The Root Cause and Solution of Your Stomach Burning and Upper Left Quadrant Pain | Podcast #355

Pain in your upper left (UL) abdomen under your ribs can have a variety of causes. Several vital organs exist in this area, including the spleen, kidney, pancreas, stomach, colon, and lung. One of the most common origins of these issues is due to digestive problems. Heartburn typically happens when acid comes back up from the stomach into the esophagus. It can result in discomfort and a burning sensation in your chest. The pain can feel burning, sharp, or cause a tightening sensation.

Additionally, Gastroesophageal Bowel Disease, commonly called acid reflux, is a condition that occurs when you experience heartburn more than two times each week. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is also a chronic condition that involves a group of intestinal symptoms that usually occur together. The symptoms can differ in severity and duration from person to person. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) also includes any disorder that can cause inflammation in your gut; the most common of these conditions is Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Dr. J and Evan emphasized that having your daily food and environment checked. Possible modification is a basic essential thing to do to avoid gut issues that can compromise overall health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:32    Stomach Burning and Irritation

8:48   Causes of Stomach Cancer, General Inflammation

14:27  Herbs

19:26  Bacterial Overgrowth causing Stomach Problems

27:41  Mood, Stress, Depression and Anxiety Conditions

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan brand. Evan, how are we doing today, my friend? 

Evan Brand: I’m doing great. You ready to dive in and talk about heartburn? One of the most common issues one of the trending issues that’s always trending because us as a modern society, we have a lot of issues with hypochlorhydria, which is the technical term for low stomach acid. And so you and I are going to break down some of the reasons some of the root causes some of the triggers, and then some of the solutions. So where do you want to start? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a great question. So out of the gates here, we’re chatting about what h pylori stomach burning stomach irritation, so there’s a lot of root causes here. I would say out of the gates here, let’s hit H. pylori first. 

