How to Investigate The Root Cause of Your Gut Issues | Podcast #366
In functional medicine, it has long been familiar that gut health is paramount to the rest of the body. We didn’t fully understand why for years, although we knew the gut was the seat of the chronic inflammation and immune system. With the gut microbiome renaissance, we also need to understand how integral gut bacteria are to our health.
Dr. J and Evan discuss that screening for more serious underlying issues is essential. These may include gastric ulcers from an h.pylori infection, leaky gut, and other digestive system problems. Finding out whether these conditions are an issue also impacts how you manage gut health.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
3:34 – The Signs and symptoms of digestive disorders
7:35 – What tests are effective to find the root cause of gut issues
13:58 – The downside of ordering lab tests on your own
26:21 – Food template modifications that will fit for your gut health
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Here, Dr. J, with Evan Brand. Really excited to have an excellent podcast today. We’re gonna be chatting about how to investigate the root cause of your gut issues. We see lots of patients come in and they’ve gone to see the SIBO doc or the Candida doc or the parasite doc or the thyroid doc and whatever the symptoms that they’re dealing with, magically that issue, that doc only focuses on is the problem, how coincidental right? And so, we want to talk today about having a holistic mindset not being necessarily attached to what the diagnosis or what we think is the root issue but really be focused on the outcome and the different tools we use and have to investigate and support healing. Evan, how you doing man?
Evan Brand: Doing good. And not to mention too, the conventional approaches, right, maybe they get to the SIBO guy or to the parasite guy or to the worm guy, maybe they went to the endocrinologist first for their hormone symptoms and then they got referred to the gastro doc and then the gastro doc did an endoscopy or a colonoscopy or a barium x-ray scan like you did to me and then they say oh you’ve got gastritis and that’s the only thing they can pull out of you is hey there’s some inflammation and then it ends there so whether you’re coming, listening from the conventional approach whether you have tried to go more natural holistic approach. As you and I’ve talked many times, people over-specialize and that’s the problem. You and I are what I would consider very good specialists but we also have a generalist undertone to us, meaning, we’re not gonna get caught up in just the SIBO, we’re not gonna get caught up in just the parasite, it’s rarely that simple.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. It’s like, imagine, like you hired a handyman to come over and fix something in your home and the handyman just takes this Phillips flat head screwdriver and it’s like, or, I’m sorry, not, but let’s say a regular Philipps screwdriver and just say hey I’m gonna use this Philipps screwdriver even if it requires a nail, even if it requires a wrench or a drill, I’m married or attached to this Philipps head screwdriver and we don’t want to be attached to the tool, we want to go in, know that we have a myriad of tools in our tool belt and pick the right tool for the right job. There’s a nail, I’m going to pick a hammer. Hey, there’s a, you know, a wrench, you know, we’re gonna use something that is good for a wrench etc. So, we’re picking the right tool for the job and we are focused on the outcome, getting the results and we’re not focused on how we get that outcome, right? The vegan diet people, they’re gonna make it so everything is solved by a vegan diet and that’s it, right? And so, we are independent of the tools that we use to get the success that we need.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a great point and a lot of this comes from just experience but also our own personal journey too, I mean, you know, my story, you helped me through my story of having digestive issues and skin issues for decades of my life and we looked at the H. pylori, worked on that then it was parasites then it was bacterial overgrowth then it was Candida then it was mold, I mean, so, I went through the ringer personally and I think personal suffering but of course clinical experience really gives you the non-biased approach and I think that’s what you need because if you’re trying to just sell book or you’re just trying to just get clients in from a book you wrote on SIBO, as you said, everything’s gonna be SIBO and if somebody is not in that box, you’re gonna still give them the same treatment, you’re not gonna get them better and then they’re gonna move on and the average person who comes to us has already been to 5, sometimes 10 or 15 practitioners, so it’s not surprising when we look what they’ve done and they’ve still missed some of the pieces. So, why don’t we talk now about some of the pieces, like when we’re looking at someone with gut issues, what are the pieces we’re trying to lay out on the table in front of us to gather enough information to find what’s truly going on and then of course how to fix it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, the first thing that I think is essential is you got to do a good history, you have to understand how everything unwound, right? And so, when you look at most people’s history, a lot of times there’s poor diet, there’s usually some stress issues, a lot of inflammation compounded by junky fats, um, poor digestion, in general, not being able to break down proteins and fats, lots of refined sugar usually processed grains, excess omega-6 or trans fats and these things just continue to put the body in a pro-inflammatory state and what that means is, when you become overall inflamed at a higher level, your body starts to break down faster than it can heal and so the goal of being anti-inflammatory, right, is restricting a lot of the foods that drive inflammation, so your body can heal faster than you break down. So, there’s always this net buildup versus net breakdown and so when you’re breaking down over time what starts to happen is just as you know from a joint standpoint, you’re starting to feel a little bit inflamed, stiff from a mood standpoint, you may have anxiety, depression, obviously fatigue starting to creep in. Because, the more inflamed you are, your body’s having to deal and allocate adrenal resources to deal with the inflammation, to deal with the stress where normally those adrenal resources would help with energy and good mood and good circadian rhythm and so of course then that starts putting stress on the thyroid then you start having mood issues, temperature, hair loose and then of course the more stressed you are, the more that starts to suppress your body’s ability to digest optimally. So, HCl levels, enzymes levels, maybe bile salt levels start dropping. You start to have a harder time breaking down protein, breaking down fat. You may start getting burpee or gassy or more flatulence, now, your motility starts to go south typically more on the constipated side but you can still have more diarrhea too. And then, your absorption starts to go south and when that starts to go south, now you start to have, um, a bottleneck and all the nutrients, whether it’s B vitamins, flat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, K, whether it’s minerals or amino acids to help your brain chemicals or cholesterol to help your hormones. Those building blocks start dropping and then those pathways start getting shorted and they don’t have the resources to run optimally. And, when we don’t have the resources, more symptoms start to happen. And of course, this kind of compound in this whole journey is the immune system starts to drop and then when the immune system starts to get weaker, now, bugs start coming into the situation, whether it’s parasites or yeast overgrowth or SIBO or bacterial overgrowth or H. pylori. And again, we don’t have to be married to which one or which system is the one, right? But we have to look at things objectively and, um, I think it was Dr. Kaler said this to me over a decade ago, it was kind of a good line, he said, ‘patients have the right to have more than one issue, more than one infection, more than one hormonal imbalance going on at the same time, so don’t get married to one thing because you have the right to have lots of things going on.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. And you illustrated beautifully, just the constellation of symptoms that can happen. So, if someone is coming in with gut symptoms that’s usually the tip of the iceberg. Underneath that iceberg, just like your poster, you got right there. If we put the tip of the iceberg is gut under the water there, it could be the anxiety, the depression, the fatigue, the low sex drive, the cold hands the cold feet, the brain fog, the concentration issues, the memory problems, the skin issues. And so, once you do a good history, you’re also gonna be talking about pharmaceuticals too, what kind of like proton pump inhibitors were you on. That’s a big thing, like were you on acid blocking medications, were you on other things disrupting your gut. So, of course, figuring out, if you’re still on those medications, you’re not fully gonna get better, if you have a ton of drugs that are causing these side effects and then you get into the testing. Now, this is where you and I differ from other people. Some people, they’re married to the SIBO test and I don’t want to speak for you, I’ll ask you about this but me personally, I think a SIBO test is a waste of time because when we look at a GI map stool test, we’re gonna see a more detailed breakdown of specific pathogens like Strep and Staph and Pseudomonas. And the way I look at it is your mouth to your but is one long tube, so, if there’s dysbiosis in there identified on the stool or the urine organic acids, we can assume it’s probably in the small intestine but the protocol, the herbs that you’re gonna use, are gonna treat the whole thing. So, to me, I want to hear your thoughts on this too, but to me, if I see positive hydrogen or methane, all I’m going to go and do and say is gonna to be, ‘yep that makes sense’, but beyond that those breath tests are not really that helpful.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, a SIBO breath test is just looking, it’s an indirect measurement, looking at the gas created by the bugs, so methane or hydrogen gases that are created. So, if we can find bugs that typically produce those gases or an imbalance in but bugs that shouldn’t be there, then we know more than likely, there’s something going on in that SIBO realm. It doesn’t change the treatment that much because a lot of the herbs we use to knock down those bugs that they’re gonna be similar if not the same on the SIBO side. Now, my philosophy may be a tiny bit different than yours but I find anyone with these type of bug issues we’re running a comprehensive stool test and usually an organic acid test and on one or two of these tests, we’re gonna see either the bugs, the bacteria imbalances, whether it’s Citrobacter, Prevotella, Morganella, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, or H. pylori or parasites. We’ll see these bugs elevated if we don’t almost always, we catch it on the organic acid side when we’re looking at 2,3 phenol acetate or benzoate or Hippurate or D’arabinitol for yeast, usually we’ll catch it there. If I don’t catch it on any of those tests on the stool test or the organic acid test then I’ll pull out a lactulose breath test but I’d say 99% of the time we never have to go that far.
Evan Brand: Okay. Okay. Good point. Maybe it’s a 1% of the time test for you and I guess what I would do if let’s say we missed it, we felt like we missed it on stool and urine, I might just come in or if sometimes if someone just has no budget to do anything, we may just look at symptoms scan history and just come in with some herbs and see how they do. And, a lot times, a lot of these antimicrobials, antifungals, anti-parasitic herbs, a lot of times it clears up the issue anyway so we don’t like to come in blind but in a few rare cases we have come in blind and we’ve still had good benefits. A lady just chimed in on the live chat here, my gut is not happy, chronic constipation after using pain meds for pain and recovery from five back surgeries. Yeah, that’s a common issue with the opiates, right? Because that’s gonna slow everything down so yeah, I guess the answer is eventually this person’s gonna have to try to get off those opiates, right? But there are some, maybe some brain-gut motility activators we can use, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Of course, you know, if you’re on those opiates, you probably had some surgeries and surgeries man, meaning typically anesthesia, maybe a lot of antibiotics along the way so that’s probably really screwed up the gut microflora. So, first off, you have to get to the root cause of the pain. Second thing is you have to have a good, uh, doctor to work with to taper you off those medications while providing anti-inflammatory support because you need whether it’s systemic enzymes or anti-inflammatory herbs plus that brain takes time to get rewired from the opiates because you’re processing pain totally differently. Remember, opiates don’t have an anti-inflammatory mechanism, they just block pain at the brain level which isn’t good because pain is a good indication like if I have pain in my ankle and it’s there then I can know okay I shouldn’t walk on it because I’m causing more damage, right? So, even if I were to take Ibuprofen and my pain went away, I would still want to be very careful, I don’t do too much on it because I’m gonna cause damage, right? So, most people that are chronically inflamed by these opiates, they’re just causing more and more damage because just because they can’t perceive the pain, they’re still causing this inflammatory breakdown.
Evan Brand: Yep. That’s true. Someone else has chimed in, my gut has been destroyed by many rounds of antibiotics. And, that’s super common, I mean how many times have you and I see that where someone comes in after a round of antibiotics, I mean that’s probably one of the top five things we see, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%
Evan Brand: They said they’re dealing with IBS-D so that would be diarrhea and eating a limited vegan diet. So, my first thought is, uh, oh vegan diet, raw leafy greens, if you’re dealing with diarrhea, vegetables are gonna irritate the gut, I would push you more towards getting some good animal proteins in even if you could only handle like a carnivore collagen like a beef peptide protein powder or you know collagen shake maybe with some organic berries that’ll be my first thought. How would you think about this one?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, you could definitely look at reducing some of the fermentable carbohydrates and really look at cooking and steaming a lot of those things so it’s easier to break down but you really got to reach out to a good functional medicine doctor that can kind of help navigate you through it because if you don’t have all the digestive enzymes and acids there, it may be hard to break these things down. Also, someone chimed in, what about Vagus nerve issues. So, this is kind of a classic area in functional medicine where people try to talk about things differently in a nuanced way and they’re just talking about the same thing in a different way but people think it’s a new thing, right? So, when we talked about like inflammation and adrenal stress, when the more stressed you are and the more you activate the sympathetic and the more inflamed you are, right? Guess what happens when inflammation goes up and the sympathetic nervous system goes up, the vagus nerve or the parasympathetic nervous system always goes down, does that make sense? So, when we talk about these things it’s implied that the vagus nerve or the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system that would helps with healing and recovery is always going to be impaired and so people talk about things kind of as a way to nuance themselves make them seem different kind of market themselves in a different way which is fine but, you know, the average person may get a little confused about it and so just know that, that’s kind of under same umbrella that we’re talking about. We talk about the vagus nerve or the parasympathetic, it’s being factored into this whole adrenal stress inflammation umbrella, I think, yeah, inflammation is the bigger umbrella then you can put adrenals and parasympathetic and sympathetic all under that umbrella.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Very true. Very well said. Teri chimed in, I’ve been experiencing constant belching, a new symptom for me. So, once again, you got to get the labs run, I want to look at your organic acid, see what’s going on there. Get a GI map stool test run. Are you on proton pump inhibitors? Are you taking supplemental acids and enzymes? How old are you? If you’re above the age 40, you probably have low acid, low enzymes, maybe gut infections too. So, with stool, urine sample and good workup, you could probably resolve belching. I mean, that’s a pretty easy one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And, I strongly recommend, do not get these labs on your own because, just because you get a lab, you’re not gonna have any ability to know what to do next and that’s everything, right? You gotta know what the plan is next, uh, and then typically you wanna look at like when I order a lab, it’s in conjunction with we’ve done a b c d e f and then not the lab is gonna plug in at g. Does that make sense? So, it’s never just this is a or this is it. There’s a whole bunch of, sequence of things that we’re doing before we get to all the data from the lab. And so, when you work with someone, most people are gonna have that plug in at some level in the clinical chain downstream. So, most people think, oh this is just it, this is a, this is the whole piece of the puzzle and it’s not. So, just kind of keep that in the back of your head. I know that can be a little bit confusing when you’re a lay person coming in there but it’s important information. I think, just start off with a lot of the foundational things first, just kind of wrap your head around it. Don’t get kind of myopic in this tunnel vision. Oh, it has to be Candida, it has to be this, be very open minded that it could be many different stressors and just have that really good differential kind of diagnosis list of all the things that we’re gonna go and hit and not get overly focused on one thing.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Good point. I’ll also say too, I’m not saying go to your doctor who’s failed here for the last 10 years and try to ask them for organic acids test or stool test because even if they were able to run it which most of the time, they don’t have accounts set-up with the lab so they’re not going to. But even if they were able to and they run it, they’re not gonna know how to interpret it, they’re not gonna know how to make a protocol based on it. So, this is a shameless plug for you and I and what we do as functional medicine practitioners, we work clinically around the world with people. So, uh, Teri’s asking where she can get the labs from. It depends, uh, we use a couple different companies. It depends on where you live and what you got.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’ll do this, we’ll put some links on the videos below so for you and on your site and mine. So, if you want to get it from us, I recommend getting it from us and then work with Evan or work with myself. We’re here to help you. We’ll put the links below or you can go to evanbrand.com for Evan or Dr. J here, justinhealth.com for me. And then, just to kind of highlight what you’re saying, I see so many people that have some of these tests sometimes and the first question is walk me through what your doctor ordered this test, said about it. Did they give you a real thorough review? How much time, oh, hey they just spent a minute, they just said x y z and it really was, I’m like wow, you know, you have all this information here and yet it really isn’t thoroughly addressed, I would say 90 plus percent of the time. So, it’s really important when you get these tests ordered. You really want to come through it thoroughly, so you can extract as much actionable information as possible. And, if your doctor doesn’t have that level of, uh, skill set of information on it, that’s fine, just find someone else.
