Can Parasites Cause Thyroid Problems? | Podcast #316

Parasitic infections are a big problem in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In this video, Dr. J and Evan will share how to handle these cases. One of these is giardiasis that may cause diarrhea, gas, upset stomach, greasy stools, and dehydration; cryptosporidiosis, which may cause stomach cramps, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, weight loss, and fever; toxoplasmosis may cause flu-like symptoms, including swollen lymph nodes and muscle aches or pains that can last for over a month. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:05    Parasites and Thyroid Issues

8:05    Conventional Medicines on Parasites

12:50   Thyroid Symptoms

16:54   Adrenals as Natural Inflammatory

19:55   Gut Healing Protocols

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. I’m with Evan Brand, Evan, how are we doing today? My friend?

Evan Brand: I’m doing well. I’m excited to dive into this, you thought of the idea of parasites and thyroid issues? And I said, Well, that’s easy, because we’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of cases at this point where thyroid issues magically get better or even resolve themselves just by fixing infections. Now, I will I will say that, you know, even though the title of this is parasites and thyroid, I would argue other infections are probably going to be happening at the same time. It’s rare that you and I, when we’re doing functional stool testing, it’s rare that you and I find just a parasite, right? Like, we’re probably going to find some Candida, we’re probably going to find some cebo type stuff, maybe some CFO issues, maybe some worms, maybe some gut inflammation, but parasites can be a really big catalyst for thyroid issues. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So we talk about these topics, you know, in a lot of different ways, so we try to nuance it a little bit. So if you’ve heard topics on parasite infections before from our podcast, we’ll try to make it a little bit different for you. So you get a little bit of a different perspective on this. So parasites are really a big deal. Gut infections is general and you can kind of lump in SIBO and Candida with this as well. Parasites can be a little bit more severe. Right, we have blasto, e, histo, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, any of the immediate miba infections, d fragilis. penta trichomonas, hominess. Trying to think of some other ones here, we have different worm infections, right. And these can all create inflammation in the body. But more importantly, besides inflammation, they can create gut permeability. And when the guts more permeable, we can have more immune stress, right, the more the immune system is stressed, because 80% of the immune systems in the malt, and the golf, right malt is the mucosal associated lymphoid tissue that’s in the stomach. I’m sorry, that that’s in the small intestine and the golf, that’s the gastric associated lymphoid tissue that’s in the stomach. And we have immune cells in these tissues. And the more stressed they are, the more gut permeability we have due to infections, that can really exacerbate the immune system. And they can wind it up so to speak. And the more wound up the immune system is that can facilitate an autoimmune attack. And that means your immune system starts making B cell or antibodies to the thyroid, and you may make things like TPO antibodies, which may affect the enzyme that helps bind that thyroid together, thyroid peroxidase. And that can affect the thyroid. And you may make thyroid globulin antibodies, which work on the extra cellular protein on the thyroid, and that can attack that. And so when you start damaging and beating up the thyroid due to autoimmune attacks, that can impair thyroid function and thyroid hormone binding. And a lot of that can start with the immune system. And the biggest trigger for that can be a gut infection. 

Evan Brand: So let’s roleplay a little bit if you don’t mind. So, you know, I’m Joey, and I go down to the the local gastroenterology clinic and I tell him that I saw this guy named Dr. Justin on the internet and he told me that, you know, blast over crypto or God may be causing my thyroid issues and the gastro doctor says no, you live in America, you know, not gonna happen. What do you say to that guy? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, that’s kind of the the big thinking with a lot of conventional doctors is, hey, these parasite infections only happen in third world countries. And so it’s a big deal in third world countries. It’s like one of the number of top five causes of death in third world countries partly because you get amoebic dysentery, massive diarrhea, electrolyte depletion, cardiac arrest, or some kind of hyponatremia symptom, because you have massive diarrhea. Now here, you go to an ER, they put you on an IV, they flooded with antibiotics, and more than likely, you’re gonna be fine, right? You may have side effects later, that’s a whole different podcast, but you’ll be fine. The problem is, we kind of look at parasite infections having this acute symptomology that results from the infection. And a lot of times, that may not be the case, you may be in this kind of functional asymptomatic place where you don’t have over diarrhea, you don’t have over constipation. You know, you may have some but not a ton. And then a lot of times it’s just enough where they kind of throw the IBS diagnosis at you, they may run a scope they may not see anything, they may run a stool test not using the best technology so they may miss whatever’s there. Now, if you have a serious infection, there technology, you know, basic stool antigen looking under a microscope, they’ll probably catch it. But if it’s there’s not a lot of bolus of that parasitic material, they may miss it and that’s where some of the DNA technology maybe a little bit better for picking up parasites. So this is why they may miss it, number one, number two, you may have kind of these subclinical symptoms that may get lumped into the category of IBS, which is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning they ruled out krones all sort of colitis, right? They ruled out bowel impaction acid reflux, all these other inflammatory issues, ulcers, right? And now, okay, all the serious stuff is ruled out. So they just say, okay, we’re going to just call it IBS. And then they’re going to just give you some medications to control whatever symptoms you have going on, whether it’s antispasmodics acid blockers, whether it’s um, constipation, medic medicate medication like laxatives, or bloating, medication, etc, gas x, that’s all they’re gonna do after that. And we know with functional medicine world, a lot of parasite infections can actually cause energy and mood issues. And so this is totally over their heads in conventional medicine world, because now they’re used to connecting gut infection to gut symptoms. It’s like an A, it’s like a one to one relationship. Right? Now you start going three dimensional here, when you start talking about gut infections, exacerbating your thyroid, causing an autoimmune attack, and now you have anxiety and heart palpitations in in fatigue and depression all throughout the day. Now what? And then now if those symptoms happen, you’re more than likely going to be prescribed a anti depressant or medication to treat those symptoms. So you’re kind of getting this really big cascade of symptoms that don’t quite match up with the conventional mindset. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and it blows their mind and then they get overwhelmed, and then they’ll dismiss you and then they may send you off to the psychiatrist. And they say, Well, you know, I don’t really help with anxiety. I’m focused on the gut portion of this. Luckily, you know, what we do as practitioners we come in and we’re not neurologists and gastroenterologist and endocrinologist and, you know, kidney experts, but we’ve had enough experience to where we can actually address each piece of this spiderweb. I mean, you you eloquently described it here, you’ve got the GI complaint that most people think about, they think, okay, if I have parasites, I’ve got to have diarrhea, I’ve got to have stomach pain, not necessarily. We’ve seen hundreds of people where they’re just a little bit tired. And maybe once every few weeks, they have kind of a cyclical gut issue. Right? So for me, it was definitely, it was definitely like a cyclical pattern. And I was trying to track it down to the diet. I thought, okay, you know, is it dairy? So then we got off dairy and then we like, reintroduce grass fed dairy without Okay, is it that Okay, what about the grains is the grains? No, it was the infections, but they had a cyclical pattern. So when you start bringing stuff up like that, you’ll literally you just lose the ear of the the conventional practitioner. So back to the thyroid piece, or you mentioned like the immune cells, you mentioned the immune stress. Now, we’re also going to be looking at blood for this right? So you would suggest if we are seeing a lot of these hyper hypo symptoms, yes, we’re going to run some DNA stool testing. But we’re also going to want to look at blood too, because we may find some other answers there. Now, I would argue, and I’m guessing you may agree with me that the blood is going to be more of looking at the effect, not necessarily the cause. Meaning if you look at the gut infections, that’s more of a cause. But we may see the TPO antibodies, you may see the tg antibodies, you may sit, we may see like a high reverse t three. But but that doesn’t necessarily change the game plan, right? Because you still have to go to the gut to fix the parasites that caused the high reverse t three in the first place.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. So how conventional medicine looks at things right may not pick some of these things up. So let’s say they’re even looking in the thyroid, let’s say they’re kind of let’s say they’re entertaining. And let’s say you listen to this podcast, you go in, and they’re testing your gut, and you’re like, Hey, can you also look at my thyroid, too, they may not even run these markers, as they typically run just TSH, and maybe if you’re lucky, you can get a T for free your total. That’s it. Now, if your TSH is overly high, then it’ll get picked up. But what is overly high, you know, maybe greater than four and a half to five. But it can take a long time for the TSH to go that high. Like TSH doesn’t just go high like that, in the snap of your fingers, it takes a lot of years, maybe even decade to get to that level. So if you have high TSH, you can just guarantee that that issues been going on for a long time. So that’s pretty much how you know if it’s a if it’s been going on for a while. And then now you have the downstream t four and T three that need to be looked at and T three is very important because T three gets converted from t four. So t four is your inactive thyroid hormone. T three is your active thyroid hormone. We almost never test this T three number. And a lot of times we can have a conversion issue. So your T four may be adequate. And then we have a drop in T three. So t three is not at an equal par In regards to the percentile of the reference range. And then we definitely know antibodies aren’t tested. That’s really tough. And partly because they don’t do anything because of it because treating a thyroid autoimmune condition with conventional medicine standards. They use high dose prednisone and immunosuppressive medications, those medications for a thyroid issue that would actually cause more side effects than the thyroid issue itself. So they tend to stay away from treating a thyroid issue. So they don’t really do any tests to reveal that it’s there. If it’s autoimmune, so you kind of get stuck in no man’s land. 

Evan Brand: Oh god, that’s a great point. That’s what I was gonna say. I mean, it just frustrates me where you and I will have you know, new patients come and they’ll send us bloodwork and we’ll look at these, you know endocrinologist that may have even extra credentials, but yet their their thyroid panel is still more generic than what you and I are running. And it just infuriates me, because these people, they’re spending so much money, they’re traveling to Mayo Clinic and whatever else, and they’re still not even getting what you and I would consider basic or foundational screening, it’s really frustrating.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s a combination of two things. It’s a combination of one they’re not aware, because they’ve kind of been like handcuffed, like, Oh, we can’t do anything about it anyway. So they kind of feel a little bit handcuffed and defeated. And then number two, they don’t want to piss off the insurance company. Because if they’re ordering via the insurance company, they don’t want the insurance company kicking them out of network for doing unnecessary testing, right? So you get in this position where you’re like, crap, well, how do I how do I handle this? How do I navigate as a doctor? And so we exist in the world of cash medicine, so we can do what we want and do what we recommend and need, what the patient needs. And we don’t have to worry about some insurance company dictating what we can do for the patient. The problem with insurance is they can’t they get in the middle. And they’re basically imagine someone getting in between you and your doctor and questioning everything you’re doing and saying, well, you probably don’t need that. So well. Let me talk to the patient about that. And see if the patient thinks we need it or not. I’m going to make a recommendation most of the time the patient’s like, yeah, that totally makes sense. Let’s do it. But imagine that insurance company stepping in between you and saying, Well, I don’t know about that. So we have that advantage in on the functional medicine side not going through insurance, because we can give the patient exactly what they need. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, great point. Yeah, I mean, the question my grandfather, for years, I would push him, Hey, I really want you to get full thyroid panel, I really want you to get vitamin D, and then the doctor would immediately push back, well, vitamin D is not going to be covered. Are you okay with that? You know, and then of course, it always ended up being covered. So it was this weird, like in between land where you feel like you’re not getting the proper care that you need, because they’re fearful, you know, the doctors are fearing that they’re going to go, like you said out of the network, or kind of out of their normal bounds of training. And then also, like you mentioned, that would illuminate any deficiencies they have in their treatment model, because if all of a sudden, they run TPO antibodies, and you do the follow up, and they’ve never looked at TPO antibodies, they don’t have a clue to say, Hey, why don’t we do a DNA stool test? Let’s go look at these infections in your gut. Now I’m connecting the dots here, you’re having anxiety, heart palpitations, you’ve got elevated TPO antibodies, and you’re having cyclical diarrhea, Hmm, I don’t know what the heck to do. Here is your thyroid medication. Here’s your Synthroid, or whatever. And then here is maybe, like you said, an IBS type drug. And that’s it. So let’s get back more to the action steps. I think we’ve done a great job of kind of illuminating, how does this happen? But first step, when somebody comes in and you see thyroid, you see gut issues. You mentioned DNA stool test, are you going to run blood immediately? Or is that more of like a downstream effect? So you don’t worry about it up front? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You mean blood for the thyroid? 

Evan Brand: Yes. Like, are you going to do thyroid panel at the same time as a stool? Or are you going to just focus on the gut? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Only if I see over thyroid symptoms, if there’s any family history, because a lot of times thyroid can overlap with adrenals. So I always look at the adrenals. First before thyroid unless we see a lot of hair loss, a lot of cool hands, a lot of cool feed stuff, a lot of weak fingernails, if we see a lot of low thyroid symptoms, that I’m going to take a look at it. Now most people they’ve already done some digging around their thyroid before they come see me. So usually, there’s some labs that have already been run that I can look at. And if not, then if we have those issues, then we’re either going to one, just go after the adrenals month one if we don’t have any overt symptoms, and see how we do. And then if we’re not having improvements out of the gates in regards to temperature, energy, those kind of things, then we do it. If we see that temperature and energy is a big deal out of the gates and we know cold hands cold feet hair loss, we can quantify that maybe with some basil, temperature testing, and we know it, then we’ll probably just rule out that low thyroid out of the gates just to make sure so it just kind of depends where patients are coming in from. And of course, if it’s family history that that’s we’re going to really dive into that. And because autoimmunity affects women five times more than men, if it’s a female patient, I’m a lot more on point with it. And if we have history of it, sister, aunt, uncle, mom, dad, whatever, then we’re going to be looking even more closely. But if I’m on the fence, usually I’ll just have patients do some basil, temperature testing with a really good digital thermometer. And we use the protocol in the members area, which is, you know, testing armpit axillary area and 97.8 to 98, two in the morning, or 98 to 98 six for the mouth. And we’ll just kind of test that we’ll do three, three temperatures test in the morning before you get up and move around. And we’ll just kind of get a window of how good that temperature is or not. 

Evan Brand: So if you’re on that low end, did you say 97.8 was at your low end?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s armpit axillary, same thing. So when you’re nine to 98, six for the mouth oral. 

Evan Brand: Okay. So if you’re at that very low end, is that still okay? Or you start to get concerned in that 97.8 level.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It would depend it would depend where the patient is if they have thyroid symptoms, I’d be more I start to get more concerned when they’re going below 97. Mm hmm. You know, also, I’m always I’m always in 97, like, I’m 97.8 all the time, and I’m thinking, well, crap, you know what, why am I not 98. But that isn’t that big of a deal. Like I’m getting a little more concerned, I’m below 97. But with women, you got to be careful because women’s temperature can dip right before oscillation and then peak as going through regulation. So if you grab that temperature, right before isolation, it could look a little bit artificially low. But also, if you grab it right in and after ovulation, it could be artificially high. So as a female, you know, the best time of the cycle to test is part of that first five or six days? 

Yeah, okay, that’s good information, you know, what’s it want to first aid, you bleed so that first five or six days, from bleeding onward.

Evan Brand: It’s a little bit of a tangent, but I’ll just mention it because you’re on temperature. So apparently, Lyme spy repeats affect the hypothalamus, which affects body temperature. So I’ve used temperature as well as kind of an investigation tool. And as we’ve treated people with Lyme issues, sounds like maybe the hypothalamus starts working more efficiently. And then boom, temperature regulation gets better, because that was a big issue for me, where, you know, I had major issue with the cold. And we’d always look at thyroid, we knew, you know, you know, my my gut story with parasite infection. So I would look at thyroid, and I would never see any issues, I was always perfectly in the functional ranges. So there are some other pieces to this puzzle. But I want to hit on the adrenal piece, too. That was interesting. So you had brought up like this adrenal thyroid connection to and that’s going to be tied into the gut, right, you’re going to see potential adrenal issues because of the immune stress based on the gut stress. So it could go gut affecting adrenals. And then adrenal is affecting thyroid, right? It might not just be gut thyroid, you’re saying the missing link in between those two is adrenals. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It can be because the adrenals are your natural anti inflammatory. So if you have a lot of inflammation in the body, from a infection, your adrenals are going to be spitting out cortisol, natural corticosteroids to help with that inflammation and stress. So like conventional medicine, a lot of times we’ll do prednisone, right? That’s like a really strong steroid. Well, your body has its own natural steroids it would use so of course, if you’re whipping that tired horse, that can be something that gets affected. And then of course, when your immune system starts getting overly stimulated from infections from now, maybe an increased chance of food allergens, because now your guts more permeable, undigested food particles can kind of make their way into the bloodstream and create more immune stress because now your immune system sees foods floating around the bloodstream and digested that shouldn’t be there. And so then now, you know, your, your immune is maybe tagging those proteins. And we know the surface proteins on gluten, for instance, maybe dairy, those the surface proteins look very similar to the thyroid, so your body can actually start mistakenly attacking thyroid tissue because those proteins look kind of similar. 

Evan Brand: And yeah, and I just want to clarify this issue is going to be more common. It’s going to happen more frequently, when there are gut issues disrupting the immune regulation, correct. It’s not like in every person, dairies magically going to trigger thyroid antibodies, you’re saying in these gut compromised people that may have infections because of the intestinal permeability being increased? Now there’s more antigen getting in to the bloodstream and then boom. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, it’s gonna be heightened more with an infection, because like, imagine the infection is like already kind of cracking the door open and your gut lining a little bit more. But let’s say you didn’t have an infection. It’s possible certain food allergies could be enough to crack that door as well. Right. Okay. But either way, let’s say you are sensitive and you have food allergy issues, and you have an infection now, it’s a double whammy, instead of that door being cracked open. Now it’s wide open, right? Yes, that makes makes that makes perfect sense. Yeah, for me, I mean, I used to do really, really poorly with dairy now really high quality dairy, I can get away with a little bit because I’ve healed my gut so much. So for me, I saw it. And it depends, right? Because not all dairy is created equal. So butter, fats and high fat dairy is usually different than dairy that has more casein, right? casein based areas tend to be like, more cheese or milks, right fat based areas and they’ll be like ghee, butter, maybe heavy cream. So casein tends to be the more allergenic portion of the dairy. And then, of course, we have lactose and lactose is the sugar portion of the dairy. So lactose, it’s more of an intolerance. And you just get more digestive disruptions where casein could be more of that immune stimulant. So things like people that have dairy intolerances, still may be able to tolerate ghee or butter. Because Because it’s not, it’s pretty low in casein much higher in the fat. Fats tend to be more neutral for people tend to be able to tolerate good fats, especially saturated fats because they’re, they’re not easily oxidized. 

Evan Brand: Yes, yes. Well said that’s a great point. So what about the influence of the gut healing protocols that we implement, and thyroid because people are hearing parasites, so they’re thinking, kill, kill, kill. And that definitely is part of it. And you and I’ve seen where just by eradicating infections, we’ve seen multiple things happen, which is pretty cool. So number one will see that the Secretory IgA, which is a marker, we look at on stool testing secretory, IGA will come up just as a side effect of clearing out infections. And that already indicates, hey, look, we’re starting to get on the healing path before we even did a quote healing protocol. And then we’ll see thyroid antibodies come down sometimes hundreds, sometimes 1000s of points, just by clearing the infections out. Okay, so that’s really like boom, clear infections out. But what about the gut healing phase? What are you seeing there? Are you seeing that that’s the, you know, the secret sauce, where thyroid really comes down in the gut healing phase? Are you finding, you know, if you had a pie chart, are you saying killing is doing most of the work for leaving the stress on the thyroid? Is it the gut healing phase? is there is there one that’s a bigger importance than the other? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Depends on how acute the infection is, but we’re doing so many things at once. Like, this is the question I get, like, what’s causing What? And it’s like, it’s very difficult to know that because what’s the most important number in a combination to your safe log? what’s the what’s the most important ingredient in the recipe your mom makes, right? Well, it’s a combination, everything, right. And so when you’re dealing with an infection, I’m very rarely coming in there and practicing Acute Care Medicine where we’re just going after an infection where we’re changing the diet, we’re decreasing inflammation by having a healthy anti inflammatory kind of paleo template, we’re improving digestion, that in its own right starts to improve nutrient absorption, we may add in some extra nutrients as well, that are easily bioavailable. So then we can get those in our bloodstream and start utilizing the metabolically. Obviously, the thyroid needs some zinc, it needs some selenium, it needs some iodine. Of course, we don’t want to ever go overly high with iodine because that can actually increase autoimmune attack, but a couple 100 micrograms, as long as there’s not an acute attack may be fine. And then of course, we’re working on supporting hormones, right, we working on maybe supporting thyroid, if the thyroid is depleted, meaning you’ve had a decade or so autoimmune attacks, you may need some thyroid hormone, depending on how much that that thyroid been beaten down. If the thyroid still functioning, well, then just doing a lot of the good nutritional strategies may be enough to help it do what it’s what it needs to do. And then we’re coming in down the road going after the infections a little bit later. Now we’re an antibiotic kind of focus generation, right? It’s like, Oh, I have an infection, you have this antibiotic, antibiotic antibiotic. So that’s kind of translated to people wanting to kill whatever they have right away. Now, if it’s an acute infection, you went to Mexico, you ate something like you just got diarrhea, and you’re having like a dozen VMs a day, right. And it just diarrhea, that we may have to handle that differently than like a chronic infection that’s been happening over the long run. So I always put infections in two different groups, acute or chronic. And then we always still have to work on doing all the foundational things. If it’s acute, it may be a lot more compressed over a couple of days versus a month or two, if it’s a more chronic issue, and regarding how we start going after the gut. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and the adrenal is maybe less important to deal with right away, if it’s a really bad, acute thing. It just depends upon like, Hey, I’m great, I’m great, I’m great, boom, I’m going to the bathroom a dozen times a day, it’s not good. My tummy feels like crap. If it’s that kind of an acute thing, and you were relatively okay ahead of time, then we’re going to look at that differently than a chronic infection. I love the analogy, what is the what’s the most important, you know, numeral to your to your safe code? Because I know the answer to the question I asked you, which was like, what’s a bigger deal here? Is it clear in the infections? Is it you know, healing the gut? Is it reducing food allergens? And I asked that just because I’m just playing devil’s advocate, because that’s what clients and patients always ask, you know, when we’re working with them, they’re like, Okay, well, you know, what’s my biggest priority right now? It’s like, I’m all of it. So it may sound a little overwhelming. But as we’re taking small steps with the diet, the lifestyle, we’re getting you to bed sooner, we’re helping with adaptogenic herbs to support the adrenals where, you know, let’s say you’re in between jobs, you’re moving house, I mean, there’s lifestyle stuff that’s important. You know, that’s, that’s affecting your hormones, which is affecting your sleep, which is affecting your gut and your recovery. And so we’re factoring in all of this at the same time, so rarely in a vacuum. Are we just coming in, like you said, and just boom, here’s your random microbials. Have a nice day. That’s very rare situation, right? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, like, let’s say, you’re healthy, right? You go down to Mexico, you pick up crypto, and then you just start having really a lot of diarrhea, we may handle you a lot differently. But like a lot of people that come in and I see usually there’s a combination of maybe some kind of a food allergy issue happening in the background. So then we clean that out, that maybe helps a third and then maybe they’ve really had poor digestion for a while like you know inadequate HDL or enzyme levels, that starts to help maybe a third or a quarter. And then that starts to modulate and calm down the immune system. So now the immune system kind of can relax a little bit, maybe that’s 10% 20%. And that we have, we’re getting access to maybe more Selenium or more zinc in our diet now. And that starts to help modulate the immune response, maybe that nourishes thyroid conversion, and then let’s say the infection, right, let’s say that’s the last 20%. So it could be a combination of certain things, you know, 10%, here, 20% there, 30%. There, and it just adds up. And so in the end, it’s hard to know exactly which one’s going to be the winner, right? And sometimes it’s equally spread out. That’s why if we just do the things that we know, we need to do on our checklist, our chance of results, good results is going to be much higher. 