Evan Brand: Let’s do it. So I had H. pylori. So I’ll tell you from personal experience, and you and I clinically have seen many, many, many cases of H. pylori, let’s start with a conventional approach to it. So first of all, the testing for H pylori is not very good in the conventional world. And there’s an issue with false negatives. Luckily, the DNA stool test that we use is very effective, and we can find it very accurately. And conventional treatment is going to be what’s called triple therapy, or sometimes quadruple therapy, which is three or four antibiotics at the same time to try to kill this helicobacter infection, which if you look at the microscopic photo of it, it kind of looks like a jellyfish, it’s got this creepy little look to it with a creepy little tail. It’s not a pretty little bugger, but man, it causes damage to those parietal cells which secrete stomach acid. And this is something that was very controversial for many times until the researcher actually infected himself with H. pylori and gave himself an ulcer. Right? You and I talked about that story before. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that was Dr. Marshall. I think in the in the mid 80s. He couldn’t get funding for his research. So he’s like, hell, let me be the subject. And so he just infected himself with it. And h pylori, like you mentioned, is that he had a co shaped helix shaped kind of bacteria that kind of burrows into the gut lining. This it’s controversial because, well, I shouldn’t say it’s controversial, we know that it can cause ulcers and stomach inflammation, we know that it can affect acid secretion. Now, a lot of people complain that it’s an increase your acid levels, H. pylori tends to actually decrease acid levels. It creates an enzyme called urease, which takes the metabolite from urea protein metabolism, it turns it into co2, and then also ammonia and ammonia is got a pH of 11. So in the typical urea breath test for H pylori, they give you a bunch of urea. And the whole thought process is if you have h pylori, you’re going to have more of that urease. And that urease is going to convert that urea into ammonia and co2, then thus a positive co2 level is going to be give you the H pylori indicative for a breath test. Now that ammonia has got a pH of 11. So it will start to neutralize and start to move your stomach pH in the more alkaline direction. So kind of one to six is going to be your acidic scale, okay? One is going to be 10 times more acidic than two, two times 210 times more acidic than three, and then you get to seven, which is going to be neutral, that’s your water. And then everything above that base are alkaline, right? And so ammonia is that 11. So you’re taking that pH in your stomach that should be around one and a half to two and a half and you’re moving it more neutral. And so of course, that can affect a whole bunch of problems in your stomach from indigestion, dyspepsia, you’re not breaking down your proteins, you’re not activating your enzymes. And also H. pylori can thin out that gut lining. So part of the reason why people feel like it creates more acidity is because your gut lining gets thinner, your gut lining gets thinner that’s making you more sensitive to acid in your stomach. It’s kind of like if I got a sunburn, right? If I got a sunburn, and I went out the next day in the sun, did the sun get hotter? Well, it feels harder when I’m in the sun with a sunburn, right? Did the sun get hotter? No, it is your skin’s more sensitive. That’s when you’re out in the sun. It feels like it’s 150 degrees out but it’s not. It’s the same thing with your intestine you got a sunburn got that feels more irritated. Thus that acidity the acid that you’re putting in there may cause some irritation just like going out with a sunburn. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s great analogy check your microphone to it sounds like it may switch to your headset, make sure it’s on your USB and I’m going to riff on h pylori for a minute because my personal experience with it was not fun. I lost a lot of weight and I was kind of freaking out honestly like I lost so much weight and I couldn’t stop it and no was no shortage of calories. I was eating plenty of good meats and good fats and I just kept losing weight and I think h pylori is really one of those big stepping stones or maybe the better analogy is the domino effect. And once the age polarize there, as you mentioned, it kind of in activates your enzymatic process. So your pancreatic enzyme function, the release of the stored bile from the gallbladder is going to slow down or be reduced. So this is what I think leads to a lot of the SIBO or the bacterial overgrowth dysbiosis problems that you and I see clinically because when we find h pylori, we go down to page three of the stool tests and then boom, now we see Prevotella and klebsiella and Pseudomonas And all these other bacteria that are thriving so many people have heard of SIBO because it’s trendy, and they’ll come in and they’ll do SIBO protocols. But if they don’t get rid of the H pylori, I’m convinced that’s one of the smoking guns that allows the dysbiosis to take place. So, long story short, if you’re someone listening, if you’ve treated your gut before using antimicrobial herbs, or possibly even antibiotic therapy, and you didn’t get better, or maybe you got better and you relapsed, consider that you’ve missed one of two things mold toxin, which is weakening the immune system or number two h pylori, and it could be coming from your spouse. So if your spouse is not being treated, they could have reinfected you and that’s why you’re on the merry go round and you can’t get off.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So h pylori is one of the first things now, people say, well, a large percent of the population has h pylori, and that that is true. And so the question is, are you immunocompromised with that h pylori is an issue we’re not. There are a lot of people that can survive on four or five hours a night sleep. But once you become stressed, and your adrenals become dysfunctional, and your diets been poor for a while, that four or five hours of sleep may not be enough. So you have to look at the context of the person for sure. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. It sounds decent. It could just be the bitrate or something I do believe you have it on your USB now. It just sounds like it’s a little grainy, but it I know on our local and it will be just fine. So it’s, it’s plenty good enough for today. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, excellent. All right. So out of the gates here, just kind of hitting all the right things that we’re chatting about. So we talked about the susceptibility for H. pylori, right. h pylori is going to be one of these things that may be a problem in people that have symptoms. So if you have symptoms, if you have issues, we want to look at that and the gates for sure. I think that’s gonna be a top priority. Anything else you want to highlight regarding other infections? I know SIBO was another one that could potentially affect digestibility and your stomach cebo is going to hit more of your small intestine, but some of that bacteria overgrowth can move its way and migrate to the stomach as well for the gastric area. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, well, I think H pylori is probably the biggest smoking gun but like you’re not talked about many times, you can have permission to have multiple things wrong with you. Right? You said that so it’s funny because we’ll see Candida will see bacteria will see H Pylori, which is bacteria will see parasites will see worms. So the cool thing is when we come in with the testing, we’re often using full spectrum herbs. And what I mean by that is we’re going to try to knock out Candida bacterial overgrowth, the H pylori, the parasites, often we can do it in one fell swoop. And it’s really fun to do this in children or young adults, because they tend to get better faster. Like if I see a five to 15 year old kid and we’re working with them. It’s amazing how much faster they get better than like a 70 year old adult, for example. It’s something that I think shows the immune system being weak long term, this can be a bigger problem. So when you hear about stomach cancer, and the ulcers and esophageal problems, and GERD and some of these more scary diagnosis, these, these are likely more long term infections, or it could be the virulence factors, which are something that we test for if you look into the research, H. pylori by itself is not going to cause a ton of problem in the short term. But when it has these virulence factors that essentially strengthens the disease, the way I think about it is like the little whale shark, or actually, whale sharks are huge, but the whale shark with the little fish that kind of swim under its fins, to me, those are the virulence factors, they kind of strengthen the main host there, they’re allowing the H pylori to thrive, they’re allowing that shark to do what he needs to do, they’re helping to maybe eat parasites off of the shark, so they’re kind of helping him hang around. That’s how I think of these virulence factors. It doesn’t change the protocol much, but when we see a ton of inflammation or when we see a ton of gut damage, it’s good to be able to link that back to a stool test.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% here, the virulence factors are going to look at those cytotoxic proteins and it’s a genetic susceptibility of this H. pylori is going to produce more toxins that are going to increase your chance of ulceration increase your chance of stomach cancer, increase your chance of just overall general inflammation. So it’s nice to look at the virulence factors. Now we have a couple we have like Virdi,  VagA, iSay, these different virulence factors, these are cytotoxic proteins. And so it’s good to look at that. Now one of the things we’ll also look at in regards to intestinal inflammation to kind of make correlations is we’ll look at calprotectin. Calprotectin is another systemic marker that’s excellent to look at, because it plays a major role with inflammation in the gut as well. And so that’s a really good one. So it’s like a C reactive protein for your gut. CRP is a basically an inflammatory marker for the body. C reactive protein. calprotectin is a protein produced by the white blood cells in the intestine. So when there’s more inflammation, more cytokines, more interleukins, nuclear factor, Kappa beta, all these inflammatory presence, it’s going to give you more of a window that that’s happening now. It doesn’t tell you what the cause of it is. So you need to do detective work and get to the bottom it’s going to be usually one to four or five things. Something of infection, some type of food allergy, some type of immune stressor, whether it’s exposure to mold or heavy metals, okay? It can also be gut permeability where things are getting into the bloodstream and you’re having this, I mean, a logical reaction, those would probably be the big four out of the gates. And then I think, also just if you’re eating a lot of junky inflammatory foods, omega six grains, a lot of pro inflammatory foods, those could also drive it too. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I would say there’s probably an autoimmune component to right if you’ve got Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis or something like that, that may elevate that. And I know some of the stuff we talked about, if you try to take our conversation and put it in front of your GI doctor, they may not follow us on some of this stuff. But they will follow us on the calprotectin. I mean, that’s a pretty common marker that it’s going to be tested in conventional gastroenterology. So if you’re trying to like educate your doctor, if they’re willing, enable cool, you know, send them this podcast, hopefully, they’re open to integrating some of these things into their practice. But often, we’ve had many people that have been the GI doctors, 5 10 15 doctors before they come to somebody like us. And unfortunately, they’ve had very poor testing, and they’ve had very poor treatment. That’s why they’re still needing help. And we’re usually at the end of the rope, which you would think puts a ton of pressure on us, but I think you and I are used to and I actually enjoy it. Because in contrast, what we do makes the other people look silly, and our success rate is so good that it’s really it’s a blessing to be able to have some of these tools on hand. And it’s really fun and inspiring to be able to give people hope. And some of these chronic gi issues like heartburn or reflux or GERD, or some of these esophageal problems like what they call like issues with the LES to lower esophageal sphincter that can become very traumatic. And people think that surgery or drug is the answer. But we don’t have to go there in the majority of cases. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And also, when you start to have you know, a lot of dyspepsia, that’s like the bloating, that’s the nausea, the burping the belching, when you start to have that, right, that lack of acidity in the intestines, if you have a lack of acidity, you also have a lack of enzymes more than likely because acidity is an important trigger for enzyme activation, right, because a lot of our enzymes are pH sensitive. So if you don’t have a nice low pH, they’re not going to activate and also that bacterial overgrowth, and you can look at bacterial overgrowth in the stomach usually be a glucose breath test. Now, the conventional breath test that we use for like SIBO is we’ll use a lactulose blood test, or lactulose breath test where you swallow a lactose solution. And then you’re gonna, you’re going to blow into a bag, and you’re going to get a baseline and then you’re going to swallow the lactose solution, and you’re going to blow every 20 minutes. And you can sometimes see an increase in gas that first 20 to 40 minutes, usually being reflective of the stomach area, usually in that first 120 minutes gives you more of the small intestine. And if you do a glucose breath test, that’s going to give you more of a window into what’s happening in the stomach. Now, typically, what we do is i’m doing more of a store test and I’m getting a global look at bacterial overgrowth in the intestinal tract as a whole. Obviously, when we’re testing stool, it’s all moving through the intestine. So you can’t say Oh, that bacteria is in that part of the intestine or that part of the colon or that part of the stomach, you can’t really do that because it’s all moving its way out and getting mixed up, right. So a breath test could be helpful for that. Now, for me, it doesn’t necessarily change a lot what I’m going to do, because if I see him does a lot of klebsiella or citrobacter, or I see some h pylori or I see a lot of organic acids showing him parade or fenzbenzoate right are two three phenolacetate, right different markers indican. And that tells me we got some problem especially indicate indicates one of those bacterial overgrowth markers that also has to do with more increased putrefy protein. So that’s going to be a good indication that there’s some stomach issue going on and dyspepsia issue going on. So if I see that that’s going to gear me in that direction to be focused on addressing the stomach. And when we do herbs, guess what you can’t just target one part of the intestine, when you give these herbs is going to move its way through. Some of these herbs are going to target things more specific to h pylori like mastic gum or bismuth. But obviously, some of those are still going to have general antimicrobial benefits that will move down the entire intestinal tract. And some even have anti parasitic benefits too. So it’s hard to just target things we do know there’s a history of herbs that tend to be more selective to certain things in the intestinal tract. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, great, great, great segue to into the herbs. So let’s go into that now. And we’ll be providing some links, we’ll put them in the show notes. We’ll put them in your podcast app. So if you’re listening on your iPhone, you should be able to check if you’re on Justin’s podcast listening, you should see some links for his products. If you’re on mine, you should see mine we have custom formulas that we’ve created in partnership with professional healthcare company so we don’t use any kind of consumer manufacturing. Most supplement companies, they gather products from around the world and they just label them up in a warehouse and ship them out. But they’re not professional. So there’s typically not as much tests. If any testing at all purity potency, those kind of things are not well tracked, we’re very anal about what we do, because we have to get results clinically. And if we don’t, then people don’t get better, and they don’t come to us. So we have a legitimate reason we have to be of the utmost quality. This is stuff that you can’t get through consumer, like Whole Foods, places, or Amazon, these are professional so that that’s, you know, just a little bit about quality. But in terms of the stuff we’re using, as you mentioned, we have different blends. So sometimes we’re going to go with more of like a mastic gum, clove berberine, Wild Indigo blend, these are things that can be both anti inflammatory, anti microbial, anti antifungal, anti parasitic, and then we have some where we’ve got a little bit of gut healing nutrients, like we might throw in a little bit of some dgl into the blends. So now we’re doing two things at once, which is great, we’re killing but we’re also soothing the gut lining, which is probably so irritated, as you mentioned, this thing is thinned out from the infection itself. And then we go into more of the antifungals, too. So we may stack. If we see on the organic acids, you’ve got an anti fungal need, then we’ll throw that into on top of the anti microbial need. And that’s where the magic really happens. There’s a synergistic effect. So rarely Are we going to come in with just oregano oil or just garlic, we’re likely going to use a combination of possibly 510 or even more herbs. And then if you want to comment on that, and then let’s get into the the question of like, where do probiotics fit into this equation? What about digestive enzymes and increasing stomach acid? Where does that fit into this equation? So if you want to hit on the herbs at all, then let’s transition. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, so first off, I think people come in with stomach issues saying, Hey, I have an H. pylori issue. And that’s it. So I think, one you have the right to have more than one infection or gut imbalances happening at the same time. So it’s really important don’t get myopically focused on one infection, there’s probably multiple issues. You could have h pylori, you could have some level of bacterial overgrowth that involve other types of infections, like klebsiella, or Pseudomonas or citrobacter. You could have a fungal overgrowth, you could have a parasite infection, as well. So all those things can be present. And also, you’re probably going to have a lot of dyspepsia where you’re having bloating, nausea, indigestion because you’re not breaking down your foods adequately. So you’re going to need to follow my six R’s right and moving the bad foods and again, that could be different for everyone. Some people that could be a paleo template, others it could be an autoimmune, it could be a low fodmap template as well could be a low histamine could be a gassers SCD template. So there’s different templates we’re going to plug in, depending on how sick or how chronic this issue is. And then number two, we’re working on enzymes and acids to really work on digesting things better. And again, acids tend to be anti microbial. Also, bile acids, which are produced by your gallbladder are also anti microbial. So if you have biliary insufficiency, you’re not breaking down your fats, inadequate levels of bile salts will create a a more hospitable environment for bad bugs to grow. So that’s the second are placed enzymes, acids, bile salts, third are repairing the gut lining and supporting the adrenals and the hormones because the adrenals help really provide a good anti inflammatory environment. So if you have imbalances in your cortisol function, you may have a lot of inflammation that’s not being managed by your adrenals. And then of course, on the repair side, you kind of hit it earlier. Some of the repair nutrients that we’re going to use maybe glycine could be L glutamine, it could be zinc. Zinc is very helpful. A lot of studies showing that to be very helpful with gut permeability. I would say DGL licorice, aloe okra, vitamin A. These are really important nutrients that come down the gut lining early I also like ginger and manuka honey. Manuka is used in hospitals in burn units, because it’s very anti inflammatory. So I like a little bit of manuka honey, and my ginger juice tea recipe is wonderful. Any comments on that? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s delicious. I’m a huge fan, too. And the good news is, depending on what’s going on, you could start soothing the gut a bit early. So as you mentioned, there is kind of an order of operations. But depending on the case, if someone’s in real bad shape, we may come in with some of those soothing nutrients early. Let’s talk about probiotics, too, because this is a confusing one for a lot of people. They just hear online, a podcast, a blog, a website, they’ll hear probiotics, probiotics, I think it’s time to just throw it in. And a lot of people have a bad reaction to that. I think we actually did a whole podcast on this, like when and why probiotics may make you feel worse, but why don’t you give us just some sparknotes on that, when and why and how do we integrate probiotics entities. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So people tend to have stomach issues in general because they have this bacterial overgrowth in the gut, that’s going to affect the esophageal sphincter from closing. They also have a lack of enzymes and acids. So the food’s rotting, it’s putrifying, and transfer defying and creating lots of different gases as a result. Now, people tend to have a lot of bad bacteria in their gut, they tend to be very sensitive to fodmaps fermentable carbohydrates, fructose, oligo, disaccharide, mono and polyols. And again, probiotics tend to have fodmaps in it because probiotics are inherently fermentable right fermentation breeds bacteria, good bacteria growth, they can also breathe bad bacteria growth, right? And so if you’re consuming a lot of probiotics and you have a lot of bad bugs, it can really create a feeding frenzy just like throwing chum in the water. When there’s sharks around. It creates a feeding frenzy. If you go to your local Lake, I go down to Lake Austin and start chumming the water, right? Well, there’s no sharks down there. So you’re not gonna see any sharks come in, right. And so think of probiotics and a lot of fermented bowls. They may be reasonably good and healthy for you. But if you have sharks in that water, and you chum the water, you just create a feeding frenzy. 