Evan Brand: Yeah. You make a great point. I mean, so many times, I know, you and I have a section on our intake form where you can, like attach previous labs. I’ll see 5, 10, 15, 20 labs and I’ll be from a medical doctor or a chiropractic or some other type of practitioner. I’m like wow, they did a really good work-up on you. Like, how did this go, why are you coming to me, what was the protocol? Oh, they didn’t have a protocol. Like, well, why’d they run the labs? ‘Because I wanted them to’. Okay, then what did they say about the labs? ‘Oh, well, that was not bad but I could use a little improvement and so they gave me an enzyme’. And it’s like, they give you an enzyme, you’ve got 20 pathogens, you’ve got parasites, you’ve got H. pylori, you’ve got major gut inflammation and the sequencing of this is important too. So, even if they read a cookie cutter protocol where it says like take oregano oil, you might not be a good candidate for that if you’ve got a bunch of inflammation. Your gut’s irritated, you go throw a, you know, a nuclear bomb in there, you’re gonna irritate your gut more. So, the sequencing is important. So, I guess, just to highlight here what we’re talking about, it’s the sequencing. As you mentioned, when does the lab come in? That’s not just the end all BL tool, there’s other strategies you’ve implemented up until that point. And then, when you work in the killers, is it right out of the gate? Do you got to settle the gut first?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It’s never. The problem is people have done, the patients come in and they’ve done a lot of different things. So, like maybe, they’ve tweaked their diet and so they think, okay I’ve made these diet changes, right, whether it’s enough or not is besides the point but they think, okay I’ve done these diet changes, check. Diet isn’t part of the equation, so in their mind they kind of check that off. So, when they see another practitioner, they kind of have this list of things in their mind they’ve checked off. And then, they’re like okay, I’ve already worked on the diet stuff. Yep, I’ve already done some digestive support. So when I lay out my plan, there’s kind of like, we’ll I’m not gonna do this because I’ve already done some of this or I’m not gonna do that. No. it’s like, if I give you a safe and the combination is 6 or 7 numbers. You don’t say we’ll spin number 33 on my other state therefore I don’t have to do it this time around. The combination has to be done in sequence together. The other analogy is cooking. If you want to crack the eggs after you bake the flour, well that cake’s gonna be pretty nasty, okay. So, it’s kind of the same thing as a sequence and just because someone has done something before in the past. One, it may not have been all the way there but we still have to plug that sequence back into the overall flow of things. Does that make sense?
Evan Brand: Yeah. It does. And I know
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re smiling, so it sounds like that’s something that you deal with and hear a lot.
Evan Brand: Oh yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s just, you know, once
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s so much easier dealing with patients that have done nothing that have no, um, no predisposition to like what’s next, they’re like a blank state because then you can kind of come in and there’s zero resistance and you can work through your flow. When people have done a lot of things and they think they’ve done everything in that area, it’s always hard, you kind of have to convince them to redo these things over again. That could be tough.
Evan Brand: Now, well, I’m just smiling because of the safe analogy, you know, you always kill it with the analogies and I’m also smiling because I don’t know if it was your kids or my kids screaming, I’m like, I’m pulling my headphone out like is that my kids is that Justin’s kids. And, one of the things that I hope you guys love and appreciate about us is that we’re dads, we’re family men at the end of the day. And so, we’re working, we’re hustling, we’re grinding with our clients but we’re implementing this stuff into our family we’re helping kids, our own personal kids, we’re working with kids clinically. I’ve got kids that are 1 year old, 6 months old, 3 years old that are clinically working with us to get help. And so, we’re practicing what we’re preaching with our family too and I just want to highlight that because there’s so many people out there, so many practitioners that they were so focused on medical school or their practice that they never have the chance to even start a family, you’ve got these mid 40s late 40s upper 50s practitioners out there. They have no family experience and I think that’s where you and I are different because we know when you’re working on a gut protocol. Let’s talk about that for a minute. When you’re working on a gut protocol with a kid and you’re like okay, we’ve got terrible tasting tinctures that we can try, we’ve got some capsules that maybe mom or dad can open up and put into apple sauce. You know, you and I have personally and clinically dealt with the logistics of implementing this stuff so even if you’re gonna get this perfect gut protocol put together, the logistics of following it and getting your kids to take it, 3-year-old Johnny who doesn’t want to take the Artemisia, you know, it’s like, well how do you get that in. That’s the important thing because the proper labs is a step, the proper nutrition is a proper step, the protocol is a step, but the implementation of it and then what do you do after step one and then you if they react to that herb, how do you go to step 2, this is where the hand-holding is necessary. So, you know, when we talk about labs, I think, it kind of devalues the art of medicine a little bit because you and I have so much artist, you know, artistry to what we do and it’s hard to translate that just with a lab test because, you know, anybody could start running labs and like you said we’ve seen 5, 10, 15 labs come in from previous practitioners but they did nothing with it. So, the real art is when you take the protocol, you take it with, you and I are injecting confidence and we’re injecting motivation. I talked with the client this morning who said that she came to me because she was so afraid of her gut symptoms and she came out of fear but now we have basically transformed that fear into empowerment and education and the labs were a tool to help change that. So, don’t put all your eggs in this lab basket, they’re still amazing, you and I still run them on everyone but there’s other stuff that’s injected into that lab that really makes the magic happen.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. 100%. I think, the hardest part too is you work on dealing with the stressors, with patients. You fix their stress. You get your digestion better. You fix a lot of the microbiome. You knock down a lot of the bugs. Again, in the realm of Candida or dysbiotic bacteria, it’s still going to be there. You’re never ever gonna knock it out 100%. So, there’ll always be a small residual bit, maybe lingering in the background, way beneath threshold but if the stress starts to come back or if people start to add too much of food that’s questionable into their diet, sometimes these things can come back and the amount of flexibility, some kind of can follow the 80-20 principle. If they’re right 80% of the time on things 20% they have a little bit of flexibility. Some got to do 95.5 or some got to be 100 but just really try to make sure if they cheat, they still keep grain free anti-inflammatory etc., like last night, I went to True Food Kitchen for my birthday, and I had some of the, um, their chocolate cookies which inside the cookie, it’s like cassava and banana based. So, that’s great. If I’m gonna cheat, I’m gonna try to do it in a way that’s not gonna cause me to get bloated or gassy or have any skin issues or you know, digestive problems.
Evan Brand: Uh, a lady commented and Dr. J seems super energetic today. Yeah. He’s a birthday boy. That’s why he’s feeling better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. No problem there.
Evan Brand: So that’s good. Another comment here, I wonder which lab test should I run, uh.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I would say just here, out of the gates, regarding labs, I don’t wanna name specific companies on these videos because if we change it in the future and someone just watches the video, um, that they may just go to the old one. So, we’ll put links down below. That way, if we decide to change things in the future then you could just go look at the links down below and so my staff typically will update this in the next 12 hours or so. Just check back at the end of the day or tomorrow, we’ll have everything in there so just keep an eye on that. In that way, if something changes, um, it’ll be reflected in the description below.
Evan Brand: But here’s what we can say, we’re still gonna run a stool sample, now, maybe that type or whatever.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cutting edges, some kind of stool testing is gonna be great, right? Organic acid is gonna be excellent. I love that because of the, I mean, every now and then I’ll get a stool test coming back and the gut issues look pretty good like not too bad nothing crazy but then you’ll see a lot of yeast because sometimes you miss the yeast on the stool test, that’s common or you’ll see 3 or 4 markers like Hippurate, benzoate or 2,3-phenylacetate right or D-lactate really hides. Okay, good, I’m glad I had this extra net to catch it because the stool test missed it.
Evan Brand: I had that last week actually. You know, I had a lady and I kind of got freaked out at first, you know, I was looking at the stool and I’m like, oh my God, this lady has every gut symptom in the book and normally on page 3, page 4 you’ll start to see some crazy stuff going on. In this lady, it was clean, oh man, like, is she crazy, I didn’t really think that but you know partly it is like, uh-oh, where’s it coming from, is this really her stool test. Then we get to the organic acids and holy smokes, as you mentioned, oxoglutarate, D-arabinose, tartaric acid, tricarbolic acid, everything was off the charts and I go, oh, thank you Jesus we have the answers on the organic acid. So, that’s why we love to run both urine and stool because certain things get missed and it’s the synergy of the information from the labs. You may find a parasite on stool and then you may find the Candida on urine then you really go, oh holy crap, that’s where it’s coming from. So, um, let’s hit this other one here. There was a person
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I want to hit one of the questions. Anthony wrote to me there, thanks Anthony for the great feedback, and again guys, we’re trying to interact with you guys live and I want to answer questions live, so this is like I call it, uh, functional medicine improv, right? You know, you get your comedy shows, this is our functional medicine show so I appreciate that. Thanks for the feedback Anthony. Isabella writes in waking up distended, right in the morning. So, with that, a lot of times, you got to calm down a lot of the fermentables in the diet. If you’re waking up distended in the morning, almost always there’s a lot of fermentation happening in the gut and these gases are being produced. Now, there’s a couple of variables that you can do to help that. One, you starve it out by reducing all the foods that feed that. Two, you have to be able to break down your food because even if it’s good food, if you’re not breaking it down well, it’s gonna essentially have the ability to rot and rancidify and putrefy. So, you got to make sure enzymes, acids, and potential bile salts are addressed because HCl, hydrochloric acid, and bile salts, if you have low levels of that, those things in and off themselves are actually antimicrobial. They have a mild antimicrobial effect, not like oil of Oregano, but they have a mild antimicrobial effect. So, if you have, like, digestive distress and you have poor levels of these things, guess what, these bugs are more likely to grow and of course we have to come in there and do some killing, you know, making assumptions that like if you have a lot of distention like there’s no fiber, there’s no raw vegetables even though you read all these things have this big salad, you know, you could steam some of these things, you may want to look at low fermentable things that’s great. You may want to make sure your stress is good and you’re chewing your food up really well and you’re you know avoiding hydrating outside of an ounce or two of, you know, water to swallow and some supplements so that’s kind of your starting point. And if you wanna reach out, Isabella, you feel free to use the link down below, you can reach to Evan and I.
Evan Brand: Let’s read the rest of her comment here because I think it’s helpful for people. So, she said that she tested negative for SIBO, I’m guessing that might have been a breath test and she said she’s 21 years old and it affects her daily life. So, when I hear 21-year-old female, a lot of bloating as you mentioned, I think the veggies, I think cutting out leafy greens, no salads, maybe or
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you do it, keep them low FODMAP and steam it or sauté it like I’m pretty sure Bok Choy and Kale. That’s low FODMAP, if you sauteed that in some coconut oil or some ghee or some kind of good animal fat, you’d probably be okay but test it, right. I’m all about testing not guessing.
Evan Brand: True. True. So, I think about hormones, I think okay, she’s 21, right? This is a healthy fertility age. Is there some sort of issue with hormone imbalances? Are there estrogen dominance type issues as well? What about breast tenderness? What about PMS, irritability? Are there mood issues as well or is it just an extremely distended belly?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now, in the history that’s gonna come out with a good history because you’re gonna see it cyclically happen typically premenstrual or typically ovulation. So, a good history will fret that out. Let’s assume it’s every day, hormones are probably not the root cause but of course we know we’ve already talked about it, chronic digestive issues will eventually cause hormone problems because of the inability to digest the nutrients to make the hormones overtime.
Evan Brand: Good point. And, the bacterial overgrowth which will crank up beta glucuronidase. That creates the recirculation of toxins. So maybe that. What about birth control too? Is that in the equation? I start thinking about that so
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Birth control pill will, it definitely has an effect on, um, alkalizing some of that tissue in the intestinal tract and the vaginal tract. That’s why one of the big effects that you see with, like birth control pills is yeast infections, right? Because it’s shifting the pH. It’s also creating a lot of nutrient deficiencies. So, if you have birth control pill issues, they can definitely put you in that microbiome, um, area where it kind of goes the wrong way there.
Evan Brand: Yeah. So, hopefully that helps and as you mentioned if you wanna reach out, you can. Dr. J at justinhealth.com and me at evanbrand.com. With a stool and a urine and a good workout, we could probably get to the bottom of that. I would say that digestive issues are something you and I have the most experience of out of anybody that I know because all the people that have failed others then they come to us.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. The hardest part too is once you kind of get on that straight and narrow, finding out how much latitude you have, right? Some people, they may not be able to do dairy afterwards. Some may still have to be grain free, they can’t even do rice or, um, oatmeal, right? So, some people they got to be a little bit tighter on their diet. Some can be a little bit looser. And it’s hard. The hardest thing I think is with kids because kids, I mean, I have two, a two- and four-year-old boys, right? And most kids in their age eat like crap. It is just like absolutely mortifying to see how most kids eat. And, normal and typical are two different things, right? So, people say, I wanna be a normal kid, I wanna eat like a normal kid. It’s like no, you wanna eat like a typical kid, like normal 60 years ago was a totally different diet than normal today, right? 60 years ago, everything was mostly organic. Kids ate relatively, you know, whole foods and there wasn’t all the GMOs and all the crap and all the excess omega-6 fats and trans fats and people were eating good proteins in every meal and we had actually home-cooked meals and home-cooked dinners. That’s totally different today, right? And so, typical and normal are two different things.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Not many seed oils or non-existent seed oils or go back a little further, go back 5000, 15-20000 years in United States, even just a few hundred, you read the native American stories, I mean those kids were eating Bison, breakfast, lunch, dinner, you know, what were having, they were having Bison. If it was a time where they maybe didn’t get a kill, they had pemmican which is gonna be like a dried meat product, maybe some tribes, they would integrate berries into it. But if your food has a brand to it, now there are some exceptions like there are some really good companies that make Bison meat and all that but in general
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The jerky, yeah, there’s some good stuff, there’s some decent paleo granola. If you can handle nuts and seeds then that stuff’s okay as well.
