The Top 5 Causes of Chronic Headaches

Today we are going to be talking about the top underlying reasons why you may be having a chronic headache. I had a patient come in today who had headaches for 25 years, monthly and chronically, and we were able to get to the root cause and there are many different root causes for every person. Let me lay out the common ones that I find to be a major vector of my patients.

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor if you are experiencing chronic headaches!

So we have headaches and head pain or migraines where you kind of have that aura and sound sensitivity. There are a couple of different major reasons why headaches may happen.

1. Food Allergens

Most common food allergy is gluten and dairy. There are some studies on gluten affecting blood flow up to the brain. We have these garden hoses on the side of our neck called our carotid arteries. When we have inflammation especially caused by gluten that can decrease blood flow and blood profusion to the frontal cortex, and when you have less blood, you’re going to have decreased performance of the brain. You can see that manifesting in a headache. People don’t know but headaches are actually an issue with vasodilation in the brain.  Caffeine can help as caffeine actually causes constriction and brain’s typical headache signal is caused by vasodilation.

2. Food Additives.

These could be things like MSG, aspartame, Splenda or various artificial colors and dyes.

3. Blood Sugar Fluctuation.

We want to have healthy proteins and healthy fats with every meal. If we skip meals or we eat foods that are too high in carbohydrates and refined “crapohydrates” and sugar, and not enough fats and proteins, our blood sugar can go up and then drop. This is called reactive hypoglycemia. We react by putting a whole bunch of sugar in our bloodstream because all of these carbohydrate sources break down into sugar — processed sugar, grains, flours and acellular carbohydrates. These type of flours and refined processed carbs get converted to glucose in our bloodstream. When glucose goes up, our pancreas goes, “Holy smokes! We got a lot of glucose there. We got to pull it into the cell.” It spits out a whole bunch of insulin and pulls that glucose right down, and we have his blood sugar going up with a lot of insulin driving that blood sugar back down. When that blood sugar goes back down, this is where we have cravings.  This is where we have addictions, mood issues, energy issues, jitteriness, and cognitive issues. Our body makes adrenaline and cortisol to bring that blood sugar back up. Most people literally live on this high insulin where they are making fat, storing fat and engaging in lipogenesis which makes us tired. Then blood sugar crashes which makes people jittery, anxious, and moody. Most people live on this reactive hypoglycemia rollercoaster and that can drive headaches.

4. Gut Infections.

Patients with a lot of gut inflammation, gut permeability, and infections whether it’s H. pylori, SIBO (small intestinal, bacterial overgrowth) or fungal overgrowth have gut stressors can create inflammation in the gut. When we have inflammation in the gut, we have gut permeability. So our tight junctions in our intestines start to open up and undigested bacteria, lipopolysaccharides, food particles can slip through and create an immune response. You can see histamine along with that immune response and histamine can create headache issues.

5. Hormonal Issue.

A woman’s cycle is about 28 days and in the middle is ovulation. Some women have it during ovulation and most have it right at the end just before they menstruate. This is called premenstrual syndrome that is right before menstruation. A lot of women may also have it during menstruation, too. What happens is progesterone can drop out early and that drop in progesterone can actually cause headache manifestations and also the aberrations in estrogen can also cause headaches as well. We may also see it with excessive bleeding too. So if you’re bleeding a lot or too much, what may happen is you may lose iron and that low iron may cause oxygenation issues.  That low level of oxygen may also cause some headache issues as well.  Because if you can’t carry oxygen, that is going to be a stressed-out situation for your mitochondria and your metabolism. For menopausal women who have chronically low hormones and they’re not in an optimal place, that can create issues. Progesterone and estrogen can be very anti-inflammatory. So if there is inflammation in the brain, progesterone is a powerful anti-inflammatory and that can really help a lot of inflammation in the brain.

If you have any questions about headaches, please reach out to a functional medicine doctor to find a way to fix your issue.

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

2:18 All about Potassium

9:11 Oral Supplementation

18:32 Glucose

20:57 Foods with Potassium

27:11 Vertigo and Dizziness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand:  Yep.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: Bye.


Audio Podcast:

Thyroid Reset Summit | Podcast #218

Thyroid Reset Summit is here! It is Dr. J’s compilation of expert interviews and advances talks on the topic of thyroid health. Don’t wait, don’t suffer, support your thyroid now!

In today’s podcast, Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand engage in talk that covers the compelling topics around areas of thyroid health like autoimmune thyroid, gut infections, trauma and stress and how that affects thyroid and hormones. Listen as they discuss live interactive podcast with viewers and gain insights about the issues involved in thyroid and ways that go to the root cause to address them. Stay tuned for more!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

03:00    Trauma

06:41    Reverse T-3

14:19    Maca and Hypothyroidism

19:55    Molecular Mimicry

26:28    Iodine and Iodide

28:03    Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and Hashimoto’s

30:38    Desiccated Thyroid

32:01    Natural Thyroid Glandular

37:37    Nascent Iodine

40:38    Oxalates and Hashimoto’s

44:09    Thyroid Replete or Balance

46:50    Candida Overgrowth and Kale Intolerance


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. Guess what’s up, the Thyroid Reset Summit is live today. So, make sure you click below, there’ll be links where you can access the summit, make sure you register. I’m giving up my full, free 88-page eBook, it’s the first 3 chapters in my 12-chapter book, it’s gonna be amazing. I’m here with Evan Brand as well. Evan’s a- was a phenomenal interviews as well. So, make sure you subscribe to go access Evan’s interview. There’s gonna be links below where you guys can access it all, I appreciate it. Evan, welcome today’s chat, I’m excited that thyroid summit is here.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’m excited too. Your talk is today. So, if people wanna hear me interviewing you, that’s a day 1 of the summit. So, your pretty face is on there, and you great- you gave a stellar interview, and there’s already tons of good comments, we were just reviewing that together, there’s tons of good comments and feedback coming in already on the summit and we’re still in like, you know, day 1. So, this is like the open house so to speak, of the summit. If people, you know, have been living under a rock, or they just don’t know how summits work. Basically, what it is, is Justin put together 30+ expert interviews. These are anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes in length, and they’re all on the topic of thyroid health. So we- he’s gonna get in to anything from autoimmune thyroid to gut infections and thyroid, to mitochondria and thyroid, to chemical toxins to trauma, and stress and how that affects thyroid and hormones. So, each different expert has their own unique view, and he make sure to extract as much information as he can, it’s all free. You just register free. So,, you go there, you register free, put your name, your email in, you can access it as long as you get on your computer or your phone, on the day of the talk, you can access about 5 talks for free every day for a week. And then after a week, depending on what your all’s feedback is, they’ll probably do an on-core, you get one last chance to view him for free, and then, what I recommend you do, is you buy the summit, it supports Justin, it supports the mission, it gets his information out to the masses because your average doctor is not having the type of conversations that Justin is having on this summit. These are conversations that are very advanced. And something that’s still broken down, simply free to understand, but in terms of timeline here, it could be another 10 years before mainstream doctors are even addressing the stuff that’s being discussed now. So, don’t wait, don’t suffer. Buy the talks, it ends up being like 50 bucks or something. That’s ridiculous how cheap it is, and you could own all 30 talks, you’ll get transcripts, etc. Is Justin paying me to promote this thing? No, he’s not, it’s just freaking awesome and I’ve already read the book. And, the book is amazing, and the summit is amazing. So, please buy it and support him so he can keep buying grass-fed stakes so- he’d to stay healthy so that he can do a podcast with me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I appreciate that Evan, thanks so much. So, I just, you know, being a thyroid expert and also being a part of the summit yourself, what are some of the topics that you feel like were most compelling for you in and around the area of thyroid? I have a couple in my mind but, what reason they would give the most?

Evan Brand: Oh, man. Well, I would say the ones on trauma. Uh, you’ve got ___[03:03] on there, which is just incredible, because, I think trauma is something that, well, we already know this, uh- a- as Americans, we repress our emotions, we repress our traumas, we try to just move on, we ignore traumas, we throw ’em under the carpet and we just don’t wanna talk about this stuff, but what you and Nicky discussed was amazing which is the fact that, depending on how your childhood uh, was. You talked about the ACE score, the Adverse-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -Childhood Experiences score-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: -and how- what you all are seeing. And I’m seeing the same thing too, is that, the higher the ACE score, the more likely it is that you’re gonna have a problem, and it could be a thyroid, and/or an autoimmune thyroid problem, all linked back to something 20 years ago. And so, you all had a great discussion about, well, how do you start working on these things that happen to you? It’s not to say, “Hey, we need to go back to counseling, and, you know, go take the guy into counseling with you, who beat you up 20 years ago, it’s not that, it’s no, there’s ways you can clear these traumas from your body, and a lot of it is free. So, I think that’s probably the most powerful starting place.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and also a lot of these traumas too, they affect the HPA access. And, some people that they may have addressed the issue but, they’re kinda dealing with the collateral damage, whether it’s adrenal issues or gut issues, and- and/or compromising the immune system, maybe even infections just from all that stress, or maybe even they developed an ___[04:23] disorder which is created all kinds of adrenal and blood sugar and nutrient deficiencies. So, we gotta look at everything from the root cause. Okay, is the root cause addressed, okay good, and now, we gotta also do damage control as well. But, while fixing everything in a ___[04:37] root cause kind of, manner using nutrients and- and sport.

Evan Brand: Yeah, now, I will say, if you just focus on traumas and nothing else, and let’s say you start doing the EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique which is the tapping that you and I both love. I love tapping. I’m gonna start tapping-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I’m [crosstalk]… uh, so, when you start tapping, this is basically like acupuncture without the needles, so you’re helping to basically recalibrate your nervous system, so you’re not stuck in fight or flight. And I’ll do this, like if  I going stage or if I’m gonna go on an airplane, I’ll just tap, tap, tap, tap it out, and I just feel really good from it. And, there’s practitioners, this is such a powerful tool. There are practitioners that’s all they do, is tapping. Now, you and I, we both agree that tapping by itself is probably gonna be pretty limited, it’s not gonna be fixing root causes, but can they help reset the nervous system, which could therefore improve your thyroid health and potentially lower your thyroid antibodies? I would say, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, if you have significant unresolved traumas, especially in the area of sexual abuse, or just issues growing up. Uhm, even disorder stuff, control issues or any kind of abuse. I think it’s really important especially if- if I’m talking with a patient and, “Have you really fully adro- uh, you know, resolve that?”, “Can you go back and think about it, and talk about it, this is not really bring your emotion up let’s say, pass a 3 out of 10”. And if they can’t answer that, or you start to hear them sob on the phone, or on- on the video, and that tells me we gotta work on that. So, it really just depends on how much they’ve done to resolve and to move past that. Uhm, but, if- if they haven’t done- I have people that I refer out to, they had- they really dive in with that work for sure.

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [Crosstalk]…that activates the sympathetic fight or flight kind of nervous system response and, if that keeps going, that can just be a drain on your adrenals. And we know how important a cortisol is to inflammation, and if we have thyroid issues and autoimmune thyroid, and we don’t have enough healthy levels of cortisol to- to deal with that stress, or if our cortisol levels had been depleted, uhm, the HPA access dysregulation that- that brain talking to the adrenals, that feedback loop is disrupted, that can definitely creates some major challenges for sure.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So, we should talk about reversed T-3. We actually had a question here from the Doc J.C., uh said, “Please go over the significance of reversed T-3. What range do you feel as optimal? It seems to be frequently ignored or not seems to be so significant. Thanks, looking forward to the summit”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I hundred percent agree. Now, think of reversed T-3 as like metabolic blades for our metabolic uh, magazine, or gun- gun cartridge so to speak, right? We put all the bullets in it, uhm, the metabolic blades, they take up space where an actual metabolic bullet would be, we fire the gun, we get the noise but we have no bullet coming out. Basically, these reversed T-3 compounds, they’re blocking the receptor sites; every single cell in the body has receptor sites for thyroid hormone. So, when we had excess, reversed T-3, it’s gonna clog up that receptor site for T-3, and it’s gonna decrease the ability for that T-3 to fill up the receptor sites. Also, you had T-4. Let’s say you have 80%- let’s say you have a higher percent of T-4 convert to reversed T-3 over T-3, it’s also robbing the ability for that T-3 to- to be fully expressed. So, imagine we have, let’s just say, let’s just say we have 10 units of T-4, alright? Just hypothetical numbers here. And let’s say we’ll typically converting 80% to T- to T-3, and 20% to reversed T-3, there’s naturally gonna be some reversed T-3 levels. Let’s say, anywhere between the low 10’s to the upper 10’s, right? Then you know that’s a good level, alright? That’s the actual lab reference range. In my analogy, let’s say we have 20% goin’ reversed T-3, 80% go into T-3, our actual metabolic active thyroid hormone. Well, typically, when stress starts to happen, low calorie diets, more stress, adrenal issues, inadequate levels of selenium, we may start to see a 70-30, a 60-40 split, where more of that building block is going to reversed T-3, less going to actual T-3. So, we’re having less T-3 but we’re also having the congestion of the receptor sites. So, that T-3 that’s now there, the lesser T-3 it’s there, it’s not able to dock in to that receptor site, the locking key methods not able to go in because someone put gum in the keyholes, so to speak.

Evan Brand: Yeah, great analogy. So, let’s take it a step further. So, what happens then? ‘Cause you and I , we’ve tracked my blood for several years, little that I know, I was living with mold, and that mold was messing up my thyroid, that was part of the problem, I had elevated reverse T-3, and you and I been looked at and we’ve been like, “Okay, let’s look at gut”, “Okay, stool test is clean, let’s look at adrenals, okay, adrenals look decent. Well, where the heck was this reversed T-3 be coming from?”. I’ve- in my opinion, I believe it was all the stress that my immune system was dealing with because I had elevated white blood cell count, at the same time as I had elevated reverse T-3. So, it’s not that it changed my game plan of my protocol at all, it was really just an indicator of “Okay, so here’s why I probably have cold hands, cold feet, my body temperature was running like a 97.7. Unless you tell me I’m wrong, I think that was all related to that reversed T-3 being so high. I was in the 30’s.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup. Yup, it could’ve been. And we also know, you know, if you have a- a liver stress, right? Livers’ really important because it make enzymes that are gonna help activate thyroid hormone, and it also helps to clear reverse T-3. So, make sense over stress, glutathione form toxins in the environment that can affect our ability to clear it as well.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I think I was like 35, uh, on my [crosstalk]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And again, how- you know, we can see low calorie diets, increased reverse T-3, that’s why- that’s why in the long run, cutting calories to lose weight doesn’t work ’cause it just slows down your thyroid. So, then when you come back to reality and you actually are eating a normal amount of food, now, your metabolism slower, so now you end up storing more fat on the buckets.

Evan Brand: You wanna know something crazy related to hormones and-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -gaining weight and all that? So, something that I learned the past few weeks, is that mycotoxins can actually bind to your leptin receptor. And this is why some people have gained weight on like 800 to a thousand calories is ’cause the mycotoxins are preventing leptin signaling from working properly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I know. I had a conversation with Dave Asprey a couple of years ago. There’s a compound called the Zearalenone. It’s- it’s a mold kind of herpes that actually put into the ears of these cows. And the Zearalenone literally causes the cows to convert more of their calories to fat.

Evan Brand: Oh my gosh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s what it does. So, they would use some of these connection-

Evan Brand: And that’s a mycotoxin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s a mycotoxin, they put it in their- in the cow’s ear, be the- like a little pellet-

Evan Brand: Oh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -and they re-absorb it through the ear canal. And this is, you know, first hand from Dave Asprey. And it will cause more fat gain, so it would allow them to convert more calories to fat which, you know, bottom line, more weight on scale, so, more- uh, more cost per cow, so to speak, ’cause it’s all weight-driven. So, yeah, mold and mycotoxins are- are a big one, alright? And we’ll do another podcast on that-

Evan Brand: I did another interview- if I did another interview on your summit, my whole talk would be about thyroid and mold because I’ve had tons of hypothyroid symptoms. Now, I still have 6 pack abs, I’m still ripped, uh but I had like cold body temperature, cold hands, cold feet and all that related to mold. So, if I did an “Evan on Justin’s Summit Part 2” it would be all about mold and how I think so many people with thyroid problems probably have mold in their house that’s helping to destroy their immune system and cranking up reversed T-3, elevating liver enzymes, reducing detoxification, and the body’s got to try to focus on mold, and then they can’t focus on other stuffs-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -so then chemical toxins get built up, it seems like a huge like lynchpin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I- and the only thing I would add is do all the- the natural- do all the things first and leave that to the end-

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -because, you did it that way too. And then we saw there was an issue and then we dealt with it on the back end, uhm, my biggest concern is mold and things like that can be- can be more in the expensive side, and it can be a rat hole for some people, meaning, if they do the foundational things first, they may get some significant relief upfront, and it won’t be as cost- it won’t be as costly as dealing with the- the mold in the back end. But, some people-

Evan Brand: It won’t be as overwhelming.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And the only exception being, hey there’s active leak, you got water stains on your ceiling, uhm, you know, there’s- there’s an act- you can actually actively visualize mold or water leaking, then I would say that it has to be dealt with right away. [crosstalk].

Evan Brand: I’ve- I’ve probably stayed afloat a lot longer than I did before I developed a lot of major symptoms because I had all the foundations in order-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: And so that’s- that’s why the summit is gonna be key- it’s not to- it’s not designed to replace a consultation with Justin if you have thyroid problems, you still need to consult with Justin, for sure, but this is more designed for you to get the information you need for you to get the questions answered that you have in your head. And once you have all those questions answered, you’re gonna learn more about types of thyroid lab testing that you need to run reversed T-3 being one of those markers. These are things you can bring up to your endocrinologist or your GP and tell them, “Hey, I heard on this summit, this guy Dr. Justin talked about “XYZ”, can you do that for me?”. And we’ve had clients report back to us and say, “Hey…”, you know, “…thanks to you, or thanks to your podcast, I was able to get this and this, and this run on my blood work, and my doctor only ran it because I asked them to”. So if you just go with the status quo, you’re probably not gonna get the result you’re looking for from the mainstream. Now, if you find a really good endocrinologist or a doc that’s gonna listen and run these extra important thyroid markers that are not generally run, you may be able to make them work, or you gotta go to the functional side. My opinion, I’m gonna say go to the functional side, ’cause your endocrinologist is never gonna look at the stuff Justin’s looking at and saying, “Hey, you know, these bacterial infections do this; this parasite does this”, it’s the last thing you’re gonna hear from them. They’re gonna say, “Oh, you can go to an infectious disease doctor, you think you have parasites?” And then they’ll just refer you out and you’ll go nowhere. That’s why we’re kinda generalist and specialist on the same token.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, that’s really good point. Let’s kinda dive in to the next question here, let me pull it up. Uhm… let’s talk about Maca. Maca and hypothyroidism. So, number 1, if we see- Maca’s gonna be really good especially for women. Uhm, there are some good Maca forms for men too but it’s gonna really help modulate estrogen levels that can even help with progesterone levels. So, why is this helpful? If we have estrogen dominance, that can definitely increase thyroid binding globulin and decrease the amount of free thyroid hormone. So, it can definitely lower our free thyroid hormones. So, if we modulate our female hormones and improve that balance in that estrogen and progesterone ratio that can definitely improve the amount of biologically active thyroid hormone. Also, for in a, estrogen dominant state, we need good levels of progesterone. And progesterone help stimulate thyroid peroxidase and make thyroid hormones. So, good enzyme activity from TPO is important, and that can help make thyroid hormone. So, good levels of progesterone help with that as well.

Evan Brand: Can you talk a little bit about age? I mean, this is something that you ask your average women, aged 15 above, they’re gonna say, “Oh, my thyroid”, or “Oh, my hormones”. Can you talk about kind of what happens when you’re transitioning from a normal cycling female to you go into perimenopause- menopause ___[15:33] when you go to those stages. And ___[15:36] to say, “Oh, oh it’s my hormones”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah. So, in general, typically, women may start their perimenopausal phase in their early 40’s. This is where like a lot of these menopausal symptoms start to happen. Whether it’s skipping a cycle, mild hot flashes, mild hair loss, mood issues. And again, it’s- it’s- it can be- it’s hard to distinguish perimenopause and just PMS and cy- and cyclical hormone imbalances. Especially where I see a lot of these symptoms happening with women in their 20 and 30’s, it’s hard to distinguish, but you’re typically seeing some of these menopausal symptoms, they may happen throughout the month, where the premenstrual symptom that are just tend- tending to happen a week, maybe a couple days, sometimes 2 weeks before period. So, you- you gotta look at it and distinguish. Typically, what’s happening is you’re having a decreased ovarian reserve and then the estrogen and the progesterone are starting to drop. And sometimes you see estrogen drop a little bit slower than progesterone, so then you still have low hormones, yet still have estrogen dominance. And again, perimenopause is done once you’ve had cycle for one year. So you have that kind of in between phase and lower adrenal functions in a predisposed at because your adrenals are making a lot of precursor hormone that’s gonna provide building blocks for your sex hormones. So, lower adrenal function, cortisol stress, HPA access stress, that communication from the brain to the adrenals, when that’s dysregulated, you’re draining that backup ge- battery generator to help make more of the hormones. So, when that follicle starts to drop, then the adrenals gonna help pick up the slack.

Evan Brand: So, would you say all women post-menopausal should be on some type of adaptogenic herb hormone support, and can that replace or remove the need for like bioidenticals?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It depends how strong their hormones are, uh, it depends how strong their adrenal glands are already.

Evan Brand: Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Number 1. And number 2, it depends on how severe their symptoms are.

Evan Brand: Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, we’ll use specific phenotypes of Maca for perimenopausal women or menopausal women, that can help, some do need adrenal support obviously than some may need some of the bioidentical progesterone, estrogen support, it just depends on their severity of symptoms, how long it’s been going on for, and how their hormones look, adrenal wise, female wise and thyroid. And this is where it stop because hair loss, it’s a thyroid symptom but also lower female hormones can cause it too. So, so can like cool their temperature when waking, that could be a thyroid issue, it could be a female hormone issue. This is why testing is so important. It really allows you to like, walk into the situation clinically, feeling like you’re on top of what’s going on.

Evan Brand: Yup, well said. And- and, I wonder, does that change much? If a woman’s had like a partial or a full hysterectomy, or maybe she’s got her ovaries gone, the uterus is gone, is that like, hey, there’s no way adaptogenic adrenal support’s gonna help you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, soon as they go- as soon as they have a uhm- a full hysterectomy where the ovaries are gone, they’re menopausal right away, right? So, they’re automatically in menopause. If it’s a partial hysterectomy where the uterus is gone, typically that’s happening from maybe a fibroid, maybe some endometriosis. Uh, a lot of times it’s done in- in haste because there’s excessive bleeding or he- hemorrhagia, and the doctor’s like, let’s just pull it out which is crazy like, let’s fix the hormones, let’s fix the underlying issue, a lot of times you can keep your uterus. Now, there’s some literature, you know, if you look at some of the endocrinology techs, there’s some people saying that, “Hey…”, you know, “…your uterus maybe producing some level of hormone. So, it’s possible that you keep your ovaries, you get your uterus removed, but you- there’s still maybe some hormone stuff that happens, right?

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s kinda like with guys and they get a vasectomy, there are some research showing it, you can still have a drop-in testosterone after vasectomy. What happened? You didn’t touch the testicles, right? But when you mess around with that anatomy there’s probably some feedback loops that are disrupted, there’s probably some hormonal secretion that’s happening from that tissue that were not quite, you know, fully aware of. So, that’s why when in doubt, always try to keep the tissue in place-

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -if you can.

Evan Brand: It’s crazy. I mean, for to think, oh, it has no purpose when you’re aged 60 just ’cause you’re not menstruating, those organs have no purpose. That’s- that’s bizarre. Yeah, I mean, if you have no purpose anymore, it would come out just like a placenta comes out after a woman delivers a baby. That organ is there, and then that organ is not needed anymore, and the mom pushes the placenta out and then you’re done. You don’t push out the uterus. So, it- it needs to be there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. It definitely needs to be there for sure. So, uhm, on that road, I think we answered that question.

Evan Brand: I’ve got another question for you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: Okay. So, we got one here, “Can you discuss molecular mimicry?”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so, diff- i- in general, we have surface proteins on foods, especially gluten and casein, and these surface proteins, they get tagged by our immune system. And there are other surface proteins on tissue in the body like the thyroid that can look similar. So, imagine you have someone who just did a- a crime, and they’re driving a black Honda Civic. Well, Honda Civics are pretty popular car. Please come on the AP- you know, on the radio, APB, you know, be careful and just person, and the authorities driving a black Honda Civic. They’re driving the Honda Civic, you get pulled over. Why? Because you have a similar identification that was called on the APB there. So, what does that mean? Its surface proteins can be similar, and so of course, when that APB is called up by your immune system, A.K.A, the immune system makes antibodies to target these surface protein, and other tissues have a similar surface protein like the thyroid, then that can, uh, your immune system can attack it. And that’s why you’re see- that’s why gluten is such a big deal. Also, gluten also opens the gut lining. And when the gut lining’s more open and we have gut permeability or leaky gut kind of the slang, there’s more chance of your immune system to get in contact with undigested foods and create more antibodies for more stuff. So, leaky gut’s a big thing and, there’s a lot of data saying, “Hey, even if you’re not reacting to the gluten, gluten may still be opening up that gut lining, creating more gut permeability”.

