motivation, now you have more energy, now your brain is clearer, so now you can, you know, be clearer on what your goals are. You can get very motivated, you can set timelines to your goals, right. What’s the difference between a goal and a dream? A goal has essentially a dream with an endpoint, a timeline on it, right. I’m gonna achieve this point, right? Take your dreams, make it your goal by putting an aid on it and some action items to go on it. And that takes energy and focus. And if your brain is foggy and overly tired, that’s gonna be problematic. So, I think, just work on those simple things and then once you get a little more motivation there then what’s next. And so, the things that I looked at when people are stressed and depleted, brain inflammation plays a major role with low motivation, so if we can cut out the foods, if we can add in B-vitamins, B6, magnesium, good health omega-3 fatty acids, that’s gonna help with the brain inflammation. That’s gonna help with the neurotransmitters. And then from there, we’re gonna look deeper at the box. This could be SIBO, bacterial overgrowth, H. pylori, parasites and getting the gut really cleaned out is gonna help shell out a lot of the brain inflammation because inflammation is bidirectional. Inflammation in the body can make its way to the gut and create a problem. Inflammation in the gut can make its way out of the gut into the bloodstream by leaky gut permeability causing inflammation in the brain.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. We could start to bring in some of those vitamins, like the omegas, we can bring in some phosphatidylserine or phosphatidylcholine, we can bring as you mentioned the B-vitamins, maybe some Ginkgo, possibly nootropics like the racetam family, pretty common phenylpiracetam or others oxiracetam. A lot of nootropics out there that you could use, but there’s so many people like in the that they’re taking these different nootropics but they’re not addressing anything in regards to their gut or anything, whether hormones. So, I think it’s…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I have a product in my line could, Dopa Replete Plus which has tyrosine and will have an actual pure L-dopa. That’s a good one. Or someone’s coming out of the gates, I would just even just be using pure tyrosine, pure L-tyrosine with some high-quality B-vitamins can be really helpful because you need the B-vitamins as a cofactor to really help convert to some of these neurotransmitters, some of these amino acids to become the actual neurotransmitters.
Evan Brand: Yeah. You can feel it pretty quick. I mean, that’s the cool thing about amino acids, is that you mentioned. A lot of times, you know, when we pitch people our services, we’re like hey, sign up, you know, give us a call evanbrand.com, justinhealth.com. People haven’t, they haven’t enough motivation to be miserable to do that. Sometimes, I don’t even think about people, they know they want to help but I think they haven’t enough motivation to even call us and reach out to us. So, if you’re one of those people, we’re here but, in the meantime, yeah, maybe you use a little bit of tyrosine. It gets you motivated enough to even reach out to get further health because I think a lot of people get overwhelmed at what’s gonna entail in regards to diet changes. Like, oh, that’s overwhelming, you’re gonna make me cut this out, lifestyle changes, you’re gonna make me cut that out, like oh my God or now I gotta go to bed at 9’oclock, you know, that’s too hard. So, we used this little tool, this functional medicine tool to help motivate people to get them through the protocol. Because you and I could design a perfect protocol, mitochondrial support. We’ve got the gut dialed in. We’ve got the detox, the binders. We got the liver, the gallbladder, the adrenals. It’s all taken care of. But, it’s only if somebody follows through so then you get to the part of compliance which we could do part 2 on that of you want. Like, how do you stay on track but making the plan and getting the labs is the first step and getting the people to follow through is the second one. I think progress ultimately gets people going, because they’ll feel how much better they are but somehow, so, what we’ll use somebody’s brain nutrients just to get them off to get through and follow through.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. From a mindset perspective, it’s kind of like if you have pushed a car before right. You push the car. The hardest thing we’re pushing a car is overcoming the initial inertia of the car, from not moving to moving, right? That’s the hardest part. And so, when we’re dealing with people’s health inertia, it is just getting a couple of habits of moving in the direction that allows the car to start moving. Now, the amount of energy you need to put into that car to keep it moving is far less, right? It’s far less because you overcome the initial inertia of it being stock to moving. That’s kind of health is. You kind of make like a couple of small changes now’s the ball’s rolling and then now you can add, you know, you just can sleep for a little bit, add a little movement in there, and a couple of supplements and now we have a lot more now it becomes even easier to keep that going. And then of course, the key is now, okay, all the energy going into it was moving to the four steps of learning right. It’s unconscious incompetence, you don’t know what you don’t know. Now, you’re consciously incompetence, you know what you don’t know, you’re at least aware of these things. And then you go from step 2 to step 3 you’re consciously competent, someone’s helping you but there’s a lot of energy to keep doing the right things and then ideally you start to move into the level of unconscious competence where it’s automatic, right? It’s like someone who drives a standard transmission, everyone who’s done that they know, like, they’re starting on doing clutch, shift, what, their heads going down looking at the gearbox to stir up. It’s tough, right? But then eventually it’s like, clutch, shift, 1,2, 3, right? It’s easy, downshifting no problem. You don’t have to worry about it, it’s like you’re in automatic transmission because you get the whole thing. So, that’s kind of, well, where habits are, you just start with the ones that really bears the most fruit and then you go up from there. So, that’s kind of kind of look at out of the gates.
Evan Brand: Well, look, you just did a live on camera because you’re like oh, we’re talking about in that booby. Whip up a capsule, and then boom you pop your aminos just like that. That’s kind of how I am too with protocol, I mean I’ll just feel how I am; I need a little bit of this, a little bit of that. And I’m just consciously making these micro calculations throughout the day. Oh, little low heat, op stressful day, hit the adrenals a little harder. We’re constantly making these twigs, it’s just a really good place to be.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. I’m gonna go hit some push-ups and some kettlebells, wings, and a little bit of rowing here in a minute. And I’m gonna, um, you know, use some. So, I just try, you know, surround myself with good tools that I could plug into throughout the day to keep that momentum going and then, you know, foundational things, food, water, sleep. So just make sure you, and then of course you can plug in some movement along there right. Those are your three to four big check marks that you gotta hit during the day. And as you start getting that, you can build up from there and that gets you that foundation you need.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Sleep is huge. So, we’d done a podcast on that but we’re always happy to do more. So, we’re wrapping out for now though. People can reach out if they need. We work around the world via facetime, uh, zoom, skype, you know, phone. We can do. We send labs everywhere and you can reach out to Dr. J at justinhealth.com and you can reach out to me, evanbrand.com and we’re happy to help. And we’ll look at some of these things and we’ll help investigate what could be going on, why’re you struggling. We know that you wanna get that dream business that dream goal, but you gotta make that a reality by optimizing these systems. So, that’s exactly what we do on ourselves on a day-to-day basis. Just literally just boost these neurotransmitters as we’re talking here. So, once you get these tools and place, you’re just gonna be driving, you can take over the world if that’s what you want.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% evanbrand.com, justinhealth.com. We’ll put links and recommendations for different things that we talked about product wise in the description of the video. Evan, awesome chat with you as always, my friend. We’ll talk soon.
Evan Brand: You too man. Take care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan and I, we’ll go now. Bye-bye.
Evan Brand: Bye-bye.
Investigating Your Adrenal and Hormones With a DUTCH Test | Podcast #327
In this video, Dr. J and Evan talk about the adrenal glands in our body – to produce certain hormones directly into the bloodstream. These hormones will respond to stress and other necessities to our existence. Also, they are discussing the detailed test needed to identify the root cause of problems and what other materials and hormones are essential to keep our adrenals and body healthy.
To support the body naturally, Dr. J recommends using herbs such as maca and ashwagandha. Progesterone, estrogen, and estriol may be fit for a patient. However, it is essential to know that protocols may be different for every patient since presentations and lab results may differ.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:20 Labs At Home
5:07 Low Cortisols
11:09 Dutch Tests
28:19 Useful Herbs
34:47 Healthy Estrogens
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani in the house with Evan Brand. Today we’re going to be talking about hormone and adrenal lab testing what we’re actually using in our virtual clinic to assess our hormone imbalances in our patients and different things that we’re doing to address those imbalances. Evan, how are we doing, man?
Evan Brand: Good, excited to get back in the saddle here and talk about something that we can test at home, which is amazing. I think that’s the first benefit to point out about some of the testing you and I are utilizing is that many people now they care more about their health than ever obviously, the state of the world has convinced people that health does matter. You need to prioritize this stuff. And so we can send these labs to your door. And so the test that you’re going to be showing people today will be something that you can do if you’re listening via audio, you might miss the visual, you can go to Justin health YouTube channel and see the video, but we’ll be sure to make sure we talk about it in a way that you can still understand even if you’re just audio only today.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, if you’re listening to the audio, we’ll put a link down below for the video so you can see it. And also if you’re listening, you can go to Justin health.com slash YouTube and hit subscribe. Alright, so let’s dive in. And so we deal with patients from all over the world virtually that have all kinds of different hormonal imbalances. It can range from a menopausal woman with lots of hot flashes, mood issues, vaginal dryness, depression, skin elasticity, hair loss issues, it could be a cycling woman that has a lot of PMS. pmdd breast tenderness, cramping, back pain, mood issues, irritability, also infertility as well. And then it was a lot of different imbalances in between excess androgen issues like we see in pcls, polycystic ovarian syndrome, we may even see estrogen dominant issues just like which could be PMS as well. Could be infertility, could be fibroids could be endometriosis could be fibrocystic breast issues, all of these things are on the table and of course, even manage a male issues to could have men could have excess estrogen and or low androgen and or low or high cortisol and or low or high Da, da all these imbalances are potential, I always tell my patients, you have the right to have more than one issue at the same time. And you can also have a hormone imbalance and also have multiple gut infections too. Of course, it’s all possible, right?
Evan Brand: Yeah, people hearing that too. They’re like, what the heck kind of mumbo jumbo? Did he just say, and how does that manifest? Well, you know, low libido, too. I mean, that’s one that I’d say at least 90% of the people I’m working with, that’s a question we always ask is, you know how you drive. And sex drive is always terrible for people. I was actually a study that came out. And the vast majority of people surveyed said that they would rather scroll on their smartphone on social media than have sex with their partner. And I thought, Oh, God, is that where we are in the technology world that the phone is more desirable than our partners? That’s no good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, definitely not good. 100%. So I just kind of laid out a couple of potential patterns there, we’ll kind of dive into them one by one will actually show you a real live patient lab here for y’all to kind of look at obviously, it’ll be centered regarding who the patient is. But we’ll put all that information out there for y’all. So you can kind of see how a lab looks out of the gate. So one of the first things that we do when we look at a patient, male or female, we’re going to look at adrenal function. And adrenal function is very important because your adrenals make cortisol. Cortisol is an anti inflammatory hormone. Most people in today’s day and age, they’re not under inflamed, they’re over inflamed. So having your body’s natural anti inflammatory system on board is vital, very, very important. Second is cortisol rhythm. Cortisol rhythm plays a major role in your circadian rhythm, which is waking up energy in the morning. Having good rhythm helps a lot with mood, and also lower cortisol at night. And that nice gentle taper of cortisol. So cortisol starts, it starts mid range, when you wake up, and in that first 30 minutes to an hour, it almost doubles. And then from there, it tapers down throughout the whole day. And we want a nice lower cortisol rhythm, lower cortisol level at nighttime, so we can wind down and relax not too low, when we start having maybe blood sugar issues, which could wake us up at night and not too high, where we could have problems going to bed because we’re too wired right, or not a reverse pattern, we’re lower in the morning, which means low energy and higher at night, relatively speaking, which could cause us to have too much energy at night and then we don’t get good sleep. So the adrenals play a really big role because of cortisol and its effects on anti inflammatory mood, rhythm, sleep, and then also especially for women listening men too, but da da da da sulfate is a precursor to a lot of our sex hormones, that helps with our female hormones. And that plays a big role in healthy, healthy reproduction. people. People think when they talk about female hormones or just thinking about having babies no your hormones there to reproduce you Yeah, reproduce the baby but also reproduce you which means healthy aging, healing recovery as a man to healing recovery. Healthy libido, good muscle building. In good building the ability to turn over your tendons and ligaments and bones, all these things require good healthy anabolic metabolism.
Evan Brand: Yeah, great point. You know, one thing you pointed out, which I think a lot of people miss with cortisol is you mentioned cortisol being too low at night and that impairing your sleep. See most people just a buzzword, or if they’ve ever heard of cortisol, they’ve heard of adrenal testing and things like that. They think, okay, high cortisol at night equals poor sleep. But you mentioned low cortisol at night or too low cortisol at night could also be an issue because of that blood sugar. And then what can happen is you and I’ve covered this before, but there’s some sort of a spike, right? Maybe an adrenaline cortisol spike in the middle of the night, is that what you think is happening?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so with sleep issues, you could definitely see a low cortisol kind of going into nighttime or low cortisol during the night. And that can cause a drop in blood sugar, and that drop in blood sugar can then signal a increase in adrenaline. So adrenaline tends to come to the scene first, cortisol tends to come to the scene 1020 minutes later, or so. So you get this spike of adrenaline that’s very stimulatory, that increases cortisol. And then now you’re alert and you’re waking up, right? So we want to make sure higher cortisol, lower cortisol at night that’s causing a increase in cortisol is not happening due to blood sugar regulation. So we want good blood sugar, good healthy protein, and fats, maybe work on amino acids and melatonin production at around bedtime, and maybe have something by your nightstand to help stabilize blood sugar before in your end. Or if you get up like a nice simple college and smoothie, or a really good protein and fat base, simple bar by your nightstand to stabilize blood sugar, those are all really really good options to help you on the sleep side.
Evan Brand: So like if you had a good quality protein, fat, maybe some carb starts with dinner, but let’s say I don’t know, 9:10pm, you go to have a snack and you just do. I don’t know popcorn or I don’t know, handful of strawberry, some kind of a simple sugar, you think it’s possible that your glucose could spike and then it will crash in the middle of the night if you’re doing something too simple or too high on the glycemic index?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, it depends on how blood sugar sensitive you are. I mean, the two examples you gave are two different things, right? Because grains and popcorn are going to be a little bit more higher glycemic, higher sugar stuff, strawberries, pretty low glycemic and a lot of fiber there, so probably not as much with the strawberries. But could you have some strawberries and maybe a spoonful of almond butter, right or some kind of a good fat or protein probably better, right? It just depends upon what time you’re going to bed and what time you’re eating. Usually you see people that are eating around five or six o’clock dinner, and they’re going to bed like around 11. And there’s like a five hour gap between their last meal and sleep potentially. And again, it has to do with how dysregulated their blood sugar is and how weak their adrenals are. So it really depends. But if sleeps an issue, that’s one pattern we want to look at. We talked about da da playing a big role. If you’re a female going into menopause, that means your egg follicles are being used up essentially. And you’re not going to get that hormone production from that follicle that’s now no longer there. So we require a lot of the DA DA from our adrenals to now be made. And if our adrenal reserves on da, da are low, guess what? We’re not going to have that that backup battery that we had already to go right we’re in middle of, we’re just coming out of a bunch of storms in Austin here. And if you didn’t have a generator ready to go, guess what you you went without power for a while, well, that’s kind of like going into a spa, menopause is going into a storm with a generator that’s maybe three quarters empty. And so the adrenal is play a really important role as the backup generator for sex hormones. And so the better that generator is charged up, the easier you’re going to sail into menopause and not have all the hot flashes and mood issues and sleep issues and skin issues and hormone issues and vaginal dryness issues that you may have with lower sex hormone reserves.
Evan Brand: Yep, well said you’re ready to show us this thing. I’m sure people that are on video want to see what the heck we’re talking about. We can see some of the rhythms and also da da is measure two, which is cool. So when we talk about a cortisol test, we’re getting a lot more than cortisol to right we’re getting melatonin also.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And then one last thing to look at is PCOS, which is also common. You see it more in younger women, you know, 20s and 30s. But blood sugar issues high level of insulin, this can really jack up testosterone and this can do a whole bunch of issues in regards to abnormal hair growth, you may see an increase in libido, some still go down. And then of course, weight gain is going to be another another big side effect there. Let me share my screen with you so you guys can see an actual lab test for y’all. Okay. All right. So while I get that going here, in the meantime, anything else you want to say about that, Evan?
Evan Brand: Well, you and I were talking about this before we hit record and that was the idea of retesting hormone. And so you thought well, based on a lot of people with progress, you don’t necessarily need to incur the cost again. So a lot of times you and I may run this as an initial snapshot, but depending on symptoms, you may not need to do this over and over and over again because a lot of the support We’re using a pretty broad spectrum. And they’re going to help regulate your rhythm regardless of where it’s at. Right? So initially, we may want to tweak one thing a certain direction or the other, but long term care wise, you and are using things that are pretty, would you just stay state stabilizing, not necessarily a big sledgehammer to the hormones.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It depends for me. So if someone has very, very low cortisol levels, or very, very high cortisol levels, and or significant estrogen dominance and low progesterone, the more significant the hormonal pattern, the more significant the imbalance, the more I want to retest less significant if we see corresponding symptomatic improvement, usually it becomes less necessary because the patient knows they’re getting better we can feel it, we can see it in their their physiological activation and how they’re sleeping, their mood, their energy, their libido, we can you know, their cycle, there’s just so many things that are improving that the patient is confident that we’re good. And if the imbalance isn’t major, right, they’re not a fertility case. They don’t have a major hormonal imbalance right there that may not be necessary, but I always kind of I’m on the fence always give the patient the ability to to make a decision on that. So this is my screen here, Evan, are you able to see it?
Evan Brand: Yep, we see it just fine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So here’s a Dutch test that’s done with a patient whose kind of perimenopausal menopausal, meaning their cycles kind of been on and off hasn’t really had it for six to eight months or so kind of in that area of transitioning into full menopause, which is usually not having a cycle for a full year 12 months in a row. So they’re kind of in this Peri menopausal phase, and usually perimenopause and start to hit in your, in your early to mid 40s. When you start skipping months, maybe you start having some hot flashes like symptoms, whether it’s mood or libido or a hot flash stuff. And again, it’s always tough to say because perimenopause can easily feel like PMS too, right? I think that the biggest differentiating factor is not having all the hot flashes and not having the skip cycles. When it comes to more of the PMS like stuff, that’s usually a distinguishing factor. But we look at the Dutch test a couple things here. This is our cortisol pattern, our daily free cortisol pattern. And you can see you wake up here at a and your cortisol should taper up in the morning, this isn’t within the first hour and then go down throughout the day. So this patient actually started with a here, right, this is cortisol with a pretty good rhythm out of the gates. But instead of picking up 100% or so they actually went down. So they started here that having that nice rise, they went down This is big, this is a big problem, right not going to have the energy you’re not going to have that good rhythm that good up and Adam kind of energy in the morning and they trace low the entire day, relatively low and flat the entire day. So we call this a flat cortisol rhythm relatively speaking, it’s flat, they should be starting here a peaking up at B and then gently tapering down throughout the day. And they basically start at a at their highest point. And they go down throughout the day. So very low and flat cortisol rhythm. Now when we look at their cortisol levels, they’re free cortisol, which is a+b+c+d, this is what’s represented on the graph here. And again, if you’re listening on the podcast, click down below to watch the video link if you want, if not, we’ll just try to describe it. They’re free cortisol when you add a plus b plus c plus d is 73. That’s very low. So if you see this little gauge here, imagine this is like the volume knob on your stereo, this is all the way up high this star and this on the left all the way up low. So they’re almost all the way till the to the left. It’s like their volume knob is like 5% on it’s like having a whisper out of their stereo. So 73 is very, very low. Now this is the cool part, right? So normally with a salivary test, right, the Dutch test is the dried urine for testing comprehensive hormones. The benefit of this test is we get a window into free cortisol, but also total cortisol could its urine with a salivary test, we’d only be able to see this 73 number, which is the which is the free cortisol, that’s two to 5% of all cortisol is free, and biologically available. The other total, which looks at the free, which is the two to 5% Plus, everything else that’s protein bound, is give us a window into all of our cortisol, we’re making them this is the cool thing. We never would have this number on a free cortisol test from saliva. But you can see their total cortisol, which is everything is very high. It’s 93 04. Right? It’s way off the charts. Hi. So they have very, very, very low free cortisol, very, very, very high total cortisol. So there’s not like an adrenal fatigue issue or like a low adrenal pattern. Even though the cortisol is low, their adrenals are making a lot of it right. And this is a common pattern we see when there’s HPA access dysfunction. So if you go down to this page over here, you’re gonna see what the HPA axis is. I’ll go back and I’ll just explain this in a minute. But if we go down to this page here, the HPA axis we have this feedback loop from the hypothalamus and the pituitary. This is the HP portion of the HPA axis. And this communication feedback loop talks to the adrenals where we make cortisol with We make DAGA. And we have our free cortisol, we have our total cortisol, we have our DAGA, this feedback loop from our corticotropin releasing hormone to the adrenal corticotropin releasing hormone. This feedback loop is our HPA access. And when this starts to break down, and that feedback loop that miscommunication happens, this is where we start seeing a very high amount of total cortisol and a very, very low amount of free cortisol. Does that make sense out of the gates questions they’re having?
Evan Brand: Makes perfect sense. So what do you do?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so let me continue to roll with that. Let me go back up here a little bit more.
Evan Brand: DAGA production look good there, though. That was nice to see.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let’s kind of break it down. So I always hit things like this. I might order of doing things that way. I don’t miss anything. So the first thing I look at is cortisol rhythm. How’s the cortisol rhythm? Good in the morning. A and then B, C, and D morning after night are low, low, low. So normal, low, low, low. So definitely poor cortisol rhythm. How’s the cortisol amount? Well, free cortisol is low. Okay, total cortisol is high. Now, so I tend to treat someone more in the middle in regards to their adrenal support, I won’t over support their cortisol too much, because we know they’re making a lot. So we’re really going to focus on an in between amount of cortisol and more HPA access support in regards to adaptogenic herbs, we really have to support good adaptogens. This being a menopausal woman, or Peri menopausal, we’re going to support the adrenals. We’re going to support HPA access. And we’re also going to use herbs to support the estrogen and progesterone receptor sites, we’re going to do both Okay, so you can see her now the next part is sex hormones. So we talked about the total cortisol right free cortisol, low total cortisol high strong HPA access pattern, and then the sex hormone wise, estrogen Astra diawl is low. This is primarily the hormone that’s going to be used in cycling women, progesterone is low, they’re both equally low, you see how they fall in the same place in the dial. So if you’re looking at the volume knob, they’re both in the same place, they’re both low on the volume knob. Usually with estrogen dominance, we’ll start to see the estrogen knob higher up relative to progesterone. So that tends to give us a good ratio if we’re intact. So estrogen to progesterone ratio is good. But the hormones are just low altogether. And then testosterone for a perimenopausal woman it’s in the bottom 25% of the range. Not bad. For a perimenopausal woman, you know, top 25 or top third to half is ideal. Not bad at all.
Evan Brand: And this woman was not doing anything correct. She wasn’t doing any dapa or testosterone support-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. And then I ignore total da da, I look at these numbers individually here, I look at da da sulfate, eat a clan alone and I look at them all separately. Her total da da number it looks okay. But that can give you a false interpretation. And again, I’ve been doing labs like this lab for six years, I’ve been looking at hormone labs for over a decade. So I mean, I’ve done 1000s of these things. So I always try to boil it down to the to the patterns and the data that matters and ignore the fluff.
Evan Brand: So how would this woman feel I think important to mention, you know, all these numbers, people may look at this and think okay, this looks like Greek so can you just explain how would a woman with that pattern be feeling we’re seeing that cortisol was okay?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Peri menopausal symptoms, a lot of Peri menopausal symptoms, libido, mood, hot flush stuff, skipping cycles, of course, low energy, mood stuff, all of those things are present for sure. And then look at her DAGA sulfate here, right? This is the backup generator of the sex hormones to the bottom 25% of the range. So this is the dial here, right? 170 she’s definitely on the lower part here that bottom 25% I like to group things based off a percentage, then the actual numbers don’t matter as much like I just say, hey, you’re in the bottom 25% of the reference range. I like my patience in the top half the top 25% or so. So I always look at things as a percentage. That way you don’t get overly infatuated on the numbers, the numbers can kind of confuse things testosterones in the bottom 25% not as bad there. But I mean, if we get the DAGA to the mid range, that testosterone should take care of itself because that’s gonna trickle downstream from DAGA to Android to testosterone. All of her androgens are okay, they’re all mid to upper 25% no problem. They’re her hormones are pretty balanced in regards to five alpha reductase. This is kind of the enzyme is very important to things going down a less androgenic pathway versus like DHT, which can be more associated with hair loss and prostate issues. And then if we go look at her estrogen levels over here, so this is progesterone, progesterone is calculated by pregnant a dial press plus alpha prineta dial so alpha and beta combined and we already saw her levels here. This is 1.9. I don’t know why the lab doesn’t show that number here. It should it’s like an error, but it’s 1.9 should be the progesterone number Now go look at the estrogen and that’s low. I mean from a cycling female we want at least 10 ideally 15 on the progesterone and then if we go look on the estrogens right, she’s low across the board. So estrogen is he one you know how you know it’s you want it has plenty in it, right? And that’s how we know it’s a one. And then Astra dial, this is your primary cycling estrogen. And it’s easy to because it’s got the prefix di and their di meanings two right, like two sets of dice die. And then we have estria, which is e three and the TRI prefix is how we know it’s e three. So for short e one e two, e three, or estrone estradiol estriol. And again, Esther dial will predominate when you’re cycling more, and estriol we should shift when you’re more menopausal, okay. And we tend to support more estria when they’re men appointment, women are menopausal. So her estrogens are pretty low across the board, you can see that you know, it’s gonna, these are all the metabolites downstream. But you can see, and again, if we want healthy estrogen metabolism, right, we have e to e4 and e 16, which are a different estrogen metabolites. And then you can see here, it goes down this protective pathway from a one to two hydroxy astone. And then that goes down into it and gets methylated into two methoxy. estrogen. And you can see here, right to keep it really simple. This 2.5 number on the estrogen metabolite should go down this pathway, at least half of that should be metabolized. It’s not so you can look at this at this methylation gauge. Don’t look at the numbers, just look at the gauge. So her methylation activity for metabolizing. Estrogen is actually low. So this is not getting fully metabolized. Now, why is that a problem? Well, one, she’s not metabolizing estrogen to her estrogen levels are low to begin with. So it just tells me that there’s some methylation detoxification issues that are a problem. Why could that be a bigger problem? Well, if we start supporting more da, da, maybe start supporting hormones better, this could cause a backup in regards to her hormones being metabolized, we may want to really work on supporting extra sulfur groups extra methylating nutrients, so there’s not a clog in these hormones getting metabolized. So, in general, we want to see at least half of this getting metabolized downstream. So if we look at two hydroxy, one, we want at least 1.25 there. And again, forget the numbers, it’s all represented in the gauge. So I want this gauge at least mid range. If the gauge is not mid range, and it’s on the lower side, it tells me we’re not metabolizing or methylating, our hormones actively, you know, as optimally as possible, and we may want to provide supporting nutrients to help that.
Evan Brand: So let me ask you this, if a woman, maybe she had run this and got the analysis from you, but then she just went to her conventional hormone doctor down the street, and he goes and puts her on some estrogen and maybe some progesterone, maybe some testosterone, how would that differ in terms of outcome based on this versus what you’re going to do?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, number one is they’re going to look at your extra dial just via the blood. And that’s okay. But it may not be able to look at free SSL dial as well. And most of the time, they’re not going to time it up at the right time of the cycle, you really want to time some of these things up around day 20 of the cycle to get a window of where progesterone is at. And then of course, you have to compare it to where in the cycle it is. And the next thing is no one’s going to look at how it’s being metabolized downstream. So we get a window into our total estrogen. All of our estrogens e one, e two e three, not just extra dial, we’re getting a window of progesterone as well. We’re getting a window into our androgens, we’re getting a window into d h, EA and our testosterone. And then we’re also looking at how it metabolizes downstream from 16 hydroxy from four hydroxy and to two hydroxy to four and 16.
Evan Brand: And then what’s the protocol? What’s the protocol for this woman?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So it depends. So off the bat, we may want to support estrogen metabolism a little bit better. That could be giving something like NAC it could be giving something like glutathione, it could be doing something like indole, three carbinol DIMM, or calcium to glucose, they could all be really good options. Even just giving some extra fiber could also be really helpful. Just to help out of the gates just to make sure there’s no bottlenecks there. Number two, we would support the adrenals accordingly, okay, we would support sex hormones as well. So depending on if she’s cycling or not, because remember, this woman kind of was skipping cycles. We would definitely do herbs like different kinds of phenotypes of Makkah that we use I use a product called feminine essence menopause as a special phenotype of Makkah. You can get that adjusted health.com slash shop and the female hormone section that’s wonderful because it works on upstream HPA axis. We may work on the in different herbs to help the HPA access to like ashwagandha which is wonderful at modulating that hi level of cortisol. And then depending on hormones, we may want to throw in some progesterone, especially if she’s cycling in the last half of the month. And we may want to throw in a little bit of estriol. It depending on if she’s cycling or not, if she’s transitioning into menopause at her age, right 52, I think is the age of this patient. Well, the average age of menopause is 4852. So she’s definitely on the later side. So she may be transitioning into menopause. And if she has no cycles for a period of time, we may want to throw a little bit of estriol in, but if she’s not, if she’s still cycling, we don’t want to do any sgl. Right now, we want to focus on good healthy herbal support for astron production, we want to focus on good da ta support, we want to focus on progesterone, the last half of the month, we want to also focus on good estrogen metabolism. We want to focus on really, really, really good HPA access, support, all of those things are going to be really, really important. I’m not going to give like an exact protocol on dosing, just because it’s you know, this is a very general kind of thing right now, I don’t have the patient in front of me, but it just kind of gives you a good idea. What what I’m looking at there.
Evan Brand: Totally. So someone may think, oh, they saw that high metabolized cortisol and they may need, they may think they need to come in and do something like relora, which a lot of people talk about to lower cortisol, that is not the right choice to do because her total, or the free cortisol is already on the low end. Correct. So like at nighttime, like if this woman says, Hey, I’m not sleeping good at night, you’re not going to come in and use relora are you because that would take the low situation and make it lower? Is that right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I wouldn’t give something that would lower the free cortisol more like something like a phosphatidylcholine or serine. Right. But I would do some things to calm down the HPA axis for sure. So things that really can help calm it down. Because that total cortisol being really high is what’s telling me that there’s definitely HPA access issues. But I mean, you know, it’s possible some of these symptoms could could kind of conflict because our free cortisol so low and our total cortisol so high, but I wouldn’t overly lower the free cortisol, I would just focus more on adaptogens to help modulate over cortisol. Just the the overactivity, the overstimulation of the adrenals the whole, and that would still come in there and support with some pregnenolone and dapa as well. I wouldn’t overdo it either, though, because her cortisol is total on the higher side. So this is where it’s really important. Like, it’d be really easy to want to give this woman a lot of licorice and a lot of pregnenolone. Some of that may be necessary, but you may want to just take the fact take into consideration that she has a total cortisol level that’s very high. And we may want to have some kind of in between those. So we got to really look at that total cortisol production in relationship to the free not overdo it.
Evan Brand: Yeah, what you’re saying is because she’s desperate to feel better, right? And you want to give her more energy and you’re going to look at that rhythm and say, Okay, yeah, it’d be great to give her a boost here some licorice at breakfast time and maybe some lunchtime dose to perk her up. But you’re saying you can overdo it because of how high the total is in this case.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, very easy to do that.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And so then that would manifest how maybe anxiety heart palpitations, insomnia.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If we overdo it, yes, harpy, potentially heart pals, potentially insomnia, potentially, anxiety, all of those things are potential issues that you may see a problem with.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and this is why we love to to mix herbs to right you’re rarely going to be using an urban isolation, right? You’re going to be coming in possibly with ashwagandha. But you may come in possibly morning. Maybe she could benefit from something like some eleuthero. Some holy basil, maybe some other more stimulating things. If you don’t want to go too high on the licorice. Is that what you would do?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Yep. 100%. Cool. Any other questions there so far? It’s great to see it.