Evan Brand: But in general, my point is if your food has a brand to it, it probably has some level of processed. Now, if you say a farm, like a farm name, I don’t consider that a brand. I’m talking about, like Kellogg, that’s a brand. If your food has a brand to it, it’s probably not something good. I’m not looking at the brand of my wild blueberries, I guess technically they have a name or a store but they’re blueberries. So, you just got to think simply and as you mentioned long term, there may be dietary changes but overall, I think a lot of people can get back to foods that they previously avoided or were previously afraid of, not to mention, people that are afraid of meat, so many people are afraid of red meat. We interview people all the time and they say, oh, I eat red meat a couple times a month, I eat red meat every day, like why, and oh well you know, my cholesterol or my heart or my doctor said this and so there’s still so much programming. I think you and I forget, now, I know you have TVs and you probably have some exposure to this but in general I don’t have any exposure to pharmaceutical ads and so I forget just how much indoctrination and programming of dietary information people have and so part of the art of what we’re doing too is just removing any of the historical programming, they’ve had about certain foods. I think some people freak themselves out so much, they’ve been told a certain food is so bad for them, they go into it, thinking if I eat this steak, I’m gonna have problems and they literally will put so much stress and emotion into the worry of food. That then drives further symptoms.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I always start with you gotta have a framework on how you analyze any data or any concept, right? So, my first framework that I look at anything with is old foods don’t cause new diseases, right? When you look at most of the diseases we have today, the regular there routinely Neolithic, right? They weren’t at the same level that we saw a hundred years ago, right? Obviously, we had different problems back then because we didn’t have the same level of water sanitation, indoor plumbing, antibiotics which you know for like, you get a major cut, you had an infection, you don’t have antibiotics, you could die, right? So, we have that, that’s different. So, Neolithic foods cause most diseases. And so, when you look at good proteins and animal fats and these kinds of things, they have been eaten for as long as you can go back. So, those typically aren’t going to be the problem, right? It’s mostly gonna be the processed foods, the excess omega-6. And also, you know, the whole vegan bent that’s something that’s not really supported by anthropological data. You look at the works of western price so you look at people that studied indigenous societies, almost always meat was consumed when it was available. The only societies that typically didn’t consume meat were societies that didn’t have access to it. And if you look at the works of Western price when meat was accessible, it was typically consumed. It wasn’t like, oh let’s just not consume it. It’s typically, they didn’t have access to it and when they did eat it. And so, people that tend to do really good on a non-vegan diet are your ectomorphs, these are people that can handle lots of carbohydrates. It’s impossible to do a vegan vegetarian diet for the most part and not be very, very high carbohydrate and also, typically, you also got to plug in a lot of protein powders to do it well, whether it’s free form amino acids, whether it’s collagen or pea protein or rice protein or hemp protein, mostly having to plug in a lot of amino acids to get enough especially if they’re trying to put on muscle and be, you know, on the fit side.
Evan Brand: It’s hard to be Vegan, it’s easy to be an animal-based person, I’ll tell you that. There’s just a lot of hacking, have to do. So, Isabella chimed back in, she was a little bit behind on the live stream so she chimed in here. So, here we go, we got some more evidence guys. I hope you’re having as much fun as we are because this is like a, you know, on the fly functional medicine, uh, workup here. So, she said, loss of period for six months as well, mood issues like anxiety and racing heart upon waking irritability which is what I was thinking some kind of hormone stuff. I’m a bit behind wanted to input that so.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The problem with a lot of those symptoms, it requires me having to ask a very important question, I won’t ask that question but we’ll just say the meat of that question begins with a letter v and we’ll just let people linger on that and Isabelle, if you want to reach out feel free. I think we chatted in the part, so feel free to reach out, I’m happy to help you.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a very, very good point and would make perfect sense especially with the timeline here. I would be wanting to look at some blood work. You know, actually, I had a woman last week, 33 years old, loss of period, other issues, we ran her blood, elevated D-dimer that indicates breakdown of clotting so we’ll leave it at that for today but mid-30s women should not be having elevated D-dimer.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and we’re speaking kind of like we are in a very, uh, discrete type of manner because we want to keep this information flowing to you, okay, so people out there hopefully you most, you mostly get that and you want to continue to see us on the air. That’s our goal.
Evan Brand: Here’s another question then you and I can wrap this up here in a minute. So, can gut health issues cause high resting pulse and arrhythmias. Let me tell you my personal experience and maybe we could chime in on the clinical side too but when I had gut issues when I had H. pylori, I was anxious, I had issues with my blood pressure. I had heart palpitations. I had panic attacks. I had all sorts of mood issues. I had heart issues. I had sleep issues. I had skin issues. So, 100%, gut issues can cause this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. The bugs in and of themselves definitely can cause anxiety so you can go type in their scientific studies, type SIBO or H. pylori and anxiety, there’s definitely mental health association, connection with the two. Also, if you have digestive issues, you tend to have hydrochloric acid issues. When you have hydrochloric acid issues, you tend to not ionize minerals and absorb minerals optimally. The two big minerals that are intimately connected with your heart and heart rate and heart rhythm are potassium and magnesium and a lot of times people aren’t getting sodium and chloride as well. So, the electrolytes have to be looked at and potassium and magnesium have to be looked at and most don’t get enough, you need 4 7 00 of potassium a day, most get half that and so I have a product called potassium synergy that does about 13 00 per 150 in magnesium or so side by side. It’s really hard to get enough. Most supplements for potassium stink, they’re like 50 or 100 milligram capsules so you got to take like 15 or 20 capsules a day so sometimes, you need to plug in a supplement if you’re having issues, I mean you can go look at the most potassium-rich foods, salmon, avocadoes, sweet potato. Those are really good options of course, um, some animal products as well, are going to be right up there as well. And again, avocados have twice the amount of potassium as bananas, I know we’re kind of o a carb-centric society. If I say potassium, you’re gonna say bananas, right? But avocados have twice the amount.
Evan Brand: Yep. Good call. Good call. So, long story short, gut issues definitely cause other issues, mood issues are very common. Fatigue is also very common and so that’s gonna affect neurotransmitters so we would be looking at all that. We’d be looking at neurotransmitters, gut inflammation, um, secretory IgA. You can look at fecal fat. There’s a lot of stuff that goes into that, that may affect the high resting pulse. Also, seeing a lot of things right now with viruses and high resting pulse rate. So, if there was a current infection, previous infection, pulse rate could be there. You mentioned potassium.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hydration, sodium chloride and then your potassium, magnesium. Those are gonna be your big ones out of the gates. And then also, blood sugar, you know, some people, they really get into a stressed-out state if they wait more than an hour or so to eat. And if you have digestions, a little wonky, you may want to start with something really simple like some gentle ginger tea or some collagen amino acids or something really light and simple in the morning and some electrolytes even before that.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. Good call. Sometimes, you know, herbals, I might come in with like motherwort or passion flower, valerian, some kind of like calming ginger.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I was looking at the nutrients first because the nutrients could be actually root cause and the herbals will never be root cause but they are a palliative supporting mechanism, right? You know, it’s like, you can do passion flower or lemon balm or you can do a benzo on the pharmaceutical side. It’s like obviously the herbs are better and then even before the herbs the actual nutrients that may be deficient that are driving it.
Evan Brand: Very good at all. I’m ready to wrap this up, if you are
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Herbs aren’t going to have the, you know, the side effects so I’m always down with supporting something palliatively if they aren’t going to have the side effects or you know any of the negative consequences like some of the meds may.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. Are you ready to wrap this up?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Great chat with everyone here today. I’m glad everyone’s on the chat interacting. We really appreciate it. Functional medicine improv is our flow here, uh, you guys wanna reach out to evanbrand.com for Evan, Dr. J here, myself at justinhealth.com. We’ll put links down below. If you’re seeing it on youtube, you know, great, excellent. If you’re listening to this on itunes or any of the podcast places, there will be a video link below. If you wanna see us interacting as well, there’s that as well. And phenomenal chatting. Anything else, Evan?
Evan Brand: Yeah. If people wanna chime in and they want to watch, if you guys are listening or if they’re on my podcast because we’ll upload these on my show as well. If you want to check us out here on video, give or take somewhere around 11 to 12 eastern on Mondays on Dr. J, justinhealth YouTube channel. So, if you wanna look for us, join the party. Look up Justin on YouTube justinhealth, Justin Marchegiani, Dr. J something like that. You’ll find him on there and, uh, we’ll put the link in the show notes too. So, if you wanna join the YouTube community, you can. There’s what 60 something thousand on there. So, that’s pretty
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also on Rumble, also on Betshoot, also on a couple other places. So, we’ll put the links on the websites so you can get the banners, get the links but Rumble’s our new one that we’re going to just get more exposure, people.
Evan Brand: And you’re reuploading the YouTube videos too there, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. You got it.
Evan Brand: No live function on there or anything yet?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Not yet. Not yet.
Evan Brand: Okay. Okay. All right, well, you guys take it easy, we look forward to helping you get your gut health back, just stay patient and don’t give up. And so, we’ll see you next week.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care of you all. Bye now.
What are the Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agents for Pain Relief
In general, we have our COX pathways. Now, Arachidonic acid can feed those pathways. A lot of excess, junky, refined Omega-6 from animal products can definitely feed those pathways. That sets the table like gas in the kitchen where a little spark can take it off.
Where to find anti-inflammatory agents:
- Natural herbs like ginger can help with COX-1.
- Fish oil is excellent for COX-2 at high doses. If you do high doses of fish oil, you can increase what’s called lipid peroxidation because fish oil is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. It’s more unstable. It’s got more double bonds in it. Omega-3 means three double bonds. The more double bonds that are they are, the more unstable the fatty acid is to heat things like that and the more, let’s say it can be oxidized. So, having extra vitamin C or extra vitamin D on board when you’re taking extra fish oil just to make sure you don’t have oxidation is great, and we already talked about things like systemic enzymes.
- There is also curcumin but liposomal curcumin is better due to the absorption or something with black pepper in it helps with absorption, too.
- Frankincense or Boswellia.
- White willow bark which is kind of how aspirin is naturally made though aspirin works more on COX-1. So, aspirin can be your other natural source and you can do white willow bark which is the natural form of aspirin.
- There are things like Tylenol but Tylenol works more on the central nervous system perception. So, it decreases the nervous systems’ perception of pain. Note: We have to be careful of Tylenol as it can actually chronically reduce glutathione. So, if you’re taking Tylenol longer-term, you definitely want to take it with NAC and/or some glutathione, just to be on the safe side.
- At the extreme example, we have opiates which block pain receptors in the brain, the opiate perception of the brain. It’s not the best thing because you’re just decreasing perception of pain. Obviously, the opiates are way more addictive.
- We can block some of these natural pain perceptions with CBD oil. So, CBD is another great way to reduce the perception of pain.
In general, we want you to try to do more of the herbals and more of the natural stuff out of the gates because that really, really, really can help reduce inflammation.
If you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sports injury, or you’re just trying to heal maybe postoperation, these things may be something to implement and then obviously work in all the other root causes, too. You are not just what you eat. You are what you digest from what you eat.
So, if you’re doing all these good nutrients, but you’ve got some type of malabsorption issue in the gut, you’ve got ridges on your fingernails, you’ve got thinning hair or falling out here, you may need to look deeper at the gut and try to find some of these more root cause issues that led you to that amount of inflammation or slow recovery in the first place.
Vitamin D Benefits You Should Know
Vitamin D has a couple of different benefits. Let’s go over some of the benefits. We’ve talked about the natural antibiotic that’s being produced by vitamin D, which is called cathelicidin, a kind of antibacterial enzyme. It is super helpful at being able to knock down bacteria. It also has antiviral mechanisms, as well as antimicrobial peptides and antiviral mechanisms.
Part of that is it stimulates and it can modulate the Th1 immune response in the Th1 immune system where you’re making a lot of your natural killer cells and your helper cells. Good helper cells can also help your antigen-presenting cell and it can help make antibodies more efficiently. So, you’re also going to have a better Th2 immune response. You’re going to make antibodies to whatever that infection is. Those tend to come a little bit later in the game, but good signaling to make your antibodies is super helpful as well.
There is a couple of other studies here that are talking about different things. We have a reduction in our MMP-9 concentrations. We have a reduction in bradykinin storms and reduction in our cytokine storm. So, basically we have a lot of inflammatory molecules that get produced such as bradykinin, cytokines, interleukins MMP-9. These are inflammatory types of chemical messengers. Vitamin D can help modulate that and prevent that from being overproduced. The more we overproduce those, the more our immune system responds. So, we can create more cytokine storm issues because our immune system will be on this positive feedback loop, responding and creating more issues with the cytokines. When there are less cytokines, there’s less chance of a cytokine storm, which is basically our immune system responding.
Imagine a fight between two people where one person yells out first and the other person yells back. Then they’re pushing, shoving, and hitting and the violence escalates. That’s what happens with the cytokine storm with your immune system and all the different cytokines and immune chemical signal. So, we can keep that modulated a bit which is very helpful. Vitamin D plays a really important role in that.
Get vitamin D supplementation from Thanksgiving to spring. At least, make that investment. If you want to come off the rest of the year, as long as you’re getting some sunlight, it’s fine. At least do that vitamin D supplementation to give you a good bump and the fat-soluble nutrients you’ll get over those four or five months will hang around months afterward because it takes a while for that vitamin D level to build up.
Effective Ways to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels
Back in the 1980s, a guy named Edgar Hope-Simpson proposed that a seasonal stimulus was intimately associated with seasonal epidemic influenza. Long story short, winter comes and then all of the sudden viruses become more of a prevalent issue. There was this whole interventional study that showed vitamin D is reducing the incidence of respiratory infections in children. So, this was specifically talking about kids but there are countless of these for adults.
What’s happening when the vitamin D levels are sufficient are a multitude of things but in particular, it’s helping to reduce Interleukin 6 (IL-6), which is one of those inflammatory cytokines that get people in trouble. So, if you can reduce your cytokines, that’s going to be beneficial. Also, another cool benefit is not only a sort of an antiviral but there’s some antimicrobial benefit. It can actually activate your immune cells to produce some antimicrobial like a natural antibiotic if you will by upping vitamin D concentration.
How do you take Vitamin D?
Is it just an ongoing thing? If you think you’re getting into trouble with illness, do you go high dose of it? It depends on what your levels are.
So, get a baseline first. I would say the lighter or more fair your skin is, probably the more efficient you are gonna be in converting vitamin D from the sun. The darker your skin is, the more melanin you have. You’ve got different spectrums and for example, a full-on African-American has the highest amount of melanin.
What is Melanin?
Melanin is like your natural UV block and it helps block your skin from the sun’s rays. So, due to evolution and where we evolved, there are people who live closer to the equator and there’s more UV light based on the angle of the sun hitting it. These people naturally evolve with more melanin in the skin. People that evolve further away from the equator get less direct UV light, so there’s less melanin in the skin because it’s all about making vitamin D.
So, the more efficient you are at making vitamin D, you probably will be able to get away with not supplementing as much or as frequently. The more melanin in your skin, the more you have to be on top of your vitamin D because unless you’re going to be outside 6 to 8 hours a day and you’re at a mid to low 30 latitude, you’re probably just not going to be able to ever make enough vitamin D. Therefore, you really have to be on top of everything in your testing.
Vitamin D Dosage, Testing, and Recommendation
For lighter skin, in general, a good rule of thumb is 1000 IUs per 25 pounds of body weight, especially in the fall and winter months. If you want to take a break in the summer, that’s fine. Just make sure you get a test here there to confirm it. The darker your skin is, you may even want to double that in the winter months. Then you may want to follow-up and retest in the early spring to see and to monitor where you’re at. If you’re someone who works outside, you have to make that adjustment. If you’re an office person and you’re inside all day, you also have to make that adjustment, too. So, in general, 1000 IUs per 25 pounds of body weight.
If you have darker skin, you may want to double that for the winter months, and then it’s always good to confirm some time in the winter and some time coming off the winter or early spring-summer to see where you’re at. We can always adjust accordingly and if there is any risk of autoimmunity or cancer, we probably want to be testing just a little bit more frequently. Once you know where you’re at, you can guess based on how well you’re doing.
Methods To Encourage Good Bowel Movement
You see women on Instagram. They’re all done up with their hair and makeup, and they’re marketing #ad #detox #tea. They have these ridiculous products that they’re remarketing and they’re not talking about poop. The best way to detox is getting poop out. I’m not going to buy detox tea. I’ll get a bit of dandelion or some milk thistle blended in and that’s part of it but unfortunately, detox is co-opted by the marketing industry. Most people don’t even focus on that. They’ll poop once a week but then they take a detox tea and they think they’re doing it correctly.