Evan Brand: Well, here’s one other thing to take it even further on the anti-gluten train, which is the fact that people say, “Oh, I’m not sensitive to gluten, I don’t have any rashes, I don’t have any headaches, I don’t notice joint pain after gluten. It doesn’t matter, we’ve seen, and many, many, many pieces of literature, just google “Non celiac gluten sensitivity” and you could read about it for yourself. Even if a person that says, “I noticed…” quote, “nothing”, from eating gluten. We still notice that the secretory IgA gets lower, that gut barrier gets broken open, you get leaky gut. There’s no like, “I’m a tuff guy, I grew up in Wisconsin, grew in corn and I eat corn and gluten and I love it”, no, it doesn’t matter. You’re gonna have a leaky gut no matter if you noticed anything or not and, why is that important for thyroid health, wll, ’cause once a gut’s leaky, now, let’s say you get bacteria and parasites and toxins from the food supply, you breath in some guy’s diesel truck in front of you on the highway, those toxins have direct access to the bloodstream. And we know that when the gut is leaky, the blood brain barrier is also gonna be leaky, and then you’re getting toxins into the brain. So, you go and need some tuna fish on your night out and sushi, and that mercury can go into your brain now because your gut was leaky and they had access. So, you know, I kinda have like a zero tolerance, you know, policy. I like how, uh Rodney Ford, he was a gastro doc I had on a podcast-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -like, 7 years ago or some crazy, as if one of the first steps which I did. He said, I don’t like to term gluten-free, he said I like to term gluten-zero, because gluten-free sounds- you- you know, just like it’s toys or like, it’s- it’s a rec- it’s a recommendation. But he said, the idea of gluten-zero, is much more direct and blunt. It’s like, “no”, you don’t want any. Because even we’ve seen we- you and I, we test the antibodies, we look at anti gliadin IgA on the stool test, and what we see is that, even up to 3 months, 4 months after somebody’s had gluten, you know, here we are in early March, at the time of this recording, someone could had a bunch of cookies at Christmas and we could still see 3 months later, the antibodies elevated because of that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so, I mean, I’m pretty puritanical when it comes to gluten. I will- I met- I do have a cinnamon bun last night but it was gluten free, and I typically never cheat, I ended up getting within 30 minutes after the sore throat, and it’s lingering right now. I’m doing some-

Evan Brand: No way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -essential oil lozenges to help- help [crosstalk].

Evan Brand: Rice flour, what was it that did that to you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It was rice flo- it was rice flour, and it could have been just the carbs, it was pretty carb-heavy. But, you know, it just makes me think like, there’s one more sin in the fridge, am I gonna have it tonight? Hell no, you know?

Evan Brand: [Laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ll- for my cheat, I’ll do my ___[23:49] chips and some fresh homemade guacamole instead for my little kraut treat. But yeah, e- even that, I still had the decision, you know, should I stop at dunkin doughnuts and get like the awesome cinnamon bun that I have memories of 20 years ago, when I used to eat lots good food but, now, I at least chose the healthier option, but still, I kind recalibrate and say it still not worth it. So, try to find the healthier option if you want a spurge. If you’re autoimmune condition’s under control and you don’t have an autoimmune condition, maybe you spurge every now and then on the holidays. My recommendation though is, you find a healthier option, and if you have thyroid antibodies, you definitely need to. I have thyroid antibodies, so you really gotta make sure that you’re on the right track. There’s a lot of healthy options these days. It’s crazy, I mean, I had some- some I think it was uh, Danielle Walkers got a new pizza that’s like, a yuca based pizza, and it’s freakin’ awesome. It’s really good, and the crust is great. It’s a little carb heavy, so I save it for my carb night, but uhm, it’s a great pizza.

Evan Brand: Wow, she makes it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s in the whole food section now, it’s frozen. But it’s a yuca based crust.

Evan Brand: And is it already, uh, it’s just a crust and you gotta put all your own toppings? Or-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, it’s got everything on it already. But she’s got some I think where you can buy without the toppings. But I just love yuca for crust ’cause yucas just like- it’s a soft, it’s really uhm, moist too.

Evan Brand: I’ll have to look for it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I- I wanna point out what you said. I think it’s very important which is that, you may go off your diet for a bit and play with this food and play with that food is kind of a treat, but like you said, it’s not worth it. And, you know, people think when we come up with a diet protocol for ’em, then it’s like a diet of depravation. But overall, I would say you and I are not deprived at all. We’re eating good fats, good meats, good veggies, I mean, this is not a deprivation or starvation diet required.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, I mean, last night for dinner, I had a dry aged Kansas City strip steak, step 4 from wholefoods. And, I had it last night with some green beans and grass-fed butter and some sea salt, and it was phenomenal. So, I should have eat really good like that, like, keep it simple, you know. The night before that, we threw some stuff in the instapot, 40 minutes later, some vegetable. I think we had some celeries, some uhm, carrot, and some chicken, it was great. I mean, keep it really simple, easy.

Evan Brand: I did some haddick last night-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Evan Brand: I had couple different fish, I had some haddick and some cod, and then we did some sweet potato fries that we baked, and then we did some broccoli. My wife is all into fresh broccoli now, because we were doing frozen broccoli, but it’s a game changer to do fresh. So, uh, hopefully when I get my garden, we’ve got snow on the ground, hopefully I can get my garden going and get some fresh broccoli. Last year, even despite my really good fencing operation around my- around my race guard bed, those darn rabbits, it ate on my broccoli, so I didn’t get any, I had to buy it all to store [chuckles], or the farmer’s market.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh, hundred percent man, that’s really cool. Uhm, very cool. Let’s talk about- someone asked about “Iodine and iodide”. So, basically, iodide is the ion form of Iodine. So, you have basically uh, the chemical structure of iodine is- is 2 molecules of iodine, and so essentially, iodine is one. So, typically, iodine’s bonded to a salt whether it’s a sodium salts or a potassium salts, and then in your body, your body converts it and- and puts it together and makes iodine out of it. So, you can have one molecule’s iodide, 2 is iodine, you take it and the it converts it in the body and it goes to through iodination and it- it can makes it iodine.

Evan Brand: How do you approach that with clients in terms of supplementing?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I typically use a potassium iodide.

Evan Brand: Yup. How often do you supplement it, is that something where it’s like, yup, a little amount is always gonna be okay ’cause there was a whole, you know fear mongering about “Oh, you know, supplementing iodine could- or iodine can uh… increase your thyroid antibodies”, but I’ve not found that to be true, let alone know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I mean, it’s potential, but, if someone has active thyroid autoimmune stuff, we just don’t go more than the RDA which is between 150 to 250 micrograms.

Evan Brand: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And if we see they’re stable, and/or they don’t have any that we may play around with going up to a gram or maybe a 1.3 gra- uh- sorry, 1.3 mg, 1.5 mg, alright? RDA’s a 150 to 250 micrograms. So, typically, within 5 or 10 x of the RDA.

Evan Brand: Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It can. It- there’s a lot of data in the literature on that. So, uhm, I can just tell you, I see people go too high in iodine and lose their hair.

Evan Brand: Oooh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, you gotta be careful.

Evan Brand: Wow. I’ve got another question for you if you’re ready.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Evan Brand: Uh, a little one here rom Doc Jacey-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: “What is your take on using LDN for hashimoto patients? I do see the antibodies dropping and symptoms improved. Curious, if you’ve seen the same”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, first off, it’s not the first place I go, the low-hanging fruit’s gonna be, uhm, obviously uh, autoimmune template to start getting good nutrients onboard, getting enough selenium onboard, CoQ10, magnesium, these are really important. Then after that, I would go to like curcumin, uhm, curcumin, things like that fur, you know, fur. So, it’d be the first things I would get in there first. You could even play around with resveratrol, uhm, I would do that first, and then maybe even CBD. I would try to do CBD over LDN, but I had seen some people do okay in LDN. I’ve seen some people do worse on LDN. So, I try to go to the more natural compounds first before I go to uh, an ___[28:54] blocking drug.

Evan Brand: Agreed. And I can’t prescribe it. So, even if I could, I wouldn’t because I’m, you know, my toolbox is limited to using natural professional grade products and nutrients and herbs, so I just don’t even have it on the table for me, so I just have to assume that I gotta fix the issue with other things. And you and I’ve seen hundreds of times that, when we just fix the gut, we’ve seen antibodies drop from it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: 2000, 3000 to sub-500-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: Just [crosstalk]… the gut and changing nothing else.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, the gut’s obviously the next big component. But supplement wise, curcumin, resveratrol, selenium, CoQ10, magnesium, a- autoimmune template, and then of course working on the digestion, working through all the 6 hours. Enzymes [crosstalk]… bad foods, replacing digestive support, hormones, moving infections, re-inoculating, repopulating probiotics and then retest it.

Evan Brand: We’ve got a couple other questions here. What’s your- what’s your schedule look like? How much time you got left?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I got enough time, I got 10 minutes here.

Evan Brand: Perfect. I’ll just uh, give people another plug. If you haven’t register to Justin’s summit, please do., it’s great. If you’re like geekin’ out on this, you’re about to geek out times 30 for the next week. Every day, you’re gonna get to hear Justin in your ear for like 6 hours. So, better put some headphones on, get your nice cup of camel milk tea and sit down and have a good listen. And uh, Justin did videos too, so that’s cool. If you wanna see the interviews, as opposed to just listening, you can do both, and if you end up buying his summit, you do get transcripts. So, I know, we’re getting a little, yo know, a little tricky, a little complicated sometimes in these interviews, you may want to have the transcript available so you can refer back to that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wonderful. Hundred percent. [crosstalk]

Evan Brand: Yeah, so that’s my plug. And uh, the next question from Colin is, “Any recommendations for…”, he said, “dedicated” but he meant desiccated, and we know what you meant. So, “Any recommendations for desiccated thyroid? Have you heard of the company thyrovanz?”. And I have not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I have not. I have not in my life. We have a product called thyrobalance that is a natural glands. We’re support- I use with my patients, that I’d formulated, I’ve- I love that, it’s for credit, I use it on thousands of patients. And uh, on the prescription side, I do like WP thyroid, it’s a very clean formula. Uh, NP thyroid is another newer one out that’s very similar to iron, it- it does have a little bit of maltodextrin from corn in there, so you gotta be a little careful. The other good ones gonna be Nature Throid. Supposedly Nature Throid has a couple more ingredients than WP. Some people, if you check out my summit interview with Guillermo Ruiz, we talked all about that but, he said, there just not have extra ingredients and the same formula but, if you look on the back, there is lactose Nature Throid, there’s no lactose in WP. So, WP is the cleanest but, he seems to think they are both uh, equivalent. So, Nature Throid, and/or WP will be kinda number 1 and 2, WP first, Nature Throid second if you’re gonna go the prescription road.

Evan Brand: Supposedly Acella, A-C-E-L-L-A, it’s supposed to be- [crosstalk].

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That too makes NP- That- that too makes NP.

Evan Brand: Oh, okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m pretty sure, that too makes NP thyroid.

Evan Brand: Okay. Excellent. Alright. Uh, here’s another one-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then just to be- to be hundred percent clear on the question though, is with a natural thyroid glandular, you’re getting T-4, which is typically all you get in a centroid  levoxyl levothyroxine support, but you’re also getting T-3, T-2, T-1, T-0, calcitonin and proto morphogenic proteins which are in there that was your natural growth factors and- and taking thyroid glandular can also help lower your antibody levels too which is great. So, if you need a great, we don’t wanna give it unless we need it.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I was gonna say how do you rate when you need it versus let’s say someone was on a prescription, you know, is it possible that they are not doing well their prescription like centroid, but they may do and feel better and be able to use a glandular instead of that with the help of their doctor getting them off of the drug.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, you know you’re gonna need it if 1 of 2 factors or both are- are there. TSH is elevated, that could be the conventional range which is 5 and a half on the east coast, 4 and a half on the west coast, or, I use the- uh- uhm- the Association of Clinical Endocrinologists standings, once there’s a- above 2 and a half, I’m careful, okay? We’re about 2 and a half, 3’s kind of my cut off, but, then I look at the free T-3 levels. I’d look at T-4, T-3, how’s that conversion happening, and is there adequate levels of T-3, at least 3.0 on a free T-3. If we see a little bit than that, we could look at symptoms and we’ll see if it’s necessary to do anything for on the fence or a close, and then adrenals are shut, we may leave it alone and go after the adrenals come back on that. ‘Caue sometimes that’s enough to fix it. If the adrenals look okay, or the thyroid’s very low, we’ll come in there with support, get the TSH under control so the brain’s not screaming at the thyroid and getting it swollen, and then we’ll also get that functional T-3 level up to an optimum range. You know, 50% of the reference range. So, typically above 3 or so. Other country is different, but you wanna be at least 50% in the reference range.

Evan Brand: With that, you’re saying, take care of everything else like adrenals and all that? You’re saying circle back to the thyroid gland- glandular is kind of a last stage effort you would approach adrenals, maybe thyroid nutrients first, before thyroid glandular?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If we’re close- if we’re close. The only exceptional will be if the TSH is high, you know. Even if they didn’t have any symptoms but the TSH was high, let’s say above 3 to 4, then I would definitely look at putting that on a little bit sooner. If it was 3, I may hold off and just see maybe if we get the HPA access back on track, we’re good, if we’re on the 4 or up, I’m definitely gonna at least bring it down to 1 in the meantime.

Evan Brand: Okay, so, if we got a TSH of 5, we’ve got a free T-3 of 2, you’re saying, yeah, probably gonna need the glandular?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Definitely. Definitely need the glandular. Now, if we have a TSH of 3, and a T-3 of let’s say 3.2, that’s where it becomes very questionable. I’d wanna look at symptoms, and I wanna look at the thyroid, uh, the adrenals as well as the thyroid. And I probably- I’d probably say, let’s table doing anything directly with hormones on the thyroid for at least a month, and just focus on more nutrients and the adrenals and I come back and retest probably in 4 to 8 weeks and see where we’re at.

Evan Brand: Well said. We’ve seen massive swings in hormones in the right direction-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Evan Brand: -just by focusing on adrenals, it blows my mind-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: -because I wasn’t someone that was comfortable with thyroid glandulars personally and recommending those to clients, I’d kind of stayed away from it, because I saw with doing rhodiola, and as you mentioned some of those special Maca extracts, and Ashwagandhas and Schisandra berries and helping the liver in detoxing, uh, and all of the sudden we looked and it’s like, whoa, TSH is normal. We didn’t even- we didn’t even try to focus on thyroid and it fixed itself, just with fixing the body, I love when that happens.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A hundred percent. I love it. And we’re getting to the root cause, we’re not just gonna throw everything on- throw everyone on the same thing. We really try to individualize the approach, just [crosstalk].

Evan Brand: Uh, I’ve got a question here from Paul, “How is Calcium D-Glucarate daily for detoxification?”. We use Calcium D-Glucarate all the time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s in my the detox aminos product. It binds to estrogens, so it really helps aid in estrogen detoxification. So, if a woman has extra detox, or if we see estrogen levels with the guys as well, I mean, it’s good to help bind it and pull it out, so I think it’s great. Just wanna make sure that we’re also getting to the root cause. If it’s just part of the general detoxification program, I think it’s great. It’s gonna help with thyroid binding globulin, and help with increasing free T-3 if there’s excess estrogen.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I- I- I don’t use it in isolation, same thing as you. I do have within a liver support product-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: -our uh hormone support product, there’s kind of a couple things out there that we use will be blends of herbs plus Calcium D-Glucarate added in for PMS and, you know, breast tenderness and moodiness and irritability and all that stuff, we do see a Calcium D-Glucarate does move the needle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. Hundred percent. Next question.

Evan Brand: Uh, Laura gave us some feedback, “Thank you so very much for explaining crucial information about gluten. I have tried for years to get people to realize that gluten hurts us all”. I agree Laura, thank you for the feedback and some people have to hit rock bottom before they listen to you. So, unfortunately that’s a reality.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and again, some people, you know, they have the mindset of like, e- everything in moderation, it- it just depends. I don’t necessarily buy that, I mean, there’s probably never gonna be in the- in the- in a monitored amount of cocaine or methamphetamines that’ll ever do. But I get the fact that some people, you know, may not have that genetic predisposition. They may not have an autoimmune genetics that are active. But I just- I still think uhm- you gotta be careful if there’s an option to do something on the safer side on the gluten free, grain free side, it’s better. It’s- it’s better to do that. But I get why some people may feel like they- they get a little bit more freedom. You know, when you have a little bit more uhm, uh, health, so to speak, and a little bit less genetic predisposition, it makes sense why you do that.

Evan Brand: Yup. Got a question here, “My friend has hashimoto’s and only 20% of her thyroid. She tried nascent iodine and her face broke out with little lumps like pimples. Any idea why and what she can do to supplement iodine?”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, if she has hashimoto’s, uhm I know that’s Dr. Group’s product, it’s a good iodine product, you just gotta be careful because you can go really high in it number 1, and that can elevate antibodies. Number 2, you could be pushing out other halides like bromine, right? And that could be causing the detoxification issue with the skin, is you’re pushing that out to the skin. [Crosstalk].

Evan Brand: Let me ask you this-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: This is- this is mind-blowing. So, that you’re saying that nascent iodine can kind of clear out that receptor site?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Potentially, but it could also activate autoimmunity if that’s there too. It could-

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -too high. So, I mean, if I were to do it, I would make sure that- if she’s my patient, we’re working for a few months, we’re stabilizing inflammation in the diet, all the other nutrients are present, ’cause with high amounts of iodine, the iodination process spits out hydrogen peroxide, H2O2, and with, inadequate selenium levels. Hydrogen peroxide’s inflammatory in the thyroid. So, with adequate selenium, we convert that H2O2, we pull off an oxygen to it and we make it H2O and make it water, something benign. So, we gotta be careful with the iodine and the lack of selenium, especially if antibodies are elevated.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. Selenium’s huge. That’s like, critical if you don’t address that, it’s very easy to fix that too. It’s like one of the cheapest supplements ever. Its funny people question the whole Brazil Nut thing, people say, “Oh, only a few Brazil Nuts per day is enough for selenium”. I’d look at some studies comparing that, like supplementation of actual selenium like chelated selenium versus a Brazil Nut, it actually surprisingly, the Brazil Nut actually held up, it actually did worked.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, the big difference for the Brazil Nut is there’s like a uh, a 10 to 1 ratio of how much selenium could be there. So, it’s just you don’t know if you’re at- if you’re doing 2 or 3 Brazil Nuts, hoping for 20 or 40 microgram, or 200 microgram the selenium, you may get 20, you may get 30, right. That’s the problem with it. So, I think it’s okay if you wanna do 1 or 2, but I think at least get your insurance policy of 200 micrograms of selenium via supplement formula, that’s your insurance policy.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I l- I love the idea of food as medicine but I agree with you. That’s not something you wanna dabble with, like, why try to get it from Brazil Nut if you can spend $8 and get the best selenium product on the market in capsule form, and you know exactly what therapeutic dose you’re getting in terms of milligrams right there on the bowl versus, “Oh yeah! This is a big Brazil Nut! This must be 20 milligrams”, it’s like “No!”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: E- exactly. And Brazil Nuts are commonly moldy too. So, if you have mold issues, there could be a problem there.

Evan Brand: [Crosstalk]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, if you wanna 1 or 2, fine, but just get your 200 from- from supplement.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: From selenium ___[40:20] primarily.

Evan Brand: Well, pesticides too, I’ve never seen organic Brazil Nuts on the market, I don’t want some sprayed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know, and then you also have the phytates and the other types of oxalate compounds in there too, for sure.

Evan Brand: I thought we had a question about oxalates. [Crosstalk]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Someone asked about “How do oxalates affect your thyroid?”, I think, right?

Evan Brand: Yeah, here it is. “What are you guys know about high oxalates and Hashimoto’s? Is there a connection?”. Let me just say something first.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: What I’ve seen, is that high oxalates are directly can’t- uh, related to uh, high candida. We’ve seen a lot of yeast, like, when I see candida high, I always see oxalates high.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Evan Brand: And then when you fix the candida, the oxalates magically go down. So, I would just throw- I would- I would kinda change that question and I would just say “What do you guys know about high oxalates, candida and Hashimoto’s?”, and I would say the answer is they’re all related.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, also, I would say that uhm, a lot of high oxalates foods are high goitrogens too. And these goitrogens can block iodine uptake. So, if you’re doing a lot of raw cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, right? Uhm, those type of things that can easily block iodine uptake. If you’re doing a lot of it raw, that’s gonna really have some major impact. So, if you’re cooking it, you’re steaming it, you’re putting it in soups, you’re gonna have less in it for sure. But, you know, too much of that, if we have low thyroid, we gotta be careful with too much of that on the raw side ’cause that can definitely block our iodine uptake.

Evan Brand: I’m guessing you’ve seen raw vegans that have thyroid problems.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah, I mean, that’s a huge thing. Also, raw vegans tend to not have enough protein to make other hormones, so they can have other problems going on too.

Evan Brand: Did you see that article that was a uh- uh- an article the other day that went kinda viral. This medical wrote, that the- the vegan diet killed my mother early? Did you read that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No. I think I heard of this though.

Evan Brand: Let me see if I can pull up-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Go ahead.

Evan Brand: -so I can say it, yeah. So, here it was, it was in the U.K., it was in London, this guy, Dr. Aseem, we may wanna get him on the podcast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: He wrote a letter basically about this. And, yeah, he’s a cardiologist, his name’s Dr. Aseem, M-A-L-H-O-T-R-A. He said, my mother’s diet was full of ultra- aah, see here’s the thing I didn’t read before. Her diet was full of ultra-processed foods. So, talks about how uh, she was a vegan, her vegetarian rather, but, that she was consuming tons of, uh, biscuits, crisp and starchy carbohydrates. So, she probably had an unhealthy vegetarian diet. But the way-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -he wrote it, made it just seem like the vegetarian diet overall, killed her but, no, she’s eating that crap, that makes sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, she’s on a lot of carbohydrates but, yeah, one thing that you’ll see, you know, this is good for anyone listening is, with vegans’ vegetarians, go look at their hands. ‘Cause what they’re doing is they’re getting a lot of plant-based, uhm- beta carotene, and they’re hoping that converts to Vitamin-A. With low thyroid, you’ll see a lot of the orange deposits or their hands, or their feet, ’cause they can’t convert that beta-carotene, the Vitamin-A, the active uhm, retinyl palmitate. Uh, and- and- Vitamin-A is important for the thyroid receptor sites. So, you’ll see with some of these vegan vegetarians, they’re not getting active Vitamin-A form animal products or Cod-Liver Oil, so you’ll see beta carotene deposits in their skin, orangy skin.

Evan Brand: Whoa! Well, I- you know, I always trip people out about looking at the ridges on your fingernails-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah.

Evan Brand: -for [crosstalk], but now I have something else to look at, “hey, let me see your hands, I’m gonna look at your nails, now, I’m gonna look at your palms”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, it’s always good to look at it, just shouldn’t be excessively orange, but that’s a big thing. And Vitamin-A is really important for your thyroid, uhm, excellent sources of course are gonna be healthy, you know, egg yolks I think you’re gonna get it in, you’ll also see it in any type of high quality grass-fed meat, we’re gonna see it on Cod Liver Oil, and you’ll also gonna see it like liver glandular, for sure.

Evan Brand: There’s a question here which says a treatment-oriented questions so you’ll have to become a client of Justin if you wanna like dive in to supplements and protocols, but I’ll still read the question anyway incase Justin you wanna say something else.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: “With slightly low free T3, should…” uh, “…thyroid balance 1 capsule be taken every day?”, and “Dr. J., do you take your thyroid replete or balance?”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I do not need my thyroid replete or balance. My T3 levels are above three and my TSH stays in the low-2’s or in the mid-1’s. So, I- I just don’t need it but, my Malte has enough selenium in there, and other nutrients uhm, for my thyroid to work. I- I just don’t need it based in my labs, so, I only recommend things that patients need that we can objectively quantify.

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But in general, uhm, the levels are what again? Low [crosstalk]…

Evan Brand: …low free T3 , it was a 2.7.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so, depending on the other symptoms that are going on there would depend on how the adrenals are doing. But that’s border line. What was the TSH?

