Natural Strategies to Help Relieve and Support Your Allergies | Podcast #313

Some people with allergies may find relief by using natural plant extracts and foods that will act as antihistamines. So in this video, Dr. J and Evan Brand talk about allergies and natural and functional medicine approach. 

Dr. J and Evan recommended initial things that can help you manage stress. Stress hormones wreak havoc in the body, especially in the immune system, making seasonal allergies even worse. Consider stress management methods such as meditation, taking time out for self-care, and avoiding over-committing your schedule. Constant house cleaning can get rid of many allergens and help relieve your symptoms. 

Often, allergies will get worse by toxins within our body. The liver is a great negotiator of inflammation in the body, and when it is working overtime metabolizing our stress, alcohol, medications, and processed foods, allergies can flare up. Detox your body by eliminating fried foods, sugar, alcohol, and other toxins from your diet. For more detailed steps and solutions, don’t miss out on the full podcast to fix or avoid allergies!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:36       Conventional Approach on Allergies

7:49       Getting the Diet Dialed In

12:54     Gut Infections Connecting to Allergies

16:08     Air Purifiers

20:30     Natural Supplements

30:29     Low Histamines

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here with Evan Brand. Today we’re going to be talking about natural solutions to help relieve and support your allergy springtime is officially here. It’s like the last week everything around my home has been blooming, it’s been amazing. Love that feeling of that transition from winter to spring. So that’s really exciting. But with that comes a whole host of other challenges with allergies and sinus issues and headaches and, and runny nose and itchy eyes. And we’re going to talk about natural solutions that we implement with our patients clinically in real life that actually get results, not just you know, stuff you read in the blog post, but real stuff. Evan, how are you doing, man?

Evan Brand: I’m doing pretty good. Why don’t we talk about the conventional approach first, I think it’s good when we do that comparison and that contrast for people. So you go down the street, you see the Joe Blow allergy clinic, you’ll walk in, they give you some type of medication and you go home. And that’s pretty much as far as it goes in regards to treating allergies. And you know, they have different options. I know some people get shots. I know some people do nasal spray, some people do anti histamines orally. So there are several options. But they all have the same goal, which is really just a band aid. It’s trying to block receptor sites maybe decrease inflammation somehow from a drug perspective, but it’s not addressing the root cause of the allergies in the first place. And I’m not going to speak for you but my opinion is that allergies are a side effect. Humans have been outside for forever. And now all of a sudden, we can’t tolerate the outdoors and we need drugs to manage us to handle the outdoors. That’s not natural. That’s not primal. That’s not ancestral. I don’t think that there is an ancestral allergy. I think this is a new problem based on the toxicity of the planet, but also other issues that we’ll get into in regards to the internal health of the human host.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, if we talk about some of the mechanisms of how these medications work, I think that’s helpful. Right? So there’s a bunch of ones that are out there. So you have things like Allegra, right or Claritin, I think they work the same way. They’re kind of like an h1 receptor. They’re they’re like an anti histamine and they weren’t they antagonize the h1 receptor. So there can anti histamine, right? I think Pepcid AC also works, I think on the h2. So you have anti histamine ones, whether they’re Allegra or Claritin, they tend to be more on the anti histamine side. Zyrtec similar as well. They’re a h1 blocker. They’re they blocked the h1 receptor as well. And so you have a lot of the anti histamines the problem with those is they come with a lot of side effects like drowsiness, right, drowsiness, brain fog, cognitive, low energy, so not good. If you have to perform, you have to function you have young kids, right? Most people have to be on it, you know, at 100% to be functioning in the daily life. So that doesn’t really work too well. And then you have more advanced things like I want to say Singulair would be one that would be more anti histamine based, there’s, I’m sorry, more steroid based, more corticosteroid based. So there’s ones that are more steroid based, or people that have, you know, more significant allergy, whether it’s throat closing or needing an inhaler, of course, then you have things like albuterol, that may get worse, right. And so these are, you know, the steroids tend to get used when there’s more advanced allergies. And then of course, you have some of the allergy shots, which tend to be a little bit more natural, which tend to be exposing yourself a little bit to the allergen as a way of kind of building up an immune response, that’s not going to be over responsive com that allergy season, those are some of the big things off the bat. And I think you want to highlight Evan?