Evan Brand: Absolutely. Well, I’m out of time. So I don’t know if you have a lot more to say if so I’ll just leave but if you don’t, then let’s wrap it up together. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That sounds great. I think let’s wrap it up here to reach out to Evan head over to again, Evan and I are available for consultation worldwide, which is excellent in today’s day and age. And then myself, Dr. J over at We’re happy to help you out and work deeper on any thyroid issue. Gut issue infection issue where we can kind of dive in deeper and get to the root cause make sure you put your comments below and subscribe and share the episode with friends and family. We really appreciate it. 

Evan Brand: Absolutely. Yes, sharing is caring and there’s probably someone in your family or your life that has a thyroid issue. So please give this to them. Hopefully, even if they have to listen to it two, three times. Hopefully it helps guide them in the right direction to heal to recover to live life fully. So take care. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome and have a good one man. Bye


Audio Podcast:

Cryptosporidium Parasite Infections and Water Filtration | Podcast #245

There are countless of bacteria found everywhere we go, but a big percentage of it can be found in water. Cryptosporidium is a prominent parasite with a waterborne infection transmission route. Low levels of this parasite were also detected in drinking water.

Join us in this podcast at Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan talk about Cryptosporidium parasite species, how it can be acquired and how it can be prevented through water filtration systems.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

01:35 Different Cryptosporidium species

10:14 Bacterias in swimming pools, public places

17:13 Importance of water filtration system in houses

27:15 Lab testing

39:33 Cryptosporidium is everywhere


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to the podcast. We have Evan here today as usual, today we’re going to be chatting about cryptosporidium specifically which is a parasite, parasites we see in our practice all the time. But today we’re going to be putting a laser on cryptosporidium as we see it quite frequently in patients. Evan sees it in a lot of his patients as well so we’re going to dive into the nitty gritty with crypto talk about the symptoms. Talk about kind of what we do to address it how we how we assess it and common common vectors of getting it. So Evan let’s dive in. How are we doing today.

Evan Brand: I’m doing pretty good. I started I started the idea of this conversation because every year I look at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Website and I just want to see what the hot topics with them. And this summer they had posted. It was like three or four different Masters in Public Health who authored this study and they said During 2009 which wasn’t that long ago to 2017 there’s an increase of crypto outbreaks 13 percent per year. And you and I were kind of chatting off here and I thought wow that’s crazy. So just ten short years ago people were not getting crypto as much and now 13 percent increase every single year what the heck’s going on. And so we could talk about a lot of immune system issues and things that are leading to this but maybe we should just lay the groundwork a little bit like what crypto is. How tiny is it. Where does it come from. What are the symptoms it causes. Let’s dive into that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Sure. So there’s a couple different species that affect humans. Again the most common one is gonna be cryptosporidium Parvum with a P.. We also have Hominis. We have M uris. We have Canas. We have Filis. Filis is the one that primarily is infected and cats but there’s different variations in it. The major one we see is gonna be cryptosporidium parvum. That’s the big one in crypto. I mean it is affected by temperature so boiling water can actually help kill it. Freezing can actually help kill it. But the major vector that you’re gonna get exposed to regarding crypto is going to be water primarily number one. I mean you’re also going to see it in daycares, daycares or significant vector as well. You’re going to see it hiking drinking any unfiltered water. People that are on farms that are petting animals cows petting cows are a big one infected cattle and to be a big one you’ll see it with some cats. Anyone that is exposed to human feces because this infection is gonna be primarily spread fecal oral meaning stool to mouth. So either a human not washing their hands or some level of intimacy or with animals that you know they’re not going to be the most cleanliness. Most clean right they’re probably licking themselves and they’re spreading maybe fecal debris on their body. You pet them and then that gets in your mouth. You can have an infection that way. And then of course the low hanging fruit. Me being an avid water skier an avid boater maybe lakes and ponds. Those are the big vectors and of course daycare. So you send your kid to daycare who knows what’s happening there because kids harmoniously have issues with their bowels and changing diapers and all that. So there may be some level of fecal debris that’s contaminated. And then the water. Those are gonna be the big vectors that you have the highest risk of getting infected.

Evan Brand: It’s incredible how small this is. I really don’t even understand how small this is I can tell you that. They, they call it the usist. Yeah. 4-6 Micrometers. I mean that is tiny I can’t even comprehend how tiny that is. Obviously you cannot see that unless you’re using a very high powered microscope. So when people say like oh it’s in my drinking water it’s in my tap water. No you’re not going to see it. You’re not going to have a clue it’s there until you start to pick up the symptoms. And I had cryptosporidium one of the very first stool test I did showed cryptosporidium and giardia which is another common waterborne parasite. And I had lots of issues diarrhea, skin issues, mood issues, gut pain. Some of the official symptoms may be different than what we actually see clinically though we may have people have crazy different issues where it could be insomnia and bloating and joint pain and we find that they have crypto. But like nausea vomiting diarrhea those are kind of the official CDC symptoms and they do say that if you’re especially young or old or have a compromised immune system you are at increased risk of life threatening malnutrition. So you we’re kind of talking off air. What would actually kill somebody. How would you actually die from this. Mainly just you lose all your minerals and as you mentioned maybe your heart gets messed up from the mineral loss due to the diarrhea and then you just die.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly and then of course like the big risk factors extremely young compromised immune system. Also if you have AIDS or HIV right that’s going to be an A acquired immune deficiency syndrome so your immune system is going to be weaker. Right I think official AIDS diagnosis when yourT cells drop below 400. So you have to have a weakened immune system to even be classified with AIDS. So then that’s going to compromise your immune system and then you’re open to getting crypto and it being life threatening also even with people that have AIDS fungus and Candida is a big deal. So those are like huge risk factors so we’ve got to keep your immune system strong. Those are going to be the biggest things that are going to help you fall prey is a weakened immune system. Now I find gluten in diet and food allergens are a huge component cause the more you kind of keep your gut kind of inflamed and you make it harder to make enough stomach acid and enzymes. You’re creating an environment in your gut that’s making it easier for these kind of infections to hang out. Right. Hydrochloric acid is important for one, activating your digestive enzymes to start breaking food down in protein down in the stomach. But think of hydrochloric acid as almost like that your body’s internal bleach to keep that area clean. Right, high should say increase acid levels make it higher for back harder for bacteria and parasites to multiply and grow. Think of it as your naturals your body’s natural bleach so to speak to keep things clean. So the more stressed you are the more inflamed your gut is the more you’re eating inflamed foods the more gut permeability you have from other stressors. It’s going to make it harder for you to fight off these critters. So when you have a low stomach acid environment we’re also going to have low Secretory IGA and Secretory IGA isn’t immune mucosal barrier it lines that intestinal track and it’s that first line of immune defense against invaders. And the more stressed your gut is the more inflamed your gut is that IGA levels have to be lower and you’re going to have less internal immune defenses to go after these things.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So if we think of my store use me as an example here’s a guinea pig. It would make sense if I had H pylori first. You know I had had that for probably years based on my symptoms I did test positive for H pylori. So as you mentioned stomach acid is important to neutralize this. If you get exposed to it I was in a hypochondria state and then I went swimming. You know I was going over to Lake Austen I did a little bit swimming there and I did often and I did swimming in Barton Springs and bath and bringing as a spring you know it’s fresh water. So I think that’s probably where I picked it up. So not that it matters but for our purposes I think we could classify crypto as maybe like a secondary infection meaning that you could have a primary H pylori infection that lowered the stomach acid in the mucosal barrier and created enough inflammation for crypto to thrive. What would you say.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes I think there’s three likely scenarios. OK. Scenario number one is you have a compromised immune system from dietary stress emotional stress any number of emotional physical or chemical stressors and then you get exposed to something and then that kind of gains a foothold in your body whether it’s H pylori or crypto. And then that starts to make your immunes get even worse than your food allergies get worse than your motility gets worse. We know according to the literature people that have crypto have a higher likelihood of zinc deficiency. We know how important zinc is for your immune system. We know how important zinc is for your sex hormones especially if you’re a guy right. Really important for testosterone production so you can see. All right. Now we start to have these nutrient deficiencies come into play and these deficiencies are gonna make it harder for you to have a healthy immune response. Have healthy hormones. That starts to create more symptoms energy fatigue lack of muscle mass inability to recover and heal. And so then you can see how everything starts to go downward so you start to have a little bit of a compromised immune system. Right. Physical chemical and emotional stress. Buckets getting filled. You get exposed to something and then that makes more stress and more symptoms occur. And then over time it escalates maybe more infections stack on. That’s number one. Number two is you just get exposed to a lot of crypto like a ton. Maybe you drink a whole bunch of water and there’s a large bolus of crypto in that water and that just overwhelmed your immune system in general even if you were healthy right because I have stories of patients who are super healthy and they just get exposed to it. A lot of an infectious debris material whether in water or food and they just boom they were down for the count. Or number three like we’re talking about you just gradually get exposed to multiple infections over time and then you kind of have this trophy collection in your gut kind of like you did right. You had H Pylori. I think you’re a crypto. I think giardia. Right. I think at one point right. We nicknamed you our nickname your your critters the three amigos right because you had us all right. And I think a lot of people that we see they’re very focused on one infection that I think I have this. And today we’re talking about just one infection but the bigger picture is a lot of people have more than one infection and you have the right to have more than one infection and most people do. So don’t be myopically focused on one we are today but you may have this and other things and we have to clear out everything together. And typically we have to set the foundation before it because people that have inflamed guts it’s hard to go after infections right away. It can be tough.

Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s so that’s part of the education piece in the testing piece for people as they may come to us with this idea of I’ve got blasto or giardia, h.pylori, probably around crypto we’ve got to make sure we do good diagnostic workup and make sure we get everything that’s there because if we just give you herbs for crypto yes by accident we may start to kill other infections off but in the case of H Pylori either herbs or use for crypto would be different than H Pylori. So we may not get to the root we may like get one of the root causes but not the primary one. Let me read a little bit more from the CDC real quick. So they talked about how the parasite can swim or it can survive in the water for days and days and days like we don’t even know fully how long it can it can survive. So that’s why people say oh if you’ve had diarrhea don’t swim in the pool and people still do it. And so even trace amounts of infected fecal matter on hands or swimsuits can contaminate the swimming pools for example and then it also talks about the resistance where now the cryptos become resistant to chlorine and it says some other chemicals. So it doesn’t say exactly what other chemicals I’m guessing maybe bromine other things related to chlorine that’s used to treat water. So if you go to the pool and it reeks like chlorine. First of all chlorine is terrible. Please swim in saltwater if you have the option but don’t take that as a sense of security. Hey. The pool reeks like chlorine. I’m assuming it’s safe. I don’t want to create fear but you know you don’t want to be drinking chlorine water anyway and you don’t really want to swim in it. If you have another option like saltwater.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah just an option to have a saltwater pool and you will have natural chlorine that form with saltwater pool. So there is chlorine that forms but typically I have someone that helps maintain the pool for me. And I basically instruct that person to use the lowest amount of salt which will naturally form chlorine to keep the pool clean without algae forming. So I’m able to keep my pool at like maybe a 20 percent chlorine percentage. I will tell you most people like my eyes start to get irritated and red and I can smell it around 40. So I keep mine at around 20 just enough to keep the algae from blooming and it’s enough where I can open my water open my eyes under the water and I can you know smell my clothes afterwards I don’t smell the chlorine and my eyes aren’t irritated. So you can kind of find that happy medium where it’s just enough to kill the algae and keep your pool water clean but just enough where you’re not having any irritation with your eyes and you shouldn’t be able to smell it afterwards so if you have a pool try to find that happy medium.

Evan Brand: Perfect. That’s good advice. You know I swam in a neighborhood pool that was completely you know chemical or I guess you would say like manmade chlorine it wasn’t like salt water that converts to chlorine and I felt super bad. I just I reeked I smelled I had a headache afterwards and then when I went over to a friends who had a saltwater pool and I swam there I didn’t have any issues. So I don’t know if there’s any different chemical composition or chlorine chlorine but I do feel better and don’t get headaches and saltwater pools versus just straight dumping and chlorine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Same thing when the salt water just naturally feels better. Skin and the number two I’m going to be looking at adding a potential laser light to my pool for the main reason of just being able to lower the chlorine content.

Evan Brand: Cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And again the more humid the environment is the more you need actual chlorine there because of the mold growth right. Mold or algae is kind of like mold. It needs that higher humidity environment. So as we enter the fall and it gets less humid you can kind of tamping down the chlorine so little side little tangent here about people you know are getting exposed to a lot of toxins in their pool. And on that note water filtration is gonna be really important if you have a crypto exposure we know in Milwaukee about twenty five years ago 1994, 1993, there was a huge outbreak five hundred thousand people got exposed because the public water system was not filtering out crypto. So moral the story there is everyone should have a really good water filtration system because that’s our insurance policy against the public municipality not filtering out things appropriately and who knows how many other infections are missed. And if you’re more immuno compromised and your guts inflamed who knows other infections you may be falling prey to like H pylori or other things maybe giardia. So it’s always good to have a either a whole house filtration system or at least have an under the counter reverse osmosis system because that’s going to be strong enough. We should say that filters will be specific enough to filter all that debris out and keep your water nice and clean.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Not that I want to create fear about eating out at restaurants but people take their health for granted in the sense that if you go to a restaurant for example and you eat rice that was cooked using tap water that was contaminated with crypto or giardia or you could very well just go to a nice restaurant and do your fancy sushi and go home with crypto or giardia and then same thing with tap water you know I would not. You could pay me to drink tap water you know you go to a restaurant and everybody looks at me weird because I bring my own filtered water. Oh you don’t need a water sir. No I’ve got water right here. I’m good to go. To me it’s not worth the risk. I’ve suffered too much when I had gut bugs. Yeah. So. So the number you were talking about crazy I was looking at it here, the four hundred thousand people infected was the the low number it could have been up to an estimated 1.6 million people in the Milwaukee area.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then there was another I think a handful of people actually died from that outbreak too.

Evan Brand: I saw a number I want to say it was like 50 or 60 people. Yeah yeah I think it’s pretty big. But so it’s just funny people you know listening in Chicago and Los Angeles and New York and Seattle and you know even small towns like all these people that are using tap water. Let’s say you’re gonna go, you’re gonna go make some rice and you throw your water in there. Let’s just say you didn’t get up to a temperature where it’s going to kill it off. I don’t even know what temperature would kill crypto I don’t know if you could prove that. But let’s say you’re cooking your rice and it’s just at a simmer. Right. And then you’re listening to our podcast and now you’re about to eat that rice that you just cooked. Maybe that has crypto in it. So. Yeah I think the whole house filters great and then I know you do and I do too. We add extra filtration onto the water that we’re actually going to drink. So downstairs in my office I’m using the clearly filter which is this little pitcher. It basically uses the same technology kind of similar to a Berkey but it’s just so convenient because I just put it under the sink which is already filtered put it into this clearly filtered and it’s kind of a drip filter. But I do have the Berkey and then I do have the pure effects went upstairs which is the one that you convince me you’re like Man you’re gonna get sick of filling up the Berkey. And I did. So then we got the one that’s under the sink. So now you just turn on the little spicket and then it goes through the three stage system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah I have one under the sink because of the reverse osmosis. It’s going to be a little bit stronger to filter out because my whole philosophy is I have a whole house water filtration system. I use Aqua Sana if you guys interested I only recommend products that I officially use. That’s how my that’s my M.O. to be authentic. So then you may have a link as well. We’ll put it down below for any of your listeners and I use that as a whole house and that guy’s a really good job. It’s primarily carbon based. So we’ll get a good chunk of fluoride. Not all of it and we’ll get a lot of chlorine a lot of pharmaceuticals out. And then I do the reverse osmosis because a whole house reverse osmosis is really expensive. It’s much cheaper to do a whole house carbon based filter that’s more like bone char and then just do a specific reverse osmosis in the kitchen where most of my water is going to be consumed or cookware so that I have that extra layer of protection and then I use filters that have a post mineral system. So it adds minerals after they’ve been added back and then we put a little bit of electrolyte support on the counter whether it’s trace minerals or Redmond’s real salt so we can always pinch a little bit back in to add that water. So that way I have a more specific filtration for my drinking and then I have a good global filtration for the whole house and I could still drink out of any faucet on my house and I would still be really good and taste really good and really clean but for that extra level of security we do the. And then I typically just stock my work fridge with topachicos I love topachicos so I’ll do some level of sparkling filter mineral water and then if I go out I typically do Pellegrino ask for a Pellegrino bottle like you said Evan just to make sure that water is extra clean.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So also you didn’t mention but that the whole house carbon based systems those are also gonna help filter out pesticides and herbicides as well. Yes so there are some really cool research on that it’s not a hundred percent once again but it is a very very very important thing especially if you live in an area where you’ve got farm runoff that ends up into your municipal supply fertilizers and other herbicides will end up in there. You did mention the pharmaceuticals you know people don’t realize that when you when you turn on your tap. Unfortunately yes this is happening in a first world country like the US you’re getting blood pressure medications trace amounts of antidepressants anti anxiety drugs benzodiazepines heart medications that is all in tap water. So no you’re not being crazy no you’re not being able to need this level of filtration This is the modern world this is what’s happened. Think about the urine people pee. Where does that urine go you flush it down the toilet it goes back to the municipal company they do some level of filtration just so it doesn’t kill you and then they pump it back to your tap. So we are not being met. I guess we are compared to the average person but we’re not really being above and beyond this should be the standard level of care for everyone’s water in their home for their family especially if you’re in the shower and I’m going to brush my teeth in the shower and swallow some tap water through your shower with the whole house. Now you’ve got a shower filter that’s included. You don’t have to put a shower filter on the whole house is already filtered so.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And I actually have to go change my filters right. I have to this is a good reminder for me. So by kind of my my standard workout for a patient that’s looking to improve their water to one avoid crypto parasites as well as pesticides and drugs and chemicals is go with the under the counter reverse osmosis. It’s about three to four hundred bucks but once you factor in if you have bottled water already you’re going to pay for itself in six months and then you’re going to have the convenience of the undercounted unit is always having that gallon or gown and a half tank full. The problem with the Berkey or the Aleks appear those are the ones that I have as well. I still have them for like hey power’s out. You know hurricane hurricane comes through and you lose water you can at least put it outside collect some rain or just run you know general water and the environment through clean it. So I like it as an emergency kind of thing but I too many days where I forgot to run water through it the night before and I was like Crap I have no water for my shake or my morning drink and I had to go without. So that’s why I like something it’s always working in the background so that’s why the under the counter is great. And if you’re going to be in a house long term and you want to make that investment go with a good whole house. About a thousand bucks maybe two hundred bucks to install but then you have it in all your guest rooms if you want to wake up in the middle of the night and you want to drink some water out of your let’s say your bathroom sink. You can still do it right. It’s still going to be clean enough to do it. I wouldn’t recommend it being your staple but you could still do it fine. No problem.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And when we were living in a hotel for a while my daughter was getting a rash because we were getting exposed to very high amounts of chlorine from giving her a bath when we were at the hotel so luckily we had brought some of the stuff from home with us. And I brought our Berkey shower filter and I just filled up the bathtub using the shower filter and that removed like ninety nine percent of the chlorine and it was amazing because you couldn’t smell it anymore. The the the one I have for the under the counter. It’s a little different than the reverse osmosis you have it’s the pure. So the link is The reason I liked it is because it had a non aluminum based fluoride reduction filter in there which was pretty cool and then it was a carbon block so it still tastes really good and it still has quite a bit of minerals and and you can taste it. And then the little clearly filtered one that one. Full disclosure they gave that one to me for free. So that clearly filtered the picture filter is great but it’s only like 50 or 60 bucks and the link is And that one is the little handheld like hey you’re at the office setting and you run to the bathroom at your office and you keep this water pitcher on your desk for 60 bucks and it’s gonna be pretty dang clean.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And we put all the links down below in the description guys and we’re only recommending products that we actually use. I’ve been using a reverse osmosis by Aquasana and Pelican and they’ve worked great. I’ve used them for about four or five years and I’ve had my whole house system for five years so I feel really good about it. Just be very mindful if you do have hard water in your area you may get if you’re doing a whole house you may need to do some kind of a system that softens the water as well because hard water can kind of clog the filters a little bit faster. So just look if you’re gonna be looking at that make sure you assess if you have hard water or not most people know because you kind of see the mineral residue on a lot of things after the fact. If you do make sure you factor that in if you’re getting a whole house.