Evan Brand: TSH, 1.3.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh, I probably would say no on that. I’d wanna look at the adrenals more thoroughly. I’d probably say no. Uh, I- I’m- I’m- for- if- if other- if TSH and T3 are- uh- TSH is good and T3 is close, I tend to say, “Let’s hold off and work more on nutrition and the adrenals”.

Evan Brand: See, here’s the problem though, we’re trying to get advice like that on YouTube or wherever else on internet, we know nothing about this guy, we don’t know how he sleeps, we don’t know he’s stressed, we don’t even know what his symptoms-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Diet.

Evan Brand: -are, he may feel perfectly fine [crosstalk].

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly.

Evan Brand: You may feel amazing, and then you’re trying to fix something that doesn’t really need to be fixed. If you feel amazing, you- you might not need do anything. So kinda, you know, don’t fix it if it’s not broken. Obviously, if we knew, “Hey I had terrible anxiety and heart palpitations and I couldn’t sleep, and I had skin rashes, and we have a more complete picture”, then Justin maybe able to say, “Well, you know, maybe your free T3 is a little low because of ‘XYZ’ and we can fix that, and here’s the data to prove what you got in the gut”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly. So, there could be other things that are causing it that- on the gut that only improve it. So, hold off, but, you wanna dive in and become a patient we can also talk a little bit deeper on that.

Evan Brand: Yup. Uhm, Missy, “Thanks for your summits, I’ve learned so much and appreciate both your time and knowledge”. Missy, it’s our pleasure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Appreciate it. Then someone write in about potato juice curing diabetes type 2, it’s a little off-question but because uhm, diabetes is intimately connected to thyroid issues. Diabetes commonly, uh, causes low levels of thyroid conversion because high levels of insulin can disrupt thyroid conversion. That’s why blood sugar is so important in keeping inflammation down. But uh, I’d be careful, anytime juice, I get concerned with, excess sugar and insulin resistance being a problem. Uh, that being said, there’s a high amount of… potassium in potatoes, so could just be some of these extra minerals that are there. But I would say, uhm, probably stay away from the excess sugar if there’s high levels of insulin in your type 3 diabetic.

Evan Brand: Uh, there’s other question here, “Are you saying candida overgrowth in the gut can be linked to kale intolerance?”. Uhm, maybe and around about way, yes, but no, not directly. What I was saying is that, when we see on the organic acids test that we have an elevation in oxalates, generally speaking, candida is a contributing factor to why oxalates are driven up. I had high oxalates one time on my organic acid test, I did not eat hardly any leafy green vegetables for significant period of time when my gut was a mess, and I still had high oxalates, I didn’t have many other foods with oxalates in ’em, so, I saw when I fixed the yeast in my gut, and then eventually found out I had candida in my home, and had to fix the candida in my home because especially if you have dogs, dogs have candida on ’em and then they jump in your bed and they spread the candida to your bed, and then you breathe it in, and it recolonizes your gut. So, if you’re working with a practitioner, and you keep beating yourself up because you feel good and then you feel bad, you feel good, you feel bad, you could have candida, driving that oxalate problem. And if that gets to extreme levels, you can end up with kidney stones and all sorts of problem. So, you know, fix your gut, but fix your home too, that’s gonna be like my new motto.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, the more people, let’s just say have inflammation, dysregulations in guts- and gut issues, that can create more oxalate sensitivity. Uhm, again, things like potassium and magnesium are really important for oxalate cleaner. It’s now- kale is actually kind of a lower oxalate food. It’s the spinach. Spinach is the big higher ones, so you gotta be careful with spinach. But again, you know, having enough good quality magnesium and potassium in your diet or supplementally can also help clear oxalates. [Crosstalk]. Oxalates high in organic acid test, that’s more of indirect candida marker. So you’d wanna look at like D-Arabinitol, or ___[48:31] if using the GPL test. Uhm, and, you know, uh, tartaric acid, other things like that.

Evan Brand: Yup. Well, that’s all the questions, I think we killed it in, we donated an extra 10 minutes of time here, so why don’t we wrap this thing up, I’ll tell people again about your summit website.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent.

Evan Brand: It’s, it works. Expecting probably 50, 60, maybe 70, 80, who knows? Thousand registrants. So, if you’re not coming to the party, then you’re missing out. So, this is gonna be probably one of the biggest events of the year honestly because thyroid problems are epidemic in the U.S. I’m sure I can pull up some random statistic for you from the CDC if you wanted to, but I’ll just tell you what, Justin and I see which is that, there are countless men and women out there with hashimoto’s, and they don’t even know it, it’s undiagnosed, autoimmune thyroid conditions around the world, these men and women are having anywhere from one to a million symptoms, it could be heart palpitations and anxiety-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -one day, and they’re energetic, and then the next day they’re exhausted and they don’t know why. And then the next morning, they wake up in the middle of the night and they have heart racing in the middle of the night, they don’t know why. When that thyroid gets attacked by the immune system, it can squirt out little pieces of thyroid hormone and cause you to feel crazy. So, please make sure that you get your antibodies tested. Your TPO, your TG, maybe your TSI if you think you need to, because something you educated me on is that you can have hashimoto’s, and you can have graves at the same time, which sounds insane.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup, you can and, 1 out of 5 women have, uh, a- autoimmune issue, and, one of the most common thyroid issues, over 30 million people have it and don’t even know is, hashimoto’s. And the big issue with that is, it’s gonna create inflammation, it’s eventually gonna destroy your thyroid tissue, low thyroid hormones and it create all kinds of symptoms, and women tend to be more predisposed. I mean, on the guy, I’ve hashimoto’s too, so this isn’t you know, just me only reaching the females out there, men have it too, so you gotta look at it. Women are a little more predisposed, ’cause estrogen can- can affect the CD4 to CD8, uhm immune cell ratio and can make you more predisposed to autoimmune issues, but heck, we know guys are getting exposed to lots of estrogens too via the food, and the plastics and the pesticides. So, that’s another predisposing factor that can even make guys more susceptible even like myself, so, make sure you register. Thanks, so much Evan for the great podcast today, make sure you sign up and get that free 88-page eBook, my real book, the thyroid reset is coming out in the coming months is head. So, stay tuned, thanks so much, and have a phenomenal day. Take care.

Evan Brand: Take care. Bye-bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.


Hypothyroidism, Low Iron and Anemia | Fatigue

Hypothyroidism, Low Iron, and Anemia

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Today’s video is going to be on hypothyroidism and low iron or iron-based anemia. Again, we’re going to talk about thyroid conversion; we’re going to talk about thyroid synthesis, as well as your thyroid activation.  We will also touch upon your adrenal function and how it plays into anemia.

So off the bat, iron – really important. Your animal-based heme iron source is going to be the best. There are going to be plant-based heme iron sources, but those aren’t going to have a real big effect on increasing your ferritin and raising your iron saturation

Big 3 things that may cause iron issues

  1. Vegetarian / Vegan diets
  2. Excessive menstruation
  3.  Malabsorption

Causes of Iron Issues

So when we look at why the iron is not getting into where it needs to go, these are going to be the big three why’s.

Again, iron is really important. These are the 3 mediums we got to deal with animal based-sources. In my line, we have a product called, Iron Supreme, that’s a Ferrous Bisglycinate. A lot of conventional iron, like the ferrous sulfate, can be constipating, cause your stools to go black, not the best. So we have an amino acid blend one that works good, called,  Iron Supreme.

Low iron and T4 production

There’s a process called iodination. And that’s basically binding iodine, tyrosine and thyroglobulin together in making your T4 molecule. T4 is tetraiodothyronine. So T4, really simple: it’s going to be your tyrosine, and it’s going to be 4 molecules of iodine around it – that’s going to be your T4.

Low Iron and T4-T3 Conversion

We need iron to actually make this process – the iodination process that binds these iodines to the tyrosine up there. That is going to be iron dependent. So we need enough iron for that process. Low iron and T4 to T3 conversion is also really important because iron is also part of the five deiodinase enzyme as well. And so we have selenium as part of the enzyme, but iron plays a role of coming in here. And it is actually converting this molecule T4 to T3.  How does it do that? It becomes in here like this and it’s actually going to play a role at knocking that off. Again, selenium also plays a role with that, too. So low iron and T4 to T3 conversion is very important.

Low iron and adrenal function

There’s some research showing there’s correlation with low iron (Fe) equals low cortisol.

low iron = low cortisol

Cortisol, an adrenal corticosteroid hormone produced by the adrenals. So we actually need cortisol to actually activate thyroid hormones. If you go look at the T4 to T3 conversion, one of the big things that’s needed in this conversion step is cortisol. So if we don’t have enough cortisol, that’s going to affect how we convert and activate T4 to T3. It’s also going to affect T3 pooling. We need enough cortisol to get T3 into the cell. So we can have T3 pooling and an increase in reverse T3, if we do not have enough iron – so really important.

Click here to have a functional medicine doctor help you with iron issues

What is low iron effect?

Low Iron Effect

Low iron affects T4 synthesis, iodination with tyrosine thyroglobulin and iodine. It affects T4 to T3 conversion with the iodination process and also affects cortisol in that conversion process. And also, iron is really important for thyroid hormone recycling as well –so very important.

What to look for in determining iron levels?

Determining Iron Levels1. Ferritin: A storage for iron. It will go low when iron is low. So below 30, there is an issue.

2. Iron Saturation (Iron Sat): This below 25, there is an issue.

3. Iron Serum:  It isn’t really that big of a deal. It’s typically around 40-80 on average. You can have normal iron serum, though, and have these other things out of whack, though. So it’s good to look at iron serum. Sometimes we’ll see that high and these can be low. And we’ll see increase in inflammation. So it’s good look at iron serum but it’s not going to be-all, end-all. Most people only focus on that.

4. TIBC & UIBC: Are binding proteins that go high when iron is low.

To access a highly absorbable iron supplement to boost your low iron levels, click here.

And again, these are your real good,  your more complete, advanced iron panel. Ferritin, iron stat, iron serum, TIBC, UIBC. Your typical medical doctor may look at RBC, hemoglobin, and hematocrit, and see if they’re all low. So RBC below 4.1; haemoglobin below 11.5;  hematocrit – I think, low 40’s. That will give you a pretty good idea of how to analyze your iron levels. And again, iron and anemia – iron-based anemia are deal busters. So if you don’t get your iron levels looked at and assessed, you’re not going to fix your hypothyroidism issue.

Click here and have your iron levels looked at and assessed by a functional medicine doctor

Again, this is Dr J here.  Click here and subscribe. Go below if you need help and you want to dig in, dig deeper your thyroid or other health issues, click below and schedule a consult. And again, subscribe for more videos coming your way. So, look for the live stream videos. We’re starting now on that, too.

Paleo 101 Part 2: Top 3 Roadblocks When Going Paleo

Paleo 101 Part 2 Top 3 Roadblocks When Going PaleoBy Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Welcome to Part 2 of our Paleo Diet series, where we are looking at lab markers to help you transition successfully to a healthy diet and the roadblocks that can get in your way. In part 1 of our Paleo Diet series. We discussed inflammation, blood sugar, and lipid lab markers and what to look for on these tests as you begin a Paleo diet, or template. Briefly, we want to see your lipids improve, whether it’s triglyceride to HDL ratio of cholesterol to HDL ratio, and we want to see improvement in inflammation and blood sugar. These would be the nice benefits of an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, low-toxin eating plan.

So let’s say you’re one to two months in, and you’re seeing some improvement. It’s going well, and you’re on the right track; but now, you’re hitting some roadblocks. Maybe you’re fatigued or have energy issues, your fingernail quality doesn’t look good, you still have some digestive issues (bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea). And maybe they have gotten even worse since you you’ve increased your protein content.

Anti-inflammatory, nutrient‑dense, low-toxin food should not make you feel worse unless your digestive system is impaired in some way or another. So now, it’s time to dig in a bit deeper and get those roadblocks out of the way.

What Are the Paleo Roadblocks?

The three main roadblocks we’re going to address are anemia, infections, and thyroid issues. We’ll also cover the lab markers we would look at when considering each.



In people whose hydrochloric acid (HCl, stomach acid) levels are low, anemia can be an issue. Interestingly, this happens in people who eat a lot of easy-to-digest food. Because of anemia, their stomach acid and their digestive secretions weaken because they aren’t staying tuned up with the proper proteins.

This is seen in people who have a strictly vegetarian or vegan diet. There may even be some gastrointestinal inflammation preventing us from binding minerals. And the low HCL may be preventing us from ionizing so the minerals, such as iron, calcium, selenium and magnesium can get into our bloodstream.

Lab Tests for Anemia

When we see anemia issues, the first pattern we’ll look for is a decrease in red blood cells, hematocrit, and hemoglobin. It may not necessarily be low, but it may just be in that bottom 20% of the range. This will tell us if there’s a broad-spectrum anemia.

The next anemia pattern we’ll look for is through the iron panel. TIBC and UIBC are different iron-binding proteins, and they actually tend to go high when iron is low. So the more binding proteins we have, the more iron our body needs. We will also typically see iron saturation and ferritin levels drop. If we see these markers in our anemia patterns, then we know we probably have an iron-based anemia.

We’ll also look for anemia patterns through B vitamin markers. We’ll look at MCHC, MCV, and MCH. These markers just tell us how big the red blood cells/hemoglobin are. The bigger our red blood cells are, the more immature they are. Red blood cells get smaller as they mature. So this will be an indicator of two kinds of anemia—B vitamin and iron.

Click here for professional advice from a functional medicine doctor regarding how to get started one a Paleo template.



A chronic infection, such as a parasite infection, bacterial infection, viral infection, or even a fungal infection, may be present. These infections will affect our immune system. About 70–80% of our immune system lives in the gastric associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) of our stomach and in the mucosal associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) of our intestinal tract. So with so much of our immune system living in our stomach and intestinal tract, it’s clear to see why an infection could be affecting our ability to properly absorb nutrients.

When we have digestive immune stress, it fires the sympathetic nervous system (i.e., our fight-or-flight system). We have two branches to our nervous system. Our sympathetic nervous system is our flight-or-flight nervous system, and our parasympathetic nervous system is our rest-and-digest system.

When our sympathetic nervous system is fired up, it’s going to drive more of our fight-or-flight response. It will decrease hydrochloric acid and enzymes, and it will increase blood flow to the extremities—arms, hands, and feet—to allow us to fight and flee. This is one of the major issues when we’re under chronic stress, and those stressors could come from infections.

Lab Tests for Infections

One lab test we would look at for infections would be a stool panel, and not just the conventional hospital or Lab Corps tests—I run many of those and they sometimes miss the infection. We would run a specialty test, especially the DNA, PCR-based testing. We have a higher level of sensitivity and specificity on them. Also, we can draw conclusions from a CBC with differential panel. This looks at our white blood cells—our neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils (an easy way to remember these: Never Let Monkeys Eat Bananas). We might consider the following based on an increase in these cells:

  • Neutrophils—If we see neutrophils high, we’ll consider a bacterial infection. Particularly high neutrophils, above 60, and we’re automatically going to gravitate toward pylori issues.
  • Lymphocytes—If we see lymphocytes low, we automatically think a chronic viral issue; if we see them high, we think acute viral issue. When we see lymphocytes low, however, along with neutrophils high, this is a common pattern for an pylori bacterial infection.
  • Monocytes—If we see monocytes high, it typically means our immune system is fighting an infection.
  • Eosinophils—If we see eosinophils above three, we almost always think parasites. At this point, we would run those specialty stool tests because they will help us determine exactly what type of infection we are dealing with.
  • Basophils—If we see basophils go out of range, typically above one or two, we start to think tissue inflammation and potential allergies.

Thyroid Issues

Thyroid Issues

Next we have thyroid issues. Cold hands, cold feet, constipation, mood issues, and energy issues are all signs the thyroid is not functioning appropriately. So we’ll want to run a complete thyroid panel.

Lab Tests for the Thyroid

We typically run our TSH, which is a brain hormone. This gives us a peek inside the window to what’s happening with our brain and how it’s communicating with our thyroid. We’ll also look at thyroid hormones: free T4 and T3, total T4 and T3. T4 tells us what is coming out of the thyroid tissue, and T3 gets converted by the liver and intestines, by healthy stress levels, and at the thyroid (about 20% gets converted at the thyroid).

We’ll also run our antibodies, too, which are basically looking at our immune system. Our immune system could actually be attacking our thyroid gland and making various antibodies called TPO, TB antibodies, thyro-binding globulin antibodies, and even TSH receptor site antibodies. This would tell us if we are dealing with an autoimmune thyroid condition, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.


It takes time when transitioning to an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, low-toxin diet. The Paleo template will get you on the right road, but you will likely encounter a few roadblocks along the way. Don’t let them dissuade you—address them one by one, and before you know it, those roadblocks will be far behind you.

To schedule a consult with a functional medicine doctor to help with lab markers as you prepare to begin Paleo template, click here.


Hypothyroidism Symptoms and Indigestion

Hypothyroidism Symptoms And Indigestion

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Hypothyroidism symptoms can sometimes include low stomach acid and poor digestion. Poor digestion is a major problem today. As nearly 44% of the population experience heart burn monthly and 20% of them experience it weekly. Heart burn is a paradoxical symptom caused by low stomach acid strangely enough, as you would think the problem based on its name, is caused by too much acid. What essentially is happening is the food isn’t fully broken down. So it begins to rot (putrefy and ferment) in the stomach and organic acids from the decaying food rise up and burn the unprotected tissue of the esophagus.

The top 2 medications sold in 2014 were a thyroid medication called Synthroid and an acid-blocking medication called Nexium. This doesn’t prove that one causes the other, but in my clinical experience, there almost always tends to be a link with poor digestion, low stomach acid, and chronic infection when it comes to hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s.

Low stomach acid is commonly associated with hypothyroidism and or Hashimoto’s. Stomach acid or hydrochloric acid (HCL) has a few different roles in the body, one being the first domino of the digestive process. HCL does this by lowering the pH in the stomach. This activates the digestive enzyme pepsin, which breaks down protein. The acidity produced from the stomach acid stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile salts, which are important for fatty acid break down.

If you have chronic digestive or thyroid issues and are looking for answers, click here!

Low Stomach Acid (HCL) and Anemias Can Affect Your Thyroid

Low Stomach Acid And Anemias Affect Your thyroid

When we look at the common nutritional deficiencies associated with low stomach acid, iron and B12 deficiencies commonly show up. These types of deficiencies are also known as anemias. B12 deficiency is known as a macrocytic anemia because our red blood cells can’t mature properly and are stuck in a larger state. Red blood cells actually get smaller as they mature, so the immature ones stay bigger, hence the prefix “macro.”

Cool fact: The parietal cells in the stomach, which produce intrinsic factor (IF), are the same cells that produce hydrochloric acid (HCL). This is why the HCL and B12 connection is so common. When the parietal cells are injured, it makes sense that everything it produces will no longer be at optimal capacity.

When we are dealing with iron deficiency anemias, these are commonly known as microcytic anemias. Iron is needed to help carry oxygen to the cells in our body. Our thyroid gland needs iron to help make thyroid hormone. And our cells need iron so they can take up oxygen as well. When our red blood cells don’t get enough iron, they become very small, hence the prefix “micro.”

The Anemia Breakdown

Anemia Breakdown

  • B12 anemia: You can’t produce healthy mature red blood cells. The same cells that help carry oxygen and nutrition all over your body for healthy metabolism. The same cells that produce
  • Iron anemia: Iron is needed to make thyroid hormone and gives your hemoglobin the ability to carry oxygen throughout your body.
  • A Common symptom of anemia is fatigue, which is the most common hypothyroid symptom as well. I hope you are starting to see the thyroid-anemia connection.

Our Gut Lining is Important for Nutrient Absorption

When there is an absence of HCL in our stomach, our food tends to not digest properly. When our food sits in our stomach, it tends to essentially rot. And then various organic acids rise off of it. The maldigestion of these food sources feed various bad bacteria in our gut, and gas is produced as a by-product. The next time you feel gassy after eating, you will at least know what’s happening on the inside.

The low amount of HCL and the increase in intra-abdominal pressure cause our esophageal sphincter to stay open. The acids from the rotting food now have the ability to rise up and touch the area of the esophagus that is typically walled off during healthy digestion. This is now the beginning of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If this area continues to get irritated, over time ulcers will begin to occur along with atrophic gastritis. It is nothing more than irritation of the stomach followed by a thinning of the stomach lining.

The thinning of the gut lining and the lack of HCL causes low nutrient absorption. 

  • HCL is needed to ionize and break down minerals, like selenium, iodine, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and chromium, into a suitable state so they can be taken up by the bloodstream.
  • A healthy gut lining is needed to absorb these ionized minerals and also break down nutrients, including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins (B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, and B vitamins).
  • These nutrients are not only needed to make thyroid hormones, but certain nutrients, like selenium, are needed to convert and activate thyroid hormones (converting T4 to T3) and help quench the inflammatory by-products of thyroid hormone metabolism—hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).
  • Eating a diet low in these essential nutrients in conjunction with poor digestion is a hormonal disaster waiting to erupt!

Nutrients Needed for Healthy Thyroid Function

  • B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, B vitamins, selenium, iodine, zinc, iron, and magnesium are important for healthy thyroid function.
  • As your digestive problem gets worse, so does your thyroid problem because the nutrients you need to run your thyroid aren’t present in optimal levels.

Thyroid Hormone Is Needed for Digestion

Thyroid hormone has an effect on cellular metabolism throughout the entire body, including the gastrointestinal tract. Metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract has an effect on gastric motility. A slower thyroid can cause slower transit times, which can also contribute to dysbiosis or a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and indigestion.

Lower thyroid function can cause lower gastrin levels, which are needed to stimulate HCL production. When patients are brought up to normal thyroid levels, their HCL levels return.

“Fasting plasma gastrin levels measured by radoimmunoassay were found to be low in patients with hypothyroidism. The intravenous infection of arginine caused an increase of plasma gastrin in hypothyroid patients but was significantly lower than those in normal subjects. The decreased gastrin level in patients with hypothyroidism was significantly improved after the thyroid function was normalized by treatment.”

Low HCL and low thyroid levels can cause dysbiotic levels of bacteria in the intestinal tract. About 20% of T4 (inactive) thyroid hormone is converted to T3 acetic acid (AC) and T3 sulfate (S). The conversion of T3AC and T3S into active T3 requires an enzymes called sulfatase. The only problem is, sulfatase is found only in healthy bacteria.

In essence 20% of your thyroid hormone conversion is dependent on healthy digestion as well as a healthy gut biome. It’s amazing the interconnectedness between your hormonal system and your gut. It makes sense why Nobel Prize-winning physician Dr. Mechnikov is quoted as saying, “Death begins in the colon.”

The Infection Connection

The bacterial infection H. pylori is a common infection in the United States and is infamous for causing stomach acid. H. pylori also secretes an enzyme called urease. Urease breaks down urea into ammonia, which can have an effect on lowering your HCL levels.

“In conclusion, gastric acid secretion, as a quantifiable marker for gastric atrophy, was only partially reversed after eradication in the majority of the H. pylori-positive patients with marked body atrophy plus profound hypochlorhydria, despite of long-term follow-up over 5 years.”

In other words, depending on how much damage is present in the patient’s gastrointestinal tract, it may require outside sources of exogenous HCL and/or use of Swedish bitters to help regain the patient’s own HCL productions.

The majority of thyroid conditions diagnosed in this country are Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune thyroid condition. This condition is a little different from your primary hypothyroid condition as it’s the patient’s immune system that causes the damage. Giving someone the standard of care treatment, Synthroid, will not stop the autoimmune thyroid destruction.

Research shows a significant correlation with the eradication of H. Pylori and a reduction in thyroid antibodies. It’s as if the H. Pylori is a contributing factor to the autoimmune thyroid condition.

If you are trying to get to the root cause of your thyroid condition, click here for answers!


Duke, J. A. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985

Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism – Foundational Info to Heal Your Thyroid – Podcast #54

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk all about thyroid issues in this podcast.  Listen as they share their recommendations on the first steps that patients with thyroid issues need to take in order to be successful along with helping them to push their thyroid to heal in the right direction. 

Find out what the potential signs and symptoms of a thyroid issue are and distinguish between adrenal and thyroid issues as well as the difference in dealing with thyroid issues from a conventional medicine approach versus from a functional medicine perspective. They also differentiate adrenal failure versus adrenal fatigue. Have you ever wondered what role does progesterone have that affects the thyroid function? Discover more about it and the other hormones affecting thyroid issues in this interview.

In this episode, topics include:

1:18   Thyroid 101

2:35   Thyroid physiology

6:20   Adrenal physiology

11:29   Conventional medicine approach versus functional medicine perspective

21.30   Adrenal failure versus adrenal fatigue








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Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, it’s Dr. J here with Evan Brand and today we’re gonna be talking about thyroid issues.  We got lots of patients coming in to our offices and they’re like, “Hey, doc, I got a thyroid issues, what do I do?”  And we haven’t even talked about what we’re gonna say yet, but we’re just gonna have a dynamic conversation about what we recommend any of our patients that are coming in that think they have a thyroid issue, what the first steps they need to take are to be successful and to start helping to push their thyroid to heal in the right direction?  Evan, what’s up today, man?