Evan Brand: Well. I want to highlight the fact that billions and billions of dollars are being spent per year globally with people being on these medications. And it really gives them a false sense of security, meaning, yeah, it might help the symptoms. But this is not getting to why someone is unhealthy in the first place. And I could go down a whole rabbit hole with this. But I mean, just because you get a shot for something, and now you feel a little bit safer. Well, you didn’t under you didn’t address the underlying issue with your histamine intolerance in the first place. Is there a gut issue going on? Is there some sort of imbalance with your gut bacteria, you have a lot of histamine producing bacteria, are you eating a lot of food allergens and your bucket is already so full of allergens, the now the outdoor flower blooming puts you over the edge See, if everything else in your quote bucket is not filled, you should be able to tolerate the outdoor environment just fine. And so I think we should mention mast cell issues. mast cell activation could be triggered by mold. It could be triggered by Lyme it could be triggered by co infections like bartonella babesia. And you’re definitely going to have a lot more issues. Now. I’m not somebody that would say I have outdoor allergies, but I have felt a little different with everything blooming. And I’m just doing my herbal anti histamines to help which we’ll get into but I know that there was an underlying trigger, because for my whole life 30 plus years I haven’t had allergies. And now I feel a little weird a little spacey when everything’s gloomy. So now I’m like, oh, okay, my buckets full from these other things. So all I’m saying is, I just want people to really focus on the whole picture. have their whole health. And if you have allergies, that’s just the warning light or the check engine light on your dashboard, but there’s probably something else under the hood going on that you should address because there might be other issues that are downstream that you don’t even realize are related like allergies and diarrhea, allergies and constipation allergies and insomnia, allergies and anxiety and panic attacks and heart palpitations and blood pressure issues and skin issues. I mean, we could go on and on about how allergies is just one piece of this whole puzzle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep 100% and then just to kind of recap here I made a mistake here Singulair is not a corticosteroid essentially is blocking luco triangles, which are kind of going to be an immune response from the leukocytes. So some of the allergy medications that are going to be on the steroids side that’s gonna be like Nasacort, Nasanax, Flonase will be another Rhinocort, [inaudible], those are going to be more of the steroid options which are going to be more severe. Then you have the leuco trying blockers right which is the Montelukast sodium, which essentially is the Singulair and then you have the h1 receptor site blockers or antagonist. And those are going to be like your anti histamines, right? That’s gonna be like your Allegra, your Claritin, right, your Zyrtac, those are going to be more on the anti histamine side. And some make you drowsy, Allegra may not as much. But in the end, like you mentioned, Evan, these medications are not getting to the root cause, especially if you weren’t born out of the womb with allergies. This is not something that’s something that’s developed over time typically, because your antigen bucket or your stress bucket has been filling up over time. And diet plays a big role. The more inflamed your body is, the more inflamed your body is, the more your immune system will over respond to allergens in the environment. It’s kind of like the more inflamed your back or your joints are. Something very simple like going for a walk may inflame your near back. But we know a walk generally speaking shouldn’t be in flaming your near back, right? So it’s not a proportional response. Same thing with allergies, it’s not a proportional response, your body shouldn’t be responding to allergies, like it’s a virus or some bacteria in the environment it shouldn’t be. And so the first thing we have to look at is what are the big stressors in your stress bucket out of the gate. So the first thing we look at is diet. One, the solution to pollution is dilution. Are you drinking nice, good clean filtered water with extra minerals in it? Are you eating kind of an anti inflammatory diet, a good paleo template, we’re keeping grains and refined sugars out. And especially if you have allergens, dairy and grains are big ones. And you may have to cut out nuts, seeds and eggs as well is a good one out of the gates where you’re focusing on healthy meats, healthy vegetables, dialing in the carbs, according to you, and then also having healthy fats that are going to be away from the process vegetable fats as well as gonna be a good thing out of the gates. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and we’ve seen people have significant improvement just by getting the diet dialed in. I mean, I’ve heard 50 60% improvement with allergies just by eating clean, people that were eating gluten for breakfast and dairy for lunch on their salads, you know, doing the ranch dressing and their bread crumbs and all that crap and then we get him eating clean and all of a sudden the allergies are better and people that are either reducing their medication or they’re able to completely get off their medication, which is a big goal. For a lot of people they feel dependent and they feel scared like well what if I travel or what if I go somewhere and I don’t have access to this medication? You know, they feel the same way they do about their eyeglasses. What if I break my glasses when I’m on a desert island and I can’t see people feel that way about allergy medication they feel very afraid to to try to live without it because they know how they’ll respond. The good news is it’s possible that you don’t need it if you can fix all these other issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And histamine is basically an immune response due to these allergens, right allergens are just foreign antigen, they’re their foreign proteins or compounds in the environment, whether it’s dander in Austin cedars really, really big this time of year, you can see like literally you go on the parking lot to coats the cars, you know this, this yellow cedar. So the first thing is, make sure all the diet and lifestyle things are dialed in. The next big thing, especially if you’re outside a lot during the days, is most people’s sinuses are full of these allergens and dander and pollens and so a good sign is flush protocols and the bee Bay. So during allergy season, morning and night is going to be essential. If it’s really acute, you may do morning, midday and night but morning and night, you want to be able to go to bed with a clean sinus and you want to wake up with a clean sinus. You may even want to do it when you’re at work as well or when you come home from work especially if you’re inside for the day like around six, seven o’clock, maybe do it then so you can get some relief. And of course we’re doing a really good sailing or a high quality filtered water or a distilled water solution. We’re going to be adding in some sodium bicarb and some minerals. So it’s pH balance so won’t irritate the sinus mucosa. If you just do a whole bunch of water up there and it’s not balanced, it could really create irritation. So make sure it’s balanced with minerals. Now we’ll typically do some things that have Xylitol in there, which is very good at breaking up bacterial biofilms and also have some antifungal qualities. So that’s wonderful. I’ll do two to three seconds of flow down each nose blowing in between. That’s wonderful. I’ll even chase it a before with a spray called Xlear rescue spray. It’s wonderful because it has about six different herbs in there, parsley and pati arco and all of oregano, and they’re gently diluted in the pH balance water with some saline. And so I chased that up because as an antimicrobial anti biofilm effect, and then I flush it out each sinus and you can do like a good sinus irrigation bottle is Sinusgator, there’s, there’s the Nasaline, there’s the Neomed bottle, the Xlear bottles, you just type in sinus irrigation or sinus irrigation bottle on Amazon, I’ll put the ones that I like below. If you go to my site, JustinHealth.com/shop I have a recommended list of all the things that I use, Evan does as well. And so take a look at those and we’ll kind of have recommendations below in the link so you guys can see it. But the first thing is get the sinuses flushed out get the crap out of the sinuses, if it’s sitting there for six or eight or 10 or 12 hours, it’s gonna create inflammation. So the first thing is flush it out. And if it’s really sticky, or like has a hard time flushing, you know, use some of those biofilms to break it down. That’s kind of my first recommendation out of the gates there. And in preventing these things from brewing.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s great. And the rescue is intense. So if you’re, if you’re like super inflamed, take it easy. I love it, though, it feels amazing. And then also, we like silver too. So we will use some professional, we’ll use some professional professional version of silver, we call it Argenton. And that one works great. So I like to do both, I’ll do a little bit of the essential oils. And then if we think there’s like a more colonization issue with mold or something like that in the sinus, we’ll use the silver. And it can be very, very helpful. And I just want to make a note to people because I was one of those guys who said, Well, I don’t have any sinus problems, because I never had any runny nose. I never had like what I thought was a stuffy nose. Like I could breathe fine. But man, when I started doing some of the sinus treatment and these protocols, whoa, I realized I had like 30% more breathing capacity. I’m like, Whoa, I mean, I really opened all this stuff up. I didn’t know it was bad to begin with. So if you’re one of those skeptics like me, who’s like, Oh, I don’t have sinus problems, try it and see what happens. You may feel that you can breathe so much better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. And especially if you’re like you got young kids, because I you see it with young kids all the time. I have young kids, you’re their friends or whatever they’re hanging out with, they got runny noses, like non stop all the time. And I’m like, yeah, your kids probably got a little biofilm colony up there and need to work on flushing it out. Because the more that’s hanging up there. So anytime we see a kid, you know, our kids with chronic runny nose for a day or so we’re flushing that thing out within a day or two, we’re not going to write out and that works phenomenal. And then you can also use things like n acetylcysteine, to dry out those sinuses to which can be very helpful. So there’s a lot of mucus you can dry it out with the NAC, which is excellent. Very, very good out of the gates.

Evan Brand: Yep. So let’s talk about the guts. I want to hit on some of the gut infections. And we hear Justin’s cat if you hear me out. That’s his cat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I just gave him a little kick under the table, like “get out of here!” 

Evan Brand: Maybe he wants some sinus rinsing. I know. So Oh, God would be terrible. No, no, that’d be impossible to do. Alright, so let’s let’s hit on the gut. So because this is this is a big deal. And I’ve had many, many, many, many people with histamine and sinus problems say that the single biggest thing they’ve ever done beyond the sinus rinsing and the actual coat allergy treatments was actually just fixing the gut. And I believe this is because of all the histamine producing bacteria that we see and all these bacterial overgrowth cases. So if you’re coming to work with us clinically, what we’re going to be doing is looking at your urine and looking at your stool to be looking for different infections or imbalances. And the good news is when you use herbs to rebalance all these bacteria, now you’ve drained the bucket so much that you can handle the outdoor environment. And so in fact, even some of the reviews on some of the products we use that people will say, hey, these herbs cured my histamine intolerance. And we did nothing with the sinuses, we did nothing in the quote, allergy realm, we simply fix the gut. So I don’t want people to ignore that. That’s why I was saying I was a little frustrated in the beginning because people will go to the allergy doctor and they never bring up the gut. They never bring up the diet. They just don’t even have a clue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% So, so the first thing is, it’s like get the inflammation down in your gut. That’s going to be food. Excess refined sugar, inflammatory foods, junky omega six process fatty fats, which are going to be like soy, canola safflower, right if you’re going to do any plant based fats, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil are going to be better some palms gonna be great. animal fats are going to be of course awesome. And then if you can tolerate ghee or butter, great if you have allergies out of the gates pull those out because those can be mucus forming. I always say get your allergy straight in and make those one of the first fats you add back in and see how we do because if we can handle it, I want you to handle it. I want it in There. And the next thing after you have all the food stuff dialed in, and then you’re doing sinus irrigation. I like doing the rescue spray first because it is intense, like Kevin said, so then I put it up there and I chased it with some saline behind it, therefore it flushes it out, cleans out antihistamine, anti inflammatory anti histamine benefits. Because the problem with allergens up the nose if you’re outside, and then you come back inside to a nice clean home, even with awesome air filtration, which air filtration is a huge, important component to this. You’re still breathing all this dander and pollens up your nose all day long. That’s why you got to flush it. And that provides the relief from those allergens. And then of course, we want a really, really good air filtration. So Evan and I are big supporters of the Austin Air healthmate plus, which is good as a couple. They have an allergy machine too, but I think the healthmate Plus is the best out of all of them. Because of the charcoal, the zeolite. It’s a bigger filter last longer. And then it has the potassium iodide coating which filters out the volatile organic compounds, the voc’s which are going to get in mattresses and paints and new furnitures and that’s an extra allergen that could be adding to your histamine bucket as well.