Evan Brand: All right I got one more thing to say about water and then let’s move on and talk about lab testing and then maybe a couple of herbs we use to crypto. OK so the Britta the pure like the p-u-r brand anything you can commercially buy at Target Wal-Mart etc. Those things give you a false sense of security they are garbage. Yes a Britta and a pure and some of these other zero water yes they can filter out some heavy metals lead mercury cadmium arsenic etc. But in comparisons to the ones we’re talking about you know we’re talking about the little geo metro little Ford Pinto piece of garbage can get you on the highway but barely versus like the Lexus of water filtration there’s a huge difference in quality so I don’t want people listening to say Oh I use my fridge filter you know I asked that question on my intake form for every new client how do you filter your water if at all. So many people say I use the filter on my fridge first of all that thing is garbage it’s barely going to filter out tiny bit of chlorine and maybe some LED. Secondly most people don’t ever change those things on a regular basis. So in a pinch if I need to like get a tincture I’ll go to my fridge filter and I’ll get a tiny water out of my fridge to take a shot of some herbs. But even then the whole house filters already run it before the fridge filter.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah for the most part those filters I call them cosmetic filters because they’re just designed to make the water taste and smell just a little bit cleaner. That’s it. Yeah well I’m talking about more on a microscopic level and it may not fully affect the taste and the flavor. So we want to do both. We want to have the purity and this is really important because Cryptosporidium is the topic of today and that’s going to be the main vector for that from most peoples to be water. So make sure your house is good. If you’re someone that’s going in a lake or streams or hiking a lot and drinking out of ponds and such. Make sure you get a really good kind of one of those Berkey travel water bottles that you can run through that’s gonna be super helpful. Ideally bring something with you just to make sure it is super clean. And then I would say if you are getting exposed to water you should be getting a gut test on at least once a year to evaluate your gut to make sure inflammation is good. Make sure there’s no infections including crypto and maybe other infections too. And if there are then we have to create protocols to knock it out but I’m always I’m treating my gut probably twice a year. Proactively, I only test once a year. I’ll test more frequently if I have symptoms. So the most common gut symptom of crypto is going to be diarrhea. The major mechanism of how someone passes from an infection like crypto is they just have too much diarrhea and then they tend to lose their electrolytes and then when their electrolytes are gone and their nervous system is not going to work and their heart’s not going to work. So if you have diarrhea first thing and best thing you can do is get to an E.R. or at least get stabilized with a I.V. so you can have your electrolytes stabilized and then you got to get the diarrhea under control. First thing we can do to help with that is gonna be activated charcoal that will these slow things down and then depending on what the infection is we’re going to use specific herbs and we have had great success with herbs in the Berberine family higher dose oil of oregano. There’s a great product that I’ve used for a long time called AP mag that has some Oriental herbs that have been great with crypto. The problem of crypto is it’s in the crypts in the crypts of Lieberman’s which is in the small intestine so it’s burrowed down deeper into the gut lining. So we have to use specific magnesium to help open up those crypts so these natural herbal antibiotics can get in there and knock the infection down.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So just say it in a different way so it gets into people’s heads. Yep. So what Justin’s talking about is if you were to zoom in on the intestinal track you can see these little dips and these little valleys in the valleys at the bottom of the valleys where the crypt hangs out. That’s how it got the name probably is hiding in the crib and it’s hard to get to. It’s hard to access that. So this is why many people have come to us and they say well I already went to a narrow path or I already went to this other guy and he did a protocol with me and we test them and they still test positive for it is probably just because they didn’t get that deep layer that they needed to access. They just got surface layers so maybe they threw in like caprylic acid know maybe some coconut extracts or maybe they just did some oregano oil maybe enough but maybe not. So that’s why we try to have a pretty big tool box and we don’t use anti parasitic. You know that’s one common thing that said in the Internet world is that well you know parasites you can’t get rid of them unless you use anti parasitic medications like blastocystis hominis and giardia and crypto. People say oh well you have to use anti parasitic drugs. And I will say I’m firsthand experience that’s not true. And we have lost count of how many infections we’ve gotten rid of using herbs without prescriptions. I’m not saying it’s never needed but in many many many many countless 99.9 percent of the cases we’ve been able to resolve it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And here’s something interesting. So number one we know that the fecal oral components are really big. Right. And guess what. Your typical sanitizer right your gel sanitizer is not going to kill crypto. So you really have to wash your hands you have to do a good job doing. You can’t rely on some gel to do it because it’s not going to be able to do it. Number two is your symptoms can actually be resolved when you have crypto during treatment and you could still be spreading or contagious with crypto in your stool for weeks after your symptoms have ended. So this is really important and I would postulate having seen many many patients dozens if not hundreds with crypto there are a lot of people that have this subclinical type of in-between where they’re not like full on diarrhea and acute which then would need extra electrolytes maybe an I.V. maybe they would be on an antibiotic right away because of the severity of their diarrhea and the typical antibiotic for use will be nitrous oxide or Linea which is a good antibiotic has a lot of side effects. So I would like to jump on the rebels if we can’t first. But you could be contagious for weeks or months afterwards. You have to be very careful and you have to make sure you’re looking at other infections that could be layered in with the crypto like in Evan’s case. We talked about the three amigos. He had crypto blasto and H Pylori. Oh I’m sorry crypto blasto and giardia which is that’s common seeing a layer of infections which could be keeping your immune system more compromised for sure.

Evan Brand: I never had blast o, I just had crypto, giardia, H Pylori. Those are my entry.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So Alinea or night is oxidize the big one. The typical protocols a three day protocol. But I’ll tell you with Alinea most people are doing it at least two weeks with that you’re doing about a thousand milligrams twice a day. And again you’re not going to be able to use that in children. You’ll have to see your gastro doc for a recommendation for children. But we typically use verbals and there’s a bunch of different herbs that we layer on. So I mentioned the AP Mag I mentioned some of the broad spectrum herbs in my line I’m using G I clear for frequently with parasites as a base because it’s very high and goldenseal it’s very high in black walnut. Also I always like adding a little bit of limp support in my herbal so I’ll do a lot of burdock and or Ginger because those are going to really help the lymphatic system and the lymph tends to get really congested a whole bunch of stuff being killed in your body right the limp is that interplay transport between the blood and the tissue. We want to make sure that’s moving appropriately so if you have to get treated acutely fine go to your M.D. or your gastro if it’s kind of a chronic long term thing then you want to work with someone like Evan or I and get a good herbal protocol dialed in and get all the foundational stuff worked in before it goes to the six hours and move the bad foods or place the enzymes acids repair the gut lining calm down the inflammation were typically getting people on some level of adrenal support or hormone support depending on what kind of imbalances are present and then in the fourth hour we come in and work on removing the infection. So fifth our RE population re inoculation is, sixth are retest to ensure it’s gone because it is so infectious. And if you have crypto you definitely want to get your least your significant other spouse assessed because of how easy it is to spread and if you’re someone that’s cooking a lot of food in the house you more than likely want to get any kids looked at especially if they’re symptomatic for sure.

Evan Brand: Yeah we’ve seen whole families with similar bugs. It’s kind of interesting. I really enjoy looking at the kids and looking at Mom or Dad vice versa and seeing how often the bugs are shared we would say about 90 percent of the time the bugs are shared between people. Now the question then becomes OK well he just mentioned birdbrain and blah blah blah. Well can I just have my husband or wife or kids do those herbs. The answer is maybe maybe. Do you really want to guess. And then you give them the Arabs and then they have a reaction or something doesn’t go as planned and now they’ve got headaches and a skin rash popped up and that and maybe you’re killing too much off and the liver is not supportive to the lymphatic system as you mentioned is not supported. So it’s really better to create a synergistic protocol. You know sometimes we’ll have people ask us Hey well can you just prioritize this protocol. You know whether it’s an issue with they don’t want to take pills or you know it’s a budgetary issue the like Hey I just want to take one thing and then we have to go back to them and say there is no one thing you can’t just do one silver magic bullet for this you really have to support lymphatic adrenal as you talked about the hormonal support in the beginning with the zinc and all that you’ve got to have everything on board you can’t just kill kill kill because you’re gonna feel like crap and then guess what happens you’re not compliant so you only handled four days of trying to kill something and that wasn’t enough to get rid of the infection and then you still feel that. So it’s really better to just have a full protocol made for you based on your results you don’t want to assume I just have crypto so I’m going to go take Berberine because Justin said Berberines’ helpful. You really want to get the data.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And my general recommendation is if the spouse or significant other has great health may not be as necessary to test. That’s always our top goal. If they have great health we still would treat with generalized verbal protocol anyway. But if there’s any lingering symptoms at all then testing is good and there’s always a chance of a false positive or false negative I should say. Meaning you came back negative but you’re really positive. So that’s why I always treat no matter what just because you know I don’t want to spread anything back and forth right. You know someone’s going to do fine on an herbal protocol. They’re not going to actually get worse at their health pretty good and I’m more worried about the primary patient coming in and getting reinfected because they came back false negatives. We always keep that in the back of our head as an option.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So my daughter for example we did our first stool test when she was 2. I don’t have it right in front of me but I know she showed up with some parasite. I think she had either cyclospora which could also be waterborne or blasto can’t recall exactly but we used a protocol for that. We retested her then she showed up with H. Pylori and a handful of airlines factors four or five virulence factors. Wow. Well so then we got rid of that and then we retested again and then she had a bunch of bacterial overgrowth and Candida. So then we worked on that and now all of her symptoms were gone. I didn’t do another retest. I probably could have just to say hey look we’ve knocked the bacteria down but we looked at skin we looked at stool we looked at sleep and everything is good. So we stopped testing but in some cases it takes two three four tests to really make sure that you can actually get rid of this thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally makes sense. So I think we had all the big things. So testing I’m typically running a G.I. map and or 41H to assess this. That’s the big one with all the diet stuff we’re cutting all the inflammation down. We’re working through the six hours like I mentioned we’re cleaning up water. We’re looking at the environment. You mentioned I think you mentioned earlier maybe you didn’t mention that we talked about it in the preshow is the Lincoln Memorial pond I think.

Evan Brand: Oh yeah we should talk about this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you’re going there to drain that whole entire Lincoln Monument pond in D.C. because I think 80 geese or ducks died of cryptosporidium. So this is a serious guy a serious issues we want to make sure we’re on top of it and we’re always testing it and assessing and our patients.

Evan Brand: Yeah it’s it was weird. A lot of the articles just referred to parasites and I don’t even if they know exactly what it was there was one mention. They thought it could have been this parasite that comes from snails but I don’t know if they ever even proved it. There was some type of a snail borne parasite. It was a weird name like Billy’s areas and it was like a blood fluke some type of trema toad. But it’s tough. It’s tough to prove and I would say in most cases contaminated water is never gonna have just one bad guy. So it was probably a bunch of stuff but yeah. Here you go thinking Oh look at this beautiful water you don’t know what’s in there so don’t go swimming in the Lincoln Memorial.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Or any other public type of fountains or monuments those kind of things. You’re much better off if you’re gonna do it swim swim in a public lake or ocean. There’s still a risk factor there. But hey you know I do that frequently and I just get tested and I make sure I’m on certain protocols every now and then to help keep it under wraps.

Evan Brand: And you keep a lot of herbs on hand. I mean you and I talked about we did a show on Food Poisoning not too long ago where you had gotten sick and luckily you had some herbs available so boom you jump right on them and you were back in action pretty quickly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Who knows what I got. I think my son may have even gotten crypto as well he just had massively loose stools but I was able to get him on a protocol within two or three days. He so he solidified everything we had him on activated charcoal to slow down the diarrhea but most importantly people that start having this really insane diarrhea you have to get on extra mineral support you can’t you need an I.V. but ideally you’re given some kind of trace mineral support in the water. I don’t recommend doing the Pedialyte there’s too much crap in there and the high fructose corn syrup and colors and dyes you can just get a really good trace mineral support for you with all the extra sugar or even use a little bit of coconut water too that’s fine and that’s gonna be a great way to get some extra electrolytes. Nature’s natural Gatorade so to speak.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said and so if you are out with your kids and they’re swimming in a little kiddie pool and some other kids got a big diaper full of poop you want to get your kid out of that kiddie pool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep exactly. Yep. One hundred percent man. And that’s the problem when you go to these pools they have to have the chlorine off so bloody high to compensate for all this stuff. That way you get the chlorine is like 70 or 80 percent. Your eyes come out stinging and you smell like chlorine for two days after what’s coming out in your sweat. So none of those situations for sure about you know much rather choose a public lake or anything over that but so I think we went over some pretty good options risk factors. We talked about ways to prevent ways to treat. We talked about you know assessing over guessing we really want to make sure we assess it and you really want to make sure you’re seeing a good comprehensive functional medicine doctor that can walk you through it so if you guys need help or you want to assess and make sure that crypto isn’t a part of your life. Head over to, get a schedule of myself. You can also head over to and schedule with Evan. We see patients all over the world. Anything else Evan you want to add today.

Evan Brand: I would just say crypto doesn’t discriminate. So if you hear this you’re like driving your nice car in L.A. and you’re looking at Palm trees you’re like Oh I’m fine there’s no crypto here yes there is. This affects people around the world. You didn’t have to go to Costa Rica or Mexico or Bali or Indonesia or anywhere to get exposure of this stuff. You know I have not been out of the US at the time of this recording and I had tons of gut bugs. So this stuff is right here. And the good ole United States of America. So I don’t think that because where you live. You’re immune. It’s just not true.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s far the biggest myth that conventional medicine puts out there.

Evan Brand: Yeah that’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So to speak as they kind of make it seem like you have to go to all these crazy places you have to go to Indonesia or Bali or or India to get some of these infections. And yeah you’re at a much higher risk going there especially there’s different food and natural bacteria and things in there so your immune system is more likely to be compromised or be sensitive but you can get it here too. So I hope today’s podcast you know elucidated some of the major mechanisms and how we can get there. Big thing is you collect multiple critters over time your immune compromised number two as you get exposed to a lot of the infectious debris at once or number three. You have a lot of other inflammation and stressors in your gut and then a small amount is enough to kind of gain a foothold and create a problem. I hope that makes sense. And if anyone has an issue with crypto or gut issues put your comments down below we’d love to know what your experience was what you did what happened and if you enjoyed this podcast give us a share a thumbs up. We really appreciate it sharing is caring. Evan. Anything else?

Evan Brand: Yeah. One last thing we talk about OK. Why does everybody in the US how can they still get exposed to this because the food supply is now international. I just bought some organic blueberries from whole foods and they were from Peru and a previous time I bought them they were from Chile. And you know previous times they’re from other countries so the whole food supplies international now. So another reason to try to go local go to your farmers markets and buy food there because you may live in your perfect house and everything’s cool in your city but all of your fruit and produce and meat for example could be coming from Brazil and other places. So not so. So you’re not immune. And if you have issues please reach out. We’re here so just to give you the Web sites. I’ll give it to you again. Just make sure you’re clear and And we’ll talk with you all again real soon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan today was great man you’ve an awesome day.

Evan Brand: You too. Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care. Bye bye.


Audio Podcast:


Natural Solutions for Food Poisoning | Podcast #231

Food poisoning, also referred to as foodborne illness, is illness caused by consuming contaminated food. Infectious organisms — as well as bacteria, viruses, and parasites — or their toxins are the foremost common causes of food poisoning.

In our new episode with Evan Brand, Dr. Justin shared his recent food poisoning experience. He detailed what he did, what medicines he took, and how he overcame with it. He also shared some tips on what medicines to bring when traveling.

Enjoy! Don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

00:15 Dr. J Food Poisoning Experience

02:36  Food Poisoning Treatment and Remedies

08:23  Gut Issues for Kids

16:26 Enzymes Available

25:14  Candida Diagnosis



Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. Welcome back to the podcast. Evan, how we are doing today man?

Evan Brand: I’m doing great, good morning to you. We’re ready to talk about food poisoning. You got food poisoning. What was it, a week ago now that we are talking?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I was in Boston for a wedding last weekend and I got sick. I was in the north and I did pretty good. I did like a ribeye steak with this broccoli and I was okay, but something didn’t feel right with that kinda mixture. I did go afterwards, and I do this once a year. I did have a cannoli with gluten and dairy in it. So, I did get that. That’s like my one thing cause it’s just like so great. But the previous two years as well, so I’m like, is it really dairy and gluten thing? So there’re just two different light levers here. Alright, you got like food poisoning where it’s like bacteria kinda thing like an e.coli kinda thing. It could be food poisoning AKA an infection like a parasite or bigger bug, or number three, it could be inflammation from the food. Both kinda similar. First thing I did was, I was alright, enzymes, charcoal, ginger, you know, anti-inflammatory southing support that kinda calm things down. And the big thing was I was so noxious. The ginger really helped but it couldn’t keep it down all the way, so that was number one. I’m like, alright. And then I was doing a lot of L glutamine so I’m like, I don’t think this an inflammation thing. It’s lasting a little bit too long. I started to hit a little bit of oil of oregano, didn’t move in a ton, so I was doing my GI clear five oil of oregano, wasn’t moving a ton then I started hitting, when I got back home, my GI clear four and I knocked it right away. So there was some kind of I think a bigger bug in there so I don’t think inflammation that I caught but within a day, within two doses of my GI 4 which has the Berberine the Goldenseal the Burdock the Black Walnut, my nausea went right away. So I’m still on it now I’m gonna take actually one of it as we speak.

Evan Brand: So, were you throwing up or you were just noxious?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I didn’t have any diarrhea or any you know throwing up. It was just like just incredible amount of nausea like whoa!

Evan Brand: Like a scale of 1 to 10, 10 is the worst nausea ever, where were you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It was probably like an 8

Evan Brand: Oh, that’s pretty bad…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Like I didn’t wanna move like I thought very uncomfortable moving at all.

Evan Brand: and you were flying back home…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah, I mean what really helped those, those GT Dave’s kombucha, the ginger really really helped. I mean I was doing that…

Evan Brand: You were saying

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I was doing the Kettle & Fire bone broth which is very soothing as well. So I was just doing bone broth, kettle & fire, to the ginger kombucha, and I was hitting probiotics, hitting activated charcoal, and then I was nailing the oil of oregano the last day. The oil of oregano didn’t touch it as much, but the GI Clear 4 really knocked it up. Typically I tell my patients and you travel, go with the GI Clear 4  and 5 when you travel, just to ensure that you don’t have any food poisoning issues or you get an infection. So my generalized stack if you’re traveling is one dose of probiotics, in my line like a probiotic 4, the lactobacillus kinda Hindus lactobacillus  bifidobacteria species, I GI Clear 5 which is a higher dose oil of oregano, and then my GI Clear 4  which is a broader spectrum, bigger parasite kinda killer, and then activated charcoal.

Evan Brand: Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Like my big four and then like a little bit of enzymes and HCL too so actually five. That’s my stack for traveling.

Evan Brand: You must have probably picked something up then because that sounds more than just… I mean maybe it was food poisoning. But if it took you to throw in berberine and a lot of these anti-microbial herbs, it sound like to me, I mean I’ll just make up something out of thin air, maybe picked up Clostridia, or some other bacterial pathogen that took you over.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean the oil of oregano didn’t move it as much, but when I got the GI Clear 4, it was like holy smokes. It went away in about 3 hours.

Evan Brand: I was gonna say it was a coincidence that it just got out of your immune system and your immune system mounted the attack or you think it was the herbs that really knocked it out?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It was the herbs. I mean I was doing my GI Clear 5 the day before. I did 12 capsules, so I was hitting it hard. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s still important to do that.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I will just do it centergisticly. I did really good success with the 5 at other types of food poisoning, so it does work very legitimate. I had a parasite in Mexico years back, and that was very helpful but the 4 really did it, so my stack for traveling is GI Clear 4 and 5. But the 4 is like the most important, 5 is kinda secondary, and then the probiotics too are super helpful and I recommend enzyme. You’re eating any questionable foods. Activated charcoal and enzymes and HCL is great. Just to ensure your digesting and breaking everything down.

Evan Brand: I was speaking of enzymes. I was talking to my wife yesterday about how when I went over to your house, you cooked a nice steak for me, and you had your little caddy on your table full of like three different brands of enzymes on your dinner table, I loved that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yep.

Evan Brand: Your wife and your mother-in-law, all of us we had just a whole handful of enzymes we were able to take right there. See I’ve got them in the pantry or in the cabinet in the kitchen, but then you sit down in the table and you forget so you gotta run into the kitchen and grab your enzymes. So I think I’m gonna adopt your roll thereon having enzymes right on the table so you don’t forget ‘em.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I put them right with the salt and pepper like keep it really simple, really easy, I mean I think the low hanging fruit and functional medicine world is be able to digest your food well. If we spending a lot of money on good quality organic food we wanna make sure we can digest it and break it down especially when you’re eating when you’re stress, because that fight-or-flight   nervous system response really keeps the enzymes and hydrochloric acid levels lower so maybe you’re not making as much, so I think that’s really important.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’m back on enzymes so, we could talk about this for a minute, you know. A lot of people have the… they’ve got a question of well if I’m taking enzymes, am I making my body lazy? And the answer’s no. it’s not like melatonin where if you take melatonin you can down-regulate your production. With enzymes, you’re really just adding to the fire. You’re not replacing it and that becomes more important as you get older too. But for us, you know we’ve got a baby now and so she’s 4-weeks-old, maybe she’s five weeks, I don’t know. Time’s already flying. But if we’ve got the baby, I’m tryna hold her, mom’s tryna hold her or keep her happy while we’re eating dinner. we’re not optimally digesting, we’re not in parasympathetic tryna keep two kids happy at mealtime. So we’re back on enzymes now just the insurance policy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And I think it’s great when you’re eating when you’re stress. If you’re doing great and your diet’s really good and you’re feeling stable with everything and you can actually sit down and relax fine. Then I think it’s totally cool that you don’t necessarily need it, as long as digestion overall is good. But if you’re definitely more on the stress side, and you’re eating a meal a little bit faster then I think it’s good to always have them as an insurance policy. I just keep them right there so if I fill the need to have it, I’m right ready to go.

Evan Brand: One thing you didn’t mention, which I think we should mention for you know…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah

Evan Brand: Just general… yeah… getting hit with something like that would aloe. You know, there’s a couple different aloe extracts that we used. I’ve got one, do you have your own aloe as well?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: In my GI restore, I have a 4ml that has aloe TJ and glutamine, so I do like that for gut soothing and gut healing support. And then one thing when I was traveling, I went to whole foods and I bought some aloe juice. So I did get some aloe juice, I would sip in on that. I do find it very soothing and it was very palliative, wasn’t fixing the underlying issue does mean you shouldn’t put it in there. Cause even if you have infection there’s gonna be some level inflammation present so it’s gonna help calm it down.