Evan Brand:  Hey!  Not much.  I’m fired up.  Let’s do this thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Dude, I’m–I’m ready to go, man.  My thyroid’s feeling great today, so let’s do this.

Evan Brand:  Sounds good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Before you go in, what did you have for breakfast?

Evan Brand:  What did I have?  I can’t even remember.  I woke up.  Did I eat anything yet?  I may even be fasted honestly, what did I eat?  I have no clue.  If I re–if I remember, I’ll let you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.  So you didn’t eat any leprechauns or gnomes today?

Evan Brand:  No.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nothing like that?

Evan Brand:  No.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Gotta love those grass-fed leprechauns, man.  They’re awesome.

Evan Brand:  Yup, yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Especially if you get some Kerrygold butter, you know, it’s like perfect.

Evan Brand:  A little pinch of Himalayan salt.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s it, that’s it.  Alright, so thyroid issues.  Thyroid 101.  So first off, anyone’s that potentially having hair loss, energy issues, fatigue, the outer third of those eyebrows that are thinning, potential constipation, vertical ridging on those fingers, low temperature, you know, tingling, numbness in the fingers and toes, these are all potential signs and symptoms of a thyroid issue.  But the problem with the thyroid is that a lot of the symptoms–it’s like a Venn diagram where there’s a massive overlap between thyroid issues and adrenal issues.  So all of my patients no matter if they have a diagnosed thyroid issue or not, we wanna look at the thyroid and the adrenals side by side.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I remember what I had for breakfast.  It was organic pork sausage that my wife made for me.  That’s why I didn’t remember because I didn’t prepare it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice, awesome.

Evan Brand:  Yes, so you’ve already alluded to–to–we were gonna talk about, you know, what is the first step to do when it comes to thyroid issues, and for me, my answer which I didn’t know your answer–my answer was gonna be to look at the adrenals because if the adrenals are taxed, then it’s gonna be pretty hard to us to keep the thyroid in a good, healthy, functioning manner if the adrenals are taxed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so let’s just break down thyroid physiology for the listeners.  So your thyroid gland is this little bow–bowtie type of gland that sits just below the Adam’s apple.  So if you just kinda run your hand or down your chin here where your chin and your platysma, that skin underneath your chin hits your throat, that your little bump there that’s your Adam’s apple, if you go about a couple–about a centimeter down and a centimeter out, that’s your thyroid gland and that gland secretes a hormone called T4 that is–that gets converted into an active thyroid hormone, T3.  So that gland right there, bowtie-shaped, that thyroid hormone is needed for all cells of the body to be metabolically active, right?  To control metabolism and that T4 about 20% of it happens at the thyroid gland.  So the conversion of T4 to T3, right?  T4 inactive, T3 active, 20% of that conversion happens at the thyroid gland.  The other 80% happens peripherally.  So now out of that 80% that happens peripherally, 60% is the liver, 20% is in the healthy gut bacteria and the other 20% is via healthy adrenal function and stress regulation.  So there’s a lot of like percentages in there, I go back to the anchorman quote, 60% of the time, it works every time, a 100% of the time.  So it’s a little confusing, so just quick little recap on it.  20% of the thyroid conversion at the thyroid, T4, T3 done, right here.  The other 80% happens peripherally, 60 liver, 20 gut–healthy gut bacteria and gut function, 20% by healthy stress and adrenal management.

Evan Brand:  That’s cool, yeah, and so you mentioned the liver, that is a place where I actually would have not started with the–with the thyroid but I didn’t realize the–the huge percentage there.  I always look at the adrenal stress pictures so maybe I’m looking at the smaller piece of the pie when I should be looking at the bigger one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I mean, the enzyme. 5-deiodinase enzyme–so deiodinase what it means is it’s de-i–it’s deiodinating meaning it’s pulling off an iodine molecule.  So when you see like T4, with the T4, the T stands for tyrosine which is an amino acid and the 4 stands for 4 molecules of iodine.  So when you’re deiodinating something you’re pulling off 1 iodine molecule.   So you’re pulling off 1 molecule off the T4, which then makes it the T3, and the enzyme that does that, that 5-deiodinase enzyme is selenium-based.  And a lot of that conversion happens in the liver.  That’s where that enzyme is most metabolically active.

Evan Brand:  And a lot of people are deficient in selenium.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, I mean, 2 to 400 mcg a day is gonna be a pretty good amount, and if you’re sitting there thinking well, I just gotta have 3 Brazil nuts, *beep*, the selenium content in Brazil nuts can range between ten-fold.  So you could have 3 Brazil nuts hoping to get 200 micrograms of selenium or maybe you’re getting 20 micrograms of selenium depending upon the soil it’s grown in.  So there’s quite a lot of variations, so really important that you’re on a good multivitamin that’s got 200 mcg of selenium in it just off the gecko.  And all of my patients are on a high quality, highly absorbable multi with 200 mcg of selenomethionine as our thyroid insurance policy.

Evan Brand:  That’s great, yeah.  I should probably switch mine.  I’ve been using just a standalone, because I’m not using a multi right now personally.  I’ve just been using a 200 mcg of selenium by itself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nothing wrong with that, too.  So we talked about the thyroid, right?  Let’s talk about adrenal physiology, just so everyone kinda can wrap their head around it.  I wanna take these complicated concepts, break it down, and have people walk away with an action point.  So the adrenals, they sit right on top of our kidneys and they help manage stress.  And again, stress isn’t just emotional stress, it’s physical stress.  It’s also chemical which could be blood sugar, it could be infections, it could be inflammation.  And our adrenal physiology is we’re pumping out cortisol and that cortisol fluctuates throughout the day in a diurnal rhythm, meaning higher in the morning, lower at night, and that cortisol is there to help give us energy.  It’s there to help put out the fire of inflammation but our adrenals also put out significant amount of sex hormone, too, called DHEA sulfate.  And that sulfate is really important for healing, it’s really important for sex hormone output for female so a lot of PMS symptoms are gonna be caused by adrenal fatigue and we need healthy levels of cortisol to be able to help assist in thyroid conversion.  So that cortisol, if it’s too high, that cortisol will actually block thyroid conversion and increase TSH which is this brain hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone.  So too much cortisol, we block that T4 to T3 conversion, and we have TSH go up.  And if we don’t have enough cortisol, then we’re tired already because cortisol gives us energy and it regulates blood sugar, if we don’t have enough cortisol for thyroid conversion.  And then typically in those patients, TSH will even look normal on a lab test but T3 will be low.  And you’ll go to your doctor every time, you go to your endo, and then they’ll tell you your thyroid’s fine when it’s not.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, actually, I just got a lab result back from a female patient yesterday.  She’s in her mid-30s.  She loves high intensity interval training.  She’s got everything pointing at adrenal issues, so we finally get the–the salivary results back.  Her cortisol is so low, man.  She’s in the 0-5 range in the morning and she’s just like 2-3 units per day.  The only thing that was in range was her nighttime level because she–just completely tanked at that point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely, I see that all the time.  So things that we’re trying to get across to anyone listening is so you get some thyroid symptoms.  Take a step back.  We gotta look at the thyroid, right?  Individually.  We gotta look at the adrenals individually.  So the test you want for the adrenals is gonna be a #201 by BioHealth, that’s a cortisol rhythm test.  And if people are having a hard time getting access to this test, they can reach out to you, they can reach out to me, and we can get access to these tests for them and evaluate it.  That’s step one.  The next test is a full thyroid panel.  That’s gonna be your TSH.  That’s gonna be your T4 free, your T4 total, your T3 free, your T3 total.   Ideally, a T3 uptake and reverse T3.  And thyroid antibodies because a significant percent of these patients, they’re autoimmune.

Evan Brand:  I think that’s awesome that you mentioned that and you’re never gonna get told to run that by your conventional doctor.  So once again we’re looking at this from a functional perspective, not the “Oh, your TSH is low or whatever, here’s some Synthroid.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s it.  That’s it and most patients because they’re autoimmune–what autoimmune is it means self attacking self, that your immune system is ramped up to the degree where it’s attacking the thyroid tissue and breaking it down and the problem with that is is people that have this autoimmune type of sequelae of symptoms, they’re in the middle of hyper to hypo because as the glands being attacked or stabbed if you will, the–the thyroid hormone is dripping out, creating hypersecretion because there’s a lot more dripping out if you will.  It’s kinda like to use the gruesome of like let’s say you–you stab someone, right?  A whole bunch of blood comes out in the beginning, but in the end the person’s empty and there’s no more blood left.  Think of thyroid as like that.  I know it’s kind of a gruesome analogy, but honestly you will never forget it and you’ll be able to wrap your head around, “Oh, I’m having a hyper-like symptom, oh, wait, now I’m hypo,” and you kinda go back and forth, you’re gonna think of those thyroid as like you’re basically your immune system is putting little knives into it and it’s dripping the hormone out, and you only got about 3-4 months of thyroid hormone stored in those follicles.  So once those follicles has been bursted for a long enough time, they’re eventually gonna run dry and you’re gonna start having more hypo-like symptoms.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and if people had access to the video feed here, they would be laughing out loud at your–your–your hand demonstrations, it’s just an–a great–great analogy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know, I’m like pretending I have a knife in my hand and like trying to s–and like motioning like I’m stabbing my thyroid gland, oh man, and just so everyone knows I do have Hashimoto’s so I can speak from experience.  I’ve had to make myself an expert on thyroid health because of necessity because conventional medicine typically offers nothing for it.  So–

Evan Brand:  Yup, you’re a wounded warrior, man.  Those are the best ones to see.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and I can tell–I can say with confidence that anyone watching this or listening to the show is gonna walk out of it knowing more than their conventional trained endocrinologist on–on thyroid issues from a functional perspective.  They’re gonna know more of the disease stuff of course, like you know, thyroid nodules and–and Graves’ and things like that, but the thing is, conventional medicine’s approach is pretty much 3 options, okay?  If it’s Hashimoto’s or hypo, it’s Synthroid.  Most people that are given Synthroid, that’s synthetic T4, they don’t convert it to T3, so they still have tons of thyroid symptoms.  Number two, if they’re Graves’, they’re typically gonna just want a thyroidectomy, pull the darn thyroid out, done, right?  Number 3, radioactive iodine, shut the thyroid gland down.  I mean, those are the 3 major options, or they’ll give like methimazole or propylthiouracil to help knock down the thyroid hormone levels, you know,  they’ll–they’ll get PT or something like that.  So those are like the 3-4 options that are in the cookbook of your conventional endocrinologist for thyroid.  There may be a rare thing left out there, you know, thyroid cancer, thyroidectomy as well, but that’s your general kind of gist, and the majority of people, 90% of people are gonna be in the hypo-Hashimoto camp and there’s gonna be underlying issues that are affecting the thyroid conversion outside of their control.  It’s not gonna be pathological, it’s gonna be functional and that’s where we come in to really get to the bottom of it.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so we alluded to the adrenal distress picture but I mean, what’s the other important picture, I mean would you look at something like adding in some liver support, I mean some milk thistle, if you’re gonna be helping take some of the load off of the toxin filtration process that the liver’s doing, is that gonna free up more energy so to speak, more fuel for the liver to do its job in thyroid conversion?  Am I–Am I thinking right there?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  So a lot of times we’ll start out and we’ll run an organic acid test and we’ll be able to run various organic acid markers that will look at liver function like hippurate, glucarate, there’s about 6 or 7 of them, sulfate for instance, pyroglutamate for B12. so we’ll be able to run these different markers that look at methylation, that look at an–acetylation, that look at our detoxification pathways from a phase 1 to phase 2 perspective, so we can really get a window on how it’s functioning.  But typically off the bat because I don’t wanna get into supplement overload with patients, the first thing we’re doing is just clearing out all the liver stress from a diet and lifestyle perspective, alright, aspartame, all the junkie food additive, gluten, all of the crap that’s just in your diet, that has to go first, right?  Because our liver is always detoxifying, you know, giving detoxification support, you’re not, you know, turning on detoxification systems, you–your buffering it, you’re taking the stress off which can be helpful, but we always wanna make sure we’re stopping the stress from going in first, and then–then it’s probably better supplementing later.  So for me, I have a 3 body system approach where it’s hormones first and then part of that foundational layer, below that is diet, lifestyle and nutrition.  So that’s the first step that we’re looking at before we go deeper and there’s exceptions to every rule but that’s in general, the first step.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I always like to geek out and go beyond because sometimes I assume that people have the diet and lifestyle picture figured out but a lot of people are still struggling with that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I mean, I see so many of my thyroid patients, they’re just–their adrenals are shot and they are just so myopically focused on the thyroid gland that the forget about the adrenals and they forget about their female hormones, right?  We can’t forget progesterone, a female hormone is responsible or highly involved in TPO production, okay?  So TPO is thyroid peroxidase.  That’s an enzyme that actually helps build or make thyroid hormone.  It binds the iodine and the–and the tyrosine together and if we have super low progesterone, that’s gonna lower thyroid peroxidase activity.  So we’re gonna be making less thyroid hormone just by having lower progesterone.  And again, why do we have lower progesterone?  Well, because progesterone goes downstream to make cortisol if we’re under a lot of progesterone and that low progesterone in the second half of the cycle, right before during that week before you bleed, that’s your PMS time, well, that’s where PMS happens typically due to that progesterone falling out early.

Evan Brand:  And the reason that happens you’re saying is because you have elevated cortisol from excess stress, is that what you’re saying?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, elevated cortisol in the acute phase and then chronically low in the–you know, lower in the chronic phase.

Evan Brand:  Uh-hmm.  So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Meaning the longer that stress has been going on, that cortisol bottoms out.

Evan Brand:  So when that cortisol bottoms out, what happens to progesterone then compared to when cortisol’s high.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, progesterone’s a building block for cortisol.  So if we look at the adrenal hormone cascade, we see cholesterol as the first domino, like all hormones are made from cholesterol.  So don’t go on a low fat diet, vegan diet.  You will destroy your hormones.  I’ve seen it hundreds of times.  Again, some people do better on it than others and a lot of people feel better on a vegan diet because they’re coming from it–with a crappy standard American diet, so they see improvement and they think well, it’s the vegan diet, but no, it’s all the other crap they cut out.  That’s another podcast for another time.  But cholesterol first, conversion to pregnenolone.  Pregnenolone then gets converted to progesterone on the other side of the cascade and then progesterone gets converted to cortisol.  So you can see what happens is if we’re under more stress, this progesterone escape, this cortisol escape where that progesterone leaks down because it’s needing to deal with the cortisol stress.  The cortisol needs to be there to manage the stress and inflammation.  So I always tell patients, your body is hardwired to deal with the stress of today versus the healing of tomorrow, right?  Progesterone’s there for healing, it’s there for healthy brain and–and brain function and relaxation.  It’s also there for pregnancy, right?   Progestation, progesterone.  So all those are really important but if our bod–body is so stuck in the stress in the moment, tomorrow never happens because you’re always in this stressed out state.

Evan Brand:  And that’s a miserable place to be by the way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, my gosh, absolutely.  So almost all my female patients, they come in with some degree of thyroid issue, some degree of adrenal fatigue, and then because all of these are connected, right?  These hormones function and dysfunction together, there’s a level of PMS and/or female hormone dysfunction along with it.

Evan Brand:  Uh-hmm.  Yeah, and then you were kinda alluding to the pregnenolone steal, if people wanna geek out and read about that, it’s an amazing–just to look at the chart of the hormones getting stolen and sex hormones are messed up and now your libido’s gone, and I mean, it’s just–everything goes haywire.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, my gosh, absolutely.  Did you wanna comment on that a little more?

Evan Brand:  Well, I was just a–I just think you’re doing a really good job of taking a pretty complex topic and breaking it down.  I mean, this is intimidating for some people to try to take this knowledge into their lives and apply it and you know, if they try to go back to their doctor with this information, you know, they’ll probably be just laughed at or maybe even, they’ll get their eyes rolled at.  “Oh, I heard this functional medicine doctor and this functional nutrition guy talking about this and just silly.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly and just remember, right?  If you’re going to your doctor and you’re trying to get functional medicine help in the conventional medical model, you’re like banging your head against the wall.

Evan Brand:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright?  It’s–it’s gonna be very, very difficult, right?  It’s trying to get your surgeon to not operate.  I mean, your surgeons are typically there to operate.  That’s what they’re there for.  That’s what they’re trained for.  And same thing with conventional physicians.  Conventional physicians are there to–most of the time just prescribe drugs unless they’ve been taking training outside the conventional medical paradigm.

Evan Brand:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if you go there, you’re gonna find yourself having to educate your doctor more about this and again, why do you wanna sit there and educate your doctor about this when you can find people that are already educated?

Evan Brand:  I agree.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I have patients all the time and they’re like, “Well, can you call my conventional doctor and–and talk to them about that?”  I’m like, “That is an act of futility.”  I mean, they can listen to this podcast but you’re much better off just finding people that are already in sync because then you don’t have to waste time.  So with that, the typical downfalls I see–most patients go to their doctor, they about adrenal issues.  Let’s say the topic of adrenal issues are brought out, right?  Conventional doctor, the first thing they go to is Addison’s or Cushing’s disease.  So Addison’s is an adrenal failure state, cortisol is almost non-existent.  And then Cushing’s is a hyper, hyper cortisol state, right?  Where you typically have elevations of blood sugar, you have the moon shape face, you have the buffalo hump in the back, you know lots of adiposity and that’s it.  So we have the two extremes, right?  So basically, you go to your doctor, it’s the one extreme on the high and the one extreme on the low, and the idea that everything in between is normal, that’s the idea.  That’s what it is and in the functional realm we realize that there are two extremes and there’s a functional spectrum in between there.  And the farther away you reach the high or low end, the more symptoms you have.  But the problem with that philosophy is that you may never each, you know, the high or the low end.  And what that means is that you’re stuck.  You’re never gonna get help.  You’re gonna be told it’s all in your head and there’s gonna be no solutions for you.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s the problem.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, or here’s an anti-depressant, it’s just–that’s–that’s what we’re gonna do.  Yeah, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And they’re just gonna just say, it doesn’t exist, so we wanna just differentiate adrenal failure versus adrenal fatigue, right?  Adrenal fatigue is more of the functional imbalance that may or may not progress into a disease state.  90% of people that have adrenal fatigue are never gonna progress into an Addison’s or Cushing’s state, it’s just not gonna happen.

Evan Brand:  I was gonna say–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Those conditions are rare.

Evan Brand:  I was gonna say, I–I’ve personally never seen adrenal failure.  I’ve only dealt with the fatigue side of things luckily.  I mean, I don’t even know if–I don’t know.  I’m sure there’s people out there that are–that are in that, but I haven’t–I haven’t dealt with any.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so if you’re going to your conventional doctor and you’re having this conversation, just know that there’s gonna be a massive amount of backlash and there’s why, right?  Because of the–the differences in fatigue versus failure, right?  Adrenal fatigue is more of an HPA, right?  Brain talking to adrenal issue and also a stress feedback loop issue, right?  That’s number one and then on the thyroid side, well, most doctors are gonna run a TSH, which is a thyroid-stimulating hormone test which is nothing more than a brain test.  It’s looking at your pituitary.  So for instance, if we wanted to test something, it makes sense to actually test the hormone that the gland produces.  So for instance, if we wanna test your hormone function for your, let’s say your testosterone, right?  We would test testosterone, right?  We wouldn’t test LH per se, we would test testosterone.  That makes the most sense because testosterone is the actual hormone we’re looking at.  But LH, that’s the pituitary hormone that tells the gonads to make testosterone.  So why would we just look at LH when we can go look at the actual hormones being made.  Same thing, take that analogy now and throw it into the thyroid.  Why are we using brain hormones to look–to look at and assess the thyroid when we can actually test the T4 and T3 hormones individually?  Well, it’s just because it’s an antiquated way.  It’s what we were able to test first and it’s kind of the whole model of drug-prescribing is based off of that.  So it’s a very end-stage approach.  We’re look at the disease pathology, the high and low versus the functional imbalances that happen in between.  So we wanna live on the in between side, you know, all of the functional imbalances in between not on the high and low side.  Most patients that come to see us, they’ve–if they’re on the high or low, they already know it and they’ve been prescribed and typically many of them still don’t feel better and they still need answers.

Evan Brand:  Yup, and we do.  We do get them back into that functional range and it’s amazing how much you can feel better.  Even something like optimizing vitamin D levels has been huge for–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Like my grandpa.  He was having a lot of chronic low back pain issues.  I found a couple of studies linking the two and we upped his vitamin D, re-tested and now, you know, he’s better.  He’s got some other inflammatory issues going on, but I mean, just getting back in the functional range of everything one at a time is just–it’s the way to health and healthy people do exist and it is possible for you to get better out there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and a lot of people for instance aren’t getting the help they need from a functional perspective in the thyroid community, in the conventional community, because most thyroid issues are autoimmune in nature.

Evan Brand:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So because they’re autoimmune, giving a thyroid hormone does not fix the immune system destroying the thyroid tissue and then the inflammation that’s then created by that then affects conversion of T4 to T3, it then affects receptor site uptake, so it affects the hormone from binding into the receptor site so a hormone has to go into this receptor site to have a metabolic effect, kinda like your key is useless it goes into the lock and turns.  It’s kinda the same thing and autoimmunity is affected by things like gluten and potentially dairy and infections and selenium levels and nutrient levels and leaky gut, and all of these things that are functional medicine issues and they will never ever be touched upon in the conventional medicine community.

Evan Brand:  Yup.  So just a quick question, I know we gotta wrap things up here–people that are listening, they may just feel like, “Wow!  This Synthroid is killing me.”  Going cold turkey on Synthroid, what are the–what are the complications or issues there?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, again, if you’re prescribed a thyroid hormone by your conventional medical doctor, most of the time, 99% of the time you need it because they’re using TSH as a established range to dose thyroid hormone.  The problem with that is is that TSH takes about 5-10 years to go high.  So most of the time, your thyroid issues have been going on for almost a decade.  So you don’t ever wanna come off thyroid hormone if you were prescribed it but you wanna find in someone like us.  Now typically what I do off the bat is I don’t ever take them off their thyroid hormone but we may change and put them on a full spectrum thyroid hormone, where they’re getting T4.  The same T4 levels, not that touching that at all, but also adding in some T3 as well, and then also looking at the adrenal side of the fence.  And most people that are dose thyroid hormone based on TSH, they aren’t given enough thyroid hormone.  So if the gland has been destroyed for a couple decades or a decade or so, they may need thyroid hormone because the B cells, alright, the immune cells have infiltrated that thyroid, they’ve destroyed, they–now the tissue has gone fibrotic, it’s now scar tissue, and it’s no longer functional.  Again, we may be able to get recovery back, but if we don’t have recovery, we gotta make sure we’re getting enough thyroid hormone for healthy function.  So we always wanna make sure we’re getting enough thyroid hormone but we don’t wanna base it off a TSH per se, we actually wanna use our T3 free and T3 total to look at how much active hormone we’re actually making.  That’s gonna be the best way to do it.  Don’t look at TSH.  Your brain is much more sensitive to thyroid hormone than the peripheral tissue.  So what happens is, the thyroid hormone, the TSH will actually go lower in response to the thyroid hormone.  So your thyroid hormone may not be quite where it needs to be for optimal function in that T3 reference range, but your TSH may go low because your TSH and your thyroid or inverse, right?  TSH goes high when thyroid’s low.  TSH goes low when thyroid’s high.  So if we see the TSH drop, most doctors go, “Oh no!  We’re giving you too much thyroid hormone.  You’re overdosing.  You have Graves’.”  But just look at the T3.  Most of the time we’ll see the T3 in the top half to the top 25% of the range.  It’s not even high but most docs will just jump to that conclusion, you’re given too much without actually looking at the hormones individually, which drives me nuts because it’s like they’ve–if we can look at the direct temperatu–if we can look at the direct measurement of the hormone, let’s do it.  And the analogy I give my patients is, using a TSH as a gauge for thyroid hormone levels is like going outside and feeling the sidewalk to detect what the temperature is, right?  So the sidewalk’s always gonna be way hotter than what it is, right?  So we have this extra sensitivity thing going on.  And why the hell touch the sidewalk when you–when you can just look at the thermometer or pull up your weather app on your phone, right?  We have much more sensitive ways.  So don’t go outside touching the sidewalk, go and look at your app for the temperature.  Same thing with your thyroid.

Evan Brand:  That’s awesome.  I was waiting for the analogy, man, and I’m pumped.  That’s a great way to wrap this thing up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That analogy like hit me 2 weeks ago and I was like, “Eureka!”