Evan Brand: Oh yeah, speaking of air purifiers, I’ve got a cool update for you here. I’m going to see if I can load the email from one of the head honchos at Austin. Because I wanted to ask them about aluminum nanoparticles, you know, they’ve done some air sampling of what people call Kim Trails. Meteorologists say it’s conspiracy, and it’s a contrail. It’s just exhaust vapor. Don’t worry about it, even though Bill Gates plan just got shut down. They were gonna do the solar blocking, basically, anyhow. But this plane flew into these trails and tested and found that it has aluminum nanoparticles. So long story short, I asked our guy at Austin, and I said, Hey, hoping to find out if this air system can filter aluminum nanoparticles. And the guy who did analysis on the trails in the sky, he found that the aluminum was around 400 nanometers. And the guy said, Yes, four nanometers. 400 nanometers equals point four microns. And the Austin filters down 2.3 microns at 99.97%. So now Yes, our filters will handle this. No problem at all. So whether or not you believe the geoengineering thing is going on whether you simply want to filter, the allergens plus the stuff out in the sky, either way, you’re covered with the Austin and so contact our office if you want to get ahold of Dr. J, or myself, and we would love to help you. I’ve got one right here in my office, and it runs 24 seven. And I wish you could smell the air in here. Because it smells like nothing because it’s so pure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I 100% agree. Like there’s a lot of controversial things that are out there. But here’s the deal. If we just talk about the things that we know, which we know, pesticides are out there, right? We know you have voc’s in your home from paints and that new couch robot and the new furniture. We know that there’s allergens out there. We know this potential smoke, especially if you’re in certain areas in California and the west coast where there’s fires throughout the year. We know those things are part of your stress bucket. And they’re they’re a part of that antigenic load. So you want to at least filter them out. And if we have other things, you know, aluminum salts, and Berry and other stuff going on there great. You’re also going to have benefits from that as well. So want to make sure that’s clear. The goal is to decrease all the stress bucket and you’re going to be inside sleeping eight hours a day, you’ll probably be inside at least 12 hours a day on average. And most people with the environment and the world that today we’re while people work from home. And so having super high quality air is incredibly important. super high quality water is very important. And then having very nutrient dense anti inflammatory, low toxin food is foundational. And then after that we can kind of talk about natural anti histamines and things to help kind of dry up sinuses. So I like NAC. I like propylene I like quercetin. I like stinging nettle. I also like things like potassium, potassium bicarb. I also like things like kidney glandular and D A O dia mean oxidase. My plug here is a product called Allerclear which has some of these things in it. I know Evan has a allergy product as well Evan, what’s yours called?

Evan Brand: Histamine Support.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’ll put the links down below. So if you guys are enjoying the content and you want to support the show, feel free and purchase that from us. We appreciate it. We’re only recommending things that we recommend for our family and friends and patients. So those are helpful. Now again, I always draw a line like okay, what’s conventional medicine doing? Zyrtec? Allegra Singulair? Nasacort, right? We already know they’re like anti histamines h1 antagonist, steroids, right. luco trying blockers. That’s the mechanism over there on conventional medicine, which we know has more side effects right. Now, especially with the steroids, that’s a big one that can stress out your adrenals and create blood sugar issues and potentially can create issues with joint loss and bone loss.

Evan Brand: Let me add one thing before you ever get before you move on. So another mechanism that makes you actually worse and more dependent on those medications is that a lot of those conventional medications Actually down regulate or deplete your body’s do production. So now you’re even in more trouble. So you mentioned da o and you and I like to use that. And that helps with the ingested histamine. Meaning if you’re going to eat a high histamine food, we can give you supplemental do extract, and then that’ll help degrade the histamine coming from your diet. However, if you’re on those medications, you’ve now drained your do and you’re likely going to have more histamine intolerance, digging yourself even deeper in the hole. So I just wanted to add that in while you’re hitting on the comparing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, yeah, so we have conventional on this side. And then we have like all of these natural things, supplements that I just mentioned, quercetin bromelain do now these are better. These are much, much better, less side effects. Some of them are going to be our actual nutrient base like glutathionr building blocks, right, really helpful there. Potassium, super helpful. Kidney glandulars, da L, but a whole bunch other B vitamins and b, 12, and vitamin A. So those are actually really good. But I urge you, right? Don’t just listen to this and say well, I’m going to trade my Zyrtec for kidney or Dr. J’s Allerclear, try to actually make root underlying changes. If eating a whole bunch of grains and dairy and sugar, try to focus on the root cause stuff. Or if you know you’re outside a lot, and you’re not doing sinus irrigation, or you don’t have air filtration, try to get the external environment in your home, external environment in your sinuses and your internal with your body fix first, if you can. Now it’s okay if you go to the supplements at some point, but try not to go to them first, because then we’re just kind of acting like conventional medicine. Even though these have less side effects. Like Evan mentioned, they don’t deplete do some of them build it up. And some of them also have nutrients. So still better. But we don’t want to replace palliative care, which is supplements, we want to get to the root cause as well. It’s all about getting to the root cause.

Evan Brand: And it’s very simple. But I hope everyone is at least taking their shoes off when they enter their house. I mean, what a simple way to reduce bringing in oil and gas and pesticide herbicide who knows what else so you know, if you’re not already take your shoes off before you come in the house. And then if you have any carpet, so there, there are some carpet cleaning solutions that we use that are essential oil based, where if you had a pet, for example, that brings a lot of stuff in from outside, and that’s irritating you you can rent your carpets with this cleaner. And then also laundry solution, we do have some essential oil laundry solution that we use. And that will actually help to treat mold and pollen and all that on your clothing. So if you’re out like rolling in the grass, which is fine, you might want to just treat your clothes a little bit to make sure that they’re okay, but what let’s go back into the supplements because you were hitting on some good stuff. So also, in some of the products you and I use is vitamin C and vitamin C can actually help degrade the histamine. It’s amazing. My body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so essentially there is like anti histamine to granulators they help break the histamine down. Okay. And then there are essentially anti histamines they have natural, they decrease the production of histamine, right. And then we have the DA o enzyme support which does kind of also help degrade the histamine down as well, right because da o dia mean oxidase helps break the histamine down. Like Evan mentioned, a lot of the medications deplete the eo so they actually create long term dependency on it. It’s kind of like people that have proton pump inhibitors or acid blockers, well, it creates more problems because you’re not breaking down your proteins, your fats and your amino acids, therefore you have more issues down the road with other symptoms, right? Got to get to the root. And then Evan kind of alluded it one big other, let’s say, antigen, antigen or compound that goes into that stress bucket is if you’re if you’re washing your clothes, or your sheets, or your laundry with dryer sheets, or any fragrance laundry, no bueno. That’s a big, big thing. If you’re just conventional, at least get the like I like the all free and clear. That’s a good one that’s like dermatologist approved for like eczema and like chemical sensitivity that’s at all major stores. So you can always get the all free and clear. You can do seventh generation free and clear. There’s a couple of other brands that are out there that have just essential oil based no sense no nothing like that. That’s ideal. And ideally, no dryer sheets. And if you need more support to get extra odors out. There’s baking soda is a baking soda company makes one called wash soda wash soda, essentially baking soda for your laundry and it’s got ammonium or pseudo it’s got sodium bicarb in there and it just sucks out any mold or kind of like more pungent smells in your clothes. And so if you need that, that’s a great way to kind of get your clothes and your laundry clean without extra chemicals and crap in it.