Evan Brand: True, true. I see so many kids with gut issues. I feel like it’s probably more common than even the adults that I see. I don’t know if it’s just that you know the kids are finding the answers from the pediatrician, so they end up reaching out to us or what but when I’m looking at stool test lately, I’m finding kids’ gut are so much inflamed. I mean I’m seeing 7 or 8 hundred 9 hundred on the calprotectin. It’s like, my Lord.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that’s a very high level I mean that basically in like irritable vowel disease kinda category. You know that you’d see the crones and also the fled, that’s really high. And I think a lot of it is you see have more crap food out there for kids today. I mean my God, it’s very rare to see kids eating whole foods. It’s very rare to see kids even just drink water like my son, he drinks sparkling mineral water, he drinks water and he drinks unsweetened crane juice like with kale, broccoli, spinach, like no added fruit, no added sugar at all outside on what on those green vegetables. And then he has meet sole for breakfast, still have half of an avocado today, a piece and half of bacon, and then maybe a couple of blackberries and some coconut unsweetened vanilla yogurt. Like that’s it, that’s his breakfast and for lunch, it’s tough with kiddos so I try to always recommend with parents, whole cuts tend to work really well on kids just choose a higher quality one. Like at the Applegate or the Wellshire Farm works at least at step two, so you at least getting a pretty good quality, or if we do the hotdogs, we get the Wholefood step 4 so they’re at least grass-fed and organic in pastrofed hotdog so at least the meat quality is high so those are good.

Evan Brand: Another uncured as well so…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep

Evan Brand: You’re not having bunch of night trades or other sodium into rebates added, you don’t want those.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. That’s overblown kinda thing, especially it’s coming from celery powder. But either way,the more important thing is the food quality is there. And if we can’t get the vegetables in, we at least do the green juice. He’ll pound 8 to 10 ounces of high-quality green vegetable juice a day. That’s helpful.

Evan Brand: I gotta tell you about something. I just found today and we ate it this morning, it was absolutely so delicious so my wife wanted to do waffles for a long time so we were looking at all these different grain-free waffle recipes, but we went to Wholefoods and there’s this brand called Swapples. Do you know Swapples?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, I don’t know Swapple.

Evan Brand: Oh my God, alright so I’ll send you the link here. But they’re grain-free like this is an autoimmune approved. I got the cinnamon one, I’ll send you the link here. This thing was so good, I thought this can’t be real how good this is. So it’s yucca, let’s see let me tell you the ingredients here. Yucca, coconut oil, organic coconut palm sugar, 2 grams of sugar, I think per waffle, cinnamon, sea salt, vanilla extract.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Swapples, okay I’ll put some links in the description below. That’s awesome. Are they premade already?

Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s premade. You just throw it in the oven for like 10 minutes at 375 and its ready.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That is awesome dude. That’s really cool, Swapples. Okay cool.

Evan Brand: I think you told me when you were in Austin that you say you goy yucca, yucca pancakes that you got?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well I picnicked, yeah anyone that knows picnic is awesome for their autoimmune gluten-free, grain-free type of foods they have great yucca-based waffle and pancakes. So I would do like blueberry pancake.

Evan Brand: That’s delicious. So they have other ones too that people can use like as a bread replacement. Still gonna be you know, carbohydrates. If you trying to stay in ketosis or something, this is not gonna work for you. But they got like a tomato basil one which is the yucca, however you say it, coconut oil, tomato, sea salt, spice, and garlic. So if you’re like one of those people who just can’t leave without bread, and it’s like pulling teeth for you, for us to get you to an autoimmune template, you may be able to do something like this instead and get you off of the grains, I mean.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I like that.

Evan Brand: I love the stuff like this exist.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s awesome. Yeah, have a recipe in my website basically it pretty simple it’s a half cup of coconut milk, 2 and half cup of coconut flour, to four eggs. That’s it. And it’s blended up and then we use a waffle maker and we just put it in there, it’s done. So that’s another good option too if you wanna make it, coconut flour, coconut milk, and eggs. But this is not a great option, it’s always nice to have them pre-made so if you’re in a rush you just can heat them up fast and be done with it.

Evan Brand: Yep, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great.

Evan Brand: I wanna share that cause like people are always like looking for things cause they wanna get off their diet, you know they’re like “oh I feel deprived, or I miss this food. I miss that food” I mean I’m still trying to get my grandfather off chocolate milk, you know. So, it’s like we got a long way to go. People would think our families listen to us on everything but at least my family doesn’t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s tough. For sure the key this is to have substitution mindset like what’s the substitute, what’s the switch, what can we incorporate in there that will provide similar mouthfeel, will you feel good about it, you enjoy, the taste’s good, but you’re not getting the crap. So, I love options like these. Especially the carbohydrates and the sugar in a pretty good spot. So, I like it. That makes a lot of sense man.

Evan Brand: What about the serials and all that? Have you found any alternatives? Cause so many people “why do I do I can’t have serial anymore?”. Like what do you push people towards in the morning?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’re some decent lite paleo granola that’s out there that’s more nut and seed based. So that pretty good. And then you can use like a coconut milk kinda thing for it. If you’re on autoimmune templet, that wouldn’t be as good because its nut and seed based.

Evan Brand: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s a good option as well in the morning. Option number 2 is just a really simple collagen-based smoothie, you know, some good collagen powder, unsweetened coconut milk, and then some frozen berries. Or just you know, a butter collagen-based coffee, butter collagen-based tea. Or kinda like my go-to is pretty simple, pretty easy. Yesterday we went out to eat in a restaurant near us that we, I was able to get like an egg florentine, so it was like an eggs benedict with over bacon and vegetable, and tomatoes.  So it was like a really nice kinda lower carb, good fats, good protein, tasted really good, felt good. I don’t get a chance to do much eggs benedict so when I go out, I’m all over that.

Evan Brand: Nice, we had a question here from James. Happy Monday to you James. He says that, when we talk about gut health, what organs are we referring to besides the stomach?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So when we look at the intestinal tract, right, we have a mouth, that connects to our esophagus, connect to our stomach, our stomach then connects to our small intestine, three parts of the small intestine duodenum, jejunum, and ileum, then down here at the… at this side, bottom right-hand side. The ileum and the cecum meet up. This is where the colon starts, the colons up here, ascending, transverse, descending, sigmoid and then anus rectum. So, that’s kinda your generalized intestinal track. Everything from mouth to esophagus to stomach to small intestine to large intestine to rectum, anus and out in the toilet, that’s it.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and then organs. So other organs we’re referring to, gallbladder is a part of digestive process, pancreas.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Gallbladder and liver, its gonna be hanging out right here that dumps into the small intestine to be the duano hepatic ampulla. That’s a big one, splints more of a red blood cell kinda graveyard. Not much with the splints

Evan Brand: Pancreas.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Pancreas will help more excrete whites with the enzymes, it will help with the blood sugar component from the insulin and glucagon.

Evan Brand: Depending on how crazy your mealtime is. If you’re one of those people, you know how many people I see driving on the highway eating, stop doing that people. Eating sandwiches while they’re on the highway like trying to merge on. Lady’s got like a wrapper with a burger on her hand.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The worst time to be eating, I mean definitely fight-or-flight nervous system response. I hope they’re at least doing some hydrochloric acid and enzymes but they’re eating a sandwich. Probably not there yet.

Evan Brand: no, they are not there yet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly

Evan Brand: Here’s a question from Carol, she said, love the idea of keeping the enzymes on the table. What company are you purchasing your enzymes from? We have costume manufacturing, so we work with several professional health care companies for practitioners, and they make special blend and products for us. So, you could check out Justine’s site, Just In health, Ge’s got several different enzymes on there, I do on my site as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct, yeah mine’s enzyme synergy, HCL supreme, and then digest energy is kinda my lower dose enzyme hcl, blend I like those. Evan has… Evan, what’s the name of yours?

Evan Brand: Mine’s pure digest. That’s my go to. That’s the one that got DPP 4 in there for an accidental gluten exposure. 200mg butane per capsule. Here’s a question from Matt, ill be taking a trip to Greece sometime next year, definitely will take charcoal and enzymes, I’m mostly worried with water, all I drink is reverse osmosis. Do I just resort to bottled water?

Yeah, I mean I don’t see an issue with bottled water. Or if you want something that… if your just like super anti-plastic, you could do the Berkey sport, the little blue bottle, I think I may be made of silicone but it’s got the berky filter in there and you just out in your tap water and you can suck it up through the straw and as you’re sucking to the straw, it pulls the water through the filter, now it’s incredible and its relatively cheap too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah those were good. I don’t have problem with drinking out of a plastic bottle it its you know, special occasion kind of thing. Like in general, like I was up in a bout this weekend and I rough like a whole bunch of chiccos with me. So, I was able to do that, but sometimes it’s just not convenient because I don’t want the glass breaking, you know. O I don’t want the glass clanging around my ca from there. So sometimes I use that can, I use another type of water sparkling brand or you know. I’m typically doing fiji for a higher silica, or I’ll do the evy on for the high mineral content. I’ll do that. The key thing is, just make sure you keep it out of the sun. if it’s plastic, you know. If I’m outside drinking it, I have a backpack and it goes right in the backpack afterward. I don’t wanna have it the sun’s rays. My biggest concern with water is they just put it on the pallet, leave it outside, let it sit in the sun. so typically, you know, you want it pulled inside right away because the UV Rays from the sun will cause the plastic to deleach some of those estrogen compounds in the water.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I trust like Wholefoods the way they handle their stuff cuz if they get a truck full of fiji water, they’re gonna unload the truck directly from the truck un the darkness and in to the store and then the case of the water may even be inside of a cardboard box there where you are not getting the sunlight to hit it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Wholefoods, in those stores they have… you can just see right. They have a smooth tracking containment inside the store. You’re pretty darn safe cause it’s going from inside to outside or inside the store pretty smoothly. So that’s at least a good option for it. So, I like that.

Evan Brand: Yep. We had a question here from Judith, she says she has an H. Pylori. She can’t get better and she’s got pain constantly. She’s using Matula tea, everything makes her tremor. I don’t know if she’s talking tremor like T-R-E-M-O-R, but she spelled it tremor like a tremor for your hair, and anxiousness. So, yeah I mean if you got H. pillory, obviously there’s some random supplement that Justine and I both have that could help that. But really, you wanna be working with somebody with this cause if you’re in pain constantly and you’re anxious, there could be some other things you need to do. We don’t necessarily want to give you H. pylori herb or you may need adrenal support and other things.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There could be other infections going on there. A lot of people who are going after gut infections, they don’t have the ability to regulate blood sugar and energy, and they tend to feel more anxious like this. This is a common symptom that I see when people just go after the gut and don’t fix the other things first.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, this is a common side effect. This is why we really wanna have a comprehensive program lined up and not just spot treat people with a gut bug. Sometimes you can do that when people are in really really really really good health and their infections are more acute. You can totally do that. But in more something chronic, in a more other fatigue,harder issues are in play, you really have to line things up and a really systematic approach to get the best results.

Evan Brand: Yep. Yeah. Well said. So, Oliver asks; Do you guys tolerate raw milk kefir? I don’t do any. I probably tolerate it; I just don’t do it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I don’t do well. I had a patient get me a gown of like really awesome super high-quality grass-fed pastored milk and I’d still have a lot of diarrhea from it. So, I’m just like, it’s not worth it for me. The only dairy that I can do well is yea and butter and then if I do kefir, its gonna be coconut based, I’ll do coconut based kefir.

Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s just not worth it for me to try so, I just don’t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Suzanne writes; What can I do to fight hunger cravings. I do not eat after 5 pm but I wake up crazy hungry. I drink a lot of lemon water with some Himalayan salt.

So, yeah. You probably need to be eating a little bit later. If you’re going to bed around 10-11, that’s you know, 5-6 hours before going to bed without food. So, there could be some blood sugar instability happening. So, if you’re walking up at night, you may wanna have a nice, little, simple snack, protein and fat by your nightstand and try eating within 2 hours before bed. Again, if we’re having blood sugar issues and those sugar issues are waking you up, that’s the next logical step.

Evan Brand: Yeah, may need some adrenal support, you may need some chromium, you could throw some cinnamon on a baked sweet potato with butter. Have that for dinner that may stabilize the blood sugar a little bit too. I really really love using chromium and other minerals to help so, there’re herbs that you can use too. There are some like glucose, modulating glucose control herbs that we use, but once again, that’s something that you don’t wanna guess and check on. You gotta get to the root cause.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then Carol writes in; Are your products that you mentioned safe for 2 years old and up?

It depends, most 2-year-old can’t swallow pills that are in our product so we have special tincture that are liquid based and they tend to be easier to dose. So, we can dose them. We like the tinctures for the younger people.

Evan Brand: there are couple chewable products we used for kids too that kinda depending on what it is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re talking chewable for actually like clearing herbs?

Evan Brand: Uhh no. I’m talking for digestion.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: For enzymes stuff.

Evan Brand: Yeah, chewable enzymes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Evan Brand: Chewable aloes, things like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. There’s some DGL and aloe up there I’ve seen and then there are some enzymes that chewable that are good.

Evan Brand: I know. For killing, no. I don’t know of anything that can kill that’s chewable.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. There are pump based that I like and then dropper ones that are dropped based. Then you can kinda dial that dosage up. So those are the ones we typically like and we can dose it up better. Just more individualized.

Evan Brand: Judith had a question. She said; can I call on the phone, please?

You know that what that makes me think off? That makes me think we should have like a call in podcast where people can call in and talk and tell their questions on you know, like on the air so to speak, like a radio. That would be fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I don’t know how we do it. Im,sure there’s a way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I’m open to that. For sure I think I need some kind of a call board and plug it into my computer. Something we can look at. Anyone has information on it, let us know. We’ll put it in a queue.

Evan Brand: That would be fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Couple more questions, George writes in. hey,George hope you’re doing well. I typically do ashwagandha to dry herbs versus the tincture. Ashwagandha and tincture taste absolutely horrid especially if you take wrong ashwagandha. One of the worst tasting herbs next to Tribulus.

Evan Brand: I do ashwagandha and tincture actually with the sooth formula, the adrenal sooth formula I do and I mean…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Blend?

Evan Brand: Yeah it is a blend. I mean it does have; well it has motherwort in it which is equally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s liquorish too?

Evan Brand: Uhh. No there’re no liquorish. Its ashwagandha, rishi, motherwort, ziziphus, albizzia. It’ pretty horrid. I have a lot of clients who like “I just can’t do it”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. But there’s a blend. But if you do ashwagandha 2 to 1, meaning 2 times the amount of herbs to the alcohol’s in there, most people do like awanda 2 or awanda 5. So, its literally 5 to 10 times less potent. It’s not even close. But when you really do 2 to 1, it’s like holy god! It’s crazy.

Evan Brand: Oh man. Judith, how can you contact us. So, Justine, you can reach Justine at his site, there’s a scheduling button if you need to schedule a call or there’s also contact information if you just wanna email.

Let’s see what else here. Me, my site,, same thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Evan Brand: Do you wanna answer this one here from Christian?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup. 9 months ago, I was diagnosed with candida, came up 40 on my oats test, feeling a lot better and got rid of it, lost too much weight, how can I gain back the weight and not look sick? So, first thing first. Not to be a wise guy, but you have to make sure you’re eating enough. That’s number 1. You have to make sure you’re getting enough calories. Sometime when people do a lot of killing, that killing can actually decrease the appetite. So you have to actually run your food chronometer., make sure you’re getting enough calories, number 1. Number 2, if you’re more of an ectomorph or its hard for you to gain weight, you also have to look at your macronutrient ratio. Ratio a protein fat carbs and increases the percentage of your carbs. So, if you’re 30 of 40 percent go to 50 of 60 percent. And still, ry to make sure you’re doing grain free based carbs. Don’t get extra grains in there just to get more carbs. Do more squash, sweet potato, plantains, you know those kinds of things instead.

Evan Brand: You know what I’m gonna say based on his comment, right. I’m gonna say there’s probably more than just candida, you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and if you’re feeling better and you’ve gotten retest, that’s great. But you would also wanna get a high-quality gut test on because the oat will not look out the parasites. It won’t get the parasite. It will look out bacteria and fungal metabolize and that’s it.

Evan Brand: it’s extremely rare. I mean whoever they say 9 months ago they were diagnosed with candida. Whoever diagnosed you with that, I mean I can legally diagnose anyway, but I would be very very suspicious that you had just candida. It’s very rare to see. I guarantee there’s probably maybe some parasite, bacterial overgrowth, h. pillory. Something else going one cause I feel like candida’s usually kinda late to the party whereas the bacteria and the low HCL from the h. pillory and the parasite, those kinda disrupt the gut and then I feel like candida moves in. I guess it could happen. Chicken or egg, who cares. But I feel like candida is a secondary issue to a primary parasite.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly and typically the timing of how we treat. We typically do the h. pillory first, parasite, bacteria, 2nd or 3rd and then candida last. That’s kinda the general way in which we treat, Robert. Hope that helps.

Evan Brand: Yeah, Robert’s question for those listening, he had a question on what should you go after first. Candida or sibo? I mean honestly, a lot of the herbs used tho have multiple properties that we may use blends of herbs that are anti-microbial and anti-fungal so you kinda killing 2 birds in 1 stone. But I guess it depends on the serenity of one issue we may use more inti fungal as a posting, anti-microbial if its parasites who may have parasitic herbs that could kill fungus. So, its really just case by case basis.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And I thank Guererro about this zoom meeting thing. I’ll keep that in mind, I think it’s good. Matt writes in; Would there ever be any benefit to not save carbs for the evening? So, meaning to do your carbs in the morning. So, that’s like kinda common sense where lot of people load up carbs in the morning. Again some of the data suggest in the carb backloading community that better at night. There’s also some data that some people tend to sleep better with a little it of carbs in their system at night. Also tends to help with fat burning and such. So, I typically always, let’s just say lean on the carb backloading mindset but always tested out. I mean there’s data out there but then you gotta use your clinical experience. So test it out to see how you do and see how you feel.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I got a question from Jac. Should one take probiotics daily?

I mean that’s like such an open-ended question. I mean we could spend an hour on that subject. We probably have spent hours on it. I’m kinda on and on face right now with probiotics. I’m doing some special probiotics blends to help lower regulate histamine. And then I’m also doing some Saccharomyces boulardii. So, I’m doing those daily for probably months, but now with my daughter, cycle her on and off probiotics, throwing some Saccharomyces. It kinda just depends on what you’re doing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct, correct. Now in general about people taking herbs between meals, couple things to say about that is, I use to say like do your herbs hundred percent before food, which I think is great. You typically take at least five minutes before food. the problem is you get a lot of patients that are like they forget, and they just won’t do it. Then they’ll forget half a time so then half a time they’ll never taking the herbs. So, my perspective is ideally five, five minutes or more is fine especially you’re not getting nauseous, but if you forget, still have it. Like still have it, always do it. Eating your food and forgetting is not an excuse to not take it. I always try to draw that line with patients and if the patients are more sensitive, we’ll typically do it with food anyway just so it mixes in and it’s a little bit less potent as well.

Evan Brand: Yeah, the question Justin was answering was should you take herbs between meals or with meals. I would say amino acids. That wasn’t the question but just to overeducate people. Amino acids, we’ll like to have those on empty stomach cause they can peak. But hers, I like herbs with meal and a lot of gut killing protocols we do the herbs are suggested with meals.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, exactly.

Evan Brand: I think that was different question unless you saw more then we can kinda circle back to the food poisoning thing and then talk about testing real quick and wrap it up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I appreciate Judith’s comment as well. I got a question here from Facebook from Dawn. Dawn hope you’re doing well. What type of protein powder do you recommend for smoothies? So, Dawn, for like autoimmune kinda template, we typically lean more on just plain collagen or just plain P protein.  So those are the big ones that will do if we’re just kinda on more autoimmune side, and then typically gotta low sugar berries, ripe berries, blueberries, raspberries,  they can be frozen, and then some unsweetened coconut milk tends to be a pretty good shake option. And then in my line,I do the true collagen to the true P and then I have one called the true keto collagen, which is a really good collagen-based smoothie that sweetened with vanilla and cinnamon and that is still autoimmune approved. It got some MCT oil, I added some taurine in there and a couple more amino acids and coconut colostrum. So, that one’s a really good one and it mixes awesome with unsweetened coconut milk.

Evan Brand: Nice, I mean I’ve not had… many people have issues with hemp. Hemp protein. A good organic hemp protein could be okay. Some people don’t like, feel like they digested as well as the P, but I feel okay with hemp.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean if someone’s on autoimmune, I would say no. but if they’ve been able to kinda reintroduce nuts and seeds, and they’re doing good then I think it’s fine. I don’t have a problem with that.

Evan Brand: Okay. So, circling back if you’re ready. Circle back to the conversation, we started about the food poisoning and going put to restaurants and traveling and all that. We talked about kind of preparation kit of having your binders like your charcoal, your soothing gut nutrients, like maybe your aloe, and your glutamine. You mentioned using some of your GI Clear 4 and 5 products with like berberine and anti-microbial herbs like oregano oil and then I would just say doing a once a year testing on your gut system, My daughter just turned 3 over the weekend, and we’ve already done 5 stool tests on her. She’s not even 3 years old yet. But that’s cause she has a lot of issues on het stool. So, she had h. pylori, then we got rid of it. Then had 2 parasites, then we got rid of those. Then she had a bunch of bacterial overgrowth, then we addressed that. Then she had candida, now we’re working on that. So, man it’s been a, it’s been a ringer what she’d gone thru. So, for her, we’re doing more often than once a year for testing, but I would look getting an organic acid urine test we’re on. And we’re often running that through a mycotox screen now where we can look at mold toxins for people, because diarrhea and abdominal pain can be caused by mold, by mycotoxins. So, we’re running that now cause sometimes we find people don’t have gut infections, but they have mold that’s why their body is creating diarrhea cause they’re trying to flush out toxins. So, doing the urine once a year would be a good idea and then doing the stool test, we like to use GI Map stool test. We often use that one. And that’s a DNA-based one where we can look at all the different infections people have. We can look at your inflammation to determine well, is it the infection, is it the inflammation, is it both. How’s your pancreatic enzymes function look. Are you eating and reacting to gluten? How’s that look. How’s your fat digestion look. We can get all those pieces of data. Just really at the end of the day a lot of people have these great questions here. But a lot of questions are… they’re too general, and really you need a clinical data. You need to see the answer… the question, do I need probiotics daily. Well, I don’t know. Why don’t we look at your bacteria flora, and if you’re low across the board, the answer would be yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. So in general for everyone who’s traveling and has a food poisoning issue or wants to be careful, it could be a food poisoning where food poisoning could mean like there’s just mold in the food, there could be some E. coli in there. Then you upgrade to like infections like h pylori and actual parasites, there could be a little bit longer lasting that aren’t gonna go away at night and then you obviously have food allergens and the inflammation from food allergens. Whether its glute, whether it’s the junkie vegetable oils, MSG, those kinda thing. So, typically the charcoal, the enzymes, the HCL are great for binding up the bad foods and maybe the infections. If you have the issues and they’re acute, you wanna hit the GI Clear 4, GI Clear 5, oil of oregano, Goldenseal, higher dose or berberine. Those things are gonna be great. Higher dose probiotics lactobacillus bifidobacter, enzyme, HCL, activated charcoal with the food at that point. We do not worry about taking charcoal before meals when we are eating questionable foods or when we are sick. We try to bind things up. And prevent excessive diarrhea and such.