My whole take on detoxification out of the gates is very simple.
- Get enough good clean water in your system.
- Make sure you’re digesting your amino acids and all your nutrients well.
Remember: Sulfur-based amino acids run the majority of your detoxification pathways, along with B vitamins. We need good B vitamins, good antioxidants, and good sulfur amino acids. For breaking down those nutrients well, there’s not a bottleneck with ACL levels or enzyme levels. We’re getting enough to clean water.
- Not overly stressing our sympathetic nervous system.
Remember: The more we overly stress the adrenals, the sympathetic nervous system decreases that migrating motor complex which are the wavelike contractions that move stool through your intestinal tract, just like you roll up the toothpaste roll at night to get that toothpaste moving through to get your toothpaste out to brush your teeth. Your intestines are the same things.
If you can do those top three things right, you’re on the right track. There may be extra things where we need extra sulfur or extra antioxidants or compounds or binders to help with mold or heavy metal. That’s true and that would be addressed down the road but a lot of detoxification happens hepatobiliary, liver, gallbladder, back into the intestines, and then out the intestinal tract. So, we need to have really good motility and really good absorption of nutrients, and a lot of good clean water to help fuel.
Use one for liver support that has some gallbladder nutrients built into it. That can be really helpful because with sluggish bowels because a lot of times there’s also sluggish bile production. So, just helping thin the bile whether it’s using supplemental ox bile or methionine, taurine, B powder, whatever else we can do to increase bile flow. That’s going to be helping.
Detox and Diet
This is a low-hanging fruit that your average American is still really, really blowing it on which is just the fact that they’re not doing enough good meats, good fats, and good veggies. Your average American might wake up and do a piece of toast and maybe in 2020 or 2021, it’s an avocado toast but still that’s not the optimal thing for good poop.
Inflammation in the diet can easily mess up the intestinal tract and can easily create inflammation in the gut. That could either move the body more to diarrhea or more to constipation. If we start moving more to constipation, that’s not good. Of course, these foods can stress out the intestinal tract and then when we start creating inflammation in the intestinal tract, then we already have indigestion meaning we don’t have adequate enzymes and acids. So, we’re burping a lot after our meals, food sits longer in our tummy, and a lot of gases are produced because the foods are not being broken down properly. That’s a problem.
We’ve got to really make sure we’re masticating and chewing our food very, very, very well. We’ve got to make sure to increase the surface area for enzymes and acids to work. We also have to make sure not overly hydrating with our meals. So, hydrate 10 minutes or more before meal, and then if you’re consuming a little bit of liquid with a meal, just do it to help with swallowing pills. Don’t do it for hydration purposes. Because water has a pH of 7 and your intestinal tract has a pH of 1.5 to 2. So, if you start adding a whole bunch of pH 7 to up to a pH of 2, you’re going to move that pH more in the alkaline direction away from the acid direction. We need good acidity to help activate her enzymes in our acid levels. That’s very important.
- Chew your food up well.
- Make sure you’re not overly hydrating with the food. Do all your hydration 2 minutes before.
The Top 5 Causes of Chronic Headaches
Today we are going to be talking about the top underlying reasons why you may be having a chronic headache. I had a patient come in today who had headaches for 25 years, monthly and chronically, and we were able to get to the root cause and there are many different root causes for every person. Let me lay out the common ones that I find to be a major vector of my patients.
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.
Two Ways To Take Binders To Detox The Gut
If you’re seeking out functional medicine, you may have your own agenda but listen to the practitioner’s agenda, too, because even if you’ve gone through this a thousand times, we can tell you straight up, “Hey, look, if you’ve got way too much inflammation–I know you wanna get rid of the bugs, so do we–but you may feel crap if we do it too soon.” So we want to build everything up so we have that foundation ready to go.
There are two ways to take a binder:
- When you know you’re eating questionable food or drink and you want it to be in your system to bind any potential crud with that up. That’s where you would take that with that food.
- When you’re in the middle of a detoxification program and it’s a longer term thing. We probably don’t want you taking that binder every single day with regular healthy food. So we would have you do it typically an hour before meal and/or 2 to 3 hours after a meal to avoid binding up those minerals and nutrients. So we would try to time it up on an empty stomach. Now sometimes it’s easier to do it mid-day between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner or some people will do it when they get it and then when they go to bed, and just leave an hour before, half-hour or 45 minutes before breakfast in the morning, and then at least 2 hours after dinner at night. Those are really good prime times and of course, a holiday weekend.
You can always take activated charcoal with any of your questionable foods and drink. That’s super helpful. Dosing-wise, most of the time when you find activated charcoal, it’s going to be in about a 250 mg to 500 mg dose.
Detoxification and Binding
You have to mobilize a lot of your toxins but you have to detox them at the same time, so it’s kinda this seesaw where if you do too much glutathione but not enough binders, you may feel worse. Or if you don’t do enough glutathione or enough binder, then you may still feel bad. When you feel like your best and you’re not recirculating toxins, it’s the perfect dose of glutathione. As per Evan Brand’s experience, it is about 200 mg of acetyl-glutathione with NAC 1 gram and then 500 mg of charcoal.
How to take it?
As an example, glutathione would come first in the morning 7 AM then wait an hour to do binders or in reverse. So you could do binders first thing at 7 am, glutathione at 8 am, and then breakfast right after.
The hardest part is the timing and remembering to take them. Just remember to take them away from your medication, your other supplements and herbs.
Supporting the Lymph
- Drinking enough water helps support the lymph. The solution to pollution is dilution, right? Say that 4 times fast. We wanna make sure we’re providing hydration so the lymph can move.
- Ginger tea is awesome. I use this with a lot of my patients because ginger is anti-inflammatory. It’s essentially an anticoagulant. It keeps things moving. It’s also a biofilm buster. So the biofilm or these protective shields used by critters, it will definitely help with that and take those shields out of their hand and allow the antimicrobials to be more effective, so that’s for sure.
- Now a couple of other gentle lymphatic supports that we’ll do is we’ll do a red root which is gonna be a powerful anticoagulant.
- Slippery elm.
- Milk thistle.
- Rosehips are shown to be incredibly effective at mobilizing toxins and just kinda gently nudging it out of the body.
These are all very, very powerful strategies that we can utilize to keep things moving.
Coronavirus and Low Vitamin D Levels – Is There An Increased Risk | Podcast #286
How’s it going, everyone? In today’s podcast, Dr. J is looking at how we can help quench that inflammation and how to address low Vitamin D levels knowing that the Coronavirus is causing a lot of inflammation in the lungs. Dr. J is honing in on antioxidants, Vitamin C, glutathione (which will help with electrolytes), and Vitamin D as an immunomodulator (which gives us a better, more intelligent immune response). And what lowers our Vitamin D levels? Lack of sunlight is a big one. If you’ve been indoors almost 24/7, you’re probably not getting enough Vitamin D and this is crucial for physical and mental health. The Coronavirus cannot survive outside in direct sunlight with at least 40% humidity for more than a minute, so going out into your own backyard or walking along the sidewalk while keeping six feet away from any passerbys won’t hurt you, it’ll help you get in some Vitamin D, get some fresh air into those lungs, increase your physical movement, and more!
Dr. J and Dr. Evan Brand also look at Coronavirus case fatality by age, lending us more perspective to help lessen stress. Still, Dr. J encourages you to try and get in the foundational nutrients and minerals to strengthen your immune system: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D (5000 IUs), glutathione or NaC, and Zinc (30-50mg/day).
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
5:15 Why we need to go outside
07:21 Age brackets of coronavirus cases
10:43 Analyzing online data and stats
17:42 Vitamin D correlation
30:56 Vitamin C levels given to coronavirus patients
39:11 About the coronavirus vaccine
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, guys. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here really happy to be back. We got a fabulous podcast on deck for you today. We’ll be chatting about the correlation and potential causation between low vitamin D and COVID-19/coronavirus infection and symptoms. Evan, how are we doing today, man?
Evan Brand: Doing very well. We got off of this topic for a couple of weeks to go back to some other regular stuff but considering this is still going on—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: There are still everybody on the planet wearing masks everywhere they go and places are still shut down and a lady in Dallas is getting put in jail for trying to open her salon to feed her kids. I felt that it was important for us to discuss some of these things that are coming out in the literature. Things that should be the headlines but they are not the headlines because they don’t involve death directly and they are free mostly or very cheap to implement like vitamin C and vitamin D. So why don’t we go straight into this one paper that you had just sent me over, the one that was titled, “Can Early and High Intravenous Dose of vitamin C Prevent and Treat Coronavirus?” from Dr. Chang because this is pretty, pretty awesome.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let me set table for everyone here first. Okay? So most of the mainstream, kinda conventional approach is to what is going on with coronavirus are very defensive measures, right? Washing your hands, wearing a mask, okay, right? Maybe some social distancing. Maybe quarantine. These are all kinda common sense, you know, defensive measures that are put in place. There aren’t really a lot of offensive measures, right? So we wanna take the time today and just look at some of the things that are in the literature now that there is some evidence out. Maybe it’s correlation. Maybe it’s causation. Again, to actually have causation you need a lot of money and studies, so that probably will never happen but we can use knowledge guided by experience to extrapolate the correlation and apply it and see how it works from n equals 1 standpoint applied in your life. So we are excited to talk about that. Some of the things that we are lining up here are in regards to vitamin D and vitamin C and some of the data on that and the mechanism really is we know inflammation is being caused especially in the lungs by these infections. We know an increase in cytokines can also be produced. Cytokines are these inflammatory chemical messengers that happen as a result of your immune system and/or the inflammation caused by the virus, and so what happens is your body needs things to kinda help quench the inflammation. So there are antioxidants. We call them redox components, right? Vitamin C is in that pathway, so is glutathione. They really help quench and they help give off electrons to deal with and neutralize inflammation, and then there are also nutrients like vitamin D that are immunomodulators. They modulate the immune system and by modulating the immune system, we can have a better, more intelligent immune response, less maybe internal cytokine production. We can also make natural antimicrobial peptides like cathelicidin and others that can really help knock down even the infection as well, because vitamin D helps modulate that Th1, Th2 immune response. So if we have a healthier immune response, it’s theoretically we can go after and deal with the infection. We know the infection rates are—I went over the data last week. A lot of anecdotal, I shouldn’t even say anecdotal, but a lot of the early antibody testing, for instance, Triumph Foods plant here up in Kansas City, I saw 353 workers tested positive for coronavirus, all 100% of them had no symptoms. They did a 3300-patient study for the jails, for the federal jails, 3300 patients had coronavirus. They tested them antibody-wise, 96% had no symptoms, alright? They did study up in Santa Barbara or LA area and they did a study up in Stanford/Santa Clara area, 50 times plus the amount of people that had the infection actually had antibodies. So we know this is not a hallmark of a, let’s say a very virulent infection, and Evan will go over the data looking at the ages. We see a lot of people that are younger are really not really coming down with it. So that’s important to note and the CDC even said from age 0-17, the flu is actually far more severe than the coronavirus on our young people.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so I wanna comment on one thing. I’ll talk about the age in a second but I just wanna point out one thing you said which is that we are finding the infection rate is 50 to 80 times greater than originally thought. Meaning when you look at all these numbers, oh, 1 new case here, 1 new case there. That’s like headline but the reality is way more people are infected than we even know like we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg just based on some of the antibody testing coming out and what we’re finding is I don’t wanna exaggerate it but based on these numbers that are saying 96% plus in these big groups, almost everybody has it or has had it and they’re already making antibodies towards it. So I wanna –
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well…
Evan Brand: Point that out.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ll just say we need about 60% to get really this herd immunity level where it’s hard to pass it around. Like if every other person has antibodies for it, it becomes very difficult to pass it around. So over time, most people will get it, right? You know, you can’t—unless you’re gonna totally be in quarantine forever, which I think actually negatively impacts your immune system. It may make you more susceptible to having more symptoms and succumbing of the virus. I think even if you’re older and you have comorbidities, you should still be outside and having reasonable social distancing. Remember, the virus can’t live more than a minute in 75-degree temperature, 40% humidity, only a couple of minutes because we know UVC light kills the virus. We know that. It’s a national disinfectant. So if you are older and you have those comorbidities, you should be outside getting fresh air, you should be getting vitamin D and still keep your distance if you’re concerned, but you should still be outside. Staying inside is not healthy. They did a study up at New York City and they found 60% of people that came in with the infection actually had quarantined. So the quarantine thing is not what it is playing out to be. I think there is more risk factors in that and how it impacts your immune system just staying inside too long.
Evan Brand: Yeah, explain that. It’s like, “Okay, yeah, I was quarantined for the last month. I didn’t go anywhere but yet you still got the virus somehow” I thought quarantine was the magic remedy. You know—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I think moving—
Evan Brand: So how are these people getting it?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think moving is a big thing. I think getting fresh air, I think getting vitamin D and sunlight, I think just being outside does something. You know, we talk about it with—you mentioned in the past with forest bathing how it impacts cortisol levels and helps your immune system. I forget what’s the term for forest bathing? What’s it?
Evan Brand: Yeah, shinrin-yoku.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: And it boosts your NK killer cells, too. They found that even—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Evan Brand: Like a 2- to 3-day camping trip in the woods boosted up the NK killer cells which are anti-cancer and many other benefit for a month. So 2 days boosted the immune system up over 50% for a month. So this age thing, you and I talked about this before but you were looking at some Italy stuff and the average age of someone who had a fatality from it was 81 years old, and so we have this picture here from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Korea Center for Disease Control and on and on and on, and long story short, when you’re looking at someone 0 to 9 years old, 0% fatality rate overall; 10 to 19 years old for most countries, 0% overall. It’s not until you really get into the 30-39-year-old, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, that you even break above 0 and then you’re getting into 0.1% in the 30-39 group, 0.3% in Spain for 40 to 49-year-olds, 50 to 59-year-old 0.4%. So still, just really tiny numbers. You don’t get in ’til the—until your 80 plus years old that you’re getting into a 13% plus fatality rate and even then, we know with Dr. Birx who came on TV and said, “Hey, all of the cases that could possibly be related are still gonna be tagged as COVID until further research and then maybe we’ll go back and adjust those numbers later.” So how many 81-year-olds are dying that just happen to have the coronavirus in their system.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m not sure if you caught it over the weekend. Dr. Birx said—she was commenting about the head of the CDC. She said that there could be up to 25% incorrect on the CDC data points on the COVID-19 deaths/diagnosis. So she commented that over the weekend which is interesting. I wanna share some data here on screen just to kind of bolster the things that you’re saying. So if you guys are listening to this, you can always jump on the Youtube link as well to get some more information. So here’s the study that Evan was showing here, looking at corona case fatality rates by age. So you can see here 0-9, 10-19, 20-29, so I mean you’re at looking at very minuscule percentage points here, right? Very minuscule percentage points, 30-39 and then it starts really going up significantly once you get into 60-79 but even that, I mean, really it’s 70 and 80 is where it really goes up. You still only have a chance, you know, a 1% to 2% chance in the 60-69, right? Yeah.