Evan Brand: Candles. I mean hopefully I don’t have to beat the drum on this too hard. Hopefully you and you all listening have heard enough of us talking about this. But for anybody new. Please get the synthetic fragrances out of your house, you’re destroying your hormones. You know, man, you’re affecting testosterone and estrogen and women Same thing for you. So any Glade plugins, air fresheners after you poop, turn the exhaust fan on and use essential oils if you have a nasty smelling poops. You know you don’t need to be using synthetic toxic chemicals because that’s filling up your bucket. Then you’re using Pine Sol to clean your floor. So make sure your floor cleaners are legit. And those are clean. Make sure all of the cleaning chemicals you’re using are clean, seventh generation or branch basics. There’s so many good brands now there’s no excuse to not use clean products. When you’re cleaning your dishes, make sure you’re not using synthetic fragrances in your dishwasher. You can use free and clear for that, and your hand soap, your shampoo, your conditioner, your deodorant, everything needs to be cleaned, because you’re just filling up your bucket. If you’re exposing yourself to all that garbage. Now, you could do all that stuff and still feel bad. So that’s where we come in and do some of the functional testing to assess your gut. We’ll look at mitochondrial function, we’ll look at neurotransmitters amino acid metabolism, fat digestion, there’s so much that we look at from the testing perspective, we’re just giving you some good strategies today that can help but there still is a deeper layer that we need to investigate. And that’s where we come in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% out of the gates. And so just to kind of highlight a couple of things there. You talked about the gut. That’s important. h pylori, fungal overgrowth. SIBO can create stress in the gut that creates more histamine. Imagine that histamine bucket filling up. So as you mentioned, gut issues create a lot of inflammation like a lot of these mast cell issues even like mast cell, Mass cell, right? mass cell activation disorder, right? Well, that’s just a sign that you’re inflamed and your immune system is spitting off histamine got to get to the root underlying issue. A lot of people talk about things like it’s the cause, but they’re really talking about the effect, right? Oh, my arthritis, my arthritis. Well, that just means you have an inflamed joint. What’s the cause of that, though? Of course, we know that’s the effect, right? inflammation in that area pain, right? We know that’s the effect, right? But what’s the cause? Right? So you have to always say most people in conventional medicine and even natural medicine, get people talking about the effects, but don’t address the cause. So make sure if you’re labeling anything, it’s only worth labeling something if you can connect it to a cause. If not, you’re just describing the symptoms that are presenting itself, which aren’t hard to do.

Evan Brand: Agreed. So yeah, if you were diagnosed with like a mast cell, or you suspected like masel activation m casts for short, you got to get to the big triggers. I talked about that in the beginning, mold, bartonella, Lyme, babesia, any kind of like tick borne issues, mosquito borne issues, vectors like that, they can aggravate your system and can cause you to be more allergic. So you may have to treat those things. I know, for me personally, you know, I know that just treating Lyme and co infections has made me feel better with some of my reactions. So you may need to dig a little bit deeper. And that’s really where you want somebody on your team because just trying to do this alone. It can be challenging, and you’re going to end up with a supplement graveyard and buy stuff you don’t need. So yeah, the herbal anti histamines are great, but what led you to need those in the first place? That’s, that’s the question need to ask. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I agree. And I can tell you like, there are some low hanging fruits that can do amazing things I’ll give you Case in point I had one patient, literally before me went to Mayo Clinic. She had chronic sinus issues. They’re literally telling her that, that that’s it like she asked she needs she’s already did surgeries didn’t relieve it. They’re telling her I think she can do just cut out cut out simple things like grains, her sinus issues were gone. And Mayo Clinic literally told her, there’s nothing she can do. She’s already on the surface, nothing else they can do all the medications, we just kind of grains gone. It’s like what it was that easy. Like, sometimes you have to kind of shake your your like, you kind of have to like, you know, give yourself a little wake up because you think oh, you’re gonna have to go into some elaborate protocol, and sometimes simple foundational things, move mountains, and you’re like, how did that happen? But that’s why we kind of have our checklist in our flowchart. And we don’t ever skip things no matter how elemental or easy. It seems like it would be it can move the needle sometimes.

Evan Brand: Yeah, now and I would just totally repeat that in a different story. You know, a lot of people, even practitioners like you and I, we could easily get lost in the weeds, we could go down these complex rabbit holes, and then we can lose sight of the foundations. And I see a lot of practitioners doing that part partially due to marketing, right, they have to become the thyroid guy, they got to become a guy. So so they’ll skip over foundations because it doesn’t fit into their brand, which is totally stupid. But my story is I had a female client a few weeks ago, and she just had extreme shortness of breath. And she didn’t know if it was like post COVID or what it was. But anyway, we looked at her ferritin on her bloodwork, and all the doctors had been like 20 doctors, her ferritin was seven. Oh my god, forget you. And I know. I mean, if you’re less than 20, you’re not going to be able to catch your breath. So we started to boost up her ferritin. But in the meantime, based on everything else during the initial call, I thought it could be like a histamine problem as well. So I said why don’t you just I’m going to give you this low histamine God, I want you to just eat low histamine until we get your labs back. When we did the lab review call. She said that it was 90% better. She said that within 48 hours of going low histamine. She was at least 50 to 60% better with her breathing. She could barely catch her breath while we were talking. She could speak in full sense It says without having to stop just just doing the lab review. I’m just pointing out, we didn’t even get to look at the data yet. Just a low histamine approach was enough to get her better. So this is in your allergist is not I’m sorry. I mean, if you’re an allergist out there and you’re prescribing low histamine diet, please email us, maybe we’ll do a podcast with you. But I don’t think this is happening. And there’s people sitting somewhere in an allergy room, an allergy office clinic right now. And they’re going to go home with the medication and they’re not going to learn a single thing about low histamine diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And I agree, sometimes low histamine needs to be added on top of maybe our paleo or autoimmune thing, and I have a handful of patients right now where I had to go to that tool. And it can work amazing now that what are low histamine, paleo foods that are pretty common, any of your age meats, so like bacon, those kinds of things, pepperoni, salami, even if it’s pasture fed, or organic, your citrus fruits going to be a big one, sometimes your nuts and seeds. And I would say sometimes your fermented vegetables and your fermented drinks, even if you’re like, Hey, I’m, I want to get my probiotics and naturally, that sauerkraut or that kombucha may be a problem. Sometimes you have to go and pull that out. And so that’s, that’s a big thing we have to look at. And then also, sometimes mold in the environment could be a big thing. Now, I don’t go there first, because there’s too many other things that typically have to go there. So we’ll add that to our list. And especially if we have visible more for sure. But if people are feeling better coming back in their home, that’s usually a good sign. Most people with allergy season this time of year, it’s a punctuated response. And they really feel worse when they’re outside. That’s when you kind of know that it’s probably more environmental than not, if it’s just mold inside normally, it’s an all year round kind of thing. Would you agree on that, Evan? 

Evan Brand: Oh, yeah, I would agree. Yeah. And with like, our air purifiers and everything, I know that I feel significantly better when I’m in my house. Yes. So to me, I’m like, Okay, good. We I’m kind of the canary right. So I can pick up on things. And so I think if people are in tune enough, you should know, like, if you’re out at the store, and you’re outside, and then you go in your home, Do you get any relief? If not, then your home could be a contributing factor. And we can rule that in RL.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And then of course, the good scientists irrigations wonderful, we’ll put links for that below. We talked about the diet, talked about food, we talked about supplementation, we’ll put links for everything. And then outside of that, hormones do play a valuable a very important role. So women with chronically low progesterone and people with low cortisol, in general, these are kind of natural anti inflammatory hormones. If they’re chronically lower depleted, they can affect your immune system. And so again, we know medications like nasal core, if you destiny, they’re steroids, right? And so they’re giving you steroids to kind of help with the inflammation of the allergens. And so we know if your natural steroids are incredibly lower depleted over time, for many reasons, we mentioned already, looking at your natural progesterone, your natural cortisol levels may play an important role. So taking a look at the adrenals taking a look at the female hormones, especially right around day 20 or in the luteal phase or so is very important. It plays a very important role.

Evan Brand: Good call. I mean, we could probably do a whole part two on that the adrenal allergy connection. Yeah, totally. I know. adaptogens helped me feel better. So I don’t even think we fully understand adaptogens and how they may help with stress response, but they may help with allergy response to I mean, there’s definitely a really cool, yeah, yoked up a whole new can of worms there. So I know. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’ll leave it at that we may want to do a follow up on this the hormone allergy connection that maybe we’ll save that for another week coming up?