Evan Brand:  That was incredible.  I was thinking the whole time we were going through this I was listening but I was trying to visualize an analogy and I was drawing a blank.  So you really killed it with that one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, ex–yeah, thank you.  And I just want everyone that’s in the conventional model and trying to get help, I know how it feels.  It’s ridiculously frustrating.  I have so much empathy.  Don’t bang your head against the wall.  I want you to have compassion for your medical doctor and to understand where they’re coming from.  They’re just coming from a different place, okay?  So if you need the functional medicine support to heal which the majority of people do, then we need a different and your MD may not be the best person to get that approach.  Get all the pathology stuff ruled out first.  We wanna make sure nothing’s being missed from a global pathological standpoint, like a cancer or something, maybe an over, you know, hypothyroid issue like TSH through the roof or something.  But once that’s been addressed, they gotta reach out to people like you and people like me to get this stuff under wraps.

Evan Brand:  Definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I know, I–you know, went into like professor mode today.  We’re gonna have this stuff all transcribed, so go back, take a look at it.  Read it a few times.  We’ll do more podcasts on it.  People who have more questions, let us know.  We’re gonna be happy to break this down.  I want everyone to walk away with an action item.  So action item is get a full thyroid test, get a full adrenal test if you’re on the fence.  That’s your first two things to do and then from there, we can talk about options about what the next steps are.  But those are your first 2 options and if they need it, they can get it from me or from you.

Evan Brand:  Yup, sounds great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, do you want to add some stuff?  I feel like I was just an absolutely ball hog today.  I’m so sorry.

Evan Brand:  Oh, no.  No, perfectly fine.  I’m sitting here loving it, man.  It’s been great.  No, I just want to say that, you know, the main thing is that you’re–you’re taking baby steps in the right direction.  So maybe you’re on the fence about this, you’re looking into the testing, that doesn’t mean that you should wait until you get testing and you actually get a piece of paper that says you need help.  It’s okay to go ahead and start helping yourself right now.  Removing the gluten if you’re still eating that.  Removing the excess stimulants if you’re doing that.  If you’re speeding 30 miles over the speed limit today on the highway, reducing that, you know, all of these lifestyle things that we’re going to recommend you anyway, go ahead and get started on some of those now.  If you’re speedometer or your RPM in your car is red lining right now, you have the power to turn that down and get yourself out of the red line.  Take a hot Epsom salt bath or something this evening, you know.  Get that red line down, start calming yourself down and getting yourself ready for the therapy that we’re gonna put you on anyway and you’re really gonna help accelerate your results.  You’re gonna get better faster and at the end of the day, that’s what we want.  We wanna help you get well as fast as possible, but in an ethical and you know, an intelligent way.  We don’t just wanna come in with huge jackhammer.  So just slowly work yourself there and–and start–start swimming now and we’ll meet you at the other side.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  And you forgot to mention how important consuming the grass-fed leprechauns are.

Evan Brand:  Grass-fed leprechauns, yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, everyone, hope you enjoyed the show.  Check out the transcription,,  Thanks everyone and have a great day!




Brain Gut Connection – Enteric, Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System – Podcast #39

Our nervous system is the control center of the body. Healthy nervous system function influences digestion, energy, movement and performance. Many people’s nervous systems are working on over drive as a results causing hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue and leaky gut. Our digestive system has a nervous system unto it’s own called the enteric nervous system. Most people don’t realize that our digestive tract has just as many neurons as our brain and spinal chord. Watch this video to learn more about your nervous system.
brain gut connection

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Baris Harvey discuss everything you need to know about how the functions of our nervous system and what you can do to keep it working great for overall health and fitness. Find out more in this podcast.

In this episode, we cover:

09:19   Building a robust nervous system

13:00   Sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems

22:25   Applied kinesiology and muscle testing

36:33   Problems with most chiropractors

46:14   Enteric Nervous System







Podcast: Play in New Window|Download



Baris Harvey:   Welcome to another awesome of Beyond Wellness Radio.  Before we go on today’s show, I want to tell you guys about our newsletter.  So make sure you go and hit the button that says Sign Up To Newsletter.  By doing this you will never miss out on an episode.  Be the first one to hear it as it’s sent out to your inbox each week.  You guys want even more?  Click on Just In Health link and go straight Dr. Justin’s page and get direct access to Dr. Justin himself.

Having any thyroid issues?  He’s got your back.  Hit the link that says Fix Your Thyroid and by signing up to the newsletter, you get a free video series that’s at all step-by-step enabled just by Dr. Justin himself.  You can also find my site and my information at the top of the Beyond Wellness Radio site.  So if you guys have any questions as well we have all that there, so we appreciate you guys coming on and listening to the show.  So thank you guys for coming on and let’s start it off.

How’s it going, Dr. Justin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Baris, it’s going great! I’m actually hooked up to my emWave right now.  It actually has me red turning to blue, so I’m trying to do the whole podcast today in green in coherence in a parasympathetic state as well–

Baris Harvey:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Talk about here in just a bit.

Baris Harvey:   Yeah, it’s funny when you mentioned that, “Oh, I’m pulling out my emWave,” as soon as you do that naturally, for some reason it turns red.  It’s like it knows it’s being looked at, I’m like, “Wow, you guys are looking at me.”  Same thing happened to me right when I pulled it up.  I’m also doing that, so for people out there who’s wondering what the emWave is, it’s a way to track your heart rate variability and to actually train it so that we can get it in coherence with–so that way the communication with your heart and you brain are communicating appropriately.  So that way, you’ll be thinking with your brain but also thinking with your heart, and following like your true purpose.  So if you guys are having any stress problems.  This is a great tool and Dr. Justin does have the hook up so go to him and he will make sure that you get a nice deal on it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and regarding the emWave, I just kinda wanna make sure people know what’s going on.  So the whole idea of coherence really is that communication between the heart and the brain because they found that 70% of the fibers in the heart are actually the same fibers, the same neurological fibers in the brain.  So there’s a strong connection between the heart and the brain even just beyond an energetic type of spiritual thing, but more even just a scientific, nervous system kinda thing.  And also, when we deal with coherence the whole idea of coherence is basically heart rate variability is a marker of parasympathetic tone, right?  The more parasympathetic, the more rest and digest, the more repairing we do with the less breaking and the less stimulation.  And the whole idea is with heart rate variability is the more uneven your heart beat is, right?  Heart rate and variability, the heart rate is variable from beat to beat.  It’s a great sign of overall health.  The best, most healthiest people, the Navy SEALs and our military and such, they have great, great heart rate variability, so it’s an excellent marker for health and it’s really just the unevenness, right?  The variability between your heartbeats, not having the exact heartbeat at the exact split second, but slight bit of variability from beat to beat.

Baris Harvey:   Yeah.  Like Darwin said, it’s not just about–I know people’s take his words out of context and say you know, survival of the fittest, and not just about being the fittest, it’s about being the most adaptable, right?  And that’s why having a varied heart rate is important.  It keeps your body kind of ready and adaptable, and like you said in the healing parasympathetic state–I don’t think we need any too much extra sympathetic stress, huh, in our society right now.  So trying to do some extra things that are common healing to the body will be so that’s super important especially if you’re type A personality, putting this on and actually getting a reading of feelings, right?  I think it’s kinda hard you can’t necessary measure feelings, but this is like it’s the best tool that I can think of that would do something of that sort that kinda detects your stress before you even notice that you’re stressed out.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, yeah.  And one of the things I do to get up in the morning is I activate my sympathetic nervous system.  One of the things I do is I start out, get outta bed, and I do push-ups to failure.

Baris Harvey:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I start off then with a foundation training series by Eric Goodman, it’s just two minutes where I just go and get my extensors working because we’re just so much in flexion all day.

Baris Harvey:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then one of the things I do is I end my shower with about one to two minutes of really, really cold shower.

Baris Harvey:   Oh yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The cold shower basically stimulates my nervous system to adapt and what it does is it just starts stimulating the sympathetic nervous system and here’s a really cool study I have here.  They actually looked at adaptive cold showers as a potential treatment for depression in the journal, Medical Hypotheses.  And I just found–

Baris Harvey:   Wow!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Two to three-minute cold shower had a significant analgesic effect and helps alleviate depression.

Baris Harvey:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It helped increase beta endorphin levels.  It helped increase noradrenaline levels and increased synaptic release of noradrenaline in the brain so–and it had an antidepressant effect.  So I always start my day with a cold shower and push-ups to failure, and a little bit of foundation work just to get my extensors in because I really wanna have good posture and I wanna be ready to go and then I go downstairs.  I’ll typically then put some coffee on, some butter and MCT coffee in my French press.  While that’s brewing for 4 minutes because I don’t wanna waste time, I put a podcast on while I do a 4-minute Tabata.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I do that empty stomach because then I’m really tapping into fat, right?  Because I’m exercising on an empty stomach but it’s not so long of a duration of exercise where I’m getting catabolic but it’s just enough to start tapping into fat and to revving up my metabolism 10 to 20% over the next couple days to really just increase my body’s ability to burn fat and also put on muscle.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, definitely.  And so we’re diving into this pretty quick.  People are like, I didn’t even know what the topic is yet.  So today we’re gonna be talking about building a robust nervous system and Dr. Justin is already getting into his daily routine and speaking about your daily routine, what did you have for breakfast today?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, today is kinda my standard Friday.  I know, but it’s kinda the same every Friday.  Collagen, 4 raw eggs, butter-MCT coffee, and then I’m just hyped up right now on adaptogenic herbs.  I feel like adaptogenic herbs should be in everyone’s routine.  The Russians did tons of research, spent tens of millions of dollars on it, immune benefits, stress-modulating benefits, right?  And I think you mentioned the–I wanna say Sigmund Freud, not Freud but–

Baris Harvey:   Darwin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Darwin.  Darwin, yes.  Darwin talked about, you know, survival of the fittest and we really are taking that to adaptation and–

Baris Harvey:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  These are things that you can put into your body, adaptogenic herbs. It’s right there.  It’s adaptogenic.  It’s helping your immune system, your nervous system adapt.

Baris Harvey:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Your hormones adapt.  So again, healthy lifestyle, healthy habits, and then healthy supplements to take your body to the next level of adaptation.

Baris Harvey:   Yeah, especially because taking adaptogenic herbs, that’s kinda like the–even if you didn’t know exactly what you’re doing, that’s a good starting point just because it’s not like, “Oh, it’s gonna put it, increase it, or decrease a certain hormone,” because it’s more of a modulator.  It goes in there and says, “Hey, this is out of balance, let me kind of–you need more of this.”  And it’ll crank, you know, the knob this way.  Or it will say, “Hey, you’re overly stressed out, you need less of this.”  And it kinda just modulates it and puts it back into balance.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  So, yeah, definitely.  And it’s almost like, like it just–I mean, look at the pictures of some of these like plants and take like a deep look at–especially like, if you look at like some of like reishi mushroom.  You can tell by the way it’s formed, it seems like a pretty imbalanced kind of plant.  It knows what it’s doing.  Plant power, people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  Absolutely, I totally agree.

Baris Harvey:   So let’s talk about–anyway, so we started talking about some of the chemical like structures that will help us, when we’re talking about building a robust nervous system.  But we know that, talking about our nervous system, it’s almost like a highway of information, right?  Our nervous system is basically like, like computer wires and if we look at–we’re currently trying to map out the human genome and we know that currently there is no computer that is smarter than our–or has that many connection or neural than our brain does.  Unfortunately, it seems like, you know, many of us today have been fed foods that don’t allow us to really explore our own brain.  I think we should and that’s kind of our goal is to allow people to feel their bodies and their brains at a fuller capacity and with that being said, we know that if there’s an accident on the freeway or there’s construction, it really slows down communication and, you know, I can’t–if I’m supposed to travel to Dr. Justin’s office and he’s down the street.  If there’s a roadblock, I can’t–hey, I can’t deliver the mail to you, right?  So what’s happening if our bones and our posture are out of balance.  What’s happening there?  And let’s talk about how to build our nervous system, you know, by–you said you do the foundational exercises every morning.  Let’s talk about why it’s so important to have a strong posture.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, posture is excellent.  I mean, it’s really important.  Anyone that’s had a few drinks one night and played the game, Jenga, right?

Baris Harvey:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You know, right?  Just that Jenga table that just like sitting up straight, you can put like a bowling ball.  You could put like, you know, 3 or 4 maybe even 5 45-lb plates when that thing is just straight up and that’s gonna hold.  No problem.

Baris Harvey:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You start pulling one or two out, I mean, just like–just breathing on it could knock it over.  So what does that mean?  That means that structure is really, really important to absorbing force.  Force obstructions.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So this is really cool.  So when it comes to structure.  Simple things we can do.  Like Dr. Mercola has talked about this in his new book called Effortless Healing, is having good posture.  So standing, having a standing desk is super, super important.  Actually what I’m gonna do right now is I have a stand desk.  I’m gonna go from seated into a standing position right now.  So if you hear it get a little mechanical on the background, that’s what’s happening.  But I try to stand about three-quarters of my day.  So like–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  5 to 7 hours I am standing, which is absolutely huge for health.  There’s a couple of things, right?  One, we’re activating our extensors.  Our extensors tend to be more parasympathetic, while when we go into that fetal position, it tends to be more sympathetic.  Alright?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So let’s–before we go into posture, let’s break down the nervous system first.  So our nervous system basically is just how our body communicates.  It communicates via nerves.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It also communicates via hormones, and the nerves and the hormones work together.  So in our nervous system, we have our peripheral, right?  These work go to the extremities, right?  Hands, feet, and then it even goes to the organs.  And then we have our central nervous system.  This is like our brain and our spinal cord.  So they tend to communicate together.  So let’s focus on the peripheral.  Now, we have what’s known as our autonomic nervous system.  Our autonomic basically, to substitute autonomic for automatic, meaning you don’t really have much control over it.  It’s automatically happen, like you’re not thinking about breathing, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You’re not thinking about being startled.  You’re not thinking about, you know, having to go to the bathroom typically.  It’s just–it happens, it’s on automatic.  Now, in that automatic, autonomic nervous system, we have sympathetic, the sympathetic nervous system and then we also have the parasympathetic.  So I hate these big words because medicine just uses them to confuse people.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I call it fight or flight and rest and digest, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Fight or flight is the sympathetic.  Fight or flight.  It’s the part of the nervous system that gets activated when you get startled, right?  When you’re either gonna fight, right?  Are you gonna attack or are you gonna run, alright?  So it’s when you get super stressed, you’re in traffic, right?  You’re gritting your teeth.  You may be flipping off the guy next to you, it’s like, that’s the fight or flight.  And then the parasympathetic is when you’re like deep belly breathing, maybe you’re finishing that yoga class and you’re in Shavasana or corpse pose.  Or you’re sitting there–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  In meditation or you’re next to your wife or partner and you’re just like feeling this really great contentment and great connection, that’s the parasympathetic nervous system.  Parasympathetic–

Baris Harvey:  You’re gonna put me back to sleep bringing back yoga’s thing, I was just like, “Uhhh,” at the end of yoga.  I’m falling asleep.  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s my favorite pose, corpse pose.  I am the best of that pose.

Baris Harvey:   Exactly.  So parasympathetic is bringing everything inward, right?  Parasympathetic tone takes blood, brings it inward to the organs to nourish, to bring nutrition inward, and also helps with digestion, right?  Parasympathetic is rest and digest.  Blood’s going inward, repairing or increasing DHEA and testosterone and progesterone, or healing.  Where sympathetic is shuttling stress hormone output, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The sympathetic nervous system whips the adrenals into action to make adrenaline or epinephrine, right?  Same thing.   That epinephrine then stimulates cortisol and the job of it is to mobilize sugar so the extremities and the arms can run and fight and flee, where the parasympathetic is driving inward and trying to help repair.  So linking that back to

posture, sympathetic tone is always going into flexion, right?  Tight hip flexors, going into that fetal position, flexing over, that’s the sympathetic.  So trying to go outward by getting your body into extension, opening your chest up, pulling your head back, pulling your shoulder blades back, keeping your external auditory meatus, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Big fancy word again.  Your ear hole–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ear hole over the middle part of your shoulder, over your hip, over your ankles and your knees.  So just kinda having a really good kinda plum line type of alignment, that’s gonna be really important and got kinda tying the analogy back to Jenga.  When that Jenga is perfectly straight, you can put like 200 pounds on that Jenga piece, it’s not gonna go anywhere.  You pull 1 or 2 out, it’s shifting a little bit forward, just breathing on it will knock it over.  So I’m gonna take a deep breath there, Baris.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Go ahead and talk–

Baris Harvey:  I got a new analogy and I think it’s funny because we were talking about how we make up analogies but isn’t that the point to trick us info–like knowledge is really power and when it’s in a different language sometimes it’s like, it’s like a hieroglyphics, right?  What is the parasympathetic nervous system?  It doesn’t make sense to me, so by connecting with something

we know that make sense to people, it starts to fire off those new neurons and you start to build new knowledge and it connects and it sticks.  So since we’re talking about, you know, developing a robust nervous system, I go, “Hey why not through analogy so that way we can, you know, have some neurogenesis and to create some new connections today, and I thought about a good one.  A way to kind of think of how the nerves and hormones work because they’re both sending information and basically things to do.  You can think of the nerve cells and the connections almost like email or phone call, you know.  Even though Dr. Justin’s in Texas, I can say, “Hey, you know, I need this or this, or hey, we need to get this done, blah blah blah.”  You know, he could do the same thing to me or send me an email and it’s there instantly, right?  I got the connection at the speed of light and/or the speed of techno–whatever the speed it travels.  And then hormones are more like, you know, the postal service where like, for example, I recently got some Zen frames from Dr. Justin and, you know, made a phone call and sent email, “Hey, could connect me and give me a pair of these?  I’ll go ahead and send a payment to you and, you know, put it on an air flight and got it, you know, 2 days later.”  So the nerves fire instantly, whereas the hormones are a little bit more gradual but when they do hit, they do have a strong effect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  I mean, they are certain hormones that are fast, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The sympathetic nervous system will stimulate adrenaline, norepinephrine in like split seconds.

Baris Harvey:  Oh yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But cortisol comes to the show minutes later, right?

Baris Harvey:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cortisol is not a fast one but your adrenaline is super fast, right?

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then we have like our brain, right?  Our brain has an effect on the parasympathetic.  We have these things called cranial nerves, right?  The big ones there are parasympathetic are 3, 7, 9, and 10.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Don’t really have to worry about it, but again eyes, salivation, right?  So these are really important, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Taking in good sight, seeing good things, chewing, breathing in through the nose, nasal stimulation.  These are all things that are activating the parasympathetic nervous system.  That’s why when you eat, chew your food 30 times or so.  Don’t be anal about it.  Chew your food to about like an oatmeal-like consistency, you know?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  When you walk in nature, look far away.  That stimulation to the eyes is very important.  Lots of studies with long distance viewing while in nature will help alleviate depression, okay?

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Breathing in through the nose will stimulate parasympathetic fibers and put you more in a–into a coherence parasympathetic state.  So these are simple things you can do with the brain.  Now on top of that, we have this really cool nerve called the vagus nerve.  It’s cranial nerve 10.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And the vagus nerve does all kinds of stuff.  It affects the spleen.  It affects the heart and it affects the stomach and the pancreas, and the intestines and this is the nerve they get stimulated when the parasympathetic is really activated.  It affects digestion.  It affects all of your organs.  So that gets shut down when we get into a stressed out state.  So just think when you’re getting stressed out, you’re, you know, cutting off trip to vagus so to speak.  You’re cutting off that vagus nerve.  So if you wanna go to vagus, you really wanna be working on doing things to keep your body in that parasympathetic state, breathing, you know, the emWave, right?  5-second breaths in through the nose, chewing your food really well.  These are all great things that you can do to help get yourself into a parasympathetic state.  And then also, you know, avoid eating inflammatory food.  You’re gonna keep yourself totally locked in a stressed out state if you’re eating food that’s inflaming you day in and day out.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, yeah.  And well, like you said, whereas like the nervous system is working a little bit made quicker and you do have some hormones that work quicker, you know, 2-day express mail, right?  When you have like the foods working on a chemical, like it kinda has a prolonged delay effect, like you eat a food, you know, it takes a couple of minutes then it starts kicking in, like if you eat a jalapeño, like you don’t instantly just sweat but give it a minute or two and it starts to compound and you start to sweat and you start to notice those effects but they do have like a delayed response, too, as you digest it, like it will stay in your system for a couple days depending on whatever the substance is, so if you’re continuously–even if it’s a every other day thing where, you know, you don’t eat a burger every day but you go to McDonalds every other day, well, it’s gonna have a negative effect on your health in your body because you’re still, you know, it’s still lingering so by the time it’s finally–those inflammatory response finally start to end, and like, “Okay, we can relax, you guys.”  It’s like, “Oh, here, he’s eating another burger.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, exactly.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  So there are things that you can do to get like to tap into your nervous system.  So I love chiropractic medicine.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very passionate about it and one of the things that I use is a window into the nervous system is applied kinesiology.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So applied kinesiology is really cool because when we talk about the nervous system, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We talked about the automatic nervous system, right?  The autonomic, well, on the flip side of that is the somatic, okay?

Baris Harvey:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And the somatic is just another word for the muscle nervous system.  So I’ll be so much more convenient if they just named it the automatic and the muscle, but yeah–

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I already said, they keep you confused, so don’t understand your body, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if we can use our muscles as a muscle testing, applied kinesiology muscle testing is a window to how the nervous system is functioning.  So I can come in there and I can test someone’s psoas and get a window into L4, L5, S1 muscles so I can test their shoulder, their deltoid, and get a window into C5.  I can test their tricep and get a window into C7 and vice-versa.  So I can, you know, put force into someone’s muscle and the goal isn’t going to see how strong they are like you’re benching 300 pounds.  I’ve had a gold medalist Olympic athlete said I could literally press down their rectus femoris muscle with one finger.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now if you would have put that guy in a gym he’d be ridiculously strong and fast but it’s not about that, it’s about applying a set bit of force and seeing how fast they can adapt to that force.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And the slower they adapt, that means the higher risk of injury and also the less ability they’re gonna have, the decreased ability–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They’re gonna have to generate force as well.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, definitely.  And then so, the terms for that, again you said applied kinesiology and it’s also muscle testing, I know some people get like, get kinda weirded out, like “Oh, how can you muscle test?”  But you mentioned that our muscles are basically just kind of conductors of electricity, right?  Like we have–you yourself have and myself as well have different machines that stimulate these muscles just simply with electricity, and we can show, “Hey, and yeah, they respond to electricity.”  They’re–we are bio-electrical chemical beings.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, exactly.  And we’re doing muscle testing.  This is on a direct link.  It’s a direct muscle test, meaning–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We’re looking at the somatic nervous system, right?  Just google somatic nervous system.  What you’ll find is the branch of the nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, meaning outside at the central nervous system that controls voluntary movements, okay?  We have afferent, right?  Afferent nerves go from the muscle into the spine.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then we have efferent nerves that go from the spine out to the muscle, so if you move your muscle, right?  You’re using efferent nerves to then stimulate the movement and if someone touches your leg, the interpretation of feeling of that–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Back in your brain that’s going to be more afferent.  Afferent is going up.  Efferent is exiting.  E for exiting, A for entering.

Baris Harvey:  Hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So that’s kind of a good thing.  So we have a direct window into how your nerves are functioning with applied kinesiology.  Now this is different like if you have someone that muscle tests for supplements, that’s getting more into an energetic type of realm–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Where you’re putting maybe a supplement on your chest, that’s getting more energetic because you have to have energy from the bottle go into your, you know, you’re nervous system–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And there is some validity for that for sure but it’s not nearly as scientific as applied kinesiology for the body because we’re looking at the somatic nervous system myotomes directly.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There’s a direct indication for that.  Now if you wanna test supplementation and even more direct way to do it–

Baris Harvey:  Isn’t it usually under the tongue?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, put it right in the mouth.

Baris Harvey:  Where you hold it for a little bit?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Put it right in the mouth because then it’s hitting your lingual nerves, now that’s direct nervous system test because it’s going into your nerves.  Your nerves to then going from the–let’s see that’s the olfactory and I think the cranial nerve number 5 is taking that up to the brain and it is telling it, “Hey, you know, what’s going on?”  The brain is sensing it and reading it for nutrients or for toxins or whatever and you’ll either get a strong or weak test.  So that’s more of a direct muscle test.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nervous system-wise when it comes to nutrition.  So if we were talking energetic stuff, that’s not what we’re talking here.  That’s what I call, more indirect.  We’re talking about direct muscle testing.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So when I work with my professional athletes or college athletes or people that are just trying to get better from an injury, we’re going in, we’re testing all their muscles because that gives us a window into their nervous system.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And by getting a window, we see nerves–if we see those muscles aren’t working, we know the communication to those muscles is impaired.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And when we know it’s impaired, there’s a couple of things we can do.  We can apply a specific adjustment to get movement into that joint which will help the communication, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’ll get the nerves communicating so it’ll help that afferent.  It’ll help the communication going in–

Baris Harvey:  And let me cut you off real quick.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  What?  Yeah.