Evan Brand: Wow. And that you’re saying, with probiotics, you’re not necessarily even talking about prebiotics?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Again, people that have more extreme fodmap and SIBO sensitivity. That’s where probiotics start to become more of an issue. You can still have some SIBO and fodmap sensitivity, and you may not get rise to the level where probiotics are problem, right? So people that are out there and having problems with their kombucha or their sauerkraut, you know, it could also be a histamine issue, because probiotics and fermentable are also high in histamine so they could dovetail and be a couple of different things happening at the same time. Either way, if that’s the case, we still have to work on fodmap restriction, because when we deal with gut bacterial issues, we starve on one side with diet changes. We kill on the other side with specific antimicrobials, and then we crowd out and overpopulate on the last component so we we starve kill and crowd. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s great. And then the saccharomyces comes into the equation too, right? Which is kind of marketed and sold as a probiotic, but technically is a beneficial yeast, I love saccharomyces it’s something- 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It crowds out it crowds out so it has beneficial effects of crowding out and also is shown to be very anti cdiff. Anti h pylori, anti blasto and it has immunomodulating benefits increasing IGA levels too. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, we love saccharomyces it helps them mycotoxins too. I’ve seen it in a lot of people. And when I talk with Dr. Nathan, who is a guy who treats a lot of mold patients, he talked about saccharomyces being great for specifically, I think it’s actually metabolizing, or changing the structure of the mycotoxins to make them more water soluble, but there may be sort of a crowding out effect with the mole too. So it’s just a great overall thing. So if you’re working on a gut healing protocol, and you haven’t used saccharomyces, that may be something to chat with your practitioner about, it may be something great to add in. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, I like it, that makes a lot of sense to me. So when we have that upper left quadrant pain, right, your stomach for the most part is going to be just right in usually this area here. So this is kind of your, this point right here is your HCl point. And this points more of your enzyme point. So like pancreas, small intestine is like really right here, stomach’s usually going to be right in this area here. And then you have the esophagus, going up here, obviously, right, and then this esophageal sphincter can stay open. When we don’t have enough acidity and we have bacterial overgrowth, then you can have a lot of that regurge of that reflux happening when we have inadequate levels of assets. So one thing if you kind of take your hand right here, and you follow the sternum down, right, we’re kind of tucks into the left, if you rub it a little bit, and it’s a little bit sensitive. That points normally sensitive anyway, but if it’s really heightened, is a chance there’s inadequate levels of HCl in the stomach. So that’s a good little kind of pressure point there.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and people listening that can’t see he’s showing this down right there at the sternum, and then you can follow the rib line down to the left, or you could follow it down to the right, and you could check both sides. That’s a really cool thing that you can do in person when you’re working with the practitioners, you can palpate these points. And I remember when I was in one of my schooling lessons, we were with the teacher, and we had a lady who lay down on the table and everybody was coming up and palpating and man, this lady about jumped off the table when we hit that HCl point. So of course, we didn’t have a stool test on her but man, I bet she had some infection going on. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and it’s good to rub that and then you can kind of rub a couple other spots to see if it really is heightened and then you can also start start treatment. Right, make diet changes, add in support, right? start addressing microbials down the road and see if that changes but again, the biggest thing I really want to highlight for people listening, we live in this antibiotic culture today, right you have an infection, antibiotics, antibiotics, antibiotics, and so what tends to happen as people are in kind of my six are step right the fourth are is moving the bugs right? replace the net or remove the bad foods replace the enzymes and acids and bile salts, repair the gut lining and the hormones remove the infections, repopulate good bacteria, pre probiotics, retest that fourth Rs a movie infections, people go to this first. We live in this like, antibiotic generation people are programmed Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, it’s the biggest mistake you can make. Some people can get away with it. If you’re really healthy and you don’t have an overabundance of inflammation, you can get away with it. Most can’t. And they end up creating a whole bunch of problems. And I tell my patients the first rule of functional medicine right the first rule of Fight Club is don’t make yourself more sick. It’s really important So that’s why that fourth R where that remove that second remove right the first removes the food. Right. The fourth R the second remove is removing the infections, we do it in that order, because we’re trying to calm down the immune system, trying to support our anti inflammatory system so they can deal with inflammation and stress better. We’re working on digesting and breaking down our food or working on motility that allows us set the table so we can come in there and wipe out the bad bucks. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, he kind of alluded to it. But just to make it clear, you’re actually improving your immune system by clearing out these infections. And some of these herbs we’re using may have immune supportive benefits too. So that’s just the real joy of what we do is you’re boosting the immune system, you’re letting the gut heal by removing the infections. It’s just amazing. And when you get the spouse involved too, like if you’re seeing a rebound case where husband feels great and then the wife sick and back and forth, you know, they may be passing the H pylori between each other even children who I mean I was sharing water bottles with summer my daughter when she was two, I tested her when she was two she had real high H. pylori. So I’m convinced I may have given it to her, I don’t know. But luckily, we did herbs and she’s in good shape now. And when we retested her the H pylori is gone. So I’m glad that we’re able to get it resolved. But this is a problem that affects kids. So like when someone hears heartburn, they automatically picture old Betty sitting in the wheelchair with the gray hair and she’s got indigestion she’s got her santech in her hand. No, it’s not just her. I mean, this could be two years old, this could be 10 15 20 30 40 years old. So don’t discriminate. This bacteria does not care what you look like and how big or small your or anything. This is a bacteria that affects all people across the population. So if you have these issues, get tested, don’t guess. And if you need help clinically reach out we work on this issue all the time, it’s one of my favorite things to do is work on these gut infections. So if you need help clinically, we work around the world with people we send testing to your home, you do the labs, we get them back to the lab for reporting. And we jump on a call like we’re doing now and we talk about it and we help you make a protocol help you fix your issues once and for all. So if you want to reach out to Justin, you can have his website, If you want to reach out to me, and like I mentioned, we’ve got some links, we’ve got some gut healing products and some things that we’re okay with you guessing on, there are a couple of things you could do out of the gate. But ultimately, you need to know what you’re up against. Because as we alluded to, you may not have just h pylori, you may have other infections. So coming in with the glutamine, the zinc carnosine, that lm that kind of stuff that kameel, the ginger, the Manuka, it’s awesome. But that may not be the right order of operations, it may help you by some time, but you got to clear the bugs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and there’s a lot of studies out there looking at H. pylori, for instance, with a lot of mood and stress and depression and anxiety related conditions. And they find that when a lot of the H pylori is addressed, some of these changes occur as well with these issues improve or they talk about antidepressant drugs working better now. Now, why is that happening? Now, I believe the reason why it’s happening is because when you address some of these bacterial overgrowth, you’re absorbing your nutrients better, you’re absorbing your protein, you’re absorbing your fat, and in some cases, probably absorbing their drugs better, so they work better because they’re in their system. Now, I personally believe if you’re not breaking down your proteins and your fats, these are functional building blocks for your neurotransmitters, that you’re going to have some issues in regards to your mood and your cognitive function and potentially energy because a lot of the nutrients and minerals and B vitamins have to get absorbed that way too. So if you have issues with your gut, don’t just think hey, this is just a gut issue. Therefore my only symptoms are dyspepsia bloating, gas, nausea, constipation, depression, diarrhea, you could have fatigue, you could have cognitive issues, you could have mood issues, depression, anxiety, sleep, right. So we have to get kind of outside of the we have to go into the extra intestinal world meaning symptoms outside of just your gut related symptoms. And so it’s possible if you’ve h pylori, you may only have fatigue and mood issues, and sleep and it’s very possible. So you don’t want to just get hung up on the digestive symptoms thinking I’m okay. You could have things outside of the gut area. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and you don’t even recognize it. And the psychiatrist is certainly not going to suggest that our anxiety and depression is an H pylori infection. And that was it for me. I mean, I had panic attacks and anxiety. I mean, I was a wreck when I had gut infections. I will tell you personally, and clinically, I’ve seen the link between mood issues and gut issues. And I had a lady that I had maybe the last two months, I did not give her any anti depressant herbs at all. All we did is work on her gut and within six weeks, she said her depression was 90% better. And she just said it kind of nonchalantly and I’m like you said you were depressed for 20 years during our initial call or you’re not realizing what we’ve done in six weeks just by working on your gut. We’ve as you self reported a 90% reduction in depression which you’ve had for 20 years. That is insane. That should be on the Billboard. That’s Beyond the headline news, but I think there’s just some ignorance about the link between gut and mood issues. So hopefully the psychiatric world and the gastroenterology world can start to get more integrated because right now they’re still very, very separate which is no good for the population. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, here’s an article in the get the Journal of gastroenterology research and practice. It’s called the rule of H. pylori, and regulating hormones and functional dyspepsia. So if you get right to it, it says H. pylori strains have been shown to affect the secretion of several hormones including five five hyphen ht or five HTP. That’s the serotonin melatonin precursor ghrelin which affects mood and appetite, dopamine gastrin, which affects HDL levels. So and then has, it might be the cause of psychological disorders of functional dyspepsia. So, essentially, there’s a strong connection with H. pylori hormones, and a lot of the neurotransmitters and appetite regulating compounds so really important, right, H. pylori, we have to go above and beyond just thinking this is a digestive issue. It can affect mood, energy, sleep, and of course, hormones as well. 