Evan Brand: Well, I hope people enjoy this as much as you and I do. I mean, just listening back and trying to like, listen to our conversation. As an outsider. I’m like, wow, this is such amazing information. And you’re not hearing about this. So I really hope that you guys listening will share this with your friends, your family, and review us go on your Apple podcast app. That’s the best place to review us. And look at Dr. J show. Look at my show. And just click five stars. If you think we deserve it and give us some words, give us some words of affirmation. Tell us what you think. Because this really helps us. And we don’t have to do this. We just love doing it. And we love sharing with people. You know, we get hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of 1000s of people listening per year. We just love it. And if we can just put a dent in the world and make people feel better than our job is complete. So please, sharing is caring. And if you need help clinically, you can reach out to Dr. J he would love to help you with these issues. The website is JustinHealth.com. If you’d like help for me, my website, EvanBrand.com has all the info. You can book free calls with our staff and talk to us about your symptoms, your goals, what’s going on, we’ll see if you’re a good fit for care and take it from there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And we appreciate you guys for you know sharing everything and, and writing some good reviews and putting your comments down. It helps keep us inspired and it gives us more ideas of future topics to write about. So put your concerns on there. make notes and things you want to hear about as well love to see it. And that’ll give us good fodder for future podcasts. Hey, Evan, it was awesome chatting with you, man. You have a great week. Take care now.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended products:
Allerclear Histamine Support
Nasaline
Sinus Flush Bottle
Xlear packets
Xlear rescue spray
Navage Nasal Irrigation
NeilMed Sinus Rinse Complete Kit
Xlear Sinus Rinse Kit
Austin Air Healthmate Plus
Air Doctor Air Purifier
Whole House Water Filter
Water Filtration Devices
Clearly Filtered

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/natural-strategies-to-help-relieve-and-support-your-allergies-podcast-313

 

Herbs to Support Digestion

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Digestive issues are so common that many people don’t know that the way they are feeling isn’t normal. Time and time again, patients will come back to tell me that they can’t believe they aren’t bloated and gassy every time they eat!

Bloating, gas, abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, and constipation all indicate your digestive system is not working properly. We all would benefit from replacing processed foods, refined sugar, and gluten with organic, whole, fresh meat and vegetables. If you have already been eating a paleo-type of diet and are still having digestive issues, you might consider working with a functional medicine doctor who can help you identify which foods are your specific triggers.

Digestive Health, Herbs and Functional Medicine

There are many beneficial herbs for digestive support. Whether you’re supporting your long-term digestive health, or in need or a quick fix for a tummy ache, there are herbs that can help. Today we’re going to look at some of the best herbs to boost the production of digestive enzymes, and soothe your digestive system.

Dandelion is an all-encompassing medicinal herb. Dandelion is bitter, which catalyzes intestinal enzymes and stimulates the manufacture of bile. This delightful garden plant also supports the liver by filtering waste from the bloodstream.

Dandelion leaves can be cut into pieces and included in salads, or used in juices, to get your digestive juices running smoothly. Dried Dandelion root from trustworthy herbal manufacturers makes for an excellent tea.

Chamomile acts on the gut’s enteric nervous system, which is very sensitive to changes in the environment. Chamomile is soothing to the stomach & intestine and acts as a calming antispasmodic herb. This herb is your go-to for calming a nervous stomach, treating gas, diarrhea, and indigestion.

Chamomile tea is an extremely common (and delicious) way to reap the benefits of this herb. Kids love it too!

Marshmallow, or Althaea, is a great herb for soothing any inflammation along the digestive tract. Marshmallow root is actually sweet- making this a tasty way to calm your tummy! Marshmallow root is perfect for gastritis, ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.

This herb actually provides the most benefits when you have it cold! Add 1-2 tbsp of Althaea root to 1 cup of cold water and allow it to soak for a couple of hours so that it becomes a thick liquid. You can also use this plant as a powder.  

Licorice This wonderful herb is regarded as a soothing tonic and is used as a calming demulcent to protect and soothe the mucous membranes of the digestive tract. Licorice also protects the gut lining from stomach acid that can cause queasiness and indigestion. The herb has both anti-inflammatories as well as has antispasmodic properties. The active nature of this herb provides a calm laxative effect and also works well against diarrhea.

Licorice is a powerful synergist; when combined with other herbs, the benefits of all herbs are boosted. Try taking licorice with fennel, ginger, or chamomile for a comprehensive digestive tonic!

Angelica is a wonderfully aromatic herb, and conventionally, it is the root that is most preferred. A tea infusion of the roots relieves gas, bloating, flatulence, and aids kidney function. This herb is carminative in nature- meaning it will help prevent gas or help relieve gas if you’re already bloated.

The volatile oils that exist within Angelica have antispasmodic effects, helping to alleviate intestinal spasms, gastric ulcers, diarrhea, and indigestion. The herb is full of antioxidants that check free radical damage to the tissues and alleviate gut inflammation.  

Calendula This bright flower produces a calming and gentle anti-inflammatory effect along the digestive tract and further protects it from future damage. Calendula helps regulate bacterial growth inside the intestine.

These natural remedies have stood the test of time; herbal tonics have been used all over the world for centuries. So next time you’re feeling bloated, try making yourself a mug of herbal tea and experience the natural relief for yourself!  

 

References:

1. Functional Wellness, Part 3: Digestive Health: https://experiencelife.com/article/functional-wellness-part-3-digestive-health/

2. Dandelion: the key herb for liver health, better digestion and beautiful skin: https://www.naturimedica.com/dandelion-the-key-herb-for-liver-health-better-digestion-and-beautiful-skin/

3. Chamomile: More than calming: https://herbalelement.com/blogs/news/chamomile-more-than-calming

4. Healing the Gut with Marshmallow Root: https://journeyofhealth.org/healing-the-gut-with-marshmallow-root/

5. Licorice Root: A Digestive Friend: http://www.medicinehunter.com/page/licorice-root-digestive-friend

6. ANGELICA ROOT, Angelica archangelica: https://www.gardenoflife.com/content/Herb/angelica-root/

7. Calendula: 30 Amazing Benefits and Uses: https://thefreerangelife.com/30-uses-for-calendula/

8. Herbs to Improve Digestion: http://www.medicinehunter.com/herbs-improve-digestion

Food Allergies and Joint Pain

Food Allergies and Joint Pain

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Food allergies and intolerances are common culprits of inflammation, which is considered to be the root of modern diseases. The body can be allergic to any food, therefore any food is capable of causing inflammation, potentially leading to joint pain and arthritis.

Most doctors who are specialized in treating arthritis and many other joint issues tend to rely on medications that only address symptoms of the conditions and totally ignore the underlying cause. Many patients who go to a rheumatologist for joint pain are prescribed medications that may provide temporary relief, but have a dangerous side effects in the long term.

In the last five years of seeing patients with joint pain, I have found that many patients respond positively to simple nutritional and dietary changes.  By removing inflammatory foods that aggravate the immune system, my patients’ joints see great improvements thanks to these dietary changes alone.

Medications do nothing more than mask the symptoms of pain, all the while aggravating other issues, such as gastrointestinal and liver problems.  These medications also cause mineral deficiencies (folic acid, vitamin C, and other nutrients) which continues to worsen the problem the drugs were originally prescribed for.  Proper nutrient levels are very important for helping joints, ligaments, and tendons to heal properly.

While you’re on a medication in hopes of it fixing your joint pain, you are actually setting yourself up for more long-term severe joint pain in the future.  Addressing the underlying cause (the source of your inflammation) is the best way to solve the problem- for good.

The vicious cycle in summary:

The vicious cycle in summary

Click here for help determining the cause of your joint pain.

Autoimmunity is an underpinning:

Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis

Ankylosing spondylitis

Lupus

Spondylitic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis

reactive arthritis

Fibromyalgia

Scleroderma

Common inflammatory foods:

All grains, including: wheat, barley, rye, oats, corn, rice, millet, sorghum, etc.