Evan Brand: Well, let me point this out, too, real quick while you got that up which is that the percentages are actually gonna be lower than what is showing here because these numbers are based on confirmed cases. So confirmed cases, confirmed death. So if there’s many other people that have had it, they might not even show up here. So, if you know what I’m saying, so on their website. This is a world data website. They’re saying you can’t even take these numbers and really publicly talk about them too much because we haven’t had enough testing. So once we do get tested, let’s say we tested another hundred thousand people and put them in that pool, those death rates would be way, way, way, way lower. Those are confirmed cases and then confirmed deaths. So, basically how many other people are out there that have it haven’t gotten tested and therefore, their numbers don’t get factored in. So it makes it look worse than it even is.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So here are the coronavirus deaths from last week, okay? And so how it works is this. You have the top numbers the deaths, the bottom numbers the case. So you divide the top number by the bottom number and then you get a percentage, okay? That’s how you figure out the mortality rate. So when Evan talks about this, this data here is if there are more cases than we know about, right? That makes the denominator the bottom number bigger, right? And what we’re finding is, the cases are actually getting far more bigger because of the fact the asymptomatics. The data is showing a 50X asymptomatic being present. Looking at the Stanford study, they show data there and up at the study up in Chelsea, Mass. in Boston. Study down in the UCLA area. USC did a study. So there’s about 3 to 5 different studies on this already out there. I did a video on this last Friday on my Youtube channel. We’ll put that video in the description so you can go dive into that. So the data’s there. Now, we do know here. This came from Italy. Right here, this study here. It only bolstered what we talked about so you can see it came from a government agency, Istituto Superiore di Sanità. Even though my last name is Marchegiani, I don’t really speak the best Italian. So—
Evan Brand: I had a lady—I actually had a client go, “Yeah, I like listening to you and that Italian guy.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You got it. I gotta brush up on my Italian, right?
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But in general, you can see number 1. It primarily came in 2 major areas here. Right about 60 what, 69%. It came in 2 major areas. There’s a reason why two 2 areas were hit really hard. I can go into it briefly but Lombardi is a big area where there’s a lot of textiles produced there. So a lot of Italian textiles are produced, right? China bought a lot of companies. Italian clothing companies, brand companies, and instead of making it in China, they wanted to keep the Made in Italy type of logo and branding on there, so they fly a lot of Chinese up here to these areas to work on the products in the textile industry in the mills. So part of the reason why these areas were hit so hard is there was a flow of Chinese up here to go work in the textiles. So that’s a big reason why, not to mention there is a just a lot of elderly population up there. Now, let’s look at the data. So if you go down a little bit lower. You could see the average age is a little bit over 80. About 80, 81-ish, and then when you look at the people that actually die, I mean, look you don’t really have an increase until you get in the 60s. I mean, look at that. So this is the deaths here and you can see men are actually being hit, about two-thirds are men and one-third are women, and you don’t have an increase in women until you get to up 90+. That’s probably because most of the men are already dead by then. So you can see that spread right there and then look at the diagnosis, right? So this is interesting because they break down more percent of people had what disease that died of COVID. Now, when you go down at the bottom, a number of comorbidities. Look at this, 3 or more comorbidities, 61%. That is unbelievable. So there—what’s being put, portrayed in the media is that this is an infection that could just take anyone down, right? No matter what. No, that’s not the case. Not even close. The data does not support that. Now, when we actually put reason, logic, and evidence here, there’s a lot less fear guiding people. This is a disease that’s gonna take primarily elderly people, people that have multiple comorbidities. Now is it possible that you’re gonna see a news article with someone who is 20 or 29 passing? Yeah, I mean 0.2% in China, 0.22% in Spain, 0 in Italy, right? Once you hit 30-39, then you had 0.3%. Is it possible someone from this age category could die? Yeah, it’s very possible. You don’t know what their comorbidity status is. There’s HIPAA laws in the United States so, you’re not gonna see reporters saying, “Hey, this person was a type 2 diabetic. Hey, this person eats processed food. Hey, this person whatever.” You’re not gonna get that data. So it’s easy for people to be like, “Ooh, I’m so scared. It’s attacking people that are in their 30s.” You just don’t know about that person and obviously, you don’t even know if the person they’re putting up on screen is even in the last couple of years or their most relevant decade. A lot of times they are notorious for showing younger pictures of people that have passed. That’s pretty common. So I just wanna lay out the data and just look at, you know, what these statistical norms are for these infections so people can get a perspective, and then part of the correlation and why it’s older people is number one, you have had more time to accumulate a disease because the bad habits compounded over time is what creates diseases, right? And then also, certain nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin D go down over age and we’ll look at the data in a second on that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, you did good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It is here.
Evan Brand: No, I’m glad you pointed out the three—the comorbidities and over 61% of the deaths and I’m glad you showed for people that are just listening, that’s okay. You’re not missing out on much. We’re just talking about the numbers here, so hopefully it makes sense. But the hysteria math versus the reality math, I really like that you put that together because once you talk about the—which really you did even put what’s coming out now. You put on here there’s 50X asymptomatic. Now, we’re seeing it could even be 80X asymptomatic but the real death rate with your 50X asymptomatic math is showing a 0.01 death rate versus if we go up to 80, I mean, it’s gonna be even smaller than 0.01 deaths.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And this is less than the flu already by the way. So the numbers are, just so you’ll understand. Hysteria math is not understanding the full breadth of the case, okay? So not understanding the full population—the extent to which people are affected across the board because the asymptomatics prevent people from being tested that have no symptoms, right?
Evan Brand: Well, can we—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They’re not gonna go to the hospital.
Evan Brand: Now, let me ask you. Let me ask you this real quick, too, based on what you said over the weekend happened. So you’re saying that the hysteria math is even gonna be cut down by 25% now, is that right? Because of what Birx was saying?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. Yup, I’ll pull that article up here in a second. But that is what is showing here as well. The hysteria math may even be cut down more and there’s 2 different diagnostics codes. I’ve already talked about it in the past but the hysteria math, the diagnostics codes are U07.1, U07.2. Let me pull this up here as we chat. This will hopefully help you guys out. It will give you a little bit more info here. I’m gonna help you guys out on this, okay?
Evan Brand: And while you’re doing that, let’s talk about what the whole point of today is, so we can’t spend all day on the stats but what people really want to hear is that, well, I think we covered a lot of which one here, which is that the numbers just are not adding up to what is happening in society, with police arresting people, and you know, using helicopters, the surveillance speech, and they’ve talked about these contact tracer programs and apps to track people, and all that. Just weird 1984-style stuff. But what we’re seeing in some of these new papers here and this is more, as you mentioned, correlation. This is not necessarily low vitamin D causes blank, but we’re finding that if someone has a level of 30—30 ng, it’s gonna be ng/mL but if you get a standard vitamin D test, just look at your number, 25(OH )is what you’re gonna look at on your blood work. There’s little to no death at all occurring if the vitamin D is above 30. So if you’re vitamin D is above 30, if you get it, chances are it’s gonna be mild to moderate at most. All the major, major, major numbers of death, those had very, very, very low vitamin D. You’re talking a level of 10, a level of 20. Those are people that are ending up in real trouble. So the mean serum, 25(OH)D level in the critical cases was the lowest. The highest in the mild cases. So when I’m saying this, it sounds confusing like I’m just thinking of someone driving their car listening to this. It may sounds confusing. So I’m trying to make it as simple as possible. High vitamin D, more mild. Low vitamin D, more severe. It’s basically that simple.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. And then, here’s an article by Washington Post right here. So during the task force meeting on Wednesday, heated discussion broke out between Deborah Birx from the physician administration and Robert Redfield, he is the director of the CDC. Birx and others were frustrated with the CDC’s antiquated system of tracking virus data which they worried was inflating some statistics such as mortality rate and case counts by as much as 25%, according to 4 people present for the discussion. Two senior administration officials said the discussion was not heated. So we have this 25% number that is interestingly popping up. So I just—I wanted to highlight that and then here’s some of data here briefly I wanted to highlight more than 370 workers at a pork plant in Missouri tested positive, right? We go down here and look at the data. What do they say? All of them were asymptomatic. All were asymptomatic, okay? We go here and look at the—in 4 US state prisons, nearly 3300 inmates tested positive for coronavirus, 96% without symptoms, okay? Now, let me just be clear. Asymptomatic means you develop an immune response. You develop antibodies. You are infectious for 2 weeks or so on average. The infection is no longer shedding after about 2 weeks on average. You have antibodies and now more than likely you won’t be able to get sick for years. Now, we go to the USC study, similar, similar thing here. USC study, they found that the estimate 28 to 55 times higher in the antibodies versus the confirmed cases, okay? We have a study here, Science Magazine, similar type of category here. On this thing here, this I think is looking at Germany though. I think this is up in Europe and the same thing, I had it highlighted here earlier. I will have to come back to this one.
Evan Brand: Well, I saw one thing at the top there where it said that the infection rate was 30% higher. I saw that near the top of that article. It was talking about Germany and did it say Netherlands as well? Yeah, there it goes. Survey results Netherlands, Germany, several locations in the US find that anywhere from 2 to 30% of certain populations have already been infected with it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Yup, exactly. There is an actual number down here. I had it highlighted earlier but, let’s see here, 99% false positive—
Evan Brand: There’s a—are you talking about the paragraph right there at the top?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Here it is. There it is, right there. That’s more than 50 times as many viral gene test had confirmed and implies a low fatality rate. So 50 times the amount of viral—meaning there are 50 times more people that had the antibodies than the viral gene test had confirmed. That’s what I’m saying there. So 50 times more people had antibodies which showed previous infection that were actually testing positive for the infection. And then the Guardian right here, coronavirus antibody study in the California, right here in the county here at the high end, was 85 times, okay? 85 times, right there.
Evan Brand: And people are listening and they’re like, “Wait a second. What are you saying? 85 times?” That the infection rate is 85 times higher than previously thought.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: For every 1 person that test positive with this PCR-DNA swab, they take the little swab, they put it to the back of your nose and hit the back of your throat, you test positive, right? So when I say 50 times, that means that there are 50 other people that never had the infection symptomatically that are testing serologically positive for it. Meaning they have an immune response showing that they got exposed to the infection. Does that make sense?
Evan Brand: It does. But when people hear that, they go, “Oh my God! Well, 50 times more people are infected, well, I need to stay away from humans ever. Don’t hug your mother for Mother’s Day.” Those were some of the headlines.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, that means that this virus is not as virulent as we thought it is. And maybe—so contagious is meaning, it is easy to spread, right? I think the virus is very contagious. It is easiness to spread. That’s the R-nought number, right? The virulence is how the strong the infection is, right? So you have like a virus like Ebola, it kills 40% of people that it comes in contact with. That’s strong virulence. Ebola, not that contagious. I think it only spread to a couple of thousand people. So usually, in kind of virus world, there tends to be a correlation with the more virulent the virus, the stronger and the more chance that it can kill you, usually the less contagious it is. Now, you have the Spanish flu of 1918, right? Why was that a big deal? Well, we didn’t have antibiotics, right? So there’s a lot of post-viral secondary pneumonia that happens that if you don’t have antibiotics then a lot of times that’s the pneumonia that kills you. Not to mention we had a second wave in 1918 because of people coming back, soldiers coming back from World War 1 in Germany that re-brought back the infection. Not to mention I don’t think we really had a lot of the good sterile things like—we didn’t really have a lot of the hygiene things kinda fully dialed in back then either, and I know there were big, huge changes when they started doing hospitals outside and getting more vitamins. That also made a huge game change there as well.
Evan Brand: Well, good point. I’m really glad that you pointed out that there is the issue of virulence versus how easy it can spread and those often get conflated together. Those 2 things get kinda fused and mended. So the media will make it appear that it is extremely virulent but it could just be low virulence, high contagion. And that’s—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Evan Brand: That doesn’t sell as many newspaper articles or ad clicks or whatever else.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. I wanted to put a couple of studies that came out recently out there. Vitamin D supplementation could possibly improve clinical outcomes of patients infected with coronavirus. Now, these are observational studies, okay? Meaning they didn’t do a clinical control. They didn’t put—they didn’t do someone in a metabolic ward, gave him a virus and then gave him vitamin D, and then did the same thing to another group and gave them the virus and no vitamin D, and randomized it. That’s like the double-blind placebo control study. That’s not this. This is observational and there’s always the healthy user bias. What’s the healthy user bias? The healthy user bias is people that take care of themselves and do the right thing and drink good water and get some sleep and move, and may also have good vitamin D, right? So then people that have good vitamin D, they may be doing a lot of other things right that keep them healthy. And so we may be seeing that in here, so it’s always possible. But in the study, I’ll just put it up here and then people always ask like, “What’s the link? What’s the link?” Right here. This is the link, okay? That’s the link right there. We’ll try to put the links in below the video as well. Let’s look at the study. Let me just go right down to the conclusion. The results suggest that an increase in serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D level in the body could either improve clinical outcome or mitigate the severe critical outcomes. While a decrease in the serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D level could worsen clinical outcomes. In conclusion, this study provides substantial information to clinical—to clinicians and help policymakers. Vitamin D supplementation could possibly improve clinical outcomes of patients infected with COVID-19. Further research should conduct randomized controlled trials in larger population studies to evaluate recommendations. That’s I think very powerful right there.
Evan Brand: And let me just point this was the same stuff that just a month ago people were getting flagged as fake news and videos were removed and whatever else and people were saying this early on, vitamin D, vitamin C, you and I were saying this and not us directly, but others had been told that this was like misinformation and whatever. No, I mean, it’s coming out more and more to be true and it makes total sense. We knew that from the beginning. It’s just good to have some papers to back it up now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah and basically, the cut off was vitamin D status below 30 ng/mL was associated with more severe disease and mortality in the Southeast Asian study, okay? And then in general, one study gave adequate stats was 31.2. So basically, when you went above 30 or 35, things definitely improved. So levels above 34 is associated with an improvement. So that was kinda the general gist. So that’s just kinda highlighting that there and then if we can go here to this study, vitamin D level of mild and severe in elderly cases they found here most male and female subjects had 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels below 30. Also, most of the subjects with pre-existing conditions had 25-hydroxy vitamin D level below 30. So now the question here is, well, is it because they are sick and unhealthy? Now they have a harder time getting outside and getting vitamin D. So maybe the diseases are also causing them to have lower vitamin D and then the diseases themselves make them more susceptible to the infection. So these are always—these I’m just talking about like like confounding variables, things that could be affecting the situation that we’re not really factoring. So I’m just kinda spitballing, you know, off the cup with you guys. Majority of subjects classified as severe 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels were below 30, 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels were negatively related although clinically—clinical trials could provide more meaningful findings are the causation that 25-hydroxy D levels in COVID-19 severity. Basic healthy solutions such as vitamin D supplementation could be raised even in community levels and awareness of vitamin D benefits in fighting infections such as COVID-19 should be disseminated especially in the vulnerable elderly population. So they found it important enough that we should be raising the awareness of vitamin D in our elderly population. I think that was very, very important and powerful. You wanna comment there?
Evan Brand: Yeah, it makes sense. Yeah, I just sent you a link in the chat from this New York Post story. So let’s move on from vitamin D and if you need a good vitamin D source, we do have professional-grade formulas. So you can—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.
Evan Brand: Get a hold of us, justinhealth.com or my website evanbrand.com. What we like to use is vitamin D usually around 5,000 units depending on the case and then we have professional versions that are also gonna have vitamin K1 and K2, which are very beneficial and those can help with reducing any potential blood clotting issues because there have been a couple of papers, a couple of articles coming out on people having blood coagulation problems—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.