Evan Brand: I think this should should help a lot of people.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, in general, you really want to make sure you kind of clearly delineate where the patient is in their in their hormonal pattern. I think it’s really tough. The hardest part is when you have a woman who’s perimenopausal who’s still cycling, but is starting to not cycle and starting to switch into menopause. Because you’re kind of you kind of have two ways to handle a woman if they’re still cycling versus they’re not because hormones have a rhythm, rhythmic fashion, and you want to add them in, pull them out. And if a woman is more menopausal, you can keep hormones really in throughout the month, you’ll have to cycle them as much. And so I always err on the side of treating a woman like they’re cycling until they clearly delineate that they aren’t cycling, because if I start getting hormones monthly, daily, and that could throw off their their cycling pattern. I don’t want to do that right first, do no harm. Let the body clearly delineate where it’s at in regards to its natural hormonal patterns. So the hardest part in dealing with women, is if they’re perimenopausal transitioning to menopause, I really want their bodies to clearly show me that they’re ready to stop cycling and that’s why I always treat them like they’re cycling until it’s crystal clear they aren’t.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and then that The most common time for symptoms, right? So that’s probably the majority of what what people are going to feel in that stage of their life, they’re going to feel the most symptomatic in that transition time, or at least in what you and I’ve seen, this is probably the most common time a woman’s going to reach out for help.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% Yep. So it’s really, really important to kind of take a look at that and make sure that we keep that in mind. Absolutely. And then also, you know, we have different estrogen metabolism risks, right, we have different estrogen metabolites. So if we look over here, we have e one, e two, and E three. And when you look at these different metabolites, you know, he one tends to be a little bit more, you know, safer, right? He one tends to be a little bit more safer in regards to his to his detoxification, okay. And then when you look at e4, or sorry, two hydroxy, estrogen, right, or Astra dial here, this can go down pathways as well, are four that could be a little bit more damaging to DNA. So our four hydroxy, could be a little bit more damaging, as you can see.
Evan Brand: Let me ask you this real quick. So if you scroll down a little, it’s showing how on that pathway, you can get DNA damage, it’s showing reactive there. So we have to factor in what we learned from the stool test into this also, right, because if we see like a high beta glucuronidation problem due to bacterial overgrowth, isn’t that going to mess up this same pathway or my..?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, it definitely can. And you can see here with the different, you know, metabolites, right, your four is going to be a problem area, right? So you’re for your your two hydroxy. Your two hydroxy going into the this four hydroxy right here could be a problem. Two hydroxy tends to be a little bit less damaging right here, especially if you have good CMT and methylation, when you go when you because all these things can can conglomerate. So you can see how e one e two and E three can all go side by side, they can all transition. But then you can see they can go down to 16 pathway, which tends to be a little bit more gentler. It can go down the four pathway, which can go into reactive oxygen species, it can also get methylated, right? What’s methylation, full eight, B six, right? b 12 really helps support methylation, Coleen, and then also gluta phi m can help decrease a lot of this too. So healthy gluten diet and healthy sulfur, healthy cruciferous vegetables, healthy digestion of our animal products. And that can help a lot of this, this methylation issue, and detoxification. And then of course, we have our E, two hydroxy. Over here, which again, methylation is very important, full A B 12. b six, Coleen, right, healthy cruciferous vegetables are going to be really important if you’re here. And we can even if it’s really high, we can even do things like dim, we can do things like calcium to glucose, we can do extra fiber, things like that to help bind it up.
Evan Brand: And the reason you’re saying this is so important is because we need to get out these excess hormones, right, we don’t want them just sitting in the tank, so to speak, after they’ve gone through this process. So you’re saying the gluco rate, the Bluetooth ion, the methylation, these are all the processes in the body to get rid of these, once they’re done is I don’t know what the right word is. But once they’ve been used by the body-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -agreed, though, your body will conjugate them bind that proteins to them and excrete them. And so we’re gonna really focus on a lot more gluta phone support more sulfur amino acids. If we see this guy over here, the four hydroxy ones higher. And then of course, you know, you can always give sulfur support methylation as well, which is going to be the B six, b 12, full eight, Coleen all of that as well. And this will support both of these two methoxy, two hydroxy, as well as four hydroxy. One, all of these are going to be very helpful, you can’t hurt to support any of those. And if we have anyone that has, you know, estrogen cancer, you know, risk? Well, we tend to if we need estrogen in someone’s more menopausal, we’re going to try to support more estria, which is going to be more cancer protective. But if someone has a previous cancer history, we probably will not do any hormones at all on the estrogen side. And just focus on progesterone as long as their their cancer is not progesterone sensitive, and good, healthy herbal support to help modulate some of the receptor sites.
Evan Brand: Yeah, awesome, awesome question there. This ties into a lot of stuff we do with the gut to which is really cool, because we’re often going to be in detox to we’re often going to be using Bluetooth ion for mold or chemical toxins, we’re going to be using calcium D glue, great to help with zero unknown or other mycotoxin removal, we’re going to be using possibly a methylated multi based on what we see with poor mitochondrial function on the organic acids test. So the cool thing that I’m seeing here, the trend is that the whole picture works together. So by working on the other body systems, we’re already really fixing the majority of stuff we’re seeing here plus the addition of some of the extra hormonal support.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly. And then kind of the general ratio of healthy estrogens, is we like to see a kind of, you know, we have the, what’s called the estrogen ratio, where we look at Astra dial thrown relative to 16 hydroxy. Right? So it’s like we’re looking at basically each one. I’m sorry, e to e4 and 16. We like to see a higher level of 16 in relationship to four and two, right? 16 tends to be more cancer protective. Why? Because most of its coming from estriol. And then you can see two and four tend to be a little bit more from stronger estrogens, e two and E one are stronger estrogens, e three is a weaker estrogen. So we kind of have our two, four and 16 metabolite ratios, right. So you could say to four and 16, we want to have higher levels of 16 in relationship to lower levels of two and four. And again, it just depends upon how the metabolism is to right. If we’re metabolizing these things well, not as big of a deal, right? Because why these hormones come up higher typically is where they’re getting the hormones in our body from, from hygiene products, from plastics, from chemicals in our environment, or we’re just not metabolizing them. So we make sure the lifestyle components are dialed in, where we’re not getting them in our body and to we make sure that we’re metabolizing them as well. Does that make sense?
Evan Brand: It does it does and why we’re not metabolizing metabolizing them, I just wanted to make that clear to people that could be due to gut issues, right, there is a gut hormone component here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so the beta glucuronidaze enzyme really helps metabolize a lot of estrogens. And when beta glucuronidaze goes high, it takes the SD estrogens that would have handcuffs on them or a straitjacket on them that would be escorted out of the body. And it breaks those handcuffs and allows them to go back into general population. And so having good healthy gut levels is very important. Now, if you come down here a little bit more, this is kind of cool. We look at melatonin levels, patients mid range, not that big of a deal. These are the same markers over here. So we’re not worried. This is cortisone pattern, I don’t really care about it, it almost always is congruent. What we see on the cortisol side, you can see this kind of with more emotional stress issues. This is more like inflammatory stress. But almost always, they always tend to have a similar pattern as the other side. So I don’t really care as much, because you can see the cortisone pattern is almost the same as the cortisol pattern, right? And that’s not going to change protocol. It’s not going to change protocol. And the cortisol is the more physiological active compound, right? cortisol gets gets broken down downstream to cortisone, which is a weaker kind of metabolite, it’s the weaker sibling. So it’s not quite as it’s not going to be the stronger one we’re worried about. And these are all the same numbers on here. This test is very confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking at, because there’s a lot of repetitive data. That’s just more I think, so people don’t have to scroll around as they’re going over the labs. It’s kind of repetitive for the doctor so they can explain it to the patient. But if the patient’s looking at it, they think, wait, this is new, this is new, this is new. It’s just like this is like the third time they’re saying it not a big deal. All right, and then this is where we’re looking at some of the the markers here in regards to organic acids.
Evan Brand: How you can correlate to the Oh, I mean, have you-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s pretty good. It’s it’s on point, most of the time, sometimes it can be off, I always tell patients, if we have an organic acid test, like the gray plant lab or the Genova, we’re going to always listen to that one as the most important because that test is specific for organic acids. And there’s a greater sample there too, so it’s going to be more accurate. But if we have this test in by itself, we’ll still utilize it. So out of the gates, you can see here, b 12, this is for methylation looks pretty good 1.5, Santhi RNA can be six marker, kind of urinate look pretty good. glutathione is on the lower side, right? So with this patient, we may want to support either some kind of a sulfur amino acid or some kind of fluid found to help with estrogen metabolism. And again, it just depends out of the gates if we’re not providing a ton of hormone support. Her hormones are so low as well, it may not be a top priority out of the gate. If the person’s hormones were higher, definitely a top priority out of the gates. Okay. And then this is interesting. This looks at the catecholamines it looks at basically adrenaline, or catecholamine. do the exact same thing. By the way, norepinephrine, epinephrine, exact same thing. Three words that mean the same thing. I know it’s really confusing. So we have dopamine, which is the home of anolyte metabolite, and then we have vandalia Mandalay, which is a which is a metabolite of adrenaline or epinephrine. And so dopamine is a precursor to norepinephrine or epinephrine. So the more chronically stressed you you are you will pull dopamine, and so they have high levels of dopamine metabolism and high levels of adrenaline metabolism. What does that mean? It means this pathway, this pathway here is is redlined. So we’re really breaking down and metabolizing lots of dopamine, a lots of adrenaline, and that could be part of the reason why the adrenals are more depleted here, right. And so we may want to add in some amino acids to support some of the catecholamines catecholamines. Definitely stressed. Now, we just have to make sure as we add some of those support in that we’re fixing underlying issues. So we’re fixing diet, we’re fixing blood sugar, we’re trying to get sleep better. We’re not over exercising, we’re making sure all those things are, are pretty good. And then again, Melatonin is on the lower end of the range, but it’s at 24. The range is 10 to 85. So it’s not that bad. I mean, it’s in the bottom third. I only work on this if there’s sleep issues. And typically, I’m always going to be supporting melatonin with amino acid precursors. First, I’m never going to target melatonin by itself unless we absolutely have to. I rather give building blocks and let the body do with it what it’s going to do first, then force melatonin, but if we have to, we can at the lowest possible dose, like-
Evan Brand: What are you doing? What are you going to do for aminos on the homo vanolate vandal mandalay you’re mentioning there, you may come in and support aminos.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah so if you look at the range, they’re not super high. It’s six remember, this goes six point four um high end of the range four to thirteen. So i’d probably come in there with some tyrosine. Definitely i throw in some extra b vitamins, extra b6, even though b6 looks good. Just because these pathways are going to be stressed, so i really want to make sure some of the b vitamins are there. Some of the extra amino acids are there. I’m going to work on some of the adaptogens for the adrenals, i’m going to work on some of the adaptogens for the female hormones, uh we’ll throw in a little bit of DAGA, we’ll throw in a little bit of pregnanalone building blocks as well, if we go look here –
Evan Brand: So would you come in and never do dlpa over tyrosine in that situation, would you go based on symptoms like if somebody was like super weepy and crying at the drop of the hat, would you say okay we’re going to go dlpa instead or you’re just going to have tyrosine?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I would just do tyrosine out of the gates. I’d only do more dlpa stuff if there’s like a lot more chronic pain because dlpa will tend to go down more of that beta endorphin pathway which could be helpful for chronic pain stuff. If not i would just hit more of the the tyrosine and the b6 and then really calm down the hpa axis. Does that make sense?
Evan Brand: Yeah it does.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then again you could see here pregnanalone is an important building block that we like to use because it’s it’s the mother of all hormones. Now i like it but you don’t want to just take it willy-nilly. I like to always use the lowest possible dose and i like to use it sublingually to bypass the gut and you can see chronic. So you can see here pregnenolone can go downstream to progesterone, right and then you can see pregnenolone, um can also go downstream to DAGA which can then go downstream to our sex hormones right, potentially some of the androgens. Potentially some of the female hormones right go right from here to andro to e1, that goes to e2 and then that can go to e3, all right and then it can also go downstream to testosterone too. Okay and then it can also go downstream to your mineral corticoids which are right here DAGA to where’s um.. Aldosterone here? Help me find aldosterone, where is it there.. Uh andro e1 let me know if you can see it but there should be a pathway where it goes downstream to aldosterone which helps hold on to our minerals.
Evan Brand: Is it at the bottom scroll down i’m seeing it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Maybe they left it out on this graph but there should be a pathway that goes down to aldosterone which is a mineral corticoid, which helps you hold on to your minerals as well. Now also too if you have progesterone right, but then you’re having a lot of like um inflammation right, you can go progesterone down to 17 hydroxy progesterone and then that can go down to cortisol right, so if you’re chronically inflamed you can create low levels of progesterone. Because progesterone is going from here right downstream to cortisol. So that’s why chronic stress and chronic inflammation could throw off your female hormone balance. Does that make sense?
Evan Brand: Yeah it does. Yeah it shows there too uh mother’s diet during pregnancy. Insulin, resistance, obesity, inflammation, hypothyroidism, licorice phthalates, I like how they put the information about what’s going to contribute to the problem that’s really cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep exactly. And then also you can see here you can go your cortisol right and then your cortisol this is your free cortisol here. Right, this is your your active cortisol. Um so this is your this is your free cortisol here, and that the free cortisol is going to be what we measure on the cortisol rhythm graph and then it can go down the um the cortisol. That’s more inactive right we have our the cortisol as well, which is part of our cortisone.
Evan Brand: We need to do a show. Let’s do let’s do another one on this and review our own. I’m going to get a new one. And let’s do it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. So our metabolized cortisol is thf plus th e right, this is our total cortisol and then our free cortisol which is the th the thf so f for free right, so when we look at this here when we look at this here the cortisol, right this is the free cortisol right and then the total cortisol is the free plus the e just an fyi so we’re looking at the cortisone plus the cortisol is what the total cortisol is on that on that graph above. Just so you guys kind of wrap your head around that. And they they left out the uh the aldosterone here. Let me just see if it’s there albosterone. No not there. So yeah. They left that out but that should be in there somewhere as well. I’ll put a i’ll put a graph on that all right. Anything else you want to highlight there evan?
Evan Brand: No. I would just tell people that this is a really good starting place. But i just want to make sure that if you go to just the hormone person that they don’t just treat this because i think it’s really important to understand that there is a massive issue with bacterial overgrowth messing up some of these pathways. So if you come in and you’re doing all these hormones but you’ve got the build up because of those glucuronidation pathway issues. I’m seeing that with mold too that these glucuronidation issues people are on hormones and sometimes they feel worse and i think it’s because they’re not addressing some of these other pathways. I don’t think it shows glucoronidation on this does it this this panel.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No no. That’s gonna be more on the detoxification side okay. Any question there?
Evan Brand: No. I’m i’m good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cool and then just so you guys can see i’ll pull this over here real fast so if we look at this one right here just so you guys can see it so normally progesterone. Um it can go from progesterone down here into aldosterone and so in general if we look here it should go progesterone to aldosterone. So this pathway here you’d see aldosterone kind of coming down here if it really extends it all the way. Just an fyi on that all right. Anything else?
Evan Brand: I think we hit everything pretty good here. So are you saying progesterone could help aldosterone problems?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah exactly so if we support pregnenolone that could also help aldosterone issues also supporting licorice can help aldosterone there’s a basically a drug called fluorine f right there’s cortef that’s supports cortisol levels that are very low okay and there’s fluorina which supports aldosterone and licorice has a an effect of mimicking um aldosterone so that can be helpful because when your adrenals are really weak you may have a hard time holding on to your minerals and so that’s important because we need healthy blood pressure to perfuse blood to the brain oxygen to the brain and we also need good minerals to help our sodium potassium pump to work properly we need electrolytes for our nerves to work so. All these are really really important.
Evan Brand: So one last question then we should wrap it up. So if someone is taking adaptogenic herbs or doing adrenal supports they’re doing hormones they’re doing licorice. What’s the approach or protocol to doing this test if we get the test kit in their hands and they’re on let’s say an adaptogen blend. They’re Doing the ashwagandha, the licorice, and everything do you suggest taking a break or does it not matter we gonna we’re gonna see how the body’s functioning while on those herbs?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re talking about down the road?
Evan Brand: No i’m saying like right now they’re already on them.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If they’re yeah if they’re already on them it may not be bad to take a look at kind of where they’re at with them already on them yeah for sure that i don’t see that being a bad a bad situation if they’re taking hormone support it just depends where they’re at i usually don’t like it the day of just because you can get an artificially high reading.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If it’s if it’s in your system that day so usually maybe take 24 hours off that way it’s not overly high in the system.
Evan Brand: but you still see the trend. Yeah i’m always on the fence about it because you’ve got so many people taking blends which is great. I think you and I have really helped educate people about adaptogens but you’ve got people taking so much and it’s like well are we seeing an artificially good cortisol pattern or is this really how your cortisol pattern looks so i think maybe a day or two off sounds smart.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah if it’s herbs i’m not worried about those as much because that’s they’re going to be more modulating and it’s just where they’re at you know and if they tell me that hey i’ve been on them for the last couple of months and i’m feeling better good we’ll just have you stay on and we’ll just take that into consideration on the test.
Evan Brand: Okay.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: When we’re interpreting it because if they have some adrenal issues and they’re doing well with that well guess what we probably still want to make that part of their plan anyway we’re not going to change it too much right.
Evan Brand: Yeah well said.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any questions there so far?
Evan Brand: No that no that’s it i think we should do a part two and review our own that’ll be fun i’m gonna get another one and run one on myself and you should do one too yeah i think that’s a great idea i like it a lot so.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think we hit a lot of good stuff here hope um you know anyone listening you can see that you know Evan and i are kind of the real deal when it comes to this like we actually do this we’re in the trenches a lot of people that you may see online are kind of they’re like thought leaders from a um let’s say esoteric standpoint meaning they’re not actually doing this to not actually practicing so we try to differentiate ourselves by bringing actual information so just kind of know this isn’t theoretical stuff this is Kind of the real deal and and hopefully that gives you confidence to take action and to try some of the things maybe you want to dig in. Maybe you want to get testing maybe you want to reach out to Evan or myself. We’re here to help you out, if you need more help. Of course start with all the foundations, we have thousands of hours of free content because we know 99.9 of patients that that we work with or help, they’re doing it with our free content. We’re not even seeing them now if you’re ready for that next step and you want to dive in. We’ll put links down below so you guys can reach out evanbrand.com and reach out to Evan. Evan’s available worldwide and myself, Dr. J at justinhealth.com to schedule with myself as well. We appreciate you guys um connecting with us all anything else you want to say Evan?
Evan Brand: No people really appreciate it and yeah we’ll make sure to have the link if you listen on audio your mind’s probably blown right now you thought what the heck just happened we will make sure to give you the link that way you can see this thing because the screen share is great and you just want to give you kudos you’re a great teacher and you’ve taught me a lot about the dutch too so i really appreciate it and your eye to detail on this thing is awesome and most people don’t have that eye so we we really look up to it and really appreciate it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey thanks Evan really appreciate it. And if anyone has any hormone issues that are way out of balance and you want to double check it with some blood work too. I don’t have a problem with that either especially some of the androgens I always like to double check with blood if we’re seeing some chronically high stuff um feel free to do that as well. And i hope you guys enjoyed it. Feel free give us a share as well thumbs up and if you want to write us a review that gets us motivated. Um we’ll put a review link right down below if you want to write us a review on itunes. Appreciate it you guys have a phenomenal day. Take care now.
Evan Brand: Bye-bye. Take care y’all.
Winter Skin Care Tips: Get Rid of Dry Skin | Podcast #320
Winter can wreak havoc on your skin — making it dry, itchy, and irritated. And it can feel like there’s no escape: Cold, blustery conditions outside can leave your skin feeling raw, while indoor heat zaps moisture from the air and from your skin.
In this podcast, Dr. J and Dr. Evan are talking about skin problems that you might encounter during this season. There are many simple ways to combat the causes of dry winter skin and help keep your skin feeling moist and supple all season long, including some easy changes to your everyday routine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:23 Skin Issues
4:43 Detox Pathways
22:00 Humidity Issues
24:07 Proper Digestion
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Evan, hope you had a great new year great holiday season so far. Today we’re going to be diving into skin issues dealing with skin issues coming the wintertime, all the different things that may happen due to dryness, cold. Lots of sweets from the holidays in the New Year’s all that stuff. Let’s dive in man. How you doing?
Evan Brand: Doing well. Happy New Year to you. Happy New Year to everybody. This is the first podcast of 2021 Hooray, we need to like clap for a minute. Yeah, exciting. 2021 All right. So skin issues. While I was telling you about my daughter, Jenna, my little 1- 19 month old, she was having some really dry skin on the back of her arms and legs. And so we’ve done a couple of things to help her which is pretty cool. So I’ll share that right off the bat and then we’ll dive into some more root cause stuff. So we really upped up her fish oil we were giving her about it was two squirts of a liquid and it was a professional version so I don’t remember the milligrams but we just doubled their dose so we just kind of doubled her doubled the normal dose of omegas and that seems to help especially if we think what’s happening is like a keratosis Polaris, which is a common situation. And then secondly, we did a babo botanicals brand and it was called a colloidal oatmeal lotion and it was fragrance free. And it’s mainly just like shea butter. We tried coconut oil topically that’s always kind of my first go to for skin issues, but it didn’t touch it. It didn’t help it at all. But when we got this Colloidal Oatmeal Babo Botanical product, it was a game changer. And no This podcast is not sponsored by them. But hey, if you want to sponsor us reach out to great product above to share it with more people.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Very cool. So we have the keratosis Polaris, which is where the [inaudible] and kind of just accumulates in the pores and, and you can get this bumpy chicken skin feeling usually like on the back of the arms on the button stuff, right? Is that what you’re referring to?
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you’re saying that the omega threes really helped that omega threes really make a difference and help improve the extra keratin deposits in the pores?
Evan Brand: Yeah, my wife had it too real bad when we first started dating and we’ve got around like, two to four grams a day of omegas and her back her arms feel perfectly smooth now. I mean, of course we got her gut better, we got her diet better, but I honestly think the biggest factor the biggest variable was the omegas.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, the extra omega threes can make a big difference. Also good zinc, extra zinc too can also help. That’s really good to know. So we also talk about skin diet plays a big role. So we have to kind of rule out things like gluten extra refined sugar can feed yeast and bacteria and these things can produce, you know various mycotoxins or endotoxins that can put stress on the liver in the body and you may see the skin reacting as a means to that you may see skin issues and breakouts as a means of that. Also, large amounts of sugar can cause insulin which can cause insulin surges, which can cause extra sebum and sebum, can cause can feed bacteria on the skin which can create more acne and more skin inflammation. Also, things like gluten can potentially drive autoimmune reactions like eczema, psoriasis, potentially even rosacea issues. So you got to look at dairy you got to look at gluten, you got to look at refined sugar that could be driving a lot of that insulin that could be feeding a lot of the microbe was the fungal the yeast, the bacterial overgrowth, which can obviously affect the skin too.
Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah. So what about eggs? I think that’s important to mention, too. I personally feel that pulling out eggs is a good strategy for people if they’re unsure of what’s happening with their diet and reactions, that eggs may be a culprit. And then also, conventional dairy. I know that was a big culprit for me. I would like to cheat on it a little bit and do like some grass fed cheese every once in a while but then even that sometimes I’ll notice a skin reaction to it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so eggs could definitely be a role. So for unknown I’d probably want to go autoimmune out of the gates, no grains, legumes, dairy, nuts, seeds, nightshades or eggs and keep the sugar down just so we’re not overfeeding bacteria and yeast which could be causing skin issues like I mentioned earlier. So that kind of be a first step. I always want to look at omega threes, right? Because that can help to KP the keratosis Polaris that can also just help inflammation. Your skin needs really good healthy fats. So if you’re a female and a lot of your skin issues tend to be more based around your cycle. I tend to like fats like borage or black currant seed oil, which are GLA omega six fats, a good omega six, but it can these kind of omega six like GLA fats can really help decrease a lot of the sebum and a lot of the stuff that may clog the pores of the skin. So I do like a lot of the black currant seed oil can be very, very helpful for women’s skin issues. That’s excellent out of the gates. Usually women tend to help it more but if you’re a guy and you’d have more of the KP or the bumps, that’s where really up in the omega threes can make a big, big difference.
Evan Brand: Yeah, awesome. How about detox pathways? Maybe we should mention that I think just supporting the liver I’ve seen personally, especially with kids, when we see skin issues will come in with some liver support. If it’s a kid who can’t take pills, we’ll give them some kind of a liquid liver support tincture and I’ve noticed a big difference especially under the eyes, you know, if we’re talking scan, we’re not just talking like bumps on the arms. We’re not just talking acne, we’re talking possibly like dark circles under the eyes. That’s often at least in Chinese medicine, they say dark circles under the eyes, his liver, and I’ve actually noticed that correlate quite well. When we bring up liver support dark circles under the eyes go away. So if you’re a woman, every morning, you’re doing your makeup. And here you are doing your powder foundation or whatever the heck you’re putting on under your eyes. You might not have to do that if you just support your liver. It’s funny how women, they can just cover stuff up with makeup, but man, we’re not going to cover up it. So we’re going to see the dark circles, we need to treat it root cause we’re not just going to, you know, put some powder on it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. And so with the we call allergic shiners, so what you see is a lot of lymphatic pooling, so you have a lot of lymph in the face area. And a lot of times what you see is the pooling of the lymph right under the eyes. And a lot of times that’s going to be food allergies, just go on Google type in allergic shiners, okay. And that’s a lot of times because of it’s not like an aging thing. It’s a lot of lymphatic stress because of certain foods. So like I mentioned, cut a lot of those big foods out, see how much that helps decrease the lymphatic pool. And you can also do things to support the lip, right? You can do rebounding, you can do whole body vibration, you can drink ginger, or burdock tea or essiac tea, things that naturally bright clover tea, red roots, etc. Things are naturally support the limp that can be helpful. But if you’re doing that, and you’re still eating foods that are inflammatory, that may still kind of counteract it. So ideally, you know, support the limp and cut out some of those commonly offending foods that may really help decrease that pooling underneath the eyes.
Evan Brand: That’s smart. I didn’t know the the food connection there with the allergies. So what about the darkness? Do you think that’s tied into any kind of toxicity? Or do you think just with the lymph in general, it’s just going to appear dark just because it’s stagnant no matter what.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, a lot of that just has to do with the length. I mean, we’ll pull up a couple pictures here in a minute. But anytime you really increase an immune response, you’re going to just get more lymphatic pooling, and you’re going to see it underneath kids eyes, or Yeah, it’s interesting on kids, and you also see it in, in adults too. But you know, it’s people put they go to the spa, you put a cucumber over it. Why? Because the cucumber telling tends to help disperse a lot of that lymphatic fluid. That’s the reason why. And let me pull up a Google image here so you guys can see.
Evan Brand: And sometimes it’s dark. And then sometimes it’s bags too. Oh, yeah. Yes. You look at the one to the left, though with the little girl. That one. No, go to the second one there. That’s what I’m used to seeing with people. Yeah, just that kind of darkness.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, it just has to do with the increased blood flow and lymphatic pooling. It’s really what it is. Wow. And just cutting that out can make a big, big, big, big difference.
Evan Brand: Yep. I wonder if there’s, there’s got to be a histamine connection to this too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, anytime you have a food allergy response, part of a allergenic response is going to be histamine at so-
Evan Brand: Oh go back up, go back up on the top there on that screen. The very top of there, it said, Oh, this is interesting. So it was talking about indoor allergens. So mold could be a trigger of the allergic shiners, too. I never even thought about that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, anytime you breathe stuff into that sinus cavity, right? Whether it’s outdoor allergens, like dander or cedar or things like that, grass pollens, right of course, those can be a big role. But you know, you can see right here what causes it, right. So what happens is the the tissues and the blood vessels in the nose become swollen and a lot of excess fluid happens. People don’t understand when you have a histamine reaction. And a lot of times that causes things to vasal dilate. So these blood vessels get swollen, so you get a lot more blood, you get a lot more lymphatic flow, you get a lot more immune reaction. And that’s why all that stuff sends a pool right there because all that the sinus cavity kind of coming together right in this T zone here.
Evan Brand: There you go. Look at that pollution and perfume and other irritants. So women if there’s any left listening to the podcast, it’s still wear perfume. Stop doing that. That’s so bad. Do essential oils if you want to smell.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. If you want a nice scent do a good really good essential oil, do a lavender do a.. see trying to think of a bunch of other feminine herbs or feminine essential oils if you’re a guy do rosewood or do cedar keep it really simple. You know there’s a couple of really good blends that are out there that I like Frankincense is a pretty good neutral one. You know, I just tend to rely on my nice essential oil based deodorant tends to be really clean and, and works well. But yeah, so you want to not put in, rub toxins on your skin, toxins on the fragrances, all of that can affect bags under the eyes. All of that can affect your skin too, because it’s going to just create more toxicity, more stress on your liver in your body. Now getting back to the hormone stress, if we have more, let’s say detoxification problems that could create issues because if we have estrogen dominance, right, well we have high levels of androgens as a female, right high levels of estrogen estrogen dominance, and it can be low estrogen, but it’s just higher relatively speaking than progesterone, right? That ratio is off that 20 to 25 to one progesterone, estrogen often maybe it’s 10 to one or 15 to one That ratio starts to skew that could put more stress on the liver. And if you have estrogen issues that can be a problem. A lot of women when they consume too much refined carbohydrates and inflammatory foods, they tend to convert more of their estrogens to androgens, testosterone, right stauss rounds and androgen, it’s in the androgen umbrella, right. And those can cause like I mentioned a lot more sebum and more skin issues and more acne that way, and then having prostaglandin imbalances prostaglandin two, which is more inflammatory. Having them one in three supported with a lot of those good fats, like I mentioned, are going to be helpful. So you’re going to really help a lot of the inflammatory pathways with good fish oils, you’re also going to help prostaglandin one and three, which are going to help with the skin with the black currant seed and the borage oil. So those can be very helpful too.
Evan Brand: Good Good call. Also, when we’re coming in with detox support, you mentioned estrogen we’re going to come in with like some phase two detoxification support anyway, so we may come in with something to help with glucuronidation, maybe some calcium D glucose rates, so you wouldn’t think of it like your average person, maybe even a naturopath or a functional Doc’s probably not even going to think calcium D glue, great for skin issues. But if you think that the mechanism of helping with estrogen dominance, it may be a game changer. And then let’s go into the infections a bit. I–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also calcium lucre could help with some mold too, because it was any mold exposure that could also help by enough to mold too.
Evan Brand: Totally, yeah, binders plus a little calcium D glue. Great. I think you’re on your way. Let’s Let’s hit on infections. I’m surprised you and I haven’t brought this up here we are this far. And we haven’t thought about infections. I mean, that was a big one for me. I think my face was already better. But I was still suffering quite a bit when you and I first became friends my skin was still not very good because of all my gut infection history.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think you were also still consuming some higher quality dairy that may have been a problem. So some people that are doing a lot of cheese or like milk even if it’s raw. Right and good quality, you may still have a problem with that even if it’s really good clean dairy. Usually butter or ghee tends to be okay because there’s less casein less lactose in there almost none. But if you’re doing other stuff, it could be a problem. Was that an issue? Evan? Do you remember the dairy being a problem?