Lectins

Night shades (potato, eggplant, tomato, peppers, tobacco).

Sugar

Legumes (peanuts, soy, beans)

Anti-inflammatory foods:

Wild-caught fish and/or fish oil

Grass-fed Meat

Coconut oil

Lower glycemic fruits, such as berries

Non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and asparagus

Herbs such as turmeric, garlic, and ginger

Green tea

Experiencing Joint Pain? Click here to ask a functional medicine doctor about it.

What Your Brain is Really Hungry For

What Your Brain is Really Hungry For

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Alzheimer, dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases are on the rise. Many people are under the impression that these diseases happen when you’re older, in your 60s, 70s, 80s… but this belief is wrong. Brain damage and deterioration actually starts when you’re young, in your 20s and 30s. It is only once enough damage has occured and symptoms start to show that a diagnosis is made.

How might a young person be causing such damage to their brain that they could end up with Alzheimer’s or other similar diseases? There are a few common patterns:

1) Insulin resistance: in some circles insulin resistance is even being referred to as Type III diabetes!

2) Autoimmunity: which can drive neurodegeneration in the brain.

3) Environmental toxicity: including heavy metals like aluminum, mercury and lead.

Today we’re going to be focusing on the effects of insulin resistance and its role in neurodegenerative diseases. Insulin is a hormone your pancreas creates that allows your body to use glucose (sugar and carbs) for energy. Insulin resistance is what happens when you consume too much sugar and carbohydrates, and your body stops reacting to insulin.

How does this relate to the brain? Well, it is a scientific fact that while the brain only represents about 5% of our body weight, it consumes nearly 25% of our nutrition and oxygen. When you consume too much sugar and carbohydrates, you become insulin resistant. Insulin resistance keeps the glucose trapped in the bloodstream and unable to be used for energy. Your brain becomes less and less capable of utilizing the glucose found in sugar and carbs for energy, and your begins to starve. If the brain is starving for glucose, the fuel needed to power our higher brain function is no longer accessible.

Optimize brain health by clicking here.

Hearing that these diseases can start if your brain is starving for glucose might lead you to believe that you should just consume more glucose, right?  It’s important to remember that excess glucose is what started this whole problem in the first place. Excess glucose in the blood is what caused insulin resistance, and also causes something called AGES(advances glycation end products). AGES are free radical magnets that damages our DNA, accelerate aging, and even cause wrinkles.

What the most up to date research is showing is that our brain can adapt to burning fat or ketones for energy. Essentially 80% of our brain can run off of ketones, so other areas that were perhaps starving now have access to a new fuel that can bring to life parts of the brain that may have been asleep.  One of the most popular fats that are being used are MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), which are abundantly found in coconut oil. These fats are unique because they are easily digested and converted into ketones which become brain food rather quickly.

Next time your sitting down to a meal, it’s a wise choice to avoid the excess sugar and refined junk and eat organic whole foods, especially vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins.  The solid portion of your brain is 70% fat, so make sure you get an extra serving of healthy grass-fed meat, wild salmon, and coconut oil. This will help your brain function at the highest level possible and help prevent the occurrence neurodegenerative disease in your future.

Click here for more ways to improve brain health and functioning.

How Sugar Feeds Illness

 How Sugar Feeds Illness

How Sugar Feeds Illness

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

America takes first place… as the top consumer of dietary sugar in the world. Our sugar consumption is a major player behind the skyrocketing rates of chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The average American now consumes an average of 130 grams of sugar per dayfor reference, the daily recommendation for women is a maximum of 20 grams a day! This is more than just sad: it’s dangerous. Today we are going to outline some of the effects of sugar on our immediate and long-term health.

What is Sugar?

What is Sugar

This might seem obvious, but food producers are getting craftier with their labeling as they realize more and more people are making the choice to eat healthier. Sugar goes by many names, with new ones popping up all the time. Some sugars are natural, most are processed, and more and more are being created in labs. Here are just a few names to look out for on product labels:

  • Agave
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey (raw, pasteurized)
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt sugar
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sugar
  • Sugar molecules ending in “-ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
  • Syrup

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor and discuss underlying health issues preventing you from living your best life!

What About Fruit?

Yes, fruit technically contains sugar, in the form of fructose. However, there is a big difference between enjoying a piece of fruit as an after-dinner treat, versus having orange juice with breakfast and fruit juices as your beverage of choice throughout the day. Studies have shown that eating fruit whole can lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, drinking fruit actually increases your risk! The fiber you get from eating fruit whole slows the absorption of the sugar and keeps the glycemic index low. Plus, it takes a lot more squeezed fruit to fill a glass than you could possibly eat in a serving, meaning you’re consuming way more sugar than you realize!

The Effects of Sugar

The Effects Of Sugar

Consuming large quantities of sugar has been linked to an increased risk of a variety of chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as well as cognitive decline and even some cancers!

There are also many health issues caused by sugar that aren’t as talked about:

Sugar depletes the body of critical electrolytes, antioxidants, and minerals, which leads to cell death, muscle spasms, insulin resistance, and other health defects. Its effects on the immune system leave you prone to getting sick more often and more severely.

Sugar feeds bacteria and parasites, like yeast and Candida. It also depletes the body of good gut bacteria, promoting Leaky Gut and other gut infections. Chronic pain, vision problems, and even wrinkles can be worsened by sugar!

Sugar causes chronic inflammation in the body, and inflammation is said to be the root cause of almost all disease.

How Sugar Feeds Cancer

Sugar consumption has been proved to feed cancer cells and speed up the growth of tumors. Too much sugar consumption causes insulin resistance, as well as a specific protein to be released from your pancreas. This protein causes your cells to replicate and become immortal, which is how pre-cancerous cells can begin to take over.

Cancer cells prefer glucose over oxygen, but our mitochondria can’t use the glucose as energy. White blood cells are our immune system’s soldiers, and need vitamin C to function properly. A cancer patient needs lots of healthy white blood cells to fight the disease, however, sugar blocks the absorption of vitamin C in our bloodstream, weakening our immune system.

In summary, sugar causes cancer cells to reproduce and thrive, and blocks the mechanisms that would slow down or kill cancer cells and tumors.

Takeaway

Sugar addiction runs deep, and can be hard to kick. Stay tuned for Dr. J’s thoughts on artificial sweeteners, approaches to beating sugar addiction, and healthy alternatives for sugar.

Click here to talk to a functional medicine doctor about staying healthy this holiday season!

Sugar and your Hormones

Sugar and your Hormones

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Americans now consume an average of 150 pounds of sugar a year, which is 20 times as much as was the norm in 1700 when Americans were consuming only 7½ pounds per year! This crazy sugar consumption, about ½ a pound a day, has lead our country to obesity, disease, and all sorts of health issues that are now seen as normal. Today we are going to examine the causes and effects of sugar cravings, and what we can do to properly balance our hormones.

Causes of Sugar Cravings

Causes of Sugar Cravings

Sugar cravings can be caused by blood sugar imbalances, which occur due to poor diet (including inflammation-inducing high doses of sugar) or going too long between meals. Blood sugar imbalance leads to more inflammation, hormone imbalance, and sugar cravings. The sugar cravings continue the negative cycle of eating sugar, crashing, and craving more, which only causes hormone imbalances to worsen over time.

The HPA axis, the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands, can be disrupted by a poor diet, stress, and emotional toil: all of which are symptoms of a sugar overdose. The disturbance to the HPA axis can lead to adrenal fatigue, which can lead to blood sugar imbalance and more cravings for something sweet.

Consuming sugar releases dopamine, a feel-good “rewards system” neurotransmitter which is responsible for motivation and emotions. This release of dopamine can be addictive, making it very difficult to cut out sugar, which effectively becomes an addition.