Evan Brand: And having more severity so the K1 and K2 would help in theory thin the blood a little and reduce risk. But check out this New York Post one that—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Actually with Vitamin K though, vitamin K may actually increase the clotting. So you may want to be a little bit careful on the vitamin K. Some of the over-the-counter Naproxen is showing to be a little bit beneficial, maybe a little bit of white willow bark aspirin, baby aspirin, or maybe some natural white willow bark could be helpful or some higher dose like nattokinase enzymes. So maybe the systemic enzymes could also be very, very helpful in kinda thinning things out. So be careful with the vitamin K. Now, if you’re getting it from food, from green vegetables or ghee or butter, you’re probably okay. So I wanted to highlight that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I must have said it wrong.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anything else you want to say?
Evan Brand: I must have said it wrong. Yeah, no you did good. For some reason I was thinking that there was some issue with like the Coumadin and the vitamin K combo. I guess we’re thinking that the blood—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It inhibits the vitamin K.
Evan Brand: It’s gonna mess it up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s gonna mess it up. Now again, like I would never say don’t eat your green vegetables or don’t eat your ghee because I think that there’s enough nutrition and antioxidants in those compounds. Like in this study, we’ll talk about it. They talk about sulforaphane actually helping with a lot of the cytokines and that inflammation. Well, guess what? That’s what the infection is causing. So we wouldn’t ever wanna decrease the nutrients. I just think you wanna hold those nutrients stable and let your doctor, you know, know about that if they’re gonna be adding a blood thinner in there. It’s really only gonna matter if you’re doing something on the more like vitamin K inhibition side, right?
Evan Brand: Okay, yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There are other ways to thin out bloods besides that.
Evan Brand: Alright, makes sense. Alright, so check out that New York Post I sent you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, let’s take a look at that.
Evan Brand: That was the Vitamin C one where basically this guy in the US, Dr. Weber, had basically looked at what was coming out of China and so he started implementing it in the US and you know, they’re talking about 23 different hospitals throughout New York.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let me get it on screen. Let me get it on screen here for everyone to see.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So this is it here, New York Post treating with Vitamin C.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and towards the bottom, he was talking about vitamin C levels in coronavirus patients dropped dramatically when they suffer sepsis and inflammatory response, so it makes all the sense in the world to try to maintain this level of it and there’s something else—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Vitamin C is administered in addition to such as the anti-malaria drug, that’s hydroxychloroquine, the antibiotic azithromycin, versus—and various biologics and blood thinners. Yeah, it makes.
Evan Brand: And then towards the top where his headshot is, go up where his headshot is, scroll up a little bit.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so right there. The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Really interesting. Let me kind of dovetail on that. So this is a study, actually out of China. Medical Drug and Discovery, this is early March. Can early and high intravenous vitamin D—vitamin C prevent and treat coronavirus? So this is interesting. So they’re talking about the acute respiratory distress syndrome and they’re talking about early uses of large dose of antioxidants and they abbreviated it as VC, vitamin C, may be an effective treatment for these patients. Clinical studies also show that high doses of oral vitamin C provide certain protection against viral infection, which is great. Neither of these things have side effects, which is awesome. I mean, if you go too high on the vitamin C, you could get loose stool. You may bypass that if you’re doing intravenous. They talk about coronavirus and influenza are among the pandemic viruses that can cause lethal lung injuries, right? The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Viral infections could evoke cytokine storm that leads to lung capithelial and endothelial activation, neutrophil infiltration—that’s the white blood cells getting in there and lots of oxidative stress, right? Which create reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. What’s oxidation, everyone? That’s a loss of electron, like when you’re in doctorate school, right? You remember the saying OIL RIG, okay? Oxidation is a loss of an electron and reduction is a gain of electron. So when someone talks about oxidation, they’re talking about losing electrons and guess what? We have antioxidants. What’s an antioxidant? Anti—it’s an anti-loss of electron compound. So basically, they are donating electrons—they’re donating electrons when electrons are lost. That’s what vitamin D—that’s what vitamin C is doing. And so—so talks about it is usually accompanied by uncontrolled inflammation, oxidative injury and damage to the alveolar capillary barrier. So what happens is with the capillaries, there’s the what’s called Boyle’s law where there’s gases exchanged, right? Deoxygenated gases or deoxygenated blood is being exchanged with oxygenated blood and then it goes back up to the left atrium, back to the left ventricle and then that oxygenated blood goes, but if there’s inflammation and damage to the capillaries and the alveoli in the lungs, you’re not gonna be able to exchange oxygen. That’s why you’re seeing this oxygen drop. So increased oxidative stress is a major insult in pulmonary injury and it manifests with substantially high mortality and morbidity. Now this is interesting, they talked about in the case report 29 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia showed an increase in C-reactive protein. That’s a marker of inflammation. It’s a marker of oxidative stress and they talked about that activation of the Nrf2 signaling plays an essential role in preventing cell injury from oxidative stress. So Nrf is like this anti-aging path that people try to increase with magnesium. They increase this with curcumin. They increase it with bioflavonoids like resveratrol. They increase it with compounds like milk thistle which help actually decrease a lot of this oxidation. Alright, I’ll pause right there, Evan, so you can comment. Go ahead.
Evan Brand: No, I think you’ve hit it all but the best part of this paper is right there at the bottom of your screen there, which is showing that they’re doing—they’ve had 50 and I mean, I’m sure the numbers are much higher than now because more time has passed but that in the treatment of 50 moderate to severe cases, high-dose vitamin C was successfully used. Doses vary between 10 and 20 grams a day and there was another part of this. It may have been another paper I have but basically, it was showing that even 6 grams a day oral was enough to reduce the infection risk and/or to improve symptoms so it’s amazing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.
Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s right there. Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Yup, 100%. I think what you said—and I’m putting all the studies up on screen because I know what we’re saying may be a little bit controversial in case people are watching a lot of mainstream news that may be like, “Well, why the heck haven’t we been—have heard about this stuff?” Well, frankly it’s because certain governmental agencies they’re gonna, you know, tell the partyline in food and supplements and natural compounds really isn’t part of that which is kinda sad as this study over here showed, you know, they mentioned that vitamin D should be disseminated especially to the vulnerable population. Meaning that information should be disseminated. Research is saying it, so it’s not me saying it. Of course, that’s kinda where my bias lies because I think vitamins, especially essential nutrients your body can’t make of course should be at adequate levels. Let me go back to this study here. So the oxygenation index improved in real-time so people were actually getting better oxygen exchange. They were cured and were discharged. In fact, high-dose vitamin C has been clinically used for several decades in recent NIH expert panel, and again I’m not saying by the way, right? I’m not saying people were cured. I’m saying the study said that. So that’s not me speaking that, right? We don’t ever cure disease, right? Of course, only a drug can cure disease, right? That’s my legal disclaimer there. Alright, because of the development of the efficacious vaccines, antiviral drugs, because of the developments in these drugs, how they take more time to occur, right? 18 months for a vaccine. Vitamin C and other antioxidants are among currently available agents to mitigate COVID-19 and then the acute respiratory disease syndrome. Given the facts of the high-dose vitamin C is safe, healthcare professionals should take a close look at these opportunity. Obviously, well-designed clinical studies need to be developed so you can create the right protocols. But in general, there’s good data for this and I think this is a first-line thing that I have been saying from day 1. We look at the nutrients we need to support our immune system. What are the foundational ones? Vitamin A, cod liver oil, vitamin C, you know, your leafy green vegetables and some of your low-sugar fruit but also get it supplementally so it’s more therapeutic. Vitamin D, sunlight, some places mostly supplementation to get at that higher level, right? My goal was about 50 ng/mL on the vitamin D. So I think a good standard recommendation is 5,000 IU for every person. It gets pretty decently standard. You could go 10,000 if you’re lower and you need more of a bump and if you’re uncertain, get tested if you can. But if you don’t wanna leave the home, at least 5,000 is a good starting point as well. And then so vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and then we could use something like glutathione or an N-acetylcysteine precursor which have been shown to help with the oxidative stress and they also help decrease viral replication. Not necessarily shown with COVID but it is showing with other viruses to decrease replication. So that’s kinda like my foundational nutrient stack for anyone listening and then obviously, we can throw some zinc in there as well, 30 to 50 mg of elemental zinc per day.
Evan Brand: That’s awesome. Well, let’s wrap it up. We talked longer than I thought we would on this thing but I am glad we kinda broke down some of these papers because people need to see this stuff and once again, this is not gonna be seen in headline, you know, 6 grams of vitamin D can reduce your risk X amount of percent. That just won’t be there. It’s gonna be death toll rises. I saw one headline over the weekend, life changes as we wait for a vaccine, you know, it’s all this cure me, cure me stuff, but I’m not personally waiting for a magic cure to come. I’m implementing all these strategies we’re discussing now to reduce my risk as much as possible. So if I were to get it, you know, hopefully I’d be in that mild to possibly asymptomatic case period.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, people talk about a vaccine coming, I mean, we’ve had 2 other coronaviruses in 2002 and 2003. We have the SARS coronavirus and then 2015, we had the MERS. So there’s been a lot—there’s been a lot of time that’s passed and we still don’t have a vaccine. So people forget that. So the fact that we don’t have a vaccine for other coronaviruses, odds are there probably won’t be one for this and also, we don’t have even a vaccine for HIV. So, I’m not aware of any vaccine for an RNA-based virus. So people can correct me in the description. I’m not aware of any vaccine that is available for an RNA-based virus so the odds are looking at past history there probably won’t be one this time around but I could be wrong, right? I know they’re doing different types of vaccines that are more like protein. They are like taking a specific protein in the virus and they’re trying to make a vaccine that targets that protein but not necessarily attack the virus so they’re doing different things. I think what’s really interesting is the—is if you have a lot of people that have antibodies, let’s go do platelet therapy. Let’s go spin out the platelet. Let’s do a blood transfusion, take the antibodies out of the platelets and then give them the antibodies in an IV. I mean, I think that’s just a common sense first-line therapy along with all of the nutrients, right? That we talked about and then maybe we play around with the hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and zinc protocol as well if we need. So I think we have some really good treatments, palliative acute treatments now where maybe a vaccine isn’t even necessary if we can get things under control and get an adequate amount of herd immunity. It may be totally moot at that point once herd immunity is in place.
Evan Brand: I saw the president talking over the weekend, people were asking like, “How can life go back to normal without a vaccine?” And he just was like, “I think is gonna go away on its own without it, so maybe we don’t need it after all.” But when you see headlines about, you know, X amount of states or X governor says that people must wear masks until a vaccine is created. What if a vaccine does never come? That means you’re gonna wear a mask for the next 5 years and what if those people choose not to get it? Do the people who choose not to get it can’t go back to the grocery store? Like what, I mean, it’s just, it’s weird. They’re not really talking about that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, how did life go back to normal after the 1918 flu? I mean, like 3 million died. Do you know in 1918, Woodrow Wilson didn’t even shut down the economy? They just kept rolling. 3 million people died. How do we go back after that? We did it. How do we go back after a million people died in the Civil War? We did it. How do we go back to life after World World 1 and World War 2 in Vietnam? We did it, you know. I mean, our country, United States is a very resilient, very resilient country. So I’m confident we can do it and I think there’ll be herd immunity in the background that will provide this extra buffer of support. We didn’t even know about antibodies. I mean, they actually were doing some antibody, you know, infusion back then in the 1918. They really didn’t know what was going on. They didn’t have the testing that we have now. So we are lightyears above and beyond a lot of this stuff and I think we even—I don’t even think we had vitamin D supplementation back then. So we are so ahead of the game. I’m feeling really confident and I’m ready for people to get back to work.
Evan Brand: Yup, I hear you. Well, let’s wrap this thing up. We are available around the world with people. So we work by sending lab tests, unless it’s blood we send you out to a lab, but for the other labs we do, you do it at your home. And so if you wanna reach out clinically, get help, boost your immune system up, if you just need to simply run some blood panels or we can look at CRP levels, and vitamin D and things like that, we are available to help facilitate that if need be. So you could reach out to Dr. J at his website, justinhealth.com. My website, evanbrand.com and we’re glad to be here for you. So take good care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent, everyone. Great chatting with y’all. If you enjoy the podcast, put your comments down below. Really excited to know what you guys think, what you guys are doing, what’s working for you clinically. We appreciate you spreading the word to family and friends. Sharing is caring and if you wanna write a review as well, evanbrand.com/itunes, justinhealth.com/itunes for a review. We really appreciate it, guys. You take care. Have a good one.
Evan Brand: See you later.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye. Buh-bye.
Top 5 Causes of Bloating – Functional Medicine Solutions & Mold Bloating Connection | Podcast #282
Hello, everyone! In today’s podcast, Dr. J talks about bloating and its connections with mold, low stomach acid, bacterial overgrowth, h. pylori, fungal overgrowth/candida and parasite infections. Mold and mycotoxins may also play a role in causing sympathetic and adrenal stress that could affect digestion. Food allergens and too much-processed carbohydrates may also feed bad bacteria that could contribute to bloating and gas. The cause of your bloating might not be what you think it is. And how does mold fit in this puzzle? Dr. Justin Marchegiani is drawing a line between the root cause and palliative solutions. We’re also looking at more natural solutions to help treat and relieve your bloating. Of course, very important is the root cause and checking back to that so everything connects and encourages better digestion and less bloating. We’re talking about the tests we conduct to help get down to the root of your bloating, chronic vs. acute bloat, and the next steps. Let’s ditch the discomfort of bloating!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
01:06 Lab Testing, Root Cause and Palliative Solutions
9:55 Mold Exposure
15:33 Digestive Support, Infections, and Fungal Overgrowth
17:21 H. pylori and Mold Connection
25:19 Working with Functional Medicine Practitioners
28:02 Best Practices’ List
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, guys. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here with Evan Brand. Today, we are gonna be chatting about functional medicine solutions for bloating. Really excited to get to the root cause. Evan, how was your weekend, man? What’s going on?
Evan Brand: Oh, not too much. It was very good. I’m excited to dive in to this topic. I figured we would divert from the coronavirus. We’ve done, I don’t know, hours and hours and hours and hours of content on that and what we’re still seeing clinically is that people still have issues outside of that, being concerned with that, and one issue that’s popping up pretty much every single day and that could be because we focus so much on helping improve gut health in people is the issue of bloating, and people will come in with the sort of preconceived ideas of what’s going on. They’ll say, “Oh, I have bacterial overgrowth or I have this or I have that. I have parasites.” And that’s what they think is going on but in a lot of cases, and this is why you and I focus so much on doing advanced lab testing, in many cases the people wrong. What they thought was wrong with them is not what’s wrong with them and then we find a different solution. So why don’t we dive straight in to the testing? Maybe talk about some of the tools that we use to investigate these issues and then we could dive in to maybe the specific things that we are seeing that are these triggers or root causes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely! So when we look at root cause, we always want to draw a line between root cause and then palliative solutions that may help symptomatically. We always want to draw a line, right? And of course, there’s palliative solutions that are more conventional-based, right? Whether it’s like bloating, whether Gas-X or some type of drug to address, Imodium or something else on the tummy side that’s gonna just manage symptoms on the drug side, right? And then there are even more natural things that do the same like activated charcoal, right? And then there are some things that are more palliative but may connect into the root cause like digestive support, like enzymes and acids. As part of a lot of bloating issues, there tends to be some kind of a gut infection or gut stressor followed by low stomach acid, low enzymes, low bile salts. So there are some palliative things we may throw into the mix that may help support and allow us to feel better but they are also part of the root cause. So we—we want to always plug in solutions but also make sure we are checking back to the root cause so we’re not—we’re making sure that everything connects. Palliative, root cause, and they all want to connect and ideally, we’re choosing root cause stuff that’s gonna be more—more natural that’s in alignment with what your body needs for good digestion to begin with.