Evan Brand: You and I talked about this kind of like we’re just like tying our shoes and cooking some breakfast. Would you have for breakfast today? Oh, I had some pastured eggs and bacon and sausage. What about you? Oh, yeah, handful of some avocado because, like we talked about it, like it’s just so nonchalant. But I mean, if this were to be the headline news, like you and I, this podcast we just ate if this were to be like, the trending thing of the week and 300 million people heard this. I mean, we could put a huge dent in the world, I think we’re doing a great job. We’ve got good numbers, but my God, if this was like the trending interview of the week, I mean, just imagine people would have so much more hope for their mental health, their physical health, their heartburn. This is empowering stuff here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And don’t expect your conventional medical doctor to know about this stuff unless they’ve gone through more integrative kind of nutritional, natural, functional type of continuing education. Most dermatologists don’t even understand that your skin has a direct connection with your diet, right? They still have pamphlets in the dermatologists office saying what you eat has nothing to do with your skin. Most people that have eaten crappy and change their diet to be much more healthy, they can tell you one of the benefits you see is your skin, right? We know inflammation, and oil secretions all have a major effect with inflammation, grains and six junky carbs. While Same thing with our gut, there’s that same level of disconnect all throughout medicine, because each, let’s say medical specialty only knows their thing. And you know, when you’re working 60 to 80 hours a week, you’re not going to have the time to really keep up with the literature and what’s happening. And, you know, if you’re relying on your medical school training, well, typically that information has to be around for 20 or 30 years before it gets into a medical school curriculum. So what you’re getting in medical schools, and they’ll be 20 to 30 years behind probably at least 20 years behind time. So don’t expect your doctor to be in the loop on this thing. So you got to really go outside of the box and, and educate. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, I’ve got a very close family member who has a nanny for a well respected neurologist, and the neurologist home is filled with frickin mold. And no wonder the kid has a lot of issues and no wonder the mom has gut issues and the dad has brain fog and everyone’s exhausted and they don’t sleep good and they have skin issues. It’s like your neurologist, those are mycotoxins. Those are killing your brain. Do you not know it? Nope. She doesn’t know. It’s crazy, man. So hopefully we can continue to do good work like we’re doing and spread this word because man. Yeah, we’re still in the stone age’s and a lot of aspects. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, no, I think we’re on top of it. Well, if you guys enjoy today’s podcast, we really appreciate it, head over to or You can subscribe to our email list. You can become a patient we work with patients all over the world happy to help you. Especially in the day and age the last year how things have gotten more virtual. It’s great to have access to good clinicians and doctors, virtually so we can provide that for you. And if you enjoyed today’s podcast, write us a review. Click Below the link you’ll see a link for a review, write us a review. And also share this with friends and family. We appreciate it Sharing is caring. If you enjoyed it today, apply one thing, share it with one person that you love that could help them. Evan anything else? 

Evan Brand: No, that’s it. You did a great job and we’ll be in touch next week. So take it easy and have a good one. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have a good one y’all. Bye now. 

Evan Brand: Bye bye.