Evan Brand: Man, you remember Central Market and all their amazing cheeses I would do some of those grass fed organic cheeses. It wasn’t often though I’ll be honest, it would maybe be like a chunk of cheese every few days or so. But I think even that was too much for me.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and you know, I tell you I can do well with butter or ghee, but I do not do well with milk or cheese as well. What happened is gassy, tend to get loose stools and then skin issues will tend to manifest shortly after for sure. So even high quality dairy not that good. Now the fat based dairy, right? Butter and ghee tends to be different because it’s primarily 99% fat. There’s very little casein, very little lactose, which is the sugar in dairy. And so of course, gese even cleaner than butter because there’s virtually zero casein versus virtually zero. lactose in there. So I tend to be a lot better.
Evan Brand: I mean, it’s curious. How do you do with whey protein? Are you okay with it?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I do. Okay, with wakers weighs 99% casein and lactose free? Mm hmm. Yeah. tends to be a lot better. Yeah, I do okay with it. My favorite is gonna be collagen, you know, high quality grass fed collagen peptides. So I do my true collagen blend, which works great. Because there’s really it’s it’s in a peptide form. So there’s no other larger proteins in there. It’s really clean and well broken down. So that tends to do my powder standpoint does really well.
Evan Brand: Awesome. All right. Well, let’s just talk a couple minutes about infections. I think this is an important part to consider if you have skin issues, I’ve worked with countless small children and teenagers and we always are going to look at the potential for infections. There’s nothing in particular, I’m not going to say hey, it’s got to be blasto. Or it’s got to be this or that. I would just say in general, any type of dysbiosis bacterial overgrowth SIBO Candida H. pylori, the whole party that usually happens together is going to be a potential. And I think the one of the big mechanisms here is just to reduce stomach acid by the H. pylori. So I think enzymes to fix the skin are also another important strategy we’re going to implement.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anytime we have indigestion and our protein and our fat and carbohydrate molecules of the food that we’re eating are larger and are broken down. You’re going to have intolerances, foods not going to be broken down all the way. And those large globules, proteins, fats, etc, can get into the bloodstream create more immune reaction, also, there’s going to be a fermentation that happens when those food molecules are not broken down all the way and that can create bacterial overgrowth. And we know hydrochloric acid does have a way of being disinfected in a way it really decreases. bacteria and yeast flow to the intestines. And if we have low levels of acid, it’s kind of like missing the natural disinfectant on your table. Right? That you know that can help clean things up in your body so that that’s definitely a real thing there. And the other component i would say is being because we were kind of talking about the holidays and Christmas is it can get very dry in the wintertime and a lot of places in this country. And so having a really clean moisturizer can be helpful. Now it depends So we’re just talking about, you know, person with dry skin, we may just choose a really, really good clean shea butter, or coconut oil or just a really clean, moisturizing product from a high quality company. And you can use skin deep cosmetic database Environmental Working Group database to look at healthy skin products that have really good ingredients in there. I like to use the Marie Veronique products. I like their lipid barrier complex and their barrier restore serum. They work amazing. I use that on my skin. And I had one child that had eczema, he’s kind of gotten over it, he’s done really well. We’ve kind of cleaned out the his diet and his mom’s diet too. So things like salicylates could be a potential problem outside of just your autoimmune foods. And then we use a really clean, hypoallergenic moisturizer called Vannapply. Again, it’s not anything like nutritious for the skin. But sometimes when the skin’s inflamed, immunologically, from an autoimmune skin issue, sometimes the skin just needs moisture and not things that could potentially stimulate the immune system. So sometimes a clean thing like that can be very helpful. So that applies very good. There’s another product called La Roche-Posay, I’ll pull it up, it’s a French brand of a moisturizer. And that works very good, as well as providing just really good moisture. And then sometimes we may have to change the environment, sometimes it gets very, very dry, you know, 20, to 20%. And humidity, we may have to add a humidifier into the kid’s room or into the adults room to get a little bit more humidity in the room. The big X Factor is don’t just leave it on non stop, because you can actually create mold it with a humidifier if it’s unchecked, unchecked Uncharted. So you have to make sure that if you’re adding humidity to the room, it’s for a season, it’s for a reason it’s for a short period of time. And you may want to have a humidity detector in the room just to make sure you don’t get above you know, 50% where mold could grow.
Evan Brand: Yeah, you know what I was thinking I’ve never seen it, maybe it exists, it’d be cool to have a humidifier that actually has an hygro hygrometer built in. So like you could set your for you know, 40% and then you’re pumping humidity in and then it hits 40 and shuts off. That’d be super cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I 100% agree. Yep.
Evan Brand: So I think the x layer would be good too for just to implement this as a tangent, not related to skin. But the xylitol spray for the sinuses are is awesome too, because that can help moisturize it. And the next layer is kind of a good, natural antimicrobial, if you will, it can help a little bit with the sinus cavity. But yeah, back to the skin. So how we’re going to investigate this was peoples, we’re going to start with diet, we’re going to come in and say, probably remove the eggs, definitely get off the dairy, get off the gluten. And then we’re going to come in and do stool testing, we’re going to do urine organic acids. So we can look at all the different bacteria that may not show up. You see, sometimes what happens I had to happen last week, we had a guy who, on the organic acids, he looked pretty good. There wasn’t any kind of bacterial overgrowth evidence, but when we got to his stool test, he had Prevotella and klebsiella, and all sorts of bacteria off the chart. And so if someone’s on an extreme budget, maybe one test would be sufficient. But in most cases, we’re going to try to get the full picture because it’s hard to make a puzzle complete if you don’t have all the pieces. And so that’s really why we’re gonna want to look at multiple things. And then as you mentioned environment, we’re going to factor that into, and then potentially improving the indoor air quality. So what if you are having some sort of an allergic reaction to your environment, whether it’s mold or dander, pollen, or whatever, something like a really good charcoal filled air filter, it’s going to be a game changer, possibly putting charcoal in your body, you know, supplementing with binders, and then addressing any infections we see supporting the liver bumping up omegas. I think stress has a factor. We talked about hormones, we talked about the estrogen we talked about glucuronidation. I think those are really the main variables. Do you think we’re missing anything else?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, I think we hit it pretty well. My only other component is if you have eczema or psoriasis, and your skin’s overly dry and you’re trying to get the dryness down while you’re fixing the root issue. I mentioned the vanapply vanicream product being good. And the other one was the La Roche-Posay, and it’s the lipikar balm is a nice one. It’s just a lot of moisture, which can decrease a lot of the dryness and then when the dryness is decreased, that decreases the itching and when the aging is decreased, that can help decrease a lot of the inflammation. But you have to make sure a lot of people when the eczema psoriasis kind of Facebook groups because I follow a lot of them just to read what they’re doing. They want a magic solution. They want something to rub on their skin and have it all go away. But that’s never how it is. So you typically have to get to the underlying issue with foods and guts stuff too. So make sure if you do something that’s a lotion that’s topical, make sure you’re not ignoring the internal stuff.
Evan Brand: Well that one sounds so fancy. It’s got to be good just based on the way you pronounce the name of it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know like a nice little long French name there with the Amazon links in the description so you guys can access it. And then you mentioned the other one that had the oatmeal in there. That was really clean. What was the product?
Evan Brand: Yeah, I’ll give it the link to it it’s like a there’s like a kid’s, like fragrance free version. It’s like a colloidal oatmeal product.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It began with a B right?
Evan Brand: Yeah Babo. Yeah let me look I’ve got it here. I was like colloidal oatmeal lotion and this stuff is awesome I tell him my wife’s like honey this look at look at her skin and I was feeling these areas on our little girl’s skin like man it’s it’s crazy and yeah here it is nine bucks can’t beat it. So it’s called Babo Sensitive Hydra lotion, Chamomile Calendula. And then like I said, it’s got the colloidal oatmeal, I’ll put you the link in the I’ll put it in your chat here if you want to look at it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And is there any worries at all with that due to gluten sensitivity in the oats?
Evan Brand: I don’t think so. We haven’t seen any type of issue. I know there’s a possibility. You’ve got that Avena Sativa Kernel Flour. So it does have the oat flour in there. I mean, if I thought that was some autoimmune possibility, we may stay away with it. But it’s a pretty rare situation. I’ve only seen a few people where we thought that they were going to be sensitive enough to it, you know that we should pull it out or find something without oats I’m not doing like oatmeal bass or anything like that, you know, this is just like the the spot of maybe a quarter at most on the areas and that’s like maybe once a day, if that issues-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -any kind of here and there to kind of knock it down. It’s not like a staple.
Evan Brand: No, no, no, we’re not lathering her in it or anything. It’s just like a spa treat is is all we’re using it for. I know some people get crazy with lotions or lathering the whole thing. Now I think I’d probably stay away in that case, but for spa treats, probably. Okay,
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s smart. Excellent. I think we hit a lot of good skin stuff. Today we talked about some of the hormone stuff with female hormones. We talked about some of the androgen component and how that can tie into insulin. Don’t forget guys, high levels of insulin can drive excess estrogens in guys. And that can cause other issues too, and put stress on the liver. We talked about some mold stuff. We talked about allergen issues, food allergies and stuff and some of the eye stuff. We talked about the humidity issues in the winter, where it gets drier, maybe get a humidifier really monitor the percent humidity if you can get one that has engaged that test the environment and let’s say it doesn’t go above 40% or 35%. That’s better, because that way you kind of have a limiter on there. It doesn’t go over the top. We at one point had the humidifier on too much. This was years ago, and we noticed a little bit of mold in the in the carpet nearby. And we never made that mistake again. So if you use a humidifier, like put a timer on it, like an hour or two, boom, have it go off. Don’t leave it on all the time. Be smart about it.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s interesting. When you think about a humidifier, right tip tip, typically, people are going to just sit it on like a wood, night nightstand or something and then that wood is probably just absorbing all that moisture. It sounds like a recipe for disaster if you overuse it for sure.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So you may be like if you can, if your kid has some humidity issues, skin issues, maybe put it on for an hour or two at night, put a timer on it done. Yeah, and that way, it’s not going to go the whole night. But we’ll provide a little bit of relief and and help the mucous membranes that may be a little bit overly dry.
Evan Brand: And then also, you know, don’t overbake don’t over with your soaps or shampoos or conditioners make sure everything’s clean there. Don’t over soap yourself. I mean, you’re not you don’t need to lather your whole body and soap. I think that’s an easy one. Regarding hand soaps, I mean, I know a lot of the conventional ones are gonna dry out hands and skin. So we got to mention that also water filters are key. That’s why you and I both have whole house water filters, because the chlorine and the trihalomethanes and all the irritants in the tap water can irritate your skin in the shower.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s a big one. Yeah. So if you have a lot of chlorine and a lot of chemicals in the water that can be very irritating on your skin. So we really want to make sure that that is addressed with a high quality filter. And that will take stress off your skin a ton really well.
Evan Brand: I don’t travel with it. I even bring like the Berkey or a comparable shower filter. Like when we went to Florida last winter, I brought a portable shower filter with us man, it was a game changer because, you know, we wanted to fill up the bathtub for the kids because the chlorine was so strong. So luckily, we just filled the tub with the showerhead filter. And it was awesome. So we didn’t take the kids and they weren’t just breathing in chlorine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s good. That’s really good. And the only other thing I would just say beyond that is just making sure you’re digesting your fats and proteins well. So people think oh, I’m gonna just drink a whole bunch of water that’ll get moisture to my skin, it’s like well, you need a good fat carrier to bring that hydration to the skin. A lot of times the skin and the you know, these are that layer there’s a hydrophobic layer in the skin so it does not like water. So you need fat to kind of bring that moisture to that skin. So if you don’t have enough fat you will get very dry skin and dry skin can get more irritated, you tend to scratch that dry skin more and then that scratching creates inflammation and that inflammation just it’s a kind of a self defeating cycle. So you really want to make sure you have good healthy fats in there and at least half those fats should be saturated fats coconut oil, it should be high quality grass fed animal products. It should be pork, pork fat lard and if you want to do any plant fats Keep it to high quality olive oil, avocado oil, maybe some palm, obviously coconut is going to be a great fact that it’s saturated and it’s plant. So those are a couple of good things to do just to make sure you have good fats. And of course, if you don’t have good digestion, you know, at least get into enzymes and some HCl In the meantime, while you work on fixing your stress or fixing your gut In the meantime, for better absorption and digestion.
Evan Brand: You know, the way I look at it, it’s rarely going to be just a skin issue, there’s going to be possibly bloating, gas, burping, some type of food sensitivities, food reactions, right skin issues are rarely going to occur in isolation. So I think of it as a clue, right? You and I talk about clues in functional medicine, the skin is really just a clue. And then we think Oh, interesting what’s going on under the hood. So that’s where we come in, and do the testing. And if you need help clinically, please reach out. We would love to help we work with people worldwide, via phone, FaceTime, Skype, etc. We’re very blessed to be able to provide lab testing to people across the globe, and to provide solutions to healthcare that other practitioners and doctors have failed before. So if you need to reach out clinically, you can reach Dr. J at JustinHealth.com. You can reach me Evan Brand at EvanBrand.com and we look forward to 2021 together so let’s have some fun. Give us some comments and questions if you’re on watching listening on Dr. J’s YouTube channel. Put some potential topic ideas in there. We’re always open to new topics. We talk about stuff we think’s important, but if you have some issues or concerns, you know, we’re happy to do kind of like some q&a stuff too. So please give us some feedback.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. If you guys want to reach out and dive in deeper it could be a good issue could be a hormone issue. EvanBrand.com for Evan, JustinHealth.com for myself, we are here to help worldwide. Thank you guys, and I hope you guys are having a great start to 2021 and we’ll be here you guys take care. Bye now.
Evan Brand: Take care.
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Cream
Mother Of All Cream
Babo Botanicals Sensitive Skin Hydra Therapy Lotion
Air Doctor Air Purifier
Whole House Dehumidifier
Water Filtration Device
Whole House Water Filter
Organic Grass Fed Meat
The Affects of Mycotoxins On Male & Female Fertility | Podcast #318
Mycotoxins exposure from food occurs globally but is more common in hot humid environments, especially in low-income settings, and might affect pregnancy outcomes. However, frequent mold contamination of maternal diet can therefore affect anyone. In this video, Dr. J and Evan talks about mycotoxins and how it can affect men and women’s fertility.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
2:52 Zearalenone, Mold Toxins
11:38 Mold Toxins from Food and Grains
21:20 Fertility Issues
27:13 Detox Support
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani in the house here with Evan Brand, Evan, how are we doing today my friend?
Evan Brand: Doing awesome, ready to dive in, have some fun together. So you and I, we don’t really market ourselves as like fertility doctors, fertility practitioners, anything like that. But we’ve both between us had many successful healthy babies not only in our own family but that our clients have had. And it’s interesting because fertility really comes as a side effect of getting healthy. And so that’s the first big key point of today. When you look at the fertility industry, you’ve got the in vitro fertilization, you’ve got all these shots, all these different drugs. They’re not they’re not really addressing root cause in most cases, most cases, they’re just trying to come in and just find a way to sort of short circuit or hijack the circuitry to make a baby happen. But we would argue there’s a better way, which is get someone healthy, and I was looking into I’m doing a mold presentation, and I was looking to do some research on mycotoxins and something that you and I test for via urine are various mycotoxins and there’s one in particular called z everleigh, known z like zebra z everleigh known, and this is a highly, highly, highly estrogenic mycotoxin, far more estrogenic than soy. And people freak out about soy and they should but nobody freaks out about z or linode. And that’s really, to me the bigger issue and so we have a paper here that we found called maternal mycotoxin exposure and adverse pregnancy outcomes, and there’s many many papers on this. This was just a review of them. And it was talking about the different mycotoxins so anything from aflatoxin, to okra toxin to Fusarium based toxins. And here’s what can happen. hypertensive emergencies in pregnancy, neural tube defects, increased risk of preterm birth and late term miscarriage, neonatal jaundice, impaired fetal growth. And I mean, just straight infertility. So, when we see women that are infertile, I mean, I just look at some of the friends I had from high school and college. And many of them have had issues with fertility. Some of them did IVF. Some of them had miscarriages. Some of them had pre preterm birth at a friend actually just have a baby and their baby showed up six weeks early like wow, what is her Mold Test look like? So this is a really, really big piece of the puzzle that I think people are missing. And we’re inside all the time, right? We’re on technology. So we’re inside a lot more than we used to in the farmer days. And so now we’re breathing this stuff in all day, whereas before, it maybe would have only happened when you were sleeping in the farmhouse. But during the day, you’re out on the farm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. 100% Yep. 100%, the zerion alone. mycotoxin is that’s made by the Fusarium fungi. So it’s a mycotoxin actually made by that level of mold. And it’s in the food and it’s in the in the the animal feed. And that animal feed is designed to fatten those animals up. So I have one kind of study here. It’s called zuranolone. All the study is called by Science Direct. And it’s looking at the absorption of zuranolone on body weights, and how it increased the size of the pigs 15 to 25 kilograms. And basically, it increased body weight. And then one of the big things they found with zuranolone. In reproductive tissue, it actually decreased. Fertility is one of the side effects of this study. I’ll pull up the exact study on screen here in a minute, I have it up here in front, I’ll find the exact paragraph on there, and I’ll show it to y’all. But mold toxins is going to be one of the big conversations here with fertility. Now we can plug that into xeno, estrogens and plastics, we could potentially plug it into pesticides as well, which are going to be found in food. We can plug it into growth hormones and milk and dairy and hormones and animal products. The problem is it’s all a hormonal stress load. It’s not just one thing. So when you look at different studies on one topics on one thing on one toxin on one hormone on one mold, it may not be enough in one person or globally to pop up as an issue. I mean, here we’re finding studies on an off the bat. But we know it’s all about your stress load. And so I want to get people’s mindsets kind of around that stress, that metaphorical stress bucket and all of these different toxins, whether it’s mold, or pesticides or hormones, or plastic type of hormones, they’re all adding into that big stress bucket. And of course, fertility is going to be significantly impacted by that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said, here’s something crazy, too. It’s a little bit related. You and I were looking at this a little bit ago. The onset of puberty is massively dropping. So why am I bringing puberty? Well, because this is connected into hormones, and what’s happening with hormones. So in 1860, and you had a graph of this, that was really cool, too. But in 1860, the average age of onset of puberty in girls was 16.6 years. So over 16 years old, 16 and a half years 1860. That’s puberty. In 2010. It is now 10 and a half years old. That is insane. And that’s probably the most I mean, I can guarantee you that’s the most rapid change in puberty age in in human history. And it all happens less. And it all happened in the last What’s that about? 100 and 150 170 years. That’s insane, right? Isn’t that crazy? I’ll pull that graph up here for everyone to see here. So you guys can see it. I think now really important to visualize. Yeah. Now while you’re doing that, they’re just talking here, just like you said, there’s this really this stress bucket, so endocrine disrupters, various chemicals in the environment, acting on hormones, widespread industrial and pharmaceutical pollutants. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff here. diagnosing recently high in sugar and fats declining physical activity. Yeah, here’s the graph. So people listening, you’re not going to get to see this, but the graph is pretty nuts.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so you can see here the, the y axis, the up and down access, so you can see the age right 16 to 15. And then you can see the x axis is time. So as we go from the 1860s, up to current day, you can see we kind of flat plateau between, you know, 13 ish, 13 ish for puberty age versus, you know, 15 to 16. And a lot of that has to be influenced due to mold toxins, and some so here’s one article here that Evan talked about here, maternal mycotoxins, and again, mycotoxins are toxins produced by the mold. So a lot of times, it’s not necessarily the mold that’s causing the problem. It’s the toxins produced by the mold. So it’s good to look and test for mold, but also test maybe for the urinary mycotoxins as well, but you can see exposure and adverse pregnancy outcomes. And and this is a very interesting study talking about increase in puberty, increasing in puberty age, like I mentioned, also fertility, right. preterm birth, late miscarriage inclusion, some evidence for toxins or pregnancy may have detrimental effects on pregnancy outcomes. Now, of course, there’s limited studies, right? No one makes a whole bunch of money, studying this kind of stuff. But we know it’s, it’s there. And there’s some data already on it. And we also have a lot of common sense. We know something’s a toxin, and can affect the hormones that it makes sense why that may be effective.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And I’ve seen several women who are going through a protocol spontaneously get pregnant, which is really cool. Now, some of these women came to me with the intention of getting pregnant. They’re like, Hey, you know, I’ve been told the fertility specialist are unable to help me. Can you help? And I’ll say yes, Probably so. And then some of these women just had spontaneous pregnancies as an accident because they thought they were infertile. They thought they can’t get pregnant, we put them on a protocol, and then all of a sudden they get pregnant. So let’s go into some of the the action steps. I mean, what are we doing for these people? I think it’s important to know about what we what we discussed is everyone owns bad news affects hormones affects fertility affects puberty. But what do you do about it? So as you mentioned, number one, we’re going to be testing the environment. So using-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hold on one thing, I want to go a little bit deeper into what you just said, we talked about some of these mold toxins and in fertility, right, we have this one study here, which we already mentioned, which is maternal mycotoxin exposures and adverse pregnancy outcome, which is a new new study, right? mycotoxin research may 2020. That’s important. And this is actually on humans. There’s lots of studies on zearalenone, that’s i’m pronouncing that good in farm animals, because it’s been used in farm settings to fatten animals up for many years to the feed. So there’s a lot of data on this. And that’s important. So we know for instance, studies on in vitro effects allowed to understand the mechanism of action, right in vivo means the actual animals, and they see an impairment of semen quality and female reproductive function. So we talked about fertility, right? Most people think of fertility as women, right. But we know it can affect men as well. And it takes two to tango, right? And zearalenone could be a factor responsible for Reproductive failure in farm animals. And so if you go to the reproductive MD, are they going to be testing you if you’re having issue with pregnancy for mold toxins? Probably not. And look here, one study here, under allanon. Here, if you look here on the bottom part, so zearalenone is a nonsteroidal estrogenic mycotoxin. It’s produced by several species of the fusarium fungi, okay, so it’s produced by this Fusarium fungus, it’s a mycotoxin. And you can see here it’s supposedly it’s not it’s low in grain content, but it’s the storage of a lot of the grain where the moisture is greater than 30 to 40%, where this mold and fungus is produced, okay. And then right here in this one part, typical clinical signs are hyper estrogen ism, which explains the increase in puberty. Are the decrease in puberty age, right? More hormones sooner in life increases puberty, swelling of the vulva mammary gland hyperplasia, secretions prolonged uterus, increase in pseudo pregnancy, infertility, decreased libido, complications of rectal prolapses, stillbirth, small literary. So we know it has a lot of fertility issues. And a lot of the studies first tend to happen in animals. So it’s good to know the data here in animals, as well as some of the human stuff here we talked about earlier.
Evan Brand: Yeah, the whole thing’s crazy. I mean, it’s hard to believe they would use this in the feed. I mean, like you said, maybe not intentionally, but it’s kind of a byproduct of storing grain in a, you know, in a moist thing. I mean, it’s like, you’d have to have a dehumidifier on your grain, or how about you just pasture your animals? So you don’t need to feed them moldy grain? How about that?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, I can tell you one story I had with Dave Asprey. He told me and I can’t find the data on this, but they would use zearalenone pellets, that put the pellet in the cow’s ear. And that was enough to cause this increased fat absorption. Because those hormones were so concentrated, they were going into obviously, the the blood supply via the ear, and it was causing the animals to get fatter. And of course, farmers, you know, sell their animals based off of weight. So we know that zearalenone may even be used in a way outside of just Incidentally, in the fee, we know, it may just be there to fatten them up as well.
Evan Brand: I’ve heard that too. I can’t find anything on it. But if any old school farmers are putting zero unknown pellets in your cow’s ears, let us know. Tell us about it. Give us the story on it, because we’d like to like to share this stuff.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I know. It’s totally interesting. I believe there’s something to it. I believe, you know, someone like Asprey wouldn’t, wouldn’t say that unless he had some actual good info on that. But very interesting. So off the bat, we have mold toxins, we talked about that. And that’s important. Now again, and humans, you could get mold toxins from eating crappy grains and crappy food. So eating foods that are going to have lower mycotoxin counts, and to be important. So you know more from vegetables more from fruits more from high quality, fresh pasture fed animal products, good high quality fats, that’s going to decrease a lot of your mold and mycotoxin and xarelto load right there out of the gates, okay. And then the next component is going to be making sure your house isn’t moldy. So if you have a history of water damage, or flooding, you want to make sure you go back and listen to our podcasts on looking at and dealing with mold and mycotoxins in your home. But of course, any history of water damage, or any leaks, you want to leave or any visible mold, you want to at least get a really good high quality amino Linux plate test that looks at the mold as well as mold toxins. I’ve had some patients that have ordered the plates and just say, Well, I’m gonna let it culture and just look at it myself. It’s like, well, you want to send it to the lab, because you want to know what the mold species is. And if there’s any mycotoxins associated with that mold species, because you may look at it and see the culture, right. But you may not know if it’s a friendly mold or not. So you want to know if it’s Is it a, is it a mold that’s from the environment and the soil? Or is it something that’s actually from water damage type of mold species? That’s important to know.
Evan Brand: On a retest, it’s probably fine to do the self test, because you can look and just see this, hopefully, colonies show up. But yeah, on the initial I tell people the same yeah, definitely. Because also too, we rarely find that the house correlates to the mycotoxin in someone’s urine. That’s pretty interesting. So that tells us most people are sick from a previous exposure, but in a few cases, we have found where the molds in someone’s house and the mycotoxins those would produce for example, Aspergillus and Penicillium producing things like okra toxin, mycophenolic acid, will then look at the house and see Oh, yeah, you’ve got a bunch of Aspergillus growing, that matches up to the urine. So it’s cool to see, but it’s not necessary to to get someone better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I look at it just a tiny bit differently. Like if I see someone with a lot of mold, like weird kind of neurological symptoms, I always do the foundational things first, because a lot of times that can move the needle without having to go into any crazy mole protocols off the bat. But then if I see their home is very high and mold as well. You know, it’s easy, it’s sometimes it’s easier to decrease the exposure than to accelerate detoxification, especially if their guts not working well. So then there may be some easy simple strategies, like let’s just get a high quality air filter, let’s maybe get like a citrus bass, anti mole candle. If there’s any active leaks, let’s get someone in there that can work on remediation process, at least patch the leak or decrease humidity in the area. We can work on a couple of those things. And that can move the needle a lot.
Evan Brand: Yep. Let’s go into binders. So this is where the magic happens. Like you said, you may need to do some work on the gut First, we may come in and help support the adrenals because detoxification it is work and it’s not easy, and you can get worse by trying to make yourself better and I’ve certainly overdone it on binders. I’ve certainly overdone it with glutathione and had a bad headache for a long time. So that wasn’t fun. So the good news is you can pull this stuff out of the body and in regards to that yerlan own, the some of the most effective binders are going to be your clays. Now charcoal can help a little bit so we often use like a broad spectrum you can come in and spot treat. And there are certain people that say you need to spot treat mold toxins meaning you need to use charcoal for okra toxin you need to use zeolite clay for zearalenone. But the truth is, a lot of people are not showing up with the true amount of mycotoxins on their first urine sample, meaning you may just show up with okra toxin, but you also may have zearalenone. But if you’re a bad detoxifier, you may not be urinating out all of those toxins. Therefore, I do kind of spot treat, if you will, but I still like to use broad spectrum full spectrum binders just because of this issue because what’ll happen is on a retest, maybe we took care of one toxin and then a new one shows up like well crap, we could have been addressing the other mycotoxin say we were just using charcoal for ochratoxin we could have been using a little bit of zeolite clay as well and that would have took care of the zero unknown but boom, now’s your will unknown shows up on the retest. Now we’ve got a whole new mycotoxin to focus on. So long story short, full spectrum, broad spectrum and multiple binders are what we like to use. And then I’m a huge fan of the micronized chlorella there’s a couple brands we use they have a liquid chlorella, that can be amazing. There are some tablets of broken cell wall, chlorella, that can be awesome for heavy metals as well. And then sweating. I mean, I tell you I feel much, much more clear, you know, clarity mentally, right after I get out of the sauna, you can have like a detox hercus reaction from a sauna as well. But if you’re healthy enough and you’re supporting adrenals you’re doing electrolytes. To me sauna is a game changer and even just a hot bath. If you don’t have access to a sauna, even if you just get hot enough to sweat in the tub. That may be a little too hard on someone if you’re weak adrenally like your constitution is weak. But or if you have blood pressure issues, you know, a hot bath may make you feel bad. But if you can do it, you can sweat you know it’s free, compared to a sauna may cost you 1000 bucks minimum.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah, I mean, you can always add in some, you know, really good magnesium salts like Epsom salts, which can be very helpful and relaxing for you as well. So yeah, so the problem is a lot of the binders that we may add in or if it’s necessary to add them, and they could also decrease or cause bowel motility issue. So if you already have a lot of bowel issues, this is why it’s so important that we kind of deal with the hierarchy. And a lot of times the gut needs to be fully addressed. And working so we can have good detoxification because the gut is so important. Hepatobiliary why’s liver gallbladder, it dumps a lot of those bile and toxins that are mixed in with the liver and the gallbladder back into the intestines, and it has to move out. And so we give maybe things like Evan mentioned, various pectins are activated charcoals, or clays or fulvic minerals to bind up a lot of these things. But if we have really slow motility, it could really jack up with our absorption of nutrition and a reabsorption of other toxins, we want to make sure our bowels are still moving. So some people may not be able to handle that. And also, you kind of alluded to getting a false negative on some of these urinary Mold Test. That’s why it’s very important that you probably do one to two weeks worth of glutathione ahead of a urinary mold test to make sure we’re adequately dumping it. Because people their detoxification may be so weak, they may not be dumping it, they may look to that Mold Test, hey, look, I’m good, but you may not be. So I do a week or two. And I tell patients that if you are really feeling crappy during that loading phase, you probably have some level of toxins, and may not just be mold, it could be other pesticides or metals or other things in the environment you’re dumping. But it’s always good to do that load period. And if you feel too sick or just too achy during that timeframe, you know, feeling lethargic, malaise, achy brain, foggy Moody, it’s probably not the right time to do any testing yet, maybe you want to wait a little bit longer, get things moving better, and test the home, see what’s happening in the home and wait a little bit more till everything’s working better on the detoxification side, just getting your diet better, decreasing your inflammation, improving your nutrient density, surprisingly, that actually moves the needle a lot. And then you could always add in some gentle sweating protocols like Evan mentioned as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, you know, you and I’ve talked about this for years, this idea that when people figure out there’s something going on, they want to take care of it immediately. Remember, we’ve done shows on parasites, and we talked about how, as soon as you see parasites show up, the the gut is, you know, the gut feeling is Oh my god, get this out of me and you and I’ve kind of discussed that you do want to do things in the correct order. And I would agree that happens with this toxicity issue as well. So if we’re working with a mom who’s had infertility problems, or you know, issues with pregnancy, and we want to help increase her health, we still are going to focus on the gut because there’s a right place in the right time. And if you’re really weak, you’re really sick, and then you try to go straight into a detox protocol. You could go the wrong direction. And it Trust me, I want this stuff out of you as fast as you want it out of you. But there is a right place in the right time. So we’re still going to be doing other testing, like looking at stool to try to investigate these gut infections. You know, you mentioned some of the reabsorption of toxins, too. That’s a big problem. If you have bacterial overgrowth because of this whole beta glucuronidation issue that we see. And so, there may need to be a month or two of just fixing the gut and fixing the enzyme production before we even get into detox. So don’t rush, don’t rush, don’t rush. That’s the whole message here. And can you do this on your own? That’s a question we get a lot. Well, can I just go online? Go on Amazon, buy a bottle of charcoal and be done with this? I would argue No, I will speak for Justin and say he would say no, as well, because we’ve done this 1000 plus times. And we know that if you’re just trying to detox and you’re not addressing everything else, you may send yourself backwards. What does that mean? Well, it means if you’re overwhelming your system, so like when I took charcoal, I’ve got some right here on my desk. I thought, well, I feel so good on four capsules a day, I’m going to go up to eight capsules a day. And I didn’t do anything in regards to my gut, my liver adrenals. And I crashed hard, I had way too much charcoal is like whoa, you can’t have too much of a good thing. So that’s why I would argue it’s better to have a practitioner kind of prep your body and build up the other pillars of health. Before you go into the detox pillar. detox is sexy, right? Like detox tea and all of this, it’s kind of a trendy thing to do. But people don’t have the disclaimer that you need to be ready, you need to have a constitutional strength to do this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% I totally agree. Sometimes we detoxification slow and steady, is the better way to deal with the issues, especially if a lot of these issues came slow and steady. If they came over decades, then it makes sense. If it you know a little bit more of a short term kind of toxic issue, you could probably hit it a little bit faster and harder, especially if you’re younger and more healthy. That totally makes sense. So when we talk about, you know, fertility and mold, I know a lot of women out there are going to be like, man, I knew it’s mold, maybe maybe not. So I just want to make sure anytime we talk about a specific issue, and we connect it to a thing like fertility that resonates with women, right. Like if you have fertility issues, you know, it’s it’s a very stressful thing for women that want to get pregnant, and they can’t, it’s very, very stressful. And so you want to look at the goal of pregnancy holistically. So you always want to look at diet and nutrient density. And all of the building blocks in your food. And being able to digest those foods adequately is core foundational, you want to be able to get sleep and having high quality water, you want to look at mitigating toxins, whether it’s molding your food, whether it’s eating crummy moldy grains, whether it’s consuming a lot of hormones, or pesticides, you want to look at those things as foundational. And then we can look at the hormones, we can look at your luteal phase hormone levels, we can look at your adrenals we can look at thyroid, autoimmune gut permeability, gut infections, and then we can eventually work our way to detoxification. And mold levels down the road, there’s an order of operation. So just kind of look at things as what’s going to give you the best bang for your buck. I always tell my patients if you’re going bowling, right and it’s your first role, you’re not trying to hit the outside left pin, you’re trying to hit the pin right in the middle, why hit the pin in the middle and knocks everything else down. So it’s kind of that’s how we want to look at this and mold maybe a pin that’s off to the right or left with some people. Some people that may be the center pin, right. But we always go with that center pin. And that’s always gonna be the foundational things to start and then we build on that as we go.