Evan Brand: Well said and there could be a lot of overlap between the palliative stuff and the root cause stuff like the enzymes, great example. So testing-wise, what are we looking at? How are we identifying the root causes of bloating? Number one is stool test. We do a DNA stool test on pretty much every single person. Unless they’ve already had something run and it was very good or recent testing from a previous practitioner or doctor, then we may use that but in most cases, we’re looking at a DNA sample to try to figure out what’s going on and not only what’s going on, but what specific species of bacteria, what specific pathogens like worms, what specific parasites, what’s the gut inflammation look like, what’s the gut barrier look like, what about H. pylori, is that going on? Because if enzymes make you feel better or enzymes making you feel better because you have an H. pylori infection that’s—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: Suppressing stomach acid, so I would say stool test is probably the best but not always the best place to start testing-wise. What would you say?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely! So I mean, there’s just—we look at underlying physiology, right? You can tell a lot by underlying physiology with symptoms. The difference is a good functional medicine doctor is gonna look at the symptoms and go upstream to the body systems that may not be functioning optimally. So if I’m seeing indigestion, I’m thinking okay, maybe we don’t quite have enough enzymes and acidity to activate our digestive support, right? Because we need nice low acidity, right? Low acidity is like a pH of like 1-1/2, 2-1/2, that helps activate enzymes and the acidity also helps then trigger bile release once that chyme goes into the small intestine, and it also triggers more pancreatic enzyme release whether it’s lipase or protease. These are enzymes that break down protein or fat, so we need that acidity. Also, acidity makes it harder for bacteria to grow. So think of acidity as like the—it’s like the Clorox bleach on the dirty picnic table, right? It just really kinda cleans things up and makes it really hard for a lot of the not so nice guys to grow. So we know that’s kind of a foundational tenet and that’s always good to look at that. Now, we have other outside things like emotional stressors and any type of emotional stressor or any type of stressor plays into the adrenals. Because when we activate the adrenals, we’re either surging cortisol or adrenaline, right? One is from the outside of the adrenal gland, right? The cortex, that’s cortisol. One is from the medulla, the inner part of the adrenal gland. Either the inner half or inner third and that’s gonna be surging a lot more adrenaline, right? Both are intimately connected, right? Adrenaline gets to the scene first. Cortisol follows by about 20 minutes, okay? And these are gonna activate a fight or flight sympathetic nervous system response and that nervous system response will take blood flow and shunt it away from the intestines and bring it to the arms, hands, and feet, so we can run, fight, and flee. So if we have emotional stress and it’s unresolved, or we are putting our body in stress from food allergens or from eating on the go or not chewing our food up well enough, we’re just consuming a lot of toxins in our food, whether it’s mold or pesticides or chemicals, that could be activating that fight or flight response. So that’s why looking at the adrenals can be helpful because if we have this chronic digestive stress, that could be stressing out the adrenals and a lot of people that focus on digestion in the functional medicine world, they don’t ever bridge the gap between digestion and hormones, and they really come full circle.
Evan Brand: Yup, so that’s your answer. Your answer is what will the next test—my question was what was the next test you would say is important for investigating bloating? So your answer would be adrenals.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The adrenals would be a really important part because the fight or flight, the sympathetic nervous system is helpful. Now again, this is gonna be more on the chronic element. This is like a chronic issue, right? If this is more of an acute problem, the adrenals may be at play but they may not be a big piece in that person’s healing recovery. But it’s always good to look at because the problem with stress, people associate stress like when you say emotional stress or stress, you’re thinking like family, kids, finances, work, right? The problem is if you have an underlying Giardia infection or H. pylori infection, even though you are on beach totally relaxing, you know, drinking Mai Tais, you are still gonna have stress in your body that could be activating a little mini sympathetic nervous system response because of the infections. So that’s why the gut stuff, if it’s chronic it can be under the surface and you may not even be perceptible what’s happening.
Evan Brand: Yup, and that was my case. I mean, I had Giardia and other infections, my adrenal test looked terrible.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You had three amigos, right? You had three amigos, right?
Evan Brand: Yeah, it was the H. pylori, the Giardia, the Crypto and when I ran an adrenal profile, I didn’t feel stressed, right? I was taking a lot of adaptogenic herbs, so maybe that was helping but if somebody said, “Are you stressed?” I’m like, “Nah, not really.” But when you looked at my adrenal profile, my system was clearly stressed. I’m glad you pointed that out that even though you don’t “feel stressed” or you think your life is fine or “Oh, my kids are great. My husband’s wonderful.” It’s like, okay, cool but that doesn’t matter actually. You could have plenty of co-adrenal stress and have nothing going wrong in your life at all but that—let’s take this a step further. So you mentioned the cortisol release and all of that, so what is that actually doing to affect the gut? Well, the cortisol, it’s catabolic. It eats things away, so you know, you’ll read or hear about people who go run a marathon and then they’ll have diarrhea. That cortisol just tears apart the gut barrier. So I’m sure there’s other mechanisms involved but to me that’s one that comes to mind.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, also you can look at post-marathon and then look at immune system deficiency. You’ll see chronically low or at least, you know, for a few days to a few weeks on the low IgA side, from long-distance aerobic exercise. So you could be over-exercising or just doing too much aerobic, and that could be really compromising your immune system, right? So that could be playing a big role as well. So like you mentioned, chronic cortisol can rip up that gut lining and then the more that gut lining is ripped up, greater chance of food allergens. So then now if you’re consuming, you know, questionable foods, there’s a greater chance that you may start reacting to those foods as well.
Evan Brand: Here’s the funny thing. I’m thinking out loud. So in terms of like Buzzwork–Buzzfeed type titles, you know, I kinda brought this up to you before he hit record. I’m like, hey, let’s do something on like top 5 causes of bloating. But the funny thing is when you’re a practitioner, it’s really tough to just go, number one, number two, because as you see, you and I are—we’re connecting all of these dots. So we could end up coming up with more of like 20 different mechanisms leading to the bloating whereas people, when they go to click on an article or something, they want it to just be one, two, three, four, five. But when you really do functional medicine and you see this stuff clinically, it just does not work like a one, two, three, four, five. It’s not like car where it’s like—okay, it’s a bad carburetor. Remove the carburetor. No, it’s like, okay, you got the adrenal stress from the gut bug you picked up and then that’s affecting the gut barrier and then you’re training Crossfit four days a week. That’s affecting it. So it’s really difficult to just go bang, bang, bang. So we’re hoping to zoom in but also help you wrap your head around the whole picture of this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s really tough, right? Like let’s go look at your situation, Evan, if you don’t mind. So—
Evan Brand: Sure.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, you had some blood sugar issues, right? You also had three major gut infections—Giardia, Crypto, H. pylori—three amigos. You also had some potential tick bite stuff, right? And then we also had some chronic mold exposure. So it’s like—like if you just went and saw the mold specialist, you’d still be sick. You know what I mean?
Evan Brand: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Because it’s like it’s not just about grabbing the mold. Now, the mold was important but you know, we also worked on blood sugar and made sure you were getting enough food, made sure you were digesting your food, you started gaining weight, you supported the adrenals, cleared out the infections. Then we saw there’s all those chronic molds. Let’s work on the mold stuff. You also, in between there, you know, address some of the cavitation stress that may or may not had been a big issue. By the way, do you think the cavitations were a big underlying issue with your health issue? Do you think it was just kind of a side thing for everything?
Evan Brand: It’s tough to say because the heart palpitations that I had for years, I mean when I was living down in Austin, I was 20 lbs lighter than I am now. So—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know. You were really skinny.
Evan Brand: Yeah. So I put a lot of weight back on, thank the Lord, and my wife did, too. Here’s the interesting thing. We thought that she was skinny due to breastfeeding, you know, because she had been lower weight than she was when she was in high school and we thought that it was just breastfeeding all the time but no, it was probably the mold exposure because when we got her on binders, her weight restored back to normal. So to answer the question about the cavitations, I mean, you know, I was having heart palpitations almost every single evening. I’d sit down on the couch and then, oh my God, you know, the heart palp and then as soon as I got—that night of the cavitation procedure when they cleaned everything out, that was the first night I didn’t have heart palpitations for I don’t know, at least a year. So it stopped that immediately. My blood pressure—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The question becomes like well because you were already in pretty good shape before that, what if—what if the mold was addressed before that? Would the heart palpitations even be an issue? Would the cavitations even been able to cause a heart issue? Does that make sense?
Evan Brand: I don’t know. Well, it’s hard to say. Yeah—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And the reason why I’m bringing this up is because I have a lot of patients come in and no one has, you know, very little people have unlimited resources, so like, where do we start? And when you have like big picture, when people say like mold or like cavitations or heavy metals, like they’re thinking a lot of money is gonna be thrown out those resources, so our job is to be like, well, how do we prioritize that? How do we get the best results, you know, for the least amount of money.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s really the tricky thing because when you go to like myopic practitioners that are the cavitation person or the mold person or the Lyme person, it’s very hard to get a—or the gut person, it’s very hard to get a holistic perspective because you know what they’re gonna be doing. You’re seeing that person. That’s what they’re gonna do. That’s their stick.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and the truth is that my blood pressure issues, I have having these weird blood pressure spikes, those mostly resolved but the mold exposure—another re-exposure to mold didn’t happen for a couple of years after that and then the blood pressure issues came back. So, did it temporarily fix some sort of orthostatic hypertension-type stuff and some hypoglycemia stuff? Maybe but you know, it was—you have to travel, so the expensive travel plus $5,000 for the procedure. So, you could have bought a lot of binders for $5000 bucks. That’s a lot of charcoal.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Or, you know, home remediation stuff but you know, just kind of setting the tone for people that are listening. Being a patient myself, right? And helping to fix myself and you as well, and working together, it’s really overwhelming. But I just want listeners to know that if they wanna find someone like you or like me who had been through this and have the mind’s eye and focus on prioritizing and really figuring out what are the first steps and doing things in an order of operation, I think that makes it less overwhelming and that also plays into the whole stress because if you’re doing a treatment plan that’s gonna be so expensive or so segmented like, oh, we’re gonna do this and then that, then it becomes a little bit convoluted and hard to jump on board because you feel like it’s gonna take so much out of you to get going.
Evan Brand: True. True. Yeah, I’m glad you brought that up and I would say that every step along the way that you’ve had in your health journey, every step along the way I have had in my health journey taught us a lesson. Maybe it wasn’t the secret sauce, right? But let’s say it got me 10% better. That 10% better was what I needed to regain the weight that I lost from my parasite infections and then getting the exposure and then using detox solutions, you know, that got me maybe 50% better and then using immune-supportive herbs and antimicrobial herbs, that gave me 10%, 15%. So, I think what you’re saying in so many words is that many people come in kinda thinking that they have a need for silver bullet if you will and it’s kinda like, “Hey, Dr. J or Evan, I think I have got this parasite and that’s wrecking me.” And then we do all the labs and we see there’s no parasite. We see it’s actually a huge candida problem or it’s a huge nutrient deficiency or major gut inflammation or something that. And so we focus on that and then they’re 80% better. Then we kinda go back and we’re like, “Hey, remember how you thought it was parasites? Well, look, the 80% progress you’ve made by pursuing this and that instead. So, back to the bloating conversation, when we’re looking at somebody that comes in and it’s like the major complaint like bloating, what is really interesting is when you unpack all of it. There’s actually more coming along with it. So, it could be like, yeah, bloating is the uncomfortable part but then you look at the bowel habits and then you look at the disturbed sleep and the teeth grinding and then you look at the skin rashes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: And then you look at the dark circles under the eyes and then you look at the 20 lbs of weight gain with doing nothing, and then you start looking at thyroid labs and then as mentioned, adrenals. So, I guess my point here is that, it’s okay and good to have a one primary complaint, but it’s very rare for it to exist like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly. Yup, 100%. So, we wanna prioritize everything. So we look at digestive support. We may look at infections. We may also wanna look at fungal overgrowth. Now, a lot of times fungal overgrowth may come with the stool testing but sometimes that can be missed. So we’re gonna look at clinical symptoms like fungal toenails or tinea versicolor rash or chronic yeast issues or chronic jock itch, or those kinda things, right? Maybe chronic dandruff. We’ll look at that. We may also run organic acid testing that will look at D-arabinitol or oxalic acid. Things that may give us a window of fungal metabolites in the urine, and then we may also run a breath test, too, to get a little bit more of a window of what’s happening with other dysbiotic bacteria and we may even see imbalances and commensal bacteria which is normal gut bacteria. So, a lot of times that always come at the end because if you have imbalances with infections that will always or could drive commensal bacteria, normal flora out of balance. So, we also want to prioritize things on that note and of course, the diet is gonna be a foundation. So coming off, we may typically lean more on the Paleo side. We may cook more of the fibers down. We may lean more on the lower FODMAPS, lower fermentable carbohydrates especially if there’s more bloating or gas because those fermentable sugars even in healthy vegetables like garlic and onions could drive a lot of these problems, and people tend to like lean into the fact that like, “Oh, I have SIBO. I have this infection.” But sometimes, like in Evan’s situation. Evan had three major parasites and so it’s really good to have you kind of your mind’s eye wrapped around it because if you only thought he had H. pylori and then address H. pylori, and the problem still persisted, you’ll be like going insane. You’ll be thinking like, “What’s going on?” So, it’s good to really have that holistic perspective and address everything systematically. It just gives you the better chance that you’re gonna fix things, you know, a lot sooner than later.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and you and I haven’t talked about this but I’ve kinda come up with this theory that H. pylori is—and some of these infections are really like a secondary infection due to like a primary mold exposure. So, I remember being a kid playing in my grandmother’s basement that had flooded on many occasions, they—all they did was turn on a couple of box fans and it took several weeks to dry out. I guarantee I had H. pylori and parasite issues for many, many years. You know, I had gut issues as long as I could back into my childhood. I just wonder because you and I have talked about this idea of like commensal bacteria and there’s this argument, right? That H. pylori could—you could co-exist with H. pylori and that it shouldn’t cause any problems, but why is it getting so out of control, so out of balance? Now, granting my diet was terrible as a kid and all of that, but what if the immune-suppressive aspects of mold toxin weaken the immunity so that I wasn’t able to fight off candida? I wasn’t able to fight off H. pylori and that’s what allowed those infections to thrive and take over.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, and I think a lot of the argument is more at the level, like maybe there can be a tiny bit of H. pylori present but when it hits a certain threshold, right? Then there’s a greater chance that it can cause a problem, right? And then of course, the more food allergies you’re consuming that are gonna inflame the gut, now that maybe makes it cause a problem, and then if you have enough decrease in stomach acid and enzymes from the H. pylori, that can cause a problem, too. I mean, we know Dr. Marshall who got the Nobel prize for discovering H. pylori, I mean, he thought it was crazy. He had to give himself H. pylori to see that it caused ulcers and infections or it can, right? So, we know there’s a connection with it. So, kinda my issue is let’s lower the infections, fix everything else, and a lot of times people get better and get better much faster. Now, the problem with a lot of people in a lot of medical approaches to an infection is the antibiotics just a drop a bomb down there and they may not get the infection and they may create rebound fungal overgrowth and disrupt the immune response, so a lot of times you can get sicker from antibiotics with some of these chronic gut issues. So, you really have to be addressing the problem holistically.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. So, I mean, if you go to a conventional doctor and you do get diagnosed with H. pylori, the first problem is the testing is really bad in the conventional world and so a lot of times, they’ll miss the infection but if they did find the H. pylori, they’ll do triple or quadruple therapy, 3 or 4 antibiotics at the same time, often multiple rounds of that due to the antibiotic resistance.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.