Audio Podcast:

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International DSL GI MAP Genetic Stool Test

Genova Organix® Dysbiosis Profile

GI Restore


Carnivore Diet Experiment with Caitlin Weeks | Podcast #208

Carnivore diet is a type of diet which involves eating almost nothing but meat for about every meal. If you are looking about changing your diet, take it on someone that’s been doing it full-bore!

Watch the video as Dr. J and her lovely guest, Caitlin Weeks discuss about the effects of a carnivore diet to one’s overall health. Learn in detail how an all-protein diet affect the kidney, antibodies and health issues like diabetes and kidney stones. Continue watching and don’t forget to share. Sharing is caring!

Evan Brand

Caitlin Weeks

In this episode, we cover:

07:30    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner of a Carnivore Diet

12:07    Kidney Stress, Thyroid Test

17:38    Taking Enough Fats from Meat

19:33    Missing out Fermented Foods

24:48    Bowel Motility

26:43    Antioxidant Compounds


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani, welcome back to the podcast I have a awesome guest: Caitlin Weeks who is grassfedgirl– Caitlin’s all over Facebook, and Instagram and Twitter, has also awesome content and recipes, really good info. Caitlin, welcome to today’s podcast, how you doin’?

Caitlin Weeks: Hi Justin, nice to see you, thanks for having me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Good to see you too! And you are part of the uh– the thyroid summit which will be airing in the next few months so make sure anyone who’s– wants to get more Caitlin’s story around thyroid health–, make sure you subscribe. So you messaged me a few months ago, you are like, “Hey I’m starting this carnivore diet thing and– I’m getting some pretty good results and like to share with your listeners”. So I was like, “This is awesome” because I’ve been seeing lots of stuff online about the carnivore diet, I’ve heard some really good things about it. And I really wanna get someone on who’s actually doing it full-bore. I think you’re month 3 right now. Uhm– so– what– what first kind of wanted you to m– made you wanna jump on to this experiment? Just– j– are you j– just curious? How did that go?

Caitlin Weeks: Well uhm– back whe– whe– when I got hashimoto’s uhm– my thyroid and everything was messed up and [laughs]– and my digestion was always a– a mess and uhm– my uh– energy was a problem and uh– so I just– you know, kind of been doing paleo, and keto and– it’s all been helping and I’ve been getting better and– uhm– all my labs are good and everything is uh– going better and better but uhm– so my digestion was pretty uh– slow, and not so very common symptom of hashimoto’s and– so I was working with the health coach and I– if you don’t know ___[01:44], I mean, I know you know her but [laughs] a lot of people might don’t know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-huh.

Caitlin Weeks: Uhh– that it’s ___[01:51] and she’s a really– an expert on basically everything having to do with– uh– how the [laughs]– you know, thyroid and– uhm– you know and thyroids im– important hormones so she knows a lot about all that kind of stuff and she just kept telling me to do it and I was like, “Ughh!”, I don’t– I don’t wanna hear that you know uhm– because it’s like, ketos for being extreme in of itself and then– I mean, compared to the certain American diet, and then when you uhm– you say– or you can’t have any chocolate or any uh– you know peanut butter or any– anything, you know. And so, I just goes like, “I don’t wanna hear that! I don’t wanna hear that!”. And then it was funny by the same time my sister was starting to do carnivore and I was like, “what?”, and like she had two babies in a row and the second one sh– she basically just never lost the weight of her first one and then she just got pregnant again with the second one. So, she never could re– really lose the baby weight, and then– the second time she lost 20 pounds, I mean, almost overnight. And I was like, “What is happening?”, like, you didn’t–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-huh.

Caitlin Weeks: And I know she didn’t work out or anything like that. So, I was like, uhm– I mean not that I even believe in that, really, because, I know that exercise doesn’t really cause weight lose especially in hormonally challenged women.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

Caitlin Weeks: [Laughs] So– uhm– anyway, so she had the– the 20 pounds off and I’m– you know, we’re kind of the same, it’s hard for us to lose weight. And uhm– again, I uhm– so– so I told her, well– what– I didn’t wanna hear from her either. I was like, “Great! I’m glad it’s working from you– for you, but I don’t really wanna hear about it really, like [laughs]”. I mean, maybe I asked her a little bit but I was just like, “I’m not doing that, that’s crazy.” I love my vegetables, I love my– my brash in my soups and– you know, I’m– big gru– ___[03:54] fan and I love my– sauerkraut, and I love my Brussel sprouts–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: With your all kind of very good like low-sugar type of vegetables anyway, they’re very non-starchy anyway.

Caitlin Weeks: Mm-hmm–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Caitlin Weeks:  –and I love chocolate– I make huge like chocoholic. So, I mean, of course lo– no sugar or a very low sugar. Uhm– but I was just like, I don’t wanna hear any of that, like I love my stuff, and I don’t wanna change you know? [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right, right.

Caitlin Weeks: She says– slowly with these two like in my ear, I was like, alright, well I’m gonna be home for like 3 months so I’ll try it. And– well– well first s– there’s no way I was gonna give her 3 months, I was just gonna do for 30 days, ___[04:34] said, dear for 30 days, I was like, “Aaah? Okay, I guess”. So I started and– the– the one thing that kind of got me was like, “You can eat all you want”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Caitlin Weeks: And I was like, alright. I mean, because I hate being hungry.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm–

Caitlin Weeks: And I don’t like m– I don’t like counting, I don’t like macros, I don’t like any of that crap. So– uhm– I was like, if I don’t have to count anything, and I could eat until I’m really– until I’m full, you know, or– really full [laughs]. And there was like, “Okay, I’ll try it”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now you’re already coming from like kind of a keto paleo template, right? So you are already doing like most of your carbs were primarily veggies, anyway, you ate good fats like, I think you did grass with butter, and coconut, and all that. You are pretty good with all those good fats, right?

Caitlin Weeks: Yeah, I mean, I’ve done– done that for– since 2009. I’ve been kind of paleo-ish, you know, I w– and keto too because I was always eating kind of low carb because I knew uhm– I didn’t really tolerate a lot of sugars and all that maple syrup and coconut sugar and all stuff fu– I’d never really agreed with meat so I try to keep my fruits down to like berries and stuff like that. So, uhm– I was always kind of low carb anyway, uhm–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Your carbs are primarily around what, like 30 or 50 or so, net carbs like free-carnivore, right?

Caitlin Weeks: Yeah, yeah. So, I mean, I thought– ’cause I have done keto so many times and, in like, done it really strict and try to–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-huh.

Caitlin Weeks: 20 carbs and– and– so I thought well I’m not– am I getting yet the keto flu sign? Because I never got it before. Because I would think I w– I was already– kind of low carb anyway, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right, right.

Caitlin Weeks: This time, whoa! I got it [laughs]. It was bad like, ugh– I had never really had to worry about electrolytes and stuff before but this time it was like– I was feeling like I was gonna pass out if I didn’t have that salt, and I would keep like a little little thing of like Redmond salt with me–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Caitlin Weeks: –all the time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Caitlin Weeks: And I have to dump it like on my tongue, I mean it was really-really bad like– and I still get that way sometimes like I still have to– like I’ll get this like, elbow pain and then oh no, like, okay, I need my salt and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Caitlin Weeks: I’ll just stick– like, I’ll just wet my finger and stick it in the salt–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Caitlin Weeks: –and just like lick it because, I don’t like drinking. Some people make those like electrolyte drinks and stuff, but– ugh! I cannot drink. If it’s in a big salt in a big water, I can’t drink that like it’s so gross. So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I wake up every morning with this, I do like an 8 ounce or like 4 ounces of water and I just put the whole bottom a bunch of Redmond’s free sea salt and I just shoot it down real fast. I love Redmonds. It’s just one of the best salts there is.

Caitlin Weeks: I mean, I just preferred all my time, if I know I had to drink this big thing, I’m like, ugh!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I can’t do a bit that, you gotta do like an ah– a shot but yeah, you the– that way it works good. And then I’m just curious, can you kinda like walk the listeners so like right now, kind of a day in the life. What is breakfast, lunch and dinner look like for you? And then, did you have to cut a lot of the other fats out like coconut oil or grassfed butter, how did you navigate the extra fats that you may have added into?