Evan Brand: Nice. bringing out the bowling analogy. That’s a new one. I like it. I like it. That’s awesome. Excellent. So for men, I mean men listening to they’re like, Well, you know, this is all about her. Nope. Did you hear the part about the reduction in sperm quality? So men, you are not exempt? I get frustrated with these fertility practitioners that people have seen before they come to me because why is the male not on this phone call? Like, this is so important. Why is the male not here? What is he doing? And so we know just the mold toxin, but anything else in regards to the diet, the lifestyle, the gut, that all affects male fertility as well. And I think this is really the missing piece. The women take all the blame the emotional blame the physical. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s a big issue for them to, to not have fertility, and so the men are just sitting back with their arms crossed, like, Oh, poor you, but they got to get involved too. And so there may be a male protocol that we’re implementing as well, a lot of the foundational nutrients for women, you know, we’re doing prenatals omegas, vitamin D, vitamin K, possibly some trace minerals, enzymes, electrolytes, liver support, did I say adrenal support already? adrenals. So those are some of the pieces that we’re implementing. And good news is, a lot of this stuff we’re talking about. It is reversible. Now, if you’re age 50 I’ve had some women literally age 50 52 coming to me because they want to have babies. I’m like, Ah, you’re 52 I’m gonna help you get healthy, but I’m not signing in blood. You’re going to have a baby at age 52 like this is Wow. So, you know, I think there is a cut off. But, you know, if you’re 40 listening to this, and you’ve had issues, I think you still have time.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So I mean, my wife, we had our first child she was 41 and then 43. We had no problem getting pregnant. For the most part. We had a little bit of a fertility snafu in the beginning because she had a fibroid that was kind of embedded in the uterine lining. We didn’t know about it and was just sucking a lot of blood flow. So I always recommend patients that have fertility goals just to get a good general fertility workup to make sure there’s no ovarian tube or fallopian tube blockages, no weird, fibroids or anything weird that endometriosis that could be affecting fertility, because those things are pretty easy to remove. If we have to surgically Of course, there’s natural ways to do it, but it takes time, right. So if you’re under fertility window, you don’t have years to help these things reabsorb on their own. Sometimes a surgical intervention can be helpful when the clock is ticking. But guys, it’s pretty easy to roll out guys, we can do a high quality sperm test we can look at motility how the sperm are moving, you know what percents moving forward, what percent not moving, what percent. moving backwards, we can look at shape, which is morphology, we can also look at overall sperm count. So sperm count cut off, I think most the average firm comm for guys is around 20 million, we want at least 50 million. So we can look at that and there’s also expanded sperm panels, we’ll look at all look at DNA damage. We’ll look at oxidative stress as well. Now the key thing with guys is going to be just making sure insulin resistance toxins are under control, maybe a little bit of lifting some resistance training, you know good quality organic food right enough protein, enough fat that tends to be enough for most guys, adequate Selenium and zinc right adequate levels of good amino acids like Argentine that tends to be enough to really support good healthy sperm count where it’s going to be high enough. We can also add in things like co q 10 and carnitine. Like I mentioned, to support it extra. So it’s pretty easy to rules rule guys out in the beginning, Okay, good, hey, we’re at an adequate level great. Oh, we’re not let’s look at DNA damage. And then we can always then look at toxin load. Or if a lot of the guys are eating conventional standard American or eating a lot of GMOs, we can we can tweak a lot of that we can run a specific intercellular nutrient panel to look deeper at the nutrients and work on spot treating those on top of a good diet as well. But that’s essential. I like to get that if fertility is a goal to get the guy ruled out right away in the beginning.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s that’s great. Yeah. And that’s where like we said, Good multi comes in maybe some adaptogens too, because some of the herbs we use, they do have some supportive effects on hormone levels with man regulating testosterone estrogen levels, you know, some of the detox support may help in regards to estrogen. If men have had have a toxin issue and they’ve got, you know, breast tissue, they’ve got gyno, maybe they’ve done steroids. I mean, there are some issues that they kind of throw a wrench in the gears, but yeah, in general, you definitely make it sound like it’s much easier for men.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, out of the gates, I mean, women’s hormones are just so much more delicate. They’re like a beautiful Symphony and men’s are kind of like a foghorn. As I’ve always said, and, and with a symphony. If you just have the string the strings off or the percussion instruments off, you know that Symphony could turn to noise pretty fast. Definitely. We want to make sure that that’s you know, fully dialed in. And we want to look at the toxic load. So really important if you women are listening and you want to dive in deeper and with fertility goals kind of being there or even energy your mood goals being there to write I recommend clicking down below you can schedule with Evan, EvanBrand.com, you can also schedule with Dr. J. Myself, JustinHealth.com, we’re here to help you here to serve. Here to educate, we recommend taking advantage of all the low hanging fruit, we try to provide tons of low hanging fruit in this day and age. Everyone has access to it based on you know, the internet and everyone having these smartphones that are so cheap. Now it’s great. So everyone can kind of get access to a lot of this great Intel and start applying it. And then if you want to dive in deeper if you want to start stop guessing and start testing and figure out what’s happening under the hood. That’s where I really urge you all to reach out. And if you’re enjoying the content, please refer us to friends and family and shoot over a podcast the best way you can thank us for all that we’ve done is just kind of send the content to your family and friends so they can get healthier. Evan, anything else you want to say man?
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s all I want for Christmas is for everyone listening to share the podcast with your friends, your family, let’s make 2021 and even better, healthier year, less stress, less worry, more health, more vitality, it’s all possible. We try to give you guys action steps every time and this stuff is free. I mean, it’s a thankless job. So the best way you can think of sharing is caring. Thank you so much.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks, everyone. You guys have a phenomenal holiday season.
Bio-Balance – 10% discount
The Allergy and Hormone Connection – Natural Allergy Solutions – Part 2 | Podcast #314
Hormones have profound and significant effects on your physical, mental, and emotional health. In this video, Dr. J and Evan continue their discussion on how these chemical messengers have a significant role in regulating your mood, appetite, and weight, among other things.
Typically, your endocrine glands produce the precise amount of each hormone needed for various processes in your body. However, hormonal imbalances have become increasingly familiar with today’s fast-paced modern lifestyle. Besides, hormones decline with age, and some people feel a sharper or dramatic decline than others.
The bottom line is, your hormones are involved in every aspect of your health. You need them in precise amounts for your body to function fully. Hormonal imbalances may increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. Although aging and other factors are afar your control, there are many ways you can take to assist your hormones function well. Consuming healthy foods, meditating, exercising regularly, and engaging in other healthy behaviors can go a long way toward improving your hormonal health.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
1:21 Hormone Connections, Menopausal
8:24 Nutritional Deficiencies, Food Diets
15:58 Proper Lab Testings, Reading Hormone Profiles
22:07 Men and Female Hormones in Allergic Disease
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J in the house with Evan Brand really excited today we’re going to be talking about the allergy hormone connection. We did. We had a nice chat last week on natural solutions, functional medicine solutions for allergies. So I’m actually very excited to go over the hormone connections, we won’t be going into as much on the supplements or, or things that we do on that side of the fence. We’ll put a link down below so you can see that first podcast. This is going to be building off of that podcast. So if you’re coming in late to the game, you want to take a look at that first podcast, we’re going to be really dive diving in and connecting the hormone piece to it. Because there’s a lot of people that have estrogen dominance, menopause, hormonal issues, imbalances in their adrenal function, and part of that could be driving their allergy issue and you really got to look at everything holistically. And we’re going to be connecting the dots for you guys today. It’s always context, context, context. Evan, how are we doing today, man?
Evan Brand: Doing good, always good to see on a Monday, it’s like the best part of my week is to start off with a bang. So I actually got a lot of good feedback last week on that podcast, too, you know, you and I kind of joke about how it’s a thankless job because we’ll put out an episode get 1000s and 1000s of downloads and not hear much but actually had a lot of people messaged me and said that that allergy when we did was one of the best of the year. So appreciate your feedback. And we’re excited to take it a step further.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it, absolutely love it. So out of the gates here, I mean, there’s kind of maybe three categories of patients that I see really benefit from a lot of this out of the gates. So first are going to be our menopausal females, and menopausal is the one study that we’ll talk about here today that showed menopausal and perimenopausal women having two times the likelihood of having allergy issues. Part of that has to do with the drop in progesterone and the imbalance and progesterone estrogen that can skew the immune system. The other one would be a cycling female who has significant estrogen dominance, massive imbalances in progesterone and estrogen, that’s another kind of category. And then the last would be someone it could be male or female that has significant imbalances and cortisol, right? We know, when you’re having allergic reactions, you’re developing and producing all these inflammatory cytokines, right, interleukin cytokines, and these are pro inflammatory. And our adrenal glands make a natural anti inflammatory hormone called cortisol. And cortisol naturally will have combat and balance out some of the pro inflammatory cytokines. So if we have significant imbalances, and cortisol, cortisol is too high, and and we’re too catabolic, or it’s too low, and we’re not able to combat the inflammation that can really be I think, the starting mechanism of this whole allergy cascade.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And you and I were talking before we hit record about, well, why is it such a problem now, because you look at like tribal societies and such, and you don’t really see any discussion or any big issue with menopause. And we were talking about the difference in the lifestyle, of course, you don’t have the stress as much as we do in the, in the tribal societies, as you do in modern society. You’ve got more family support group, you’ve got parents and grandparents and the whole tribe helping to pinch hit in some of the family roles. And so really, the the, we’ve lost our tribe, and that baseline stress is really just so strong on people that when there’s the transition to menopause, the adrenals have already been weak for 40 years of parenting with just you and your spouse, that, you know, it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I agree. I think you also have a lot more environmental toxins, you have increased nutritional deficiencies, you have a lot more pesticides in the environment, all those different things. Now imagine if you’re like, you know, living out in the forest or something in some kind of a hotter teepee, or some kind of a structure, there’s quite a lot of environmental molds, just things decaying around you. So there’s probably a lot of that by a lot of rain getting in there. So it’s amazing, probably a lot more natural mold exposure, maybe being out there but you know, a lot less stress on the other side of the fence as well. So I think we know stress plays a major role on your adrenals because cortisol is a natural stress hormone. It’s anti inflammatory. It’s a gluco corticosteroid, which means it pertains to stress and inflammation. It’s also a very powerful Energizer hormone. And cortisol can pull from progesterone. So we know progesterone does have anti inflammatory effects. So for chronically producing cortisol, that can really start to skew this estrogen progesterone balance. Because as cortisol is being stimulated due to chronic stress and inflammation, progesterone can be pulled downstream to make it because progesterone is a building block of cortisol. And if progesterone is being pulled downstream, what can happen to that natural ratio of estrogen progesterone, it can skew now. Typically speaking, progesterone is always going to be higher than estrogen in general, usually it’s about a 23 to 25 times ratio of progesterone, estrogen, but at that ratio starts to drop. So we start talking about estrogen going up, and progesterone dropping. We’re talking about that more in relative terms. not absolute, we’re talking about the ratio dropping, not the absolute numbers going in opposite directions just to make sure that’s clear for everyone.
Evan Brand: Yeah, let’s also tie in the gut piece. I mean, a lot of people responded to me and said, Wow, I didn’t have a clue that bacterial overgrowth in my gut could create the allergies. But in the same vein, the gut issues could actually create the hormone issues. So let’s talk about that for a minute. When you are looking at stool test, and we’re going to look at beta glucuronidation, being high due to a bacterial overgrowth. Now we have the recirculation of hormones happening as well. So there may be this point where we come in with some of the herbal anti histamines that we talked about. But now we also may need to come in with some of the glucuronidation pathway support like your calcium D glue, great, maybe the sulfur based amino acids glutathionre broccoli seed extract, like broccoli sprouts, we like to use those. So that’s another mechanism. I think that once again, the allergist, they’re going to miss they’re not going to give you a calcium D glucrate, but they might need 200%.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. I’m going to read a study here. I’ll get the exact article here for you down the road. But here is the quote, study in Northern Europe included over 2300 women and track their respiratory health from 2000 to 2012. They found the odds of getting asthma quote, we’re more than twice as high for women going through menopause or transition, or after menopause compared to non menopausal women. So there’s something that’s happening at around Peri and or menopausal timeframe. So let’s say early to mid 40s, to early to mid 50s. Right. There’s that timeframe that’s happening, I think the big thing that’s probably happening is you’re having a drop in progesterone. And then we’re starting to happen as you’re having FSH and LH starting to increase. And I think you’re also starting to rely more on the adrenal glands to fill in the gap. And if cortisol is out of balance or imbalance, there is not enough DAGA you’re gonna find a real deficit and some of these hormones and you’re not going to have the same inflammatory backup generator support, if you will, from the adrenal gland. And that’s a big mechanism that’s active here. And that’s why you’re going to see more Peri and menopausal women affected and again, a lot of women are chronically stressed and they kind of fall into that perimenopausal category younger and younger. I’m seeing a lot more perimenopausal symptoms and women in their 30s and early 40s. Now, which is really interesting. I mean, perimenopause is that timeframe before menopause. Usually menopause is when you have one year 12 months without a period. But you can start to see perimenopausal symptoms start to happen younger and younger and younger, I think because of chronic stress. And that could be hot flash issues. Of course, that could be just a lot of the PMS issues. Usually you start to see cycle, missing cycles, hot flash issues, you can also see a lot of mood changes, vaginal changes, sleep issues, weight issues, you can see mood, irregularity, loss of libido. And now again, a lot of those also connect with PMS too. So it’s kind of hard to connect the two but usually you start to see missing cycles and starting to see some of those hot temperature issues starting to occur. And then of course, a lot of vaginal dryness or a lot of mucous membrane dryness issues as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that was my next question for you is why are you seeing this in younger women? I mean, because this is kind of a new phenomenon, right? I mean, in the last 10 years, you’re seeing this thing is ramping up significantly. So you think it’s just the stress in the 30s to early 40. Women that maybe previously wasn’t as intense.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, chronic stress, chronic inflammation. I think a lot of women I mean, this is this is in general, this is people in general, just a lot of nutritional deficiencies due to chronic poor diets. A lot of women if they, you know, 20 plus years ago, they were in that low fat era, and they weren’t getting good healthy fat and good healthy cholesterol, I mean, that’s going to put a lot of stress on your hormones, because you need these building blocks. To make these hormones right hormones made from cholesterol, your body makes a lot of cholesterol, but could never make enough. And you need a lot of important fat soluble vitamins in cholesterol from good healthy animal products that to ideally make it optimally right. It’s hard to do that on a vegan vegetarian diet, because you’re just missing a lot of those fat soluble vitamins, and long chain omega three fatty acids that you get from high quality fish and such. So that’s I think a big thing as well. And also fats play a really important anti inflammatory role, right? We know good healthy fats, like fish and coconut, or have good anti inflammatory benefits. And we know a lot of the Omega six in plant based diets can be more inflammatory. And a lot of the good healthy omega threes on the plant based side that come from flax or chia, right, these are going to be like alpha linoleic acid, these are going to be omega threes, they have to get converted downstream and they go through different enzymes like Delta five desaturase, that makes that conversion. And if you have insulin resistance, or inflamed, it’s going to be harder to maximally convert that some people say maybe only 20% converted. So there’s a lot of conversion issues downstream. We see the same problem with vitamin A. So if you’re a plant based and you’re relying on a lot of beta carotene, for instance, and carrots plant based products, you may not get a good conversion cuz that’s the UK converted. So if you’re getting vitamin A from grass fed liver or beef, or let’s say called liver oil, right or egg yolks as a maximum conversion there because you’re getting active vitamin A in there versus having to rely on a conversion, and the more inflamed you are and the more stressed you are, it’s hard to convert an activate a lot of these nutrients.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well, you know, you gotta you made a good point, too, you got a lot more women doing things they shouldn’t be doing like going on strict vegan diets, doing plant based burgers, getting off of real Whole Foods. So I think I’m trying to just answer my own question in my head here. Like, why is this being ramped up in younger women. And I think there’s a combination of factors like always, but man, it, you got Bill Gates and other people pushing so hard, just get off meat, meats, bad meats, bad, there’s still so much on brainwashing that we have to do in the population. So I really hope folks listening into the podcast, we really hope that you all are eating good quality fats, especially women, we really don’t want you to be afraid of those.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and kind of my pitch on meat versus plant based products. It’s pretty simple. So number one, plants bio accumulate nutrition. So the benefit that you get from animals is they buy or accumulate plants. So for instance, about one meats, one pound of grass fed meat, it takes about eight pounds of plant matter to make that grass fed meat. And so animals face make sure I say correctly, animals bio accumulate plant based matters. So you get a lot more bio accumulated nutrition. So for instance, 16 cups of kale gets you the amount of protein that’s in six ounces of grass fed beef, right, there’s a bio accumulation of amino acids and fat soluble vitamins, and even things like zinc. And then when you go and look at the bioavailability, of course, plants have a lot more anti nutrients than animal products do. So you have a lot more anti nutrients binding up oxalates phytates mineral blockers, protein blockers that make it harder to break down a lot of the nutrients in plants. And then the my sentience kind of emotional argument is, it’s all about taking, it’s all about having the most the largest amount of nutrition per death, okay, it’s really important, you have nutrients per death, if I have one cow kill for my family, that’s gonna feed my family the whole year, right? If you look at a lot of the factory farming involved in, like, let’s say raising high quality plants, and again, this may not be the broccoli or kale in your backyard, right? But if you look at on a wide scale kind of monoculture kind of scale, there’s all kinds of rabbits and snakes, and badgers and all kinds of things that get caught up in the combines when they harvest a lot of these plants. Okay, so there’s a lot of deaths happening. And so then you got to say, well, is that badgers death equal to this cow’s death, right, then you got to look at and kind of weigh well, whose life’s worth more. And then the third argument a little bit deeper is, well, are you taking the life when you’re killing a plant, and I think my personal belief is, it takes life to sustain life. So everything that you kill, whether it’s plant or animal has to have some level of life force to it. And then you’re just playing this game of well, whose life matters more obviously, I can emotionally connect with the cow because it’s got a mommy and a daddy. And it’s cute and cuddly. Maybe not with the kale, right? But all life, it takes life just to stay in life. So there has to be some level of life in that plant, for it to sustain you. Same thing with the animals. And so keep that there. And of course, when we talk about animals, we’re talking about non factory farming, we’re talking about organic, we’re talking about super high quality raising no hormones, no antibiotics, you know, one bad day for that animal. And that’s it. Right. So I just wanted to differentiate that for people that are kind of listening in on the fence with that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said, well said I liked the way you you put it. Alright, so this study and paper that you had, it also mentioned vitamin D. Now, just in case, we didn’t mention it last time, I just want to make sure we mentioned it now that there is definitely a link between more severe asthma symptoms and low vitamin D. So that’s a very, very easy low hanging fruit that should be addressed. If you’re working on some sort of a histamine allergy protocol. You’ve already hit upon increasing omega threes, your nuts, your seeds, your Coldwater fish, you’re doing your low histamine diet, if necessary, you’re treating the gut infections, but then boom, if you miss vitamin D, that’s easy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110%. And again, the other component, I would say is glutathione. We need that through digesting good proteins, right? So if we’re chronically stressed, let’s connect the dots here. So if you’re chronically stressed, you’re pouring out cortisol, your adrenals are in this fight or flight kind of sympathetic dominant state. You’re over secreted cortisol, and again, that can also look in a chronic state like low cortisol, right? Your cortisol doesn’t get low unless at some point it was chronically overstimulated. So some people think or feel like oh, my God, like my cortisol must be so my adrenal must be so overstimulated right now because I feel so off but it’s possible that they could be in this state of total dysregulation, and they’re on The lower side. So either way, chronic cortisol stress is going to affect your nervous system because the sympathetic nervous system is what’s engaged when you have a lot of adrenal stress. And the sympathetic nervous system affects digestion, right? It’s the parasympathetic that has the rest, the digest the energize, repair. So if we don’t have enough parasympathetics going, it’s gonna be harder to digest and break down our foods, absorb our nutrients. And this can really one start to create indigestion that can create more cebo and dysbiosis and bad bacterial imbalances. And those bad bacterial imbalances can negatively impact our immune system. And an immune system that’s not correctly primed. It’s overly sensitive and going after allergens that are not like a threat to us, that’s going to create allergy issues. So you see how this hormone adrenal Nervous System digestion, gut, immune connection kind of evolves, right? You can really connect it to a lot of different things because they really dovetail so importantly.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Now, the good news is, once you get the proper labs, it’s less overwhelming, because when you’re saying that back to me, I’m like, Oh, crap, how would somebody even know where to start with it? But once you get the data, it’s really easy for us to go and look at the piece of paper and go, Okay, look, here’s the gut analysis. Here’s the hormone analysis. And then on the gut analysis, we get a clue into the, into the hormones to right, because we’ll see that beta glucuronidation marker, if that’s high, we know Oh, crap. There’s recirculation going on. So this hormone profile now we have answers even deeper, we have a root cause of the root cause. Why is the hormone profile working like this? Well, because of the gut profile, and then you piece in the oats, your piece in the chemical profiles, the mold profiles, you look at where does somebody live environmentally, how much outdoor exposure Do they have, then we look at the diet piece, it makes it much much more digestible. So I just want people listening, you may be able to pull out little pieces of the puzzle like oh, I’m going to boost vitamin D, I’m going to do quercetin to stabilize it. But really, you got to get the data. So that’s what we always want to lean upon. for a couple reasons. One, it helps us to shorten the treatment duration, because then you’re not guessing and checking by just giving herbal anti histamines and sending people on their way. But number two, it’s a good compliance piece, because we can show people look, we have the reason of why you’re feeling like crap. Stick through this protocol, it works so much better. You know, there were times where clinically, I would talk to someone, and we would say, Well, you know, it sounds like this, it sounds like that maybe budget was a concern. It’s in a couple of cases. But we would just give somebody a guess and check protocol. But then we always had to go back to testing later. So really upfront, if you have this going on, get some data, so you know what you’re up against, you’re going to, you know, definitely shorten your timeline, and you’re going to shorten and decrease your cost. Like, if you were like me, I’d go buy this supplement, I’d buy that I’d buy that you have the supplement graveyard, you’re spending much, much more money doing that, as opposed to getting a dialed in protocol made for you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110%. Yeah, if you can see what’s going on is going to help you be a lot more compliant, for sure. And then one other connection here is we know that women who are overweight, they have twice the likelihood of having allergies as well. And again, I think this goes with men as well, when you’re overweight, fat is a major reservoir of interleukins, and cytokines and inflammation. So you can make a lot of inflammation via your fat cells. So the more inflamed you are, right? The whole thing with allergies and asthma and all these different things is the immune reaction that you’re having is an increase in cytokines and interleukins that are pro inflammatory, right. And so when you’re, you have exposure to endogenous allergens in the environment. That’s kind of what’s creating an anti inflammatory response. And then your body is then oversee accreting more inflammatory compounds, they kind of add to the mix, right? So your body’s overdoing it. And you have natural anti inflammatory compounds via cortisol and progesterone in your body. And if you don’t have enough reserves there to kind of let’s say, cover that up or neutralize it. It can really create more and more problems. That’s that’s a big one. I mean, here’s the summary. estrogens role in allergic disease remains complex, as allergenic as allergic disease continues to increase in the prevalence and effect women is fortunately gaining a fuller understanding of its effects. Basically, it’s talking about xeno estrogens and hormonal imbalances driving more allergy issue. It does it because it modulates the immune system, T cells, immune cells, B cells, it’s affecting all of the immune system, because we’re throwing a lot more histamine, leukotrienes and other immune compounds that are just putting our body into a more inflammatory state, if you will.
Evan Brand: Make sense i mean that once again, we’re back to external exposure, meaning potentially environmental but when we say environmental, that’s not just nature, it’s not like that anymore. It’s contaminated. You’ve got so estrogen.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly estrogens may polarize T cells and cause more th to immune response that’s kind of more of our antibody immune response. So you may get a lot more of that. Estrogen promotes the class switching of B cells. To immunoglobulin e, IGE is going to be a product that those are eosinophils so it’s going to promote more in a more allergenic side of your immune system via eosinophils. And then of course, estrogen promotes the degranulation of mast cell base fill so base fills are in your blood their immune cells just like you eosinophils are when they start to go into your tissues, they can start they become mast cells, essentially a mast cells produce histamine and we know histamine increases all these leukotrienes and, and cytokines, which are part of this whole allergenic immune reaction. So you can see how all these things kind of, um, you know, roll downstream and create more problems. So when people are listening to this, and you’re like, what the heck is he saying, just focus on this just go upstream. Anytime you get overwhelmed, always go upstream. Okay. Everything kind of gets more granular and nuanced as you go downstream. So hormonal imbalances, imbalances and progesterone, estrogen, especially when you start to have more estrogen dominance, that creates more of a pro allergic response. When cortisol starts to go out of balance, typically, either overly high acutely or chronically low. In a more chronic situation, that’s going to create more allergies, the more your sympathetic nervous system is in fight or flight due to chronic hormonal stress that can create more allergies as well. It affects your ability to digest, rest, repair, and absorb nutrients, and it sets up your digestive tract for inadequate enzyme and acid levels. And it also throws off your gut microbiome start to have more dysbiosis and that can throw off your immune system. Why? Because 80% of our immune system is in our intestines are Gault which is our gastric associated lymphoid tissue, that’s our stomach and our mouth, our mucosal associated lymphoid tissue that’s in our small intestine. hope that makes sense.
Evan Brand: It does. So, if you’re still drinking out of single use plastic water bottles, you got to quit doing that, because you were you were reading through it kind of fast. But basically what I pulled out you were saying that these, you know, estrogens, those have been linked to stimulating or irritating the mast cells. Was that right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, let me just read this summary here. This is a big one. So female hormones appear to play a significant role in allergic diseases, with estrogens effect being the most well studied estrogen influences, immune cells, favoring that th two immune response, and it causes our B cells or B cells are basically our body’s ability to make antibodies, right? We have five antibodies, right? neutrophils, lymphocytes, eosinophils, monocytes, basophils? How do I remember it? Never let monkeys eat bananas. Okay. That’s how we learn about that in doctoral school. And so we start to have a lot of these B cells, which you know, they can be anything of these five, they start to go more towards eosinophils. And again, he for allergy, that’s how we remember that he for allergy now with the exception is parasites can also increase the ascenta fills there for parasite infections can increase your chance of allergies to see all these things connect over. So the potential role for astron and nasm is supported by epidemiological evidence and increase the asthma prevalence and severity in adult women. And by associating estrogen with changes in airway mechanics and inflammation. However, the mechanism by which it may act is quite complex, we know that exogenous compounds of estrogen activity may influence allergic diseases, how well if we’re getting exposure to potentially birth control pills, or plastics, or pesticides, in the water, hormones and the meat all of these things may potentially throw us more into an estrogen dominant state. Now this study is not saying it, I believe it’s it’s really going to be that hormone ratio. So it’s more that estrogen dominance, unnecessarily high amounts of Astrid that definitely is part of it. But I think also that that ratio, or that Oh, right here, and it says with the effects dependent on the concentration of hormones, and the concomitant presence, or absence of factors such as progesterone, so it is kind of alluding to that the absence of progesterone can also throw that immune system into a more allergenic response, which is what I’m highlighting earlier, it’s more estrogen dominance than it is just estrogen by itself
Evan Brand: Makes sense. Okay. And now I’ve got a couple papers here is talking about estrogen is very stimulatory to the mast cells to release histamine. And then the excess estrogen also is going to down regulate the DA o enzyme that clears his domain Oh, bingo, they’re inactive. And at the same time, histamine stimulates the ovaries to make more estrogen. So the net result can be a vicious cycle of estrogen to histamine to estrogen to histamine, whereas progesterone comes in and stabilizes the mast cells and actually up regulates do production, and therefore can reduce histamine. So many symptoms of estrogen dominance are actually symptoms of histamine or mast cell activation. And then we know like mast cells, and histamine play a role in endometriosis and also pmdd. So that’s, that’s pretty cool. And this is an epidemic problem. You and I kind of talk about it. Like it’s this nuanced thing, but no, this is going on in hundreds of millions of women around the world and probably more so in women than men. But this issue can definitely happen in men also.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I don’t want men to kind of feel left out here. There’s a lot of men that have a lot of estrogen imbalance issues as well due to the environment, poor detoxification, gynecomastia excess of just being overweight, there’s some of those same mechanisms that are happening here, member fats can produce estrogens as well. So I don’t want our guy friends to be left out in this here. So just know there’s still a lot of the same mechanisms that are at play. Of course, we’re not going to be you know, hitting the hormones the same way. But we’re going to be looking at the adrenals are same way we’re going to be cutting out environmental hormones, we’re going to be looking at the toxification and your body’s ability to clear these excess of hormones. Of course, if we’re seeing women that come in with birth control pills, we’re going to try to hit that via a different mechanism. without throwing off the hormones, there’s a lot of ways we can hit this. I’m really happy that we’re talking about this because this is something that I see endemic in a lot of my female patients and male too. So I’m glad that we’re on top of this. And we’re not going to be going over too much on the supplement side cut for this because we talked about it last time. So please click down below and look for that previous podcast. But the big thing I would say with my female patients and or hormone patients listening is we’re going to look at potentially using endogenous progesterone, depending on the levels, we’re going to use herbs to help modulate estrogen and progesterone. So some of those herbs could be chaste tree, or maka or dawn quai. There’s a lot of other herbs that we use to modulate that we may use things like ashwagandha rhodiola, ginseng things to help modulate cortisol, of course, we’re going to be fixing a lot of the diet and lifestyle strategies, whether it’s blood sugar, inflammatory foods, sleep, of course, all of the healthy diet and lifestyle, things are foundational. So I’m not going to go into all of that, because that’s all with a podcast within itself. But just kind of keep that in mind. Those are all going to be part of the foundational principles that we utilize. And also I use other palliative things like natural anti histamine, the granulators, which looked at that previous podcast. And then also we talked about sinus flush protocols, and high quality air filtration, which are going to be important components. But you know, see that previous podcast for more instruction on that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said last thing here, just a note, it was talking about the whole progesterone, estrogen mast cell connection. And why progesterone, of course, is going to stabilize mast cells and upregulate DAO, and it made just a note here. This is why most women feel better early in the luteal phase when progesterone is higher. So if there is like a cyclical pattern to your issues, pay attention to your cycle. That’s probably a good clue there that it is progesterone deficiency.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, part of the reason it wouldn’t feel bad those last couple of days or a week before is because that’s where we have the biggest drop in progesterone. So it’s this big drop that happens. And usually it happens a little too early. And that’s what kind of gets this whole cascade of PMS or pmdd happening, right. And it’s usually just that fall out and progesterone too soon and too hard. Usually around a 21 to 24 it can just fall out harder versus gradually coming down around day 27 or so.