Baris Harvey:  Because I think you brought up a really, really good point that I want to make sure that doesn’t just slide past you real quick.  And this is gonna sound irrelevant right now, but it’s gonna make sense, okay?  So our gut bacteria is a community of cells and different bio-organisms that are basically kind of change how our mood and our body, and they communicate with each other.  The same way when we eat plants, they send a direct message to us or we just animals or–and they could be a good message or bad message.  They can benefit us or negatively affect us by the same way if someone’s diabetic and their foot is numb, they’ve having poor communication.  At the end of the day, we have to remember that all of these processes are just a form of our bodies of–it’s kind of having to have–you have to have some kind of holistic view to fully understand this or even believe what I’m sayin’.  But it’s just a form of our body more as an organization, as an organism, and not just a one static thing and that everything is just trying to get into homeostasis and basically communicate with each other.  So if you have impaired communication on any level and you’re not–the same way if you get a misinterpretation with, you know, your wife or your girlfriend or something like that, you might have an argument and be like, “Oh, well, my phone didn’t receive you call.”  We have a missed call and bam, there’s issues the same way with your body.  So I just want to make sure you that you pointed out like you had a gem in there and you started to talk about like impaired communication.  That’s I think super big, so go ahead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s awesome.  Awesome.  So where chiropractic is phenomenal is that the body, especially the spine and the joints they communicate via movement, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if that afferent communication isn’t coming in, right?  Is that old adage in programming, crap information in means crap information out.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if we aren’t getting communication because things aren’t moving properly or because the muscle is shut down because of an adhesion or a trigger point or scar tissue, we’re putting crappy information into the system which is almost kinda guarantee crappy information out.  So as a functional medicine doctor, I apply applied kinesiology as a window into the nervous system and then we can test, “Hey, is it by having them touch certain places on the spine, on the joints, or on the muscle tissue?”  We can see how it gets stronger, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So the body is amazing because if we bring awareness to something, we can actually–

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Get a window into how the body functions.  So if I touch my back, let’s say my psoas muscle is weak.  So if I put my leg out at a 45-degree angle and I press down that shows weak, I could have my patient then touch their lower back where those nerves are and if that strengthens, that’s the body or the nervous system telling me this area wants more input.  It wants more communication and we can provide that by adjusting that joint–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Or if I touch the muscle–if touching the muscle strengthens it, what my nervous system is saying, there’s an adhesion or trigger point.  There’s something in the muscle that’s affecting the communication and we can do a soft tissue technique like ART or myofascial release or Graston technique or a muscle spindle technique and we can reestablish communication to those feedback loops.  So this is like direct science and if any, if every doctor knew about this, we could be preventing injury.  We could have–

Baris Harvey:  Oh, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Our patients performing so much.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, and that’s our goal.  So slowly we’re surely get our–get this out to the masses because just like we mentioned earlier how it’s just like a highway of communication and you don’t want your muscles to be like LA traffic.  You want a steady flow, you know what I mean, and it’s the same thing.  And then so we’re talking about the muscles in the spinal system and the importance.  I know it’s a big thing with people is like low back problems and even myself, you know, at a younger age I

Dr. Will Cole Video: Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s and Fatigue – Podcast #36

Hypothyroidism – The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. “Thyroiditis” is an inflammation of the thyroid gland.

In this interview with Dr. Will Cole, we talk about thyroid dysfunction and how to fix it! Over 30 million Americans are suffering from hypothyroidism or low thyroid function. Our thyroid gland produce hormone that helps keep our metabolism working optimally. With less thyroid hormone, our metabolism gets slower while at the same time many symptoms occur. Many people have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is an autoimmune thyroid condition. Conventional medicine does nothing to address the root cause of autoimmune thyroid conditions.

Dr. Cole

Listen to this podcast as they discuss about nutrients to maximize thyroid conversion as well as nutrient testing. Dr. Cole also shares how he deals with his thyroid patients and tests he orders for them. After you listen to this interview, you’ll be able to learn a lot of information on hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s.

In this episode, we cover:

7:22   Main differences between functional medicine and mainstream medicine

12:06   About medications and the focus on TSH

21:50   Different kinds of tests being run for thyroid

31:30   On iodine

36:30   Importance of selenium

38:30   About gluten and Hashimoto’s patients


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Dr. William Cole D.C, graduated from Southern California University of Health Sciences in Los Angeles, California. He has his post doctorate education and training in Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition. Dr. Cole consults in the Pittsburgh area and phone or webcam consultations for people around the world. He specializes in clinically investigating  underlying factors and customizing health programs for chronic conditions such as thyroid issues, autoimmune, hormonal dysfunctions, digestive disorders, diabetes, heart disease and fibromyalgia.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, there! This is Dr. Justin Marchegiani and welcome to another awesome episode of Beyond Wellness Radio. Again, we have a great show in store for you. Before, go to, click on the Newsletter Sign Up button and you can sign up for our newsletter and get show updates right in your inbox before anyone else. You can also click on the Questions button and even speak questions live, and we’ll be able to answer it on the air for you.

You can also click on the Write A Review button. If you really enjoy this show, write us a review. Let us know on iTunes. Let the world know. Think of one person that would benefit from listening to this show and share it with them. Sharing is caring.

Also, check out, which is my personal site. And I have some complimentary functional medicine consults available. You can also sign up for the Free Thyroid Series and Female Hormones Series as well.

You can also go to That’s Baris Harvey’s website where has some great articles and blogs and videos for you there as well and even some consultations. Again, we have an awesome show in store. Stay tuned.

Hey there! It’s Dr. Justin, welcome back to Beyond Wellness Radio. Again, we have an excellent guest on today’s show, Dr. Will Cole. Dr. Cole’s practice is over in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He also has a virtual clinic worldwide. Dr. Cole’s a functional medicine doctor. He specializes in thyroid conditions and–and much more. Again, as functional medicine doctors, we really have to specialize in the whole body, but again Dr. Cole, welcome, tell us about yourself a little bit.

Dr. Will Cole: Hey! Thanks for having me, first of all. My–like as you said, we have a clinic here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We have a virtual functional medicine practice where we do webcam and phone consultations for people in the United States and around the world. Clinically, this–my education background, my doctorate is from Southern California University Health Sciences in Southern California and my post doctorate as you’ve mentioned is in functional medicine and clinical nutrition. So, I also write for the mindbodygreen, one of the largest health websites in the world, one of their health experts for the last couple of years, and I have a passion for education people about chronic and autoimmune conditions and it’s–I’m really excited to talk with you about the thyroid today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, really good! So, tell me about your health story, every functional medicine doctor has their own story of how they got into this field. So, how did you get into this field?

Dr. Will Cole: For me, it was just kinda growing up around it. I, my–my father was in the healthcare field and just kind of seeing some great minds, people like Dr. Mercola, that has kinda change the–the landscape of–of the healthcare in the United States and really everywhere and they just inspired me and saw people that are really struggling with chronic issues, getting more and more medications and seeing that all be reversed and get healthy and the doctors are able to take them off that medication, that’s hugely inspiring as–as a young kid growing up and I kinda knew in high school, “Hey, I wanna be a part of this, too. I wanna–I wanna make–make some changes in people’s lives for the better, too.” So, that’s kinda with–with me. I know a lot of clinicians have kinda gone through some–some major health issues that kind have been–that was the catalyst to make them where they’re at today. For me, I’ve been blessed and lucky to not have to go through that, so, that’s my story.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great, awesome! And again, we are really fortunate because Paleo f(x) is coming up here the end of April. So, anyone that’s gonna be in the Austin area, Dr. Cole and I will be on a panel with another naturopathic physician. We’ll be talking all about thyroid, so we’re–the goal of today’s talk is to kinda give everyone a sneak preview of some of the things that we’re going to be talking about in the thyroid realm. And again, thyroid is one of these conditions, it’s so common in the U.S about 30 million people have this condition. About 1 in 5 are autoimmune and functional medicine really is the only field that’s equipped to addressing the autoimmunity because that’s kind of a one-size-fits-all in conventional medicine. Can you talk more about how you addressed, just your typical thyroid patients? So, they–they come to you. They have maybe hair falling out, fatigue, depression, weight gain, the whole nine yards. How do you work them up?

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah! I think that–you’re right. This is a huge problem in the United States and I think research says like 20 million Americans have low thyroid issues. One in 8 women will develop a thyroid issue in her lifetime and worldwide, it’s insane, that’s like upwards of 250 million people around the world have some sort of low thyroid issue. Huge! And the–the inadequacy of standard model of care is like glaringly obvious because they’re just running these basic labs, TSH, maybe T4, and based on just, “Hey, here’s Synthroid. See you in 3 months.” And that works for some people and for a lot of people it work for a little bit, but then, plateaus and they’re kind of left where they began.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Will Cole: And the reality as–as you know, I know, that you’re kind of seeing this on a daily basis in your clinic is that we have to look beyond those sort of basic labs and that’s where it kinda starts with for myself. I’m assuming you as well. We need to run a full functional thyroid panel to kind of see the–the intricacies, these underlying pathway dysfunctions that are at play that will not be effectively addressed with Synthroid alone or at all.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right, right, right.

Dr. Will Cole: So start with–starts with diagnostics, so full thyroid panel which you probably talked about in your show in the past kind of the–the extended panel and then we look at all the–the implications hormonally that–that are interplayed with the thyroid as well. So we look at adrenal function. We look at hormonal function as far as estrogen and progesterone imbalances and then obviously the gut is a huge component–component of that as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Will Cole: So the conversion pathways as well as the total immunological standpoint because a large–a large part of these people are having autoimmune component to their case. So until you deal with the root issue what’s causing the low thyroid problem in the first place, which in–I would say the majority of them are autoimmune in nature. They may not be full blown Hashimoto’s disease but they are in some degree, they’re immune system’s attacking their thyroid. So we have to have a comprehensive view of it and then you kind of know definitively, “Okay, this is why you feel the way you feel and let’s start these addressing these–these issues one by one.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. Now you talked about a full thyroid panel. Can we just for all the listeners, just kind of contrast maybe what a conventional thyroid panel would–would entail and how a complete thyroid functional medicine panel would be different and what extra information are we getting from that?

Dr. Will Cole: Great. So I–I think it would be good for us to go back up a little bit and look at the main differences between functional medicine and mainstream medicine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mmm.

Dr. Will Cole: The first thing that you and I are gonna be different than their standard endocrinologist or PCP is that we’re gonna interpret the labs that are run currently, the ones they typically ran–we’re gonna interpret those labs differently because, you know, on that reference range, they have, you know, from X to Y, this is what your numbers should be, anything outside of that range is high or low; if they’re both fine, and you know, there’s a problem there. When we get that–that­ average through a statistical bell curve average of the people–the population of that lab–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Dr. Will Cole:   People that typically go to labs are not the healthiest population so if your doctor is saying, “Hey, your labs are normal,” and then you’re still going through these laundry list of symptoms, what they’re really saying is you’re a lot like a lot of other sick people because that’s just looking at this general huge reference range. So we as functional medicine practitioners are looking at a much thinner range of where your body is functioning the best, where your health is great, you’re off of medications, you’re not having symptoms, you have all that energy back, you’re at the weight that you wanna be. That’s the optimal range and that’s gonna be a lot thinner range than that huge reference range. So we’re interpreting the labs that are run currently, the ones that you guys have from your PCP or endo differently using a much thinner guideline and then I would say, number two, we’re running more extensive labs that aren’t run. And the reason why they’re not run is not because your doctor is some mysterious, you know, keeping you–keeping you in the dark. What–it just doesn’t change the treatment. You’re gonna get Synthroid of levothyroxine whether you have true primary hypothyroidism or an autoimmune disease attacking the thyroid or whatever other conversion issue or metabolic issue you’re–you’re dealing with. The end result is gonna be the same, so why would they run more labs if ultimately the only option they have to give you is that Synthroid or levothyroxine. So the full thyroid panel in–in regards to your–your question is that we are running beyond just the TSH and T4. We’re looking at free T4, free T3, so those are the free forms of that thyroid hormone. What’s biologically, metabolically active to the body, what’s getting in the cells that’s–that’s usable by the body, and then we’re looking at T3 uptake which looks in our–our realm, the functional medicine realm looking at estrogen and testosterone imbalances and we’re looking at again all the other implications beyond that, too. So the free fraction hormones we’re looking at–the T3 uptake and of course, we’re looking at the antibodies, thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies, to rule in other autoimmune components to the patient’s case. So the most common being Hashimoto’s disease and so I’m assuming many of your listeners are–are the well, you know, learned. They do know what they’re talking about and are aware of the–the rise of autoimmunity in their–in the world and–and how we need to address it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And is TSH a thyroid hormone, Will?

Dr. Will Cole:   Well, it’s secreted by the brain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Will Cole: Secreted by the pituitary gland so it’s not a thyroid hormone. It’s kind of like the analogy that I use and maybe it’s not the best. But I always say it’s the communication with the brain and the thyroid. So if your TSH is high, this is like inversely proportional. A lot of people get confused. A lot of my patients do, they’re–they’re looking at this high TSH and they think, “Well, maybe why shouldn’t I be hyperthyroid? Why am I not losing weight? Why am I not feeling like hyperactive?” Well, this is an inversely proportional number to your–from your brain to your thyroid. So it’s–it’s basically your brain screaming at your thyroid if you have a high TSH saying, “Work more, work more,” because it’s not secreting hormones for whatever reason. But again, there’s a lot of people with normal TSHs that have low thyroid issues. One of them being a pituitary hypofunction. If your pituitary gland is not working well because of stress or inflammation or chronic infection, your brain is not communicating with your thyroid. So you can have a normal-looking, pretty looking piece of paper wrapped TSH, but you’re having low thyroid symptoms and that’s why we have to look at these communication lines with the brain. So that’s why a large part of my clinical approach is having a brain-based component to it of addressing these–these neurotransmitters issues and these hormonal communication lines with your endocrine system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah and a lot of patients I see, again their TSH may be normal but then their T4 and T3 conversion is off, or let’s say a patient had thyroid issues. Let’s say, you know, they had elevated TSH, they were put on some Synthroid. Now their TSH is back to normal, so the doctor thinks they’re fine but we run a full panel, you see T3 free and total is–is totally low. And one the big things I think a lot of medical doctors don’t realize is that the cells of the anterior pituitary are very sensitive to thyroid hormones. So once someone’s on a thyroid medication or supplement that may have endogenous thyroid in it, TSH will be the first thing that drops, and you may not get that conversion across. Can you talk about medications and how doctors are so just focused on TSH and not the–the other downstream hormones?

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, I–I think that they’re really is–is part of the bigger picture that we see across the board with all chronic disease is the training and the standard model of care that has its place but their training is diagnose the disease and match it with the corresponding drug. It’s really the only option they have as far as the PCP setting. So if you have high cholesterol, you’re gonna get high cholesterol drug. If you have diabetes, you’re getting diabetes drugs. If you’re depressed, you get the anti-depressants. It’s just the–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Will Cole: There’s a medicinal matching game. But when it regards to–to the thyroid is that, it’s just a very incomplete view and kind of hanging your head on this one number–we’re all more complex than just one number on a piece of paper and you kinda have to look at the downstream, like you said, conversion issues that–that the thyroid has to go through to actually be used by the body, so as you mentioned, low T3 syndrome is a huge problem around the country because the conversion happens in the liver and a large, smaller part in the gut, this is where the conversion of T4 to T3 occurs and if your gut’s not working well and if your liver is not well, you can have low T3–T3 syndrome or that just under-conversion issue, and yeah, you have to deal with the conversion at that point. It’s really not a thyroid problem, it’s a conversion of the thyroid problem.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that makes sense. Now regarding, you know, thyroid issues, we know T4 is this inactive thyroid hormone, are you aware of any-any physiological uses in the body for T4 or is it primarily T3?

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, it’s primarily T3, I think to a lot–a smaller degree, it’s usable to some degree, but no, the more metabolically active is gonna be T3.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s right and most people or most doctors aren’t looking at this conversion. What factors are you seeing that are affecting T4 to T3 conversion? You mentioned gut bacteria with the–with the acetic acid and the sulfatase enzymes. You mentioned liver with the whole deiodinasation process, that’s your body cleaving iodines off–it’s a selenium-based process. We need selenium to do it. What other processes are really important for that T4 to T3 conversion?

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, I would look at, again, a full mapping of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Will Cole: The HPA axis because if someone has sustained high cortisol levels or if anyone has sort of andrenal fatigue–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Will Cole: As we call it, spectrum, even just chronic stress levels–chronic systemic inflammatory issues will decrease the conversion ability of T4 to T3. So you kinda have to look at the complete history and I don’t think a–I think a lot of clinicians aren’t even taking the time to really look at it. You have to look at these underlying issues that give rise to chronic thyroid symptoms.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And you mentioned cortisol there and we know that high cortisol will actually block T4 to T3 conversion, and we know if it’s too low if we’re on a full out adrenal fatigue stage 3, not enough cortisol will prevent conversion as well, because we need some cortisol for this conversion and I see a lot of patients, we’ll kinda look at their full thyroid panel on one side and then we’ll look at their adrenal panel on the other and some people, their–their adrenal will be in worse shape than their thyroid. How many people or just on general, how many patients are you seeing on average that are coming in where their adrenals are actually in worse shape than their thyroid even though they thought maybe they had a thyroid problem pri–primarily?

Dr. Will Cole: A huge percentage of people. I mean, because if we’re talking these all compassing typi–classical low thyroid symptoms and then then they think that’s what they’re going through, that gets the most buzz, it’s the most popular, that’s the most people are aware of in their–their consciousness but when you run the labs, you’re seeing, “Okay, actually you have a lot of other hormonal things going on but it’s actually not thyroid.” I see that on a daily basis. So you cannot sort of pigeonhole these issues and just assume they’re all thyroid issues because thyroid may be a part of it but it’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Will Cole: Basically victim of these other hormonal problems.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s really true and what nutrients are you also looking at to assess or what nutrients are you making sure that patients have enough of to maximize thyroid conversion?

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, I would definitely look at selenium, zinc issues which help with the conversion issues and just help with thyroid physiology as whole, and that’s something that you can measure on a–on a simple blood test to kinda see what’s going on as far as the micronutrients are concerned and many people are deficient in these–these nutrients. So those are two main, main–main nutrients that we will work on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what objective tests are you doing to assess these nutrient levels?

Dr. Will Cole: We’re running a blood panel. Full blood panel to–to kind of see the micronutrient aspects of it and as far as the nutrients, it’s mainly through blood.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Are you doing like a SpectraCell? Are you doing like a NutrEval? Are you doing–

Dr. Will Cole: SpectraCell is typically what we use.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, got it. Do you have any experience doing like a NutraEval by Genova or–

Dr. Will Cole: I’ve seen them before from other clinicians–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Organic acid test?

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, I’ve seen them before. We don’t run them on a regular basis. Do you run them?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I do the organic acids a lot. I mean, you know, there are some markers on your conventional blood panel where you can kind of infer some nutrient deficiency, you know, alkaline phosphatase and zinc and RDW and–and selenium–

Dr. Will Cole: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But they’re indirect markers, but yeah, that SpectraCell is a good one, too.

Dr. Will Cole: Right, that’s my favorite one to looking at the nutrients.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and what are you doing to look at liver function? Because you–we know liver is so important for thyroid hormone conversion.

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, what I’m doing is I’m running a comprehensive metabolic panel and looking at the AST, ALT, and the GGT and looking at the functional range, not just the–the huge reference range. But looking at the liver enzymes in the optimal range on the blood test that a lot of these people have already. So I always tell patients like, “Look, we can start with the labs you have already and just the functional medicine interpretation of those labs to kind of see,” and you know what, so many people don’t even know what all these biomarkers mean and just explaining to them, “Hey, look, this is what’s been going on. Your doctor hasn’t talked to you about it mainly because there’s no medication for it. But it’s actually a problem and your doctors ran these labs but there hasn’t been a conversation about it.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. That really does. Now on that note, I have a blog up here in front of you that you wrote a little while back on autoimmunity and some–

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Of the triggers. Can you talk about, just comparing contrasting, you know, your run-of-the-mill, your primary or secondary hypothyroid patient, whether it’s a pituitary or conversion issue, and then compare that to just, you know, an autoimmune thyroid. What’s the difference and how would–

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You treat them?

Dr. Will Cole: And I would–they–there can be separate cases but my finding is that a lot of these patients are–have more than one thyroid category where we put them in. They are autoimmune, the majority of them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Will Cole: Even if the antibodies are below the level where we can classify them as Hashimoto’s, there’s some sort of autoimmune response going on there, and then they have conversion issues. And they have pituitary hypofunction, so–and they have thyroid resistance which is similar to–to the insulin resistance because of the chronic inflammation they’re going through. So they have this multi-tiered faceted aspects that–that are pieces of the puzzle to them healing when they overcome them. So, but again, most of the patients that I see are autoimmune patients and a large majority have been diagnosed or will be diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease or autoimmune thyroiditis and a large part of autoimmune patients is finding out their food triggers, because autoimmune patients as you know they’re given very little options in the standard model of care. They’re really given steroid therapy and that’s basically it. And they–they’re kinda left to fend for themselves, so and then they don’t realize and they’re told by their doctor that what you eat doesn’t really matter at all. You can kinda eat whatever you want. It’s not gonna play a part in your autoimmune disease and that’s just not what research is showing as the foods you eat have direct implications to the rise of your inflammation and autoimmune response in your body. And I’ve seen every food under the sun, even healthy foods, I’ve seen autoimmune patients flare up against these seemingly innocuous healthy benign foods. So you have to kind of cut through the confusion so people that have cleaned up their diet, people that have–that are eating a Paleo diet or–or kind of conscious eaters and clean eaters that are still having symptoms, we need to kind of cut to the confusion what is their immune system flaring up against.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Alright, so you mentioned some of these triggers. You mentioned some foods and now with these foods just kind of be all the foods that would be, you know, cut out of an–kind of your basic autoimmune diet, your nuts, your seeds, your nightshades, your gluten–

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, those are the–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Sweet potatoes, eggplants, peppers. Go ahead.

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, I know. That’s the–the big guns for sure. We would–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Will Cole: Clean those guys up right out of the gate and then we typically I run the Cyrex multiple–multiple autoimmune food panel, the–the newer one they have that kind of–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Array 4? The Array 4?

Dr. Will Cole: I believe so–I don’t know for sure. I think it might be autoimmune because that’s like molecular–that’s the cross-reactive foods–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Will Cole: I believe. So it’s not the cross-reactive foods which we would run that as well, but they have, I think it’s Array 10. It’s higher up in the–in the arrays, that kinda looks at just food intolerances as a whole and obviously I–no one really has like a spinach intolerance but if their body is reacting against this, it’s really due to the gut. So what I have them do is while they’re healing the gut, avoid those foods, so they do not have this inflammatory response against these healthy foods.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. So patients come in to you, what are the average tests that you’re running off the bat? I know it’s gonna be different for each patient depending on what their goals are but just on average, how many tests are you typically running off the bat and what are they in general?

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, the first–my first tier test is gonna be a functional blood testing, just through their–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mmm.

Dr. Will Cole: Labs, typically. Their Quest or LabCorp we typically use. So it’s gonna be a comprehensive metabolic–metabolic panel. We run a nuclear magnetic resonance to look at the subfractionation of the lipids. We’re looking at the micronutrients. We’re looking at a full thyroid panel obviously.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mmm.

Dr. Will Cole:   We’re looking at homocysteine, C-reactive protein–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Will Cole: We’re looking at MTHFR, gene mutations. That’s kind of basic testing for us.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Will Cole: And then the secondary testing is gonna be a full saliva adrenal stress index through diagnostics, looking at cortisol rhythm; looking at estrogen, progesterone, LH, and FSH; some basic food intolerances, and then we run a 2-day collection stool test from Doctor’s Data to look at the microbiome, so predominant bacteria; any yeast, fungal, parasitic issues; bacterial overgrowth, leaky gut syndrome, and digestion and absorption abilities because we see impairments of that a lot because of the population of the autoimmune patients that we’re seeing. So that’s basic testing that we run and then we go a little bit deeper for patients that have cleaned a lot of their lives, that are eating healthily, but they’re just at a plateau and we run sort of these–these deeper tests for those people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great, doc. And I know in your article here on 6 Triggers for Autoimmune Thyroid Disorders and How to Avoid Them, you mentioned infections and you talked about your 2-day sample from Doctor’s Data. Is there a reason why you do the 2 versus the 3?