Evan Brand: Yeah there was a question earlier about like a shilajit and fulvic acids. I used a product that has charcoal and fulvic acid in it and shilajit as well. And its from Beyond Balance that’s a practitioner company. You need a practitioner to order that. But it’s a product that we use called tox-e bind. And it’s a binder. Very very helpful. So I’m using that personally and have a really good experience with it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, I love that. Very good. Well,today was a great chat, man. Excellent. If you guys enjoying the podcast, make sure you head over to Evan’s got some great information there. Really good stuff. as well to reach out to me. And of course, you can schedule consult with Evan and myself if you want to dive in deeper. And if you’re enjoying these guys, smash the like button, hit the share, hit that bell so you get notifications. We appreciate connecting with you all and we will be back next week. You guys have a phenomenal day, talk soon.

Evan Brand: Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care, Evan. Bye.

Evan Brand: Bye.


Audio Podcast:

Reverse Triiodothyronine (T3) Metabolites | Podcast #192

Welcome to today’s live podcast with Dr. J and Evan Brand! In this podcast, they discuss about Reverse T3, which is the body’s metabolic blanks or brakes. Watch as they tackle about the reasons why Reverse T3 elevate, what affects it, and what are its relationship to Cortisol levels and other metabolites found in the body.

Stay tuned for more and don’t forget to share. Sharing is caring!


Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

01:30  What is Reverse T3?

05:50  Ways and Why Reverse T3 Elevate

09:30  Myth About Parasites in America

11:10  Reverse T3 Optimization

15:10  Inactive T3 in the Gut




Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, guys! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. Welcome to today’s podcast. Evan, how are we doing, brother?

Evan Brand: Happy Monday to you, man! I’m doing well. We were chatting about my blood work off air a little bit. I have made significant improvements since we did our podcast on Iron. My Ferritin was way too high, which was not good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm—

Evan Brand: My Iron saturation was way too high, which is not good, and I’m coming out of it. So no more heart palpitations, which is good, and blood pressure has been relatively normal, maybe slightly high. Maybe that’s stress due to finishing the summit, you know. I don’t know. I don’t know why else. I have no other reason why my blood pressure would be like 130 over like 85. Just slightly high. I’ve got no answers for it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. That is not big of a deal. Is that like across the whole course of the day when you’re relaxing, watching TV, reading a book?

Evan Brand: That, yeah. That’s just like in the middle of the day. If I take a random reading, it’s just a few points high.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s not too bad. And then, what about like if you’re doing some house work or you’re getting some chores done in the morning?

Evan Brand: It’s all the same.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I tracked it throughout the day, it’s all the same. Now, if I take like an Epsom Salt bath and really chill out with like some Lavender essential oils, it’s like 118/78.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, good. [crosstalk] That’s probably where it is most of the day…

Evan Brand: [crosstalk] That really show…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …once you’re sleeping and stuff.

Evan Brand: Yeah. If–If I really chill out, it’s good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s good. Awesome. So it’s not too bad.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know— you know, we were gonna chat today about Reverse T3 ‘cause that was an interesting phenomenon we noticed with you. Your Reverse T3 was in the 30’s, right? What, 33?

Evan Brand: Way too high.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: Was like 33 ½, almost 34.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. When Reverse T3— It’s basically metabolic blanks in the magazine cartridge of your thyroid hormones. So imagine you have thyroid hormone, and it binds to a receptor site. So here’s your hormone, the key. Here’s the lock, which is the receptor site. It has to kind of go in and you have to be able to turn it, basically for that hormone to work. So imagine, essentially like, the key in your pocket is like Reverse T3. It— It can’t get into the receptor site. Or, in other words, imagine someone puts in the hole in your— in the hole for your house key. Right? So then, when you go to put that Reverse T3 in there, that gum is like Reverse T3. It gums up, literally, the— the receptor site so that when that key goes to bump in there to actually create a metabolic effect or unlock your door, so to speak. Now, it can’t work. So Reverse T3 is basically the body’s metabolic brakes uh— being able to block thyroid hormone from getting into the receptor site and creating that metabolic effect.

Evan Brand: And this is a protective mechanism. I mean, in ancient times, if we were under significant amount of stress, like running away from a bear, it would be a good idea, theoretically, for Reverse T3 to go high. Because if you’re hiding behind a tree for a week from a bear, you don’t want your metabolism firing on all cylinders. We would hope Reverse T3 would kick in and sort of slow things down a bit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Exactly. One hundred percent. So Reverse T3 is that natural way of kind of slowing things down. Now there’s lots of ways that reverse T3 can go— lots of reasons why Reverse T3 can go high. Can go high from low Cortisol or high Cortisol. And again, high Cortisol can easily be from acute stressors— emotional stress. Prolonged emotional stress, right? Most people, their hor— their— their— basically, their adrenal system responds to stress, and then, that stress seizes and then you come back down to baseline. But if you’re under chronic emotional stress— work, family, relationships, finances, and it stays high all the time, that can definitely create Cortisol resistance. Kind of like Insulin resistance. And then, of course, chronic adrenal stress will eventually create HPA Axis Dysfunction. That’s your brain talking to your adrenals. That feedback loops start to get disrupted, and then Cortisol can start to go low longer term. And we also need Cortisol for that thyroid hormone conversion. And low Cortisol tends to be a sign of chronic stress, and that Reverse T3 mechanism can still be active, where the— you get the gum into the— the door lock, which is gumming up that T3 from having a metabolic effect.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and we measure adrenals all the time. We do a test called the Cortisol Awakening Response Panel, so we have six (6) saliva samples that we collect throughout a 24-hour period. This is something that our clients do at home, and we can measure the total Cortisol sum. And I’ve seen some crazy low levels. I’m sure you have too, like 10, 12, 14 total Cortisol sum for the full day. Twelve (12) units, which is so low— I mean, really. You should be at about 30 units of a Cortisol sum. So we’re seeing tons of people. I mean, this is people that are doing all the right things too. They’re exercising. They’re eating a good diet. I mean, these are not your average American sitting or watching TV for eight hours and eating McDonalds. Like, these are people that are doing all the low hanging fruit and their Cortisol still comes back so low, which is a— a big factor why their thyroid is not working too. So, uh— You got to get this stuff looked at. The interesting too about Cortisol in this whole conversation, if you’re trying to guess what Cortisol? Like you’re just like, “Oh. Dr. J, I don’t want a test.” Here’s the thing. High Cortisol and low Cortisol can feel the same. So like, if you have high Cortisol, which I’ve had several women with high Cortisol, they’re exhausted. And they’re like, “Okay. My Cortisol’s got to be low. I’m so tired.” But we measured them, and the Cortisol’s through the roof, and then vice versa. We’ve had people where the Cortisol’s flatlined, and they are tired. So like, you can’t guess with this stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. And most people are only getting a snapshot of their thyroid , so their conventional doctor may only be looking at TSH. Or if you’re lucky, maybe TSH and T4. Uh— and again, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism has said that TSH and T4 are poor level— are poor indicator of one— one’s thyroid function. So we really want to look at, one, T4, but also T3, free. And again, if we can run T3 free in total, at least initially it’s better, same with T4 free in total. ‘Cause then, we can get a window into the— the free fraction hormone. What’s available to bind to the receptor site and the— the total fraction hormone. Right? Total is like what the gland is producing, about 98% of that hormone is bound to a— a protein, right? So— Right? The key in your hand, that’s the free hormone, right? The key in your pocket, that’s the protein-bound hormone, right? The key that you can’t get out ‘cause it’s in your pocket or purse, that’s the total fraction. The key that’s in your hand, that’s the free. That’s the one that can bind to the receptor site. So, imagine, for every— you know, nine keys floating around your— your bloodstream— hormone keys, nine of them are in your pocket, one’s in your hand. So only one can actually— I— I should say, even less than that, would be— you know, 98%. Solve. Do the math, right? Let’s just say, 98— 98 keys floating around or in someone’s pocket, two are in your hands. So, only a small amount can bind to that receptor site. [crosstalk] Then if we—

Evan Brand: But we also want to get the antibodies too. Let’s— Let’s tell people what they should be asking their doctor, maybe their endocrinologist for. And you’re— you’re probably gonna get pushed back, which is why we do what we do and provide blood testing for people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. So, let me just highlight a couple more things before I shift to the autoimmunities.

Evan Brand: Okay, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, that fits in because chronic inflammation can easily affect Reverse T3. So, one of the biggest things about— of chronic inflammation would be autoimmunity, and we know a large percent of people that have thyroid issues, it’s partly ‘cause there’s an autoimmune mechanism that’s active, thyroid tissues getting attacked and destroyed. The antibodies can have also an aspect where they can kind of clog and congest receptor sites a little bit, kind of like Reverse T3 can. That inflammation can prevent that binding from happening. Reverse T3 also doesn’t. Remember, Reverse T3 is the gum in— in the— in the keyhole, right? Or for on Hollywood set, we have like one— you know, a gum, right? It’s the blank, the metabolic blank, in the gum. It fills up the spot in the magazine cartridge where the real, you know, hollow point bullet would be, so to speak. So, again, the chronic inflammation that plugs into the autoimmune piece. We talked about Lyme. we talked about other stress. We talked about Gluten. So, there’s anything that’s a physical, chemical, or emotional stressor could be increasing that Reverse T3.

Evan Brand: We could say dairy as well. Anything that’s gonna affect the gut. I mean, we have to assume if you’ve got to elevate a Reverse T3, there could be something going on in the gut. Now, just for my specific case, I did get my GI Map Stool Test. What was it? Maybe two to three months ago. I didn’t have any parasites or worms or H. pylori anymore. All that stuff’s cleared out. I did have a few bacterial overgrowth. Nothing that was insanely high, but a few bacterial overgrowth species. So, I do have a little bit of gut work to continuously improve upon. And then also, uh— liver function as well. You and I we’re kind of talking pre-show about liver and how that’s influenced in terms of reverse T3 levels. So, if you do have Lyme, or you have infections that are creating stress or creating garbage, essentially, you’ve got to do some liver support, and we do this almost every time with gut protocols.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. One hundred percent. So the chronic gut infections easily get missed just because they’re underneath the surface. And a good percent of people, I’d say close to half, may not have the typical symptoms. Bloating, gas, diarrhea, malnourishment, weight loss— like those kind of things. hey may have other issues, like brain fog and energy issues, may— may never connect the dots. [crosstalk] That’s so important.

Evan Brand: I’ll share you an interesting story.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm— Yeah.

Evan Brand: So, uh— a client I had this morning, a guy who was working with like a Lyme-literate medical doctor. The guy asked his doctor to run the GI Map Stool test on him to look for parasites, and the Lyme-literate doctor told the guy no. He would not run that test because we live in America, and there’s no parasites in America.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. Right, and that’s kind of the big misconception. Again, you know, indoor plumbing, sanitation— you know, dishwashers, soap— all those things have helped, but there are still certain infectious debris we may get exposed to. And with our chronic immune stress and lower, you know, IGA or gut immune barrier function, we can very easily come up with infection. Not to mention, when we’re chronically activating the sympathetic nervous system, that’s gonna decrease our Hydrochloric acid and enzyme levels. And HCl, you know, keeps a nice low acidic pH, and that low acidic pH can act like disinfectant to infections in your gut tract.

Evan Brand: Yeah, but I— but— but everybody is— They’re rushing through their meals, or they’re eating all distracted, or they’re on Proton Pump Inhibitors…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm—

Evan Brand: …whether prescription or over-the-counter acid blockers, reducing stomach acid making the gut more alkaline. And then you eat your Sushi, and you pick up bugs. And then the food supply’s international. So if you get your organic blueberries at Whole Foods, a lot of times, they’re from Chile or some other country, and so your food supply is international. I don’t care if you’re not an interna— international traveller ‘cause your food travelled internationally for you. Look at your pineapple from Costa Rica, but you live in New York City, you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes a really good point, man. You’re just being so darn practical today. I appreciate it.

Evan Brand: Yep. So, let’s look at a couple questions if you want to or did…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s good.

Evan Brand: …you have some other points you wanted to make first?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, a couple of other points. I think we hit the Reverse T3 part, so when we look at a complete thyroid panel, TSH and T4, most people only run TSH, so that’s a— a brain hormone, right? It’s a part of the pituitary gland. It what talks to the thyroid to make T4. T4 is free in total. Free is what binds the receptor sites. Total represents, you know, 98%— you know, outside of the free. And that gives you a total, you know, picture of how much hormone the gland is actually producing. Then you have T3, which is converted. And then, T3 free is the actual, you know, metabolically active thyroid hormone, about four to five hundred percent more than T4. And then, you have the free fraction, which is the same thing as the T4 free. It’s what’s actually biologically available. And then, depending on stress levels, you can take that T4, that is alternate— alternate pathway, where it goes into Reverse T3. So normally, T4, right— metabolically inactive, you know, by four to five hundred percent, converts to T3. And then we have this— this suboptimal pathway where it goes to Reverse T3. And all of those various stressors that we mentioned, uhm— it could be adrenal stress. It could be Cortisol issues, inflammation issues, any physical, chemical or emotional stressor will cause this Reverse T3 pathway to be optimized.

Evan Brand: Yeah. We were talking about my labs, so my Reverse T3 back in April was in the mid-30’s. It was about 34. And then now, we retested it. Just last week, it was like 22, so I dropped like over 12 points with Reverse T3. Still— Still high. I think the reference range is like 0-25 so I’m still a little elevated on the high end there at 22, but I’m hoping no longer travelling, no longer having surgeries. The cavitations are cut out of my gums now. I’m taking my liver and adrenal supports. I’m getting good sleep lately. I’m taking some Lemon Balm at night to help the sleep. I feel like that Reverse T3’s gonna continue to drop. My hands and feet, remember? I told you my hands and feet…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: …were rev freezing. It’s not happening as much anymore, so maybe that Reverse T3 was bl— blocking that active T3 that’s why my hands were cold.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s very possible. And your numbers went down from what? Thirty-three (33) to 24? Twenty-one (21)?

Evan Brand: Uh— I think I’m at 22. I’m way from about 34 to 22. It’s about 12 points in about six (6) weeks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So 34 to 22?

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s like— That’ like a 35% drop. That’s great. That’s a huge drop. And ideally, we want to be below 20, but you’re right on the cusp now.

Evan Brand: I’m headed that direction.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I hope over the next few weeks, I should be below 20, and I’ll probably retest in a few months. I’m not gonna retest right away like I did this time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I was just really concerned about my Ferritin being above 500. Now, Ferritin, I believe I’d have to look back in my lab here. I believe Ferritin now is— Actually, man, you’re not gonna believe this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What’s that?

Evan Brand: Let me tell you what it was before. Okay, just for— just for us to be accurate here in our— in our speaking.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm—

Evan Brand: Okay. So Ferritin in mid-April was 548. This is on April 25th. I was up at 5:48. I just retested last week, and Ferritin is 187.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Evan Brand: So let me just— I— I already did the Math before. Let me just do it again. Five forty-eight [crosstalk]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Did I hear 548 to one— what?

Evan Brand: To 187. A 361 points?

[long pause]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So we do the Math on that, but the uh— 65% drop. That’s great.

Evan Brand: Yeah. [crosstalk] I feel better too, and I don’t have any heart palpitations anymore ‘cause I— That was like almost every night. I’d be sitting on the couch and my heart would just, “Oh my God! I’d have these crazy heartbeats.” It’s not happening anymore. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Evan Brand: Now, without the infections and the gum causing that, releasing toxins into the bloodstream, without some thyroid stuff, I don’t know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. Well, I mean, I think there’s definitely a big stressor with the gums, so I think getting that inf— that chronic inflammatory stressor eradicated could had made a big difference. It really sounds like it did.

Evan Brand: yeah, and— and by the way, uh— if you guys saw our live podcast we did together a few weeks ago, uhm— Justin made me a grass-fed steak for dinner. It was the best steak ever. So, if Justin ever host a retreat, if he’s the cook, which I vote him…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [laugh]

Evan Brand: …to be, the steak goes. Uh— You guys are gonna be super impressed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. I appreciate the— the feedback on that. Awesome. And then, one last thing I wanted to talk about…

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …regarding T3, is there’s also some inactive T3 in your gut. Uh— T3 Acetic acid and T3 sulfate. And, that’s important. These different T3’s in your gut are actually relatively inactive. At about 20% of T3’s in your gut, it’s acetic acid— T3 Acetic acid, T3 sulfate. And, there’s an enzyme called Sulfatase, that’s made by your healthy gut bacteria. So healthy gut bacteria can activate that T3 Acetic acid, T3 sulfate. And that can activate and bring your T3 levels up. So that’s why having a healthy gut can really help improve that— not necessarily your Reverse T3, but more your inactive T3 in the gut.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s another component people don’t talk about.

Evan Brand: No, they don’t. And here’s the cool thing too. It’s like, knowing that mechanism is cool, but even if you and I didn’t know that mechanism, we would still get good results because our goal is always to eradicate the bad guys and restore health to the good guys. Knowing that mechanism makes us want to do our job even more and do our job harder and more efficiently and effectively. But even if we didn’t know that mechanism, it’s kind of like one of those things you and I are fixing by accident. Like, even if we didn’t know that mechanism, “Oh! Great!” Restoring your gut bacteria happen to improve thyroid conversion and then taking off the load of the adrenals by removing infections, that improves conversion too. So like, when people ask what’s the silver bullet, there’s not one because we’re moving so many levers at the same time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that’s part of what our job is. We— We— You— That’s why anyone listening, you want to work with a functional medicine doctor o practitioner that has a system that they’re working with, because when you have a system where you’re kind of crossing all your T’s and dotting all your R’s, regarding— regarding all your I’s, regarding nutrition, supplementation, diet, lifestyle, hydration, addressing each hormonal system— adrenals, thyroid, female or male hormones, gut, infections, immune, digestion— working to the six R’s, right— removing the bad foods, replacing enzymes, repairing gut lining and hormones, removing infections, repopulating gut bacteria, retesting. We’re having a systematic program. For the most part, it— it’s very difficult for patients, for us to miss certain things. And there may be lots of mechanisms that are happening like that, one I just mentioned with the T3…

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …that we don’t even know about. But when you have a comprehensive approach, you address it. Lots of people, eben in the natural world, they’re seeing the natural doctor that only addresses the thyroid, that only addresses the gut. And there’s a good chance they could miss other mechanisms by— by not treating the whole person there.

Evan Brand: You know—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Does that make sense?

Evan Brand: Yeah, it does. Well, let me just say it in a different way to make it super clear for people. If you go to a specialist like, “I’m a functional blah— blah— blah— but all I do is thyroid,” in my opinion, and Justin would agree, those people are gonna be limited in their— in their effect, that they can provide for you. If you go to someone and it’s the “Adrenal Guy,” and that’s all he does— adrenals. He’s limited! If you go to a gal, and all she is is female hormones, she’s limited. So like, we’re special specialties in the sense of like functional medicine is its own specialty, but you don’t want to just use a microscope. You’ve got to use a macroscope at the same time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. And you have to distinguish marketing from treatment. Like I market a lot to thyroid. Now, that does not mean I only do thyroid. I market to thyroid but we address the gut to actually fix the thyroid, or the detox to fix the thyroid. So I think if you’re gonna reach out to someone that’s a functional medicine specialist, that only like, let’s say, does the thyroid or female hormones, you’d want to interview them or ask them a questions and say, “Hey! Do you also address the gut to help the female hormones or thyroid? Do you also address the adrenals to affect the female hormones and thyroid?” So you just want to ask those questions to make sure ‘cause some people market that way but how they treat encompasses everything. So if you do find someone that you do like, you just want to make sure you ask those questions.

Evan Brand: Or just see if they have regular content. We’re such big fans of—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s the key thing. Look at the content ‘cause then you can already know.

Evan Brand: And if they have somebody else writing their articles and you— you seem— they seemed like they’re disconnected from their practice, does that mean they suck? Maybe not, but, you know, Justin and I are big like— We practice what we preach, and we’re in the trenches constantly. And then, I’m sharing my health stories. I mean, how many practitioners are telling you they had heart palpitations and blood pressure issues and blah— blah— blah—? No. They— They want to act like they’ve got it all figured out and their health is perfect, an now you can be just like them and be perfect. You just have to pay on easy payment at 1.99 per month. You know, it’s like— I’m gonna tell you guys the truth, and I think people resonate with that and we get feedback every week. “Oh, Justin, you an— you and Evan and blah— blah— blah—” So, I know that— [pause] I know we’re on the right track with— with the way we’re educating people. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I appreciate it. I appreciate your candor, Evan, sharing all these great information. Is there anything else you want to leave today’s listeners with?

Evan Brand: Yes. If they want to check out or schedule a consult with you, learn more about your clinic, etc., check out That’s the site. And Justin’s got another functional medicine doc that he has fully trained behind the scene, so that is awesome. And I’ve also heard great things. So, check out And then if you like to reach out to me, same thing, my site, And Candida Summit’s coming up, so if you guys haven’t registered, Justin has his own special link which he can give uh— which is

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s it!