Sugar and Your Hormones

Sugar and Your Hormones

We know consuming too much sugar contributes to blood sugar imbalances, adrenal fatigue, and inflammation. But it goes deeper than that: overconsumption of sugar can throw our hormones out of whack, leading to serious health conditions. Weight gain or weight loss that’s unexplained by your diet and exercise, depression, anxiety, changes in appetite, low libido, irregular periods, fatigue, insomnia, digestive issues, hair thinning or hair loss are all signs of hormone imbalance.

Common hormonal imbalances include:

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism: Hypothyroidism causes the metabolism to slow, meaning weight gain is a common issue. Hyperthyroidism is the opposite, causing the body to speed up and weight to be lost quickly. Both thyroid disorders can come with anxiety, sleep issues, and other irregularities.

Low testosterone comes with weight gain, fatigue, mood swings, erectile dysfunction, and muscle loss.

Low estrogen can lower your sex drive, cause menstrual and reproductive problems, and cause mood swings.

Estrogen dominance can change your weight, appetite, and sleep patterns. Easier to become overwhelmed by stress, and the metabolism slows.

Diabetes comes with weight gain, nerve damage, fatigue, skin problems, and vision loss.

Adrenal fatigue plagues many people in our over-stressed society. Fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, brain fog, and muscle aches and pains are common.

PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, in which elevated androgen (male hormone) levels cause many cysts to grow in the ovaries of women of reproductive age. Infertility, weight gain, acne, and abnormal hair growth are symptoms of this condition.

Click here to work with a functional medicine doctor to test your hormone levels!

 How to Balance Your Hormones

How to Balance Your Hormones

Adaptogen herbs are a class of healing plants that are very powerful in protecting against stress. They can support the thyroid, reduce anxiety and depression, support the adrenals, and stabilize blood sugar. Ashwagandha is your go-to for balancing hormones. It can help with hyper- and hypo- thyroidism, as well as help with adrenal function. We recommend Ashwagandha Supreme, or a more complex supplement, like the ashwagandha-containing Adrenal Revive. Holy Basil, or tulsi, also regulates hormones and can help the body deal with emotional stress, as well as give protection against environmental and ingested toxins.

Vitamin D is more of a hormone than a vitamin. Vitamin D keeps inflammation low, and is a very important component of a healthy body; read more about vitamin D here. A high-quality vitamin D supplement, like Emulsi D Supreme, is very beneficial in protecting against hormonal imbalances as well as autoimmune diseases.

Healthy gut function is crucial in virtually all aspects of overall health. Leaky gut, inflammation of the gut lining allowing undigested food particles and toxins into the bloodstream, cause inflammations in other areas of the body, including glands such as the thyroid, which are responsible for regulating our hormones. A high quality probiotic, or probiotics from foods such as sauerkraut and kombucha, can repopulate the gut with good probiotics. Bone broth is also good for healing the gut, as it is soothing to the intestines and contains collagen and other healing compounds.

How to Beat Sugar Craving

How to Beat Sugar Cravings

As we know, sugar feeds inflammation and messes with our hormones. Despite knowing that sugar is not good for us, strong cravings make it hard to resist! In the heat of the moment, apple cider vinegar, lemon, or lime water can help curb a sugar craving.

Sugar cravings can also be due to dehydration or a mineral deficiency. Using healthy pink himalayan salt on meals and maintaining proper hydration will allow your body to properly balance your hormones and improve blood sugar.

In the long-term, switching from a diet high in processed foods and carbs to a cyclical keto diet, or a lower carb diet rich in complex carbs and healthy fats, can help you feel satiated and balance your blood sugar.

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor for a personalized health plan!

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12663220

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25010715

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3919046

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4131243/

 

The 5 Causes of Nutrient Deficiencies

Causes of Nutrient Deficiencies

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Good nutrition is what our body needs to prevent us from having issues that will compromise our health. Watch this video and increase your awareness when it comes to different causes of nutrient deficiencies.


5 Different Causes of Nutrient Deficiencies:

  1. Inflammation
  2. Conventional food
  3. Inadequate Supplements
  4. Infection
  5. Medication

Inflammation

Inflammation

There are couple of different kinds of inflammation. We have an acute inflammation, wherein you cut your finger, a scab forms or above your elbow, a bruise forms. It healed up in a few days and it’s not a big problem. 

What we’re talking about is systemic inflammation. Meaning, it’s systemic throughout the whole body based on diet, lifestyle, exercise. All of these factors.

One of the biggest things that affects inflammation is which kind of diet we eat. We’re eating a pro-inflammatory diet, high in sugar, high in inflammatory compounds like grains and sugar. Those are going to put our body in a more inflammatory state. The more inflamed we are, the more we decrease ability of our body to absorb nutrition. 

Now we have little finger-like projections called microvilli in our small intestine. Think of these finger-like projections like a vacuum cleaner. It’s job is to suck up nutrition. The more inflamed we are, systemically, think of that vacuum cleaner, each finger being a vacuum cleaner. Each one gets clogged and you see less vacuum cleaner until we have knocked – our vacuum cleaner is essentially fully clogged which does not absorb nutrition as effectively.

Conventional Foods

Conventional Foods

We’re just eating foods that are conventional. Conventional foods – meaning foods that aren’t organic. They’re not going to be as high in nutrition because the fact they are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Even GMO things like Roundup. These compounds with chemicals essentially devoid will make the nutrients in the soil very much devoid. Minerals are needed for the plant to essentially produce an optimal spectrum of nutrients. Studies have shown that certain soil that are devoid of manganese, certain vegetables and the fruit will actually have 50-60% less Vitamin C. If we have low mineral soils due to the chemical that our farmers are putting on it, that’s going to affect our ability to get much nutrition from that in the first place.

Supplements

Supplements to Counter Nutrient Deficiencies

Having high quality supplement is going to be really important. Even if you are actually taking high-quality organic vegetables and eating high-quality organic meat, you’re still going to have some holes there. That is why supplement is there, essentially supplementing the gaps and the holes in the diet. You never want to supplement and eat bad, either. You really want to do your best to make some big change with your diet and also add those in helping building the gap to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

CLICK HERE to know more about the supplements which prevent nutrient deficiency

Infections

Infections

Infections are very common. These are these low-grade kind of inflammatory zombies, so to speak, in your intestinals. Just sitting there and its causing this drain on your immune system, this drain in your adrenals. If we can really cut down and figure out what kind of infection to go along with (H pylori infection, or a fungal infection, or a parasite infection) and if we can diagnose where the infection is, we can create a protocol that will help remove that.

Medications

MedicationsMedications are common and are known to cause nutritional deficiencies. There are actually textbooks on nutritional deficiencies caused by medications. So did you know the most common nutritional deficiency caused by a medication is a statin? This statin medication, which control cholesterol being produced by the liver, they actually decrease your production of your nutrient called coQ10.

CoQ10 is actually really important because the hearts need coQ10 to actually beat each time. We’re having our heart issues, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, blood pressure. You should really want to make sure our heart has all the nutrients it needs. Two, coQ10 is really important for muscle production. One of the most common symptom you see when you’re on a statin is rhabdomyolysis or you see infected muscle pain or extra muscle soreness. These are very, very common things. Also, in diabetics taking Metformin or Glucophage. These medications cause mixing conditions B12 anemia.

If you’re on medication, give the office a call. At least make sure you’re being supported or the potential nutritional deficiencies that could be caused by the medication you’re up. If you really want to address the underlying cause of your condition, or what medication to prescribe, let us know and we’ll do our best to help.

CLICK HERE to know if your medication is causing nutrient deficiency

Recommended Carbohydrate Intake For Optimal Health

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Do You Know What Your Recommended Carbohydrate Intake Is?

Based on my clinical experience as a functional-medicine doctor, carbohydrate recommendations can be different for each person. If you are a healthy, insulin-sensitive CrossFitter, your body may be better adapt at utilizing glucose for fuel without any negative effects. Some individuals may fall into the category of being insulin resistant or having metabolic syndrome. These individuals have a very difficult time utilizing sugar for fuel and need to utilize a lower carbohydrate plan that allows them to burn ketones/fat for fuel. There are also many people in between on the carbohydrate spectrum! There are exceptions to every rule mentioned.

carbohydrates

Did You Know That Carbohydrates Are Not Essential Nutrients?