Caitlin Weeks: Uhm– well– [sighs] too many questions at once. So the no– normal day of food is this–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:Yes.

Caitlin Weeks: –like– I mean, no really’s not that different because most people really likes their breakfast so you can eat eggs–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Caitlin Weeks: And–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Caitlin Weeks: Uhm– I mean, bacon. I don’t really do bacon but, the ba– you could do that. I would make sure there was no sugar for your bacon probably.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:Yeah.

Caitlin Weeks: Uhm–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: like the pig or ___[08:12] or something?

Caitlin Weeks: Yeah, and then– uh– I eat Kerrygold butter and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: You can do ge– I mean you can do completely dairy-free. Uh– I haven’t noticed a big difference either way but– uhm– you could do that, and you could use beef tallow, something– you want an animal-based fat. So you wanna not– you don’t want– you wanna limit your plans as much as possible. So you kinda have to think about that like, you can’t throw that thing– you have– can’t use the coconut oil all the time. I mean, like if– if you have a little bit of olive oil, a little bit of coconut oil, like if it’s in the pan or something like– uhm– sometimes I reuse pans [laughs], it’s almost like– like it’s already ___[08:52] or whatever [laughs], you know. But like– or if you go to the restaurant, you’re– I mean, I’m not gonna be like–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: –“Oh, you have to cook my food and beef tallow”. You know, that– it’s the same kind of thing is. You know, when you’re eating out you can’t be as picky but– uhm– anyway, so, normal day and food– so if you drink– I drink coffee, some people say no coffee at all. But to me, I just couldn’t do that so– uhm– they just drink water and beef and salt like, that’s like the highest uh– uhm– tier–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Of carnivore.

Caitlin Weeks: Of carn–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Water, beef and salt.

Caitlin Weeks: Right. And– and– and just, you know, meat fats.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So– so if it’s like a beef broth or a chicken broth, that’s okay?

Caitlin Weeks: I mean, yeah, some people ___[09:36] at all. That mean there’s– I think there’s kind of like levels. And I’d say I’m probably in the middle of–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: –or uhm maybe on the most lenient level, even though it’s super strict, uhm– it– so then for lunch it’s just, like, I bought a huge thing of the butcher box ribeyes and so I’ll just heat up one of those and, you know, cook ’em on the stove and, uhm– but you can also, like I’m finding it easier to skip meals here and there, or like– if you don’t eat your– your– your lu– your breakfast ’till 11:00, then, you know, and then you eat– and now it’s getting dark so early, you’re eating at 5:00.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: Sounds like you need 11:00 and 5:00, I mean you’re gonna be– that’s it, you know. So– or– uhm– 10:00 and 6:00 or– you know, something like that, it’s just– it’s a lot easier to skip meals because if you’re eating a lot, then you don’t have to– eat every 4 hours, you know. Uhm– so–, yes stake, and then, maybe, like a ham or– maybe like a half a pound or even a pound of brown beef, add another meal, I mean that’s a really cheap way to– uhm– you know, you can get a grass-fed beef with all the– 4-4.50, you know, per pounds so– uhm– we couldn’t– sometimes I’ll eat the whole package, you know and– and you just– a– make anything ___[11:00], I mean, just– like that. I mean it’s super simple. And uhm– and– it’s like right away I love the simplicity, you don’t have to clean up as much, you don’t have as much– all these different, you know pans, and different things to clean up, and you don’t have to buy as much as– seems like it’d be more expensive but, when you– vegetables are actually really expensive. So– [laughs] uhm–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know, right? And this is a big shift from you because your first cookbook was on the paleo mediterranean diet. So, everyone listening, we’ll put the links for that book below but, paleo mediterranean has a lot of other types of vegetables, other types of recipes so, it must have been an interesting transition for you like having to make more elaborate meals to now having very simple things like, hey, grow up a ribeye, like–

Caitlin Weeks: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey here’s some eggs like just very simple. Uh what was that transition like for you, kinda make– make it everything easier?

Caitlin Weeks: It’s just– I mean it’s just so simple, I don’t know, and you seem just kind of doub– you– but you eat more. So, whatever you would eat with vegetables, you would like eat– you would eat double the meat than you’d normally eat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: You know what I mean? Because everyone–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I’ve been worried about kidney stress or any of these things. People say, “Oh, too much animal protein”, are you worried about that?

Caitlin Weeks: Ugh– I really wasn’t uhm– I did take a thyroid test uh– right after the first 30 days, uhm– and my antibodies dropped 30 points. And I– I really don’t have that many anyway so it’s like– now they’re like a– 60 I think, and they were at a hundred– some so. Something like that. I was just surprised to see that drop because– and then that was kind of like a motivator like after 30 days, I was like, oh well, if my body is liking this, then– great, you know. I– if it went up or so, I would be scared, you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So how did your thyroid numbers look? Did you– what did that post look like? Like T-4, TSH, T-3?

Caitlin Weeks: [Sighs] Uhm–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Did it go up, or at least stay the same?

Caitlin Weeks: Yeah it was about the same and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Drop or anything?

Caitlin Weeks: No, I mean, I don’t think it was– I mean I showed ’em to my– I have a holistic doctor here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: And– I didn’t even tell them, you know, that I was doing carnivore but, they were like, “Oh it’s fine”, you know, you’re– [laughs], you’re fine [laughs]– looks fine and– it was no significant change, you know. And uhm–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re probably taking Armor, right?

Caitlin Weeks: Huh?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re taking Armor?

Caitlin Weeks: I take–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: NP?

Caitlin Weeks: Yeah, I– I think it’s NP thyroid.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: NP and there’s Nature Throid they kind of easily get confused.

Caitlin Weeks: Uh– it’s not– it’s not Nature Throid ’cause I take Nature Throid before, and I take NP, uhm–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s the big one that everyone’s going through right now it’s kind of a shortage with some of the others.

Caitlin Weeks: It’s a– ___[13:51]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah– ___[13:53]. Yup, that’s correct. Alright, good. So, you’re on that and then you really noticed any major drops. That’s kind of a thing with a lot of people, you know, going keto, which, uhm– you know, imagine you’re– you’re still in ketosis, so I mean even though you’re carnivore, technically you’re still keto, right?

Caitlin Weeks: I mean I’ve taken my ketones I’m not a– I mean, I’ve taken my ketos a lot with the– the keto module,

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: And uh– when I do regular keto, I’m not a big– you know, shower of ketones [laughs], uhm– but I can always tell ’cause breath is terrible and– you know, it’s [crosstalk], everything. Uhm– but– thi– with this, it’s the same way, I can tell because sometimes my breath is terrible and, you know my body smells funny, and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:Yeah.

Caitlin Weeks: Everything smells funny you know, but uhm– but I don’t register high ketones at all like, I mean, it’s like .2, .4–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: It doesn’t really matter the types– I’m taking them all different times a day and– but– I’m just like, I’m not gonna worry about it because–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Caitlin Weeks: I think it’s– I am– I can feel it, you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you’re probably just burning a lot of it up too, maybe freezing it for fuel.

Caitlin Weeks: And uh– uh– and you ask about the kidney stones, no I’m not worried about that, I mean, I think that– I think I would feel– ’cause I’m very sensitive and my energy’s very– if I was feeling bad then I would know. Yeah, right away.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I asked you that question ’cause a lot of people– it’s kind of a common myth out there in the natural health world, “Oh, too much meat will cause kidney issues”, well here’s the deal, if you have s– strain kidneys or kidney disease already, then higher amounts of protein may be an issue ’cause the filtrations are already impaired. But if your kidneys aren’t impaired, no, protein won’t be a– won’t be a problem. There’s no research actually to prove that.

Caitlin Weeks: My kidney don’t already have the disease.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And then here’s the thing, most people that have kidney disease, it’s typically from high blood sugar–

Caitlin Weeks: That’s from diabetes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Diabetes, yeah– 8– 80% of people that need kidney transplant, it’s from actual diabetes, so– it’s the– they are kind of confusing the macronutrients there. It’s really the– the refined sugar and the excess carbs. So, good I wanted to highlight that. And uhm– it’s interesting though, you said the elbow, you get elbow joint pain? And then the minerals really help that. Can you elaborate on that?