Evan Brand: And you’re saying we can help blunt the drop with some of the strategies, the herbs and nutrients, getting rid of the excess estrogens in relationship all of it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And don’t get me wrong. utilizing some of these natural anti histamines that we talked about in podcast one is helpful. But we just have to always draw a line is this the root cause and so I always want to make sure patients know this is not the root cause, but it’s buying us time. And it’s helping us deal with the histamine while we work on all the other diet and lifestyle and hormonal things. And then over time, you become less reliant on those things. And it’s better than taking medications that cause you to be drowsy and brain foggy throughout the day, or even things that add more steroids in your body to which could be more destructive.
Evan Brand: Absolutely. Well, if you need to reach out and get help, please do. If you need to reach Dr. J, you can at his website, JustinHealth.com. And he does console’s worldwide via phone, FaceTime, Skype, whoever you need to reach him. He’s there. If you need to reach out to me my website, EvanBrand.com we have all the information in regards to scheduling. It’s a piece of cake and you can book a intro call to discuss your symptoms, your goals, see if you’re a good fit for care, we’d love to help you out, get you off the roller coaster get you off the merry go round, unless you like that kind of thing. But these medical merry go rounds are not something fun. So we want to try to get you off of that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. I have three patients this last week. Two women, one man, one man who had a significant 80% reduction in lifelong allergies, doing a lot of these strategies. So I mean, these things aren’t esoteric, like there’s a lot of thought leaders out there that just talk about things, but they aren’t in the clinical trenches with their sleeves rolled up dealing with people working on this and actually getting results. So you know, I have quote, I have, you know, strong experience in this Evan does too, and we’re seeing it so when you guys are hearing the things we’re talking about this isn’t theoretical. This transcends what you’re reading the study. This is real. So I don’t We say that just to give you guys a lot of motivation and hope that if you’re listening, just start applying it. And then if you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed, we’re here for you. There’ll be a link down below where you can click to reach out to us and we’re here to help y’all. And if this information resonates, please find a family member or a friend that you can share it with because we really appreciate that.
Evan Brand: Awesome, we’ll take good care. We’ll be in touch next week.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have a good chat with you have a good one, y’all. Bye now.
Evan Brand: See ya. Bye.
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Staying Fit with Adrenal Dysfunction and Chronic Fatigue – Is it Possible? | Podcast #308
If you have adrenal dysfunction and chronic fatigue, exercise is probably the last thing you feel like doing. Your adrenal glands are responsible for keeping the well-being of your body in balance through hormones. These glands also produce the hormone cortisol, which is released during your fight-or-flight response. As you can imagine, cortisol is beneficial when you need to be alert and escape danger. For more on exercise with adrenal dysfunction and chronic fatigue, listen to the entire podcast!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
1:38 Exercise Movements, Use of Bands, Etc
15:37 Hacks to Increase Exercise Performance
18:53 Post Recovery Stuff
29:39 Why Exercise is Important
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan brand, Evan, how are we doing my friend?
Evan Brand: Doing really good, excited to dive into this topic, I’ve suffered tremendously with exercise intolerance for a while, and luckily have pulled myself out of it. And I can empathize with people that want to exercise, but they literally physically can’t. Or if they do, they crash out, which is what was happening to me. So let me just share a story just for a minute, and then we’ll dive in some to the details of it. But there are different things that can make people exercise intolerant. For me, I think it was a combination of factors like everything, but I was to the point where, if I did try to push myself, it would take an extremely long time to recover, you know, two, three, sometimes four days, I would still be recovering from the the workout and I thought, Okay, well, as you and I talked about, we got to adjust the levers, I got to lower the intensity, I got to lower the duration and the frequency. So I did, but it wasn’t enough, I still felt like no matter if it’s a 10 minute or 30 minute, I was still drained. So for me, I think it was detox, I think it was getting my mitochondria working better, definitely getting adrenals working better. I think neurotransmitters played a role too, because, you know, you could have low motivation and low drive if dopamine is effective. So we’ll go into that. But that’s, that was my story.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very important. I think anyone that’s health conscious, right, like you’re moving a couple of levers when you’re health conscious, right, you’re really working on drinking clean water, you’re working on improving your food quality, maybe adjusting your macros, maybe you’re taking some supplements. And of course, the The other thing you will be putting a lot of focus on will be movement, right. And I just call exercise movement. So like the first met, the three levers that we can move we already kind of highlighted is frequency, how many times per week we’re exercising intensity, could be how intense the movement is a compound movement that uses multiple joints, like a front squat, or a single leg deadlift with a row kind of component, or something like a bicep curl, that’s like, you know, just your elbow joint, that kind of a single joint movement, that’s more bodybuilding based, and, and less kind of metabolism based, right full body bass. So we have frequency intensity, the type of movements and that also can include the rest time between sets, too, right. So you can also increase, you can do more intense stuff, and then just have more rest time to kind of be back to baseline in between. And the last is duration, how long your workout is, that’s helpful, too. So some data by Charles poliquin, who talked about cortisol really starts to increase, you know, 45 to 50 minutes in. And again, that’s gonna be for someone that’s more on the healthy side. So I always tell people, like keep your workout, if you’re more stressed, keep it under 20 minutes, that’s a pretty good rule of thumb, you know, and just try to do more circuit movements, where you do movements back to back to back, that can be helpful. But then we kind of have to gauge and how your body is adapting to the exercise. It’s all about adaptation. And so exercise is a stress, and we want our body to be able to adapt to that stress, so we grow stronger. Now, if that stress is too much, where our body is not able to adapt to it, meaning we’re getting weaker, we’re getting more tired, that defeats the purpose of exercise, we want our body to positively adapt to that stress. If it can’t, then we have to move those three levers frequency, intensity, duration, and we may even have to switch out of certain movements, we may have to switch into more yoga or more walking or more, you know, Tai Chi types of movements in the beginning and just kind of go from there. So there’s a couple different levers. And so there’s three questions I always ask my patients, my patients that are listening, they know this, do you feel better after the workout than when you started, you want to always feel like your exercise is energizing you. That’s a good place to know that you’re adapting to your exercise you’re able to adapt to it. Number two is you can emotionally repeat the exercise afterwards. Once your heart rates kind of brought back down to the baseline after you stopped your movement. Can you emotionally do it again? Are you like, wow, I’m done. Right? And then number three is going to be last question is how do you feel later on that day, if it’s a morning workout, or that next morning, if it’s an afternoon or nighttime workout? Do you feel overly tired hit by a bus overly sore? Now if you’re adding in a front squat or a deadlift for the first time, you may feel a little sore. But in general, how do you feel? Do you feel overly tired overly sore hit by a bus? If so we want to adjust some of those movements for sure.
Evan Brand: Yep, good, good points. For me. I don’t have to count or measure or anything like that or time to workouts. I just get to a certain point with lifting weights. I primarily lift weights. I mean, I do like to go on bike rides, I’ll take the kids that’s pretty hard work with the legs. I do like my roll machine. So I’ll do that. But I don’t really measure count or anything I get to the point in the workout where my pump goes into more of like you can just feel that you’re becoming catabolic, you feel like your muscle tissue is now being used as an energy supply. Now, people that are new to it or if they haven’t been exercising for a long time. They may not be that in tune with their body. But for me, it starts out with the heavy lifts, I’m getting the pump, I feel good, I feel the blood flow. And then it gets to the point where I feel like I don’t want to say I’m hurting myself. But the dumbbell that used to feel pretty good and challenging now just feels like a frickin rock. And I’m like, oh, okay, I think that means I’m done now, and then I end the workout. If I go past that point, then it’s too much.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly. So that that’s a really good place, you can also incorporate bands, what’s nice about bands is the loading is the highest at your concentric phase, right? Imagine I’m doing a dumbbell curl, right? At the highest point, the The band has the most force in it, right the most intensity or force. And then as I lower right, this is the East centric face. I’m Ilan gating my muscle, so in a bicep curl, I’m moving the bar down to the dumbbell downward, the load is actually decreasing as I’m lowering it. So you have a decrease in force on that essentra curve, where like, if a dumbbell or barbell was there, it’s the same the whole way, like, so the benefit of the decrease in load is most of your muscle, shredding, or depletion happens in the E centric. So what does that mean? That means you can focus on really light, really nice, slow lowering phases that those two things, it burns more muscle, right. And then number two, most injuries happen, because people are bouncing the weight, or in that lowering phase, they kind of have a jerky move where they kind of relaxed the weight, and they catch it at the bottom of that movement. And like what sofa benchpress, that’s on your chest or military press that’s on your shoulder. Or if it’s a bicep curl, it’s at the bottom right, and you’re kind of bouncing that way, or a deadlift that’s at the bottom right where you bounce. So when you do a nice lowering phase, you prevent that bounce from happening. And that’s where almost always all the injuries happen. So if you do a nice lowering a nice slow lowering phase, maybe a three to four second, he centric think he centric he long gait. So have a nice, slowly centric, you’re not going to hurt yourself as much. And then number two, you’re still burning a bit of a bit of muscle. And number three, if you’re still really sore excessively, one, you can switch to more bands, and the bands will give you that decreased load. As you as you kind of move, which is nice, it really helps the muscles give it a little more recovery, but still gives you that increased load at the top, so you have more concentric load, right? So when your muscles the shortest, right that benchpress at the top position, the loads the highest, and it’s going to be even more than a weight would be right. And then it drops off on the lowering. So it’s a little bit safer. And you’re not going to overly kill your muscles in that lowering II centric phase.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s safer, too, if you don’t have a spotter, right? If you’re trying to do all this stuff at home, I mean, I’ve been guilty before of wearing myself out getting past a point of fatigue, where I’m like, Oh, I could really use a spotter right now. But I don’t have one. So the bands would be safer in that aspect too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, bands are safer and are of course, just using like a dumbbell is going to be helpful too. Because dumbbell obviously there’s no bar across there. So you’re not gonna expect to fixate yourself, your lower too much. And then you’re going to get a lot of fatigue on the lowering. And that’s what helps. But the bands do help for sure. And it gives you that really good ability to generate a lot of force. And also it’s safer. So I do like that as a good option.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and someone’s listening and they’re gonna say, well, bands where the heck do I get them? What strength? Do I get them? They usually come in variety packs, don’t they? Like there’s going to be like a black one, a green one. And they’re going to be different like intensities, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, I like the X3 bar for some of the some of the the bigger bodybuilding movements because the band’s really thick and it can generate hundreds and hundreds of pounds of force. So I like the x3 bar for that. So like for deadlift, that bar that that strap or that a cable is going to create a band. I’m sorry, that band will generate hundreds of pounds of force. Same thing on the bench, same thing on a tricep extension. And so it’s very helpful. So I do like that.
Evan Brand: Cool. Any updates on your rower?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah, it’s coming. I got the concept D rower. So I try to do a little bit more of the rolling for my aerobic stuff just because I like things that bring me into extension so much cardio is like your inflection, whether you’re on elliptical or riding a bike or whatever. I like kind of bringing more extension into my body so… easy! Sorry. That’s my dog. That’s my dog. We’re live here.
Evan Brand: I love it. I love the rower. I mean, to me, it’s, it’s, I feel so good on it. And I never really thought about what you’re saying. But yeah, most exercises are you’re kind of like going into monkey mode, you’re not really pulling back and stretching. That is like one of the only things that and the seated row, like on an actual machine with weights. Those are probably two of the only things that really kind of pull you pull you out and stretch you out like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally. Oh, by the way, I have my my natural pesticide guy here, which is kind of cool. So he’s actually spraying essential oils around my perimeter. So he’s spraying cedar, some citronella, some orange peel some olive leaf, just to keep some of the bugs down. So and then we found a bee’s nest in the back on the ground. So we’re putting a little bit of boric acid in diatomaceous earth in there to kind of to knock that out. So we try to, you know, just a little education here, we’re trying to do some natural kind of insecticide solutions, because a lot of those toxins can be very harmful to kids and, and women and children, especially guys, too, because they’re very estrogenic. So we try to use natural solutions here. So you guys see that live in the flesh here.
Evan Brand: Yep. And if you are exposed to all that crap, whether it’s from you spraying it or hiring somebody else to spray and you’re getting exposed to it, that’s going to affect mitochondria. And that’s going to affect energy. So when you get into this whole thing of chronic fatigue, adrenals exercise and tolerance, a lot of it has to do with toxicity, I will tell you 100% with confidence, when I’m doing binders, I’m stronger when I’m on detox support chlorella, whether it’s charcoal, Clay zeolites. I’m always stronger with some binders in my system. So for me, the toxins and for everyone really, the toxins are kryptonite. And that’s just a fact of the modern world. So wherever you can reduce those, reduce them, I mean, think about your kids, right? You go to a playground, my wife took my kids to a couple playgrounds over the summer, and the guy shows up with a huge tank of glyphosate on his back and just bombs the whole playground, because there were weeds growing up in the mulch and it goes up, well can’t go to that playground anymore. So it’s annoying that we have to be this observant, but it’s kind of what it takes in the modern world. I mean, unfortunately, in the 21st century, everywhere you look in turn, whether it’s the the air, or the water supply, or the ground, or the dirt or the soil you’re eating food out of there are chemicals that are disrupting your mitochondria, they’re disrupting cell membranes that are affecting your gut bacteria. And so I get annoyed with just the diet and exercise conversations that you see in the mainstream because they make it just like it’s that like, you’re not motivated enough. You just need to be strong pain is weakness, leaving the body push through, push through, it’s you literally from a biochemical, mechanical, mitochondrial perspective, neurotransmitter perspective, you can’t push through, you can’t so you know, you got poor Jane Doe, at the at the fitness class. And you know, she’s 50, or 100 pounds overweight, and she just thinks that she’s just fat and lazy. And that’s why that’s her problem. But it’s like, no, you’re toxic. Let me show you on paper. And I’m going to explain why your personal trainer doesn’t have a clue why you can’t tolerate the exercise and why you’re sore for a week. He just thinks you need to just quit being a sissy and drink another protein shake. No, that’s not the answer. So I love that we can intertwine the functional medicine piece into the exercise piece. Because the mainstream fitness community, it’s sad, it’s all this boot camp, you know, military CrossFit mentality. But when someone doesn’t perform like everyone else, those people get ostracized, and they don’t have a clue what’s underneath the hood.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, everyone, you got to treat everyone like an individual. And everyone’s coming at this a little bit differently. So you want to meet people where they’re at exercise, you know, and a lot of these things is going to be a stressor, so you want to apply the appropriate amount of stress. So you give your body the chance to adapt, it’s never the the exercise, it’s the ability for your body to adapt, and you have to kind of meet your body where it is. So if you’re someone that’s obese, it may just be walking a couple thousand, maybe 1000 steps or just squeezing your muscles doing an eccentric movement, you know, that may be enough based on where you’re at. So you got to figure out where you’re at and try to go maybe 10%, above where you’re at, on a day in day out basis.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and I’m not trying to poopoo personal trainers, I used to do some personal training, I had some certifications in different movements, kettlebells and things and I helped a lot of people but so so you can tweak the exercises, meaning you can tone things down for those people. But there’s at a certain point, you at a certain point, a personal trainer has a limit to what they can do for you. Meaning if you literally have so much toxicity that’s affecting mitochondria, you literally can’t build up your your weight, you can’t go 10 minutes longer. You can’t, you know, do three more planes, you just can’t. So then that’s where you got to come in. And we look at the labs to try to figure out what’s under the hood with these people. Why can’t they Why are they such a poor recovery. So like, well measure lactic acid on organic acids testing. And we know that when you have bacterial overgrowth, for example, that it produces lactic acid certain species do. And so if this person is sore without even working out, they’re going to be really sore when they work out. So we’ll focus on the gut, we’ll get that the production of lactic acid down from the gut bugs, and then boom, now they can handle that lactic acid bucket is drained now they can handle the exercise and the production there.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, exactly. You know, I’ve taken personal training sessions as a personal trainer for a long time and I’ve been trained by people where I feel too sore for a couple days afterwards. And usually if you feel too sore, it’s you put too much intensity in it. The dose wasn’t dialed in for you because you’re Giving your body the chance to heal and recover because you get stronger on the rest time. And if you created so much damage for 234 days later, you’re really excessively so you did too much you’re creating scar tissue in the muscle. And that’s not good. So you really want to individualize this. And I, you know, I see patients from all different walks of life from chronic fatigue autoimmune patients that are bedridden to people that are professional athletes trying to perform at the highest level, and you want to meet the demand where that person is at because it’s all about getting their body to function just a little bit better every day, and everyone is at a different place on their journey. So I think the individualization is so important.
Evan Brand: Do you want to get into some of the hacks at all like some of the things we do to kind of increase exercise performance? Because I’ve got several ideas at the top of my tongue here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, sure. I did a video on this last week where I talked about some of the ideas in regards to movement stuff like exercise stuffs, I think the easiest first thing for is really good lowering or good eccentric movements, I think are a great way to burn a whole bunch of muscle and, and allow you to use more weight and not get hurt. Because I mentioned earlier, it’s the lowering phase, the centric phase where people get hurt. And when you do a nice low, slow movement on the centric, you’re less likely to get hurt. And number two, you’re going to create more burning of that muscle, more depletion of that muscle. And as long as you don’t overdo it, it’s a good first step.
Evan Brand: I was into bodybuilding in high school. So I was doing a lot of those pre workout drinks. And they were just so bad for you. I mean, it was all just hundreds and hundreds of milligrams of caffeine, artificial colors. I’m sure there were sucralose and aspartame and potentially other garbage in there. And it just wasn’t good. I tried to pick clean choices. But you know, at the time, there weren’t that many good clean products on the market. So now there are there are some professional companies that you and I use that have some pre trained type nutrients, things that have some creatine, some tyrosine, some acetyl, l carnitine, can be very helpful. A little bit of like green coffee bean extract for caffeine can be good. There’s actually a nutrient called peak ATP, it’s a company and they’ve make so much like literally just straight ATP, and you can actually take it in powder form so that for me really, really helps. And then I like all the nitric oxide stuff. So I’ll do like a teaspoon of beet powder. I’ll do before the sauna, but also do before exercise, the beet powder is awesome. And then I like a lot of the adaptogen. So rhodiola makes me feel really good. As a as an endurance support. We use it for athletes, as you mentioned. And Holy basil’s is good. B vitamins a course that’s always low hanging fruit, there’s some good really good forms of creatine that we use, those can be helpful. And I think that’s about it. Are there any other like pre train nutrients that you like or that you use?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you kind of hit a bunch of them. So off the bat, you know, creatine and branched chain amino acids are wonderful, and it gets great, a little bit of caffeine can be very helpful to kind of mobilize free fatty acids. So whether you’re doing like a cold brew, coffee in your smoothie with the amino acids can be great. I do my Mito synergy support because it’s got some extra carnitine, extra ribose, a little extra creatine in there, some HLA some B vitamins, just those low hanging fruits are wonderful before workout. But I’d say creatine, branched chain amino acids, maybe a little bit of caffeine, especially if it’s a morning or afternoon workout, don’t do that, if it’s a nighttime workout. That’s a good first step, I think, to really hit it out of the park. And then we talked about movement patterns, I like really focusing on the centric, I also like focusing on circuit. So doing two to three movements back to back to back can be very helpful, because you can get a lot of volume done meaning a lot of reps and sets in, you know, smaller amount of time. So that’s great, because you can have a 15 to 20 minute workout that may have may have taken you 30 or 45 minutes if you did it one exercise at a time. So it gives you the ability to to make it more practical, which is great.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I think the next thing we should hit on is kind of the post recovery stuff. So what about the person who is getting into the exercise? Maybe they’re not tolerating it? Well, maybe their recovery time is a bit too long the wanting to shorten that I think the bcaas could be great before and or after. And then I’m a huge fan of like a Grass Fed Whey Protein Shake, but make a smoothie out of it. So there’s a couple grass fed ways that you and I use it are super good quality, and we’ll throw in like a scoop of coconut butter. If you can tolerate nuts, maybe a scoop of almond butter may be good. And then I’m a big fan of some of the Oregon meats too. Whether it’s actual Oregon meat or like some organ meat capsules, those can be really helpful for recovery and just making sure your body has the role nutrition it needs. And then good sleep. I mean, you can’t forget about good sleep. I mean, I see so many people who are moms that are trying to hit the gym or do whatever, five times a week, but they’re up too late. And they’re up too early. You know, they’re up at 430 in the morning to go hit the treadmill. It’s like ah, I’d prefer you sleep in until 630 or seven. Do that workout later and not miss your cortisol peak because the problem is if you’re up too early to exercise, you’re really missing that cortisol peak. It’s kind of like you took your iPhone off the charger when it was only at 50%. We’ve seen based on thousands of reviewing labs that the cortisol doesn’t really peak until around sunrise or so. And if you’re up at 430, the battery is not fully charged. So now that cortisol is going to just halfway peak, and then it’s going to crash much sooner, so you’re just not going to get the best bang for your buck, if you’re doing those super, super early workouts now isn’t better than nothing, probably. But I’m just giving you a couple details that we’ve, we’ve seen.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, when your nervous system is a little bit more fragile. When you have more adrenal issues, doing a later workout in the day is probably not the best, because that’s going to get more of that sympathetic nervous system kind of stimulated. And it made the the more unhealthy or the more out of balance your adrenals are the harder it, it takes your adrenals to wind down and kind of downshift from that sympathetic adrenal stimulating workout. So there’s going to be some adrenal stimulation, of course, right, which isn’t bad thing. But the question is, Do you have enough time to adapt and come down from that workout before bed, and that’s where it may affect your ability to repair before bed. So that’s why doing a workout, let’s say before two o’clock is ideal, you know, and again, the healthier you are on, the more you can downshift, the better, right, I typically recommend try to give yourself at least two to three hours to come down. So if you want to be in bed by 11, you want that workout to be done by eight for sure. That way you have at least three hours to come down from it, and try to do it more in the morning because you have that natural cortisol peak. And if that cortisol peak is going while you’re stimulating cortisol, you’re just more in harmony with your natural rhythm of cortisol going up. And adrenal stimulation going up, it’s kind of like, hey, more light at night. And when when melatonin goes up, are they’re not going to work because cortisol is going down at night. And light goes up at night, which can stimulate cortisol. So you kind of have the inverse thing happening with lights. And with cortisol at night, it’s the same thing with exercise and cortisol. So you rather do it when you have more harmony going on. But I understand some people that may not be an option. And if that is just try to give yourself more time. And really try to make sure that it’s not throwing off your sleep rhythm. And if it is adjust the frequency, the intensity and the duration, so you can recover from it and not mess up your sleep.
Evan Brand: And this is tough to do a podcast on because there’s so many different people with different work schedules. And well, my, my kids are with me on these days. So I can’t work out in the morning on these days. And I take my kids to school on this day, you know, so obviously, what we’re saying these are generalities, I know you have to work it into your schedule. But yeah, if you could do like a morning workout, I think that’s smart. But not an early morning workout. I don’t think people should be setting an alarm to get up at 4am to go jump on the treadmill at 4:30am. I just don’t think that’s smart. But if you were up with the sun at seven, and you could do it, that would be good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, ideally, for sure. Now, if someone visits us their work schedule, and they can get to bed by between eight and nine o’clock, so they they’re still getting at least seven hours of sleep. Sure, that’s at least better than nothing. So you just got to make sure the sleep is is compensating for the time getting up early for sure. But I agree, you know, the more you’re in harmony with the sun, the more your body likes that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, ashwagandha can be used in the evening, I remember I would do that if I had some late workouts that would kind of stimulate me. If I did like some ashwagandha at night, it would help help kind of calm it down you and I’ve talked about many times how it helps to regulate cortisol. So that’s what adaptogens do. If you’re too low, it kind of brings you back to balance if you’re too high and can bring you back to balance. So let’s say you did a eight o’clock workout tried to go to bed at 930 You’re still kind of ramped up maybe capsule or two, I like to use some liquid gel caps of ashwagandha tincture, and that really settles you down pretty quick.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% agree. Yeah. 100%. Great. That makes a lot of sense. So I think we hit some of the exercise kind of options, right? We talked about amino acids and nutrients pre post during we talked about different styles of exercises. I would say one thing in there, if you don’t have a lot of time to BOD or some kind of an interval on the cardio cardio side, whether it’s like an elliptical or treadmill or or bike, we’re a bigger fan of the rowers because you’re getting more extension in your body and there’s tends to be less extension with cardios and we tend to be more inflection throughout the day right at a keyboard right typing, all that stuff brings our body more into flexion. So using more extensions stuff can be really helpful. So I like more extension movements like we already chatted about. And I like a rower for that and you can do a 32nd 20-20 or 32nd high intensity movement followed by a Tabata which may be a 10 second rest period all the way up to a peak eight which may be a 92nd rest period. And you can just adjust the rest period and the exercise period to kind of suit your body so anywhere between a 10 to 32nd. High Intensity full out, you know as fast as you can go followed by a 10 second to 92nd rest period. That’s very helpful for increasing your metabolism and putting on muscle too.
Evan Brand: I tell you on that rower, what I’ll typically do is I’ll do 500 meter sets, you know so typically with like weightlifting in regards to building muscle people, you’re going to want to be looking for around three, maybe four sets of 10 to 15 Just depending on how you know what how you’re feeling what your goal is, but with the rower, I’ll do 500 meters as a set. And it’s give or take around two minutes to do that, man, I’ll tell you, you want a full body blood flow, that rower does it because you know your legs, you’re pushing to kind of slide yourself back, and then you’re pulling, and then hopefully, you’re, you’re fully pulling back, I think a lot of people stopped too soon. But if you’re pulling that bar all the way back to the chest, and then you go back in, and man, I feel great on it. So it’s-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s using your hamstrings to kind of bring yourself back closer to the machine to so you’re getting a little bit of extension on the quads, a little bit of flexion on the hamstrings, and then you’re getting some bicep and some and some rhomboids and some upper back, which is really nice. So I agree, I think it’s really good movement pattern.
Evan Brand: I put it on Max, I mean, you know, it’s, it’s kind of hard. Like if I was on a desert island, would it be the only piece of equipment No, I’d probably bring like a kettlebell maybe, or a dumbbell on the desert island. But it, rowers pretty dang close to the all in one solution, if you’re somebody who’s just looking to get your heart rate up, but also you could build some muscle, I put it on the max setting. So it is it’s the most resistance. And then if you pull on that thing really hard or really quick, you increase the resistance more. So yeah, I mean, you can get a pump, you can build some, some good back muscles and arms and deltoids using that and some traps. I mean, you’re gonna hit your traps a little bit on the road. So I’m a huge fan.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I like kettlebell swings as well. I mean, the only issue with the kettlebell swing is when you go into the East centric on the kettlebell swing, there is no low, slowly centric, it’s gonna be fast. So you’ve got to make sure you’re in a little bit better condition on the kettlebell. So you can go you know, have a really good explosive, ie sedgewick. And concentric because that eccentric when that kettlebell is coming down, you’re not you can’t lower that speed, it’s coming down at full speed, which is great, because you have to absorb it and use those hips to kind of soak in and grab that momentum, which is great. People that are beginners, they tend to use their back more and they can get hurt. So kettlebells I think there’s a really simple movement where you can kind of walk by it a couple times a day, and do you know some sets to failure on it, just make sure you know how to do it right. You have some good forum, find a trainer that can kind of walk you through the movement pattern, so you feel comfortable and confidence you don’t get hurt.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I was gonna say I probably in a kettlebell situation, I’d probably pay for a couple hours of training on it, because I definitely hurt my back. When I first started. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I just looked at some videos, I thought, Oh, yeah, this seems about right. Now, there’s some minor tweaks that can really affect how that load bearing hits your back. So for people, you know, that are not, you’re not an athlete, I would not go straight to a kettlebell.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Yeah. 100%. And then I’d like a lot of body weight stuff. So I have like the push up bars I like just because I can get a really good deep push up most people, man, they do have push ups, right? They do have push ups. I like the bar. So I can just get really in deep, get a good full range of motion. And I keep my wrist kind of in a neutral format holding the bar versus like this, which I don’t I don’t think it’s the best thing. You know, it hurts the wrist. Yeah, it hurts. So you can kind of keep it nice and neutral. You can go nice and deep. And that can have a nice, good eccentric on there, which is wonderful.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so you’re using the like, the handles, yeah, like here, we have each handle for the, for the push ups. Okay.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, like that. And it goes really good. They have some that do a rotation thing, which is okay, too. I mean, you can hit the packs pretty good there too. But just to be able to go deep in there and be able to keep your wrist neutral, I think is wonderful.