Your body has no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates. It can actually make its own carbohydrates through a process known as gluconeogenesis, where your liver converts amino acids into glucose. Your body can also convert fat for energy through a process known as ketosis.

There are essential fatty acids and amino acids; these are nutrients our body cannot make and needs to take in through outside food sources. Just because your body has no essential requirement for carbohydrates doesn’t mean you should avoid carbohydrates.

When you look at the Food Guide Pyramid, you’ll see that over 60% of the recommended macronutrients come from carbohydrate sources. This begs the question, if carbohydrates are not essential, then why are such a large percent of them recommended on the Food Guide Pyramid? Food recommendations are typically made for political reasons, not necessarily scientific reasons. It’s a sad state of affairs that the lobbying efforts from massive food corporations tend to dictate what shows up on the Food Pyramid.

carb recommendations

Carbohydrate Consumption and Reactive Hypoglycemia

When you eat carbohydrates, your pancreas responds by squirting out some insulin so your body can pull the newly broken down glucose into your cells so it can be utilized for energy. If you consume an excessive amount of carbohydrates, or consume carbohydrates that have a higher glycemic load, your pancreas will squirt out an exaggerated amount of insulin to ensure it will be taken up by the cells efficiently. In your body’s desire to utilize the glucose, it has actually dropped your blood glucose into a hypoglycemic state.

Most people live their life on these blood sugar swings from high to low. These swings put a tremendous amount of stress on your adrenal and thyroid glands. Hypothyroidism and thyroid imbalances are strongly connected with dysglycemia (swings in your blood sugar).

These ups and downs in blood sugar (dysglycemia) are a hallmark of metabolic syndrome. These swings also create extra sweet cravings—your body is hardwired to crave sweets when your blood glucose drops past a certain point. If you are always triggering your body’s fight-or-flight response with low blood sugar stress, you are telling your genes you are starving and you feel you need food in your mouth as fast as possible. This usually translates to eating some refined sugar and junk food, which sends you back on the same viscous cycle you were just on. Most people live their life this very way!

With habits like this, you will be putting significant stress on your thyroid and adrenal glands as they are required to rev up and down to buffer the hormonal roller coaster!

Subclinical hypothyroidism is significantly associated with metabolic syndrome.

How Many Carbohydrates Can Your Body Hold?

Your body can roughly hold about 300 to 350 g of carbohydrates in your muscles. One of the best recommendations for health is to add muscle to your body. Muscle provides structural integrity, enhances performance when moving, and also provides an additional reservoir for carbohydrates. When your carbohydrate levels are tapped off in your muscles, the next place carbohydrates are stored is in your liver. Your liver can only hold about 60 to 80 g more carbohydrates than your muscles, and it can become saturated much quicker.

After the 350 g of carbohydrates your body can hold in your muscles and liver, the remaining carbohydrates are converted to fat. Your body is very efficient at turning carbohydrates into fat and will do so if there are too many carbohydrates coming into your diet.

Click here to help get your blood sugar back in balance now!

How Many Carbohydrates Do You Need on a Daily Basis?

Ketosis and Fat Burning (0 to 50 g per Day)

When you keep your carbohydrate intake near 50 g per day, you’re going to enter a physiological state known as ketosis lipolysis. Most people get scared when they hear the word ketosis, confusing it for ketoacidosis, a state that type I diabetics and alcoholics with liver damage may go into.

Ketosis lipolysis is a normal state of physiology that involves primarily using fat for energy (this happens in fasting too). Fatty acids are broken down into ketones. These ketones are then used for fuel by the body and brain. Ketones also have an appetite-suppressing effect, and after a few weeks in ketosis, you will tend to lose your sweet cravings, too.

 The Sweet Spot! (50 to 100 g per Day)

This is a spot I typically like to keep my carbohydrate range within; it allows me to not rely on exercise to stay lean and fit. If you have a damaged metabolism, a 0 to 50 g per day range may be where you need to live for a while. Some people also do well cycling in and out of ketosis: three or four days in a row in ketosis and one day in the sweet-spot range or higher.

Carbohydrates are primarily used for instant energy, so if you’re doing lots of exercise or you’re under higher amounts of stress, getting a little bit of extra carbohydrates from healthy sources may be beneficial.

Maintenance (100 to 150 g per Day)

Most people do well in maintaining their weight when their carbohydrates are within this range. Everyone is different, so depending on how damaged your metabolism is, this range may be too high for you. If you’re relatively lean, exercise three to four times a week, and engage in activities like CrossFit, this will be a great place for you to be. I recommend timing a good chunk of your carbohydrate intake post workout as a means to help improve recovery.

The Steady Track to Weight Gain (150 to 300 g per Day)

When your carbohydrate levels are this high on a continuous basis, especially when there is no energy output to back it up, you are starting to push your body into an insulin-resistant state. The hormone that is secreted when you eat carbohydrates is insulin, and it primarily works by pulling carbohydrates and amino acids into your muscles. Like we talked about above, when your muscles and liver are saturated with carbohydrates, the rest of those carbohydrates will be stored as fat. When your carbohydrate intake is within the 150 to 300 g per day range, it’s highly likely it will be stored as fat.

Danger, Will Robinson! (300 g per Day of Carbohydrates or More)

If you’re eating based on the Food Guide Pyramid, it’s more than likely your carbohydrate intake will be in or around this range. All you have to do is eat your bagel every morning along with your orange juice or cereal, have a sandwich for lunch with your Gatorade, and eat a nice plate of pasta for dinner, and you’ll be on your way. Most people that are eating carbohydrates at this high level tend to have insulin resistance as well as increased risk markers for inflammation and metabolic syndrome.

What Types of Carbohydrates Should I Eat?

Starchy versus Non-starchy

Starchy carbohydrates: White potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, beats, yams, carrots (if cooked), butternut squash, rutabaga, spaghetti squash, turnips, pumpkin, plantains, and bananas. These carbohydrates can have higher levels of sugar along with higher levels of nutrients.

Non-starchy carbohydrates: Broccoli, spinach, kale, celery, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, zucchini, Swiss chard, spinach, asparagus, peppers, onions. These carbohydrates have the lowest level of sugar along with the highest level of nutrients.

High-Glycemic versus Low-Glycemic Carbohydrates

High glycemic: Grains, chips, candies, breads, refined sugars, cereals, junk foods, and tropical fruits (bananas, watermelons, pineapples, papaya, mangoes, and all fruit juices). Outside of the whole food fruit sources, higher glycemic carbohydrates tend to have the lowest amount of nutrients with the highest amount of sugar.

Low glycemic:  Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, huckleberries, apples, oranges. these carbohydrates, as a fruit, tend to have the lowest amount of sugar with a higher amount of nutrition.

The carbohydrates that you eat on a daily basis should be of the non-starchy variety, which are all the vegetables your mom tried to get you to eat when you were little.

There are some benefits to the intake of some of the starchy carbohydrates, but you have to make sure they are dosed according to your metabolic constitution and activity level.

When we’re looking at the glycemic index, this refers to how fast the sugar in the carbohydrates breaks down and absorbs into your bloodstream. Carbohydrates that have a higher glycemic index get absorbed and impact your blood sugar faster.

The faster the carbohydrates impact your blood sugar, the faster your insulin spikes. When you have pronounced insulin spikes, this drives down your blood sugar, creating sweet cravings just a few hours later. This is a vicious cycle that I see most people live in their entire life. Break the blood-sugar roller coaster by eating healthy proteins, fats, and the right carbohydrates for your metabolic type with each meal.

If you need help getting your blood sugar balanced, click here for more information!


References:

  1. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-primal-carbohydrate-continuum/

 


The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Justin Marchegiani unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Justin and his community. Dr. Justin encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Marchegiani’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any products.