Evan Brand: Okay. So type in Go register for the summit. It’s literally imagine missing 35 of our best talks ever. That’s what it’s like if you miss out on this event. So go register, and uh— we look forward to talk with you guys again soon, and we’ll look forward to consulting with you in the meantime.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. Head over to as well for the same great content and info. Give us a thumbs up. Give us a share. Subscribe. Hit the bell. The bell will allow you to get notifications when we do these future live uhm— podcasts and my live Q&A’s as well. Smash that bell. That way, you get the notifications. Hey, Evan, thanks so much for being here today. And everyone listening, I appreciate you staying in touch and look forward to talking soon.

Evan Brand & Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care.



Paleo 101 Part 2: Top 3 Roadblocks When Going Paleo

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

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

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

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

What Are the Paleo Roadblocks?

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



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

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

Lab Tests for Anemia

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Lab Tests for Infections

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

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

Thyroid Issues

Thyroid Issues

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

Lab Tests for the Thyroid

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

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


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

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


You’ll Never Guess Who Has a Parasite Infection? – Podcast #86

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand reveal to us today about a health issue that Evan is experiencing currently with regard to the parasites discovered in his stool tests. Listen as they share with us the things that can be done to get rid of these parasites via conventional medicine approach versus the functional medicine methods. 

Parasite Infection stained_giardiaDiscover what the common parasites are and what the conventional symptoms are that people typically experience when they have an infection. Learn the various ways and supplementation to help treat parasite infections as well as the laboratory tests you can take to confirm such infections.

In this episode, topics include:

00:44   Evan’s parasite story and symptoms

5:03   Lab testing

11:28   Giardia

15:33   Cryptosporidium

22:17   Supplementation










Evan Lab Test

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan Brand, how you doing this morning? It’s Friday.

Evan Brand:  It is Friday. Hey, I’m great.  We’re in the trenches again on ourselves today.  So this is fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, today’s gonna be a different kind of podcast.  I think we are pushing the envelope regarding functional medicine and functional health podcasting, because we’re doing tests on ourselves.  So today we’re gonna be talking about some stool test that came in for yourself.  And we already talked about them earlier this week and we’re just excited to share them with the general public because we know your story and my story will be able to help hopefully tens of thousands of potential patients and people out there.

Evan Brand:  Absolutely so to give a little of history here about why we suspected something was going on is when I first moved to Texas.  I was about 160 lbs and I quickly after moving there, I quickly began to lose weight without changing much of the diet.  Paleo was pretty much my diet template.  I was still exercising but not as much and I began to slowly lose weight and I bottomed out at like 138 lbs.  So we’re talking about 22 lbs lost in about a year, maybe a year and some change, and when I—I remember the first I came over to your house, you were like, “Dude, Evan, you got a parasite.  That’s not normal like you’re getting skinny, man.  Like your muscle’s disappearing.”  And I had just attributed it to adrenal fatigue because I ran a cortisol rhythm test on myself, too, and showed pretty low cortisol even though I had good DHEA.  And so that kinda made sense but it wouldn’t explain that significant weight loss.  So you even said, you know, over 6 months ago, “You better run a test for a parasite and see what’s going on.”  And so I finally got around to it and turns out I popped up positive for cryptosporidium and also Giardia which are 2 different parasites that can be found or that you can get exposure to in different water sources.  And so when I was talking to Dr. Kurt yesterday, he said, “Evan,” he goes, “Did you swim in any sources of water that were a little bit lower than normal like a drought-stricken place?”  And I was like, “Oh my God, Lake Austin, Lake Travis–”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Barton Springs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Barton Springs.

Evan Brand:   Krause Springs, like everywhere I went in Austin on the weekend was some sort of water source that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  Could have potentially exposed me to it.  And so the light bulb really went off and I’m glad that we found these things because now we’re gonna get into the treatment stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Absolutely. And one of the interesting things about this infection as well—well, first off, I saw pictures of you in the past before I knew you and you just looked bigger, more—more fuller in your—in your facial structure, and then when I met you in person a year or two later, I—I asked, I said, “Evan, you know, have you changed your diet at all recently?”  Because I know you’re a big Paleo guy, so I–imagine you weren’t eating much sugar or carbs back then.  You went, “No, I’m just losing weight and my diet’s pretty much the same.”  And we did a diet review and you were like, exactly what you said, I’m like, “You have infection.  There’s no way you’re losing this kind of weight without some kind of internal malabsorption.”  And then we saw your fingernails, too, and we saw these vertical ridging and we’re like, I’m just, “There’s some kind of protein or fat malnutrition.”  I know you kinda sat on it and then over time you were telling me some of the—you know, your cold hands, cold feet, you have it, every now and then you mentioned you’d have some kind of blood sugar or panic attacks explaining that we were connecting to some adrenal stress, and then we were saying, “Well, how is this adrenal stress happening because you’re so many good things right?  And then we finally got this testing done and we were able to quantify that this is more than likely the driving factor and anyone of these infections by themselves is a pretty big deal, whether it’s Giardia or crypto by themselves.  You have them together, so it’s like, you know, with—with the—all these forces combining it’s really an exponential issue.  It’s gonna be far worse than having this one at a time.

Evan Brand:  A double whammy.  Yeah, and so I had a—a slide here that was from the Institute of Functional Medicine’s Intestinal Permeability Lecture and it was saying “a recent study revealed a 23.5% of clinical samples tested positive for at least one parasite”.  So just go ahead and round that up to 25% of people that were getting tested had at least one parasite, and so we’re talking 1 in 4 basically.  For me, it seems to be 1 in 3.  And Blastocystis hominis was the number one at 12.5% and then you have Dientamoeba fragilis–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yup.

Evan Brand:  And they had Entamoeba and then you had blah, blah, blah, and then Giardia’s at the bottom, 0.7%.  So apparently Giardia’s pretty rare to even show up or to even have.  So for me to have that and the crypto, you and I and Dr. Kurt, too, was also like, “Wow! This is rare to have.”  And Kalish same thing, I’ve looked up a couple of his lectures and he said he had only seen it like once before of having the double whammy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, and here’s the real important thing, too, is well, most conventional laboratories especially in a hospital setting aren’t gonna pick up the infection. Again, I think you said it to me, we did a 401H on you, they—where it came up and I don’t think it came up on every single sample because there’s 4 or 5 samples on that 401H test by BioHealth.  We’ll give them a plug because they’re a really good lab testing company.  How many samples do you—are you aware of that it came up on?

Evan Brand:  I’m not aware of the number but it was, yeah, 5 or 6 samples over a 3-day period.  So if we missed it on day 1, which if you’re doing the conventional stool test—actually, I had a—a female client last week that she actually had some really weird type of stools and so she ended up going to the hospital and getting a stool test there.  It showed up negative for everything.  So I’m waiting on her results for the same tests that I ran on myself.  I’ll be so thrilled if we find something just to prove that those conventional ones fail once again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And I’m finding even BioHealth, I’m teaming up with some other labs that are doing the PCR/DNA stool testing because it’s about 2 to 3,000 times more sensitive.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Now sometimes BioHealth will pick certain things up that other labs don’t.  So I’m gonna be really curious to get your DNA testing back either from DRG or GI-MAP because I think we’ll find maybe even something else there as well and here’s the real important take home, is you didn’t have a lot of the major conventional symptoms for Giardia.  So like a lot of the conventional symptoms for Giardia are gonna be like lots of diarrhea, lots of gas, lots of bloating, right?  You didn’t have a lot of those major, major symptoms.  We did see, you know, we did see the malabsorption.  I saw that more on the outside, but again a typical individual won’t make that connection because they’re not looking at your diet and how good it is.  They—they’re not gonna be able to appreciate a conventional—a conventional physician won’t be able to appreciate a Paleo diet especially with the massive changes in weight you have.  So I was able to notice that but you didn’t have a lot of those conventional Giardia symptoms and that’s why I just think it’s so important where if you have any health issues that you can’t quite put your finger on, and you’re going to a conventional doctor to think that they’re gonna be able to pick this up.  A lot of times they’re not because most people—you didn’t have violent diarrhea.  You didn’t have massive abdominal cramping.  You didn’t have excessive gas or upset stomach or massive nausea, right?

Evan Brand:  No, not really, I mean–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Not really.

Evan Brand:  That—that one day of food poisoning or whatever—whatever that was, we talked about it on a previous episode but that was the only real episode where I thought, “Wow!”  Something was up with my gut and so it’s crazy.  I didn’t wanna read in which I kind of alluded to already where you could pick this up, but you know, the Mayo Clinic, they write about how people become infected with Giardia and that’s after swallowing contaminated water that could—you know, where the Giardia parasite is found in lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, municipal water supplies, cisterns, swimming pools, water parks, and spas.  And so I almost thought about we should title this episode like the downsides of being primal or something, because I go barefoot a lot of the time–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Evan Brand:  Which I read that you can get exposed to somebody’s parasites via soil, and maybe I’m not soaping myself enough, you know, I will use from Dr. Bronner`s organic soap you know on the important areas.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Evan Brand:  And maybe—maybe sometimes I wasn’t cleaning myself enough and I was taking it too far with the whole dirt is good for you, you know, going barefoot, putting my hands in the dirt, in the mud in the backyard all the time.  I could have picked something up that way, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Absolutely and the big issue, too, is with these—with these different infections, they can be spread fecal-oral, but Giardia and crypto can also be spread via water.  So I do a lot of water skiing in Lake Austin every week so I’m—I’m gonna make sure I’m tested, you know, a couple times a year because you’re gonna get these infections two kinds of ways.  You’re gonna get it, number one, where you’re chronically stressed whether it’s physical, chemical, emotional stress accumulating and the chemical could be food allergens, gluten.  It could be blood sugar swings, skipping meals, not eating—not eating nutrient-dense foods.  It could be toxicity issues.  It could be a whole bunch of things, low stomach acid and enzymes and then that chronic stressor opens you up so when you get exposed to something, it’s able to set up shop and create basically a niche in your gut and start to proliferate more cysts and spores for other offspring.  And that’s kinda like one, where you—the chronically ill person gets exposure.  And then there’s people like you that are just—they’re healthier but they just get exposed to a large bolus of it over a period of time, maybe just all at once or maybe at multiple times throughout the week like you mentioned, like your symptoms are perfect, right?  It’s a perfect script for it, and then—boom—now it sets up shop and then you’ve been gone from Austin for over a year and you’re not quite doing that same type of thing you were in Austin but look, you got two infections now.  So more than likely the water issue was a–a big driving factor and you know, I’m gonna get myself tested like we talked about again because I do it yearly with a couple of different tests all at once and we’ll do a podcast analyzing my test results soon as well.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so looking back on what I think was definitely some of the factors that—that led me to this.  I mean, I was still working at the supplement company, directly for the CEO, super–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Evan Brand:  High position, super high stress position, and then I was also running my clinic on the side at the time.  And this is when you and I were being able to—we got to hang out locally and I was just seeing clients, you know, outside of my basically 8 to 5 hours during the workday at the office and then coming home and spending more hours looking at research, looking at labs, talking with people, that low adrenal function, I had to burn myself through.  I had to burn through stage 1.  I probably had high cortisol, gave some leaky gut condition, maybe made myself more susceptible to all this stuff, made the perform storm of stressors, and maybe even lack of sleep from the stress that set me up.  Now quickly which is kinda crazy actually, even though I still tested positive for these two parasites, I was still able to put on—I’ve put on about 6 lbs since I’ve moved back.  I’ve got back in the gym, my strength’s coming back, my injury where I thought I had a hernia has healed.  And so it’s amazing to see the progress that I’ve already made just by reducing the stress and being able to have more social interaction, being back in a—a place that I call home that makes me feel comfortable.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:   So I’m excited to see what happens once we get these things knocked out, how my progress especially with my strength and my weight coming back will—will be.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Absolutely and also there are over 40 different kinds of Giardia.  The main one that we get exposure to as humans is Giardia lamblia and that’s the—the so-called Beaver Fever that you can get exposed to in the water.  It can also be spread fecal-orally so at some point, we’ll have to get your wife tested as well and make sure she’s treated because don’t want—we wanna make sure that vector isn’t being passed back and forth as well. 

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I looked at her fingernails.  She’s got some vertical ridges, too.  But you and I talked about off air, even if we were to get a positive results on her with the baby growing in her tummy, we can’t treat her right now anyway.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Evan Brand:  So we’ll just have to wait until after the baby’s coming and—and look at it then.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and also a big vector for Giardia, I’m gonna say it now because it just happened last month with a patient, is gonna be your pets especially dogs because dogs love to lick and there’s you know, a big article over at, right?  Dog owners and Giardia that’s a big one, but I had a patient come in and we had diagnosed her with Giardia the month before, the next month she came in and said, “By the way, my dog was having some issues, we brought him to the vet, and the vet said he had Giardia.”  And she kinda felt bad because she thought maybe that she gave the dog Giardia and I said, “Other way around, he vectored that Giardia to you.”  So for all these pet owners out there, be very careful of playing kissy-face with your—with your dogs because you know, they’re licking something else, if you know what I mean, and they’re going home and licking you and licking your face or licking your hands.  So if they’re licking your face, that’s a no-no, and if they’re licking your hands, make sure you wash it off because they can vector these parasites, and I’ve seen many people that have worked with pets and with dogs and with animals, trainers and veterinarians, and they almost always come back with Giardia and multiple other  infections.

Evan Brand:  I wouldn’t doubt it if I got it from our Shih Tzu because if I’m playing with her and she’s slobbering all over the toy, I may not go and wash my hands right after I play with the toy and then I could touch my face and maybe even touch my mouth by accident.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Evan Brand:  So who knows?  You know, Lucy, our Shih Tzu, she may have Giardia as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, it’s very possible.  I would say one, we could get her tested, but al lot of times the conventional vet tests don’t work a bit, they aren’t awesome, but it’s worth a try, or you can just do a human-based test and see what happens on that.  But number two, it may even be worth just treating your—your dog with the conventional antibiotics for that infection.  So for the Giardia, that would be like Flagyl or metronidazole.  Again, I typically don’t recommend the antibiotics for most people.  You can do it.  Some people will do it like the Flagyl or the metronidazole or Alinia or like the—the go-to antibiotics for the infections.  I like the herbs better just because of the fact that the side-effects with the antibiotics can be very, very severe and a lot of times you get the better exposure with the herbs over a longer period of time.  Because with the Giardia and other infections, the Giardia may be there but there may be a massive imbalance of other bad stuff and the herbs can kind of help knock that back down without all the side-effects. If someone wants to go the antibiotics route, then we’ll typically do antibiotics and then follow-up with herbs as well.  The only issue with dogs—it just depends.  If you can do herbs with your pet, that’s great.  A lot of times it’s difficult to do that especially every single day.  It’s easier just to do it with an antibiotic, you know knock down the vector and then come in with some good probiotics afterwards.  But again herbs for humans are gonna be my number one—number one go-to with that, and I’ve knocked out hundreds in the past.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so let’s talk about the protocol that we’re gonna start with because antibiotics are the conventional option, the go-to thing for these types of infection, but you and I talked about it and we’re like, “Let’s—let’s go herbal route.”  So we don’t have to go specifically over every single ingredient but wormwood and some of these other natural antiparasitic, antimicrobials, oil of oregano and then a—a few other supplements is gonna be the treatment protocol that I’m gonna be starting on.  Everything’s ordered, I should have everything to my door in a few days and I’m gonna be started ASAP and then for the timeline–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I just wanna touch upon just one thing­–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Real quick. 

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   We—we didn’t quite highlight crypto yet, but crypto is another waterborne parasite but it can also be, you know, fecal-oral spread meaning some type of fecal material from whether it’s intercourse or whether it’s from poor preparations or not cleaning hands, that’s another vector these things can be spread by, but crypto is that other major parasite and again, like in the mid-90s I think it was Milwaukee, they had a major outbreak in the water supply where I think 500,000 people were infected with crypto.  I think even 4 died.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So crypto is another big one.  We’ve been giving Giardia a lot of love here, but crypto is another one that can be basically hide in the crypts.  The crypts of Lieberkühn in the intestinal tract in between the microvilli buried deep out—deep down into the intestinal wall and that’s another infection that we’re dealing with here, that typically we have to kind of separate how we treat both of them because Giardia can move and get into the bile ducts and affect fat digestion and crypto can bury deep into the intestinal tract and in between those crypts where the microvilli are close by.  So different infections, a lot of times will call for different treatments and both can be spread via water, fecal-oral, and a lot of the side-effects and symptoms may be the same, and again immuno-compromised people tend to have that, like a lot of your AIDS patients and such, but you know, you’re not in that camp, and you may just been stressed and got exposed to it, so it’s not just the super immuno-compromised that the conventional medicine people say.  It could be someone like Evan who—who is super healthy and productive, and has a lot of energy—a lot of energy, too.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it’s amazing how much I’ve got done.  You and I were kinda laughing like how productive I’ve been despite having these two type of infections simultaneously.  So I can’t wait to see what happens as we kind of work through this protocol which the timeline that you and I have kinda discussed is about 2 months that we’re hoping we can knock these things out and retest and see what see what happens and then something on hand that I have for die-off, just some activated charcoal I ordered some of that just in case, and then I’ll be using a probiotic at night, too, just to try to help out with inflammation and then obviously I’m gonna stick with the probiotic, too.  Once I’m done through this protocol and try to just focus a little bit more on gut healing and try to repair any type of damage that’s been done.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Exactly.  And even with the cryptosporidium it’s known that cryptosporidium causes zinc issues, zinc malabsorption.  Well, let’s think about that, right?  If we have low zinc, we need zinc to make hydrochloric acid.  We need zinc to make our—especially testosterone, our hormones, it’s a really important building block for hormonal health.  So if we have that, if we have low stomach acid now because we have now low zinc, we need zinc for our immune system, right?  The zinc fingers are really important epigenetic factor for our DNA, and then we need stomach acid, we need our sex hormones, so you can see what happens here when you get an infection, the sequelae of how you tend to get sicker or symptoms get worse overtime because of malabsorption, lack of ability to break down food, low nutrients compromised immune system, compromised sex hormones, compromised ability to make more digestive secretions to break things down, different infections can hide in the bile ducts like Giardia and then create  inability to shoot out bile so now we have an inability break down fat soluble nutrients, well, there goes vitamin A, D, E, K, all your EPA, DHA fats, cholesterol, and now we have this kind of bottleneck and then we miss all of these buildings blocks to make our hormones and be really healthy.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and I would like to add one other thing to it, too.  We ran an organics and looked over that, and we were just talking about that together, too, which showed high arabinose; therefore, meaning that I have some candida issues going on on top of all of this.  So kind of a triple whammy and it’s funny because I haven’t felt that bad and now thinking back a little bit though when I went, I guess this was a couple of years ago when I was kind of geeking out on the whole pyroluria topic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Evan Brand:  And I ran the kryptopyrrole test which showed very, very high issues where I was gonna be lacking in the zinc and the B6.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Ah, see!

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I’m wondering if it were—what, you know, chicken or egg here.  Was it the kryptopyrrole issue first or was it the infection that led to the problems with zinc which elevated py—you know, the pyrroles.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Evan Brand:  I mean, what do you think?  That’s—that’s a hard—hard thing to try to figure out.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Well, again I’m partial to these infections causing a whole host of issues.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And the big thing I wanna hammer home is you didn’t have a lot of the conventional symptoms so anyone that’s listening to this and think, “Well, I don’t have the main conventional symptoms.  My conventional doctor said it couldn’t be this.”  Think again.  Evan is a perfect example right now and Evan is a super healthy guy and—and look what’s happening here.  We saw symptoms in and around different areas and because of the fact that, I know you mentioned like maybe some—some anxiety at—at times, it’s very possible because of the protein and stuff.  We looked on your organics, we’ll do a separate podcast on this.  We saw some lower neurotransmitters.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I think in—in the dopamine and catecholamines side of the fence and we need hydrochloric acid and we need healthy digestion to break down protein to convert those proteins to your brain chemicals.  So it’s very possible this was driving some of the underlying, you know, slight anxiety under the surface as well. 

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and I’ve told you this, and I’ve told the listeners probably a dozen times, I’m not an anxious person–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Evan Brand:  By nature.  And so that was really odd for me to have some of these feelings of panic and anxiety overwhelming me where I literally had to leave the movie theater one time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Evan Brand:  Because I was having a panic episode and I tell people this all the time, it’s not you necessarily.  Like it’s not you as a person, that’s anxious.  It’s your biochemistry.  It’s your neurotransmitters.  It’s the imbalance.  It’s the overgrowth of bad guys in the gut.  It’s—these are creating a toxic situation where it doesn’t matter who you are as a person, you can get overwhelmed and that’s what happened to me is that, sort of a good guy versus the bad guy, the light versus dark, the dark started to win on me a little bit so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Really looking forward to get going with this thing and I—I can’t wait to see what you have.  I mean, because you’re in—you’re in the water probably more now than I was, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   It’s true.  It’s true.

Evan Brand:  I can’t wait to see what’s up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I know, I’ll be really curious, you know, healthier IgA, healthier hydrochloric acid can help because it’s like a disinfectant.  You got a dirty table, the hydrochloric acid and/or IgA can come in there and clean that table off.  In my real world analogy, that’s like using bleach, right?  You–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Pour on the bleach out or using your—your Seven Generation natural cleaner for all everyone here that’s more naturally oriented.  We’ll use that stuff, get it clean and then—boom—you got a nice table that you can eat off of, that’s kinda like your intestinal tract where you have IgA and hydrochloric acid that can basically pinch hit for that bleach in our real world analogy.

Evan Brand:  Right.  So just to finish off, I’m sure–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:  People are curious.  A couple other pieces to the puzzle that I’m still keeping support nutritionally, obviously keeping the diet dialed in, keeping the sleep dialed in, I—I can’t imagine if someone didn’t have all the things that I have dialed in.  How awful they would feel to have two infections at the same time?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Oh, my God.

Evan Brand:  And so I really think, and you probably agree that this is the only way that I’ve been able to stay so productive is having the lifestyle and nutrition and the stress and the adrenals and all that in check, because otherwise I’d probably be a wreck.  I don’t know.  I don’t even wanna know really.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right, right.