Dr. Will Cole: I just think it uncovers things that may be missed on the 1-day and they have a 3-day collection, too, where we use that often as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Will Cole: So I think that you’re just gonna uncover things that maybe fall through the cracks, no test is perfect, and I just find that maybe things negative on day 1, and day 2 and day 3, they’ll be positive. And a lot of people can get these false negatives and they go on for years of their lives not knowing why they’re sick, and it’s just if we just took the extra day to run these labs, we can give them insight into these underlying things that are lurking but aren’t easily detected.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, a lot of times I’ll run 2 different stool tests from 2 different companies, you know, minimum of 3 days each, sometimes we’ll even throw in one of the genetic stool tests, too, and almost all the time, one will pick up an infection where the other one didn’t quite pick it up.

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, that’s brilliant. That’s even better. So I think the more you can kind of give people answers and say, “Hey, this is why you’re struggling,” and it’s just that’s the beginning of healing and I’m just getting that relief off their shoulders that “Hey, I’m actually feeling this lousy for a reason. It’s not just all in my head.” I’ve told many people as you know are told this for years–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Will Cole: “You’re just crazy or you’re just depressed. Here’s an anti-depressant.” And then they start second guessing themselves and thinking, “Well, maybe this is just in my head.” It’s not in just in your head. It’s–this is a real physiological issue that’s really just, you’re not getting the answers because of the inadequacy of–of the standard model of care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I had a patient just the other day come in and she’s a young high school student and she has a bowel movement on average once a week if she’s lucky. And she goes into her primary care and, you know, obviously they just throw her the prokinetics, you know, your–your laxative medications, your enemas. But then while leaving the doctor’s office, the doctor tried prescribing her with anxiety. And it’s like, “Wait, wait a minute!” Like I think anyone would just naturally feel anxious if they couldn’t poop.

Dr. Will Cole: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, less than one time a week. It’s like, “Come on.” So that’s the kind of standard of care where even when we have blatant imbalances in physiology, we’re still gonna try to make you feel like it’s all on your head and we’re gonna give you some medication that’s gonna probably cost more side effects than help.

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, exactly. I think it’s very well said and it’s just this very symptom-based model which we’ve seen for–for–for decades here and it’s just where–as far as crisis care, I think emergency care in this country we have some of the best emergency care systems in the world, but when you’re talking about chronic care, daily chronic disease that are–it’s really what’s killing the United States, chronic disease and autoimmune conditions, we’re a dismal failure. We’re really very, very inadequate as far as the options that people are given.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I totally agree. And are you seeing a lot patients of yours that are having these issues and are being scapegoated with anti-psychotic medications?

Dr. Will Cole: Oh, absolutely. They just–that’s the easy drug to give. That’s the easy solution. You have anxiety, you have depression and–or you have these unexplained health issue, and they basically are saying it’s a mental issue. They’re basically making it up. It’s part of a mental disorder and they’re given these anti-psychotic drugs and it’s just–it’s not dealing with the root issue of why they’re going through what they’re going through. And we know just through the cytokine model of cognitive function, basically how inflammation impacts brain function, depression and anxiety and these type autistic symptoms, all of these things have implications to the gut, to the microbiome, and to inflammation. Until you deal with those issues, these real measurable physiological issues, you’re gonna have these symptoms and you can be dealt up from medications but ultimately you’re not dealing with the reason why you have the problem in the first place.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I totally agree. That makes a lot of sense for me and I know that you being a functional medicine doctor, you have a system-based, a systems-based approach, where when someone’s talking about their symptoms, right? They may take about fatigue or brittle hair or my fingernails are this, you’re in your–in your mind like going back, “Oh, maybe they’re adrenals are off, maybe they’re not absorbing fatty acids and protein,” where maybe the average doctor is like, “Ooh, let’s see depression, SSRI, stomach pain, mmm, proton pump inhibitor.” So your mindset is totally different. You’re working in a different way mentally when you’re listening to these histories versus the conventional MD, is that correct?

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, absolutely. In other words, functional medicine is systems medicine or, you know, mechanism medicine. So we’re looking at these underlying mechanism dysfunctions that give rise to chronic and autoimmune conditions. So yeah, the symptoms are a–a–are a–are just the tip of the iceberg. Symptoms are a result of something going on underneath the surface that we need to kinda backtrack and come up with a hypothesis of what’s not working well and then implementing tools, natural tools, to fix these underlying dysfunctions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I love that. That’s why functional medicine just makes so much sense.

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, it’s logical. I mean, people that have a logical mind or they just wanna find out why–who doesn’t wanna find out why they feel the way they feel? I think ultimately most people do not want to just mask symptoms. They may want it for the meantime, in the short term if they’re suffering, I understand that. But then long term, we have to ask the question, “Why do I have this problem in the first place? It’s not a medication deficiency. So let’s find out how we can get better so eventually as I’m getting healthier, I can get myself off these medications with my doctor’s help.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense. Now in your blog article which I recommend everyone to read here. The 6 Triggers For Autoimmune Thyroid Disorders at, click on the blog link there. But you talked about infections, we touched upon, you know, how you assess that with, you know, certain stool tests–

Dr. Will Cole: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 2-3-day ones, et cetera. What infections are you seeing on average with your patients?

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, we’re seeing bacterial pathogenic infections–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: H. pylori?

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, H. pylori–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: SIBO kinda stuff?

Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, and strep infections, too. Overgrowths of those–those coliform units of bacteria, and we’re seeing candida, not just the Albicans. There are different kinds of species of candida, yeasts, fungal issues, and occasionally we’re seeing parasitic infections as well. So these types of things are constant, cyclic inflammatory triggers to people that are struggling with these unexplained health issues that may be thyroid-related, may have a thyroid component and they’re–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Will Cole: Just think it’s entirely thyroid, but as we talked before the–the call started, the body’s all interconnected.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Will Cole: And the idea that one of these separate boxes where we’re just gonna have a pill for each of our problems, the reality is that we need to look at the body as a whole entire system and–and start fixing these issues one by one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Now, what kind of parasites are you seeing in your clinic with patients?

Dr. Will Cole: We’re–we’re seeing really everything as far as the parasitic infections, but it’s not–to pinpoint one, I don’t really. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I know how science–

Dr. Will Cole: The scientific–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I know the scientific literature is really keen on for instance H. pylori is a big o

Detoxification Issues – Mary Vance – Podcast #19

In this podcast, Dr. Justin and Mary Vance, a holistic nutritionist and wellness coach talked about the importance of functional nutrition and how by determining and addressing the underlying causes of one’s disease rather than simply dealing with it symptomatically can greatly provide relief and make a huge difference in one’s health.

Learn the proper approach to detox and how proteins and amino acids play a vital role in making our detoxification channels run properly.  Also find out what the top three stressors in our detox system and how to avoid it.  Discover the different herbs for detox as well as the healing benefits of essential oils.


In this episode we cover:

06:25   SIBO

09:33   3 Weeks To Vitality

14:18   3 Detox Stressors

19:28   Detoxification pathways

25:12   Herbs for detoxification

43:17   Resistance Starch

43:17   Essential Oils Benefits








Justin Marchegiani:  Welcome back to Beyond Wellness Radio.  This is Dr. Justin Marchegiani here.  Baris Harvey will not be here today but we have an awesome guest in our studio, Mary Vance, NC.  Mary is a Certified Nutritional Consultant in Bauman College.  She has also gone through Dr. Daniel Kalish’s Functional Medicine program.  And Mary has worked with patients; I want to say, for the last five to ten years, Mary?

Mary Vance:  It’s actually been almost 10 years now.  I finished school in 2006.  I started kind of mentoring and working with people, around 2005-ish, so almost 10 years, yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.  That’s great.

Mary Vance:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I would love for you to be able to share your story, kind of how you got into the health field with our listeners.

Mary Vance:  Sure.  And you can read kind of a more detailed information on my site which is

Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Mary Vance:  But the short story is that I grew up an animal lover and was raising and training show horses and dogs.  And I attended some animal rights workshops and learned about the really deplorable conditions behind factory farming.  And that really horrified me so I became a vegetarian.  And I was about fifteen and I lived essentially on rice and ramen noodles and I became severely anemic.

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, man.

Mary Vance:  Yes, right.  (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs)

Mary Vance:  I mean they were delicious but I became really severely anemic.  And that was kind of the first connection I made that, “Wow! What you eat really dictates the status of your health.”  So you know now, since you and I are working with clients and patients all the time it is kind of a no-brainer for us.  But I think a lot of people still do not really make that connection.  And so that is how it really hit home for me and I started really studying how to be a healthy vegetarian.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  You know, if there is such a thing.  And I just read everything that I can get my hands on.  I was really interested in the connection between nutrition and health.  But then of course, I was eating a lot of soy and thought that I was super healthy because I was a vegetarian.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  And all of the processed soy food obviously kind of messed up my hormones and thyroid.  And that is when I really kind of started pursuing this as a career.   Went back to school and got my education and training and then you know just learned how to rebalance my hormones on my own.  And it all kind of took off from there.

Justin Marchegiani:  Wow! That is great.  Now because you mentioned animals I am going to go into it.  I got a scratch from my cat maybe four days ago and it is kind of swollen up.  And I have done some research it’s a bartonella infection.

Mary Vance:  Oh, wow!

Justin Marchegiani:  I am actually treating it right now with some herbs, with silver, with noni, with neem, cordyceps, a couple of herbal formulas and its actually going down really nicely.  So I may get to avoid the antibiotics.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.  I want to keep my gut flora as healthy as possible.

Mary Vance:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  I know you have the experience working with a lot of people with gut infections.  And I am just curious, people that have animals, do you see a lot of people that are around animals come up with infections?

Mary Vance:  Now that is really an interesting question because one of my closest friend is a naturalist and works with tons of animals and his was the worst parasite test I ever saw.  (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  Gosh.

Mary Vance:  Riddled with stuff and have a lot of GI issues.  And yes, actually one of the more common thing I see and I know you do too is really H. pylori.  And then if you test one person, if they have a partner you always want to run a test on the partner.  And 9 times out of 10, the partner comes up with it, too.  So aside from animals, the moral of the story is check your partners as well.  (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, absolutely.  My cat gave my fiancée cryptosporidium infection.

Mary Vance:  Oh my gosh!

Justin Marchegiani:  I know.  And speaking of cats, are you familiar with toxoplasmosis?

Mary Vance:  Oh yes.  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So that is an infection that literally changes the person’s brain chemistry to like, I think to actually like urine, like the cat urine.

Mary Vance:  Oh, my God!

Justin Marchegiani:  Isn’t that crazy that it can like change your urges and kind of desires around something like that?  Isn’t that crazy?

Mary Vance:  That is really scary.  I think pigeons carry that, too.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, yes exactly.  So when you deal with these people that have chronic infections, what is the best way to do it?  Do you find going out knocking out the infection right away tend to be the best thing or is there some type of foundation that has to be worked on with these patients before they get to the infections?

Mary Vance:  Well, that is a really good question, too.  And as you know, kind of my favorite repeatable mantra that I tell everyone is that there is never a one-size-fits all approach to any of this stuff.  So if anyone comes to you and they have a bunch of different gut infections or pathogenic infections or parasites going on, I mean sometimes if they are also super toxic, you know when their liver is not working properly because they are super overwhelmed with all the toxins that are admitted due to these gut infections and they are not digesting well and that creates kind of a toxic environment.  And then if you give them herbs or even sometimes the antibiotics or whatever if they have a really severe infection and that can overwhelm their detox system.  And overwhelm them to the point where they would crash and feel incredibly ill.  

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  And if their adrenals are not supported, it is really important to make sure that whoever you are working with has the detox channels working properly and they are not super stressed out and their adrenals are kind of working before you can really knock out a lot of the GITs.  And make sure that their diet is pretty stable, too.  Don’t you find that common in your practice, too?  

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  I mean, I find that a lot of people for instance a lot of toxins are eliminated via the hepatobiliary channel system.  So if your gut is backed up then when your liver and gallbladder dump all these stuff up you are just going to reabsorb it.

Mary Vance:  Totally.

Justin Marchegiani:  So definitely making sure like digestion is there, transit time is there.  Getting rid of the dysbiosis and SIBO.

Mary Vance:  Oh yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  That is like, I find that really important.

Mary Vance:  Yes, SIBO is so funny because all of a sudden you hear about SIBO everywhere and its only years ago no one was really talking about it.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  And now it’s… I mean I see it’s a really common cause of constipation and almost everyone I am working with that has GI problems have the tendency towards constipation.  And of course that makes, you know, detox issues much worse if you are backed up but SIBO is really huge right now.  I see a lot of those cases.

Justin Marchegiani:  And what is your opinion with SIBO?  Because I find with some patients that it is just SIBO that is causing the problem.  And then you have other patients where SIBO is kind of a sign of a deeper infection that is like underneath.

Mary Vance:  Oh, yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And that is kind of like making the outer environment in the gut like more, you know, dysbiotic, if you will.  So what is your take?  Are you seeing more of just SIBO being the problem or SIBO and other infections?

Mary Vance:  Well, I find that with candida most often.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  You know.  If you always see yeast as kind of a secondary infection to other stuff.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, candida.

Mary Vance:  And it seems that way with SIBO as well.  Because yes, obviously the gut terrain is totally altered with these infections and then it causes the secondary infections to crop up.  But it is kind of baffling to me right now.  I don’t know if you have come across this but I will have people that go to their doctors get breath tests for SIBO and they come back negative but they still have all the signs.  And then they start eating you know, according to FODMAP and kind of addressing that, they feel better.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  So I wonder what do you think about the accuracy of those breath tests? 

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, basically we are on the exact same page.  I tell my patients, one if we see it in the stool test that is great.  But if they see any resolution of going on a Low FODMAP diet and their gas and bloating improves that is diagnostic to me.

Mary Vance:  Oh yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And then also if adding in a little bit of resistant starch makes the problem worse, I tell them it is like throwing a rock in the beehive and that is diagnostic for SIBO in my ballgame as well.  Because some of these tests can be expensive so we can do objective/subjective testing.  When we add these things and then we see if symptoms go one way or the other.  That can be huge at moving forward and knowing that we have this issue.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  So do you just use the Metametrix tests to see if there’s an overgrowth of good bacteria and that is how you use stool testing to diagnose SIBO?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, like that or like if you are doing a 401H from BioHealth you will see like Enterobacter or you will see Citrobacter and things like that up in the abundance of the gut bacteria.  So you can see it that way, too.

Mary Vance:  Yes, yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And then, you know, sometimes just any breath test and you will see it more of an H. pylori.  But I have just been doing the PODMAP thing and I think it is really diagnostic for patients.

Mary Vance:  Yes, I think so too.  Yes exactly.  If that works right away off the bat it kind of save some people money if they cannot afford a stool test right away.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  And right now you are doing a lot of stuff with detox.  I think you have an e-book and a specific product on your website that you are really kind of putting out there right now.  Can you tell us more about that detoxification product?

Mary Vance:  Yes, so I wrote a book called “Three Weeks To Vitality” and my main goal for writing this book is that one of my colleagues when I used to teach detox workshops which are really fun.  And we would do them right before spring and right before fall because those are kind of the ideal times according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.  That is when the liver and the large intestines are the most active and the weather is warm and those are the best times to detox.  But one of my main things in teaching these workshops and I noticed was that people were doing just these crazy fad cleanses that are really unhealthy.  And using or drinking all kinds of stuff and doing the Master Cleanse for 3 weeks and you know, some people can feel great doing some juice fasting.  But again, if you have underlying hypoglycemia or some other type of issues going on then that can again be really kind of dangerous.  And a lot of people have ended up in the hospital from doing the Master Cleanse because it severely alters their electrolyte level.  So I kind of wanted to educate people on just using food and herbs for safe holistic detoxification and that is kind of the basis for my book.  It gives you a three-week plan.  And week one is the pre-cleanse where you are kind of cleaning up your diet and getting rid of all the junk like gluten and dairy and potential food allergens, soy foods.   

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  The other benefit of it aside from all the education that I kind of provide and the guidelines on this 21-day program is that it is also a great way to test yourself for food allergies. You know, by eliminating potential allergenic foods for a period of time and then adding them back in at the end.  You can tell you know if you start to get symptoms that you might have food allergy issues going on.  And the same thing with coffee and alcohol.  A lot of people are drinking coffee every morning and drinking wine at night and they do not realize the impact that it has until they get rid of it.  And then you know it helps them really identify which habits are not serving them well.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, I think you said some really important things there.  Now you talked about detoxification.  So you are kind of eliminating a lot of the environmental stuff, a lot of the dietary stressors that are coming in your body, is that correct?

Mary Vance:  Yes for sure.  Because our environment is so toxic these days it is really scary.   You know a lot of people say, “Oh, our liver is our own natural detoxifier.”  And you will hear naysayers basically saying you do not need to do detox because your liver does that for you.  But obviously we are bombarded with so many toxins.  And like what we have been talking about if your gut is now working properly, if there are other factors going on.  We have those endogenous toxins, internal and then external.  So just by getting rid of all of the junky stuff that you are eating for 21 days and really eat… There are foods that you can eat to support your liver and herbs you can take.  You know, kind of healing elixirs you can drink to really support liver detox.  So yes, definitely what you are intaking day to day is really important for that but also just kind of making over your life.  That is kind of a whole holistic model, right?  Is that we identify not only just what we are eating but our lifestyle, stress and sleep and all these other factors involved, too.  And kind of look at what are some toxic patterns in your life that are not serving you well.  That is kind of the true path for healing is really looking at all the factors and not just focusing on just diet or just protocol.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  But they are addressing all those factors for health.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  And I think a lot of cleanses out there they miss the internal toxins.  You said endotoxins or internal toxins.  Endogenous was the work you used.

Mary Vance:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And I think it is really important because a lot of infections like for instance we have H. pylori or bacterial issues we are going to see endotoxin which is hepatotoxic.

Mary Vance:  Oh yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  We see a compound known as lithocholic acid which is produced by SIBO.  We see mycotoxins which are produced by fungus. For instance, if we like to do this awesome cleanse and we get all of these nice nutrients and herbs, if we do not get rid of these infections though we are not really getting to the root.  Is that correct?  Is that what I am hearing you say?

Mary Vance:  Yes, totally.  And obviously this cleanse is just designed for people to be able to do this at home.  But I do get a lot of emails from people that say, “Yes, I felt better by cleaning out my diet but is still do not feel great.”  You know, then that is a sign that there is still something going on that you have to test for.  So yes, that was a major issue.  People have adrenal fatigue and they are not going to totally get better until you really resolve some of these underlying, other factors that might be going on that are a huge stress on the body.    

Justin Marchegiani:  So what do you think are the three habits, out of your experience with thousands of patients what are the three biggest habits that are putting stress on our detoxification systems?

Mary Vance:  Well, the biggest one I think and that you would probably agree with I would not say necessarily for the detox system, in general.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance: But one of the biggest things that people do not realize and just a factor of our health is sleep.  I mean, we are still programmed in our society that if we sleep 8 to 10 hours at night that we are lazy and we are not productive.  I was just reading an article the other day that said our ancestors were sleeping 10 to 12 sometimes more hours at night.  And we gradually whittled that down.  And that is one of the gateway first wrongs in the ladder for stress which causes inflammation which then you are kind of off and running.  That is how the disease state begins.   

Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Mary Vance:  So sleeping is a huge one.  And then for detox, a lot of it are really focusing on cleaning up your products.  Things that you are slathering on your skin and chemical-filled cleaning products that you are inhaling when you are cleaning your house.  There are just so many chemicals that are used in our lives day to day.  And cleaning all that stuff, just remember anything that you are rubbing on your skin is absorbed and has to be detoxed.  And that includes on your food, pesticides that you are eating or herbicides from non-organic produce and factory farm meat.  Those have a huge impact.  And then of course, people are just like popping pain relievers and drinking alcohol and using over the counter drugs.  And all of those kind of really add up. And your body has this total load threshold and when that is exceeded then these toxins back up in your system and that is when problems start.   

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, those are really, really good points.  Now on top of that you have talked about the Master Cleanse.  I think you were dropping a serious big knowledge bomb back there.  Like that is like blasphemy in the detox world.  Can you go more into the Master Cleanse, if you will?  And just talk about kind of what your take on in this?

Mary Vance:  Yes. The Master Cleanse is very polarizing.  Some people are like they get super upset if you talk about leaving out the Master Cleanse.   

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yes.

Mary Vance:  But the idea that you drink this lemon water which in and of itself hot water with lemon can be a great detoxifying agent.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  How it like stimulates peristalsis and it really does kind of help bile production.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, it is very alkaline, too.  Right?  Alkalinizing.

Mary Vance:  It is very alkalinizing, yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  So this Master Cleanse they drink that and cayenne pepper which can be thermogenic and help boost fat burning.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  And increase circulation.  And maple syrup and sometimes Epson salt or something, I do not even know.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  But you know if you are drinking this 6 -7 times a day, again like I was saying earlier, if you have underlying health issues you are not aware of or if you have a tendency to hypoglycemia, I mean you are going to really crash and burn.  And people are doing this mostly in my experience when I work with clients and taught these workshops, it is not that people really care so much about being healthier or cleansing their liver.  Specifically, they just want to lose weight.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Mary Vance:  So you are really going to lose weight but you are mostly losing muscle mass.  You are not burning fat when you are doing the Master Cleanse.  It can really have detrimental effects on some.  And people would be like “Oh, but, I felt amazing!”  And I think that is kind of a false sense of your body’s being stressed out and you are kind of running on adrenalin for a few days and then you just crash.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, it is very addicting to be running on adrenalin, like it feels good.

Mary Vance:  Oh yes, yes totally.  Yes those are some scary stuff.  And some of these cleanses that people are buying on the store they have like really harsh laxative stimulant herbs.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  So there is pooping all the time and they are like, “Oh, I am cleansing, I am on the toilet all day.  But really that is not focusing on liver support at all.  You are just pooping a lot.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right, right.  And I find with my patients or just people in general, the main benefit that people get from doing a Master Cleanse is they are cutting out food allergens but there is no protein in their diet.

Mary Vance:  Oh yes.  Exactly, yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Like they are just getting a total break from eggs, beef, and chicken.  Even foods that are like Paleo but they are just getting a break from it and their immune system kind of like de-stresses, right?

Mary Vance:  Yes, that is really an excellent point.  And a lot of people if they are feeling really poorly going into it and they are having lots of digestive issues then yes, and that is where people get confused, too.  Is that it is hard for them to determine if they have food allergy or if they are just not digesting food that they are eating well because their digestive system is not working and they are not producing enough enzymes or hydrochloric acid.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  And then they remove all those foods or they remove all food and they are like, “Oh, I feel amazing!”  It is probably like you said they are removing allergens or foods that they are not digesting well.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, that is really a good point.  And also I want you touch upon our cytochrome P450 oxidase pathways.  Phase 1, phase 2, some people say phase 3.  I want you to touch upon that because if I remember correctly from school, it takes protein and amino acids to run those pathways.  So you look at the Master Cleanse you are like wait a minute!  There is no amino acids coming in so how does that actually run our detoxification?  So can you go down and talk about our detoxification pathways?

Mary Vance:  I am really glad you brought that up actually because I think I even mentioned that on my website.  Is that when people are just doing this kind of raw vegan cleanses or whatever like you said, your body synthesizes these potent detoxifier.   And you know these detoxifying agents like glutathione for instance break by it through protein.  By breaking down protein and through amino acids and then the liver synthesizes these really potent N‑acetyl-cysteine and glutathione specifically antioxidants that it uses to boost detoxification.  And if you are deficient in those, you are not going to be detoxing.  And that is why a lot of these combination herbal products or nutrients they contain a lot of these amino acids and glutathione, N‑acetyl-cysteine specifically.  And so many people are deficient in those because again if they are vegetarians, and they are not eating much protein or they are not digesting or breaking down these proteins…

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  Then that is one way that you are shortchanging your liver and you are not getting your full detox capacity met. 

Justin Marchegiani:  That is really important.  And I want to just underline one thing you said for the listeners.  Glutathione, our master antioxidant made from proteins, cysteine, glutamine and glycine.  So I think that is really, really important.  So in your detoxification program, do you have some type of general detoxification support that is amino acid based to help push that phase 1 and phase 2 pathways?

Mary Vance:  Oh yes, totally.  So I give people options.  They can remove the food that I suggest and you know there’s protein involved and then if they want to use the supplements, there are a lot of great functional food, the kind of smoothie mixes out there that can be used for detox programs.  And a lot of them, you know, we are talking about heavy metals earlier.  So a lot of them can help chelate some heavy metals out of the body.  They are from any of these companies but you know we use like Designs for Health.  And some of these companies, they have already put together packets that have antioxidants and the herbs in them and then the vitamins and minerals you need for detox and the amino acids.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  Designs for Health have one of those called Amino-D-Tox which is full of amino acids.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  So it is really easy to find a great deal of detox support packets that you can use alongside your cleanse.   And that is when you are really kind of, you know, the food part is great to address of course but if you are also doing the supplemental support and getting fiber and making sure that you are pooping regularly then you have kind of the full spectrum in place there.