Evan Brand: I love pull ups. I mean, I tell you, I got extremely strong doing pull ups. But for people that are beginners pull ups, you might not even be able to do one and that’s okay, what you could even do is use like a little step stool, and just jump up there and just hold yourself up and the pull up position. That’s how I started out was just holding at the peak of the pull up. And then eventually I just let myself down slowly, and then pull up again. And then I was to the point where I could do three sets of 10 on pull up, I swear to you, man, that’s exhausting.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you go search online, like pull up assist, you can get bands, they kind of hook around and there’s like three or four bands. And then you can add a band for the for the intensity on the assist. And so what I’ll do is I’ll go in, I’ll do as many pull ups, which is you know, palms facing you or chin ups, palms facing away, right chin ups, more lat pull up more biceps, and I’ll do as many as I can the failure. And then I’ll go in and then put the bands on right after my knee and then I’ll go do it again to failure. So that’s a pretty good kind of a nice drop set where you go as much as you can bodyweight. And then you jump in with a little bit of help. And that can be super, super helpful. Just just people don’t people aren’t used to controlling their body weight like that. And it’s really functional to be able to move your body in a way where you are, you know, in control of your body from a weight standpoint, like you’re able to, to move and functionally manage your body in space and time without any extra stuff on there think it’s really functional.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, that’s the thing that people listening if you’re like, I just don’t like exercise. I hate exercise. I’m not into it. I’d rather go hiking Look, I hear you. But the benefits are not just in and out of the workout. The benefits apply to picking up your kids the benefits apply to playing with your grandchildren, the benefits apply to doing yard work. Bringing in heavy bags of groceries and you don’t want to make multiple trips, you can grab all the groceries in one trip. And so it’s just awesome to be able to to build muscle. If you’re climbing ladders, if you’re in construction, I mean just that, as you’re mentioning, it’s functional, this stuff applies. This is not just for vanity, this stuff really applies to everything if I weren’t in decent shape. my four year old, she’s heavy. When I go to pick up that kid, it’s awesome to be able to have the muscles to just make her a dumbbell. I just pick her up like a dumbbell. You know, it’s it’s fun. If I were in bad shape, you know, I maybe hurt my back, just bending over to pick her up. So this stuff is the stuff is great. And especially as you get into 60s and 70s. I mean, we know that with bone density being a big issue, we have so many clients with osteopenia, osteoporosis issues, yeah, we can give you supplements for that. But the best free thing you can do is to do weight bearing exercises to really preserve your bone health as you age.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I always look for movements that translate to me living my life better. So anytime you can move your body, you know, in a way where you’re managing the weight of your body, that translates to you managing the weight of your body when you’re, for instance, roughhousing with your kids in the pool or something like or like I’m throwing my kids up in the air, like one handed like, you know, one handed, like, Where did that get shot, put kind of thing. It’s like, I need really good shoulder stabilization and really good lat strength, and core stabilization to be able to make that happen. So it’s nice to do movements that can translate to you being able to play with your family or friends or do your sport or do your hobby. So that’s really important to think of like, what movements do I want to do in my workout that will translate to me living my life better. So always kind of think a little bit deeper. Most people just think like, hey, what movements to make myself look better naked. That’s cool. I have to run with that. But now we got to think a little bit deeper now.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I think if someone’s listening, and they’re like, well, I’m pretty much disabled. In terms of my physical performance. I’m just super weak. I would try a plank. I mean, a plank is a game changer, where you’re just getting on, you’re kind of resting on your elbows and forearms. And you’re just holding yourself even if you can only do a plank for 10 seconds. My Lord, I can’t tell you core strength, you hear about this term core strength, it really does apply, I just got back into doing some planks pretty regularly. And even just sitting in a chair, I sit better in a chair now having more core strength. Yeah, I think it’s great. You just don’t fold in, you know, if you have no core strength, you just like you said you fold in, you get into the turtle the turtle position on the computer, and it’s just not good. The next forward and get the core strength, you’re more just confident with the way you sit.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, also just just get a stand desk that allows you to stand throughout the day, like I’m standing right now, I’m using core strength just being able to stand right, that’s super helpful. Or let’s say you sit a lot and you don’t have the money to invest in a state that’s well, let’s just try to invest maybe in a Swiss ball, a physio ball or Swiss ball that will allow you to sit but now you have to engage your core a little bit so you don’t fall right. That’s a good first step. And then you can move to a stand desk where you’re upright, and you can kind of move and like look at my body posture throughout the day, I’m pretty upright, I have to pull my backpack, pull my arms back. So I’m in a much better position to be more athletic. And to get my my cold body activated versus in this like sitting down position, which is totally unhealthy.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I kind of bend my legs a little too, I’m standing down too. And so you know, I mean, my hamstrings are pretty flexed right now just standing here talking. So that’s pretty cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you can buy an anti fatigue mat, which is fine, you can do that too. I’m kind of moving a lot. When I’m standing I’m on a treadmill, so it’s not necessary. For me I like to move a little bit. So that’s helpful. And then it kind of have a slight bend my knees, take the stress off my my lower back so that I think those are really good first steps. And I also have some QB pedals when I sit down, I can also pedal a little bit. So it’s good to have a lot of unstructured exercise that you’re doing throughout the day where you’re getting some movement and it’s not yourself being in the gym doing this workout, you’re kind of adding some movement here adding some movement there. And it’s it’s nice to be able to get that 10,000 steps or so a day, just to make sure your body’s moving. You’re not overly sedentary. Because if you’re getting 2000 steps a day, but you’re in the gym for 30 minutes. Is that really healthy. I mean, you definitely want some steps, you definitely want some movements as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Now, if you just want to opt out of the whole thing and just become a farmer, then that’s an option too. But if you’re like a farmer that’s just sitting on a tractor, you’re not getting much exercise, but think of our ancestors, right? I mean, they didn’t have to think about exercise the way we do. It just happened. It was a byproduct of surviving. And now it’s optional. So it’s funny, we have to have this conversation versus even just a couple hundred years ago, my grandparents, grandparents, you know, they’re out in the field. They didn’t even have mechanical equipment. They had horses and plows. Oh, my God, I bet you those people were getting 10,000 steps at least per day and sunshine and fresh air. They didn’t have to think about it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I 100% agree, you know, but we got to adapt and we got to create artificial stress through our workouts to keep our muscles and our body strong. So I think that’s great. Is there anything else you want to add today and I think we hit all the really good stuff. Maybe people that are really having a hard time adapting and figuring out the next step they can they can reach out to us here below EvanBrand.com to reach out to for you worldwide. JustinHealth.com for Dr. J myself. And also we may have to dive in deeper and test your adrenals test your hormones, get your gut, maybe give you more nutritional support, hormone support adaptogenic stress support to get you all to the next level. And that’s going to be a thing for most people, depending on how good or bad they you know where they’re at, and how much they want to improve. That could be something that we consider to be an accelerator to get you to the next level. So that’s always an option for y’all as well. Anything else you want to add, Evan?
Evan Brand: No, that’s it. You mentioned the links JustinHealth.com EvanBrand.com we’re happy to help people. We love this stuff. I mean, it’s, it’s such a great thing to be able to take a woman who’s exhausted trying to keep up with the kids, we get her mitochondria working better, we get her gut working better, she’s able to exercise and perform and then boom, it in turn makes her a better parent. She’s able to keep up with the kids now or the grandparents are able to run around with the grandkids. So you know, remember what this is all for. At the end of the day, it’s for you to be able to function through you know, on planet earth through your body in a better way without being injured. So it’s awesome.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it Evan, excellent point today. It was a great podcast. Hope you guys enjoyed. Thumbs up really appreciate it. Comment down below. We really appreciate it. There’ll be a link below if you guys enjoyed it. Shoot us over a review. We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Evan, you have an awesome day, man. You take care.
Evan Brand: Take care now. Thanks bye bye.
Gallbladder Attacks| Podcast #228
Gallbladder seems like a small pouch that is located just under our liver and is responsible for storing the extra bile the liver makes. Pretty easy, right? No. The gallbladder plays a very important role especially in digesting fatty foods.
In today’s podcast, Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about the importance, and how to take care and address problems when it comes to our gallbladder. Stay tuned!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
02:52 Gallbladder’s Function
07:43 Risks of Taking Out a Gallbladder
12:45 Mechanisms Behind The Damage
19:26 Gallbladder Damaging Foods
23:53 Hormones and Birth Control Pills
25:50 Keeping It Safe
31:25 Fiber and Sugar
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here, I was out of the office last week. I’m so excited to be back in action. We get Evan brand here in the house and we’re gonna be doing a talk on gallbladder attacks what you can do to treat, prevent and what the physiological cause of this is. Again do we have to rely on conventional medicine to get your gallbladder out. Can we do more natural means to get to the root cause. So, Evan how we doing man?
Evan Brand: Hey man pretty good, yeah. This is timely because as I told you before my mother-in-law she ended up having a bunch of pain last night and goes into the ER and they say after doing an ultrasound, which is one of the diagnostic tools that conventional medicine is really useful for, they said, yep you’ve got gall stones, you got to get your gallbladder taken out and they’re gonna say, hey you got to go right into surgery and get it out and I’m trying not to let that happen but I may lose this battle, it’s hard to say right now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, before we dive in man you had a baby in the last week. Congratulations!
Evan Brand: Good, thank you. I can’t show her off, she’s gone. Mom took her out somewhere, but yeah she’s, she’s healthy. She was 8 pounds 1 ounce. No complications during birth at all. Everything went absolutely amazing and, right yeah, yeah my wife had her in a big old bathtub that we bought and got set up just for that so.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Her name is Jenna Rose B.rand
Evan Brand: Yep, that’s it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s awesome JRB, I love it man.
Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So she’s drunk right there, right.
Evan Brand: There man, mom’s good, mom’s recovering and we’re figuring out our sleep schedule. Still the baby’s sleeping pretty good, she’s breastfeeding pretty good. So far so we can’t complain, I’m still in kind of that like oxytocin overload so I don’t have much to complain about right now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, a little hazy. It’s always a little tougher when you have another kid because you got to still manage the other kid while this new babies into the world and then maybe it is a jealousy thing going on so you got to manage that so it’s definitely tightrope walking. I’ll be there in like 3 months so it’s like crazy that I’m just, you know, you’re like a sneak preview of what’s to come 3 months ahead of time here.
Evan Brand: I know all I can say is enjoy it with one kid because you don’t realize how easy it is to have one until you have two, and then it’s like wow this is more than twice as complicated as one it doesn’t just double it’s an exponential work scale.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know that’s first six months of the hardest wood getting the sleep on track everything is possible with good sleep. When sleep is not there, everything becomes so much harder across. You got a good sleeper.
Evan Brand: Yep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And of course you’ll do all the right stuff so much of baby sleep has to do with you know early on it’s tough because the baby just doesn’t have the blood sugar stability aspect but having good quality breast milk and good proteins and fats in Hannah’s diet will be huge with providing sustenance for the baby, so, fingers crossed that you guys are on the right track there.
Evan Brand: Yeah, thank you man I appreciate it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well let’s dive in the gallbladder issue, so physiology 101. What is your gallbladder? So, it sits right below your liver so your livers on your right side, here so in this quadrant here and the gallbladder kind of tucks up underneath and it’s there to primarily concentrate bile salts and bile is designed to help emulsify fat. So think of emulsification is when like greasy pan soap it’s the pan it starts to kind of like suds and break down that’s emulsification in the ability the reason why we want to emulsify it so we can absorb if not if you just try to wash a let’s say a greasy baking dish with just like water use a big sheen right and that essentially what happens in your stool you’ll see that kind of a sheen in your stool and you may even see your stool float if we can’t break down fat adequately, so we need that emulsification so we can break down that fat. And it’s important because there’s actually nutrients in fat like vitamin A, D, E and K these are fat soluble nutrients vitamin A is great for your skin for your thyroid for your immune system D is obviously great for your immune system you make it from the sun as well vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and great for cardiovascular health and stress and then vitamin K is amazing for your bones it’s also a very important nutrient for your immune ___[04:04], your immune function and healthy vascular system so vitamin A, D, and K really important and you will not be able to optimally break those down within adequate bile salt production so if your gall bladder is not working and that can be a problem. Now, your gallbladder provides a benefit because it concentrates violet and the 15 acts some people report you and higher compared to what your liver could do so your gallbladder sits there. It’s just little pouch and then it concentrates that bile. And then when you eat food by protein and fat primarily it’s gonna be fat but typically protein is batter together that’ll go into your stomach you’re gonna make a whole bunch of stomach acid that lowers the pH. That nice low pH causes activation of proteolytic enzymes. That nice low pH then goes into your small intestine. That nice low pH then triggers bicarbonate from your pancreas which helps bring that acidity back to neutral about, but that nice low acidity triggers a hormone a hormone peptide called CCK, or cholecystokinin for short, and cholecystokinin causes that gallbladder to contract and release that bile salts and that good acidity also causes the pancreas to produce light pace in proteolytic enzymes lipase means fat digestive enzymes proteolytic, means protein digesting enzymes so we need that nice low pH, and that triggers our gallbladder to work and if we don’t have a good gallbladder, that bile from the most part your liver becomes your gallbladder. So you’ve become and hepatic bile duct expands and that gallbladder just kind of drips and it doesn’t really get to that nice concentrated fashion and work as well, so you’re not gonna have good fat digestive capacities.
Evan Brand: Man, I didn’t even know this there’s so cholecystokinin can also be its officially called pancreozymin, did you know that?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, I didn’t know that was, uh, another name for it.
Evan Brand: I guess that’s another name for it. But yeah, so it’s made right there in the first sect ion of your small intestine. That’s pretty cool. I never knew that name before. Yeah, this is interesting because you, you gave a really good visual about the whole bacon grease on a pan thing because it’s fat soluble when I picture that and, and I, and I use your visualization. I’m seeing all these nutrients that are almost hidden or protected by the layer of fat and if you can’t bust apart that fat and emulsify it, it’s like those nutrients just go to waste you could be eating those nutrients but if you’re not emulsifying the facts those nutrients are not really getting absorbed and I think this is why so many people you even who take vitamin D supplements, maybe they’re deficient because they’re not maybe one they don’t have a gallbladder or two they’re just not eating it with fat or three they just don’t have the emulsification process working.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%, and again like if you’re eating really good foods fats and proteins and that’s not digesting properly a lot of times, you’re gonna feel nausea. You’re gonna have indigestion because a lot of these proteins and fats they’re gonna go rancid. They’re gonna rancidification and then they’re gonna get putrified right so rotting proteins Beautification rotting fats rancidification fermentations the carbs and that can create a lot of bloating and gas and digest the de-stress, so and that can even create more nausea. Yhen what tends to happen is a lot of these kind of people are, are ones that tend to go more vegan, vegetarian plant-based because they’re really just having a hard time with these harder. Let’s say energy intensive foods to break down and then their diet starts to shift so we got to get to the root cause and say what’s going on with our digestive system and figure it out.
Evan Brand: Well, you know, what I just found out too is kind of a risk of getting out the gallbladder is the increase of colorectal cancer goes up quite significantly. When you get the gallbladder removed, if you just Google gallbladder or they call it a cola how do you even pronounce this, is a sola, coalescedectomy-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: (Cross-talking.) Yep.
Evan Brand: Coalescedectomy, anyway, remove the gallbladder alright it’s quite significant, I’m trying to find the exact percentage here but I would just say that there is a big increase in different types of cancers after you get the gallbladder removed and I would say probably just because the gallbladder does have some function to help with detoxification, because you’ve got this connection between your liver and your gallbladder and your bile so that whole system gets disrupted if gallbladder is removed.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah 100 % yep, so in general we have like two major ducts right we have like this common, this common bile duct right, and then we have this pancreatic duct because you have bile coming out so you have liver, gall bladder, common bile duct ,or the common duct and then you have the pancreas hanging over here, and you have a successive pancreatic duct. So what happens is these kind of conjoined and then they eventually go to this hepato pancreatic ampule er there’s a couple names for it, it’s the same thing it’s basically just where the liver and the gallbladder duct meet the pancreas dock and then they go into the small intestine. You can have stones that go right after, they, here they go a little bit lower. You can have some stones join now when those stones are there it can create a blockage and it can create a backup of enzymes in the pancreas, and they can create a backup of gall bladder or the bile or essentially you can create more pressure where those stones are up in the gall bladders and then you can create pancreatitis issues on the pancreas side right because it tees to the right and then we’re at each to the left. You can create inflammation in the gall bladder right and these are both issues so typically they lean more on pulling out the gall bladder than they would the pancreas just because the pancreas has a lot of other exocrine functions like insulin and glucagon and other types of hormones so they typically go right to the gallbladder and remove it. Now we can talk a little bit about should you remove itn should you not. It just depends on how acute it is and how long it’s been going on. But I’ve had great experience saving people’s gall bladders by doing some of the things that we’re going to talk about in a bit so you really have to sit down and talk with your doctor see how your immune system is doing. See how inflamed jar but you really if you’re gonna let’s say try some of the more natural things to save your gall bladder, you really want to be monitoring it especially if you’re on the pancreatitis side because that can definitely be dangerous. Any thoughts on that Evan?
Evan Brand: Yeah, I wonder if looking at the pancreas, if that would be something they would look at via blood or if that would just be the ultrasound maybe they would look to see if the pancreas is inflamed, I mean how would you judge the pancreatitis so you would know?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s a great question. I’m not sure the exact what they — I imagine the ultrasounds and to be a big component in it they’re probably gonna also look at your immune markers as well to see how jacked up your immune system is from what’s going on and like you probably also look at some various pancreatic enzymes as well.
Evan Brand: Okay here’s the National pancreas Foundation testing would be yes ultrasound so this would look for acute pancreatitis there’s an endoscopy basically endoscopy type of ultrasound that they can do them RCP which is basically like a special type of MRI and then a CT scan.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah and they’re gonna look at also the pancreatic enzymes like we talked about the amylase and the light base.
Evan Brand: Okay.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, so yeah when you understand physiology, it’s not that complicated because you only can test them look at, so many things so you have your physical exam where they’re just gonna touch and and poke in that area and see where that pain is and just assess how it feels on the outside. They’re gonna look a little deeper with an ultrasound. They’re gonna look a little deeper with immune testing to see how much your immune system is stimulated and also look at the enzyme see how bad the enzymes are and that’s normal.
Evan Brand: I mean if you had a gallbladder attack, it’s normal to have some back up and for that pancreas to be dysfunctioning a bit. It doesn’t mean, you know, just if you do have maybe some pancreatitis, I don’t think that necessarily makes a situation any more detrimental like if you avoid surgery. I don’t think that means you can’t avoid surgery if your pancreas is inflamed bit.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. My biggest thing, because this is a podcast and we’re not seeing people individually. So make sure you check with your doctor just know that every conventional doctor or surgeon is going to be prone to pulling your gallbladder out because that’s what they do. They don’t understand nutrition or the root cause of what’s happening so you have to understand that to begin with ,but my goal is at least to get your doctor’s blessing you at least try some of these things and then you can come back and monitor and see how you do, but we’ve had great success. So let’s talk about some mechanisms that drive these problems, so the first thing I would say is just poor digestion to begin with, right. We don’t have enough stomach acid, we don’t have enough stomach gas so we missed the stimulation for the pancreas pancreatic output. If we miss the stimulation for the pancreatic out, but we probably have missed stimulation for the gallbladder to contract and the more we have bile that sits in our gob line or longer we can get crystals to form and when these crystals form at some point your gallbladder will start to contract, and that’s like going and petting a porcupine. Like giving a porcupine a big hug right because these crystals are forming and then they’re inside this gallbladder now the gallbladder contracts over time and it’s like given that pork you find a big hug and then you get a lot of inflammation then they go and they’re gonna test your gallbladder via ultrasound then it’s, yeah, it’s inflamed we got to pull it out but it’s not getting to the root cause of why it needs to be pulled out or why it’s inflamed to begin with so we want to. Just keep that in mind.
Evan Brand: Yeah well said well also we’ve had some people that they’ll go from like a really low fat or a nonfat diet – paleo and then they have pain in that area. Kind of that low right side under the ribcage there, and I think your analogy works perfect for that which is that their gallbladder really probably hasn’t been being worked it hasn’t been being squeezed and pumped like it would if they were eating good fat so that’s why some people will go on paleo or keto or something similar and they’ll complain of issues.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think a lot of women have been brainwashed. You know, from the 80s or 90s where you’re kind of going lower fat and then when you’ve gone lower fat for a while and that gallbladder is not having to contract. It’s like the equivalent I’m not changing the oil in your car for a while that oil in your oil tank gets sludgy it gets really sludgy it’s not moving well and then it’s possible that you could have a blockage or a stone could form and then you start eating paleo and you’re eating all these really good healthy fats your gallbladder is contracting you’re hugging that porcupine or that that backup occurs maybe to your pancreas, and back to your gallbladder and then you get a whole bunch of inflammation but and then you’re told hey we got to get your gallbladder removed, so we got to understand the mechanisms here another major mechanism is estrogen dominance so if you’re a woman or even guys – because guys are getting exposed to lots of estrogens in the food the water and through plastics and pesticides and glyphosate, that this can cause the bile to get more sludgy. It can turn it into molasses, so you have kind of let’s just say more weakened or decrease bile flow and this can create issues as well so sludgy bile can be a big concern in the hormones have a major impact on that.
Evan Brand: Well now that you say that, the natural question becomes what about all the women that are on bio identical hormones and they’re getting put on progesterone and estrogen creams and all that I mean that’s got to be playing a factor in this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean if you’re on hormonal support make sure it’s bio-data and make sure you’re being monitored. Make sure it’s really being monitored so you know that you’re not in an estrogen dominant state. You want to make sure you have a good ratio of estrogen to progesterone, so typically on average is about 22 to 23, to one progesterone over estrogen right because progesterone should be more dominance but a lot of women just natural they’re more estrogen dominant and a lot of people if they’re supplementing hormones a lot of times they may not provide that good progesterone with it or if they’re cycling females, they do it at the wrong time may just do progesterone throughout the month which is not what you do for a cycling woman because they have a follicular phase which is the first half and they have a luteal phase which is the last half first l, and luteal for last and that last half is where progesterone really predominates and I’ve seen a lot of doctors recently where women they’re cycling they’re still in their cycling age their follicles are still active and they just kid progesterone flat line throughout the whole month that’s not how you treat a cycling female.
Evan Brand: (Cross-talking.) Yeah, well-said.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So getting back to that we talked about the hormonal imbalance and then of course if we start having sludgy or dodgy bile flow that’s going to start to impair really good fats, and fats are great because they make up our cell membranes they all. We also tend to have fat and cholesterol together a lot of times and cholesterol is a really important hormonal building block so when you start to have poor bile flow and poor fat digestion then you start to have more bloating and gas issues because things are rancid if I and putrifying in our guts right and then we need these important nutrients to make our hormone so then we start to have digestive issues and now we start to have more hormone issues because these building blocks aren’t being absorbed and we know vitamin K vitamin A is really important for the thyroid and then we start having thyroid issues. And we also know vitamin A is really important for skin too and then you start to have skin issues so you can see with some of these cascades you can start off with poor digestion got symptoms hormonal imbalances skin issues and then when you start affecting more hormones, you can affect mood cognitive so you can see how that gallbladder domino can fall and then so many other cascades of symptoms can occur after the fact.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well thyroid too I mean we could go on and on we if we unpack this thing fully this could take us all day, but we know that low thyroid, so hypothyroidism and especially Hashimoto’s. you know that’s gonna be a link to with gallbladder function if your thyroids under functioning that’s gonna affect things to the stomach acid you already hit on that so i always think of H pylori soon as you stay low stomach acid, i think of all these women with H pylori infections or women that are on the anti-acids or PPIs that’s a contributor to.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Big-time, so being on PPI is also antibiotics because antibiotics really mess up our gut bacterial balance and then that can really have some negative effects of – some studies showing that antibiotic exposure can significantly increase cholestasis so stasis this means like the flow is impeded so the flow starts to get more dodgy and kind of more like molasses versus water so to speak so that can start to create issues with bile flow and then of course we talked about the stomach acid and enzymes the next big when I say it would be food allergens
Evan Brand: Yeah this is huge. You gave me a good article on this it was about Dr. Jonathan Right, who you and I both love and look up to his book Why Stomach Acid is good for you. Its amazing, if you don’t own that book it’s like bucks on Amazon totally favorite books of all time and he talked a lot, yeah, I mean we’re talking I was telling you I think he’s in his mid to late 80s now I mean he was talking in the 1960s about food allergies in this article food allergies and what and in the contributing factor to took all bladder issues and he was saying that eggs was number one the number one offender for these people 90 almost 93 percent of people that they were studying had an issue with eggs that’s gigantic and then.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also number two is pork aka bacon. So this is big because if you’re in the paleo community and you’re on a paleo template you’re probably eating a lot of eggs and bacon so one of the first things that we see with patients is if we have any gallbladder issues we pull out eggs and bacon and I’ve seen it work phenomenal now after that there’s I’ve done a video on this a few years back so we’ll try to put that the gallbladder video in the references, if you just put my name and gallbladder you’ll probably find the article in the video but we have eggs and bacon number 1 and 2, onions number 3, chicken and turkey 4 and 5 and then milk coffee and then we have some citrus oranges and then corns beans nuts apples tomatoes peas cabbages spices peanuts fish and rye to follow so I gave you a long list and you may be overwhelmed the, the biggest thing I’d focus on is the first yeah focus on eggs. I focus on the baking component. I focus on the coffee and I’d focus on maybe chicken or turkey but at least do those first out of the eggs and bacon maybe some coffee because those are pretty common and see how we do from there now of course the gluten and the refined sugar in the trans fats the junkie or standard American foods are like first so if you got someone that’s on a standard American template well first thing is just try to get them to go paleo first that may be a good first step but go paleo but cut out eggs and bacon as a starting point and maybe coffee just to see how we do to start.
Evan Brand: Yeah I don’t do eggs that often. I mean I had a lot of digestive problems with them in the past when I had parasite infections. I couldn’t tolerate eggs they send me straight to the bathroom so I don’t know if that was related to gall bladder if that was just due to my infections but now I’m ok with eggs I just don’t really care for them I only eat them maybe, maybe once a week I’ll do a few eggs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean eggs are a super food there. They got a whole bunch of really good fat soluble nutrients in the yolk really good protein source. I think eggs are phenomenal but not everyone can do it and if you can’t do it just make sure you, if you love it, rotate it, if you love it, rotate it. So, we have those common foods of course we’re going to add in extra enzymes and hydrochloric acid so we can break the foods down right those would be the next steps and I would say a couple of other things here for poor digestion is you kind of already alluded to it with H pylori but other types of infections whether it’s SIBO bacterial overgrowth whether it’s other types of parasites blastocyst is hominis Giardia Giardia is also known to hang out in bile ducts in the out ladder so Giardia can definitely be a gallbladder a stressor for sure I don’t remember if.
Evan Brand: I told you that I mean this was coming up on four or five years ago, now I’m pretty confident I had a gallbladder attack due to Giardia, I mean I was doubled over in pain and it was in that low right quadrant of my abdomen and that was when I got my stool test back that said Giardia is, so if you just type in Giardia bile duct you can read about it they’ve known about this since like the s that Giardia can hang out around that area and cause sort of a phantom gallbladder attack I mean it’s real the pain is real but it’s not actually a gallstone or anything it was the Giardia doing it which is hard to believe because it’s such a tiny organism it make you think how could it do that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah exactly, and also healthy bile flow is really important because bile acids which is what they are vile acids help provide a really good environment for good gut bacteria and keep the bad stuff down in the gut, so when you start having poor bile flow and you’re not producing good bile guess what happens you have less bile acids in the intestines so then you start to have more gut bacterial imbalances so we just have imbalances and the bad bacteria higher amounts of bad verses lower amounts of good and then this starts to wear away or create leaky gut because now we have this dysbiosis. Bad bacteria tends to produce something called lipopolysaccharides or endotoxins that’s the outer coating of the bad bacteria and it can be stressful on the gut lining and actually can create leaky gut so another mechanism is this poor bile flow can, can create imbalances and bad bacteria and that bad bacteria can also start to affect leaky gut now also one other thing we talked about hormones right but also birth control pills are in a similar category especially most of them are going to be estrogen base and they’re gonna be very high levels faster than to times typically more estrogen than normal and that can start to sludge up gallbladder and bile flow so you can start to see right birth control pills prescribed decrease bile flow decrease bile acids and the intestines more despotic bacteria less good bacteria leaky gut more food allergens food allergens then cause markov ladder is so you can see how that vicious loop kind of plays out ,and then also you can add in while your immune system gets compromised more infections come in that feeds back to more gallbladder stress that you can see the vicious cycles here and you can see how okay just cutting out my gallbladder doesn’t really fix that that mechanism is still in effect.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well that’s why people report having a lot of pain and post gallbladder issues and they say well I’ve got my gallbladder remove and I’m still having all these symptoms. So some of the sites that we had referenced about symptoms after gallbladder removal could be guess what gallbladder attacks, nausea, vomiting, discomfort, gas and bloating, burping, and belching, heartburn new or worse Barrett’s esophagus, constipation, diarrhea, weight gain that’s all after the gallbladder is gone so it’s really not a miracle cure as it’s promoted unfortunately.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly so if we can avoid gall bladder removal, that’s ideal. If it’s incredibly late stage it may be tough but if we can get to it early enough we can definitely keep your gob wider now. So we have the foods, we have the gluten we have the refined sugar, right we have the big things on the Paleo side which are eggs and bacon now when your gallbladder is kind of inflamed we may have to go a little bit lower on the fat in the meantime just because we don’t want to be hugging that porcupine so to speak meaning gallbladder stones contracting on those stones could create more inflammation. we may have to go lower fat or at least rely more on coconut oil for our fat because that does not require as much bile basically bile flow to be able to emulsify coconut oil and then we want to cut out some of those bigger foods we talked about the bacon and the eggs and we’d probably do some leaner proteins good healthy vegetables and lower sugar fruits maybe a little bit of safer starches and keep it all cooked really easy to digest use enzymes use acids and we also want to use supplemental bile salts to break down the small amount of fats that we are eating but we would want to keep the fats down just because you wouldn’t want to be causing that gallbladder to contract around those stones and pet that porcupine so to speak, yeah.
Evan Brand: And if the if the media were trying to sabotage you, they would take that clip that you just said, you may need to go lower – fat and use it against you just to be clear, that is the only time you’re ever going to hear him say go lower fat that’s in this context don’t know the context of-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a transitionary period to allow the inflammation to drop to bring and support some extra digestive nutrients so your body can actually handle the fat that you’re taking in and then as the inflammation and the gallbladder symptoms in the pain improves then we can start to taper it up but this advice that I’m giving you really want to be working with a functional medicine doctor you do not want to be doing this on your own absolutely not.
Evan Brand: And I just wanted to point out that because some people may be driving or listening or something and they hear oh I need to be lower fat that’s in the context of this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a season for a reason and it’s designed to help take stress off those systems so they can heal better. Now there’s certain things that will add in as well like we have certain supplements in our line that are have ox bile in it or we’ll use phospholipids like phosphatidylcholine or phosphoric acid which can help dissolve the stones and help decrease the nausea. We may do things like dandelion or fringe tree or artichoke which help thin out bile flow and help support and nourish the gall bladder we may do extra things like beetroot which thin out the bile salt as well we may do things like taurine that help with bile flow, as well so we may do these different things to support and nourish the gall bladder. In the meantime we may do extra stomach acid and enzymes and of course we’re gonna look deeper at the gut and then got bacteria we’re gonna look at some of the lifestyle causes whether it’s medication or hormones that may have driven the issue to begin with and we’re also gonna dive in and look deeper at what the if there’s leaky gut what the potential causes of leaky gut are do you have also some infections that are happening so we got to hit this thing you know 360 degrees it’s really important.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. I’m glad you gave all the notes about. Okay, here’s what you do in the situation but then you always have to work backwards because if you just take a digestive enzyme that hasn’t addressed the root cause, yeah, I’m gonna call it and you guys credit the root cause because maybe your age above and you have low stomach acid because you’re aging but you still go to work backwards and fix the other stuff too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Now couple of tests that we’re gonna see here or you know first thing is pain that’s gonna be there. Second will be ultrasound to look and see the inflammation in this area and then third, are gonna be the blood markers for the gall bladder you’re gonna see alt or ast for the liver which can be affected by the gallbladder Gigi T’s more specific to the gallbladder and then of course you have, um, you have a LP alkaline phosphatase. They’ll be another one and then you have LDH which are various enzymes in that area of pancreatic enzymes that you can see increase as well and then also the amylase and the lipase are gonna be other ones that may go up if the pancreas is affected. As well so those are the big tests there and then on the functional medicine side we want to dive in deeper to some of the root cause tests which will be gut function just good clinical work up because a lot of people can see low stomach acid can be a really important root cause and then also to make sure we’re infection free cuz infections can be a big part of what’s going on and of course if, like for instance your mother-in-law, I mean if she’s had impairments with, you know, good fat soluble vitamins for the last ten years there’s probably other hormonal systems that have been impaired because of it.