Evan Brand:  But I’m—I’m doing the fish oil, you know, I’m doing, you know, high potency.  I’m trying to get at least a gram per day and then also doing some enzymes, doing some HCl, a little bit of oxbow, because thinking back and I don’t think I mentioned this to you before, when I first tried to start MCT oil, I was in such severe pain.  I was rolling on the floor, you know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Wow.

Evan Brand:  Grabbing my stomach from literally one teaspoon of MCT, and so this infection is making me—this makes me think that I was unable to digest fats because my gallbladder was impaired like you were mentioning.  So this is—it’s kinda crazy now that I’m gathering all of these pieces that I didn’t think anything of when they happened in such isolated fashion.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, well, let’s just—I know you only got a few more minutes left here, Evan.  Let’s just go into treatment real quick.  I already alluded with the Giardia, the conventional is gonna be your Flagyl or metronidazole, your typical conventional.  Some of the more functional medicine MDs or—or even people like myself sometimes we’ll use an antibiotics called Alinia, and we’ll use that as well.  But you gotta be careful, there can be a lot of side-effects and I’ve seen many people already gone through antibiotics and still have the infection.  I’ve seen it dozens and dozens and dozens of times just this week.  So the—the moral of that story is don’t think because you get the antibiotics that it’s a slam dunk and it’s gone.  Just don’t have that assumption and if you do the antibiotic route, you still wanna follow up with the herbs anyway because there’s a whole bunch of gastrointestinal imbalance that’s gonna be there and you wanna clean everything up. 

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so to be clear, we have both kind of talked about this and we’re not going antibiotic route.  Yes, technically, we’re doing some natural antiparasitic, natural antimicrobials but not the conventional antibiotics, and we’re gonna be this for about 2 months and then we’re gonna re-test and see what happens after we use some of these remedies and see what type of results we get and then hopefully when we re-test we’ll see that it’s gone and we’ve wiped it out successfully and that’ll be another one for the books.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, and we’ll just kinda list off a couple of things that we’re doing but we’re doing higher dose oil of oregano, higher dose wormwood, higher dose berberines and black walnut and grapefruit seed extract.  We’re gonna be adding in neem.  We’re gonna be adding in bittermelon, barberry, and other different families of berberines. We may even talk about adding in some silver, and then there’s a couple of other herbal blends that we’ll do because we have to open up the crypts so we can get good exposure to these antimicrobials for the cryptosporidium, so we’re kind of doing two infections at the same time which is harder but I know you’re healthy enough to handle it but these are a whole bunch of families of herbs we’re using and you gotta be careful, too, because higher doses of wormwood can be very effective but they can also raise liver enzymes so we may have to add in binding support and liver support.  So you really wanna make sure you’re working with someone that has experience.  So one, you make sure you get a therapeutic dose, and two, you have the die-off binder support so if you start having too much of these biotoxins from these infections accumulation, you could have support there and maybe even have someone monitor your liver enzymes if needed as well.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, definitely.  So obviously, we’re a little bit biased here.  But without a doubt, for your health and for your overall wellness, even if you don’t have any symptoms at all which my own symptoms were really the nails and the cold hands and the cold feet, get tested, you know, reach out to one of us.  Get tested.  Run yourself through just for general wellness.  You don’t have to be one of those people that wait—wait until you get sick or wait until you have 30 symptoms and you’re on 5 pharmaceuticals and then you get tested.  Take the proactive approach like we’ve done.  I could have been just fine.  I could have just said, “Well, it’s winter time.  It’s 20 degrees outside, hmm, I have cold hands and feet.  No big deal.”  I lost some weight, whatever, it was stress, and I could have just ignored this stuff.  But just trying to be a little bit more proactive can really save your health and really save you from, I mean, not to bring up the—the big C word but I mean from cancer and other­–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Chronic illnesses that could happen.  If I were to—what if I were to keep this infection for 20 or 30 years­?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:  And then finally get discovered.  I mean, oh, my Lord.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   My God.  And the big thing, too, is—oh, I think one other thing we’ll—we’ll add in.  We’ll put links so people if people wanna get access to some of the stool tests then they can at least click below, but you wanna make sure you get interpretation either someone like myself or Evan or a good functional medicine doctor that’s trained in—in what the next steps are because the big thing that you’re doing here, that we haven’t emphasized you—you mentioned it briefly, is you’re doing all the diet and lifestyle and adrenal stuff and we’re even getting you on some brain stuff as well, which is you know gonna help you go through this whole protocol without the side-effects and keep you functioning at an optimal level so you can help, you know, all the patients that you’re helping.

Evan Brand:  Right, and luckily I have a little bit more of a relaxed lifestyle where I’m at home so if I need to take it easy on myself and block out some more time then I’ll be able to do that, but the goal is to maintain productivity and a lot of people they don’t have time to—to be sick and be laid out.  So we’re trying to craft this protocol here to where I’m still being able to be on hustle mode and still work through this thing, so excited to get going and I’m really happy that we—that we could share this with you all today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I am, too, and this is such a clinically relevant podcast so please refer to all of your potential, you know, candidates or friends or family, anyone listening that could resonate with this, please share it out there because it’s so clinical and I think people that hear it and resonate are gonna actually be able to take direct action from this podcast and that may help bring some closure to some of the underlying chronic symptoms that may be there. 

Evan Brand:  Absolutely and just to hit—hit that drum a little bit harder one more time.  This is not a theory podcast where our goal, which I did this for a hundred episodes successfully.  We’ve hit 4 million downloads on iTunes, etc. you know, what I started with NotJustPaleo podcast was very successful and very enjoyable but it hit a certain point, and especially, you know, in our careers where we’re realizing, look we don’t have to have some random new name on the podcast every single week because what we have going with our clinics and what we’re actually doing in the trenches to me is becoming more important than having some new voice or new perspective on every week.  So I’m glad that you guys—we’re still seeing the numbers of the downloads go up significantly when Dr. J and I are doing these episodes together, so thanks for your support and thanks for really digging deep with us and not just looking for the next piece of brain candy.  We’re actually sharing the things that may get a little bit repetitive but every single person is different and for this type of scenario, for me, the practitioner to have a two parasites myself, it’s like wow!  This stuff can happen to anyone so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, and then Evan, do I have your permission to post up your—your lab work for this test online so people can actually see that this is the real deal.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, of course.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   That’s great, and I know, we’re both running late, we both have patients because we’re in the trenches.  We’re doing it.  We’re rolling up our sleeves trying to help people get their health back, so Evan, thanks for this awesome show.  Super inspired today with your story and I know that we’re just gonna help so many more.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, well, take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Thanks, Evan.  You, too.

Evan Brand:  Bye.

Do You Have Parasite Infection? – Podcast #24

Parasite infections are more common than we think.  The idea that these critters only thrive in third world countries is not exactly always the case.  In fact, there are also a lot of cases of parasitic infections in people in developed countries as well.  

Parasites enter the human body in different ways like consuming contaminated water, unclean food, or not properly washing hands.   These organisms live and feed off inside the human body.  When we are infected by these various critters, it can cause various symptoms that can lead to a more serious health issues.

In this episode we cover:

04:25   What Dr. Baris and Justin ate for breakfast

12:38   How parasites come in to our bodies

16:10   H. pylori and other common parasites

28:01   Lab testing methods for parasites

33:52   Common parasitic symptoms

37:31   Treatment protocols








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Baris Harvey:  Thank you guys for tuning in to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  We have a great podcast for you today.  But first, make sure you go to and there you can sign up to the newsletter.  By signing up to the newsletter, you will be able to get access to all of our interviews and all of our podcasts that we have created for you way, way, way in advance.  About five episodes now, so definitely do that.  Also we would really appreciate it if you guys give us a review on ITunes.   Go into Beyond Wellness Radio and clicking on the review allows us to spread our message worldwide.  So that is awesome.  Make sure you guys also get the chance to go to that can also be found at  By doing that, you can see all of the awesome content that Dr. Justin has provided.  He talks a lot about female hormones, infections and also you will have the availability to work with him.  He works with clients around the country.  So you can schedule a free 15-minute consultation with him.  He also has a free video series.  So go ahead and sign up to the newsletter there.  Also make sure that you go to, which is my site, and you can sign up to the newsletter to be ready to receive my e-book.  So with all that being said, how is it going today, Dr. Justin?

Justin Marchegiani:  It is going great, Baris.  Actually just got back from the Bulletproof Conference last week where I was treating patients.  Gave a little talk action and I was able to play around with a lot of different bio-hacking tools.  And I am also experimenting with Unfair Advantage.  It is a new CoQ10-PQQ compound for cognitive performance and mitochondrial function.

Baris Harvey:  Oh, yes. How was that going?

Justin Marchegiani:  Pretty good.   I am just doing a little bit more research on PQQ and its effects on cognitive enhancement, on mitochondria activation and just trying to sample it out and see how we do, and see how my focus is and my mental mindset, in general.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, so is that one also has the CoQ10 in there as well?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, I think it has 20 mg of CoQ10 and 10 mg of PQQ.  And I am doing about 2 ampules of that a day so about 40 and 20.  And I just given it a try and see how I do.  And I like it; I like a lot of Bulletproof products.  It is good stuff.  Also I am shocking myself right now as we speak.  I am using one of the PRS devices from Arcway to help to kind of drive some blood flow and help reduce some inflammation from an old wrist injury where I fell and did some cartilage damage.  So I just try to biohack my way back to health.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  And it is funny that you mentioned that I am also having some electric stimulation right now.  I have the Marc Pro device on my back.  I am almost sore on the back so just getting the blood flowing.

Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Baris Harvey:  Helping as well for the inflammation and yes, I mean like football is not that healthy as I like it to be.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  So if you have the ability to get your hands on any of these technologies to help with recovery that is like most of it right there, if you know what I mean?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, it is huge.  I mean obviously the diet and the lifestyle and the sleep, there is no laser or electrifying device that is going to ever replace that.  But once you get that in place, then it is like, alright now, what is the next thing you can do?  So, I think it is safe to say Baris that today’s show will be electrifying.  What do you think?

Baris Harvey:  Oh, yes.  Definitely.

Justin Marchegiani: But before we start shocking our listeners, what did you have for breakfast?

Baris Harvey:  What I had for breakfast today was, I actually cooked up some chicken.

Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Baris Harvey:  Actually, I had a whole chicken but I kind of just pulled it apart.  Had some pulled chicken and had a little bit of mixed veggies left over from last night.  Had some grass-fed cheese that was just put on top of that.  Basically just steamed the veggies and I put them in the oven.  Not too hot so I put some olive oil so it was not burning it but I kind of like the flavor when I bake with it.  And then some sea salt and cheese just a little bit as I pull it out.  Yes, broccoli, cauliflower and was it carrots?  Yes, that stuff usually taste good with like salt and cheese.

Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome, nice.  This morning I did a little intermittent fasting and some coffee and butter and some MCT and I just finished up here before the show with some kielbasa and some Dijon mustard and some sauerkraut.  I do not know just Kielbasa and sauerkraut they go together like peas and carrots, man.  So good.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  It is funny because sometimes we assume like, “Oh, these fermented foods and all these stuff are so foreign to us and they are gross but there are a lot of good tasting fermented foods.

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yes.  Absolutely, but sauerkraut is definitely a good one and if you mix it with kielbasa, I highly recommend it.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-Huh.   Yes.  And one of the easiest ways to get it in is that you get like Applegate or some other like grass-fed, like 100% beef hotdog or 100% as long as it is one meat and not mixed with all these other stuff.  And just like slice it down the middle and basically put, you know, all your toppings right inside of the hotdog and use that as the bun, yes that taste good.  Like you can just use sauerkraut if you wanted to and just put that down the middle and it tastes amazing.

Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome, very cool.  And also a cool thing about PQQ that I am just kind of discovering and reading, it also helps with mitochondria.   Your mitochondria is kind of like the powerhouse of your cell, right?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Produces ATP.   It is like the currency of energy in your body.  But it also helps spontaneously regenerate new mitochondria which is pretty cool.  And also it is neuroprotective which is one of these really interesting things out there, all these drugs and all these pesticides and chemicals they tend to be neurotoxic.  And it is cool if you can use various nutrients to help, will not protect you but to regrow mitochondria.  I guess that is pretty awesome.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  And like you mentioned how it stimulates new growth in the mitochondria.  A really good one to have and see it combined with the CoQ10 really often.  So, yes.  It is a kind of a new one that people are starting to see but there has been a lot of trials and then usually paired with CoQ10 because they are both involved with the mitochondrial energy production portion of the body.

Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, I am going to be trying it because I want to push my brain to the max.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Sounds good.  So in today’s podcast, we are going to talk about infections.  So for people out there, we are not just talking about like getting a scab and getting it infected.  It is a bit more complicated than that.  And a lot of people do not realize that if they are having the infection that they might not be noticing the signs and the symptoms.  Sometimes there are no symptoms.  But often times I hear so often that like, “Oh parasites, like no!  That only happens when you are in like a foreign country or something like that.”

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  So, often people think like it is so taboo and impossible to happen.  But all the time, when people think that their dog is sick the first thing that they turn to is like, “Oh, does your dog have worms?”  But it is like,” I did not take them to a foreign country.”  So first off, why is there a stigma that for some reason in the US, we are immune to these parasites or we do not have them?  Why is there such a stigma?

Justin Marchegiani:  Well, first off, really great analogy with the dog because that is true.  Like a lot of people when their pets get sick they are like, “Yeah, does it have worms?”  Like that is one of the first things that is always thought of.  So yes, that makes a lot of sense into that community we are able to make that connection but in the human side of things, we are kind of a little bit disconnected, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-humm.

Justin Marchegiani:  So I think the big disconnect is with the third world country, they are more malnourished, poor water.  So there is like more immune compromised ability, if you will, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  Definitely compromised immune system less energy.  We have that big Kwashiorkor thing which is like malnutrition.  We see the distended baby’s belly.  And it is not that they are distended because they are overweight or obese, it is because of their being malnourished.  And basically fluid is going outside of their cell and causing serious distention.  So that is one of the biggest signs of malnourishment, it is that big distended belly.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So come the malnutrition and come the lack of good quality water and hydration and the stress of you are not having a shelter over your head that is going to really mess up your immune system.  And when we have that, again we are going to fall prey to infections.  And when we do not have good sanitation because a lot of these infections are fecal-oral meaning they come from stool, they come from your bowel movement, if you will.  And when there are poo in the streets and we do not have good plumbing, the chances of parasites are going to be super, super high.  So I think, the disconnect is, we are healthier here.  We have better immune system here and we have indoor plumbing and better sanitation and cleaner water.

Baris Harvey:  What causes infections?

Justin Marchegiani:  Well typically, we have an immune barrier that lines all of our mucous membranes.  It is called secretory IgA.  So there are a couple of different membranes, Baris.  We have IgA which is more of a mucous barrier.  We have IgM, IgG, IgE.  So IgE is going to be there more with like allergies.  IgM is like more for like acute infections.  And IgG is like kind of more of like the vaccine kind of based immunity.  Like the cells that you are going to make, the longer term memory cells for your immune system.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  So when we are looking at like parasites and immune function, IgA is a big one and with chronic stress, right?  And stress comes in three major forms: physical, chemical and emotional.  When those are out of balance like too much, too little exercise, trauma, old injuries, for the physical side.  The emotional side: family, friends, finances, religion, spouse and all that from the emotional side.  And then also the most important, I think, because it is the most insidious, is the chemical stress.  Because let us say, you have a whole bunch of symptoms and it is coming from infection and you do not know it is an infection.  Well, that is going to be stressing you out just not knowing.  So a lot of the chemical stressors like blood sugar and infections, adrenal fatigue and nutrient deficiencies and poor digestion, you may not notice that unless you are really seeing a good functional medicine doctor to get really assessed.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-Huh.   Definitely.  Makes a lot of sense.  And when we look at these stressors.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  And that is what is basically bringing down our immune system and making us susceptible.  Is it just that?  Or maybe we ate spoiled food.  Like I know, there is that portion of our immune system getting weakened.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  What are the other factors that are going to be introduced to actually be the cause?  So that is kind of be like the guard and our security.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Is it on guard basically, right?

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  They are tired.  We stress them out.  We have been working 24‑hour shifts and all of a sudden they fall asleep.  Now they are off guard.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Now who are these parasites?  How did they get introduced into our bodies?

Justin Marchegiani:  So we have basically the whole IgA mechanism that I talked about.  That is like our mucosal barrier.  That is like in Star Trek, when the force fields are down, right?  That is where they cling on to come and attack, if you will.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And again with chronic stress, our IgA or our force fields are going to be down and we are more likely open to attack.  So we have the chronic stressors that allow us to be open for attack.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  And if we go and we get exposed to bad food or some bad water or someone is preparing food in a way that their hands are unwashed or in a foreign country when we are getting exposed to maybe a certain bacteria in food that we are not used to, that can be enough to trigger it.  So we have like the chronic side of things, where we are chronically getting beaten down.  There are a lot of stress in our life.  It is compromising that barrier system, that IgA.  It is lowering our force fields and then we are open to attack.   That is kind of like the first step.  And then we have the second step; we just get exposed to a whole bunch of parasitic antigen.  So antigen is like the piece of the parasite.   So obviously it is dose dependent.  The more of an infection we get exposed to the more our barrier and body and our immune system has to deal with it.  So small amounts, if we are in good shape, we may be able to handle it.  Larger amounts maybe a lot harder.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So when I was in Mexico earlier this year, I got a parasite infection.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And it was really bad.  I did not even have time to test it because everything that was coming out of me, let us just say, it was liquid and it was not good.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So I did not have time to do a test.  Not to mention doing a test without solid stool is very difficult to do.  So I just treated myself with a good general antimicrobial parasitic program and then within 6 hours my stool went from pure liquid to solid.  Like flipping a switch, it was like, whoa!  Like herbs are very powerful.  And if you are using them in the right dose they can really knock out infections.  And I guess we will come back to this at the end of how to treat these things.  Yes, because I never had experienced the parasite infection from that acute perspective myself.  So that was like an acute infection and I treated it right away and it was amazing the results.  But I see so many patients in my practice that they never put two and two together.  And they are walking around with chronic symptoms that may not even be gut related.  They may be.  They have poor digestion, and IBS and Crohn’s, reflux and bloating and gas.  But a lot of them may have other things, too.  Like joint pain and fatigue and thyroid issues and depression.  And they never ever make the connection because we live in a symptom-based model where symptom-drug, symptom-drug. The problem is you always want to trace symptoms back to the systems that are broken.  And if we have infections and that is affecting our GI system, well, if our GI system is out of balance a whole host of symptoms can occur from that.  So we only look at symptoms as a means to trace them back to the systems that are out of whack.  And again it is not this linear A equals be B symptom.  Oh, if it is bloating or gas it has to be GI.  It could be fatigue.  It could be depression.  It could be so many other symptoms that we call our extra intestinal.  They are outside of the intestinal tract.  And we may never make that connection.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  We do not have to wait until we develop ulcers.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  Right.  So what are some of the common infections that you see in your practice?

Justin Marchegiani:  One of the most common infections is H. pylori.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-humm.

Justin Marchegiani:  H. pylori is a big one.  And that is one of the infections that Dr. Marshall, I think he was either from New Zealand or Australia.  But he won the Nobel Prize for Medicine about 20 years ago or maybe it was even more recent than that.  But anyway, he was trying to conduct studies and he could not get the funding for the studies so he gave the infection to himself.  And he had himself scoped.  And he basically developed the connection that H. pylori causes ulcerations in the stomach.  So that was really important.  Also connecting the fact of increased stomach cancer risk in H. pylori.  So that was prolific that he was able to make that connection and he won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in that particular year for that innovation.  So that was cool.  Now I see H. pylori in a lot of my patients.  And H. pylori is like the common one that causes ulcerations.  So we think high amounts of acid, right?  It is causing high acid.  But H. pylori is one of these critters that actually causes low stomach acid.  And because of the low stomach acid food sits inside of you.  It putrefies or rancidifies and ferments and basically rots.  And organic acids from the rotting rise up and burn the esophagus.  So, as of that we are having malnutrition, we are not absorbing food, and we have low stomach acids so we are not able to sterilize our intestinal tract or at least the stomach.  So then we open up to so many more infections.  And I cannot tell you the study showing that with H. pylori infection, that messes up stomach acid.  A constellation of symptoms from one study can occur from just that one infection.  And because it affects digestion and nutrient absorption and basically HCl is one of our other barriers that we are able to overcome things.  It is kind of like sterilizing.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hum.

Justin Marchegiani:  So when our HCl is down, it is another barrier that our body has that can, if it is down can open us up to even more infections.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  And you know it is funny too, back to the commonality of something like H. pylori, we mentioned that there is this belief that we are not going to get infections such as this.  They are not common.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  But according to, and this is a reputable source and not just some hippie blog but according to the CDC, right?  This is Approximately two thirds of the world’s population is infected with H. pylori.  Now that is a lot of people.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  And the question is who is symptomatic?  And you may have that parasite and your immune system is able to overcome it.  And once that stress accumulates, you may start having symptoms.  But again it can go both ways.  It could be the immune system is compromised and then you get it.  It could be you have it but not a big deal because your immune system is kind of keeping it in line.  And then you get stressed and then the symptoms occur.  So kind of happens both ways.  And I agree.  It is definitely a problem.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Another thing that you noticed with those people that have stomach problems, there may be some reflux problems and they often are on medications for a long time.  Or they are on proton pump inhibitor or these H2 blockers or something that they are taking.  And maybe they have some temporary relief.  But that is not going to be taking away the infection, right?   Like what are we supposed to be doing about this?