Justin Marchegiani:  A very interesting.  So if I am a patient and I want to work with you and want to do a really good cleanse.  Let us say, that my diet is already good.  How would we work together doing this cleanse?  How do we move forward?

Mary Vance:  Yes.  Well, again if you are working with me or a practitioner then you can really personalize it based on what your particular health concerns are.  And sometimes, I know you use the Organix Profile probably in your practice from Metametrix.  And these are really cool test because it gives you an idea exactly if your detox pathways are congested, you know, it will tell you specifically what imbalances you have.  So sometimes, I will recommend that to see exactly what is going on or working with them in terms of any deficiencies or that test can kind of reveal if you have SIBO issues or some gut stuff going on.  Because a lot of times, people think they want to do detox because they are like, “Oh, I am tired and I am bloated, etc.”  But really they need more specialized gut work and maybe do the gut works first and then the detox.  So it really, you know, again kind of depends on the person.  And then you can recommend any testing that might reveal some underlying issues going on and then kind of really personalize it based on what they need.     

Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.  So you have like your general support and then you might customize it based off some lab testing as well to see kind of what pathways maybe are not working.  Is that what you are saying?

Mary Vance:  Yes, exactly.  Or if I kind of flag them as being a potential digestive case then, I recommend some stool testing alongside the Organix Profile and see exactly what is going on and then maybe the detox is not the place to start.  Maybe back up a little bit farther down the road until you clean up the gut or maybe they need some detox and then clean up the gut, you know.  It really depends on what is going on.  

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, yes.  And just for the listeners at home, organic acid testing is the new cutting edge testing that involves looking at these metabolites in our body.  And essentially if we have metabolite A it gets converted to metabolites B, we know there are certain nutrients that are required to help make that A to B conversion.  And if we see a whole lot of A and a small amount of B then we are basically indirectly knowing that the nutrients that convert A to B are low.  And so we are able to come in there. We can look at all the different pathways that our body needs to detoxify and we can really customize things.  And that is kind of what Mary is talking about how she customizes her detoxification programs.

Mary Vance:  Yes, I love that test.  It is really cool.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, yes.  So talk to me about some of your favorite herbs to use when you detoxify patients. 

Mary Vance:  There are a lot of combinations out there.  There are tinctures as well.   And sometimes, if someone is not digesting food well then liquid herbal tinctures are the way to go.  But you will see combination herbal formulas with like Oregon Grape root and milk thistle.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  Of course, those are really great antioxidants and have some liver healing capacity.  Those two are my favorite.  Then you will find like burdock root or ginger sometimes. But what is interesting is some of those herbs are kind of more liver protective and liver regenerative and some of them actually help the cleansing process.  And it helps to actually strengthen detox.  So a lot of people are just buying milk thistle because they have heard that they are great for detox but milk thistle is actually the best detox support.  It is incredibly good in healing for the liver.  But if you combine it with some of these other herbs then you get kind of the liver protective, regenerative and the detoxing herbs.

Justin Marchegiani:  Hmmm, very interesting.  So I am going to switch gears a little bit away from detoxification.

Mary Vance:  Uh-hum. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Now because you worked with so many patients, tell me about the three biggest mistakes most patients, let us say they are Paleo literate.  Let us say that they already know about Paleo.  They already studied it or maybe are already doing some Paleo things like cutting gluten out of their diets and such.  What are the three biggest mistakes you are seeing with patients?

Mary Vance:  Oh, this is a good one.  This is a fun topic.  Well, number one, like I have said earlier, it is always sleep.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  It is so incredibly rare that I find someone who is either sleeping well or sleeping enough or has good sleeping habits.  And my podcast partner Caitlin “Grass Fed Girl” and I have done several podcast just on sleep alone and good sleep hygiene.  And you know people are sleeping with their IPhones next to their head and sleeping with their Wi-Fi routers next to their heads and the TV on.  And you know, there are street noise and their rooms are not dark for their staying up too late, etc.  And that really alters your circadian rhythm and alters your adrenal function and it affects your cortisol levels.  We are just now reading a lot about how lack of sleep can really contribute to weight gain and causes a lot of hormone imbalance.  So that is a huge one.  And people, you still tell them, “Listen, you really have to work on sleep.” And they still do not believe you.  And then some people are really relieved and finally like, “Wow! Okay, great!  I have permission to get more sleep.  But the other big one, especially with the Paleo community, this is really, really common.  I get this a lot with women especially.  It seems to be really more predominantly women.  But they will say, “Oh my neighbor lost 50 pounds in Paleo.  I have gained 20 pounds.  What is going on?        

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yes, I hear that a lot.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  And then they are completely baffled because they have read all the amazing testimonials for Paleo online and how it is a panacea, it cures everything, or GI issues, too.  I get that a lot.  But often times again, like I was saying earlier, there is never a one-size-fits-all approach.  So your neighbor’s Paleo diet is not going to be your Paleo Diet.  And often times they are just eating too much of a particular macronutrient for them.  They are eating tons of meat or maybe too much fat for their particular physiology.  Or if they are not digesting it well that can be another issue.  And I still tell people you know, I mean you need a lot of plant.  And obviously there are exceptions to that.  Again, sometimes too much fiber can be irritating to people if they have gut problems.

Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hum.

Mary Vance:  But it is usually, in their cross fitting, they are working out really intensely and that can be an issue, too.  If they have hormonal imbalances and severe adrenal fatigue and they are cross fitting themselves to death then you are going to have some weight loss resistance issues, too.  So sometimes people are not exercising, sometimes they are exercising too much.  They are not sleeping enough.  Or they might be eating Paleo but they have not adjusted their particular macronutrient ratio.  Though they are eating super low carb, you know, they are not getting enough carbohydrates and that can actually affect hormone balance especially for women.  Like I was saying, women have really delicate endocrine system.

Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hum.

Mary Vance:  So if they are eating way too low carbs and that can prevent weight loss and contributes to some hormonal imbalances, too.  Especially, it is seemingly thyroid related.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Then talk to be about going too low carb.  Now how are you customizing the macronutrients?  Because I would see some people that they do really well doing low carb.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  But others don’t.  So how are you customizing that?  How are looking into adjusting it?

Mary Vance:  Well, yes.  Another thing that is kind of hot right now as everyone wants to try is ketogenic diet.  And again, that seems to work really well with people who have like 50 or more pounds of weight to lose.  And that is as you know is kind of low protein and high fat and really low carb.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  But it is kind of a pain but it is really important information for everyone to track exactly what they are eating everyday and get their macronutrient ratio break down and see, “Okay, well I am only getting 10% of my calories from carbohydrates and that is really low.”  That might be too low for some people.  So it is really kind of takes all the fun out of eating basically to have to like count your carbs and track your percentages of how much protein, fat and carbs you are getting.   But I have people do that at least for a little while just to get a ballpark.  But most people I think for weight loss tend to do well with under a 100 grams of carbohydrates and then again it totally depends on the person. And if they are working to resolve some hormonal imbalances or other issues going on and then again with the ketogenic diet that everyone is kind of hopping on that bandwagon right now.  Like I said, for some reason it seems like people who have not very much weight to lose do not do well on that.  It can really make them feel poorly and people with a lot of weight to lose seem to do well.  What has been your experience with that working with people?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  I mean, I see men always tend to do very well.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And then some women will come in and they won’t do as well and there’s typically an underlying thyroid or female hormone issue that tends to, need to be addressed.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And then also, I think people get the wrong mindset.   They are under the impression that all right, “Well, we are going to lose weight because then we get healthy.”

Mary Vance:  Oh yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And I think, I think the causality is reversed, is you get healthy then you lose weight.  And women they just have these beautiful, intricate cycle that is kind of like a symphony that is up then down.  For men, just constant, a straight line like an eeehhh, that is a straight hormone line throughout them hormonally.

Mary Vance:  Laughs. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And then the women have the symphony going on.  So you just take off one instrument out of the symphony or time it up wrong that symphony just sounds like noise.  Or like men just have this fog horn going the whole month.

Mary Vance:  Laughs 

Justin Marchegiani:  So definitely that is one of the big things I see, the hormones.

Mary Vance:  Yes, that is a really great point, too.  Because as you know, I know you specialize and work with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroid cases. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  Another thing that really gets me is that I will ask every woman who is either struggling with weight loss or I suspect hormonal imbalance, “when did you have blood work done?”  And then they will always say, “Oh my lab work is normal.  My lab work is normal.”  But you look at the lab work and there’s a huge range for your TSH which is what doctors use to primarily diagnose.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  And let us say their TSH is 4 and you know that is not flagged as abnormal on the lab test.  And as you know, there is an ideal range and then there is this huge range in the lab test.   So you get a lot of people who are like kind of they are flying into the radar and they have T4, T3, TSH imbalances going on.  And that is when you want to do the more sophisticated panels and sometimes that is what some people do.  (Laughs)   

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Yes, and you want to scratch your head even more because you can take a blood test on the East Coast and your TSH is 5 and you are considered normal because 5.5 is the normal for the East Coast.  And then you go to the West Coast and then it is 4.5 and now you are suddenly hypothyroid.  So I say the easiest cure for hypothyroid is just a plane flight, you know?

Mary Vance:  (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  Just go to from the West Coast to the East Coast.  (Laughs)

Mary Vance:  That is pretty awesome.  And the worst thing is then they give you Synthroid and send you on your way.  And then those were the other people that I got.  They would say, “I have been taking Synthroid and absolutely nothing has happened to me.  I do not feel any better but my lab work is great.”  It is either a Hashimoto situation going on, and then it is not your thyroid’s fault, you know.  It an immune system issue.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  I do not want to talk about leaving out our conventional medical system because obviously it has its strengths.  But that is the one thing that gets me.  I have these people that are so frustrated working with endocrinologists and they never ask them how they are feeling.  They just look at their lab work and send them on their way.  And then people are still feeling really poorly and you know they have autoimmune issues then they are told, “Oh, if you have autoimmune it is still the same treatment,” you know?

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  Right.  And then like the assumption that we can look at a brain hormone, i.e. TSH.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And then we can make this general assumption that this is the same thing as thyroid hormone.  Well, we can just test thyroid hormone and we can be very accurate that way.  We can look at T3 and T4 free and total but we will just look at the brain hormone and we will base everything off of that one test, even though it is totally indirect.

Mary Vance:  Yes, exactly, exactly.  And then I have a lot of people too, they will have a full thyroid panel at hand and it say that have their antibodies are really high which indicates Hashimoto’s and no one has told them that.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  No, my endocrinologist never said anything and my doctor never said anything.  I do not know what you are talking about.  You know they have been walking around with Hashimoto’s then it is not being addressed and then it is just, you know, kind of backward.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, and I think it is really important for anyone listening.  Like the training that I have had, the training that you have had, this is not training that is available to people in the conventional mainstream medical school setting.  You really have to go outside, kind of the conventional scope.  You have to go study from doctors that have been in the trenches for decades.  And you take classes with people that are already doing this.  It is not something that is in the conventional setting.  So I think a lot of people just think, “Oh, well my doctor went to this medical school or that medical school.”  These things are not being taught.  It is so cutting edge and for the most part, anything the doctor is learning in medical school is about 20 to 30 years old.  It is very outdated.  Most of what a doctor learns is clinical or in their residency but I think that is an important assumption that people really need to readjust that.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  Those are really good points.  They only have maybe one section that they need to require for nutrition.  And so your endocrinologist is never going to ask you what you are eating.  And many times your doctor is not either.  Or they have such ancient information about what you should be eating for health and there is still kind of the low-fat dogma and exercise more and eat less fat or whatever they are saying. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  But yes, I mean that is why this holistic health community and alternative medicine is really, you know, our whole goal here is to find the root cause as well and not just keep treating symptoms.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  And I spoke with a Stanford physician recently.  You know, Stanford is probably in the top 10 for medical schools in the US.  It is pretty renowned.  And I asked her about her nutrition training while in school.  And she had to take I think a two credit class and it was online.  And you did not even have to show up.  You could just take the test at the end.  That was your nutrition class.

Mary Vance:  I know. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And I am like, “Oh my gosh! Like how can this doctor who just studies to know and at the end takes the test, how are they going to have the same kind of knowledge that when you spend thousands of hours I imagine in your nutrition program over at the school you went to?  How can they compare?

Mary Vance:  Well, and the other thing that I just do not understand is people really, I mean disease just does not, I mean in the majority of cases, right?  And the majority of cases disease does not just kind of spontaneously occur, you know.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  There are a thousand factors that go into this and the biggest one I think, one of the biggest ones is what you are eating and what you are putting in your mouth everyday.  And that is going to also impact your stress level and inflammation.  And we know that stress and inflammation are kind of the first parts of imbalance that occur. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  You know, I do not understand why we are still going along and that connection is not really being addressed in the conventional medical world?  

Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I know hundreds of people are finding your website, reading your blogs and checking out your podcasts and buying your products so people are I think slowly changing.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  It is just a matter of time before they see five-ten doctors and you know, it is all in their heads.  Or if their hormones are out of balance here some birth control pills.  Or here is an antidepressant or it is you are just getting older.  Don’t you love that one?

Mary Vance:  Oh, my gosh! 

Justin Marchegiani:  You are just getting older.

Mary Vance:  Oh, I know you I am sure get tons of people who, I feel so bad for these people.  They have been through the ringer with like GI doctors, and endoscopies, even colonoscopies, and they have had biopsies and they say, “Yes, they just gave me an IBS diagnosis because they cannot find anything wrong with me.”     

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  And then they send them on their way and the reason that they need that diagnosis just so they can prescribe drugs.  And obviously the drugs are not necessarily going to heal the disease.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  Or the underlying cause but at least the person will be able to function.  And obviously there is something going on.  And that is what they will say, “Well, maybe you should consider an antidepressant.”

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Exactly and I was watching House, MD.  I am just starting the show.  The show has been on for like 10 years but I got Netflix

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And I get to go through, you know, like just back-to-back-to-back.  You are going to go on like your weekend binge of whatever show you are checking out.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  But in that show, it’s the epitome because one, there was like two really cool things that happened.  If you have not seen the episode, spoiler alert but the girl that has brain issue, it’s a parasite!  Oh, my gosh!  I could not believe it because conventional medicine, you know, their parasites only exist in the third world.  So it was a parasite and it fixed her.  But number two, the other guy that comes that is having all the problems, the fatigue, the soreness.  And he is like, “Oh, it is fibromyalgia, it is chronic fatigue.”  Well, he goes out and he gets these M&M’s, you know like candies that did not have like any, you know, they are just kind of bland looking.  Put them in a bottle and just said it was medication and said here you go.

Mary Vance:  Laughs. 

Justin Marchegiani:  So basically, the message is: if your fatigued, if you are in pain, you are tired; it is all in your head.

Mary Vance:  In your head. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And then at the very end he comes back wanting a prescription refilled, basically proving that he is right.  It is all in our heads.  But if you go on the scientific literature, like low thyroid, adrenal fatigue and gut infections can cause chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.   So it kind of supports exactly what you are saying.

Mary Vance:  Oh, yes.  And our system is kind of a disease-based model and not preventive-based model.  So those are the people that are flying into the radar because they have these subclinical imbalances or things going on that are not serious enough to prescribe drugs for, be detected and then that is how actual, real more serious diseases take hold if you do not kind of focus on these little underlying imbalances first.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  I totally agree.  Can you tell me more about like who is your ideal patient?  Like who are the people that are coming to see you from all over the world?

Mary Vance: I specialize in Women’s’ Health and hormone balance so I see a lot of digestive cases.  And I do like those cases because those like I was describing that person who has been to five different gastroenterologists and had so many of her tests done and still do not feel better.  Because even making a few dietary changes right away will give them relief while you are kind of working on healing the other stuff.  So a lot of digestive wellness.  And then like you, a lot of immune cases, Hashimoto’s, hypothyroid.  Those are all really satisfying cases to work with because people just feel so much better.  And just educating them about what is going on with them that nobody has told them about and then giving then a good protocol or trying an autoimmune diet.  So it is mostly fertility, women’s health and hormones and digestive wellness.  And of course the detox piece, too.  

Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.   And you mentioned a lot of digestive issues with these female patients.  What percent of the people that are having these infections even have digestive symptoms?

Mary Vance:  Oh, gosh!  That is scary.  If you know that there are, when you run these profiles, or they do not really realize that what they are having are kind of nagging issues that they would not even necessarily, or they can cut normal.  You know, they think they are kind of burping a lot or feeling bloated at the end of the day.  But these food allergy symptoms and digestive issues manifest as different, you know, just being tired all the time can definitely indicate a GI problem as well.  It totally depends on the person, you know?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  So there is a lot to answer your question.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  Yes, there is a lot of people that do not really have serious GI issues, you know but there is something going on in there and they are not aware of it until you run a test.

Justin Marchegiani:  Hmm, hmm, very interesting.  And what is your experience with resistance starch been like?  That is kind of like a big hoopla in the Paleo community.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  So what is your experience?

Mary Vance:  That has really kind of taken off.    

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  And I have just started sort of researching it and reading about it.  But, obviously, you know, the resistance starches resist digestion.   

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  So you know, I think that the people are jumping on that bandwagon because it improves insulin sensitivity, it can lower blood sugar levels.  But I am kind of just starting to do more research on that and I think it can be really useful in a lot of people.  So what have you seen?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  I mean, I think for me, it has been diagnostic for picking up SIBO.

Mary Vance:  Yes, yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  I think some people do really well because they can increase butyric acid in the gut.   And butyric acid is really beneficial at lowering the pH and preventing bad bacteria from growing, especially people that are on lower carbohydrate diets.

Mary Vance:  Uh-humm.    

Justin Marchegiani:  There are these certain bacteria called Eubacterium rectale or Roseburia bacteria.  And when you go low carb these things get like really obliterated.  But if you do a little bit of resistant starch even while you keep a low carb diet you can keep that beneficial bacteria up.  So I think there are a lot of good benefits especially if you are someone that goes super low carb and you may get constipated.  In my opinion, that is the reason why people may get constipated on low carbs.  Even if they are not on the veggies and/or that bacteria starts shifting in your colon.

Mary Vance:  Yes, yes.  And I know that people are kind of using raw potato starch. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  I definitely think that using it for diagnostic tool is really valuable for SIBO.  But again as we were talking earlier I guess off air about people are going to their doctors and getting tests for this stuff that are not showing up until you either run more sophisticated stool profiles or you are kind of doing these little experiment with their diet and that is helping and it is really going to start to show up.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  And you like potato starch over like plantains or over banana starch?  What is your take on those?

Mary Vance:  Potato starch can actually kind of mess with certain people. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-humm.

Mary Vance:  And so I do not really use that one.  I know that it is kind of a popular one and people are using Bob’s Red Mill, I think. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  Potato starch.  Yes I am more inclined to use kind of the ones you suggest and necessarily that would be my go to. But I know with a lot of the articles I read, that is one of the main ones that is recommended.  What do you see with that?   

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  I have seen the same.  Anyone who has autoimmune I always just default to the banana or plantain.

Mary Vance:  Oh yes, because that has some irritants for autoimmune issues, yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. I mean you get the alpha-solanine in the potato but some people are like, “Oh, but it makes us better.”  I am like, “All right, well as long as you are not autoimmune then we can try it.”  So I always recommend getting both and see which you gravitate towards.

Mary Vance:  Uh-humm. 

Justin Marchegiani:  I gravitate towards the plantain now or the unripen banana for sure.

Mary Vance:  Yes, and they are also delicious.  (Laughs)  

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  You can just mix it in with your shake, too.

Mary Vance:  Yes, yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  That’s cool.

Mary Vance:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Well, tell me about, this maybe like a little bit off topic or it maybe a little difficult for you to pull up the information.  Tell me about your most popular blog post.  Because I know you are a big blogger in the…

Mary Vance:  Uh-humm.    

Justin Marchegiani:  So what is like the things that the people there coming at, what are they looking up?

Mary Vance:  So probably the biggest post, the two biggest posts I can think of, well three, (Laughs) the biggest one is on adrenal fatigue.   

Justin Marchegiani:  Ah, yes.

Mary Vance:  Kind of healing a hormone imbalance.  And I think I even started off even in that post saying that you know most doctors won’t even address, you know, if people go to their physicians and say, their primary care doctors and say, “God I am so tired, you know.”    

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  That is not even really recognized by the conventional medical system at all.   That is a huge post.  Then treating candida.  You know, yeast overgrowth.  I got tons of hits on that blog post.  And then just 10 really easy daily detox tips.  Because after you, let us say, you have done all this work and you have cleaned up your gut and you got your liver detox pathways running smoothly again and you want to make sure, that is another huge question that I get asked.  How do I make sure my hormone levels do not tank again?

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  Well, there are daily lifestyle habits that you can do to, just daily detox like dry skin brushing or we were talking about like the hot water with lemon.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  Or including liver friendly foods, sitting in a sauna.  You know, exercise, sweating.  There are tons of ways that you can support your liver daily.  And also if you are working on healing hypothyroidism or hormone imbalances, you know just making sure that your lifestyle factors are in place in the most critical factor.  You can be doing everything right with taking your supplements everyday and eating but if you are staying up all night and chugging coffee and your stress levels up to the roof, you are not going to get well.     

Justin Marchegiani:  Right, right.  And on your site, you talked a lot about essential oil.  I know you like the Young Living Essential Oil company.  Can you tell me more about kind of like your take on essential oils?  Like the biggest three things that you would use them with in your life.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  You know while we were speaking earlier when you are talking about your cat scratch infection.  The Thieves Oil… (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  Thieves, yes, yes.  Actually I have doTerra so I would do on guard.  But yes.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  And you can put that actually directly on it, too.  But I really love using essential oils.  My main caution that I tell people though is that I think that people are using a lot of these oils internally.  And you need to be kind of careful with how you are using them internally because we are still not sure exactly.  You know, there is a lot of evidence that peppermint, which is one of my favorites.  You are asking me about my favorites, peppermint is one of my favorites because it is really uplifting and cooling and it can relieve headaches pretty instantly and it can be very soothing for IBS type people.  Then there is evidence though because it is killing off certain gut bacteria.  And then if someone has SIBO for instance and they have an overgrowth of… That is what SIBO is basically bacteria in the wrong place and overgrowth of what is not considered bad bacteria.  It is just in the wrong place and there is too much of it and it can kill some of that off.  And so we do not know necessarily if it is killing off good gut flora.  So there is a lot of debate out there actually whether or not oils are safe to ingest.  And I think there are several that you can ingest safely.  But I do caution people about, you know you cannot take all these oils internally.  But I am a really big fan of some of these blends.  I have been really kind of focusing on the meditation practice and there are a lot of them that have specific oils in them to help deepen the meditation practice.  There is one that Young Living has the grounding blends and Believe.  And they have like balsam in them and different kinds of frankincense, especially.

Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Mary Vance:  So I like those blends.  And I love peppermint and lemon oil that can be good for detox.  And I do, I love frankincense and myrrh, too because those are really great for your skin.  So it is super fun to dabble with and I think that diffusing then and inhaling them it can really provide a lot of stress relief for people.  And like I said, using them alongside kind of yoga or meditation practice because they smell nice and they make you feel good.    

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  What is your take on Valor?  You like Valor?

Mary Vance:  Oh Yes.  I love that one.  But Valor is also super popular.  I think they run out of it all the time.  People use that for kind of self-esteem and confidence and again it smelled awesome.  But I heard a lot of people who use that to reduce anxiety. And so yes, I think that they can be really good.  We reviewed this kind of like amazing testimonials about essential oil all the time.   I think that they can be a really good kind of lifestyle habit to help people when they are kind of working on healing.  And they are natural.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  They are all plant based. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yes.  Absolutely.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  They are really strong and they work pretty well.

Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool.  So is there anything else that you would like the listeners to know about you or anything on your radar screen that is really important to you right now?

Mary Vance:  Well, I would just say, you know if anyone wants to go to my website like you said,, there are tons of resources on there. And I actually recently written about my meditation practice and what I have kind of done to start help maybe get focused and grounded and centered.  And there are all my popular post listed and you can download my e-book.  So yes, I got it all in there and poke around.  It is not only just nutrition articles.  It is obviously, you know, with this holistic model like I was saying, it is lifestyle, wellness, sleep, stress, exercise, emotional well-being and there are recipes and just articles about nutrition on there, too.

Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool.  Her name is Mary Vance.  You can find her at  Feel free and check out her detox program.  Also if you need coaching, she is available as well.  And also Mary has a podcast called HealthNuts podcast.  They are on sabbatical right now while her counterpart finishes her book.

Mary Vance:  Laughs 

Justin Marchegiani:  But feel free to check out lots of great old episodes of really good interviews and check out the Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and all the good channels there.  Thank you so much, Mary for coming on the show.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  Thanks so much for having me, Justin.  It is always fun to chat about these stuff.

Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  Take care.

Mary Vance:  Okay, bye, bye.

Justin Marchegiani:  Bye.

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