Evan Brand: Oh I guarantee it I’ve got her on enzymes. Luckily she’s been on enzymes and acids for a while but yet you know she’s still sedentary you know.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I had a study pulled up right here over sixty thousand women regular exercise reduced gallbladder surgery risk by % she said in Terry she did have a family history of gall stones her mother had her gallbladder removed so there, there is a somewhat of a you know family history which plays a part of part of the battle and then fiber too, you know, she does quite a bit of dairy so I know that’s one of the big no nos to is staying away from, like, your creams and cheeses and ice creams and yogurts and all that and then fiber. I definitely know she’s not getting enough fiber so I didn’t know this until just now so I’m just reading this that I knew fibers’ good, you always hear well fiber is good. Well, why? Well here’s the mechanism. So fiber reduces the absorption of the deoxycholic acid so this greatly lessens the cholesterol solubility in the bowel and promotes its excretion so that’s the mechanism fiber reduces absorption of deoxycholic acid which lessens cholesterol solubility in the bile promotes its excretion rather than the cholesterol forming a stone it.
Evan Brand: Sounds like, yeah, so it basically helps that cholesterol kind of move its way out of the body that way it’s not hanging around too long and forming crystals and stones that makes sense yes. Okay.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool, so, so fiber is key blood sugar keeping your, keeping your out your, blood sugar stable which she doesn’t eat a bunch of good fat so I’m sure her blood sugar’s all over the place.
Evan Brand: That’s probably where exercise has a play into. It’s like what’s the mechanism why would exercise help your gall bladder. I think it has to do with the insulin resistance and the better you know the more insulin sensitive you are the more you can handle extra carbohydrates and of course extra carbohydrates if your insulin resistant that can start screwing up your hormone so as a woman you know you can create more estrogen dominance and higher levels of testosterone when your insulin resistant. And as a guy, you up regulate an enzyme called the aromatase which can increase estrogen formation and that can also dug up and slow up your bile flow which can promote more crystallization and thus blockages and inflammation so all this makes sense so we’re trying to lay out these various mechanisms so people listening can wrap their heads around it from a root-cause perspective, yeah, I always love to read like well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: This study says this, but if you don’t have the mechanism behind it, to me it’s kind of useless so here’s, here’s one more and then we’ll wrap up maintain a normal weight so obesity which she’s definitely overweight I don’t know if I’d obese but definitely overweight obesity increases cholesterol synthesis which leads to more cholesterol secreted in the bile and when you lose weight that will that will reduce your risk as well so I mean really it’s the perfect storm we talked about it it’s the dairy it’s the gluten over age not enough fiber sedentary eating conventional fats not probably doing enough enzymes and acids until I came into the picture and through supplements at her and she took some of it history of birth control I mean it makes sense why this is such a common issue and why there’s billions of dollars being spent year to remove these i found one estimate here that’s around the guy was Doctor. right it’s article you gave me here where’d it go yeah here we go every year in the U.S. four hundred thirty thousand gallbladders, four hundred thirty thousand gall bladders are removed. Average cost is thirty thousand dollars this gets up to an annual grand total of twelve point nine billion, is in with a be twelve point nine billion dollars. Wow unbelievable, that’s a lot of money is that, I mean there’s got to be a money component is that why is it the combination of the money and that the doctors are not trained on this stuff.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean if you don’t understand root cause and all you understand is you know as typically its general surgeons doing these surgeries. If all you understand is how to cut then that’s gonna be your solution and again he may not go away cuz you know you have other areas that can be inflamed besides just the gallbladder.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s right.
Right, and you mentioned that earlier yeah what a trip.
Evan Brand: Well, I’m ready to wrap it up, if you are you talked about the testing so you know from a functional perspective getting the stool looked at we can measure your fecal fat for one that can be a good indicator just to see hey look we have high static rib not digesting facts you mentioned the infection piece looking at H pylori and parasites and bacterial overgrowth and Candida organic acids testing. We’ll look at other types of bacterial overgrowth that can be throwing things off nutritional markers we’ve got a whole ton of nutritional status markers we can look at via blood and urine and then getting your foundational supplements in order on top of your diet, I mean, that’s really the secret sauce right there yeah I think so.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think we hit it all. So if anyone has any gallbladder issues or digestive issues please feel free and reach out to Evan at evanbrand.com or me at justinhealth.com and we can get you in and schedule for a consult to look deeper at what is going on because we really want to get to the root cause of what’s happening, I mean, the root cause really is. Where you want to be and you want to have someone that can connect all the dots because it’s not just a hormone issue or a gut issue or a leaky gut issue or an infection issue or a medication issue, it’s a combination of a lot of things. Some people that maybe more than others so you really want to look at everything d and connect the dots. Yep, if we’re doing, you know, put your comments below we really appreciate your comments. Make sure you’re sharing it to friends and family that could benefit we’re trying to just put so much information for people because a lot of let’s just say other people that are out they maybe aren’t as transparent or reachable right they’re hard to get ahold of or they’re just more blogging and you can’t really connect with them via video like this so this is a great medium take advantage put your comments below and give us a thumbs up as well and a share we really appreciate it and then you can head over to iTunes as well Evan brand.com / iTunes Justin health.com / iTunes write us or review we really appreciate it.
Evan Brand: Yep good, good, good, good, for all the plugs. The only other thing I would say is take the two minutes to write us a review because when you do that what it does is I’ll actually pull us up in the iTunes charts so when your average Joe Schmo with gallbladder pain goes in the health and nutrition category on podcast will be at the top of the charts and then they click there and they get to hear this verses who knows what else.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Well, everyone thank you so much. Hope you guys have a phenomenal week I’ll be back for some live Q&A; so stay tuned subscribe to my channel hit the subscribe they subscribe button hit the bell as well to get notifications. Evan, congrats on the new baby, will talk soon man
Evan Brand: Thanks, take care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care, bye.
How Our Emotions Affect Our Physical Health
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Your sense of health and wellness is determined by a combination of things, including how you feel emotionally, psychologically, and mentally.
An exchange of messages is constantly taking place inside of us. Researchers have found that our emotions create signals that our hearts send to our brains. These messages to our brain determine which chemicals and hormones we produce and course throughout our entire body.
When we feel negative emotions—like rage, disgust, suspicion, and anger—the heart sends a signal to the brain that reflects our mindset. Such emotions are unbalanced and disordered, and this is exactly how the messages they send to the brain arrive—chaotic and unhealthy.
Stress and Anxiety
When we have a whirlwind of a day and our emotions are all over the place, our body reads these ups and downs as anxiety. This sets into motion several mechanisms to help us act in response to this nervous tension.
The anxiety or stress from negative emotions enhances the levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the blood, and as a result, the stress hormones prepare our body for a fast and potent reaction to whatever is leading to the stress. Our bodies prepare to either deal with the cause of our stress, or to run as fast as we can away from it. You may be familiar with this concept, commonly referred to as “fight or flight.”
Suppressing Your Emotions
If, on the other hand, you are someone who suppresses your emotions, you are probably harming your body in a different yet still intense way. Emotions exist for a reason: they help our physical body react appropriately to the situation we are in and how we feel about it. When we feel emotion and process it healthily, we defend ourselves from the problems at hand and overcome them—both physically and mentally. While the pace of our modern life can make it difficult to process all of the stressors we face on a daily basis, it’s healthier to learn to listen to your body. When we ignore our emotions and let stress overcome us, there’s a serious price we have to pay.
Avoiding emotions can be very harmful to your health, mentally and physically. Research shows that suppressing emotions is linked to high blood pressure and cardiovascular ailments. Whether you are facing rage, depression, unhappiness, or disappointment, pushing those feelings to the side causes real physical stress on your body. Over time, untreated anxiety and stress can lead to an enlarged risk of diabetes, memory problems, nervousness, and chronic depression. In other words, making your mind to hide your feelings, paying no attention to them, or trying to convince yourself that there is no need to manage them can literally make you ill.
Developing a Healthy Connection with Your Emotions
If you aren’t used to listening to your emotions, it may feel intimidating or kind of odd. You might have spent a large chunk of your life avoiding your feelings, so you need to gain self-assurance about what you’re feeling and become skilled at trusting your emotions.
There are several healthy habits to positively deal with how you are feeling. Journaling, meditating, talking with a friend, or trying talk-therapy with a qualified professional. You may also be interested in taking adaptogenic herbs as a tea or tincture. Adaptogens are a natural way you can improve your body’s response to stress.
We all deal with our emotions differently. The important part is that you are dealing with the stressors that come up in your daily life in a healthy way, rather than brushing them off, or allowing them to overtake you. Your health depends on it!
Bridgit Danner – Hormone Balance After 40 – Podcast #138
Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Bridgit Danner engage in a discussion about hormone issues in women at the age of 40. Learn how hormones work and understand their driving factors and effects on women.
Gain beneficial information about hormonal balance and imbalance. Find out about the diseases one can get from an unbalanced diet and lifestyle. Be informed on ways to cope with hormonal problems as Dr. Bridgit Danner shares some tips and natural solutions based on her knowledge and expertise as a functional medicine doctor.
In this episode, we will cover:
11:05 How Sugar Intake Affects Hormones
25:35 Relationship Between Cholesterol and Menopause
33:10 Liver Detoxification and Hormone Balancing
39:52 Supplements to Balance Hormones
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Today we have Bridgit Danner on the Podcast, really excited. She’s got a new summit, “Hormone Balance After 40,” coming out in the next few weeks, so we’re excited to talk about some female hormone issues and drop some serious knowledge bombs today. Bridgit, how are you doing?
Bridgit Banner: Great. Thanks for having me on Justin.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. Well, I know we kind of were doing a little recording earlier and got cut off, but let’s continue with that question. So you did a summit. You interviewed lots of experts on female hormone issues. What were those top three nuggets that you gleaned from the summit. Now, obviously there will be a “Summaries” we want everyone to tune in. We’ll put links below so people can access this great info too. But what are those couple of tidbit nuggets?
Bridgit Banner: Yes, and I say number one is, you know, menopauses. Inevitable. But uh– your symptom level is changeable. So, you know, it’s not like oh well I just have to have Hot Flashes, or gain 20 pounds, or…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Bridgit Banner: …get an Ambien like, no. So- but just like you do on your practice, it’s often getting to the root of like, “how did you get into perimenopause”, “in an imbalance state, are you exposed to toxins”, “do you have a gut infection”, “are your adrenals running down.” So, you know it can be a- a tough time for women, but also a great time to like okay– like maybe I’ve been ignoring my health a bit as I’ve crushed my 30’s and like raised kids. And, you know, now it’s like I’m starting to feel something’s catching up to me. You know, I want to eat well. I want my hormones to be as balanced as they can. And there is, there is a lot to be offered. And there’s a lot to learn. So that’s, that’s one thing. Another thing we talked about a minute ago was uhmm– the good fats and oils. Wow, just– there’s like, one great tip I have for women at this age group is adding in some beneficial oils that help your hormone production, help your prostaglandin production, uhhmm–, things like borage oil and hemp oil. These, these things, they’re not food we eat, really.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: You know. We talked about Paleo. Yeah great. There’s some great ingredients there but, like, no one eats, like, borage flowers.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Borage oil or black currant seed oil too.
Bridgit Banner: No. No one has those things.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: So those can be some really beneficial supplement. Uhhmm– another one comes to mind is sleeping. You know, working on improving sleep quality at this age because it can really be disrupted as your hormones change. But yeah, it’s so important because we’re healing. And yeah I wrote an article like sleep is our fountain of youth because we have all these growth hormones that happens when we sleep. So it’s so important to get good night sleep. There’s lots of things we covered. One talk I really liked was on metabolism, which I think is like, women are just like, “Oh well, I’m screwed after 40, you know, my metabolism.” But that’s not really true though. And that can be, that can be hacked. Uhhmm– it’s just mentioning Dr. Rina Marie ____?Liscosov?____...
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: … on awesome talks about blood sugar and how balancing blood sugar is, is incredibly powerful as we age to, you know, stay energetic. So, yeah. Lots of, lots of good options. There is hope.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. And you mentioned that first one where you’re talking about prostaglandins or the eicosanoids, which are the same thing. And we have kind of our, our One, Two, and Three pathway. The Two is really, like, the inflammatory, like the pro, like, the refined vegetable oil tend to go that pathway a lot, like, the refined meat tends to go down that pathway. Then we have the One and the Three, right which you mentioned. And the Three is like the big one that we hit with some of those Omega-6 fats but the healthy kind of Gamma-lenoleic fats – the black currant, the borage oil, right? Is that correct? Is that a good summary?
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. I kind of remember that I’ve looked up at the three pathways, and now I can’t remember which number is which. So you see, but yeah, basically there gonna be balancing inflammation, anti-inflammatory, uhh – building hormones. Just all the good stuff. You know, you need all of them.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Bridgit Banner: The body needs the total balancing. Heck, some inflammation is good. Some increase in blood pressure is good. But then you need something to balance in like…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Bridgit Banner: …being able to get the blood pressure back down. So yeah, those, those are really – and fish oil too. You know, fish oil is in as much like in vogue as, you know, when everyone start to take you to, you know, ten years ago or whatever.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: But it’s still valuable, and an– as also anti-inflammatory…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Bridgit Banner: …sparks these pathways too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think the fish oil really helps that prostaglandin in Two pathway and kind of dampen it. And then we have the One and the Three which on those paths, and I see Gamma-lenoleic fat like you mentioned. Then it also helped with hormonal acne too. So if you’re female and you have done a lot of good diet changes but you’re still having some skin stopple. Number one always cross off the gut too, right. That’s the really important thing. But if the guts addressed, I see the black currant or the borage oil – those types of oils really help the skin health too.
Bridgit Banner: And the Zinc? Do you guys use Zinc in your practice?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Oh, Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah, that’s– I’m learning more about Zinc, and it’s good for skin health, good for helping you make progesterone. Uh–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: …and it’s in meat and stuff, you know, talking about a Paleo diet but you know, it’s all– we still could be not getting enough, or not digesting enough, so uhhmm– you know, how much it take. You know, one of my friends is careful about metals. She’s like don’t take too much Zinc. But, you know, I think, if you’re going through some of these hormonal changes, you could do more, like 30 milligrams Zinc. Uhhmm– you know, really up those fatty acids, and, you know, just see how you respond.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. I think, too, if you’re low in Zinc, you really take a peek at the hydrochloric acid levels. Make sure you’re digesting those healthy meats, ‘cause meats are gonna be the big source. Seafood, meats, I think pumpkin seeds as well are really big in Zinc, as well.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. Linolate in seeds. Ahuh.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And a couple objective ways to even tell how you’re doing with Zinc is, number one, look at your blood test. Look at the alkaline phosphatase marker. If you’re 50 or below, there could be a sign of Zinc deficiency, and then number two is a Zinc Tally Test. I think it’s a Zinc Chloride. I think It’s a Zinc Chloride or salt – one of the two. Take a shot of that, and if it taste metallic-y that’s the sign that you probably are Zinc-sufficient. If it taste more liquid or neutral, it’s a sign of your being Zinc-deficient. The better it taste means the more you need it. The more metallic-y, the more you kind of being repulsed by it, meaning the less – you say, the more replete you are of it.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. It’s one of the funniest test to get in the clinic…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: … ‘cause like, you know, like, “What am I doing. What am I supposed to be experiencing?” And I’ve also found in my practice that it’s often is best to start in the liquid Zinc to like – once you start to absorb some, then you tend to– let you switch to a pill. I’m not really sure what it is. Is it a digestion issue? I just feel it often works better to start from like a couple of bottles of the liquid. You’re not really getting a high dose, but it seems to like absorb better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Better. Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: And then you can take Zinc pill.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I totally agree. I think the only thing is to know with Zinc if you’re gonna go really high just make sure there’s a tiny Copper in there just so you don’t throw the Copper too much. You know, ‘cause Zinc and Copper are on the seesaws. So if you go really high in Zinc, they can rob the Copper down. But there’s a lot of people that are worried of Copper toxicity anyway, so if you…
Bridgit Banner: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …are gonna go above a hundred milligram or so, add a tiny bit of Copper in there.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. Most of us, are– a hundred milligram, yeah, is a lot. And most of us are getting sources of Copper but not enough of Zinc.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I hundred percent agree. So that was tip number one with the really good Omega-6 fatty acids – the healthy Omega-6, not the refined fish oils. What’s number two?
Bridgit Banner: Uh– tip from the whole summit? Hmmmn–.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just what resonate with you the most? ‘Cause you’re also a clinician. A clinician looks at things a lot differently. You know, you’re looking at things of, “hey what can I do to actually change a clinical outcome of my patients.”
Bridgit Banner: Well, I’ll tell you something we beat up a lot, up on a lot in the summit well– which is wine. You know it’s almost like become a caricature of a middle-aged woman with a glass of wine. You know, wine with the friends, with to come down, and I think it’s, perhaps it’s like, it starts with like a self-medication. It starts like from a busy day, and like it helps me sleep, and then it starts to be real consistent. And, you know, some people listening to your show might be having some couple glasses of wine every night, but they still may be having some more than they need to be. Because they don’t really need it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Bridgit Banner: So I think, you know, it’s a change we people like don’t wanna make at first but if you say like I, I would say, you know, don’t feel like you have to do it forever. You know, give me a month. Give me a month, and say I’ll do this for a month, and then just see what happens in your body. And, you know, see if you lose weights, see if you’re thinking clear, see if you have more energy in the morning. So yeah I think that those things in midlife that women tend to be like turning towards, that we can turn away from, and have – you know. Those are coping mechanisms, you know. Coping even for a social situations. Like when I’m nervous, I kind’a have that strength, you know. It’s just coping but you know midlife is about expanding, and like becoming more and better, and not just coping. And you know, let’s tune in and like give and tell how to go to bed sooner. You know, all those basics first. Swing then to some more specifics. But you gotta do the basics first, right? You can’t be like. “Oh no, I can’t be this way. I can’t. I’m anxious.” You gotta take that one out. Just try to take out little sweet things, all that blood sugar, you know roller coaster. It’s depleting you of nutrients that you need to make hormones. It’s just making you feel off. And with midlife, and we talk about what the hormones are doing in midlife. There’s just that already a propensity, if we’re not careful, to go a little off and feel a little off. So just wanna create like steadiness in our habits and bodies so that we can weather those changes easier.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. That makes a lot of sense. In Dr. Diana Schwarzbein’s books, she did a book, The Schwarzbein’s Principle, about ten years ago. She’s a – an endocrinologist at the Sta. Barbara, USC Grad, and she talks about women turning towards wine because they’re a natural polyphenols that really help modulate estrogen levels. So as you go into menopause, those ovaries aren’t producing as much hormones, and the adrenals are being relied upon more, right? So the more you swing the blood sugar, the more blood the adrenals get whipped. Anyway, it’s kind of modulating some of those estrogen receptor sites.
Bridgit Banner: Huh– I hadn’t heard about that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I heard people going into the alcohol.
Bridgit Banner: I hadn’t heard about that. But then there’s also like modulate serotonin which makes us feel good at the moment. You know…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well alcohol’s a sugar, right? It’ll break down the sugar, and sugar will boost up serotonin, dopamine as well. So, I think there’s a lot of different things that are happening there for sure.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cool. So that’s number two. I think you alluded to with the sugar as well, because when you take sugar, right, you get this hormonal adrenal roller coaster ride – insulin on the high, Cortisol on the low. Meaning when your blood sugar goes up, pancreas produces insulin to push it back down, which then drives more lipogenesis fat creation. But then when the bottom’s __?zow?___, the adrenals have to pick it back up. Adrenaline and Cortisol which then pull from some of your sex hormones. Can you talk more about blood sugar roller coaster with hormones?
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. So, one thing is like for insulin resistance, we cannot, hormone receptors can get blocked up. Uhhmm– so that’s one thing. It definitely can hurt your gut environment, bacterial imbalance, and you need your gut health to clear used estrogens. So even though hormones are coming down, some of the estrogen is often dominant. Progesterone’s falling faster because not every month we ovulate, it’s not very strong. So we need our gut healthy to clear estrogen. I was just doing some research recently and even just like one drink a day can give you SIBO. Uhhmm– yeah, like, there’s, you can’t feed that stuff. You really need to– I get heat up a lot in the summit. And that healthy gut – I’ve kind’a had clients too. You know we just took on and agreed with clients on our coaching program. Man, the stuff we find in our guts are all sorts of things.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Bridgit Banner: So, it could be hard to make that connection between the gut and hormones, but it’s going on. It’s happening. So, if you can nourish that gut, and not feed it sugars, you know that’s one way to clear. Uh– what else? I mean, I think that most of sugary foods yeah– are devoid of nutrients, and they’re hard on your pancreas, and in your, in your insulin. But they are also hard on your liver, you know, to be processing and dealing with that. And you need your liver healthy to be, you know, doing its job of clearing homrmones and all that stuff, so yeah. Avoiding toxins, when there’s your food being toxic, your body cream, or your perfume, or your, you know carby cleaner. You know, just…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Bridgit Banner: …really what, cutting down on all that stuff. We kind’a segued on the topic. But that came out a lot too, just like, maybe it’s time that– say, maybe if you think that well this stuff never bothered me before, but now if you’re having hormonal symptoms, it’s time to reassess.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes a lot of sense. So hormones are really affected by a lot of these toxins, ‘cause a lot of these toxins are essentially Xenoestrogens, right? ‘Xeno’ means ‘far’ and ‘estrogen’ is an ‘estrogen’ hormone. So if we’re getting impacted by a Xenoestrogen in the environment through pesticides, through chemicals, cleaning products, that can really affect our hormones, can’t it?
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. Very much so, and you know, all stored fat tissue can make extra estrogen too. Or we, you know we make fat tissue as a place to store toxins that our liver can’t handle processing because it’s, you know, so busy handling everything else. So from the connections we did, the toxins and the fat tissue and uhhmm– you know women, say, really our concern about gaining weight at this age as well. So yeah, cleaning up your habits. I mean, nowadays, there’s so many options, and they weren’t all nasty. But there’s not a research in this uhhmm– like clean, you know, clean hands soap without fragrance, then you know, one I mentioned carpet cleaner like. It’s funny sometimes you, where you forgot to look like where you forget to look like. At our, our old house, we had a carpet cleaner, and I just buy like a standard mix that you stick in there. And I realize, “Oh my gosh. What am I doing, like, this is full of chemicals.” I don’t know where in the world will I ever go to get like a natural carpet cleaner soap. And it’s, it was like one mile away – my natural grocery store. So sometimes it’s like you just forget to check certain things, but start checking. You start looking at your labels. Uhhmm– I have this, you know, I’m really hitting homes to eat organic as much as possible. And those little cheat treats, and treaks– excuse me, treats and cheese we do, those are often why we’re getting exposed to the most toxins. Like you know, if you have a little cheat and have something like a cookie, you know that, that we may have been sprayed with glyphosate, and that’s like very toxic to your gut that we talked about. It’s like an anabolic for your gut. So, I, you know, it sounds like a lot of work to be like, “Oh I have to be so clean and pure.” This sounds so horrible, but you know, just do it like it an experiment, and also know like you’re worth it. It’s not like, like, “I have to be healthy, like it’s the worst thing ever.” It’s like you can very much be happy enjoying a healthy lifestyle as you and I do. ‘Cause you have more mental power. You know, it’s like, you’re more comfortable on honestly with yourself. You’re getting a good night sleep when your moods are more balanced. You just like, life can like, be anything that you want when you’re healthy. But when you’re scoping, and having a cookie, and a coffee and whatnot, then you’re standing by. It’s gonna catch up to you too. We have one of our ____ to talked about disease, like cancer. You know, sadly, those are around the corner. You know in our 40’s that could happen. It’s gonna happen sooner but I think like when I was in my 30’s those just sounds like concepts, so far away, but, they’re coming for you. So, midlife is a great time to get better habits ‘cause no one wants to be, you know, in the doctor’s office talking about a heart disease, or could have been cancer. You know what one’s at.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean when you’re dealing with lots of, for me in the patients’ sects. I’m interacting with lots of patients every week. We always talk about getting people to a baseline level of health, because, once people get there, the little bit of cheating that they do at the other side of the fence may throw them out of that performance on for days. The reward you get for here just is not worth the momentary, few minutes, maybe an hour of pleasure, right? So number two is figure out what that thing you want over here – let’s just say it’s alcohol. There’s different versions of alcohol. Not all alcohol are the same, right? I think it’s Dry Crepe Wines, they got a really good wine that’s gonna be low on microtoxin, low on all of the crap and the excipients and also low on the sugar. So if you want wine, they’re healthy versions of wine, healthy versions of alcohol, healthy versions of treats that will give you that mull feel, that pleasure, but not take you out of that performance zone for very long.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah yes, I know. I tried those wines, and they gave me a headache in like three sips. It doesn’t work for me. And it might just be the sugars. I know they say it’s zero sugar, I think that’s what they say with the Dry Crepe Wines, but that wasn’t my experience. So, I…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And for me too, I’m on the same place. I normally get headaches. I typically don’t do wine. I do a sparkling champagne, or I do hard alcohol, Tito’s vodka with kombucha, ginger kombucha. Then I make my own little Moscow mule. Either that. So, those are my two favorites. So I agree, not a big wine person outside of the Sparkle.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah, yeah, there’s different options. I mean, I recently got my Galitoxin and I have some Candida there. And you know, I don’t have a a word but sometimes, the way I react to sugar and alcohol is a bust since the Candida. Loving it up as soon as it comes in my mouth. So, kind’a listen to your body too. Uhh– yeah. Don’t just listen to me and Dr. Justin. Just try stuff, you know, try giving up wine for and if, you know, try getting it back in and see, you know, what your limit is. Like what is – you know, not that I never ever had a drink, but it’s pretty rare, because I just don’t want to hinder the progressions so just a month. But then yeah, everybody’s gonna find their different thing, but I think to clean up and say it’s temporary, it’s something I’m doing for my health to experiment, then you get to be the owner of how much you put it back.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely, men. Tip number two is that don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach, ‘cause that will, a little bit of fat in there will slow down that absorption so it won’t spike your blood sugar, hit your liver as hard. And then number two, activated charcoal is phenomenal, the kind of buff around those toxic bird too.
Bridgit Banner: I don’t know, like after an evening? Or..
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I typically take it along with it. And then a …
Bridgit Banner: Uhh–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: … a lot of time I’ll take my line, I use a liver supreme which is like milk thistle and some extra B Vitamins. You know so you get some herbs to tonify the liver a bit. And then some extra B vitamins which, you know, your body will burn out to actually help detoxify the alcohol, as well. A lot of alcoholics are deficient in B1.
Bridgit Banner: Hhhn– interesting. I’ll pay that man that say I use charcoal or clay like a fat instantly when I feel bloated. I’ve been telling that all to my clients ‘cause it’s like yeah, we wanna avoid those things that make us feel bloated. But sometimes to we accidentally have them. And then, urrh– so, those two things really helped me to take in the evening if I’m feeling.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Even conventional medicine, I mean, I went to an ER, college roommate, many years back, ___ him on alcohol and at the ER. I mean they had him drinking the whole cup of activated charcoal in liquid form, in the ER.
Bridgit Banner: Oh my God.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So even in the ER, all that stuff.
Bridgit Banner: Interesting.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: Interesting.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Crazy, yeah. Back to the female hormone stuff. Tip number three.
Bridgit Banner: Hmmmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: By the way, we got some questions lined up, so once we get through with the…
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. I like it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …go to a rapid, rapid answer. Kind of a Q and A.
Bridgit Banner: Okay. Let’s see. Some other things that came up on the summit, say are like, ‘spacing out your eating’ came up. Having a longer time between dinner and breakfast. You know, not snacking, kind of for blood sugar, and also for gut. There’s a certain bacteria, I can’t remember what it’s called. It needs long and regular periods. We built it soft, so having that space with a gut. What else did we talk about? Oh we talked a little bit about Keto and you know, having that high fat diet, not being afraid of fats. The only interesting that came up on that talk was fiber? Uhhmm– and that it can, it’s irritating, so, you know, thinking like you need a ton of salads and vegetables, or grains, or whatever. It’s irritating, you know. But you can eat some rich foods like liver, that actually, oh, oh my God. For some people that I know. But that, that came out of my speaker thing. I’m not always the greatest to remember my tips, like my, like from my – you know, like from my– let me try to see some of my speakers…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cool.
Bridgit Banner: … to see the fun things we talked about.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. So while you’re doing that, to– yeah, yeah. Let’s head up to some questions. So off the bat, Diana wants to know, do grains, of course, could grain-free, of course – Do grains, I think she’s referring to Gluten-free, do grains, like corn and rice, increase bad estrogens? Why do some people do so well on grains, I don’t?
Bridgit Banner: Hmmmm– That’s a great question. So I think we could say that’s possible that some grains could push that, and you know you should try it on those stuff soon.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah. I would say, I would say off the bat, I would say off the bat, there’s a higher level of Gluten-sensitivity genetically with yourself Diana. That’s gonna create more inflammation, a more leaky gut. That’s number one. The more inflammation that’s going on there that’s gonna take your hormones out of balance because with the more inflamed you are, Cortisol’s gonna increase, Insulin maybe out of balance, that may skew your progesterone to estrogen ratio, ‘cause you’ll pull progesterone downstream to anti-inflammatory Cortisol so that can create more estrogen dominance. Also, a lot of grains are gonna be contaminated with microtoxins and can increase LPS in the gut. And the more lipopolysaccharide that’s there as well that can potentially increase beta-glucuronidase, which is an enzyme that deconjugates metabolized estrogen and puts it back in the circulation. So the more inflammatory foods, the more foods that feed this biosis, where bad bacteria increases beta-glucuronidase which can unconjugate–deconjugate. So conjugation is nothing more than a hormone with a straightjacket around it that’s typically a protein. And that beta-glucuronidase opens it up and allows it back in the circulation which can affect your hormones so for sure.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. That’s probably a lot more detailed than what I’d say. I would say, you did a good– you potentially irritate your gut and create some inflammation. I even wonder if some of them could like we talked about those prostaglandin pathways earlier. I wonder if some of them could push some of those more inflammatory pathways. And then I think like with stress, chronic stress, you know, your gut lining can be thinner, and not as robust, and then things are more irritating too. And then the quantities that’s really easy to overeat – grains, uhhmm– and then carbs, and then that sugar, and like, you know, the fat tissue produces more estrogen, the inflammation is blocking the receptors.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: I think that for women, life is really finding ratio in their diets. Like, what is like, enough carbs and oils, if you know, what is like a serving size, or, you know, how many drinks is like, you know, that pushes me over, well kind of bloated. You know, it might not clear in my head anymore. So I think finding that ratio is really important. And still while women are having a protein, and a protein in the morning, you start– you brought this in your talk. Uhhmm– yeah, just getting like those whole animal, like cooking the whole chicken, getting a lot, like robust, you know, variety of fats. Uhhmm– anything is okay to have some like we talked about the nuts, seeds oils to, to do some seeds cycling. Uhh– we have like, a blog people can find to do some seed cycling challenge. People really went with that. Probably the fiber, probably the oils on those nuts and seeds can be helpful.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. Totally. Next stop here is there relationship, is there a relationship with cholesterol, high cholesterol and menopause?