Caitlin Weeks: [Sighs] I mean, I just want signal, I get from my–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any other face twitching or spasms at all?

Caitlin Weeks: I feel kind of like up here kind of– yeah– just kind of soreness uhm–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: In my back and stuff. Uhm but– I mean, when I was first starting with more like, lightheadedness like I– I need to–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Caitlin Weeks: –have something right now and– and one thing that I didn’t say but– I drink– I made a bone broth especially when I started– every day I would drink like 2 or 3 big cups of it, because I make it in my instant pot, you know, I just uhm– strain it off, and then just drink it and I put a– and that’s a way to put a lot of salts. You have to really put a lot of salts in that, because– I mean, that’s a savory food anyway so it’s just like really easy to put a lot of salts in it—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: And– that was an easy way for me to get a lot of salt. And then of course I have a little salt in my– in my meats and stuff but that’s usually not enough, and I think people can quit before– because they may not feel well and they’re not using enough salt, that’s a big mistake. And, they’re gonna blame, you know, they’re gonna blame carnivore when it’s really not– that’s not what’s wrong, you know, it’s a– they’re not having enough salt [laughs].

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then when you’re picking the cuts of meat uh– can you talk about the cuts? It sounds like you’re tryin’ to choose like fattier cuts. I could– I could picture people really getting in the trouble in a carnivore diet, really just choosing leaner cuts of meat. What’s your thoughts on that?

Caitlin Weeks: Well– I mean that even happens to me now like, yesterday I ate like some dark meat chicken which you’d think would be okay, and it was like a whole– like a pieces of a whole chicken. Uhm– I ate like a wing– something, but, a– after dinner I was like, that’s not– I– I didn’t get enough fat like I could feel it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: And then I went back and I made some like scrambled eggs with a bunch of butter in it, and then I was– then I felt fine, you know. So, uhm yeah, people really have to get the fattier cuts and– uhm– cook them in fat and– I mean like chicken wings are one of my favorite foods because they have so meat– much fat on them, and uhm– and ground beef is– you really wanna get like an 80, 20. I know char– uh– US Wellness are 75, 25? Uhm– and so if you wanna order from US Wellness you can put your– your link for that, uhm–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah 55, 45 [crosstalk].

Caitlin Weeks: They won’t ___[18:51], they have a 75, 25 which is not found in grocery stores so– uhm– when I found even from grassfed farmers like if they said it’s– uh lot of them sell 90, 10, it’s like gross, you know? I don’t want that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Me too–

Caitlin Weeks: And–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Caitlin Weeks: –you want at least like an 85, 15 with the ground beef. Uhm– and you can add some butter in it or add some extra fat to it when you’re cooking it. Uhm– if you just– if you don’t do that, you’re not gonna feel good at all. I got [laughs] it’s just– ___[19:27] you’re not gonna– I mean you can do roast and– uhm– but you know, you do all the fat on it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah what’s your experience with, like ’cause now you’re missing some other fermented food. I’m just curious, are you concerned about, “Oh, I’m not getting the sauerkraut or the fermented cod liver o– oh I guess you could do a fermented cod liver oil. But like, hey I’m not doing all the sauerkraut or maybe the kombucha. Are you concerned about the fermented side of the feint there?

Caitlin Weeks: Well I did uh– I just did a– a Genova stool test.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: Uhm– it’s like GI effects I guess it’s from. And they– the– right up– it was funny ’cause– and I’ve been doing carnivore maybe 2 months then. And she was– one of her comment was like, “This is one of the best, like microbiomes I’ve ever seen”. I was like, “What?” [laughs] like– in at– I mean– this was like my holistic doctor. I didn’t tell them that I was doing carnivore because I thought they would tell me not to so I was like didn’t tell them, but [laughs].

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [laughs]

Caitlin Weeks: I was surprised because you’d think you did nothing but meat, you would have like, you’d be deficient in some strains or something like that, so– I mean, I don’t mess the actual food– it’s funny you don’t mess– you’d think–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: –you’d crave this–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: –or crave that but you’re so full all the time, you’re just, like you don’t even think about it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Are you tryin’ to do at least two meals a day or so? Two to three, is that kind of where you fall?

Caitlin Weeks: I’ve given– I’m gonna have 2 big like a lunch, a big– uhm– ’cause I can’t really so show a person so wha– and especially over holidays you have these big things coming up, and always have lunch with people and so it’s like if I know I’m going out to lunch, then I’ll have a small breakfast, or if I– like if I’m going to lunch at early, then I’ll– I won’t eat breakfast, you know, I’ll just have coffee or something. But then if I go– but if– it just depends on the day, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: –it has become a lot easier to skip a meal if I didn’t feel hungry. And sometimes you’re just not hungry at all and you’re just like, “Whatever” ___[21:32].

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have you ever get a low blood sugar symptoms at all, kind of feeling shaky or kinda that– that– that jitteriness at all?

Caitlin Weeks: Uhm– sometimes you– I mean, if you wait– really wait too long you’ll get–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: –you know, too hungry but–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 8 hours, 7 hours, is that kind of where that cut 6? What’s that cut off for you?

Caitlin Weeks: Uhm– it doesn’t really happen during the day. But like let’s say I woke up, and– like, I was gonna ugh– uh– like there was a lunch with s– st– like I didn’t eat breakfast and then lunch came on too late, you know, like you’re waiting around for lunch and it’s like– you know, 1, 2, like if you skip breakfast– and so it’s been overnight and then all morning, then maybe you could be like, “Aaah, you need to eat something”, you know. But that probably—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Caitlin Weeks: –be the only time–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: –because during the day, it’s just not– because if you ate lunch, you’re not gonna be passing out before dinner. No way, you know? [giggles]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So that’s really cool that you had the stool test on this so you might go by and still look good, so– the whole idea that you had to get all these extra carbs or resistance starch in there, didn’t seem to– to make too much of a difference though with you.

Caitlin Weeks: No, I mean, she– sh– I was surpri– I wish I had like recorded exactly what she said. She was just like, “This ___[22:51] best one’s I’ve ever seen”, and I was like, “Oh my gosh”, uhm– and then– I get– I’m going to do next Monday, I’m doing this food allergy test so I’m happy she doesn’t say it’s a– red meat or ground beef sensitivity [laughs].

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know, right? That’s the only concerning part it’s like, you’re eating a lot of that. Now, could you rotate between like, you know, fish fowl, pork, lamb, beef, like could you use be more like to have more of that variety in there as long as there’s animal it’s okay, right?

Caitlin Weeks: You can. I mean, some people like, if you follow like Jordan Peterson and Mikhaila Peterson they’re like–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: –kind of well-known in the carnivore, I mean, uhm– they eat like just beef, water and salts, you know. Or sometimes–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Did she had severe autoimmunity that affected her– her joints. I know, we uhm– someone in the chat is asking about that ’cause I see people that have severe ulcerative colitis, it’s autoimmune stuff. They’re really benefit by just cutting out all vegetable matter. It’s like something to do– maybe could be a lactin thing, or an anti-nutrient thing, but I find that people really benefit, especially severe autoimmune people like– like Mikhaila for instance.

Caitlin Weeks: Yeah, I mean I think that– if I hadn’t have done all the things I’ve already done, you know, I wouldn’t be as healthy as I am now, uhm– like if I had continued to eat a certain American diet when I got hashimotos, but for me that was a wakeup call and I changed to try to dramatically uhm– yeah, and that helped so much. So, you know, I guess everybody is different in how they’re disease progresses and presents itself, I mean, she was 6 and she was a little kid and– you know, maybe I was too in a way but it wasn’t, you know, so– wasn’t crippling or anything like that was just like– those little signals like, oh you have a– you know, ear infections and urinary tract infections and, that kind of stuff that kids get, you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly and– uh– how did it affect like kind of bowel motility– you noticed any shifts or changes there or did everything kind of stay status quo on the motility side?