Evan Brand: And then as you mentioned, now you’ve got even more–let’s say you came in with bloating as we talked about but you went the conventional rabbit hole, and then now you’ve got the yeast problem and then you feel got even more bloating there. So, you know, I would never do this study but it would be very interesting to see, to test this theory if you take 10 people that have high H. pylori that also have high mold toxin that we know is suppressing the immune system in various ways, what would happen if you just focused on a mold detox protocol? Would the immune system gain the upper hand on the H. pylori to get it back in balance? I would never test that, right? We’re always gonna do both at the same time, use antimicrobials and use detox support at the same time, but it’d be interesting to test this theory of it being an “opportunistic bacteria” that in theory—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: You could shut it down if the immune system was strong enough.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and then kinda my theory, if I am gonna address any mold toxins initially while doing other foundational stuff, I mean, my general theory is don’t push, don’t dump too many toxins right away. If I’m gonna do anything I may just gently nudge in some binders or some gentle lymph support but I’d probably spend more of my time and effort fixing the home if there’s an acute exposure on where those infections, where the mold may be coming from. What’s your take on that and how your peer does that?
Evan Brand: The home is always part of the investigation. So if you see that there’s like high levels that show up, and people are like, “Why—why are you going a tangent about this?” Well, it is a huge gut issue. If you just look up Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, he is the guy who has been working on these issues for 25 years, tons of people manifest only as gut symptoms. So that’s just the disclaimer but if we see that something shows up on the urine, then we’re gonna go the house to try to match up the species and see, okay, because you’re growing Aspergillus in your gut, you know, you can see it on the organic acids now, at least on Great Plains they’ve got on the first page, they have certain markers that are tied in to Aspergillus. So you can kinda see, hey, you’ve got mold colonization and then we’ll try to look and see if it matches up to the house at all and in some cases, it doesn’t at all. It’s like the house has Fusarium but the gut has Aspergillus, so yeah, the house could be a problem but it looks like it’s more you internally. You’re more of a factory or manufacturing plant, so then we’ll just throw in some silver or something else to try to knock that internal colonization down, and then still working on the other stuff. It’s rarely a number one priority as you mentioned. It’s like, hey, here’s a little binders. Here’s some antifungals that also will happen to kill the candida overgrowth that you have and plus these other herbs that we mix it with are antimicrobials, so that’ll knock down some of the bacterial stuff you have. So it ends up being like a 3 in 1 combo and assuming the constitution of the person is strong enough, but maybe we need extra liver or adrenal support, they usually do fine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I always pause going after mold right away. I just find that well, if there’s a lot of symptoms or we have a lot of house symptoms, right? Any visible mold, tell-tale sign, any chronic humidity in the home, tell-tale sign. If we see things tend a little bit moist on the wall, right? We can get a moisture meter. We can detect some of that stuff. History of leaks, those kinda things, then we’ll definitely just do a simple house test. Because the thing about a house test is, if you got 5 people in the house, then all 5 benefit from that test, so it’s kinda like a 5 in 1. So, I definitely like the house testing because it definitely gives you your best bang for your buck, number one and then we’ll typically remediate or address some of those things or if we don’t see any big red flags, we’ll just maybe get a higher quality air filter. So, we’ll do a lot of the Austin Air stuff which is a great one because of the zeolite and the activated charcoal and so either for Austin Air or Justinhealth.com/shop. Evan has his site as well—evanbrand.com, store button. If you guys wanna get a high-quality air filter that we personally use with patients and ourselves, that’s a great option. And then for me, I tend to always pause that stuff because I can see major benefits a lot of times without that but we’ll kinda put it on that treatment plan on that path. I like to get gut stuff fixed first because a lot of times the body will dump a lot of mold via the hepatobiliary system. Hence, Shoemaker and a lot of these protocols binding up stuff that comes from the liver and gallbladder, right? So that’s kinda my approach to it and that dovetails with bloating because if we have digestive issues, you really wanna make sure. People don’t think their digestion could be affecting detox, right? They kinda think of those as compartmentalized things but if we have digestive issues, it could easily be impacting detoxification, so whether it’s metals or mold or just general pesticides from conventional food, all those could play a role and your digestive issues could be affecting that.
Evan Brand: Yeah and here’s the funny thing. You know, you and I had thousand plus cases under our belts before we even became educated about mold. So it does pop up into our conversation a lot and a lot of people come to us and ask us these questions and we’ve done some really great interviews about this but the funny thing is we were getting people better before you and I knew anything about it. So, I do want to focus on or at least point that out. Now, I think it’s just helping us to add an extra puzzle piece to the puzzle. Because there are certain cases where resolving the gut issues, like the parasites and the bacterial stuff, you’ll look at the gut report, right? We’ll have side by side. Oh, great! We cleared out the infections but we still have these symptoms—the brain fog, the dizziness, the sleep issues, right? So now we know, hey, that other puzzle piece could be this because we did clear out the gut infections. But I would agree with you and argue maybe what 80%, 90% of the time, you could resolve those type of symptoms—the bloating and such, just from the gut issues, the liver, the gallbladder support alone.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I get scared for my patients or any patient that comes in and is going to see just a Lyme practitioner or just a mold practitioner. I get really scared if they have not done the foundation because with practitioners like that that are so myopically focused, anytime they’re treating the Lyme or treating the mold and they have a negative issue, it’s that it has to be die off and that means we’re on the right track. So it becomes this kind of vicious cycle where their—by them feeling worse, it supports them continuing to do that thing which them feeling worse may mean it’s the wrong thing or it’s too fast or it’s not in the right order, and a lot of times those protocols can be very expensive especially if you see a Lyme practitioner that does antibiotics and you are on antibiotics for years. That can be scary or if you are looking at a home remediation and you don’t know how to do it the right way, and you’re looking at tens of thousands of dollars on a home remediation. That could be scary, tool. So you really wanna be able to hit things in the most sequential way possible and the biggest knowledge understated that I have dealt with the last year or two with you and me on our mold side is really how to fix some of these mold issues with our homes as cost-effective as possible.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I wish I have my $10,000 back. I was just desperate.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –therapy.
Evan Brand: Yeah, for the enzymes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: You know, I was sick. I was symptomatic. I didn’t feel well. My daughter had stomachaches. My wife wasn’t sleeping well. You know, and we were looking up holistic solutions. We didn’t have time to fully do the research and figure out what we know now and here we go dropping 10 grand, and my situation was no better and even in some cases, it was a little worse and so, I don’t wanna turn this into the mold podcast but just pointing out the fact—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s connected for sure.
Evan Brand: That yeah, yeah, it is. But the fact that you could pursue rabbit holes like that and be no better off, right? Symptomatically, I was just as sick as before and that 10 grand could have used for several years worth of adrenal support and liver support and gallbladders and binders and all the stuff I really needed but I was desperate to fix the house because to me that was kind of the blame but I also had some internal gut digestive stuff going as well. So, I guess the point really here is that you wanna make sure you have all the puzzle pieces and try to work with the practitioner who can be zoom in and zoom out, and that’s what we try to be really good at. We try to be really good at making sure that if we do need to hyperfocus we’ve got the skills and tools to do that. We’re gonna use this specific protocol, this many times a day for this many weeks to address this infection. However, we may also need to zoom out and get your house in better shape and get your spouse in better shape in case they are re-infecting you and we’re also gonna help with those pieces, too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So, just kinda recapping for people listening. When I work with a patient, when Evan works with a patient, we kinda have like our best practices’ list and we really make sure we hit things. So, of course, we are removing the bad foods, we’re dialing in the diet, and of course, that could be more nuance that just a really good whole food Paleo template. There can be other foods like we mentioned FODMAPS on other sides, chewing our foods, cooking foods, those things. Number two is replace. Replacing enzymes and acids, maybe bile salts. That’s important. Sometimes other things need to be addressed like prokinetics and such. Third R is repairing the adrenals, repairing the hormones, repairing the gut lining, partly because of the sympathetic stress that may be driven by the hormones and how that can affect digestion and gut lining. Fourth R, removing the infections and this could be parasitic. This could be H. pylori. It could be bacterial overgrowth. It could be SIFO or small intestinal fungal overgrowth. There could be even, we could throw mold toxins in with that as well. And then the fifth R will be repopulate, reinoculate good bacteria. Sixth R, re-test and sometimes you’d come back with a new infection, that can happen, and that’s frustrating. So there’s a kinda an order of operations and again, there may be a certain deviation and certain ways we go deeper based on our experience, but that’s just a general framework at how we’ll dive in deep, so we don’t miss anything.
Evan Brand: Yeah, it took my daughter three rounds. You know, we’ve done—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: Like five stool tests on her and she’s not even 4 years old yet. You know, she showed up with one bug, knocked it out, re-test it. New bug, got rid of it then H. pylori showed up and then candida, knocked those down. I mean, it’s crazy so it can be a little bit of whack-a-mole and that just comes with the territory. It took me several rounds, too. You know, we kinda joke about the gut being like an onion having different layers of infections.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: But it does appear that they do kinda come out in layers. It’s, you know, is it possible that H. pylori with that little tail structure you see in the microscopic images?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Is it possible it’s burrowed deeper in the intestinal wall and it comes out later? I don’t know. It’s tough but we just—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s hard to say. It’s hard because with kids, too, you can’t quite hit it as hard either, you know.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But yeah, that’s why—and again, that situation is pretty rare to go that many times. I mean, that’s more in the extreme but it happens, you know. We always wanna be upfront with people.
Evan Brand: Kids are barefoot. They’re out playing in the creek, playing in the dirt, you know. So it’s kinda like—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: How your kids are.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Kids are a little magnet for critters, right? I mean, we kinda know that. They—
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Fall down. They have no problem picking up dirt, putting it in their mouth, the whole nine yards. So yeah, I get that. Is there anything else, Evan, you wanna leave the audience with today?
Evan Brand: I would just say get a good—get a good workup on yourself. Could you just go to Whole Foods and go buy a bottle of oregano oil off the shelf because you read some blog that said that oregano oil kills fungus and that may be the cause of your bloating? That might work, but is it the full piece? Is it the full picture? Are you gonna take it forever and then you kill the good bacteria and then you’ve got a more imbalanced gut than you did before? Maybe. So, my advice would just be get a good workup. Try to have a practitioner on your side that’s gonna be able to look at all the pieces, not just zoom in on one tiny piece of the puzzle—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.
Evan Brand: And convince you that’s everything and if you do want to reach out to us, we are those people. I mean, we do look at the full picture. So, Justin’s website is justinhealth.com. He is available worldwide for consults via phone, Facetime, Skype, Zoom, whatever you gotta do to connect, and my website is evanbrand. Same thing. We both work across the world. So we are very blessed, very grateful to be in the opportunity to help you, so thanks for tuning in.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then if you’re listening here, 99% of the people we don’t get the chance to even see in person or you know, over the phone or such. So if you feel like you could benefit or your family could benefit, you know, share this information. At least it’s gonna get people moving in the right direction, taking a couple of good action steps, and then put your comments below. We really wanna know what your experience is, what has helped with you, etc. What were some of the missing lynchpins to help your care and also a thumbs up and a share. We would really appreciate it. Alright, Evan. It was a phenomenal chat, man. You take care.
Evan Brand: You take care. Buh-bye.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.
Vitamin C and Your Immune System
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Loading up on Vitamin C is a great first line of defense during cold and flu season. Many know instinctively to reach for vitamin C at the first signs of illness, and that’s for good reason. Vitamin C is truly a super vitamin, packed with immune boosting potential!
Vitamin C not only helps reduce symptoms and duration of respiratory tract infections–such as the common cold, bronchitis or sinusitis–it also decreases incidence of other conditions and complications like pneumonia and diarrhea.
Vitamin C plays a significant role in human health, both in reducing inflammation and preventing illness. Studies have even shown a correlation between being vitamin C deficient and having an increased risk and severity of the flu.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, also known as ascorbic acid, which acts as an antioxidant in the body. Vitamin C plays an important part in overall health, from maintaining healthy connective tissue, to protecting the heart and increasing nutrient absorption.
Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps prevent getting sick, and if you do get sick, vitamin C can reduce the length and severity of your symptoms. Emerging research shows promising results with vitamin C being a treatment for viral infections such as the flu.
Vitamin C also helps reduce viral pneumonia-related hospital stays–in one study of a patient with virus-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome, vitamin C was administered through a high dose IV which was believed to be a key factor in the patient’s rapid recovery.
Benefits of vitamin C include:
- Better skin
- Stronger immune system
- Increased nutrient absorption
- Reduced risk of chronic disease
- Helps manage blood pressure
- Reduces inflammation
- Anti-oxidant effect fights free radicals
- May lower risk of heart disease
- Protects brain function (memory and thinking) as you age
How Can I get Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is found primarily in fruits and vegetables, which is why it is important to include a lot of fresh organic produce in your diet. A vitamin C deficiency leaves you more susceptible to falling ill, can cause you to become chronically fatigued, and can even lead to scurvy.
The human body does not make vitamin C–we depend on external sources to meet our dietary needs. In fact, the body doesn’t even store vitamin C, so it’s important to have a steady stream of vitamin C rich foods in your diet. Vitamin C can also help you better absorb the other nutrients in your food!
Vitamin C-rich foods include:
- Bell peppers
- Citrus: Oranges, grapefruit, lemons
- Brussels sprouts
- Green peas
While vitamin C rich foods should b a part of your diet for many reasons, when you feel like you might be coming down with something, it’s time to start supplementing with more vitamin C than what you’ll get in food. You can use a high-quality vitamin C supplement, click here to see the vitamin C supplement I recommend to my patients. When you need an immune boost, take 2,000 mg 3-4x per day.
Other Ways to Boost Your Immune System
Vitamin C is an excellent immune booster, but it is best used in conjunction with other healthy lifestyle habits.
Immune Protocol: When you feel the first signs of illness
- Vitamin C supplement, take 2,000 mg 3-4x per day.
- Avoid alcohol, gluten, and sugar: these impair the body’s ability to fight off infections. Studies show that every time you indulge in something sweet, the immune system is depressed for hours!
- Get Enough Sleep: sleep is the body’s time to repair. It is essential to get enough sleep (even more than usual) when your body is fighting off an invader.
- Getting Outside: Vitamin D from the sun can help the immune system work better. Great in conjunction with vitamin C!
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and a powerful antioxidant which many regard as the king of vitamins. It can help improve your health, both inside and health. Remember to feed yourself nourishing foods, like organic fruits and veggies which are full of vitamin C, to keep your natural defenses strong. However when you’re feeling compromised, know that vitamin C is a great first line of defense!