Justin Marchegiani:  So if we have chronic infections like this, proton pump inhibitors like Nexium, omeprazole, Prilosec they are just treating the symptoms.  Because when we have infection the first thing that happens is infections can throw our body into a fight or flight state.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  That is when our sympathetic nervous system is activated.  What tends to happen is blood goes to the extremities, arms and legs to fight and flee, right?  It does that so we can mobilize glucose, right?  Cortisol and adrenalin that helps mobilize glucose so we have the fuel so we can fight and flee.  Now the problem with this is that we are constantly stimulating the fight or flight nervous system.  Digestion is a parasympathetic response, meaning the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system fires.  And that drives blood into the center of the body.  Why?  Because we need that good blood flow, and we need that parasympathetic response so we can produce enzymes and digestive secretion and HCl.  So if we are constantly in this fight or flight state, and let us say that fight or flight state because of an infection, well, we are going to be just set up to not produce, not stimulate the enzymes, not produce the acids.  And then all of that are the dominoes for healthy digestion.  So healthy digestion works like this, parasympathetic nervous system response we stimulate HCl where we have to be well-hydrated and have enough zinc in helping nutrients in our bodies.  Zinc is really important as well as enough chloride.  Because chloride is another part of the HCl molecule.  That parasympathetic response allows us to produce HCl.  HCl activates pepsinogen to pepsin which is our active proteolytic or protein digestion enzymes.  So in the stomach, we are primarily digesting protein.  Protein gets digested and it lowers the pH.  So the ground up predigested food in our stomach known as chyme.  And we want that to be nice and low because when that chyme gets released from the stomach into the small intestine, that acidity triggers our pancreas to produce lipase, trypsin and chymotrypsin, these enzymes that breakdown fat and protein.  And it also triggers our gallbladder to produce bile salts which helps breakdown fat and it also helps with hormone metabolism.  So you can see how a parasite infection can cause estrogen dominance and hormone issues and can lead to malabsorption stuff.  So I let you kind of break that down just to make sure everyone has got their head around that.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  So basically we want to make sure that we are supporting our body entirely just because, like I do not know but you probably mentioned this several times.  I do not know whether we have mentioned this on the show.  But it is actually hard to see where H. pylori actually comes from.  And we know that it is either fecal-oral or maybe even oral-oral routes where it is transported.  So the main thing is to make sure that we are supporting our body, its defense mechanisms.  Making sure our bodies rehydrated, having enough HCl.  So that way all of our defense mechanisms always kind of peaked out.  So that way, in case we do come across something like this, our body can knock it out.  So that way we do not have to be on drugs all the time.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  And a lot of people especially in the Biohacking community are looking for optimum performance.  And the infection connection is so strong.  I just pulled up one study here.  And this is looking at children in various foreign countries.  And what they were looking at is helminthes.  So helminthes are worms, like tapeworms or roundworms.  And what they found was that people that have these parasitic infections combined with nutritional deficiencies had severe or had a strong association with cognitive impairments, independent of their education.  So again, memory tasks were given and they found poor performance associated with parasite status. But no association was observed with educational attainment or memory function.  So the study also examined various ways of assessing parasite load and kind of indexed those.  But again basically the results provide evidence that parasitic infection and attention process.  And again we talked about stress of an infection, where does it drive the blood?  Outward towards the extremities. So what that does is activate the sympathetics.  If the sympathetics are activated the parasympathetics cannot be activated because they are on a see-saw.  Parasympathetics are needed for digestion.  If we are not digesting, we are going to have nutritional impairments.  So having a chronic parasitic infection and having nutritional issues I am going to submit that they are cut from the same cloth.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  What are some of the other infections that you also see that are common?

Justin Marchegiani:  So H. pylori is a big one.  And let me just touch upon that real quick.  There are about five or six ways to test for it.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So you have to test all five or six ways.  I think at the end, bring that question out to me at the end and we will breakdown the various testing methods, okay?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So I am also going to send you over that study, too.  And we will put that on the show notes because I think that will be good for the listeners.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  So regarding other parasites, again other gut parasites such as Blastocystis hominis is a big one.  Giardia.  Cryptosporidium.  Various amoeba infections like Diantamoeba fragilis.  Entamoeba coli.  One of the biggest ones, one of the biggest killers in the world is actually Entamoeba hystolytica.  When you break it down it stands for “histo-” means cell and “-lytic” means cut.  So it is cell cutting.  That is pretty scary especially when it can travel up into your gallbladder or go out of your intestinal tract into your brain.  That is a big one.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So those are intestinal parasites right there, for instance.  But they can go outside.  And you can add worms to that list.  Enterobius vermicularis, roundworms, pinworms, tapeworms.  Again those can all cause problems.  Again eat your nutrition, cause stress.  But they also produce biotoxins which are like the chemicals that these little critters, that they spit out.  Whether it is from defecation, they can poison your body.  So bacteria produces endotoxins.  Endotoxin is bacteria.  Mycotoxins from fungus.  SIBO and can produce lithocholic acid which is toxic and can unconjugate bile. Meaning it can unwind lots of metabolized hormone which can throw off your hormones.  So again, parasite infections can cause PMS and hormone imbalance.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  So I am seeing that a lot of these infections they often really easily be spread and kind of the best thing to do is to wash your hands and make sure you are washing your food.  But in a lake and you accidentally swallowed some water or if the person who used the public bathroom before you did not wash their hands when they walked out and grabbed the door knob and you did and you did not notice.  A lot of these things can be passing infections in a real subtle way.  So like you mentioned, there is kind of this idea that like, “Oh, I do not have Crypto.  I do not have H. pylori or Giardia.”

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  Unless it is like we have diarrhea for like five days in a row then it is like, “Oh, wait something is wrong.”

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  But like you mentioned, often times they can kind of be hidden and have these small chronic like, chronic basically stressing our bodies out. And in such a small way that it is taking away from our adrenals.  And we are using a lot of energy to produce all of these fight or flight responses without noticing it too much on a day to day basis where it just keeps getting worse and worse and worse and worse.  So like you mentioned before, what are ways that we can test for some of these different infections?

Justin Marchegiani:  So we can always test via the stools.   Stools are a good way because we can actually see the antigen.  We can see a piece of the infection.  Now not all stool testing is created equal.  There is like three different companies that I primarily rely on for accurate stools testing.  One being BioHealth Diagnostics.  They are a good one.  They run a 401H panel.  Genova formerly Metametrix.  You can run a 2200 or 2205, they just updated the panel as of September 3rd 2014.  So I just maybe ran about fifteen of these new tests.  So I will be getting some results back soon.  But it seems to be more sensitive because they are looking at stool antigen as well as PCR which is polymerase chain reaction where you are looking at pieces of DNA as well so a little more sensitive.  Doctor’s Data has a really nice 3-day panel and then Diagnos-Techs has a nice salivary IgA antibody panel looking at worms and amoeba.  So I have a couple of tools in my tool bag to assess these infections.  And then also looking at the blood can be helpful especially for H. pylori.  I have diagnosed so many patients with H. pylori issues that do not show up on the stool.  So I find that doing a blood test for H. pylori is a must if we have some of the chronic gut issues just to make sure we rule it out.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  Those can be good things off the bat.  Also one level deep will be Lyme disease.  And in Lyme, we are looking at Borrelia burgdorferi and there are a couple different ways we can look at that.  We can look at our standard western blot testing where we are looking at the various different bands, IgG and IgM.  Now when we look at Lyme, we are looking for 5 IgG or 2 IgM for diagnosis.  Or we can have a more sensitive criteria where we are looking at 3 IgG and 1 IgM.  That is a big mouthful.  Again, Lyme is really controversial because there are other labs like Igenex or Medical Diagnostic Laboratories that will look at other bands not tested on a conventional western blot.  And those are ways where we can find other infections.  And when we have Lyme for the most part, we also have other co-infections potentially like Rickettsia, ehrlichia, babesia or bartonella.  Various protozoa attach to the Lyme as well.  So again, there are a lot of things we can look at.  The blood and stool are usually your go-to.  And then again, we also have breath testing for H. pylori and/or for SIBO or small intestinal bacteria overgrowth.  I did not really even mentioned candida as well.  Candida is good.  Sometimes candida is really hard to pick up on stool testing.  Again some companies do it.  But when we look at candida, it is very rare that candida is causing a major problem just by itself.  It tends to be candida and something else.  Candida and a parasite and the H. pylori and SIBO.  And when we look at candida, you know it is really important looking at a person’s history.  Because stool testing or antibody testing may not be enough.  We may have to look at fingernails.  What is your history of yeast infections?  What is your history of dandruff like?  Any yellow toenails or fingernails?  Any rashes at all?  So things like that, doing a really good history can also help detect things.  And if we are seeing malnutrition, well, I am going to automatically think parasites because that can affect absorption.   So I will let you break that down for a second, Baris.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Definitely.  One thing that I noticed that you just mentioned right there which I think is so funny because it is common but it does not mean it is normal kind of thing, is the yellow toenails or any kind of fungus that we are seeing happening.  And we often do not look at that much deeper.  But yes, definitely something that is important that you mentioned is making sure that you get a lab panel done.  And for H. pylori especially, the blood panel because it can definitely do a better job in ruling it out.  But sometimes you might have to do two different lab tests.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Because guess what?  Your poop is going to be different from day to day.

Justin Marchegiani:  I want to just add one thing here just so while we are in the lab stuff.  If anyone is having a hard time getting a hold of a good lab testing, feel free to go into, click on the side where it says lab testing and then all my stool tests are up there.  So if you need access to good stool testing feel free and you can get access right up there as well.  And again, you can also reach out to me and I can definitely order some blood work and/or stool testing for you.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely. So one thing I think we briefly mentioned it but going about these that these are more common than may be people probably thought.  Before we get into some of the ways that we can treat these things, what are just some of, I guess, key things to look out for?  Because it seems like there might even be kind of a general protocol.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Because you do want to test, just like we had an interview with Steve Wright and we talked about every year he spends two, three, four thousand dollars on testings to make sure because that is part of his investment.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  His health, being well-performing human being.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  So we should be doing that, too.  I know some people might not have that money but they might want to do like every year adding some type of cleanse or protocol or some kind of general thing to make sure that, “Hey, it might not be a very strong infection but maybe I have an infection and it is best if that can be wiped out.”  So what are some common symptoms that we might be detecting?  Whether that be weight gain or chronic fatigue.  What are these symptoms that we might not be noticing but are common?

Justin Marchegiani:  Alright.  Here are some good ones.  You grind your teeth at night when you sleep.  You wake up with that tight jaw.  You have that grinding of your teeth.  I know that that was a symptom that my fiancée would always complain about, “You are grinding your teeth.”  I am like, “Oh, I got parasites, it is not my fault.”

Baris Harvey:  (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  And again why does that happen?  So let us go one step deeper.  Parasites are active at night.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So again they are creating stress.  And they are having fun.  And they are doing their thing, having sex, partying inside your body.  Kind of sounds gross but it is what is happening.  The joke in graduates school is where the parasites party, I am going to ask you that.  Do you know?

Baris Harvey:  Where do parasites party?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Your gut, in your intestines?

Justin Marchegiani:  No, they party at Club-Siella.

Baris Harvey:  Ohh.. (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs) I know it is terrible.  It is really Klebsiella, it is a parasite infection, it is a bacteria.  Again that is a nerdy humor for you.  But again grinding your teeth is a big one.  And the reason why is because of the inflammation that is happening at night that is putting your body into a sympathetic nervous system state, right?  Think about it, when you are really tense you may even like close your mouth shut.  If it is really cold you may start shivering, right?  So, that can happen there.  Achy joints, skin issues.  Obviously there is like inexplicable reason why you are so tired.  Like I am sleeping so much, I am supporting myself, I am tired.  Why?  Not feeling satisfied or satiated after your meals.  Again, if you are at the table and another person sitting right next to you is stealing off from your plate, well it is pretty obvious why you are still hungry.  But if someone inside of you is doing it, you may not be aware of it.  So feeling like relieved not satisfied after the meals.  Being diagnosed with an anemia like this could be B12, like B vitamin based like B6, B12, B9.  These are called megaloblastic anemia.  And also microcytic anemia like iron, being low iron.  Now let see, trouble falling asleep.  Waking up in the middle of the night.  Having history of food poisoning, like an acute history. Like going to Mexico and coming back, right?  Travelling internationally, that is a big one.  And also unexplained constipation, diarrhea and/or symptoms of IBS.  It is a good little shortlist if you are having any of these issues you could definitely be motivated to run some stool testing.  The analogy I give is, imagine pulling out of your garage or parking spot, ever feel like ever drive away like with the e‑break on a little bit.  You ever feel that feeling like, ahh! It is not quite moving like I do, I am not getting momentum like I do,” and then you look down and you are like, “Oh, my e-break is on.”  And let go and you are like, “whoa!  Alright, this is cool.”  And that same analogy I have given hundreds of times to patients that is kind of how we are with our health.  We could be paleo, AIP, doing good with sleep and stress and meditating and exercising.  And then it is like we have this infection and it is like we are walking around with the e-break on.  We get rid of the infection it is like, “Whoa!  Okay.”  Skipping my step.  And again like the study I showed you with cognitive performance, it is like, “Oh, I can focus a little better, I have better attention, better memory.”   So that is a pretty cool benefit from just getting rid of these lingering infections.  Again, the infection connection is quite prolific.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Definitely.  So, next will be what are some of the protocols that we can use?  I know there are some conventional treatments as well if you got a test and you went to your normal western practitioner and you are probably given some type of antibiotics.  Then there are also some natural treatments.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes one, on a scale of 0-10, like 0 like you are in the grave, so let us start with one.  One, you are like bed-ridden no energy.  10 you just feel amazing.  So if you are under a 6 or 7, I recommend strongly that you work with a health practitioner.  I think everyone should.  But under a 6 or 7, I recommend you work with someone.  Because treating an infection without having foundation in your hormones and your diet, you are more than likely going to get re-infected.  I find getting rid of the infections sometimes can actually cause more symptoms than the infection was causing before it was even addressed.  So we want to make sure, if there is adrenal fatigue, if there is digestive malabsorption, if there is diet and lifestyle issues that are going on, if they over exercise, if there is hypothyroidism stuff, we want to make sure that a lot of those hormonal issues are addressed so there is a foundation for the hormones, for the body to lean against.   And again the hormones help control stress.  The sympathetic nervous system response like I talked about that is mediated by our adrenal glands.  And our adrenals and thyroid are intimately connected.  So if you have adrenal and thyroid problems we are going to have a hard time maintaining healthy nervous system functions.   We want to do that before we really get to the infection.  Now again, there are some herbs that you can try.  Again, my main foundational herb that I am starting with whenever I deal with an infection is Artemisia.  And Artemisia is a really awesome herb.  It is otherwise known as wormwood, sweet wormwood, annua.  These are really powerful herb.  It has been used for tens of thousands of years.  Now I use very high doses of this herb.  Upwards of 3 gram.   I do not recommend someone doing this without being under a care of a doctor because again you can have an elevated liver enzymes, ALT, AST.  So you want to be monitored and you want to make sure the right protocol is being followed by stabilizing the adrenals, diet, lifestyle and nutritional deficiencies.  All of those things leading up to that before you do it because it can cause more problems than you may be able to deal with.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  I just want to ask the exact product name?

Justin Marchegiani:  There are two different ones out there.  I mean using higher end.  Higher end companies are going to be the way to go like Thorne or Allergy Research Group that is really using the right amounts is very important.  And then also combining it, like for instance, wormwood is more powerful when you use with licorice.  Now, not a lot of people know that.  So if you have someone on the adrenal program and they would really thrive using the right licorice while they are on an adrenal program, while they are being supported with the wormwood can also be very helpful.  But it cannot if you have higher blood pressure, licorice maybe contraindicated.  So there are a lot of variables going on.  And if you are chronically ill, monitoring liver enzymes via blood work maybe a good thing.  So again, we have wormwood, we have various Berberine such as Berberine HCl, Oregon grape, goldenseal.  We have black walnut and we have burdock root.  Again, we have oil of oregano, we have colloidal silver.  And then again depending on the infection, I tend to vary the herbs according to the infection.  Like for instance, I got a bartonella infection last month.  So bartonella henselae is commonly caused by cat scratch fever.  You can also get it from ticks to.  With bartonella my hands swelled up really big.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And I used a combination of neem, morinda or noni and silver along with some cordyceps and it worked phenomenal.  It worked awesome and in three days my infection was gone.  And my hand was swollen.  I got to do a video on that because people just would not believe it.  I had literally purchased antibiotics and I had them like on my office desk.  I am like looking at them like, “Alright, I trust this natural medicine,” and I have been doing it for ten years.  I believe the herbs work and I have seen it hundreds of times.  This stuff is legit.  But I still had it because you know when you start seeing things get really bad, you want a backup plan.  You want an escape route.  And I had them there and never had to use them.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-Huh.  Definitely.

Justin Marchegiani:  So again, one, enough of the herbs is really important. Most people do not use the herbs long enough.  And it is really hard.  I am not going to give out protocols here because it really needs to be on an individual basis and needs to be worked with, again you know, a functional medicine practitioner so it is specific to you.  Because side effects can be nasty.  And also, using things like ginger or chamomile or peppermint, these things can be very helpful for lymphatic drainage from the infection because we are just pulling all these dead soldiers, if you will.  Like the dead soldiers meaning the dead parasites in the battlefield, the battlefield being your gut.  And your lymphatic system and your immune system and your detoxification system, they are like medics trying to pull these soldiers off the field, in our gut.  We have to process these parasites.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.  Definitely.  I notice one thing that sometimes when people try to deal with themselves they are not introducing a biofilm disturber or biofilm buster and that sometimes can be the key because a lot of times these microorganisms, these infections are encapsulated.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  And it is like in exoproteins and they are basically protected.  And sometimes you need something like a biofilm disturber to break that down.  Can you talk quickly about like…

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  I know like myself I have used like interface.  But tell me something about like why that might be important?

Justin Marchegiani:  Have you watched the movie 300 hours?  See all of these Spartans they are fighting, right?  One of the big things they have is that shield in front of them.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And then they are able to kind of poke up their spear in between.  But that shield is like a biofilm.  And again, these critters use the biofilms as a way to decrease exposure to some of these antimicrobial medicines.  So again, things like ginger can be very helpful.  Things like licorice can be helpful.   Andrographis.  Eleuthero.  These are natural biofilm busters.  Interface plus these enzyme products with various enzymes and EDTA which is the chelation agent.  And I typically will use this during probiotic phase because it is not as antimicrobial.  And I will use that to break up biofilms in people to have more gut symptoms.  So it is really specific.  Sometimes just the adrenal support and some ginger and that can be enough.  Other people need a little more.  So it really is on a case by case basis.  But the more virulent your gut is definitely getting some biofilm busters, a good simple one will be ginger off the bat.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Awesome.  Sounds good.  With that being said we want to make sure that people go to  Make sure you click the link to go to  When it comes to these situations like you said if you are someone who feels just fine maybe you can do a general protocol.  I know you have one on your site that is just something simple.  You know it is the New Year and you want to just make sure you clean everything up.  But if you feel like you are having some of these symptoms, make sure you work with somebody like Dr. Justin and really take a lab test.  That way you can identify what you have so you can fix the problem.  You can get a free 15-minute consultation to see if this is for you.  So make sure you go to and redirect yourself to justinhealth and get that 15‑minute consultation.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  That is a great point, Baris.  And I also wanted to touch upon the good parts of parasites, the so-called good parts.  So there are parasites effects on more of the TH1 branch of the immune system.  So to keep it really simple, we have two major branches: the TH1, TH2.  So the TH2 is going to be more of the antibody side.  We are going to see that with like food allergens and autoimmune conditions because our bodies are producing antibodies that are potentially destroying our tissue.  And then the TH1 is more like the natural killer side.  So our TH1 is more active in parasite infections. TH2 with autoimmune conditions.  So for instance, I will pull up a study here and the study is looking at the impact of the parasite infection on MS.  And what they found was parasite infections associated to MS indicate that parasite infection can actually regulate the host and can alter the course of immunity in MS.  Meaning they found that when the parasites were treated in MS, it actually caused more MS activity on MRI.  So there was like more brain lesions.  And some of these is actually, the supposition of the underlying reasons why is because the infections are shifting the immune system.  So in certain autistic kids, they are also finding that potentially giving them worms can be helpful because it is shifting the immune system.  If they are TH dominant and then you give this infection that is now driving the TH1 part of the immune system. Well, there you go and then you can balance things out a little bit.  Like that is the reason why they find that so many people in the third world countries are so prone to viral issues like they are so much more sensitive to viruses.  It is because their TH1 immune system is so ramped up from infections that now they are actually weaker when it comes to viruses.  So I think of that as more symptomatic approach.  It is not really getting to the underlying cause of the stress, pulling the stress off the immune system.  It is not getting to the underlying cause of nutrition, malabsorption and toxicity.  So, there can be room for that I think but at the same time I think if you have an infection you are probably better off getting rid of it and getting the nutrition and the digestion back on track because we know these infections cause malabsorption, too.  So that is not good for your immune system either.  So, it is like, which one is it?  There is a study out there looking at H. pylori infections and Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune thyroid conditions.  And they find that after age 2 or 3 these infections are going to be negative.  Meaning when we get rid of the infection we actually see a reduction in thyroid antibodies which is quite interesting.  Again, off the bat, getting your kid exposed to dirt in the beginning can be really helpful for colonizing flora and getting your memory B cells out and getting your immune system robust.  But then after age 3 or 4, then it is like, well, maybe getting exposed to all these crap is not as good for the immune system.  So it is like there are some good stuff out there, some bad stuff out there.  And again, it is hard to make head and tails of it but that kind of gives you a good general idea of some of the pros of what these infections could be good and my kind of side of why I think they are not the best.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.

Justin Marchegiani:  Now, I think if anyone is on the fence and they think they have a health issue and they have a lot of things already.  I think the next stone to overturn has to be the infection.  So feel free to take action.  Again these infections do not go away unless you do something.  You can reach out to my site and I kind of already talked about how to get the lab work.  And again anything you want to add, Baris?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  They are just not going to walk out of your body.  You are feeding them.  You are giving them free food and they want to stay there and can continue on.  So make sure that you invest in yourself and find a way to figure out what is going on in your body and do these tests if you have the ability to.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  And do not expect your classically trained medical doctor to be aware of these things.  Again the dogma is it is typically third world stuff and I have already kind of explained the background of that in the beginning.  So just understand that to begin with.  So you are not going there and try to get some real info.  But again, Louise Gittleman’s book, “Guess what came to dinner?”, Paul Chek has done a program in parasite infections.  Again if you study the work of Dr. Dan Kalish and Dr. William Timmins, it has got some great work on parasite infections.  And studying from various doctors, I have been able to get my knowledge dialed in regarding how to get rid of these infections.  So, I hope that gives everyone some good information off the bat.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  Thank you guys for listening again and remember to go to and hop on the newsletter.  You will be the first to access all these podcasts before anybody else does.  So thank you guys again.



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