Caitlin Weeks: Uhm– I mean. that’s kind of what I’m doing on the ___[25:00], still kind of the same, haven’t seen a lot of– uhm– well, as far this– the– the slow motility is still the kind of the same, but, one thing that is really different and is– would speak to the–  the vegetables, uhm is the– the bloating is so much less. It’s just like–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: –you don’t have this big up and down on the– the bloating uhm– most women, maybe men aren’t as– as aware of it but women are always complaining about this big bloating up and down depending on what they ate or how much they ate or uhm– so it’s like, you just don’t have that at all, and that’s really nice. And I think that speaks to– the how hard it is to digest vegetables and– I mean, I– I– I always think of things in ancestral perspective. It’s like, if we were hunter gatherers, would we even had access to these vegetables that we– what we see now, you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Maybe harder. It definitely maybe harder to get access to all of them for sure–

Caitlin Weeks: I mean maybe we were– had some foraged greens or something like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: But when do we have had a cauliflower like this big and, you know, ate the whole thing and– in cauliflower mass, you know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Caitlin Weeks: –a bunch of water on it, you know what I mean, I just wonder, that– those kind of vegetables, I mean they kind of seem like agricultural products as well, you know. Because–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: –its huge vegetables are– I mean if we didn’t grow things, we wouldn’t have– and you know, the hybridization of more things, like–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Caitlin Weeks: You know, a b–blue berry would be like this big, and now they’re like [laughs]–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Exactly. And maybe more– little more tar for sure.

Caitlin Weeks: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wouldn’t we take on like a lot of the antioxidants, the polyphenols that we find in like a lot of our vegetables and plant matter. You know, we’re not quite getting those. Do you worry that, “Hey, maybe we’re not gonna get enough of that”, or are you saying, well hey, you know, maybe, we’re getting some of them f– because the animals that we’re– we’re– p– the meat approach thing is more grass-fed, more pasture-raised, or some of that’s, maybe a path thing through the meat. And then also–

Caitlin Weeks: I tried that– that wasn’t– nutrition-full, I tried to say that in one of my answers [laughs], and she did not like that. [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So what’s your opinion on that? ‘Cause I mean, there is lot of ox– the antioxidants and compounds that we don’t necessarily know about, you know, in plants that are beneficial but, I mean, if you’re– it– it’s also, there’s meat, but there’s also organ meat too, so– do you– are you tryna get any extra organ meats in there, what’s your thoughts on– on this and some of those antioxidant compounds?

Caitlin Weeks: Well, I feel like, uh– a lot of– one thing that’s– uh– when we talk about antioxidants it’s like– we have to have all these antioxidants because what we’re eating is– is oxidized, you know, so we have to– so it’s like, if you’re not eating a bunch of stuff that you need all these antioxidants for, then maybe you don’t need– of course it comes from your environmental as well but, uhm– I mean one of the big things– and I’m not totally sure about all the antioxidants but, one of the things is– is Vitamin-C, you know, that– the standard American diet because it uses up so much Vitamin-C. And we actually don’t need as much if we’re not eating a standard American diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The oxidative stress on the food requires us to need more antioxidants. So the whole idea is ’cause we’re– we’re decreasing some of that oxidative stress from the anti-nutrients in the plants. We– we don’t necessarily need as much on the animal side that’s one theory, right?

Caitlin Weeks: Yeah, and I mean it seems to be working for me so far, so– I mean it– and– like you said, if I start to feel bad, I mean I’m the first one to break out the broccoli, I mean, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Do you think we get any of those antioxidants though like, you know for cows eating grass all day long to make that meat, do you think we’re getting some of those antioxidants from the grass? Right, the cows kind of uhm– eating, and ruminating, do you think some of that passes down into the meat?

Caitlin Weeks: [Sniffs] Uhm– maybe not in the same form but I think we’re getting you know, the Omega-3’s that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-huh.

Caitlin Weeks: –that we’re missing out on from grain-fed beef, and also uh– [crosstalk] is a huge antioxidant, and people don’t give enough credit as well–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, cholesterols and antioxidant, that is true. And then what about organ meats, how do you kinda plug in organ meats in this kind of a template?

Caitlin Weeks: Uhm– well I mean, an easy way for people they if don’t like uh– the uhm– it’s– it’d be liver pills, like uhm I know vital protein cells and uhm– uhm– they’re pure–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks:–and it’s got the– there’s– there’s several companies that sell grassfed uhm– beef– or liver pills uhm– I like liver so it’s not really been a problem for me to– like a lot of times I’ll buy whole chickens, and then we’ll get inside, I’ll just bake that, get inside ’till the chicken next to the chicken, you know, and so you’ll have the liver in there and you have– uhm– the heart, so I’ll just– I’ll just uh– eat those while I’m like cooking you know, ’cause uh– they cook faster than the– the other stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Caitlin Weeks: So, I’ll just eat those real quick. And you might had some ___[30:27] liver too so– uhm– ___[30:30] some marinade– if you marinade uhm beef liver for example in uhm– vinegar, and in like s– paprika, and– uhm– ___[30:40] uh– then– it takes off that livery taste away and just marinade for like 30 minutes and then grill it up and that’s really– it really tastes good if you grill it. Uhm so– that’s one of my favorite ways to eat it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s good, excellent. And then what about salt and pepper and all of those types of spices, I mean, can you only do the Redmond’s real salts, or can you do any of other spices like that, or garlic powder onions? What about those?

Caitlin Weeks: I think that it just depends, I think you– your– I think the more you m– keep it simple the more dramatic results you’re gonna have. But, you know I think there’s an emotional component too, I mean, if you feel like really sad, you’re depressed that you’re not getting any of that stuff. Uhm– I know– and also the autoimmune components, so– I mean this is the– the other autoimmune diet, so if you– uhm– haven’t done that before– ’cause I have done it before and I didn’t see any big changes with– with the taking appropriate or taking the– uhm the peppers and [coughs] that kind of thing, so– if you haven’t ever done that then this is your great opportunity to– to take those night shade uhm spices out and see if that helps you. But if you’ve done it and you just want your– your paprikan stuff, I mean I’ve– I tried keep it to a minimum. Just don’t eat, you know, every day with something but– you know primarily use like salt and pepper and then, you know every once in a while, if you wanna have some chicken wings or something like that but, really I’ve been more worried about all the sauces ’cause they have sugars and things.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Caitlin Weeks: Uhm so– like I don’t do a lot of sausage and uhm that kind of thing ’cause that’s gonna be adding carbs I didn’t– especially if you don’t use really clean sauces like Primal Kitchen or something like that, it’s gonna be adding a lot of weird ingredients to your meats, so– uhm– definitely be careful with that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally makes sense. Alright before we wrap up here Caitlin, is there anything else you kind of want to add to the listeners here or share to the listeners that was impactful on your carnivore journey. Things that you did, things that were huge, things that were impactful, things that we shouldn’t do. Anything else you wanna highlight?

Caitlin Weeks: Uhm– I mean, I’ll just say if you’re interested or you feel like you’ve tried everything else and that– then– this might be the missing piece ___[33:16] I mean, it’s really helped me have some great foods because I have done everything else and I felt like I was, hit my head against the walls so this was a really uhm– big breakthrough for me because it helped with my uhm– weight loss and my– uhm– it’s– it’s still starting to help with my digestion and bloating and that kind of thing, so I feel like if you– if you feel like you’ve done everything else, this is really a great stuff to kind of uhm– just go to that next level and feel your best so– I mean just try it and make sure you have lot of salts and uhm– you know make sure you’re not trying ot be on diet. You wanna really eat more than you think that you should because I think for women especially, they’re always like, “Oh, I’m just gonna have this little like 4 ounce piece of meat and it’s like– that’s not gonna cut it on carnivore, you gotta really eat, and you gotta eat more fat and more meat than you think you should–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Caitlin Weeks: –so—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm– mm-hmm totally makes sense. Well thank you so much Caitlin. Again, Caitlin’s website is, lots of great options there, like for information guide and recipes as well. Caitlin, thank you so much for being a part of the podcast and look forward to chat with you soon. You take care.

Caitlin Weeks: Thanks for having me. Have a great day, bye!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You too! Bye.


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