Bridgit Banner: Yeah? So we, I kind’a heard two things, I would say two things. One is that we need cholesterol to make hormones, so sometimes it’s rising up like naturally to produce more hormones in this time. Uhhmm– but then our keynote speaker would say, you know, if you’re not eating, consuming enough cholesterol, your body will be forced to make more cholesterol. So we wanna to kind of avoid that by giving our body that cholesterols. Uhhmm – say the question again. Was it the correlation…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so there’s a connection – the relationship between menopause occurring and higher cholesterol.
Bridgit Banner: I think there is an occurrence with it. But I think it’s, if you feel your cholesterol is out of range and those speeches are like debatable. But, you know, our speaker on Heart Health said, you know, that the quickest way to heart disease is through sugar. So it’s more like, body’s getting inflamed from the sugar, and then cholesterol is kind of increasing to repair it. So, I think to some extent, cholesterol could go up at this age naturally? But if it’s like sky high and your diet is very poor, full of sugars, it could be something to look at.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I agree. I mean if you, if your diet isn’t quite in check in insulin resistance going on, that will get worse over time, and insulin does drive that hemometagluteracoreboductase enzyme that stimulates cholesterol synthesis. We can’t forget that majority of cholesterols may be by your liver. Typically, insulin sort of drive it. Poor diet doesn’t have insulin to check. That’s one vector. A second vector that could be a subclinical thyroid issue, and low thyroid function will cost cholesterol…
Bridgit Banner: That’s true.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …to go up.
Bridgit Banner: It’s a good point. Yeah. This is uhhmm – I would. The most common time to be diagnosed is menopausal. But second to that is perimenopausal, post-partum, uhh– I think puberty is in there. I don’t, I don’t work for that age group as much but, yeah all, every time the hormones’ changing, the estrogen can be dominant, think about after you have a PB, estrogen is very high ‘cause you’re not cycling. It’s not as high as, you know, the other times, but there’s an imbalance. There’s other things we could talk about too, but uhhmm– when the estrogen is like affecting, estrogen being high and relative to progesterone is affecting your immune system, and that could be autoimmune thyroid or that could be just an estrogen dominant thyroid condition. So that was a great point Justin.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. I think uhh– the last piece to that puzzle is, “Does it even matter if you’re cholesterol’s high?” So, my criteria is, number one, if you’re cholesterol’s over 300, maybe we got to take a look at it. Number two is, “Do we have elevations in inflammatory markers, CRP, homocysteine, fiber antigen?” Okay. If those are high, maybe we got to take a look at it. Number three is how’s your– HTL, the total cholesterol ratio? “Is it greater than five?” If it’s greater than five, maybe we got to look at it. And then the last but not the least, is “How’d you rate the HTL ratio?” If it’s two or below, then it’s probably okay. So it’s not, cholesterol has never cut a dry number. You got to look at, I see a lot of people high in cholesterol, also at kickass HTL. So then their HTL, the total cholesterol ratio is really rock solid.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. Yeah. Oh I hope that helps the…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, next is uhm – 47-year old Strakito, four years overtrained, undernourished and 40 pounds overweight. She is yeast-overgrowth, thyroid are low, all sex hormones are low, blood sugar is rising, what should she address first? Oh, she wants to address the gut first, your thoughts? This is our practitioner MP, the practitioner that wants to address the gut first.
Bridgit Banner: She’s asking if that’s the best choice, or…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, that’s the best.
Bridgit Banner: …what kind of thing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I have my opinion but I want you to go first.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. You know, we talked about this someone on the summit. And a few people said, we’ll see what you think Justin? I can’t remember what you said, so.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: Some people say they work on the hormones exist to give a little relief and a little more energy. Uhh– and then they start doing some of the painful works. So just first the gut and the liver detox, then where some symptoms are gonna come up. Uhh – does it have to be that, I think what we do in our practice. I mean we’re, we’re a little bit all mixed together.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: Uhhm – but, you know, I wanna say you wanna go after the gut in a really intense way ‘til your body is enough, strong enough like to handle it. So those detox pathways are clear. Sometimes you start with some gentle detox, and get the foundations going. Uhhmm – like I, I mentioned briefly like saying you know if I said this in the first time we’re in maybe. So, anyway this time last year, I was having a lot of trouble with spotting, and I was also exposed to toxic molds. I was like, I don’t really know if I’ll get my hormones right ‘til I get the molds right. I have gotten better with the mold, but I feel that you still can’t actually caught pass some of those things and address the hormones with like what I mentioned before, like the hemp oil, and the flax oil, and the fish oil. We knew, so yeah. I think you can kind of massage some of them, sometimes. ‘Cause clearing the gut takes a while. So we get some loving in there. What are your thoughts?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so. When I hear that though, when I hear addressing the gut, there’s kind of a, a double lifestyle. So when I address the gut, there’s six R’s that we go through. Number one is removing the bad foods, right? That’s totally okay. We can check that one. And to yeah, two, replacing enzymes and acids better. That’s number two. Check. Yes, we can do that. Number three is replacing, or I should say repairing the gut lining. Nutrients that help with the gut lining repair and helping you deal with the inflammation in the gut, and helping you repair the adrenals, the thyroid, and some hormonal issues first. So those are the first three R’s – remove, replace, repair. Okay? So that we can do those first. Now I think when people talk about addressing gut, they tend to the fourth R, which is removing the infection of this biosis. Whatever the critters are. So I always wait, at least one month or two for that. If detox isn’t good, and hormones aren’t good, and blood sugar and immunes not good, that can really create a lot more stress that your body may not have the ability to deal with. You only have one or two months with the patient for them to start seeing something. And if they start moving backwards for one or two months, you’re gonna lose them. You’re not gonna be able to help the clinician. That’s just my personal take based on
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. And I like, this is all individual to every person, and yeah. You have to kind of start most obvious things, and I don’t know who the name of this– you know, just resting. You know, just resting your body and have some great talks and like mindset and emotional health. Just uhhmm – all are part of health too. You know, you overdid it and you’re reassessing like the direction of your health, the direction of your life. Like, ijust resting, just reading books like lying on the sun, going a vacation. These things are very healing as well. So uhhmm – yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Bridgit Banner: Just remember to keep that to your protocols.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that parasympathetic nervous system going, I think, that has to be part of any functional medicine programmed at the foundational level is to sleep, the good healthy habits, the time to relax, so yeah. That’s a really good point and we don’t want to overlook that.
Bridgit Banner: Huh.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Can detoxifying the liver bring your hormone balance back?
Bridgit Banner: That’s an easy one. And do a lot for– yes. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I agree. I think, I think as long as your hormones are decent, like you have good institution in the gland, I think that may be enough. But if there’s a lot of dysfunction in the adrenals of the thyroid, that will help with the support of the other side as well. So I think, it totally can for sure though.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah, yes. Some part of the system that a few people mentioned on the summit, and yeah. It’s not the only piece. Nothing ever is. Just one piece. Yeah but it’s actually like what you said just removing all the toxins is important too. Like before you go into taking in the herbs, doing a coffee in the morning. Just make sure you got them out of your diet and out of your home, out of your water supply to just reduce that part.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think, you already – we don’t, our body will detoxify better just by not putting toxins in. When we think of detoxifying, we’re giving something to help detoxify. But we can also just think about it. let’s just not add stuff as well. And then you mentioned earlier with the fatty liver, that the one of the major stressors on your liver is excess carbohydrates and insulin, because that will cause a fatty liver, which will slow down the filtration too.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. Which is even gross to think about the cause …
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I know.
Bridgit Banner: … of your liver blocking, if everything.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know. Absolutely. Next, estrogen dominant is related to histamine. HIT is related to methylase, to histamine as well. After addressing diet in gut’s health, bateria, parasites and yeast. We still have ED plus HIT. So, well ED means Estrogen Dominance, HIT means Histamine Intolerance. Then what can we do besides working on methylation?
Bridgit Banner: I’m trying to make sure I got all of that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a little confusing with the abbreviation, but I think what they’re saying is, “Hey. I have Estrogen Dominance and I have a Histamine issue. I’ve already worked on the gut. What else can I do besides pushing my detox methylation pathways?” That’s my translation.
Bridgit Banner: Hmmm– I think you can think about hormone production. So I think you can think about what we talked about before – the fats and oils, to get. Depending on your age like, I would do more like Vitex, for like a little younger, early 40’s, but anytime in the 40’s, 50’s, doing like Maca estrogenic herbs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: If you can pull everything up, you know, pull the progesterone up, it will help balance that the estrogen. So, uhhmm – I think that’s an important piece that sometimes gets missed ‘cause our American, like, culture is always thinking about clearing and detoxing. But I don’t know if this person’s, have their hormones tests. But most of these are also depleted, at this age. So just like pulling hormone production up, you could see that estrogen become balanced.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. I totally agree with you. One thing I’ll say, I think you already said it all. Potentially, adding some progesterone, maybe even some pregnenolone, DHEA. But looking at the adrenals too is an important piece.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. You can introduce some things like macon, borage oil. Super easy on your own. Yeah but with a practitioner, you could do some simple progesterone. Uhhmm– also I get some testing for that kind of– I do well on progesterone; I don’t do so well on DHEA, pregnenolone. For my experience, everybody’s kind of different.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that, I see that too with people that kind of more backed up liver pathways too.
Bridgit Banner: Oh yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And maybe the mold. Look, ‘cause you mentioned your mold experience. Maybe that was the driving factor with that.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. Back when I tried those, I was living with mold but didn’t know. So, it’s kind of, kind of flavored my whole history like, “Oh.” So, it’s interesting. And I think, you know, we haven’t talked about that. You know, there can be these hidden things. You talked about parasites…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: But you know, I have to learn a lot about mold, and Epstein-Barr Virus, and uhh– all these things I was posting I didn’t know that. Those things really flare up with the changing hormones, not getting a good night sleep. And we talk a little bit about how that high estrogen can affect the immune system, in not a favorable way. And then, just with aging, the immune system can be deteriorating in a sense. So uhhmm – so, yeah, a lot, things can come up. You know if you feel like you’ve tried everything and you’re still sick, my personal lesson is, like, there’s probably something else going on to look for.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. That makes sense. What do you think about supplementing with DIM Postmenopause?
Bridgit Banner: I mean I think it could be done. I guess it could clear some bad estrogen sort of thing. Is that what the person’s thinking?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean. I’m kind of little perplexed as well. Maybe the detox pathways are running and they kind of support delivering such. But most people will have lower estrogens, especially if they’re, you know, not adding in a whole bunch of, you know, estrogen as well. So, definitely makes more sense with the cycle of female, right?
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. It’s, again, on issue. Uhhmm – I think DIM is great for like, PCOS. It’s used a lot, you know, in some Estrogen Dominance cases. Also that CDG, I’ve known about just in the last year; that can help. Uhhmm – yeah , I’ve– in my own body has been more effective to build more hormone. And they did not be in everyone’s case. Maybe that’s just mine. And you can get tested. We have one. Maria Claps talks about the importance of testing at any age. And occasionally many women will be older but still have high estrogen, and that’s something to figure out and learn about. Let’s just see what pathways to – I think you run a DUTCH test too just to– see– like I was just curious about this caller like, what are her symptoms, does she feel – has high estrogen, and she’s worried about cancer in her family, or something like that. Yeah, I would say yeah, maybe but I want more information, or maybe they’ll be good to first person that ask.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think you’re right. I think getting the test on, I think getting the more information on what the symptoms are that made them think they need it would really be the key.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Next is…
Bridgit Banner: Question.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: Love it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah we’re hitting it. Next is, without getting an organic acid test, is there a kind of a universal protocol supplement that can be taken for hormonal balance. What do you take personally?
Bridgit Banner: Well, I keep saying the same stuff over and over so, more, for me like, for me, definitely the oils. I love magnesium. I love, I love it for this age group. I love it in my own body, I used magnesium chelate. I, I like adore it, even when I’m just getting cramps. This stuff like helps me to prevent like menstrual migraine, menstrual cramps, uhhmm– you know. I take a good quality multivitamin that has, that has the Zinc, that has methylated B vitamins. And I’ll tell you a funny story. I got my hair analyzed like this sooner and I got the results back before but I got to read them. And like in my novice opinion, “Oh magnesium, it’s so high, I better like. Stop taki– a few things looked high.” So I stopped taking everything. I stopped taking. Oh, my gosh, my cycle. So much for stamina. It really made me see, like, getting a good quality source of B vitamins, B vitamins is very important to spark a bunch of things with ovulation hormones. Getting that is important. Taking the extra high dose. I mangled magnesium. Most women need like 600 to 800 milligrams and get in good form. I just have a new client and she’s been taking magnesium for years. I can’t remember the form she’s been taking but…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …oxide–
Bridgit Banner: Yeah something that she’s– I think it was oxide, she’s not getting anything out of it. So I just like said switch to magnesium. I love magnesium. I love fish oil, I mentioned. You don’t need a lot but a little bit. Uhhmm – a little bit of borage oil, or hemp oil. Uhhmm– you know, I eat a lot of nuts and seeds in my diet too, and I think they helped me from hormones.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: Uhhmm– what are the thing– we talked about Zinc, that if you’re not getting much Zinc it might be something you want to up the supplementation on…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.
Bridgit Banner: …what other supplements do you like Justin?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think, you already said the foundational things that aren’t even related to female hormones which I think gives people overlooked at, right? So that, what you said is totally foundation. Then add on top of that chase through your Vitex, that would be great for almost any female, especially for your cycling. If you’re more menopausal, you can go more on the specific pheno types of Maca. It’s a great product that I used and carry in my store called Femmenessence. And they have a great type of Maca for cycling females, and a great type of Maca for menopausal females, and it works phenomenal for a lot of cycling issues, and also about a lot of the Hot Flashes. ‘Cause remember Hot Flashes especially if they happen at night. They screw up women’s sleep. If their sleep’s screwed up, and their blood sugar’s screwed up, that throws everything off. So I like the Maca and the Chaste tree, you know. What’s going on.
Bridgit Banner: Yeah. You know, I, I have some. You know, I’ve used sleep aids, or like anxiety aids, you know, like now, on the summit, a lot. And I think it’s okay to this, at this age group. Like, don’t just like try to bear it, you know. If, you need to sleep, so you take some 5-HTP. I want a trick I’ve learned from my elevated practitioners, like, do some more almond milk and a half teaspoon of nutmeg. You know, that’s really calming at night. Uhhmm– what else do I take? You know I have, like, an herbal one – like valerian, stuff like that, which is calming. I have a whole bunch of things around to eat just depending on the day. Uhh – so, and that doesn’t exactly sound like it’s about hormones, but it kind’a is ‘cause you need that good night sleep to, like, get your hormones stabilized.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge. What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Bridgit?
Bridgit Banner: Oh, I love it. So this morning I have a cheap pudding and uhhmm – I have it on with some chocolate flakes, walnuts…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice.
Bridgit Banner: … glazed and on top some fresh fruit. So, uhh – I’m a little allergic to eggs so I don’t, you know, that makes – you know the word. ‘Cause I do a sausage, like, like a little frozen organic sausage uhhmm– Sometimes I have, occasionally I have, like, a soup for breakfast, like a – This can be super easy. You keep a box of broth in your fridge and like a teem of Kewas, some greens. Sometimes I have that. What else? I’m giving you breakfast ideas ‘cause I think it’s a hard one for folks. I do smoothie sometimes. Sometimes I help people do some trail mix. I do hard boiled eggs, so get some protein. I really avoid carbs in the morning. That’s very important to me. But I do have carbs usually on lunch and dinner.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.
Bridgit Banner: For lunch, I sometimes have leftovers. I love working from home because I can have, I can turn things together, like some leftover rice, you know, fry some vegetables. Try to have like some chicken sausage, which I had laying around. Uhhmm – I definitely just kind of put stuff together, for pretty healthy lunch, uhhmm – which, yeah – I love that option. For dinner, you know, we usually have something like a piece of fish, or chicken, uhhmm – you know, often an animal protein, and then uhhmm – some green stuff, you know, a steamed broccoli or, I’m, I’m putting a lot of fat and everything, so my steamed broccoli’s gonna have hemp oil all over it. I put hemp oil yeah, hemp oil, hemp oil on my lunch. I put hemp oil, you know. I put hemp oils everywhere, nuts everywhere, lots and lots of seeds. Uhhmm – and then maybe we have like sweet potato fries. So, we do some potato, some rice or Keema are pretty much the carbs that I would eat.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Bridgit Banner: Uhhmm – what else? Yeah. That’s kind of the theme.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. I think you’re rock solid. Two other questions; we’ll hit them rapid fire. Does it matter for Dacogens be in pill form or powder form? It depends. Certain female hormone issues or tonics, I do find sometimes giving the liquid. Tincture-based herbs can make them a little more potent.
Bridgit Banner: Hmmm–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …a take on that? Do you agree or no?
Bridgit Banner: I would, yeah. That’s like a great question. I mean, I think the tinctures feel strong, but if you’ll take out a small sip of oil. If you take – I bought all this like powdered Maca and stuff to make these elixir drinks. I don’t like them. I don’t like to, you know, the powder in them. So, it takes some things… but I do have a Maca powder, I make them to smoothies. Effectiveness, efficacy, I’m not totally sure if, you know, I have to research that. But I do think it’s important to take what you’re gonna take. Have a variety. Like, I’m willing to take pills, ‘cause I’m pretty okay with it. But it’s nice to also have some things that are liquid. Some things that you can rub on, like, I feel, especially with my mold. I really learned, like, it’s. Uhhh– It can get exhausting and so expensive to take so many supplements. And if there’s something you can do that’s in another form, I’m really holding on to that a lot sider lately. So I would just tell the colors rise efficacy maybe on home ingredients but I like things in all sorts of forms, and I think it’s good to experiment.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think it’s totally good to individualize. Last question, Cortisol is normal except spikes at a very high at around three(3) to five(5) PM. So this person wants to know, is that Adrenal Fatigue stage 2? Again, I think we did the whole test to see it, to know where the Cortisol levels are at. Stage 2 is typically, relatively, normal Cortisol levels, with aberrations and rhythm, and lower DHEA in general. So I think we’re missing some info. Any comments?
Bridgit Banner: You know, the thing that came to me, and I’m not an elevated practitioner. But is it, is it vital that wind one. That’s, that, that imbalance is in the afternoon, and that’s the time I feel imbalanced too. And a lot of people have this wind imbalance ‘cause we’re so busy nowadays, doing so much stuff. Uhhmm– so that’s like a really key time of the day for me to rest. And that can be tough ‘cause it’s like the end of your day, when you’re gonna pick up your kids. But I would just personally tune in to like how that time of day feels for them, and like what are they doing, what and where the stimulants were like, you know, just, are they eating snack always right before that spike, or in a certain stress trigger, or maybe the body’s just trying to like pick them up. ___?Slob?__ but not sure. I think it’s interesting there with three to five.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think potentially like a blood sugar drop, had their lunch around 11 or 12, maybe their blood sugar’s dropping so maybe they need a mini meal, maybe scheduled a meditation in there, maybe keeps an adaption …
Bridgit Banner: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …kind of in your system during that time of the day; a couple of options.
Bridgit Banner: I have to eat at that time of the day. Like, it’s not optional for me, and the more I eat, the better. I mean maybe I should have my dinner there. Uhh – you know maybe someday I’ll also tea in that earlier dinner. But I, if I can really heavy snack. Yeah, my butcher, just dropping items, snacks constantly. One, probably the one snack a day that’s not optional for me.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Perfect. Very good. Well again, closing up here. We got the Hormone Balance After 40 Summit. We’ll put information below in the YouTube description and the podcast description, so make sure you check out that summit. Forty (40), or thirty (30) years old, great people are gonna be there. I’m gonna be there in one of first days, so make sure you tune in to see me.
Bridgit Banner: Day one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Day one.
Bridgit Banner: …this guy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it, love it. Very cool. Any other comments or concern, anything else you want to address to the listeners or…
Bridgit Banner: No. I think that’s– it was a lot of fun. You know, I’m not always this, like, on my toes but it’s good for me. Just tried, tried to hang with it. There were really good questions. Then it was always fine with you Dr. Justin.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you. What’s that summit URL link again?
Bridgit Banner: after40summit and it’s a number 40.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: After forty, the number 40? Summit S-U-M-M-I-T? One ‘t’?
Bridgit Banner: Yes. Two m’s, one ‘t’. It should come up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Perfect. Love it. Bridgit.
Bridgit Banner: Bye everyone.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, thank you so much for the great information. You have a great day.
Bridgit Banner: You too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you.
Natural Birth Control Options – Prevent Pregnancy Naturally
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Learn all about the different methods and approaches to preventing pregnancy naturally. Gain information about the ovulation cycle of women and how it is affected by different methods such as the rhythm method, barrier method which includes use of condoms, cervical cap, IUD, and the chemical method which is by use of the birth control pill. Find out about the pros and cons of each and combination of approaches and determine which one works for you.
I have lots of female patients that are inquiring about this. Also their male counterparts who is trying to figure out ways that they can prevent pregnancy without having a whole bunch of synthetic hormones in the body. So we have the conventional approach, which we’ll talk about today and we’ll also compare that some of the natural approaches and figure out what works best for you. At least give you the options that you can make a better decision.
Three Methods to Prevent Pregnancy:
1. Rhythm method (time-based)
2. Barrier methods (condoms, cervical caps, diaphragms and IUDs)
3. Chemical methods (birth control pills)
Whether they’re a synthetic estrogen or progesterone-based, we’re going to go through this one by one. So off the bat, we have the rhythm method. First thing with the rhythm method is you have to know what your cycle is like.
A typical cycle is going to be about 28 days long, on average. If we draw this out, 28 to 0, that gives you a good frame of reference. And we’re going to use the red for the estrogen. The first half of the cycle you’re going to see, estrogen kind of pop-up a bit. Then it drops off the last half of the cycle, like so.
Progesterone is going to be blue here. You’re going to see progesterone comes up, right about here in the middle of the cycle and then falls off here at the end. So you could see here, first part of the cycle right here- the start, this part here is going to be the follicular phase- put an f and x to it. And this part over here will be the luteal phase.
Estrogen predominates in the first half. Progesterone predominates in the second half- really important. Now ovulation, the primary in which pregnancy can occur, is going to happen right here, right in the middle. This is the money right here. That’s the money shot. And that’s where the sperm and the egg have to meet at the same time. And that’s going to be where that happens.
So knowing that, what we do based on that information? If we have about 2 to 3 day window here, so about 2-3 days here, and we know sperm can live about 5 days – 5 to 7, essentially. We have a 5 to 7, plus three-day window here. Essentially, we got about 10 days a month a woman could potentially be fertile if sex happens beforehand. Because if ovulation’s already happened, it wouldn’t matter if sperm came in here because the hormonal timing is now passed. But If we have sperm in here ahead of time, they could easily get in, fertilize that egg. And a baby would be on its way, so to speak.
We have about 10 days of fertility a month – 10 days. And again, it really takes someone knowing their cycle. I recommend a female having at least six cycles, whether within at least a day or two. So they kind of know where that ovulation is.
Three things to note when using the rhythm method:
- Drop in temperature
- Increase in temperature following the drop
- Increase in cervical mucus production
A couple things you can do to figure that out is a great app called Kindara on the iPhone. And the first thing that you can do, is you can track your temperatures first thing in the morning. You will first notice a drop in temperature. And second thing you’re going to know that you’re already into ovulation, is you’re going to notice an increase in temperature following the drop.
So it’s the drop first. The increase, second. And this kind of means you’re already in the middle of ovulation here. We’re already ovulating here. And the last thing would be also noticing some cervical mucus, kind of like an egg yolk kind of consistency. So those will be the three categories that you would use while you’re in your cycle to kind of confirm that you’re moving along in the right direction. You can also do an ovulation test which measures luteinizing hormone. It’s part of the brain signaling that increases progesterone which is part of that increase in temperature there.
When to use the rhythm method
You can do the rhythm method and use it to avoid sex during this time frame here to here. The big thing is you have to make sure you don’t come in too soon after. So typically, day 10 to day 20, or day 8-18 is pretty safe. And if you’re on the fence, you can use a condom and/or various barrier methods if you’re within a day or two and you’re kind of uncertain about it. Barrier methods or as we said the rhythm method works about 88% of the time. So just be very mindful. It’s not perfect. If your cycle is inconsistent or you’re more on the unhealthy size from a hormone perspective, you may want to look at combining a condom or barrier method along with that. That’s the rhythm method there.
THE BARRIER METHOD
So with the barrier method, we have a couple standard ones here. You have your condom, which will protect you from STD’s as well. Well that’s a male counterpart, right there. The others will be all female counterparts.
There’s a pill that we’re using. It’s not quite out yet, but it’s decreasing FSH for men which then creates spermatogenesis downstream. I’m not sure how much I feel about that yet. Not an update on it, but it’s something. It’s coming out – the male version of the pill.
So condoms are going to be the first one. Again, this will actually protect against STD, which is good. The others won’t.
Cervical Cap / Diaphragm
You’re going to have your cervical cap / diaphragm, kind of similar. And that’s just the barrier. Basically, it’s blocking the cervix where the sperm would come in from the cervix into the uterine lining or into the uterus. It basically caps that off and blocks it. So you have the cervical cap and the diaphragm.
It basically sits in the uterus here and prevents the egg from implanting. That’s how the idea works. It is effective of disrupting implantation of the egg, so the egg can’t come in there and stick. We have barriers: condom, cervical cap, diaphragm, IUD. So couple things here. This is going to be something the guy can use. Also protects the STD’s there, too.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the barrier method
Cervical cap and diaphragm are great because they can be combined with the condoms. So you have a barrier method on the male side, a barrier method on the female side, which provides really good, extra coverage. The only thing is you got to put all these things in. You can’t let these things stick. You got to put them on before sexual intercourse or foreplay. So you’re going to know to do that ahead of time. 1-2-3.
The IUD is nice because it’s always there. So you don’t have to plan it ahead of time. The main one that we recommend would be the Paragard IUD. That’s going to be a copper based IUD. You have to worry about some copper issue with that. But, I mean it’s not going to be the Marina which is the progesterone, synthetic progesterone IUD. So it’ll be a copper IUD and it’s always going to be there. Some women, it can create bleeding issues. You got to figure out if it’s right for you or not. You may want to try it and see if it works well from a symptomatic standpoint, but that’s always going to be in there.
Combining IUD and Condoms
A lot of times you can do an IUD, you can combine with condoms or if you don’t want to do the IUD because of side effects or you’re worried about the copper issues, you can combine the barrier method with the condom method and then you got a really good shot. And you can also just do the condom method. That’s still going to be good, 90%+ of the time. If you combine them, obviously you get even better coverage. That gives you the barrier method there. So you have the rhythm, and again you can use all these and combine them with the rhythm method during that 10-day time frame at your hormonally sensitive for ovulation and for fertility and pregnancy. So these can be combined with the rhythm method.
THE CHEMICAL METHOD
So with the chemical method, let’s talk about the birth control pill. The birth control pill, in general, works by inhibiting ovulation by decreasing feedback loops in the brain. So real quick, we have our brain. And we have from the brain, we have our hypothalamus and our pituitary, and that produces a compound down here. We have FSH on one side and LH on the other side and that talks to the gonads. This case, that’s the ovaries. The males, it’s that the testes. So these various feedback loops here. And LH and FSH are really important.
Luteineizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
The LH in a female helps to increase progesterone levels which are responsible for cervical mucus. And FSH helps grows the follicle and also helps thicken the endometrial lining so the egg can implant. So does the LH as well. If we decrease these, we decrease them by taking the birth control pill. It’s going to increase more cervical mucus before ovulation, so it makes it harder for the egg to get in there. That’s going to be the synthetic progesterones. And then the FSH is going to make the endometrial lining thinner. The endometrial lining will get thinner with the FSH being lower and the cervical mucus will get thicker with the LH being lower. Synthetic progesterone will increase cervical mucus. These synthetic estrogen will actually thin out the uterine lining and have effects.
So number one, it’s going to be harder for the egg to get into the uterus. Number two, it’s going to be harder for the egg to implant into the uterine lining because deep lining will be thinner. And that’s the general idea for the most part, a woman’s going to be be taking 21 days of pills.
Types of pills
Typically, it may be a combo of estrogens and progesterone and synthetic ones. So not estrogen, but synthetic estrogens and not just progesterone, but synthetic progesterone. Maybe a combo a lot of times, it’s going to be a ethanyl-estradiol like a Yasmine kind of thing. Or it may be a combo that has synthetic estrogen and progesterone.
Sometimes if there’s side effects, though, we’ll give women progestins throughout the month as well. Those got to be taken exactly at the exact time everyday. Less flexibility with those than the regular ones. But again, 21 days typically of pills, followed by seven days of reminder pills, which are basically just dummy pill, so your hormone levels can drop. Because it’s the drop in hormones that signals the uterine lining to shed and does it all again.
Again, birthcontrol pills- what is it doing? High amount of estrogen and progesterone. The high amount of estrogen and progesterone drops the LH and the FSH. And when that’s dropped, what happens is, thicker cervical mucus cap, sperm can get up there- that’s from the LH. We have a thinner uterine lining from the FSH and the estrogen’s behind which makes it hard for the egg to stick.
Some side effects of the pill
Pills can increase sex hormone binding globulin, which can actually decrease your testosterone levels. So common side effect is a lower testosterone, so lower libido.
It can also increase thyro-binding globulin, which can lower your free fraction of thyroid hormone, which can cause weight gain.
So we have decreased energy, decreased libido, and waking- the side effects there. Not to mention nutritional deficiencies ranging from B vitamins, to folate, to methylation, the calcium, magnesium and zinc. There’s a whole bunch of other things going on.
We always try to go with the most natural route possible. And I always try to suggest these things above, the barrier rhythm methods because or a combo because of their safety record.
Pills and Cancer
Again, the pill- not a fan of the synthetic hormones. Just not a fan of it. I mean, the pill has been shown to help reduce uterine cancer and ovarian cancer and thyroid cancer, but it’s been shown to increase breast cancer. And breast cancer is a far bigger killer than the first three. So you got to keep that in mind. Plus, we’re bombarded with estrogens – synthetic estrogens in our environment all the time, and we’re in this. Most females are in a constant state in various testings we do. They’re in a constant sate of estrogen dominance whether estrogen is so high in relationship to the natural estrogen-progesterone balance. And they are predisposed to fibrocystic breast conditions endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts. Mainly because of the hormones being out of balance.
Pills and Symptoms
Now a lot of people are being prescribed birth control pills off-label. So they’re being prescribed because of hirsutism or hair issues on their face, or excessive bleeding, or migraine headaches, or mood issues, or PMS. And a lot of times, the pill is not really getting to the root cause.
If your hormones during your cycle go high and low, then high-low again, then drop, it will cause symptoms. The perturbations or up-and-down fluctuations are going to create symptoms, mood issues, migraine, headaches. If it falls out early, and you have 5-7 day gap, this can drive PMS, back pain, cramping, breast tenderness, moodiness, depression.
So again, is it really fixing the underlying issue? Because all it’s doing is taking your estrogen and doing this. It’s raising a flat line, then you hit your reminder pills, and then basically goes right down. So you’re just basically raising your estrogen levels super, super high and then you’re taking your 7-days reminder pills, and it drops. So all it’s doing is, instead of the up-and-downs here, it’s covering all the deficiencies up by giving you a flat line hormone.
Again, birth control pill’s been around for 50 years or so. Some side effects are present. Pretty easy, easier than most above, so you got to figure out what works best for you. Whether you rather have a little bit more inconvenience, but less synthetic hormones; or a little more convenience for potential side effects. So you got to weigh out pros and cons.
If you’re trying to deal with hormonal issues, PNS issues and/or your hormone’s back on track, click on screen. Reach out to myself so you can get more info on how you can get your hormones back in action. Again, this is Dr. J here. Click on screen, subscribe for more videos coming your way.